Valuing life the only guarantee of a just system

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  • Paul Anderson says:

    Canada has diametrically opposed principles embedded in its culture; for example, the idea that every life has inherent dignity and worth, and the idea that some lives have greater value, dignity or importance than others – a variation of which often surfaces in discussions about “quality of life”. We don’t normally notice the contradiction because we tend to focus on one or other of these principles rather than both. The embedded notion that not all lives are of equal dignity and worth prevents Canadian culture from unequivocally affirming the equality of all. Purging systemic racism from Canada’s culture and institutions will ultimately require the resolution of this contradiction. We don’t want to have a country in which, as Orwell might say, we are all equal, but some are more equal than others.


Madeleine Ritts


Madeleine Ritts (MSW RSW) is a practice-based researcher and team lead of a community mental health and addictions team at a hospital in downtown Toronto.

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