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

SUMMER 2021

Explore the historic Rideau Canal waterway aboard

LeBoat A ‘staycation’ experience for all Canadians Fighter Jets for Canada

Lockheed Martin may have the inside track but don’t count out the sting of the Boeing Block III Super Hornet which is still in the game

The China Syndrome Cyrus Janssen is a mandarin-speaking American expat living in Vancouver who may have the answers to Canada’s China conundrum

Cong Peiwu * Surmesur * Best Green Hedges * InStep Nutrition + Movement * Banting and Best at 100

OTTAWALIFE.COM


Get out an explore as many lakes and waterways as possible this summer with the portable FUN X2 from E-catamaran. The inflatable boat that easily fit into the trunk of a hatchback. The electricassisted pedal boat takes 5-minutes and no tools to piece together, then inflate, plug in the battery and go. Best of all, no boat launch is required! Drop into KHAP Reve Activ in Dunrobin to test one for yourself or visit e-catamaran.ca for more information.

SHOWROOM AND WORKSHOP•KHAP Reve Activ •106 Constance Creek Drive, Dunrobin

613-209-2573 www.e-catamaran.ca


SUMMER 2021 VOLUME 23

NUMBER 3

Sid goes to Surmesur. As things open post-Covid lockdown, add a summer fitting or just drop in to the uber cool Surmesur — the capital’s tailor made shop for men.

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PHOTO : OLM STAFF

PHOTO : RICHARD TARDIF PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEOGRAPHY

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contents

Put LeBoat Rideau Canal-on your LeBucket list!

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One of the greatest trips in Canada that should be on everyone’s bucket list is taking a weeklong sojourn on ‘Le Boat’ through the breathtaking, beautiful Rideau Canal locks and Rideau Lakes that run from Ottawa all the way down to Kingston.

Fighter Jets for Canada-May the Best Plane win!

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The chattering class in Ottawa who follow these things say that the Lockheed Martin F-35 have the inside track on winning Canada’s largest ever fighter jet procurement. But many, including former MP Stephen Fuhr who served as Chair of the Commons Standing Committee National Defence in Canada’s the 42nd Parliament and is a former CF-18 pilot is not so sure. He says the RCAF are not counting out the bid by Boeing for the Block III Super Hornet which many believe makes the most sense for Canada.

Reaching Higher Education Series

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High school can be a difficult place for many students, but rarely is it harder than it is for students with disabilities. Support for students handling anything from learning disabilities to severe autism falls in the realm of special education—a position at which Ottawa teacher Andrew Williams excels.

Fall for Nova Scotia’s Autumn Magic

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columns

Publisher’s message ................................................... 4 Best picks ..................................................................... 7 Profile: Metro’s Locally Sourced program ............. 10 Aristocrat of Scent ...................................................... 11 Profile: InStep Nutrition + Movement .................... 15 Politics: The Green Party .............................................. 30 Politics: The national money tree ................................. 33 Opinion: Much ado about twenty-four ................. 34 Profile: Best Green Hedges ...................................... 35

series

Banting and Best/diabetes ...................................... 17 Fighter Jets ..................................................................... 26 Reaching Higher Education ...................................... 36 Canada/China friendship ......................................... 37 Nicholson Gluckstein Lawyers ................................. 46

Whether its the lush countryside alive in colour in Antigonish or the ocean crashing up against the shores of a chiseled and mountainous plaid coloured Cape Breton landscape on a cool sunny autumn day—it just doesn’t get better than Canadas’ Ocean playground.

Y’all going to Texas

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From philantropic beer to art and the most lakes in Texas, Burnet County is a laid-back, friendly place where generations of Texans visit annually to unwind.

What is long-term disability? Should I hire a lawyer?

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An individual who is unable to work for an extended period due to injury or illness is often eligible to receive income replacement benefits in accordance with the Long-Term Disability (“LTD”) payments that their employee benefits package insures.


publisher’s message by Dan Donovan

Stop the Sloly SLAPP

O

n June 11, 2021, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly filed a defamation lawsuit against Ottawa Life Magazine (OLM), me and Carleton University Criminology Professor Darryl Davies because he was offended by an article OLM published about the Ottawa Police Service in March 2021 titled Rapes and Lies — the Cancerous Misconduct at the Ottawa Police Service. Interestingly Sloly did not file the document in his role as “Chief ” of the Ottawa Police, but instead he did it as ‘private citizen’ Peter Sloly and claimed that the article was “malicious, false and part of a bizarre campaign to ruin his reputation.” We have never written a word about Peter Sloly, ‘private citizen’. It is unfortunate that OPS Chief Peter Sloly is confusing and conflating his roles and responsibilities as chief with his personal self. More astounding and bizarre is that Sloly is now portraying himself as ‘a victim’ because of our reporting in the public interest on the depraved conduct and lack of accountability for rogue officers in the

stories about police oversight and police misconduct at the OPS, RCMP and other police services across Canada. These stories have been about the preponderance of cases of police misconduct in Ottawa and the lack of accountability for offending officers. They have focused on the lax oversight of OPSB members in holding rogue cops to account for egregious and at times very violent misconduct against citizens. We have written about the importance of the role of police in society and the need for better police recruiting training and oversight. We have written that by not holding bad cops to account for misconduct, a cumulative corrosive impact occurs that causes citizens to lose faith in the many good police who act with integrity each day. This concern is now very apparent with the ‘Defund Police’ campaign in Ottawa and many other cities. We have called for serious consequences for OPS police who break the law and abuse their authority, especially when their victims are citizens. We have

I said I was so concerned about the behaviour of the OPS in this case that I was going to seek an opportunity to bring it to Mayor Watson’s attention. Sloly sent me a one-line response saying, ‘good for you’. I emailed him back saying, ‘what does that mean?’ OPS. The ‘real victims’ are traumatized citizens in our community, many of them women—who have had to endure the effects of OPS police misconduct which includes assault, sexual assaults, alleged rapes and battery. The other ‘real victims’ are the many hard working and law-abiding OPS officers who have become collateral damage in the eyes of the public due to the behaviour of bad cops on the force. We stand by the article and all its content. Over the past decade Ottawa Life Magazine has published over 100 4 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

called out the OPS and other police when they have shown prejudicial behaviour towards minority and racialized communities and to the LGBTQ community. We have pointed out for many years that the biggest problem in policing in Ottawa is the amount of police misconduct and the breathtakingly awful oversight by the OPSB. We have written about the poor and at times oppressive or tyrannical leadership of senior OPS officers towards subordinates. In 2018, OLM started tracking police

misconduct in Ottawa and across Canada as reported by other major media via a link on our website titled ‘Patrolling Police Misconduct’. A short three years later there are well over 300 stories regarding incidents of serious police misconduct and lax oversight of the police in Ottawa and across Canada. Many of the stories are shocking. Between 2016 and 2018 OLM published a two-year series titled ‘Misogyny Matters’ about misogyny and oppressive behaviour in the RCMP. We wrote stories about the need for rank-and-file RCMP members to have a union because of the disturbing number of stories about the oppressive behaviour of RCMP management towards subordinates. OLM has written extensively about police matters in Ottawa and across Canada for well over a decade before Peter Sloly was hired as the OPS Chief. When Peter Sloly was hired by the Ottawa Police Services Board (OPSB) in 2019, I sent him a friendly congratulatory note via Linked-In. I offered to meet with him at his convenience regarding Ottawa Life Magazine’s perspective about police matters in Ottawa. Chief Sloly never took me up on my request to meet with him despite my following up with him a couple of times. I would later learn that Sloly also refused to meet with Carleton University Professor Darryl Davies. Davies is recognized nationally for his knowledge of policing in Canada, was a Crown witness at the 2017 RCMP Canada Labour Code Trial and was recognized as an “expert witness” by the provincial court of New Brunswick. When Mayor Jim Watson inquired about Sloly’s refusal to meet, Sloly responded with a petulant note lecturing Davies about a typo in his letter and never met with him. In his defamation suit, Sloly disparagingly refers to Davies as a ‘part time instructor’ at Carleton.


Despite not meeting with me, I sent OPS Chief Sloly a Linked-In email on February 10, 2020, to express a specific concern about a story we were about to publish about a gay man with AIDS (Rodney Mockler) who was improperly arrested and badly treated by the OPS. The incident ruined his life. He lost his job, his security clearance and selfdignity. I said I was so concerned about the behaviour of the OPS in this case that I was going to seek an opportunity to bring it to Mayor Watson’s attention. Sloly sent me a one-line response saying, ‘good for you’. I emailed him back saying, ‘what does that mean?’ He did not respond. In December 2020, OLM published an article critical of the, OPSB and Chief Sloly for taking 10 days to remove OPS Deputy Chief Uday Jaswal from his duties after he was charged with five counts of sexual misconduct by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC). OLM questioned why the OPSB, and OPS Chief Peter Sloly had not immediately called in independent investigators after over 14 female OPS employees had complained of sexual harassment and misogyny by their superiors. We noted that other media reported that Chief Sloly had told the OPSB that he considered these cases an internal matter. One of the complainants we were referring to is an OPS constable who alleges she was raped in 2011 by a superior officer. Despite reporting the crime to police, it took the OPSB more than two years to suspend Const. Kevin Benloss and they only did so in September 2020 due to a human rights complaint and media reports. We wrote about OPS Sergeant Peter Van Der Zander, an officer with an excellent reputation and unblemished 17-year record of service who had complained to Chief Peter Sloly and other superiors at the OPS that his wife, an OPS employee had faced sexual harassment by former Deputy Chief Jaswal. (https://newsinteractives. cbc.ca/longform/ottawa-police-sexism) Van Der Zander claimed Chief Sloly punished him for speaking up for his wife and took measures to oppress him. Van Der Zander has filed a formal complaint against Chief Sloly with the

OCPC which they took seriously and are still investigating. Under the Ontario Police Services Act there is a provision called tyrannical conduct and oppressive behaviour against subordinates. If someone working for the police feels they are being treated tyrannically or oppressively by a superior they can complain and if the complaint has merit there is an investigation by the professional standards branch, or a complaint can be sent directly to the OCPC. If an officer pleads guilty or is found guilty of this behaviour, steps are taken to remove them from command or from leading in a management role.

of the complaint before the OCPC. For two decades Ottawa Life Magazine has written articles in the public interest. That is the role of responsible media and responsible journalism. The principle of being able to report in the public interest on those in society who have great powers, including the police, and to hold them to account is a key pillar of democracy. The real issue is why ‘private citizen’ Peter Sloly, not OPS Chief Peter Sloly, is suing us for defamation. These types of actions are referred to in legal circles as a SLAPP—Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. Generally, they

The real issue is why ‘private citizen’ Peter Sloly – not OPS Chief Peter Sloly, is suing us (OLM) for defamation. These types of actions are referred to in legal circles as a SLAPP — Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. Generally, they are used to have the effect of chilling individuals or organizations from speaking about matters of public interest. In June 2020, Professor Davies and I filed a complaint against the OPSB and OPS Chief Peter Sloly with the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) asking them to investigate their conduct in dealing with rogue OPS officers; why no OPS officers who had been charged with serious crimes or misconduct in the past six years (over 75 officers) had been terminated with cause; why at least 15-17 OPS officers were being fully paid by taxpayers while on suspension as they awaited trial for criminal charges related to criminal misconduct; why OPS Chief Sloly and the OPSB did not call for independent investigators when they learned of the sexual misogyny cases at the OPS; why a constable who alleges she was raped was not being listened to; and we raised concerns brought to our attention in confidence by a sitting OPSB member who told us about what they perceived as alleged financial improprieties at the OPS and OPSB and other matters. In February 2021, the OCPC responded to our complaint against OPSB and OPS Chief Sloly and requested we provide them with additional information, which we did. The OPS and Chief Sloly have acknowledged that they are aware

are used to have the effect of chilling individuals or organizations from speaking about matters of public interest. They are intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. In the typical SLAPP, the plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs, or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. Before ‘private citizen Sloly’ filed his defamation suit against us, he directed his lawyers to send two threatening letters demanding that we retract our winter 2021 story, Rapes and Lies - the Cancerous Misconduct at the Ottawa Police Service and pay him money for personal damages. Yes, that is correct— the Chief of the Ottawa Police Service judged it appropriate to sue us a ‘private citizen for personal damages’ because he was upset about the content of our coverage related to the conduct of the OPSB and OPS. We ignored the threats and intimidation and so he directed his lawyers to file a defamation suit. He even announced that he planned 5 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


publisher/managing editor Dan Donovan art director & web editor Karen Temple social media manager Kat Walcott cover photo by OLM Staff photographers Adam Hill, @daveyandsky, Acorn Art Photography, Christian Lalonde, Chris Macfarlane, Richard Tardif Photography Videography, M Staples fashion editor Alexandra Hunt accounts Joe Colas C.G.A bookkeeper Joan MacLean contributing writers Danielle Bartlett, Michael

Bussière, Shelley Cameron-McCarron, Dante Caloia, Sid Cratzbarg, Sofia Donato, Dan Donovan, Stephen Fuhr, Grace Giesbrecht, Sean M. Maloney, Cong Peiwu, Darcy Rhyno, Isabella Sanchez, Karen Temple web contributors Susan Alsembach, Luke Barry, Adele Blair, Sofia Donato, Mckenzie Donovan, Dave Gross, Jennifer Hartley, Ryan Lythall, Owen Maxwell, Kate More, Zarha Nafal, Aaron Nava, Rusel Olsen, Isabella Sanchez, Mona Staples, Kat Walcott, Keith Whittier student intern Chloë Hayes corporate advisor J. Paul Harquail,

Charles Franklin

corporate counsel Paul Champagne editor in memoriam Harvey F. Chartrand 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 $48, includes postage, plus HST (four issues). Two years $85, includes postage, plus HST (eight 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.

to donate the $150,000 defamation damages he expected to be awarded to the Ottawa Boys and Girls club. Rather hubristic and presumptuous. A judge and the courts may have a different view and they will certainly have the final say in this matter—not ‘private citizen’ Peter Sloly. The Rapes and Lies - the Cancerous Misconduct at the Ottawa Police Service story (https://www.ottawalife.com/ article/rapes-and-lies-the-cancerousmisconduct-at-the-ottawa-policeservice) that ‘private citizen’ Peter Sloly is so ‘personally offended’ over is based on fact and has all been reported in other media. The premise of the story is that years of incompetency by the OPSB and oppressive behaviour and poor leadership allowed a culture of misogyny to take hold in the OPS. We cited OPS officer Eric Post, an 18year veteran who was charged with 33 criminal counts against seven different women including sexual assault and assault and uttering death threats. Post was suspended for three years on full pay and benefits before the Crown dropped 27 of the charges against him and he was found guilty and convicted on five charges. Constable Post was sentenced to ‘probation’ for these violent crimes and only had to resign from the OPS after his sentencing. One of Post’s victims has committed suicide and two others expressed shock, anger, and abject fear when they learned Post was not going to jail due to negotiation with the Crown, OPS, and court. Post’s female victims have cause to be ‘personally offended’ by this outcome. We wrote about another OPS officer who was suspended on full pay after being charged with domestic abuse and is still serving as an OPS officer. We believe his victim of the abuse has cause to be ‘personally offended’. We wrote about OPS Constable Carl Keenan who brutalized his girlfriend in 2017 and was convicted in 2020 yet still remains as a constable with the OPS. He received full pay and benefits for two years while suspended waiting for his trial. We believe the female victim is ‘personally offended’ by that outcome. We referenced OPS constable Yourick Brisebois who is charged with assault

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with a weapon and uttering threats. He is suspended on full pay awaiting trial. We believe his victim is ‘personally offended’. The article cites OPS Constable Jesse Hewitt who is charged with nine counts of misconduct for taking videos of vulnerable women. He too remains with the OPS, suspended on full pay. We believe these vulnerable victims and their families are ‘personally offended’ by this outcome. We wrote about OPS Staff Sergeant Will Hinterberger who is awaiting trial on 21 charges including sexual assault and forcible confinement. He is receiving full pay as an OPS officer while suspended. We believe his victims are ‘personally offended’ by this outcome. The article referenced a six-month review by Janice Rubin and Rubin Thomlinson LLP to ‘independently’ examine claims of sexual assault and sexual harassment within the OPS. We noted that the Ottawa Police Association (OPA) which represents all 1,480 OPS officers said the review is tainted because OPS Chief Peter Sloly and OPS Senior management have interfered in the process and were screening out complaints that should have been addressed by the review. Victims who were advised to go to an independent arbitrator over sexual harassment and misogyny by OPS management later learned that their independent complaint had to be first ‘cleared’ by the very OPS management team they were complaining about. The article chastised OPS Board Chair Diane Deans and the Board for all of this continuing carnage without consequences. It noted there are currently 18-20 OPS officers criminally charged on suspension with full pay and benefits that is costing local taxpayers over $4 million per year. Yet, instead of dealing with all the rampant misconduct and associated costs, just last week the OPSB and OPS Chief Sloly threatened to cut the hiring of racialized and minority officers unless the city council approved their request for yet another annual budget increase. In response to this, The Ottawa Black Diaspora Coalition (OBDC), the


Coalition Against More Surveillance (CAMS) and Horizon Ottawa issued a statement saying: “After over a year of multiple scandals for the Ottawa Police, including several high-profile cases of violence, assault, and corruption charges – Diane Deans and the OPSB should take note: our community does not trust the Ottawa Police Services (OPS)”. The list of reasons for this distrust is lengthy, publicly documented, and ever-growing. OBDC is vehemently opposed to this proposed increase and to any and all future budget proposals that would allocate additional resources to a violently racist police force. The overburdened tax paying citizens in Ottawa may be offended by the Deans-Sloly-OPSB threat given that the chief administrative officer of the OPS was fired in April 2021 for financial improprieties. OPS Chief Peter Sloly and the OPSB refuse to disclose the specific details of the firing citing confidentiality. Ottawa taxpayers may be offended that no one on council or at the OPSB has called for an independent audit of the OPS given all of these improprieties and secrecy.

Interestingly, when Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was asked about the Sloly lawsuit, his office responded that he was not commenting on the libel suit because it was filed by “Peter Sloly as a private citizen”, not by Peter Sloly the Chief of the Ottawa Police Services or by the city. The National Post, CTV News, Global News, the CBC, and the Fifth Estate have all reported about the misconduct and misogyny and oversight issues at the OPS. In February the Fifth Estate ran a shocking investigative story, Exposed: Sexism within Ottawa police. Chief Peter Sloly refused to speak with the Fifth Estate on the serious allegations made against the OPS in that programall of which Ottawa Life Magazine has covered. But ‘private citizen’ Peter Sloly is not suing the CBC or others – instead he has targeted our publication because we are smaller. That is what bullies and temperamental people do. But we are not intimidated by any threat from OPS Chief Peter Sloly or his doppelganger, the temperamental ‘private citizen’ Peter Sloly Ottawa Life Magazine stands by

our story and reporting, and we will defend our stories in court through our excellent counsel Andre Marin and Marc Bourrie. To protect the principle of the media being able to report on the Ottawa Police Service without duress or being threatened by a temperamental and easily offended OPS Chief who has filed a defamation lawsuit against us as a ‘private citizen’ to try and shut down our reporting about the OPS and OPSB, we are launching a GoFundMe campaign called STOP THE SLOLY SLAPP to offset our legal costs. If you believe in freedom of the press and support our right to discuss and criticize police governance, please consider donating to our campaign. Funds will go towards our legal fees and, if should we succeed in having it dismissed, all funds will be donated to Maison LibèreElles, a local women’s shelter that homes women and children who are survivors of domestic violence, substance abuse, poverty, and other adversities.” g www.gofundme.com/f/StopTheSlolySLAPP

capital clip

Kettlemans teams up with Trexity to deliver delicious bagels to your front door! Ottawa’s beloved bagel shop is set to spread their bagels across the city, and right to your front door. After successfully introducing the Montrealstyle bagels to the Greater Toronto Area, Kettlemans is expanding their services. In partnership with delivery company Trexity, you can now enjoy your favourites bagels in the comfort of your own home. Subscribe for a recurring order of sesame and/or the everything bagel delivered to your doorstep. This new service can repeat pre-determined orders every 7, 14 or 30 days.

A local favourite for over 28 years, Kettlemans Bagel offers delicious handrolled bagels paired with flavourful spreads, salads and sandwiches. In the need of a tasty treat or a savoury meal? Kettlemans got you covered. The perfect option for breakfast on-the-go or a late night snack, Kettlemans prides themselves on providing high quality foods made with carefully selected ingredients. “We knew that subscription was the natural evolution in creating another incredible experience for our guests,” says Craig Buckley, Founder of Kettlemans Bagel. The service is first launching in Ottawa with subscriptions available to surrounding areas that are not home to their own Kettlemans Bagel location. In the following months, the service will include the GTA—in time to support

PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN LALONDE

the opening of the second Toronto location. Subscribe to their new service and place an order today g kettlemansbagels.ca 7 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


best picks

ULAT Dryer Balls: Save on energy and preserve your clothes – naturally

Husqvarna introduces 220iL battery trimmer/edge

ULAT is an award-winning social enterprise based on a collective ecosystem where everyone involved benefits and prospers. ULAT is committed to empowering communities by embracing nature, one dryer load at a time. Not only do ULAT dryer balls reduce drying time by up a up to 50 per cent, but the Canadian-made balls reduce wrinkles and static thereby minimizing the need for ironing. ULAT ensures that each of its balls retains 10 per cent lanolin, a substance made by wool bearing animals to protect against the elements. Lanolin is naturally antimicrobial, anti-fungal, water resistant and acts as a chemicalfree natural fabric softener to keep clothes feeling soft and longer lasting. Wool balls can be found everywhere but the majority of wool balls on the market are dense and hard. ULAT balls are different. They’re bigger, softer and reduce wrinkles and static as well as soften clothes. ulat.ca

Husqvarna, one of the world’s leading producers of innovative forest, park and outdoor power equipment products, has added the 220iL battery trimmer/edger to its Battery Handheld 200 Series. The 220iL battery trimmer/edger is designed with versatility and safety in mind, as it features a Husqvarna exclusive dual-direction rotating head to control clippings and debris safely. The 220iL is also equipped with a pushbutton boost mode that delivers 20 per cent more power to tackle the toughest conditions. Additionally, it offers the lightest-in-class weight (10 lbs.), a flip-n-go trigger, edger grip assist and precise balance making the 220iL easy to handle and maneuver during any project or outdoor task. husqvarna.com

How Canadians are embracing their culture through food

New accent fragrances from luxury brand CLARRI HILL

Food and recipes are one of the most vital traditions one can inherit from ancestors. Nearly three quarters of Canadians learned how to cook through parents or grandparents. Food is a way to keep one’s heritage alive and allows families to strengthen their bond with each other. In fact, 58 per cent of Canadians believe family recipes provide insight into the lives of their ancestors. Ancestry.ca encourages Canadians to explore their own family recipes, cultural food traditions and celebrate the stories that are told by the food they eat. Family recipes can serve as a pivotal starting point for journeys of personal discovery. Ancestry.ca empowers Canadians to discover more about their history through family trees. Users can connect to other member’s trees to search for old recipes and traditions that have been celebrated for centuries. Digitized historical records, including censuses, marriage, birth and immigration records are available. ancestry.ca

Look for Toronto company CLARRI HILL's six new reed diffusers that will ignite a sensory experience. Enhanced by a variety of light accent fragrances like pear, floral, juicy guava, hibiscus and coconut milk, these high-quality essential oils are held in a beautiful glass diffuser that emits a powerful, yet delicate aroma that is perfect for coffee table décor, your home entrance as you welcome friends and family, even the bathroom. Each diffuser uses eight high-performance fibre reeds for a great scent. All CLARRI HILL fragrance oils are made in North America, in compliance with  IFRA/IFRM  standards. clarrihill.com/collections/reed-diffusers

PHOTO: ISTOCK

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best picks

A fragrant pantry staple with strong roots in Thailand’s rich history and culture

Thai Hom Mali’s aromatic scent, soft texture and floral flavour are an appealing addition to an endless variety of meals. These characteristics have made the rice appetizing in dishes not only in South East Asia but cuisines across the globe.  Steamed Thai Jasmine rice makes an exceptional base for hearty soups and stir-frys or paired with fried, roasted and grilled proteins. Preprepared Thai Hom Mali rice can also be used as a wonderful base for fried rice dishes.  For perfectly cooked Thai Hom Mali, rinse the rice thoroughly and add 1 part rice to 1.5 parts water to a pot, rice cooker or pressure cooker and cook to the desired texture. Look for the Government of Thailand’s official seal to ensure the rice’s authenticity and quality when you shop for the various brands of Thai Hom Mali at your local grocery store, health food store or online thaitrade.com

Get ready for back to school with quick dry BIC Gel-ocity pens As you gear up for back to school, it is important to think about all that is needed for the new year, including writing materials. The BIC’s Gel-ocity long-lasting pens offer everything needed in one package, including a super-smooth writing experience, and a comfortable grip. Packs start  at $3.99, and are available at Walmart, Staples and on Amazon.ca bic.com

A single malt Scotch whisky with a Viking soul! From the remote Orkney Islands situated off the northern coast of Scotland comes Highland Park Viking Honour 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Inhabited for 1000 years by Vikings, the windswept islands are proudly Scottish and home to  Highland Park, a distillery with a family of whisky that are famous for depth and character.  Get into the Groove with Highland Park Viking Honour Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This twelveyear-old whisky doesn’t disappoint, pouring a beautiful, glowing amber colour. It offers a delicious and complex taste, with aromas of sweet honey and light peat to start, then it’s full and rounded on the palate with more sweet citrus and full malt flavours. To finish, the Highland Park shows notes of heather and subtle smoke. $65.69 LCBO.com

Light up your summer with BIC EZ Reach lighters From campfires and BBQs, to fireworks and birthdays, summer is full of fun lighting occasions. To avoid burning any fingertips, BIC has introduced the new BIC EZ Reach lighter, perfect for every lighting occasion. It combines the brand’s iconic pocket lighter and its long-reaching multi-purpose lighter with an extended wand. The wand accesses all those hard-to-reach locations, keeping fingers safe away from the flames. The EZ Reach Lighter is available in a variety of colours and can be found at major retailers, Amazon.ca, and major convenience stores. bic.com

Living Wall installation at Orleans Health Hub The Forget For A Moment Foundation is conducting a fundraising campaign for a living wall measuring over 27 square meters. The purpose is to create a more humane space in the seniors waiting room at the newly opened Orleans Health Hub. The wall is the first of its kind in Canada: a design representing a Monarch butterfly wing with coloured glass balls at the edges. This is the first Ontario project for the Foundation who are getting close but are looking for more community support to see them achieve their goal of raising $100 000. The living wall will serve seniors, a group that has suffered tremendously during the current pandemic. forgetforamoment.org/projects/orleans-health-hub 9 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


profile by Michael Bussière

An EGGcellent way to support local with Metro

D

uring the second half of the 19th century, Ontario sought to increase settlement and develop agriculture in the northeastern part of the province. Many francophones crossed the Ottawa River to establish farms on the excellent arable land found there. Take a casual drive along the old Highway 17 to Montreal or the 417 to see imposing silos and barns surrounded by verdant pastures. Fresh produce, milk, cheeses, and eggs fill Ottawa store shelves and outdoor markets locally sourced from the farms of Prescott and Russell county.

Marcel Jr. Laviolette is the President of La Ferme Avicole Laviolette Ltée. They are one of the vendors represented by Metro’s Locally Sourced program. Located near St. Isidore and founded in 1977, the Laviolettes began as a family farm with 6,200 hard-working hens who thrived until a fire destroyed the whole works. Misfortune was transformed into opportunity when the family started again with the construction of a hightech, modern poultry house. Laviolette has grown into a 48,000-strong henterprise whose output is found in thousands of refrigerator egg compartments across eastern Ontario and southern Québec. Modern production means that healthy hens and thorough quality assurance lead to top quality eggs. La Ferme Avicole Laviolette barns are equipped with electronic systems that control ventilation, water and feed supplies. A 10 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

multi-step inspection, wash, dry and storage process comes next before a fleet of three trucks, refrigerated and equipped with air ride suspension, ensure that Laviolette eggs arrive at the store fresh and crack free. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) sponsors Local Food Week at the beginning of June. In an age where consumers expect Chilean grapes in January, OFA hopes this annual celebration of more than 200 wonderful products brought to our tables by Ontario farmers will get shoppers appreciating what’s best right here at home.

Metro Grocery Stores has selected La Ferme Avicole Laviolette as one of its prime local producers, thanks to eggs that are produced, graded and delivered to Metro stores in just 3 to 5 days. Metro Grocery Stores has selected La Ferme Avicole Laviolette as one of its prime local producers, thanks to eggs that are produced, graded and delivered to Metro stores in just 3 to 5 days. It’s also a way for smaller, regional operations like Laviolette to compete on store shelves with national competitors. “For us, since we are not exporting or selling nationally, our goal is to reach as many customers as we can in our local area,” says Marcel. “By saying that, the more places we can offer our products, it means that we make more happy customers! Our goal is that customers

have the option to support local by buying our products when they go grocery shopping.” For Metro, it’s good corporate citizenship to support locally-grown food and the rural economy while shrinking the delivery carbon footprint. For producers like the Laviolettes, it’s about connecting with a growing desire among foodies for all that local farms have to offer. In an age of online everything, there’s something very old world about knowing that what’s on your plate comes from the same growing zone as your flower garden. “In the last couple years, we have seen a big increase in demand for local products in grocery stores,” Marcel says. “Being part of Metro’s Locally Sourced program shows that Metro is listening to their customers who want to buy from small family farms in their neighbourhood! As a small business, it is important to have the support from Metro because it means that we grow with the demand of local products.” So the next time you’re thinking poached, omelette, or Benedict, remember Laviolette’s happy, healthy hens are the best in the egg business; egg’cellent, in fact. Varieties and sizes are packaged in old-fashioned cardboard cartons, and come to you from just down the road in Prescott-Russell g To learn more about modern egg production, nutritional information, or recipes, go to https://fermeavicolelaviolette.com/ www.metro.ca/local


aristocrat of scent by Sid Cratzbarg

with

A suitable summer

Surmesur

PHOTO: RICHARD TARDIF PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEOGRAPHY

I

love fashion . . . but after my life saving surgery it was so difficult to find pants that fit. I knew what I liked to wear but I could not find my required style in any stores which was so frustrating. I wished I could have been a designer to create the looks I desired.

It has been incredible to design pants and shirts from thousands of fabrics, choosing thread, buttons, collars, and monograms. The fashion ambassador at the store made it a fun process.

Well my wishes came true when I discovered the world of Surmesur.

Weddings have changed with the pandemic and the wedding party is not as formal. What a wonderful way for the groom to choose and design his own custom suit that is guaranteed to get him noticed!

When I was doing my television show Get Sidified, I had the pleasure of meeting the CEO of the company and I was so excited to find out that Surmesur offers such a fabulous shopping experience that reflects your personality while respecting your budget.

A great tip for your first visit to the store is to arrive wearing the type of clothing you enjoy so the stylists has an understanding of what you like. If you are planning to design your suit bring a pair of shoes similar to those you will wear with your suit.

It is so important to stop throwing your money out the door on bad tailoring. Having custom-fit clothing makes you feel like a million after taxes! The specialists at Surmesur take into consideration your body type, posture, and style to find the perfect fit.

For all you techies, Surmesur has created an online design tool called The Studio that allows you to see your designs before you order. I hope you can experience creating your personal style looks. Visit one of the seven Canadian locations for your Summer and Fall looks g 11 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


Summer Trends 2021 Here are a few trends to help you design your fabulous looks 1. Flower power The flower is the designer’s main inspiration this Summer. Have fun choosing those amazing floral prints for your shirts . 2. Pastels Pastel tones were featured on every designer’s runway. Don’t be afraid to choose electric greens, yellows, reds, and oranges for shirts and even your pants.

3. Pockets Several fashion houses have created pants and suits with a multitude of pockets. 4. Trench Coats Trenches in hues of dusty rose and midnight blue dominated major fashion houses on the European runway. I absolutely love the Surmesur trench coat fabric and designs. 5. Suits This year’s mens suits have new patterns such as plaids, checks and new textures. On the runways, suits were less formal and non structured.

surmesur.com

PHOTOS: Richard Tardif Photography Videography ALL CLOTHING: Surmesur, 320 Queen Street, Suite 104, Ottawa

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profile by Isabella Sanchez

FITNESS AND NUTRITION BUSINESS

InStep Health brings something new to Ottawa

A

unique fitness and nutrition business that specializes in helping clients begin their journey of living a healthy and thriving lifestyle is now open in the Glebe.

certain foods can help early on, but it is not a long-term solution. Because of her nutritional knowledge, support, and dedication, I lost 50 pounds and have never felt better.”

InStep Health specializes in personal training for up to 2 people in a private studio, as well as nutrition coaching. They also offer special classes that focus on stick mobility training. Co-owner  Emilie Paradis is one of only a few people in Ottawa certified to coach this training system.

“My approach is mostly based on focusing on one step at a time. I don’t like people comparing themselves to others on social media. All the different diets and trends can get very confusing. I like to individualize my approach to the person that is in front of me. Only saying you can only eat one thing and never eat another thing while also counting calories was not an approach for me,” says Emilie.

Emilie Paradis and Dany Lapointe originally began their business in Gatineau before the chaos of Covid-19 hit. The duo had to temporarily put their plans of moving their business to Ottawa on hold until a few months ago. “During Covid we regrouped and refocused and by chance we found this place in the Glebe. We renovated and added our personal touch to the place, and now we are just happy to reopen,” says co-owner Dany. Emilie and Dany met three years ago when Dany decided to take control of her body, health, and her life. Dany continues, “[Emilie] reassured me right away and told me it was never too late to be healthier. She taught me that food is not an enemy, that counting calories and restricting PHOTO: COURTESY INSTEP

Emilie’s qualifications and memberships include an Advanced Holistic Nutritionist Diploma, Acupuncture Diploma, Personal trainer certification, Stick Mobility Coach Level 2, and Hormonal Health. The Stick mobility  website says that, “stick mobility is a training system that helps improve flexibility, strength, and coordination. The system combines joint mobilization, strength training, and active stretching to increase athletic performance, reduce risk of injury, and accelerate recovery.” InStep Health provides tools and resources as well as fitness classes that are unique to each of their clients’ needs. In addition, the business also

ABOVE: Emilie Paradis and Dany Lapointe  are co-owners of InStep Health on Bank Street in the Glebe.

provides movement and stick mobility classes, fitness and nutrition seminars, and insight into holistic nutrition. Dany adds, “Our studio also has a smoothie bar. We are excited to be open soon. We think our concept is different and could be appealing to audiences in Ottawa who may not favour big, crowded, and intimidating gyms.” Their smoothies are organic and are made with Raw Nutritional protein, a Canadian company. Raw Nutritional proteins are also sold at the InStep location. Additionally, InStep Health is having a special for their opening that will last until August 31st. Clients can buy a package of 10 1-hour sessions and bring a friend for free. Owners Emilie and Dany are helping their individual clients with their own unique needs to help them begin leading a healthy and thriving lifestyle. You’ll find InStep Health at 738A Bank Street, 2nd Floor, Unit 4 Ottawa, ON K1S 3V4 g instephealth.ca 15 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITORING (CGM) SYSTEM

Manage your diabetes with

ZERO FINGERSTICKS* OR SCANNING REQUIRED • Glucose readings right on your smart device§ • Predictive Urgent Low Soon Alert • Approved for Ages 2 and Up Dexcom CGM use is clinically proven to lower A1C, reduce hyper- and hypoglycemia, and increase time in range.1,2

Ask your healthcare provider about our sample program, or visit Dexcom.com for more information. Smart devices sold separately.

Most private insurers cover Dexcom CGM for people with T1D or T2D on fast-acting insulinII * If glucose alerts and readings from the G6 do not match symptoms or expectations, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions. † Conditions apply. Visit dexcom.com for more information. ‡ Internet connectivity required for data sharing. Following requires the use of the Follow App. Followers should always confirm readings on the Dexcom G6 App or Receiver before making treatment decisions. § For a list of compatible devices, visit dexcom.com/compatibility. II Dexcom Data on file, 2021. Individual benefits may vary by policy and plan. 1 Beck, RW, et al. JAMA. 2017;317(4):371-378. 2 Welsh, JB et al. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2019;21(3). © 2021 Dexcom Canada, Co. All rights reserved. LBL021346 Rev001 Dexcom, Dexcom G6, and Dexcom Follow are registered trademarks of Dexcom, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. 16 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


Banting and Best diabetes series by Michael Bussière

When frontline heroes

deal with health challenges at home

F

rontline workers have been the heroes of the pandemic, but what is life like when they face family health challenges of their own? That is the case with Karen and Dave Henderson, both RNs at the General campus and parents of 6-year old daughter Sarah, who has been Type1 diabetic since the age of 3. When Karen and Dave learned about Sarah’s condition in 2018, the news landed like a load of bricks. “I honestly thought it was a UTI, just because she was voiding almost every hour,” Karen recalls. “I noticed she was always thirsty at night time. I took her to CHEO where a blood sugar check in triage revealed high levels. Sarah’s was 27 and normal is 4 to 7. David was working at the General and I told him you need to get here right away,” she says with emotion in her voice. Treatment for Sarah began that day with a CHEO endocrinologist. As nurses, Karen and Dave care for patients as part of their vocation, but it was a very different feeling to be facing a serious diagnosis with their young child. Both were in shock, and, like any bad medical news, in immediate disbelief. “The first three months were hard. I gave injections twice a day, then up to four. But kids are just so adaptable, I was just so proud,” Mum says. “She’s just come so far in the last three years,” Dad adds. “She hated the idea of getting needles at first. She’d scream out ‘I don’t want to be a diabetic anymore!’ so she’s had to face a lot.” Sarah has a younger sister Vanessa who PHOTO: COURTESY THE HENDERSON FAMILY

The G6 has made a world of difference. It provides them (the Hendersons) with more peace of mind and better control over Sarah’s diabetes management at home and at school. was 10 months old when Sarah was diagnosed, so suddenly everything had to be adjusted at home and at work. Nurses work in 12-hour shifts and are lucky to sit down for 10 minutes. It’s gruelling, especially during an international health emergency. David continues to work full-time while Karen changed to part-time hours to spend time at home with the children. Sarah is a typical child, full of energy and in constant motion, so it was hard to tell when she was on the verge of being low glucose. Only a regular finger poke would tell them for sure. It was non-stop monitoring, day and night. The Hendersons were using a monitoring product called Freestyle Libre, which was covered by their insurance, but with that particular system they would have to scan Sarah regularly. “At one point we didn’t know that Sarah was hypoglycemic, meaning low, and we didn’t know because she had no symptoms, we wouldn’t have treated,” Karen says. “So that’s when we got the Dexcom in the fall last year, and

it has literally been a lifesaver. It tells our phones her glucose status, which helps us identify when we need to intervene using the Omnipod pump, which is cordless.” The Hendersons currently pay out of pocket for the Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system and are willing to take on the financial burden. That’s on top of the financial hit from Karen needing to reduce her hours. The G6 has made a world of difference. It provides them with more peace of mind and better control over Sarah’s diabetes management at home and at school, in comparison to other glucose monitoring systems. They’ve fought very hard to obtain coverage for CGM through their insurance at work, writing appeal letters and waiting for answers, to no avail at this point. Medical professionals are acutely aware of disease-related complications, and diabetes is no exception. There are always questions, always worries about what’s down the road, but the Hendersons are all in it together. Dad happily reports that “Vanessa is now walking, talking, running, and beating up on Sarah all the time. Vanessa grew up with the routines and takes care of her big sister whenever she has to get her sensor changed. She holds her hand and says ‘it’s OK’ and is always there to help her cope and stay happy.” g www.dexcom.com/g6-cgm-system 17 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


cover by Dan Donovan

ADD

A ‘Le Boat’ Rideau Canal staycation to your

‘Le Bucket List’

O

ne of the unintended benefits of Covid-19 was that the pandemic made us look at the travel possibilities closer to home. One of the greatest trips in Canada, and certainly one that should be on everyone’s bucket list, is taking a week-long sojourn on ‘LeBoat’ through the breathtaking, beautiful Rideau Canal locks and Rideau Lakes that runs from Ottawa all the way down to Kingston. The Rideau Canal received a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 2007 and remains the best-preserved example of a slackwater canal in North America. It is the only canal dating from the great North American canal-building era of the earl 19th century that is still operational with most of its structures intact. 18 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

PHOTO: M. STAPLES


Today, the Rideau Canal Waterway is a boater’s paradise, attracting pleasure boats from across North America to travel its 202 kilometre length. Entry points to the canal are at the north end, in Ottawa, and at the south end, in Kingston, where the river spills into Lake Ontario. The system consists of 47 locks in 24 lockstations that can be visited by car, bicycle, foot, or the very best way, on a boat, a ‘LeBoat’ to be precise. The history of the Rideau Canal system is fascinating and its designation as a spectacular UN Heritage site belies its incredible and difficult beginnings in the 1830s when it was built as a military project by British forces in the event of an American invasion. In the early days of colonial settlement into “the Canadas”, some of the largest construction projects were the building of canals to secure safe routes for the movement of people and the trade of goods. The 1820s saw major undertakings across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River regions including the Lachine Canal near Montréal, the Welland Canal to connect Lakes Erie and Ontario, and the Rideau Canal to connect Montreal with Kingston by way of the Ottawa, Rideau and Cataraqui Rivers. Following the American Revolution, the United States had territorial ambitions to invade and take over Great Britain’s Canadian colonies. To defend themselves against war with Americans, Upper Canada (now Ontario) along the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Kingston was at risk from an American invasion. This river route was vital but was easily cut off because the southern shore was in American possession. The strategic weakness of this water route became evident during the War of 1812. After the war, a decision was made to build a canal and lock system that would follow the Ottawa River from Montreal to the mouth of the Rideau River, (present day Ottawa) and then travel south along the Rideau and through a series of small lakes to the Cataraqui River which empties into Lake Ontario at Kingston. The Duke of Wellington assigned Lieutenant-Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers to oversee the PHOTO: OLM STAFF

construction of the new canal. Until then, the only navigable way to get through this route was by canoe. In 1826, Colonel By assembled his headquarters near the mouth of the Rideau River in present day Ottawa. The planning of locks and dams called for a design that would allow larger boats and steamships to comfortably travel through the canal from then Bytown to Kingston. Construction began in 1827. Most of the laborers

transportation route and was even expanded, connecting the town of Perth to the Rideau Canal through Tay Canal. Following the First World War, the Rideau Canal was no longer required for military or commercial purposes. The waterways became an increasingly popular recreational and tourism route due to its natural beauty and the exceptional navigation offered to boats. Today, the Rideau Canal System is used for recreational purposes, including

“At first glance you might think that it is daunting

but once onboard and behind the wheel you realize how simple it is to navigate a Le Boat.”

were French-Canadians and immigrants from Ireland. There was a constant demand for new recruits as over 1000 labourers died from either malaria contracted from the swamps along the route or injury. Despite this, the project was completed in just under seven years and still stands as one of the great engineering feats of the 18th century.

The Rideau Canal opened in the summer of 1832 and covers 202 kilometers and includes defences in the form of fortified lockmaster houses and blockhouses located at various lock stations. After the opening, the canal became a commercial waterway as it was easier to navigate than the St. Lawrence. By 1849, the rapids of the St. Lawrence were reduced by the installation of locks. In the 1850s, the canal continued to be used as a local

cruises, fishing, hunting and boating. A LeBoat Rideau Canal adventure begins in Smiths Falls, at the company’s headquarters and marina. Once you pick up your LeBoat you’ll first have to decide if you want to venture through the Rideau Canal locks system north to Ottawa or head south through the locks via the Rideau Lakes system down to Kingston and back (or do both!). With LeBoat you don’t need to be a sailor or have any experience manoeuvering or driving a boat to comfortably and safely take an excursion. At first glance you might think that it is daunting but once onboard and behind the wheel you realize how simple it is to navigate a LeBoat and you quickly appreciate the exceptional design, navigation and other considerations and detail that went into 19 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


making these boats so easy, accessible and enjoyable. There are two steering positions, one inside and another on the top deck, on each boat. There is a bow thruster and a stern thruster for easy manoeuvring. There is an easy-touse rudder angle indicator and a GPS Speed sensor for ideal handling of the boat. LeBoat has a demister system for secured navigation from inside in case of rain and a safety box that is dummy proof and easy to use. Finally, there is a large bumper pad border that wraps around the boat. If you bump into the dock, lock or up against another boat the bumper pads protect the boat. Before you head out, a LeBoat guide takes you through the entire process of operating the boat and all its features including the steering and navigating, safety features and other helpful things for your trip. You learn the lingo like the front of a boat is called the bow, while the rear of a boat is called the stern. When looking towards the bow, the lefthand side of the boat is the port side. And, starboard is the corresponding word for the right side of a boat. LeBoat’s friendly and professional guides stay with you through the first lockstation to ensure you have confidence going through a lock (it is really easy and fun!). Your friends or family are the shipmates who tie the 20 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

lines off in each lock, and as the days progress everyone can take turns driving the boat or securing the lines. LeBoat has several boat sizes depending on the number of people traveling with you. Each model has a slightly different cabin configuration to suit any party size up to twelve people. We were on the Horizon 3, an exceptionally comfortable touring boat with a light and airy saloon and fully equipped kitchen with oversized sliding glass doors that open up to a rear seating area. The kitchen has a spacious table that comfortably seats six people. The lower bow has a large master bedroom with a full washroom and shower and there are two smaller bedrooms, one each on the port and starboard side, each with their own washrooms and shower. The boats have electrical outlets and ports for charging computers and phones. The onboard battery system recharges itself during the day as the boat is moving. You can also recharge at any time at dock stations for a small fee. (We were out for a week and did not need to recharge the battery once as it charged on its own when we were moving.) The Horizon 3 features a spacious upper level sundeck with a bimini sun shade, a barbeque and a sunbathing area while

the bow and stern are great to use as a jumping-off spots when you stop to swim. We had many wonderful meals ‘up top’ along the way. For inclement weather, the ‘captain’ (our captain was whoever was driving the boat at any given time) can move from the wheel on the upper deck and take the second wheel down below to navigate from the inside. I preferred navigating on the upper deck as there is a grand and freewheeling feeling you get being ‘up top’ overlooking the vastness and beauty of the Rideau Lakes as you move through this spectacular lake system on a warm sunny day. There is ample storage in the stern if you bring bikes or fishing gear. On the lower back deck just above the water level of the boat there is a long, padded bench for sitting out and chilling. The boat goes slow enough that you can cast your line off the back and go trolling for bass, musky, pike, black crappie or sunfish. The great thing about a week on LeBoat is that everything is self contained. You arrive with a week’s worth of groceries and other amenities and then it’s like you’re in a 5-Star RV on the water. You can plan your entire trip in advance or take it as it comes, stopping at the interesting locks, towns and adventure spots along the way.


“The Canal appears and operates

much as it did 189 years ago with limestone locks, hand-operated cranks, wooden lock master houses, and stone supply buildings.”

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Passing through the locks at Kingtson Mills. Most lock stations

are destination for day-trippers who watch the boats navigate through the locks. Our Horizon 3 LeBoat heading into one of the three locks at Jones Falls—the biggest drop in the sytem. Parks Canada has placed pairs of red Muskoka chairs in different locations across the country to help visitors connect with nature in Canada’s most unique and treasured places. We joined a collection of LeBoats moored in Wesport. During busy peak periods, make sure to call ahead to reserve a berth for the night. (ALL PHOTOS: OLM STAFF)

We knew we wanted to go through the locks down to Kingston and back with stops in Westport, Newboro, and Kingston. We did it all and we were not disappointed. Parks Canada does an exceptional job of keeping historic the Rideau Canal locks in tip-top shape year round. The Canal appears and operates much as it did 189 years ago with limestone locks, handoperated cranks, wooden lock master houses, and stone supply buildings. Each lock is unique in its history and the pleasant green-and-tan uniformed Parks Canada staff are always ready to offer visitors any assistance they can. Most locks provide washrooms with showers, overnight mooring and picnic facilities, including tables, benches and barbecue grills. There are either annual pass fees or low daily fees charged to most boaters and paddlers at lockstations, but with LeBoat those fees are included in your trip. If you come upon a lock station that you like, just pull up and secure your boat and you

are good to go or, in this case, stay. We left Smith Falls on a sunny weekday morning and spent the first day under glorious blue skies as we made our way through several locks on the way to Westport. Once you are underway, navigation along the shoreline and through the Rideau lakes is easy and you’ll feel free of encumbrances as you casually cruise along. It’s just so glorious to be ‘out there’. Barbecue, beers and music on the Horizon 3 deck made it easy to decompress and get into a relaxed vacay mode. On the first day (and most other days) we would stop at our leisure for a swim and to enjoy the very best of Canada’s freshwater lakes. Our first night was in the quaint lakeside town of Westport where the town motto is ‘Life is good’. Westport is 14.6 km away from Portland and connects Big Rideau Lake to Upper Rideau Lake. People visit to go hiking through the scenic Foley Mountain Conservation area, camp or swim at the local beaches. We pulled into the

pier at around 4:45 p.m. and took a leisurely stroll, visiting the charming stores on the two main streets. Our destination was a 15-minute walk to the family owned Scheuermann Vineyard and Winery where we enjoyed their exceptional wine over dinner under a large canvas top that sat atop a hill on their property overlooking the water. A perfect end to a perfect day. There is an overnight mooring fee of $70 in Wesport. You can refill your boat with water, get a charge if required, or fuel but we did not require any of that. In fact, in our travels from Smith Falls to Kingston and back, we didn’t need to stop for fuel once or charge up. Two of our seven days were spent mostly on the move. We had a cooler rain day on the second day which we used to make time on the water as we headed towards Kingston. But even with an overcast sky and a little rain it was fun and an adventure as around every island and beyond each lock was new scenery and things to take in and discover. As we navigated past some of the small islands, the grand homes and cottages that pepper the shorelines and small islands of Big Rideau Lake, we continually passed properties with Canadian flags proudly jutting out from docks or on rocks. It was the definition of a Canadiana ‘storybook’. 21 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


Throughout the trip there were onboard talks about the history of the area and we all marvelled at how such a spectacular and naturally beautiful water system could have had such perfectly engineered locks constructed almost 200 years ago. We enjoyed making meals onboard, drinking great wine and craft beers and playing board games at night or just sitting around up on the top deck talking, enjoying the summer nights under the stars.

“We all marvelled at how such a spectacular and naturally

beautiful water system could have had such perfectly engineered locks constructed almost 200 years ago.

Smith Falls LeBoat’s home base, Smiths Falls (Lock 29a) is the starting and ending point for exploring the canal. The base is located in a historic lockmaster’s house. The town is the largest community between Kingston and Ottawa, and has a wide variety of shops and restaurants. There are lots of artisanal stores, relaxing coffee shops and local pubs restaurants within walking distance from the LeBoat pier. The Smiths Falls combined lock, 29a, offers overnight mooring, day use docking and washrooms. Rideau Ferry The town of Rideau Ferry is strongly associated with the Rideau Lakes and is the gateway between the Big and Lower Rideau Lakes. Portland is a delightful village on Big Rideau Lake on the way to the Westport. Shops for one-of-akind collectable antiques and souvenirs and old-fashioned cheese makers can be found here for shoppers. For recreational activity you can go horseback riding or golf along the Cataraqui all-season trail. Newboro Calling all fisherman at heart, Newboro Lake is home to a high population of largemouth bass just waiting to make your evening catch. Kilborn’s department store since 1832 awaits all in search of a historical shopping experience, with many quaint restaurants lining the town for a quiet dinner stop. The Rideau canal lock 36, just 6.4 km from the previous mooring LEFT (TOP TO BOTTOM): We enjoyed the sunset

in the habour at Kingston marina from the top deck of our LeBoat. (PHOTO: M.STAPLES) A Celtic Cross commemorates the many labourers who lost their lives, many of whom were Irish, during the building of the Rideau Canal. Ready to set sail after spending the night moored at Upper Brewers locks. (PHOTO: OLM STAFF) 22 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


station, connects Upper Rideau Lake to Newboro Lake. This lockstation represents the Rideau’s “home port” as it remains upstream for both Ottawa and Kingston to Newboro. We spent a night here and had a great dinner up topunder the stars, it was idyllic. There were several kayakers and canoeists who had stopped to camp near the lockstation along with two other Horizon LeBoat’s. Chaffey’s Lockstation A sight to see, Chaffey’s Lockstation, (Lock 37) can be found 17km from Newboro on the gorgeous, narrow strip of land between Opinicon Lake and Indian Lake. The heritage and history of this entire region has been carefully preserved by the Chaffey’s Lock and Area Heritage Society since 1980. The Lockmaster’s House Museum is a golden destination for lovers of Canadian history along their Rideau Canal journey. There is a local store that sells ice cream and wine and other amenities. It is nice to take an hour or two off the boat and walk around here. Lots of local lore and history. Jones Falls The Jones Falls lockstation is one of the most scenic and tranquil lockstations on the journey and you will have a hard time believing you are still in the same province even though you are only a short 14 km trip from the previous lock. The flight of three locks (3942), with a turning basin to separate them, achieves a lift higher than that of any other along the canal route. As we passed through this system there were lots of people, tourists and locals standing on the side of the lock enjoying the day and just watching our Horizon 3 LeBoat pass through. Many people inquired about the craft and asked if it was easy to navigate. We were happy to tell everyone how much we were loving our trip and encourage everyone to try a LeBoat excursion with friends or family. Seeley’s Bay Seeley’s Bay is just 14 km further down. Centennial Park is within walking distance from the mooring stations and features the commemorative Teepee of Granny Seeley who was a symbol of Indigenous-settler relations after running a major trading post in the 1800s.

Kingston Mills Kingston Mills (Locks 46-49) is the home to the King’s Mill, the Rideau’s first mill built in 1784. Points of interest here include Robert Anglin’s Visitor Centre and the Kingston Mills Falls below the Cataraqui River Dam. When you leave Kingston Mills you will find yourself navigating in and out of some narrow channels and larger bodies of water before hitting Kingston, renowned as the fresh-water sailing capital of North America. We considered overnighting here but, when a train passed overhead as we descended through the locks, we decided against it.

and proved to be great Ambassadors for the area. The next morning we ventured out and took an hour-long trip down the Kingston-Lake Ontario coastline and headed to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. On the way there you pass Gord Edgar Downie Pier at Breakwater Park which features a large breakwater with a pier for lake swimming. It was a sunny Sunday morning and there were hundreds of people in the park and in the water. The lake was full of recreational boats and kayaks taking in the day.

“Le Boat also offers holidays where you

can explore many of Europe’s stunning lakes, rivers, canals and their surrounding villages from the unique perspective of your own LeBoat sundeck.

Kingston I’ve driven on the 401 to Kingston dozens of times but it was fascinating to arrive in this historic city by boat, passing under bridges and navigating through marshes as we gently merged into Lake Ontario and navigated our way over to the Confederation Basin Marina in the heart of historic downtown Kingston. Located in front of City Hall, behind the Shoal Tower and across the water from Old Fort Henry, the marina is close to theatre, shopping, restaurants, museums and nightlife. It features 350 slip finger docks that can accommodate both power and sail boats to a maximum length of 100 feet. We stayed here overnight and paid a small mooring fee of $75 to be in the harbour in the heart of the city. We enjoyed a home cooked meal and took in the city lights and energy from the upper deck of the boat. It was a Saturday night and the city was alive with locals and tourists who were out on the patio’s (and all following Covid protocols). Kingston’s historic buildings take one back into the 19th century. A spectacular city hall, the monumental Fort Henry military site, the striking gardens and Bellevue House National Historic Site are just some of the offerings. The Kingston Marina staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful

After a pump out and a top up of fresh water, we turned and headed back up the shoreline past the city centre and made our way back towards the Cataraqui River and into the lower portion of the Rideau Canal, on our way back home. We would swim, eat, drink and play our way back to Smith Falls over the next couple of days. The Rideau Canal system is usually open between May 20th and October 12th. It can be navigated in as little as three days by power boat, but this doesn’t leave much time to enjoy the sights, sounds and history of one of Canada’s greatest engineering marvels. That’s why it’s best with LeBoat. I’m sure we will do the LeBoat Rideau Canal again. LeBoat also offers holidays where you can explore many of Europe’s stunning lakes, rivers, canals and their surrounding villages from the unique perspective of your own LeBoat sundeck. Their vast network of bases across Europe cover over 170 varied cruising routes with over 40 different types of canal boats to choose from. Just choose your destination, and then enjoy the freedom to travel as slow as you want g www.leboat.ca/en/boating-holidays 23 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


fighter jet series by Michael Bussière

The F-35 is more than a fighter jet. It is strengthening Canada from within. Globally, the F-35 Lightning II is the backbone of allied

Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United

airpower, providing NATO and NORAD interoperability

Kingdom and United States. The growth of

to more than 13 countries and counting. It is considered

the international F-35 fleet serves as a beacon of

critical to strengthening Canada’s international

allied capability and partnership, bringing nations

connectivity, enhancing national securities and adding

together to collaborate and strengthen global security

power to coalition partnerships.

for generations to come.

With more than 200 F-35s now delivered to international operators, the impact of the global fleet is substantial – both in size and significance. NATO members in the F-35 program of record include Belgium, Canada, Denmark,

Global Demand Sustaining Key Jobs for Canadian Suppliers The F-35 already plays a large role in Canada’s defence economy with local suppliers from coast to coast supporting thousands of well paying, high quality jobs for Canadians. While the pandemic drastically slowed commercial manufacturing, the F-35 program remained a stable project for Canadian employees. This was particularly important in Delta, BC, where ASCO Industries builds bulkheads for the F-35 A and C variants. This allowed the supplier to retain over 120 workers, 50 of whom

Employees at Ottawa’s Gastops facility. 24 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

work specifically on the F-35. ASCO’s work continued to


local economy all while producing the largest machine single piece on the aircraft. In Moncton, New Brunswick,

More Than a Fighter Jet Building complex pieces for the F-35 and ensuring accurate expertise are extremely important. That is why local suppliers have partnered with Canadian universities and colleges to equip the next generation of students with these specialty skills to ensure continued

local supplier, APEX Industries,

support. For many Canadian companies, this program

weathered the pandemic by continuing

has opened the door to other global opportunities in

their critical work on the F-35. APEX employs 75

military defence procurement.

people working in their aerospace department with 20

As the most capable, survivable, and connected fighter

exclusively on the F-35 program. These jobs are not only

jet in the world, the F-35 provides Canada with the right

good, well-paying jobs but are highly skilled workers

choice for its current and future defence capabilities. It

producing elements for every single F-35 aircraft that

is connecting communities across Canada, supporting

comes off the production line, supplying all the aluminum

local economies and equipping future workforces with

components of the folding wing on the carrier variant.

advanced skills. Participating in the F-35 program is an

Ottawa Supplier Milestone Ottawa, Ontario, marked a milestone for the F-35 this year, when Gastops celebrated its 3,500th engine sensor

investment in more than just defence, it is an investment in Canada. Learn more at F35.com/Canada

delivery for F-35 Lightning II. Critical components that contribute to the aircraft’s advanced intelligence technology, performance safety, and reliability. This WELL I’Mdemand GOINGfor TO HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT. delivery was made possible HMMM, as the continued THIS steady IS GOING TAKE FOREVER, ISN’T IT!? the F-35 program has remained and TO dependable. 25 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

© 2021 Lockheed Martin Corporation

contribute to the


fighter jet series by Michael Bussière

Is it time for Canada to step up to the F-35 plate?

T

he day will soon arrive when the Government of Canada must decide on which fighter jet it will purchase for the RCAF. Other countries have recently been facing a similar choice, and in many cases they have been opting for the Lockheed Martin F-35.

consumers logging issues with tech support via automated reports. It’s a free way to test the minutia, and it don’t much matter if the evolution of your city-state in Civilization VI gets stuck in a hierarchical strange loop. But fighter jets have to fly, and they have to fight, and their bugs are big and costly, so you don’t want to get stuck with a

The R&D program responsible for the slick plane was established by a consortium of nine partner countries: The feds can take comfort the U.S., the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, in knowing that many of our allies, Norway, Denmark and Canada. Turkey was set to buy 100 F-35A conventional and even nice, neutral Switzerland takeoff-and-landing models, but was have been ordering the F-35. given the boot in 2019 by the U.S. after accepting delivery of the Russian turkey of a plane; ergo, the extreme S-400 air defence system. The removal caution by governments, especially of Turkish parts suppliers, whose high good ol’ Canada. quality components come at a good price, drove the cost of the engines up The feds can take comfort in knowing by as much as 3 per cent, according to that many of our allies, and even nice, engine builder Pratt & Whitney. neutral Switzerland have been ordering the F-35. NATO pals, including the Fighter jets of any variety, like all United Kingdom, Norway, Italy, the military hardware, are on the opposite Netherlands and Denmark, have side of the soft launch scale from purchased 49 to date, according to consumer software. Game developers, Lockheed Martin’s website. U.S. Air for example, will drop new products Force Gen. Tod Wolters, NATO’s on to the market, bugs and all, and supreme commander for Europe, issue patches as needed in response to 26 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

recently predicted that as many as 400 more 35s could be deployed on the continent by 2030 as the coalition continues to build its fifth-generation fighter capability. In 2018, the Royal Navy conducted the first-ever Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL) with an F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter jet, which touched down on the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth without having to jettison fuel or weapons, and while carrying a heavy load. It was an impressive maneuver, and part of the first combat mission from the new ship, striking Daesh targets in the Middle East. Britain originally planned to buy 138 jets, but has yet to commit to numbers and a timeline. This fall, RAF Base Lakenheath, located 130 kms northeast of London, will become the first permanent UK-based home of a U.S. F-35 fleet serving Europe. Last fall, Norway announced a new Long Term Plan for its armed forces and increases in spending to strengthen its preparedness. It shares many of the same defence concerns, commitments and territorial needs as Canada. New


LEFT: Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II MM7360 Fighter jet aircraft at Zeltweg Air Base. (PHOTO: iSTOCK)

Force Base, Arizona, where Danish pilots and maintenance personnel will begin training. Two Danish companies, Terma A/S and Multicut A/S, are manufacturing pylons, advanced composites, software solutions, radar components and horizontal tail edges. The F-35 is picking up where the retiring F-16 is leaving off, ensuring strategic integration of Denmark with other NATO member air forces. It is, in effect, a force multiplier for Denmark,

For all NATO members, and Canada is no exception, dovetailing with U.S. air dominance is exceptionally important. Lockheed Martin recently delivered the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to the Italian Air Force, bringing its total to 123. The singleseat, single-engine jet was manufactured at Lockheed Martin’s Final Assembly and Checkout facility in Cameri, which was challenged by the country’s severe lockdown. Facing calls for cancellation, the coalition government marketed the purchase and domestic manufacturing of the planes as being crucial to the economic recovery of a country profoundly devastated by the pandemic. The Netherlands first purchased the F-35A in 2016 to replace its F-16 fleet that has been in service for more than 30 years. The first arrived at Leeuwarden Air Base the following year. The Dutch Ministry of Defence touted the involvement of the Dutch commercial sector, with more than 25 suppliers participating in various technology projects for the aircraft. The initial order of 37 planes was boosted that same year to a total commitment of 46. Denmark’s F-35 purchase of 27 F-35A aircraft is being built at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, with the first being completed and revealed this past April, before heading to Luke Air

allowing its pilots to train and serve alongside NATO allies to amplify its deterrent capabilities.

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Vladimir Putin recently inspected Russia’s new “Checkmate” warplane. The prototype of the Sukhoi fifthgeneration stealth fighter can cruise at supersonic speed and incorporates artificial intelligence to assist pilots. It’s designed to counter the F-35 and be an attractive option for buyers in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. The Crimean Peninsula and the Black Sea may be far off our radar, but remember this. If you ever visit Alert, the planet’s most northerly settlement, perched up there on top of Ellesmere Island, you only have to stand on a roof to see Denmark to the east, and Russia just over the curvature of the Earth. For all NATO members, and Canada is no exception, dovetailing with U.S. air dominance is exceptionally important. As Greg Ulmer, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has stated: “The F-35 will ensure Denmark’s [insert Canada’s] sovereignty and air dominance, enhance its multi-domain and network-based coalition operations, and play a pivotal role in keeping the Arctic a secure and stable region.” g

real client Curtis Jones

BEFORE

aircraft systems will have priority for its air force over the coming years, including the ongoing implementation of the F-35 Lightning II. Purchases were made in small orders beginning with 6 jets, plus 3 more in 2018 and 6 more in 2019. They are kept busy regularly intercepting Russian antisubmarine and other combat aircraft. Norway plans to expand its fleet of fifth-generation stealth fighters to 52 by 2025, at which point it will retire all of its F-16s.

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fighter jet series/op-ed by Stephen Fuhr

PHOTO: BOEING.CA

Why Boeing? T

he 2017 defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE), is Canada’s 20-year road map to defence policy. At the time of release, the document was well received by most with a commitment from the government to fund the numerous large procurements identified in the document. So, we have a plan, and we have a commitment to fund the policy aspirations of SSE. That all sounds great, but execution is key, and it will take sound decision making and fiscal discipline if the objectives of SSE are to be realized. Two of the biggest procurements laid out in SSE are the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) and the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP). Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, CSC has already sailed off to the land of massive cost overruns, but FFCP still has a chance to deliver a product that will satisfy our military requirements, support Canadian Aerospace, and help to rebuild our economy while respecting the taxpayer. For years, the fan favourite to replace our CF-18s has been the Lockheed Martin F-35A. The aircraft has a colourful history, and one could seriously debate whether the aircraft will ever deliver the capabilities it promised over 20 years ago. Or, if some of those capabilities are even as effective with the continuous evolution of the threat. The reality is it doesn’t matter as the F-35 is simply beyond the fiscal capacity of FFCP and there is overwhelming evidence to support this claim. Earlier this year, Adam Smith, the Chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee said, “the sustainment costs (F-35) are brutal.” Mr. Smith 28 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

From an economic benefits perspective, Boeing’s offering is second to none with an impressive $61 billion and 248,000 jobs injected into the Canadian economy over the life of the program. and his committee have clearances and access to the goods. His opinion should raise eyebrows. In early July 2021, a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report further confirmed the F-35 remained, unaffordable. In fact, the promise of $25,000 an hour, “in 2012 dollars” is realistically unattainable given sustainment costs for the aircraft are in fact increasing, according to the GAO report. Even the F-35 Joint Program office (JPO), which is usually very bullish about the F-35 program estimates an increase in F-35A sustainment cost per tail from $7.1 million in 2018 to $7.8 million in 2020. From a practical perspective, what do we see that corroborate the claims of F-35 unaffordability? Most countries involved in the program are buying greatly reduced numbers of F-35 airframes than originally identified in the projects program of record. The recent Swiss down select of the F-35A to replace its legacy F/A-18 solved its own budgeted $55,000 an hour sustainment cost problem by relegating pilots to more simulator time and less flying. As an aside, this is a bad idea for air forces with a pilot generation and retention problem. Finally, the second biggest Air Force in the world, the U.S.

Navy, is buying more Super Hornets and upgrading their Block II to Block III configuration. This would hardly make sense if the F-35C was more capable and cost-effective than the Block III Super Hornet. So where do we go from here? Realistically, of the remaining contenders being considered in the FFCP, the Block III Super Hornet makes the most sense. This aircraft can easily deliver the capabilities required to support both NORAD and NATO operations. It is 65 per cent compatible with current Canadian infrastructure and presents the easiest transition from what we currently fly. It ushers in massive increases in both network and computing capability, a state-of-the-art pilot-machine interface, two engines and satellite communications right out of the box. It also provides a buddy tanking capability that would greatly increase our ability to force employ in the Canadian north. From an economic benefits perspective, Boeing’s offering is second to none with an impressive $61 billion and 248,000 jobs injected into the Canadian economy over the life of the program. Canada’s proud legacy of superb tactical fighter capability can only be ensured if we choose a solution we can afford to obtain and operate. The Block III Super Hornet is that solution g Stephen Fuhr was the Chair of the Commons Standing Committee National Defence in Canada’s the 42nd Parliament. He also served as a CF-18 pilot, NORAD and NATO evaluator and worked in CF-18 fleet management for 1 Canadian Air Division, RCAF.


fighter jet series/op-ed by Sean M. Maloney, PhD

What is happening in Afghanistan

T

he sudden Taliban offensive and the apparent collapse of the Afghan security forces has shocked those of us who have had extensive dealings with that country and its peoples. At this point we are inundated with a plethora of simplistic analogies: ‘Afghanistan is Vietnam’ predominates and constant memes, Gifs and pictures of helicopters in Saigon bombards us on social media. That is not useful and it should not be a guide for Canada as we struggle to come to grips with the situation and its implications. And those implications are dire for the people we worked closely with, particularly for our interpreters and our locally employed people and their families. I am in contact with several of them. They tell me there were 300 executions in Spin Boldak alone this week. I was told 80 educated, young Afghans, male and female, were rounded up and murdered in the parts of Kandahar City the Taliban controls. I am told that surrendering Afghan security personel are told to go home… and then are dispatched later at night by men with small calibre pistols. The Taliban employ biometric databases that use fingerprint scanners and laptops to identify and kill anybody who worked for the NATO forces and, significantly, the International Community: Red Cross, Red Crescent, deminers, aid workers and so on. There is essentially a network-enabled Nazi Einsatzgruppe. We are observing the blood chilling effects of 21st Century technology wedded to a medieval ideology. The Canadian Armed Forces departed Kabul in 2014 after the decision was made by the Canadian government to end our training mission. I was on that last Chinook helicopter to Kabul International Airport. We are now seven years later, twenty years since

Canadian troops first put their boots on the ground in that country. When we departed there was still an insurgency, but nothing on the level of activity and violence we experienced in 2006-2011. What happened in Afghanistan? In February of this year I rewrote the epilogue to the to-be published threevolume history of Canada’s war in Afghanistan. I contacted people I knew there and got caught up with the events of 2014 to 2021. The insurgency, I was told, resembled what the insurgency looked like when I was there in 2005, or early 2006. It was troublesome in specific areas, but it was manageable. Why was this so? From 2011 to 2021, the Taliban movement fragmented into at least three parts after the death of Mullah Omar in 2013 and remnants of Al Qaeda allied themselves with some of the groups. The ISIS affiliate, Islamic

We are observing the blood chilling effects of 21st Century technology wedded to a medieval ideology. State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) fused deeply radicalized members of Al Qaeda, Pakistan TTP and others who wanted to emulate ISIS. This dangerous movement even beheaded Al Qaeda personnel for video distribution. Another group, the Islamic Emirate High Council of Afghanistan, emerged from a Taliban faction in western Afghanistan and fought the antigovernment clans in Helmand province. Major operations were undertaken against Al Qaeda in 2016 which destroyed their attempt at gaining a foothold in Kandahar Province. In

2019, the Afghan government focused their efforts on ISKP and dealt a fatal blow to that organization in 2019. Between the fall of 2020 and July 2021, however, some entity has welded together the disparate Taliban remnants, equipped them, organized them, enabled them, and provided them with a strategic design. Indeed, the recent assault on Kandahar City is the exact plan the Taliban used in 2006…the one we stopped cold as the combined effects of Task Force Orion’s operations in the summer and the Medusa battles in the fall of that year. This situation would not exist without outside influences. Yet all I see are bitter recriminations about how the army we helped train is not fighting effectively or at all, about how Canada failed in Afghanistan, that it was all a waste. In many ways, this is blaming the victim. I could easily point fingers at corruption, greed, tribal politics, the survivalist aspects of Afghan tribal culture. These are contributing factors. But indulging in that obscures the facts: there are outside entities that want to murder our project to help the people of Afghanistan and attack our values system. They want to convince us and others that our projects to help will inevitably fail and that we should stay contained on our North American island so they can do their dirty work. We are not doing enough to identify, call out, and confront such entities and those who lead and fund them. Meanwhile, I am helping people that I know get out before it is too late. And you and I don’t like guilty parties getting away with mass murder, do we? g Sean M. Maloney is a Professor of History at Royal Military College and was the Canadian Army’s historian for the war in Afghanistan. 29 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


politics/op-ed by Dan Donovan

Op-ed

The Green Party of Canada

slides into irrelevance with antisemitic and racist behaviour

I

have always been fascinated by the amount of coverage the Green Party receives in the national media given that they have never lived up to their billing in terms of electoral votes or seats for more than three decades.

The Green Party has failed to take hold with mainstream voters in Canada because they have never matured politically. This is mainly because they have some nutbars in the party whose positions and antics deter many mainstream voters from supporting them.

Former Green Party leader Elizabeth May failed to bring the party success Having principles and coming from with seats in the House of Commons a place of doing the right thing is despite trying for over 13 years and five an admirable quality in any political separate election cycles. In the 2019 election, the Greens garnered only 6.4 per cent of the popular vote nationally. Annamie Paul by any standard Not quite fringe numbers but certainly not respectable in terms of being a real is a serious and very credible person player. Despite the unearned media and her treatment by many of hype, they ended the campaign with a grand total of three seats. Yes, that is the party members is embarrassing three seats in the House of Commons and shameful. including May’s in British Columbia. In 2020, May stepped down as leader and was replaced by Annamie Paul. She is the first Black Canadian and first Jewish woman to become the leader of a major political party in Canada. Paul had electoral experience having run for the Green Party in Toronto Centre against former Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, in 2019. She lost but had the second-best Green result in the Greater Toronto Area, nearly tripling their vote in the riding. 30 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

party, but there is a fine line between being principled and being strident and stubborn, or worse, stupid. Sadly, the current prickly people from the Birkenstock sector who run the Green party are now in full meltdown mode and are trying to oust their new leader, Annamie Paul, with a breathtakingly ignorant, antisemitic, and racist narrative that is quickly suffocating any remaining credibility the Greens have with voters.

To be clear, Annamie Paul by any standard is a serious and very credible person and her treatment by many of the party members is embarrassing and shameful. It proves the point that ‘the left’ in Canada have elements in it that are as racist and ignorant as the people on the right of the spectrum who they are often quick to accuse of being prejudiced and who they smugly attack when their views do not align with Green ideological positions. As party leader, Annamie Paul represented the first real chance to bring the Greens into the mainstream of Canada’s politics. She is a first generation Canadian—the daughter of immigrants who moved to Canada from the Caribbean in the 1960s. Her mother took a job as a live-in domestic before regaining her profession as an elementary teacher where she would teach for more than 30 years in Toronto schools. Annamie’s was enrolled in a French immersion program in Toronto and was among the first group of students to graduate from the program in the late 1980s. She had an interest in politics at a young age and became a Page in the Ontario Legislature when she was only 12. She would go on to earn a Master of Public Affairs at Princeton University,


a Bachelor of Law at the University of Ottawa, and was called to the Bar in Ontario. Professionally she worked in international affairs abroad as a director for a leading conflict prevention NGO in Brussels, as an advisor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and as a political officer in Canada’s Mission to the European Union. She co-founded and co-directed BIPP HUB in Barcelona: an innovation hub for international NGOs working on global challenges. She also served on the board and advised several international NGOs, including the Climate Infrastructure Partnership (CLIP), Higher Education Alliance for Refugees (HEAR) and Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT).

missile attacks by Hamas then you are a supporter of apartheid. Worse was the subtle but very real racist and antisemitic undertones that were deployed to try to dethrone Paul in this sad mutiny. The anti-Semites came out in full force when Annamie Paul’s senior advisor Noah Zatzman expressed his solidarity with Israel in a social media post (May 14, 2021) which accused many politicians, including unspecified Green MPs, of discrimination and antisemitism. His comments appeared to be in response to attacks on Israel by Green party members who were stridently calling out Israel over their air strikes and blaming Israel for the conflict while conveniently leaving out the fact that the Palestinian terrorist

The Green Party of Canada Paul has long promoted diversity in Canadian politics as the founder of has been overtaken by a gaggle the Canadian Centre for Political of fringe ideologues whose Leadership (CCPL) from 2001-2005: a non-partisan charity that trained women uncompromising narrative and under-represented minorities to run for elected office. She volunteered with can only be found in the hallowed Operation Black Vote Canada (OBVC) halls of many of Canada’s politically and served on the steering committee for correct social studies faculties Equal Voice Canada, two non-partisan organisations working to diversify where ‘tenured professors’ who our political representation. She has would find difficulty getting a job published articles and policy papers on social inclusion and representation in in the real world postulate about Canadian politics. Paul’s husband is an international human rights lawyer who specializes in peace negotiations and reconciliation, and they have two teenage children. After watching the nasty and demeaning circus that is unfolding in the Green Party, I cannot imagine why anyone would want to vote for them let alone be associated with them as a candidate in an election. Sadly, the Green Party of Canada has been overtaken by a gaggle of fringe ideologues whose uncompromising narrative can only be found in the hallowed halls of many of Canada’s politically correct social studies faculties where ‘tenured professors’ who would find difficulty getting a job in the real world postulate about such things as ‘better speech over free speech’ and believe absurd things like if you think Israel has a right to defend itself from

such things as ‘better speech over free speech’.

group Hamas had fired almost 3,800 missiles at Israel and the only thing stopping mass casualties in Israel was the Israeli defence system known and the Irondome. While Zatzman showed poor judgment in making the post, given that he was a senior aide to Paul, he then went further in a Facebook post stating that Greens “will work to defeat you and bring in progressive climate champions who are Antifa and pro-LGBT and proIndigenous sovereignty and Zionists!” This comment infuriated many in the party and they began relentlessly attacking Paul. They demanded not only that Zatzman be fired but the Paul

resign. Zatzman would eventually leave but the attacks on Paul only increased and were often personal or nasty in nature with many implying she was stupid, prejudiced, ignorant or worse. Many of the Green Party emails and releases regarding the situation were sent to media across Canada, including Ottawa Life Magazine. The aggressive tone and strident and accusatory content in many of them is quite shocking and were not what one would get from a mature political party trying to provide an alternative to the three traditional parties in Canada. As this debacle played out, on June 10, 2021, the Greens were further reduced to two seats when New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin, their only MP from West of British Columbia, crossed the floor and joined the Liberal party and caucus after some clever manoeuvering and persuasive bidding by New Brunswick MP and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Dominick Leblanc. There was the stench of hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty in Atwin’s move and her New Brunswick constituents will decide her fate in the coming election. Atwin justified the defection saying, “there were too many ‘distractions’” in the Green Party, and she wanted to work in a more “supportive and collaborative environment.” She bizarrely suggested her crossing the floor was as direct result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which she had directly challenged Annamie Paul’s position on the issue, saying Paul’s call for de-escalation and a return to dialogue between the two was “totally inadequate.” On May 11, 2021, Atwin had tweeted, “I stand with Palestine and condemn the unthinkable airstrikes in Gaza. End apartheid!” Atwin did not explain how the very views and position expressed by Annamie Paul on the conflict are any different from the official position of the Trudeau Liberal government she quit the Greens to join. The fact is that the Trudeau Liberal government does not consider Israel an ‘apartheid state’ and the Canadian government also called for a de-escalation in the conflict when it occurred. Throughout all this Annamie Paul has 31 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


attempted to take the high road, saying party debate is healthy. To understand the internal politics and what is really going on in the Green Party of Canada, you need look no further than the departments of Sociology or Arts in many university campuses across Canada where ideological Marxist professors with fully funded taxpayer tenures have taken over the narrative. They are offended by everything. They cannot have serious discussions about anything because someone might get triggered or offended or have an emotional crisis because a contrarian view is expressed that does not fit with their narrative. The left in Canada, including the Green Party, have become masters at tagging people with the term racist or antisemite or white nationalist if you do not agree with them. Now they have turned inward and are eating their own because they don’t know how to have a discussion that might include contrarian views. Annamie Paul’s statements on the Israeli-Hamas conflict were balanced and tempered. In fact, her views would mirror what most Canadians would say

about the conflict. The reality is a cabal of whack jobs in the Green Party displayed their true antisemitic and racist colours in trying to oust Paul over her very sensical comments about the issue.

After watching the nasty and demeaning circus that is unfolding in the Green Party, I cannot imagine why anyone would want to vote for them let alone be associated with them as a candidate. After first threatening to hold a confidence vote on Annamie Paul’s leadership and membership in the party, the party council was forced to back down in large part due to the intensity and anger thrown their way by ordinary Canadians on social media over the racist and antisemitic attacks on Paul. For her part Paul says she still intends

to lead the party in the upcoming election. “I want to lead us into the next election. I want to offer my service to our members and to Canada and I’m hoping that those that feel otherwise will wait until a more appropriate time to make a move.” The Green Party issued a statement after cancelling the vote to get rid of Paul saying that “no further motions of nonconfidence against the leader will be proposed to the current federal council or prior to the next general meeting of the Green Party.” Due to funding constraints, the staff in Paul’s office has been terminated and the party executive has not released any funding to support her riding campaign. People usually don’t give money to those engaged in prejudicial behaviour. The damage has been done and may prove to be unfixable. The fact is, the party is still run by the very people who put this awful stain on their brand. What the Green Party really needs is a political enema to get rid of these hateful members or they will be discarded to the dustbin of history g

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politics/op-ed by Dante Caloia

The national money tree —

deficit and debt could be a stealth issue in federal election

A

s Canadians are slowly nearing the light at the end of the tunnel that was Covid-19, a new focus for many citizens has arisen: the upcoming fall election and the changes that can come with it. Canadian society is by no means a static entity, but instead one that has everchanging political values and priorities depending on the current global and national climate. In the same way that Canadians in the 1940s were basing their politics off of World War 2, Canadians have been slowly formulating new political priorities shaped around the current global pandemic. In a poll carried out by Nanos research (January 2020 to July 2021) that examined which national issues Canadians are most concerned about, some intriguing trends arose. According to those surveyed, the most prominent concern is the economy and job stability. It is no surprise that apprehension skyrocketed in March of 2020. The jump in data coincided with the borders being closed to nonCanadians for the first time, as well as multiple provinces declaring states of emergency. The change in March can also be explained by the instability of the job market once the nation shut down. As a student who had recently returned from university, I experienced this firsthand. Non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors, thousands were left unemployed and looking to the government for help. In the coming months many would face economic hardship due to a lack of employment. With a large amount of the population having experienced the negative side effects of Covid-19 over the last year,

it is clear that the economy will be a crucial point of interest for any politician attempting to gain a majority vote. The environment is the second most important issue for those surveyed. It is less easy to predict why environmental awareness has increased during the pandemic, but one possible hypothesis is that individuals with more free time become more focused on their surroundings. With more people working from home or out of work, it is possible that they are more invested in environmental news and sustainable actions. It is also possible that with this increased amount of time, consumers are able to truly examine what they are purchasing and are able to become more aware of how much waste they may be creating.

The CERB combined with disruptions to trade have significantly increased the national deficit from $21.77 billion in the 2019/2020 fiscal year to a whopping $314 billion in 2020/2021. The national deficit rounded off the list of the top three national issues for those surveyed. This should not be confused with the national debt, although the two terms go hand in hand. The national deficit is the difference between the federal government’s yearly spending and its revenue. For the last few years, spending has outweighed revenue, leading to a growing national debt. The national debt is the total amount of money that Canada owes, or more simply put, the accumulation of past deficits.

Canadian placing a high level of importance on the national deficit can be explained by the drastic fiscal changes that the Canadian government made over the past year. As aforementioned, many were left with fiscal uncertainty because of the pandemic. This led to the government to create the Canada Emergency Response Benefit financial aid program or CERB. The implementation of the CERB combined with disruptions to trade have significantly increased the national deficit from $21.77 billion in the 2019/2020 fiscal year to a whopping $314 billion in 2020/2021. Canada’s national deficit has been high for quite a few years, this has been the largest increase since 2012. With the Canadian debt on the rise and Canadians uncertain about their future, it is safe to speculate that politicians will need to lay out clear plans to lower this debt if they wish to be elected. Other noteworthy issues are the pandemic, which received 10 per cent of the polling opinion, and Indigenous reconciliation, which received 7 per cent. It may come as a surprise to many that the pandemic came fifth overall in the July 2021 poll, but one possible explanation is that the pandemic is much less significant than it was a year ago. Although the pandemic continues to be prevalent in our daily lives, it appears that in the eyes of citizens, it is much less worrisome. Overall, the Nanos survey demonstrates that voters are more focused on the future of the nation whether it be fixing the economy, or saving the environment, and are more interested in forgetting about the pandemic than using it as a deciding factor for the upcoming election g 33 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


opinion by Michael Bussière

“Awake, my country, the hour of dreams is done! Doubt not, nor dread the greatness of thy fate.”

— From An Ode to the Canadian Confederacy (1886) by Sir Charles G. D. Roberts (1860-1943)

O

n the 28th of March 1972, a CBC television series called “Images of Canada” aired an episode about the history of Ottawa’s Parliament Hill. Directed by Vincent Tovell and written by Barbara Moon, the episode was wryly entitled “The Folly on the Hill,”a folly being a structure whose only purpose was decorative ornamentation in a garden setting. Ironically, Ottawa’s “folly” was situated in an 1860s lumber town and rose on wild bluffs above what was once an ancient sea and Indigenous meeting place. Bytown was home to 7,000 residents, 2 sawmills, 2 lumber merchants, 1 doctor, 1 theatre, plank sidewalks, muddy streets, 34 taverns, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Hardly a garden, and folly was the last thing on the mind of Thomas Fuller, the architect commissioned to design and build an awe-inspiring seat for the new constitutional monarchy. Fuller’s Parliament Buildings, as with any government mega-project, were met with the usual outcries of expense and boondoggle. Imagine the absurdity of transporting sandstone from near and far, and inviting no less than HRH Prince of Wales to place the cornerstone, all in the middle of this remote corner of mosquito-infested bush. But the new Parliament, Victorian-era Gothic Revival at its finest, needed to capture the imagination of the vast, vulnerable, and untested fledgling nation. Eons ago, Canada had triumphant architectural ambitions! 34 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

Fast forward to the 24 Sussex Drive calamity. Twenty four was a private residence for most of its existence. It’s confounding to think that its demise began when it was purchased by the federal government in 1943. Sure, a major renovation was conducted in 1951, but it’s been crumbling ever since. Is the Élysée Palace crumbling from the ground up? Does a sitting U.S. president risk embarrassment by assuming a plugged throne when nature calls at Buckingham? Doubtful. Are we the only G7 country who hums and haws and nickels and dimes over the maintenance of its official residences? Damn straight we are, and not many seem to be ashamed of it. We Canadians could be called prudent spenders. “Cheapskates” is more like it. Successive PMs have been avoiding the optics of renovating the official residence of the country’s most powerful executive. In 2015, Maureen McTeer, the wife of former Prime Minister Joe Clark, went so far as to call for it to be torn down. McTeer authored a book on Canada’s official residences and claims that the home has no significant architectural or historical value. But cheapskates beware. The vacant 24 is costing you $$$, and more $ are being added to the bill as things drag on. An NCC report from April 2018 was already sounding the alarm when it classified 24 as being in a “critical” state of disrepair. Both the repair and the replacement options for the buildings soared to well above

$34 million. The political will just isn’t there. Harper was warned about the situation in 2008 by then-auditor general Sheila Fraser about the $10 million required for essential repairs. He changed the light bulbs. Trudeau first referred the entire matter to the NCC in 2016, and Scheer blamed Trudeau for not having a plan. The bill is now $38m. So, how does political will navigate around the public resentment of selfserving politicians wanting an in-house roman spa with peeing cherubs? Sorry, but cheapness is not the way forward. The sitcom husband repairing the roof himself always regrets it a few episodes later when rotting walls and foundations come crashing down around the chesterfield. So Ottawa Life thinks TV may offer an innovative solution. Introducing 24: The Reality Show. Part Holmes on Homes, part Murdoch Mysteries, part Love it or List it. Get a guy like Mike Holmes in the door busting open walls to expose the real mess of the place. Call upon corporate donors to help defray the costs. Invite students from Algonquin’s Perth campus and the heritage restoration program. And use BBC docudrama-style interstitials with actors like Lachlan Murdoch, best known as Constable Henry Higgins on Murdoch Mysteries, to remind viewers of the great architectural and national ambition this country’s founders once fostered in stone. 24 Sussex Drive should be the pinnacle of that ambition, not its most pitiful wreck g

PHOTO:ISTOCK

Much ado about twenty-four


profile by Sofia Donato

Best Green Hedges — growing in spite of the pandemic

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est Green Hedges, a leader in Ottawa’s landscaping industry, is thriving despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has had to adapt to the new government regulations but, with the support of their dedicated team and loyal clients, Best Green Hedges continues to run smoothly. “I’m continually looking at ways to improve and adapt my business, so if anything, COVID has simply sped up the implementation of some ideas I had on the back burner” says Sheldon Best Green, owner since 2011. They offer their services to Ottawa and surrounding neighbourhoods, including; Barrhaven, Carp, Nepean, Kanata, Stittsville, Manotick, Osgoode, Vanier, Orleans, Rockland, Gloucester, and North Gower. Their operations typically begin in late March and extend into mid November, weather permitting. Known for their exceptional hedge trimming, the company also provides the same services for decorative shrubs, bushes and trees. After the winter they offer consultation services to assess snow damage and determine the best

PHOTO: COURTESY BEST GREEN HEDGES

strategy to repair hedges. Best Green Hedges ensures that client concerns are addressed and that they are educated on the care and maintenance of their plants. Free price quotes and consultation services are included. “The biggest change is of course the implementation of sanitary measures to ensure that our workers and customers remain safe throughout the pandemic, but we are very fortunate that our work is conducted outdoors with no contact required,” says Sheldon, regarding the pandemic. In addition to trimming, the company plants and removes hedges. They are dedicated to achieving high quality planting jobs - and do so by solely using

farm cultivated cedar trees within a day of being dug out. “Over the years, it became evident to me that there was a gap in our industry when it came to planting and removing hedges, so I added that to my company's roster of services a few years after starting the business,” says Sheldon. Sheldon was first introduced to the industry by a college friend while he was studying police foundations. His passion for entrepreneurship led to the creation of Best Green Hedges and 10 years later, is the owner of one of Ottawa's top landscaping companies. “I really enjoyed the physical outdoor work and was also really motivated when I became a foreman given the piecework nature of hedge trimming” said Sheldon when asked why he worked in this field. “These factors naturally led me to consider hedge trimming as a business pursuit when I began toying with the idea of starting my own business.” Best Green Hedges promises their clients quality craftsmanship and displays a talent for enhancing the natural beauty of their client’s landscapes g bestgreenhedges.com 35 OTTAWALIFE SPRING/SUMMER 2021


Making a difference in special ed: Andrew Williams

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igh school can be a difficult place for many students, but rarely is it harder than it is for students with disabilities. Support for students handling anything from learning disabilities to severe autism falls in the realm of special education—a position in which Andrew Williams, a special education teacher in Ottawa, finds incredible potential and meaning. Through years of experience in different special education programs, Williams understands the importance of and is passionate about helping high school students struggling with different disabilities to grow and learn. “In special education, you’re working on people,” Williams explains. “You’re helping them with skills that they need to be more independent or to achieve their dreams and goals.” He teaches the skills that students need to achieve and succeed in life, not necessarily in university. “I don’t really care that much about how to calculate slope. It’s very important,” he says, “but not…in my wheelhouse.” In the wheelhouse of special education, life takes precedence over geometry. Currently, Williams works full time in a program for students with severe autism. His experience in life drew him towards special education both through experience with disability and a desire to make a difference in the lives of students. Williams did not, however, originally envision a career in special education— or in education at all. He began his university degree in an outdoor 36 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

recreation program but, when his courses in fourth year incorporated a strong educational component, he recognized a different career path for himself. “I enjoy learning, and I always enjoyed telling people about stuff. I chose to go into teaching after that,” he explains.

Andrew Williams

Building up their confidence and showing them that they do have an area of speciality or that they are very smart is vital. — ANDREW WILLIAMS

His interest in special education specifically, though, has deeper roots. “I’ve always had passion for special education—my cousin has cerebral palsy. So as a young kid, having a member of the family with special needs around you was just normal.” Then, during his last year of his teaching degree in graduate school, Williams was diagnosed with his own learning disability. “I would have failed out had I not had a professor who identified it,” he says. “He saw that I was struggling.” After getting tested and receiving the support he needed, Williams graduated and became a teacher. He calls it, even now, a “profound experience.”

After receiving necessary support himself, he recognizes how students facing different levels of disability, from a difficult-to-diagnose learning disability like his own to severe autism, require different supports to succeed, and finds great purpose in helping provide that support. “For me it’s an important, purposeful, meaningful place in education that is worthy of trying to work hard and make a difference,” Williams says. “Particularly in special ed where they’re often marginalized or ostracized, building up their confidence and showing them that they do have an area of speciality or that they are very smart is vital.” The drive to make a difference and do meaningful work stems from William’s experiences in life. “There’s a lot of things that come together,” he explains. “But my brother died when I was in high school, and I think that that sort of put into perspective how you want to spend your time” he says. “You want to spend it in a quality way— because it’s short.” Teaching in special education carries enormous potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of students. “[It is] to try to take someone from wherever they are to some place better—where they know more or are more capable and are in a better position to achieve what they want,” Williams says. “What matters is that someone is learning something of value that will help get them where they want to go.” g www.osstf.on.ca

PHOTO:ISTOCK

OSSTF educators in Ottawa series by Grace Giesbrecht


Canada/China friendship series by Michael Bussière

Cyrus Janssen is one of North America’s leading experts on china and chinese marketing

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hina has been a mystery to the outside world ever since it built that wall, and to this day it gets plenty of bad press. Cyrus Janssen wants to change that. He’s an international business consultant, entrepreneur, and speaker whose been living abroad since 2007 in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and now Richmond BC. Janssen was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. An interest in international travel and foreign languages was sparked by a German-born mother who took the young man on several trips to her homeland. After graduating from Florida State University in December 2006, Janssen moved to Shanghai to pursue a career as a golf professional. Two years later, he was given the opportunity to serve as the Head Golf Professional for Sheshan International Golf Club, China’s first premier private club. As an American expat, Cyrus Janssen is working hard to work around the sabre rattling that seems to be growing louder between the U.S. and China. He’s pivoted from the fairway to work as a business consultant and marketing executive who believes that building bridges between countries is the only way forward. “My wife is Chinese-Canadian, my three children are mixed race, and I feel that I stand in the middle where I have both

perspectives and can facilitate better relationships,” Janssen says. “We’re never going to change each other, but we can work to understand each other.”

bank in China, while Canadian retailers receive CAD at a transaction price that is cheaper than conventional credit cards. It’s a win-win for both Canadian retailers and Chinese consumers.”

APP Marketing Solutions . . . helps Canadian and international retailers to connect through mobile payment solutions and content marketing.

APP relies on WeChat to do the heavy lifting. Unlike other apps that perform specific tasks, WeChat is a Chinese super app that handles personal messaging, phone calls, banking, social media, travel reservations, ride hauling, and food delivery. With 1.2 billion monthly users, it’s a marketer’s dream, and APP has helped many Canadian brands establish a presence on the platform. “We create content marketing for a variety of businesses including fashion brands, grocery stores, primary schools, and sports academies, all of whom attract a large number of Chinese clients,” says Janssen. “We create the content in Mandarin and give Canadian companies exposure on China’s largest social network. It’s a very powerful tool.”

Janssen has drawn upon his degree in business and hospitality and his work experience in the hospitality industry in China for over a decade to become one of North America’s leading experts on Chinese marketing. He created APP Marketing Solutions, a Richmond BC company that helps Canadian and international retailers to connect through mobile payment solutions and content marketing. APP’s slogan is “Empowering Canadian and International Retailers to connect with Chinese Consumers.” Accepting Chinese digital payments gives Canadian businesses a huge advantage. “Chinese tourists and international students to Canada continue to increase every year,” Janssen says. “By connecting your local Canadian business to China’s digital payment platforms, Chinese customers can pay in their local currency from their

Virtual platforms serve a purpose, but Janssen believes that personal contact and getting up in front of an audience is still the most powerful way to deliver his message. He’s an in-demand speaker at conferences, corporate events, colleges and other events like TEDxYouth Talk 2021. He communicates deep personal knowledge and experience on topics including China, international business and entrepreneurship g

To learn more about Cyrus Janssen, go to ww.cyrusjanssen.com where you’ll find plenty of informative videos and a very impressive list of international companies, which he refers to as cooperation partners. To learn more about how APP Marketing can help your business connect with the burgeoning Chinese consumer and tourist markets, without a doubt the most valuable in the world, check out appmarketing.ca. APP has already helped over 60 firms attract and retain more customers, and can do the same for your business. 37 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


Canada/China friendship series by Cong Peiwu

THE GREAT SIGNIFICANCE OF BUILDING PHOTO: iSTOCK

a moderately prosperous society in all respects to China and the world

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hen talking about China, a topic that people often mention is “Xiaokang society” (moderately prosperous society). So what exactly is a “moderately prosperous society”? This concept has existed since ancient China. A poem from The Book of Songs which dates back to more than 2,500 years ago says that the hard-working people should live in a moderately prosperous society. “Moderately prosperous society”, the aspiration of Chinese people to live a better life over thousands of years, had never been realized due to historical reasons. After the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1921, especially since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the CPC has endowed “moderately prosperous society” with new connotations. Based on China’s national conditions, the CPC has integrated the concept “moderately prosperous society” into the phased development goal to achieve modernization. In 1979, according to the actual condition of China’s economic development, Deng Xiaoping put forward the concept of “moderately prosperous society” for the first time. A living standard of “moderately prosperous life” means that on the basis of meeting people’s basic needs, the quality of life should be further improved with sufficient food and clothing. The 18th CPC National

38 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

China will work to build a new type of international relations, aiming at building an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. Congress in 2012 clearly stated that “China has entered a decisive stage of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.” General Secretary Xi Jinping said that “to realize a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020 and realize the first centenary goal is a solemn promise that our Party has made to the Chinese people and to history.” At a ceremony marking the centenary of the CPC held on July 1, 2021, General Secretary Xi Jinping made a solemn declaration: “It is my honour to declare on behalf of the Party and the people that through the continued efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation, we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of

building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects.” Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is a key step to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. Following the 18th CPC National Congress, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. We have upheld and strengthened the Party’s overall leadership, ensured coordinated implementation of the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, upheld and improved the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and modernized China’s system and capacity for governance. We have overcome a long list of major risks and challenges, fulfilled the first centenary goal, and set out strategic steps for achieving the second centenary goal. The Party and the country have made historic achievements and changes. Since reform and opening up in 1978, more than 770 million of China’s rural population living below the current poverty line have been lifted out of poverty. The GDP in China has exceeded 100 trillion yuan, making it the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest trader in goods and the largest holder of the foreign exchange reserves, accounting for more than 17 per cent of the global economy. Recently, China has also made the


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world marvel at its achievements in space exploration. With the successful launching of Shenzhou-12 Manned Spaceship, the Chinese entered their own space station for the first time, and the Chinese astronauts carried out their extravehicular activity. After moving out of the node cabin, astronaut Liu Boming said the view outside the Tiangong space station was “stunningly beautiful”. Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is a new great contribution made by China to the world. It brings new development opportunities to the world economy. With the outstanding advantages of the most complete industrial chain and supply chain, China has acted as a “world factory” that did not close during the epidemic, providing strong support for the global economy to get rid of the impact of COVID-19. Despite the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation did not come to a halt. It

continued to move forward, showing remarkable resilience and vitality. In 2020, trade in goods between China and BRI partners registered a record of 1.35 trillion U.S. dollars. Together, we have put up an international firewall of cooperation against160 COVID-19. Up to Elm Street, Ottawa now, more than 290 billionCanada masksK1R and6N5 Ontario, 3.5 billion protective suits have been provided for various countries, and more than 480 million doses of finished and bulk vaccines have been exported to nearly 100 countries. Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects also provides a powerful driving force for building a community with a shared future for mankind. We will hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit with greater resolve. China will unwaveringly follow an independent foreign policy of peace, and unwaveringly take the path of peaceful development. China will work to build a new type of international relations, aiming at building an open,

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China has received positive comments from the international community fort: 613.232.7146 realizing the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all www.patrickgordonframing.ca respects. Some Canadian media outlets also believe that China’s transformation from a backward agricultural society to a prosperous modern economy is indeed worthy of pride. We will ground our work in the new stage of development, fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy, foster a new pattern of development, and promote high-quality development. We believe that the further development of China will surely bring new development opportunities to all countries in the world including Canada g Cong Peiwu is the Chinese Ambassador to Canada. 39 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


close to home far from ordinary by Shelley Cameron-McCarron

Fall for Nova Scotia’s Autumn Magic

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nfinite inspiration? Or just plain fun? There’s no wrong answer when you’re standing on a Nova Scotia mountaintop, by a monument to one of the province’s last great Gaelic bards, breathing in fresh, crisp air and gazing out over lush countryside alive in colour, a joyous symphony of red, green and golden leaves as far as the eye can see. That’s the scene, standing high in a forest clearing on Keppoch Mountain near Antigonish, a one-time alpine ski hill transformed into one of Nova Scotia’s top year-round outdoor destinations for biking, bouldering, hiking, crosscountry skiing, and roaming free on over 40 kilometres of multi-use trails through mature climax forest, young hardwood, hemlock groves and by a few brooks. Ah, fall in Nova Scotia. Experiencing autumn in ‘Canada’s Ocean Playground’ is a sensory 40 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

delight—a place to breathe, to dream— with sweet coastal breeze scenting the air as maples and ash, birches and oak paint catch-your-breath-vistas over hills, valleys and headlands. Along with ample hiking adventures (from the urban oasis of Truro’s Victoria Park to climbing the peaks at Cape Chignecto Coastal Loop), the Maritime province is packed with pumpkin patches, farmers markets groaning under the bounty of harvest season, intricate corn mazes, apple picking, and city and country getaways. Days can be spent discovering the whimsy of Kentville’s adored Pumpkin People Festival, marveling at the personality-packed ‘gourds’ spotted around town each October, paddling pristine waterways, or planning your own personal chowder crawl. Just think—a quest to sample the best from swish restaurants and roadside stops. No one can stop at just one bowl!

Drinking up Nova Scotia’s burgeoning winery scene is a definite. Winemaking here dates to the 1600s, and in early fall, when grapes are ripening on the vine and wine makers and wineries are already seeing what next year's vintage will be like, it’s a perfect time to dip into this history, venturing into vineyards across the province, taking in tours and tastings, and visiting boutique and estate wineries (some in rustic barns and a former church). Be sure to raise a glass of Tidal Bay, Nova Scotia’s first appellation wine, a delicious white, born of a terroir that pairs so, so well with local seafood. New this year, guests can even overnight at Nova Scotia’s oldest farm winery Domaine de Grand Pré, in the fertile agricultural heartland of the Annapolis Valley. The Stutz family have opened The Inn at the Winery in their former farmhouse, putting out the welcome


mat to accommodations and intimate wine-paired dining. Fall is always a little extra special in Nova Scotia—including road trips. With 13,000 kilometres of coastline, the province is primed for discovery. The Sunrise Trail itself serves 300-plus kilometres of serenity from Cape Breton Island to the New Brunswick border. Stop to feel sand between your toes at glorious warm water beaches like Melmerby, Caribou-Munroes, Rushton’s, and Blue Sea, and admire pastoral landscapes and the Cobequid Mountains, basking under a golden

glow. Consider the route passport to foodie paradise, home to Jost Vineyards, Nova Scotia’s first winery, craft beer makers, restaurants, chocolatiers, and a must-have maple brunch at Sugar Moon Farm on a working maple farm in Earltown. Revel in fall’s glory at onsite trails or the nearby Butter Trail in Tatamagouche. No visit is complete without a stay in Halifax, Nova Scotia’s sophisticated, seafaring capital. Why you’ll love it? Halifax has all the amenities you’d want, yet rocks a smalltown, friendly vibe. It’s blessed with a walkable downtown, a gorgeous 4.4 km harbourwalk (with sea views, swaying hammocks, shops, services and sun-dabbled patios), museums, marine heritage, green spaces, robust shopping and dining, and a $2.75 ferry ride to Dartmouth—making for a terrific harbour cruise. For atmospheric

fun, book the Halifax Citadel Ghost Tour, leaning into folklore from the centuries as you walk the fort’s tunnels and ramparts. Later, see the city in a new way, brushing up on history at Georges Island National Historic Site in Halifax’s harbour. Take the Lighthouse Route to Lunenburg, a UNESCO world heritage site and home to the iconic sailing schooner, the Bluenose II, and you’ll be congratulating yourself on a brilliant outing. Also fun? Riding the waves. If you’ve never heard of surfing in Nova Scotia,

know it’s world-class. Take a lesson at popular Lawrencetown, and plan to discover the swells along the Eastern Shore. Adventure lovers can giddy up too with Spirit Reins Ranch’s Horseback Tidal Floor & Fossils Tour, crossing the renowned Bay of Fundy’s ocean-floor (home to the earth’s highest tides) to see ancient fossils, then later continue the learning and fun at the Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Geopark. Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site is a beautiful fall destination, with the colours of the red maple flood plain spectacular in reds, oranges, and yellows. Plus, there’s paddling, biking, picnicking, dark sky viewing and hiking. See over 300-yearold hemlocks on the popular Hemlocks and Hardwoods trail, and explore by foot or bike the newest trail, Ukme’k, a 6.3 km shared-use path connecting the campground with popular day-use areas and gateway to Mi’kmaw cultural

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Willowbank

U-pick Farm, Port Williams. View across the bay at the city of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Yarmouth & Acadian Shores Dark Sky Preserve is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Cliffs of Fundy Global Geopark. Bay of Fundy. Georges Island National Historic Site in Halifax Harbour. (ALL PHOTOS: TOURISM NOVA SCOTIA/ACORN ART PHOTOGRAPHY)

landscape, twisting along Mersey River. Looking to the heavens comes naturally in Nova Scotia and with darkness falling earlier in autumn, there’s no need to stay up past bedtime. Prime locales abound, like dark-sky preserve, Kejimkujik National Park, secluded shorelines with stars and moon shimmering over water, university observatories, and accommodations with stargazing packages. In the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores region (known for its stargazing), guided tours and overnight stays are offered at Deep Sky Eye Observatory and Trout Point Lodge, the world’s first certified Starlight Hotel, and Canada’s only member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Visit www.novascotia.com to begin planning your fall getaway today! g novascotia.com 41 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


PHOTO: TOURISM NOVA SCOTIA/ADAM HILL

close to home far from ordinary by Darcy Rhyno

FALL COLOURS

PHOTO: TOURISM NOVA SCOTIA/ADAM HILL

of Cape Breton Island

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verywhere you look on a drive around Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail, autumn colours are splashed across the landscape. In October, the forested tabletop mountains and their slopes down to the sea glow in reds, oranges and yellows as if each leaf is lit from within. From the many lookoffs or just through the car window, the colours come in waves along the trail as it weaves through wilderness and follows the road high above the sea, then down again to the coast. The Cabot Trail loop is only 298 kilometres long, but because it’s 42 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

chockablock full of enticing stops along the way, plan an itinerary of several days to make the most of your trip. Baddeck on the shores of the great inland sea called the Bras d’Or Lake is a great starting point. Spend a night or two enjoying the laid back pace in the little town, taking time to visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, a fun family activity. From charming B&B’s to historic inns, from the Inverary Resort complex and it’s brand new lodge to the new trio at Vicar’s View of two-level lighthouse themed suites, Baddeck boasts one of

the richest and most diverse collections of accommodations in Canada. This year, there’s great excitement about a major new attraction on the Cabot Trail. Heading north, the landscape becomes increasingly dramatic, peaking on the top of Cape Smokey. That’s where Atlantic Canada’s first and only gondola will open. While the gondola will make winter skiing more fun, it will be accessible year round and so there will be picturesque opportunities to view fall colours from high above that will attract many. Plans for Cape Smokey in 2022 also include a sky-high


PHOTO: TOURISM NOVA SCOTIA/@DAVEYANDSKY

On the eastern coast of Cape Breton Island, fall road trips are just as rewarding. From the Canso Causeway, this route leads to the 300-year-old French Acadian community of Isle Madame, a great place to dine on fresh seafood of every description or to pick up something for the road. Heading north, the landscape becomes increasingly varied until hilltops offer views over the eastern shores of the Bras d’Or Lake framed by forests in full colour.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Cape Breton Highlands National Park – Franey Trail. Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site (PHOTO: TOURISM NOVA SCOTIA/CHRIS MACFARLANE). Mountain side cottages at Glenora Inn & Distillery. Cape Smokey Coastline.

viewing platform called a tree walk. Cape Smokey is within sight of Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which stretches across the mountains to the western shores of the island. The 26 scenic hiking trails in the park are the best places to experience the island’s fall colours up close. The Fishing Cove Trail meanders down through a forest of brilliantly lit hardwoods like oak, birch and maple to a secluded inlet where eagles soar overhead. The famous Skyline Trail ends at a cliff-edge platform from which the views of the coastline are especially rewarding. Further along, towns and villages like Cheticamp make for great stops to explore French, Scottish and Indigenous culture. When the Cabot Trail turns inland, following the idyllic Margaree River back toward Baddeck, many choose to continue south. After all, the trail represents only about one third of the island. Some stop at Inverness where world class golf continues through the autumn at Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links. There’s more colourful scenery inland on a side trip to North America’s first single

malt whiskey maker at Glenora Inn and Distillery. It’s built on either side of the clear running waters of MacLellan’s Brook against a backdrop of forested mountains in full fall regalia. On many nights, Cape Breton fiddle music wafts from the pub. With live music, great food and whisky on par with Scotland’s own, the inn, chalets and distillery make for a great stopover with a European feel, especially when combined with a tasting tour. The latest star in the Glenora lineup is their Glen Breton Alexander Keith's 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky distilled from batches of Nova Scotia’s famous Alexander Keith’s beer. The traditional musicians who perform here are often featured in the Celtic Colours International Festival that fills every nook and cranny of the island with music, singing, dancing, storytelling and cultural traditions from all corners of the Celtic diaspora. The 2021 version takes place virtually October 8 -16, with the Thanksgiving weekend at its heart. Online concerts, ceilidhs and celebrations bring to life the Celtic culture of this island in virtually every community.

Reaching Sydney, many travelers choose to stay and explore this little city with a big heart. Celtic Colours headliners often perform here, the home of the giant fiddle—look for it on the waterfront. Whether it’s a day trip from Sydney or an overnight stay in the modern town of Louisbourg, there is one major must-see attraction on Cape Breton that stands out—the Fortress of Louisbourg. This national historic site is the continent’s largest historical reconstruction and the only major colonial town without a modern city built on top of it. For these reasons, this fortress town on a lonely point of land seems as close to time travel as it’s possible to get. Until mid-October, this living history museum is animated with costumed interpreters playing actual 18th century historical figures—a French sailor, a blacksmith, a tavern keeper. In the off season, the fortress and reconstructed town remain open to visitors, so it’s always worth exploring. Visitors to Cape Breton often come away feeling that there’s more to autumn leaves than natural beauty. The tinted waves of colour are a reflection of the riches the island has to offer—cultural heritage, friendly people, centuries of history and a variety of activities and unique stays. There’s no better place in Canada to take a deep dive into autumn than on Cape Breton Island. Visit www. novascotia.com to begin planning your next getaway today! g novascotia.com 43 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


travel by Karen Temple

6

2 TOP 10 REASONS TO VISIT

Burnet County, Texas

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ome to nine towns and the most lakes in Texas, Burnet County—pronounced ‘Burn-it’, just like ‘learn it’— is a laid-back, friendly place where generations of Texans have been visiting annually to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty. An hour northwest of Austin, the county is home to granite. From signage table tops in every restaruant, granite is ubiquitous to Burnet. In fact, granite from Marble Falls was used to build the Texas State government buildings in Austin. The county is also famous for its annual Bluebonnet Festival. The mauvy-blue flowers carpet the roadsides and are a big draw to the area. Tourists from far and wide also come for the wine tasting, bird watching, camping, hiking, caving, mountain biking, the annual airshow, boat races – including the quarter mile drag strip, and of course, the Texas hospitality. Here are the top ten things we experienced in Burnet County.

1. The 5 lakes

The Colorado river supports many communities and ecosystems as it winds its way southeast, through the center of Austin and down to the Gulf of Mexico. On the way it forms Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls and Lake Travis: the five lakes in the Highland Lakes region. Unlike the river of the same name in the state of Colorado, this 1287-plus-kilometre-long Colorado river both starts and ends in Texas. 44 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

The Highland Lake region of Texas is a water playground for Austiners, with many owning second homes in the area. Others head to the region to beat the summer heat and to enjoy all the recreational activities the county has to offer.

2. Bluebonnet Café

Home to daily Pie Happy Hour, the Bluebonnet Café is a favourite with locals and a destination for tourists. My breakfast companion, a Texan herself,

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Marta Stafford Fine Art Gallery in Marble Falls has an incredible collection of works including artist Ken Law’s Texas long-horn cattle made from sculpted used cutlery. Inks Lake State Park is home to some of the best views of pre-Cambrian rocks in Texas. The official flower of Texas, during the spring, Bluebonnets can be seen lining the highways.

exclaimed that the biscuit were the best she has ever eaten. Not surprising since restaurants’ biscuit maker has been baking them up every day for the last 30 years. The day we visited second-generation owner, John Kemper, was there cleaning catfish getting ready to the annual EMS Catfish Fry. For two nights the restaurant hosts the fish fry with all proceeds going to the local Emergency Medical Services. When you go, make sure to have some bills on you as The Bluebonnet Café is a cash-only business. If you go during bluebonnet season, the dining room seats 185 but there will likely be a line . . . you’ll be glad you waited. PHOTOS: K TEMPLE


3. Save the world brewery

America’s first philanthropic brewery is located the Texas Hill Country. Owned and operated by Dave and Quynh Rathkamp, the couple turned Dave’s passion of beer into a thriving business after a church sermon that advocated for a purpose-driven life. In their own words, God told them to open a brewery. So, off to brew school they went. Well, he went, she in turn became a cicerone — in layman’s terms a beer sommelier. Together, the former medical doctors are producing fabulous beer and giving 100 per cent of the net profits to charity. Yes, all of the profits! The couple give to both local and international charities, choosing organizations that keep their overhead low and focus on giving to those in need.

Hill country terroir. Torr Na lochs began producing wine in 2015. Blake and Karen DeBerry purchased the property with visions of building a retirement home. It was during a vineyard visit while on vacation in Australia that the couple recognized the resemblance of their property to that of the vineyard in the Margaret River region. It took two years of clearing rocks and readying the soil before the first vines where planted. Today, the operation includes three vineyards that produce four thousand cases a year. Their tasting room has beautiful views of Lake Buchan and Inks Lake. When in Burnet, stop and visit the beautiful Wedding Oak Winery tasting room and hospitality centre in a historic

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The first commercial beer hit the shelves in May 2014. Dave’s favourite beers were Belgian style so don’t be surprised if you find them as good as anything you’d sip in Brussels. Drop by the Tasting Room or for the 4 p.m. tour on both Friday and Saturdays. Texas is the fifth largest wine producing state in America. The county alone is home to three wine makers who produce 100 per cent Texan wines. That means the grapes are grown and the wine is produced in Texas.

The Fall Creek Vineyard sits on 400 acres at the northeast tip of Lake Buchanan and is named for the creek on the property that spills into Lake Buchanan creating a beautiful 90 foot fall of water. The vineyard produces excellent wines from the unique Texas

5. Log Country Cove

A totally relaxed camp vibe awaits you at Log Country Cove on lake LBJ. The Martin family have built 36 log cabins that range from 1 to 7 bedrooms on their beautiful 170 acre, lake front property. A perfect family get-away, the resortlike venue is a great destination for a wedding or a large family reunion. The on-site Cedar Skies event centre is a beautiful barn-like structure that can host up to 275 people.

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4. Three winemakers

Fall Creek Vineyard is the second oldest winery in Texas. In the early 1970s, owners Ed and Susan Auler, six generation ranchers, were managing the family ranch when the bottom fell out of the cattle market. The couple travelled to France to research French cattle operations. Upon their return, instead of cross breading their heard they planted vines. Ed applied to the U.S. Government to have the Texas Hill Country designated as a recognized appellation. The couple are truly the first family of Hill Country wines.

building that dates back to the 1883, when Burnet was a frontier boomtown. The building was meticulously restored by the winery who wanted to share its passion for the burgeoning Texas wine industry with small-town Texas. We met head winemaker, Seth Urbanic (an upstate New Yorker who speaks French!) and tasted some of the 22 different wines produced, all made from 100 per cent Texan grown grapes. Try the Texedo Red 2017 or the Tempranillo 2016, both are reds that are very popular locally.

5 Save The World Brewery makes excellent Belgian-style beer while giving 100 per cent of its profits to charity. Fall Creek Vineyard is the original winemaker in the Texas Hill Country. Visit eiher the vineyard or their Austin tasting room. Cedar Skies at Log Country Cove on lake LBG is a great venu for weddings and corporate events.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:

Guests have access to the Log Country Cove common area and can rent canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, Seado’s, even pontoon boats. The property also includes three miles of hiking trails. When we visited Mia Martin took us for a tour of the jaw dropping Big Timber Lodge. The 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom home is over-the-top luxurious. Who knew that a log home could be so beautiful!

6. Marta Stafford Fine Art Gallery

From fine art canvas to jewellery, ceramics and sculptures, 90 per cent of the pieces at Marta Stafford’s gallery 45 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021


PHOTO: KERKEZ, ISTOCK

should I hire a lawyer by Danielle Bartlett, Nicholson Gluckstein Lawyers

What is long-term disability?

A

n individual who is unable to work for an extended period of time due to injury or illness is often eligible to receive income replacement benefits in accordance with the Long-Term Disability (“LTD”) payments that their employee benefits package insures. While an employee may regard their condition as obviously qualifying them for LTD coverage, they may find that, much to their dismay, their employer’s insurer has either denied payment or, in cases when it was initially approved, has arbitrarily terminated payments. Denial of LTD coverage can be highly distressing, especially when injured or ill and emotionally vulnerable. In the event of denial or termination of your LTD payments, you should consult with a long-term disability lawyer who knows LTD contracts and the law involved to best represent your interests.

Defining “Total Disability”

(i) Navigating The Legal Process In my experience, many people have only the most basic understanding of their employee’s insurance policy. That is hardly surprising. Reading and understanding an LTD contract is often difficult, and, in most cases, employees do not expect that they will become ill or injured. Securing the LTD benefits you are entitled to begins with reviewing that policy to determine how the critical term, “total disability,” is defined. Understanding that term depends, in turn, on what is meant by 46 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

the “period of disability.” There are two distinct types of disability periods: the “own occupation” and “any occupation” periods. In most cases, a disabled employee is entitled to payments over a period of 104 weeks if that individual’s physical and/or psychological impairments preclude a return to work at their “own occupation.” However, in those instances in which the employee’s physical and/or psychological condition is such that they are unable to work after that two-year period of coverage

As a general rule, anyone making an LTD claim should make best efforts to keep an ongoing record of the impact of their injury or illness on their capacity to function. is exhausted, the standard for “total disability” is redefined. Eligibility for continued coverage means that the employee must be unable to complete the essential duties of “any occupation” for which they are suited by “education, experience or training.” (ii) Challenging The Insurer’s Decision Unfortunately, defining “total disability” legally is a more complicated and nuanced process than common sense would seem to dictate. The

insurer informs you that your LTD benefits have been denied or terminated and often does so with very little or no explanation regarding the decision. Although claimants do have the right to appeal such decisions, my experience suggests that remedy is often ineffective, frustrating, and time-consuming. Fortunately, there is an alternative. An LTD lawyer can commence litigation against the insurer and challenge the denial by gathering evidence to support the disability claim. (iii) Documenting Your Claim First and foremost, you should understand that if you are making an LTD claim, “total disability” does not mean that you are incapable of performing any aspects of your job. Thus, while you may be physically able to return to work, you may be experiencing significant psychological difficulties—including anxiety and depression, as well as cognitive challenges—that prevent you from being capable of working. Similarly, though you may feel highly motivated to return to work and feel that you are emotionally and mentally capable of doing so, you may be physically incapacitated and functionally impaired to such an extent that you simply cannot work. You may even have tried to return to work, only to discover that you are incapable of doing so. As a general rule, anyone making an LTD claim should make best efforts to keep an ongoing record of the impact of their injury or illness on their capacity


to function. It is not uncommon for claimants to minimize the impact of their challenges, to attempt to “put on a brave face” to cope with their condition with the aim of returning to work. In doing so, they may avoid being assessed by health care providers or identifying what may become significant health problems. For example, in the case of disrupted sleep, it is prudent to keep a record of the number of hours you are sleeping and, if the problem persists, to discuss it with your family physician. Sleep deprivation is one of the more common symptoms that claimants typically regard as being nothing more than a nuisance initially but can become a significant factor involved in aggravating or prolonging a physical or mental illness If a claimant has been struggling with significant psychological problems, they may avoid seeking treatment. Unfortunately, the perceived stigma associated with mental health problems often results in claimants denying that they are impaired by conditions such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress. To demonstrate clearly that you have done everything reasonable to recover your health and return to work, you should consult with the appropriate health care providers to assess your condition. Further, you should adhere to all medication regimens you are prescribed and attend all recommended therapies. Maintaining accurate and complete records of your attempts to mitigate the damages you have sustained due to injury or illness strengthens your LTD claim. (iv) Experts’ Reports It is often necessary for LTD claimants to participate in medical and psychological assessments to document the conditions preventing them from working. The reports that the examining professionals produce are important sources of information in countering an insurer’s denial or termination of LTD payments. Similarly, claimants are often asked to participate in vocational assessments: a process that provides an essential expert opinion regarding both the possibility of returning to pre-accident employment or pursuing alternative employment opportunities g injurylawyersottaa.com

Burnet County44continued from page 45

are from local Texas artists. Stafford says that the local art is “on par with offerings in galleries in art communities like Sedona, AR.” According to Stafford, the area has attracted many artists who have moved to the hill country to escape the high cost of real estate in nearby Austin. The shop is a real little gem. The staff are pleasant and so keen to chat you up about art and Marble Falls in general. If you are interested making art part of your visit to Texas, plan to visit during the annual Highland Lakes Creative Arts’ “Sculpture on the Main”, a free art festival that features local sculptors, or during the “Paint The Town” competition that features 30 plein-air artists invited to paint scenes of Marble Falls and the surrounding Texas Hill Country. Profits from the juried competition go towards local scholarships and art supplies for schools.

7. Inks Lake State Park

The Texas Hill Country is home to a multitude of State Natural Areas, State Parks and National Historic Sites. A beautiful spot to spend a day hiking, fishing or kayaking is Inks Lake State Park. Known for being one of the best spots to admire the pre-Cabrian rocks, the reddish rocks with black-looking inky stains are a beautiful backdrop for the prickly pear cacti, Texas Oaks, Pecan trees, and Willow trees. On our hike we passed Devils Sinkhole, the perfect spot to spend a day swimming, fishing or just lazing about.

8. Bill’s Burgers

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to use lots of napkins. Bill makes the juiciest burgers you have ever eaten. They are so popular with tourists and locals alike that he is opening a third location. The day we drop in the head magistrate for the county and the Sheriff popped in for a bite to eat. If that’s not an endorsement, I’m not sure what is.

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PHOTO:MARIA JIMENEZ

Steve and Michelle Parsons

to Steve’s chocolates. Her quotidien coco fix led to a marriage made in sweet heaven. Steve makes all the confections on site and Michelle adds the finishing touches. Everything is hands-on. When you drop in, you’ll find the couple there managing the shop.

10. Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park & Resort

Cindy Bower is the hands-on owner, operator of Canyon of the Eagles, a 940 acre eco-resort and campground on Lake Buchanan. The former college basketball star bought the rundown property and has turned it into a premier eco-lodge that celebrates the natural beauty of the Texas Hill country. The 61 eco-friendly rooms are spread around the central dining, bar, and patio/common area with camping facilities beyond. The resort has 22.5 kms of hiking trails, offers kayak rentals, nature boat rides, guided hikes and nightly star gazing at the on-site Eagle Eye Observatory.

Michelle and Steve Parsons are literally the sweetest husband and wife team. Their handmade chocolates and buttery toffee made with Texas pecans have a following around the globe!

At Canyon of the Eagles, the vibe might be turn off and tune into nature but the dining is top notch. The Overlook Restaurant is a grand lodge-style room with a white-linens, excellent food, and spectacular views. The staff, just like all of the Texans we met, are super friendly g

The couple met over Michelle’s addiction

burnetcountytexas.org

9. Choccolattes

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48 OTTAWALIFE SUMMER 2021

Profile for Ottawa Life Magazine

Ottawa Life Magazine Summer 2021  

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