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Beyond the Walls

Beyond the Walls is a virtual public lecture series organized by the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities in collaboration with Oshawa Public Libraries. Engage with others through live, interactive discussions on local and global topics, guided by a short expert talk. 

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The COVID-19 Long Term Care Crisis | Supervised Consumption Facilities, Safer Supply, and Decriminalization: What Lessons Can We Learn from Abroad? | Hallmark Movies and the Canadian Film Industry


Photos Representing Each Program


The COVID-19 Long Term Care Crisis

The first wave of the pandemic saw unspeakable devastation as the COVID-19 wildfire spread across our long-term care sector. With a second wave upon us and outbreaks beginning to spread again in long-term care homes, this talk will focus on where we went wrong in the spring and how we may better protect our seniors in care during this second and subsequent waves.

Watch the trailer for the program here

Missed the program on November 16? Watch it here

Additional Reading available through Oshawa Public Libraries

Speaker Bios

Dr. Vivian Stamatopoulos is an Associate Teaching Professor at Ontario Tech University whose research specializes in family caregiving. Over the course of the pandemic, Dr. Stamatopoulos has become a leading advocate for long-term care residents and their families, with a particular focus on the dangers of prolonged and restrictive visitation bans. She has also collaborated with Ontario NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky to table Bill 203, the More Than a Visitor Act.

First elected in June 2014, Jennifer French is the MPP representing Oshawa. She advocates for equity and social justice, and is invested in community theatre and the arts in Oshawa. Jennifer also has a committed record fighting for workers’ rights. She has been a member of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) in Durham, and has been actively involved with the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Durham Region Labour Council.

Melissa Miller is an advocate for the most vulnerable members of our population, the elderly. Being certified in Elder Law, she concentrates on nursing home negligence, long-term care cases and elder abuse. Her practice is also committed to all areas of personal injury litigation, including product liability, hospital negligence, car accidents, slip and falls and long-term disability claims. Melissa is an experienced trial advocate and is prepared to take her cases all the way.

In April, 2020 Cathy Parkes lost her father in a long-term care home. The events surrounding his death prompted Cathy to advocate for those suffering the same fate, and she now advocates for municipal and provincial governments to make substantial changes in long-term care. She hopes that by continuing to share her personal experience, it will encourage others to speak out and effect change across the province and the country.


Supervised Consumption Facilities, Safer Supply, and Decriminalization: What Can We Learn from Abroad?

Opioid-related overdose deaths have been on the rise across Canada throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Programs implemented to address this crisis have been heavily challenged during the past year as a result of COVID 19. What can be done? This talk looks at the lessons we can learn from innovative practices currently being used in Western and Northern Europe.

Watch the trailer for the program here

November 30 / 7-8 pm
Register Here


Speaker Bio

Steven Hayle, PhD, is an Assistant Teaching Professor in Criminology at Ontario Tech University. He teaches courses in criminal justice policy, youth justice, and criminal gangs. He is a member of the Policy Review Committee for the Canadian Criminal Justice Association. His latest research investigates how debates and discourse around supervised consumption facilities in the US have been influenced by harm reduction policy changes in Canada. 


Hallmark Movies and the Canadian Film Industry

Hallmark movies are a familiar, fun, and formulaic part of many people’s holiday viewing habits.  Did you know most of them are also Canadian? Learn more about the role Hallmark movies play in Canada’s entertainment industries – and why we can’t even get the Hallmark Channel here in the first place!

December 14 / 7-8 pm

Speaker Bio

Dr. Andrea Braithwaite is an associate teaching professor of Communication and Digital Media Studies at Ontario Tech University.  She specializes in crime stories across pop culture and is part of a research team investigating Canadian crime film, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  


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