Female Lawyers Do It Their Way
A Steady Hand ...er...(Foote). Phoenix Was a Disaster on Many Levels But Judy Foote Kept it From Being Much Worse.
Ottawa Artist Barbara Barkley
Celebrates Canada’s 150th with Copper, Feathers and National Pride
Ottawa Fashion Bloggers * Michael Coren * Cycle Tours * Nickelodean Vacations
You need a law firm that listens. At Osler, helping you achieve your goals starts with understanding your business. To us, that means listening before advising and getting to know your priorities, so we can create legal solutions that fit your needs and get you past any barriers to your success. Itâ€™s law that works. Gain insights on key legal developments in 2016 and their implications for the year ahead at legalyearinreview.ca
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt llp Toronto MontrĂŠal Calgary Ottawa Vancouver New York | osler.com
Ottawa’s Top Female Lawyers Do It Their Way
It’s because of people like Janice Payne, of Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP, Katherine Cooligan of Border Ladner Gervais, Donna White of Osler and Claire Tremblay of Tremblay Law that female lawyers in both private practice and the in-house world are being applauded and promoted more often as partners and as senior leaders.
Ottawa Artist Barbara Barkley
With 125 to go, Barbara Barkley is tooling her tribute to Canada’s 150th one feather at a time.
Putting Ottawa On Top
Jeff Hunt builds champions because he is one. Simple as that.
A Steady Hand ...er...(Foote)
Judy Foote, the MP for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity in Newfoundland and the Minister of Public Services and Procurement knew she was dealing with an epic bureaucratic administrative disaster. She asked the Auditor General to investigate the entire Phoenix fiasco from its beginnings and has pledged accountability for the boondoggle.
Read about a variety of chill busting destination including Nickelodeon Hotel & Resort Punta Cana, Mexico’s El Dorado Casitas Royale or Carnical in Trinidad. Start planning the family summer vacacation: consider a bike and barge tour in Europe. Ottawa’s fashion community is growing. Find out who to follow for the latest fashion inspiration with #OttawaStyle PHOTO: VALERIE KEELER
36 PHOTO: KAREN TEMPLE
PHOTO: VALERIE KEELER
PHOTO: NICKELODEON HOTELS & RESORTS
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 VOLUME 19
Publisher’s Message .............................. 4 Best Picks ............................................ 5 In Search of Style .................................. 6 Books ................................................. 8 Homes: White....................................... 9 Homes: John's Reno Tips .......................... 11 Profile: Les Gagne ................................. 13 Gallery: Jennifer Aldomeit ........................ 20 Travel: Trinidad....... .............................. 36 Travel: Nickelodeon .............................. 38 Travel:Cycle Tours ................................. 40 Travel: Mexico...................................... 42 Opinion: Michael Coren.......................... 43 Saint Paul University ............................... 46
Reaching Higher: Algonquin..................... 29 CUSW Series ....................................... 31 Canada/China Friendship ...................... 32 Pheonix Payroll ........................................ 34 True North Series/Opinion....................... 44 True North Series................................... 45 Building a Better Canada ....................... 48
publisher’s message by Dan Donovan
Twenty Years Ago We Launched – Today We Are Re-Launching
017 is the 20th Anniversary of Ottawa Life Magazine, and to coincide with this special occasion we are pleased to announce and launch our new and updated website ottawalife.com which brings more original content and articles to our large readership.Things have changed so much since 1997.There was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or smart phones and tablets. The majority of companies did not have websites, and faxes were how you sent things to others.The pre-amalgamation City of Ottawa had a new Mayor named Jim Watson.The Confederation Bridge to PEI opened. Mordecai Richler’s Barney’s Version won the Giller Prize for Canadian fiction. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien won his second straight majority election. On January 13, 1997 a future hockey star named Connor McDavid was born. Titanic won eleven Oscars. Princess Diana was killed in a speeding motorcade crash in Paris, France. Steve Jobs regained control of Apple and began a fifteen year technology revolution that would change the world forever. Seinfeld, E.R, Friends, and Frasier were the most popular television shows. Netflix didn’t exist. When we published the first issue in 1997, we were confident it would succeed. In hindsight, we were overconfident. To this day I can’t fathom why. We weren’t sure about most of the things we were doing. We had limited funds and lots of competition who were more than willing to criticize us on every occasion. When we launched, Toronto Life immediately filed a legal action against us over the name Ottawa Life Magazine. (They lost). As I review our early issues now, I can see why many thought we would fail. Most of them were really bad, and very amateurish. Poor design, weak writing and storylines and an overall lack of direction. However, what we lacked in experience, we made up for in passion, and a desire to succeed. In some ways, I am thankful we were so naïve when we started. Our focus was to publish stories about Canada’s capital region that provided insight into the people living and working here, or that were unique and interesting. A year in, we realized that our take on Ottawa would have to include writing about work-related issues that were of concern to the hundreds of thousands of public servants working here.We called it, looking at things from the federal perspective. We began publishing in-depth articles and series on health care, the environment, defence, labour and numerous other issues. Soon, we realized people enjoyed reading the magazine because it provided an understanding and perspective on the capital and on the mindset and priorities of the federal civil servants and politicians who were running the federal government. I recall being at an ad agency meeting in 2014 in Toronto when one of the partners asked me, “why do you have all this Aboriginal stuff in your magazine when you promote Ottawa Life to us as a mainstream consumer general interest and lifestyles publication.” At the time, we were halfway through an eight-part feature titled,The Métis, which was a companion series to a previously published Aboriginal Pathways series. I replied that our articles on Aboriginal and Métis issues provided historical context and facts for our readers regarding Canada’s First Nations. At that time, the Harper government was implementing significant legislative changes that would adversely affect hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal people, without their support or consent. The agency partner replied that he felt most people would find that topic “boring”. I told him that our readers love our content and noted that many Aboriginal people are part of the mainstream consumer readership too. Besides, we also offered a variety of other content whether it is our popular travel section or, health, fashion, art, music, wine and food or sports sections. So here we are twenty years later, still at it and loving every minute of it. We still believe our audience will always give a good story a chance n 4 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
copy editor/ senior features writer
Jennifer Hartley art director Karen Temple director of operations Isabel Payne, web editor/features writer Andre Gagne cover
Valerie Keeler www.valeriekeeler.com photographers
Marc Brigden Photography, Andre Gagne, Valerie Keeler, Karen Temple fashion editor Alexandra Gunn accounts Joe Colas C.G.A bookkeeper Tatiana Avdeeva contributing writers
Shelley Alexanian, Michael Coren, Anne Dion, Dan Donovan, Andre Gagne, John Gordon, Dave Gross, Alexandra Gunn, Jennifer Hartley, Ali Matthews, Don Macnamara,Vern Neufeld Redekop, Frank Raso, Karen Temple, Candice Vetter, Greg Vezina web contributors Angela Counter, Anne Dion, Myka Burke, Dave Gross, Andre Gagne, Katie Hartai, Jennifer Hartley, Alex Mazur,Vic Little, Brennan MacDonald, Don Maclean, Isabel Payne, Maria Perez , Mona Staples, Mireille Sylvester, Mike Tobin, Simon Vodrey, Meagan Simpson, Carlos Verde social media Maria Alejandra Gamboa,
corporate advisor J. Paul Harquail,
Charles Franklin, Dennis Mills corporate counsel Paul Champagne editor emeritus Harvey F. Chartrand student intern Melanye Amaral, Mahigan Giroux advertising information
For information on advertising rates, visit www.ottawalife.com call (613) 688-LIFE (5433) or e-mail email@example.com Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement #1199056. Ottawa Life Magazine, 301 Metcalfe St. Lower Level, Ottawa. Ontario K2P 1R9 tel: (613) 688-5433 fax: (613) 688 -1994 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: www.ottawalife.com Follow us on Twitter: @ottawalifers On Instagram: ottawalifemag Like us at www.Facebook.com/ OttawaLifeMagazine Ottawa Life is listed in Canadian Advertising Rates & Data (CARD). Ottawa Life subscription rates: one year $50.00, includes postage, plus HST (six issues). Two years $80.00, includes postage, plus HST (12 issues). Add $20 per year for postage outside Canada. Subscriber service is 613-688-LIFE (5433) Ottawa Life Magazine is printed in Canada on recycled paper.
Ontario at Its Best
The Inniskillin Niagara Estate Collection provides a variety of unique and classic Niagara flavours. The Late Autumn Riesling has concentrated flavours of green apple, peach and tropical fruits, balanced by a crisp clean acidity. Perfect for sipping on its own or enjoying with baked fruit or roasted chicken. Available at the LCBO. $13.95 lcbo.com
Ottawa Winter Must-Have Hat
The first novel for author Jana Begovic is a fantasy/romance that finds Leandra, a reputable psychiatrist, in emotional chaos after the sudden breakup of an illicit affair. Poisonous Whispers lures the reader from one continent to another, from past to present. The heroine’s sorrow-laced journey reflects the universal themes of love and loss. ISBN:150641953 roanepublishing.com
Sharpen Your Pencils
Sixty-five of the 95 puzzles in the 17th edition of the O Canada Crossward are Canadian themed. Whether you start at the top left or bottom right, you are guaranteed to brush up on Canadian trivia while engaging your brain. So, sharpen a pencil and get solving. ocanadacrosswords.com ISBN: 0-88971-332-7
From the oldest barbershop comes a new cologne that epitomizes the quintessential English gentleman. Be sure to try the 1805 shaving cream or the C.A.R. (oil free) cream for easy styling of hard to manage hair. truefitandhill.ca
Introducing Tilley’s first-ever winter toque. Made in a traditional cable sweater knit and lined with a moisture wicking polyester, the Aspen Toque will keep you warm and looking good even on the coldest of days. Best of all, it features interchangeable poms to change up your look to match any and all of your other winter accessories. tilley.com
So smart, it’s Genius
Remove 100 per cent more plaque than a manual brush with the Oral-B Genius 8000 toothbrush. It is so smart that, with the help of the Oral-B App, users receive feedback. The combined position detection technology and triple pressure control help improve your technique and brushing habits while the triple sensors protect your gums from over brushing. Available everywhere. oralb.ca
Keep the Pet, Lose the Fur
Perfect for those with four-legged friends, the Eureka Ultimate Pet comes with everything you need to keep the house clean. Switch with ease between carpeted and bare floors or use the extensions to reach every corner and crevice. The Eureka Ultimate Pet also includes an Arm and Hammer® Fresh Home Allergen Filter to reduce allergens in the air. eureka.com
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in search of style by Alex Gunn
Ready to elevate your fashion game? These top influencers are making waves in the blogging community and are proving that this political city has style. After steadily garnering online followers and continuing to highlight the best of what Ottawa has to offer, it’s no surprise that this collective of tastemakers are helping to boost the style quotient across the city so look no further for local fashion inspiration. They’ve got you covered.
OTTAWASTYLE Fashion Editor Alexandra Gunn shares the stories four women who have been championing fashion through their blogs.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Valerie Keeler valeriekeeler.com, Photographed at the Andaz Ottawa Byward Market ottawa.andaz.hyatt.com PRODUCTION MANAGER: Alexandra Gunn ON-SITE ASSISTANT: Isabel Payne VIDEOGRAPHY: Hour Media hourmedia.ca
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@styledomination Dominique Baker
I love helping people to pinpoint what clothing makes them feel great and how to make the most of what they already have. There is no need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe in order to define a personal style. Take a good look at your lifestyle, your style goals and what truly inspires you and run with that. My style is quite feminine but I dress depending on my mood. No matter what I wear, I wear it with confidence. When you do purchase clothes, the key is to buy great quality pieces that fit perfectly.You want to be comfortable and feel your best. Nothing looks worse than someone who is constantly fidgeting because their clothing does not fit well. Treat yourself every now and buy jewelry. A classic piece will elevate anything you wear. styledomination.com
@mariesbazaar Marie Ernst
I started my blog as a way to share what fits and works for me. I realized a lot of young women are scared of fashion because their only inspiration comes from supermodels and designers. I want to help empower women to be true to who they are. I hope to show that being comfortable with yourself is the most important. If you don’t feel good in what you are wearing, it won't work. A smile is the best accessory you have. I hope Ottawa can become a fashion forward destination, even in winter. mariesbazaar.com
@ouicestchic Katrina Turnbull
I use #OttawaStyle in all of my outfit photos on Instagram and Twitter. It’s my way of inspiring others and showing them that despite being a traditionally conservative town, we still got it going on. I would rather see someone walking down the street in a bizarre outfit that I would never wear, than someone playing it safe. Interesting fashion and style is an invitation to approach someone and start a conversation. I encourage people to dress like there are no rules. If you don’t feel amazing in every piece of clothing you put on, then it’s not the right style for you. When I became a mom, it was crucial for me to maintain my identity. People have a hard time believing I have two kids. It’s exactly those stereotypes that I’m trying to break. ouicestchic.com
@chantsy Chantal Sarkisian
I want to inspire people to get creative, pair unlikely combinations and shop at stores they may not know about. I hope that I am motivating women of all sizes to look good and feel great. Finding confidence through fashion is easy when you know how to dress yourself. Ottawa’s plus-size fashion industry is very scarce, so I make a point of letting people know about any retail resource I find. I pay a lot of attention to my own larger size requirement and dress to conceal my flaws. I think that’s why I enjoy styling plus-size women so much. I understand what their concerns are, and I know how to have fun within their personal limits. My look depends on my mood, the occasion or the weather. but always balances femininity with an edge of unpredictability. modeXLusive.com
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books reviewed by Dan Donovan
”We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us” by Brett Boudreau 415 pages • ISBN: 978-9934-8582-2-2
Donald Trump has yet to be sworn in as President, yet his unscripted comments about NATO and other alliances have many panicking. Russian troops are at war in the Ukraine, and they are rattling their sabre at Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Canada currently has a large contingent of troops on NATO operations in both the Ukraine and Latvia. In Latvia, the Canadians form the nucleus of the battle group, at the Adazi military base. Most analysts believe that NATO is as relevant today as it was when it was formed in 1949. Brett Boudreau, is a former Canadian senior military officer who served in the top echelons at NATO. His important, impressive and timely book “We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us”, examines the strategic communications used by NATO powers during the 2003-2014 Afghanistan campaign. The book is a must read for defence and foreign affairs experts, analysts and academics who can get a thorough and complete study of the communications side of a modern day military campaign. Boudreau is candid that at NATO there are discussions and policy choices made every day during military operations, and that military people often disagree. He examines the process and interaction that happens with strategic communications at the policy option stage and policy choice stage. He reviews the operational execution and the strategic communications that were important components of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) campaign. Large parts of his narrative are dedicated,
in some detail, to the strategic communications at NATO Headquarters, and chronicle the ISAF mission command by command with an accuracy that can often only be found in the discipline of a military organization. The most refreshing and insightful parts of the book are when Boudreau describes the conflicting views between NATO members and other nations about whether strategic communications is a process, mindset, capability – or a combination of the three – the answer to which, he says affects doctrine, structure and resources. Boudreau’s willingness to cite the successes, the inadequacies, and at times, the failures in NATO’s strategic communications is refreshing and gives this book special credibility. There are also important lessons here for the NATO officials, foreign service officers, military officers and others who are dealing today, with the crisis in the Ukraine, and Latvia. Boudreau’s work validates the argument that a solid and reasoned communications policy, with structure and objectives, goes a long way in shaping opinions n Read the full book at http://www.stratcomcoe.org/we-have-metenemy-and-he-us-analysis-nato-strategic-communications-internationalsecurity-assistance
Hostage to History by Elie Mikhael Nasrallah 157 pages • ISBN: 978-1-4602-8277-9
In Hostage to History, Elie Nasrallah asks questions that many in North America and Europe wonder: what happened to Arab culture and its peoples? and what is going on in the Arab world? Nasrallah is of Lebanese heritage and has become one of the Arab world’s greatest critics. The problem, his problem, is that it seems that most in the Arab world today are not self-reflective or even see a need to ask these questions, let alone answer them. The theme of this book (and answer) is: it’s the culture. Nasrallah takes the reader into the abyss of contemporary Arab cultural conditions and looks at its political tension. He postulates that an outdated educational system, illiteracy, political tyranny, the lack of freedom, women’s oppression, sexual repression, the mixing of religion and politics, and the bonanza of oil wealth that is controlled by a small and 8 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
elitist group of wealthy Arab people, have all conversed and are contributing to the cataclysmic disruption of the Arab state-system. Nasrallah promotes a 12-point plan for getting the Arab world to rejoin modernity and participate with other regions in becoming a modern, right-based entity. He addresses many of the key flashpoints that are at the heart of expression of religion in modern society. His book and reasoning remind me in many ways of Christopher Hitchens 2007 book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, where Hitchens makes a case against organized religion by postulating that organized religion is “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children” and sectarian, and that accordingly it “ought to have a great deal on its conscience.” I dare say Nasrallah makes similar arguments. But he is braver because he is from the Arab world, and thus his book is a far greater threat to those from that world, some of whom may not cherish freedom n
homes by Shelley Alexanian
White Thing lean, effortless and so Euro chic: C white colour on walls is simple and strong. Whether it’s maximizing a limited source of light or creating a comfortable interior, these rooms show white in a big way.
White is never boring, in fact it can be very dramatic. The addition of textures and material can create a warmth rather than an uninviting sterility. White can be minimal without being cold. Painting a room white can give such flexibility as it is a blank canvas. But don’t be fooled as all whites are not equal. Benjamin Moore alone has 200 different shades of white. Long PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
associated with cleanliness, purity and softness, white is endlessly versatile. White is actually a palette of colours which can create different effects, depending on how they are used and the room’s exposure and reflective effects of the flooring, ceiling and furnishings. Cool whites have grey, blue or green undertones and can either be crisp or dull. Warm whites have a yellow, peach or beige cast. These tones create a soft look but can lose lustre depending on the natural light. If a modern crisp look is what you are trying to achieve, move toward the bright cool whites. If you are mixing antiques and creating a softer more romantic look, stick to the creamier whites.
Fabrics in white can be very functional even with young children. Bright white leather sofas are practical because the dirt and marks can be easily be wiped off. Save linen and fabrics for curtains and accessories which are much less likely to get stained. A great white room does need texture and a room that is monochromatic requires a use of materials such as stone, wood, linen, cotton and wool for depth. To create a contrast, sleek textures like glass, metals high gloss and lacquer can provide that depth and the combination with the beautiful white colour will bring your room to life n 9 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
Give your OLD bikeâ€Ś NEW life! We Pick Up YOUR Donations
473 Bronson Ave. Ottawa, ON K1R 6J7 P: (613) 288-1454 email@example.com
We Sell REFURBISHED Bikes Cycle Salvation is a social business at Causemay Work Centre. It is a growing network of socially minded, not-for-profit ventures focused on transforming disadvantaged lives through training and employment. *Any bike donation valued over $500 will be eligible for a tax receipt
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homes by John Gordon
JOHNâ€™S RENO TIPS
The Counter Cunundrum
We spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen, making this space the biggest buying or selling point in a home.
Kitchens by nature, are the most desired renovation projects. Whether it be just a few touch-ups to spruce things up, or a complete gut and remodel, we have you covered. First, there are stone countertops. The trend for countertops has been stone for quite some time as most of us would already know. However, the question is how to choose which type of stone. In newly renovated kitchens, we often see one of two (affordable) stones installed for counters, quartz or granite. As they both are incredibly PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
popular choices, they do have differentiating characteristics that may help you choose one over the other. Quartz has quickly become more popular than granite, though more expensive. Quartz has plenty of options for colours as this stone is manufactured and colours easily. Quartz does not need to be sealed yearly, which is another big bonus for low-maintenance homeowners. Granite on the other hand, is a timeless stone that has been used for years in
the kitchen. An attractive quality to homeowners is that granite is a natural stone that is pulled as a sheet from the earth, giving this truly natural feel to the home. Granite has always been sought after for the kitchen, as it can last a lifetime with proper upkeep. There are no big drawbacks in the choice of either stone. The choice is always up to the homeowner and both quartz and granite defend themselves with undeniable beauty. Which one will you choose? n Visit YourRenoGuys.com for more information about John and the services he offers.
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Look for Ottawa Art Gallery Out There in your community during construction of our new space. This engaging pop-up initiative delivers a range of arts activities throughout the Ottawa-Gatineau region in collaboration with community and festival partners, as well as local businesses.
HEADING IN A NEW DIRECTION
Our new gallery is scheduled to open this fall at 50 Mackenzie King Bridge.
Melanie Authier, The Thief’s Sun, (detail) 2016, acrylic on canvas, 104.14 x 91.44 cm. Collection of the Ottawa Art Gallery: Purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program and OAG’s Acquisitions Endowment Fund, 2016.
12 OTTAWALIFE DECEMBER FEBRUARY 2017 2016
profile by Andre Gagne
Ottawa’s Idea Man LES GAGNE
You may not know the name Les Gagne but you’ve probably taken part in at least one of his ideas. Breathing new life into Sparks Street, Poutinefest, Ottawa’s New Year’s Eve, and Mac and Cheese fest all came from the mind of Ottawa’s idea man. It’s a brain that’s been working in overtime since as long as it can remember.
A native of Pembroke, Ontario, Gagne was the youngest of eight kids and eager to stand out. He played hockey, baseball and football and later picked up guitar because he had plans to be the next John Mellencamp. He always had something on the go. “Ideas came naturally and often,” says Gagne. “They have always inspired me and helped carve out my niche in everything I’ve done. One of my biggest challenges has always been choosing which creative idea to run with.” One of his first had him building a device that attached to a pot and stirred the food, freeing the chef's hands to prep other aspects of the meal. Gagne says he feels he was destined for the food business and is driven by the knowledge that everything is possible. “The key to this is having the will to do it. If there is a problem, there is a solution.” He finds motivation in simply showing things can be done. The act of creating something out of nothing is the fuel that keeps him going even when some ventures fail. His brief tenure on Sparks Street is now looked back on with some regret. Gagne was a big part of the overhaul PHOTO: ANDRE GAGNE
needed on a street that was failing to reach its full potential. There he saw as a garden ripe for cultivation. After being brought on in 2012, he developed a five-year plan that brought multiple food festivals, car shows, a farmers market and Latin dance nights to the street now lit up and vibrant with activity. However, it was his idea to bring a New York City style New Year’s Eve party to Sparks that saw his greatest success with crowds packed in for live music and merriment. Despit his efforts, Gagne was relieved of his duties in 2014. He feels that mixed interests got in the way and eventually lead to them moving away from his vision. “I can say that pretty much everything I started, created or brought to Sparks Street is still there and serving the street very well.What if I could have finished the job that I started?” After leaving, he took some time to rethink and recharge. He’s thankful for the support of his wife of 19 years, Josee. It’s needed when he gets in his idea zone, a place he’s in just as much
as his own house. You can’t keep a good idea man down long. Gagne was at it again in short order. He created Capital Ribfest, another Poutine Fest and the Mac My Cheese festival over the last few years but his rampant brain is concocting his biggest idea yet for Canada’s 150th birthday extravaganza. Gagne plans to bring two festivals to the city in 2017: I AM CANADIAN 150 and Ottawa Best Fest. Though he’s keeping some of these plans secret for now, he did let on that, with so many tourists flocking to the city for the sesquicentennial, there are plans to showcase the best of what Ottawa has to offer. “Ottawa is ripe for a lot of new ideas and events because the status quo is no longer the expectation,” says Gagne. “People are tired of the same old and it's time to bring the world of "what could be” to Ottawa. Through the expansion of my existing festivals along with introduction of several new events, I feel 2017 will be the year that ultimately defines the new Ottawa to the world.”n 13 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
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cover by Anne Dion
photos by Valerie Keeler
Janice Payne, Nelligan of O’Brien Payne LLP, Katherine Cooligan of Border Ladner Gervais, Donna White of Osler and Claire Tremblay of Tremblay Law Office are four of most respected lawyers in Ottawa. They are successful woman in a still largely male dominated legal profession, in Canada. Through their work and by example, they have raised the bar for all lawyers and have proven that progressive firms can be very profitable. The leadership they have shown and application of the law in their area of expertise, over decades, is inspirational. All four are mentors and role models to many young lawyers, particularly women. They are all fierce in their own way. Women in law in Canada continue to face adversity. There are still subtle hints of patriarchy but things are changing for the better. In the past decade, many Canadian law schools have been accepting more women than men. It’s because of people like Janice Payne Donna White, Katherine Cooligan and Claire Tremblay, that female lawyers in both private practice and the in-house world, are being applauded and promoted more and more often as partners and senior leaders. However, there is still work to be done.
is impressively multitalented. Her professional resume alone is remarkable. Working mostly in the employment law field, Payne advises both employees and employers on the full range of issues that can arise in the workplace. The first female to be made partner at her firm, Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP, Janice Payne was part of the 10 per cent of females admitted to Law School at the time, making her mark among her peers in her competitive surroundings. During her time at the firm, Payne has started three practice areas: first family law, then condominium law, before finding her niche in employment law and building the team that she now views as one of her proudest achievements. “I think I was always, since the time I was a girl, really interested in law. I don’t come from a family of lawyers; I’m the first member of my family to practice law so it wasn’t that. I was very curious about it.” Payne tells us. 15 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
Completing her initial post-secondary education in languages at Carleton University, Payne remembers finding out about a law school at the University of Ottawa. “It must have been 1970. And I thought, if I don’t give this a try I’m never going to know.” She continues, telling us how she convinced her interviewer that a languages major belonged in law school by arguing that “language is surely the tool of the lawyer”.
the seven lawyers employed at what was then Nelligan Power, the firm’s malefemale ratio has reached 50/50, a vast improvement from just one of seven.
“And I’ve just never looked back. I joined a really good firm coming out of law school and after my call to the bar I’ve never left.” says Payne. Instead, luckily for Ottawa and for Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP, she has devoted her time, energy, and passion to building her practice areas and team here in the nation’s capital.
While putting in the many hours necessary for a career in law, Payne has also found time for another passion: theatre. She was cast this year as the U.S. President in the 17th annual GCTC and Carleton County Law Association Lawyers’ production of The Mouse That Roared:
Among her list of accomplishments, Janice Payne values her role in building gender diversity in her firm. After being welcomed as the first female of
“It is a profession for which women are well suited, and I’m proud to have been part of building that here.” says Payne. “There’s no question, the two — building the practice and building the profile of women in the firm has been very important to me.”
“It’s a very important fundraiser for the Great Canadian Theatre Company. They really count on our involvement with them and with this joint production,” Payne explains.“We
volunteer our time fully as lawyers, but we are professionally directed, costumed, staged, stage managed. The result is a really polished production, that the broader local community now realizes is something they want to see every year.” Payne and her husband, Russell Lyon, have raised three grown children all of whom have successfully pursued their own passions in entrepreneurship and the performing arts. Payne also serves on the Board of Governors of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, as well as on the Board of Directors of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. Between her awe-inspiring accomplishments at Nelligan O’Brien Payne, her work with the GCTC and various charities, and the wonderful professional family she is so happy to be a part of, it is safe to say that our country’s capital city would not be the same without Janice Payne n
heads up the trademark practice WHITE within the National Intellectual Property Group at Osler
and is the Managing Partner of the firm’s Ottawa office. As a full-service “one-stop shop” providing advice in all areas of intellectual property law, the Osler IP team, and various individual members of the team including Donna, have received high rankings and Canadian and world-wide recognition for expertise in intellectual property matters. After more than 25 years in the business, White tells us that she is still passionate about her job: “Every day is interesting even though I practice in a very narrow, niche practice area. In the course of a given day I can be working on a file for a new brand of underwear, a new restaurant franchise, a fight between two cookie manufacturers or for a pharmaceutical company,” White says. “So there’s a lot of variety in my day and I’m still not bored after all this time.” Donna White’s career accomplishments are impressive. She routinely provides advice to global companies and counts many entertainers,sports organizations and celebrities among
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her clients. She attributes a big part of her success to the strength of the Osler platform. Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, one of Canada’s largest firms and a leading business law firm nationally, has taken a leading role in promoting diversity and equal opportunity within the legal industry. Osler has a rich and longstanding history and is older than Canada itself — our country’s 150th birth-day approaches in 2017, but Osler celebrated its own in 2012. Always ahead of the curve, Osler prides itself on being the first large corporate Canadian firm to admit a female partner. That female partner, admitted in 1968, was Bertha Wilson, who later gained notoriety as the first female appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2010, Osler was among the first to establish a formal Diversity Committee with a mandate to promote diversity and inclusion. Gender is only one of many facets of diversity, all of which White takes very seriously. “Among our lawyers and staff we speak over 37 languages.” says White, telling us with pride that Osler was the first firm to conduct a survey through a third party to measure diversity and set a baseline from which to improve. The firm also boasts a robust Pride network, and was selected by the Globe and Mail as one of Canada’s best diversity employers. “We are very committed and have always been supportive of many charities and local initia-tives.” says White. By way of example, she details the firm’s support for the University of Ottawa refugee sponsorship support program and identifies pro bono work that she and her colleagues throughout the firm have been engaged in over the past few years. Several of her coworkers have sponsored Syrian refugee families living with them in their homes. Along with her pride in the firm and the values demonstrated by its members, Donna is grateful for the supportive family she feels blessed to have and expresses fondness for Canada’s capital, where she was born, raised, educated, has made a career and is the perfect place to call home n
has an unusually impressive COOLIGAN bio. She works full time as both the regional managing
partner for the Ottawa office of her firm, Border Ladner Gervais, while also running a practice in family law litigation. A specialist in family law, Cooligan is the regional leader of the Estates and Family Law Group, and Chair of the Regional Management Committee — all the while raising three children singlehandedly. The impressiveness of her career is mirrored in intensity by moral centre. Cooligan tells us that she chose family law because of the impact it has on her clients. “I am impassioned by helping others, by being a part of a solution through a very difficult journey. It is the intersection between personal lives and the law that drives my passion.” says Cooligan. Her drive and her dedication have led to her becoming a senior manager in Canada’s largest national law firm. She is unique in this role, as both a woman and as a family law lawyer, as she is the only woman currently holding this management role.This is the pillar in her career of which she feels the most pride. “My proudest achievement is the election as Regional Managing Partner coming from a demo-graphic that has not traditionally achieved this position — a woman and a family law lawyer.” she tells us. Cooligan’s positive impact stretches far beyond her firm to include a great deal of community involvement. It’s no accident however, that what she has been most involved with outside of the law also has to do with families and children. She was a member of the CHEO Foundation Board from 1997-1999 and was asked to rejoin last year for another term. 17 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
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“All of my children have been patients at CHEO” Katherine tells us,“So it’s an opportunity for me to give back to an institution that has greatly impacted my life, but also the broader community.” A journey as impressively successful as Katherine Cooligan’s cannot be an easy one, and she speaks of the turbulence of a career that demands struggle and sacrifice. “In many ways, those
struggles have defined me as much if not more than the triumphs,” she says. “The key is to find ways to overcome those emotions and sometimes that means just doing it anyway, in spite of the emotions.” The real cost for Cooligan has been the difficulties that are inevitable as a career-driven mother, mourning the time she has had to sacrifice with her family, especially as her children now move towards their
independence. Katherine Cooligan’s outlook is just as admirable as her work ethic: “My professional successes have surpassed my expectations.” she says, “My goals for the future are to mentor, motivate and support young professionals in the development of their careers, and to encourage women in leadership by sharing my experiences.” n
Claire TREMBLAY Having opened her very own practice in 2014, Claire Tremblay is a shining example of independence and drive. Now the lead lawyer at Tremblay Law Office, Claire Tremblay attended the University of Ottawa, where she earned her Bachelor of Laws. Originally from Australia, she worked as a journalist both there and in Canada before becoming a lawyer as well as a National Coordinator and Parliamentary Lobbyist for women’s equality and human rights. Tremblay’s office specializes in family and refugee law, and giving voice to the unheard is what keeps her passionate about her work. “Voices that may not otherwise be heard - such as that of children, domestic violence victims and refugees - can be heard in a safe arena — in a courthouse,” says Tremblay. Claire Tremblay’s positive influence extends far beyond the recent opening of her own practice. Tremblay has been a board member for Housing Help for seven years, helping people in need of affordable housing find information and assistance through the Ottawa-based organization. She has also volunteered with several Ottawa groups, including the Catholic Immigration Centre, the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, Centre for Equality Rights in Ac-commodation, Amnesty International, as well as Immigrant Women Services Ottawa (IWSO). One of
Tremblay’s proudest achievements of her career so far, she tells us, is being awarded, in 2015, a Volunteer Award from IWSO for pro-bono legal work with immigrant women in Ottawa since 2012. “I try to place myself in the position of my clients. I take my responsibility toward them seriously. Now, this sounds like just another cliche, however, I am acutely aware (as are many lawyers) that being a lawyer is not just any job - the affect of any family court orders or the results of a refugee hearing - will change the lives of my clients, possibly for many years to come. There is a responsibility that comes with that - to do your best for your clients and to present the facts of their situation as clearly and as coherently as possible.” Claire Tremblay’s moral perspective is as robust as her resumé, and her volunteer work as impressive as her legal portfolio — and Ottawa is all the better for it n 19 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
gallery by Anne Dion
Our H me
NAT IVE L A N D S C A P E
Jennifer Adomeit never planned on becoming an artist. The Canadianborn art enthusiast is an elementary school teacher whose artwork, to her great surprise, has found nation-wide fame. Adomeit grew up in Northern British Colombia with no Indigenous ancestry but surrounded by First Nations art and culture.With an innate interest in art and creative expression, she developed a fascination with the intricate and striking designs of the local First Nations people at an early age. Adomeit was never destined to become an artist by trade, but her interest in the architecture of traditional Canadian artwork never left her. 20 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
Ten years ago, Adomeit had the chance to explore this artistic inspiration in a First Nations Art class she took while attending UNBC. The result was her painting entitled Our Home And Native Land which has since brought Adomeit well-deserved celebrity. The course’s final project was assigned with instructions to create an art piece inspired by the topic “synchronous dichotomous.” As a Geography major studying the political and social impact
rely upon. And of course, we should remember where our home and native land actually came from.” After the explosion of popularity for her first piece, Jen Adomeit began working on her second piece, “The Spirit of BC.” The painting is a closeup of British Colombia’s surface, it’s outline filled in with a more detailed version of that in “Our Home and native Land.” “British Columbia’s representative animal is a Spirit Bear”, explains Adomeit, “I feel that this is the perfect animal to represent this province since the Indigenous people in BC, their art, culture, and history are such an integral part of the ‘spirit’ of our diverse province.” Despite her success, Adomeit has no plans to take her art further. She answers inquiries about creating commissioned paintings or other artwork in the Northwest Coast style by passing on the names of talented BC First Nations artists who she believes deserve the work more than she does.
of borders on various groups of people, the theory behind “Our Home and Native Land” began to take shape. The painting is a map of Canada. But unlike any usual map, the surface of each province or territory is covered by that province or territory’s representational animal, painted in the traditional Indigenous designs that Adomeit grew up fascinated by. “This ‘map’ of Canada illustrates the synchronous, intricately connected relationship that First Nations People have with their land.” explains Adomeit. The Greek origin of the
term dichotomy means “to divide in two". “Our Home and Native Land” shows how arbitrary the imposed provincial and territorial borders were on the Indigenous people’s lifestyle, how interfering with and separating them from their traditional lands is embedded in our nation’s fabric. “‘Our Home and Native Land’ can also be seen as a celebration of our country’s true heritage.” Adomeit continues: “It serves as a reminder that we need to learn more about the culture and history of the Indigenous people in our country and help to protect the land which they so greatly
“As much as I love this style of art, there are so many talented First Nations artists out there who could do a much more beautiful and authentic job than I ever could. I was happy to be given the opportunity to create ‘Our Home and Native Land’ and have been overwhelmed by the positive response it has received.” For the time being, she is happy as an elementary school teacher and living outside of the spotlight. However, “As far as the future goes, I am always looking for creative projects to take part in and am looking into doing more collaborative projects with local First Nations artists.” n For more on Jennifer Adomeit and her artwork, visit www.jenadomeit.com 21 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
gallery by Ali Matthews
Copper, Feathers & National Pride Ottawa artist, Barbara Barkley is celebrating her love of Canada one feather at a time. or Ottawa artist Barbara Barkley, F it has been six months since she made the decision to dedicate herself fully to her what has been her passion for the last 15 years — copper.
From the roof that graces our Parliament buildings to the cables winding through all our homes, the soft, malleable metal is quintessencially Canadian. It seems only natural that Barkley chose to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by creating 150 unique, handcrafted copper feathers. A completed feather is something to experience in person. For Barkley, the feather is the ideal canvas. It is a symbol 22 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
of peace, inspiration, and healing, as well as, it recognizes our country's Aboriginal origins. Barkley brings to life a series of themes and symbols that include landscapes, livelihoods, landmarks, plants, wildlife and individuals, all part of the Canadian identity. This natural connection and challenge is exactly how Barkley was drawn to copper in the first place. “Prior to discovering copper-tooling I had tried every other traditional medium…mainly pencil, and pen and ink and calligraphy,” she explains. In fact, her work in copper is a natural progression but the paper sketch
is just the beginning of a detailed copper creation. Once a drawing is complete, the image is outlined on the copper and the tooling work begins. Barkley utilizes countless tools of every shape, size and edge to manipulate the metal and achieve a certain result. She describes it as a battle, a constant struggle to keep control of the metal, as she flips the sheet back and forth, ensuring it doesn’t buckle. In addition to honouring our country, Barkley has also created personal tribute feathers. “I created legacy feathers to acknowledge those who PHOTO: MARC BRIGDEN PHOTOGRAPHY
THE FEATHER IS THE IDEAL CANVAS. IT IS A SYMBOL OF PEACE, INSPIRATION, AND HEALING, AS WELL AS, IT RECOGNIZES OUR ABORIGINAL ORIGINS.
have devoted their lives in support of our country, like my proud father who served in WW2 and worked his entire life to keep this country safe and free.” From unknown to distinguished and respected, the feathers are a symbol of each individual’s love for our country. “I have completed about 25 feathers so far,” said Barkley. “The personal legacy feathers can be quite complex. At about 80 hours each, they require the most time. To capture the essence of a person’s life is difficult. I want to ensure that I create a piece that will be a meaningful and lasting tribute, honouring a proud Canadian.”
To make the Canada 150 feathers truly shine Barkley collaborated with a young woodworking entrepreneur at CNC Ottawa to create custom display boxes that showcases the feathers in their full glory.
“My hope is that these feathers will be displayed as symbols of pride, either by individuals or organizations,” reflected Barkley. “And on a personal level, respected for what I have created and the love that I have for this country. With 125 feathers to go, Barkley has enough ideas and inspiration to last a lifetime but she still welcomes suggestions for themes. Order your own feather or make an appointment and drop into Barb Barkley’s Copper Tree Creative Studio n coppertreecreative.ca 23 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
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interview by Dave Gross
ou'd be hard-pressed to run into many in this city who
don’t recognize the name or the face. That was certainly not the case back in the late 1990s when a young entrepreneur from Newfoundland arrived in Ottawa to take over as owner of the storied 67’s junior
Jeff Hunt Proves Fruitful
at Discovering a Dream
hockey franchise. Jeff who? Well, you know him now. What Jeff Hunt has accomplished is remarkable: First, hosting and winning the 1999 Memorial Cup; then taking an attendance-starved team to new heights of success - in the mid-2000s the 67’s were averaging 10-11,000 fans per game; then winning the hosting duties for the 33rd World Junior Championship in 2009; to securing a CFL franchise a year later, revamping crotchety old Lansdowne with the city and back-to-back trips to the Grey Cup culminating in a win last month. (Ottawa hosts next year). There’s not a lot of swings-and-misses in Hunt's history. OLM: How do you top what you accomplished this year (with the REDBLACKS)?
Easy, win and win at home (laughing).
OLM: Expectations are obviously very high following this year’s Grey Cup and the fact you’re hosting next year. Is there added pressure? PHOTO: ANDRE GAGNE
Yes, but I don’t know if ‘pressure’ is the right word. We want to keep the winning going and it’s a good feeling. Being in a Grey Cup and doing it at home is something special. It’s like when we hosted and won the Memorial Cup. It’s something that is very unique and special. It’s an incredible opportunity for us to come back as reigning Grey Cup champs, and just to make it to the game itself would be something special and gives us something to strive for. And it’s not just winning on the field, I feel pressure to keep growing our fan base.
OLM: How could you possibly grow your fan base (Ottawa was 10-for-10 in sell outs this past season)? HUNT: Yeah
we sold out every game, but not all sell outs are created equal (laughs). Toronto Maple Leafs have a waiting list of 100-thousand fans and 25 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
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If there were 10 reasons why the CFL didn’t work last time, seven of them had to do with the stadium… washrooms, concessions, seats, audio system …it was just a bad experience.
with other teams their ticket sales exactly meet the demand. In other words if there were eight less people who bought tickets there wouldn’t be eight more people there to buy them. So you always want to build your fan base. Utopia would be a waiting list for season-ticket holders. Every year you’re going to lose fans, I don’t care who you are… The Yankees, Maple Leafs… you need a pipeline, you need people on that escalator. Particularly the young fans. I think we captured that. OLM: Switching topics, what do you think the previous CFL ownership group (Renegades) did wrong? What did they not capture?
If you did a poll, Daniel was here a lot longer, but Henry, in a very short time, catapulted himself into being one of the most beloved Ottawa sports personalities of all time. Talk to anyone who’s met him and they’re blown away by his demeanor and enthusiasm. Henry is smiling and interacting in the same way with the first fan as he is with the 1,000th fan. That’s an incredible attribute and I’ve never seen it in another professional athlete. OLM: On to soccer. What challenges do you face, as a guy who has to sell tickets, to the Ottawa Fury switching from the NASL to the USL?
I don’t think there’s any challenge. I don’t think fans are too concerned (with the switch). They want to go out on a Saturday afternoon and watch an outdoor sporting event and cheer on the home team. I don’t think they’re overly concerned about what league we might be in. There are diehards who follow that closely to be sure, but that’s 10 per cent. The other 90 per cent just like to show up and sometimes don’t know who we’re playing. I think the Fury have shown growth, which is tough with all the noise surrounding the REDBLACKS, but they’ve done very well.
HUNT: HUNT: Well, first of all, they didn’t have
a brand-new redeveloped stadium. Let’s put it this way, if there were 10 reasons why the CFL didn’t work last time, seven of them had to do with the stadium. It just was such a bad distraction to a good fan experience. Think about it: washrooms, concessions, seats, audio system … it was just a bad experience. You might be the best restaurateur in the world but if you have a run-down, dilapidated (facility) it’s going to be a terrible experience. The other reasons? Well, the product on the field was subpar and lack of confidence in ownership was a factor. One of the things we’ve succeeded at was engaging the francophone fan and much has been made of that. Fans in Gatineau feel that the REDBLACKS are their team and we’re very proud of that.
OLM: Speaking of capturing the fans, Henry Burris certainly has done that and more. Is Henry Burris as popular now as Daniel Alfredsson? HUNT:
I just made that comparison.
OLM: Switching gears again, have the Ottawa 67’s become the ugly stepchild here? Attendance is way down. Is there a priority to get the 67’s back to where they were?
Definitely. The 67’s have paid a price for the whole Lansdowne redevelopment. Had to leave for two years and go to Canadian Tire Centre which wasn’t optimum. Face it, if I only owned the 67’s and had to contend with the REDBLACKS, my job would HUNT:
ABOVE: Jeff Hunt on the cover of the November 1998 issue of Ottawa Life.
be tougher. In a very short time you’ve added two new sports franchises to the Ottawa market and those were two sports teams I didn’t have to compete with over the years. We’re competing with ourselves. Next year is our 50th anniversary and we’re going to take that opportunity to try and get a little more focus and attention in the market … It’s just that the marketplace has gotten a lot busier. OLM: Finally, your relationship with Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has been categorized as fractious. Is that accurate? HUNT:
I don’t feel that way.
OLM: But they’re your direct competitor. HUNT: I am not friends (with Melnyk),
but we have collaborated as with the world juniors, when we had that. They were great hosts to us when (the 67’s) played there and we have had that ongoing relationship for many years. We still continue to play our annual school day game at CTC. I consider the Senators to be our friendly competitor. I consider the Senators and OSEG to have a common competitor, and that’s apathy, and that’s the couch … I’m glad the Senators are here and they’ve been good to us over the years.
OLM: What’s your relationship like with Melnyk?
Like I said, I don’t have much of a relationship with Eugene and don’t really have a reason to. Again, my interactions with him in the past have been cordial and reasonable n
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28 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
reaching higher/education by Ali Matthews
Track-Record of Innovation Continues at Algonquin College with Nine New Programs ith the ever-changing media, W technological, and scientific landscape, finding a way to educate the next generation of skilled workers is more important than ever to give them a proper chance at success.
Noone knows this more than Ottawa’s Algonquin College of Applied Arts which has been in the education and innovation business for over 45 years. With over 21,000 full-time students across their campuses, as well as more than 38,000 enrolled in continuing education, keeping up with the student populations and meeting their needs is a priority and requires an insane balancing act. For 2017, Algonquin is adding nine exciting programs to the current roster of 269 Ontario College Programs that each fill a much-needed role. The new online college certificates for trades, Trades Management, Trades Leadership andTrades Entrepreneurship, are teaching the critical skills to which individuals pursuing careers in skilled trades would naturally gravitate. “These individuals move from being the skilled tradespeople, to then owning their own businesses, and moving up the ladder where they are working, PHOTOS: COURTESY ALGONQUIN COLLEGE
even in larger organizations,” added Maggie Cusson, Dean of Academic Development. “The course is also online because these students will be professionals in their field, working, and will require flexibility and study on their own schedule.” In addition to creating new programs, Algonquin is also refining and reimagining old ones. This is especially true the new Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Certificates and Diplomas and Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees which are replacing what were formerly known as Pre Health Sciences and PreHealth Nursing.
NEW PROGRAMS Trades Management • Trades Leadership • Trades Entrepreneurship • Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Certificates and Diplomas • Prehealth Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees • Building Information Modeling - Lifecycle Management • Action Sports and Park Development • Urban Forestry – Arboriculture • Applied Nuclear Science and Radiation Safety
“These programs were created in recognition of the importance of the pathways into health programs and the growing number of new programs in that area,” explained Cusson. “These programs bridge what students may be missing from high school, prepare them with the right skills and background, and help them in terms of choosing the right career pathway.” The new Building Information Modeling - Lifecycle Management Graduate Certificate is also an expansion on previous programs offered. Building Information Modeling has always been important, but taking facilities management or new construction from a lifecycle perspective is not only timely, but critical. “This is a new process in the way that all buildings, especially all large complex building are going to be built,” explained Cusson. “It is meant to optimize efficiency of the buildings and to understand all the related interdependencies between the various systems.” While most programs are offered across the various campuses, Pembroke’s Waterfront Campus’s unique location warrants is own unique selection of new programs. 29 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
focus on the environment and the greening of urban spaces, our program seeks to produce graduates who have the practical skills of an arborist, but the critical thinking skills of a forest manager.”
“Our campus has created a niche introducing outdoor training programs that attract students from across Canada,” explained Jamie Bramburger, Manager of Community and Student Affairs, Algonquin College Waterfront Campus. These new programs based in Pembroke,are incredibly cool-sounding and demonstrate the diversity of skills the market currently needs, as well as Algonquin’s ability to think ahead. “The Action Sports and Park Development program is the first
484 Gladstone 613 742-7251 30 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
college program of its kind in Canada where students will learn about designing and maintaining action sports facilities, such as skateboard parks and BMX bike trails,” said Bramburger. This urban-meet- rural type of program is also reflected in the Urban Forestry – Aboriculture program, that serves two roles in both filling a void in the urban market while opening even more spots in a highly popular field. “Urban Forestry is becoming an important part of planning for larger cities, “said Bramburger. “With more
One unique situation of creating programming out of market demand, is the one-of-a-kind two year Applied Nuclear Science and Radiation Safety Program which was created as a direct response to the nuclear industry’s request for more extensive training. “For the past ten years we have delivered a one-year Radiation Safety Certificate that has been well received by our industry partners, but now they are asking us to enhance the curriculum,” explained Bramburger. This type of collaboration is exactly what Algonquin College looks for to ensure that all graduates are not only well-trained, but employed and successful n
cusw series by Candice Vetter
Calling All Apprentices:
CUSW Membership Is Invaluable
Ben Routledge is an electrical apprentice and a member of the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers, which represents tradespeople and journeymen, including apprentices.
In a rare dovetailing of provincial school board and national union cooperation Routledge joined the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), in high school. The program allows students, if they are at least 16-yearsold and have earned 16 credits, to attend school and to train as registered apprentices concurrently. Routledge completed his credits while taking apprenticeship training, and part of his training included working in the school board’s maintenance office. There he discovered that he really liked electrical work, so he followed that path. He joined the CUSW very early in his career, and he found that being in a union helped him find jobs and get good placements. “I really like them—they’ve been really good for me,” he says, before describing some of the work he does with solar panel installations. “It’s interesting working with solar,” he says.“The work is similar from day to day but the technology is really interesting.” As a new apprentice he might have had doubts about his job prospects, but he says CUSW was invaluable in that regard. “I started working in Milton first, but it was a long way from where I lived.”
With the union’s help he was able to transfer to Newcastle, which was much closer to home, where he worked for about five months. Following that job he worked for another solar panel installer. “The company, through CUSW, offered me a job installing solar panels on roofs.” That job lasted about four months, then Newcastle called him back.
HE (BEN ROUTLEDGE) JOINED THE CUSW VERY EARLY IN HIS CAREER, AND HE FOUND THAT BEING IN A UNION HELPED HIM FIND JOBS AND GET GOOD PLACEMENTS.
“I’ve been working pretty steadily. Once in a while I get a break, but that’s not bad.” For a young man just starting out in a construction-related field that’s really good. While some of it is no doubt due to his abilities and work ethic, he is quick to give the union credit. “It’s gone pretty well for me because of them.” Trades are a growing field and one which, a few years ago, was not often
promoted at the high school level. But there is no doubt that tradespersons are generally more employable than university graduates, and they can work in their chosen field right away. The demand for the skills of an electrician, plumber, fitter, carpenter, mechanic, hairdresser, and about 200 other skilled trades never goes away. The demand for young people to replace the often retiring journeypersons is high. As CUSW says it well. “With the baby boom generation set to retire, demand for skilled tradesworkers will continue to increase from its already high level… skilled trades really do offer something for everyone.” Not only are jobs always in the offing somewhere in Canada for trades, but they teach useful life skills too. Learning proper maintenance of a home or car can save a lot of money and prevent many problems. CUSW explains: “Trades play a key role in our economy and society. They play a part in almost every aspect of the world we live in, including the homes we live in, the buildings we work in and the electrical grid that powers them, the cars we drive and the roads we drive them on, and even the food we eat and how it's prepared.” Considering trades’ apprenticeship and a nationwide union’s support, that could be direction that leads to success for many of Canada’s young people n 31 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
canada-china friendship series by Dan Donovan
The Four Comprehensives n In February 2015,Chinese President Iintroduced and General Secretary Xi Jinping’s China’s new ideological
directive, the “Four Comprehensives.” Canadian analysts, policymakers, business people and multiple Canadian law firms with satellite offices in China representing a plethora of Canadian business interests are studying the new ideological platform with interest. To implement his new plan, President Xi borrowed a page from Chinese leader and reformer Deng Xiaoping who, from 1978 until his retirement in 1989, oversaw a massive economic and social transformation of China. His reforms were first tested in smaller areas, then applied more broadly, and finally, if all went well, at the national level. The "Four Comprehensives" is a strategic blueprint for China to build a moderately prosperous society, deepen reform, implement the rule of law, and strengthen Communist Party discipline. Understanding the new directive and the philosophy behind can provide Canadian businesses with a unique understanding of China’s development strategies in the global economy and provide insight into China’s continuing political transformation. In November, Canada’ s leading law firm with expertise on China, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), invited several of the national capital’s most prominent China watchers to attend a round table discussion on the “Four Comprehensives Strategy and China’s Development. The guest speaker was Guo Yezhou, Vice Minister, International Department of the CPC Central Committee. Participants learned that China’s new strategy commits China to comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively govern the nation according to law, and comprehensively strictly govern the party. 32 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
Interestingly, the first and third elements to the strategy have actually been official Chinese doctrine for almost a half century. Former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping called for achieving a moderately prosperous society as one of the motivating goals in pursuing economic reforms in the 1970s which were part of his Deng’s “Reform and Opening Up” agenda. The reappearance of this term by President Xi Jinping has been interpreted by many China experts as a deliberate message to continue that process.
The Four Comprehensives is a list of political goals. 1 Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society. 2. Comprehensively deepen reform. 3. Comprehensively govern the nation according to the law. 4. Comprehensively stirictly govern the Party.
The governing the nation according to law comprehensive refers to how the current government of China (and the Communist Party) is reforming its police and security forces. The Chinese call this “governing the nation according to both law and ‘virtue.’” Rule of law efforts include new guidelines recently announced by the Supreme People’s Court as part of its Five-Year Plan of reform, and President Xi’s continuous anticorruption campaign. Rule of law, economic liberalization, and anticorruption are the key elements that compose the basis of Xi’s “deepening
reform.” The word “deepening” is being used to send the message that Chinese institutions and bodies that were previously immune to reform (due to the Party’s internal operating methods of “hidden rules) are now being opened up to top-level scrutiny and regulatory control. The use of the phrase “deepening reform” is President Xi’s commitment to being a second great “Architect of Reform” after Deng Xiaoping. It means that China, the Chinese people and the Chinese economy are committed to being competitive in global markets and will not take an isolationist economic strategy in the world. Many China watchers believe China may also assert itself in other ways in the world to match its economic clout. Several cite recent moves by China in the South China Sea to reassert its territorial and military presence there, or the immense success of Chinese investment and business ventures in the past decade on the African continent. The Comprehensive, “strictly governing the Party,” cites a significant departure from previous policy and indicates that there are bold reforms with low and middle-level officials in the Communist Party in China to weed out corruption and ensure better discipline. The disciplinary oversight of its members is a key objective for President Xi as it will remake the communist Party in China a more effective and efficient political organization, that will be key in the Xi’s quest for “comprehensive” and direct social change. It remains unknown of these reforms will lead to greater institutional independence in China, especially judicial independence. However, these reforms are being received well in China and abroad n PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
opinion by Frank Raso & Greg Vezina
Canada’s Life Cycle Clean Fuels Policy Game Changer. here are seven types of pollution T caused in the life cycle of the production and utilization of energy: abiotic depletion; acidification; eutrophication; global warming; human toxicity; ozone layer depletion; and terrestrial ecotoxicity," and we focus almost exclusively on carbon. On December 9, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the most important energy and environmental policy announcement in half a century with his pledge to create a national clean fuel standard “based on life cycle analysis”. The proposed standard has to be negotiated with the provinces and territories and it will apply to "many sectors" beyond transportation, including home and building heating and industrial power, with a draft to be circulated in February 2017.
(NH3) production and utilization in agriculture, energy and utilities, and transportation systems was completed in June 2016, by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UIOT) and Hydrofuel Inc., and released at the 13th NH3 Fuel Conference, at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, on September 20, 2016. As a result of this new life cycle clean fuel policy ammonia instantly becomes an even more viable candidate than we have reported in the first three articles in this series. WHILE YOU MAY OR NOT AGREE WITH THE ECONOMICS OR BENEFITS OF A CARBON TAX OR CAP AND TRADE SYSTEM, IT IS AT LEAST A MOVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION,
Just three days before this policy announcement, in a December 6, 2016, letter from the Alberta Minister of Energy I received in reply to my previous email about life cycle energy policy, subsidies, carbon taxes and cap-and-trade, and the energy policy mistakes made in Ontario to the Premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan and BC, the Minister said:
In the first article, Transport Ammonia not Crude — An Alternative view on Pipelines, Hydrofuel Inc. chief scientist Frank Raso and I wrote that rather than building more infrastructure to export unrefined oil commodities, it would be wiser to instead manufacture high value anhydrous ammonia (NH3) from Canadian natural gas, petroleum and renewable energy resources.
“Regarding your comments about Ontario's electricity industry, we are exploring policy options that are very different from those that Ontario chose, such as using a competitive procurement approach for renewable energy in Alberta. This bidding approach will use market competition to find lowest-cost renewable energy projects.”
In the second article, Green Ammonia – Carbon-Free Fuel and Energy Storage, UOIT’s Dr. Ibrahim Dincer and I wrote that there are dozens of NH3 production and utilization technologies available: with demonstrations underway for cars in Canada, the United States, Italy and South Korea; hybrid ammonia buses in China; engines patented by UOIT, Toyota and others; and solar-ammonia, windto-ammonia, and waste-to-ammonia energy storage, fuel and fertilizer plants in the U.S., E.U. and Australia.
Research showing the key life cycle numbers for fossil fuel, green energy and superior benefits for ammonia
In the third article, Canada's Ammonia Energy Option, U.S. Clean Air Task Force Senior Advisor Dr. Steve Wittrig and I wrote about the huge advantages virtually every province and territory in Canada had with a combination of fossil fuel and/or renewable energy that could be developed at much higher profit with much lower environmental impact when involving the use of ammonia in the mix, either utilizing the carbon for profit instead of emitting it or storing excess and off peak electricity for use as fuel or fertilizer. With recent news that Bill Gates $Multi-Billion Breakthrough Energy Coalition fund now targets carbon-free ammonia, the University of Minnesota’s Ammonia Program is moving to low cost green NH3 production technologies and dual fuel engines for farm equipment, and the much more frequent announcements of other breakthroughs in this field, Canada’s advantage could grow because of the new life cycle policy. While you may or not agree with the economics or benefits of a carbon tax or cap and trade system, it is at least a move in the right direction, and they can quickly be fine tuned as need be. That is what happened with the life cycle clean fuel policy before it had even been fully formulated or implemented, as all governments in Canada will soon realize n
Fourth in a series of four articles for OLM by Greg Vezina, Chairman, Hydrofuel Inc. and three previous article guest contributors, Frank Raso, Chief Scientist, Hydrofuel Inc., Dr. Ibrahim Dincer, UOIT, and Dr. Steve Wittrig, Senior Advisor, Advanced Energy Systems, U.S. Clean Air Task Force. 33 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
phoenix payroll series by Dan Donovan
Upset, But Calm –
Judy Foote Carries On Ottawa Life Magazine sat down with the Honourable Judy Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement of Canada (PSPC) on December 15, 2016, in her Parliamentary office to discuss the Phoenix payroll boondoggle. In the next issue we will cover the sole source purchase of hornet fighter jets and the Liberal government decision to purchase the Airbus C-295 transport as Canada’s next fixed-wing search-and-rescue plane. Judy Foote is friendly, personable and authentic. She is also savvy and experienced and has excelled throughout her career in some exceptional roles. Foote served as the communications director for former Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells. She represented the electoral district of Grand Bank in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly from 1996 to 2007 as a member of the Liberal Party. Between 1996 and 2003, she held some of the key cabinet positions in the Newfoundland government where she was a valued and trusted confidante to former Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin. In 2007, she left provincial politics and by 2008 Foote was elected to the Canadian House of Commons. As a Liberal MP, Foote served as the Deputy House Leader and then as Liberal Whip. In the 2015 federal election, she received the highest percentage of votes of any candidate nationwide, winning her Newfoundland seat in BonavistaBurin–Trinity with nearly 82 per cent of all votes cast. In the House of Commons, Foote is seated next to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Phoenix payroll debacle was “the story” of the past parliamentary session. Over 82,000 public servants 34 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
(1 in 3) were affected by the disastrous rollout of a new payroll system that did not work properly. The planning, selection and implementation of a new pay system was an initiative of the previous Harper Conservative government (and was supported by both opposition parties). By the time Foote became minister, Phoenix was built and in her first briefings as a Minister, she relied on advice from senior bureaucrats that the system was ready to roll and public servants were trained to use it. She followed their advice. The problem was it was far from ready and once the horse had left the barn, these same senior officials conceded that they underestimated the training and readiness required to implement the new system. It became painfully obvious in the months after its launch in the first quarter of 2015 that this was a freight train off the rails. As the Phoenix crisis grew, federal public service union leaders began speaking out. They were rightly upset. Tens of thousands of their members weren’t getting their paychecks. However, their initial anger was not targeted at Judy Foote. Debi Daviau, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada openly criticized Rosanna Di Paola,
the associate assistant deputy minister responsible for the federal government’s Phoenix pay system. Di Paola, had been immersed in the modernization of the pay system project since 2006 and had led the initiative since 2013. Daviau charged that Di Paola and other senior bureaucrats failed to properly brief Minister Foote about the risks of implementing the Phoenix pay system saying: “All we hear about is the blame rests with those other than the people who made the decision to go ahead,” and: “I have said for a while that the department needs to start putting people aside and look inward to other public servants to make this system work.” Daviau and her membership were so upset with the rollout by senior bureaucratic officials at PSPC that she took the extraordinary step of publicly calling for their firing saying, “the executives in charge of the implementation should be put aside.” It was also leaked that an independent study by Gartner Consulting had highlighted the serious risks in proceeding with Phoenix. The study had been reviewed by senior bureaucrats and dismissed. It appears Foote and other elected government officials were not given that information. For her part, Foote steadfastly refused to publicly blame any of her senior officials or throw them under the bus. When asked about Phoenix she would only say that her main priority is “fixing it.” She began a process to repair things with Marie Lemay, a newly arrived
deputy minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada. (Lemay became the new PSPC DM in April 2016, just as the second part of the rollout was underway.) In July, PSPC publicly acknowledged that its Phoenix errors and delays had affected about 82,000 public servants. Foote then took the unprecedented step of allowing Lemay, Di Paola and other senior PSPC bureaucrats to hold regular briefings on the Phoenix pay system to provide regular updates and information on how it was being fixed. To some, this highlighted a long source of tension in Ottawa, namely the question of who should be held accountable when there is a massive serving of incompetence in any federal program, the politicians or the public service. At one briefing, Di Paola said that the big problems with Phoenix were training and public servants improperly entering information into the Phoenix system. She also criticized federal workers at the Miramichi, New Brunswick pay centre saying their transaction processing times were slower than expected. This drew a sharp rebuke from Chris Aylward, Vice-President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada who said that,“Di Paola is the one person who, by her own self-admission, was responsible for the new pay system but blamed everyone except the very department responsible for implementing the pay system.” PSAC President Robyn Benson was particularly critical of PSPC management responsible for the project for ignoring the union’s pleas to slow down or delay the Phoenix rollout because departments and the new Miramichi pay centre were not ready. “Phoenix has profoundly damaged public service workers in multiple ways, placing in jeopardy their livelihood, health insurance coverage, privacy and security clearances, to name just a few of the many consequences”, she said. PSAC had warned the government many times that the Miramichi workers did not have proper training, and asked for a delay in going live with Phoenix. “Ultimately, our warnings were ignored and they went ahead anyway,” said Benson.
On October 13, Marie Lemay announced that Rosanna Di Paola was being shuffled out of her Phoenix role into a new job as a senior adviser at the department. This sent a clear message that horizontal accountability — the poppycock idea that large complex, costly projects that are managed across multiple departments were no one has final accountability — is unacceptable. Lemay then brought in Marc Lemieux, from Canada Economic Development (Quebec Regions), the regional agency Lemay headed before she was promoted to work at Public Services, in April 2015. Lemieux was the agency’s executive director of corporate services, and acting vice-president of operations. By December, things had improved but there were still over 15,000 public servants who had either not been paid for months or whose pay was completely screwed up. The Opposition wanted blood…notably Foote’s. NPD MP, Erin Weir, accused Foote of ducking accountability for the mess and hiding behind public servants. FOR HER PART, FOOTE STEADFASTLY REFUSED TO PUBLICLY BLAME ANY OF HER SENIOR OFFICIALS OR THROW THEM UNDER THE BUS.
Interestingly, the unions were still not calling for her resignation. Foote had made herself accessible and available for all technical briefings, took calls from the union leaders, all while continuing to apologize for the PSPC mess and making herself available to the national media. On December 14, in one notably harsh and winching moment for anyone to watch, Ottawa CTV Chief News Anchor Graham Richardson scolded and chastised Foote in studio, live on the air admonishing, her and PSPC for the debacle. Foote sat stoic, taking the criticism for the mess, for the department and for the government and sincerely apologized again, saying she was very sorry about the mess, that it was unacceptable and that they (PSPC) were working hard to fix it and get it right. Foote stayed in the studio and sat and listened live on air, to the stories of several public servants,
who had been affected by the debacle and who were still without their pay. By Christmas, Foote’s program to fix Phoenix was working. She had the department hire over 250 additional compensation advisers, opened a new call centre, added four satellite offices and repaid out-of-pocket expenses for public servants facing financial difficulty because of pay problems. She allocated an extra 50 million dollars to hire additional public servants with compensation experience. She made several trips to the Miramichi, N.B., and pay centre to support staff and assure them they would get whatever help they required. She also called in the Auditor General to formally investigate the entire Phoenix file. When asked if it all could have all been avoided, Foote responded that the previous Harper Conservative government should have: “kept the 700 compensation advisers who were laid off before the new payroll system was up and running.” By centralizing pay operations in a new pay centre in Miramichi, N.B., the Harper government had hoped to save $70 million a year. However, a big problem arose when PSPC had to recruit about 550 new employees when the majority of the experienced compensation advisers who lost their jobs declined to move to the new pay centre in Miramichi. Foote added that: the “Phoenix project was flawed, poorly planned and the rollout of it was doomed because so many of the experienced staff who understood the government’s complex and arcane pay rules were let go”. She noted that: “we have over 300,000 people in the system and the process was compromised as soon as the decision was taken to eliminate the jobs of 700 compensation staff before we had transitioned properly to Phoenix.” “The loss of experienced payroll people, inadequate training and a large workload, and a program driven by cuts instead of service all contributed to the problem”, says Foote. She adds that,“Accountability will come, but we must stay focused on fixing this first.” Foote continues to consult widely and stays in contact with the unions and continued >> page 37 35 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
travel by Jennifer Hartley
Just Jouvie through Carnival in Trinidad he perfect grown-up winter T getaway awaits you in Trinidad and Tobago. For a complete immersion
into decadence, joie de vivre with a party atmosphere that will be unlike any you will ever experience, head to Trini during Carnival. The party takes place just before Lent (this year February 26 and 27). While each country has its traditions around Carnival, (Rio, London, and Toronto’s summer Caribana festival) Trini Carnival is unlike all others with its unique Soca music experience (more on that later) and incredible Caribbean vibe. That said, Carnival is not for the faint of heart. It is a massive party with lots of alcohol, late nights, not a lot of shuteye (not that you will want to sleep anyway) and very loud music — but the atmosphere is infectious and you will savour every second of the trip. Carnival is steeped in history. While the main thrust of the holiday revolves around the Christian calendar of Lent, the traditions and particular customs are based in the political and social history of Trinidad and Tobago. Carnival was originally a celebration of the upper classes, of the elites. It began just after Christmas and involved “feting” (celebrations) and, much like European countries, involved balls and masquerades. In fact, Carnival was an import from France. The lower classes held their own celebrations called “canboulay” but after a riot in 1881 and another one a few years later the government tried to prevent canboulay out of fear of fires (canboulay is translated as “burning cane”). It even banned drumming. However, as time
36 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
evolved, things calmed down and Carnival became the welcoming celebration for everyone that it is today and with true Caribbean flair and effervescence.While it honours the past with certain traditions, it celebrates the present. Today, while the fetes (parties) do begin after Christmas, they build up to that last weekend before Lent when people from around the world descend onTrini. While the height of the festival occurs on Carnival Monday and Carnival Tuesday, Friday night things get going hard. The key therefore is to pace yourself. Seasoned revelers warn that if you don’t, it can ruin the experience. So treat it as a party marathon, starting off slow and increasing in intensity for the maximum experience. Trini Talk Part of getting Carnival right is to understand the lingo around the festival. Mas: Short for Masquerading. Playing Mas involves parading through the streets of Port of Spain. Mas refers to doing this in full costume gear. It is de rigueur. This is the only way to fully experience Carnival Tuesday. It is the equivalent of prom but with less clothes. The costumes usually involve some form of bikini type of top and bottom, with tights underneath and head dresses that will make any peacock jealous, arm jewelry, leg jewelry and make-up that will make everyone feel like royalty. Soca: The newest type of music that reigns in Carnival. It is a mix of
Calypso Music and Indian music with roots in the 1970s. It has evolved to include hip-hop, dance music. You will be shaking your hips and behind whether you want to or not. Wining: Basically this is Trini Carnival dancing and it is de rigueur. People gyrate and grind, everybody does it and if you are Playing Mas you need to just go with the flow and get into it as strangers will be grinding you from behind as bodies mingle. Jouvie or J’Ouvert: In some ways, this is the best party of all, despite the fact that Carnival Tuesday is what it is all about with everyone in costume. However, “Jouvie” starts at 4 a.m. when you begin imbibing and getting into the groove with DJ music. With scantily-clad people everywhere, you take to the streets and drink and dance. Tradition is you get covered in paint, oil, mud whatever substance people will throw or smear on you. All of your inhibitions will disappear. Do some smearing of your own. This party is all about that, there is no competition it is just to have fun and there is something unique about rising before dawn drinking and partying until after sunrise. “J’ouvert” is a version of sunrise in French. The break of dawn. And after the sun rises and you reach the Savannah park, it is time to nap or keep going until the next Mas. Chippin: It is the shuffling along the steets that is a mix of dancing and walking to the music as you Play Mas. Band: the group you Mas with. Each has a mix of costumes that all somehow
resemble each other. You are part of their group throughout the partying. For a possible party schedule consider the following: Friday: Many “bands” have their parties to launch the weekend. Booze, music, food, outdoor party. Nothing more you need to know. Carnival Saturday: Kiddie Mas (children dress up in costumes and parade through the streets of Port of Spain to music just as the grown-ups do). The costumes are beautiful and elaborate. It is adorable and touching to see families coming together and celebrating with their children. There is also a real sense of pride for all involved. Soca Brainwash: One Music: One People: One Sun usually. Huge enormous outdoor dance party. Soca Brainwash or Soca Party is one of the best parties and occurs on Saturday afternoon into the evening. It involves dancing, lots of alcohol and wining and grinding. This is a no holds-barred party and you will let loose. Everybody has a great time and it is over the top in every way. Panorama: Steel Pan Band competitions on Saturday are worth catching. Hundreds of drummers compete and it is a symphonic celebration of history. Percussion instruments were banned in the canboulay riots so while you may think they are just lovely sounds they are actually a symbol of resistance and social justice. Today, the Panorama Competition is recognized as the preeminent steel band competition in the world Sunday Breakfast Party: Another fantastic event to go to. An early morning of dancing in a park. The food is phenomenal, the booze flowing, the heat overwhelming so there are watersprays like in a kid’s park to cool you off if the beer or rum punch doesn’t work. The setting feels like a rainforest so it is an intimate kind of thing, even though there are thousands of people there. J’Ouvert: an absolute must. In some ways it is better than Carnival Tuesday
as it is more laidback and people are out to have a blast. There is a formality about Carnival Tuesday that does not exist at Jouvie. Carnival Tuesday involves dancing through the streets, again with lots of alcohol, food and fun. You walk about 9-10 k that day so your band will make sure you have enough sustenance. This is the day for formality in that you and your band will dance, jump and prance across a stage where your band will be assessed for creativity, costume beauty and wow factor. The competition is stiff as you will see as you roam the streets. Eat, Drink and… Sleep? Ok, minus the sleep, you still need somewhere to store your luggage. The Hyatt is incredible but there are hotels everywhere. gotrinidadandtobago.com can help. Eat: Bake and Shark sandwiches are phenomenal. Try Asha’s in Maracas Bay (a beach to boot). Incredible food, great area as well. Most Trinidadian cuisine is a mix of cultures, with Indian, South Asian, Creole. Be sure to grab a few Doubles (chick peas, spices in a wrap type of bread) and Callaloo. Drink: Angostura rum. Just try it. Period. It will make a rum fan out of anyone. Chase it down with Carib beer. Beach? If a beach break after Carnival is what you want, you will need to head to Tobago, a short flight away, but it will be a zoo right after Carnival so give it a day or so to go. Trinidad itself does not have a lot in terms of beaches.To rest in the sun, head to Tobago. The beaches are beautiful. And remember no matter what you do, food is your friend to get you through the partying. Eat, drink, dance, wine repeat. A brilliant time will be had by all during Carnival. That is putting in mildly. You will be blown away by the hospitality, kindness, good food and good times that will be had n gotrinidadandtobago.com
Judy Foote >> from page 35
front-line compensation advisers. She says that PSPC recognizes that many good ideas on how to improve the pay system have come from front-line compensation advisers and that she is listening. When asked about the growing concerns expressed by public servants regarding how Canada Revenue Agency will interpret 2017 T-4 slips for employees affected by the Phoenix fiasco if the information provided for the slips from the Phoenix system is wrong, Foote says that she has being working with officials “to deal with this so it does not become a problem.” (PSPC has since posted detailed information on this matter on its website). It has implemented a process to ensure that overpayments recorded in Phoenix are not reflected in an employee’s yearly earnings, regardless of whether or not overpayments have been repaid. For any overpayments identified in the new year, an amended T4 will be issued. For all public servants who are missing pay, their income tax will be calculated using the actual amount they have received. Foote acknowledges that there are still thousands of cases to resolve despite the department’s best efforts to clear that backlog. She won’t commit to a finish date for them but says that PSPC has assigned a dedicated team of compensation advisers to handle these cases as quickly as possible. She says that “we must get it right in each individual case so we don’t create further problems down the road. Anyone missing any pay is not acceptable and we are fixing it.” Her priorities are to clear the backlog, speed up the processing of cases and develop a process for validation and improvement. She says the Miramichi pay centre will stay put and the employees there will continue to play a big role in getting the Phoenix project on the right track. People are still rightly upset, but Judy Foote, by all accounts, has prevented a very very bad situation from becoming much worse. Her handling of this issue has sent a clear message to senior civil servants in Ottawa that they will be held accountable for their decisions n 37 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
travel by Jennifer Hartley
Nickelodeon Will Knock Your Socks Off It is actually hard to believe it has been less than 50 years since Punta Cana in the Domincan Republic, named after the cane palms in the area, has become such a hot tourist destination. It is a shock that it took so long when you consider that the temperature is a constant perfect, the beaches are powdery soft and the ocean waters idyllic.
One of the newest resorts to hit the local landscape is Nickelodeon Hotel and Resort Punta Cana, located on Uvero Alto beach. While you might be forgiven for assuming it is a resort where you will be endlessly inundated by Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer, Boots and other Nickelodeon characters, the truth is it is a five-star resort with gourmet restaurants and stunning real estate. It may bill itself as a kids’ resort, but make no mistake, it is sophisticated. The level of detail and emphasis on ensuring that grown-ups have a good time almost masks the fact that it is in fact a place for the entire family that will inspire the sense of play in people of all ages. (Just in case you are not familiar with Nickelodeon, its kids programming has a reach of 1.1 billion cumulative subscribers in 38 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
more than 160 countries and territories. They know how to entertain young ones.) From the time you arrive into the scented, ultra-modern sleek lobby, you get the feeling you are in a boutiquetype resort. Upon arrival, kids get a green slime smoothie and grownup kids can choose from a glass of sparkling wine or a slime drink. Perfect start to your holiday. Nickelodeon’s resort partner for this oasis is Karisma Hotels and Resorts. Karisma resorts are world-class and have won countless awards for luxury vacations. This resort is no different. My 13-year-old son and I didn’t have a chance to explore the area of Punta Cana, which is truly unfortunate as it is something we always like to do, but
to be honest, if you are looking to just get away from the cold and relax, you won’t need to leave the resort. Another word about my son, he is a special needs child with unique mental health challenges. The fact that he was happy the whole time and that the staff were able to accommodate, adjust and roll with his issues is something that is a testament to the resort. On top of that, they did it with grace and respect.
In all, there are 12 locations to grab some food, including eight different Gourmet Inclusive® restaurants — which takes the all-inclusive theme new heights.There are à la carte options and “food displays” which are like buffets but again, taken to a whole new gourmet level. Other choices include an Italian bistro, Mediterranean, Far East fusion, a poolside bar with fresh offerings, a fun space-themed restaurant and a burger joint. Honestly, they have the best burgers you may ever have. In most, kids are welcome, even in the bar (the ultra-chic Vino Vino wine bar with PHOTOS: NICKELODEON HOTEL & RESORTS
It is a place for the entire family that will inspire the sense of play in people of all ages. by hotel staff) is a playground of possibilities for kids. Character Central is where you can meet Dora and the other characters.A schedule of activities is provided to you at check-in so you know who is where when. You can drop your kids off in the Just Kiddin’ centre for some free babysitting. With water slides, splash pads, spray grounds and a lazy river, Aqua Nick is the place to go for water fun for kids, and you might just want to hang there as well. There is a bar. Be sure to take the time to get slimed with your kids. Basically it is cold green slimy water but it is a memorable family activity. The schedule has the times for slimings.
live music) until a certain hour. Don’t want to see any little people at all? Hit Kitchen 23, adults-only restaurant with food and drink concoctions to please any palate. (Try the passion fruit and mint martini fizz.) One word of caution: do not drink the tap water anywhere. The hotel assures that water in the restaurants is Dasani and you are provided with bottled water in your room but be wary that the regular water is not drinkable anywhere. Do not risk it.
With 208 oversized suites in seven styles, from intimate pad suites to exquisite swim-up suites, there is something for every taste. Have more people than planned? Choose one of four exclusive, twoand three-bedroom Super Villas providing upwards of 2,200 square feet of vacationing space each, including The Pineapple, inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants' own home in Bikini Bottom. It is certainly a more pricey endeavour but it has a butler, bar, pool
and outdoor shower. But fret not, even non-Pineapple Suite dwellers are treated to spectacular accommodations. Every suite is exquisite. Each has a large balcony to chill on with ample space, including couches. The bathrooms are massive with both a shower and large bathtub. The beds are so comfortable you may not want to get out of them. Almost.
The resort is geographically enormous and even when it is at full capacity, there is no feel that it is crowded. It is spread out, giving you a sense of privacy. Given its size, there are golf cart shuttles offering you a lift around. The resort is divided in two. On one side is the beach, accommodations, are pools (an infinity pool and an activities pool, both by the ocean), the restaurants, the fully-equipped fitness centre,Vassa spa, well-stocked gift shop for all the things you forgot and of course, souvenirs. The second side, which you can reach either on foot or by golf cart (driven
Curtains will go up for family-friendly movie premieres, game shows and more at Plaza Orange, the resort’s signature showcase for entertainment and events, located on the kids’ side of the resort.) The only downside to having such a large geographic space is that it takes a lot of time going from one side to the other so be sure to build that into your timing. You can always bring a drink with you to lessen the journey. If eating and drinking too much has you wanting to work out, there is no shortage of space to just walk around, but there is also the massive fitness centre, beach side of the resort. On the kids’ side, there is also a sports and entertainment centre equipped with tennis courts, a small running path, a soccer field, archery and a clubhouse. Teenagers seemed to like that space. Any way you look at it, Nickelodeon Hotel and Resort Punta Cana is a place of luxury. Anything you could possibly want is there. While the site itself lives up to the term paradise, the activities, food, drinks and full entertainment experience make it abundantly clear why Nickelodeon and Karisma are at the top of their game. You can’t go wrong n 39 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
travel by Karen Temple
Europe by Bike
A Cycle Tours Bike and Barge Tour of Europe is an Adventure for the Whole Family
it, museums are great but Ltheet’safterkidsfacea couple of days of shuffling through them, even the
most ardent art lover is rubbing their feet wondering when it will end. Instead, consider getting out of the big city and explore the smaller towns and villages of Europe on two wheels.Take the family on a bike and barge tour. There are different routes or tour options. Our cycling guide for the week, Pete, proclaimed the Top of Amsterdam tour to be one of the best. The vertically challenged geography makes it great for families of all ages and ability levels. As long as you can get on and off a bike without it falling over on you, consider yourself a candidate for one of Cycle Tours’ eight-day excursions. Our group varied in age from 10-years-old to 79. Still not convinced? Then rent one of the available e-bikes. The northern Holland tour leaves from central Amsterdam. After stowing our luggage in our tiny but very well appointed and comfy cabin, we met our crew and headed out for a short cycle to test out our new bikes.
Bikes are ubiquitous in Holland so it seems a little odd that the Dutch don’t believe in helmets. The government doesn’t even have a policy on them. Some go so far as to view helmets with disdain. This view might be a result of bike culture growing simultaneously with that of cars and the infrastructure that was built to accommodate both. It seems that for every road, there is an adjacent bike path. Urban paths even include their own traffic lights. Dutch bikes are bigger and heavier than their North American counterparts and come with covered chains and big and overstuffed seats so there is no need to get all kitted-up like Lance Armstrong. Street clothes and light layers are all you need plus a rain poncho, after all, it is Holland. Lunch and any extra gear can be stowed in the weatherproof saddle bags.
Our group of 20 cycled out of the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, into the suburbs, and before long we were riding along the Zuiderzee as the barge, our home for the week, sailed past on its way to the next port. The pace is relaxed. Avid cyclists might consider it too slow but there are no yellow jerseys given out on this tour. The goal is to breathe and enjoy the views and experience the culture. Stops in small towns afford the opportunity for coffee breaks and to take in local heritage sites. Riding up on the dikes around the edge of the sea seems strange. Having the water up high on one side and the land down low on the other gives you get a real sense of how industrious the Dutch are.We saw many windmills and stopped to see how they were used to reclaim the land from the sea. We saw beautiful cities that were mighty trading centres during the days of the East India Company, each seemingly more beautiful and historically significant than the last. We cycled past beaches, breweries, windmills, markets and ancient whaling
ABOVE: Cycling along the northwest coast with Cycle Tours Top of Amsterdam tour. SMALL PHOTOS: The Liza Marleen was our floating hotel for the week; Lunch stop in the Vollendam: A visit to the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen will give you a sense of a traditional maritime village; Once an important whaling port, Hoorn is a beautiful medieval town. Iconic windmills that were used to reclaim the land. 40 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
PHOTOS: KAREN TEMPLE
villages but not one tulip. If you are lucky enough to be in Holland when the tulip fields are in bloom, it is a real treat but don’t count on it. Tulips are cultivated for the bulbs so as soon as the flowers bloom they are harvested. In another words, the viewing season is very short. Asside from making 20 new friends, the highlight of the week was riding through the island of Texel (pronounced Tessle) off the north coast of Holland. The East India Company used it as a point of departure for voyages to Asia and beyond. The towns are picturesque and the beaches with their white sand are simply pristine. The daily schedule is rather fluid but the one constant was dinner time. It was exhilarating riding into a new town each evening and finding the spot where the boat was moored. Once the bikes were wheeled aboard and everyone was washed and seated, the cook announced the menu for the evening. She took a real pride in her work. Her delicious meals were enjoyed as everyone bantered about the highlights of the day. The atmosphere was cozy and collegial. Spying the ships captain in the kitchen drying pots and pans only added to the charm of the experience. If you need to stay connected or want to text pics make sure you visit a local cell phone provider before boarding the barge. There is wifi but it is very slow and the data limit is very low. We dropped into Vodafone and bought SIM cards for our iPhones and use them to connect our other devices. A bike and barge tour is a wonderful way to see and truly experience a country. The adventure is only heightened by the fact that you don’t have to repack your suitcase every morning and you get to fall into the same bed every night n cycletours.com
Rotterdam48 Rotterdam feels other-worldy compared to its northern cousins. It is multicultural, big and bright with beautiful architecture. The roads are designed to accommodate car, trams and bikes, each with their own lanes. The wider streets and many market-sized squares give the city an open, airy feel.When you go, make sure to buy a Rotterdam Welcome Card. It’s a hastle-free way to get around town and offers discounted entrance to most venues. Here are favourite stops from our short 48 hours in the city.
Lunch with a view at Op Het Dak. The menu is tiny but the food is so fresh and tasty with most of it grown in the adjacent roof-top garden. ophetdak.com
Even if you are not yet hungry, stop at the Markthal. It is a unique housing project and enclosed market with an enormous, beautiful and colourful interior mural by artist Arno Coenen marthal.nl
The bullet-ridden walls of city hall are a reminder of the Rotterdam Blitz execute by the German Luftwaffe that saw the destruction of almost the entire city centre.
The Boijmans Van Beuningen sits on the edge of museum park.You can see works by old Flemish masters that will especially delight those who didn’t make it through the long line ups at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. boijmans.nl
Across the square stop and visit architect Piet Bloom’s funky experiment in urban housing: the Cube Houses. kubuswoning.nl
A harbour cruise might be tourism à la tawdry but it offers an invaluable way to get a sense of the enormity of Europe’s largest port. While cruising, admire the city’s architecture.
We had a great dinner at Dertien and then strolled down the hip Witte de Withstraat — a lively street jammed full of bars, restaurants and sidewalk patios. dertienrotterdam.nl
The bar on the promenade deck of the grand, old steamship the SS Rotterdam is a great place to watch the sun set. ssrotterdam.nl
Mainport Hotel is five star luxury and is located on the water close to everything. mainporthotel.com 41 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
PHOTOS: EL DORADO CASITAS ROYALE BY KARISMA
travel by Dan Donovan
Peaceful Easy Feeling If you a looking for a reprieve from winter and want to go somewhere for a week of comfort, calm and luxury, you can’t go wrong with the tranquil El Dorado Casitas Royale in Mexico’s Mayan Riviera.
The Mayan Riviera remains one of my favourite southern destinations and I’ve been there numerous times. The official description (provided by the hotel) certainly lives up to its name. “El Dorado Casitas Royale, one of Conde nast traveler readers’ top 100 hotels in the world and a AAA four diamond resort, is the pinnacle of romantic seaside luxury. Nestled along the beach in a separate, secluded area within El Dorado Royale on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma is an adults-only resort designed for romance. A superb array of amenities and services makes this an unrivaled destination for romantic getaways, weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries. From the moment you arrive you’ll find very attentive staff and you won’t want for anything”. My initial plan was to stay at the El Dorado and then at some point take the ten-minute cab ride into the local town of Playa Del Carmen for the day. I never made it. The resort has everything and I was just too comfortably ensconced in my surroundings to leave. From the grounds to the landscaping and beaches, everything is beautiful. The resort even has an on-site greenhouse where they grow all their own vegetables and many of the fruits served to guests. There are three sections at the resort, the Royale and 42 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
the Casitas that are for adults only while Generations is for families. The El Dorado Casitas Royale is a foodie haven. My favourite part of the trip was the evening I spent dining at Fuentes Culinary Theatre. Preparing the meal is the show in this very special evening under the 90-foothigh, thatched-roof culinary theatre. The chef and his culinary team prepare a five-course meal in front of you while you watch them on one of the big screens in the room. Think TV’s Top Chef. The week I visited the resort owners had invited several award-winning Canadian chefs to pare Alberta beef with local Mayan recipes. For a small fee, a sommelier pared a different wine with each course of the meal. Before preparing a beautifully choreographed, multi-course meal, the chefs showed us the ingredients for each dish and explained why they worked together. It was an unforgettable evening of fun, food and wine.
From local fare to Italian to Asian, the resort also features nine restaurants, with a multitude of offerings I found the Asian food selection at Kampai was particularly good with great sushi and lots of other choices. The resort offers all kinds of recreational activities. Take a day trip or just hang out and grab a hammock or beach chair and relax. Cold drinks and light meals are conveniently located at little beach bars at the resort. I was a regular at JoJo’s beach restaurant and bar. They had nice lunches, live music and, best of all, cold drinks. For health aficionados and vegans there is a health bar serving vegan food and healthy vegan drinks. The peanut butter and banana shake is to die for. You can even get a protein shake here. El Dorado has two gyms. The Royale’s is much better and has very modern equipment and weight systems. There are classes available including cross fit and spinning at $20 per session. There are some free classes also including morning yoga next to the sea. If you forget the sunscreen, there are two shops at the resort that sell a variety of amenities and local crafts. Most people walk around even though the resort is spread out. However, there are oversized golf carts driven around the resort that you can jump on and off at any time to take you where you want to go n karismahotels.com
opinion by Michael Coren
write this with regret rather than Inevertheless. loathing but I have to write it The most powerful
country in the world, the United States (US), has not lost its way but never genuinely found or knew it. This is an extremist nation parading as moderate; a reactionary country disguised as liberal; a closed-minded society pretending to be enlightened. Obviously the US boasts great universities, grand gestures, generous people and abounds in talent and even genius. But then so do most countries. And here is one of the fundamental problems of America: it sees itself as superior to others, able to pursue its own path, to be a model and an example. First is a distorted and dishonest sense of history, taking on mythological significance.The US was not founded on freedom and sacrifice at all. Many of the settlers were religious extremists who fled the relative diversity of Jacobean Britain and the religious settlement that resisted Puritanism. The pilgrims didn’t flee because they were persecuted, they fled because they wanted to impose intolerance. The revolutionaries of the late eighteen-century were far more committed to slavery than were the British and far more hostile towards indigenous people. London was not a harsh master and merely asked for a tiny amount of taxation so as to pay for the enormous cost of the French and Indian War that had saved the Americans.
From this event modern America bases it gun fetish, its right – its need – to own deadly weapons, as well as its sense of liberty. But that liberty is more selfishness than freedom, and was always built on enslaving an entire race. It took 620,000 dead soldiers to end slavery, and its bastard child racism still infects almost every aspect of American society. THIS IS A NATION OF INCALCULABLE WEALTH AND SCIENTIFIC BRILLIANCE. YET IT IS VIRTUALLY ALONE IN THE WESTERN WORLD IN DEFENDING THE DEATH PENALTY, RESISTING PUBLIC MEDICINE, GLORIFYING IN CALLOW PROPAGANDA SUCH AS FOX NEWS, AND ASSUMING IT HAS AN INALIENABLE RIGHT TO BE THE WORLD’S MORAL ARBITER AND POLICEMAN.
From all of this comes the cult of the individual. While Canada and Europe think in terms of the communal and the societal the key political ingredient of the American political meal is “I” and “me.” The state is always to be feared, authority can never be munificent, a gun allows the citizen to survive. It’s all balderdash of course but the national conversation is awash in it. Next is the tragic perversion of Christianity. While Americans may claim separation of church and state, no Christian nation with an established church is as controlled by one faith as is the US. Nor is it the Christianity of love, gentleness and social justice but prudishness, crusading self-
righteousness and the notion of the light upon the hill shining bright for the rest of the heathens to see. It goes without saying, of course, that countless Americans have resisted the dominant themes in their national psyche and culture but the point is that they are not the norm and that chauvinistic and false history, crass individualism, racial division, the deification of the gun and religious extremism are indeed the very psyche and culture they have rejected. This is a nation of incalculable wealth and scientific brilliance. Yet it is virtually alone in the western world in defending the death penalty, resisting public medicine, glorifying in callow propaganda such as Fox News, and assuming it has an inalienable right to be the world’s moral arbiter and policeman. We cringe as we see images of a black man held to the ground and repeatedly shot by the police, another killed after a trivial issue. But is this really such a surprise? In our deepest thoughts, most of us register horror but resignation. After all, we say, it’s what goes on down there. The US can only advance when it comes to terms less with its contemporary failings than with the deeper reasons why it behaves the way it does. There is greatness in this place but a greatness weighed down with the baggage of propaganda, superstition and arrogance, armed to the teeth and the belly. Less God bless than God save America n 43 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
true north series/opinion by Don Macnamara
The Seed to Ceding Canada’s Sovereignty is understood, or should be, that the Ioftfirstgovernment and most important obligation is the security of the country, its sovereignty and the safety and well-being of its citizens.
Sovereignty is fundamentally the quality of having independent authority over a geographic area including its air and maritime spaces — a vital, existential interest of any country. For Canada, sovereignty protection is a particular challenge.We are the world’s second largest country and with the longest coastline. Our population is widely dispersed, but 80 per cent is located within 150 kilometres of the Canada–United States border, while 40 per cent of our national territory – the North- contains only about 0.4 per cent of our population. Protecting and maintaining our sovereignty means knowing what is going on through monitoring activity and having the capability to stop unwanted activity or foreign intrusion. In terms of the resource-rich North, we especially need to have the capability for surveillance, to detect intruders by land sea or air, intercept and identify them, and, if necessary remove them by force. For Canada, this is a formidable task by any measure. It means that the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), which alone has the capability to access every part of our national territory, is essentially and often the lone guarantor of our national sovereignty – and the maintenance of that capability is coincident with the first responsibility of government. It is a vital interest for Canada. The capabilities of the RCAF in the defence of the approaches to North America are also a vital interest for 44 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
the United States. It cannot and will not tolerate any lapsing of such capability- which led to the 1957 North American Aerospace Defence (NORAD) Agreement that integrated our air defences. The current but aging NORAD surveillance system – the North Warning System (NWS) – consists of 50 sites today of which 47 are unmanned Canadian-owned sites with US owned radar and radio equipment. They transmit their information to the NORAD Canadian Air Defence Sector in North Bay, Ontario. Between IT IS CLEAR THAT ANY INTEROPERABILITY LIMITATIONS… WOULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON A VITAL INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES… WHO WOULD SIMPLY BE FORCED TO DEFEND NORTH AMERICA OVER AND ACROSS CANADIAN TERRITORY IF THERE WERE ANY DOUBT.
The advent of the fifth generation fighters such as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II with unique ‘gamechanging’ capabilities in terms of sensor fusion/situation awareness, intruder detection and significantly enhanced self-protection reinforce the need for continuing this interoperability. It is clear that any interoperability limitations, either due to systems incompatibility or availability of common aircraft capability — including, for example, detection of new cruise missiles — would have an impact on a vital interest of the United States. This would be unacceptable to the United States who would simply be forced to defend North America over and across Canadian territory if there were any doubt. However, the stealth capabilities of fifth generation aircraft would mean such operations would be invisible to Canadian authorities and the information gained from their surveillance of Canadian territory would not be available to Canada.
1986 and 1992, the NWS was installed on Canadian territory by the United States under the North American Air Defence Modernization Agreement of 1985. The operating costs are shared 40 per cent by Canada and 60 per cent by the United States.
The federal government has announced a decision to buy fourthgeneration Super Hornets that lack the required capabilities for assured seamless interoperability and could create unacceptable vulnerabilities in NORAD defences.
The response to any unidentified aircraft approaching or entering US or Canadian airspace has always been a joint RCAF/Canadian Armed Forces and US Air Force responsibility. There have been occasions when US fighters have been grounded because of safety concerns, and Canadian fighters have operated from Alaskan bases, demonstrating the need for a seamless interoperability capability to ensure the integrity of our common air defence system.
Could this be the seed to ceding Canadian sovereignty to the United States? Does anyone care? n Don Macnamara is a retired BrigadierGeneral with 65 years experience with the Canadian Forces and RCAF, including 52 years of regular and reserve uniformed service and 11 years on the RCAF Commander’s Council.
true north series by Candice Vetter
A Gordon Foundation Jane Glassco Northern Fellow ith roots that are Gwich’in, W Swedish, French and Northern Canadian, and with a long list of outstanding achievements, Nina Larsson isn’t exactly typical. But maybe that’s to be expected of someone with her eclectic and unique background.
Larsson is a member of the Gwich’in First Nation on her mother’s side. She was born and raised in France but identifies with Canada’s far North. Her maternal grandfather was a man of the Loucheaux-Métis who married a Gwich’in woman and lived in Aklavik until that community was resettled in Inuvik. Larsson’s mother and aunt were trailblazers, the only female cross-country skiers to compete in four Olympic Games, who after retiring moved on to other high-powered careers. Larsson’s father is a Swedish national whose company provides renewable resource solutions to Europe, and who also works for the Aboriginal Sports Circle of the Western Arctic, which he and his family moved to over 10 years ago, after living in France for 20 years. Hard acts to follow? Apparently not for Larsson. Her list of accomplishments is long and as varied as her heritage. Although she spent her young life in France, including attending university, she always felt the pull of the North. When her parents moved to Yellowknife it was partly due to the urging of their children. “The land defines us and we define it,” she said in a telephone interview. PHOTO: COURTESY GORDON FOUNDATION
“Although we grew up on a different continent my Mom followed the Gwich’in way.” Larsson took her degree at Institut des Métiers et de Techniques, in Grenoble, France, and says, “When we moved to Yellowknife we were welcomed home. I felt completely culturally competent.” But she also noted a gap in traditional knowledge, not just within herself, but saw it in many of the Indigenous people in her age range. So she and her sister became involved with Dene Nahjo, a recently-started organization that puts together opportunities for young persons to access their traditional culture, activities and tools. She saw many people didn’t have a chance to create opportunities, so she applied to the Gordon Foundation to become a member of the Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship. “I had to wait two years for the next round, but I knew I wanted to work at something that related to leadership and connections with creative thinkers,” she said. “The North helped me reshape my thinking.” As a Fellow she wrote two policy papers, Mind the Gender Gap, and with three other Fellows, Northern Dene Languages: Use Them or Lose Them – Arctic Athabascan Language Revitalization Plan. “I was always interested in shaping the future and creating solutions that would work for Indigenous peoples,”
she says. “The Fellowship gave me the opportunity to select a project that will help mentors and Gordon Foundation staff connect with other leaders.” Her interests included tackling gender issues, sharing solutions to some major problems like health care and violence, creating space for artists and a decolonized area for Dene or Gwich’in women, and using language, values and knowledge to shape the future. “Indigenous women needed a major initiative to feel connected with their culture. I wanted to celebrate these women.” One of her most striking projects was developing the vision and spearheading the Indigenous Circumpolar Women’s Gathering in 2014, which brought together 100+ women from across the international Arctic circumpolar regions. Besides all of the above Larsson is the founder of Energy North Corporation, another business specializing in renewable energies, and has held a number of high posts in the Government of the Northwest Territories. She is described by the Gordon Foundation as having a “passion for Indigenous women’s empowerment as leaders and decision makers in Indigenous communities.” That is probably the phrase that best sums up Nina Larsson n
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education by Vern Neufeld Redekop
What is Integrative Peacebuilding?
eacebuilding’ is a term that refers to the development of structures that contribute to a lasting peace after a violent conflict. Structures refer to material goods like physical infrastructure, a well-functioning economy, and governance systems; or less tangible such as relationships, trust, collaborative working relationships, and a culture of peace. Peacebuilding applies to government and civil society and addresses problems of corruption, violent outbreaks, black market economies, and identity-based systemic injustices. These have to be addressed from the grassroots level to the highest level of political leadership. Peacebuilding challenges can be overwhelming, particularly when animosity is deeply rooted in historical grievances, there is continued corruption, lack of information, and the whole populations can be traumatized. There is an additional challenge at the level of intervention. Armed forces may be involved as peacekeepers or engaged in kinetic activities to ensure security. Diplomatic initiatives are undertaken to stimulate reform of governance structures. Development activities address the destruction of infrastructure and the need for enhance economic activity. During Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, there was a 3-D approach: defense, diplomacy, and development. This morphed into a whole of government
approach with the recognition that other departments were involved in the intervention. A comprehensive approach includes NGOs and international organizations. To be integrative means that peacebuilding initiatives at all levels need to support each other’s strategic and practical goals. Each contributes to the efforts of the other. Not only is this the case from the perspective of international intervention, but each of theses needs to be integrated with local peacebuilding efforts. The latter may be led by the host state but more frequently they are undertaken by civil society organizations—from local communities to regional and national levels. All of this leads to a complex set of challenges. Two overarching themes guide the Integrative Peacebuilding Initiative. The first is to address the needs of those suffering most from violent conflict, building on their own capabilities to find a way toward sustainable peace and development. The second is the complexity of getting a number of government departments and the Canadian Armed Forces to collaborate in an integrated way with NGOs and international organizations. These are woven into five graduate courses. The first, The Adaptive Leader, gives people a dynamic, integral framework to adjust quickly to new developments in a complex environment.
Second, Complexity Thinking, grounds participants in theories of complexity, self-organizing systems, and emergent creativity; these enable people to recognize new emerging developments and identify adjacent possibilities. The Comprehensive Approach, a third course, takes on the practical challenges of getting all of the stakeholders to work in an integrative way; this includes a real-time two day roleplaying workshop for participants to experience the challenges involved. The fourth course on Intercultural and Inter-Religious Engagement, prepares students to respond appropriately to cultural and religious dynamics on the ground. In order to do this they have to become aware of their own biases. A final course on Peacebuilding, Identity-Based Conflict and Reconciliation “integrates” the understandings from the first four courses and places them in the context of the deep and perplexing challenges on the ground. Integrative peace building is an approach to helping the sustainability of peace and the civil recovery of conflict-torn regions of the world n Vern Neufeld Redekop is a Professor of Conflict Studies at Saint Paul University in Ottawa.
You can be the face of change! Saint Paul University (1848) is the founding college of the University of Ottawa, with which it has been federated since 1965. Bilingual and on a human scale, it offers programs in social communication, counselling and psychotherapy, canon law, public ethics, conflict studies, philosophy, human relations, and theology. 46 OTTAWALIFE FEBRUARY 2017
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