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


  • 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.

  • Celil for MengReuel S. Amdur
    July 2, 2019

    "When it comes to Ms. Meng there has been no political interference. . . and that is the right way for extradition requests to proceed." That is what Christia Freeland, our Minister of Foreign Affairs, told the media in Washington on June 13. Let's see how that might play out.

  • On the streetReuel S. Amdur
    June 9, 2019

    Most people do not choose to be homeless, and the experience is generally negative, unpleasant, unhealthy, unsafe, stressful, and distressing. That is what Sue-Ann MacDonald old an audience at Ottawa's Algonquin College on May 30. She was citing Stephen Gaetz, Director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. She is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the Université de Montréal.

  • Transgender TreatmentReuel S. Amdur
    May 23, 2019

    In Canada, one of 200 people is a redhead. The same proportion applies for people who are of physically indeterminate gender and, according to Dr. Leah Layman-Pleet, of people who are transgender. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) gives an incidence far lower, less than .2% for persons born as male and less than .1% for females. It has been the common practice for physicians who deliver a baby of indeterminate sex, with mixed genital expression, to operate to transform the baby into a male or female, according to what appears to be the predominate characteristics. Now, many physicians avoid performing such surgery and allow the person to grow up with these anomalies intact.

  • Bringing Science to Crime PreventionReuel S. Amdur
    May 23, 2019

    Irvin Waller. Science and Secrets of Ending Violent Crime: Lanham, MD, 2019

  • The Happy BrainReuel S. Amdur
    May 1, 2019

    A quiet brain is a happy brain. That was the observation made by Guillaume Tremblay, a nurse practitioner at the Brockville campus of the Royal Ottawa Hospital. He was speaking at the Royal Ottawa Hospital in Ottawa on April 25.

  • From Detroit to IsraelReuel S. Amdur
    April 24, 2019

    It was either in 1962 or 1963. I was fresh out of graduate school in my first social work job, at Brightmoor Community Center in Detroit. In those times racial conflict was never far from mind. At Brightmoor, we received a post card inviting us to send someone to a meeting, clearly a meeting to prevent black people from moving into white neighborhoods. Of course, nothing that crude was said openly. I was assigned to go.

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum DisorderReuel S. Amdur
    April 24, 2019

    While not readily in the public eye, the rate of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is far higher than that of the raft of other serious disorders. That includes Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy. Dr. Svetlana Popova, Senior Scientist at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, noted this unfortunate situation, pointing out that FASD can damage any organ of the body and can have serious mental health consequences. She was part of a panel presenting in Ottawa on January 24 at a session sponsored by the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Group of Ottawa and Adopt 4 Life.

  • Persistence of Bad Welfare PolicyReuel S. Amdur
    April 24, 2019

    Karl Marx famously observed, in the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, that "The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living." This quotation came to mind when I reflected on the putrid and bizarre changes to social assistance in Ontario over the years that are carried over from government to government, coming back like that bad penny. As has been said, the bad penny always turns up, even now that the penny is no longer with us.

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