Truth, Justice and the Canadian Way – on the end of the Shafia trial

Yesterday, Canada sent a strong message to immigrants who think they can import illegal practices from their home country and expect to be treated leniently by the law. A trial conducted simultaneously in English, Farsi and Darsi, that heard testimonies from experts in Afghan cultural beliefs and practices, finally reached its conclusion as the jury returned a guilty verdict.

A farm-girl’s reluctant farewell

Growing up on an isolated farm in rural Ireland, my childhood memories are largely happy ones. I spent most of my time playing outdoors. Things could have been idyllic but for the inexplicable holes and blanks in my child’s comprehension. Looking past the fresh air and freedom, all was not well in my world.

The most precious things

It can happen any day. There doesn’t have to be anything special going on. But there’ll be that heart-stopping, cloud-clearing moment when you’re suddenly infused with happiness as you realise that you have all you need in this world, right here with you, right now. And that moment is just perfection…

A-Z of Canada: B is for Bi-Lingual

Canada is officially a bi-lingual country. English and French are both enshrined in its constitution – although strangely, learning French is not compulsory in the education system. All federal services, policies and laws must be enacted and available in both languages. All MP’s, including the Prime Minister, need to be fluent in them. Canada’s premier, Stephen Harper, routinely fields queries in both French and English at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Cadbury's Dairymilk
Image courtesy of

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] am in chocolate heaven right now, HUGE, and I mean HUGE thanks to Lee Newman the driving force behind Stouffville Academy of Music & Dance, the beating heart of the performing arts scene in Stouffville, for picking up some imported Dairymilk from a shady corner store somewhere in the Scarborough area.

Conquering My Driving Demons

For a long time, before exchanging my British driving licence for a Canadian one, I would mentally rehearse driving here. Closing my eyes, I would imagine every part of the journey into town, all the intersections, traffic lights and lane changes, haunted by the fear that I would end up on the wrong side of the road and terrified of the potential carnage. I had read, in my trusty “Guide to Living and Working in Canada”, that it was helpful to stick a post-it on your dashboard reminding you to “Keep right”, so I knew it wasn’t unknown for people to forget. If it was a possibility for some, it would be a certainty for me!