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Society

Feature

December 2014

Canada’s hidden literacy crisis

By Krystina Mierins

A recent study revealed that almost half of Canadian adults don’t read very well. So why has the federal government cut its support for literacy organizations?

Feature

September 2014

Observer Survey 2014 : Part Two

By Samantha Rideout

Canadians don't know much about The United Church of Canada, according to our survey results.

Feature

September 2014

Sore point

By Alison Shouldice

Despite doctors’ urgings, growing numbers of Canadian parents refuse to vaccinate their children. Who should be calling the shots?

Feature

September 2014

Wage wars

By Susan Peters

As the pay gap between executives and employees widens, advocates for corporate responsibility say it’s time to take the air out of inflated salaries

Feature

July 2014

The dissenters

By David Berlin

Independent Jewish Voices operates on the margins of Canadian Judaism. But it has found common cause with church groups critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Feature

July 2014

Debunking the human myth

By Alanna Mitchell

Science is blurring the lines between humans and other species. Maybe we’re not the pinnacle of Creation after all.

Feature

July 2014

Older and wiser

By Paul Knowles

New research confirms what we’ve always suspected: people grow more astute as they age. We’d be smart to take advantage of their wisdom.

Feature

June 2014

Observer Survey 2014

By Observer Staff

What do Canadians think about organized religion?

Feature

June 2014

The communitarians

By Anne Bokma

What happens when 100 people move out of the mainstream and attempt to create their own private utopia?

Feature

June 2014

Playing God?

By John Barber

A little-known Ontario panel routinely makes live-or-die decisions for gravely ill patients. As the population ages, other jurisdictions would do well to study how the panel navigates end-of-life ethics.

Feature

May 2014

The perils of redevelopment

By John Barber

So you have a new mission and big plans for your church building. Brace yourself. The road ahead could be rocky

Feature

April 2014

Decoding a world of religion

By Cory Ruf

What role does faith play in the rise and fall of civilizations? A major study led by two British Columbia universities aims to find out.

Feature

April 2014

Dwindling donors, deeper pockets

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Canadians do care. But fewer are putting their money where their hearts are.

Feature

March 2014

Being there

By Various Writers

Stories of illness and companionship

Feature

March 2014

Communes for grown-ups

By Anne Bokma

A 1960s ideal gets a modern makeover in cohousing projects designed for living in close quarters

Feature

March 2014

A Canadian genocide?

By Larry Krotz

A new museum in Winnipeg has become a flashpoint for how we interpret this country’s treatment of First Nations

Feature

March 2014

The ring-tailed devil

By Trisha Elliott

All God’s creatures are sacred — except one

Feature

February 2014

Through the cracks

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Community living offers hope to people with developmental disabilities, but troubling gaps remain. Just ask Chris Stafford.

Feature

February 2014

The greatest story never told

By Samantha Rideout

At a time when belief plays a critical role in world affairs, religion reporting is being exiled to the margins of the mainstream media

Feature

January 2014

Four years, 9 months

By Jocelyn Bell

A journey through infertility

Feature

January 2014

A sorry spectacle

By Christopher Levan

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford asked us to forgive and forget. Regrettably, forgiveness doesn’t come that easily.

Feature

December 2013

The gospel of secularism

By Samantha Rideout

Quebec’s charter of values is more than a ban on religious symbols. It’s a direct challenge to the place of faith in the public sphere.

Feature

December 2013

All work and no pay

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Internships are supposed to kick-start careers. But increasingly, young people find themselves used by a succession of employers mainly concerned with getting work done on the cheap.

Feature

October 2013

Malignant metaphor

By Alanna Mitchell

How cancer mutated into a modern symbol of personal and collective sin

Feature

October 2013

A new chapter in an old tragedy

By Pieta Woolley

Generations ago, Aboriginal children were sent to residential schools. Today, thousands are caught up in the foster care system. Can’t Canada do better?

Feature

October 2013

Wronged

By Gary Stephen Ross

Ivan Henry spent 27 years in jail for crimes he didn’t commit. But the failure of the justice system did not end when he was finally declared not guilty.

Feature

September 2013

Did Canadian oil poison this town?

By May Warren

Last spring, a pipeline carrying diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands ruptured in a small Arkansas town. People began to get sick. And now they want answers.

Feature

September 2013

Government’s big gamble

By Orland French

When politicians debate casinos, money almost always trumps morals. By failing to raise ethical issues, they’re betting against our best interests.

Feature

July 2013

1988

By Various Writers

Twenty-five years ago, the United Church said yes to openly gay and lesbian ministers. Three people who were caught in the storm look back on the year that changed everything.

Feature

July 2013

Hard time on the outside

By Richard Wright

Billions are spent getting tough on crime, but precious little is invested in supporting ex-convicts as they readjust to daily life. For too many former inmates, getting out of prison is like serving another sentence.

Features

Photo: Darrell Noakes

Drag queens help church raise money and awareness

by Darrell Noakes

The event, called “Take Me to Church,” after a popular song, was a fundraiser for LGBTQ youth in Saskatchewan.

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Observations

Jocelyn Bell%

Observations: Our magazine's plastic problem

by Jocelyn Bell

"While I can easily defend the use of a polybag on financial grounds, it would be unconscionable to deliver a cover story about plastics . . . in plastic."

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Video

ObserverDocs: Playing by Heart

by Observer Staff

United Church music director Kara Shaw was born prematurely, became almost totally blind and was later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Today, the 28-year-old showcases her unique musical ability, performing piano on local and national stages.

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Features

April 2018

What that recycling logo actually means

by Susan Nerberg

Contrary to popular belief, its presence doesn’t guarantee the product is reusable or recyclable.

Columns

April 2018

Why Canada needs a free-range parenting law

by Pieta Woolley

Justice

January 2018

Jehovah's Witnesses cover-up

by Kristy Woudstra

Canadian survivors of childhood sexual abuse are coming forward to reveal how their church failed them — and protected their predators

Profiles

October 2017

Fall from grace

by Justin Dallaire

Don Hume was a United Church minister nearing retirement. Then he tried crack cocaine.

Features

April 2018

10 easy ways to kick our nasty plastic habit

by Susan Nerberg

It's not as hard as you think.

Features

April 2018

What that recycling logo actually means

by Susan Nerberg

Contrary to popular belief, its presence doesn’t guarantee the product is reusable or recyclable.

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