Brampton NDP candidate exposed for shaming sex trafficking victim
Jordan Boswell, the NDP for the Brampton Centre riding, has been exposed on Twitter for having sexually shamed a sex trafficking victim in 2012. In his original post, Boswell was found making fun of the victim’s appearance, suggesting she was too unattractive to be considered by a pimp and sex trafficker.
“Geez they’re really letting everyone into that business these days #gottagetmesomeofthat,” Boswell wrote in a tweet caption to an article celebrating the woman’s freedom. The article’s headline was “Former teenage prostitute says more can be done to help vulnerable girls avoid life in the sex trade.”
Peel Regional Police are investigating an incident caught on video and posted to Facebook.
The video, which was posted on to Facebook by user Binder Singh, has been shared over 1,500 times, with scores of commenters disgusted by the blatant and inexcusable assault.
The video, which lasts just over 15 seconds long, shows a man with an orange turban repeatedly beating a woman in the middle of the street.
The video caught the attention of many others once it made its way to Twitter, where Peel Police stated that they were already investigating the situation.
Shortly after, Peel Police also posted a link to support the end of domestic abuse against women, as November 25 is the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Anyone with information is asked to contact 22 Div. investigators at 905-453-3311, extension 2233. A follow-up tweet said that the incident had been investigated.
Jason Kenney was spotted on-field wearing an “I 🖤🍁 OIL & GAS” sweater at the 107th Grey Cup last night, with most of the Calgary crowd in attendance greeting the premier to loud cheers.
Kenney, the leader of the United Conservatives that won the province from the Notley-led New Democrats, has been a vocal supporter of the province’s natural resource industry.
Though not all were pleased with the gesture, as some saw the sweater as a way to divide Canadians during a time in Canada’s culture intended to unite Canadians from all walks of life.
The sweater has been the centre of controversy for months now.
Two months ago, visitors at the Parliament buildings in Ottawa a security guard stopped them from entering a tour because they were wearing pro-oil and pro-gas shirts.
Chris Wollen, of Calgary, said he and his fiance were wearing “I (LOVE) (CANADIAN) OIL AND GAS” shirts when a security official told them that the shirts would prohibit them from entering the tour.
“The security officer mentioned that if we were to come back with our ‘I love Canadian oil and gas’ shirts on, that we wouldn’t be allowed to do the tour because you’re not allowed to wear any shirts that are too political,” Wollin told CTV News Calgary.
According to the Parliament of Canada’s website, “participating in any form of demonstration inside the buildings is prohibited, including wearing items or clothing with visible political messages.”
But the sweater hasn’t always been as controversial as it is now.
In 2016, former premier Rachel Notley wore a hoodie by the same pro-oil group, Oil Sands Action.
According to Oil Sands Action’s website, the group is “an entirely volunteer created grassroots movement encouraging Canadians to take action and work together in support of our vital natural resources sector.”
“We’re strong supporters of Canada’s oil sands and the resource sector generally because we know how important these industries are to Canada’s present and future prosperity,” the site reads.
Alberta’s NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips has compared Jason Kenney’s politics to the tactics of “strong men” in Syria and Hong Kong. She also compared Kenney’s policies to Joseph Stalin’s tactics in the manufactured famine of Holodomor.
Last week, Kenney move to combine both the Electoral Commissioner’s Office with the province’s Chief Electoral Office. This was a hotly contested decision, however, as the Electoral Commissioner was levying over $200,000 worth of fines towards Kenney’s UCP.
Speaking in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly, Phillips called Jason Kenney’s tactics “a strong man maneuver … we wouldn’t want in a democracy to be apart of a party that was referred to as a strong man maneuver.”
Phillips went on to say that she “knew that many of the members have deplored strong men in other parts of the world. We were at the Holodomor memorial today, and we have deplored some of the actions that we have seen in Hong Kong … we have deplored the invasion of Turkey into northern Syria … I don’t think anyone wants to be associated with that language.”
For some context, Phillips was comparing Kenney’s move to disband the office of the electoral commissioner (a body established by the previous NDP government) with Stalin’s Massacre of the Ukrainians and other modern and deplorable global incidents.
In the past, Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley wore a wristwatch with strongman Che Guevera on it.
A prolific Title IX activist and former Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California (USC) alleges that his school retaliated against him for his activism and that they “did all they could to sabotage” his chance of earning a Ph.D.
Now, he’s fighting back.
Kursat Pekgoz, 31, was relatively unknown until about two years ago. He studied Molecular Biology and English in Turkey and worked as a translator for some time. Five years ago he applied to USC in hopes of earning a Ph.D. in English.
By all accounts, Pekgoz was a standout candidate.
USC was smitten. Though Pekgoz received offers of admission from Tufts University and Rice University, USC wooed him away with an offer of the highly coveted Provost’s Fellowship, which covered his tuition and gave him a living stipend.
“Everything seemed fine during my first few years,” Pekgoz told TPM from his apartment in Los Angeles earlier this year. He conducted research, presented at conferences, and even taught one class a semester for three years.
But by 2017, Pekgoz noticed that his fellow male students had fewer scholarship opportunities than women. He wasn’t concerned for himself— Pekgoz received a full scholarship from USC—but for other male students.
“The injustice is obvious,” he told me.
To try to fix this, Pekgoz filed a federal complaint against USC in 2017, arguing that USC’s “women only” programs violate Title IX, a federal law that threatens to penalize schools if they fail to treat men and women fairly.
Women are the majority of undergraduate students, graduate students, and academic employees today. Despite this imbalance, many colleges offer massive scholarship opportunities and exclusive programs to promote their success.
The complaint was unprecedented. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) agreed the concerns might be legitimate, as I reported last January.
Noting his success, Pekgoz filed complaints against other colleges. Some nonprofits and attorneys followed his approach; 15 other colleges are now under federal review, according to exclusive documents provided to The Post Millennial.
Pekgoz’s unorthodox strategy catapulted him into the spotlight; both on campus and nationally. Outlets including NBC News, The Daily Wire, Refinery 29, The Chronicle of Higher Education, FOX News, USA TODAY, covered his activism efforts.
As fame graced Pekgoz, USC soon caught wind of his activism efforts. It is impossible to pinpoint exactly when his professors, dissertation committee, and fellow students started to catch on to Pekgoz’s activism.
But it caused him trouble, fast.
“I was on friendly terms with professors before they began shunning me for my stance on gender politics,” said Pekgoz. Two professors—Hilary Schor and Margaret Russett—“sabotaged my dissertation,” Pekgoz claimed.
“Hilary Schor vetoed my dissertation in secret right after she discovered about my Title IX activism, even though she gave me an A and praised my writing before.”
“Margaret Russett, a feminist professor who went to Yale, terminated my Ph.D. student status even though it was her pressure which led me to turn down offers of admission from Tufts and Rice” he added.
Neither professor responded to a request for comment.
In February 2019, Professor Emily Anderson emailed Pekgoz recommending “continuous enrollment for year 6” and noted that “that [USC] can absolutely provide a tuition/health award” if Pekgoz wanted to stay in the Ph.D. program.
But just one day before his sixth year, his dissertation committee changed course.
“I am writing in my role as Director of Graduate Studies to inform you that you will be dismissed from the Ph.D. program in English Language and Literature and the University of Southern California, effective immediately,” wrote Anderson on August 28.
She claimed Pekgoz failed to make “satisfactory progress” towards his Ph.D.
However, Pekgoz disputes the assessment and is fighting to get back to USC.
In an appeal letter submitted on September 27, Pekgoz claims USC officials singled him out, refused to grant his leave of absence request, and gave him an “arbitrary deadline” to submit his first thesis chapter which he claims no other student was subject to.
He also argued that there was “no formal precedent” for the deadline and that the stipulation that the thesis chapter be “viable” was “too vague and arbitrary.” Further, other students routinely take up to eight or nine years to finish their Ph.D., he wrote.
Pekgoz submitted an appeal on September 27. The process is ongoing.
“They were willing to honour me with distinctions before I started my advocacy, but they singled me out for persecution after my advocacy became public,” said Pekgoz. “This has a chilling effect on academic freedom and political discourse.”
“There’s no doubt my expulsion was politically motivated,” he added.
Thankfully, Pekgoz is currently employed. While he says he loves his work, he still hopes to return to USC and finish his Ph.D. Whether that will happen remains to be seen. USC offers three stages of appeal for dismissed graduate students.
The first stage, which involves a meeting with the Chair of the English Department, was denied. The second stage—which involves an appeal letter to Dean Finkle—was scheduled for November 4, but Pekgoz hasn’t heard back.
The last stage involves a formal hearing with Provost Sally Pratt. There is no date set for this hearing as of right now. “There is no date scheduled for this phase as of today. Still, [the situation] involves University employees, so I am going through the motions before taking it to Court.”
Toni Airaksinen is a columnist for PJ Media, The Post Millennial, and a digital strategist for kosher restaurants in Brooklyn, NYC. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University, and has also contributed to Quillette, USA TODAY, and The Daily Caller. Follow the author on Twitter: @Toni Airaksinen.