The videos that my son’s Grade 4/Grade 5 French-immersion class were watching – projected from the classroom laptop onto a whiteboard – were episodes of children’s animated television series, such as Peppa Pig or Caillou, redubbed with misogynist, anti-Semitic and racist text and intercut with endorsements of guns, marijuana and junk food.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful German potato by the name of Linda. Her parents, Clivia and Hansa, were established sorts who had been married by the plant breeder Friedrich Böhm. In 1974, at the age of ten, Linda was granted an official listing as a German potato, and she went on to thrive in the sandy soils of northern Germany.
When I moved back to Toronto from Berlin, a newly single mom, my first order of business was finding good, affordable childcare for my two boys. What I discovered was a daycare system on the verge of collapse.