Our World This Week: December 26th 2014 – January 1st 2015 This week, we welcomed in 2015. Happy New Year! Are you wondering what 2015 holds for Canada? Amnesty International’s Human Rights Agenda for Canada 2015 outlines some key areas in which Canada can improve. The themes analyzed in this agenda will likely receive attention from all political parties during the 2015 federal election. Read the Human Rights Agenda for Canada 2015 here. Also this week, the ringing in of 2015 marks the commencement of the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies. This year’s theme focuses on light science and its applications to promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global energy challenges. Read more about the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies here. Our World This Weeks brings you this week’s list of trending food for thought from both a Canadian and international perspective: Canada: Immigration express entry: 5 things you need to know – Susana Mas On January first, Citizenship and Immigration Canada launches Express Entry. This new electronic system manages applications for permanent residence under certain economic immigration programs. The new process will fast track permanent residency for skilled immigrants matched with jobs that can't be filled by Canadians. Steps on mental health help for youth surveyed by StatsCan – by CBC News Only half of Canadians aged fifteen to twenty-four seek professional services for mental health issues or substance use. Leanne Findlay, an analyst with Statistics Canada, stated a priority must be placed on better responding to youth’s mental health needs: "Youth are well known to have high rates of mental health problems, but are often faced with challenges in terms of getting help for these problems." World: Ukraine's Real Crisis: A Demographics and Health Time Bomb – Judy Twigg and E. Wayne Merry While the world focuses on Ukraine’s military confrontation with Russia, demographic trends are constraining the Ukrainian economy. The population pool for military conscription and participation in the labour force is shrinking. Ukraine has an ageing and unhealthy population, which is causing increasing burdens on public-sector budgets. Australia's indigenous incarceration crisis – Jarni Blakkarly The Law Council of Australia has declared Australia’s rate of indigenous imprisonment a “national emergency.” Over the last decade this rate has increased by fifty percent. The rate of indigenous Australian incarceration is eighteen times higher than that of non-indigenous Australians. Thought Provoking Read: Counter-Terrorism: Counter-Humanitarianism? – Chris Lockyear Lockyear explores American and British involvement in Afghanistan to conclude that neutral humanitarian agencies in the country continue to be manipulated in the name of counter-terrorism. Lockyear argues that “the lines between politico-military action and independent, needs-based humanitarian approaches continue to be blurred by a counter-terrorism strategy which employs altogether more subversive tactics.” Photo of the Week: Oil spill in Bangladesh’s mangrove forest An oil spill has created disaster in the Sundarbans region of Bangladesh, which consists of the world’s largest contiguous tidal mangrove forest. The waters are home to a wide diversity of flora and fauna including the Bengal tiger and Gangetic dolphins (Photo: Reza Shahriar Rhaman, Counter Foto via National Geographic).