Understanding the daily struggles a refugee must go through is a near impossible task for us in Canada. Safe inside our comfortable homes, in a rather liberal country, we simply don't experience the hardships of a person forced to flee from their country of origin.
McGill student Majdi Hareri wants to combat this fact and help Canadians better understand and sympathize with migrants and refugees. To do so, Hareri, of Syrian-Canadian heritage, is putting himself in the shoes of a refugee (quite literally) as he walks 500 kilometres from Montreal to Toronto entirely on foot.
On average, a migrant or refugee will walk 25 kilometers every single day, and to raise awareness on this daily struggle, Hareri is doing the same. Since April 2nd, Hareri has been walking a full 25km each day, a journey that will go on until April 22nd.
Dubbed the "500 KM Walk for Migrants and Refugees," Hareri hopes his endeavor will raise awareness and sympathy for refugees in need of aid, and support them in any way possible.
For every kilometer he walks, Hareri is also asking Canadian citizens to donate one penny, making for a donation of $5 in total. All funds raised will then go towards a "a charity helping Migrants and Refugees in Europe," as outlined on the philanthropic initiative's website.
Quite the undertaking, both physically and emotionally, Hareri has already experienced a fair amount of obstacles in his journey. The (very) cold weather at the start of the month proved to be rather difficult to deal with, as Hareri documented on his ongoing vlog posts, as did certain physical injuries that came about due to the sheer amount of walking Hareri must do every day.
But hardships are all a part of the process; a truly impassioned undertaking, Hareri has found a way to create positive change while inspiring others to do the same.
The initiative displayed by Hareri demonstrates how one individual can help many, and that we shouldn't pass up a chance to aid those in need. Hareri is giving us all this chance through his 500km walk, so if you can, donate to the crowdfunding campaign and help make a difference.
Women will lead five of Quebec's eight largest cities following the 2021 municipal elections.
The biggest headline of the night may have been Valérie Plante's triumph over old foe Denis Coderre in Montreal, but across the province, the faces of municipal politics have become more gender-balanced.
According to the latest counts and projections, France Bélisle (Gatineau), Catherine Fournier (Longueuil), Évelyne Beaudin (Sherbrooke) and Julie Dufour (Saguenay) are all also on their way to their respective (and figurative) city hall corner offices.
In Quebec City, it seemed for a while like Marie-Josée Savard would join them. Multiple outlets had even called the election for her until the vote count for her opponent surged into the evening. Bruno Marchand ultimately claimed victory.
Mayor Plante commented on the historic nature of her second mandate in her victory speech Sunday night.
"Four years ago, Montrealers elected the first woman mayor in the history of the City of Montreal," she said.
"Tonight, they told us again, 'yes, this mayor, we're going to continue to work with her, we trust her!'"
This year, for the first time, Montrealers will have two women leading the city, as Projet Montréal's Dominique Ollivier is set to take over as president of the Executive Committee.
According to a new study put out by the EasyPark Group, Montreal is among the top 20 smartest cities in the world, coming in at number 17 among cities with a metro area population of over 3 million people.
EasyPark's Smart & Sustainable Cities Index ranks cities around the world based on data that factors in "digital life, mobility innovation, business tech infrastructure, and sustainability."
With an overall ranking of 82.24 out of 100, Montreal ranked just under cities like Chicago, Tokyo, Paris, and our mortal frenemies, Toronto, which came in 12th place.
First up, in the "digital life" category, Montreal got scores above 80 for "citizen adoption" and "health care innovation." Where we lagged behind was in the "government adoption" and "tech education" subcategories.
Next, in "mobility innovation," our city got big scores for "traffic management" and for our "clean transport" infrastructure. Meanwhile, "parking innovation" got a relatively low score of 73.41 out of 100.
For "business tech infrastructure," Montreal lost a lot of points in the "business innovation" subcategory, claiming only 57.92. It was also held back by its "internet connectivity" score but gained ground with a cool 86.08 out of 100 on the "e-payments" subcategory.
Finally, Montreal was also unfortunately held back by its low-70s scores for its "climate response," "waste management" and "green buildings." Our city made up for these low marks with its performance in the "green energy" subcategory, with a score of 85.62 out of 100.
The government is in the process of filling a Service Canada job bank and it's advertising salaries of between $61,152 and $65,887.
On an online recruitment page, the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) office says it needs to fill 45 benefits officer and program officer positions in Quebec and encourages qualified individuals to apply.
The only education requirement is a high school diploma.
While benefits officers review and process employment insurance applications, the government describes a wide range of duties for program officers, including coordination with local stakeholders regarding services from the ESDC.
Service Canada says it has EI processing centres and "program branches" in Montreal, Laval, Boucherville, Drummondville, Thetford Mines, Shawinigan, Quebec City and Saguenay, but that it may assign alternative workplaces to applicants who don't live in these areas.
In addition to a high school diploma, Service Canada is looking for applicants who have experience totalling six months "in delivering services or programs to the general public" or "interpreting and applying legislation or policies."
The language requirement is either French-only or French and English, depending on the position, according to the recruitment page.
Complete details about the positions available and the application process are online.