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Reuel S. Amdur Reuel Amdur is a freelance writer based near Ottawa.


  • An Appeal for Clarification on Bill 21 Reuel S. Amdur
    December 9, 2019

    The head of government in each of the provinces is termed the premier, except in Quebec where he is called the prime minister. In the case of Quebec's François Legault, the title is well chosen, as the term minister has both a governmental sense and a religious one. In the religious sense, he is the Minister of Laïcité, assuring the religious neutrality of the state. With Quebec's Bill 21, he wishes to demonstrate that neutrality by forbidding government employees in positions of authority, including teachers, from displaying religious symbols.

  • Learning from the Sharansky AffairReuel S. Amdur
    November 24, 2019

    Natan Sharansky was refused an exit visa from the USSR in 1973. Hence, he was a refusenik. Four years later, because of his activities in conveying information about other refuseniks to the West, he was accused of high treason and spying for the U.S. His punishment, 13 years of forced labor. In 1986, he was released as part of a large spy swap between the West and the Communist bloc.

  • Cornwall DilemmaReuel S. Amdur
    November 24, 2019

    As a social worker, I have a client in Cornwall whom I am assisting in her claim for Criminal Injuries Compensation. I live in Quebec, just north of Ottawa, and so it is not handy to get into Cornwall on a regular basis.

  • Medical MarijuanaReuel S. Amdur
    November 12, 2019

    Medical marijuana is in an ambiguous position. Its products lack DIN drug identification numbers. As a Health Canada web site explains, "A DIN uniquely identifies the following product characteristics: manufacturer; product name; active ingredient(s); strength(s) of active ingredient(s); pharmaceutical form; route of administration." And, "A drug product sold in Canada without a DIN is not in compliance with Canadian law."

  • Police MisconductReuel S. Amdur
    October 31, 2019

    As the Roman poet Juvenal put it, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will watch the watchers themselves? We have the police to protect us, but we sometimes need protection from them as well. There have been a number of incidents in which people have been the victims. The most glaring and public of these get attention and sometimes appropriate action is taken. One thinks of the Toronto case of Sammy Yatim, shot by officer James Forcillo. Yatin was behaving in a bizarre fashion but was no immediate danger to anyone at the time. Forcillo was convicted.

  • GriefReuel S. Amdur
    October 26, 2019

    Grief is not just about death. It is a natural response to any loss. That is what Caitlin Sigg told an audience at the Royal Ottawa Hospital on September 24. She is a PhD candidate and part-time professor at St. Paul University. She noted that grief is a subject people are uncomfortable talking about. Yet, we all experience it, not just as an event but as a process.

  • Poor Food, Violence, and Inadequate Medical CareReuel S. Amdur
    October 11, 2019

    I am a social worker and I work with a lawyer who represents people seeking Criminal Injuries Compensation. Some of these people are themselves in jail. On July 19, 2018, I was in the waiting area of the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (IOCDC) to meet Claude, my client. A lawyer who was there to see another inmate and I struck up a conversation.

  • Substance abuse and mental illnessReuel S. Amdur
    October 5, 2019

    Mental Illness and substance abuse: which comes first? This was the question posed at an address at a Royal Ottawa Hospital presentation on September 19. The presenters were two Royal Ottawa psychologists, Drs. Isabelle Ares and Suzanne Bell.

  • Premier Legault's Strange Opposition to PrejudiceReuel S. Amdur
    August 13, 2019

    Premier François Legault declares that "Quebeckers are open and tolerant and will continue to be." Therefore, in spite of the existence of "too many" racist acts, there is no need for a day devoted to acting against Islamophobia. Well, just how tolerant is Quebec?

  • Missing and MurderedReuel S. Amdur
    July 16, 2019

    The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place, is a massive, two-volume document. There has been considerable controversy around the report's contention that what has happened to Aboriginal women, girls, and sexual minorities is genocide, but since genocide applies not only to slaughtering people but also to instituting programs that aim to destroy a culture, Canada's treatment of Aboriginal peoples clearly falls under that term. The report spells out in detail, example after example, of just how this was carried out, especially but not only in the residential schools. However, there is a major basic weakness, going back all the way to its original charge.

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