HAYLEYWATSON Multimedia Journalist - Communications
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HAYLEYWATSON This article is proof you always have to keep your eyes open because you never know when you can find something great. I met Yali and her family exactly where they are pictured while I was on my way to a music festival at Fort York. As soon as they told me what they were doing, I knew this was a perfect story to bring to The Grid.
A secret garden hiding in plain sight
From the highway to the table.
Zhengqi and Huipin normally steam their broom-grass, and then use it as a filling for Chinese steamed buns with pork and soy sauce. Yali says that the versatile plant can basically be cooked any way you can think of. “It doesn’t have a strong flavour,” she says, comparing it to baby spinach. “It’s sweet in a very plain way.” Broom-grass, which was originally harvested by the poor in China as a cheap source of nutrition, has become a specialty food there. It’s particularly useful for people who need to introduce more roughage into their diet.
Published August 29, 2013 The Grid, Toronto ______________________________ Beneath the Gardiner Expressway is probably the last place you would expect to find a bounty of delicious herbs. But that’s where the Gao family discovered a plant that they’d been picking for years in their native China: broom-grass.
More than just food.
Darwin would most certainly approve.
Zhengqi and Huipin Gao recently immigrated to Canada to live with their daughter, Yali, a research scientist at a nano-biotechnology company. They hadn’t seen any broom-grass in Toronto when they arrived here earlier in the year—likely a result of the manicuring of most Toronto parks. But then Yali’s mom spotted it growing on a large tract of land under the Gardiner, right next to Fort York. The Gaos have a theory on how this useful plant ended up underneath one of the city’s main traffic arteries: “It might be they have transported the soil from somewhere else just for the construction, and it contained the seeds,” says Yali, translating for Zhengqi and Huipin.
THE CORD • WEDNESDAY, octobEr 9, 2013
Shattering the record Campus, page 4
The tie that binds Wilfrid Laurier University since 1926 Volume 54, Issue 9
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
The first nick lachance filE photo
The Region of Waterloo has a rich German heritage that has been celebrated through oktoberfest festivities since 1969.
Oktoberfest celebrates its 45th
Events will include a parade, musical performances, keg-tapping and other festivities jordan smith
Kitchener-Waterloo will soon have plenty to celebrate as the much-anticipated Oktoberfest festivities .return for 2013. The nine-day internationallyrecognized festival of German heritage draws huge crowds each year and has made K-W an epicentre for polka and beer-loving folk. Now celebrating it’s 45th anniversary, the celebration has united both residents and non-residents of the Kitchener-Waterloo community. In an interview with The Cord, executive director of Oktoberfest, Dave MacNeil, explained his team’s initiative to improve the festival. “What we’ve really done this year is stepped back and said ‘let’s do everything we do a little bit better,’” he said. “Put a little more production
Laurier’s men’s football team drops to 1-6 after a 40-34 loss to Queen’s, which automatically removes them from the playoffs for the first time since 2002
SHELBY BLACKLEY SPORTS EDITOR
KINGSTON, Ont. — It’s hard not to find Michael Faulds smiling. With one game left in the Wilfrid Laurier’s men’s football schedule, the head coach isn’t thinking about the fact that the team is missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002. He’s not thinking about the fact that in his first year as the head coach and manager of football operations at Laurier, he has only led his team to one win so far. He’s not even thinking about the fact that for two games straight, his team hasn’t been able to pull out a
win, despite sending some of the best teams in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) to overtime. Instead, it’s all about getting better. “It’s been a great year,” the 29year old coach said moments before Tuesday’s practice. “I’d be a lot more depressed if we were 1-6 and losing every game by 30 or 40 points. To be battling a lot of these tough teams that are going to be in the playoffs and to feel like we’re on par with a lot of these teams that are going to be going deep into the playoffs is promising for 2014.” Saturday afternoon, Laurier travelled to Kingston, Ont., to take on
Hadfield lands at U of Waterloo H.G. WATSON CCE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Famed Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield gets to add a new line to his already extensive resume this fall: professor. University of Waterloo (U of W) confirmed today that Hadfield has joined the faculty as an adjunct professor of aviation, cross-appointed to the faculties of environment, science and applied health sciences, through August 2016. “This is an amazing opportunity for students to have access to his career experience and knowledge,” said Ian McKenzie, director of aviation services at U of W. “He has tremendous enthusiasm for engaging students in learning.” Commander Hadfield has become an international celebrity after tweets and videos taken during his 17 month long stint on the International Space Station (ISS) went
viral. Through social media and sites such as Youtube and Reddit, Hadfield gained a large following while he was commanding the ISS. By eating a burrito or belting out a David Bowie classic, Hadfield was continuously engaging with those watching him from Earth. Since returning to Earth he has embarked on several educational tours and has a book, An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth, coming out this fall. The deal to bring U of W alumni Hadfield to the aviation department took shape after Hadfield announced his retirement from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) earlier this year. McKenzie explained that Hadfield’s long standing relationship with the university and the surrounding community were driving forces in bringing him to the school. “He was actually here in 1982 as a
the No. 5 nationally ranked Queen’s Gaels in their first Homecoming since 2008. What was presumed to be a blowout in favour of the home Gaels turned into a surprising battle — with Laurier leading for much of the game. And when Queen’s found the scoreboard with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter to go ahead by a touchdown, the Hawks still managed to tie it up to send it into overtime, only to lose on a blocked field goal — a very similar fate to the week prior. “We said at the start of the season, regardless of what our record
is going to be, we’re going to be the toughest team,” said second-year receiver Greg Nyhof, who also had two touchdowns in Saturday’s affair. “And we’ve worked hard to earn that reputation and I think we have earned that reputation. We came into this game knowing that this team didn’t really respect us and I think it’s safe to say they do now.” For the first time in a decade, since 2002, Laurier will not have a team in the playoffs. After going 3-5 last year and backing into the playoffs with a little bit of help from the rest of the OUA,
from iSS to UW
value into it.’” Prior to the outbreak of the Frist World War, Kitchener was called Berlin, reflecting its German population and heritage. “So we have a strong history of German clubs celebrating this and it’s expanded over the years to accommodate the whole community now,” explained Waterloo’s ward 5 councillor, Mark Whaley. Waterloo’s opening ceremony will take place this Thursday, offering a free lunch running from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Waterloo Public Square. Waterloo Mayor, Brenda Halloran, will be on hand to inaugurate the 45th incarnation of the celebration. Kitchener’s ceremonies will be held the next day at Kitchener Civic Square. Beginning at 11:30 a.m, the square will host music and festivities. President of Oktoberfest Harry
Vogt, along with Miss Oktoberfest, Tara Hebblethwaite, and Oktoberfest mascot Onkel Hans will also be present for the keg tapping that officially starts the celebrations. “It’s going to include 700,000 people. And of course the most popular event is the parade,” said Whaley. “The parade is on Thanksgiving Day and hundreds of thousands of people come out and watch it. There’s cultural events, there’s of course lots of action in the clubs bars.” He continued, “And it’s really a great way for students to come out and appreciate some of the things that we enjoy in Waterloo, which is partying.” With 16 fest halls across the twin cities and many other events running throughout the week there is no shortage of sights and sounds to
take in. Heidelberg Haus in Waterloo, better known as Moses Springer Arena, will be hosting a student night on Thursday, Oct.17. Altes Muenchen Haus, Queensmount Arena, will be playing traditional polka-tunes, as Walter Ostanek will perform on the accordion. On Sunday,Oct. 13 Hamilton-based music group Monster Truck will share the stage with Ostanek for ‘Rocktoberfest.’ Each Friday and Saturday Grand River Transit will be running buses free of charge from the fest halls. A comprehensive list of routes and times can be found on the Oktoberfest website. Whether it’s the opening ceremonies, the pancake breakfast, or the fest halls that draw attention, Oktoberfest appears again this year to be a great opportunity to engage with the community.
NSERC post-graduate in mechanical engineering,” McKenzie said. Hadfield was also married in Waterloo and his first son was born here in 1983. Over the years he has given several lectures on campus, including a downlink from the ISS in February of this year. Because of his current schedule, U of W officials expect that Hadfield will only have limited time on campus until the fall 2014 semester. Once here, his role will be a mix of research, advising and teaching within the university’s Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Science programs in aviation. Aviation students at the university also take practical flight lessons at the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre as part of their degree requirements. “[He] has flown over 70 aircrafts,” said McKenzie. “With Chris’s practical experience with flight and as a pilot this will be a great asset for our students.” Prior to joining the CSA, Hadfield was a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot and test piloted several experimental aircrafts in both Canada and the U.S. Hadfield is next expected to be on campus for a public lecture on December 3.
Broom-grass isn’t just a great-tasting steamed-bun stuffing, either. As the name suggests, the plant can actually be used as a broom. In the fall, when the plant has grown to about four feet tall and is no longer edible, the grass can be harvested a second time, then pruned into a fan shape, dried, and mounted on a bamboo pole.
Picking herbs and grasses in an urban setting is second nature to the Gaos, who did it for years in China. In addition to broom-grass, they also pick wild dandelions, a plant known for its medicinal benefits. Yali laughs at paying top dollar at health-food stores for some of the herbs her family picks for free. “Lots of people from China who are my parents’ age would know [where to find them],” she says. “It’s very common to pick wild grasses.”
We were the first media outlet in Canada to break the news that Chris Hadfield had joined the faculty of University of Waterloo, thanks to a tip I recieved from a community member. On the day we put the story online, it had over 700 page views.
“I’d be a lot more depressed if we were 1-6 and losing every game by 30 or 40 points.”
—Michael Faulds, head coach of Laurier’s football team
Sports, page 20
Not into turkey? Check out these alternatives to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner
Nuit Blance takes over downtown Toronto to showcase a variety of local and international art exhibits
Staff writer Colleen Connolly talks to four different Laurier grads about their choices after school
Life, page 12
Arts, page 15
Features, page 10-11
A Creative Enterprise Initiative
Local, page 7
Hadfield lands at U of Waterloo CEI_GS_Cord_Oct4.indd 1
13-09-24 2:36 PM
Published October 8, 2013 The Cord, Waterloo ______________________________ Famed Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield gets to add a new line to his already extensive resume this fall: professor. University of Waterloo (U of W) confirmed today that Hadfield has joined the faculty as an adjunct professor of aviation, cross-appointed to the faculties of environment, science and applied health sciences, through August 2016. “This is an amazing opportunity for students to have access to his career experience and knowledge,” said Ian McKenzie, director of aviation programs at U of W. “He has tremendous enthusiasm for engaging students in learning.” Commander Hadfield has become an international celebrity after tweets and videos taken during his five month long stint on the International Space Station (ISS) went viral. Since returning to Earth he has embarked on several educational tours and has a book, An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth, coming out this fall. The deal to bring U of W alumni Hadfield to the aviation department took shape after
Hadfield announced his retirement from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) earlier this year. McKenzie explained that Hadfield’s long standing relationship with the university and the surrounding community were driving forces in bringing him to the school. “He was actually here in 1982 as a NSERC post-graduate in mechanical engineering,” McKenzie said. Hadfield was also married in Waterloo and his first son was born here in 1983. Over the years he has given several lectures on campus, including a downlink from the ISS in February of this year. Because of his current schedule, U of W officials expect that Hadfield will only have limited time on campus until the fall 2014 semester. Once here, his role will be a mix of research, advising and teaching within the university’s Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Science programs in aviation. Aviation students at the university also take practical flight lessons at the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre as part of their degree requirements. “[He] has flown over 70 aircrafts,” said McKenzie. “With Chris’s practical experience with flight and as a pilot this will be a great asset for our students.” Prior to joining the CSA, Hadfield was a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot and test piloted several experimental aircraft in both Canada and the US. Hadfield is next expected to be on campus for a public lecture on December 3.
Covering the Youth Un(der) Employment Forum in Toronto is part of my ongoing coverage of labour issues for rabble.ca. Because of how big an issue youth employment is right now, I’ve covered the topic extensively. This is just one of several pieces I’ve worked on for various outlets.
Jobless but not broken: Youth workers gather to talk unemployment Published October 3, 2013 rabble.ca, Toronto ______________________________
chance of obtaining entry-level employment after graduation. “When I graduated from university in 1978 there were lots of entry level jobs to be had,” said Maria LeRose, the co-director of Generation Jobless, a CBC documentary that examined the growing rates of unemployment among youth in Canada. LeRose and her co-director Sharon Bartlett explained at the forum that they knew they had hit a nerve as they made their film. This was a story young people were passionate about because it was directly affecting them — a lot of them.
“Who here has worked two or more jobs at the same time?” asked Roxanne Dubois, a staff member at Unifor and former Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) chair, to over 30 people, most under 30 years old, in a conference room at Ryerson University.
Youth unemployment is not a problem that strikes fairly. Racialized young people and people with disabilities face higher unemployment rates then other youth. “We have to do a better job,” said Luam Kidane, the youth programming coordinator at FoodShare Toronto, speaking on a panel about solutions. “We can’t ignore racialized youth if we’re going to fix youth unemployment.”
Almost every single person raised his or her hand. “And who here is in an union?” Significantly fewer people raised their hand. “And who works evenings and weekend?” she asked finally. Again, almost every hand went up. She, nor anyone else attending the Youth Un(der)employment Forum — a day long event to discuss youth unemployment — seemed surprised by the result.
For all the stories about the struggles youth are facing finding employment, there was also stories being told about those who were challenging the status quo and looking for solutions.
DuBois’s quick poll represents a microcosm of the situation young workers across Canada are facing. A recent Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report found that Ontario’s unemployment levels are twice as high as the overall provincial youth unemployment rate. Canada wide, youth still face challenges even where the unemployment rate is lower. Full time, entry-level work has become difficult to find, so when young people work — if at all — they cobble together resumes with a mix of part-time and casual employment, internships, advanced degrees and volunteer hours. It was exactly this issue that the organizers behind the Youth Un(der)employment Forum were hoping to not only address, but start finding solutions too.
Rosemarie Powell is the founder and CEO of Big on Green, an environmental consulting agency that is also a workers co-operative, based in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto. While doing community work she began to notice that there were young people and recent immigrants who had environmental skills, like environmental planning, but couldn’t find jobs. “[We thought] ‘how would we put our skills and resources together to create something meaningful for us?’” she said. So they created a co-op that would employ locals as consultants to businesses that want to go green. “We thought we would be eco-entrepreneurs,” she laughed. So far, Big on Green has worked with organizations in the Jane and Finch and Rexdale neighbourhoods and at a downtown Toronto law firm.
“What we really wanted to do was push the conversation a step forward and start thinking about solutions,” said Brynne Sinclair-Waters, a researcher at the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), one of the organizations behind Friday’s forum. The event was a chance for young people to share some of their own challenges finding work and start a dialogue about how to approach these problems.
Traditional union organizing efforts have also yielded positive results. C.J. Hanlon, a member of Unifor local 1075 in Thunder Bay, told the forum that collective bargaining efforts with Bombardier in Thunder Bay resulted in many jobs for young people. The Bombardier facility is now building the fleet of light rail vehicles that will soon appear on Toronto streets. And at University of Toronto, the students union has made challenging the current laws around internships a top priority.
The stories told by some of the youth were sobering yet all too familiar to anyone under the age of thirty who’s ever looked for a job. Victor Rodriguez, who spoke at the forum, works four different jobs and goes to school. He often finds himself waiting by the phone waiting to find out if there’s a shift available for him. In an ironic twist — one he acknowledges himself — his chosen specialty is working with unemployed and at risk youths.
A common theme amongst participants was the need for larger, systemic change. In the course of making their documentary, Bartlett and LeRose traveled to Switzerland, a country that has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the OECD countries thanks in part to a national education program that streams students into apprenticeships — there are over 200 options — after junior high.
“It was a bit of culture shock for me because there is always something in the media saying there is such a need in this area,” he said. “When you go out there and find something to do people will tell you ‘sorry we don’t have anything for you.’”
It became clear making the film that there was a need for a bigger picture approach to both education and youth employment. “There is no question,” said LeRose. “The number one thing we heard is that we need a national strategy.”
Melissa Larue considers herself lucky to have found steady, unionized employment when she was studying for her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Windsor. But while trying to find permanent full-time work as a social worker, she has found herself working casual and part-time to gain the experience to be able to make the jump to full time.
New federal legislation to be introduced in Parliament this fall may address some of these concerns. Andrew Cash, Member of Parliament for Davenport, explained that his proposed National Urban Workers Strategy would extend unemployment benefits and employment insurance to more workers among other measures.
She believes it is more important than ever to reach out to students and make them aware ahead of time of what the job market is like and that a university education may not be enough to make it today. “I think people should be going to school,” she said. “But the narrative that it is the be all end all needs to stop.” It was once the case that a university student could leave school and have a reasonable
“It’s a framework bill,” he explained. “It sort of lays the foundation for how we can move forward on this issue.” What many people may have gotten out of the Youth Un(der)employment Forum was a sense of togetherness. “A lot of us out there that don’t have full time work and sometimes people interpret that as something they are doing wrong,” said Rodriguez. “The biggest goal here is just to really inform the youth that they are not alone.”