OTTAWA’S BEST BAND
Is Ottawa’s Foundation Expert
Instead of Getting Trumped — Canada Looks to China ottawalife.com
Refresh Your Look
With Runway-Inspired Trends
1 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
For the last 18 months we’ve been told we had to “be here for Canada’s big year.” Well, the countdown clock at City Hall has ticked down to zero. That year is now here. Let’s
face it, the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation was always going to be a party, but Ottawa has gone far beyond the fireworks and fanfare to present a year full of dynamic events and immersive experiences. “As Canada’s capital, we are used to playing host to national and international events,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. ”However, 2017 will be a once-in-a-generation occasion.“ The city anticipates an increase of 1.75 million tourists (a 20 per cent boost) during the year. Watson added that Ottawa has been preparing for months for what he calls a “celebration of our future.” The unique events and attractions are expected to bring in more than $230 million to the local economy. The vision for the Ottawa 2017 organizers was to make Ottawa the place to visit during the country’s sesquicentennial. The full year of celebrations kicked off New Year’s Eve when the Ottawa 150 Cauldron was lit in front of city hall. The Peace Tower rang out a carillon concert to begin a night that would set the tone for the year to come. It was big, it was flashy and it is only getting started. Here are some of the 2017 highlights: Ottawa Welcomes the World Various embassies will showcase their heritage and pride with events in Lansdowne Park’s Horticulture Building that are sure to include lots of cuisine and culture to sample! YEAR ROUND
JUNO Awards What better way to celebrate Canada’s birthday in Ottawa then by inviting the best in Canadian music to celebrate with us? A week of workshops, performances and activities are planned with the big show being hosted by Michael Bublé on April 2nd. MARCH 27–APRIL 2
National Gallery of Canada Re-envisioned It’s been nearly three decades since the gallery had undergone extensive changes, but to mark the 150th it will unveil a re-envisioning of the Canadian galleries. Kontinuum Though we’re a few years away from the launch of the city’s new light rail service, the Kontinuum will allow access to Lyon Station early to showcase a free underground multimedia experience all summer long. Canada Day 2017 It will be a party like none the city has seen with events all over including the opening of the new National Arts Centre and the new Canadian History Hall (inside the Canadian Museum of History). More information on the events, performers and more will be released in the next few months.
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Canada’s Largest Playground Go big or . . . go to the park? Opening at Mooney’s Bay on July 1st, this park will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the world’s longest continuous monkey bars. That will give you an idea of how big this is going to be! Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge 2017 will see the Royal Alexandra Bridge transformed into a thin, grassy park between Ontario and Quebec with a perfect view of Parliament Hill. JULY 2
Sky Lounge Take to the air (150 feet in the air, to be exact) for a week of culinary experiences where the sky is literally the limit! JULY 15-22
La Machine Street theatre has never been so huge (and possibly eyebrow singeing) then it will when the creatures of La Machine come to invade the capital. JULY 26-30
YOWttawa If you’re a festival city, adding one more to the mix is more than welcome. This summer YOWttawa will bring another outdoor music fest to O-town slated to “feature national and international entertainment of the highest calibre as a tribute to Canada.” 105th Grey Cup That big Redblacks win last year only makes hosting the biggest day in Canadian football even sweeter. You can be sure the hometown team isn’t looking to relinquish that championship in their own backyard! NOV. 22-26
Reopening of the Canadian Science and Technology Museum If you’ve been missing getting your techy geek on at the museum – as it’s closed for ’renos‘ – it’s time to smile. The museum is set to reopen in November. Canadian Videogame Awards Gamers rejoice! The big night in gaming is coming, with gala parties and championship matches. Video games will be projected across buildings all over the city! MID-NOVEMBER
Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings The Canadian Olympic curling trails will be taking place inside Canadian Tire Centre. Find out who will represent the country at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
MARCH/APRIL 2017 VOLUME 19
PHOTO : ANDRE GAGNE
COURTESY MOOSE CONSORTIUM
New Ways to Think of Malbec
Debbie Trenholm is back from the vineyards of Argentina and shares her experiences from the land of the Malbec grape.
Somewhere under Ottawa, Patrick Despatie and his crew are securing the structure of a building. From new builds to heritage homes, the team at Action Restoration are Ottawa’s foundation specialists.
The PepTides Are Coming!
The PepTides are a nine member, vivacious, knock your socks off, performance machine whose infectious sound gets everyone grooving.
GAiN is Giving Hope
Find out how Canada’s Global Aid Network is helping women in India live with the social injustice of simply being born female.
Foote-Steps at a Time
PHOTO : ANDRE GAGNE
Publisher’s Message ................................ 4 Best Picks .............................................. 5 Savvy Selections ..................................... 7 In Search of Style .................................... 9 Homes: John’s Reno Tips ........................... 15 Homes: Glam Up Your Closet .................... 17 Profile: Music and Motherhood ................. 22 Profile: Woody’s Pub ............................... 25 Profile: Sparkle & Shine Charity Ball............ 27 Opinion: Michael Coren........................... 37 Opinion: Patrick Gossage ........................ 39 Travel: Miramichi ................................... 40 Travel: Mexico’s Emerald Coast ................ 42 Travel: Newfoundland ............................ 44 Moose Consortium ................................. 47 Saint Paul University ............................... 50
Judy Foote is making progress…albeit it slow, on the Phoenix file.
Plan your summer holiday to New Brunswick’s Miramichi, Newfoundland’s windy shores or, if you are still thawing out from winter, escape to Mexico’s Emerald Coast. Alexandra Gunn has the latest runwayinspired spring trends, celebrity style inspiration and the must-have modern pieces. PHOTO : PING HU
Reaching Higher: Algonquin..................... 29 CUSW Series ....................................... 30 Building a Better Canada ....................... 31 Greenstream/Health/Environment ............ 32 Canada/China Friendship ...................... 33 Phoenix Payroll ........................................ 35
publisher’s message by Dan Donovan
“ Wake up, Pretend I’m Okay, Sleep.”
Charlie Angus Would Be a Great Leader for the NDP and Canada
harlie Angus is the embodiment of the everyman or every-person MP. First elected to Parliament in 2004 in the Northern Ontario riding of Timmins– James Bay, the former punk-rocker, alt-country social activist and entrepreneur has been handily re-elected several times by wide margins. Angus is by far one of the best performers in parliament and a tour-de-force in question period, where he has made unprepared ministers seem inept or foolish on more than one occasion. His no-nonsense, straightforward approach to issues is refreshing. Angus is not a fan of syrupy pronouncements and feel-good talk that goes nowhere. He has a strong moral compass and a get-things-done attitude that if ever unleashed on the federal bureaucracy as a management style, could be revolutionary. He is all about accountability. When I sat down with him to discuss the tragic suicides of two 12-year-old Wapekeka First Nation girls, he was at first melancholy and then upset. Angus said that after Health Canada cancelled a suicide-prevention program in Wapekeka two years ago, parents expressed deep concern about a possible suicide pact among young girls in their community. So concerned were they that last summer, the Wapekeka First Nation wrote to Health Canada to ask for funding to help the community deal with mental health issues affecting young people. That funding was denied. The direct result of the decision were suicides. In one of her final Facebook postings, 12-year-old Jolynn Winter had an image that read: “Wake up, pretend I’m okay, sleep.” She committed suicide on Jan. 8. Two days later her 12-year-old friend Chantell Fox, did the same. Afterwards, four girls in crisis were flown out of Wapekeka, a remote community 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. At least 26 more students are considered “high risk” for suicide because of the loss and trauma of the others. Angus said that in some ways the Trudeau Liberals are worse than the Harper government: “With the Conservatives you knew they were not going to do anything. But the Trudeau Liberals made a big deal about Aboriginal issues and said they would be different and would fund things and do things, and then, they don’t.They just smile and do nothing.” He said that the denial of this critical funding for Wapekeka “was a decision made by some senior faceless bureaucrat who did not sign their name on the letter denying the funding. There’s no accountability.” He added: “These bureaucrat’s do stuff like that and then go home to some suburb in Ottawa and then take their own kids out to hockey and for pizza without thinking of those children in Wapekeka. I can’t explain it”. On a shelf in his office are the photos of several young children in his riding who have committed suicide or who have died much too young of tragic consequences. Angus knows all their names, and the circumstances of their deaths. “This keeps me going”, he said. “Something is really wrong.” After the preventable suicides, Eric Morrissette, the Health Canada chief of media relations said Health Canada offered its “heartfelt condolences” to the families and the people of Wapekeka. This is the kind of poppycock that infuriates Angus. A sterile non-response. “The Minister says nothing. Same for the Minister of Justice and Aboriginal Affairs,” said Angus. “That is the frontline face of systemic discrimination in this country. It happens again and again. We lose children literally every single day due to a lack of services and supports that other children and families would take for granted.” Angus said that it’s time for Aboriginal people to run their own affairs and agrees that it’s time to replace the department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and work out a system where indigenous people are running all their own affairs and managing their own budgets. “The department is the problem.” n
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copy editor Dave Gross art director Karen Temple director of operations Isabel Payne web editor/features writer Andre Gagne cover
Valerie Keeler www.valeriekeeler.com Co-styled by MJ LeBlanc (stylist, Rent frock Repeat) and Katie Hession (founder,YOW City Style). WOMEN’S DRESSES: Rent Frock Repeat. MEN’S CLOTHING: Le Château Bayshore mixed with musician’s own. photographers
Brian Atkinson, Marc Brigden Photography, Andre Gagne, Rob Hartley,Valerie Keeler, Caronline Langevin fashion editor Alexandra Gunn accounts Joe Colas C.G.A bookkeeper Tatiana Avdeeva contributing writers Shelley Alexanian, Michael
Coren, Dan Donovan, Andre Gagne, John Gordon, Patrick Gossage Alexandra Gunn, Jennifer Hartley, Joseph Manicinelli, Thea Ness, Ali Matthews, Robert J. Paterson, Joel Redekop, Debbie Trenholm, Ann Victoria, Candice Vetter, Stephanie Yamin web contributors Angela Counter, Anne Dion, Myka Burke, Dave Gross, Andre Gagne, Katie Hartai, Jennifer Hartley, Alex Mazur,Vic Little, Brennan MacDonald, Don Maclean, Isabel Payne, Maria Perez, Mona Staples, Mireille Sylvester, Mike Tobin, Simon Vodrey, Meagan Simpson, Carlos Verde social media Maria Alejandra Gamboa,
corporate advisor J. Paul Harquail, Charles Franklin, Dennis Mills corporate counsel Paul Champagne editor emeritus Harvey F. Chartrand student intern Melanye Amaral, Mahigan Giroux advertising information
For information on advertising rates, visit www.ottawalife.com call (613) 688-LIFE (5433) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Web site: www.ottawalife.com Follow us on Twitter: @ottawalifers On Instagram: ottawalifemag Like us at www.Facebook.com/ OttawaLifeMagazine Ottawa Life is listed in Canadian Advertising Rates & Data (CARD). Ottawa Life subscription rates: one year $50.00, includes postage, plus HST (six issues). Two years $80.00, includes postage, plus HST (12 issues). Add $20 per year for postage outside Canada. Subscriber service is 613-688-LIFE (5433) Ottawa Life Magazine is printed in Canada on recycled paper.
Proto-Poetic Paintings Artist Daniel Sharp’s latest exhibition is a view into the exploration and development of painting ideas in his studio. ”Proto” literally means first or earliest form. The paintings are incomplete and are intended to allude to more. View them at Ottawa School of Art’s downtown campus (35 George Street, K1N 8W5) from February 9 until March 19, 2017. artottawa.ca
Bite the Big Apple
In case you needed more than one reason to love New York, author and journalist Marie-Joëlle Parent gives you 299 more reasons to love the Big Apple in her book 300 Reasons to Love New York. Perfect for first-timers or those who are already a fan, this guide will take you through some of the author’s best New York City finds where you can experience the city in the most authentic way possible, far away from the throngs of tourists. Available online or at your local book store. simonandschuster.ca
Keep your pet’s shedding under control with the HandsOn Glove. Gentle scrubbing nodules on the palm and fingers help comb through pet hair while picking up loose hairs that can be disposed of with a flick of the wrist. These grooming gloves can be used on a variety of animals including dogs, cats, and horses. Now available in junior sizes. handsongloves.com
Durable and ultra comfy, Corrymoor offers a variety of luxurious socks for men, women, and children. Made in the UK using only the finest quality mohair from organic Angora goats, these socks will keep your feet warm and toasty in the winter, and cool in the summer. corrymoor.com
Click, Tap and Save
Whether you’re switching to a new phone, running out of storage, or wanting to safeguard important photos, Picture Keeper Connect offers simple photo backup solutions for smartphones, tablets, and computers. picturekeeper.com
Made in collaboration with Themocracy, a renowned Swedish bicycle company, Skultana has released these beautiful bicycle cufflinks. Available in a multitude of colours and a choice of decadent gold or silver plated brass. ca.amara.com
Choose to Stand
Numerous studies have found that prolonged sitting can be detrimental to your health. With the Lotus™ Sit-Stand workstation, you now you have the choice to sit or stand. Add movement to your work day by smoothly and effortlessly changing your position. fellowes.com 5 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
best picks Galini Pearl $140
Cheska Crown Cuff $87
Confetti Heart $52
For effortlessly chic accessories, look no further than Ted Baker. The Ted Baker Heteya Confetti Heart Ultra Thin cuff bracelet is simplistic in design, but not without outstanding beauty. It is a stylish accessory that can enhance anyoneâ€™s wardrobe. The Cheska Crown Ultra Thin cuff is another chic accessory that will adorn your wrist with touch of sparkles and glam! Want a necklace instead? With a shiny rose gold tone and clusters of gorgeous plastic pearl beads, the Galini Pearl Cluster Necklace from Ted Baker is the perfect addition to evening attire. ca.amara.com
This little book is a pragmatic guide which channels the healthy lifestyle of Scandinavia and provides you with 10 easy lifechanging tips that will add 10 healthy years to your life. Swedish doctor Bertil Marklund covers ground on how you can make changes to your lifestyle decisions, sleep pattern, and causes of stress. Available online and at your local bookstore. greystonebooks.com
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150 Copper Legacy Feathers celebrating Canadaâ€™s 150 years.
Celebrating Canada. A Legacy Piece for individuals or organizations. Each copper feather is unique in design, individually tooled by hand and presented in a custom display box ready-to-hang.
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Living Well, The Scandinavian Way
savvy selections by Debbie Trenholm
Malbec. Tango. Steak. confess. I have a glass of big bold Ibeside Malbec red wine from Argentina me while I write this article. What. A. Fabulous. Place. The wines – both red and whites. The steak. The landscape. The history. I have told everyone since my trip that if you have the opportunity, jump on a plane and go. When Jose Zuccardi, owner and president of Familia Zuccardi invited me to his homeland during a lunch at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, I knew this was a business card I was going to keep. The name Zuccardi might ring a bell, and so it should. Like Yellow Tail and Jacob's Creek, Zuccardi’s wine – FuZion - quickly became a household name in Canada when it wowed everyone with its quality as well as its incredible price of $7.45.
“MALBEC IS ARGENTINA’S EMBLEMATIC GRAPE BECAUSE IT IS LIKE A FRIEND WHO WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN,” - Edgardo Del Pópolo, Argonomist.
Italy - recognized how they could dramatically adjust the existing winemaking processes and craft fine Malbec wines that could compete on the world stage. Swiftly, Argentina has become the main producer of Malbec — with vines covering nearly 40,000 hectares, compared to its neighbour Chile with about 6,000 hectares, France 5,300, South Africa about 4,000, New Zealand 80 and California has barely 45. This statistic is particularly interesting as Malbec originally stemmed from France where it was grown as a grape typically used for blending.
It still to this day baffles me the economics of how a bottle of delicious Malbec-Shiraz red wine can be made in the southern hemisphere, travel the world by boat and still land in my hands for less than $8.
The name ‘Malbec’ was attributed to the French ‘mal bouche’ translates to ‘bad taste,’ referring to the rustic characteristics of the grape that was used in small proportions in wines with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Winemaking in Argentina has a deep-rooted history.
It is amazing how a ‘bad thing’ in France, eventually turned into incredibly good fortune for Argentina.
For more than 400 years, various grape varieties were grown for domestic consumption. In the 1960s and '70s, Malbec was jug wine that was considered rustic. Winemakers focused on quantity production not quality. This all changed in the mid-1980s when famous consulting winemakers — Paul Hobbs from California, Michel Rolland and HerveJoyauxFabre from France, as well as Roberto Cipresso and Alberto Antonini from
In 1852, Malbec vines were brought to Argentina by Michel A. Pouget, a French agronomist hired by the Argentine government. Less than 10 years later, the phylloxera bug decimated and destroyed the majority of the European vineyards (hit especially hard was France) and Malbec disappeared. The silver lining, though, is that half a
world away, this grape variety was alive and flourishing. Today, with the popularity of Malbec, French winemakers are buying back Malbec vines from Argentina. Taking a sip of my wine beside me, this Malbec wine begs for a barbecued steak, hearty stew or grilled mushrooms. Most are full bodied and heartwarming — great for winters and barbecue seasons. Winemakers in Argentina are experimenting with different styles of Malbec wines to make it a wine to enjoy year round. “Would you like your Malbec chilled?” We were asked at a bistro in Mendoza. My Spanish is limited but I knew I heard the question right. Fresh Malbec is a new style of young red wine that has not been aged in oak barrels and best enjoyed within a year. Chilled like a white wine, this new way to drink Malbec is intended to quench the thirst as a cold beer does on a hot summer day. “We are trying to encourage this style of wine so that people continue to drink red in heat,” said Panos Zouboulis winemaker Bogeda Krontiras, one of the few certified biodynamic wineries in Argentina. Visit a wine shop in Argentina, you will find shelves overflowing with rose 7 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
wines of all shades of pink made from Malbec grapes. White, rose and red sparkling wines made with 100 per cent Malbec are plentiful too. This style will rapidly grow with international companies such as Chandon (France), Codornui (Spain) establishing operations in Argentina — bringing their talented sparkling winemakers with them. Sweet late-harvest and fortified port style wines and spirits like grappa are made with Malbec. Even Blanc de Malbec crafted by Vincentin Family Wines has turned heads when it launched in 2014 the first-of-its kind white wine made with 100 per cent Malbec aged in oak barrels. Raise a glass to the rise of Malbec
Mark April 17 in your calendar, as it is Malbec World Day. Established in
2011 by Wines of Argentina, this is the day in the wine world when we uncork countless bottles of Argentinean Malbec wines at special wine events in more than 70 cities around the world. You can have your own Malbec celebration… Here are some of my top Malbec wines available at the LCBO:
per cent Malbec, 20 per cent Cabernet Franc, loaded with fruit – pomegranate, boysenberry, ripe and juicy blackberries. Made by one of the top female winemakers in Argentina – Susana Balbo - this medium to full-bodied red wine has a long dark chocolate and coffee finish can be enjoyed with the full range from meatloaf to prime rib. Versado Reserva Ancient Malbec 2012
Zuccardi Q Malbec 2013
This is a classic expression of Malbec. Deep and dark in colour with violet, blueberry, blackberries aromas wafting from the glass. On your first sip, there is evidence that the wine has soft tannins, juicy black fruit, black pepper tastes with a little dark chocolate on the finish. Uncork this Malbec to enjoy with a herb-encrusted pork tenderloin or Sunday roast beef with all the trimmings.
You might think that Malbec is a wine that is typically under $25, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you splurge on this one. A renowned group of Canadian winemakers and winery owners joined forces to purchase a vineyard with plantings of 100-year-old Malbec vines. Wine writer Tony Aspler sampled a pre-release bottle and scored it an impressive 93 points.
Ben Marco Expresivo 2014
This wine will draw your eye to its stunning label. A top-notch blend of 80
For more about Debbie’s travels in Argentina and wine reviews, visit www.savvycompany.ca
ottawa-gatineau proudly hosts the 2017 editors canada conference
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june 9 - 11, 2017 crowne plaza hotel gatineau-ottawa follow us on twitter @editorcon
join us as we learn, network, and celebrate the work of editors!
REGISTER TODAY AT EDITORS.CA 8 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
in search of style by Alexandra Gunn
Follow Alex on Twitter: @AlexandraGunn
Spring has sprung and we’re celebrating by breaking from the darker shades we’ve worn all winter and filling our wardrobe with bright colours to celebrate the beginning of the new season. Rebooting your wardrobe with modern spring styles has never been easier. At the top of our list for colour trends are the bold and attention-getting hues of greenery and pink yarrow. These tropical and festive colours are a reminder that spring is going to be bright.
iKate Spade Pink Yarrow Blouse $428 u
GO PINK Show off your feminine side with a colourful blouse. p Valentino S/S Runway
p Karl Lagerfeld Colourblock Dress $169.00 at The Hudson’s Bay
Standing close to magenta, pink yarrow is an attention-grabbing and luxuriant shade that will draw compliments. It was a pink revolution on the runways, with designers Valentino, Hermes, Balenciaga and Roberto Cavalli offering their take on the bold hue. Often seen as an all-over colour, it can also be worn as a graphic print or a floral design.
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OAG ANNEX City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave West, Ottawa 613-233-8699
ART IS ART Jann Arden, Randy Bachman (Bachman-Turner Overdrive, The Guess Who), Coeur de pirate, Leonard Cohen, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Hugh Dillon (Headstones), Marc Jordan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Lights, Jay Malinowski, (Bedouin Soundclash), Serena Ryder, Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and LeE HARVey OsMOND), Royal Wood… and more!
March 10 – April 16, 2017 Organized by: OAG & the JUNO Awards/The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS)
Tom Wilson, Mystic Highway, 2015, oil on wood, 182.88 cm x 182.88 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: CARAS/The JUNO Awards.
CANADA CANADA PHOTOGRAPHS BY RIP HOPKINS April 28 – June 11, 2017 Organized in partnership between the OAG and the French Embassy. With the support of the British High Commission and Ottawa 2017.
Rip Hopkins, 2016, © Rip Hopkins / Canada Canada / Agence Vu.
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Crowned by Pantone Inc. as the colour for 2017, greenery is new beginnings, freshness and an appreciation for the great outdoors. This colour will assuredly inspire healthy lifestyles. From Gucci, Etro, Tory Burch, Emilio Pucci and Celine, most major fashion brands incorporated this top hue on their spring/summer runways. This fresh and zesty shade can be worn all over - or as an accent in pieces such as earrings. Kate Spade Tassel Statement Earrings $98 u
The warmer months also revive our gym resolutions, so we’re tapping into the ‘athleisure’ trend and wearing performancewear as everyday-wear. It’s a casual and cool trend that is becoming de rigueur for women of all ages.This sport-inspired look is all about incorporating street-style layers or a causal top with leggings. From the studio to the street, here’s how to pull this look off:
Best Foot Forward. Shoes are often a key feature for any outfit, so make sure your footwear is a standout addition with a bright colour. Looking for compliments? Go bright with Saucony’s innovative Freedom ISO $199.99.
Dare to Bare. Cut-out detailing
helps show off that pretty sports bra, so pick a style that adds some flair to your outfit.
Keep up with the Trends. Activewear has become seasonal so stock up on basic black leggings and opt for brightly coloured tops. Joe Fresh $29.
Ping Hu www.winterlotusphotography.com FLORALS: Canadian Mountain Weddings ON-SITE ASSISTANT: Gail E.P. Gunn 11 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
R E S T O R AT N O I T C A A WITH O F O T T AW
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homes by Andre Gagne
Patrick Despatie likes to get down to the foundation of things. In fact, you can say he’s made a career out of it and is probably somewhere underneath the city as you read this. If you have cracked or bowed walls, sloping floors, a basement full of water or feel your house might be sinking, Despatie and Action Restoration is there to patch you up, prop you up and ensure your home is stable no matter what the season.
with each building he works on needing a different course of action.
Despatie doesn’t seem to mind the winter chill as he works in the frigid basement of a Glebe home, proudly showcasing the tools of his trade and pointing out interesting pieces of the house’s foundation that look like they might date back decades.
These are just the kind of challenges Despatie and his crew relish. To them, if they are told it can’t be done they make it happen! Looking underneath the city is a passion for him because each job unveils new surprises and, despite his years of working in the trade, the old buildings in Ottawa continue to provide new learning experiences. Looking at them, he can see back into the past, at the way things worked then and how former craftspeople applied their trade.
As Ottawa’s specialist in foundation repairs, Despatie follows in the footsteps of his great uncles; people he says were the inspiration for starting his business back in 1996.
It’s not easy work though. His toughest job was digging 13 feet THE PROBLEMS OR RESTORE below the British High SOMETHING TO ITS ORIGINAL Commission building STATE SO NO ONE CAN TELL IT on Elgin Street. That WAS A REPAIR. THAT IS FUN TO one took a while. Sometimes, however, ACHIEVE. “I was working in the he comes back up union restoring buildings from these jobs with like the Supreme Court and the Museum interesting finds like a 1930 bottle of of Nature,” he told Ottawa Life, adding Pepsi or a beer bottle made out of clay! that such projects didn’t provide enough work for his taste so he took matters – To Despatie, the most rewarding aspect and bricks and trowels – into his own of his work is coming up with an idea hands. that no one else thought of — he has no problem thinking outside of the box (or His mandate when founding Action the basement) to get the work done. Restoration was a simple one. He wanted to come up with the most cost-effective “It’s just another way to show our way for his customers while ensuring the customers what to expect from Action job was done right. You can’t miss the Restoration,” he said. wit implied in his logo. Here’s a hint: it’s a certain leaning tower in Italy! Check out Actionrest.ca for more information on the services Action A typical job, like his current project in Restoration provides or call 613-294the Glebe, provides numerous challenges 9239 for a free appraisal n He recognized then that there was a strong need for his kind of profession when working on some of the city’s most wellknown landmarks.
PHOTO: ANDRE GAGNE
“It all depends on the nature of the work,” he said. “I will either fix the problems or restore something to its original state so no one can tell it was a repair. That is fun to achieve”.
I WILL EITHER FIX
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CUSTOM-MADE LOG FLOORING
JOHNâ€™S RENO TIPS
homes by John Gordon
Your guide to happy feet and a beautiful living space
ne of the easiest and most efficient O ways to spruce up your home without a complete overhaul would have to be - hands down - flooring.
Let's talk about the popular picks for flooring that you can have installed in your home, and where they are best suited. The list is endless, though there are a few that truly stand out for specific rooms in your home: Tile, hardwood and laminate. Tile is most commonly used in bathrooms or kitchens as it is considered to be the most durable and resilient. Paired with an outstanding subfloor (such as the SchluterDitra), your flooring will boast a substantial 10-year warranty for even more peace of mind. Tile is always a go-to as it is able to withstand high traffic and moisture which are both extremely common in the kitchen and bathroom. Our rule of thumb here is to stay away from softer flooring as it cannot handle as much foot traffic or much in the way of spilt milk or bath water.
Hardwoods are most commonly used in living rooms, family areas and bedrooms. These areas do not see as much commotion and rest far away from (most) moisture. They offer a true warmth and luxury to the room, that has no parallel. Hardwood is a beautiful option. With so many grains and stains to choose from, it will leave your home looking absolutely breathtaking, wherever you decide to have it installed. Consider laminates as one of the
flooring treasures out there. It can be used in virtually any room in your home. With hundreds of colours and patterns, these MDF printed boards are versatile and trendy.They do well in basements (as they retain heat), are softer under foot and can handle expansion on contraction from winter to summer. Laminates are also on the least expensive end of the flooring spectrum for material cost as well as labour. The decision rests with you n Visit YourRenoGuys.com for more information about John and the services he offers. 15 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
JUNE 2-4 2017 LAROCHE PARK, MECHANICSVILLE, OTTAWA YOUR OTTAWA. YOUR FESTIVAL. ALWAYS FREE.
See full lignup at westfest.ca #westfest2017
YOUR OTTAWA. YOUR FESTIVAL. ALWAYS FREE.
• Canadian Made by Local Craftsmen • Custom Designs in Pine, Maple or Oak • Standard Finishes or Unfinished • Home, Office or Business • Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery as pieces are made to order.
Handcraft Custom Furniture handcraftcustom.ca 613.536.8927 16 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
homes by Shelley Alexanian
GLAM UP YOUR CLOSET
pring has sprung, and with home S refreshing in the mix, isn't it time to reorganize your closet? With the warm weather on the way, it is clearly time to move out the winter clothes and bring in your new wardrobe for the new season. As climate can be extreme in Canada, we are constantly in a state of shifting wardrobes. For me at this time of year, that means reorganizing my closet entirely so that all of my winter pieces are neatly relocated. The odd spring day might sport a bit of a chill, but certainly not requiring the layers of February. Removing everything from your closet and having a plan is a good start. Some years my wardrobe expands with suits, or it might be handbags so I have to rethink how I can keep everything in an accessible place. I make sure that all of my blouses and dresses are together on soft satin hangers — important so the shoulders don’t lose shape. Jeans and casual clothes have their own section in the closet, opposite skirts and workwear. Although there never seems to be enough space, I still like my clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories to be seen at a glance. Also a good tip? Storing your mostPHOTO: WWW.IKEA.CA
Adjustable shelves and rails make IKEA’s Elvarli system a great choice for customizing your space according to your needs.
used items at eye level and least-used items up high. As well, I like to keep my shoes the most accessible and visible as it is easy to forget what is available. Having sectional drawers to separate items is ideal. IKEA has mastered all of the options for moveable compartments to house belts, scarves, jewellery and accessories. I personally love drawers for folded items and I never overload them. Important too, is coordinating hangers to keep the closet's appearance looking neat. Having the right pant, skirt and dress hangers also helps items keep their structure.
wicker baskets — very useful for items like stockings and socks. A walk-in wardrobe is not always an option. If space is available in a spare bedroom you can use the room to create a walk-in closet. With the many organizing solutions available, any size closet can be a good and extremely functional space. There are many productive ways to glam up your closet. A simple chandelier, a little decorative rug and if space allows - a little piece of artwork with fresh flowers.
Don’t over-clutter otherwise clothes can get jammed in and wrinkly.
And as a final thought: I keep my favourite L’Occitane Verbena room diffuser in with my clothes so they too have a seasonal fresh scent.
Another excellent choice is the use of
'Tis the season for change. Enjoy n 17 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
PEOPLE OF EAR
T H , M E ET T H E
text & photo by Andre Gagne
They stand before mirrors that reflect the infinite. He slips into a pair of zebra striped pants while she puts the finishing touches on an askew heap of neon green hair.
She tosses on something latex tight and he reaches for a fedora.
You have no time to prepare. You’re not ready, but they are.
Another ensures her locks are just the right shade of purple while he adjusts the antique television next to the drum kit.
Ground control to Major Tom, it’s show time!
The old touchtone phones dangle from the microphone stands. He does up his tie. She slides into fishnets. He slips on his shades. In T-minus one minute and counting they are about to descend upon another unsuspecting audience of earthlings.
They’re a well-oiled Where’s Waldo Rube Goldberg machine of colourful lightening strewn with silk, soul and funk. They’re the Warhol painting you’ve never seen hanging on the bridge of a shimmering disco star ship about to enter your atmosphere in rainbow warp drive. 19 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
They are stardust. Claude MarQuis
They are golden. People of Earth: The PepTides!
Before his trip into this new galaxy of music, PepTides founder Claude MarQuis was an artist painting posters of Satan as a dancer in a gay sauna. His other works explored mental illness, utilizing characters from A Streetcar Named Desire.
Juan Miguel Gómez Montant
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He was experimenting, diving into waters of exceptional vision and creativity. Like most artists, however, he wasn’t satisfied sticking to one medium no matter how ‘out there’ the finished products might be. He needed bars to raise and envelops to push. It was time for something new. “Solo and armed with a laptop and microphone I recorded the first PepTides album,” said MarQuis, who added that by the time he set to work on the third album he knew he needed to get more people on board whatever vessel the project was about to become. “Completely out of the blue, I awoke to find the cover of that latest album on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen being named best album of the year. It seemed like it was an appropriate time to start a live band.”
WILL BE THE PEPTIDES G IN M R FO R PE CK AT THE BLA SHEEP INN . ON APRIL 1
Rebecca Noelle brings the sounds of jazz and soul. Andrew Burns has the funky bass hooks. Juan Miguel Gómez Montant is the guitarist with the Latin flair. Dale Waterman is the fuel in that warp drive.
Once containing only a single star, The MarQuis universe was about to explode. Soon, eight others would blaze brightly around him to form the PepTide galaxy.
Alex Wickham brings precision and a unique fashion sense.
If MarQuis could be viewed as the sun-like centre of the band, the other members would move in flux with each other in the kind of synchronicity you might not completely understand but know is necessary to keep everything positioned in a delicate gravitational embrace.
“Nine members may seem excessive at first blush but we all fell in love with each other so now it’s too late,” said Irving, who acts as keyboardist and band manager.
There’s Dee Dee Butters, with her offthe wall ideas and diva soprano chops. Olexandra Pruchnicky is all about the charisma and charm.
And Scottie Irving injects the science behind it all.
The band prides itself on diversity. When all nine are on stage together it is as though they represent a world map of cultural identities. They are Scottish, English, Ukrainian, Mexican, Guyanese, Armenian and Cree.
aerobics classes. He said there are few acts in town that put as much thought and effort into their stage presence, and added that the flamboyancy helps them stand out from other bands in the city. That’s an understatement. One might be inclined to take this ideology much further! The PepTides might very well be visible from Venus. The band has acquired quite a fan base. Vocalist Dee Dee Butters relayed a tweet she read after the group’s 2012 Bluesfest performance: “Every time The PepTides play a unicorn is born!” This is perfectly stated by just one participant of the bands growing cult of followers that become infected after any given performance. We say participant because you don’t just attend a PepTides show, you become a part of the organism ready to spread the love around.
PHOTO: VALERIE KEELER PHOTOGRAPHY
Within this melting pot boils an eclectic broth of musical influences for a rich experience that can switch gears quicker than a Bugatti Veyron. “We love it, we love that our music transcends styles but that our message and ethos are strongly articulated,” said vocalist Olexandra Pruchnicky. “As musicians we play what we are inspired by, and we are inspired by so many styles that to restrict that would be restricting our whole creative process.” Alex Wickham gets to witness everything unfold from his drum kit each show and, like anybody with a pulse, realized early on that there really was no such thing as boredom at a PepTides concert. If the band sounds like a Jackson Pollok painting translated into music, it’s because MarQuis developed the band from the mindset of a man not professionally trained in the medium. To him there were no rules.There were no barriers. There was only intuition and a blank
canvass of possibility. While the results deviate towards upbeat, danceable music there are strong ties of serious social commentary that bind between the beats. “Our music tends to critique the sources of division and conflict in humanity. As such, we are hyper-aware of those elements in real life,” said vocalist Dale Waterman. This band doesn’t do anything halfway and you know you are in for something different before they even walk on stage. Pruchnicky says that the pageantry incorporated into the band is only another expression of the larger than life art it presents to the audience. “We try to create characters and a space where we can investigate the concepts of the world around us. By us creating these outlandish characters and this outlandish experience we allow the audience to let down their guard and fully explore their own personal experience in face of our music,” she said. Bassist Andrew Burns spoke of the active workload — rehearsals are more like
“I think our audience continues to grow because, by our nature, we don’t discriminate. A fan is a fan is a fan and we love them all, period,” said Irving. “You have to make that fan feel special and shower them with love in return for what they’ve given you.” MarQuis has watched his solo project go Nova.The band is armed with eight albums that transcend any one genre – should you be able to hold it down long enough to define it. This, coupled with the epic stage shows and growing word of mouth, has The PepTides showered with acclaim that beams brightly. MarQuis said the band is true to its vision by ensuring the art comes from a genuine place and is all inclusive. “Music is for everyone. Why build walls?” he said. When asked how he would describe the creative force that is the band to those who haven’t experienced it yet, he stated: “Are you bored of life? Be no longer: The PepTides!” n peptides.ca 21 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
profile by Andre Gagne
SUSAN ODLE AND HER CREATIVE KIDS
Motherhood Ottawa’s musical moms aren’t trading in their guitars for mini-vans. They are making making motherhood work for them, on their terms.
One night she reaches for a guitar, another night a bottle to feed her child. One rainy afternoon she’s composing music, another she’s writing a grocery list. She holds onto melodies in her mind while hugging her son. She sings to strangers from a stage. She soothes her daughter to sleep. In the morning she struggles for the right rhymes, the right chords while making her children breakfast, seeing them off to school. Some nights she can only say goodnight to them through the distance of a phone call. Tomorrow the road calls to her again and perhaps enough money to get them all by for another month. Their names are Chelsey, Susan, Kristine and Leila and their lives revolve around the intertwining balancing of motherhood and music. Music has been an integral part of Kristine St-Pierre’s life since she was a child herself, first recording in a studio when she was but six-years-old. Now she has her two-year old, Ava, and another one on the way come summer. Before becoming a mother 22 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
she was active in the growing Ottawa music community and touring across Canada at least once a year. After Ava was born, however, the focus had to shift, her wheels slowed and those comfortable silences became far more valued. “I think the main difficulty is finding a balance. Practicing is not that difficult as I can do with my daughter present – she’ll usually dance while I play or keep playing with her toys and listen at the same time. The difficult part has been finding the quiet time to write and compose new songs. Hence why it’s taken me longer than anticipated to release a new album,” said St-Pierre.
KRISTINE ST-PIERRE AND AVA
Leila Goldberger didn’t always think she would pursue a career in music feeling she didn’t have the perfect voice, right guitar skills or the kind of image that usually gets promoted heavily in the industry. Because of these trepidations she started later than most, really beginning her career after winning the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award (CPSA) in 2013. With newfound confidence, she was ready to move forward. Before she could ride that wave, however, she became pregnant with her son. Priorities had to change. “Becoming a mother gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate the timing of things. I had built up some momentum and recognition with the CPSA and while I had hoped to harness that to fuel my creativity as well as my career, it was more important for me to recognize it as proof that great things can happen at any point in your life. There was no need to feel pressured as long as I was being true to myself,” reflected Goldberger. Susan Odle wasn’t waiting until later in life. By Grade 8 she was already in her first band and throughout her teens took every opportunity she could to play. Music was always something to chase, like a car ahead of you on a highway PHOTOS: VALERIE KEELER
to the unknown, she just followed it to see where it might go. In 2001 she quit a full-time job, traded her two-door car for a touring van and made that highway her life until a wonderful detour named Aviva changed her path. “(Having my daughter) changed everything. Being a mom for the first time takes all your senses, energy, proactive thinking. I truly didn’t realize how long that absolute focus would last,” said Odle who added that being a single mother before her child turned two didn’t help matters. The music would have to wait 13 years. She would have three more children. Chelsey June dove into her passion after realizing her life was being eaten up by dead-end nine-to-five jobs. When her children Caitlyne and Logan came along, she poured the happiness they gave her into her art. Her first album was all about showing her children that dreams are important.
In the end, I think it comes down to staying true to yourself as a women, mother and artist and not rushing things just because others are ahead of you or because you think it needs to happen now. It doesn’t. Every woman and every artist is different and therefore, their journey will be (and should) different,” she said. Though things might seem daunting at times, Goldberger has found a lot of joy in simply singing to her son Callum. Every night he falls asleep to a lullaby she wrote just for him. St-Pierre has taken to bringing her wee one to shows where she is nearly upstaged, the smiling audience gazing at her dancing toddler. “Mommy singing!” she’ll shout. For Odle, it seems only inevitable that her daughter will follow in her musical mother’s footsteps.
For St-Pierre, however, it made her realize that this is her journey and she’s exactly where she is supposed to be. Things to let go of now can always be held again later.
St-Pierre agreed, and said she hasn’t undertaken a long tour since becoming a mother. While breastfeeding, being away for longer periods of time is just not possible and, as childcare costs mount, female musicians often have to make sacrifices to provide the basics.
“Motherhood, in a way, equates unpredictability. Lots of it. It’s a lifelong learning experience and journey, just like our art and ourselves as artists.
have their partner’s backing. From being able to watch the children while out at a gig, to providing kind words of encouragement when needed, these relationships are often rocks to cling to. As a female artist, having children can often be cause for much soul searching when it comes to continuing your career.
“My daughter is so proud. She decided to do her school project on me and my career and when she read me the report she wrote, my heart melted to see that she gets this, she supports me,” said June, who added that leaving her kids, that happiness, to tour often makes her feel guilty though she knows it’s necessary.
Some opt to take other jobs closer to home and know the risk of being out of the public eye for too long a time. . The music industry isn’t for the slow travelers.
CHELSEY JUNE WITH HER CHILDREN
Odle said she is who she is because of her choices — and having children was one of the best she ever made. June added her children made her “want to be something.They made me think of someone more than myself.” LEILA GOLDBERGER AND CALLUM
“Well, my daughter Ella has been around music since she was born and actively diving in since she could walk,” Odle said. “She even makes art out of my old guitar strings.” Chelsey, Kristine, Susan and Leila all maintain that a strong support network is key, adding how important it is to
And for Goldberger, her son filled the house with much more love. “Every day it gets bigger and bigger,” she said. “Most people tend to focus on how challenging it can be to have kids that they forget to tell you how entertaining they can be. Kids are hilarious and adorable. Our house is filled with laughter and so much joy now.” n 23 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
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profile by Joel Redekop
SERVING THE COMMUNITY ONE DRINK AT A TIME
ubs are often a community unto P themselves, but not often do they become a significant member of the exterior community as well.
With that being said, Woody’s Elgin Street Urban Pub is not quite like other pubs. “Its location on Elgin Street makes it so close to so many things that are . . . comfortable,” owner and director Keith Loiselle said. He’s referring to City Hall, the city’s community centres, varied churches and the residential area that surround Woody’s. Loiselle doesn’t see the pub as just a business; it’s an important member of the neighbourhood. Born and raised in Ottawa, Loiselle took over Woody’s in late 2009, reopening for business in 2010. Reimagining the pub’s entire concept, his desire was to create a social hub that would be inclusive — instead of catering to a niche market. Whether it be a couple celebrating an anniversary or university students on a night out, he wanted Woody’s to be the choice destination. He wanted patrons to feel comfortable; he wanted Woody’s to feel like home. This isn’t to say that the pub is without
ambience. Loiselle drew his inspiration from Toronto’s Drake Hotel, a social club that caters to the Six’s bohemia; serving as a meeting place for artists, musicians and filmmakers. To channel the same kind of downtown’ feel, Woody’s comes furnished with rustic furniture, wood flooring and brick walls. And despite its rather recent renovations, it feels as if it has decades of history deep within its walls… partially because it does. Woody’s Urban Pub has been a part of the Elgin Street culture since 1986 (for reference, Woody Boyd had only been tending bar on Cheers for about three months!). Loiselle remarked on how he now watches long-time patrons of Woody’s waltz into the bar with their kids — who are now in university. “We’re looking at two generations of people sitting in the pub… and it’s cool to see (how) that’s happened.” The menu also conveys Woody’s commitment to the community. Head chef Christian Gendreau underlined how they strive to incorporate as many local ingredients as possible, securing their products from local establishments such as Seed to Sausage and Becking’s Poultry Farm for their eggs. Woody’s menu is full of late-night favourites as well.
Gendreau’s culinary philosophy continues with the thought that simplicity is most effective when it comes to pub grub. “I don’t want to be fancy for fancy’s sake," he said. "If it doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t matter what it looks like.” He still likes to get creative though, as he’s introduced dishes such as the loaded 5-Napkin Burger or rotating Mac and Cheese specials to the menu. For drink,Woody’s has been serving up its own Barn Dog Ale since 2010. However, Loiselle is not satisfied with simply providing the community with quality food and drink. Unable to compete in the Byward Market’s Winterlude Stew Cookoff (by technicality), he rounded up other bar and restaurant operators on Elgin and drew the interest of the Ottawa Senators. Soon, the Sens Mile Charity Chili Cook-Off was born, becoming a tradition (with donations going to the Ottawa Senators Foundation). Since Loiselle was handed the keys, Woody’s Urban Pub has become known for more than just the iconic green lettering painted on the side of the building, it’s turned into an active, generous contributor to the community. And that’s something to toast n 25 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
B U Y Y O U R T I C K E T S T O D AY !
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profile by Alison Matthews
The Power of Sparkle A smile can do many things: Make a friend, give hope, and light up a room. For the team behind the 2017 Sparkle Dental Charity Ball, their mission is to give families in need the opportunity to unlock the power of a sparkling smile.
If you haven’t noticed, ‘sparkle’ is the operative word for the organizers of this one-of-a-kind event and it is one that they take seriously - from the venue, the guests, and to those they help. Now it its third year, this premier annual dental charity ball attracts passionate professionals from across the National Capital Region and Eastern Ontario all in the spirit of raising awareness and improving access to dental care in our communities. The Sparkle Dental Charity Ball returns on April 29th, 2017 with all the extra sparkle that comes with hosting an elegant soiree at the Infinity Convention Centre. “From the Museum of History to the Westin Ottawa and now the brand new Infinity Convention Centre, we like to keep things interesting for our audience,” said Aaron McFarlane, executive producer of the 2017 Sparkle Dental Charity Ball. “From marble floors, crystal chandeliers, and tier 1 audio-visual capabilities; our guests will be in for a real treat (at the ICC).” Guests should be prepared for an equally dazzling line-up that will treat all their senses. For the Sparkle Dental Charity Ball gourmet food, silent and live auctions and a dance floor are just the beginning. This year the Ball will feature DJ Ilon (Jump 106.9), live music from Big Band Ottawa, and the exclusive Ottawa premiere performance by world-renowned,
award winning pianist and composer, Steve Barakatt. Guests will also take in a fashion show from Cantas Fashion, with dental community guest models Dr. Tanya Bracanovich, Dr. Marina Polonsky & Souad Fong walking the runway.
Charity Ball takes place after all the glitz and glamour of the evening is over and the work begins. Since 2015, the Sparkle Dental Charity Ball has raised over $20,000 to provide dental services free of charge in the communities that need it most.
Despite all the fanfare, the guests have always been the focus. “The DCB is attended by dental and medical practitioners, business owners, community leaders, and young professionals. Our focus is to unite anyone who has that inherent ‘sparkle’ for civic engagement,” explained McFarlane. “This is why this year we are crowning Amber Bernachi, 2016 Miss International, as our first Miss Sparkle for her work in helping vulnerable communities around the globe. Recognizing individuals with a passion for helping others is what we are all about.”
“As you know, dental services can be very expensive for those who don't have the means to afford preventative (and) routine appointments,” McFarlane continued. “In the beginning, we were donating to like-minded organizations but we decided to take a concentric approach that would yield the most community impact. We have since partnered with the Vanier Community Centre & The Caldwell Family Centre in an effort to build satellite dental hubs that will provide no-cost dental services.”
Aligned with National Oral Health month, the 2017 Sparkle Dental Charity Ball hopes to capitalize on the wide range of guests to spread awareness of the importance of oral health in their own social circles and communities. “Gum (Periodontal) disease and dental caries are very common among demographics who do not have the resources to access to oral health care,” said McFarlane. “Additionally, awareness and education is lacking about the importance of oral hygiene and the connection between oral health and overall health.” The real ‘sparkle’ of the Sparkle Dental
For vulnerable families and those in need, even the most basic dental care can be a huge financial burden. The funds raised by the 2017 Sparkle Dental Charity Ball will keep these dental hubs running and many of the dental professionals in attendance double the effort, by donating their time and expertise in these same facilities. If it hasn’t already been made crystal clear, the Sparkle Dental Charity Ball is more than a celebration for the dental community. As McFarlane concluded, “our event is not only for the dental industry; we strive for synergy among other professionals because in doing this we can advocate the cause, be agents of change and move towards a sparkling future.”n 27 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
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reaching higher/education by Joel Redekop
Education through Experience at Algonquin College “ We Put Research Into Action” So the text reads on one of Algonquin College’s new black-and-white ads. Since its doors opened 50 years ago, Algonquin was envisioned by then Ontario Premier Bill Davis as a place where students could earn their education in a traditional classroom environment, and also hone their skills through the process of hands-on learning. “Applied learning is in our DNA,” said college president Cheryl Jensen. “One of the most common job interview questions is: ‘Tell us about your work experience.’ We make sure our students have the practical, on-the-job experience to be able to answer that question with confidence.” This format of applied and experiential learning has long been a part of Algonquin’s programs: journalism students can expect to see the inside of a newsroom before the completion of their degree, construction carpentry students will build houses, power-line technician students will work with Hydro Ottawa. Algonquin is taking its experiential learning model into new territory, breaking down the barrier between classroom and workplace. Starting this year, the college is offering two new programs that will see students attending classes in a workplace, dividing their time between class lectures and co-operative learning in a professional environment. The first of these recently announced programs is in partnership with Shopify, and was tailor-made for graphic design students. The curriculum requires students to put their graphic design PHOTOS: COURTESY ALGONQUIN COLLEGE
Pearly Rideau Chief Executive Officer Akos Hoffer, Engelyn Caballer, an Algonquin Personal Support Worker alumna, and Algonquin President Cheryl Jensen. LEFT: Graphic design students work on reallife projects for Shopify.
skills to work for local businesses. As students work with real-life clients, they enjoy the benefit of having professional assistance every step of the way. If they run into any difficulties with their work, they can be connected with any number of Shopify’s staffers. In fact, many of the professors and co-workers students will work with are Algonquin alumni, so they know exactly what students need to succeed. Scheduled to begin in May, an integrated program will be located at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on providing health care for Ottawa veterans and seniors. The program will help Algonquin’s personal support worker students transition from the theoretical to the practical, as they work alongside experienced caregivers. Algonquin College’s experiential learning programs counter the age-old story - idealistic high school graduate enters university, studies for four years and enters the workforce only to realize that they either have no desire to work in their chosen field, or that they don’t have the needed skills. The college’s work-school integration allows for students to test out a job. No
longer will students have to imagine how their learned skills will apply to their career, part of their education will be learning and developing hands-on skills in a functioning workplace. Make no mistake, these new programs are not a replacement for traditional learning; think of them as a refocusing. “The future lies in having a solid foundation in theoretical knowledge, and so classroom learning, or a foundation of core knowledge, will always be important," Jensen added. Where does Jensen believe the future of education lies, then? “At Algonquin College, we strive to give all our learners the framework and context to really understand their areas of expertise, and also the chance to apply that knowledge in a work environment that provides real experience but also mentoring and support,” she said. These programs are not the end, either. Algonquin is constantly looking for new partnerships in the community that will allow students to succeed after graduation. Traditionally, transitioning from school to career is a big leap, but through Algonquin College’s experiential learning programs, it doesn’t need to be much of a jump at all n 29 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
cusw series by Candice Vetter
Green Is Gold: SMARTNet Alliance MARTNet Alliance (SNA) S describes itself as a business incubator specifically for the
sustainability sector, with a mission to accelerate Canada’s transition to a sustainable economy. The alliance was created as an arm of the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers (CUSW), which at first focused on energy, an area many of its members were already employed or trained in. CUSW leaders recognized the energy mix is changing from traditional sources to renewables, and wanted to participate in the creation of jobs in emerging industries. “We wanted to be active in the jobs of the future,” said Janet Stewart, president of SNA. “The Alliance came out of the Growth and Opportunities committee of CUSW.We wanted to be proactive, not reactive, and contribute to creating the jobs of the future.” CUSW represents tradespeople and journeypersons, including apprentices. SMARTNet Alliance participants don’t have to be a CUSW member in order to access services or participate in the SNA community. SNA’s focus is on environmental sustainability, including: renewable energy; renewable transportation; energy efficiency; and low impact manufacturing processes. “Our mission is to accelerate Canada’s sustainable economy,” said Paul Cairns, SMARTNet’s Executive Director. “Our vision is an economy that: has environmental sustainability at its core; provides fair and well-paying jobs; and is community-oriented.” SMARTNet Alliance believes that: the future economy will be rooted in a green, grassroots revolution that will lead to new and exciting jobs; no economy can be sustainable without a strong and prosperous middle class; and that the information age is taking us
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THE GREEN ENERGY DOORS OPEN EVENT IN OTTAWA LAST YEAR GAVE SUSTAINABLYMINDED PEOPLE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT.
to a new level of social consciousness. “We feel that the sustainable economy will be led by alliances of people and organizations working together towards common goals, using the power of technology,” said Cairns. SMARTNet is working towards its vision by building a community of people and businesses who share a set of values and beliefs, with stainability at the core: “Anyone can join, all voices are heard, and we all work together to advance our mission.” He really means anyone, too. Individuals interested in joining the Alliance and receiving sector updates, information about public events and connecting to people with shared passions are welcome to apply. Businesses can apply to become members and enjoy all of the above, plus invitations to exclusive events, insight into funding opportunities, a place to bounce ideas off of other similar business owners, and the opportunity to collaborate on projects that come across SNA’s desk. A local initiative which attracted more than 3,000 people was the annual Green Energy Doors Open (GEDO) event in Ottawa last year. Where the Alliance had an opportunity to connect with many sustainably-minded people. But, you don’t have to wait a year or join up without testing the waters first, because SNA partnered with Green Drinks, a
global movement with monthly local meetings. Green Drinks offers an open invitation to “anyone studying, working on, or just interested in all things environmental,” and invites you to “Come and join us for interesting and inspiring conversation.” In Ottawa the crowd meets, often to hear a guest speaker, the second Thursday of every month at The Fox & Feather Pub & Grill on Elgin Street. Next date is March 9. SNA also has a branch in Durham, Ontario and is rolling out in Niagara and London soon. Perks to SNA membership include special opportunities such as the invitation-only SMARTpreneur Program, allowing five entrepreneurial members to work directly with SNA to achieve a self-defined SMARTgoal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based). As well as services including payroll, group insurance, coaching/mentoring, safety support, and training. To learn more about SMARTNet Alliance visit smartnetalliance.ca. To receive information about sustainability related events in Ottawa including Green Drinks, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop into the pub. The first round of appetizers is on them n
building a better canada infrastructure series by Joseph Manicinelli
LiUNA BUILDS CANADA Established in 1903, the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) has been at the forefront of defending the rights of working men and women from coast to coast to coast.Through progressive leadership and exceedingly rapid growth in membership LiUNA is Canada’s largest Building Trade Union, exceeding more than 110,000 highly-skilled members in Ontario alone. This is sustained by local unions in every major city and 13 innovative training centres dispersed across Ontario. In 2016, LiUNA signed a historic Statement of Partnership with the First Nation Summit in Vancouver, a partnership that acknowledges and recognizes the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, continuing a strong partnership between LiUNA and Canada’s Indigenous people which began over a decade ago with the Assembly of First Nations, where LiUNA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with THE 2016 PARTNERSHIP (WITH former National Chief Phil Fontaine, who now co-chairs LiUNA’s Indigenous CANADA’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES) Committee. OUTLINES THE IMPORTANCE OF
Built on the shoulders of immigrants and vested to participate in the process of truth and reconciliation for Indigenous communities, LiUNA is the embodiment of strength, honour and justice for all Canadians. Attributing strength in diversity as the backbone to our success, LiUNA’s mission is fundamentally governed by notions of inclusivity and progressive social change. From public transit to green spaces to social infrastructure, our highly-skilled and trained members make Canadian land development areas more livable, environmentally friendly and sustainable. It is within these regions that families reside and that better communities are formed, developing infrastructure that is vital in building a progressive Canada.
INVESTING IN INDIGENOUS YOUTH
The 2016 partnership outlines the importance of investing in Indigenous PROGRAMS AND EDUCATION, TO youth through innovative training programs and education, to train TRAIN AND EMPLOY FIRST NATION, and employ First Nation, Metis and METIS AND INUIT PEOPLES. Inuit peoples whilst recognizing the On a grander scale, LiUNA is committed constitutionally-protected Aboriginal and to building a more inclusive Canada. This union movement Treaty Rights of First Nations, and educating our members became a platform to enact change, where wrongdoings to respect these rights, jurisdictions and territories, taking were addressed and the voices of the oppressed were finally the first step of a long term partnership where together we heard. LiUNA remains at the forefront as we continue move forward on a path towards reconciliation. to work together with both newcomers and Indigenous communities, creating a respected partnership to build, LiUNA continues to work closely with our governments educate and celebrate Canada’s progressive future, while and thought leaders to emphasize the importance of labour engaging our proud members. and infrastructure whilst focusing on inclusivity and the rights of all peoples in building Canada. It is only though the It is the hardworking, dedicated brothers and sisters of implementation of such programs that engaged organizations LiUNA who build Canada whilst receiving benefits, a stable can be active catalysts for necessary reform.We must continue career and the opportunity to create a more fulfilling life for to work together and overcome any obstacle that may try them and their families. to limit us in building better communities across our great Country. Today as we celebrate Canada 150, we especially reflect on the importance of inclusion in building Canada, ensuring As we celebrate the cultural history of Canada and its our vision is focused on equality, diversity and transparency. progressive future, let us also remain focused on the remarkable work to be done, and the dedicated, proud, men and women, We have a history of outreach. We have welcomed new eager to work and continue to build communities across immigrants, who have chosen Canada for the chance to Canada n build a better life. At the same time, we have not forgotten Joseph Mancinelli is LiUNA’s International Vice President and Regional Canadian history – and greatly value Indigenous communities, Manager of Central and Eastern Canada. understanding there is tremendous work to be done. THROUGH INNOVATIVE TRAINING
31 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
greenstream/health & the environment series by Jennifer Hartley
THE PLIGHT OF WOMEN
AND THE HOPE OF RESTORATION eing born a female in some places B can mean being doomed to a life of physical and sexual abuse, neglect, infanticide, murder, child marriage and prostitution – just a few in the long list of devastating injustices.
Someone who knows this well is Lorraine Francis, the director of Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission (Mukti), a home for destitute women and girls in India. Founded in 1889 by social reformer Pandita Ramabai - who was an orphan and widow - Mukti rebuilds, restores and renews lives. There are homes for children and women, farms, schools, offices, a church and a hospital. Mukti now includes 18 branches in India, mainly in tribal places where people are living in wretched conditions. It provides residential care to more than 600 women and children. Injustices that were common in Ramabai’s time still happen in remote places in India today.While child brides were accepted in the 1800s, India is still home to one-third of the world’s child brides today, reports UNICEF. Girls as young as eight or nine are forced into marriage and given to a man in his 40s to be his wife. Many of those child brides become child widows. Francis recently received a visit from an affluent family from Delhi, a husband, his wife and three children.
The purpose of their trip was to visit their roots. When asked how they were connected to Mukti, the husband explained that he was the greatgrandchild of Tara, a woman who came to Mukti as an 11-year-old widow. She had been branded with hot iron rods after the death of her husband. After suffering torture at the hands of her in-laws, she was able to escape and Ramabai brought her to Mukti. There, she was able to receive an education and was set up into a safe marriage. “Second marriages for women were unheard of,” explained Francis. “Ramabai arranged Tara’s wedding and sent her to Delhi, and that’s how this offspring came to be.” Many girls who marry as children and become child widows escape from their homes - seeking a better life - and find themselves in the red light areas to work as prostitutes. “They feel that life (as a prostitute) is better than their other life (as a widow).These red light areas came into existence because women are treated like second class (citizens). They have (been) used and abused,” Francis said. To help these women and girls, Mukti Mission rented a place in a city in India where the red-light district is located. Here, Mukti provides a place for the children to stay and sleep during business hours, so that they do not have to be subjected to the graphic nature of what goes on in the industry. Before
this shelter, children would have no choice but to sleep in a little cabinet below the bed, where their mother would have to entertain a client. While being a woman there is hard enough, imagine being a woman who is mentally or physically challenged. If blind, crippled or having a mental disability, society deems these women worthless. “If a child is born with special needs, especially a girl, she is considered a curse,” Francis explained. “(They believe) it is an evil thing and they need to shun off the curse. Many (girls with disabilities) are disposed of.” Mukti has a home and school for the blind and for those with other physical or mental challenges. It is a beacon of hope for all, and that does not end once women leave Mukti. “Somebody asked me what the girls do after they leave Mukti. Mukti continues to be their home.When they get married and go, they come back (later) with their husbands, especially when they have their first baby,” Francis explained with a warm smile. “In India, we go to our mom’s house when we have our first child. These girls don’t have a mom, so Mukti is their mom. They call me mom.” In Canada, Global Aid Network (GAiN) is the representative of Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission and represents the work of PRMM across the country under GAiN’s women and children area n
GAiN is a worldwide humanitarian relief and development organization dedicated to bringing hope and tangible help to the poor and the suffering. Since 1998, GAiN Canada has mobilized people and resources to help people in over 43 countries around the world. www.globalaid.net 32 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
canada-china friendship series by Joel Redekop
Trumped, Canada Looks to China “We’ll be tweaking it.” This was President Donald Trump’s response when he was asked about the future of NAFTA in a February joint press conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It is this sort of answer that has Canadians anxious on the future of trade with their southern neighbours. With all of the uncertainty present in North American interrelations today, Mitchell Sharp’s Third Option never seemed so relevant. Back in the early 70’s, the elder Trudeau’s Secretary of State for External Affairs called for more distance between Canada and the States, suggesting for the strengthening of the Canadian economy and other aspects of our national identity. Increasingly, the answer to the present uncertainties to our south seem to lie with China. In September 2016, Trudeau and Chinese premier Xi Jinping announced the exploration of a free trade deal between the two countries, paired with a set goal to double bilateral trade by 2025. While the Trudeau government has made it expressly clear that it’s doing everything possible to protect its trade relation with the U.S., it is also looking for other trade partners abroad. Newly appointed Canadian Ambassador to China John McCallum (formerly the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship) compared furthering Canada’s relationship with China while continuing our existing PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
one with the U.S. to walking and chewing gum at the same time. “We’re friends, and friends speak frankly,” he said in a recent interview on CBC Radio’s The House, regarding Canada’s willingness to speak with China on economic and social issues. PRIME MINISTER TRUDEAU ANNOUNCED THAT 2018 WILL BE THE YEAR OF CANADA-CHINA TOURISM. IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE TWO COUNTRIES TO BUILD CLOSER TIES NOT JUST THROUGH GOVERNMENTS AND BUSINESSES BUT ALSO THROUGH THEIR PEOPLE.
Following the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, there is plenty of interest and opportunity with trading in Asian countries. At a recent cabinet retreat In Calgary, Trade Minister François-Phillippe Champagne stated that “we want to send a message that Canada is open to trade, (including) with China.” China is Canada’s third-largest trade partner, behind the U.S. and the European Union. While Canadian exports to the E.U. have especially slowed, trade with China has flourished. Imports from China are increasing by the year (in 2015, the total was $65.6 billion), while Canadian exports have remained steady (2015 saw $20.2 billion sent east). However, McCallum notes that his agenda as Ambassador has to do with
more than just economics. A free trade agreement is a long-term goal: after all, it took ten years to sign a similar deal with Australia, and it could be a while before one with China comes to realization. In the short-term, McCallum aims to further develop tourism between the two countries, as well as increase the amount of student exchanges. Trudeau announced last year that 2018 will be the “Year of CanadaChina Tourism,” believing it to be a way in which the two countries can “build closer ties not just through governments and businesses but also through their people.” In terms of immigration, China has long been among the top countries from which immigrants are arriving, with Canada seeing over 290,000 settle within its borders between the years of 2006 and 2015. Bringing their influence into Canada’s cultural mosaic, China has long been an important social force through citizenship and permanent residency. Though ties with the U.S. will remain indelible, the Third Option articulates Canada’s longstanding desire to strengthen ties with other states around the globe. With the new appointments of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Ambassador to China John McCallum aiming to strengthen ties with growing world power China, Prime Minister Trudeau has made it clear that trade and a strong social bond are priorities n 33 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
phoenix payroll series by Dan Donovan
Foote–Steps For Phoenix Ottawa Life Magazine interviewed the Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), in December 2016, regarding the Phoenix pay debacle. Phoenix, the government's new computerized pay system, was launched in February 2016, leading to complaints by tens of thousands of federal employees. Some were underpaid, others were overpaid and some were not paid at all. Foote said that part of the blame for the Phoenix mess was due to the decision by the previous Harper Conservative government to lay off 700 compensational advisors.
“I’m confident if that had not been the case with the previous government, this would not be the case today.” Foote said that “anyone not getting paid for work that they are doing is unacceptable.” However, she told OLM that she felt the Phoenix problem is, “one that we inherited, but it’s mine to fix, and we will fix it.” On February 7, 2017 Foote said that while progress was being made on Phoenix, her priority was still focused on making sure that those public servants, who were still not getting paid for work performed, get paid. PSPC also confirmed in February that the initial $50 million estimate to fix Phoenix issues will be much higher. A bigger problem is that due to Phoenix system errors. More than 26,000 federal employees have been overpaid a total of about $68.6 million and, as of January, only one-third of that amount, approximately $22.3 million, has been recovered. On February 8, Minister Foote told the CBC that her first priority is still to correct problems for underpaid and unpaid workers, and it will eventually turn to recouping taxpayer money that’s been overpaid. “We will get the money that’s owed to the government, money that’s been overpaid, when we get to those cases.” She added.“I encourage any employees who are getting more money than they are entitled to, maybe, put that money into a separate bank account and the government will work out a ‘respectful’ process for overpaid
workers to arrange either a lump-sum payment or repayment plan.” Foote said the government was working hard to make sure those affected by payroll woes receive T4 tax slips that reflect the correct compensation amounts. “If they get one that’s not, we’re encouraging them to get in touch with us and we’ll make sure they get the right T4.” (FOOTE) ANNOUNCED THE AWARDING OF A $2.4 BILLION FIXED WING SEARCH AND RESCUE AIRCRAFT CONTRACT TO AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE TO REPLACE CURRENT FLEET.
Many federal public servants have had their lives turned topsy turvy with the debacle. In September 2016, Ottawa resident Suzanne Baptiste received a promotion. Due to human error, her promotion was recorded as a leave of absence. By January 2017, she had yet to receive a normal paycheck causing severe stress on her family. John Warner is a federal public servant with a different Phoenix problem. He was overpaid, and then thousands of dollars of money was retroactively taken back on his paycheck. He reported that he was out thousands of dollars. David little is a federal prison officer who was promoted in 2016, which he thought was a good thing. However,
in logging his promotion, the new Phoenix system went awry and he has gone without any pay for months. The Phoenix crisis has also affected at least 80 students across Canada including many at Carleton University who could not pay their school fees on time after gaining work placements with the federal government. Carleton is now providing more than 30 students affected by the Phoenix pay issue with tuition payment extensions. Although preoccupied with the Phoenix crisis, Foote has made progress on other government files. In December, she announced the awarding of a $2.4 billion fixed wing search and rescue aircraft contract to Airbus Defence and Space to replace the current fleet. She said that the majority of maintenance work for the new fleet of aircraft will be performed in Canada, by Canadians. Foote and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in November 2016 that Canada had a “capability gap,” in meeting its military obligations, and as a result, the government would sole source the purchase 18 Boeing Super Hornets (at an estimated cost of 10 billion dollars) as a stop-gap measure to start replacing Canada’s 30-year-old CF-18s. Foote then announced the government will launch a five-year competition to find a longer-term replacement fighter jet. Foote also confirmed to OLM that the government is spending $60 billion in new funding for public transit, green infrastructure and social infrastructure. So far, the City of Ottawa has received $156 million towards 57 transit infrastructure projects, which include money for the Ottawa light-rail system, improvements to bus routes and transit corridors, and pedestrian and cycling bridges to connect pathways to light rail stations. Other projects like the Moose Consortium are expected to make their applications in the process to further improve Green Transit n 35 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
phoenix payroll series by Robert J. Paterson
The Legacy of Civil Servants STANDING FOR FAIRNESS hen loan sharks were charging W civil servants up to 200 per cent for payday loans, federal civil servants rallied to create The Civil Service Savings and Loans Society in 1908.
Later it was re-chartered as the Civil Service Co-operative Credit Society (CS CO-OP). Almost 100 years later and after many mergers, we became who we are today - Alterna Savings. We stand by our legacy of championing fair, transparent and affordable products. Unlike big banks that focus on profit for share-holders, we’re accountable only to the 140,000-plus Ontarians who choose us. We strive harder to save our clients money, rather than drive a profit and pad our bottom-line. We believe in people above profits. The revenue we do realize goes into lowering fees, increasing interest rates and doing everything we can to improve the banking experience. That way, our members can save money faster, pay down their mortgages sooner and retire better. Plus, we donate a one per cent of our pre-tax profits back to the community. An example of our 'commitment to fairness' is how we aided those impacted by the Phoenix payroll issue. Distraught government workers came into our branches, faced with having to make unhealthy financial decisions in order to make ends meet. 36 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
We stepped up. Whether it was to help deal with mortgage payments or other situations, we were there for them and their families. As a co-operative financial institution, we are dedicated to the needs of those who bank with us. Decisions are made locally. And that translates into a speedy and nimble process in our ability to respond when members need us most. That’s the great thing about being a community-based organization we’re far more flexible than the big banks. That’s why we call customers 'members.' We’re a member of their community and they are a member of Alterna. CREDIT UNIONS DELIVER BECAUSE THEIR INVESTMENT DECISIONS ARE BASED ON WHAT IMPROVES OUR MEMBERS’ BANKING EXPERIENCE.
As a member of a credit union, you have a vote, and a say in how we operate and our direction. At the end of the day, we answer to our members and we honestly care about their financial well-being. Some say credit unions are better than banks but I think of them more like Fintechs. We always - and continue to - provide
innovation in the products we develop and how we serve our members. Forrester, in fact, has rated our mobile banking solution as No. 1 in North America three years in a row. That’s because in addition to investing in our communities, we invest in technology. Canadians are some of the most digital savvy consumers in the world but their access to leading edge solutions has often lagged. Credit unions deliver because their investment decisions are based on what improves our members’ banking experience. Ottawa is an amazing city and it’s where our head office is located. With branches available across Ontario, and with a click or a phone call away, our members have access to banking products and services — including award-winning wealth management with our partner Qtrade Financial. When more and more Canadians feel small when dealing with big banks, our members work with outstanding accredited financial planners who understand extensively complex federal government pension systems and retirement options. If you’re fed up with exorbitant fees, lack of transparency and connection to your needs at your big bank, then a credit union might be for you n Robert J. Paterson is the President and CEO of Alterna Savings
opinion by Michael Coren
Tragic Step Backwards with Abortion Ruling
o much has happened since S mid-January, and one of the first actions of President Trump was to
reinstate what is known as the global gag rule — removing funding from any foreign aid group that provides abortions, abortion facilities or abortion education outside of the United States. The policy extends to birth control as well as abortion, meaning countless women in the developing world will now die through botched home abortions and births without proper medical aid. As well, many more will be forced to have children when they have neither the food or the resources to care for them. It is nothing short of a disaster. White House press spokesperson Sean Spicer said the policy represents the values of the President, when in fact Trump was pro-choice until he entered the presidential race and then explained that women should be punished for having abortions. Right-wing Christian magazines and blogs are performing liturgical dances of delight at all this, made all the more euphoric by the announcement that conservative judges would be appointed to the Supreme Court, leading to more anti-choice decisions and support for those individuals and States opposed to equal marriage. The abortion ruling does less than it appears, in that, since 1973 there have been severe restrictions on aid groups supporting reproductive rights in Africa and Asia. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
This goes further, however, and the rationale behind it is poisonous. First, the assumption is that groups working in dangerous and difficult conditions in areas of poverty and conflict are obsessed with abortion. That is pure fantasy. They are dedicated, informed men and women working to improve the lives of the vulnerable, and none are more vulnerable than women in the Third World. CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES IN NORTH AMERICA APPARENTLY KNOW FAR MORE THAN LOCAL ACTIVISTS THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY …ABORTION IS FOR THEM THE GREAT SIN, THE GREAT CRIME THAT IS SCREAMING OUT FOR JUSTICE, AND IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW MANY SUFFER OR EVEN PERISH.
Second, abortion has never been forced on anyone, but family planning and termination is made available if desired. This is not some lifestyle choice but a cry for hope in circumstances that are often hideous. The alternative to an abortion is not a happy, healthy mother and baby but frequently a sick or dead mother and baby. Yet Christian conservatives in North America apparently know far more than local activists thousands of miles away about all of this. Abortion is for them the great sin, the great crime that is screaming out for justice, and it doesn’t matter how many suffer or even perish.
They demanded Trump act, and this man with so little regard for female dignity did just what was asked. The moral dysfunction goes even deeper. One of the most important methods of reducing abortion rates is to provide good and modern sex education and cheap or free contraceptives. This new measure makes both of those difficult if not impossible. It’s a cycle of cruelty and even more pernicious that it comes from a man who we all know is indifferent to the issue. There is a whiff of triumphalism in the air with the Christian right at the moment, and they will surely push for the reversal of Roe V Wade and for the introduction of so-called protection of religion legislation, a euphemism for the promotion of homophobia. Franklin Graham spoke warmly of his new best friend the President at the inauguration, and there is a whole crew of prosperity preachers, Baptist and Pentecostal ministers and right-wing Roman Catholic laypeople who are now surrounding the Trump regime. They have the time, resources, money — Graham alone is paid $800,000 US a year by his charity and earns more beyond — and now the influence. The US election unleashed many worrying forces and enabled all sorts of previously bashful ideas. What begins in the United States often travels north, and a lot of people inside the Conservative Party are learning very quickly indeed. Be prepared, be very prepared indeed n 37 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
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opinion by Patrick Gossage
FIRST CANADIAN BANK’S
Storied Links to the Nation chartered banks are now the Ourbedrock of our economy. Until the 1930s, Canada’s first bank — the Bank of Montreal — enjoyed a pre-eminent position in the economic and political life of Canada, and has remained a pioneer and leader in its financial affairs ever since. A lavish photo and fact filled book, A Vision Greater than Ourselves by Lawrence Mussio, has been published in honour of the bank’s 200th anniversary this year. It is full of surprising evidence of how closely this institution has been linked to Canada’s growth and expansion. Barely opened in 1817 in a very modest office in downtown Montreal, it issued the first Canadian paper currency in the same year. The $20 note promised to pay the bearer on demand the face value in gold or silver. Later, other banks would come and go issuing competing scrip, including the Molson’s Bank, complete with engraved likenesses of Peter and Thomas Molson. But the Bank of Montreal had the preferred currency, issuing its last note pictured right, in 1942. Foremost among the original nine men who signed the Articles of Association of the bank was John Richardson, a merchant who arrived from America in 1787 and was heavily involved in what still was the commercial core of business in the new British colony, the fur trade.
He was a partner in the North West Company, the arch rival of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Like so many bank leaders in years to follow Richardson was active in politics, serving two terms in the Legislature of Lower Canada. There were no conflict of interest rules in those days. With the decline in the fur trade, John Molson reinvented and expanded the bank’s commercial activities. Edwin King became president in 1869, securing the bank as the most important financial institution in Canada with ruthless focus.
He established close ties to the new government of Canada as its banker. He so incurred the wrath of Toronto capitalists with his aggressive methods that a director, Senator William McMaster, resigned and founded the Canadian Bank of Commerce. During the US civil war the bank became the go-to bank in the New York Gold market. After confederation, relations with Sir John A. Macdonald were especially close. Due to its capabilities and capital, and strong presence in London and New York, it represented the new Dominion in those markets. As the senior bank, it acted as co-ordinator-
in-chief of the whole system. In many ways, it was “Canada’s banker.” But the most renowned and influential president was Donald Smith. He was a former officer of the Hudson’s Bay Company and became president in 1887. He was a key participant in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which was heavily financed by the bank. Smith was a founding partner in what was later to become Bell telephone. He too buttressed the bank’s influence by sitting in the House of Commons several times. Such was his vast wealth that he spent $1 million raising and equipping an entire regiment to fight in the Boer War. The depression and its aftermath marked the finale for Bank of Montreal’s almost complete dominance of the financial industry. Following a Royal Commission, and lobbying by the Royal Bank displeased with its rival’s position, the government opened a new central bank in 1935, the Bank of Canada "to regulate credit and currency in the best interests of the economic life of the nation." Even the private banks’ gold holdings were transferred to the central bank. The bank was important to Ottawa long before Bytown became the capital. It opened its first branch in Ottawa 1840, and became active in financing the wood and lumber trade. Its close relationship with the new continued >> on page 41 39 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
travel by Jennifer Hartley
The Marvels of Miramichi
too early to start planning Itheretforis isnever summer holidays and this year, something quite magical about the idea of travelling within Canada during Canada 150.
What better place to start than Atlantic Canada and particularly in New Brunswick, a founding province of Confederation. One of the most beautiful parts of the province is in the Miramichi Valley, an expansive area along the Miramichi River (that includes areas such as Doaktown, Red Bank and Miramichi City (Chatham, Newcastle).
Tubing down the River is hit with the entire family. (A two-and-a half hour jaunt ought to give you a good experience, for tubing and swimming in the river. Storeytown Cottages will set you up with gear and take you to the right places).
interpretation centre. More than 3,000 years of history is shared via stories and exhibits, but what really brings it all to life is hearing it from one of their storytellers as you wait to enjoy homemade bread cooked in the sand over a fire outdoors.
Kids will love the tubing but bring along refreshments to make the outing all the more memorable.
The peacefulness of the place, the messages of being one with nature, respecting what cannot be controlled and being one with the past are moving.
The hospitality and warmth of New Brunswick’s people is everywhere. As you make your way down the river, people working on their property or fishing, will chat you up.
The pace is slower, the food fresh (best salmon anywhere) and outdoor activities make this the perfect family holiday destination.
If you are into fly fishing, this is the place to do it. Miramichi has one of the largest, if not the largest, population of Atlantic salmon.
Canada 150 is a reason for everyone to celebrate and in Miramichi there are all kinds of events taking place.
Pond’s Resort, in Porter Cove, will set you up. They have been there for four generations so they know their thing.
The summer is a hub of cultural activities and the best way to find out what is going on the time you are there is online.
Hiking trails abound in New Brunswick. However, keeping it in the area of Doaktown, head to Fall Brook Falls. A small hike will lead you to some incredible beauty.
One notable festival is the Miramichi folk festival. This year, it takes place August 6-11 and Natalie McMaster and her husband, Ottawa Valley local hero Donald Leahy and family are headlining. Suggested Outdoors Experience: You could have a whole holiday built on outdoor activities based around the mighty Miramichi River. Kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding is fantastic. 40 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
Escuminac Beach and Family Park is an amazing stop for beachcombing for art. This is a beautiful and wonderful experience for the whole family. It is about a 45-minute drive from Storeytown Cottages in Doaktown. History: The Miramichi area is brimming with historical richness. One of the most meaningful and memorable visits you can make is to the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation
As the parent of a special needs son, it was fascinating to see the effect of the visit on him. It was soothing and calming and to this day I invoke some of what the Elder said when an emotional de-escalation is required. The complete change of pace, of letting go of hustle bustle was very therapeutic and the wisdom of what the Elder said was timeless. If you run into rainy weather, actually even if you don’t, head to the Central New Brunswick Woodmen’s Museum. It is located in the geographical centre of the province, in Boiestown, in the heartland of the lumbering industry. Situated on 15 acres, the Woodmen’s provides insight into the vibrant and colourful lives of these individuals, their families and the community. Learn about local history and if you are there in mid-August, be sure to catch the lumberjack competition and witness the skill of this art. Beaubears Island, only open in the summer and accessible by ferry, is another interpretative centre that brings history alive with characters from hundreds of years ago dressed in costume. Learn about how, during
PHOTO: BRIAN ATKINSON
PHOTO: BRIAN ATKINSON
PHOTO: CAROLINE LANGEVIN
the Seven Years War, Acadians living in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI were expelled from their homeland by the British. Beaubears Island acted as a refuge for hundreds of these Acadians. The encampment was known as Camp D’Esperance, and nationally recognized as one of the largest Acadian refuges in the province. Sadly, many of these Acadians perished through starvation and disease while awaiting rescue. After 1765, the first English-speaking settlers arrived in the Miramichi area and under their ownership, Beaubears Island emerged as an important shipbuilding site. There are nature experiences as well with beautiful hiking trails, or you can take a canoe ride. Middle Island in the Chatham sector served as a quarantine for mostly Irish settlers arriving (in fact, First Nations called it Sick Island), today it is a park with walking paths an interpretive centre and is worth a quick stop and offers beautiful views. Bridges: Yes bridges. The Priceville Foot Bridge is worth a stop to stretch your legs. It is the longest suspension bridge in New Brunswick. It is near Doaktown and kids love it.
On the bridge theme, check out the Nelson Hollow Bridge, which was first constructed in 1870 and rebuilt in 1899. It too is near Doaktown. It is one of only two New Brunswick bridges sporting a cottage-style roof. It is very peaceful. Fuel: If you are staying at Storeytown you have no choice but to bring your own food as there is no restaurant. If cooking isn’t your thing, Pond’s Resort is a great place to eat with home-style cooking and fresh seafood.
In the Chatham side, do not miss O’Donaghue’s Pub. The food is amazing and has something
for everyone in the family, including a great choice of beer.The restaurant 1809 at the Rodd Miramichi has gourmet and comfort food options to keep everyone happy. Cinnabun pancakes in the morning are de rigueur. Sleep: Storeytown Cottages is a perfect place to use as home base. It offers a rustic experience surrounded by forest and beautiful scenery.
First Canadian Bank >> from page 39
Canadian government after 1867 made new premises necessary. A lot at the corner of Wellington and O’Connor was bought and an ever-expanding home was built.
With an outdoor hot tub, you can warm up from swimming in the Miramichi River or just hang out on the property.
In 1929 an elegant building was constructed at Wellington and Sparks, with an impressive banking hall described in an architectural journal as “a traditional temple bank in modernistic disguise." Today, this is the Sir John A. Macdonald building owned by the government of Canada.
In Miramichi City, you definitely want to stay at the Rodd Miramichi. It has the best pool - saltwater pool actually that is a great family pleaser.
The huge historic head office building in Montreal is still “the largest and architecturally the most monumental banks building in the world.”
The rooms are beautiful, some overlooking the Miramichi River.
Elsewhere the bank’s physical footprint has changed dramatically. Its former Toronto head office, the beautiful Beaux Arts edifice on Yonge Street is now the Hockey Hall of Fame.
You just can’t go wrong at the Rodd. Renovated, fantastic accommodations, beautiful pool, gourmet food and incredibly hospitable staff. It is located on the Chatham side. For alternative sleeping arrangements, try sleeping in a traditional tipi at Metepenagiag.You’ll be assigned a tipi for the night and staff will be on hand to assist with the activities around the campfire and lead the storytelling. Miramichi offers the chance to slow down, disconnect from the world, learn from history, relax outdoors and experience the hospitality of the Maritimes. There is nothing like the warmth of Atlantic Canadians so take advantage of every chance to embrace their humour, their ‘joie de vivre’ and appreciation for the world around them. This is a place to unwind in a simple and genuine way. Grab it. It is rejuvenating. And if you want your hit of festivals and excitement - that is all there too, especially this summer with Canada 150 celebrations n Visit tourismnewbrunswick.ca for more details.
Now First Canadian Place is the towering focus of it national and international operations. Just as it was with the CPR, the bank continued in the late 1960s and '70s under president W.D. Mulhulland to be the major financer of mega-projects, this time in hydro electric energy. The bank led the financing at the time for Churchill Falls, the largest hydro development on the continent - which was inaugurated in 1967. The biggest corporate loan in Canadian history came a few years later when the bank extended $1.25 billion to Hydro Quebec for the building of Phase I of the James Bay project. Among the many gems illuminating the bank’s long history is that up until the last generation, managers had a pistol as standard issue. Handling revolvers was as commonplace as counting money. One story relates an attempted holdup at Bloor and Bay streets in Toronto that was stopped dead by the manager waving his pistol. Clearly, the Canadian banks have left a big footprint on the history of Canadian business and politics n 41 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
travel by Thea Ness
Oaxaca’s Emerald Coast When we think of Mexico, most of us think of places like Puerto Vallarta or Cancun, but one destination is slowly starting to make itself known as a top Mexican hot spot.
Puerto Escondido is perfect for those seeking an authentic off-the-beatenpath experience.
Puerto Escondido offers a number of different accommodation options, one of these being Vivo Resorts.
retire or buy a second home - and three generations of family could come together and spend quality time.
Situated on the Emerald Coast, Puerto Escondido is located in Oaxaca on the southern tip of Mexico.
The resort includes almost half a mile of frontage on Palmarito Beach. Add to that - it is the only development on a 21-kilometre stretch of beach.
Is there a better way to bring the family together than with a gorgeous tropical holiday?
The region offers some of the best year-round weather of any beachfront location in North America. With only half an inch of rain each winter and low humidity levels, travelers are assured that blue skies and warm evenings will be prominent. The Pacific coastal region also has 164 years of data that shows it has the lowest hurricane risk in all of Mexico. The area features a wide variety of restaurants, bars, live music and nightlife. But Puerto Escondido is perhaps best known for activities such as swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, sport fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, hiking, zip lining, horseback riding, white-water rafting and ecological touring. Since the area is still slowly developing, vacationers will notice that excursions and beaches are far less crowded than in other locales like Puerto Vallarta and Cancun. 42 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
The resort developer is Cary Mullen, a two-time Olympian and World Cup champion downhill skier. He considered more than 30 different destinations for development, measured against 44 factors before selecting Puerto Escondido. “I found Puerto Escondido seven years ago. It’s youthful, like a ski town, so I felt at home,” Mullen said. "It has a great vibe and also has a very international flavour. I heard about six different languages on the beach. It hits all my criteria from a strategic standpoint – hitting on the 44 factors – but also an emotional attraction.” Mullen said part of the reason he chose to develop Vivo Resorts was to provide a location where people could
In addition to providing a vacation destination, Vivo Resorts is a place where people can purchase a condo and have their own slice of paradise - where they can feel at home. When owners aren’t taking advantage of their Mexican vacation home, they can make a little extra cash by renting it out to fellow vacationers looking to enjoy the peace and beauty Puerto Escondido has to offer. This emerging part of Mexico is untouched by large-scale development and remains a family-friendly and safe area set for discovery. It can truly be called an “undiscovered gem” but it’s not lacking in any big-city amenities. It boasts a new hospital and airport, hotels, movie theatres, restaurants and even Mexican big-box stores.
Puerto Escondido is best known for its amazing surfing beaches. Surfers of all levels flock to Puerto Escondido to ride the waves. You don’t have to be experienced to enjoy the famous waves. There are qualified instructors available for all levels. No matter what your skill set, you'll find the waves you need in Puerto. The nearby inland lagoon is a photographer’s paradise. Boat rides are offered for daytime and evening tours, enabling visitors to experience true bioluminescence from phosphorescent algae. Laguna Manialtepec is home to an astounding variety of bird life and is a good place to enjoy an eco-tour or photo expedition aboard a powerboat. Kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) makes a peaceful way to explore the lagoon’s incredible beauty. Oaxaca’s cuisine is recognized internationally. Due to the varied terrain and climate from sea level to the mountains, the region sports a delightful mix of cuisine.
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As would be expected, seafood is abundant in the coastal areas, while the central valley provides a variety of vegetables and tropical fruits. The terrain is well suited for the cultivation of coffee and cocoa beans, resulting in some of the world’s best java and chocolate. As well, its 17 indigenous groups contribute to the appealing gastronomy, providing unique ingredients and unexpected cooking methods. Travelers looking for their next Mexican vacation destination should consider Puerto Escondido. Vivo Resorts is a great spot for a second home or just a vacation. To learn more about Puerto Escondido and Vivo Resorts, visit vivoresorts.com n
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travel by Andre Gagne
Chips Off the Rock
Random Musings From a Come From Away
The large, bearded man had just put his tongue into the mouth of a fish. I watched as it was then thrust towards me. "Your next, b'y," another man said, holding an oar in one hand and the fish in the other.
Wait, did that guy brush, I thought? When kissing a dead fish its best not to think about sanitation. Sure, other questions like: “Just where did that thing come from?” Or: “How many lips were on it before mine?” and: “Are you sure it’s dead?” might race through a mind swimming in the haze of whatever liquid was consumed moments before you were face to fish with the frozen cod — but there’s not much time to come up with the answers. 44 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
After all, there are about 30 other people waiting in this fish kissing frenzy egging you on, some of them actually licking their lips, and we all paid 20 bucks for this!
George Street do it every hour. Welcome to Newfoundland!
One has to wonder how much fish you can purchase that you don’t have to get intimate with for that price but this is not a time for logic. It’s time to close your eyes and pucker up.
Now that you are a Newfoundlander why not experience traditional music? Elsewhere on George Street, in O’Reilly’s or Kelly’s or Birdie Molloy’s, you can hear tunes like The Night Paddy Murphy Died, The St. John’s Waltz and I’s the B’y.
This odd scene is called a Screech In and some places on St. John’s fabled
Fiddles, bodhrán and guitars make for a toe-tapping good time on the city’s PHOTOS: ANDRE GAGNE
most popular street. With two blocks of nothing but bars, pubs and clubs it’s not hard to understand the draw. Newfoundlanders really embrace their culture and they are not afraid to tell you about it. The Great Fires, the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel and even a few ghost stories like those told on the Haunted Hike. It’s recommended to do one of these on a foggy night where, dressed in period costume, a guide will tour you around the city to chill you with tales of the city’s haunted past. I happened to take one of these on a night of torrential rain which created street-side waterfalls in a city full of hills. Seriously, when going to St. John’s prepare to walk up… a lot! Speaking of streets, Water Street in St. John’s is the oldest in North America. It’s just one of many firsts for Newfoundland like the first place to host a transatlantic flight, the oldest continuous sporting event in the Regatta, the first province to respond to the distress signal sent from the Titanic and the only province to have its own pony, dog and dictionary. It’s also the place where, on December 1, 1901, Guglielmo Marconi discovered that transatlantic communication was possible, ear pressed to his rudimentary headset, to hear the faint sounds miles away from his spot on Signal Hill. These days, Signal Hill brings most people there for its half-dozen hiking trails and the views you acquire by walking them. You can start out in the Battery, where some of the oldest homes around still remain, working your way up paths like the North Head Trail or the Gibbet Hill Lookout. If you’re fast enough you might make it up in time for the noon day gun. In fact, you might even get to shoot it. If thinking the kickback might blast you clear through Cabot Tower, have no fear but you should cover your ears. The 19th-century gun once used to protect the city from invasion is still mighty loud.
A good way to end a day in St. John’s is with a beer. Well, that’s a good way to end the day anywhere but it’s only in Newfoundland that you can get Quidi Vidi. How do you say that exactly, who knows, but this neighbourhood in St. John’s is more like a fishing village frozen in time, a place to visit the past, though nowadays it’s become a place to visit the biggest microbrewery on the island and snag yourself an Iceberg!
to coast in vans fuelled by buckets of used vegetable oil he collects from area restaurants.
When a 250-million ton iceberg found its way off the coast of Twillingate, the brewers in Quidi Vidi got an idea. All this fresh water might make a pretty tasty brew and they were right.
No logos, billboards or buildings larger than a church steeple. Current population: 191. That sounded perfect to this traveler looking to make it 192, at least for a few days.
I had come to Newfoundland to escape the city life and despite St. John’s being not your typical hustle-and-rush locale it does still have seven Starbucks.Trinity, on the other hand, is a fishing town first used by ships in the 16th century, shaped by the sea, and still maintains much of its natural beauty.
My escape-it-all home would be the marvellously blue Skerwink Hostel named after the nearing trail which is named after a local seabird — though that seabird is actually called a Haigdown.
It was then time to get away from the city and head up the coast. “D’ya know what da’ hardest thing about a dolphin race is?”Todd asks, check -ing his rear-view mirror again despite my having not seen another car on this stretch of road for at least an hour. “No. What?” I ask, eyes scanning the woodlands we kept passing for possible moose sightings. “Getting the saddles on ’em, b’y!” One grin, a short chuckle and a laughter eruption later I realize, while usually I am working to control a stomach attempting to learn the tango with my spleen on long car rides, I’ve spent a lot of this one smiling. Thus was the drive to Trinity with master storyteller Todd Shirran, owner of the taxi service that shares his last name. He does the four-hour run from St. John’s to Bonavista daily, often logging 12 hours on the road shuttling tourists and the occasional islander visiting friends and relatives further up
Still with me? Some also say the name could have migrated with the English settlers who found the area coastline reminded them of home. What they saw remains. The Skerwink Trail is a checklist of natural beauty: beaches, cliffs, the scent of ocean and woodland, views to sporadically dislocate your jaw and wildlife close enough to touch. A day trip up to Bonavista will have you spying puffins, lighthouses and whales … lots of whales. I could watch them in abundance from the edge of a cliff. It was a beautiful sight to behold. Newfoundland has a way of making you feel at home even if you weren’t born there and your citizenship status was obtained by way of making out with a dead cod. Now back in Ottawa, I can almost feel the wind on that cliff, smell the ocean, and, like the whales, I could easily see myself returning there every year. Well, perhaps that’s not entirely true because, in all actuality, I don’t feel it would take many returns to make the choice many did before me and this Come From Away becomes just another Here Now to Stay n 45 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
environment series by Ann Victoria
Set The Moose Free
There is no better time to brush up on lesser-known Canadian history.You might be forgiven for wanting to hit the snooze button when you hear “Constitutional law” but here’s one for you. Two clauses in the British North American Act may determine the way you get to work or get around the National Capital Region, and whether or not you enjoy or stress out on that trip. Paying attention to, or ignoring these two sections of the Constitution affects your time with friends and family, your ability to know the more far-flung parts of this region, and affects the safety of your trip home from a party, a game or a concert. Whether or not Parliament’s intent in Constitutional Sections 92(10)(a) and (c) are respected today, fundamentally affects where you choose to live, and where you are able to live if you’re not able to own a car, or choose not to own one. A group of pragmatic yet visionary entrepreneurs under the antlers of “MOOSE Consortium” has set out to change how anyone would live in and visit Canada’s National Capital Region. Picture this: a big orange train, two levels, with full-service cafés on all the second decks (including an elevator for wheelchairs and strollers). You can choose from three sections on each train. Get on the Social Trainsformation/Trainsformation sociale to chat with friends, yak on the phone, or crank up your earbuds. Or get onto the Train of Thought/En train de penser, the quiet section where you can read, nod off, think, or just stare out the window and mind your own business. Or, jive on the Soul Train with music on board, sometimes recorded, sometimes with live musicians. These would even serve as rolling venues for Ottawa’s outstanding music festivals. And all of this pulled along by the Engine of change/Moteur du changement. Sound good? Get on board. On its own initiative (code for without any public money,
without any financial support from any government), the Moose Consortium has real plans to finance, develop and operate a 400-km interprovincial passenger railway on existing railway infrastructure. In short, the plan is to operate three-coach, double-decker trains all-day, every day from 5:30 am to midnight. The area will extend through Ottawa and Gatineau out to six semi-rural towns in the Region: • Smiths Falls Ont. – Ottawa – Gatineau Que. – La Pêche Que.; • Arnprior Ont. – Ottawa – Gatineau Que. – Montebello Que.; • Alexandria Ont. – Ottawa – Bristol Que. Here is how it would work: Moose rail would exchange passengers with OC Transpo, the Société de Transport de l’Outaouais (STO), and other services to making regionwide movement far more convenient for commuters, tourists, day-trippers and event audiences. Instead of presenting competition to OC Transpo, STO and the rural services, Moose will be integrating and extending transportation options. Moose is not only offering relief for commuters and other travellers, it plans on doing so in an enjoyable and by far the most cost effective way for riders. There will be Wifi, a café that converts at night into a pub, a place to store your bike, kayak or skis, and while it may seem unbelievable, the fare it is “pay what you want.” Really. How? The answer is that the money is in the property near the stations. 47 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
PHOTO: ROB HUNTLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
t Moose is a 400-km interprovincial passenger railway on existing infrastructure.
Joseph Potvin, Director General of Moose explains. “Each station will be an autonomous enterprise, independently planned, financed, developed and maintained. Moose won’t own any stations. When we’re ready, we’ll publish a Request for Proposals for stations, with some basic requirements in common.” Each station can be run on any business model the owners desire, but Moose describes a model station that’s set up essentially as a commercial condominium under a “joint use and maintenance agreement” (JUMA). This is already very common for commercial plazas and industrial parks. In order to be provided train service, participating freehold commercial and residential property owners and investors within an easy walk of each station (which Moose measures as 0.8 km) will need to split the increase in leases, rents and land sales by some generally negotiated proportion, say 70:30, or 60:40. It will change from year to year. “We’ll never touch base value” explained Potvin. But any increase to property income and property asset value due to transforming a “Locality” to a “Linked Locality” will be split with the owners/investors. “If they don’t want to pay, that’s entirely fine. Further down the line, some other locality is likely to want the earn the increase. The worst that will happen financially if the train stops serving a locality is that the income and asset values go back to what they would normally be without the train service.” The innovation brought to the transit industry by Moose is to create an open competitive market for stations, publishing generic specifications and financial requirements, but otherwise leaving the organizational and architectural design to station developers. If you like nitty gritty details, there’s plenty to read about their “Property-Powered Rail Open Market Development Model”. Suffice to say here, the money is all in the property. So much money, that Moose has applied to the Canadian Transportation Agency for authorization to develop this 400-km railway service without any dependence at all on government funding. The Agency’s decision was not yet available when Ottawa Life went to print.
One of the fascinating parts of this story is that the infra-structure already exists. What Moose Consortium is adding is the entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and determination to make it happen. “Our mega-project is already built”, said Wojceich Remisz, President of Remisz Consulting Engineers which is a member company in the Consortium. What is needed? Existing federal rules for railways need to be enforced; ones that date back to the British North American Act. So back to the history lesson. Potvin explains: “The Government of Canada is being asked to validate that specific regulations and statutes are acted upon and enforced in alignment with the expressed intent of Parliament, in particular Sections 92.10(a) and (c) of the Constitution, and specific provisions of the Canada Transportation Act, the Railway Safety Act and the National Capital Act.” The Constitution and the CTA stipulate that interprovincial rail is within the jurisdiction of the federal government. The Prince of Wales Bridge is one perfect example. There are many but here is one that is particularly poignant. Historically, it was the first railway bridge to cross the Ottawa River. It was described in an Act of the federal Parliament 1872 which declared that it would be “for the general advantage of Canada” — that’s to say, it was the government John A. Macdonald that invoke Section 92(10) (c) of our Constitution. It was built in 1877-1880 at the initiative of the Government of Québec. Today, it is the only railway bridge connecting the Ontario and Quebec parts of the National Capital Region. The Prince of Wales Bridge is the most visible and symbolic single kilometre of railway in the country. Let’s be honest here. Less than twenty years ago this was a fully-functional railway. It is currently in neglect and is now closed off, sadly. It is in such disrepair that crossing on foot could see you plunging into the Ottawa River. While it seems dangerous at the moment, due to the disrepair and a graffiti-rich environment, recent engineering studies confirm that it remains structurally sound, and with normal maintenance,
BENEFITS OF MOOSE • Provide low fares, excellent service, and enormous environmental advantages • Reduce the requirement for OC-Transpo buses to cross into Gatineau, and for STO buses to cross into Ottawa; • Free up part of each city’s bus fleet, to enable improved bus allocation for better service and/or cost reduction. • Improve worker access to office parks in Kanata North, Gatineau, Belfast Road, and Barrhaven. • Reduce the demand for additional Park&Ride lots serving people from other surrounding municipalities. • Reduce automobile traffic by at least 25,000 vehicles per day on arterial roads and downtown parking lots. 48 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
• Reduce the region’s CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year. • Enable the effective maintenance and efficient use of existing capital infrastructure. • Allow municipal transit operators to continue to focus on priorities appropriate to their own jurisdictions. • Facilitate commercial commuter bus services to extend their reach in semi-rural areas. • Exchange passengers directly with the LRT, Rapibus and VIA at existing station locations. • Reduce the day-to-day stresses of the daily commute with an affordable alternative. • Increase access to the National Capital Region’s parks, museums, galleries and tourism venues.
it remains ready to be used to its full of potential. Here is what happened. On March 21, 2005, the City of Ottawa purchased the Prince of Wales Bridge in full working order from the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway Company, under an “Agreement for Purchase and Sale of Railway for Continued Railway Operations”. Ever since then under the City of Ottawa’s ownership, this vital connection to Gatineau has fallen into disrepair. In 2009, the City of Ottawa began quietly disconnecting this bridge from the main O-Train railway line without any Federal discontinuance authorization, even though the O-Train’s federal Certificate of Fitness says that the O-Train goes to Quebec, and even more ironically, using funds from the federal government Economic Action Plan. Arguably, this is in contravention of the Parliament’s intentions going back to the beginning of this country. Furthermore, one would think that this first bridge across the Ottawa River dating back to 1880, with one of the best views of the Parliamentary Precinct, would be an historic site and ought to come under the Historic Site and Monuments Act managed by Parks Canada. Where are they? Moose Consortium plans to commercially finance, repair and operate passenger rail service across the Prince of Whales bridge, adding cycling and pedestrian trails to its sides, and even picnic tables at scenic viewing locations on Lemieux Island. Like the rest of its development, this would be a 100 per cent private-sector financed $50M upgrade. In 2013, Moose proposed in writing to Ottawa City Council to finance the entire upgrade, in exchange for the railway company to use the bridge lease-free until those improvement costs are amortized. Then, said Moose, the company would pay normal commercial lease rates to use the City’s bridge. In August 2015, Moose provided preliminary engineering drawings for the full end-to-end rehabilitation of the bridge to the Canadian Transportation Agency, the National Capital Commission, as well as the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau. The silence is deafening. Someone who is cynical might look at the route plan put forward by Moose and notice it would extend to the airports in both Gatineau and Ottawa. Rail service to the airports would be an incredible option for travellers who are currently slowed down by roads that get congested. The National Capital Commission has a mandate to support economic development that enhances the region, and its InterprovincialTransit Strategy published in 2013 called for passenger rail service across the Prince of Wales Bridge by 2018. Moose is not the only private sector metropolitan railway on the world, but it is the only one that is based on a open competitive market approach. Moose offers one example of how that can be accomplished quickly and effectively without a taxpayer burden. A self-financing, ecologicallysound, whole-region economic development venture that aligns with many facets of government priorities at all levels makes sense. All governments should work together. It all sounds simple and it should be n
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We Sell REFURBISHED Bikes Cycle Salvation is a social business at Causemay Work Centre. It is a growing network of socially minded, not-for-profit ventures focused on transforming disadvantaged lives through training and employment. *Any bike donation valued over $500 will be eligible for a tax receipt 49 OTTAWALIFE APRIL 2017
education by Stephanie Yamin
New Dementia Study Launches Every year clinicians and researchers work hard to bring issues related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to light.
January was Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and it is an important time to reflect on the work that still needs to be done in order to understand this disease and find effective ways of delaying, treating and preventing it. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia. It is the most commonly diagnosed type of dementia. Other types of dementia include Vascular dementia, Mixed dementia, Frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia. As our population is aging, dementia is certainly a growing concern in Canada. Currently, it is estimated that approximately 564,000 Canadians have dementia and that number is expected to rise to 937,000 by 2031. Research in the field is still very much in its infancy. As a professor in the Faculty of Human Sciences at Saint Paul University and Principal Investigator at the Clinical Trials Unit at Bruyère
Research Institute, my research focuses specifically on better understanding dementia. There are two primary types of studies in the field and these include interventional and observational studies. Interventional studies focus on testing the effectiveness of a particular treatment and could include a memory training program or taking a new and promising medication. Observational studies focus on collecting information about people with a particular diagnosis over a period of time. The information collected could include lifelong diet and exercise habits, family history, blood draws, MRI scans, and so on. We are just launching a new and exciting observational study called the Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia study (COMPASS-ND). This study will recruit 1,600 participants across Canada in 30 sites (Bruyère Research Institute included).
We are interested in recruiting people diagnosed with all types of dementia, mild cognitive impairment and others who have memory complaints. Participants involved in this study can expect to have clinical, sensory, and cognitive tests, an MRI scan and provide samples of blood, saliva and urine. We will follow participants over time and repeat the assessments yearly. A study of this amplitude on dementia has never been conducted in Canada or world-wide. This research has the potential to improve the lives of Canadians living with dementia as well as their families. If you are interested in any of the research discussed in this article you can call the Clinical Trials Unit at Bruyère Research Institute at 613-562-6328 to receive more information about our interventional or observational studies. You can also contact me, Stephanie Yamin, at Saint Paul University via email at firstname.lastname@example.org n
You can be the face of change! Saint Paul University (1848) is the founding college of the University of Ottawa, with which it has been federated since 1965. Bilingual and on a human scale, it offers programs in social communication, counselling and psychotherapy, canon law, public ethics, conflict studies, philosophy, human relations, and theology.
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Please, What’s More Canadian?
Demonstrate your support for MOOSE rail on social media. Show us your #MooseSalute
Startup Modular Station Concept and Design by MTBA Associates Inc.
“for the general advantage of Canada” Knowing that it’s improbable, you take 400 km of rail across a 5,000 km2 region in Canada. Collaborate with 15 municipalities, 2 provinces and 6 federal government departments. You span a mighty river, and then reach all the way back to laws from the time of Confederation to mend an inter-provincial trade barrier. You rally the 1.2 million people who live today throughout the Greater National Capital Region to agree on something that is “for the general advantage of Canada.”
Welcome to metropolitan, inter-provincial passenger rail. MOOSE rail:
One region. Two provinces. Three lines. For everybody.
Une région. Deux provinces. Trois lignes. Mis en quatre pour vous servir.
Make your preferences known. THANK YOU.
MOOSE – Mobility Ottawa-Outaouais Systems & Enterprises Architecture Urbanism Conservation
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“Highest Wireless Network Quality Performance in Ontario,” as ranked by J.D. Power.* OTTAWALIFE APRIL *TELUS52 Mobility received the2017 highest numerical score among 7 providers in Ontario in the J.D. Power 2016 Canadian Wireless Network Quality Study, based on 14,743 total responses, measuring experiences and perceptions of wireless customers surveyed August–September 2015 and March 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com. © 2017 TELUS.