Brand is the recipient of numerous awards for her poetry and novels, notably the Governor General’s Poetry Award, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and the Trillium Book Award. Brand was also Toronto’s poet laureate between 2009-2012 and was named to the Order of Canada in 2017.
She used her convocation address as an opportunity to share her thoughts on the current political climate.
“So today we have Donald Trump in the U.S. consolidating a white supremacist dictatorship, and right here, in our own backyard, we have [Ontario Premier] Doug Ford — newly elected, moving us back to the good old Ontario where men were white, and ladies were ladies (and had great smiles), and children stayed ignorant,” Brand said to a laughing audience.
She also made a joke about Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto professor who has attracted controversy for his opposition to political correctness. She said he is “ushering in a new neanderthal age, but let’s not insult the neanderthals — neanderthals were trying their very best to leap into another time.”
Her message to men whose xenophobic, anti-woman, homophobic and anti-trans mindsets make them see others’ demands for rights as “somehow encroaching on their (own) patriarchal rights” was simple:
“Their world of inequity is coming to an end.”
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