Darah Hansen

    Civic Affairs & Education Contributor
  • Being the bad guy: What makes the ombudsman’s job so difficult

    Former CBC ombudsman Kirk LaPointe didn’t hesitate when asked to name the one character trait that someone in a top watchdog role – whether for a corporation or government – absolutely must possess to get a difficult jobdone. “You have to have a lot of patience,” LaPointe told Yahoo Canada News. “A number of people are bringing their complaints with a fair amount of anxiety. LaPointe’s comments come as Toronto ombudsman Fiona Crean announced she’ll be stepping down from her post after five stormy years on the job.

  • Private estate worth $1.7M in Nova Scotia goes to the dogs (and cats)

    A couple's generous gift to a local humane society posthumously is a reminder of how much animal shelters rely on generosity to keep the doors open – and how willing people are to donate.

  • Montreal woman says city failed to keep her safe from harm at hands of taxi driver

    A lawsuit filed by a young Montreal woman against the city and the transport authority in Quebec is raising questions around government responsibility and just who is at fault when individuals licensed to do business within a municipality’s boundaries commit a terrible crime. Marie-Anne Legault alleges she was sexually assaulted by a Montreal taxi driver in September 2014. The case is in the early stages with both the city and transit authority yet to file statements of defence.

  • High-stakes transit tax vote in Vancouver pitting Millennials against Boomers

    No one likes to pay more taxes, and saying “yes” means regional residents will pay an additional half per cent on the existing seven per cent sales tax to fund sweeping transit expansion plans across the fast-growing region. Indeed, without the proposed improvements, people her age will be unfairly doomed to a lifetime of clogged roads, choking pollution and a public transit system that can’t possibly keep up with projected growth. Heck, with a million more people expected to move to Vancouver and its surrounding cities by 2040, it won’t just be the Millennials who suffer.

  • Budget cuts to special needs support staff a hit to Toronto’s most vulnerable students

    Toronto’s Georgina Rayner has been trying to retire for years now. At 67, she’s successfully raised her own two kids, both of them with special needs, and seen them go on to achieve professional and personal milestones.

  • Free tuition: Cape Breton University renews debate on whether it's viable in Canada

    The last big dust up was in 2012, when students in Quebec took to the streets by the tens of thousands to loudly – and, ultimately, successfully – protest a plan to hike post-secondary fees across the province. Now, it’s Nova Scotia’s turn to speak out, albeit in a much quieter voice (and, so far, no banging pots). Earlier this month, officials at Cape Breton University (CBU) joined academics and students at the school in issuing an “urgent” call to eliminate tuition fees at all Canadian universities, similar to the zero-tuition model in Germany. Proponents argue that high costs of university unfairly squeeze out thousands of qualified students who can’t afford the upfront costs and fear the financially crippling student-debt levels they’ll face post-graduation.

  • University students out of classrooms again as Toronto teaching assistants strike

    With classes out at York University and picket lines up at the University of Toronto, post-secondary students in Toronto officially have more to worry about this school year than their grade point average.