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NEWS/POLITICS/FOOD/ARTS/SPORTS/FASHION/LIFESTYLE $4.95

JUNE 2017

LiUNA’s

Joseph Mancinelli is Building a Better Canada DESIGN AND BUILD WITH OTTAWA’S

Niels Luettge

Meet Westfest’s Elaina Martin

Moose

Wants You to Get to Know Gatineau

ottawalife.com

Alexandra Gunn’s Fashion PIcks * Michael Coren * Orlando * Costa Rica

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contents

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NUMBER 3

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PHOTO: COURTESY ALTA GRACIA

KEELE

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O: VA LERIE

All in the Family

PHOT

Debbie Trenholm meets the brother-sister team behind Prince Edward County’s only craft distillery, Kinsip House of Fine Sprits.

Fendor

PHOTO: MARC BOURGET

MAY/JUNE 2017 VOLUME 19

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Summer — and cottage season — is just around the corner. Read how Fendor can keep you cool, whether it be with insulated windows or top-of-the-line aluminum docks.

Open Concept Home Design

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Meet Niels Luettge as he talks about artistic inspirations, the technicalities of home building, and why you should be living in your dream house.

LiUNA — Building a Better Canada

23

Labour Union president Joseph Mancinelli reflects on the progress made in workplaces over his 38-year career, and why there is still more work to be done.

China

33

Travel

40

With the Year of Canada-China tourism just around the corner, it’s time to start welcoming our Chinese neighbours to the True North strong, and think about paying them a visit ourselves.

This month, Ottawa Life takes a trip to the Land of Theme Parks and the Land of Coffee Beans, highlighting some activities that you might not be aware of.

Alexandra Gunn has sourced today’s most popular pieces to help keep you on trend for summer. PHOTO : PING HU

columns

Publisher’s Message ................................ 4 Best Picks .............................................. 5 Savvy Selections ..................................... 7 In Search of Style .................................... 9 Gallery: Lydia Pépin ................................ 12 Homes: Fendor/Fendock ......................... 14 Profile: Elaina Martin .............................. 21 Profile: Causeway .................................. 32 Opinion: Michael Coren........................... 37 Travel: Orlando ..................................... 40 Travel: Costa Rica .................................. 42 Saint Paul University ............................... 46

series

9

Greenstream/Environment: Moose ........... 26 Aboriginal Pathways ............................ 30 Canada/China Friendship ...................... 33 CUSW Series ...................................... 35 Canada/Turkey Friendship....................... 39


publisher’s message by Dan Donovan

Cancer Among Us

T

he Ottawa Police Service (OPS), Ottawa Police Association (OPA) and the Ottawa Police Services Board (OPSB) are cancers that must be treated before the affliction causes irreparable and even terminal damage to the democratic principles and the quality of life in Ottawa. Make no mistake about it, this twisted trio has badly lost its way and has killed the credibility, trust and respect the three organizations once shared with the citizens of our great capital. The majority of Ottawa police constables have integrity and do a fine job. However, there is a disturbing number of police who behave like thugs, break the law and face no consequences. The OPSB is supposed to govern the OPS. As a direct consequence of years of OPSB incompetence, we have a crisis in policing like no other.There have been more than 70 criminal charges laid against Ottawa police officers since 2012. These include driving under the influence, theft, fraud, assault, sexual assault, spousal abuse and now manslaughter. Astonishingly, not one OPS officer has been fired or terminated, despite being charged. A fish rots from the head down and there is no more rotten a fish than Eli-El Chantiry, the Chair of the OPSB. El Chantiry is so out of his depth, he believes his main role to be the chief apologist and appeaser for police wrongdoing. Councillors Allan Hubley and Tim Tierney are such timid, lame OPSB members that a Carleton criminologist, so disgusted with their behaviour at meetings, has named them RS1 and RS2 (Rubber Stamp 1 & 2). (And yes, if you pronounce it quickly enough it sounds as though you are saying: Arse. But I digress.) Not one of the members on the OPSB has any legal, criminal, justice or even policing experience. They are either politicians, former politicians, consultants or come from the social sector. The Ottawa Police cajole them or, if pressed, push them around. Their impotence in holding police accountable for misconduct is the root cause of what led to the tragic, violent death last summer of Abdirahman Ismael Abdi – a citizen beaten to death by Ottawa constable Daniel Montsion. Even before the Abdi killing, these board members were known to joke at meetings and make inappropriate comments about citizens raising genuine concerns about the growing propensity for police misconduct in Ottawa. Then there is the Ottawa Police Association, a self-serving cabal type cult that believes it is above the law because the members wear a uniform.They have never seen police misconduct they can’t defend or excuse. Matt Skof, their cerebrally challenged president came up with the idea of having OPS constables purchase and wear bracelets with constable Montsion’s badge number on one side and the words “united we stand” on the other to show support for, “this member of our family.” This after Montsion was charged with three criminal offences including manslaughter. The OPA doesn’t care that these bracelets not only contravene the Police Services Act of Ontario and send a clear message “to the rest of us” that their interpretation of their role is to serve and protect themselves first. It is also troubling that over 1200 police were stupid enough to purchase the bracelets, showing firsthand the putrefaction and poor judgement that has set in with everyday members of the force. Police who somehow can’t process that by wearing the bracelets they are calling into question the very veracity of the judicial system that separates us from banana republics. Most troubling is that they don’t seem to get that constable Montsion is not the victim. He is the perpetrator. The victim is Mr. Abdirahman. The OPSB should be replaced by the province – in the public interest – and a supervisor (former judge) brought in until a new and qualified board can be named. We should all be very worried. Challenge the police if you see them wearing the bracelet. Get the badge number and report it. Don’t let this cancer spread n 4 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

publisher/managing editor

Dan Donovan 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 photographers

Brian Atkinson, Marc Bourget, Marc Brigden Photography, Andre Gagne,Valerie Keeler, Eric Murphy, Liam Olders, Karen Temple fashion editor Alexandra Gunn accounts Joe Colas C.G.A bookkeeper Brandy Hamilton contributing writers Michael Coren, Andre Gagne,

Alexandra Gunn, Jennifer Hartley, Rachel McKeen, Joe Mulhall, Joel Redekop, Lakshmi Sundaram, Karen Temple, Debbie Trenholm, Candice Vetter, Ann Victoria 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,

Ali Matthews, Anna Jonas

corporate advisor J. Paul Harquail,

Charles Franklin, Dennis Mills corporate counsel Paul Champagne editor emeritus Harvey F. Chartrand student intern Marie-Josee Abou Rjeilly advertising information

For information on advertising rates, visit www.ottawalife.com call (613) 688-LIFE (5433) or e-mail info@ottawalife.com Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement #1199056. Ottawa Life Magazine, 301 Metcalfe St. Lower Level, Ottawa. Ontario K2P 1R9 tel: (613) 688-5433 fax: (613) 688 -1994 e-mail: info@ottawalife.com Web site: www.ottawalife.com Follow us on Twitter: @ottawalifers 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.


best picks

One-of-a-kind flags Create a custom flag to show off your family pooch, or welcome people to your home with a family

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Caffitaly S07. Caffitaly’s unique patented capsules seal in taste and aroma to ensure a fresh and absolutely delicious drink. All this comes packaged in a gorgeous minimalist design that looks fabulous on any countertop. $179.99

Deep ZZZs Get the sleep you deserve with Sound

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+ Sleep’s sleep therapy machine. Unlike other white-noise machines, Sound + Sleep has 64 distinct sound profiles that have been scientifically proven to promote deeper sleep. Relax with

Baby Gear Designed for expectant mothers, the Parent + Baby Smartband by Project Nursery is an all-in-

naturally recorded sounds that constantly evolve, and even adjust in volume automatically to mask unwanted noises. soundofsleep.com

one fitness tracker and baby journal. On the mom side of things, the Smartband tracks your steps, weight and water intake. On the baby side, the Smartband becomes a convenient on-the-go baby journal where you can easily track diaper changes, naps and more with a simple tap of the screen. projectnursery.com

Consonat Skincare Transform your skin in just 30 days with Consonant Skincare’s 100 per cent natural Skin Transformation

Sound To Go Take your music everywhere with

Trio. The kit comes with three travel-sized versions of

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Moisturising Organic Face Cream, which uses cassia and avocado oil to hydrate and nourish. consonantskincare.com 5 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


best picks

Leap for Sleep Feel like you slept at a luxury hotel every night with the 14" Hunter new-tech gel memory foam mattress from Sleep Envie. The gel cooling layer is perfect for hot bodies while the memory foam absorbs pressure and disperses weight over the entire surface of the mattress. You’ll sleep peacefully even with a restless partner. Use your existing bed frame or purchase the optional Box In a Box base. Jump for joy and sleep right, every night. sleepenvie.com

Prohibition Public House Ottawa has a glamourous New York-style gastropub on Somerset. With a European inspired farm-to-table menu, Prohibition Public House has quickly become a gastronomic delight with its tasty offerings from local farmers, delicious selection of beverages, and gorgeous décor. When you go, be sure to try out their unique cocktails, like the Dark Knight or the Blind Pig. 337 Sommerset St. West • TEL: 613.565.2704 prohibitionhouse.com

Local Business Gets Support FromSmall Business Lender Over the past seven years, Grounded Kitchen and Coffeehouse has become a pillar of Ottawa’s restaurant scene. Co-owners Amir Rahim and Gabriel Pollock have made a name for themselves by cooking with fresh, locallysourced ingredients. Their menu caters to any occasion: chorizo sausage breakfast burritos for Sunday brunch, locally-brewed coffee and paninis for your lunch break, and curated international dishes and cocktails for that Friday night out. Not only is Grounded remarkable as a culinary institution, but as a business, noting that with the help of an OnDeck loan, they’ve fostered exponential success through outstanding capital management. en-ca.ondeck.com

Get your red pens ready

Find out what happens when you bring together editors from across Canada Canada national conference takes place at the Crowne Plaza Gatineau–Ottawa of the Lexicons, promises to combine high-quality learning with plenty of wordnerdery. Keynote speakers include acclaimed Métis writer and editor, Cherie Dimaline, as well as John McIntyre, the smart and snarky night news editor at the Baltimore Sun. English and French sessions will cover editing and professional practices, language and culture, freelancing, selfpublishing, and more. The conference is open to non-members and the editorially curious as well as members. Reduced rates available for students and some other professional organizations. Find out more at www.editors.ca/professionaldevelopment/conference/2017. Registration is open until May 29, 11:59 PDT 6 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

to learn, network, and have fun! The Editors from June 9–11. This year’s theme, Guardians “Being word-y people, we tried to think of what word could best sum up this year’s conference. Our pick is ’surprise’ — in the best sense of the word — because our conference will surprise you. We have two great keynote speakers and about 40 sessions, which will present lots of opportunities to learn about the latest views and practices in this extraordinary field of work, not to mention the chance to meet a diverse group of friendly and knowledgeable people. Join us!” — SUZANNE AND MARSHA, CO-CHAIRS, EDITORS CONFERENCE 2017


savvy selections by Debbie Trenholm

I’ll raise my glass to that! Smooth. Round. Smells like a field of wildflowers. With descriptors like this, I bet you don’t think that I am talking about gin.

bring people together in a wonderfully welcoming and beautiful setting.”

Certainly not the mass-produced Hendricks or Gordons Gin that is. Rather, it is exactly how I would describe my first sip of Juniper’s Wit Gin made by Prince Edward County’s first (and only) craft distillery Kinsip House of Fine Spirits.

Handing over the keys….

For fans of the county, you might jump in to correct me: “Hold on – there is another distillery there.”

And Jeremiah was exploring various avenues in the county to see where he could make a dramatic career move. He considered being a chef. He took a cheese-making course. He did not think of the drinks side. “Prince Edward County is a community of people who are committed to excellence of food and drink,” proudly shared Sarah. “Now with Kinsip, we

Jeremiah Soucie is the proud new owner and self taught master distiller with three supportive partners – his wife Sarah Waterston, her brother Michael and his wife Maria.

Recently, North of 7 Distillery opened its doors in Ottawa and Top Shelf Distillers is established in Perth.

For years, the two families have been meeting in the county for weekend getaways and family holidays.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Sarah, Jeremiah, Michael and

“The county is a perfect place to meet in the middle,” said Sarah.

Lit Wit (SERVES

In Ottawa, Sarah is a pediatrician and Jeremiah is an Orange Critical Care Paramedic. Maria is an executive in a high-tech company based in Toronto. Michael is also involved in the medical field. Despite their city addresses, both couples longed for their children to grow up in a rural environment.

The owners of 66 Gilead – Sophia Pantazi and Peter Stroz – were selling their business. “They laid the ground work”, explained Sarah. “66 Gilead is the second craft distillery in Ontario. They have been dealing with all of the uphill battles with alcohol regulators. They have paved the roads for other craft distilleries to flourish.”

Well the big news is that the 66 Gilead Distillery was the original business, run by a husband and wife team, and was recently sold to a sister and brother team with their spouses ready to lend a hand.

Their jaunts to Prince Edward County were certainly not with the intent of starting a business there – let alone a distillery.

Encouraged by the craft beer explosion in Ottawa, Jeremiah put his wheels in motion to add to the craft scene with a small-batch distillery. Then fate stepped in.

Maria. PHOTO:BUILDANEWLIFE.CA

TWO)

2 ounces of Kinsip Juniper’sWit Gin 1 long cucumber 1 ounce of simple syrup 4 oz. sparkling wine Kinsip Lemon Lavender Bitters 1Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin ribbons from cucumber. 2 Cut 6" of cucumber into small pieces. Muddle in a cocktail shaker, then add gin and simple syrup and fill shaker with ice. 3 Shake and strain into two ice-filled rocks glasses or large wine glasses. 4 Top each with 4 oz. of sparkling wine, garnish with three cucumber ribbons and gently stir together. Apply two-to-three drops of bitters to the top and serve.

“When the opportunity to purchase 66 Gilead presented itself, we were very fortunate for this opportunity,” Sarah added. Respecting the hard work of Sophia and Peter, the foursome has slightly tweaked the recipes of the portfolio and rebranded to Kinsip House of Fine Spirits to put their mark on the product. Dillon Reynolds, distiller from 66 Gilead, continues to work his magic with the still and lives onsite to manage day-to-day operations. Small-batch vodka, gin, rye and rum remain the core of their portfolio. Everything is distilled onsite. They purposely use local ingredients in their concoctions including honey, maple syrup, berries, cherries and black currants. 7 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


Bitters make cocktails even better! Kinsip’s Duck Island Rum Impression from a rum fan:

A heavy caramelnose laced with citrus overtones when served warmed (no ice). Very light initially on the tongue with gentle vanilla and molasses, it matures to a more robust navy rum feel in the mouth. All the citrus colours and dripping sugars running out to join the party with some hot buttered toast! Delightfully sweet and salty finish that lingers pleasantly. When ice is added, the melted water allows more molasses type flavours out in a rounder finish while giving the sip a pleasant maple syrup length. Stunning.

Plans are afoot to grow their own grains on the 40-acre farm. “We have found a secret spot to forage wild juniper berries for our gin,” Sarah said with an I-am-not-going-to-tellyou-anything-more smirk. With artisanal cocktails rising in popularity, handcrafted bitters are skyrocketing. Sarah smiled as she pulled out the dozen-plus bottles of bitters that Jeremiah makes to give cocktails made with his spirits added pizzazz. The combinations reminded me of Baskin & Robbins ice cream flavours – Coffee Pecan, Lavender Lemon, Hibiscus Rosehip, Vanilla Rye and my personal favourite – Chilli Espresso.

Visit the distillery on the weekends and Sarah will teach you her tricks in the mixology classes she offers onsite. “We came to this adventure from the love of food. Now we taste together and celebrate life together around the table,” said Sarah. Now you have yet another reason to hit the road this summer bound Prince Edward County n

KINSIP HOUSE OF FINE SPIRITS 66 Gilead Road, Bloomfield ON K0K 1G0 (located outside of village of Bloomfield) TEL: (613) 393-1890 TASTING ROOM is open Thursday to Monday, 10am–5pm www.kinsip.ca

150 Copper Legacy Feathers celebrating Canada’s 150 years.

Honouring Canadians. A custom Legacy Piece for individuals and organizations. Designed to capture your story. Each copper feather is hand-tooled by Ottawa artist Barbara Barkley and presented in a custom display box ready-to-hang.

coppertreecreative.ca barb@coppertreecreative.ca

honouring David Suzuki

8 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


in search of style by Alexandra Gunn

Follow Alex on Twitter: @AlexandraGunn

Summer Edits You’ve spent years honing your professional

appearance but somewhere along the way you likely forgot to invest in your weekend wardrobe. With the warmer weather finally here, it’s time to get a kick-back, summerlovin’, heck-yes-it’s-the-week-end style. Trends may come and go but they help to reinvigorate that joyful outlook on style. Here are two of the season’s hottest trends to help you find your fashion voice. So, be confidant, wear what makes you happy and get out and enjoy your downtime.

IT’S SHOULDER

SEASON! The Gap u

PHOTO:PING HU

The Gap u

p Ralph Lauren, The Hudson’s Bay $100

t Floral Dress by Vera Moda available at Sears $45

Movie stars of the 1950s such as Grace Kelly, Lucille Ball, Brigitte Bardot and Natalie Wood might have set the standard for the off-the-shoulder look but social-media-style bloggers are today’s style icons. They are the first to experiment with up-and-coming trends. Check out below to see how they are dressing up and dressing down this ‘shoulder season’.

A GO TO FOR FASHION INSPIRATION

Chriselle Lim

Annabelle Fleur

Arielle Nachami

Emilee Annei

Lydia Lise Millen

9 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


SUMMER @ THE OTTAWA ART GALLERY OPEN ACCESS: A DEMONSTRATION CARMEN PAPALIA

An exhibition of images, objects and ephemera documenting the artist’s practice-based research focused on organizing for accessibility and mutual aid.

June 23 – August 13, 2017 Curator: Stephanie Nadeau Presented in partnership with the NAC’s Canada Scene

OAG ANNEX

City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave West, Ottawa 613.233.8699 9 AM to 8 PM daily

Carmen Papalia, Blind Field Shuttle, performance presented as part of the In the Power of Your Care exhibition, The 8th Floor Gallery, New York City (2016), Photo by William Furio.

GREAT-WEST LIFE

PUBLIC ART

A mobile art studio that travels to festivals and community events throughout the summer months.

OAG will present a bike tour of public art in Ottawa and Gatineau. The tour will follow bike paths on both sides of the river. Four scheduled public art stops will be animated by spot talkers!

OAG ART TENT

BIKE TOUR

June 10, 2017, at 1 PM education@ottawaartgallery.ca 613.233.8699 +228

Ottawa/Gatineau 10-15 km in total

613.233.8699 +250 family@ottawaartgallery.ca

OAGOUTTHERE.com


TREND ALERT:

THE BOMBER JACKET Gwen Stefanie

Rosie Huntington Whiteley

Jessica Alba Elie Saab Runway

Versatile, practical and the only jacket you will need this season.

Diane Kruger

The bomber jacket is a transitional topper which will complement every outfit from workwear to weekend ensembles, all the while injecting a major dose of cool-girl style. This trend has quickly become a celebrity and supermodel favourite and, if celebrity status says anything, it is here to stay. Bomber jackets offer street style edge while also allowing for personalization.Take a cue from style veterans like Gwen Stefanie, Khloe Kardashian and Diane Kruger and elevate your outerwear game. Choose between bombers with luxe fabrics, cool embellishments and reversible detailing.

Khloe Kardashian

STYLE TIP: Make your bomber unique by adding embroidery to a plain bomber and don’t forget to push up the sleeves a bit.

Tod’s Runway

PHOTOGRAPHY: Ping Hu www.winterlotusphotography.com FLORALS: Canadian Mountain Weddings

Heidi Klum 11 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


gallery by Joel Redekop

The Artful Composer LY D I A P É P I N

Lydia Pépin has long known where her talent and passion lies.

“I’ve always had an inclination towards art, even as a kid.While most other kids were probably playing, I was drawing,” she said. Thinking back to her first experience painting, Pépin compares the transformation from blank canvas to vibrant display as an incomparable experience – as love at first glance. But turning painting into a full-time job was not so instantaneous. First, she found work in government, then in animation; the latter providing her with a surprising amount of artistic instruction. “The beauty of animation is that even when you take the sound off, you still know what’s happening, because the composition is very thought through. They put time into the lighting, thinking about how to best tell the story,” Pépin explained. She talked about how she would watch Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as a child, and even though she only spoke French at this point, it became her favourite

12 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

movie, even without understanding the English dialogue. “It was so well composed, I understood everything,” she said. Pépin brings this same ethos into her painting, weaving full narratives through thoughtfully composed images. This is easier said than done: whereas a film is composed of thousands of individual frames, a painting is but one. The challenge for the artist is to convey an entire narrative, with all of its complex emotions and concise themes, into one single frame. And just like animation, this is all done through painstaking attention to lighting and to composition. Thus, Pépin’s work is often impressionistic in its nature. “Sometimes I see something that I find really beautiful. It’s often a moment and time, and I’ll paint to extract this moment’s essence and put it into one painting,” she explained.


If this sounds romantic, it’s because Pépin is an old soul at heart. Her portraits, her landscapes, the scenes she paints all feel lost in time. They are not a conscious channeling of any specific era; Pépin does not wish to alienate herself from the present. Rather, her romanticism is seen in how she captures her subject in a way that is almost spiritual. “Maybe you’re walking and having a coffee. It’s the perfect lighting and the coffee is amazing. And you find yourself thinking, ‘life is wonderful, life is great!’ My paintings are like that, those moments of perfect relaxation, those moments of serenity. Those moments that everybody wants and everybody has.” When it comes to painting people, she focuses on the intricacies of body language. While words can sometimes veil the truth, Pepin sees body language as transparent. She views it as a purveyor of personality, tell-tale of an individual’s true nature.

She was especially taken by the most aloof of the three. “[He] was just sitting there, smoking his cigar, like he was saying, ‘I’m not going to interject; I just want to listen.’ I really wanted to take all these elements and put into one [single painting].” Pépin has gained considerable recognition for p o r t r a i t u re s , recently she painted the official portrait of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. She has painted a multitude of other faces, some of them familiar (like Watson) and some of them personal. Her current endeavour is an upcoming series of roughly 20 paintings of inspiring Canadian women. The entire series will be unveiled in 2018 at Women’s Festival Toronto.

How do they react to a shocking comment? How do they laugh? It’s not just about physical appearance, but the way they express themselves.

“The whole point is to bring light to women who are helping, shaping Canadian society. They’re either breaking through what we would consider a man-oriented world or really working hard to make a change,” Pépin explained.

“It’s in the more subtle features where the real depth of an individual lies. The way they smile, the way they arch their eyebrow: these are the elements that form the finer portrait of an individual’s humanity,” she said.

The Inspirational Canadian Women series speaks to Pépin’s second objective as an artist. As much as she wants to capture the beauty around her, she also aims to instill a deeper purpose into her work.

One painting where Pépin’s attention to body language is on full display is The Conversation, which depicts three older men in deep discussion around a café table. It was inspired by a scene which Pépin had witnessed on a trip to Italy.

“I want to do art that makes a change, brings light to things. Something that contributes to society.”

“I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but they were clearly passionate about what they were talking about,” she said. “I really wanted to capture that it wasn’t [just] three men at a table, but three men who were having a moment together.”

Take note, however: Pépin does not want to be known strictly for her portraits. “I like portraits, but I don’t want to constrain myself to just that. I want to have fun growing as an artist as well. I want to capture everything. There are landscapes that take my breath away and I want to be able to capture anything that inspires me, whether it be a person or a landscape.” n 13 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


profile by Joel Redekop

Fendor’s History of

INNOVATION In Mike Nichols’ classic film The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin is memorably told by a businessman that a single product will define the future: plastics. According to Greg Westwell however, the future has long been in aluminum.

Westwell is the owner of Fendor, a company that installs windows, doors, and garage doors. Based and founded in the Ottawa area, it began as a family business back in 1941, a tradition that Westwell has carried into the present day. Not only did Westwell’s father own the company, but it is now a workplace that he shares with his wife, sister and three sons. Of course, he looks at everyone who works at Fendor “as a sort of family” as well, he adds. Fendor was born out of innovation. Though it started out by building and installing wooden garage doors, its focus quickly changed, with it being one of the first companies to start working with aluminum as their primary material, right before metal started taking over the construction industry. Beyond doors and windows, Fendor also produces the Fendock, an aluminum dock system made for lakeside cottages. For Expo 67, Fendor was commissioned to build a large domed building. In 1971, they were commissioned to do similar work for Toronto’s Cinesphere, the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre. Through designing and constructing

14 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

these futuristic buildings, Fendor began experimenting with Triodetic structures, conjoined triangles of aluminum tubes that act as support for a larger edifice. They found a practical use for these in cottage docks. Strong, yet lightweight, the Fendock became a widely-used product all across Canada. The innovation did not end in the sixties. Westwell emphasizes that there are always new attachments and features that are being added to the Fendock. “[With our docks], we’re always looking to add accessories, and try to make it so that cottages will have an easier time either getting into boats, or getting our docks into and out of the water.” One of their newest innovations is a device that stabilizes kayaks. “Something we kept hearing from our customer’s is that they have a hard time getting in and out of their kayaks, because of their tippy nature. We designed a stabilizer that was simple to use and adjust, making it easier to enter and exit their kayaks.”


This is exactly what makes Fendor such an impressive company. They are constantly rethinking and redesigning their products with the customer and their concerns in mind. If there is a need to be met, Westwell and co. will do their best to address it. In fact, Westwell says that the best aspect of his job is working alongside his customers. “We really try to please the customer and work with them. The customer is the most important thing to us,” he states. Not only are Fendor’s products practical, but, they have no imprint on

permanent docks. Without a doubt, the Fendock allows you to relax peacefully, knowing that it is leaving little to no environmental and ecological footprint. In regards to the other area of Fendor’s business, the environment is exactly what needs to be considered when contemplating new windows. Once again, Ottawa is cold, and your warm, comfortable home is directly affected by the state of your windows and doors. Westwell talks about when customers realize their windows need to be replaced.

name for itself bringing old buildings into the modern day by retrofitting them with new, insulated windows. Just as Fendor dealt with some impressive clients for Expo 67, they recently replaced 27 floors worth of windows on Prince of Wales Dr., in what is to be a three-phase process. Fendor maintains a strong sense of duty for using their innovation to benefit the community. One of their most significant initiatives is the annual donation of their docks and time to the annual Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, the largest festival of its kind in North America. Additionally, they donate docks to the Rideau Valley

Fendor is still in the business of doors and windows. New technology has improved energy effeciency and will save homeowners money in both the summer and winter months.

the environment. It only takes a simple thermometer to realize that water freezes at 0˚C or a couple days spent in Ontario during the winter to realize that it is a cold province. Permanent docks are not good practice in cold climates, as ice, constantly expanding and compressing, can completely destroy your dock. This makes the Fendock perfect for Ontario’s unforgiving winters, as it is easy to remove from the water during the cold months, and can be reinstalled effortlessly when it’s once again time to enjoy some summer rays by the lake. Using up excessive water space, permanent docks have become a frowned upon practice in any climate, making a product like Fendock even more ideal. Beyond that, aluminum contains none of the chemicals that are present in wood or other kinds of metal that are generally used for

“A lot of them are wood windows, but even vinyl windows that have been around for thirty years. [Many] windows get tired. And with the new technology today, — such as low E glass and argon gas between the panes — windows are more energy efficient. Changing your windows out means that you can get away from maintenance on the outside and improve the thermal [insulation] of your home, saving you money.” “The same is true with older entrance doors,” he continues. “Seals start wearing out and allowing cold air in. Older wood doors tend to warp, creating air leaks. By replacing your old door and frame you create a much better seal.You’re going to save on your heating bill and your cooling bills.” Many vinyl or wood windows last, at most, thirty years. Fendor has made a

Conservation Authority, a gesture that shows just how environmentally sound the Fendock is. Today, the commercial aspect of Fendor’s business has changed. They now deal mostly with installation instead of production, though you can still expect that their final product will be durable and long-lasting. They handle both residential and commercial projects, something that is quite unusual for most companies in their field. Once again, this just displays Fendor’s versatility as a company. Whether it’s providing your cottage with a durable dock or insulating your home for Ottawa’s cold winters and hot summers, they have the perfect product for you n For more information about Fendor and their innovative line of products, visit www.fendor.ca and www. fencodock.ca

15 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


profile by Joel Redekop

Smart. Simple. Strong. Niels Luettge is not in the business to simply design and build houses. He creates living spaces that reflect prospective home owners in their entirety. More than “functional," a job well done has to be aesthetically impressive and architecturally sound, while addressing the wish list of the client.

16 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

PHOTO: MARC BOURGET


I take a strict budget and “ incorporate it into the design phase of the architectural process. The design is then transformed into fully detailed working drawings that form the instruction manual.

Luettge tells me of a project that his company, Open Concept Home Design (OCHD), recently finished in Manor Park.

new home as it sits now.’ We opened up a bottle of champagne and walked through the brand-new home. There’s no better feeling.”

“Near the end of the project, I was walking through the house, admiring the sightlines, the visual relationships of connecting rooms, the details in the floor finishes, the inviting modern kitchen, the subtle strategic lighting and just how everything had come together. There was no furniture, artwork or people yet, but the project was complete. It was 10 at night, and I called my client up to say, ‘Come over here. You have to experience your

The Manor Park project is the ideal experience for Luettge: A young family in a great neighborhood who loved everything other than the house itself. Moving to a new location was not a preference. The solution was to re-design the house from the ground up, and incorporate a new design that addresses all the wants and wishes of its tenants, while being guided by the architectural understanding of an expert.

PHOTOS: MARC BOURGET

Luettge explains how he works with clients: “You just have to give me a little bit of direction. I’ll tell a client, give me a few photos of houses that they like. Show me a car you like, artwork, anything. I’ll interpret that and blend in my own architectural background. We start an evolution.” “I start with the architectural direction provided by the clients. We then sit down together to review conceptual floor plans and elevations. We discuss and elaborate on all details of the building design. I then revise the 17 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


drawings to address the comments and we sit down to review again. Typically, within two to three visits I’ll have the drawings depicting exactly what the building is going to look like.” These design drawings are then transitioned into detailed working drawings ready for building permit and construction. Luettge’s team of expert trades and contractors will then step in, and it will only be a matter of time before those drawings come to life. Luettge works in all aspects of home building: new custom homes, estates, small additions, renovations, restorations, you name it. Commercial work includes a list of restaurants, shops, yoga studios, and a recent 2-storey tenant fit-up for Baseball Canada. He takes full ownership of OCHD and the projects that they take on. Not only is he designing these homes, but he is also onsite, overseeing and facilitating all aspects of the construction. “From footings to finishes, that’s what we do,” Luettge says. “I know the building inside and out before the

first shovel enters the ground. And I’m there every day to make sure everything runs smoothly.” For Luettge, a skill for fine arts runs in the family. His parents immigrated from Germany, where his uncle was a prominent architect. Though he has always had an interest in architecture, an important moment for him came by way of a trip to Montreal in his adolescence. Though the intention of the trip was to attend the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix, what remains in his memory from that excursion is Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67, the modernist urban residential structure which still stands as an important element of the Montreal landscape. Even as he shows me a picture of the apartment complex now, he takes a long, thoughtful moment to appreciate the intricacies of its design. “I think that’s the moment where a brief understanding and appreciation for architecture came to me. A pure demonstration of boundless design.” Through college in Ottawa, the

great Frank Lloyd Wright served as another inspiration. Luettge especially appreciates the Chicago architect’s use of cantilevers and structural engineering in bringing his buildings to life. “Wright was a master of new design. I don’t think there is anyone who practices architecture that isn’t influenced by him in some form or another.” Luettge shows me more samples of his work in Ottawa, demonstrating floating masses and elements where one might think “posts” should be there for structural support. Though Luettge is passionate about the artistic side of his work, he notes that practical, hands-on experience is needed to be successful in architecture. Spending time working on a job site is equally as educational to the time spent in the classroom. “Working in construction before college and conducting framing inspections for various home builders in the work force after gave me experience to better understand how

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For a custom house, “ the potentialities are endless, and Luettge is all about working alongside his clients to make their dream abode come to life.

u 2017, OCHD comtemporary custom near completion. Sunshine Coast, British Columbia.

buildings are assembled,” he explains. “Students and grads often ask me for direction in getting design experience, and I always tell them to get some experience on a job site to really get a sense of how the whole construction process works.That will lead to a better comprehension of drawing details.” Nevertheless, he does not approach a project from a purely practical, workman-like angle, but in the way that an artist approaches a blank canvas. The creative aspect of his work comes out even more when he is designing a custom home, something which he considers to be his favorite kind of project.

may be, he guarantees a design that speaks directly to the homeowner’s needs and identity, while blending in with the surrounding environment.

“When you’re starting with a custom house, it’s a fresh slate. It’s a white canvas, and you start from the ground up,” he explains. “I also enjoy the architectural challenges of designing on smaller lots or projects. The goal is to make a smaller space feel bigger through design.”

It’s not just about the house looking good, though. Home design is a technical and precise process. As the saying goes, architecture should be 99 per cent invisible. The beauty of the finished product has to follow form and function. He stresses that beyond possessing strong artistic sensibilities, he’s a qualified builder, precise and meticulous about the work that he does.

Whether it be the restoration of a 140-year old Victorian mansion, or a contemporary home in the countryside, Luettge makes sure that the finished product speaks directly to the client’s heart and lifestyle.Whatever the project

“There’s really no room for error,” says Luettge. “This attention to detail is a service that few can provide.You want a manager onsite who not only cares about the project’s success, but someone that has a complete understanding of

all the complexities of the job, and how it all comes together.” This not only applies to the construction itself, but with everything surrounding the building project. Luettge believes that scheduling is vital to a successful project, as is having trusted trades personnel and suppliers to work with. The best part of the job for Luettge is the final walkthrough, where he experiences the space that he has overseen from conception. “When you get to walk through it… there’s something really special about that. It’s amazing.” I don’t think there’s been a time where I’ve walked through a finished project and not thought, “I’d love to live in this house.” n 19 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


PEOPLE POWERED PROGRESS The Canadian Union of Skilled Workers and SMARTNet Alliance are part of a network of strong community partners that share a vision of a thriving sustainable energy future. This growing network of participants is bringing this vision to life every day.

On September 9th to 11th come and experience individual, community and commercial sustainable energy projects, products and services. Join us for the Energy Showcase at Landsdowne Park or any one of the Green Energy Doors Open host sites in the Ottawa region. Be part of the real progress we are making towards a sustainable future. Learn more at: OttawaGEDO.org

On-site BioGas Digester (GEDO 2011)

In partnership with:

Visit us online: cusw.ca


profile by Andre Gagne

Elaina Martin:

HOW THE WEST WAS FUN hen it comes to summing up W the popular festival she created 14 years ago, Elaina Martin likes to keep it simple: “It means community.”

She’ll be the first to say how there “ain’t no party like a Westfest party.” For three days in June, Martin’s communal festival vision flourishes in Mechanicsville’s Laroche Park. Families lay out a picnic, children giddily run about, people shop at the unique artisan tents or take in the culture at the Indigenous Pavilion and, of course, there’s music culled from an ever growing crop of local talent.

She also put together two Rock City Women’s Festivals in Wakefield. Music is what puts her in motion, not surprising considering she started her career as a musician herself.

The next year the one-day festival became two, and then three. Headliners have included such names as Kathleen Edwards, A Tribe Called Red and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

“Music is, was and will always be my saviour. It healed me, I’ve watched it heal others, it is medicine,” Martin said while reflecting back on her days fronting a country band and “wild times” as a weekly act inside the Silhouette Lounge of the Centretown Pub -– one of Ottawa’s first gay bars.

Soon a single stage wasn’t enough and the event became an all-out street party.

The gig eventually led to Elaina and The Chain, a band she formed with a local piano player. The duo performed four nights a week And it’s all free. for nearly three years and opened for artists The inclusiveness of the event like Jann Arden. The JUNE 2-4 2017 LAROCHE PARK, MECHANICSVILLE,sudden OTTAWA is paramount to Martin. passing of her YOUR OTTAWA. YOUR FESTIVAL. ALWAYS FREE. partner, one she calls her brother, saw As an openly gay woman, a lot of her Martin closing the book on her musical early days were spent overcoming aspirations. See full lignup at westfest.ca #westfest2017 sexual violence and intolerance. Fights would leave her battered but never “He died and I put my mic down. I YOUR OTTAWA. FESTIVAL. ALWAYS FREE.it back up after that fully broken. The self-proclaimed justYOUR couldn’t pick “loud and proud queer woman” left day. Now, I have the worst stage fright that “hurtful, homophobic and widely imaginable. It’s all quite surreal,” she said uneducated” life behind her 26 years and added that, despite coming out of ago and hasn’t looked back. retirement for a few songs at the recent Westfest All-Stars show, her focus now “They took my teeth and broke my remains on her producing work. bones. I needed to leave. I know I’d have died there,” she said. Westfest was just a natural progression of everything she had been doing A skilled producer, Martin would settle before, she said. The music, the want to in Ottawa becoming instrumental in unite community and the production bringing artists like Cyndi Lauper, the skills all came together in 2004 with Indigo Girls and Ani DiFranco to the Jane Siberry headlining the inaugural city. event. @westfestinfo

The fifth festival saw more than 100,000 people attend – showing a much needed revamp was in order. In 2011, the festival moved into an expanded space behind the Real Canadian Superstore on Wellington. Martin saw the festival moving away from its roots, and when the Westboro BIA opted out of financial support in 2015, she viewed this as a blessing in disguise. “I am finally programming the festival I have always wanted to, with no restrictions, no other opinions of people who are not skilled in the music and art world,” said Martin on the festival’s move off the street and into the Laroche Park last year. “The mandate is strong and the people came. I knew they would. That first day last year I walked away and cried a little tear, I’ll admit, of great joy and non-defeat!” Westfest returns to Laroche Park with a 100 per cent free, 100 per cent Canadian line-up of 150 artists (including over 10 Indigenous performers) June 2-4 n westfest.ca 21 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


cover by Candice Vetter

Union Membership Has It’s Advantages

LiUNA International Vice President, Joseph Mancinelli has become a Powerful Advocate for Aboriginal Youth and the Trades and Prime Minister Trudeau is Listening.

On the telephone he has a

manual or programming software for the industries that use robotic assembly, can produce useful life skills. The ability to do simple repairs around the home, work on vehicles or fix electronics saves money and builds a sense of accomplishment.

pleasant, moderated voice, but the passion for the work that has been done and still needs to be done — to encourage and protect workers in the trades — makes every word Joseph Mancinelli says resonate. Joe Mancinelli has been with the Labourers International Union of North America for 38 years. This year he turns 60, and he’s seen an evolution in the industries LiUNA represents and in LiUNA itself. “The baby boom generation has retired or is retiring within the next 10 years. In the construction industry many were post-war immigrants. It’s really hard to replace that generation,” he said. “There is some automation, but we also need skills that can’t be done by automation.” One of LiUNA’s solutions is to tap into the youth of Aboriginal communities, immigrants and the kids who are in PHOTO: VALERIE KEELER

school now. “We need to do some changes in the way the school system works.When I was a kid shop class was where kids got to experiment with electricity, woodworking, motors, etc.” He said this ability to experiment under supervision made him and his peers realize that it is possible, even easy, to fix things, to build things, to work on things. “Education needs to invest in something that the economy needs. If all that is taught is academics we’re not educating kids for the future. We need to get back to teaching some skills, and expose the next generation to them.” He agreed the skills that come from all kinds of related work, whether purely

A wide range of tech skills are valued in today’s economy, and the fragility of long-term work suggests the importance of having numerous abilities. And there are jobs that will always exist, no matter what. “The world always needs plumbers. It needs electricians, carpenters, truck drivers, heavy equipment operators. There will always be that need.” That’s one of the many reasons he wants to encourage Aboriginal youth in particular.When asked if he thought First Nations had been overlooked in the worlds of jobs and training, he answered: “Yes. I don’t think you’re overstating it. Canada is the best country in the world, as benchmarked against other countries, and depending on the questions asked. We have good legislation, but also the Canadian 23 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


psyche – fairness is embedded in us, in parents and children. The way we treat people, we don’t discriminate, not against people from other cultures or other countries. But,” he added with a thoughtful pause, “our biggest blemish as a country is the way we have treated our Indigenous peoples. We have put our heads in the sand. It’s Canada’s black eye.” Another pause. “Maybe because we are good, that makes it even worse.” He continued, “I get that history does tarnish reputations, and really our children shouldn’t be burdened with the sins of their fathers.” He mentioned how Canada doesn’t have the baggage that some other countries have, with legacies like slavery or civil war. “But we have that terrible blemish on our reputation. Of what we have done to Indigenous peoples.” He wants to empower some of the young men and women of First Nations and Inuit communities. “There are all these problems - many complex problems, but some solutions are not complex. Some are easy. For example, clean water in Canada should not be an issue.” Like many people watching the struggle for remote communities with maintaining good drinking water, he sees the need for infrastructure. But plans must include proper training of workers to build that infrastructure, followed by real, regular training on maintenance of the infrastructure. In remote communities this critical role is not being filled and he sees no good reason for such a failure. “The technology exists for water treatment plants, and the money is there. These situations are tragic, and needless.” He discussed the role of LiUNA in bringing opportunities to many diverse communities, whether First Nations, Northern, remote, new Canadians or

LiUNA MEMBERS ADVANTAGE

Better Benefits for Families

to those in economically depressed areas. “We have a lot of members without high school diplomas, but we train them, in life skills, basic math, lots of useful things. Soon they’re proficient and productive — and they’re making a great living.”

Part of the problem is the political system. “Chretien gave something and Harper took it back. That reinforces a lack of trust if the next person can backtrack or renege. They’re (Indigenous communities) right to be distrustful.”

Another benefit is that these newlytrained technicians can bring those skills back and help in their communities.

The Trudeau government’s 2017 budget has an emphasis on skills training and Indigenous peoples, which is encouraging, but how to gain trust? Said Mancinelli: “Well, we’ll bring elders who stay in the room, and that shows, by their word and presence, that it’s worth it for you to be there.”

His stance isn’t just about optics either.

Joseph Mancinelli and First Nations leaders sign the historic Statement of Partnership at the First Nations Summit (2016).

“We’ve committed resources full time on this file. (Former Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief) Phil Fontaine heads the committee.” It’s a philanthropic exercise, which often includes food and breakfasts for children, starting them on the road to learning with a little help. “But training is the centrepiece of what we do,” Mancinelli continued. “We insert a higher degree of curriculum.” The key, however, is relating to the culture. “For many of us who aren’t part of a community, we don’t always understand what you need to do to rebuild trust. There’s one step forward for two back.”

LiUNA MEMBERS ADVANTAGE

Safer Working Conditions

24 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

Mancinelli said in recent years the union’s retention rates have increased significantly. “We’re now keeping six or seven out of ten who attended training, where it used to be one or two.We provide opportunities to work in occupations that give them a real living. To do all the things that we take for granted. There’s so much work to do we’re not even close, but we are bringing in more people.” It’s not all philanthropy either. “We need these people. Here we have a bunch of young, and often underprivileged, young people.There’s a potential win-win. They get good employment and we get new young members.” Are there advantages membership?

to

union

“When I started in 1978, advocacy was not at its best then, but our workers were well represented, and earned good money, and that brought more changes for the better,” he said. “Members made a good living, and once that was achieved we had to more to work with.” One of many examples, he said, is the pension plan. “We put money into it to make it what it is today.” Mancinelli says the ongoing challenge for his union, and for any union which


LiUNA MEMBERS ADVANTAGE

Free Training

represents workers in the trades and related industries, is worker safety.

unsafe work environments should be seriously punished.”

“Some of our advocacy has been very far-reaching and that has helped, but there are unfinished things. People still get killed on the job.”

But while he and LiUNA continue to push for increased safety, he emphasized that’s not the only important area in which they work. He cited a long list of accomplishments, including the way his union has improved opportunities for people working in related industries. “You don’t have to be in a union to gain from union advocacy.”

(Construction deaths in Ontario in 2016 totalled 15.) Safety is of paramount importance to him. “No question, there have been improvements, but there is still a level of insecurity there. We need a system in place that’s a legislative system that protects workers.” He would like to see legislation enforced, and not by a fine which is a drop in the offender’s bucket. “Companies which have a history of

His career has provided personal satisfaction as well. “It’s interesting now because of the challenges and the changes in society.” He pointed out that job longevity like he had is unlikely for new generations. “I’ve

been

38

years

with

one

organization,” he said. “My own kids are experiencing moving on from one thing to another. They’re shifting their careers while still in their twenties.” He said the organization has gone through an evolution to keep pace with societal changes and to changes in materials. “We have to care about the environment, for our own sake, or be victims.” His voice gained intensity when he talked about protecting people from exposure to harmful materials.“There’s too much. Often there has been exposure over long periods of time. The toxin can lie dormant for years, then suddenly it strikes.” He has no immediate retirement plans. “There’s still a lot to get done,” he said.“And a lot of interesting challenges.” n

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25 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


environment series by Ann Victoria

GET TO KNOW

Name a world-class technology firm in Gatineau. Actually, there are 30 or more. If you wanted to learn about wines from one of the world’s top female sommeliers, could you locate her wine bar? Hint: It’s a short walk from the bridge decorated with parts from the Eiffel Tower. Which university in Canada’s capital offers this country’s only doctorate in project management? And where’s the airport that hosts a vintage aircraft flying museum founded by former Cognos CEO and philanthropist Michael Potter? Maybe it is time to get to know Gatineau. First a brief A-to-Z with Gatineau “techno:” A is for Allied Scientific Pro on Boulevard de la Carrière, a global supplier of optical components such as laser devices for Apple and ABB, spectroscopy equipment for GE and Panasonic, opto-mechanics for Sony, 26 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

Gatineau

and nanotech optics for Canon. Z is for Zeligsoft on Rue St Joseph, which develops free/libre/open-source UML standard modeling software for the management of mission-critical embedded systems by Ericsson, Airbus, Saab and Thales. There’s an entire alphabet in-between. B is for BlueBear on Rue Gammelin, which provides forensic analytics systems for police forces all over the world. C is for CubeWerx on Boulevard de la Carrière which licenses its geospatial solutions to the U.S. Geological Survey, BAE Systems, AT&T, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman. D is for Detec on Rue Gatineau, supplying products and expertise to the global radiation protection, health physics, and nuclear science industries. You get the picture - Gatineau truly is the northern end of our Silicon Valley North technology landscape. Gatineau Mayor Maxime PedneaudJobin has been making local history

with his business overtures to the city’s neighbour across the river, standing before an audience of Ottawa business leaders to pitch Gatineau as a dynamic city blooming with business opportunities. Wow, that sounds like an international trade mission. Just prior to his election, Gatineau’s mayor completed a master’s degree in regional development at l’Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO). He understands a thing or two about reducing barriers to regional business integration. Think about this, for example: If Ottawa’s O-Train were to continue north just one-and-a-half kilometres across the Prince of Wales Bridge, it would link the UQO and Carleton University campuses on the same track, a short 15-minute ride from each other. The day that happens, Carleton will suddenly be able to offer bilingual programs, while UQO will be able to supplement its offerings. What’s in it for Carleton? UQO is an PHOTO: LIAM OLDERS


applied research institution, with 20 per cent of its enrollment at the graduate level. Since its degree and certificate programs accommodate working professionals, UQO actually enrolls half as many part-time graduate students as Carleton today. UQO’s strongest fields are in business domains, such as administration, project management, human resources, psychology and accounting. Its rapidly growing specialty science programs are in photo tonics and telecom engineering, forest management, and multilingual information processing. These would all be great complements, even to the much larger Carleton. Besides a strong technology and research reputation, Gatineau is very consciously integrating its natural and built environments. If you ever bike, jog or walk the path along John A. Macdonald Parkway, take a turn at one of the bridges and try the alternate path on the other side of the river. It offers panoramic views of Ottawa of course, but it also has more trees and shade on hot days and feels more like a walk in nature. Fitting with that combined ’natural and built environments theme,’ residents in Gatineau find most neighbourhoods close to nature. And this is typically built into municipal planning. A good example is École secondaire Mont-Bleu’s sport-study program. The school is located adjacent to that big green wedge of Gatineau Park that extends down into the soul of this city. Everybody in Ottawa already knows about the federally-created Gatineau Park, but not nearly as many people know that the province of Quebec has set aside the largest wildlife sanctuary on the Ottawa River, covering nearly 30-square kilometres, 80 per cent of which is marshland.

and other wildlife, ecologically respectful tours are available from Bayou Outaouais, Canada’s only airboat tour service.

competition with the core scheduled airline services offered by Ottawa’s Macdonald–Cartier International Airport.

Gatineau, like Ottawa, often builds upon its industrial heritage. More than a decade ago, a massive glass-covered industrial plant in central Gatineau was converted into the impressive Centre multisport de Gatineau.

First, the Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport is tailored to business jets of less than 30 passengers. Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney always used this airport to fly in and out of Ottawa.

This amazing heritage building opened in 1914 as the Hull Iron and Steel Foundry. In the 1940s it became home to the Hull Manufacturing Company.

Gatineau airport’s second target market includes mid-size aircraft.

This too will become easily accessible to the region by train, just up the track from the UQO campus. Each municipality of the National Capital Region has its strengths: Smiths Falls, Papineauville, Bristol, La Pêche, La Nation, Casselman and of course the nucleus, Ottawa. We’re all stronger together.

With a view to integrating Gatineau into the entire Capital Region landscape, there’s a subtle movement afoot by the name “Ma GARE”. That’s an acronym for “Ma Gatineau : accueillante, en renforcant, émouvant,” which in English means:“My Gatineau: welcoming, strengthening, moving.” “Ma GARE” also forms the words in French for "my train station.” It signifies that this emergent idea in Gatineau is energized by awareness of the socio-economic potential that can be unleashed.That’s as soon as Gatineau obtains unhampered mobility with the rest of the region. Let’s take a look at a specific example: the potential value of connecting L’Aéroport Exécutif de GatineauOttawa to Bayview Station in downtown Ottawa, with scheduled passenger railway and light cargo service.

It’s all within Gatineau’s boundaries.

Gatineau’s unique airport is a tripleniche-market operation.

If you want to see bald eagles, osprey

None of its niches are really in

Its runway is designed to accommodate the likes of Airbus A320 or Boeing 737, which are suited to charter flights of up to 180 passengers. This would mean we’ll no longer have to hike it to Dorval for a charter vacation flight. As the whole capital region grows, charter services would be easily accessible from anywhere in this region, without interference to Ottawa’s regularly scheduled services. Once NHL hockey moves to Lebreton Flats, Gatineau would be a convenient location for transporting whole hockey teams, their entourages and equipment. Gatineau airport’s third niche is Vintage Wings of Canada. This is literally a ‘flying museum’ collection of historically significant aircraft, most in full operational condition, and some under restoration. This member-run facility was founded by former Cognos CEO and philanthropist Michael Potter. The missing critical ingredient for Gatineau’s specialty airport to meet its potential, today, is market accessibility. The only plan anybody has tabled to solve that is MOOSE Consortium. Its 400-kilometre passenger railway development, conceived by a handful of companies on both sides of the provincial border, would include fullscale train service on the existing railway tracks that run straight from Gatineau’s airport into Bayview Station. 27 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


environment series by Ann Victoria

Canada’s Earliest and Most Recent

Railway Scandals

Canada’s 150 years are bookended by intriguing railway scandals.The earliest one involved the effort to connect all of our provinces. The latest one, not even a year old, and still awaiting a precedent-setting federal court decision, involves the breaking of an essential railway between Canada’s two founding provinces. The first scorcher led to the resignation of Sir John A. Macdonald. The second is playing out today. In the opening years of Confederation, two companies were competing for the federal contract to build a transcontinental railway to British Columbia. The all-Canadian InterOceanic Railway Company led by David Lewis Macpherson was based in Toronto. The Canada Pacific Railway Company of Sir Hugh Allan was based in Montreal, and involved considerable American investment. In 1873, Liberal MP Luc Huntington stood up in Parliament to reveal evidence that the Conservative government had given the contract to Canadian Pacific in return for political donations of $360,000 (about $8 million in today’s dollars). In the following days Macdonald protested his innocence, but evidence showed that there was money transferred from Allan to Macdonald, and to his political colleagues. So our first prime minister abruptly resigned in 1873. The so-called ’Pacific Scandal’ was the first major political scandal in Canada after Confederation. Despite the scandal, Macdonald was re-elected in 1878, and he remained prime minister until his death in 1891. One of the railway projects that Macdonald’s government oversaw during its second term was construction 28 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

of the first bridge across the Ottawa River: the one-kilometre-long Prince of Wales Bridge between Ottawa and Hull. This project was protected as being “for the general advantage of Canada” in the Act to Amend The St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway Act (1872). It was built from 18771880 by a wholly-owned company of the Government of Quebec, called the Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and Occidental (QMO&O) Railway. That same Prince of Wales Bridge has been in the news in recent months. In March 2017, Ottawa city council approved a motion instructing Mayor Jim Watson to formalize talks with Gatineau Mayor Maxime PedneaudJobin towards improving their transit connections, in particular across the Prince of Wales bridge.

the City of Ottawa unceremoniously tore out a quarter-kilometre section of that very track originally installed in 1880, and plunked down the new Bayview Station for the east-west LRT Confederation Line. It was positioned precisely in such a way as to permanently obstruct any future extension of south-north operations by the O-Train to Gatineau. The placement can’t be accidental. When pressed by the Canadian Transportation Agency, Ottawa quietly admitted in an email to the federal regulator in February 2017, that “the main station building . . . will obstruct the Ottawa River Line.” The City was responding to a letter from the Agency which communicated the Agency staff ’s understanding that: “A portion of the Ottawa River Line . . . that connects the north end of the Ellwood Subdivision with the railway in Gatineau, across the Prince of Wales Bridge, has been removed to construct the new west side entrance to the Bayview Station,” and “the Ottawa River Line will be permanently obstructed in its current alignment.” Ottawa had to admit to the Agency that “the Ottawa River Line . . . is blocked where it intersects the Bayview Station building.”

Ottawa unceremoniously tore out a quarterkilometre section of that very track originally installed in 1880 … It was precisely in such a way as to permanently obstruct any future extension of south-north operations by the O-Train to Gatineau.

This inter-provincial rail connection remained intact until just a few months ago. However, in late 2016,

The City did offer the comment that - “extension of the O-Train Trillium Line across the Prince of Wales Bridge


The original O-Train plan… (saw) the O-Train easily continuing on the existing track north past Bayview Station across the Prince of Wales Bridge all the way out to L’Aéroport Exécutif de Gatineau-Ottawa.

to Gatineau is part of the ultimate rapid transit network and the 2031 network concept. But the City currently does not have funding available or allocated to build or operate that extension, and so no date has been set for the construction or opening of that service.” The simple fact is that the City of Ottawa unnecessarily removed and permanently blocked the existing federal track without any federal authorization. And it kindly offers, on behalf of a later city council a decadeand-a-half from now, that it will need to spend tens of millions of dollars to somehow build a bypass track. The original O-Train plan submitted back in 2000 by the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton (RMOC) to the Agency, described the O-Train easily continuing on the existing track north past Bayview Station across the Prince of Wales Bridge all the way out to L’Aéroport Exécutif de Gatineau-Ottawa. Indeed, the written federal certificate of fitness for the O-Train’s operations still says today that the O-Train does run to Quebec! And the Interprovincial Transit Strategy for Canada’s Capital Region, written by transportation professionals at the NCC, Ottawa and Gatineau listed “O-Train to Gatineau via Prince of Wales Bridge” as one of the priority “Medium Term Actions by 2018.” Six months ago, it became physically impossible to run that O-Train to Gatineau. MOOSE Consortium’s director general Joseph Potvin says that city insiders have indicated to MOOSE that there might be a ‘beggar-thyneighbour’ rationale: to deliberately

keep transit in clumsy mode with all areas outside Ottawa’s property tax base. Could the City of Ottawa’s foreclosing of the No. 1 easy transit option with Gatineau actually be “beggar-thyneighbour” actions, glossed over with friendly “ever-thy-neighbour” words? Where indeed are the feds? What’s occurring on their watch runs afoul of the explicit protections for this very section of track passed by the second government of Sir John A. Macdonald, whose legislation quoted Section 92(10)(c) of the Constitution to protect this connecting railway "for the general advantage of Canada.” The federal regulator has been puttering along for six years with a direct legal challenge by MOOSE Consortium. The company started a legal case in 2011 that informed the Agency about the City’s plans and incremental steps to remove the tracks. Then the company informed the regulator of the violation when a core section of the railway was indeed being dismantled in autumn 2016. And today, some months after the corridor was permanently blockaded, the federal court agency that’s supposed to oversee federal railways has still has not tooted its horn. This is all happening less than three kilometres from the Agency’s own headquarters, within a clear line of sight from their office windows. Well, the 150-year history of Canada is riddled with stories of political intrigue involving railways. There’s enough irony in this latest one that you could probably run an imaginary train on it n

Get To Know Gatineau >> from page 27

With ambition as broad as antlers, the MOOSE team hopes to start this service at the same time as Ottawa’s LRT begins operations in 2018. Cynics claim it can’t be done. But it’s the only realistic option put forward by any party to resolve the most critical constraint on this region’s growth potential: restricted mobility. So Ottawa, in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, please make time to drop in on your neighbours across the river, and drink a toast towards another 150 years of friendship. Where might you go to propose a toast then?

Head to the incredible Soif restaurant, opened by world-class sommelier Véronique Rivest. Placing second at the World’s Best Sommelier Competition in Japan in 2013, this placed Rivest as the top woman in the competition. Instead of settling in Paris or New York, she returned home to Gatineau and converted a former burger joint into a first-rate wine bar named Soif — the French word for thirst. Rivest runs frequent wine tasting events, and has unique access to many small, interesting producers. Soif is just a couple of blocks from Les Terrasses de la Chaudière. If you prefer beer, walk via Brewers’ Creek to Les Brasseurs du Temps, known locally just as BDT. This establishment certainly merits the status of being among the most picturesque pubs in the capital region. Like the Barley Mow in Almonte and Mill Street in Ottawa, each is in a unique stone heritage building, with a patio overlooking the water’s edge. BDT includes a unique circular brewing museum of exceptional quality, literally wrapped around the glass-enclosed brewing tanks.You’ve got to see this. Oh, we should add, this is also where you’ll find that bridge elaborated with parts from the Eiffel Tower, donated by Paris to Gatineau n 29 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


aboriginal pathways series by Candice Vetter

Treaties and Land Claims Late last fall the Algonquins of Ontario and the governments of Ontario and Canada signed an Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) to settle a centuries-old land claim between Algonquin people in Ontario and the Crown. his agreement was in negotiations T since the mid-1980s, which is when the land claim was first filed. Treaties and land claims in Canada have been described as everything from racist and genocidal, to unfairly advantageous, to desirable, depending on when, where, what happened afterward and who’s doing the talking. It’s a long history. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was ratified when the British Crown presented two wampum belts — The British and Western Great Lakes Covenant Chain Confederacy Wampum Belt and The Twenty Four Nations Wampum Belt — to Indigenous Nations of Upper and Lower Canada, who reciprocated with The Two Row Wampum Belt. This exchange, says Lynn Gehl, Ph.D. — a writer and Indigenous human rights activist — codified a relationship between equal allies, and represented the negotiating process meant to ensure Indigenous Nations’ equal share of resources and bounty of the land. It also codified a nation-to-nation relationship rooted in the philosophy and practice of non-interference mediated by peace, friendship and respect. “Many Canadians are unaware,” said Gehl, “…that these wampum belts 30 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

are also Canada’s first constitutional documents.” Later came treaties on paper, and in 1877 Treaty Seven was signed by Chief Crowfoot, with other important Blackfoot, Blood, Peigan, Sarcee and Stoney signatories. Vast prairies and foothills were ceded to the Crown—for payment and as protection against the nearby Cree and Métis. Rights to hunting, fishing and gathering in that territory were retained. The railway, however, brought settlers and soon most game (including buffalo) and wild food essential to survival disappeared. Now Treaty Seven lands have been effectively reduced to a handful of reserves. Similarly, other treaties were chipped away over time. Rights to hunt, fish, harvest food, and live in their own territories were diminished, with peoples gradually being squeezed into the reserve system. Until 1951, reserve dwellers needed permission to travel off reserve and were only given voting rights in 1960. They were named wards of the state; meaning the federal government could

make all decisions for them, resulting in many horrific abuses. In exchange they received one-time payouts (often of low value), guarantees of being cared for (usually poorly) and concessions such as not paying certain taxes. Treaties were broken in shocking ways, including by ‘Indian Agents’ who sold reserve land and pocketed the cash. Governments expropriated additional parcels and lands were bitten back. In unceded territories, the disrespect was similar or worse. In 1990 in Oka, Que., Mohawks of Kanesatake protested planned housing and golf course development. Mohawks had earlier filed claim on this land, stating it held a burial ground and sacred grove. Other communities, including Kahnawake, soon blockaded major roads. The conflict escalated. First Nations in Canada and the U.S. showed their solidarity. The Sûreté du Quebec, and then the RCMP, tried to contain the eleven-week standoff during which Corporal Marcel Lemay was killed. The Mohawk Warrior Society gained prominence. Then in 1995 in Ipperwash, Ont., a dispute simmering since 1942 concerning an expropriated burial ground caused the Ipperwash crisis. Anishinabek protestor Dudley George was shot by OPP removing unarmed


protestors from a park. These and other disputes stimulated governments to settle land claims. Now the federal and Ontario governments have negotiated Algonquin land settlements in Ontario, but reactions to the recently ratified AIP range from active support to outrage. The Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) website, www.tanakiwin.com, states: “The signing of the AIP is a key step toward a final agreement that will clarify the rights of all concerned and open up new economic development opportunities for the benefit of the Algonquins of Ontario and their neighbours in the settlement area in eastern Ontario.” It also notes: “The AIP is not a legally binding document. Rather, it paves the way for continued negotiations toward a final agreement that will define the ongoing rights of the Algonquins of Ontario to lands and natural resources within the land claim territory. If achieved, the final agreement will take the form of a modern-day treaty with Aboriginal and treaty rights protected under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.” The AOO include the Antoine, Bancroft, Bonnechere, Greater Golden Lake, Mattawa/North Bay, Ottawa, Pikwakanagan, ShabotObaadjiwan, Snimikobi, and Whitney and Area Algonquin Collectives who are represented by elected Algonquin negotiation representatives. Opposition is based on many factors, including the choosing of the 16 members of the AOO negotiating team; the use of genealogical research to decide who can vote on the agreement - including leaving out many non-status Algonquins; the proportionally small sum of $300 million CDN in exchange for high-value land (including the Rockcliffe Air Base); perceived unfair distribution (most of the 117,500 acres to be traded are near Pikwàkanagàn); and splitting up Ontario and Quebec Algonquins. Paul Lamothe, Chief of the Algonquins

of Ottawa, was originally at the table but said one reason he left the negotiating team was the nondisclosure agreement. “The minister had said the process would be open and transparent. Those who are not at the table should at least be able to know what is going on.” Lamothe also disapproves of amounts paid for an expensive office and to legal counsel, funds which he said comes out of the too-low $300 million. Grant Tysick, Chief of the Kinouncheparin, who are a group of families located near Renfrew, similarly oppose the deal, adding that proper consultation has not taken place. In fact, the Kinouncheparin launched a lawsuit against the AOO, claiming the AOO does not represent them or other non-reserve or non-status Algonquin persons. Said Tysick in 2013 when the first draft of the AIP came out: “We don’t need a treaty with Canada, we need a relationship.” WHAT CANADA CALLS THE ’MODERN TREATY PROCESS’ IS REALLY A LAND-CLAIMS PROCESS THAT FORCES INDIGENOUS NATIONS TO EXTINGUISH, RELINQUISH AND DEFINE IN VERY NARROW TERMS THEIR INDIGENOUS LAND AND RESOURCE RIGHTS.

However, the principle negotiator and legal counsel for the AOO, Robert Potts, stands firm. Potts explained the process of choosing registered voters as ’very rigorous.’ He pointed out that it automatically includes people of the Pikwakanagan reserve, but also includes other persons who can prove a direct lineal connection to Algonquin ancestors on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, a cultural connection with a recognized Algonquin community and a life event within the community – which still excludes many people who feel strongly about heritage and want to have a say in the broader community’s future.

But Potts believes the AIP is good for all parties. “This is a historic exercise,” he said. He describes the agreement, if finalized and signed, as a modern treaty. “We listened to all comments, from Algonquin and non-Algonquin. This has not been done in treaty negotiations before." Gehl disagreed with calling the agreement and its negotiations a treaty: “What Canada calls the ’modern treaty process’ is really a land-claims process that forces Indigenous nations to extinguish, relinquish and define in very narrow terms their Indigenous land and resource rights,” she said. “The treaty process is about nations sharing land and resources in a fair and equitable way, where as a result each nation is able to build institutions that are meaningful to them, and which allow their citizens to live a good life.” Is that possible after all this time? “The area in question has 1.2 million people,” said Potts. “This area is extremely complicated. There are over 80 municipalities and substantial population, with businesses, cottage associations, rights of way, and so on.” He said the AOO is trying to be sensitive. “They are recognizing the world we’re living in now. It was agreed that there would be no displacement or expropriation of private property. Certain places, such as Parliament Hill, would not be included. That leaves a limited land base.” Will this Agreement in Principle, negotiated over decades, drafted several years ago and ratified last year provide that? The claim process is expected to last for several more years. “There are over 160 items in the AIP,” Potts said. “We’re now revisiting many of those and fine tuning. As we move to finalize items, some issues still have to be agreed on.” Whether it is finally accepted or not, it may well be another case of too little, too late. The Algonquin people first requested a treaty in 1772 n 31 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


profile by Rachel McKeen

BREATHING NEW LIFE

Into Old Bikes

the expense of well-being. Employees at Cycle Salvation strengthen their work-related skills, learn bike mechanics, and gain confidence and hope. Graham, an employee, says having these bikes to work on impacts people’s lives in such profound ways. “Having the confidence to get out of bed in the morning . . . to come and do your job, and just feel like you have a purpose — I think that definitely goes a long way towards helping people.”

PHOTO: ERIC MURPHY

Cycle Salvation contributes to the already vibrant cycling culture in Ottawa, holding pop-ups in the spring and summer months around the city where the public can learn about the basics of bike maintenance or buy an affordable good quality bike.

D

o a mental count of all your bicycles.

Now imagine the extra space in your garage or shed if you could rid yourself of that one bike you’re still holding on to that’s in pretty good shape, but never used. Now think about the beautiful new bike you could buy if only you donated the old one, perhaps to a good cause. What if you knew that someone really wants that old bike? This year, Cycle Salvation is campaigning to collect 150 bikes for Canada’s 150th birthday. You are encouraged to drop off your unused or under-used bikes of any style or size, at Dovercourt Recreation Centre at 411 Dovercourt Ave, or Causeway Work Centre at 22 O’Meara St., and of course, at Cycle Salvation at 473 Bronson Avenue. When you visit their small workshop at the corner of Gladstone and Bronson, you will discover a treasure-trove of refurbished bikes from their winter 32 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

Learn more about Cycle Salvation or stay up to date on the latest news at www.visitcyclesalvation.org. Follow them on Twitter @Cycle Salvation or like them on Facebook. For more information about Causeway and social enterprise, www.visitcausewayworkcentre. org.

crop of donations — on sale at great prices. You will also discover Cycle Salvation is different than most bike shops because it is a member of the Causeway group of social enterprises which employs people who struggle to find jobs due to mental illness and other challenges. As a business, Cycle Salvation strives to achieve a triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. Its job? To take in donated bikes which are then refurbished by clients from Causeway and sold at a reasonable price. By donating your bike, you are giving someone that chance to really thrive in a job that is meaningful. Cycle Salvation operates under the belief that profit should never come at

The environmental goals are met by keeping bikes out of landfills and scrap yards and getting them back on the road. Paul Wylie, operational manager sets the prices of refurbished bikes to cover the cost of the workshop and employees. The main focus of the business is to support its employees as they grow and develop. “Our shop runs on two key parameters – donations from the general public and our staff to refurbish these. Both of which are the lifeblood of the operation. Donations will help ensure that we can continue to operate with our current roster of 11 clients.” For those higher quality bike donations, Causeway will provide a charitable tax receipt for any donated bicycle with an immediate resell value of $500 or more. If you do find those bikes in their dusty resting places begging for new life and a little TLC, consider a donation to support this socially minded business n Contact Paul Wylie at 613-288-1454 if you are interested in donating your bike.


canada-china friendship series by Joel Redekop

China is Closer than Ever Get ready to pack your bags and pick up the Mandarin edition of Rosetta Stone. n September 2016, Canadian Prime IPresident Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Xi Jinping announced that 2018 will be the ’Year of CanadaChina Tourism.’

Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, said the initiative will see the exploration of future measures to make travel easier for tourists, as well as implementing exciting tourist-oriented activities in both countries. This isn’t some plan for the distant future – the wheels have already started to turn, with this goal already becoming a reality. Even without Trudeau’s formal announcement, Chinese tourism in Canada has been on the rise, especially since Canada was granted approveddestination status by China in 2010. Since then, China has become Canada’s third-largest overseas tourist market, and it is soon expected to surpass the United Kingdom. A large factor for the increase of ChinaCanada travel is in the newfound ease of accessibility. As of last summer, direct flights to Canada are now available from 11 Chinese cities. Furthermore, seven new visa application centres are set to be opened, enabling eager Chinese tourists to get their proper travel documentation in order. Leading the pack as the most popular Canadian destination for Chinese tourists is Vancouver. Its popularity is growing at a fast rate, with more PHOTO: PAVEL ILYKHIN, SHUTTERSTOCK

journeying to the Pacific Northwest year by year. January 2017 saw a 56 per cent increase in visitors from the previous year. Yes, Vancouver’s proximity to Asia is a large factor in attracting Chinese tourists, but it goes beyond that. With China being a heavily industrialized country, the west coast’s relaxed atmosphere and mix of mountain and sea provide the perfect escape from bustling city life. Other Canadian cities are starting to draw in more Chinese visitors as well. Edmonton and Montreal are especially reaping the benefits of direct flights from major Chinese cities. Montreal has been promoting travel with events such as the ChineseCanadian Film Festival, which was so successful that its second edition happens later this year. Ottawa also has been encouraging Chinese tourism for a number of years, well before China even gave Canada approved-destination status. “Being the capital – and being twin cities with Beijing – we have a great story to tell: not just the story of Ottawa, but the story of Canada,” said Ottawa Tourism Director of Communications Jantine Van Kregten. “For the Chinese visitor, tackling Canada is difficult given its size, but coming to the capital means that they can get a taste of the entire country.”

ABOVE: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Huangshan or Yellow Mountains of China are famous for their uniquely-shaped pine trees and rock formations.

Ottawa Life’s coverage of Canada and China’s flourishing friendship has mostly focused on the economic and business-oriented aspects of the relationship. Though these areas of state relations are undoubtedly important, tourism plays a vital role in the way two countries see each other. What makes this recent development in tourism so significant is that it focuses on the human aspect of international relations. When two countries’ citizens visit one another, it becomes a matter of knowing a country through experience, rather than second-hand preconceptions. It gives a face to what is an otherwise formal and lifeless relationship. Trudeau and Jinping’s initiative is, as noted, to increase bi-lateral tourism. It’s not just about welcoming more Chinese tourists to Canadian cities. For Canadians, this is the time to consider walking the Great Wall, exploring the cliff-side paths of the Yellow Mountains or taking in the bustling metropolitan life of Shanghai. With 2018 just around the corner, expect to see an increase in opportunities to visit China and enjoy its deep and varied culture. China may seem distant and out of reach now, but come 2018, it will feel closer than ever n 33 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


cusw series by Joe Mulhall

Overcoming the Social Taboo

of Working Together to Build a Better Canada the 20th century, unions were Ithentasked with the role of negotiating distribution of wealth created by

ever had one – and modern industry and the workplace can do very well without them.

Today we are seeing first-hand the vision of a new economy coming to life.

Each played a role in maintaining the balance between the wealth created and the distribution of that wealth.

This is a viewpoint that, I suggest, is not founded on facts but instead is driven by a bias formed by the experience of the industrial relations system of the old industrial economy. This is the starting point from which the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers (CUSW) came into existence.

The vertical and horizontal structures that were the glue of the business models of the past are being replaced by groups of like-minded people coming together to create new enterprises. Small to medium-sized enterprises are being formed around new principles.

This approach created a competition among the three interests that, over time, lead to partisan policies both at the workplace level and at the political level.

The CUSW was formed on the basic premise that the creation and distribution of wealth would continue into the 21st century in one form or another.

the industrial economy.

The Social Contract in North America was based on three parties: government, capital and Labour.

As economic activity shifted with free trade and globalization, the perception of the role of Union as part of the Social Contract also shifted. Unions were isolated as government and capital aligned in the restructuring of the economy. Unions were no longer seen as contributors to the advancement of society, and instead became branded as resistors against the interests of capital. The workplace in the 21st century has changed. We have entered into a phase where the industrial mass production model has given way to an era of high-spirited creativity where around every corner we find a new way of looking at the world we live in. Some would say that in this new world view there is no need for unions, that unions have served a purpose – if they PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

THE VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL STRUCTURES THAT WERE THE GLUE OF THE BUSINESS MODELS OF THE PAST ARE BEING REPLACED BY GROUPS OF LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE COMING TOGETHER TO CREATE NEW ENTERPRISES.

The opportunity to redefine the relationship between capital and Labour had opened up and it was timely to look at the alternatives. It was also understood that social society had a clear role to play in choosing what that relationship would look like. The idea that an economy built around branch plants and oneindustry towns could now be replaced with bottom-up community-based enterprises opened the door for both new relationships and new types of relationships.

Instead of looking at how to exploit economic activities and deal with the negative outcomes after the fact, these growth industries are looking to create businesses that have a positive effect on health, environment, use of resources and overall improvements to the quality of life. These enterprises recognize to realize these goals there must be coordination amongst the inventors, designers, architects, engineers, constructors, operators and those left to deal with the end-of-pipe bi-products produced by the process. There is no need to clean up the waste if we don’t create it in the first place. There is no need to implement clean air policies if we have zero emissions.There is no need to build massive powersupply facilities when conservation and energy efficiency, supplemented by distributed generation, answer the demand. These same principles are being applied to healthcare, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, social enterprise and pharmaceuticals. There are many challenges to realizing 35 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


the opportunities of this new era. This is an area where unions can play a role. By coordinating the interests of the workforce with the interests of the emerging enterprises, unions can and do make a difference. By supporting partnerships with private sector enterprises such as SmartNet Alliance Inc. (SNA), likeminded people from all occupations and lines of work are able to come together under a common banner to explore ideas, develop action plans and create business opportunities. SNA members share values that help realize their objective of creating wealth in a healthy social and civil society. When bringing this alliance to life there is also a need to support the enterprises that emerge. SNA, in partnership with CUSW, provides support for the entrepreneurs who are starting these businesses by coordinating an Entrepreneurs’ Club. From a 52-week on-line “How to start a successful small business” program to supporting payroll, clerical and other essential start-up requirements, new entrants are able to move forward with the supports they need to succeed. CUSW members who have skills in an emerging industry or sector can make the transition from employee to entrepreneur and business owner, providing a ready-made pool of potential enterprises to move the growth agenda forward. Many of these enterprises operate in emerging industries and find it difficult to get investment to support the move into these new areas. CUSW is presently working on a prospectus to start a labour sponsored venture capital fund. This fund will provide investment opportunities for CUSW members and other likeminded individuals to participate in the returns created through growth opportunities that emerge as these 36 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

new enterprises grow from small to medium enterprises. The monies invested will not only contribute to the retirement funds for the members, they will also provide the financing and investment needed for these new ventures to succeed. CUSW also works with business to ensure the employers have a skilled workforce that is aligned with their strategic objectives. Members of the union who are displaced due to changes in the economy, plant closures or sunset industries can be redeployed in alignment with the needs of emerging industries. New members are recruited, based on need, to support changing business plans and a willingness to embrace life-long learning. Members work with their workplace partner in response to the continuously changing business demands. The focus is on success and not on sharing the poverty of an ever-shrinking pool of wealth. Through the use of enterprise-level training and education participation agreements, each employer is able to work with his/her employees to identify the strategic direction for their individual business. Skill sets are identified and workers provided opportunities to align their skills with that business need. The issue of skills shortages is resolved on an employer-by-employer basis instead of trying to work within broadbased government initiatives that miss the mark as often as they hit it. With these partnerships in place, employers are able to look forward to taking on new challenges and introducing new technologies and work methods knowing that the workforce is in lock step with them in building these new work opportunities. Members benefit by increasing their skills while sharing in the wealth

created through the partnership. Through the use of a modern learning management system and courses at the union level, members can stay current in acquiring knowledge and skills in the demand areas. By continually upgrading skills through life-long learning with the demands identified through the various training participation agreements these members can look back to the union for further redeployment with other partner enterprises should future changes in technology affect their current employment relationship. According to the Conference Board of Canada – close to 40 per cent of the population in Canada is now selfemployed. This shift away from permanent, fulltime jobs is expected to continue leaving major gaps in the social fabric. The legal recognition of “union status” granted by labour law allows members to come together and build benefit trust plans, retirement trust and wealth management programs, member assistance plans, health, safety and wellness programs, community based social activities as well as providing the tools for building new and successful opportunities. Where appropriate the social contract of wealth creation and distribution is reinforced with recognition of the legal rights of union members. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognizes the right of members to have a voice in the operation of the union and workplace. In this new era, what was once seen by employers as interference in the operation of the enterprise is now seen as opening the door to a true partnership with the common goal and a focus on building a better economic future and a better Canada. Is there a place for unions? There sure is n Joe Mulhall is the president of CUSW


opinion by Michael Coren

Hypocrisy Still Reigns in the Catholic Church ecently I met a young man who R wanted to be a Roman Catholic priest. I was interested in his vocation

and asked him if he was applying to the main seminary in Ontario. No, he said, he was trying another route because although he was celibate, he was gay and had previously been in a relationship. “And you may have heard about the most recent statement from the Pope,” he said, looking upset and hurt.

The document is based quite firmly on the 1992 apostolic exhortation on priestly formation, and also on the teachings of Benedict XVI. The former was issued by John Paul II – a man who allowed child abusers and those who had sheltered child abusers back into church positions and even gave them senior Vatican positions. As for Pope Benedict, let us just say that hypocrisy comes to mind.

I had. Rome recently reiterated a 2005 ban on any homosexual man from entering a Roman Catholic seminary, and added more insult to the injury. The only exception is for men who have overcome “transitory” and “adolescent homosexual tendencies” many years earlier. In other words – what this insulting document says is that if you had the odd dream about another man a few years ago, or as a child, and were not entirely sure about your sexuality you might – just might – be allowed into a seminary. More than this – and here is where the secular and political world should take notice – the document goes on to state that gay men are “gravely hindered from relating correctly to men and women.” Not some, but all gay men, and not just priests but all people. Consider that statement once again: gay people can’t relate properly to anyone else. So can gay people can be teachers, politicians, social workers, police officers, administrators . . . anything? This is one of the most pernicious comments in memory to come from a mainstream institution about people born with same-sex attraction. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

seated homosexual tendencies.” The implication here is quite clearly to the abuse crisis, and this is truly vile. The Roman Catholic Church dealt appallingly with the long-term and widespread rape of young people by its priests. While most clergy were innocent, a culture of retarded sexuality, of subterfuge and of enforced celibacy and patriarchy allowed this plague to occur. Only after being exposed by the media and after constant denials, the Catholic Church effectively blames the abuse crisis on gay men. They might claim this isn’t true, but then failing to tell the truth is not a new game for them. If so, they would admit that at least 30 per cent of Roman Catholic clergy are gay, including some of the people behind this report and at the most senior levels of the hierarchy.

Gay people don’t abuse,

BAD PEOPLE ABUSE. Benedict’s statement included the lines: “The church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’” Cruelty aside, it’s difficult to see how the Catholic Church can respect those who can’t “relate correctly” to other people. Surely that makes them odd and not to be trusted. The document further states: “One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-

But rather than being open, loving and well-adjusted gay men – who often in my experience make the best and most compassionate priests – they are deep in the closet and terrified of allowing the world to understand the authentic nature of the situation. The suffering this will cause and the stigma it will allow is incalculable. Pope Francis once said that we should not judge someone for his or her sexuality, but that is precisely what is being done. Gay people don’t abuse, bad people abuse. Religion is no excuse for bigotry and the time is coming when prejudice will not be allowed to hide behind faith. As a Christian, I pray that time is soon n 37 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


JUNE 2-4 2017 LAROCHE PARK, MECHANICSVILLE, OTTAWA YOUR OTTAWA. YOUR FESTIVAL. ALWAYS FREE.

See full lignup at westfest.ca #westfest2017 38 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

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canada/turkey friendship series by Joel Redekop

Council of Turkish Canadians Does it Again:

Ninth Youth Congress a Big Success or the past nine years, the Canadian F Turkish Council (CTC) has organized the Turkish-Canadian Youth Congress, bringing together Canadian youth of Turkish origin and other ethnic and cultural backgrounds. These are active young people who are game to take a constructive role in a multicultural Canada on issues related to Turkish-Canadians and who – in particular – wish to contribute to a positive image of Turkish-Canadians. The 2017 Congress was held in Ottawa in mid-February and featured an impressive list of speakers, including his Excellency Selçuk Ünal, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Canada; Dr. Rafet Akgünay, the former Turkish Ambassador to Canada; Dr. Edward Erickson, a professor of military history from the Command & Staff College Marine Corps University in Quantico, Va.; Mr. Ergün Olgun, a former chief negotiator in UN Cyprus Talks; and Ms. Karen McCrimmon, MP (KanataCarleton) who was keynote speaker. The conference was highly successful. Forty-two delegates from 19 cities and towns in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia participated. In addition, there were six youth delegates from the United States.

THERE ARE 62,000 TURKS CURRENTLY LIVING IN CANADA OF WHICH ABOUT 7,000 ARE STUDENTS.

relationship and more importantly, friendship. The youth conference is CTC’s annual flagship event. It is designed to give Canadian youth of Turkish origin the opportunity to establish friendship and solidarity, gain a greater understanding of their heritage and give them the knowledge they need to bring a Turkish perspective to Canada’s cultural mosaic. One of the highlights of the conference was a visit to Parliament organized in cooperation with Senator Anne Cools.

A welcoming reception of the was held on Feb. 10, hosted by the newly established Center of Modern Turkish Studies at Carleton University’s prestigious Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.

It is easy to point out the beauty of a multicultural society, but it is incredibly challenging to live in one as diaspora – living in a community where no one else shares your specific heritage – or your worldview.

The youth conference was opened by Ms. Zahide Sezerman, president of the CTC, who spoke of the need for young Canadians of Turkish descent to be involved in Canada’s democracy and to make a contribution.

There are 62,000 Turks currently living in Canada, of which about 7,000 are students.

Ambassador Ünal provided facts about the Turkey-Canada bilateral

With this small population spread out over the third-largest country in the world, it is easy to feel separate from the rest of the population. Living as diaspora presents the constant

challenge of being heard, both by other cultures and by diaspora of the same homeland. Throughout the conference, there was the feeling of a torch being passed to the younger generation. During a question period with retired Ambassador Akgünay, a communications student asked how social media could best be used to connect with other Turkish diaspora across the country. With a smile, he told her that with her communications background, she could very well be the one to find new ways of connecting Turks across Canada and around the world. With attendees from both Canada and Turkey, the Turkish-Canadian Youth Congress gave the young cultural ambassadors the ability to interact with their peers and political leaders. Through interaction and instruction, the conference gave the delegates the chance to find a greater understanding of what it means to exist between their two cultures. Living away from your homeland can be intimidating, but events such as the youth conference foster solidarity, and allow for the Turkish leaders of tomorrow to find the courage to share their culture with Canada and the world n 39 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


travel by Jennifer Hartley

Orlando

MORE THAN JUST MINNIE AND MICKEY When you think of Orlando, visions of Mickey and Minnie — or some other Disney characters — likely jump into your head. There is good reason for that of course, and there is no question that Disney is a lot of fun and will bring out the kid in everyone. However, the reality is there is a lot more to Orlando. In fact, it is everything else that is there that makes Orlando a fantastic destination. We stayed and played on iDrive. It is one large playground from end to end. Here are few ideal places to visit that we don’t have at home:

u u u

The I-Drive 360 is a stunning complex with shopping and restaurants.There are three great destinations in here to visit. First is the 400-foottall observation wheel called the Coca Cola Orlando Eye which towers over the local landscape and you can see as far as the Kennedy Space Centre on a clear day. Madame Tussauds Orlando showcases movie stars and historical figures in wax. Madame Tussauds is a fascinating place and the quality of the wax sculptures as an art form will impress. SEA LIFE Aquarium is a great way to see aquatic life, including a 360-degree experience with sharks and other marine life swimming around you.

A visit to Orlando without seeing Universal Orlando Resort would be a mistake. It is expensive, yes, but the fun and long-lasting memories make it all worthwhile.The Harry Potter world exhibit alone is worth the trip. You can walk along Diagon Alley that has the stores from the u u u u u u u u u u u u u The u u u u u u books and all the characters. multiu u u dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is absolutely breathtaking and truly mind-blowing and worth the wait, which you will have to endure. There are other smaller roller coasters – minus the multi-media experience – and you can take a ride on the Hogwarts Express. Battling Aliens on the MEN IN BLACK and TRANSFORMERS ride is u u out of this world as well. Visit Springfield with the Simpsons. Its ride is, as you u u might imagine, hilarious, entertaining and u u surprisingly exhilarating. Universal is major u sensory overload and overwhelming, u but in a good way. u

u Wonderworks is an absolute must-visit location. It u brings science alive and makes it real for kids. There are u a few locations across the U.S. and they are incredible u exhibits for people of all ages. The building is upside down and hard to miss. It features more than 100 handson interactive exhibits. Kids can experience virtual reality and rock climbing as well as design and ride their own roller coaster. You can lie on a bed of 3,500 nails, or make the largest bubbles you have ever seen. Learn about electricity, space, hurricanes, and earthquakes in a way that brings it all to life.

40 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

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PHOTOS:COURTESY VISIT ORLANDO

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To make the most of your dream vacation, get the Visit Orlando App.

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Explore:

When travelling with kids, a hunt for the best desserts is always a fun endeavour. You get to see more of a city and discover great neighbourhoods you might otherwise miss. While the Protuguese bakery/restaurant, Amor em Pedacos, on iDrive is the ultimate, there are many other bakeries to check out. Here are some other top places in Orlando:

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P is for Pie is located in Audubon Park Garden District on Corrine Drive. The entire area is known for its culinary experience, so you can’t go wrong.

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MAP OF ORLANDO AREA

Be sure to wash down your goodies at the nearby craft-beer bar, Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour. It is a unique bar to say the least and a real find. There are 24 draft handles and more than 300 bottled beers from around the world. In short, it is a beer lover’s paradise and these guys take beer very seriously, winning a bunch of awards. They are craft sodas available for the kids. The Blue Bird cupcake bakery is another must-stop shop on Corrine. Also head to Cousins Cookies in the College Park neighbourhood. It is a trendy neighbourhood with loads of quirky shops. Cousins Cookies is a heartwarming shop dressed up all in pink. These are just a few options to experience in Orlando without any sightings of Olaf, Anna or Elsa from Frozen. Orlando is a vibrant city. You can have your tourist experience for sure but don’t stop there because there is a fantastic vibe to the city with lively neighbourhoods.

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The Hyatt Regency Orlando is a fantastic place that is central and is conveniently located on International Drive. The hotel is massive and it’s across the street from the Convention Centre (which reportedly is the second largest in the U.S.). You’ll see a lot of business people roaming around but it is also a great spot for families. You will not find better pools than those at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. They are massive and can accommodate both kids and adults. There is also an incredible lap pool for anyone looking to exercise — it is the largest I have ever seen in a hotel. The poolside canteen is a great place to eat and has healthy options. Inside, you can’t go wrong eating at Urban Tide.

Also be sure to check out the free-fall waterslide, Ihu’s Breakway Falls – Orlando’s only multi-drop tower slide of its kind. It is a major rush.

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Wa n t authentic? Then head to Wild Florida Airboats &Gator Park. It is a great way to see a bit of real Florida. It is a nice drive to get there and you can experience the Everglades on an airboat. You will see alligators, eagles, herons as you glide on top of the water. Stick around and check out the various animals in their gator and wildlife Orlando is not located on water, so frolicking about in the ocean is park. Grab a bite not an easy option. If you want more than just hotel pools, you can in their canteen. hit Aquatica, SeaWorld’s waterpark. It has 36 slides, six rivers, It is a memorable lagoons, wave pools and fake beaches. The slides are a blast. The signature experience for the attraction, Dolphin Plunge, shoots riders down 300-foot clear tubes into entire family. a crystal-blue lagoon filled with black and white Commerson’s dolphins.

41 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


travel by Karen Temple

Pura Vida

Often used as a simple greeting, ’Pura Vida’ is a state of mind, a way of life, an attitude. In Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula it is also a laid-back, roll-with-it way of being. porting rubber boots and a S menacing looking machete, German (pronounced Herman)

– what is to be – one of the most delicious breakfasts.

counter at local grocery stores without crying out: “These are fake!”

proudly shows us around his property on the outskirts of Puerto Jimenez on the Peninsula.

The white pineapples, coffee and eggs are tasty, and it is almost like tasting them all for the first time.

It’s lush, it’s dense and it’s complete culture shock.

This is a family operation.

With translation help from German’s daughter Vanessa, we walked through the property and he introduces us to the incredible variety of plants and crops.

In operation for five years, Rancho Raices de Osa introduces visitors to the proud, off-the-grid way of life still practiced by many in this remote south-west corner of Costa Rica. What looks like an oversized tree house serves as the family home. With an open fire as an oven and an odd contraption affixed to a tree as the coffee maker, German’s family prepare 42 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

While the kids help with the washing up, we learned the process of making chocolate. From separating the shells to grinding the beans and molding the cacao paste, Maria, the matriarch, made real chocolate. After tasting her slightly nutty, flavourful creation it’s been difficult to look at the sad tasting bars in their colourful wrappers decorating every checkout

When the light drizzle turns to driving rain, German puts his machete to work and cuts down oversized leaves for each of us: umbrellas from Mother Nature! Eco tourism is how they roll. From scarlet macaws to dolphins, sloths, multiple varieties of monkeys, tapirs, iguanas, alligators, ant eaters and crabs, the Osa Peninsula is home to 2.5 per cent of the earth’s biodiversity.


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OSA PENINSULA

Iguana Lodge American ex-pat Tobi might own the Iguana Lodge Beach Resort in Puerto Jimenez but nature is the host. With the sound of the surf gently crashing in, it’s not hard to fall asleep, while mornings are trumpeted in by the cries of the howler monkeys. The Iguana Lodge is a relaxed setting with a mix of manicured gardens and jungle. The beach is peaceful … completely devoid of jet skis, para sailing vendors and locals selling trinkets. The resort is laid-back ’tropical rustic’ but the pool and adjacent yoga platform look like they popped off the cover of Architecture Digest. Choose from a traditional-style room over the clubhouse or one of the casitas that are more in tune with a treehouse experience. There is no air conditioning but no sweat, screens and netting keep the bugs at bay and allow the breeze to blow through. iguanalodge.com

Getting to Puerto Jimenez

With so many plants and animals, the jungles are truly alive. But not to worry, according to locals, there are more deaths from falling coconuts than from wild animals.

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There is so much to experience just walking in the beach-side jungle. A suggestion for a more intense experience: Visit Corcovado State Park. Permits are required so inform your host upon booking of your intention to see the park so that any paper work can be done prior to your arrival.

Surfing

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Disconnect from wireless networks and spend a week resetting your natural clock in friendly Costa Rica. Tucked between Nicaragua and Panama, the tiny country is but a spec on the world map – but it’s incredibly biologically-dense jungle will fill you with a real happiness that comes from just being present in the moment.

Mastering the pop-up into crouch position on the sand seemed pretty straight forward, doing it on the water was the hard part. Oldemar, a.k.a. Pollo from Pollo Surf School, had the perfect combination of enthusiasm and patience. The two-hour session was exhilarating and exhausting. Bring lots of sunscreen!

Yoga The lush tropical jungles of the Osa Peninsula seem to have given birth to yoga. Most resorts have on-site instruction and offer yoga retreats.

Don’t be in a rush to get anywhere in the Osa Peninsula. The main highway is great but the secondary roads are unpaved and take a beating from the seasonal heavy rains that leave them looking like they have been shelled by meteors.

Costa in English is coast so Rica must be the Spanish word for extremely hilly. In this tiny country, roughly the size of Nova Scotia, Puerto Jimenez is a 10-hour drive from the capital of San José. A chartered flight is your best bet.

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Kayaking Explore the mangroves by kayak with Aventuras Tropicales Golfo Dulce. No kayaking skills are required but if you are unsure, consider requesting one of the tandem kayaks. We paddled back by the sea. It was a little rough on the open water but the sight of dolphins feeding just ahead made it worth the effort. When you do go, make sure to take your sunscreen and lots of water.

Monkeys Spider Monkeys, Howler Monkeys and White-Faced Capuchins – there are monkeys everywhere . . . but beware, if these cheeky little creatures don’t want you staring up at them, they will let you know by throwing things at you.

Pura Vida! n 43 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


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Pura Vida PÉREZ ZELEDÓN

Hacienda Alta Gracia If a luxury mountain top resort is more your style, Alta Gracia in Pérez Zeledón will be your new go-to destination. The resort oozes wellness and white glove service. Every detail has been considered and then refined more. Individual casitas dot the property along with a gorgeous spa and truly beautiful stables. Hiking and riding trails wind their way around the property. The food is from farm-to-fork and is simply delicious. altagracia.aubergeresorts.com

Connection. An active lifestyle. Balance. It starts here, with you, at the Y.

Join today! ymcaywca.ca

It starts here

484 Gladstone 613 742-7251

45 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017


education by Lakshmi Sundaram

Mindfully Minding our Minds any moons ago, when I was going M through a particularly tumultuous time, a girlfriend sat a broken-me down

at her kitchen table and commanded me to – “Sit there and shut up. Breathe with me she said . . . just breathe.”

attention, on purpose in the present moment, without judgment.” Essentially both definitions reflect the intentional placement of attention.

Try it: place your attention on your breath moving in and out of your body. Soon, somewhere else? Come back, try again.

Life often feels like we are precariously teetering on the edge of our experience.

Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness is not thinking of nothing. Mindfulness is a quality of attention, an active process of bringing the mind back to where you want it to be; over and over again.

We want what we don’t have and don’t want what we do have, and our wandering minds grasp endlessly to pleasures and sufferings in an effort to end the cycle.

Like going to the gym for the mind, we do reps, inviting our attention back when we notice it has wandered off to plan and lament, worry and judge, selfcriticize and blame etc.

Most of us know mindfulness as a tool we can use to calm down, or a practice to help improve focus, or even a way of life that fosters openness and authenticity. There is a burgeoning amount of empirical evidence supporting the physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits of mindfulness.

In fact, research by Harvard psychologists Daniel Gilbert and Matthew Killingsworth revealed that minds wander on average 46.9 per cent of the time.

Little did ’girlfriend’ know that by asking me to breathe she was actually down-regulating my nervous system, clearing up my mind and helping me connect to my pain with compassion.

We wake up in the morning, heave ourselves out of bed while deciding what to wear, plan the meeting with a colleague while in the shower, and drive to work without knowing how we got there.

There are innumerable online meditations and apps that can help you learn how to meditate. With practice, a new autopilot emerges, one that stops and steps back when challenges arise, one that chooses to cultivate solid footing before reaching our edge.

Sound familiar? It’s not surprising that many of my clients say they feel like they are running on a perpetual treadmill; doing their lives rather than being them.

Bringing Mindfulness practice to our lives can help us build the courage to be curious and to assume a gentler stance towards our uncertain human experience.

It sounds easy: pay attention, in the present moment, without judgment.

This fosters flexibility, possibility, choice and true freedom n

From an Eastern perspective Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh defines mindfulness as: “Keeping one’s consciousness alive to the present reality.” Jon Kabat-Zinn who brought mindfulness to Western attention, defines mindfulness as: “Paying

Most of the time we are on autopilot, not realizing that we are being dragged about by our wandering minds.

You might even notice some bodily discomfort during this workout; which brings me to an unfortunate truth about the practice: being in the present is not always pleasant. When girlfriend asked me to breathe through my strife, she offered me an anchor of connection with myself. It was not pleasant to feel what I was feeling, I would have much rather ranted and blamed and swept us away with a compelling narrative of the protagonist in my story. Coming back to my breath afforded a space where I chose to respond skilfully rather than react unskilfully to what was unfolding in the present moment.

You can be the face of change! Saint Paul University (1848) is the founding college of the University of Ottawa, with which it has been federated since 1965. Bilingual and on a human scale, it offers programs in social communication, counselling and psychotherapy, canon law, public ethics, conflict studies, philosophy, human relations, and theology. 46 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

ustpaul.ca


Did you know the Prince of Wales Bridge was built by the Quebec Government between 1877 and 1880, while Sir John A. MacDonald was Prime Minister?

MOOSE HAS A PLAN

to operate bi-level passenger trains across it again, to integrate transit throughout the Greater National Capital Region. And we would do it

WITHOUT ANY TAXPAYER MONEY thanks to our Property-Powered Rail: Open Market Development Model.

Looking forward to serving all, as Canada’s Capital Region Railway.

The bridge rehabilitation plan Moose Consortium Inc. has submitted to Ottawa, Gatineau, the NCC and Transport Canada includes our installation of a cycling path on the upstream side, and a pedestrian path on the downstream side overlooking Parliament Hill.

MOOSE Consortium Inc. “Mobility Ottawa-Outaouais: Systems & Enterprises” LEARN MORE AT:

www.letsgomoose.com

48 OTTAWALIFE JUNE 2017

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