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The End of Obedience


by Donna Sinclair I was raised, in the 1940s, to be polite. I was a good child, obedient for the most part, and well-mannered. When I tested raising my voice a bit in the late 1950s, my peers suggested I might want to stop being so loud or I would never get a boyfriend. I […]

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Bitumen Summer


by Donna Sinclair When the National Energy Board informed me last May that I was not allowed to write them a letter about Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline, I was shocked.  I shouldn’t have been. According to author Andrew Nikiforuk, “Oil hinders democracy.” And the Board’s refusal to allow me to comment on Enbridge’s plan to […]

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Writing Democracy. Or not.


by Donna Sinclair When social justice types run out of new ways to make our voices heard, we can always fall back on writing letters. I like this approach. It gives me a chance to do research and offers the recipient a chance to read and reflect on my argument carefully. Well we could always […]

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Prayers of Gratitude


by Donna Sinclair I have a scattered approach to prayer. I think I am like many people; I mostly pray when I am in distress. I am good at praying at three o’clock in the morning when I wake up worried about one child or another. I am pretty good at praying when I am […]

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More Excerpts from an Idle No More Diary


by Donna Sinclair Day One: Wednesday Jim and I visited our Member of Parliament, Jay Aspin, today. We pointed out the need for consultation with First Nations before the government takes any actions that would impinge upon treaty rights and the environment. Case in point: Bill C-45’s unilateral gutting of river and lake protection. It […]

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An Idle No More Diary


by Donna Sinclair Day One: Sunday I went with friends to an Idle No More planning meeting at Nipissing First Nation, near North Bay, Ontario.  It felt good to be welcomed as a non-indigenous person. One of the youth organizers described his visit with Chief Theresa Spence during her fast. He was clearly moved by […]

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Loving couple holdind on the hands and sunset

Love and Laughter


I love our congregation. This is why. Neo was at worship on Sunday. He is a severely disabled child whose gorgeous smile appears like a sunburst when you speak to him. When something happens during worship that he likes – perhaps music – he sings without words. He has no words. His caregiver wheels him […]

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Paint and Politics


by Donna Sinclair Sunday afternoon at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Montreal, my favourite city to visit. I am painting my best approximation of an impressionist landscape. Trees and hills, serious brushwork. My grandson and husband share my table and are ferociously intent on the same task. It is my considered opinion that the […]

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Choosing Your Battle


by Donna Sinclair When my friend lowered her teacup and said, off handedly, “Are you coming to the public meeting about a casino?” I sputtered into my own tea. I had heard about the provincial government’s offer of a casino for our city, and I had already made up my mind. I disapproved. But I […]

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Train

Memories of a Railway


by Donna Sinclair One of my earliest memories is of my mother and me in an Ontario Northland Railway dining car on the way from Temagami to Englehart. I keep saying, “Are we there yet?” even while I swing in circles, around and around on the red-leather-and-chrome stool beside her. “Mmm…,” my mother says, as […]

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