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JULY/AUGUST 2015

NEWS/POLITICS/BUSINESS/FOOD/ARTS/SPORTS/FASHION/LIFESTYLE $3.95

Tribute

to Liberty

The Memorial to the Victims of Communism Creates Controversy in its Design and Location.

A Win-Win for China and Canada is Changing the Future of Learning

MELLOW

SERIES

Fashionista Alexandra Gunn Says There’s a Shade for Everyone

Algonquin College

Yellow

www.ottawalife.com

Myria Webber * Michael Coren * Reason to Smile Series * Sable Island * Israel


ART NOW • L’ART ICI OAG Expansion 2017: A Cultural Legacy For Ottawa The Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion Project broke ground on July 15, 2015. This celebration marks the beginning of our 2-year-long construction initiative. Positioned to become an integral part of the City and Canada’s 150th Celebrations, we look forward to sharing our expanded new home with you and for generations to come. Follow our journey here: During the construction, Ottawa Art Gallery will be open as usual.

LYNNE COHEN June 5 – September 20, 2015

Lynne Cohen, Untitled / Sans titre, 2012, C-print / épreuve couleur, tirage, ed. 1/5, 132 x 157 cm. Courtesy of the estate of the artist and Olga Korper Gallery / avec la permission de la succession de l’artiste et de la Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto.

Terrors of the Breakfast Table: An interactive video installation by Tyler Tekatch

Female Self-Representation and the Public Trust: Mary E. Wrinch and the AGW Collection

June 5 – September 20, 2015

May 30 – August 16, 2015

Tyler Tekatch, Terrors of the Breakfast Table / Terreurs à la table du petit déjeuner, 2014, video still, interactive video / images vidéo, installation vidéo interactive. Collection of the Art Gallery of Hamilton / Collection de la Galerie d’art de Hamilton.

Mary Wrinch, Sawmill Dorset / Scierie dans le Dorset, c. / v. 1926, oil on canvas / huile sur toile, 83.7 x 86.2 cm / 83,7 x 86,2 cm., Gift of the artist / Don de l’artiste, 1959, Collection of the Art Gallery of Windsor / Collection de la galerie d’art de Windsor, 1959.006


Break out of your style rut by putting colour in everything you wear. Try on mellow yellow or beautiful blue—you’ll be ready for all of your summer outings.

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PHOTO: MONA STAPLES

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contents Summer Sipping

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What says summer more than sitting back on the patio with a gin and tonic? Learn a little Gin 101 so you can make the best cocktails for your next barbeque.

Monument Matter

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Should the scaled-down Memorial to the Victims of Communism— Canada a Land of Refuge be built in the front yard of the Supreme Court?

The Future of Learning

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Education goes online in the form of eTextbooks for Algonquin College. Will this money-saving project change the future of learning?

Canada-China Friendship Series

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OLM’s newest series with the Chinese Embassy will explore the growing positive relationship between Canada and China. Learn how China is working to promote inclusivity and learning between civilizations.

Canada/Kazakhstan Relations

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Kazakhstan is growing into a modern world. Find out how the country is becoming a rising global power.

Travel

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Good vacation vibes have been calling travelers to the island for years but the Reggae Marathon is giving people a new reason to visit Jamaica. Take in the historical sights of Israel. Cruise with Adventure Canada to Canada’s Sable Island.

PHOTO: ISRAEL MINISTRY OF TOURISM

columns Publisher’s Message ..................... 4 Best Picks ..................................... 5 Profile: Quesada .......................... 8 John's Reno Tips .......................... 9 Homes ......................................... 11 Profile: Myria Webber................... 15 Opinion: Michael Coren................ 24 Saint Paul University .....................46

series

Reason to Smile............................. 23 Reaching Higher Education........... 25 Women, Wages & The Workplace...27 Métis............................................ 29 Canada/China Friends................... 31 Canada/Kazakhstan Friends ......... 38

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PHOTO: (C) IRINA88W | DREAMSTIME.COM

TO YELLOW

PHOTO: VALERIE KEELER, VALBERG IMAGING INC.

say hello

JULY/AUGUST 2014 VOLUME 17 • NUMBER 4


publisher’s message by Dan Donovan

publisher/managing editor

Dan Donovan copy editor/features writer

In Defence of Parliament

Jennifer Hartley

As I watch the frenzied, over-the-top media coverage of the supposed Senate scandal, I'm reminded of the famous Will Rogers adage. “All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance.” Lost in this mass media morass is balance and proportionality. There must be a recognition that while the Senate has some issues, Canada has also greatly benefited from the service of numerous senators, past and present, who have had distinguished careers as parliamentarians. Senator Eugene Forsey, the renowned intellectual and constitutional expert, Allan MacEachen or Pat Carney all spent years contributing to public service. There is Senator Michael Kirby whose groundbreaking work on mental health revolutionized mental health treatment for all Canadians. Serge Joyal is another senator who has greatly contributed to constitutional and democratic reform issues. Ask anyone from the Inuit community and you will hear nothing but respect for Senator Willie Adams, who retired after over 32 years of federal service to the Canadian Arctic. What about Ottawa’s own senator, the globally respected and renowned heart surgeon Dr. Wilbert Keon? These parliamentarians have made great contributions to the public interest in Canada and their service should be lauded rather than shamed. There is much more that is good about the Senate than is bad. It is true that there was a need for expense reform within the Red Chamber. The House of Commons did so a decade ago by posting all Member of Parliament expenses online. When the actions of a few rogue senators were magnified to “crisis proportions” by some elitists in the national media, it caused the Senate itself to call in the Auditor General to clear the air. Who would have ever thought that the actual cost of the audit would be 25 times costlier than the problematic expenses it uncovered. Auditor General Michael Ferguson, whether through ego, hubris or incompetence, owes all Canadians an explanation. He spent over $23 million of taxpayers’ dollars on the Senate audit to find $976,000 in questionable expenses. That is out of $180 million worth of expenses investigated. The Auditor General, a person tasked with protecting the integrity of public spending, deemed it reasonable to spend $23.5 million of taxpayers’ money to find out that 0.5 per cent of Senate expenses were questionable. Ferguson flagged 30 senators (23 current and seven former senators). However, 12 of these senators were reported for questionable expenses of under $11,000 which means the apparent expense scandal in the Senate involves only seven senators and a half a million dollars in total. And of those seven senators, five of them are no longer there. This means only the expenses of two sitting senators were deemed serious enough to send to the RCMP for possible investigation. The majority of the senators named in the report have very forcibly defended themselves, stating that they believed these to be simple administrative errors, or that the Senate rules, as they stood at the time, allowed the expenses. All deny personal enrichment or premeditated wrongdoing. Clearly, there is no massive fraud or crisis in Canada’s Senate. The real scandal is the Auditor General. When questioned about his spending for this audit, Ferguson said: “It's easy to add up what we found and to look at the cost and do that strict comparison, but I think there’s a lot more behind that to get to understanding.” However, in the words of Oscar Wilde: “It is always with the best intentions that the worst work is done.” Ironically, Ferguson uses the same justification for his spending of taxpayers’ dollars that the accused senators do for theirs. Well, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black. It would be good for our democracy in Canada if some sober second thought was brought back to the media coverage of our Parliamentary institutions n

Alessandra Gerebizza

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director of operations

art director Karen Temple web & graphics manager

Mariana Fernandez Magnou

web copy editor/features writer Marie Waine print & web coordinator Madelaine Manson cover

Valerie Keeler,Valberg Imaging valberimaging.com photographers

Paul Couvrette, Bill Freedman, Anna Jover, Valerie Keeler, Stefania Capovilla fashion editor Alexandra Gunn accounts Joe Colas C.G.A web developer Ben Chung contributing writers

Candace Amis, Michael Coren, Stephanie D’Aoust Dr. Mike Degagné, Dan Donovan, Alessandra Gerebizza, John Gordon, Alexandra Gunn, Katie Hartai, Jennifer Hartley, Madelaine Manson, Lucie Screnci, Mona Staples, Stephen A Stuart, Kate Tenenhouse, Debbie Trenholm, Candice Vetter, Marie Waine corporate advisor J. Paul Harquail, Charles Franklin corporate counsel Paul Champagne editor emeritus Harvey F. Chartrand student intern Kate Tenenhouse advertising information

For information on advertising rates, visit www.ottawalife.com call (613) 688-LIFE (5433) or e-mail info@ottawalife.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: info@ottawalife.com Web site: www.ottawalife.com Follow us on Twitter @ottawalifers Like us at www.Facebook.com/OttawaLifeMagazine Ottawa Life is listed in Canadian Advertising Rates & Data (CARD). Ottawa Life subscription rates: one year $30.00, includes postage, plus HST (six issues). Two years $50.00, 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.


best picks

Wine for Any Time Cheers to summer sipping with organic wine from Emiliana Organic Vineyards. The new, limited edition Adobe Reserva range includes a fruity sauvignon blanc, an elegant merlot and a juicy cabernet sauvignon to accompany any occasion. emiliana.cl

Security Camera The izon view security camera offers effective monitoring for new parents, pet lovers and small business owners. Noise and motion activated, izon sends a notification to your device. You can live stream too. Whether you’re upstairs or on the other side of the world, stay in touch with what matters most. izoncam.com

Precision Grilling Weber’s Genesis EP-330 is the ultimate grill. With three stainless steel burners, angled bars to eliminate flare-ups, a grease management system designed to make clean-up a snap, this grill is loaded with modern features for succulent grilling. weber.com

Open Air Footwear With a new approach to construction, UNEEK footwear by KEEN are designed to be lightweight and to complement the natural shape of the foot for optimal comfort. Go ahead, get active and step out in your comfort zone. keenfootwear.com

iCooking Designed for indoor use, this Bluetooth, smartenabled cooking thermometer magnetically mounts to your oven or stove transferring the real-time temperature of your dish right to your iDevices connected app. Take dinner prep to the next level. idevicesinc.com

A Mosquito’s Worst Enemy Pesky mosquitoes are a thing of the past with the Mosquito Preventer by GreenStrike. Virtually silent and cordless, the Mosquito Preventer captures and destroys mosquito eggs to stop population growth before it starts. Go ahead and enjoy patio dinners and backyard fun without unwanted guests. green-strike.com

Nottification For the home or office, Notti is a portable, elegant LED light that displays customized smartphone notifications. Simply select a colour to associate with each notification through the free Notti app and pair to your smartphone. wittidesign.com

5 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


Solid Hardwood • Exotic Hardwood Flooring Engineered Flooring • Laminate• Tile • Vinyl • Cork Railing & Staircases • Recapping Staircase • Refacing Staircase

6 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


best picks

Wearable Words The Talking Shirt lets the world know what you stand for. High-quality apparel embellished with inspirational messages, this clothing line spreads positivity in style. thetalkingshirt.com

Travel in Style Wave goodbye to boring accessories. YaY Novelty offers fashion-forward credit card wallets and luggage ID tags to suit your personal style. yaynovelty.com

Surfs Up Only taking minutes to set up, the beachBUB solves the decades old problem of the runaway umbrella. beachbub.com

Jump Junkies Calling all hurdlers, volleyball and basketball players. The VERT wearable fitness monitor is a vertical leap monitor that tracks your jump height and sends all the stats to your smartphone or tablet. All your data is automatically stored on your myVERT.com account. myvert.com

Pretty Purses Whether your plans include foreign travel, relaxing at the cottage or shopping in the city, don't be seen without one of this summer’s “It” handbags by Robert. Matthew. robertmatthew.com

Hidden Message Dress to inspire with chic designs from All the Above Clothing. Each piece has a hidden message woven into the design element for flattering inspiration. ata-clothing.com

Free From Clutter Maximize your workspace with the slim, modern design F1 Smart Monitor Stand by Satechi. It simplifies and organizes your desk while maintaining a clean, functional style. satechi.net 7 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


profile Kate Tenenhouse

PHOTOS: QUESADA

The Taste of Success Q

uesada, the Canadian-owned and operated fast casual chain, is busy building burritos as it continues to expand. When Steff Charbonneau, a full-time Ottawa firefighter, tasted Quesada for the first time, the authentic flavours of Mexico captured his attention. He opened his first Quesada in Cornwall in 2013. “It’s something that I believe in, so it’s easy to sell to other people. It’s easy to believe that they’ll love it too. It seems Charbonneau’s passion is spreading. In just two years, Quesada has opened five locations in Eastern Ontario, including Petawawa, Kingston and Brockville. Tom O’Neill, president of Quesada

8 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015

entrepreneur and a manager,” O’Neill explains. “They have to be able to run the restaurant but they also have to get out there and market.”

Canada Franchising Corp., says Charbonneau’s spirit is exactly what the company needs. “He gets it. He loves the product. He works with his franchisees to solve problems. He’s got it all,” O’Neill says. Franchisees have to understand that they have to be a hybrid of an

Quesada first opened in 2010 and since then has grown exponentially. There are currently 44 Quesada locations in Canada, with plans to reach 74 stores nationally by the end of 2015. And the future looks bright. “We’re going to become a premier Mexican brand in Canada in the next 10 years, no question of that,” O’Neill says. “When we hit 300 restaurants, we’ll be well into the United States.” n


PHOTO: (C) LMPHOT | DREAMSTIME.COM

homes by Katie Hartai and Stephanie D’Aoust

John’s Reno Tips

Putting Kitchen Costs On The Chopping Block Save your kiss for the cook and not for bidding your money goodbye. Staying within budget is one of the most challenging parts of home improvement. Keeping costs in line, while not compromising dream renovation plans, sometimes seems impossible, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Luckily, there are ways to revive its design without emptying the bank. John Gordon, owner of Your Reno Guys contracting business in Ottawa, has the following suggestions on how to do it.

PHOTO: (C)| DREAMSTIME.COM

Countertop Choices Get the granite-looking countertop you want without paying for stone by taking advantage of the endless modern laminate options. Less expensive than all other materials, laminate is made from sheets of brown paper forced together under high heat and pressure. The top layer is coated in hard plastic, creating a highly durable surface. With its recently developed

advantages, there is no need to turn up your nose at laminate’s synthetic material. It is water resistant, easy to clean and has more variety than ever before with thousands of pattern and colour choices. However, if you are stuck on the idea of stone, save by using granite over quartz and thinner over thicker slabs. Plan For Fewer Drawers And More Doors Cabinets are often seen as the most important and expensive purchase made in the kitchen renovation process. When choosing a design for your remodel, consider using more doors than drawers to save a little cash. It’s about three times as much to install a stack of pull-out drawers than a cabinet of the same size with two

swinging doors. If managed properly, they can provide deep storage space to camouflage whatever pots and pans are hiding inside. Although equally as effective, cabinets with doors do require extra care in terms of organization. Your wallet may be tempted to do away with drawers altogether, but they are still the most valuable and efficient method for storing smaller items like utensils. Keep Styles Simple From elaborate to modest styles, cabinet doors vary substantially in design, material and price. Make the most economic decision by sticking to the basic models. Detail costs money. When paired with the right wood, shaker-style cabinet doors are a perfect example of cost efficiency through simplicity. They are a straightforward design with a raised edge and a recessed panel in the centre. The classic use of clean lines and minimal ornamentation make them suitable for almost any home décor with the proper accessories. Try not to stray far from standard wood types either. Common cabinet materials like cherry,

continued >> page 10 9 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


Kitchen Costs >> from page 9

hickory, oak and maple are much more affordable than exotics like mahogany, ash and rosewood. What other advice does Gordon have for eager kitchen renovators? Slow down.

Your Reno Guys is launching a new division of the company that will offer in-house design and kitchen services. Interior decorator, Stephanie D’Aoust, will be leading the initiative. Last year, she was a finalist for the National Kitchen and Bath Association Design Excellence Award. John Gordon, owner of Your Reno Guys, has been a renovations contractor for 20 years. YourRenoGuys.com

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PHOTO:(C) MACNOMO | DREAMSTIME.COM

“A kitchen is the most valuable room in a house and you can never start planning the renovation too early. It is something you want to take time with and plan ahead to feel comfortable about,” he says. “Work with a designer that is going to maximize your budget. Don’t be shy to make your budget known and stick to it. A good designer or company can become very creative to deliver the kitchen of your dreams for that price.” n


homes by Lucie Screnci

BEFORE

From Dreary Dramatic TO

The mission:

Transform a fully accessible kitchen and bathroom. The results are improvements to both form and functionality.

A call to action put forth by the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation was presented to local contractors to update an older apartment unit located in the Byward Market area. The goal was to update and transform the apartment’s accessible kitchen and bathroom for its tenant. Both rooms had to be redesigned to allow for maximum ease of use, space and independence. To make this happen in the kitchen, the tenant utilized the IKEA 3D Kitchen Planner. The online software is simple to download and makes it possible to configure the setup and floor plan of a kitchen after inputting its measurements. From the comfort of his home, the tenant chose the style and colour of cabinets, doors, drawer fronts an appliances based on his preferences.

A wide range of materials, colours and options are available. There is also a myriad of combinations and possibilities for every room size and layout. For example, IKEA allows shoppers to choose from freestanding models to fitted designs. IKEA staff members were on hand over the phone, online and instore to answer questions and offer recommendations. Key in the renovation of the kitchen was maintaining the lower cabinets, countertops and appliances so that they could be easily reached. Once the configuration of the kitchen was finalized in an IKEA store, a local contractor was able to design the kitchen based exactly on the 3D rendering generated by the IKEA Kitchen Planner.

Visit IKEA.com for information on the 3D Kitchen Planner and other online room planning tools. Schluter.com provides tutorials, and technical specs on its line of waterproof shower and bathroom membranes for barrier-free bathrooms and sauna rooms. 11 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


John Gordon, owner of Your Reno Guys, executed the bathroom renovation that included demolition and retiling of the bathroom’s walls and floor, maintaining the open concept feel of the barrier-free bath. The floor’s slope was modified to allow for proper water drainage. The height and design of the sink were also changed to suit the tenant’s needs. A commercial floor drain was installed and Schluter® Systems KERDI pliable, waterproof membrane was applied to the bathroom’s entire interior. Schluter® Systems offers a 10-year warranty on its products, much higher than the average one to two years provided by other similar suppliers. As well, it requires no maintenance or followup care, a hassle-free option for barrier-free bathrooms or sauna rooms. Schluter® was helpful in providing technical support throughout the installation process. Working concurrently on the bathroom and kitchen, each contractor updated the tenant at every stage of the process until both projects were finalized. The contractors were equally thrilled to support a community initiative and be a part of this unique collaboration. Mission accomplished n

ONE OF A KIND

Painted Paddles jo-mann.com 12 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


savvy selections by Debbie Trenholm

Keep Calm and Drink Gin and Tonic There are many iconic drinks of summer including a fruity sangria, a minty mojito, an elegant glass of rosé wine, or a frosted G&T. With gin making a comeback, it is interesting to rediscover classic favourites and to try some of the artisanal gins that are being made in our own backyard. The history of gin stems back to 16th-century Holland. Since then, various styles have emerged from crystal clear and bonedry to honey-coloured and fruity types. While you may go local when buying wine, craft beers, artisan cheese and farmers fresh produce, there is also a local distiller in Ottawa (and several more throughout Ontario) making one-of-a-kind gins to enjoy this summer. Loyalist Gin - Sixty-six Gilead Distillery in Prince Edward County is constantly creating and adding a new twist on its portfolio of spirits. Loyalist Gin is loaded with junipers and botanicals including locally grown lavender as well as heritage hops flowers. Available at the LCBO or the distillery. $43.95, 43% alc/vol. 66gileaddistillery.com Piger Henricus – a traditional London Dry gin made with botanicals such as juniper berries, coriander, angelica root, lemon zest, cardamom and parsnips. This last secret ingredient gives the drink a very distinctive taste that is hard to pin point, all the while making it über re f re s h i n g . “ P i g e r Henricus is not your g ra n d f a t h e r ’s g i n ,”

>>

GIN 101

remarked founder Stephan Ruffo. Available at the LCBO $39.00, 43% alc/vol. pigerhenricus.com Triple Beam Gin is made in Ottawa at North of 7 Distillery using juniper berries sourced from Ferme et Forêt inWakefield,Québec, along with a concoction of botanicals (many that are local). Available only from the distillery at 1733 St Laurent Blvd. $39.95 40% alc/vol. northof7distillery.ca Unfiltered Gin 22 and Rose Gin – Dillon’s Small Batch Distiller in Niagara creates a base using grapes from neighbouring wineries. Herbs, flowers, fruit and other secret ingredients are also sourced from local farmers. Available at the LCBO or at the distillery.

London Dry Gin – typically dry & heavily juniper flavoured without any sugar added, classic to for use in cocktails & martinis, names you will recognize include Gordon’s, Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater. Plymouth Gin – less dry than its London cousin, it is infused with more roots to create an earthier, softer-flavoured gin. Only one brand is available, Plymouth Gin. .

Unfiltered Gin 22 $39.95 40% alc/vol, Rose Gin $49.95 38% alc/vol. Cherry Gin and Strawberry Gin are available in August at the distillery. dillons.ca Once you have your gin of choice, keep the bottle in the freezer for that opportune moment to pour a G&T. Try this recipe: Celery Gin & Tonic from the creators of Piger Henricus 1 celery stalk, chopped 1 tablespoon sugar or maple syrup 1 ounce fresh lemon juice 2 ounces gin 1 small stick of parsnip Lemon twist

Muddle celery with sugar and lemon juice in a blender for 1 minute. Add gin. Pour in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until the outside of shaker becomes frosty (about 30 seconds). Strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with parsnip and lemon twist.

Genever or Dutch Gin – a darker-coloured drink made from a base of malt grains. Good for sipping straight up or chilled. Old Tom Gin – the sweetest of the bunch. Used for making the classic Tom Collins drink. It can be difficult to find, so be on the lookout for Hayman’s brand. International Gin – the umbrella style for all gins that are made with ingredients other than juniper berries. Hendrick’s is a brand that is growing in popularity. 13 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


If you have ever traveled to England during the summer, you would have noticed that G&Ts have been replaced with a darkcoloured drink called Pimm’s. This is a cocktail made with a gin-based liquor and is the cocktail of choice at Wimbeldon tennis matches. Grab a bottle of the readyto-mix Pimm's from the LCBO ($29.95) or try making your own. DIY Pimm's 1 part gin 1 part red vermouth ½ part Cointreau Club soda, 7UP or Sprite Mix the ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate. When ready to serve, add sliced strawberries, sprigs of mint & cucumber to the pitcher and soda, then pour into ice-filled glasses.

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Savvy Company founder, Debbie Trenholm, enjoys unwinding with a G&T or you might find her with a glass of refreshing rosé. If you like rosé wines too, check out www.savvycompany.ca/rose for their new One Dozen Rosés, a selection of 12 bottles of dry, crisp refreshing rosé wines handpicked by the team of Savvy Sommeliers. There is a new selection of wines each month. savvycompany.ca

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BEFORE

Keep Calm >> from page 13 Pimm's No. 1 Cup

FREE consultation

6/3/15 6:21:10 PM


M E E T C O U N T RY S U P E R S TA R

W e b a i b e r r y M Myria Webber, a 20-year-old crooning Canadian country singer-songwriter, is all about the Nashville sound while keeping her FrenchCanadian influence. Born and raised in Quebec, Webber has been singing and performing live since the age of seven. With a history in the music business— both of her grandfathers were musicians— Webber could not wait to share her music with others and has always had the support of her family. Webber released her self-titled EP in 2014. With its success and a lot of learning under her belt, Webber headed to Nashville to write five more songs with various co-writers, including Aaron Goodvin, who writes for Luke Bryan, and Stephen Adrian Lawrance. This original music is set to release later this year. With her music on the radio, a performance at Canadian Music Week and buzz quickly spreading in Nashville, Webber's future is bright and she continues to work hard towards fulfilling her dreams. Webber radiate on stage, exuding energy. She is happiest when she is performing, sharing her sweet and soulful sound and it shows. Some of her country music influences include Miranda Lambert, Danielle Bradberry, Blake Shelton, Hayden Panettiere and Scotty McCreery. Finding success in Canada’s country music scene is a tough job, but Webber is up for the challenge. Her unique sound, mixed with her young and charming personality are a winning combination. This young country artist is just beginning what will no doubt be a long and rewarding career n PHOTO: PAUL COUVRE

TTE

p

Kate Spade Pineapple bag $348 15 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


in search of style by Alexandra Gunn

Mellow

Yellow

Follow Alex on Twitter: @AlexandraGunn t

Wicker Novelty Handbag $129.99

Fun, fresh and often associated

with the warmer months of the year, yellow is a worn-to-be-seen colour that will liven up your wardrobe this season. The sunny shade was seen on the Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Burberry Prorsum and Naeem Khan runways and the statement shade is also a sunshine basic at budget-friendly stores. Whether you opt for canary yellow or prefer a more subtle splash - lemon, maize or mustard yellow - there’s a shade of yellow for everyone. Prefer to dabble in this trend before committing to clothing? Start by accessorizing with a novelty handbag or style your outfit with bold jewellery.

q Yellow Flower Skirt

Winners q Enamel Bangle $59.99

p

Michael Kors - New York, SS’15

Naeem Khan - New York, SS’15

Ralph Lauren - New York, SS’15

Winners Printed Sundress $59.99

Addition Elle Yellow Necklace $40

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Kate Spade Pineapple Purse $348


Q A

POWER DRESSING

I’ve heard a lot about the importance of dressing well at work, but does my day-to-day attire really matter in the grand scheme of things? What should I consider adding to my wardrobe to make sure I’m not out-of-date? Every day, women are faced with a dilemma of what to wear to the office. Whether we like it or not, how you dress not only signals to the world what kind of work you do, but also how seriously you take it. In business, you dress to have an impact on your colleagues and clientele. Therefore, your daily attire signals your authority, experience and ambition. If your clothes don’t convey the message that you are competent, reliable and self-confident, nothing that you say or do will overcome the negative signals that your wardrobe sends.

u

Marshalls Collarless Blazer and Crop Top $34.99 and $59.99

So how do you strengthen your image? Stay clear of a fashion rut by keeping up with trends, while maintaining a classic look. A wrap dress is a great option as it’s flattering on all shapes and sizes. Kate Middleton has given this style a royal stamp of approval and set off a fashion frenzy around the world by stepping out in a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. DVF is renowned for her signature wrap dresses and this bright blue wrap that I’m wearing can be worn to the office or for a night out. Don’t forget to accessorize your work uniform with a statement bag and always have a tailored blazer on hand. A crisp white blazer is a fresh alternative to the traditional year-round black option. The term ‘power dressing’ is about honing a professional look that is current and portrays an image that you’re resilient enough to manage whatever is thrown your way. p

Kate Spade Harmony Tote $298

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Dress $458.00, Gold Michael Kors watch $300.00, Kate Spade Blue Jean Pumps, Ted Baker dark blue purse $325.00. PREVIOUS PAGE: Diane von Furstenberg lemon gold blouse $251.00, Tory Burch Callie skinny pant $240.00, Steve Madden sunglasses $38.00, Sam Eldelman nude strappy heels $168.00, long necklace $205.00, yellow bracelets $36.00 nordstrom.com p

Yellow Scarf $12

PHOTOGRAPHY: Valerie Keeler, Valberg Imaging Inc. valbergimaging.com HAIR: Stefania Capovilla 17 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


CENTRETOWN

Heritage Office Building

FOR SALE

For Inquiries contact Manny Agulnik The Regional Group of Companies Inc., Brokerage 1737 Woodward Drive, 2nd Floor, Ottawa, ON K2C 0P9

613.230.2100 ext. 5209 18 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


feature by Kate Tenenhouse

The Memorial to the Victims of Communism:

It’s Complicated

There seems to be a general agreement that the Memorial to the Victims of Communism—Canada a Land of Refuge is a worthy project. However, controversy surrounds the current proposed location and design.

Canada, a Land of Refuge— More than a Memorial

“People are trying to make this political,” says Ludwik Klimkowski about the plans to build a memorial to the victims of communism. Klimkowski is the board chair for Tribute to Liberty, a Canadian charitable organization, established with the mission of creating a monument for the millions of people who struggled under communist regimes and for those who helped them find refuge. “I wish they paid more attention to the eight million of us who live here who are either directly or indirectly touched by the evils of communism,” he says. Milo Suchma is one of those eight million Early one September morning in 1951, six secret policemen came to the Suchma family apartment in Prague, Czech Republic (formerly known

as Czechoslovakia). “They took my father immediately out. They took my mother for interrogation for some time and they were with me in the apartment,” remembers Suchma. “After two days, they let me go to school and I went to my class teacher, not loudly, but I told her, apologizing that I missed two days of school but my father was arrested,” he says. The teacher was a Russian émigrée. Her husband was taken away after the war and she never saw him again. “She told me, ‘Be very brave.’” Suchma had just started the fifth grade. His father, Miloslav Suchma, a jeweler, was arrested and all his possessions taken away. “The communists took everything,” Suchma recalls. “They put him in prison for two and a half years and he was lucky…because some of his colleagues got seven or 12 years in prison.” “After that, you are nobody. You are

ILLUSTRATION: ABSTRAKT STUDIO ARCHITECTURE & TRIBUTE TO LIBERTY

nobody. You cannot get a reasonable job,” he describes. “This is even a relatively mild story,” Suchma warns. “Some people can tell you stories that their whole family was wiped out—executed.” Suchma left Czechoslovakia in August 1968. While on vacation in Western Europe with his wife, Jana, troops occupied Czechoslovakia, and Suchma knew they would not be able to return. During that time, Czechoslovakia was at a tipping point of sociopolitical change, as the leader of the communist party, Alexander Dubcek, pushed for reform—a programme he called ‘socialism with a human face.’ In response to increasing reform, troops from Russia, East Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland occupied Czechoslovakia. Everything changed. Supporters of liberal reforms after occupation were forcibly removed from the country. Anyone with alternative political views was potentially under threat. “There was no hope that there would be change because I knew that they would occupy the country for a number of years,” Suchma says. So, at the age of 28, he and his wife left their 19 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


ILLUSTRATION: ABSTRAKT STUDIO ARCHITECTURE & TRIBUTE TO LIBERTY

lives behind and came to Canada— the land of refuge. “We, of course, had mothers and brothers, sisters and so on, but that’s life. You have to try and save your existence.” Now 75-years-old, a proud father and grandfather, Suchma has lived in Canada for 47 years, raising his family in Ottawa. He is currently the vicepresident of the Czech and Slovak Association of Canada. Globally, more than 100 million people have been affected by communist tyranny and oppression. And the ramifications continue to this day. “I think the situation in the world is very alarming,” Suchma says. “If you look right now at what North Korea is doing and what Russia is doing in Ukraine.” Immigrants from communist regimes have sought refuge in Canada for generations. From all corners of the world, Czechoslovakia to China, Cuba to Korea, there are dozens of communities affected by communism who found a new home in Canada. They left everything behind and started a new life in a new country that promised freedom and democracy. “This is not just a situation for Czechs. Look at the Vietnamese or Koreans or 20 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015

Chinese or Poles,” Suchma says.

for the memorial to be built.

“The memorial is devoted to the land of refuge.All of these people, including myself, appreciate that Canada gave us freedom, opportunity and liberty.”

Suchma wrote a dedication to his father.“I think that he would be proud of it,” he says.

Klimkowski agrees: “This is really about our common memory and above all, it is a thank you for the generosity, safety and prosperity that was extended to us.”

The latest design for the memorial only covers 37 per cent of the site, rather than the previously envisioned 60 per cent. The tallest point has been reduced from 14.35 metres to eight. And there will be five memory folds, not seven. And many of those people wrote about their experiences on the Tribute to Liberty website as part of a fundraising campaign for the memorial. These are stories of bravery, strength, love and perseverance. Each dedication is just as powerful as the last; each one a reason

Breaking it Down: The Process, Supporters and Opponents

As noble a project that it is, The Memorial to the Victims of Communism—Canada a Land of Refuge has generated some controversy. While the project has the support of all of Canada’s federal political parties, and the mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson, there has been disagreement over the current site and design.All are opposed to the selected site. NDP Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar, Liberal MP Stéphane Dion, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Mayor Jim Watson all maintain the memorial design does not work well next to the Supreme Court building. In September 2009, the National Capital Commission board approved the monument theme and federal land use approval was given for an initial site at the Garden of the Provinces, located along Sparks Street between Wellington and Bay streets, in the summer of 2011. In 2012, Tribute to Liberty requested the current Wellington Street location next to the Supreme Court. On November


20, 2013, the NCC board of directors agreed that the Memorial could be located on the Judicial Precinct site southwest of the Supreme Court of Canada. In April 2014, a national design competition was implemented. The two-phase contest narrowed down 20 proposals to six finalists. These six concepts were presented to the jury (design professionals, artists and architects) and the public on August 21, 2014. Canadian Heritage Minister, Shelly Glover, and then Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, announced the winning concept by the Toronto-based ABSTRAKT Studio Architecture in December 2014. “This is a true multicultural mosaic of all the experiences of people who came here. We can’t get anything more beautiful than that story,” says Klimkowski. The concept behind the winning design is a “fold of memory.” There will also be an interactive ‘Wall of Remembrance’ and a ‘Bridge of Hope’. “You look to your left to see the memory folds and you experience each and every fallen victim of communism but then each and every pixel comes together as one large picture of Canada as the land of refuge. Then you come over to the Bridge of Hope. You see those names. You can see the story behind those names using your smart phone and then when you climb the Bridge of Hope, you see all of it in its glory,” he explains. Design Debate

Questions and criticism over the design quickly generated debate. Some said it was too dark, others said too ugly or too big. The problem here is that art is entirely subjective. Who is to say what the perfect representation of the victims of communism should be? It is nearly, if not completely, impossible to please everyone. Famed newspaper magnate Conrad Black recently wrote about the memorial debate in the National Post. “There

Where do the Parties stand? “The Government is committed to seeing this important monument built in the selected location. Let me be clear, the monument will not be located in front of the Supreme Court. Rather, it will be off to the side, closer to the Library and Archives. Critics of the monument want to destroy green space and construct yet another building for government lawyers. This Memorial will honour the more than 100 million lives lost under communist regimes - and pay tribute to the Canadian ideals of liberty, democracy and human rights. In Canada, over 8 million people trace their roots to countries that suffered under Communism. Thousands of brave young Canadian soldiers fought against communism in Korea.We must never forget their sacrifice.” – The Honourable Pierre Poilievre “My NDP colleagues and I join with architects, municipal representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Ottawa residents in opposing current plans for the Memorial to the Victims of Communism. The Conservatives’ decision to locate the monument next to the Supreme Court of Canada is particularly wrong-headed and inappropriate. The monument was originally approved for a different site, but the Conservative government intervened to change the location – in violation of the longstanding plan for the parliamentary precinct and the interests of local residents. A memorial to remember and honour those who fought for democracy is a fine idea – but Conservative political interference undermines the very principle of democratic consultation. As the NDP MP for Ottawa Centre, I have written to the Minister of Public Works, the National Capital Commission, and the Speaker of the House of Commons; asked numerous questions in Question Period; and written op-eds on this issue. The government must abandon its stubborn refusal to listen to the local community, and reconsider its ill-conceived plans for this monument.” – NDP Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar “We support the idea to commemorate the victims of communism because so many communities came to our country in order to escape from these horrific regimes. So, Canada has been in some ways benefiting a lot from these communities who came to country. To commemorate this difficult part of their history to explain why they came to Canada, makes sense. But we think that the process was not respectful. So many people are against the site that has been chosen without proper consultation and to do it so close to the Supreme Court is not what we support.The design is a matter of personal taste.We do not have an official position about the design…We support the idea.We have a problem with the site. And we have a problem with the process.” – Liberal MP Stéphane Dion Local Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger reinforced Dion’s comments and noted that his constituents have voiced concern about the memorial. “I’m quite opposed to the current siting and approach and arrogance of the Harper administration in forcing this on the City of Ottawa…I can understand and am willing to give qualified support to the idea of a victims of communism statue in Ottawa, but not this one, not in that location and not at this scale. I certainly don’t support the current plans.” – Green Party Leader Elizabeth May * These are the Party positions at the time of print. 21 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


seems to be an element of moral relativism involved, as if we have no right to recognize the hundred million or more people massacred by international communism in the Twentieth Century, as well as an aesthetic concern.” “Almost all monuments, including the most illustrious, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, were much disparaged at first and I think the design is appropriate to the subject. Ottawa, and Canada’s other large cities, need more monuments—they add greatly to the visual environment and appearance of solidity of a city, as Washington, Paris, Rome, London, and other great capitals demonstrate,” Black says. The NCC board considered the memorial design at a public meeting on June 25, 2015. The meeting outlined the progress of the project and the public was able to contribute to the discussion. The presentation outlined many alterations to the design, emphasizing the fact that the memorial’s size and scale had been significantly decreased, with an increased focus on the theme of Canada as the land of refuge. In fact, the latest design for the memorial only covers 37 per cent of the site, rather than the previously envisioned 60 per cent.The tallest point has been reduced from 14.35 metres to eight. There will be five memory folds, not seven and the memorial will not be higher than the National War Memorial. Even though at this meeting the NCC board listened to concerns about the location of the memorial, it had already approved the site preparation. . As for the design of the memorial, there is a process in place, allowing the NCC board to reject or make changes to it. However, this outcome seems unlikely. This memorial has been a substantial undertaking for the federal government and it would be quite the political slap to completely reject the plans, especially considering a significant number of board members were appointed under the Harper government, some as recently as midJune. Even in the unlikely event that 22 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015

the NCC rejects the current plans, the federal cabinet has the power to override the decision under the National Capital Act. So, really, it seems to be an irrelevant point. All the same, Mayor Jim Watson and city councillors have voiced opposition to the project's location. Watson addressed concerns at a council meeting on May 27, 2015, supporting Councillor Nussbaum’s motion speaking out against the current plans. “As Councillor Nussbaum’s motion clearly states, our concern here is about the location of the proposed memorial and not the merits of the memorial or its design,” he said.

Even in the unlikely event that the NCC rejects the current plans, the federal cabinet has the power to override the decision under the National Capital Act. So, really, it seems to be nearly an irrelevant point. “The parallel discussion on the merits and design of the monument is neither one that is before us today nor one that I believe we should be undertaking, but the location of a monument of this size and prominence will have a significant effect on our city going

forward and I believe that it is best suited in its original location, the Garden of the Provinces.” However, he noted: “I recognize that this is ultimately not the city’s decision to make.” It is a classic city issue versus federal issue debate familiar to residents of Ottawa who have watched the NCC and the city clash over a myriad of issues for decades, whether it’s about Sparks Street redevelopment, Rideau Street development, the proposed King Edward Boulevard, Canada’s Sport Hall of Fame (which eventually was built in Calgary) and Light Rail Transit routes. Jurisdiction is further complicated at the national level, as the NCC, Canadian Heritage and Public Works and Government Services all have a part to play in the development of this memorial. The National Capital Commission is providing required land use and design approvals throughout the project, and is responsible for the construction of the memorial. Canadian Heritage is managing the overall monument project and the national design competition. Public Works and Government Services Canada is providing procurement services for the design competition. Once the memorial is built, ownership and maintenance of the monument will be the responsibility of Public Works and Government Services Canada. It is an entanglement of accountability. So what happens now? The decisionmaking process for this memorial is ongoing and evolving. Once the NCC board grants the federal land use and design approval for the project, ABSTRAKT Studio Architecture will begin working on the construction documents. Canadian Heritage says the official inauguration of the memorial is expected to take place in 2016. “There is a lot of work ahead of us,” says Klimkowski. “My sleeves are rolled up and I look forward to working with all partners to see this project brought to life.”n

ILLUSTRATION: ABSTRAKT STUDIO ARCHITECTURE & TRIBUTE TO LIBERTY


reason to smile by Katie Hartai

‘GumDocs’

Pinning down the best option for your receding gums

D

estroying the structures that support teeth, gum recession is a dental problem three in every four adults face. It is not something to be ignored. Leaving

the condition untreated can lead to serious physical and aesthetic discomfort down the road. GumDocs periodontal care offers several techniques to repair damage caused by receding gums. The team of caring professionals ensures that comfort and beauty are restored to every smile. Gum recession is the process when the tissue surrounding teeth is worn away or pulled back, exposing more of the tooth and possibly its root.This process allows for disease-causing bacteria to easily build up in the unnatural gaps creating a whole other set of issues like tooth decay, temperature sensitivity and bone loss. In the most severe cases, recession can cause teeth to fall out completely. Although daily brushing is one of the best ways to prevent receding gums, it can also be the source of the problem. Using improper techniques or brushing too aggressively can quickly wear gums away. If recession does begin to develop, regular trips to the dentist will allow for an early identification of the condition and treatment plan. There are three surgical options GumDocs offer patients whose advanced gum recession cannot be fought with deep cleaning. They perform two types of traditional grafting along with a new revolutionary method called the Pinhole® Surgical Technique. Free gingival grafting uses a small donor tissue from the mouth palate. An incision is made at the site of recession and the thin gum is pushed to make room for the graft. Secured with glue or stitches, it will eventually become integrated with surrounding tissue but does appear thicker and lighter in colour. Although this

method does not cover exposed roots, it can stop recession from happening or progressing further. Connective tissue grafting uses an underlying piece of gum from the donor site, called the connective tissue. An incision is made at the site of recession to create a pocket for the graft. Tucked between the gum and BEFORE

AFTER

tooth, glue or stitches are used to hold it in place. This is a more aesthetic approach and does cover exposed roots. The Pinhole® Surgical Technique is a minimally invasive way to correct gum shrinkage and is used in cases where recession is attacking the entire mouth. It was invented, and is now patented, by John Chao, D.D.S., who first began performing the procedure nearly ten years ago in California. During the surgery, a needle is used to make a small hole in existing gum tissue. Special instruments are then

used to loosen the gums surrounding teeth, expanding and sliding the tissues to cover showing roots. There are many benefits to this method including a more comfortable recovery, no incisions, sutures or donor tissues and natural looking, long-lasting results. Dentists wishing to perform the Pinhole® Surgical Technique must receive special training from Dr. Chao himself. Two surgeons at GumDocs have taken his course and are fully licensed to perform the breakthrough method. Dr. Karen Fung is one of them. “If the patient is willing to follow the post-operative regimen, I feel incredibly comfortable with [the Pinhole® Surgical Technique],” Dr. Fung says. “The people upon whom I have performed the technique are very thankful, mostly because you can see a difference right away.” Ottawa resident Damian MacLellan is one of them. The braces used on his teeth in the late 1970s caused severe gum recession as an adult. “It got to the point where eating anything cold or hot was very uncomfortable.” Two years ago, MacLellan desperately underwent grafting surgery to help his situation, but the results weren’t what he had wanted. The following year he booked an appointment with Dr. Fung to try the Pinhole® Surgical Technique. That surpassed his expectations. MacLellan says. “It is so much easier than grafting and not painful at all. It just felt like when I used to go in and get my braces tightened. I would recommend it without question.” There is no better recommendation than one from a happy client n 23 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


building a better canada/ op-ed by Michael Coren

A SLICE OF

Equality for All Let them eat cake but don’t, whatever you do, actually bake it for them. In May, a Belfast court ruled that a young couple who owned a bakery and refused to make a cake decorated with a pro-gay marriage slogan had broken the law. A token fine was issued which the couple intends to appeal. The couple has become a hero to social conservatives. The ruling was wrong because the people ordering the cake had asked for a directly political statement to be placed on it and surely we have a right to object to such a request whatever our politics. The ruling was also inevitable because Northern Ireland has legislation protecting members of any community in the profoundly divided region from being refused service.That was actually what enabled the whole case to happen. But one wonders if the bakers in question would have had a different response if the cake in question were not political and merely for the marriage of two people of the same gender. It’s a delicate issue – rather like a cake really - because as much as businesses should not discriminate there should be some sort of protection for freedom of conscience. Yet there is also a palpable nonsense in all of this. Most of the similar cases internationally have involved refusal of hotel rooms for gay couples, rejecting gay women wanting wedding dresses for their special day, denial of photographic services and so on. Yet while those refusing to serve gay customers have so far all been Christian, Jesus never even speaks of homosexuality but does strongly condemn divorce, in a culture where divorce was common and easy. But these devout bakers, hoteliers, dressmakers and photographers never 24 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015

refuse service to heterosexual couples who are divorced or who are living together. Of the 200,000 words in The New Testament a mere 40 refer to samesex attraction and many question the genuine meaning of the references. So this is about something other than faith. We would be incredulous if a bakery refused service to an inter-

…those refusing to serve gay customers have so far all been Christian… these devout bakers, hoteliers, dressmakers and photographers never refuse service to heterosexual couples who are divorced or who are living together. racial couple, for example, and while the parallel is not exact, it certainly feels that way if you’re gay. If people genuinely follow Christ, they will try to imagine how they feel and have felt after centuries

of discrimination and abuse. Many Christians claim that they act only out of love but if that is so, it seems to take on a bewildering shape. Where there is love there is God, where there is God there is love. Spend time with gay couples or, as I did recently, in a church that caters principally to gay people, and you will experience God and love in abundance. There is even more hypocrisy if we search a little deeper. The issue of withholding service to gay people and gay couples has suddenly become to some people a cause of freedom and free speech. But many of these new zealots said nothing up to now when their opponents were silenced and certainly did not speak up for gay men and women who in the past were denied basic liberties. The truth is that for generations and even now to a very large extent conservative Christians, Catholic as well as evangelical, refuse to recognize and deal with their intolerance. The time to do so is long overdue. To its great credit, this country has developed a new, liberal and loving response to these issues and Canada has grown, matured and prospered as a result. Christianity and Christians should be opening the door to such change, not be dragged through it screaming and protesting. As for what Jesus would do, the answer is simple: He’d bake the cake and then proceed with preaching the Gospel of love, charity, forgiveness and joy. The icing on this story is that history is on the side of the good guys and that genuine equality is only a matter of time n Michael Coren can be contacted at mcoren@sympatico.ca


Embracing eTextbooks:

The Future of Learning

PHOTO: COURTESY ALGONQUIN COLLEGE

reaching higher/making it happen by Kate Tenenhouse

All the resources you need in just a click of a mouse—or a tap of a screen. Algonquin College is transforming education through the use of e-textbooks.

to reduce that cost by a good 40 per cent,” MacDougall explains.

I

“Last year, we deployed about $4 million worth of textbooks and in doing so, we saved the students a little over $2.5 million.”

magine having access to all the academic resources you needed for school in just a click of a mouse or the tap of a screen. All students, all resources, accessible all the time—that is the vision for Algonquin College’s e-text initiative. Back in January 2013, Algonquin partnered with the four major textbook publishers—Pearson, Nelson, McGraw-Hill and Wiley—and started a pilot project with six programs, involving about 750 students. After great success, the initiative expanded from 23 programs and 3,400 students in the fall of 2013 to about 83 programs and just under 10,000 students in the fall of 2014. This fall etextbooks will be available for 130 programs, reaching 14,000 students. Glenn MacDougall, director of learning and teaching services, says the goal is to go completely digital by fall 2016. “It’s all in. It’s just going to be what we do.” Saving Money and Solving Problems The program addresses the issues of accessibility and affordability.

“About half of our students are on student loan programs and about 25 per cent of our students don’t have all the paperwork sorted out by the time the fall semester starts,” MacDougall explains. “That doesn’t prevent them

from starting college, but it does prevent them from going to the book store and buying their books.” “We can let you in because we know the money is coming but you can’t go to the bookstore and promise to pay for your books later.” Algonquin’s model for etextbooks changes that. Digital textbook costs are included in the program fees, giving students access to all the resources they need right from day one, regardless of their ability to pay at that time.

Digital textbook costs are included in the program fees, giving students access to all the resources they need right from day one, regardless of their ability to pay at that time. Not only that, but the price of an etextbook is significantly less than a hard copy. “In a two-year program, some of our students are spending somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 just in textbooks. We have basically been able

But it is about more than cost. Digital textbooks offer students an interactive experience that a regular textbook can’t. “With a digital textbook, because of the hyperlinks, you can bounce around back and forth, off into other sites, see things in alternate formats, so it is a much more personalized form of learning,” MacDougall explains. It is not just a digital version of a hardcopy book. “They can do so much more.” This also means improved accessibility. “If a student arrived on our campus and they had a visual impairment, a hardcopy textbook wasn’t going to do them very much good. Historically, that has been their problem to solve.” MacDougall says. “We wanted that to be our problem to solve.” “All of our books are accessible. You can increase the font size. The books will even read to you if you want them to—they come with a built-in audio feature.” They can even be converted into braille.

continued >> page 26 25 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


eTextbooks >> from page 25 The Future of Learning And better access for all means better results.

“We are seeing a pattern now in those courses that are transitioned over to etext. Almost immediately, the very next year, course failure rates go down and our As and Bs go up,” MacDougall says. This is the future of post-secondary learning. Students can put a digital textbook on up to four different devices and it’s theirs for life. “You’re not carrying around 60lbs of textbooks in a backpack. It doesn’t matter where you are, you reach into your pocket and there are your books,” MacDougall says. Algonquin is currently working with nine other universities and colleges in Canada on similar pilot projects. “I think we are going to see over the next few years, there are going to be a lot of changes in Canada in the way that resources are made available to students,” MacDougall says. Algonquin is going to be a major part of making that happen n

26 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


reaching higher education by Kate Tenenhouse

Women, Wages The Workplace

&

Working Together Towards Equality

Chrisy Tremblay joined OPSEU as a full-time contract worker in Nov. 1998. After graduating from George Brown College and working as a trauma youth counsellor in Toronto, Tremblay moved to Ottawa, where she began working for a social services agency as a family support worker. Through her work, she became interested in the social aspects of union activism and decided to get involved. Since joining OPSEU, Tremblay has taken on many roles within the union. She is currently the local president for OPSEU Local 454 and an executive board member for Region 4, which covers Eastern Ontario. Having worked in both private and unionized environments over the course of her career, Tremblay recognizes the value of union involvement for all workers, especially women. OLM: What do you like most about being a part of OPSEU?

OLM: How has your involvement in OPSEU shaped your career?

I like the support our work environment receives in many aspects. Working in a non-unionized environment, you don’t necessarily get trained on health and safety, on employment standards, on the right to refuse unsafe work, about the benefits of working collectively and having mutually agreeable, respectful language.

It has evolved my career because when I started off, I was looking at all the positive attributes of working in a unionized environment, everything from having benefits to holidays, language and collective agreements. I had the benefit of working with strong advocates who had been involved in the labour movement for quite some time. They spent time mentoring me and teaching me the values of my collective agreement. I was encouraged to take on more active roles, and being somebody who likes to advocate for social change, both in my work and in the union, I embraced the challenge.

In a unionized workplace, when there are difficulties, there is a process to deal them. If a manager behaves in an inappropriate or an abusive manner, there is a process where you can effect change simply by following the collective agreement. The labour standards and the employment standards are more effectively enforced without. This is particularly important for women in a femaledominated area such as social services. When you look at wage disparity, there is a huge difference between the private and the public sector, and statistically overall, of a gender wage gap as well.

OLM: Have you ever experienced any form of gender inequality in your career?

I’ve been very fortunate over the last 16 and a half years, working in a predominantly female work environment that is about 85 per cent women. I have worked on the Provincial Women’s Committee, so certainly I

PHOTO: ANNA JOVER

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) comprises working men and women from a variety of fields. From education to health care to social services, OPSEU represents about 130,000 workers across Ontario. One of the many causes OPSEU fights for is gender equality, an important issue for so many of its members.

Chrisy Tremblay

have heard about barriers for women. Let's face it, women are predominantly more likely to be the caregivers for dependents or for children. They often face financial impact because of it or if there is a separation or a divorce. Finding affordable child care can be very difficult for them. We do see all of this as union activists and OPSEU is fighting to make things better for all women. OLM: How do you think women in the workforce can combat gender discrimination and inequality?

I think by what we’re doing in the labour movement is making a difference. This is not just a women’s issue. It is about building support from males as well. I have found a tremendous amount of support from male coworkers and male activists. Education is also critical. It is key to eroding negative perceptions and, of course, we need financial investments. We need to continue to fight our government to reverse cuts…Women are facing a lot of precarious work and a lot of low wage conditions. So, working together and fighting for better working conditions are really the keys to what we need to do n For information on OPSEU, visit opseu.org. 27 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


reaching higher education/op-ed by Mike DeGagné

Universities Play Key Role in Reconciliation T

he success is staggering. The number of Aboriginal people and communities using education as a means to a greater future is rising. It’s a cause for celebration. Just 50 years ago, there were roughly 200 Status Indians taking courses at Canadian universities and colleges. In 2011, the number of self-identified Aboriginal people with a postsecondary qualification had grown to about 174,000. To say that Aboriginal students are embracing post-secondary education for a better future is an understatement. Getting more Aboriginal students in post-secondary studies has proven to be a tremendous success. There is much more to celebrate. Over the past year, as part of the Aboriginal Pathways series, readers of this magazine have been treated to many stories of Aboriginal students and alumni who are successfully using their university education to improve the lives of all Canadians. These are intelligent, strong, creative individuals who are overcoming challenges and barriers. These are people who are turning the narrative about Aboriginal people and education away from the negative, and charting a new course based on positive transformation. We may celebrate, but now is not the time to rest. Much work remains, as the 94 recommendations included in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s historic report make clear. The recommendations address a wide range of areas, with education characterized as a key element of reconciliation. Given the power universities have to inform policy, 28 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015

create curriculum, foster public discourse and transform individuals, communities and nations, it is clear that Canadian universities will play a key role in advancing the recommendations of the report while helping our society evolve and advance. And we will. To achieve greater success in postsecondary education, Aboriginal students must first be provided greater opportunity to succeed from kindergarten to grade 12. Funding is a central concern. The shameful underfunding of reserve schools must be addressed and brought to a level commensurate with the rest of Canada.

The shameful underfunding of reserve schools must be addressed and brought to a level commensurate with the rest of Canada. With funding addressed, the curricular needs of Aboriginal students must be met. The power of Nipissing’s Schulich School of Education to train effective teachers is key. We must lead the charge in developing teachers who understand Aboriginal culture and can integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into their classrooms. It is our role to blaze a new path in developing curriculum that is

culturally relevant and that will help future teachers better meet the needs of all their pupils. Universities have the power to act as crucibles, where the sparks that affect societal change are introduced and begin to impact the worldview of students and graduates. The integration of indigenous knowledge and perspective into all facets of university life, including curricula, programs and services, build a deeper understanding of First Nation and Métis cultures within our institutions. This deeper understanding, wielded by our graduates working as educators, business leaders, nurses, social workers, police officers and more, will have a profound impact on the decolonization of society. As my colleague, David T. Barnard, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba wrote: “Universities fundamentally influence think tanks and community dialogues that shape policy development. When we see wrongs and untruths, we must fight against them; where there are people facing social injustices, we must stand up for them; and where there is racism, we must challenge it.” There is a role for all Canadians to play in reconciliation. Our universities will play a leading role in the way forward. A great deal of success has been achieved to this point and there remains a great deal left to achieve. Much change is still required, but the way forward is clear and the future is bright n Dr. Mike DeGagné is the president and vicechancellor of Nipissing University.


PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: OLM STAFF

métis series by Candice Vetter

Daniels versus Canada The Métis Nation has long argued that the federal government has primary responsibility to deal with Métis as a distinct Aboriginal people, but successive governments in Ottawa steadfastly adhered to the line that Métis were a provincial responsibility. The provinces for the most part claimed that Ottawa had constitutional responsibility for Métis. The resulting decades-long impasse excluded Métis from federal programs supporting Aboriginal education and health, and from participation in federal land claims resolution processes. Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867, gives the federal government jurisdiction over “Indians and Lands reserved for the Indians.” Ottawa has exercised this legislative authority for status Indians through the Indian Act, 1876, which excluded “Eskimos” and Métis. In 1939, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that, despite the Indian Act, Eskimos were “Indians” for the purposes of section 91(24) and therefore a federal responsibility. During the lead-up to the Charlottetown Accord in 1992, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, the premiers of the five westernmost provinces and the Métis Nation agreed in principle to a Métis

Nation Accord. This Accord would commit the parties to negotiate Métis self-government agreements. It was to be accompanied by an amendment to s.91(24) making explicit the federal jurisdiction over all Aboriginal peoples. But this Accord did not reach fruition as the Charlottetown package of constitutional amendments was defeated in a national referendum. In 1999, a well-known Métis leader named Harry Daniels launched a court case against Canada’s federal government seeking three declarations regarding the legal limbo that Métis people had been living under. Daniels argued that Métis fit within s. 91(24)

of the Constitution Act, 1867, that Ottawa had a fiduciary duty to Métis as Aboriginal people, and that Métis had the right to be consulted and negotiated with, in good faith, by the federal government, with negotiation on a collective basis through representatives of their choice, respecting all their rights, interests and needs as Aboriginal peoples. The case did not proceed to court until 2011; by then Daniels had been dead for years and his son Gabriel had been added as a plaintiff. The court found in favour of Daniels regarding the first declaration. An important finding of the court was that the term “Indian” used in s.91(24) is broader than “Indian” used in the Indian Act and, in effect, is synonymous with all three Aboriginal peoples – Indians, Inuit and Métis. However, the trial judge adopted a broad definition of Métis encompassing all people of partial Aboriginal ancestry rather than those of Métis descent who could prove ancestral connection to historical 29 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


Métis National Council President Clément Chartier applauded the decision. “On behalf of the Métis Nation, I applaud today’s decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in the Daniels case. It reinforces our longstanding position that the federal government has constitutional responsibility to deal with the Métis.” Ottawa’s non-recognition of Métis for jurisdiction purposes never made sense. Logic dictates that it should be Canada’s national government that has a special relationship with the Métis, one of the three Aboriginal peoples. Chartier added: “The resolution of constitutional responsibility has the potential to bring clarity to the respective responsibilities of the different levels of government. The recognition of Métis as “Indians” under section 91(24) should accord a further level of respect and reconciliation by removing the constitutional uncertainty surrounding the Métis. We as Métis are a practical people who seek practical solutions to make the Canadian federation work for us. As residents and taxpayers of the provinces, we always accepted that the provinces have an important role to play with us. At the same time, we always believed that Ottawa has primary responsibility to deal with us and must show leadership. The decision today buttresses this belief. The federal government can no longer shrug its shoulders and assume that Métis matters will be dealt with by others, all the while knowing this is not being done.” The case has now been appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which will hear arguments beginning in October. A decision is expected in 2016. Naturally, many participants were 30 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015

PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA

Métis communities. The federal government appealed the decision in February 2013. It went to the Federal Court of Appeal which in April 2014 declared that Métis were included in s.91(24), but only those identified in earlier decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, in cases such as Powley and Manitoba Métis Federation v. Canada, that is, those from historically rooted Métis communities.

The above scrip was a special certificate issued by the Canadian Department of the Interior to receive homestead lands. The certificates were not made out to the Métis claimant but instead to the bearer. This along with the fact that the program lacked the organizational structure to keep tract of the scrips and who they were issued to caused the program to be highly corrupt. Some say this was the intention of the federal government.

disappointed that the Government of Canada, rather than use this judgment as an opportunity to open negotiations, or at least discussions, with the Métis Nation, chose the continued

As residents and taxpayers of the provinces, we always accepted that the provinces have an important role to play with us. At the same time, we always believed that Ottawa has primary responsibility to deal with us and must show leadership. adversarial route. “This is the last of the government road blocks,” says Jason Madden, a lawyer specializing in Aboriginal issues with Pape Salter Teillet, referring to the Supreme Court decisions on the Powley and Manitoba Métis Federation cases, which previously established other

rights for Métis. “It is sad that instead of embracing and implementing opportunities for reconciliation, 20 years have been lost and millions of dollars spent.” Although negotiation would have been preferred, the advantage of the case going to the top court is that recognition is then unassailably proven in law. At long last, there is hope that the Métis will no longer be kicked back and forth as a political football between federal and provincial governments, and that space will be created for Métis government to be empowered and financed to fulfill its responsibilities to its people. There are hopeful signs. In June, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development appointment of Tom Isaac, head of Osler’s Aboriginal Law Group, as the Ministerial Special Representative to lead engagement with the Métis. Isaac is to meet with the Métis National Council, its Governing Members, the Métis Settlements General Council, and the provinces to map out a process for dialogue on Section 35 Métis rights. This implies that there will be dialogue. Perhaps, reconciliation is finally within reach n


canada-china friendship series/infrastructure by Marie Waine

Canada’s Development is

Dependant on Relationships

C

anada would not be the country it is today without the help and influence of other countries around the world. Canada develops its relationships in unique ways in order to grow and become a key player in the world. One of the most significant relationships is obviously the CanadaChina friendship says Ellis Kirkland, an international award-winning Harvard infrastructure expert who specializes in bilateral trade. Many years ago, Kirkland says there were talks of investment from Hong Kong to Canada. Originally, people were weary of investments because of concern of foreign ownership. Since then, however, larger scale infrastructure projects have taken a lead to help a country mature and develop. In the 1950s, there were no investments made in large-scale infrastructure. No one thought about the opportunities Canada had to leverage Kirkland says this is unfortunate, as there opportunities to develop and create large-scale infrastructure in Canada’s North. The Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario are all resource rich. Canada now has the capabilities and technologies for development in a responsible manner. However, it needs to partner with other groups in order to maintain the many years of development to lead to a successful project. Canada must look for trade partners. Enter China. For the past 40 years, PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

China has placed a big focus on large-scale infrastructure projects. The country has established transportation networks and other resources, as seen from recent explorations into Tianjin, China. “There is an opportunity for us to look to the Chinese and work with them,” says Kirkland. “There will always be a concern around foreign ownership, but development of large-scale projects requires a joint partnership.” There is opportunity to establish a much greater relationship, not just for independent provincial projects, but for larger-scale Canadian growth.

Canadians don’t want to be used solely for their resources and the Chinese don’t want to be used just for their money. “Canadians have never been proactive in the outright sale of their assets,” says Kirkland. However, as time passes, there is becoming a larger concern in the world for what we do now for the next generations. Infrastructure development is just one way to change the future for people. The growth of a nation must happen in a stable and responsible way. Any partnerships that are made must be transparent. “No nation is interested in simply being used by another nation,” says

Kirkland. “Canadians don’t want to be used solely for their resources and the Chinese don’t want to be used just for their money. China is not a bank and Canada is not a supplier.” A long-term relationship based around large-scale infrastructure projects must provide countries with dreams, aspirations and opportunities for their own population. There is a fear of an exploitation of resources. “It’s about finding a balance that benefits both parties. It starts there. It grows from there,” says Kirkland. “If it doesn’t grow from benefit and trying to take advantage of opportunity, parties involved will not be happy. Any foreign entities or companies who are investing in projects in the Canadian natural resources sector must accept Canada’s high environment standards and regulations if they want to develop here.” As Canada looks to China for possible equal investment opportunities, trade agreements will pave the way for a successful structure and the simple positions of each country’s needs. “There is a synergy that is available when Canada looks to China as a trade partner because China is a buyer for a long-term resource,” says Kirkland. The goal is to strengthen the country for the next generation. Large-scale infrastructure projects are the foundation for this goal to become reality. “Canada, like other countries, is facing challenges,” says Kirkland. “I am trying to assist Canada’s north in the development of opportunities that have long been ignored.” n 31 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


cover by Marie Waine


PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

PHOTO: COURTESY PM.GC.CA

canada-china friendship series by Candace Amis

Stephen Harper’s Canada-China Relations

First Stalled… Then Evolved Canada-China relations have come a long way since Stephen Harper was first elected Prime Minister in 2006. After a decade of close cooperation with former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and the Chinese government, Stephen Harper initially signaled his intention to take a less cordial stance toward China.

ABOVE: Prime Minister Harper and Li Keqiang, Premier of the People‘s Republic of China during a 2014 official visit. RIGHT: The Great Hall of the People's Republic of China, Beijing, China.

He said his belief in Canadian values such as human rights would not be trumped by the “almighty dollar”. China policy experts claimed he had antagonized Beijing by criticizing China's human rights record, accusing China of commercial espionage, awarding an honorary Canadian citizenship to the Dalai Lama, making overtures toward Taiwan and by ordering the delay of meetings between foreign ministers. Most notably, they said that Harper had shown great disrespect by not attending the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Then things changed. After the 2008 global recession and falling trade with the United States, the Harper government began a fast track process to mend relations with China. Harper headed to China for the first time in December 2009, visiting Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Chinese President Hu Jintao reciprocated and paid an official state visit to Canada in June 2010, ahead of the G20 summit in Toronto. The two leaders agreed to work together to expand and grow bilateral initiatives in including energy, transportation, manufacturing, technology and real estate sectors, education, culture and security. The floodgates opened and the relations on all fronts started to grow. Over 30 ministerial-level bilateral

visits followed between 2010-2012, generating closer ties in trade and investment. Direct foreign stock investment into Canada from China reached approximately US$10.7 billion by December 2011(36 times the amount ending the year 2001). In February 2012, Prime Minister Harper visited China again, meeting with both President Hu and Premier Wen. They signed a number of economic agreements including a uranium export treaty and a foreign investment treaty. Harper agreed to a request that Canada and China consider the possibility of a free trade agreement. In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping began promoting the Belt and Road

Initiative to connect the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic through economic growth investment and trade. He also committed China to advanced talks on the development of an Asia-Pacific Free Trade Zone and to growing relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),a Middle Eastern organization focused on trade liberalization and growth. This is all part of China's stated aim to increase its presence in the global economy, encourage economic globalization and advance mutually beneficial global development in trade and investment between countries. China refers to this program as the global win win strategy. Prime Minister Stephen Harper went to China for a third time in November 2014 bringing along federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. Harper pressed for, and received, market access agreements for the export of Canadian agricultural products to China, such as cherries and blueberries, and an increase in Canada’s beef exports to the Chinese market. Measures were also announced to help establish Canada-China financial 33 OTTAWALIFE JULY/JAUGUST 2015


instruments to support the increased trade and investment between Canada and China. For Canadian companies doing business with China, the new arrangements will help reduce costs by allowing companies to convert directly from Canadian dollars, rather than converting to another currency (e.g. U.S. dollars) first. The Prime Minister also announced the opening of four new trade offices in Hangzhou, Xi’an, Xiamen and Tianjin. In Xi’an and Hangzhou in particular, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service has pinpointed the agri-food and food processing sectors as opportunities of focus for Canada. Both sides agreed to study new approaches to enhance energy trade, including potentially an environmentally safe maritime energy corridor. The Harper trip also resulted in a series of important developments and signed agreements including an expanded memorandum of understanding on nuclear cooperation, amendments to the Canada-China Air Transport Agreement that allow airlines from both countries to offer more travel options for goods, services and people. Canada also granted China Southern Airlines admission to the China Transit Program, granting transit to and from the United States without the need of a transit visa. Canada and China agreed to establish new direct air links between Calgary and Montreal to Beijing and they renewed the MOU on promoting cooperation in civil aviation industry. The two sides agreed to increased cooperation in the health sector, including a Canada-China work plan to focus joint research efforts on infectious diseases, chronic disease, traditional Chinese medicine, food safety, health innovation as well as health emergency preparedness and response. Harper and President Xi Jinping reaffirmed their intention to continue cooperation on combating transnational crime and corruption in accordance with their respective laws and agreed to actively explore the way to deepen bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade and economic relations. 34 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015

The result of this activity is that Canadian exports to China continue to increase annually and there has also been a significant boost in Canadian imports from China. The prospective impact of Canada-China free trade agreement is unparalleled. China is the world’s second-largest economy and most populous country, with 1.34 billion people. Canada ranks in the top 10 largest economies in the world, with a population of 34.5 million. The combined gross domestic product

Measures were also announced to help establish Canada-China financial instruments to support the increased trade and investment between Canada and China. For Canadian companies doing business with China, the new arrangements will help reduce costs by allowing companies to convert directly from Canadian dollars, rather than converting to another currency first.

totaled US$9.0 trillion in 2011. Canadian imports from China in 2014 were valued at more than $58 billion. China’s steady economic growth and projected infrastructure expansion will likely lead to strong demand for key services sectors in which Canada has leading expertise. China-Canada bilateral trade in services have doubled to 5.4 billion dollars in less than five years. Canadian exports to China were over $19 billion in 2014. The opportunities for growth and mutual

benefit are boundless. Add to this that the China Banking Regulatory Commission recently designated Canada as a destination for Chinese wealth management under China’s Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor program. Enhanced scientific collaboration between Canada and China may yield new solutions to food production, safety and sustainability. Canada’s considerable expertise in agricultural water management, in particular irrigation and drainage management and technology, can assist with some of China's domestic challenges. Another real economic bond between Canada and China is the trade of natural resources which has grown at an annual average of 29.1 per cent, a rate that surpassed each country’s resources trade growth with the rest of the world. Canada is China’s 16thlargest supplier of natural resources. China is the fifth largest source of Canadian imports of natural resources, with a value of US$3.9 billion. Those numbers are also expected to continue to grow, particularly if Canada can develop the infrastructure needed to more easily export oil and gas overseas. There may also be political reasons for Harper’s recalibration on China. For over a decade China has consistently become Canada's largest source of immigration. The numbers are even larger when people from Hong Kong are added. Chinese Canadians are now one of Canada's largest demographic groups, after Europeans and the First Nations population. The Chinese will soon overtake Korea as the largest group of international students studying in Canada. While there are still tensions at times and the Harper government continues to raise human rights concerns, there is absolutely no question that Harper has warmed to China. In fact, he has gone from a full-stop relationship with China to full throttle. As a famous Chinese proverb says: “Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.’’ n


PHOTO: COURTESY EMBASSY OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

canada-china friendship series by Dan Donovan

Dan Donovan, Publisher of Ottawa Life Magazine, sat down to chat with Chinese Ambassador to Canada, Luo Zhaohui after his first year in Canada.

WIN-WIN

COOPERATION OTTAWA LIFE: Ambassador Luo,

you’ve been in Canada for one year now, what’s your impression of Canada?

Ambassador: I have four general impressions. First, Canada is a vast land with a rich natural resource endowment and a high level of economic development. Second, Canada has remarkable environmental protection endeavours. Personally, I find Canada a most liveable country. Even long winters seems to be “warmer” than I expected. Third, Canadian people are warm and friendly. I’ve seen heartwarming smiles wherever I go, be it in streets, parks or shops. Last but not least is Canada’s inclusive cultural diversity. People of different colours live in harmony and all cultures thrive in coexistence. I have visited a number of Canadian cities and provinces since my arrival in Ottawa. I have felt for myself Canadians’ friendly sentiments towards China. Many of the people I have met have great expectations of China-Canada relations. I do feel that China-Canada cooperation is mutually complementary, our two peoples are genuinely supportive of a stronger and closer China-Canada relationship, and our bilateral relations have broad prospects.

OTTAWA LIFE: How would you

briefly characterise the current China-Canada relationship?

Ambassador: Both China and Canada are countries of global influence. In 2005, our two countries established the strategic partnership, opening a new chapter in our all-round cooperation. China has been Canada’s second largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years. According to China’s statistics, our two-way trade in 2014 was valued at 55.2 billion US dollars, 368 times of the figure in 1970 when the diplomatic tie was established. Canada is now China’s second largest overseas investment destination. As of the end of January 2015, China’s accumulated investment in Canada totalled nearly 58 billion US dollars, creating over 6,000 jobs for Canadians. The mutual visits between our two countries numbered approximately 1.14 million. Canada is home to nearly 1.5 million people of Chinese origin. Over 100,000 Chinese students are pursuing their studies in Canada. The fruitful cooperation between the two countries in the political, economic, cultural and other fields has brought practical and tangible benefits to our two peoples and contributed significantly to the common

development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. China’s contacts and engagement with Canada are believed to date back to time before the formation of the Canadian Confederation. Over 200 years ago, tens of thousands of Chinese came all the way across the oceans to the North American continent for mining gold and building the Pacific Railway. The Chinese workers made significant contributions to the development and prosperity of the land now known as Canada. Over 70 years ago, Dr. Norman Bethune came to China and sacrificed his precious life in the Chinese People’s War against the Japanese Aggression, becoming a common hero in both China and Canada. Over 50 years ago, Canada took the lead in breaking the Western trade embargo against China, exporting wheat to China to help the natural disaster-stricken people to get through difficulties. Our friendly sentiments towards each other have been sowed and cultivated in history. Such friendship constitutes the firm and solid foundation for our bilateral relationship and for its steady and continued growth. 35 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


36 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


Where are the potential growth areas for China-Canada relations and cooperation?

OTTAWA LIFE:

Ambassador: China is the world’s largest developing country while Canada is one of the major developed countries in the world. There are huge potentials for cooperation in such areas as trade, economic relations, financial services, energy, science and technology, culture, education and tourism. As you may know, China is now making comprehensive in-depth reforms, including the change of growth model. In the next five years, China’s imports of goods are expected to surpass the mark of 10 trillion US dollars and its overseas investment may amount to 500 billion US dollars. Chinese outbound tourist visits are likely to rise to 500 million. All this offers tremendous opportunities for China-Canada relations and cooperation. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to China last November represents another milestone in Sino-Canadian relations. During his visit, the two countries issued a Joint List of Outcomes, which covers 20 specific items or areas of cooperation. As a result of the two sides’ joint efforts, the renminbi clearing bank, the first of its kind in America, has been successfully inaugurated in Toronto; the reciprocal arrangements for multiple-entry visa valid for up to 10 years are well in place; the MontrealBeijing direct flight is scheduled to take off in September; and the 20152016 China-Canada year of peopleto-people and cultural exchanges has lifted its curtain. Other listed projects of cooperation are also progressing steadily. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the tenth anniversary of ChinaCanada strategic partnership. The two sides need to seize such important opportunities and work closely to follow up to and implement each and every item on the Joint List.

In this connection, the two sides should prioritize the negotiation and conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the opening of a ChinaCanada Maritime Energy Corridor. Given the natural resource endowment of our two countries, the size and strength of our two economies and the scope of our two markets, there are tremendous potentials for greater bilateral cooperation in trade, economic relations and other areas. With the entry into force of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) between China and Canada last October, the logical next step for the two sides is to start FTA negotiations. China is ready to work with Canada in a joint effort to launch FTA negotiations at an early date, which, I believe, would provide a strong policy support to our trade and economic cooperation.

We should focus on practical cooperation and expand the positive aspects of our relationship while keeping disputes or differences under effective control and solving them properly.

Against the backdrop of falling oil and gas prices, the opening of an environmentally-friendly Maritime Energy Corridor connecting China and Canada can help upgrade our energy cooperation while strengthening our maritime and environmental protection cooperation. The Chinese side will step up communication with the Canadian side on the envisaged “corridor” project while doing the necessary on its part so as to lay the groundwork for substantive progress towards the opening of the “corridor”. China and Canada’s influence in global and regional affairs has long

been substantial and significant. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the world anti-fascist war. China will host a series of grand commemorative events in September. We have invited world leaders, including Canadian leaders, to join us at these commemorations. China will continue to strengthen cooperation with Canada under such multilateral frameworks as the United Nations, G-20 and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in a bid to further contribute to the global and AsiaPacific development and prosperity. OTTAWA LIFE: Mr. Ambassador,

are there any issues or difficulties in China-Canada relations? If yes, what are they?

Ambassador: China and Canada have different social systems, cultural traditions and are at different stages of development. That being the case, it is quite natural that we have different views and positions on this or that issue. For example, the Canadian side complains about its trade deficit with China, and they often make indiscreet comments on China’s human rights situation. My general feeling is that Canada cannot follow the pace of China when it comes to developing the bilateral relations, and our priority areas are different. I hope Canada will adopt a more proactive and constructive approach. In spite of the differences, we should not let “a single leaf block the view of mountains”, as a Chinese proverb suggests, nor should we “make a mountain out of a molehill", as our Canadian friends would often say. In other words, we should never lose sight of our overall interests because of our difference on any individual issues. Differences cannot and should not disrupt our bilateral relations. We should focus on practical cooperation and expand the positive aspects of our relationship while keeping disputes or differences under effective control and solving them properly.We should work together to promote a sound, steady and sustainable development of the strategic partnership in the common interests of the two countries n 37 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


canada/kazakstan friends by OLM staff

Astana –

Modern Wonder of the World T

his year, Kazakhstan celebrates its 550th anniversary of statehood. Its rich history dates back to Gengis Khan, the journey of tradesmen and of travelers along the northern route of the Great Silk Road. However, interestingly, the Kazakh capital, Astana, is relatively young. In fact, July 6th marked its 17th year as the capital when it took over the position from Almaty.

Astana’s impressive growth reflects the dynamic development of the country as a whole. Since 1991, Kazakhstan’s per-capita GDP has grown almost 20 times from $700 to $14,000. Since 2005, Kazakhstan has attracted a gross foreign direct investment of over $208 billion USD.

The word “Astana” in Kazakh language actually means “capital” and the advantages of the change are that Astana has a large territory, is more centrally located and close to major economic centres. The potential for demographic growth was also in its favour. The decision of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to move the capital from Almaty to Astana was not an easy one. Many people had to be convinced of the need to make Astana the new capital of Kazakhstan.

“Astana was built, in part, to help steer the future ambitions and directions of Kazakhstan as a sovereign nation. The economic impact is hard to miss: the “urbanization” of a country, and economic renewal of the north in terms of industry and surrounding smaller cities, an infrastructure strategy with the resultant thousands of kilometres of planned road and rail and now two airline companies, Air Astana, and Qazag Air” says former ambassador of Canada to Kazakhstan, Ms. Margaret Skok.

Today, Astana is recognized as the brainchild of President Nazarbayev and as one of the most successful and ambitious projects of Kazakhstan. It has become the second biggest city in the country and, in fewer than 17 years, its population has tripled to more than 860,000 people.

Ms. Skok, who was ambassador from 2006-2009, says she clearly remembers the capital in transition: “I remember President Nazarbayev stating in Parliament that Almaty would continue to thrive as a financial centre, and Astana as a government one, - not dissimilar to Toronto and

38 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015

ABOVE: The Bayterek Tower. The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Ottawa, New York and Washington D.C., Berlin and Frankfurt.” After President Nazarbayev’s 2003 visit to Ottawa, he remarked that all significant capitals are located on “mighty rivers” i.e. Ottawa on the Rideau, Paris on the Seine, and London on the Thames. This inspired him to transform the Ishim River, making it more like a canal and building a beach and a boat house (that bears a striking resemblance to Dow’s Lake) for summer enjoyment while hockey players and cross-country skiers take to the ice during the winter. Elegant residential high-rise buildings now pepper its embankment as well. “And as the architecture of the city continues to change, so does the architecture of its institutions, spearheaded by market reforms, witnessed by strong export growth and significant FDI into the country. I remain particularly impressed by the young managers in government, academic and private sectors, the strong sense of nationhood, whilst they continue to reach out to new partners, and play an increasing role with respect of the stability and


good governance beyond their own borders,” explains Skok, who remains deeply interested in Kazakhstan.

in repositioning the Republic of Kazakhstan as a rising global power.”

planning that actively promotes the ecological preservation of the natural environment,” noted Albo.

As the political centre of Kazakhstan, the city hosted the first Summit of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010. It was the first such meeting held since 1999. The Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was organized in Astana the following year, thus making Kazakhstan a true destination for international meetings. The year 2017 promises to be significant for Astana as well as the

Ulle Baum, Canadian journalist and photographer, visited Astana earlier this year. She agrees. “This new, ultramodern city is a symbol of a great vision and shows the state of economy and financial power of the country. I was amazed how the best architects and also the different companies from the world and Kazakhstan were chosen to make this dream come true.”

The Palace of Peace and Accord was designed by the British architect Sir Norman Foster. It too is a very modern construction with its glass pyramid shape. The Pyramid hosts several permanent exhibitions, including modern and ethnic Kazakh art, but most importantly it is the place of meeting of the participants of triannual Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The latest 5th Congress took place in Astana on June 10-11, 2015. Kazakhstan, like

Famous Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa drafted the official plan of

The Palace of Peace and Accord

The Khan Shatyr

A view of the Bayterek Tower

The Astana Opera

city will be hosting the international EXPO-2017, which coincides with the capital’s 20th anniversary. The theme of Astana’s EXPO is Energy of the Future. Astana attracts many tourists, especially with its fascinating and grandiose architecture. Canadian historian and architecture expert Dr. Frank Albo, who holds a professorship in History at the University of Winnipeg, has visited Astana several times. “The transformation of Astana into a high modernist capital has assisted PHOTOS: COURTESY THE EMBASSY OF KAZAKHSTAN TO CANADA

the city.Various building styles give an impression of a harmonious meeting of Western and Eastern cultures. The new Presidential Palace, Baiterek Tower and Astana Opera House are just a few of the must-see sites in Astana. “The master plan of Astana is a manifesto of municipal principles derived from the golden age of Athens, but wedded to the utopian ideas of Le Corbusier’s ‘Radiant City’ and Kurokawa’s philosophical concepts of urban metabolism and symbiosis. As the model of the future city, Astana formulates a new doctrine of city-

Canada, is a multicultural country with more than 130 ethnic groups of various religious beliefs. Kazakhstan’s multi-ethnic and inter-religious unity, a driving force behind much of Kazakhstan political and economic progress, is often reflected in the architecture of its capital city. Astana is a symbol of Kazakhstan as a nation. The city reflects the spirit of creation, development, innovation, peace and the role of Kazakhstan as a place where the West meets the East n 39 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


Jamaica: Cool Running

PHOTOS: COURTESY JAMAICA HOTEL & TOURISM ASSOCIATION

travel by Alessandra Gerebizza

J

amaica brings to mind visions of warm weather, beautiful beaches, rum, sugar, and, of course, Bob Marley. However,there’s a new attraction calling people to this gorgeous Caribbean island; the Reggae Marathon. This year, the marathon will take place on December 5. Jamaica’s own premier international marathon is getting lots of attention from amateur and expert runners worldwide. In 2014, more than 150 Canadians made their way south to participate in the race. The starting line at Long Bay Beach Park borders Negril’s famous 7-mile white sandy beach. The race starts at 5:15 a.m., before sunrise. With Reggae music blasting at each mile marker, runners are motivated to keep going. The course is IAAF certified and features a 10K, a half and a full marathon. Once across the finish line, runners receive the usual runners’ bling medal but they will also get coconut water, a Red Stripe beer and a beach party.

In its fifteenth year, the next Reggae Marathon takes place December 5, 2015. Registration is $100 for the marathon, $95 for the half marathon and $70 for the 10K run. Ya mon! The waters are so warm they feel like a saltwater jacuzzi. They are also so clear it is sometimes possible to see small yellowtail snappers as they glide by.

The night before the race, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association throws a bash called, “The world’s best pasta party” featuring live dance performances and reggae music that has everyone dancing.

Negril is also home to some of the best restaurants in Jamaica. Pushcart Restaurant, known for its modern Jamaican cuisine, is located in the Rockhouse Hotel. It features an open kitchen, rum bar, and nightly live entertainment. Cosmos Seafood Restaurant and Bar specializes in fresh, local seafood dishes. Located in the middle of 7-mile beach, guests enjoy the view while they dine al fresco. Don’t miss the action at Rick’s Café. It is a great spot to watch the hundreds of tourists and locals alike who flock there to jump off one of the many cliffs surrounding the bar.

Of course, a trip to Jamaica is not all about the run. Negril’s powdery white beach is Jamaica’s most famous and among the best in the entire Caribbean.

Negril is also home to many beautiful, chic hotels. There are options to suit just about any type of traveller. However, one of the beautiful things

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about Jamaica is that it is compact. Take advantage and check out some other locations. Negril is about an hour away from Montego Bay. Stay at the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, located just 40 minutes from Negril in Montego Bay. With seven restaurants, a world class spa facility and one of the largest pools on the island, the Grand Palladium is the perfect spot to unwind after race day or after a day touring around. If you’re looking to get out onto the blue and turquoise sea for a day, check out Dreamer Catamaran Cruise. You can also explore the coral reefs off the Montego Bay Marine Park. Or, perhaps you want to head up into the hills. About 1.5 hour drive from Montego Bay, is Nine Mile, which is the final resting place of Bob Marley. It is worth the visit. However you decide to fill your days, Jamaica will relax you and you will leave feeling pretty “irie.” n reggaemarathon.com


travel by Jennifer Hartley

History, Religion, Geography and Great Food

Majestic Israel HAS IT ALL

T

o even attempt to adequately describe Israel is, to put it mildly, a daunting task. While well-known images of the country abound, absolutely nothing can prepare you for the complete amazement and awe or the unexpected strong emotions you may feel as you explore this magnificent country. Whether you are religious or not, well-versed in Christian, Muslim or Jewish history or theology or not, does not matter. The majesty of Israel will completely envelop you. You could spend a lifetime trying to see everything and still not feel like you have truly got a handle on Israel. Every part of its 20,000 square kilometres feels like it has some sort of historical or religious significance. However, even with just a week, you can pack a lot in. For a taste of the various sides of Israel, visit Tel Aviv, Caesaria, drive around the Sea of Galilee, swim in the Dead Sea, climb the Masada, eat shawarma in Akko (Acre), and of course a stay in Jerusalem is a must. Israel is an intense place. As one Israeli put it: “In Israel, you can’t get lost. You will either bump into the sea or barbed wired.” That barbed wire reality in this democratic country, (it is the only democracy in the Middle East), is a reminder that Israel has lived through precarious circumstances and because of that continued political

situation, there is a certain sense of constant alertness and strength in its people. Out of the vigilance comes an attitude to seize every moment as a gift and live life to the maximum. Tel Aviv-Yafo In a country steeped in history, Tel Aviv may at first seem out of place. The economic engine of the country, it is a young, lively, wealthy and culturally rich city. Located on the Mediterranean, beach culture thrives as people flock to the coastline whenever they can. On average there are 318 clear sunny days in Tel Aviv so there is an abundance of opportunities to do so. Outdoor cafés and bars are everywhere and even though there is the usual hustle bustle of a big city, there is also a more relaxed vibe to day-to-day life. There is a vibrant night life. Rothschild Blvd, HaYarkon (along the beach) and Florentin (which is a less urbane part of Tel Aviv

ABOVE: Old Jerusalem at night.

but is definitely a trendy hot spot at night) are just a few great areas. There are great food markets in Tel Aviv as well. Visit the Carmel market to get everything from spices to every kind of olive imaginable to delicious and healthy but cheap street food. You would be hard pressed to find processed food in this country. Tomato salads, hummus, falafels, pita, shawarmas are everywhere. Over the last 10 years, there has been a restaurant explosion in Tel Aviv. If you are looking for a gourmet meal, reserve at the reputable Herbert Samuel restaurant on Koifman Street. With a celebrity chef and price tag that goes along with that, the restaurant is still worth the extra shekels. Wash down dinner with a glass of Israeli wine. There are over 250 wineries in Israel. The country is a leader in irrigation and its wine and agricultural industries are the proof. Enjoy them both. To burn off the incredible food, explore pedestrian-friendly Rothschild Blvd. The area is knows as the White City and is a Unesco World Heritage site because of its Bauhaus architecture. If political history grabs you. Stop by Independence Hall on Rothschild, where the Israeli Declaration of Independence was signed in 1948. 41 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


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While Tel Aviv is a young city, (it was founded in 1909), Jaffa (Yafo) is over 3,000 years old. It is one of the oldest ports in the world. In 1950, the two cities were united under one municipal entity, Tel-Aviv-Yafo. Jaffa is a few kilometres down the beach. As is the case with many port cities, the ancient city of Jaffa (called Joppa in the Bible and was supposedly named after Japheth, a son of Noah), has had a varied and colourful past. Throughout the centuries the city has been conquered no fewer than 22 times. As an ancient city, it has all the character you expect. It is mentioned in both the Old (Book of Jonah is one example) and New Testaments (St. Peter is said to have had his heavenly vision in Jaffa that it would be good to convert Gentiles (non-Jews) to Christianity.) Fast forward a handful of centuries, Jaffa lost its appeal and came into disrepair, but artists moved in the 1970s and 1980s and since then it has been gentrified. Jewelry stores, painters, musicians have taken over the core, beautiful ancient part of town. A visit to the Ilana Goor art museum is a must to understand the place as it is today. Jaffa port is another great night hot spot and offers a fantastic view of Tel Aviv. Unfortunately, at some point you have to sleep.There are a multitude of hotel options in Tel Aviv. There are beautiful boutique hotels such as the highend, pampering Norman Hotel. One unique feature of the hotel is that it has a beautiful, long poem, Castle in the Sand, written in 1956 about Israel, etched into its wall. However, there is something spectacular and about being on the beach and for that, the Intercontinental David, Tel Aviv is the perfect place. It has an incredibly large pool and bar that overlook the Mediterranean. The hotel’s buffet breakfast puts North American buffets to complete and utter shame. Caesaria Caesaria was a section of land along the coast given as a gift by Augustus Caesar to King Herod. He built a massive port with entertainment facilities, bathhouses and temples. It is elaborate and one can only imagine the rich lifestyle lived. Today, there

are the incredible remains to visit but there is also the full-functioning Roman theatre with acoustics for which the world’s best concert halls today would be in awe. For Christians, it is an important site, because it was and where the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate lived. While the crucifixion took place in Jerusalem, Pilate was not a fan of the city and only went three times a year to keep the peace during festive times. Otherwise, Pilate hung his hat in Caesaria. St. Peter converted the first Gentile, Cornelius, to Christianity in Caesaria and it is where St. Paul’s trial began. Akko (Acre) Another World Heritage site is Akko (Acre) because of its importance for the Crusader period. Yet Akko is one of the longest continuously inhabited places in the region so its history is long.Visit the Crusader sites of course, but walk through market, visit the beautiful port area and grab a shawarma. The ancient section of Acre is predominantly Arab so you get a feel for an Arab town. Israel actually has three official languages, Hebrew, Arabic and English. All three are on street signs everywhere. Galilee The Sea of Galilee (which is more of a very big lake by Canadian standards) has towns and villages built around it. The Galilee region is where Christ spent most of his 3-year ministry. You could spend weeks doing the Gospel Trail.

For a taste of the Trail, visit the Mount of Beatitudes (from where Jesus first prayed the Lord’s Prayer, and gave his Speech from the Mount) and it is

the supposed location of the loaves and fish miracle, where Jesus fed five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. All around the Sea you will see places from the New Testament, including Magdala, from where Mary of Magalene hailed, you will see off in the distance where Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights being tempted by the devil, the River Jordan, which surprisingly is more of a stream (but still powerful to see), again, just to name a few places. Tiberias is an interesting stop along the route and a great place to sleep along the Sea of Galilee.The Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel is right on the Sea. As you drive along the highway that separates Israel from Jordan (it is the highway that will take you to the Dead Sea), look up to see caves embedded in the mountains where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Everywhere you look in Israel there is something significant. The Masada is definitely worth a visit. It has particular importance for Jews as it is a symbol of their resilience and strength. Over nine hundred Jews took over the fortress on the mountain (a palace built by Herod) and instead of capitulating to Roman control, they committed suicide. You can climb to the top or take a cable car. The view is incredible of the desert and the Dead Sea. Swimming in the Dead Sea should be on everyone’s bucket list. Covering your body with mud and floating on the water is indescribable. It is disgusting and renewing all at the same time. The Dead Sea Salts are famous for a reason. Your skin is remarkable after a dip. Jerusalem Sacred for Jews, Christians and Muslims, Jerusalem is the holiest of the holy.The Jewish and Christian sites are open to tourists. The Western Wall (or the Wailing Wall) is open 24 hours. It is incredible to visit it at night when you can have a more intimate experience. Bask in the reverence of the place. Then go back during the day and

Ancient Caesaria

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Wild and Free on Sable Island L

ike a lot of people on the Adventure Canada tour, I first heard of Sable Island as a child—a storm at sea, a shipwreck, the people perish, the horses survive, swimming to the shores of a desert island. As I grew older, the Sable story became a universal story of exploitation, emancipation and ultimate freedom. Not long after Sable Island was declared Canada’s 43rd National Park in Dec. 2013, Adventure Canada, the tour group for the intrepid, teamed up with Parks Canada to offer its first tours of the Canadian island. Luckily, the inclement waters of the island, known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, are inclined to be friendlier during the long-lit days of the summer. Boarding the ship feels much like checking in at a summer camp for adults. The Adventure Canada staff are stellar, brimming with talent and experience in various fields. There are broadcasters, biologists, photographers and musicians who are part of the team. We set sail on the Sea Adventurer to the sound of corks firing from bottles in celebration of Adventure Canada’s 25th anniversary. As we bid farewell to St. John’s and the cheerful neighbourhood houses of the Battery from port side, heaps of floating ice 44 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015

summon us to sea from starboard. The adventure has begun. I sleep surprisingly well, despite being seasick. I am jolted awake by the voice of Stefan, our strident expedition leader, loud and clear over the intercom. He provides the necessary nautical facts and figures. And Stefan is never without a sense of humour: “For those of you who were feeling seasick and wanting to die—a welcome back!” Sable Island sits still on the horizon. It’s entirely zen and while we are just 300 kilometres off the coast of Nova Scotia, this feels nothing like Canada. On the island, a couple of horses mill about, sniffing our pile of gear. They

are an important part of the island’s history. It is generally agreed the horses are descendants from Acadian horses seized by the British during the expulsion of the Acadians (17551763). A Boston merchant purchased the horses, transporting them to the island in 1760. The intention was that they would care for themselves, multiply, be periodically harvested and sold. Due to the conditions of the island, however, these horses live shorter lives than others. The sand in their diet grinds down their teeth, effectively causing them to starve to death. Like Achilles’ choice, it is the price paid to live in glory—wild and free. There has been much debate over whether these horses belong on the island at all, but Zoe Lucas, Canada’s own Jane Goodall and the woman synonymous with Sable Island, feels assured the herd, currently estimated at about 500, is secure under the aegis of Parks Canada. Barefoot, we begin our trek towards the largest dune on the island, Bald Dune. Noah Richler, a staff member of Adventure Canada, is here 20 years after his father’s visit to the island, which Lucas jokingly described as Mordecai chain-smoking his way up

PHOTOS: © BILL FREEDMAN

travel by Mona Staples


Israel >> from page 43 see what it’s like when packed with little boys having their Bar Mitzvahs, or when hordes of school children are singing, transforming it into a plaza of celebration.

in the wake of dust left behind by Pierre Trudeau bounding his way to the top of Bald Dune. Lucas tells us it has taken Bald Dune 20 years to inch its way across the island to its present position. It is the island’s hourglass—the movement of each grain of sand to collectively measure the inevitable passage of time. The ever-changing island currently measures 42 kilometres in length and 1.5 kilometres at its widest point. For the next three days, we will taxi via zodiacs to and from various parts of the island. Our guides share all there is to know about the persistence, resilience and diversity of the island. It isn’t just about the horses. The birders in the group are keen to follow Canada’s largest migratory Tern population, along with the tiny Ipswich Sparrows who have chosen the island as their one and only nesting place on the planet. The abundance of seals attracts the circling predators— the Great White Shark is known to contribute to the treachery of the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Every good adventure is, in some way, a story of love. Our time on the island was an extended ritual of bonding. After each visit to the island, we shared meals, thoughts, feelings and laughter. Had we just remained in St. John’s harbour, socializing and participating in the “talks” by the Adventure Canada staff, I would have been sufficiently stimulated—a fellow guest described

an Adventure Canada tour as a floating university. Our adventure together continues well past our days on Sable Island. We cruise through the marine protected area known as the Gulley, as dolphins playfully raced alongside the ship. If our days on Sable Island were the wedding, then the hours we spent in the tiny outpost of Francois (pronounced France-way) are the honeymoon. After an afternoon spent hiking together alongside breathtaking views, we dance up a storm with the town folks in the evening. The next morning, we wake up in France. Saint-Pierre is exactly as one would expect—a little piece of Europe on this side of the Atlantic. After a most entertaining bus tour winding along the narrow streets, we sit in Les Délices de Joséphine, sipping café au lait, eating cake, taking advantage of WiFi. After a final evening of showcasing the talent on the ship, we return to where it all began—in St. John’s harbour. We say our goodbyes with sincere promises to keep in touch. Richler’s words continue to resound in my ears, long after the adventure ended. “I like Adventure Canada tours because I always make new friends.” Adventure Canada and its staff are phenomenal. The attention to detail in the pre-tour information package is extraordinary and the tour itself exceeds all expectations.Visit adventurecanada.com to learn more about Adventure Canada’s Sable Island tour in June 2016 n

For Christians, to visit locations across Jerusalem where Christ spent his final hours is moving and humbling to say the least.To visit Mount Zion (the location of the Last Supper), Gethsemane (where Christ prayed until arrested), walking the Via Dolorosa, (the stations of the Cross) followed by a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (where Christ was crucified, and according to some buried and where he rose from the dead) is unbelievable. There is only one place to stay in Jerusalem and that is the Hotel Mamilla. Luxurious, modern, hip and pampering, Mamilla has every amenity you can imagine and it is a mere 10-minute walk to the Jaffa Gate entrance into old Jerusalem. Everything about this hotel is perfect. It is virtually impossible to fully capture the spiritual and emotional side of a visit to Israel. Then there is the culinary experience and the sheer beauty of the place to consider. To see greenery, then desert, then lakes, caves and everything in between including modern life, the marriage of the old and the new in Israel is breathtaking. After you experience the country, you too will view it as the holy land, in whatever way that word means to you n Visit ottawalife.com for further information on food, restaurants and for a more detailed background on Israeli sites, off-the-beaten track places, bars and neighbourhoods to visit. 45 OTTAWALIFE JULY/AUGUST 2015


education by Professor Stephen A Stuart

Understanding Communication P

hilip Glass, arguably the most influential composer of the late 20th century, started his career with a question, “Where does music come from?” He spent the next six decades of his life trying to answer that question and, over the years 'reformulated' it as he strove, through experimentation and experience, to find the answer. In his own words, it eluded him, but his music serves as a testament to the value of his trying to make sense of the world. Music is a most powerful aspect of communication and yet, this key exponent of its evolution throughout the past 70 years, struggled to articulate a satisfactory response to his basic question. His journey to ‘enlightenment’ produced some magnificent music that resonates with audiences worldwide and stirs powerful emotions in those who hear it. Most people won’t be familiar with the name Damien Chazelle, though many will have heard of his film Whiplash which received much praise and some criticism last year as it earned five Oscar nominations. A substantial part of the audience who has seen the movie will likely have moved on without reflecting on the essential human story that lies at the heart of the script. That story is the struggle to succeed against adversity and how the individual tries to exceed the expectations of others. The film uses various conventions to communicate

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this story, and the audience, more often than not, understands at least some of the intention of the filmmaker. Music and movies are forms of communication that can transcend the boundaries of language and engage people in a dialogue about our shared human experience. They are eminently suited to our nascent digital world, where the Internet is changing the nature of human interactions in ways that are often unclear, with unintended outcomes.

Successful communication lies at the heart of the human experience. Without a means to convey our thoughts and emotions, our interpretation of reality, the intention of our actions, or the wherewithal to understand the perspective of others, society, as we know it, would not exist. Successful communication lies at the heart of the human experience. Without a means to convey our thoughts and emotions, our

interpretation of reality, the intention of our actions, or the wherewithal to understand the perspective of others, society, as we know it, would not exist. Individually, we struggle to make sense of what it is to be human, and the relevance of our existence. On a collective level, we exchange meaning to negotiate the fluid and dynamic foundations of our civil society, and the ways in which our individual lives can be enriched, our shared existence enhanced. Our abilities to interpret all that we experience are enhanced by exposure to such communicative devices as music and film. In the Social Communication program at Saint Paul University, we explore how meaning is created, communicated, and consumed in the digital age where media are increasingly disposable, and where technologies have enabled us all to become creators and consumers of meaning. We work closely with our students to critically examine and interpret the myriad facets of meaning that exist and reflect their various truths into a crowded and noisy communication environment. We show them the need to comprehend how the framing of meaning dynamically impacts understanding n Professor Stephen A Stuart, FRSA Ph.D, is an Associate Professor, the Vice Dean Faculty of Human Sciences and the Director, School of Social Communication, Saint Paul University.


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Profile for Ottawa Life Magazine

Ottawa Life Magazine - July/August 15  

Ottawa Life Magazine - July/August 15  

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