David Ross has just returned to Canada from northern Ethiopia where he worked from March until September as an access and civil-military coordination officer. Contracted by RedR Australia to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), David facilitated humanitarian access in Tigray Region, an area severely disrupted by conflict since November 2020. The emergency is vast, complex, and often dangerous. Moreover, the pressures caused by the several hundred thousand people who have flooded into cities and internally displaced person camps, continue to be immense. David worked alongside many hard-working, innovative and committed humanitarians who made the tour of duty all the more fulfilling.
“Although the work conditions were often beyond challenging, the security situation volatile, access severely constrained, and the politics complex, it was certainly a tremendous experience and I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to contribute. That said, the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia remains enormous, and it is unlikely that the crisis will be resolved anytime soon (indeed, it may well get worse before it gets better).”
David Ross spent 35 years as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, the latter years being filled with two tours in Afghanistan and deployed operations planning. Post-retirement he pursued a Master’s degree in disaster and emergency management, which, when combined with his field experience, positioned him well for his Tigray deployment.
Join fellow Whiffers at 4:40 pm, Tuesday, Oct 26th to hear David’s overview and analysis of the Tigrayan conflict and the challenges facing humanitarians working in the region.
To RSVP for this event, enter your first and last names as recorded in our Whiff database.
July 5, 2021
Before we break for the Summer, we wanted to let you know that your Junta is excited about the 2021/22 Campaign and is busy planning for the year ahead. Details are in the Junta’s Summer 2021 Communiqué downloadable from here(PDF-85kb)
Watch for our next Communiqué around the end of August. In the meantime, your Junta wishes you a safe and healthy Summer. We look forward to seeing all of you, virtually, in the Fall.
Chair of the Toronto Chapter of The Whiff of Grape on behalf of your Junta:
Peter Baines, Ian Brown, Mac Borden, Jim Cairncross, Ron Foreman, Charles MacRae, Stuart McKay, John Paterson and Brian Westlake.
Growing up on Vancouver Island, the cataclysmic wrongs perpetrated on Indigenous people in my homeland of British Columbia left me determined to work in the field of indigenous rights. Plus my grandfather was a union leader, and local politician, as was my father. From them I learned about how democracy can empower people to either do good works, or abuse their power. From my mom, a teacher, I saw how education forms the ability to think critically — about everything. I’d take those lessons into my own political career, after which I continued fighting for indigenous rights, and began a career as a criminal defence lawyer, often as a public defender, assisting the indigent, Indigenous, and mentally ill.
Continue reading Michael Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, October 26, 2021→
Robbie Burns Dinner, Scottish Dress Encouraged
The Centre for Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph is the oldest – and the leading – academic unit in North America for research, graduate training, and teaching on Scottish history and Scottish culture.
It is thanks to the steadfast and generous support of the Scottish Studies Foundation that the Scottish Studies Centre in the College of Arts at Guelph continues to build a distinguished reputation as a global centre of research. The Centre’s pre-eminence is exemplified by the externally endowed Scottish Studies Foundation Chair, the establishment of which in 2004 was a signal achievement in the advancement of Scottish scholarship.
Continue reading Dr Kevin James, Professor of History, College of Arts, University of Guelph, and Scottish Studies Foundation Chair, January 25, 2022→