Volume No. 33 Issue No. 5
TRIBUNE THE mcgill PX
Published by the Tribune Publication Society
WHAT'S IN A NAME? a look into SOCIETY'S Reaction TO CHEMICALS p 10
Representing their country Exclusive interview with martlet rugby stars p 17
@mcgilltribune • www.mcgilltribune.com
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
POP closes shop: Montreal music fest concludes another season SEE INSIDE FOR POP MONTREAL RECAP
McGill-Concordia student project Look Vibrant opens Casa del Popolo’s Friday night lineup. (Alexandra Allaire / The McGill Tribune)
Sustainable student living project to launch in Fall 2014
SSMU Council hears report on project designed to house eight to ten students, passes motion opposing Milton bike gates Jessica Fu News Editor A MORE house will be converted to a sustainable living space beginning in Fall 2014, according to a report on the ECOLE project presented at SSMU Council last Thursday. Councillor Courtney Ayukawa and former McGill student Lily Schwarzbaum, coordinators of the project, gave a presentation which outlined the history, outlook, and timeline of progress of the project. The house will be located in the Milton-Parc community and is financially backed by the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU). The project plans to transform a current student residence into a sustainable living space for eight to ten undergraduate student facilitators, who will be determined through an application process that has not yet been released. Various sustainable living practices will be developed in an explor-
atory manner, and specific examples will become clear once facilitators of the project are hired in January. “Examples of things that we are likely to explore include composting, collective living, anti-oppressive practices, [and] vegetarian/vegan diets and meals,” Ayukawa wrote. The two-story house will have communal spaces on the ground floor and rooms for facilitators on the second floor. According to Ayukawa, the project will provide the key mechanisms required for developing an example of sustainability in the community. “We’re providing the physical space for it which does not currently exist; we’re offering resources for this house, and [we’re] bringing together people who are interested in sustainability,” Ayukawa said. Each student facilitator will be responsible for engaging with the community and developing an independent study project on their
sustainable lifestyle. Rent for the facilitators will amount to approximately $400 per month, which will be subsidized due to their additional responsibilities. Along with SSMU, other stakeholders in the project include McGill’s Office of Sustainability (MOOS) and Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS). “MOOS and SHHS have provided us with a lot of support and acted in an advisory-like role,” Ayukawa said. The house is located right across from the university and houses the residential Green Living Learning Community, which, according to McGill’s housing website, is an environment where “residents work together on sustainability projects and participate in environmental programs with various organizations throughout Montreal.”
Milton bike gates Council also passed a motion regarding the recently installed bike gates located at the Milton-University intersection. The motion opposes the presence of the gates and is similar to one recently passed by the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS). The SSMU motion, opposes the gates, pledges to send a letter to the administration, and resolves to explore alternative means of designating space for bicycles on campus. “We’re opposing the construction of the gates on the grounds that they did not consult students [and] they did not consult the Office of Student Disabilities, who have expressed the concern that the gates are built assuming that everyone is a [tall, able-bodied] person,” Claire StewartKanigan, Arts senator, said. AUS President Justin Fletcher said the gates have not fulfilled the purpose for which they were installed, since individuals still ride
their bikes on campus. “You can either bike through the gates, which means they don’t do anything, or you can bike right up to the gates, get off your bike, and get right back on,” Fletcher said. “These gates do not solve the problem that they wish to rectify.” The gates were installed last summer to encourage members of the McGill community to walk their bikes on campus. Councillor David Benrimoh said he ran a survey for his constituents in the Faculty of Medicine, and found that 54 per cent of respondents opposed the gates. He also received feedback with regards to alternative strategies for reducing accidents or near-accident between bicyclists and pedestrians on campus. “One thing that kept coming up, over and over again was [the suggestion of] bike lanes,” he said. The motion passed with overwhelming support.
McGill hosts third annual Indigenous Awareness Week
Events promote Indigenous Studies minor to be introduced in 2014, highlight challenges facing Indigenous peoples Eman Jeddy Contributor
Last week, McGill hosted its third annual Indigenous Awareness Week. Organized by the Social Equity and Diversity Education Office’s Indigenous Education Program, the week’s events included workshops on dreamcatcher making, hoop dancing, and the Mohawk language and tradition, as well as discussions on contemporary issues such as the health, welfare, and legal treatment of the Indigenous community within Canada. Allan Vicaire, an Indigenous Education advisor at McGill and organizer of the week’s events, said some of the important issues addressed throughout the week included the development of McGill’s Indigenous Studies program and raising awareness of the challenges faced by Indigenous women. Other topics of discussion included multi-level governance, health, and the meaning of Indigenous identity. “The aim is to provide an opportunity to the McGill community […] to learn and really better understand Indigenous people in Canada—that includes First Nations, Métis, and Inuit,” Vicaire said. “We have 16 events this year—we have panel discussions, we have guest speakers, [and] we have community members, elders, and students who are going to be teaching each other about a variety of issues.” McGill’s Indigenous Studies program, to be introduced in Fall 2014, was discussed in a presenta-
tion on Sept. 25. McGill already offers multiple courses on topics concerning Indigenous peoples, but to be officially recognized as a minor the program requires an introductory and capstone course—a course that allows students to synthesize subject matter and integrate their cross-disciplinary knowledge. The discussion last week was organized by SSMU Vice-President University Affairs Joey Shea, SSMU Religious Studies Senator Haley Dinel, and Professor of Communication Studies William Straw, they said they aimed to provide feedback regarding questions raised in the preliminary research stage of the program. “It’s a bureaucratic process, [but] the proposal is in the system,” Straw said. “We already have four courses now—that’s 12 credits. That’s one third of our program in Aboriginal issues [....] In 2014 I will introduce the 200-level introductory course. Even if, for some form of reason, the minor is not approved, that course will be there, ready to become Indigenous studies.” Department heads must grant approval before the program officially becomes a minor. The minor will consist of an introductory and capstone course plus other courses cross-listed across the Faculty of Arts. Another event was a lecture by Mary Eberts last Wednesday on the negotiation tactics used by Canadian courts towards the claims of Indigenous people. Eberts, a member of the legal counsel for the
Indigenous Awareness Week kicked off with a Pow Wow. (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune) Native Women’s Association for Canada and expert in Indigenous Law, spoke about how the Canadian courts and government do not always recognize previous settlement treaties with the Indigenous community. “They took status away from women; that’s the colonizers’ designation,” Eberts said. “It meant [children] could no longer live with their families, and there was a lot of really brutal stuff that was going on against Indigenous women as part of the colonising enterprise [.... It’s] still all there in The Indian Act and I think we have to root it out.” Eberts praised McGill’s Indigenous Awareness Week for the insight it could provide into some of the issues faced by the Indigenous
community. “I think it’s a wonderful idea,” Eberts said. “The best way of affecting change is for us to know one another and talk to one another, to have shared experiences, and then leave the doctrine aside and just get to know one another and get to know the issues from someone else’s perspective.” Members of the community appeared sincerely interested, staying engaged at some events well after they were over. “Yesterday we had our ‘Mohawk 101’ from Akwiratékha Martin, […] and it was full,” Vicaire said. “It was meant to last till 8:00, but it lasted till 8:30 because people were still there asking questions […] It was such a wonderful event.”
The week’s events attracted a number of McGill faculty, staff, and students who responded positively to the events. Frasier Harland, a first-year law student, said he attended Ebert’s lecture because his undergraduate degree was in political science, with a focus on Indigenous relations in Canada. “I was really interested to see how it would be treated in a more legal context,” Harland said. “Overall, I thought it was really impassioned and [an] important speech and lecture.” Indigenous Awareness Week ended on Friday with a community social and feast at the Native Friendship Centre of Montreal.
McGill releases principal’s contract for first time Fortier to receive $390,000 base salary, reduced benefits to accommodate for budget cuts Emma Windfeld News Editor On Sept. 25, McGill’s Board of Governors released Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier’s contract. The release marks the first time the Board of Governors has voluntarily made the contract of a McGill principal public. According to the contract, Fortier’s base salary is $390,000. In addition, the university will cover the cost of $3,000 for legal counsel regarding her contract, and a yearly sum of $2,000 for professional financial services. Fortier’s contract also contains a 20 per cent potential bonus based on the merit of her annual
performance, which is “subject to a review by the Chair in accordance with a set of mutually agreed upon goals, objectives, and targets,” according to the contract. Chair of McGill’s Board of Governors Stuart Cobbett said that although Fortier’s base salary is higher than that of former principal Heather Munroe-Blum —who was the highest-paid principal in the province, with a base salary of $369,250—Fortier’s contract results in a substantially lower paycheque due to fewer benefits. For example, Munroe-Blum’s contract stipulated a $4,000 per month allowance towards the use of her Montreal residence for university-related events, while Fortier will not receive an allowance,
although she will be reimbursed for “reasonable expenses.” “When we negotiated the contract with Fortier, we took into account the salary of Heather Munroe-Blum,” Cobbett said. “If you look at the cost of Fortier’s contract, it is more than three per cent less [than Munroe-Blum’s] in terms of total costs to the university.” The three per cent reduction is the result of measures implemented by McGill for this academic year in order to meet budget cuts the Quebec government announced last December. Members of the upper administration have all received a three per cent decrease to their salaries. McGill will cover Fortier’s
expenses related to her role as principal, including university-related travel and event hosting, and a relocation allowance to cover the cost of moving to Montreal. Cobbett said that Fortier’s contract was met by positive attention from the McGill community and media when it was released on Wednesday. “[The contract was] well received. People much appreciate Fortier’s transparency and the simplicity of the contract,” he said. The contract extends from Sept. 5, 2013 until June 30, 2018, with the opportunity for re-appointment. Katie Larson, president of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), said she thought
Fortier’s salary was “reasonable” considering the standard salary for such a position. Larson said she supports Fortier’s decision to publish the contract. “When it comes to Human Resources it is up to the individual to disclose information such as their contract, so I am glad that professor Fortier took the extra step not only to publish her salary, but also to disclose the other parts of her contract,” Larson said. “We will see how forthcoming she will be with the exact expenses, and whether her decision to publish this information will encourage other administrators to do the same.”
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Protesters call for equal access to education for non-status children
Solidarity Across Borders demonstration demands end to $5,000 annual fees for children without immigration status Jannet Li Contributor
On Sept. 25, Solidarity Across Borders held a demonstration and public assembly demanding that the Quebec Ministry of Education improve access to education for children without immigration status attending elementary and secondary school in the province. Solidarity Across Borders is a migrant justice network based in Montreal, while the Education for All Collective is a subgroup of the network specifically targeting education. The Quebec Ministry of Education currently charges nonstatus children $5,000 to $6,000 per year to attend school. Solidarity Across Borders is asking the Montreal School Board Commission and the Quebec Ministry of Education to nullify the fees. “The guidelines are fundamentally insulting to the reality of non-status kids and their families,” the network’s website reads. The organization also criticizes how the Quebec Ministry of Education only provided guidelines for Quebec school boards regarding children without immigration status one week before the beginning of this school year. Moreover, information regarding guidelines for fees are not available on the various Quebec school boards’ and the Ministry of Education’s websites, according to Solidarity Across Borders’ website. The demonstration was held at L’Ecole Barthelemy-Vimont, a Montreal elementary school in the borough of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension. Approximately 30 demonstrators gathered for the demonstration, which took place at the same time as the Montreal School Board Commission held a Council meeting inside the school. A small number of activists and represen-
Protestors demonstrate in support of equal access to education for children living with legal status. (Alexandra Allaire / McGill Tribune) tatives from Solidarity Across Borders were also able to attend the meeting. Jaggi Singh, a member of the Solidarity Across Borders and Education for All Collective attended the event. “It is shameful that kids are not going to school,” Singh said. “All children in the United States, including those without legal status, [have] received free education since the 1980s. There is also a language barrier, which causes a problem for parents and guardians in the process of demanding free
education.” Singh expressed frustration regarding the lack of response that they have received from the Quebec government. “In the span of two weeks we called Marie Malavoy [Quebec Minister of Education] five times but there was no response,” Singh said. “There was no response to the many letters which we wrote either.” Mathieu Leblanc, a media representative in the Minister of Education’s
office, said that they are working on the issue. “We are trying to add more categories of children who will not need to pay for school,” Leblanc said. Billal Tabaichount, an economics student at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), participated in the demonstration. “I support the cause that all children have the right to go to school but I don’t necessarily support all of the Solidarity’s arguments,” Tabaichount said.
Isabelle Larrivee, an activist who also attended the event, said that her support is based on the right to access education. “It is fundamental and important to have access to no matter the status of a person,” she said.
Dean of Medicine discusses challenges facing the faculty
Board of Governors meeting includes update on Medicine admissions process review, new mental health initiative Emma Windfeld News Editor
Changes to the Faculty of Medicine On Sept. 26, David Eidelman, vice-principal (health affairs) and dean of the Faculty of Medicine, announced changes to the faculty at the first Board of Governors meeting this academic year. The curriculum for the four-year undergraduate medical program offered by McGill’s Faculty of Medicine has undergone a major revision for the first time in 15 years,
according to Eidelman. Changes include an increased focus on primary care and working in interprofessional teams. The Faculty of Medicine currently faces challenges due to reduced funding. Additionally, the MUHC’s move to Glen Campus represents great opportunities, but also a shift in the practice of medicine that must be planned for and adapted to, according to Eidelman. “[We’re in a] tough political environment, one in which the value of research and training individuals to build social capital is
being challenged,” Eidelman said. Eidelman also mentioned the proposed Charter of Values, which would limit the ability of public sector employees to wear conspicuous religious symbols or clothing in the workplace. “This would have a devastating effect for our faculty,” Eidelman said. Eidelman also announced that the Faculty of Medicine’s admission process will undergo its periodic external review on Oct. 8. The review will be led by Harold Reiter, the head of admissions services for DeGroote School of
Medicine at McMaster University. Armand Aalamian, a general practitioner in McGill’s Department of Family Medicine, will act as an internal reviewer. “We regularly review all of our programs, typically every five years or so or when required in the context of a change or renewal of leadership,” Eidelman said. “As at least five years have passed since the last time we did this for admissions, we are doing it now.” New Mental Health Program Provost Anthony Masi announced that Deputy Provost (Stu-
dent Life and Learning) Ollivier Dyens is designing a new program to deal with mental health issues on campus, in response to an increase in the number of people seeking help for mental health problems across the country. “The program is oriented towards stressors for students,” Masi said. “[Mental health is] one of the main stressors at the university.” The program will be officially announced at the joint Board of Governors-Senate meeting on Nov. 12.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 |
| Curiosity delivers.
Fair Trade Week promotes socially conscious consumption Events celebrate McGill’s certification over the summer as first fair trade certified school in Quebec Chelsey Ju Contributor Last week, McGill celebrated Fair Trade Week with various events dedicated to the promotion of fair trade products, including free coffee and chocolate fountains. The weeklong event followed the announcement over the summer that the university became the first school in Quebec and the fifth in Canada to become fair trade certified. The week was a collaboration between McGill Food and Dining Services (MFDS) and Engineers Without Borders (EWB). The motion to bring fair trade certification to McGill began two years ago, when EWB approached MFDS with the suggestion of becoming certified. MFDS conducted the major administrative work in order to achieve certification for the university. Fair trade certification means that McGill supports aspects of food production such as fair wages for farmers and producers. Every cafeteria and food service on campus has fair trade certified foods. Oliver De Volpi, Executive Chef for MFDS, described the journey towards certification as a long but successful process. “In the last few years, we’ve led this push,” De Volpi said. “At first […] no one wanted to take an
Caption me. Fair trade certified coffee and chocolate were highlights of Fair Trade Week. (Elizabeth Flannery / McGill Tribune) initiative in this process, because no one knew who to really speak to in terms of food service. It took a while for it to be organized and for [the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU)] to jump on board in recent months.” Some students suggested that a continued effort to raise awareness about fair trade issues is necessary. A student who asked to remain anonymous said there were not enough advertisements of this event
on campus. “I think a lot more publicity could’ve been going on,” she said. “I didn’t know McGill [was] fair trade certified until last week, which is a bit late, I think, for such a thing. However, Jessica Hoch, members of EWB, said there were daily efforts on campus to raise awareness of Fair Trade Week and EWB. “EWB has spoken with stu dent-run food stores on campus
[such as] SNAX, Dave’s, and the EUS General Store, and encouraged them to purchase fair trade products; this idea was met with support by all student-run stores,” Hoch said. “We also have a fair trade booth on Mondays and Fridays in the FDA building that runs from 8:30 to 3:30 p.m., selling fair trade products by donation, as well as awareness events throughout the year.” McGill’s efforts focus on ensuring produce and products, such
as coffee and chocolate, are attained through fair trade procedures, according to De Volpi. “Vegetables and fruit for us are already fair trade—we’re not buying from overseas countries, we’re buying as local as possible,” De Volpi said. “The main problem is chocolate [....] We’re buying fair trade cocoa powder already, and our next step might be to get [fair trade] chocolate milk.” As part of this initiative, McGill partners with Fair Trade Canada, a company that works with farmers to ensure they have fair wages and attempts to gain support from schools and businesses. Fair Trade Canada Executive Director Sean McHugh said that the combined efforts of MSDS and EWB successfully brought certification to McGill, and that he looks forward to working with the university in the future. “We’ve been working together for the past few years to make McGill fair trade certified,” McHugh said. “I work with volunteering groups across Canada, including EWB, and they are such a pleasure to work with [.…] We’re looking to expand to other schools, starting with coffee and chocolate, then eventually sugar, clothing, soaps, hand creams, spices, [and] vegetables.”
Tuition expected to increase 13 per cent by 2016-17 Report author, professor, students weigh in on potential solutions to rise of post-secondary costs Shrinkhala Dawadi Contributor Earlier this month, a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) predicted a 13 per cent increase for the average Canadian student’s tuition fees by the 2016-17 school year. According to the CCPA report released on Sept. 11, tuition in Canada will cost each student on average $7,437 by the 2016-2017 school year, compared to $6,348 in 2012-2013. Considering that the average student paid $1,464 in 1990-1991, tuition in Canada has tripled in the past 27 years—even after adjusting to inflation. With these numbers in mind, the Tribune set out to examine the issue of rising post-secondary education costs, and the various methods that have been proposed to reduce them. When measured as a propor-
tion of the Canadian GDP, federal support for universities has dropped 50 per cent in the past two decades. To fill this gap, universities have turned to tuition increases. Tuition had grown to form 35 per cent of universities’ operating revenue in 2009, in contrast to 14 per cent two decades earlier. Erika Shaker, one of the authors of the CCPA report, explained that lower- to middle-class families are increasingly forced to choose between taking on extra debt, postponing retirement, or sending their children to university. These choices mean that some families miss out on the economic and social benefits of post-secondary education. “The social returns, while more difficult to quantify, I think are more profound,” Shaker said. “If you have access to post-secondary education, you generally are healthier, and therefore less of a strain to the health system. You’re
generally more involved with your community and your family. There’s also a higher degree of social mobility so eventually there’s the movement to a more equitable society.” Shaker explained that the current systems of government aid for university students are complex and difficult to navigate. Often, the onus is on the student to find out which aid he or she qualifies for. As part of her report, Shaker recommended that tuition be reduced for lower- and middle-class families through increased public taxpayer funding. “People should pay what they can afford, and the most progressive and efficient way to do that is the tax system,” Shaker said. “There is a great deal of public funding already going into the [post-secondary education] system. The fact of the matter is that the majority of the costs are borne by the wealthiest amongst us, as it
should be, and that is what we want in a progressive tax system.” Christopher Ragan, a professor of economics at McGill, suggested a different approach to the problem of university underfunding. He advocated raising tuition, saying that current tuition represents only 20 per cent of the total cost of a degree. However, Ragan acknowledged that universities would need to ensure accessibility if tuition fees increased. “There are a lot of good students who are low-income and don’t have the means to pay for a high tuition,” he said. “I think the way to square that circle is to let tuition rise for everybody and then use either an expanded loan program or student bursaries from universities to make sure that the good quality low-income students don’t get excluded as a result of high tuition.” McGill students say that they are not surprised by the CCPA’s
predictions of increased tuition for upcoming years. Amalia Slobogian, a third-year PhD student in English Literature, spoke against tuition increases at McGill. “I don’t think [McGill is] improving in teaching undergrads,” Slobogian said. “To justify tuition increases, it should be based on the quality of teaching.” Hannah Sinclair, U3 Arts, said that while she is not surprised by the findings of the report, she believes that future students must adapt to the reality of increased university tuition. “It’s unfortunate [that] it seems like the price of tuition is rising but the value of the degree is going down at the same time,” she said. “I think we’re going to have to start changing the way we think about university, especially for kids coming out of high school. [University] needs to not be the only answer.”
Curiosity delivers. |
| Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Campus Freedom Index received with skepticism at McGill Methodology and validity of 2013 report questioned after McGill and SSMU receive bottom grades in free speech Emma Windfeld News Editor Last Tuesday, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) released their Campus Freedom Index for 2013, with the McGill administration receiving D’s in both policies and practices and the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) receiving a D in policies and an F in practices. Since its release, however, the report has become the subject of debate on campus, with members of the McGill community criticizing the JCCF for its methodology and political background. The JCCF report uses a lettergrade system of A to F to rate the freedom of speech on 45 public university campuses across Canada, in terms of the practices and policies of each university administration and student union. The organization behind the report has received criticism for allegedly having a political agenda, as several key figures involved in the JCCF
have been connected to conservative organizations including the Wildrose Alliance, the federal Reform Party, and the Manning Centre. SSMU Vice-President External Samuel Harris expressed skepticism regarding the validity of the organization behind the grades. “Given the direct implication of this organization with the right-wing fringe, this report has no credibility,” Harris said. According to Michael Kennedy, the centre’s communications and development coordinator, SSMU’s failing grade was partially a result of an incident that took place in 2009. “SSMU Council [...] warned the student group Choose Life that if it went ahead with a planned lecture by Jose Ruba titled ‘Echoes of the Holocaust,’ it would have its funding revoked,” Kennedy said. The report also points to an incident in 2012 when SSMU requested that the group McGill Friends of Israel change the name of an event called “Israel-A-Party.” Harris explained
that SSMU executives at the time requested the name change because it was parodying the term Apartheid during Israel Apartheid Week. “The name of the ‘Israel A-Party’ event was meant to provoke and incite other student groups rather than focus on being its own event, which is something that the SSMU tries to avoid,” Harris said. “It has never been SSMU’s intention to stifle free speech or choose sides in what we know is a very contentious issue. And we do admit that it is a very fine line. But to call us a ‘failure’ on free speech [...] is ridiculous.” Elisabeth Gidengil, a political science professor at McGill, said that the report contains several methodological oversights. “The grading scheme for student union practices is troubling,” Gidengil said. “[It] risks being somewhat subjective as there is no explicit linking back to the criteria that are used to award the grades.” Gidengil suggested that the group could improve the methodology’s
What happened last week in compiled by Morgan Alexander and sam pinto
transparency by linking a description of each grade to the occurrence that caused it. She said the criteria for each letter grade are inconsistent, sometimes resulting in union and university policies being graded twice. “Some criteria for a grade of A, D and F are spelled out but the only criterion for a B or C are the grades received for the student union’s policies,” Gidengil said. “These are default criteria, employed because the student union’s commitment to free speech has not been tested [...] The latter wording is identical for awarding a B or C. The net result is that a union [or university] whose commitment has not been tested is effectively graded twice over on its policies.” Gidengil added that the grades may not have been cross-validated. “Did more than one person independently award grades and were the grades then compared?” she said. “If so, how were discrepancies resolved?” Kennedy responded to criticism of the index’s credibility—both political and methodological—by saying
that the authors are unbiased and that they condemn the censorship of many groups in addition to pro-life groups. “The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is non-partisan, and dedicated to defending the human rights and constitutional freedoms of each and every Canadian,” Kennedy said. “The Campus Freedom Index makes clear that censorship can affect all students regardless of their views. There are many examples documented in the Index of censorship against both Students Against Israeli Apartheid and pro-Israel clubs, pro-life, and atheist clubs, partisans of all stripes, marijuana enthusiasts, and so on.” McGill University has not released a statement on the index and does not plan to, according to Director of Internal Communications Doug Sweet. “We don’t have any comment,” Sweet said. “The university made some very strong and clear statements about standing up for freedom of expression last year and we certainly stand by those statements.”
New app encourages public to pressure businesses to comply with Bill 101
Supreme Court permits use of drug-sniffing dogs
Alberta named fastest growing province
Victims of bus accident to file lawsuit against company
Canada Revenue Agency faces allegations of corruption
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the use of drug-sniffing police dogs on suspects is legal, as long as officers have “reasonable suspicion based on objective, ascertainable facts” that their suspects are engaged in illegal activity. This case stems largely from a 2006 case in which Benjamin MacKenzie was pulled over for a minor traffic violation. The police claimed that his eyes appeared red and called in drug-detecting dogs, which led to the discovery of 14 kilograms of marijuana in MacKenzie’s trunk. Critics of the decision have argued that while the police may catch offenders like MacKenzie this way, the permission to use methods like sniffer dogs means that police more frequently infringe upon the rights of innocent individuals based on a subjective understanding of what constitutes suspicious behaviour. “[The ruling] has the effect of giving an enormous amount of deference to the instincts and subjective views of police officers, at the expense of some of the liberties we assumed were in place since the Charter came,” Benjamin Berger, law professor at York University, told The Globe and Mail.
New numbers released by Statistics Canada last Thursday show that Alberta has the fastest growing population in Canada. Alberta’s population increased by 3.4 per cent last year, while the entire population of Canada grew by only 1.2 per cent. Statistics Canada attributes Alberta’s growth to “record levels of international migration and inter-provincial migration.” According to the report, Alberta has been the frontrunner in population growth over the last 30 years, with an increase of 50.8 per cent. “Our relative economic conditions compared to the rest of Canada are really explaining why we’re seeing such an increase, particularly in interprovincial migration,” Kate White, chief economist for the Alberta government, told The Edmonton Journal. “Compared to the rest of the world, which is still struggling to walk away from the great recession, the relative opportunity in Alberta is very good for international migrants as well.” Following Alberta in growth were Nunavut (2.5 per cent) and Saskatchewan (1.9 per cent). All provinces showed some population growth with the exception of New Brunswick (-0.1 per cent), the Northwest Territories (-0.2 per cent), and Nova Scotia (-0.5 per cent).
The company involved in a Sept. 18 bus accident in Ottawa faces legal action following the incident. The potential multimilliondollar lawsuit comes after the collision of a bus with a Via Rail train resulted in the death of six people, including the bus driver. According to lawyers in Toronto, one person who was injured in the accident is looking to file a lawsuit against OC Transpo on behalf of all involved in the crash. This could include a class action lawsuit representing everyone involved in the crash, which could cost the company over $20 million, and a group action lawsuit representing the families of those killed, which could cost the company over $10 million. Those injured in the collision, however, face potential complications regarding a court case because they have to complete several steps in the insurance process before they are able to sue for pain or suffering. However, this does not affect the families of those killed in the crash, who can file for death and funeral payments from their own insurers or the bus insurer.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) came under fire last Wednesday when Radio-Canada revealed that the agency sent a refund cheque for over $380,000 to Nicolo Rizzuto, a jailed Quebec mob boss owing $1.5 million in unpaid taxes in 2007. Andrew Treusch, CRA commissioner, said the agency will be launching an internal investigation to discover the source of the cheque. Over the course of RadioCanada’s investigation, several former CRA employees have come forward with accusations of corruption within the agency. According to the employee who discovered the cheque, Jean-Pierre Paquette, it took the agency over a year to address the concerns he raised after discovering the incident. “It’s become endemic; senior managers who are involved in a file take their retirement and a month later have become legal advisers or consultants on the same files for the other side,” the CBC quotes Paquette as saying. “It’s a huge conflict of interest.” Eventually, these concerns resulted in a yearlong RCMP investigation, which has resulted in over 100 criminal charges against people who previously worked for the CRA.
The Montreal chapter of the French language advocacy group Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste has released an online application designed to encourage the public to pressure businesses in the city to comply with Quebec’s French language laws. First passed in 1977, the Charter of the French Langauge, also known as Bill 101, defines French as the language of the majority in Quebec, and outlines basic language rights in areas such as parliament, labour relations, and businesses. The app is called “Moi, j’achète en français,” and allows customers to rank and comment on a business based on their service in French. The theory behind the app is that if Francophone Quebecers know that a business does not provide its service to their language standard, the business will lose profits. According to the organization, the application does not report businesses to the police for not properly adhering to Bill 101. “A team of volunteers will follow up on the most pertinent files, and will take the actions necessary to find a solution with the businesses that have the worst scores,” the website explains. The application is available online and as a smartphone application.
Editor-in-Chief Carolina Millán Ronchetti firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental health programs demand further action, awareness On Thursday, Sept. 19, McGill rescinded the one-time $20 fee to access its Mental Health Services (MHS), a decision that came in the wake of negative feedback about the added financial burden to users of those services. We applaud the responsiveness this decision demonstrates on the part of the university. However, it is only one small step in the right direction, and more must be done to promote wellness on campus. The importance of mental health to McGill students was underscored by the administration’s swift about-face on the fee, which was announced at the beginning of September. These services were also a major talking point during the most recent election cycle for the executive of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), as both presidential candidates advocated improvements to the university’s mental health services in their platforms. Last year also saw the first Mental Health Awareness Week hosted on campus. Mental health is an issue that deserves serious consideration by the McGill community. According to statistics revealed by thenDeputy Provost for Student Life and Learning Morton Mendelson at a March Senate meeting—in response to a question from a
Letter Justin Fletcher Arts Undergraduate Society
Dear Associate Vice-Principal Couvrette and Provost Masi, The Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) of McGill University Legislative Council voted at the Sept. 18 meeting to take a stance of disapproval against the erection of the new barriers at the Milton Gates, expressing concerns about accessibility, the consultation process, community relations, the utility of the gates, and cost. After consulting with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), it is evident that these gates do not follow the principles of Universal Design, one of which is “Size and Space for Approach and Use: appropriate size and space is provided for approach,
Senate member—McGill Mental Health Services (MHS) saw a 25 per cent increase in new students and a 20 per cent increase in emergency drop-in visits from previous years.
“A major issue is that students often don’t know of on-campus alternatives ”
The number of students hospitalized at the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) in the Fall 2012 term was 14—a sevenfold increase from the average of approximately one to two cases per term. Still, mental health services are often overloaded. As of this week, wait times for initial appointments are often two and a half to three weeks. According to the statistics revealed in the March Senate meeting, the wait time for a regular therapy visit can go as long as five weeks, and during exam periods, the wait for an initial visit goes up to six weeks. Improving these wait times would require a realloca-
tion of the university’s already limited budgetary resources; the money to support rescinding the fee is being reshuffled from a yet-to-be-identified portion of the Student Life and Learning portfolio. A major issue is that students often don’t know of on-campus alternatives, such as McGill Counselling Services, a distinct branch of McGill Student Services. Counselling takes a different approach from MHS, less focused on perscription-based solutions and more focused on therapy. Wait times for this service are generally shorter than for MHS, with diagnostic appointments available—as of this week—as soon as a day after a drop-in intake visit. Counselling also offers a wide array of workshops, including stress reduction techniques, and coping with perfectionism. A simple way that McGill could promote wellness is by increasing awareness of these services. Additionally, McGill could facilitate a list of off-campus mental health services, including info on fees, location, and language to increase student options. Student-run resources include McGill Nightline, a listening and referal service, and the Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society (SA-
COMSS). None of these services should be considered a replacement for a properly staffed MHS, but students in some situations may find these better places to seek help. One of the most important steps toward advancing mental health at McGill is reducing the stigma associated with seeking help, and normalizing discussion of mental health on our campus. Too often, students feel ashamed in looking for guidance in times of crisis; what made the nowrescinded fee so pernicious was that it hit students right at the moment they were least equipped to deal with another roadblock getting assistance with their issues. While students do need to seek out help, once they come to the door they should be treated with the utmost respect and humanity, traits that are often lacking from the rest of the university’s vast bureaucracy. Talking about these issues is the first step to improving awareness. To that end, we welcome initiatives like the upcoming Students in Mind conference this weekend, Oct. 5, for opening up the conversation. It is imperative that ongoing progress on these issues continues, even in this environment of constraint.
AUS denounces barriers at Milton Gates reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user’s body size, posture, or mobility.” The barriers do not consider many groups of people who enter through the Milton Gates, including but not limited to, people with physical disabilities, people with strollers, and children. The AUS has an Equity Policy, which states that the “AUS strives to create a community that exceeds social standards of equitable treatment.” Because the barriers do not consider the needs of disadvantaged groups on the basis of physical ability and size, it is within the scope of the AUS to write such a statement to improve community standards. The Arts Undergraduate Society, an incorporated student association that represents all BA and BA & Sc. students on campus, was neither consulted nor informed
about this project. We find this problematic, as we represent 7,692 unique stakeholders in the McGill community. Furthermore, these gates represent a symbolic division between McGill’s campus and the Montreal community, namely the neighbouring Milton-Parc community. It is important to consider the ramifications of the subliminal message that these gates conjure for those who come to campus. The article in the McGill Reporter states that the gates were installed to reinforce the ‘walk your bike’ rule on campus. Regarding the utility of the gates, bikers’ abilities to bike directly through the gates or remount their bicycle after dismounting illustrate that the gates do not achieve their desired purpose. We, therefore, question the dedication of financial and time
resources to this project. We believe this money could have been better spent on projects that would have a more positive impact on the McGill campus. Based on the aforementioned concerns, the Arts Undergraduate Society Legislative Council disapproves of the barriers at the Milton Gates. Before any future projects are considered and implemented to improve the safety of all members of the McGill community, we ask respectfully that you consult with students and consider the abilities, needs, and preferences of all members of the campus community. We look forward to your response. Justin Fletcher is the president of the Arts Undergraduate Society. This letter was submitted on behalf of the AUS Legislative Council.
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columnists Taken: laptop theft on campus
There’s a strange feeling that comes with having something stolen. Two years ago, my phone was stolen as I was getting on a train home for reading week. Because I had a new contract and needed a phone, I had to pay $500 out of pocket to replace the stolen phone. On one hand, I was thankful; at least it was my phone and not my laptop. On the other, I felt betrayed and hurt. Who would do that and why? Theft on campus has gotten more attention than usual lately. It seems like two clear forces are at work. On the one hand, there seems to be a breakdown in traditional norms of trusting fellow students to watch your belongings. On the other hand, it’s becoming clear that in many cases, it isn’t merely students stealing from students, but in fact organized thieves who are strategically targeting us in and around our campus. From the first day I stepped on campus, when I left your belongings in a given student space it was
The Blackberry slump
Blackberry, the Canadian tech giant that once led global smartphone sales, has experienced a steep decline over the past three years. The company’s employees are facing huge layoffs, and its stock has dwindled below $9 per share. Despite this dismal deterioration—or perhaps because of it—Blackberry’s largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings, has offered to take Blackberry private in a $4.7 billion deal. In the face of such a severe slump, Fairfax Financial CEO Prem
respected that it was in use and that materials weren’t to be touched. Library study space has always been in short supply and the unspoken word of conduct was to respect the that reservation in such a way. There has also been the understanding that the people sitting nearby would watch it and prevent others from either stealing your things or your spot. This year, this no longer seems to be the case. Several individuals have lamented on social media networks of their laptops being stolen from the library or any one of the numerous cafes around campus. Worse yet are incidences of students being robbed while they’re fully present. Lorna Cantalare, a U2 international development student, recently shared with me how she fell victim to a strategic pair of thieves. She had been at a café near campus for four to five hours. She says she was also extremely vigilant about guarding her belongings. If she left her table to get a drink, as she did several times, she brought everything but a book with her. Despite the precautions she took, she was robbed. While she was seated and reading, a young man tapped her shoulder from behind and asked an innocuous question. She answered and turned back to continue reading. It wasn’t until several minutes later that she turned back to her bag to find her laptop was gone.
All it took was five seconds, she said, and she was left with what she described as a “disgusting feeling.” “Everywhere I go, I take my laptop, my phone and my wallet,” she explained. It didn’t matter that the café was busy with students, or even that she was sitting close to the register where employees had a clear view of the exchange. No one saw it happen, and no one stopped the man from leaving with her computer. Only video surveillance of the exchange would confirm her suspicions. A man in his early to mid 40s had snatched her laptop from her bag when she had been distracted by the first man. Although she filed a police report, Cantalare found the police largely unresponsive and insensitive. Ironically, an officer even told her that she could file her stolen laptop report online from home, despite the fact that her computer had been stolen. The café only turned over surveillance footage after the report had been filed, and she had since been pushing the police to collect the tape that clearly shows the man’s face. She’s since taken it upon herself to circulate the photo to local coffee shops around campus. Employees of at least three locations just off campus have recognized the man. Online postings of the image generated a lot of responses, she also explained, with many students
reaching out to her to share their similar experiences. The issue is no longer carelessness, she concludes, but students targeted by organized thieves ready to capitalize on distraction or complacency in campus libraries. She told me that we all recuperate eventually, but in the short term, one’s mind is completely preoccupied with having been a theft victim. The way you look at people changes. Everything she explained hit home for me. I myself had become incredibly critical of any strangers that
Watsa, the so-called “Warren Buffet of Canada,” seems confident in his company’s ability to revive Blackberry’s stagnant situation. His optimism can be attributed to several significant assets that Blackberry still has. Among these is Blackberry’s powerful security system; a huge attraction for businesses and government clients. Second is Blackberry’s patent portfolio, which gives the company legal ownership of a wealth of intellectual property. One branch of the company that Watsa is not particularly eager to acquire, however, is Blackberry’s hardware division. In the past four years, Blackberry’s smartphone market share has dwindled from nearly 50 per cent in 2009 to roughly 3 per cent currently; the largest decline that any smartphone maker has seen. If the takeover goes forward, it is highly unlikely that Fairfax Financial will continue to produce Black-
berry handhelds. The deterioration of Blackberry as a leading smartphone maker can be attributed to certain shortcomings on the part of the company, as well as powerful competition from competitors, namely Apple and Google’s Android operating system. One underlying flaw was Blackberry’s complacency. In the rapidly evolving smartphone industry, the ability to innovate and adapt to changes in consumer preferences is paramount. Apple revolutionized the smartphone industry with its sleek, streamlined, and easily navigable iPhones, and the Android offered increased functionality with its versatile, easily modified operating systems. Blackberry, which was both reluctant to abandon its signature keypad, and adamant in clinging to its niche of phones catered to businesspeople, quickly fell behind. By the time that Blackberry fi-
nally released the Z10 last February, its first phone without a keypad and first new operating system in two years, it was already too late. Apple was already on its sixth generation iPhone, and Android had released several updates for the fourth version of its mobile operating system. More recently, Apple’s latest iPhone release, as well as its heavily redesigned operating software, iOS 7, has completely overshadowed Blackberry as a contender in the smartphone market. Apple sold nine million of its new iPhones in the first weekend, compared to 2.7 million Blackberry 10 devices in the entire first quarter. Blackberry’s reign as a leader in the smartphone market has come to a close. However, whether Fairfax Financial can actually restore some of the Canadian tech company’s former glory in its other divisions, or if the buyout is simply a last-ditch
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES McGill Mental Health Service McGill Counselling Services McGill Nightline Sexual Assault Center of the McGill Students’ Society
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(Joyce Siu / McGill Tribune) bumped into me in a crowded public place. Were they trying to grab my phone? Was there a hand reaching for my purse? Perhaps this teaches a lesson to be critical of those we meet, but I can’t help but think that it makes students more skittish, while further detracting from the quality of our studies. Who wants to feel the need to be constantly vigilant? We only have so much attention to give to things when we’re already consumed with studying, classes and clubs.
effort to salvage a large investment turned sour, is up for debate. A remaining source of hope for Canada’s prized technology company lies in Fairfax’s domestic approach to Blackberry’s restoration. Fairfax Financial is seeking Canadian equity, most likely in the form of pension funds, to complete the deal. Spokesman Paul Rivett has been quoted stating that Fairfax is seeking “a strong Canadian solution” for the revival of what was once one of Canada’s most successful companies. Although it seems that Blackberry has lost its foothold in the smartphone industry in the face of American tech giants, a domestic recovery for the company’s more secure markets is possible, and could preserve Canadian influence in the global technology industry.
The Tribune’s Sept. 24 editorial and dissent incorrectly claimed that membership to a student association for all students is mandated by law in Quebec. However, while students attending institutions with an accredited student association are considered members of that organization, it is not mandated that all universities have such associations. Even within accredited associations, the membership itself dictates the amount and opt-out status of any fees. Additionally, section 26 of the student associations’ Accreditation Act outlines a procedure for individual students to resign their membership from accredited associations. Finally, the Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) did in fact pass a motion to hold a threeday strike in Mar. 2012. The Tribune regrets the errors.
Student living student
U3 IDS, minor environment (Alexandra Allaire/ McGill Tribune)
It’s been about two and a half years since Lou-Anne DaoustFiliatrault sent an email to McGill Food Systems Project (MFSP) inquiring about an internship position she saw posted on the CaPS website. Within a week she was hired as an intern for a consumer engagement project building a new website. Now Daoust-Filiatrault breathes, sleeps—and of course eats—MFSP as its internal manager. MFSP is an initiative that utilizes Applied Student Research (ASR) projects to justify or create change in making sustainability an integral part of McGill’s cycle of food—from production to the waste it creates. Projects are undertaken in partnership with the administration and staff. “We don’t answer to anyone because we don’t fall under the umbrella of any other organization on campus[.…] We’re just a bunch of motivated students that really don’t mind working for free,” she says with a laugh. At this point in the semester,
by Marlee Vinegar
Daoust-Filiatrault is finishing a greenhouse gas audit of the four main residence cafeterias, and is overseeing the three ASR projects for this Fall. These include one studying the compost from the university’s cafeterias, another on the installation of a furnace in the McGill Outdoors Club house that runs on waste vegetable oil from the cafeterias, and a third re-evaluating the ‘Meatless Monday’ initiative at McGill. Daoust-Filiatrault strongly advocates for the hands-on approach of applied student research, and how it allows students to learn about and give back to their school. “It gives students the opportunity to research something in their field and [develop] soft skills that they can’t really get from lecture-style settings,” she says. “I can be as creative as I want and create projects and implement ideas. It gives me a bit of real life experience working with staff and administration, working in a team. It’s been extremely ful-
filling to see that sort of meaningful change come from us.” Through her time with MFSP, Daoust-Filiatrault has helped raise the project to a new level. The project now collaborates with the two other sustainabilityfocused applied student research initiatives—McGill Energy Project and McGill Waste Project— through the coordination of the three ASR groups. “It’s cool because now we can propose all these next level projects […] and we can have larger student projects that are interdisciplinary,” she says. “It is streamlining all of our efforts instead of reinventing the wheel.”
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Overcoming obstacles to mental health on campus
Do you have a favourite video on youtube? I love the video of the goat that doesn’t know how to be a goat—the one that just screams. [.…] I don’t know what noises goats are supposed to make, but it just doesn’t get it. The first time I saw it, I lost it. I just really like that goat. What TV friend group would you join? I feel like I live [the show Girls] pretty accurately, but I’d rather be in Community, obviously. I love Pierce. I wouldn’t want to be Pierce, [but] I’d hang out with Pierce a lot. What weird thing will you do when you’re middle-aged? I’ll probably buy a ton of cats. No I’m not going to do that. I’ll take a trip really abruptly and somewhere far—Southeast Asia, that’s the furthest place. I’d just take a trip, leave everything behind; I probably wouldn’t tell anybody. If you could change anything about the McGill food system what would it be? It would be beautiful. We would only eat cake, stuff like that. For real though, everything would be organic, locally sourced, we’d know our farmers. We’d have more engagement with the food system we’re eating from.
(stud ents inm i nd .c a
Stigma around mental health impedes students from seeking help in times of need Kathy Anduo Lui Contributor Mental health issues come with a slew of negative connotations. Often people view mental illness as a single disorder instead of an umbrella term for a complex variety of distinct issues that are quite common—including eating disorders, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder. According to a Statistics Canada Survey, mental illness is most commonly experienced between 15 and 24 years of age. Consequently, university is the ideal place to dispel misconceptions and tackle the problems surrounding mental health. The stigma surrounding mental health is ingrained in our everyday practices. The media industry sensationalizes the violence and unpredictability of persons with mental health conditions—for instance, Pat’s erratic behaviour in Silver Linings Playbook. These portrayals are not merely harmful in perpetuating inaccurate stereotypes, but they contribute di-
rectly to the attitudes that individuals facing mental health issues come to internalise. “Sometimes families, or even certain cultures can be disapproving of psychological or medical interventions,” adds Dr. Robert Franck, clinical director of McGill’s Mental Health Services, in contextualizing negative perceptions. “Many people associate seeking assitance from a mental health service as being a sign of personal weakness at best, or that they are ‘crazy’ at worst,” says Franck. Although the origins and nature of stigma vary, it remains one of the largest barriers to students seeking much needed help. As a university, McGill is an environment where students attempt to exude nothing less than perfection. Academic stress and anxiety mark a majority of students’ mental health issues, and many students do not articulate such troubles out of the fear of being ostracized. Indeed the scope of stigmatization and cultural norms may impede individuals from even
reaching out to close family members and friends. As difficult as it is to take that first step in seeking help, there are additional roadblocks to students seeking professional assistance. “The biggest problem we have is our therapy wait-list,” Franck explains. “It is essential that students be able to have rapid and timely access to regular therapy sessions.” According to Franck, these wait times are not conducive to ameliorating stress levels, and can actually lend a hand in increasing them. Aside from disheartening wait times, students have also expressed frustration with the way the professional system treats mental health problems. Emilie Macisaac, U3, said she sees health professionals as individuals who “put you in a box because they are not familiar with your personal history and will treat you as a generalized case.” The direction in which McGill Mental Health Services are moving puts a growing emphasis on promoting positive mental health outlooks at a
broader level through the creation of an inclusive campus body with strong coping capabilities. A systematic approach to campus mental health was a big topic during the Canadian Association of College and University Student Service conference held at McGill last June. Moreover, Franck said McGill’s Mental Health Services has been awarded a five-year Bell Canada grant to create an online tool that can assess students at risk, helping the office reach more students in need. The upcoming project is planned to start in the Winter semester. Other projects include the development of a student Peer Support Network, which includes workshops aimed at developing students’ skills in areas such as active listening, in order to enable them to talk to and help a peer in need. Most immediately, the Students
in Mind Conference is set to take place on Oct. 5. As the first studentrun conference on mental health at McGill, the conference will teach concrete strategies in mental health support and care, not only for oneself but also for the larger community. Despite the overwhelming systemic problems preventing access to mental health services, Franck believes the reality of a more open and understanding community is promising. “Fortunately, younger people are increasingly challenging these negative perceptions and trying to reach out and get connected when they are in distress,” he says.
Curiosity delivers. |
Ask Tribby Dear Tribby, My grandma was diagnosed with cancer a while ago, but things started to look worse these last few days. I really want to go home to Vancouver to see her in case anything happens because my grandma is one of the most important people in my life. The problem is I have two midterms coming up and am already going home for Thanksgiving. The tickets are expensive and it will be a major hassle to have to make the trip twice.
— Worried Grandchild Dear Worried Grandchild: I’m sincerely sorry to hear about your grandmother. Family illness is often very difficult to deal with and hard to balance with academics. What you need to do is plan—look at your calendar and determine which days you are free and can make a trip back home to Vancouver. Whether it’s a weekend or in the middle of the week, choose the days that you aren’t missing out
| Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Family emergencies and friendship woes: Don’t worry, ask Tribby on anything important. In terms of the expense side, talk to your parents. Ask their opinion on whether they want you to come home now and then again during Thanksgiving. If you’ve already booked your flight home, another option is to see if you can exchange your flight and go home now instead of over Thanksgiving. Whatever fee there is, it might be worth paying. Besides planning the trip, also plan your study schedule. Make sure that you allocate enough time to study for your midterms and not fall behind on work. Be realistic when doing this; don’t tell yourself you’ll study on the flight if you know you’re going to fall asleep. Lastly, talk to you professors. For a family emergency, they will be able to accommodate you and help relieve some of the pressure. The bottom line is that your family is important to you; you don’t want to leave any regrets.
Hoping for the best, Tribby
Dear Tribby, Since the start of the semester, every time I run into a friend she says that she’s in a hurry, or she says she’s on her way to a meeting. I feel like she’s trying to ignore me, but I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong. Maybe I’m just over analyzing the situation. Do I confront her? Try to give her space?
— Paranoid Pal Dear Paranoid Pal: First, take a step back and look at what’s going on. Think back to what happened before the fall began. Did you do anything that seemed to upset her? When you see her from a distance, does she also seem like she’s in a hurry? Chances are this friend might just be extra busy this semester. Talk to your mutual friends. Has she been ignoring everyone, or been busy since the beginning of the school year? If none of your friends have gotten a chance to catch up with her from the summer, then
it’s most likely that she actually does have a tight schedule and has nothing against you. However, if she seems to only be doing this to you, ask your friends if she’s mentioned anything to them. The best solution here is to talk to that friend. The longer you let this tension continue between you two, the longer it’ll be until you can hang out like friends again. The key is communication. Ask her what’s going on before just confronting her and accusing her of ignoring you. Chances are, things are going to get ugly if you start an argument for nothing.
Yours truly, Tribby
Got a question? Need advice? Ask Tribby!
Favourite restaurants for fine-food feast Top four places that are perfect for an upscale dining experience Alycia Noë, Contributor Are you stuck with the problem of deciding where to eat for a special occasion? Or maybe your parents are in town and dinner is on their dime? Although there are many places that will impress in this city, finding the best places to indulge your appetite can be difficult. For a dinner that costs approximately $25 to 35, here are some personal favourite locations where you can enjoy an exceptional meal out in Montreal.
Au Pied de Cochon
I always choose Joe Beef whenever my family comes to visit. It’s one of those staple restaurants that everyone should experience at least once while living in this city. Joe Beef uses classic and indulgent Quebec ingredients such as maple syrup, cream, and foie gras in innovative ways. With an ambience reminiscent of a classic pub, this restaurant serves up fine dining twists on fast food such as the “foie gras double down”—a crave-inducing sandwich with peppery fried chicken serving as the bread, stuffed with foie gras, bacon, and melted cheddar cheese, all drizzled with maple syrup. The interplay between fat and sugar is mouth-wateringly irresistible. Other noteworthy dishes include a chicken nugget-style meal made instead with smoked eel, a moist piece of halibut covered in a pimento pepper crust and served with a tomato-infused butter sauce, and fresh blueberry sorbet with Madeleine cakes.
The brainchild of chef Martin Picard, Au Pied de Cochon is known for its full appreciation of the pig. The chef creates succulent homemade sausages, head cheese, and even offers pig’s trotters—i.e. feet. A visit to this protein-centric restaurant will amaze anyone as it wastes no part of the animal, while managing to make even their most eccentric dishes delicious. Au Pied de Cochon is by no means small, but since it is usually filled to capacity it can begin to feel slightly cramped. Be prepared for a buzzing atmosphere filled with many customers, all bursting with energy.
Montreal is an excellent city to explore upand-coming chefs. Park, a new-age sushi restaurant in Westmount, only serves what chef Antonio Park considers ‘in season’, and ships fresh fish in from all over the world. Chef Park creates an unusual and delightful experience that reflects his modern approach to food, with the kitchen open to the view of those in the dining room. Visible all night long, the chefs work meticulously to carve fish and craft gorgeous sushi presentations. When you order a tasting plate, the chef creates any type of sushi after his inclination. Although the patron has no choice, the combinations I have experienced—such as jalapeño hamachi and B.C. albacore topped with kimchi—blew my mind, bringing sushi to a whole new level.
A relaxed bistro delighting with traditional British fare, Lawrence is another one of my recently discovered favourites. Walking into the restaurant that seats at most 30 people, your first impression may be that the atmosphere is informal—the entire restaurant is contained in one room, and there is no one waiting to greet you at the door. It may be tempting to write-off the restaurant, but you must put aside your preconceived notions about British food and typical dining settings when you eat at this restaurant. Simply enjoy their bizarre creations like rabbit offal (internal organs) and sorrel on toast, arctic char with horseradish and red wine, and beef cheek and tongue served atop lentils.
2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest. Tel: (514) 935-6504 (Alycia Noë / McGill Tribune)
536 Avenue Duluth E. Tel: (514) 281-1114 Photo courtesy of wmontcarte.ca
378 Ave Victoria, Westmount. Tel: (514) 750-7534 Photo courtesy of Tourism Montreal
5201 St. Laurent Blvd. Tel: (514) 503-1070 Photo courtesy of Tourism Montreal
10 | FEATURES
Evolving our reactions to chemicals In 2011, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) released a report featuring a baby covered in bubbles and sitting in a bath with the words “Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic.” The warning was in response to the discovery that Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo contained trace amounts of formaldehyde. Because formaldehyde was classified as a probable human carcinogen by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the report immediately stirred up fear that using this shampoo would cause cancer in children. However, what the report did not acknowledge was the dosage of formaldehyde required to be cancerous. Data has indicated that no tumours have been found when occupational exposure is below 2.4mg of formaldehyde per cubic meter of air. In response to this news release, Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill’s Office for Science and Society (OSS), decided to take a closer look at this discrepancy. According to Schwarcz, even assuming that there is zero ventilation in the bathroom, the concentration of formaldehyde would be at most 0.2mg per cubic meter—not even a tenth of the amount shown to cause tumours. This story is not unique. The OSS receives many calls each week concerning questions related to scientific misinformation. “People look up information as it is so terribly easy now with search engines—and likely many are not familiar with evidencebased sites and take whatever they read as the gospel,” explained David Harpp, McGill professor and Tomlinson Chair of Scientific Education. “It is the old ‘I heard that’ syndrome—like the game
of telephone—as [people] are apt to With so many differing viewpoints tell friends and so on. By the time it readily available, critical thinking is reaches the nth person, the message is key. Because any source of information quite distorted.” could have potential biases or conflicts “It’s quite unfortunate that of interest, it is crucial to take a ‘chemical’ has become a dirty closer look at its origin. The David word,” Schwarcz said. “If you read Suzuki Foundation and the CSC both lay publications, the word is almost cite some of their research from the always preceded by an adjective— Environmental Working Group, a usually a derogatory one. You know, foundation funded by a number of ‘poisonous chemical,’ ‘toxic charitable groups, such as the chemical,’ ‘dangerous Winslow Foundation and the chemical.’” Civil Society Institute. According The OSS receives to Schwarcz, funding from “There is no such the public’s the university perception of and the Lorne thing as a safe or science began Trottier Family dangerous chemical; to change after Foundation and the 1960s. states on their there are safe or Rachel website that dangerous ways to Carson’s novel they “accept no Silent Spring, funding from any use chemicals” published in vested interest.” 1962, played As a responsible a pivotal role in consumer, it is essential sparking an environmental to recognize any possible movement and facilitating the ban implications and biases that might on dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane accompany organizations’ funding. (DDT), a commonly used insecticide Consumers consistently make that was found to harm reproductive choices that are affected by science. development and threaten wildlife. While we should be continuing to For the first time, the public became pose questions about product safety, it aware of the potential effects of is important to be well-informed. With chemicals found in commonly used the wealth of information that is often products. Today, groups like the David available online, the average person is Suzuki Foundation are lobbying for cast into an arbitrary guessing game the removal of a host of chemicals of judging whether or not a scientific in cosmetics, while particularly claim makes sense, because he or she emphasizing the idea that natural is usually does not have the background better than synthetic. By voicing their knowledge to gauge if, for instance, concerns, these groups are starting trace amounts of formaldehyde in baby conversations about the importance of shampoo would have a carcinogenic consumer awareness. effect.
BY CAITY HUI Since the 1960s, a growing myth has emerged that chemicals are either ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ and that natural is better than synthetic. Both these expectations are based on a naïve understanding of science. Nature is not benign. Anthrax, botulin, and castor beans—some of which are used in bio-terrorism—are naturally occurring products, and it is through synthetic drugs that people are treated for these agents. Nature can be just as harmful as it is good to us, and the public should not be fooled by the ‘safe’ connotation it has acquired. Chemicals, too, cannot be classified as either good or bad. “One of the challenges we face is to emphasize to people that chemicals are just things. They’re not good or bad, they don’t make any decisions— people make decisions,” Schwarcz said. “Chemicals are nothing else but the building blocks of matter. There is no such thing as a safe or dangerous chemical; there are safe or dangerous ways to use chemicals, and that’s where education and knowledge come in.” Though it is in our best interest to strive for total safety, Schwarcz explains that this is not a demand that can be guaranteed by science. “Risk and hazard are not the same thing. Hazard is something inherent that you cannot alter. A lion is a hazard, but the risk associated with the lion is different whether you meet up with it at the zoo or on the plains of Africa. The hazard is the same [in both situations] but the risk is different.” Oftentimes, the focus is not on risk, but on hazard. For instance, David Suzuki’s list of “Dirty Dozen Chemicals in Cosmetics” suggests
that chemicals such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and parabens are hazardous substances. Suzuki’s site states that “the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen.” However, the risk of using any of the aforementioned compounds in a cosmetic is not only a function of hazard, but also depends on exposure, dosage, and personal liability. The 2010 Health Canada Status on Cosmetic Ingredients of Interest reported that “BHA [...] was found to not present a risk at current levels of exposure [in cosmetics at a concentration of 0.1 per cent or less.]” One question that is not getting asked is what is going into our products to replace these so-called toxic chemicals that companies have removed due to public pressure. Schwarcz explained that the chemicals we are using in the first place are being used for a reason. If a company is adding a preservative to their product, it’s often not because they want to add a potentially dangerous and expensive chemical to their make-up, but because this preservative serves a function. For instance, when you use your finger to apply a cream, bacteria are transferred from your skin to the product. Creams—due to their moisture content—are a perfect medium for bacterial growth unless there is a preservative present. Parabens happen to be a very effective antimicrobial agent. So, the alternative to taking out the parabens is either to have a cream with limited shelf life—possibly giving rise to infection—or replacing it with another less-tested preservative. Evidently, scientific illiteracy remains a problem, and it’s not one that will be quickly solved. However, both Schwarcz and Harpp emphasize that one of the most important steps the public can take is knowing whom to trust. The media often plays a large role in shifting the public’s perception of science, especially within the past few decades. “The basic formula is likely to be strongly associated with the media— putting up misleading and dramatically exaggerated headlines for what is not always a story that [deserves it…] The editors are looking to sell the article, so clever headlines often take over,” Harpp said. Schwarcz suggests Health Canada’s website as a useful resource. This agency publishes a cosmetic ingredient ‘hot list’ that indicates which chemical ingredients manufacturers are told not to use or should use in limited amounts. These hot lists are compiled based on extensive tests and research. While it is more important to question what goods to consume, we should ensure that our choices are based on the scientific method— testing and re-testing a hypothesis until it is reproducible—rather than hearsay and anecdotes.
“Many government websites are, in my opinion, not out for headlines but for facts and conclusions based on facts,” Harpp said. “The Internet is a gigantic swamp [filled] with ‘facts’ and real facts. Usually, just [reviewing] the organization associated with the site is a good indicator [of its reliability].” In the end, there is no simple solution. In order to make informed decisions as consumers, it is imperative that we move away from trying to evaluate the field in terms of binaries—
good or bad, safe or dangerous—and recognize that there is a risk associated with all science. It is how science is used that determines its hazard. “In […] science, it is not enough to be smart and be a critical thinker; you have to have data to analyze which you apply critical thinking to,” Schwarcz said. “Science is not white or black— there are varying shades of grey. If you really want to be informed you have to dig and do the work.” The Office for Science and Society
started the World of Chemistry courses in 1982 and since then over 30,000 students at McGill have taken one or more of the four courses in the suite (Food, Drugs, Environment and Technology). For more information on science literacy, McGill students are encouraged to attend the ‘Is that a fact?’ Lorne Trottier symposium to be held from 5:30-7:30pm on Oct. 28 to 29 at Centre Mont Royal at 1000 Sherbrooke.
Ph oto s co urt esy of t he Mo ntr eal
Ne uro log ica l In stit ute
Infographic by Hayley Lim
Science & technology this in
Known for its excellence in research, McGill University is home to a host of professors and scientists known for their prestigious work and contributions to scientific innovation. In tribute to the amazing research conducted within McGill’s walls, SciTech will feature each month student researchers who have helped contribute to the cutting edge science conducted at the laboratories. This series hopes to shine a spotlight onto the hard work of undergraduate students who dedicate themselves to research in the lab.
student research By Caity Hui
Getting a nose into research Interview with Maral Saghaei “Can I swab your nose?” This was the question Maral Saghaei, U2 Microbiology and Immunology student, asked this past summer while working at Dr. Joaquin Madrenas’ laboratory. “At first [I thought] it [was] so disgusting and awkward, because I would be swabbing people’s noses,” Saghaei laughed. “It ended up being a lot of fun, [....] I went to every floor and I went to see teachers. [....] I felt like a [Girl Guide selling cookies] that day, but it was fun.” A year ago, Saghaei never expected to be working in a laboratory. But after hearing in lecture about some of the dynamic experiences she could have working at a lab at McGill, she decided to try her luck and apply.
“I saw this TEDx Montreal video of Dr. Madrenas [….] His was so interesting because he made a link between diseases and the immune response and he linked that to music,” Saghaei said. “So he played a song and he [used it to explain the science]; it just made so much sense and it was so beautifully put.” Saghaei applied to the laboratories of many of her professors from that year in addition to the laboratory of professor and Chair of Microbiology and Immunology Joaquin Madrenas. However, she mostly received responses that the labs were full, or they weren’t looking to take on any undergraduate students. When Madrenas didn’t answer her until three days later, Saghaei has already assumed his answer was a
‘No.’ “Madrenas wrote to me three days later, and he was the person I felt for sure was not going to take me—he is the Chair of microbiology and immunology—and when I saw he wasn’t answering, I thought he was not even going to bother to say no, you know. He emailed me three days later asking me when I would be available to meet, and then I was like, ‘Oh, this guy just wants to lay it on me nicely, and say no in person.’” Saghaei was even more surprised that Madrenas did not ask her about her experience in science when she went to meet him. Instead, they spent an hour having a conversation, which, according to Saghaei, didn’t even feel like an interview. “It just ended up being an hour [talking] about the arts, and then after that he asked, ‘So when will you be ready to start?’” Like most undergraduate students, Saghaei did not begin her work at the laboratory with a research project. Instead, she provided support work for the other students working at the laboratory. “They often have blood donors come in, two or three people a week,” explained Saghaei, “so I would help with the PBMC [peripheral blood mononuclear cells] isola-
tions, which is what we use in the lab to do all of our research.” Saghaei then progressed to working on her own research project this past summer, which involved determining if healthy donors carry the microbe Staphylococcus aureus in their noses. Upon infection, the microbe can cause septic shock (a severe immune response) if it gets into the bloodstream. “We wanted to see if they do or do not [carry S. aureus] and see if they express TLR1 [a receptor that stimulates the innate immune system] on their cells, because that is the one that detects S. aureus and it is from TLR1 that you get the biggest inflammatory response,” Saghaei explained. She spent the majority of the summer staining the cells of blood donors to see if they expressed TLR1. Based on her results, Saghaei found that while all humans carry TLR1, about 40 per cent lack TLR1 expression on the surface of their cells. The lack of TLR1 on cell surfaces can lower patients’ chances of dying from septic shock caused by S. aureus in the blood. It may also be associated with reducing chances of contracting leprosy and tuberculosis. Still, further research must be conducted until these results can be published.
Regardless, Saghaei has found her laboratory experience invaluable. Through learning all the techniques at the lab and applying her studies to data analysis, Saghaei says she feels she has really began to apply her learning at McGill. Like many students involved in research, she hopes that other undergraduates won’t be hesitant to get involved if something interests them. “Just be yourself. I know it’s so cliché—everybody always says it, but … when I went into the interview with Dr. Madrenas I thought I didn’t have it. So I calmed down and I was just myself and we talked about things that actually interested me, and then he decided that he wanted to take me into the lab,” explained Saghaei. Saghaei has a final word of advice. “Be honest. Dr. Madrenas asked me if I saw myself continuing in research or doing a masters in the department and I told him, ‘No, I don’t want to do that forever, I want to be a doctor’ and I was honest about it,” she added. “I didn’t pretend that I was overly excited, but I told him that I thought it would be interesting to learn about this. If I am going to be spending the next three years in this department, I might was well enjoy it and invest myself in it.”
What is your favourite part of the lab?
“When things actually work out, [....] that doesn’t happen very often so you appreciate it so much. Most of the time I would do my PCR [polymerase chain reaction experiment] and I would end up having no bands at all. You get really mad because you just spent your whole day working on this, but when it does [work out] it feels amazing. [....] It’s like that Tylenol ad where she wakes up and says, ‘I slept last night’—it’s just like that; ‘It worked this time!’”
What is your least favourite lab task:
“Autoclaving [sterilizing] stuff, but someone has to do it. Filling up pipette boxes—just anything that’s not [directly] a part of research; but someone has to do it.’”
What is your favourite ice cream flavour:
“Oh my God. This is such a hard question because I love ice cream. As a kid I would always ask wherever we go, ‘Can I have a little bit of everything?’ But if I had to choose one flavour it would be chocolate definitely. The classic.”
Maral Saghaei, U2 Microbiology & Immunology Student. (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune)
Curiosity delivers. |
science & technology
| Tuesday, October 1, 2013
‘Phonebloks’ could last a lifetime
Modular smartphone concept developed to reduce electronic waste Abhishek Gupta Contributor What’s one of the main differences between the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5? Colour. Still, consumers are purchasing an entirely new phone. The rapid pace of technological change is outstripping the real need for frequent updates in technology, and this constant consumer cycle of switching out phones is now posing negative environmental consequences. Electronic waste (E-waste), which arises from all the devices and appliances that are thrown away, is a significant pollutant not only due to its sheer quantity, but also due to the amount of heavy and toxic metals that leech into the soil when this waste is dumped into landfills. Speaking at the CleanUp 2013 conference in Melbourne Australia, professor Ming Wong, director of the Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences at Hong Kong Baptist University, described the growing problem of E-waste as a time bomb. “[It] is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, rising by three to five per cent every year,” Wong said. In response to this growing problem, Dave Hakkens, a recent graduate of the Dutch Design Academy Eindhoven, has developed an initiative that aims to provide a sustainable phone model while at the same time providing consumers the frequent upgrades they have grown to cherish. Hakkens proposed a new kind of smartphone this September—a smartphone that’s worth keeping. Phonebloks, a modular smartphone, removes the concept of having a single phone body with soldered components. Instead, it has separate modules for each of the components of the smartphone, one each for the camera, processor, RAM, display and so on. The idea behind this modular design is that if a component becomes out-dated or is damaged, one can simply replace that part and not have to change the entire phone. The phone consists of a peg board, which acts as its base. The reverse side of the peg board has pins where all the modules fit in and come together. The front
LeftoverSwap “You’re hungry. And cheap. We understand.” This is the motto of LeftoverSwap, a new app created to facilitate the exchange of leftovers between members of the community. The app allows ‘leftover givers’ to snap a picture of what food they cannot finish, name it, and share it with other members using the app in their community. ‘Leftover takers’ may then contact the person and arrange a location for the exchange. The inspiration for this app boils down to sustainability. According to their website, LeftoverSwap was designed to reduce waste, and promote local eating and relationships within the community. It also jokingly suggests that “ninety-nine per cent of us don’t need a second helping of the beef lo mein.” To encourage good ‘leftover etiquette,’ the app provides a set of guidelines for users to follow, including “Be as vigilant as you would on Craigslist: if something seems off, don’t do it” and, “Don’t give away any food that you wouldn’t eat yourself.” The concept is striking, if not a little odd. Despite the guidelines, many receivers are hesitant to swap leftovers with strangers. That being said, it’s positive to see the development of such a quirky—and potentially useful—app geared towards promoting sustainability.
Phonebloks are based on the principle that each piece of the phone can be bought and replaced separately. (Phonebloks.com) side is the site for the front facing camera and the screen. “I put the idea online and thought maybe a thousand people would like it, at best,” Hakkens exlained in a video on the PhoneBloks website. “When I published it, over half a million people supported the project. There’s a market for this.” Currently running a campaign on Thunderclap, a crowdspeaking platform, the idea has received 99 per cent of the expected support of 850,000 people. It has gained traction among the masses as an agent for change towards a more sustainable electronic product life cycle with minimal impact on the environment. At the moment, Phonebloks is still in the concept stage, to the point that Hakkens is not even looking to raise any money for the project using crowd-funding platforms like IndieGoGo or KickStarter. He explains in the video that the project is too large for a single company to manage. He suggests the concept might require a consortium of companies to invest in the project. Another selling point of Phonebloks is its flexibility. According to its website, the model could be used to customize the smartphone to adapt to people with different needs. For example, senior citizens could get larger speakers to amplify sound; travelers could
get a better camera than the standard offering. Still, the Phonebloks model poses several problems. With the introduction of modules that plug into a peg board, there is a risk of a much bulkier model than the current crop of smartphones. Current smartphones are an engineering marvel in terms of the large number of components packed into a slim and tiny space, which is largely possible because they are all soldered onto a motherboard. Besides this, there is also the unseen problem of wear and tear that the plug pins on a modular phone base, as is true with any design that has repeated plugging in and out. An ever more pertinent problem is getting large corporations like Apple and Samsung on board with this idea. They have huge quarterly profits because they can frequently release newer, more powerful smartphones that compel consumers to discard their old devices. The idea of having a phone that would ideally last a lifetime would eat away at this ever-growing pile of consumer dollars. In the future, it will be necessary for Phonebloks to address the issue of larger corporations backing up their project in order to move forward in this electronic sustainability movement.
LeftoverSwap is currently available for download on the App Store and will soon release an Android and web version.
By Caity Hui
Oct. 8—”Food for thought” lecture series Antibiotic resistance: are plagues of the past the plagues of the future? Featuring Dr. Cédric Yansouni from the Department of Microbiology MacLean Centre for Tropical Diseases. Raymond Building 21111, Lakeshore Road St Anne de Bellevue Quebec Canada Oct. 21-25—Social SUStainability Week Social SUStainability Week, formerly known as Charity Fair, is the SUS’s annual weeklong fundraising event to raise awareness and funds for lower profile charities in Montreal. According to Vice-President Internal Sahil Kumar, the SUS is supporting Tyndale St. Georges Community Centre, an organization that offers empowering, supportive programs, and services to the community of Little Burgundy in SouthWest Montreal. Science departments will hold fundraising efforts all month until the week of Oct. 21-25, where there will be events organized by the SUS. For more information, or if you want to get involved, you can email the Vice-President External Emily Boytinck at email@example.com Oct. 28-29—“Is that a FACT? Making Sense of the Headlines.” The Office for Science and Society (OSS) is hosting its annual Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium including speakers Timothy Caulfield, Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, and John Ioannidis, Director of the Stanford Research Prevention Center. Centre Mont Royal, 1000 Sherbrooke St. W 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Free admission
arts & entertainment Ale
laire and Wendy Ch
LOOK VIBRANT Look Vibrant opened at 8:00 p.m. at Casa del Popolo last Friday, kicking off a show that included later sets by AroarA (which includes Broken Social Scene member Andrew Whiteman) and Montreal psychedelic rock outfit Filthy Haanz. The members of Look Vibrant certainly appreciated the gig, and lead singer Justin Lazarus frequently thanked the modest crowd for attending despite the relatively early set time. The lo-fi noise pop they played sounded great live, with a cleaner feel than their fuzzy cassette release Plateau. One drawback was Lazarus’ self-conscious, falsetto-whine vocals, which lag behind his songwriting. However, the band’s enthusiasm, well-rehearsed guitar shredding, and effective use of an intimate venue atoned for his tone. Local Natives Los Angeles group Local Natives were clearly a fan favourite on Friday, and talk of their show at Metropolis circulated around the McGill campus this past week. I had low expectations, due to my certified cynicism of indie-folk, and in the end, my worst fears were confirmed. While concert attendees around me nodded enthusiastically and sang along in ecstasy, I absent-mindedly browsed my POP pocket guide for better acts. Band members Taylor Rice, Kelcey Ayer, Ryan Hahn, and Matt Frazier barely spoke to their audience, letting their music do the talking. Undoubtedly, their set was well-rehearsed, but in the end the monotonous mix of guitars and sickeningly earnest vocals failed to speak to me. Ewan Pearson Ewan Pearson took over the decks at Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT) at midnight, beginning with some relaxing house music that fit the chilled-out lounge setup of the venue on Friday. SAT’s excellent sound system was well-adapted to his mix, and a calm, cozy atmosphere—the main concert space was closed off by curtains, which gave it a satisfyingly balanced ambience. As abstract, geometric visuals alongside the DJ booth developed at a quicker pace, so did Pearson’s mix, taking off into techno territory as well as more up-tempo house. A shy but attentive crowd was slow to move to the dance floor, but Pearson was soon surrounded by dancing silhouettes, who grooved against a backdrop of fluorescent lighting and street-level St. Laurent crowds.
Chali 2na Jurassic 5 member Chali 2na got off to a bit of a late start, arriving right behind me just half an hour before his scheduled set time. In the meantime, supporting acts Quills and Kayo attempted to amp up a sparse crowd, at one point playing Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore. Ironically, an hour later, Chali was asking a denser audience whether they liked “good music” and “good hip-hop”; this received rousing cheers, while silence and boos were the response when the same question was asked of “Top 40 radio” (I gave an enthusiastic whistle). Turning the space into “Chali 2na radio” was pretty successful, however, due to his charming stage presence and talented articulation. Considering this was Chali 2na’s first date in Montreal, he commanded a strong debut performance in the appropriately grungy, urban Cabaret Underworld. Dead Horse Beats I only caught the tail end of this set, but from what I could make of Halifax hip-hop head Dead Horse Beats’ music, it really does sound like a horse dying. Nevertheless, his name actually has another origin. In a past interview with music blog High on Beats, the producer explains “[...] every white kid in university tries to make hip-hop music, and be really cool, and be a DJ—that’s kinda beating a dead horse at this point, so I’m gonna do the same thing.” That thing happens to be remixing modern hip-hop classics such as “C.R.E.A.M.,” “In Da Club,” and “Still D.R.E.” with his own “DHB edit” style. The problem is that such tracks are so well-produced that they are essentially untouchable, unless one wants to be unfavourably compared to the original. As one might suspect, the bland, experimental remixes of stale hip-hop didn’t measure up, and the sound periodically cutting out of Dead Horse’s Macbook didn’t really help matters either. Emancipator American trip-hop producer Emancipator played a fantastic early-morning set this past Friday, getting on the decks at 1:30 a.m. and deftly mixing bass-heavy instrumentals into pleasantly ambient strings. Neé Doug Appling, Emancipator’s mixes are layered and symphonic, likely result of his multi-instrumental musical knowledge (the violin, mandolin, banjo and viola are all in his repertoire). Also impressive were Emancipator’s sampling skills, which he demonstrated live throughout his mix at Club Soda. As the last act I saw on
Friday, attending this gig was certainly a enjoyable way to conclude that day’s POP experience.
-Will Burgess Jian Ghomeshi Live Q Broadcast The first event I took in at the POP Montreal festival was a live broadcast of the popular interview program Q, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. Unlike the other shows I would attend, it drew in a predominantly middle-aged crowd. But despite the average age of the audience, the atmosphere at L’Olympia was electric. Ghomeshi boasts a cool but affectionate demeanor that is largely responsible for the overwhelming admiration he receives. He could be described as an intellectual-rock star hybrid, but those in attendance on Thursday evening treated him like the latter, showering him with raucous applause at every available moment. Unsurprisingly, one of the first questions asked to the sought-after bachelor was “When are you getting married?” Ghomeshi’s opening monologue—a brief piece that he prepares and reads aloud to kick off every Q episode—was a warm tribute to the artistic and cultural landscape of Montreal. He even went so far as to suggest that Osheaga might have become the best music festival in the world. In any event, you know you’re doing alright if POP Montreal is arguably only your second biggest musical festival. In accordance with the monolouge theme, each of the episode’s guests were primarily Montreal or Quebec residents: best-selling author Louise Penny, comedian Sugar Sammy, musical group BRAIDS, actor Antoine Bertrand, and a three-person media panel that discussed Quebec’s proposed Charter of Values. My highlight was listening to Montreal native Patrick Watson, who got the honours of kicking off and concluding the show. He and his band dazzled the audience with their experimental orchestral sound, and he later spoke to Ghomeshi about collaboration in the Montreal music scene. “When I think about the days where we were building what we were doing, I can’t exclude all the people that were so inspirational around us,” explained Watson. “There’s a long list of people we’ve all shared the stage together and made some silly noise with [.…] I think that was the strength of the city, it was not a competitive nature.”
Syngja The highlight of seeing Montreal natives Syngja? I got to cross going to a live show that features the theremin—an instrument used in many movie scores to produce particularly eerie sounds—off my musical bucket list. For me, though, that was just one of the lone obscure bright spots in what was to become a very strange show. Everything about Syngja (a name which draws from the band members’ Icelandic roots) is unusual. Their glam-inspired costumes; their primary instrument lineup of synth, double bass, and theremin; and the analog photo projection that accompanies their performance. Surprisingly, they approached the realm of mainstream pop for a fleeting moment with a cover of Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold.” Needless to say, they took many artistic liberties with their rendition. The photos, like much of the music, walked a fine line between dreamlike and uncomfortable. It made for an intriguing artistic pairing at times, but the combination could also be very creepy at others. Though Syngja certainly exposed me to some fresh artistic styling, I’ll pass on a follow-up show. Royal Canoe This Winnipeg band likes doubles. On various songs, they’ll have two band members playing drums, two playing bass, two playing keyboards, and the lead singer singing into two microphones. It also would have been nice if they had played a double set. On Saturday night, this six-member group had Petit Campus rocking with their rich, eclectic sound, combined with their fantastic live energy. Playing a unique style of indie-pop, Royal Canoe oscillated between slow, funky, and feverish. When things did pick up, their lead singer poured everything into his vocals and stood out from the heavily layered music. Many of their songs even had memorable—if unconventional—hooks. In “Bathtubs,” for instance, the singer chants, “The bathtubs in the hallway are here to stay.” It’s not quite the traditional sound that one would expect from a band that contains the word ‘canoe’ in its title, but Royal Canoe deliver a great live show that benefits from their unique but alluring, music.
Curiosity delivers. |
arts & entertainment
| Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Letters to My Grandma: a story of racial bias, love, and amnesty Lead actress shines, carrying a “one-woman show” Haviva Yesgat Contributor Award-winning Indo-Canadian playwright, Anusree Roy, has crafted a slightly humorous—yet incredibly captivating— one-woman play. Letters to My Grandma triggers sentiments of fear, horror, and awe. Roy introduces viewers to a young Indian woman by the name of Malobee. While aiming to build a new life in Montreal, she struggles to adapt to Canadian society. Like her Hindu grandmother during the Indian partition in 1947, Malobee is faced with the prospect of living in a world that is not as accepting as she may have wished. Presented with a grandmother’s heartbreaking story of survival and sacrifice in this period, audiences are forced to question whether people’s judgment of one another has really changed over generations since. The Teesri Duniya Theatre company is used to dealing with similar subject matter. It is dedicated to promoting and producing works that are socially relevant within various cultures. Established in 1981 as a South Asian theatre company, it now claims to promote multiculturalism, multilingualism, and acceptance among nations. Although Letters to My Grandma is a multi-generational
Jeremy Schipper Contributor Art galleries can be pretty confusing places—especially if you don’t go to school at Concordia. Allow this piece to be your cheat-sheet to the current exhibitions of Art Mûr, one of the city’s major contemporary art galleries. But first, a little context: Art Mûr has been displaying contemporary art at its current location on St. Hubert for 11 years now, and shows no signs of slowing down. The space is surprisingly large, so much so that it’s almost a mini-museum. The
story presented to spectators in a fractured narrative, the impeccable acting put forth by the gifted Sehar Bojhani makes it fairly easy to follow. Having taken part in productions such as The Life of Jude and The Taming of the Shrew, she is able to brilliantly capture the personas of the four distinctive characters. Perfecting postures, accents, and character nuances, this one-woman show exceptionally showcases the different facets of the narrative. Bojhani’s talent of drawing people into the emotions of four different and uniquely lively women results in giggles, enchantment, and disbelief among the audience. Letters to My Grandma features a modest set. Decorated with orange and red Indian drapes, set designer Stephanie Lambert and director Lib Spry must be commended for a rare form of subtle yet notable creativity. Whether situated in India’s treacherous war zones or Malobee’s humble bedroom, the set does a fine job of taking on the role of exceptionally different environments. For instance, Malobee’s bed easily takes on the form of a horrifically daunting escape truck. The crew’s proficient transformation of a simple North American bedroom into a 1947 Indian war zone is impressive. Its simplicity allows the audience to dive further into their imagination.
gallery’s three floors always lend another corner to turn around, or another hallway to walk through. It has also recently opened four new exhibitions, bringing its total current count up to five. The first, Jannick Deslaurier’s Chantier , takes heavy masculine objects (the hammerphallus! The drill-phallus!) and converts them into breezy silk sculptures. Conversely, Zeke Moores’ Useless privileges objects that we think of as just that: discarded Happy Meals, precarious Port-O-Potties, and crumpled cardboard boxes are given an extended life though their solidification into hardier steel forms. These sculptures
Actress Sehar Bojhani captivates. (Wendy Chen / McGill Tribune)
Coincidentally, the presentation of Letters to My Grandma comes with impeccable timing. With much controversy surrounding Quebec’s Charter of Values, the performance of this play in Montreal stands for more than just entertainment. After a welldeserved standing ovation for the cast and crew, a few words of reinforcement were shared with viewers. “This is for Pauline,” says Rahul Varma, creative
director of the Teesri Duniya Theatre, to the audience, pointing at the kurta pajama he wears. As an attentive audience listens he continues, “Equality doesn’t come by removing the hijab, it comes from removing the prejudice.” This brief yet striking statement was followed by heavy applause, reminding people that Malobee’s obstacles are, in fact, extremely relevant. Roy says that she
has one main objective with her work: “I want people to know that change is possible no matter what.” Letters to My Grandma plays until Oct. 13 at Centre Culturel Calixa-Lavallée (parc Lafontaine). Student tickets are $15 with valid photo ID.
ask: ‘What does it mean to mess with an object’s density?’ and ‘In what ways do we designate a temporality or duration onto a static object?’ The objects also appear to reference Marcel Duchamp and his famous Readymade series, which notably featured a urinal entitled The Fountain , revolutionizing the world of modern art in 1917. A walk upstairs leads you to Colleen Wolstenholme’s Shifting Packets , an ink-drawn series where the digital clashes with the analog, blending the practices of science and art together in the process. Her colourful brain-scapes invite recollections of textbook diagrams—a neuron
here, a synapse there—just as soon as they turn these recognizable forms into abstractions. Sharing the second floor of the space is Jennifer Small’s I Found Jesus at the Flea Market , a Quebecois-sourced collection that combined the best parts of thrift shopping and the New York Times Cartoon Caption Contest. Each found representation of Jesus is combined by either a verbal or symbolic twist creating what is effectively a hall of Jesus-themed punch-lines. “Thank God It’s Friday” says one Jesus to another, as the latter pays homage to Superman’s journalist alter ego Clark Kent in a miniature phone-booth. Up another floor is an on-
going exhibit about the Mise en Scène of photography. The exhibit uses the term ‘photography’ loosely, featuring works that incorporate film and painting in addition to conventional photography. If you find yourself itching to stare at frustrating objects in a white room for a while, then head on over the Art Mûr. Don’t worry about ‘getting it,’ just pay attention to the questions you’re asking, and think about why you’re asking them. At the very least, just describe something as “Po-Mo” and you’ll probably fit right in. The current Art Mûr (5826 St-Hubert) exhibition continues until Oct. 26. Admission is free.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 |
arts & entertainment
| Curiosity delivers.
could be good
MUSIC The Growlers Californian act The Growlers make an appearance in Montreal this week with a tour that follows their January 2013 release Hung at Heart. The psychedelic quintet has a history of theatrically flamboyant shows, making use of crossdressing costumes and other trippy visuals.
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 8:00 p.m., Il Motore (179 Jean Talon). Tickets $14 in advance, $16 at the door.
Deltron 3030 Deltron 3030: Event II
Arctic Monkeys AM
Basia Bulat Tall Tall Shadow
Kings of Leon Mechanical Bull
Domino Recording Company
Secret City Records
Alex Turner and the boys have returned—with a decidedly poppier sound. AM takes a bit of warming up to; it’s hard to reconcile this band with the one that produced 2006’s punkinfused Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, or 2009’s hard rocking Humbug. Alas, part of what has defined the Monkeys over the years is their ever-changing sound, and AM is just another step in that evolution. Traces of Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme—who produced Humbug—are part of the Monkeys’ new sonic direction. Homme actually appears as a guest vocalist on songs “Knee Socks” and “One for the Road.” As a result, AM has a nice balance of poppy-ness, and dark rock swagger. Turner seems to have taken another page out of Homme’s book with sexy slow-jam “I Wanna Be Yours,” which is reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age’s “Make It Wit Chu” and features the lyrics “I wanna be your vacuum cleaner.” Go figure. The Arctic Monkeys have become rather adept at honing that menacing, past-midnight feel that was present on previous album Suck It and See, but it’s best displayed here in tracks “R U Mine?,” “Do I Wanna Know?,” and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” Either way, AM is worth a listen just to ponder some of Alex Turner’s stranger lyrics—and ask yourself why so many of the song titles are phrased as questions. — Diana Wright
Whenever I listen to a new album, I try and envisage what type of movie the album would be the perfect soundtrack to. Tall Tall Shadow by Torontonian Basia Bulat would accompany an idiosyncratic rom-com—like (500) Days of Summer—or a quirky romantic dramedy—like last year’s Take This Waltz. Why a romance? The combination of Bulat’s silky vocals, heartbroken lyrics, and folksy instrumentation all scream “bittersweet romance gone wrong,” but with a hopeful, Hollywood resolution. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because Tall Tall Shadow is an engaging, fresh album—it just also happens to be rather cinematic. Bulat injects “Shadow” with a feisty, acoustic spirit that propels the album from start to finish, particularly on “It Can’t Be You” and titular track “Tall Tall Shadow.” Here, defiant lyrics and melodies reach out and grasp the listener, instead of slapping them in the face. That’s exactly what makes this album great: it has a subtle boldness instead of an obnoxious one. It creeps up on you, and it’s not until the last song that you realize you totally understand what Bulat is getting at with her album. Fortunately, the slower paced songs (“From Now On,” “The City With No Rivers,” “Never Let Me Go”) also hold their own, adding a dynamic aspect to the album instead of dragging it down. As Bulat’s fifth LP, Tall Tall Shadow is yet another quality release. — Diana Wright
One would be hard-pressed to find a mainstream rock band that has evolved their sound as drastically, and with as much cohesion, as Kings of Leon. From the early country-blues of Youth and Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heartbreak, to far more melodic, alternative sounds of Come Around Sundown, the Kings of Leon have managed to keep a style in all their music as familiar as it is distinct. It’s only fitting that the Followill brothers’ latest album, Mechanical Bull, is a culmination of all this evolution—eventually coalescing into an album that manages to both integrate and celebrate over 10 years of musical history. The distinction from the Kings’ early work to their later albums can immediately be seen in their two singles, “Supersoaker” and “Wait For Me.” The former kicks off the album in an explosion of energy, with lyrics practically drenched in 1950s era Americana, before transitioning into tracks steeped in the same vibe that marked the Kings’ earlier, twangier pieces. While “Wait for Me” shifts the album into the far mellower, more melodious pieces that characterized albums like Only By the Night, both songs must be commended for the same spectacular bass lines that have come to distinguish many of the Kings’ work. When it comes down to it, Mechanical Bull is an album that revels in the band’s history—playing with a kind of enthusiasm that will appeal to both old fans and new fans alike. — Martin Molpeceres
Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Dan the Automator, and Kid Koala return 13 long years after the release of their first album Deltron 3030 with one hell of a weird story. Imagine the hip-hop equivalent of a rock opera, set a thousand years in the future, starring the alter egos of two of the most enigmatic characters ever to handle turntables and mics, as they wade through the post-apocalyptic ruins of a corporate-controlled universe. This, alongside a cast of featured artists as comically bizarre as it is extensive. Appearances range from Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn, to actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, to professional chef David Cheng. This is Deltron 3030: Event II. The 16-song tracklist exemplifies the steadiness of Del’s rhythmic flow. Although his rhymes lack the lyrical deftness and complexity found in many of his previous works, it’s only to be expected—Event II is a narrative first and album second. What really stands out is the production by Dan the Automator, characterized by deeply tolling bells, a dynamic mix of classical instrumentals, hardhitting drums, and appropriately futuristic-sounding synths. Track 9, “Talent Supersedes (ft. Black Rob)” is a perfect example of this type of sound, incorporating common elements throughout the album in one track. Featured artists’ performances are underwhelming at times, though among them are a few standout tracks—look for Mary Elizabeth Winstead of Scott Pilgrim fame on “Look Across the Sky,” and “What is this Loneliness” featuring Damon Albarn and Casual. The intermittent skits that punctuate the album also serve to keep things interesting while making for some good laughs. The jury is still out on whether Event II has eclipsed its predecessor as an album, but it has undoubtedly done so as a project. In combining top-notch storytelling, a distinguished lineup of featured artists, and impeccable delivery, Deltron 3030: Event II makes for a modern day musical epic you’ll be playing on repeat for the foreseeable future. — James Chapman
for a review of the Breaking Bad finale
COMEDY Yuk Yuk’s Grand Opening Canadian comedy chain Yuk Yuk’s celebrates the grand opening of their Montreal cabaret with a performance by Kids in the Hall alumnus Dave Foley. The opening of the 240-seat venue will add a third anglo comedy club to the existing Montreal clubs Comedy Nest and Comedyworks.
Thursday, Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4, 9:00 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 5, 7:30 and 10:00 p.m., Yuk Yuk’s Montreal (5723 Parc Ave.) Tickets $23. POETRY BookThug Launch for Ron Silliman and Colin Fulton Beloved Montreal-based graphic novel publisher Drawn & Quarterly hosts a book launch for books of poetry by Colin Fulton, releasing “Life Experience Coolant,” and Ron Silliman, releasing new collection “Revelator.”
Saturday, Oct. 5, 7:00 p.m., Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore (211 Bernard St. West.) Admission is free. ART America the Beautiful Vernissage American transgendered artist Paedra Peter Bramhall presents a series of paintings depicting nude figures, set against an American flag wallpaper.
Sunday, Oct. 6, 3:00 p.m, Maison Kasini (372 St. Catherine). Admission is free. POETRY Poetry Jam Montreal production Black Theatre Workshop hosts a poetry jam, this year with a Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” theme to honour the 50th anniversary of the speech this past August. Contest participants will be judged on “creativity, originality, and delivery,” and have the opportunity to win cash prizes.
Sunday, Oct. 6, 7:00 p.m., MAI Theatre (3680 Jeanne-Mance). Admission is free.
Martlets on the international stage McGill rugby stars Emily Barber and Brianna Miller discuss experiences with Team Canada Mayaz Alam and Remi Lu Sports Editors The McGill Tribune recently sat down with McGill athletes Emily Barber and Brianna Miller, two rugby stars who played for Team Canada this summer. The following is an excerpt from episode 2 of Beyond the Back Page, the McGill Tribune’s sports podcast. McGill Tribune: Brianna, what was it like playing in Russia this summer at the 2013 Summer Universiade as part of Team Canada? Brianna Miller: It was honestly an incredible experience that I will keep with me forever. Signing up for the team, [I thought] I might make [it], I might not; but it was one of those things where I was going to give it a shot, and it turned out that I had made the team [….] We had an amazing group of girls, super supportive of each other. Some of us had a lot of experience, and others didn’t. It was amazing to be able to meet other people from other countries with common goals and dreams. It was unbelievable. I think my favourite moment was on the podium, walking out there with Team Canada. You never forget something like that. You realize that hard work really pays off. MT: Emily, you also got to play for Team Canada at the U-20 Nations Cup in London. How was that experience? Emily Barber: It was also an unbelievable experience. In terms of selection, there was a long list released of 40 girls from across
the country, and then we all came together in May for a […] weekend- long tryout and it was super intense. And then there was a short list of 26 girls which I was lucky enough to be a part of. We convened at the beginning of June for a week at the University of Toronto where we did a full on training camp [….] We also finished the week off with a game against the Ontario Senior Women, which we won. We went to England feeling pretty confident. We got right into it, and we ended up winning all of our round robin games. In between games it was super intense, like two-a-days, video sessions, individual meetings with your coaches, and then we went to the final against the U.S., and we ended up coming out on top [….] Nothing compares to getting on the field and having that maple leaf on your chest. It’s an [unbelievable] feeling. MT: You talked about how the team was working really hard over the summer. Do you think there was any hangover? BM: (laughs) I just want to say,that I am exhausted. EB: It’s really on an individual basis because everyone’s body reacts differently to that sort of thing. I’ll just add that summer’s not actually an off-season; we both play club rugby, which is two practices a week and a game. So definitely not nearly as intense as when you’re away on a tour, but it’s not an off-season. BM: I also played for Quebec this
year—senior women—and we won the gold medal at Nationals. [.…] And more games–you play club, you play for your province, and you go to Russia or you play in England. And we actually had finals for our club rugby on Saturday, and we started McGill rugby on Sunday. So there’s no real offseason, there’s no such thing. MT: Both of you know how rigorous McGill is academically. Why did you choose to come to McGill for rugby? EB: For me personally, I did choose McGill for academics, not for rugby. At the time, it didn’t even have the rugby reputation that it has currently. My dad attended McGill actually and played varsity hockey for McGill back in (laughs) God-knows-when, the ‘80s. He is a die-hard McGill advocate, and he always stressed that it’s playing sports, but also being at McGill that [made up] the best years of his life. I really bought into that and I’ve always been busy. In high school I was on every sports team... you kind of just find ways to make it work. I would prefer to be busy than bored. Anything’s possible, you just have to manage your time. BM: I had actually been offered a scholarship through rugby at Concordia, and, funny enough, I didn’t get into the program I wanted to; McGill, funny enough, accepted me into the program that was my second choice, because I didn’t even think I could get in. I think that it was meant to be. You picture yourself wearing red-and-white, and it was sold [….] My mom had gone to McGill as well, and my dad had taken his masters here, so they were super keen [that I was coming to McGill] because none of my siblings ended up attending McGill. Now I’m [their] favourite (laughs) MT: How did both of you get into rugby? BM: I have three older [brothers]. And they all played rugby at my high school, St. Thomas. By grade 8 I was like, ‘oh you know, I’ll pick [rugby] up, like my brothers [did], so I can do it too.’ As a younger sibling too, you’re always super worried that you won’t live up to your brothers’ expectations. But I don’t know, I ended up really falling in love with the sport. It puts a huge smile on my face.
Brianna Miller flies by Concordia for a try. (Sam Reynolds / McGill Athletics)
EB: I’m from a small town in Ontario called Lindsay. It’s actually
Emily Barber runs past Sherbrooke. (Sarah Papadopoli / McGill Tribune) a really well-known rugby hub. The thing with rugby is that there are pockets of rugby[....] My club produces the highest number of national, provincial players per capita because it’s a town of 20,000 people. [....] I decided to give rugby a shot at the club level the summer after grade 9, and I just fell in love with it [....] I kept playing,;I played club the next summer, and I just dedicated [myself] to rugby in grade 11, and I tried out and made the provincial Ontario team the following summer. It’s one of those sports where not many people pick it up before high school and if you have the athleticism of general team sports, you’ll excel at it. MT: What do you think about the state of Canadian rugby as a whole now? EB: The future of Canadian women’s rugby right now is so exciting. Our women’s team is on the up. Our senior women’s 7s team just placed second at the World Cup. So they are slated to win a medal at the 2016 Olympics when rugby 7s makes its debut [....] In addition to that, the U-20 senior team, the team that I was a part of, won the Nation’s Cup [and] beat England, which they’ve never done. BM: In terms of all over Canada, Quebec has never been known to bring players into the Canadian program. Now you look at the senior women’s 7s team and I believe that we now have three or four girls representing Quebec on the Canadian team [….] [Quebec] didn’t used to be known as one of those powerhouses, and now it is. I think that goes to say a lot about rugby in general.
MT: What are your plans for after McGill, and how do you plan to keep rugby in your life? BM: It’s scary to think that I’m old enough to get a real job and be grown up. I would love to come back to McGill. Is it in the cards? I don’t know for sure yet; But that’s why I think that this year for me is extra special. I hope to continue playing rugby […] Hard work pays off, I’ve lived it. I hope to one day play for the senior women and get capped. For 15s, this year, they’re going to the World Cup. It would be my ultimate dream to make the team. I’m a very small person, but I’ve got a big heart, and I hope that the coaches see that. EB: I have one more year left at McGill, and as Brianna said there’s a World Cup this year. I’m too young to make that team, realistically, so my goal would be to make the next World Cup team, which would be 2018 for the senior women. And that’s kind of the ideal age, I would be 24 at that time. That’s my long-term rugby goal. The hard thing with rugby is that you can’t make rugby your life because you don’t get paid to do it. In Canada, it’s very underfunded. I paid $5000 to go to England this summer. You pay a lot of money to represent your country, which is kind of sad, considering we’re so good. But definitely, I think that my dream would be to play for the senior women in the coming years. Visit www.mcgilltribune.com/ sportspodcast to listen to Part I of the podcast. Part II will be released on Thursday, Oct. 3.
Central division Chicago Blackhawks: Can you say back-to-back championships? Because that’s what the Blackhawks have been thinking of all summer. With an amazing array of offence and defence, the Blackhawks aren’t worried about just getting by in the regular season. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp headline what is undoubtedly the best top six in the Western Conference. In addition, their rich offence is matched by one of the best defensive lineups in the NHL, with both Jonny Oduya and Duncan Keith anchoring their back line. Meanwhile, between the pipes, Corey Crawford isn’t half bad either. They have speed, power, and finesse. The only question now is, can they be stopped? Colorado Avalanche: After a disappointing season that was mercifully shortened due to the lockout, the Avalanche hope to turn a new leaf entering the 2013-2014 campaign. Over the summer, legendary alumni Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic assumed important roles within the organization, in a move designed to energize both the players and the fans. Colorado then selected Nathan MacKinnon first overall in the draft with the hope that the skilled centre will turn out to be another star in their already-strong nucleus of young players. Twenty-yearold captain Gabriel Landeskog is also looking to dominate this season after struggling with injuries for most of last year. The Avalanche look to have some serious dark horse potential in the West this season if Roy can bring the same intensity and competitive drive to coaching as he did when he strapped on the pads.
CONTrIBUTORS: drew allen, Wyatt Fine-Gagné, Benjamin Follows, Osama Haque, Anthony Snell, David STein Dallas Stars: After missing the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year, the Dallas Stars’ push for the playoffs this year began in the off-season with a major shake-up of their roster. The acquisitions of Sergei Gonchar, Tyler Seguin, and Shawn Horcoff bring a mix of youth and leadership to an otherwise lackluster Dallas offence. The addition of Lindy Ruff behind the bench provides Dallas with a seasoned head coach who knows how to win not only in the regular season, but the playoffs as well. While these new acquisitions provide the Stars with a flurry of new weapons, their road back to the post-season will be a challenge in the highly competitive Western Conference. Minnesota Wild: In the summer of 2012, the Wild spent over $200 million to snag two NHL superstars: Minnesota-born Zach Parise, and star blue-liner Ryan Suter. It seems the team is hoping its investment will finally translate into a winning season. The only major personnel changes in 2013 were the acquisition of center Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke. Young forward Mikael Granlund should provide a burst of talent, eager to make his mark on the NHL in his first full season. Nonetheless, the Wild are a few players short of making a real playoff push; a lack of depth and size will probably deny them a chance from sneaking into the playoffs. Nashville Predators: The Predators are once again in dire need of some offensive firepower this year to compete with the rest of the league. Their off-season moves were little help—it will be a miracle if new signing Matt Cullen can even hit 35 points this season. The team’s chances lie on the shoulders of younger players such as
Colin Wilson, Craig Smith, and Seth Jones. Nashville should have no problems defending in its own zone thanks to the superstar combo of Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne. It can only get better for the lowest scoring team in the league as they hope to climb out of the league’s cellar. St. Louis Blues: Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Jay Bouwmeester—three All-Star calibre defencemen—are ready to headline the Blues’ attempt to ascend to the top of the Central Division. On paper, St. Louis has the capacity to dominate games defensively. If the offence can follow captain David Backes’ example and put points on the scoreboard, the Blues will be in good position. All they need now is to solidify their options in net, and St. Louis will have all the pieces to make a deep run in the post-season. Winnipeg Jets: In order for the Winnipeg Jets to make a serious run at the playoffs this season, a lot will have to go right for the organization. Specifically, the Jets will rely upon goaltender Ondrej Pavelic to deliver top-notch performances on a nightly basis. Offensively, the Jets will need to find secondary scoring, a factor that eluded them last season. The Jets also have to make sure that they use home-ice to their advantage this year (the MTS Center is one of the loudest buildings in the NHL). If the Jets can stay healthy and get off to a good start, they will have a chance to compete in the Western Conference playoff race.
Pacific Division Anaheim Ducks: An impressive regular season earned the Anaheim Ducks the second seed in the Western Conference. However, a first round upset to the Detroit Red Wings erased the sense of accomplishment. The Ducks’ star duo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry remains, while starting goaltender Jonas Hiller should provide another solid season in net. The biggest question mark for Anaheim will be their defence, as veteran Sheldon Souray is likely out until January, and Francois Beauchemin is returning to the ice this season after knee surgery. As long as Getzlaf and Perry can offset the offensive loss of winger Bobby Ryan the Ducks should erase the dismay of last season and make a deep playoff run. Calgary Flames: Calgary’s future looks bleak as Jarome Iginla and Mikka Kiprusoff—two fan favourites who have embodied Flames hockey for a decade—are no longer with the organization. Without any major signings, the Flames seem content to continue rebuilding. They have a few good prospects in the pipeline, but lack the seasoning to make an impact this season. Flames fans will be spending most of this season watching their goaltender try to keep pucks out of the net. KHL star Karri Rämö will compete with Joey MacDonald for the honour to mask the mistakes of a talent deprived squad. If Calgary somehow makes it out of the NHL’s bottom five, the season will be deemed a success. Edmonton Oilers: Every avid hockey fan has been patiently waiting for Edmonton to finally have its dominant breakout season. With budding superstars Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-
Hopkins anchoring their top six, the sky is the limit for this team. Young defenceman Justin Schultz will look to match last year’s point production and hopefully contribute defensively in his own zone. With the additions of veteran defenceman and new captain Andrew Ference, along with winger David Perron, the Oilers just might have what it takes to finally make a respectable playoff push. The only question that remains is whether goaltender Devan Dubnyk has the ability to carry an Oilers team brimming with potential to their first playoff berth since 2007. Los Angeles Kings: Coming off a fifth-place finish in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Kings hope to bring back their fortunes of two years ago when they won the Stanley Cup. The Kings should be primed for another playoff run with the core of their title winning lineup still intact. Just as any championship team will tell you, the Kings’ success this year will depend largely on the play of goaltender, Jonathan Quick, a former Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Quick hopes to build upon his previous years of success and prove his status as an elite NHL goaltender and should lead Los Angeles deep into the postseason once again. Phoenix Coyotes: The Phoenix Coyotes aim to return to the playoffs after a disappointing 10thplace finish in the lockout-shortened season. The Coyotes were relatively quiet in the offseason, as they believe they have a roster that can contend in the Western Conference. After all, it is virtually the same roster that captured a division title only two years ago. The one splash that the Coyotes did make was the addition of veteran forward Mike Ribeiro, who
will provide a calming presence to the team. With a full training camp and complete 82-game season, the Coyotes feel confident that they will be able to return to the playoffs. San Jose Sharks: After an upset sweep of the third-seeded Vancouver Canucks in last year’s playoffs and a narrow Game 7 loss to the Kings, the San Jose Sharks are looking to carry the momentum of its unexpected playoff run into this upcoming season. With nine consecutive playoff appearances under its belt, San Jose is still chasing after the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Championship. With young stars Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski locked in for the foreseeable future, as well as veteran leadership from Joe Thornton and Antti Niemi, the San Jose Sharks will undoubtedly be a force to contend with in the Western Conference. Vancouver Canucks: The ever unpredictable John Tortorella debuts behind the bench for the Canucks this season. Vancouver’s notoriously critical fans and media should prepare for insult and belittlement at the hands of their extremely vocal coach. Vancouverites will be relieved to finally begin a season with a clear-cut option for no. 1 goaltender, Cory Schneider. Vancouver opted to trade Schneider and keep perennial scapegoat Roberto Luongo. Offensively, Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin will spearhead the squad once more along with gritty forward Ryan Kesler. If Luongo can finally live up to his $6.7 million contractg and the team as a whole starts playing with more heart, then a trip to the Western Conference finals is not out of the question.
Atlantic division Boston Bruins: It’s very rare that a Stanley Cup runner-up makes it back to the final, but that is the task at hand for the Bruins this year. The off-season was a welcome period of rest for a roster that was hobbling by the end of the playoffs. The team returning this year is largely the same, although one-time future of the franchise Tyler Seguin was shipped to Dallas after a poor playoff performance and reports of off-ice problems. Loui Eriksson came back the other way and should provide offence as well as a veteran presence on the wing. Jarome Iginla, who spurned the Bruins at last year’s trade deadline, brings veteran leadership to a squad that has the capability to win it all. Buffalo Sabres: Rebuilding is the name of the game in Buffalo. The Sabres have missed the playoffs in four of the past six years, and last season brought significant changes. Long-time coach Lindy Ruff was fired and Ron Rolston, coach of their AHL affiliate, was brought in as the interim head coach. The team’s core remains largely unchanged, but rumours of the exits of Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller floated around during the off-season and will only continue with the two slated to hit free agency following this season. If Buffalo’s playoff chances disappear early, both Vanek and Miller could find themselves on the block as the team moves towards a younger core. Detroit Red Wings: Last season provided a scare for the most consistent franchise in the NHL, with the team just scraping into the playoffs and falling in the second round. As always, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg will be the ones leading the charge once the puck drops this year. On top of that, a savvy front office was able to add Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss to supplement the production of the fan favourites. Defensively, Niklas Kronwall leads a unit that should play with the tenacity and grit that
the ‘hockeytown’ loves to see. Detroit will undoubtedly make the playoffs once again on the backs of their veterans, but lack the youth to sustain a deep post-season run.
Florida Panthers: After signing veteran goaltender Tim Thomas to a one-year deal, some intrigue will definitely surround the Panthers this year. However, most people would agree that the team’s core is not ready to challenge for a post-season position in the immediate future. Despite a wealth of young talent in their system, they are probably still a few years away from contending in the newly formatted Atlantic division. Many of the components from Florida’s 2012 squad that won the Southeast Division are still in place, but unless a lot goes right for the Panthers as it did then, it will likely be another long season in Sunrise. Montreal Canadiens: It has now been more than 20 years since the Habs last won a Stanley Cup. The team that finished second place last season has fans hoping that the end of that drought is just around the corner. Veterans Daniel Briere and Douglas Murray were brought in and should be welcome improvements over the outgoing Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle. The young core of Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, and P.K. Subban will also benefit from another year of development. The Canadiens limped into the post-season last year, bringing about questions as to how they would have fared over a full 82-game season. They are not the division favourites, but the Habs should be strong nonetheless. Ottawa Senators: Despite being plagued by injuries Ottawa managed to squeak into the playoffs last season, largely due to a strong defence. Key players Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson, and goaltender Craig An-
derson all missed significant time but are healthy to begin this season. The Senators also enter the post-Daniel Alfredsson era, as the captain of 13 years left for Detroit in the off-season. The Sens traded for right-winger Bobby Ryan, which should help fill the hole Alfredsson leaves on the first line. Clark MacArthur will also help generate offence, which was a weak point last season. Provided they can stay healthy, Ottawa should be a playoff team. Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning will be looking to turn the corner this season after buying out long-time captain and fan-favorite Vincent Lecavalier over the summer. The team is still thin on the blueline and lacks a bona fide number one goalie, despite Ben Bishop’s occasional flashes of brilliance. In Vinny’s absence, it is expected that the team’s 2009 second overall pick Victor Hedman will take on a more prominent role this year. With Steven Stamkos and Martin St Louis still on board, the Lightning shouldn’t have any problems scoring, but their offensive prowess will likely not be enough to get the Bolts into the playoffs this season. Toronto Maple Leafs: The Leafs surprised many last year with a fifth-place finish and a trip to the playoffs. However, significant regression could be in store for Toronto this season. They were consistently outshot, and advanced statistics suggest that the team was quite lucky. Dave Nonis was one of the busier GMs this past off-season, trading for goaltender Jonathan Bernier and centre Dave Bolland, signing free agent David Clarkson, and re-signing several core players. While certainly improved, the Leafs still lack a true top-line centre and sit too close to the salary cap to make any significant moves. That said, this is still a fast, young team that could sneak into the playoffs and pose problems for their opposition.
Metropolitan division Carolina Hurricanes: Expectations are raised this season in Carolina as Kirk Muller begins his first full 82-game season behind the Hurricanes bench. The squad is counting on goaltender Cam Ward to have a bounce-back season if it plans on fighting for a playoff spot. Up front, the team will be highly dependent on the Staal brothers, Jeff Skinner and Alexander Semin to carry the load offensively. Ex-Hab Mike Komisarek will try to reestablish himself as an NHL-caliber defenceman after a disastrous stint with the Maple Leafs. If it all falls into place, the Hurricanes have a chance to sneak into the playoffs. Columbus Blue Jackets: Believe it or not, the Jackets might actually be a threat this year. By signing one of the hottest free agents, Nathan Horton, they are looking more and more like contenders. The acquisition is indicative of how far the Jackets have come. They finally have an offensive lineup that can produce. Their defence is equally dependable, with Jack Johnson and James Wisneiwski leading a stout backline. Backing them up is Vezina Trophy winner, Sergei Bobrovsky, who returns for another season with the Jackets. With all that said, Columbus has a solid chance of making the playoffs this season. New Jersey Devils: The scoring struggles that plagued the Devils last season have only been accentuated over the summer as top offensive threats, Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson, have departed. The team will count on off-season acquisitions Jaromir Jagr and Ryan Clowe to add a desperately-needed scoring touch. Elsewhere, a strong defensive core that held opponents to a league-low 23 shots per game last season returns its key components and welcomes goaltender Cory Schneider. If the Devils can’t solve
their offensive woes, they will miss the playoffs for the third time in four years.
New York Islanders: The Islanders managed to end a six-year playoff drought last season, and are expected to improve upon the result. Superstar John Tavares will be under pressure to perform not only as an elite scorer but also as a leader, taking over from former captain Mark Streit, who left for Philadelphia this summer. Streit’s departure also leaves a hole on the blueline that was not filled over the off-season. Instead, the defence will rely on the development of younger players such as Matt Donovan and Griffin Reinhart. If the Islanders want to win a playoff series for the first time since 1993, they will need to continue to mature as a squad. New York Rangers: The Alain Vigneault experiment will certainly be interesting. The new head coach will allow for more freedom, and focus on individual play more than former bench boss John Tortorella. The keys for success will hinge on offensive output, as goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is one of the league’s best and has the luxury of playing behind a stout defence. Vigneault will attempt to get the most out of his star forwards, and also fix a powerplay that was among the league’s worst in the lockoutshortened season. Although they have the ability to be a top contender, it is more likely that the Rangers will spend the season fighting for a spot in the post-season. Philadelphia Flyers: After missing the playoffs for only the second time since 1994, the Flyers had a busy off-season. They added two crucial veterans in centre Vincent Lecavalier and de-
fenceman Mark Streit. The Flyers biggest move of the summer, however, was buying out the remaining portion of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov’s contract. They begin the season with two solid options to replace him in Steve Mason and Ray Emery, both of whom have had success starting in the past. Although the Flyers are not considered favourites to lift the Stanley Cup, they could get hot at the right time and make a lot of noise in the playoffs. Pittsburgh Penguins: The Pittsburgh Penguins ended last season on a sour note, suffering a sweep at the hands of the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals. Their elimination can be attributed to two main factors—a lack of scoring and poor goaltending. If the Penguins hope to hoist the Stanley Cup this season, their starstudded offence must find a way to produce against physically imposing teams. At the other end of the ice, goaltender MarcAndré Fleury must rekindle the consistent brilliance that he displayed during Pittsburgh’s 2009 championship. If the Penguins play up to their potential this season, they will once again be a favourite to win the Stanley Cup. Washington Capitals: The Washington Capitals will once again be an offensive juggernaut. With Alexander Ovechkin leading the charge following an MVP winning season, the team should light up the scoreboard more often than not. Mikhail Grabovski will look to bounce back this season, mitigating the loss of Mike Ribeiro to unrestricted free agency this summer. In net, Braden Holtby will try to solidify himself as the team’s undisputed number one goaltender. Overall though, Washington’s success will depend on its ability to shed its historical choking habit in the playoffs.
Martlets 1, Rouge et Or 1
Martlets extend undefeated streak to five McGill concedes late goal to tie no. 2 Laval Elie Waitzer Contributor After dropping their first two matches of the season, the Martlets came into their Friday contest looking to extend their undefeated streak to five games. McGill faced off against the undefeated Laval Rouge et Or, who sported their own winning streak entering the game. The match resulted in a 1-1 draw. Sophomore defender Zoe Fasoulakis knew that her squad was in for a tough test against the No. 2 ranked team in the nation. “We were a bit nervous coming into the game, knowing their record […] but I was also very excited to get the chance to be the first team to beat them,” Fasoulakis said. From the kickoff, Laval’s speed was put on display as its strikers managed to cut through the Martlets’ defense and put pressure on net. However, after an early shot was stopped by McGill’s veteran goaltender Victoria Muccilli,
momentum began to sway in the Martlets’ favour as the backline tightened up. McGill jumped out to an early lead when senior defender Kelsey Wilson put a free kick from the 10yard marker past Laval keeper Joelle Morasse. The shot, taken in the 11th minute of play, drifted from the sideline to the far side—easily beating Morasse, who was expecting a cross. The Martlets’ lead remained intact through the first half as Head Coach Jose-Luis Valdes’ tactics quieted the potent Rouge et Or offence. “Our coach emphasized playing very tight in the back,” Fasoulakis said. “Just dropping back and staying in a tight defensive formation was key in keeping their offence in check.” In a dramatic sequence right before the 45th minute mark, senior forward Meghan Bourque used a burst of speed to shed a Laval defender in the right wing and got off a tough angle shot that Morasse couldn’t hold onto. Sprinting
Rebecca Green leads the attack. (Luke Orlando / McGill Tribune) through midfield, her sister Sarah Bourque, a sophomore winger, managed to put a powerful kick on the ensuing rebound but missed by centimetres as the ball bounced off the crossbar. The Martlets were able to settle into their game against an intimidating opponent due to the early lead. “It gave us that little edge and made it easier to play, knowing we had that cushion and not having to
worry about scoring,” Fasoulakis said. However, momentum quickly shifted away from the Martlets as Laval dominated play throughout the second half. McGill struggled to get the ball through Laval’s concrete midfield, and yellow cards hampered several promising rushes. At the 78th minute mark, Laval’s Cynthia Turcotte took advantage of a sloppy clear in McGill’s
half, breaking away with Rouge et Or forward Lea Chastenay-Joseph. A short cross past the diving Muccilli by Turcotte allowed ChastenayJoseph to tap the ball into the empty net for the equalizer. The Martlets were unsatisfied with the final outcome of the game, but should be able to use this game as a stepping stone for a strong playoff push in the second half of the season. “It was a bit disappointing. It was an unlucky giveaway on our part that resulted in them tying the score. The fact that we were able to be the first team to take points away from Laval was a good feeling,” Fasoulakis said. The resulting tie extended undefeated streaks for both teams. Laval improved to a division leading 6-0-1, and the Martlets moved to 4-2-1 solidifying their grasp on the fourth and final playoff berth. McGill will take on their crosstown rivals, the Montreal Carabins (5-1-1) on Oct. 4th at Stade CEPSUM.
Redmen 1, Rouge et or 1
McGill squanders lead in 89th minute Redmen revive playoff hopes after successful weekend Remi Lu Sports Editor Friday night’s conclusion to the McGill (2-3-2) vs Laval (2-1-3) match at Percival Molson Stadium was an accurate snapshot of the Redmen soccer team’s season. McGill held onto a one-point lead for the better part of an hour before the Rouge et Or scored in the last minute of the game to force a 1-1 draw, the hosts’ second tie of the year. It has been a rough start to the season for McGill, as it has struggled to close out its opponents in RSEQ conference play. Two of its losses have come by one goal, including a 1-2 result against the Université de Montréal and a 0-1 score against Sherbrooke. However, the team has shown a capacity to be dominant, as evidenced by their efforts on Friday evening. The Redmen managed to break through the Rouge et Or defence within the first 10 minutes, opening up a number of shots on Laval goaltender J.F. Desrosiers. This included an early lead pass from the McGill backfield to forward Massimo Di Ioia, who missed just wide of the net. McGill’s persistence paid off in the 29th minute, when Di Ioia
Massimo Di Ioia targets the net. (Luke Orlando/ McGill Tribune) fired a rocket into the bottom right corner of the net off of a cornerkick by first-year Engineering major Clovis Fowo. Di Ioia currently stands as the league’s leading scorer with five goals to his name and believes in his team’s ability to compete with the rest of the RSEQ. “We got really good elements,” he said. There’s a mix of a few of the older guys with the younger guys [.…] I think that everybody gels together pretty good. It’s just a matter of getting a rhythm and staying focused throughout the 90 minutes.
The momentum of the match was clearly on McGill’s side as the host team attacked Laval right out of the locker room at halftime. The Redmen attempted three shots within the first five minutes of the second stanza in an attempt to double the lead. Appearing lethargic early on next to McGill’s efficient ball movement and overall teamwork, the Rouge et Or nonetheless managed to mount a push in the closing minutes of the game. Laval’s Emir Zrnic managed to slip a pass over the Redmen defence to Nafi Dicko,
who fired a shot past McGill goalie Max Leblond to tie the game at 1-1 in the 89th minute. McGill Head Coach Marc Mounicot was unhappy with his team’s performance in the waning moments of the game. “Laval is one of the best technical teams in the conference,” Mounicot said after the game. We can play, we’re organized, but we’re young. […] When you’re under pressure and there’s three minutes left to play […] you push the ball to the front. Inexperience killed us today.” The Redmen bounced back from Friday night’s draw to dominate the Concordia Stingers on Sunday, winning 2-1 at Concordia Stadium. The victory shifts McGill into the fourth and last playoff spot in a very competitive RSEQ conference. Di Ioia is optimistic about McGill’s playoff chances. “We’re dominating most of the teams. Regardless of the 1-1 draw [against Laval] there are still a lot of positive things that are happening [….] There’s way too much quality on this squad to be where we are at right now,” he noted. “Right now it’s just getting into the playoffs. Once we get into the playoffs it’s a whole new season from
there. [….] We’ve competed with [all the RSEQ teams], so we’re definitely not too worried about our opposition. We just need to focus on ourselves.” The Redmen will return to Molson Stadium on Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. to take on the Sherbrooke Vert et Or. This is a must-win for McGill if they hope to make a push for the post-season.