How is everyone enjoying the weekend? Great! That sounds great. In the news today: a high school on U of T property may have to find a new home, allies donate blood in place of gay and bisexual men, and former Afghan interpreters graduate high school.
University of Toronto Schools, an elite, merit-based preparatory high school, might be forced to vacate the building it occupies on the University of Toronto’s St. George campus. UTS has been in the same building since its inception in 1910, but U of T has redevelopment plans for the downtown campus that include UTS’ building. The two schools share an official affiliation as well, which is set to expire next year. While both schools have entered into a discussion with the hopes of finding an amicable solution to both the building and affiliation problems, U of T officials sounded much less certain than UTS leaders. “There’s a chance we can’t reach agreement on all of these things,” said Scott Mabury, U of T’s vice president of university operations.
Canadian Blood Services’ decision last year to remove a lifelong ban on donations from gay and bisexual men (the industry term is “men who have sex with men”) was greeted with only the briefest of celebrations, because it changed an official lifelong ban into a de facto one by replacing it with a ban on any man who has had sex with another man in the last five years. In response to that policy, some cities across Canada are hosting “ally blood donor” clinics during their Pride Week festivities. Toronto’s took place earlier this week, with 35 ally donors making appointments and several more walking in to give blood. The idea behind the ally blood clinic is simple enough: while gay and bisexual men are still banned from donating blood, a friend or family member will donate a pint of blood in their honour. Vancouver and London will hold similar clinics later in the summer.
The Canadian military employed many Afghans as interpreters during its 12-year-long mission in the country, and the job was a dangerous one: interpreters faced threats from the Taliban and often feared for their safety. This week, 10 former interpreters, brought to live in Canada after completing their dangerous work for the country, were able to celebrate as they graduated from high school.