Opinions of the Hour

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Written by: Gene Cole, Opinions Editor

A sobering amendment – Meera Ulysses, The Varsity

Back in December, Canada’s impaired driving laws changed to let officers give breathalyzer tests more liberally, fines for being overly intoxicated within two hours of driving, and higher maximum penalties. Meera’s piece goes into detail about the likelihood of this being used to target visible minority groups, but she also goes into detail about how this is also likely to particularly target post-secondary students.

SEE MORE: “Advocacy groups contest Canada’s new impaired driving laws.”

Studies have consistently found heavy episodic drinking and higher instances of drinking and driving among young adults,” Ulysses cites as a main reason for most post-secondary students to be concerned. “By operating under a presumption of guilt when encountering us, and now, being able to exercise their power without requiring a reason, officers can interrupt our lives at any time.”

This change in the law has a lot of potential to cause extreme harm, and has come in a culture where there’s already plenty of mistrust towards the police. Even if you don’t drive, this law change sets a dangerous precedent of how the police can treat us, and should be everyone’s concern.

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To combat Holocaust ignorance, we must empower teachers – Naomi Azrieli, Globe and Mail

Azrieli’s article branches off of a survey done on behalf of The Azrieli Foundation and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The core finding was that while most people knew of Hitler and the Holocaust, many of them couldn’t name a concentration camp, and many didn’t believe or didn’t know that six million Jews were murdered.

She goes on to emphasize the importance of this knowledge, saying how this knowledge will “fundamentally combat the increase in neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism we are seeing.” Learning these things is how we stop hateful and misunderstood beliefs from becoming further normalized.

SEE MORE: “The Pittsburgh shooting is a symptom of normalized anti-Semitism in social media.

Her key solution, as per the title, is that teachers have the power to change this, which is a valuable point. It’s plenty common for schools to treat the history of marginalized groups as merely a bonus mention in textbooks and classes. Devoted classes and more reading content are things that Azrieli makes a compelling case for; one that’s evidently needed considering how little people know about an atrocity that happened less than a hundred years ago.