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Montreal in review: Long reads to occupy your days off

baby sleep alone
A baby sleeps. Getty Images

The holidays are a time for family, good food and, of course, spending the days wrapped up in a blanket on the couch in PJs with a warm cup of hot chocolate.

Here are a few long reads to keep you company as the temperature outside dips:

Unprotected

Melanie Parnass and her husband, Noah Katz, cradle their newborn son.
Melanie Parnass and her husband, Noah Katz, cradle their newborn son. Melanie Parnass

“In the eyes of the law, the surrogate mother is the child’s real mother, regardless of whether she is genetically related to the child.”

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READ THE STORY: Surrogacy in Quebec — The law doesn’t protect anyone

Melanie Parnass’ one-year-old baby boy wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for surrogacy.

READ THE STORY: Canadian sperm donors don’t get paid, so why would they donate?

Vulnerable and misunderstood

A sex worker is shown in this file photo.
A sex worker is shown in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

“Sex workers remain vulnerable to exploitation and violence because our work is criminalized and stigmatized.”

READ THE STORY: The reality of sex workers in Canada

When it comes to the sex trade, the terms sexual exploitation, sex work and human trafficking are often interchanged to mean one thing: exchanging sex for money.

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The majority of people who fall victim to trafficking are female, poor, have a history of violence and neglect, a history of child sex abuse and a low level of education, among many other factors.

READ THE STORY: Why is the Canadian Grand Prix a hub for human trafficking?

Me too

People have been saying “me too” on social media to share their experience with sexual assault and harassment.
People have been saying “me too” on social media to share their experience with sexual assault and harassment. Global News

I know very few women who have navigated the world of media for more than two decades without at some point encountering some form of harassment.

That is a sad truth, one that we need to talk about more.

READ THE STORY: Should I feel guilty about being silent for too long?

Canadian or Quebecois?

Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet, a University of Vermont graduate student, says Canada is culturally appropriating poutine from Quebec.
Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet, a University of Vermont graduate student, says Canada is culturally appropriating poutine from Quebec. Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet/University of Vermont

“Poutine has been used at times to tarnish Quebec culture and undermine its legitimacy of self-determination.”

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Poutine, the greasy, cheesy comfort food that Quebecers are so proud of, is being culturally appropriated by Canadians, according to academic Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet.

READ THE STORY: Is Canada culturally appropriating poutine from Quebec?

Exiled

A woman holds a Quebec flag.
A woman holds a Quebec flag. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

“I did regret leaving Quebec. I mean, I love Quebec.”

READ THE STORY: Why Anglos left and what it will take to bring them back to Quebec

Statistics show that half a million English-speaking Quebecers have left the province in the last 40 years.

READ THE STORY: Coming back to Quebec is easier said than done

Starting a family

Close up of man hands changing baby nappy, with paid paternity leave becoming more prevalent expect men to play a more important role at home. Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017.
Close up of man hands changing baby nappy, with paid paternity leave becoming more prevalent expect men to play a more important role at home. Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. The Canadian Press/Ableimages

“I’ve never stopped myself from doing anything in life, so that was kind of natural for me to have kids alone.”

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READ THE STORY: Young, single women turning to sperm donors to conceive

READ THE STORY: Families of same sperm donor babies connect online

Women are no longer waiting for “Mr. Right” before starting a family.

READ THE STORY: Women turn to sperm donors to conceive

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca