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Sally Armstrong on the “Ascent of Women” Around the World

Sally Armstrong feels certain that things are looking up. The Canadian journalist, activist, Amnesty International Award Winner and member of the Order of Canada’s newest book, Ascent of Women, chronicles the “incremental gains women have made on political and economic levels and at how these gains point to further progress. And some of the gains, she points out, have been not only incremental, but explosive.” (writes the London Free Press)

A thorough look at women’s status from around the world, there is much to soberly absorb. The stories are often tragic, but Armstrong affirms that “they aren’t victims, they’re victors.” And there are are triumphant stories, changemakers whose efforts are changing tides, and who offer a basis for the hopeful approach Armstrong takes.

 

Check out this interview with Armstrong, in which she talks about Malala Yousafzi, the Steubenville rape case, and more:

 

To book Sally for your upcoming event, give us a call at 416-420-4525 or be in touch via our site.

Filed under: Current Events and Politics,Womens Issues — Tags: — prospeakers.com @ 9:38 am
Dr. Sima Samar’s Fight for Afghanistan

Dr. Sima Samar, the Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and inspirational keynote speaker, is a courageous woman fighting to win greater freedoms for Afghan people.

Dr. Samar fled Afghanistan in 1984, after her husband was arrested and killed during the Soviet invasion. Since then she has been fighting for the rights of women and children suffering under Soviet repression and subsequent Taliban rule. Over the years, Dr. Samar opened many clinics, hospitals and schools for women and children– dangerous pursuits under the Taliban regime.

Following U.S. President Barack Obama’s announcement to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by 2014, activists, including Dr. Samar, are concerned about the future of Afghanistan’s stability. In recent interviews and speeches, Dr. Samar has emphasized the U.S. and Western nations’ moral obligations toward Afghanistan.

Regardless of foreign support, she vows to continue to fight for democracy, the presence of Afghan women in government and the reconstruction of civil society in Afghanistan.

In an interview with BBC Hard Talk, Dr. Samar said:

“Human rights is a universal value… women’s rights is human rights– there is no difference between the two. We are not only focusing on women’s rights, we are focusing on human rights in the country. Everyone should have the right to education and a better life.”

For the complete interview with Dr. Samar and more on the plight on Afghan human rights, watch the video below:

 

To book Dr. Samar for your upcoming event, give us a call at 416-420-4525 or be in touch via our site.

 

 

Filed under: Current Events and Politics,Motivation,Womens Issues — Tags: — prospeakers.com @ 2:38 pm
Hebert, deVos & Friedman Weigh In On This Week’s Happenings

This is a busy and eventful week in Canadian sports & politics, and our speakers are in the midst of dialogue on what the recent events may mean…

Jason deVos weighs in on the new head coach situation for TFC:

Being a successful coach requires a deep understanding of the game – that is simply a given. More importantly, being a successful coach requires the ability to read players, to get inside their heads and find out what makes them tick – what motivates them. This is a skill that Nelsen may very well possess, but given that he has never coached before, is completely unknown.

This is either a very bold move or a completely crazy one.

(from his TSN blog)

 

What do you think; is this choice crazy, or crazy-bold?

Elliotte Friedman‘s thoughts on Brian Burke’s firing:

There must be a catalyst, a final straw that doomed the marriage – calling for a divorce at the weirdest possible time. Losing can’t be the only reason…Next week, we’ll find out if it really was Roberto Luongo. (Good thing he’s got a great sense of humour, he’s getting blamed for everything from new CBA rules to executive firings)…

(from CBC)

 

What do you think; is the firing because of Luongo, or are there other reasons to  let Burke go at this precise moment?

Chantal Hébert on expectations for Friday’s meeting between the PM & First Nations leaders:

The biggest risk on Friday is not that the Prime Minister will make too low an opening bid to restore a working relationship with the First Nations but that he will find himself playing solitaire…

As for Spence, the calling of Friday’s meeting offered her best opportunity to end her hunger strike with a victory.

(from the Toronto Star)

Filed under: Current Events and Politics — Tags: , , — Beth @ 2:00 pm
Pat Quinn & Chantal Hébert, Officers of the Order of Canada. Christine Sinclair, Winner of the Lou Marsh Award

 

Pat Quinn, often referred to as “Canada’s Coach,” has been active in the world of hockey since the 1960’s. A renowned coach for the NHL and Canada’s Junior and Olympic teams, he is co-chair of the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee.  He also holds a law degree and is a frequent speaker on leadership and team dynamics. As a newly appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, he is recognized for “a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large.”

 

 

 

 

Chantal Hébert is a well-respected columnist and political commentator out of Montreal. Her regular column in the Toronto Star covers a variety of national issues, and she is also a frequent contributor to CBC’s The National and several other news outlets. Also a newly appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, her contribution to Canadian communication is seen as “a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree.”

 

 

 

Christine Sinclair may have been left of the FIFA Female Player of the Year Award Shortlist, but here in Canada she received the the Lou Marsh Award for Canadian Athlete of the Year, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the CBC’s Athlete of the Year. A leader in the world of women’s soccer, and a model for athletes of any background, Christine has had an incredible 2012 year!

As the only Canadian speakers’ agency representing Christine, we are keen to help your group hear her story and celebrate along with her. Give us a call at 416-420-4525 or send us a note today!

 

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Filed under: Current Events and Politics,French Speakers — Beth @ 12:50 pm
Chronic Condition: Talking Sense About Health Care in Canada

Jeffrey Simpson, author, journalist & Order of Canada Member, has a new book coming out this fall. He tells us a bit about why now is the right time for a book on health care:

Why write a book about health care in Canada? Don’t politicians talk about it all the time? Haven’t we had endless studies and commissions about health care? Yes and yes. So why write Chronic Condition?

Because not many people these days are talking sense about health care. Canadians are in love with Medicare, but they don’t realize it can’t continue as is. Nor do they know that, by international standards, this beloved system of ours is priced like a Cadillac but operates like a Chevrolet.

We spend in the top rank for health care among industrial countries; we get middling results. While the gap between spending and performance widens, we shovel so much extra money into health care that everything else suffers – education, social services, transport, environment.

Governments are so desperate for health care money that most gambling revenues now go into it. Health care is hooked on gambling. Imagine that.

Politicians fear health care. They fear its appetite for more money. They fear the public’s attachment to it. Result: they don’t talk common sense. They make outlandish promises – “Save Medicare!” “Cut Wait Times in Half,” “Train a Thousand More Doctors!” They are scared of leveling with the people. And so there is no intelligent debate.

After watching this fluff and writing journalistically about health care for two decades, I wasn’t satisfied that Canadians were being told what’s up about Medicare. I decided to do the research, put it into an accessible book, explain the history of Medicare, indicate how it compares internationally, illustrate what it’s doing to public finances, debunk the half-baked ideas for reforming it, and suggest some big, but doable changes that might achieve the two most important objectives: improve quality and reduce the increase in health care expenses.

I’d already written six books, won all three of the country’s leading literary prizes (the Governor-General’s award for non-fiction, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award for column writing), and figured: Why not health care? After all, there hasn’t been a good book about Canadian Medicare for the general public written in decades.

Will everybody agree with my diagnosis and remedies? Absolutely not, because there are no easy answers, although people peddle them all the time. But I am convinced that if people are invited to address the real issues – not the ideological ones – we can actually improve the system. And we’d better as soon as possible because in 2010, the first of the Baby Boom generation began retiring. Starting now, the population will begin aging – and with aging come all sorts of new and complicated challenges for the health care world.

By the way, forget all comparisons between the Canadian and U.S. health-care systems. No leading personality in Canada wants U.S.-style medicine. Instead, the U.S. system has been used as a bogeyman to scare people away from even talking about changes to Medicare, in case it leads to the slippery slope of U.S.-style health care. Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien used to quip: “Down there, they check your wallet before your pulse.” Scare tactic, pure and simple.

It’s was a lot of work doing Chronic Care, but it was fun, too. I spent a week in the Ottawa Hospital observing, visited emergency clinics, talked to scores of physicians and medical experts – and to politicians and officials too, although they were often reluctant to be quoted because the issues are so sensitive. My recommendations flow from those conversations about drug policy, how hospitals should be financed, how doctors should be paid, and how Medicare should be reformed .

I’m excited that Chronic Care tackles the subject Canadians always put at the top of their list of public concerns. It explains what’s happening and what’s going to happen in a clear, accessible way, without resorting to slogans or easy answers. We’ll leave those to the politicians, thank you.

Filed under: Current Events and Politics,Health / Fitness / Stress — Tags: — Beth @ 1:04 pm
Stephen Lewis launches the Dare Challenge in October

During the week of October 17-25, Stephen Lewis is challenging thousands of Canadians to choose a memorable dare – something funny, healthy, kind, sporty – set a personal fundraising goal, and ask their friends, family and colleagues to sponsor them. (more…)

Filed under: Current Events and Politics — Tags: — prospeakers.com @ 5:40 pm
Why ‘the person we want to have a beer with,’ wins the election

Article reprinted from the NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM –

If I want to have a beer with you, then I like you. If I don’t want to have a beer with you, then I don’t like you. If I like you, then I will vote for you.

(more…)

Filed under: Current Events and Politics — Tags: — prospeakers.com @ 9:51 pm