As Canada Turns 150, Faith Remains Important to Canadians.
Canada pales when compared to the herculean humanitarian efforts of Turkey.
Softwood Lumber Woes China could be the answer.
Cottage Fashion * Michael Coren * Waterloo Region * Turkey * Jade Mountain Resort
2 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
JULY/AUGUST 2017 VOLUME 19
Mi’kmaq Artist Krystle Retieffe’s art has strong mother motifs and deals with social issues from an Indigenous perspective.
RealStone Granite fire pits bring a whole new perspective to your backyard. They are landscape with a purpose.
Faith Remains Important to Canadians
The latest polling by the Angus Reid Institute in partnership with Faith in Canada 150 indicates there is a strong element of religious faith in Canadian society. At some level, faith matters to most of us.
The Turkish people put down a violent coup last summer and have been at the front lines of the Syrian refugee crisis. Read how Turkey has been betrayed by the false promises of the European Union who owe billions in aid money to help pay for the three-million refugees and how this has largely been ignored by the Western mainstream media.
Ottawa–Astana Ice Fellowship
Ottawa’s Shawn Steil is Canada’s charismatic Ambassador to Kazakhstan. Like Canadians, Kazaks are rabid hockey fans. Steil had the idea to organize a Canadian Hockey Day in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana — it was huge success.
WATER IS LIFE, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS BY KRYSTLE RETIEFFE
Publisher’s Message ............................... 4 Best Picks ............................................ 5 Savvy Selections .................................... 7 In Search of Style ................................... 10 Homes: Real Stone Granite Products .......... 15 Profile: Amazing People .......................... 16 Travel: Hotel Del Coronado...................... 35 Travel: Waterloo Region.......................... 36 Travel: Turkey ........................................ 38 Travel: Jade Mountain Resort .................... 42 Opinion: Patrick Gossage ........................ 43 Opinion: Michael Coren........................... 45 Saint Paul University ............................... 46
Canada Faith 150 ............................... 17 Canada/Turkey Friendship....................... 20 Canada/China Friendship ...................... 29 Canada/Kazakhstan Friendship ............... 30
Heading to the Cottage? Alexandra Gunn lists her lake life essentials for a weekend away.
PHOTO: PING HU
From a weekend discovering Ontario to a beachfront get-a-way in San Diego, a one-of-a-kind paradise in Saint Lucia or a trip of a lifetime in Turkey, read all about these fantastic destinations.
publisher’s message by Dan Donovan
FAITH in Canada 150
his is an exciting year for Canada and especially for the nation’s capital. Our city has never looked better and people who live here understand that we are in the middle of a renaissance. The new O-Train system will soon be operating changing the lives, schedules and commute times for hundreds of thousands of people.This seamless transit system will make commutes shorter for all and it will be much easier to move effortlessly across the region to enjoy the many amenities and activities offered. The re-development of the National Arts Centre is a marvel and has reinvigorated the downtown area. The Lebreton Flats project is underway and will dramatically change the entire city for decades to come. The Byward Market remains a jewel for tourism, while the Ottawa Art Gallery is running one of its most successful fundraising campaigns in history which will culminate in the opening of the new facility year, and new high rises and houses are being built across the region — from Westboro to Preston Street to Chinatown and the Glebe and out to Orleans in the east and Stittsville and Kanata in the west. Meantime, south Ottawa has a burgeoning international community of new immigrants from more than 60 countries.The Parliamentary precinct is in the middle of the biggest expansion since Confederation. Add to this that we benefit from the many exceptional national museums and we have some of the best park-and-recreation spaces of any city in the country. If you really want to enjoy the region further, you can take a 15-minute ride and spend your days in the Gatineau’s. Lansdowne Park is finally coming into its own as a destination sport and entertainment venue. The NHL’s Ottawa Senators will soon be moving downtown to a new rink at Lebreton Flats.We have a Grey Cup champion football team in the Redblacks, and exceptional and winning teams in the Ottawa Champions and Ottawa Fury. The Ottawa 67’s are still attracting fans while the city is about to stage the Scotiabank NHL100 Classic outdoor hockey between the Sens and Habs in November at Lansdowne Park. So much going on and so much to celebrate. Our hats are off to the mayor and city councilors and administration for doing such a great job in managing all these events. As we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday we thought it would be a nice gesture to start a series on Faith in Canada. Often in our busy lives we tend to forget about the contribution of faith to Canada, its institutions and our common life. Faith has shaped the development of our city and our country. While we are a secular society, we are also a faith-based society. For many of us, faith has shaped how we live our lives, how we see our neighbours, how we fulfill our social responsibilities and how we imagine our lives together. Faith has been a common denominator in Canada’s history and remains important today. One of the stories featured in this issue is about the exceptional efforts Turkey is making to assist refuges from Syria. Canada and Ottawa have also assisted in helping people through the brutality of the Syrian refugee crisis. In a world deeply wounded by violence, prejudice and inhumanity, faith pushes back. Our series, Faith in Canada 150, will tell some of the stories from the many communities of many faiths in Canada. Through these stories we are reminded of our common values and why we live as we do in Canada. And we are reminded why in Canada, whether you are Christian, Aboriginal, Muslim, Jewish or another religion, faith matters n
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Dan Donovan copy editor Dave Gross art director Karen Temple director of operations Isabel Payne web editor/features writer Andre Gagne cover
Andre Gagne, Ping Hu,Valerie Keeler, Akimzhanov Marat, Sandy Nicholson, Isabel Payne, Karen Temple, Debbie Trenholm fashion editor Alexandra Gunn accounts Joe Colas C.G.A bookkeeper Brandy Hamilton contributing writers Sylvie Cloutier,
Michael Coren, Dan Donovan, Susan Desjardins, Andre Gagne, Patrick Gossage, Alexandra Gunn, Jennifer Hartley, Tori McNeely, Isabel Payne, Ray Pennings, Joel Redekop, Karen Temple, Debbie Trenholm web contributors Angela Counter, Anne Dion, Myka Burke, Dave Gross, Andre Gagne, Katie Hartai, Jennifer Hartley, Alex Mazur,Vic Little, Brennan MacDonald, Don Maclean, Isabel Payne, Maria Perez, Mona Staples, Mireille Sylvester, Mike Tobin, Simon Vodrey, Meagan Simpson, Carlos Verde social media Maria Alejandra Gamboa,
Ali Matthews, Anna Jonas
corporate advisor J. Paul Harquail,
Charles Franklin, Dennis Mills corporate counsel Paul Champagne editor emeritus Harvey F. Chartrand student intern Marie-Josee Abou Rjeilly advertising information
For information on advertising rates, visit www.ottawalife.com call (613) 688-LIFE (5433) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement #1199056. Ottawa Life Magazine, 301 Metcalfe St. Lower Level, Ottawa. Ontario K2P 1R9 tel: (613) 688-5433 fax: (613) 688 -1994 e-mail: email@example.com Web site: www.ottawalife.com Follow us on Twitter: @ottawalifers On Instagram: ottawalifemag Like us at www.Facebook.com/ OttawaLifeMagazine Ottawa Life is listed in Canadian Advertising Rates & Data (CARD). Ottawa Life subscription rates: one year $50.00, includes postage, plus HST (six issues). Two years $80.00, includes postage, plus HST (12 issues). Add $20 per year for postage outside Canada. Subscriber service is 613-688-LIFE (5433) Ottawa Life Magazine is printed in Canada on recycled paper.
PHOTO: COURTESY OWL RAFTING
Have a Splash Take
Sub-Sea Shooting Bring your phone underwater, without sacrificing much needed controls with LenzO. The opticallycorrect domes lens ensures you get a perfect and clear shot each time while protecting your phone up to depths of 100 meters. LenzO is
150 celebrations to
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the next level with OWL Rafting. Experience an exciting trip down the Ottawa River in a raft or two-person sport kayak in a day of adrenaline-packed adventure.
iPhone, while still having access to all of its camera functions. valstech.com
Witness the power of the Ottawa River, as well as the nature surrounding it as the trip constantly changes from rushing rapids, to a gentle drift. Prolong the good times with a two-day package that includes rafting and time on their beautiful activity-filled property. owlrafting.com
Bond Time Stay connected while remaining hands-free with the Martian Alpha T10 smartwatch. Made with a durable nylon resin case and scratch-resistant mineral glass, the stylish watch has a discreet speaker and microphone allowing you to control so much right from your wrist: turn by turn navigation, calls, push notifications and more. martianwatches.com
Canadian by Design Designed
Elizabeth (Libs) Elliot, this special edition bottle of Absolut Vodka is bound to be a crowd pleaser. Decked out in a modernized Canadian colour palette, the design represents Canadaâ€™s diversity and expansive geography, while the contents feature the same premium Swedish vodka that Absolut is known for. Grab yourself one of these limited edition bottles at the LCBO.
Nothing beats the summer heat like a cold treat. Make yours healthy with a Yonanas. This compact kitchen gadget turns frozen fruit into delicious soft-serve treats to satisfy any ice cream cravings without the added sugar, dairy, artificial flavours and preservatives. Available at Walmart. yonanas.com
Summer Sipping Celebrate summer with a four pick of international wines. Lamberti Sentepietre Pinot Grigio is a refreshing wine from Italy that pairs well with light hors dâ€™oeuvres and fish. Montecillo Crianza hails from Roija, Spain and brings a fresh and fruity addition to any meal. For a mediumbodied experience, try Bodega Norton Barrel Select Malbec, from Argentina. It pairs best with rich meat dishes and features gorgeous aromas of ripe plum and cassis. Finally, for those who want a wine packed with a wonderful bouquet and flavours, try the Fleur du Cap Chardonnay from South Africa. All wines can be purchased at the LCBO and range in price from $12 to $15. lcbo.com
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City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave West, Ottawa, ON 613.233.8699, 9 AM to 8 PM daily, OAGOUTTHERE.com
Carmen Papalia, Blind Field Shuttle, performance presented as part of the In the Power of Your Care exhibition, The 8th Floor Gallery, New York City (2016), Photo by William Furio.
Open Access: A Demonstration
CARMEN PAPALIA June 23 – August 13, 2017
Sarah Fuller, Panorama, Old Tree, 2017, Archival Inkjet Print, 120” x 43”, Courtesy of the artist.
And perhaps in me someone very old still hears the living sound of wood¹
August 18 – September 24, 2017 ¹Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, translated by Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1993), pg. 15.
savvy selections by Susan Desjardins and Debbie Trenholm
The First and Only Winery in the Ottawa Valley he deals with anything mechanical, as well as being the guiding financial and management hand of the business. Before we made any decisions, we arranged a trip to Niagara to meet with winemakers producing organic wines.”
PHOTO: DEBBIE TRENHOLM
It was during this trip that Chris and Alan met Brian Hamilton at Southbrook Vineyards.
Yes - you read that headline correctly. There is a new winery in Carp that is opening its doors this summer. It is far from a dream or a hobby, this winery is making impressionable wines and selling out quickly too. Now that you are in the know, here is the back-story . . . He is a lawyer and a farmer too.
Google Chris van Barr and the first thing you’ll learn is that he is a successful lawyer specializing in intellectual property law who also teaches in the subject at the University of Ottawa. But, dig a little deeper, and you’ll discover that he has roots on a farm in southern Ontario and has made his home in rural Ottawa. Chris is a man who has a passion for the land as well as interesting, elegant wines. This passion led him to partner with Alan Krueger five years ago to establish KIN Vineyards. Alan, the KIN viticulturalist, graduated from the University of Guelph, is an avid gardener and has taught at the Ottawa
Waldorf School for many years. Chris and Alan both originally lived in Southern Ontario, and both worked on farms during high schools holidays, connecting when they coincidentally both moved to rural Ottawa. On cycling trips through the countryside, they talked about different types of environmentally friendly artisanal enterprises that they could partner in, including raising goats to produce cheese. But the idea that really struck a chord was the concept of growing grapes and producing wine organically. Alan said: “Given my experience with the Steiner philosophy at the Waldorf school, my ‘green thumb,’ and my availability in the summer, I was the obvious choice to lead the work in the vineyards. Chris is great with all types of farm equipment, so
Brian, a graduate of Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, has a resume in winemaking including Malivoire Wine Co, Southbrook Vineyards and Tawse —w all located in Niagara. He also has notable winemaking experience internationally, having worked in California, as well as in New Zealand, where he further developed experience and expertise in the creation of cool-climate wines. “When I met with Chris and Alan during their visit at Southbrook, we spoke at length about organic and biodynamic grape growing and winemaking,” remembered Brian. “Our common views on these philosophies really connected us as we established the principals for KIN Vineyards.” A year ago, Brian took the plunge and moved to Ottawa to become KIN’s full-time winemaker as the team prepared for its first harvest on the Carp estate. During our walk through the vineyards, Brian talked about his ‘job’ since joining KIN full time, “I’m multi-tasking, marketing with restaurants, selling at farm markets and Savvy Taste & Buy events, working in the vineyard and, oh, yes, I’ll be doing some winemaking as well!” 7 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
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150 Copper Legacy Feathers celebrating Canada’s 150 years.
Honouring OLM. This hand-tooled copper feather is a commemorative piece created for Ottawa Life Magazine as they celebrate 20 years of showcasing what makes our city alive and interesting. Cheers.
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KIN Chardonnay VQA 2015 $29.95 Produced from the fruit harvested from an acre in the Lincoln Lakeshore appellation in Niagara, grown specifically for KIN, this Chardonnay is aged in very lightly toasted French oak barrels, 50 per cent of which are new. Given the very limited production available from KIN’s own vineyards (the first harvest of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir was autumn of 2016), winemaker Brian Hamilton plans to continue to use this carefully selected fruit from Niagara. TASTING NOTES: Lovely restrained aromas of sweet vanilla, hints of melted butter, ripe tree fruit and citrus tantalize the nose. Dry, mid-weight, the wine shows real purity of fruit - crisp apple and juicy pear mingling with flavours of lemon-lime and a touch of grapefruit pith. It’s nicely balanced, clean and fresh in texture, showing notes of spice and white pepper on fresh finish. A true cool-climate Chardonnay FOOD PAIRING: Serve with seafood pasta, coquille St-Jacques, or roast chicken.
KIN ‘Dark Horse’ Frontenac 2016, $21.95 Frontenac is produced from hybrid developed at the University of Minnesota and introduced in 1996. The grapes are quite small, which would suggest good flavour concentration, and wines from this grape generally show flavours of red fruits and good levels of acidity. Brian gave the must extended skin contact, resulting in intensely lovely dark colour. The wine was then aged it for several months in American oak to polish off the flavours. With its unique flavour, it’s no wonder that it is one of KIN’s top selling wines. TASTING NOTES: Deep ruby, this offers intriguing aromas, combining perfumed notes of red rose, lifted red and black cherry notes and a subtle herbaceous character. Dry, medium bodied, you’ll note a touch of oak aging underlying the wash of tasty, juicy red berry and cherry flavours. There’s a roundness to the texture with a touch of warmth and oaky toast on the tangy finish. FOOD PAIRING: Bright, fresh and flavourful, this will pair well with meals such as turkey with cranberry or with duck with a cherry reduction.
KIN Vineyards ‘Understory’ Marechal Foch 2016 VQA, $22.95 Marechal Foch is a French hybrid that ripens early and is a vine that is cold hardy. Foch was grown in many Canadian vineyards until the 1980s, when government incentives to plant vitis vinifera led many grape growers to remove it. Now still grown in a handful of vineyards across the country – including KIN’s vineyard in Kinburn - where winemakers excel at producing intensely flavoured wine from the grapes of old vines, as well as fortified wines of great depth and intensity. TASTING NOTES: Deep purple, this wine offers intense aromas of sweet dark berries along with earthy notes and a whiff of graphite. Dry medium bodied, its clean, fresh flavours of blueberry and blackberry are garnished with a light kiss of spice and toast, the fruit dominating through the tangy finish. FOOD PAIRING: Serve with roast lamb, gourmet burgers or an early autumn stew.
But you could see from his expression he’s as excited as Alan and Chris, perhaps more so now that he is onsite for the Carp site’s first harvest. And I think you’ll agree when you taste the wines that you’ll be lined up to taste from the 2016 vintage — it has just been released. Where is KIN Vineyards?
Part of Chris’ 50-acre property in Kinburn has been transformed into a vineyard. The Kinburn estate lies between the Carp Ridge and the Carp River. This property includes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines, as well as the more hardy hybrid varieties — Marechal Foch, Frontenac, Vidal and Muscat Ottonel. There is a twin site — a 50-acre Carp vineyard — that was harvested for the first time in 2016. The grapes grown in this young vineyard are exclusively for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. There’s great laughter as Alan described the process of planting the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with local firefighters volunteering to dig the holes, while high school students were recruited to hand-plant the vines. No grass grows . . .
From the get-go, these men have been going nonstop. They are excited to have their grand opening of their winery this summer — you have got to see this place. While the vines took hold in the vineyards, the team constructed a modest facility for winemaking and an impressionable tasting room at the edge of the vineyards. Local architect Richard White, known for his focus on environmentally friendly buildings, is working with Chris and his team to design the permanent facility planned for the site. Start the car!
Take a drive out to Carp to discover this new winery and be sure to ask for their wines at restaurants in town. You will see their wine on the list at: Atelier, Absinthe, E18ghteen, MeNa Restaurant, Cafe My House, Must Kitchen & Wine Bar, Clover, Heirloom Cafe, Wild Oat, Cheshire Cat and the Swan in Carp. Their production is small, so you won’t find their wine at the LCBO n kinvineyards.com
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in search of style by Alexandra Gunn
Follow Alex on Twitter: @AlexandraGunn
Cottage Life From Gatineau to Muskoka, Ottawans are fleeing the city heat in search of the laid-back lake lifestyle. If you stick with the basics, packing doesn’t need to be a challenge. Whether you are staying with colleagues or hanging with friends, expect to spent a lot of time in the water or out in the sun. Make sure to bring a mix of casual clothes for the day and a couple of sun dresses for the evening, as well as layers for cooler and wet weather too. Nautical Stripe oe Fresh $19 u
p Teva Original Universal Sandals $99 at the Hudson's Bay
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3 p Marshalls Navy Mesh One-Piece Bathing Suit $39.99
p Phase 3 Floppy Straw Hat available at Nordstrom $29.00
p Joe Fresh Floppy Hat $16 10 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
p Alex is wearing an off-the-should dress by Ralph Lauren $119
DON’T FORGET A HOSTEST GIFT! t Hudson's Bay Luxe
Beach Towel $45
Cook a meal, buy a few bottles of wine or bring a gift to ensure that you get invited back! Any host would be happy to receive beach towels in the Hudson’s Bay’s iconic signature colours or consider giving them a playful floatie. t Winners Gold Inflatable Swan Pool Float $29.99 10 OTTAWALIFE JULY 2017
FLORAL FIXATION Never underestimate the draw of the floral print. For years, designers have been including florals in their spring/summer collections and this year, theyâ€™re back at it again. From maxi dresses to rompers, a romantic floral print is a clear indicator that summer has arrived. Designers opted for bolder blooms for 2017, but the wise investment would be to find a muted print that will last you for seasons to come. TOPSHOP Ditsy Lace-Up Tea Dress $68 u
t Alex is wearing Design
Lab from the Hudsonâ€™s Bay $68
p Marshalls Floor Length Floral
Cold Shoulder Dress with Ruffle Detail $149.99
t H&M Floral Dress
zer. paired with a classic bla tine with a floral dress rou ket g jac ssin n dre jea a o-5 for 9-t r out your blazer Shake up you weekend by switching the to us. m foc roo the ard bo be s the Go from ories to let the floral ar of over-the-top access and be sure to steer cle
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gallery by Joel Redekop
Krystle Retieffe: Artist on the Shore For some, creating art is a compulsion, a much-needed outlet for self-expression. Nova Scotian artist Krystle Retieffe certainly sees herself in her work, though she believes its inspirations and implications are spiritual, pointing to something far greater than her.
“I know a lot of artists will go into a painting knowing what they’re going to paint, how to structure it,” said Retieffe. “That’s not how it works for me. Something will just come into me, a feeling about something. I’ll sit there blank for a moment, not knowing what I’m going to be painting. As I’m painting I can see it coming together.” Retieffe’s artistry has unfolded slowly through her lifetime. She always had a desire to drawing and colour and as she grew older, Retieffe started working with fabrics and clay. She would create figurines and, being a natural sewer, would fashion outfits for her creations, finally painting on their
12 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
faces and the stand that would hold them upright. She noted how colour has always been important to her, and the clothing that she continues to make to this day, carrying on the tradition of her Mi’kmaq heritage, reflects this: rich sky blues and rosy reds, decorated with intricate designs and patterns all along the edges of the clothing. But the moment that she started painting on canvas was truly transformative. “Once I started to paint, the energy flow, what I was trying to express, came so clearly,” Retieffe explained. Her discovery of painting came when she was working in Toronto. She described the lifestyle as one of imbalance: she would work for 10-12 hours a day and found little inspiration
WATER AND LIFE ARE ONE
life and provides us with sustenance. Some of my pieces have been inspired by our collective abuse or lack of respect for Mother Earth.” Just as her Indigenous identity and spirituality are present in her art, her interest in helping women exists outside her art as well. “What I do outside of painting is focus on women and the healing of women. Women are the mothers of our children, so the healing has to start with them in order for them to raise healthy adults for our next generation. Today, it’s no longer acceptance; it’s competition. It’s
SAVE US FROM WHAT WE HAVE BECOME
in the sprawl of apartment buildings, the imposing skyscrapers, the crowded city streets. Finally, she started painting. It alleviated her stress. “There’s therapy to that,” she said. “It’s like I’m releasing something from past experiences . . . into the art.” She then moved back to Nova Scotia immediately feeling a restoration in the balance of her life. Criticism of modernity is a theme that can be found throughout Retieffe’s work. One painting that showcases this theme is Torn. “In Torn, I have created an image of Water, who is saddened by our shortsightedness to the effects of industry and population density. She is approached by a group enlightened.They recognize their dependence on water and aim to help her heal.” The aesthetics of Retieffe’s art reflects the dichotomy that she speaks of, a meditation on and a return to tradition; yet, the modern age remains inescapable. Retieffe’s paintings both draw inspiration from her Mi’kmaq heritage and from modern art, similar to Canadian artist Alex Janvier. Both of her parents’ families are from Qalipu First Nation.While it has always played a vital role in her work, she is
quick to point out that it is something that is present in every aspect of her life. For instance, she is Keeper of the Drum for Women of the Shore, a group based on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, representing the musical side of her artistry. She used her artistic talents to design the group’s skirts, capes and drum bag, with each drummer’s regalia customized to reflect their values, personality and spirituality. Social issues from an Indigenous perspective are reflected in a majority of Retieffe’s work, and feminism prevails in many of her paintings, specifically Water is Life and Water and Life are One. As can be deciphered from the titles, Retieffe draws a strong connection between womanhood and nature. “I see Earth as feminine in that it bears
so important to me that in the women’s circles and gatherings that I do, that we are all accepting of one another, that there is no longer competition.” Retieffe spoke about the empowering and wall-breaking nature of Women of the Shore’s events. “As women drumming on a big drum, we have been widely welcomed as a refreshing experience, (though) there is some contrasting lateral violence that comes from some people’s belief that only men can perform on a big drum. This misogyny is far outweighed by the positive influence we have had and the healing that we have encouraged.” For Retieffe, the key to being a successful artist is to be unapologetically one’s-self n Visit Ottawa’s Alpha Art Gallery to see Krystle Retieffe’s work. krystleretieffestudios.com 13 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
PHOTO: ANDRE GAGNE
around town by Tori McNeely
Dominik Solokowski’ Canada’s Four Seasons Collection Dominik Sokolowski’s newest collection entitled, Canada’s Four Seasons, is a celebration of his passion for painting and a testament to his artistic abilities. At 70 pieces, it is his largest collection ever.
Sokolowski’s wife, Edith, told Ottawa Life Magazine that, “Different celebrations of life inspire his different collections.” Canada’s Four Seasons is a combination of Sokolowski’s signature abstract work with a touch of nature.
150 bike donations to celebrate Canada’s big year. Cycle Salvation has been turning bike donations into safe, affordable transportation and supportive jobs since 2008. Help us to prepare for another year of community building with a bicycle donation. Learn more at cyclesalvation.org
14 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
Born in Poland, Sokolowski moved to Gatineau, Quebec, during his adolescent years. He stated that,“Nature has always inspired me”. Sokolowski explained that the story his paintings tell comes from much more than simply its colours. “Small pieces would be easier to paint but there would be no impact”. Sokolowski captures the persistence of winter by representing it on a canvas that is 12feet long. In order to capture the season as beautifully and accurately as he did, Sokolowski stepped away from his classical palette, incorporating greens and yellows. “From an artistic point of view green is not his favourite colour but he loves it in nature,” Edith told us. “It’s his first piece ever in green and I saw him spend endless hours creating different hues according to his liking.” Visit Alpha Art Gallery in the ByWard Market to see Sokolowski’s work n alphaartgallery.ca
homes by Joel Redekop
Recycling with a Hot Twist
here in Canada, and can be shipped at economical rates across the country. Plus, you’re choosing a product that will essentially last you a lifetime, making it a one-time purchase. Not only are they smart from a monetary standpoint, but in the sense of time as well. Most models take less than an hour to assemble. Beyond installation, the popular rise of gas fire pits means that starting and putting out a fire is as simple as flicking a switch.
ire pits bring a whole new F perspective to your backyard. Instead of just green grass, flowers and the occasional potted plant, they are landscape with a purpose.
When it comes to fire pits, there’s a new player on the Canadian scene with a unique and practical “green” idea. Realstone Granite Products proposed the idea of repurposing scrap countertop granite to make various consumer-useable products, including granite stone fire pits. Four years ago, company founder George Glover was renovating his country home and was selecting a new granite countertop for his soon-tobe renovated kitchen. When he paid a visit to a granite countertop sales yard, he noticed the piles of granite remnants sitting around the yard. “I asked them where the remnants went, and they told me that most of it just gets thrown away. There’s no use for it,” said Glover. “I did some research, and decided that there had to be a better use for all the granite off-cuts. And that’s when we went out and bought some equipment, found a shop and started producing granite stone fire pits.”
A company was born. It’s the perfect example of the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” mentality: for every fire pit built and sold, it helps divert 750 pounds of waste granite from being tossed into a landfill. And a Realstone fire pit blazing in the summer night looks a whole lot more appealing than a sprawling landfill.
If you’re not sure exactly what fire pit or fire table to purchase for your yard, Glover said you can send a photo to Realstone, and they’ll work alongside you, giving recommendations. And with their wide range of models and custom options available, they’ll likely come up with something that will uniquely fit your project nicely. “We sell our granite stone fire pits all across Canada and to the United States. Our fire pits can be found in
A fire pit has the potential to being your home’s summer-social hub, the centerpiece for your summer barbecue, or the place to make smores after the sun goes down and the August heat wanes.
Glover added: “Granite is three times stronger than concrete and it will likely last you a lifetime. We actually field test our fire pits yearround outdoors, and find that they easily withstand the harsh Canadian environment without any difficulty whatsoever.” He also points out that purchasing one of Realstone’s products is an economical choice. They are built
Halifax and Vancouver, California and Connecticut — and everywhere in between.” Whatever your outdoor project might be this summer, Realstone has what your plans are missing. Good times and marshmallow memories await your decision n RealStoneGraniteProducts.com 15 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
profile by Jennifer Hartley
Amazing City Amazing People Amazing People, the brainchild of Kimothy Walker while on CTV Ottawa News, was a show that shone a spotlight on incredible, yet unsung, community leaders. Today, Amazing People continues to celebrate special people nominated by friends, colleagues or admirers but is also a vehicle for fundraising to support two main charities, SchoolBOX and Hera Mission, while sometimes supporting guest charities like Project North. Meet ten of the 2017 nominees. Stu Schwartz & Consuelo Bernardi “Stuntman Stu” is best known for his lively persona on local morning radio or for announcing for the Ottawa Senators. Countless galas and fundraisers pepper his cv and he helped champion the "NO MORE BULLIES" campaign, himself a victim of childhood bullying. Recently what makes Stu even more spectacular, along with his wife Consuelo, has been their public fight with Stu’s leukemia. The outpouring of support was overwhelming which has turned into fundraising for leukemia awareness and research. $314,000 has been raised so far.
Wayne Tosh Former Ottawa Rough Rider and minor league coach Wayne Tosh is a man with a big heart. He started an organization to provide opportunities for top local football athletes to get scouted for university and college positions. He has worked as Director of Computers for Schools for kids in developing countries and was instrumental in establishing Athletes in Action, a bible studies initiative that took off and now spans the country in professional sports and in university/colleges.
Omar Alhattab A youth counsellor at the Roberts/ Smart Centre for the last eight years, Omar is dedicated to at-risk kids. He also works for the Boys and Girls’ Club of Ottawa and has given his time to organizations such as the Ottawa Amazing Youth Race. In two years of chairing the RSC Annual Fall Classic golf, he has doubled the amount raised.
Ibrahim Musa A refugee from Iraq, Ibrahim has lived in Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) since 2012. In 2016, Ibrahim, then 17, founded the Cuts for Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides free haircuts to children in Ottawa. Cuts for Kids has hosted events in five different communities, one of which included haircuts for 250 Syrian refugees. In the past year, Cuts for Kids has grown to a staff of nine, has mobilized over 60 volunteers and partnered up with over 30 organizations in the Ottawa area.
David Froom A composer, a musician, a gifted and brilliant man are all ways to describe 70-something David. He is also developmentally delayed, blind and deaf but for the first time in his life, he is living independently and inspiring those around him. David shares his musical talents entertaining residents at Villa Marconi, a long-term care facility. Note by note, David is touching lives by sharing his beautiful way of seeing the world.
Catherine Landry is a marketing force extraordinaire with a big heart. Clothing drives, fundraisers (over $100,000 in sports equipment and musical instruments for Cross Lake or the recent $22,100 for the Ottawa Food Bank), networker supreme and women entrepreneur supporter, Catherine stops at nothing to help others. Over a decade ago, Catherine started a showcase event for female entrepreneurs called ‘Cherry Pie’ and she is the force behind Ladies who Lunch. In short, she is a mover and a shaker making difference.
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Sean Leary Sean is an advocate for youth fighting to break the cycle of drug abuse and addiction to counterfeit drugs, including fentanyl. His courage to speak out about his own daughter’s struggle has helped many, including parents who have felt helpless on their journey. He has also lead the way in pushing governments to put more resources into public health and education advocating for more detox beds, awareness campaigns and resources for first-line responders. Judy Hum-Delaney At the age of 32, Judy spent five months recovering from life-saving surgery. During this time, she combined her new lease on life and her passion for helping others to fundraise for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation. Fundraiser extraordinaire, in 2014, Judy formed the Ottawa Foodie Girlz, whose mission is to host food-related fundraising events benefiting local charities. More than $15,000 has been raised so far. She is involved with many organizations, including the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Zaina Sovani Forced out of her country at gunpoint during an ethnic cleansing, Sovani came to Canada as a refugee. She worked her way through school and into government and every step of the way inspiring women around her. She has helped many widows and families who immigrate to Canada from war torn countries and is a mentor to women trying to make it in government. She sits on many boards including Hydro Ottawa, and UNICEF, and has volunteered for many years with the Aga Khan Foundation. She’s also held high positions within the Ismaili Muslim Community in Canada.
cover/faith in canada 150 by Tori McNeely
This is Canada. Faith matters. In order to fill the gap in our cultural amnesia, Cardus felt an obligation to implement a project that would remind us of how close faith is to our country’s core. That project is called Faith in Canada 150. Greg Pennoyer, program director, said: “We knew that stories of people, places, events and experiences would be told and celebrated. We had a sense that the important role of religion and of people of faith would be forgotten in this storytelling.”
or centuries, faith has shaped the human landscape of Canada. From literature and art to social infrastructure and social research, faith has and will touch almost every surface of this country’s past, present and future. What if faith was forgotten? What if we could no longer remember the importance of faith in how we live our lives, how we see our neighbours, or how we fulfill our social responsibilities? These are the questions Michael Van Pelt, President and CEO of Cardus, asked himself two years prior to Canada’s 150th anniversary. Cardus is Canada’s largest Christian think-tank dedicated to the renewal of North American social architecture. As a privately funded group, it parlays independent and original research into various aspects of social life including law, education, social cities, work and economics and family and health. For more than 40 years Cardus has served as a leader in both research and education while challenging public debate and producing publications.
Faith is central to improving the way people live and give of themselves.
As a state, Canada claims to be officially neutral, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. As a society however, we are by no means secular. Van Pelt explains recent polling by Angus Reid shows that faith is more central to Canadians’ lives than many realize. Not only that, but “faith is central to improving the way people live and give of themselves,” says Van Pelt. No matter what the polling shows, the importance of faith in Canada was at risk of being washed away by an overwhelming sea of secularism. Official secularism of the state does not acknowledge the ways in which our values are informed by faith. In turn, society becomes desensitized to the positive role that multiple faiths play in Canada.
Van Pelt regards Cardus’ role in leading the project as a requirement not a request. No other Canadian think-tank, or organizations applying the same line of thinking, have engaged in a project with the breadth and depth of Faith in Canada 150. Pennoyer has seen the project evolve from a single idea to a set of initiatives. He said: “It is an initiative with many projects and a vast community of religious leaders from all faiths working together to tell the story of, and celebrate, the place of religion in our life together.” The two foundational initiatives of Faith in Canada 150 are the Faith Alliance Network and the Cabinet of Canadians. Both these initiatives represent networks of the most senior leaders of faith communities with backgrounds in industry, political, religion, academia and culture. Pennoyer compares another one of the project’s initiatives, Thread of 1,000 Stories, to a tapestry. A tapestry is not made up of a few 17 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
Greg Pennoyer at the FC150 Gala.
Whether you’re talking about the work of Northrop
reflex,” said Pennoyer.
Frye, a Jewish synagogue
Faith in Canada 150 has made its mission to fulfill the following five commitments.
hosting an Iftar dinner for its Muslim friends, or a Baha’I contribution to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, that’s all faith in action in Canada. threads, nor is Canada composed of a few faiths. Thread of 1,000 Stories, illustrates this by producing a large collection of stories where ordinary Canadians are encouraged to link between faith and acts in their everyday lives. Van Pelt sais:“Through Faith in Canada 150 we are documenting hundreds of stories of faithful Canadians – from a wide variety of religious backgrounds – which we make public so that those moments of history are not lost.” These stories explore the types of celebrations that take place in one’s faith community, the kinds of philanthropic work they engage in and the meaning associated with practising faith in Canada. “Whether you’re talking about the work of Northrop Frye, a Jewish synagogue hosting an Iftar dinner for its Muslim friends, or a Baha’I contribution to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, that’s all faith in action in Canada,” Pennoyer said. Millions of Canadians exhibit faith in everyday acts. Faith in Canada 150 is the thread that will stitch all of these stories together producing the narrative that faith is vital to Canada. While these stories highlight the importance of faith in our past and present, the Michael Van Pelt with Dr. Angus Reid (LEFT) at FC150 Gala. 18 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
Millennial Network and #Give150 display the project’s commitment to faith in the future. Faith in Canada 150 is working to establish a national network of nextgeneration leaders from all sorts of faith communities. The Millennial Network initiative hosts a series of regional gatherings where next-generation leaders exchange ideas about faith in everyday life and receive guidance from members of the Cabinet of Canadians. Between June 28-30, Faith in Canada 150’s Millennial Summit brought together 75 Canadians here in Ottawa. When describing the event, Pennoyer said: “Delegates formed friendships across different faiths, and they gained confidence to be true to themselves and their faiths in public.” Knowing that higher levels of religious belief are closely connected to higher levels of charitable giving, Faith in Canada 150’s #Give150 initiative aims to reverse the decline of giving Canada has experienced in recent years. “By matching charitable donations — up to $150 recurring donations — we can help make giving a habit, not a
Through initiatives like Thread of 1,000 Stories, Faith in Canada 150 has promised to celebrate the role of faith in the formation of Canada’s rich and diverse culture. The project will serve to remind Canadians of the contributions religion has made to our common life. It will tell stories from our country’s past that resonate through our present and towards our future. The fourth commitment — whereby there is a commitment to encourage and inspire communities of faith to greater participation of Canadian life is what guides initiatives like the Faith Alliance Network. Finally, Faith in Canada 150 vows to help build a network of leaders across private, public, religious and secular institutions who recognize and seek to nurture the place of faith. The project was not only a way to remind us of the importance of faith, but also a way to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday. Celebrations around the nation were aimed at memorializing the nature of our country, all with a strong influence in affecting how we see ourselves. Van Pelt added: “Words change worlds. And if our words ignore the contribution of religious faith to Canada, we would write a troublesome story by marginalizing Canadians of faith, telling them they don’t matter.” Faith in Canada 150 ensures that faith is a part of the conversation during the 2017 celebrations, as well as affirming its central role in Canada’s story. Faith will not be forgotten. Not on our 150th anniversary. Not ever n
faith in canada 150/op-ed by Ray Pennings
Percentages Indicate Faith Remains
Important to Canadians
35 per cent who see a positive role for it, and 21 per cent who see a negative role. However, Canadians take a different view when they think of practical examples of faith in their neighbourhoods.
anada might be more secular than C it ever has, but it’s not nearly as secular as many think. The simple fact is while institutional religion has receded in some quarters, especially when it comes to liberal Christian denominations, it has not disappeared. The latest polling by the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) in partnership with Faith in Canada 150 indicates there is a strong element of religious faith in Canadian society. Canadians might not recognize or appreciate it as they once did, but the religious element is present. Faith matters to some degree for eightout-of-10 of us. According to ARI, only 19 per cent of Canadians reject religious faith and would identify themselves as nonbelievers. Slightly more (21 per cent) are religiously committed.
A full 54 per cent of us say we draw own personal identity from our faith and religious beliefs.
At some level, faith matters to most of us. Given those general numbers, it’s no surprise that faith is also important to Canadians in terms of personal identity and worldview. Most respondents (52 per cent) told the pollsters that personal faith or religious beliefs were an important factor in how they thought “about public issues and problems facing society.” A full 54 per cent of us say we draw own personal identity from our faith and religious beliefs. That last point underlines an important truth:Religion goes far beyond customs, costumes and cultural trappings.
These people regularly pray, read a holy book or attend religious services.
It goes to the heart of who we are as people. And that means faith is not a part of ourselves that we can easily wall off in the cloisters of our private lives. Neither should we seek to do so.
The rest are in the mushy middle, with about 30 per cent being what ARI calls “privately faithful” in that they adhere to a set of religious beliefs, but rarely enter a house of worship.
The poll provides more than just a snapshot in time of Canadians; it offers an impressionistic painting of sorts of Canadians’ attitudes toward the role of religious faith.
Meanwhile, another 30 per cent are spiritually searching.While they haven’t embraced faith, they haven’t rejected it as non-believers have.
When Canadians are asked abstractly about the role of religion on a national scale, 44 per cent say its legacy is a mix of good and bad. That compares with
For example, on the question of healthcare, homes for the elderly and special needs programs, between onethird and one-half of Canadians see religious faith playing a positive role, compared to less than 10 per cent who see a negative one. Similarly, when it comes to caring for the marginalized and homeless, providing relief in disaster situations, or assisting in the settlement of refugees and immigrants, the proportion of those who express appreciation of faith’s role is anywhere between 31 and 50 per cent higher than those who are skeptical of it. The long and short of it is that Canadians are likely to see faith playing a positive, practical role where they work and live. Is Canada a secular state? Yes, and thankfully so. But is Canada a secular society? Hardly. Faith is a factor in the lives of most of us, even if it isn’t as strong a factor as it once was or is as uniformly expressed as in the past. What’s more, faith helps give the majority of Canadians personal identity and a lens through which to interpret world events. Canadians are also far more likely to see the good the religious faith provides in practical ways at the neighbourhood level. The numbers are clear. This is Canada. Faith matters n Ray Pennings is the co-founder and executive vice president of think-tank Cardus. 19 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
canada/turkey friendship by Dan Donovan
SHARING THE BURDEN
EUROPE DITHERS, CANADA RISES AND TURKEY SOARS IN THE SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS.
OLM managing editor Dan Donovan visited a refugee camp close to the Syrian border in June of this year to prepare a story on the war and the refugees.
J.R.R. Tolkien once said: “Good stories deserve a little embellishment.” Nothing could be truer than applying this quote to the Trudeau government and its policy on refugees and immigrants fleeing Syria. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper kept Canada’s borders mostly closed to Syrian refugees from 2011 to 2015, citing security concerns. Then, on Sept. 2, 2015 in the midst of the 2015 Canadian federal election, the body of three-year old Syrian Alan Kurdi washed up on a beach in Turkey. He died with his five-year-old brother, Galip, and mother, Rehan. Their father, Abdullah, survived. The family was making a final, desperate attempt to flee to relatives in Canada even though their asylum application had been rejected. Photographs of his body were taken by Turkish journalist Nilüfer Demir and quickly spread around the world, prompting international outrage. Because Kurdi’s family was reportedly 20 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
At the Nizip-2 refugee camp, the emphasis is on providing “normalcy” in order to avoid a lost generation of Syrian children.
trying to reach Canada, his death and the wider refugee crisis became the issue in the election. Prime Minister Harper doubled down on the security issue while Liberal leader Justin Trudeau made an immediate pledge to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees in 2015, and thousands more afterwards.
Canadians spoke with their ballots and Trudeau won the election and 25,000 Syrian refugees were allowed into Canada by the end of March 2016. A short delay, but acceptable given the circumstances. Since then, the Syrian refugee crisis has PHOTOS: DAN DONOVAN
remained Canada’s largest resettlement effort since the1970s, with more than 46,700 refugees arriving in 2016. In January, when newly elected President Donald Trump announced a global travel ban aimed at Muslims from several countries, Trudeau responded to the American decision with a tweet saying “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.” This was re-tweeted more than 370,000 times and “Welcome to Canada” began trending in the country. Trudeau’s comments were echoed by many other politicians including the Conservative mayor of Toronto, John Tory, who told CBS news that “We understand that as Canadians we are almost all immigrants, and that no one should be excluded on the basis of their ethnicity or nationality.” Trudeau and his cabinet minister’s took every opportunity to talk about Canada’s “diversity and acceptance of refugees.” At the end of the parliamentary session on June 27, 2017,Trudeau commented again on Canada’s immigration policy telling reporters that “Canadians have been very clear that we see immigration as a net positive, that we know we don’t have to compromise security to build stronger, more resilient communities,” and that, “I will continue to stand for Canadian values and Canadian success in our immigration system as I always have, whether it’s in Washington or in Hamburg next week or elsewhere around the world.” While Canada’s efforts are laudable, keeping a sense of perspective regarding the numbers is important. Canada is at the bottom end of the list of the Top 20 countries who are taking in Syrian refugees — still a drop in the bucket when compared to the scope and size of the refugee crisis, which is the worst humanitarian exodus since the end of World War II. World Vision reports that there are 13.5 million people in Syria in need
of humanitarian assistance.
Five-million Syrians are refugees, and 6.3 million are displaced within Syria; half of those affected are children.
According to the legislation, states are expected to cooperate with the UNHCR to ensure the rights of refugees are respected and protected. The EU is not complying.
These children are at risk of becoming ill, malnourished, abused or exploited. Most Syrian refugees remain in the Middle East: in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt; slightly more than 10 per cent of the refugees have fled to Europe.
At a time when a record number of Syrians are displaced from their homes and when the United States is turning its back on refugees, EU leadership and money is sorely missing.
However, Canada remains a relatively small player in this global refugee crisis. Canada could do much more to assist in the crisis by using its influence with the European Union and pressure it to meet obligations in this global crisis.
Simply put, the EU and its member states are obligated under the 1951 Refugee Convention and the Geneva Convention to provide humane solutions and safe pathways to protection for refugees — and they are in breach of the convention.
The EU is proving to be an embarrassing global laggard.
Turkey is the only country in the Council of Europe upholding its
Five-million Syrians are refugees, and 6.3 million are displaced within Syria; half of those affected are children. The irony is that the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was created in 1950, during the aftermath of the WWII, to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes. This program, along with the Marshall Plan saved post-war Europe from starvation and economic disaster. The United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, ratified by 145 state parties including EU members clearly defines the term ’refugee’ and outlines the rights of the displaced, as well as the legal obligations of states to protect them. The core principle is non-refoulement, which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country when facing serious threats to their life or freedom. This is now considered a rule of customary international law. The UNHCR serves as the ’guardian’ of the 1951 Convention and its 1967
obligations and is currently hosting more than three-million Syrian refugees. (Turkey has a population of 79 million). This has put an incredible strain on Turkey. At first the EU was being overly critical of the Turks for the migrant refugee crisis. “We’re surprised that the Europeans were saying we should open the borders to Syrians. Our borders have been open for five years,” said Ali Murat Basceri, Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Director General for North Eastern Mediterranean Affair. “We all must share this burden. This is massive humanitarian crisis that we have not seen since the end of WWII.” The EU was forced to act in 2016 when hundreds of thousands of Syrian migrants started heading for 21 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
The EU has promised 3.3-billion Euros to help Turkey settle Syrian refugees within Turkey. However they have only paid 650-million Euros. Europe via Turkey — then across the Mediterranean to Greece and onwards. Thousands have died in the Mediterranean crossing in unsafe boats. That crisis led to the signing of a controversial year-old deal between the EU and Turkey which helped stem an unprecedented migration crisis. It might collapse because of a continuing and increasingly bitter diplomatic dispute between Ankara and the European governments over the EU’s failure to meet its financial obligations under the agreement. Turkish officials rightly complain that the agreement has not delivered promised financial aid fast enough and has failed to significantly reduce the number of Syrian refugees living in Turkey. In June, I visited Turkey and at various meetings with officials in Ankara, Istanbul and Gaziantep, I could sense the bitterness and disappointment they felt towards the EU. Paradoxically, the Turks remained hopeful that the EU will change its ways and meet their responsibilities. Doctors Without Borders has accused the EU of peddling alternative facts, and of falsely claiming that the arrangement with Turkey is a success, a view the agency strongly disputes. What EU officials fail to mention is the devastating human consequences of this strategy on the lives and health of the thousands of refugees. Incredulously, the EU is pressing Ankara to seal Turkey’s borders to Europe, while at the same time opening its borders with Syria. The hypocrisy is startling. The EU has promised 3.3-billion Euros to help Turkey settle Syrian refugees within Turkey. 22 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
Children at the Nizip-2 refugee camp attending school.
However they have 650-million Euros.
Turkish officials say that their immigration and refugees levels are at capacity, and have accused the EU of hypocrisy and self-interest. Turkey’s reality is that the predominantly Muslim secularist and democratic country has chosen to open its borders and assist refugees from Syria. This at a time when Turkey is part of the NATO coalition fighting Syrian forces inside Syria; fighting a war on its borders with Syria against ISIS, and fighting an insurgency war against PKK terrorists. To further complicate matters, the Turkish government put down a violent coup d’état attempt in July. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Fethullah Gülen and his followers of staging the coup. Gülen is a Muslim cleric living in the United States under U.S. protection. He has denied the accusation that he orchestrated the attempted overthrow of the Turkish government where more than 300 people were killed, 2,100 were injured and several government buildings, including the Turkish parliament and the presidential palace, were bombed by rogue Turkish air force pilots.
After the coup attempt, tens of thousands of people with links to Gülen were arrested while others were dismissed from their jobs. Many journalists and dissidents including senior judges and prosecutors were held without charges. They are now on trial or awaiting trial. When asked by Ottawa Life Magazine about the condition and the release of the more than 170 journalists currently being held, Mehet Akarca, Director General of Press and Information in the Office of the Prime Minister said that: “People who are detained are treated well. Many have been released and others involved in the coup are now on trail. It is true that some journalists were detained, but many were people claiming to be journalists, who are not journalists — they are terrorists who are disguising themselves as journalists. So, the courts will sort this out. Turkey is a democracy and there is a process that we are following. This coup was violent and dangerous and we will do what it required to protect Turkey’s institutions. The majority of people arrested have already been released.” After the coup, President Erdogan called for a referendum to change the constitution to give the president’s office more power — arguing that Turkey required a presidential system (rather than a parliamentary one) to
respond quickly to threats at home and abroad. Opponents of the constitutional amendment said that it was a power grab by Erdogan. The referendum was held in April and the outcome has left Turkey sharply divided. A little more than 51 per cent of Turks voted in favour of the executive presidency. The results fell largely along rural/ urban fault lines — the Anatolian heartland voted overwhelmingly for Erdogan’s proposed changes, while the three largest cities (Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir) all voted against. Afterwards, Erdogan said he wants the Turkish people to continue with their noble deeds in helping the Syrian refugees and set a good example to the world. He noted the solidarity of all the Turkish people in accepting their Syrian neighbours following the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011 and said “I thank you.You have a good heart for helping the refugees.” The Turkish government has since turned its attention back on the EU and the agreement it made in 2016 to assist the refugee crisis by providing Turkey with six-billion Euros. Looming behind the EU inaction are statistics that show 2016 was the deadliest year on record for Mediterranean Sea crossings by refugees that ended in tragedy, with more than 5,000 deaths. The Mediterranean continues to be the world’s deadliest route for migrants and asylum-seekers, with 522 people recorded dead or missing so far in 2017. This figure points to the EU’s deeply flawed approach to asylum and its choice of closing borders over providing safe and legal routes to protection. Despite its many challenges, Turkey continues to be very generous and has contributed more than $25 billion
The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal Explained Greece has begun its forced deportations of migrants to Turkey. The EU says the deal will prevent deaths, critics say it compounds misery. WHAT IS THE DEAL? Anyone arriving illegally in Greece after March 20, 2016 is sent back to Turkey if his/her asylum application is rejected. The EU has said people found to be “requiring international protection” will be accepted if an application is made for asylum through the official channels. In exchange for every person returned, the EU will resettle one Syrian refugee stuck in camps across Turkey. Priority will be given to those who have not previously tried to enter the EU illegally. The EU has said the deal is aimed at slowing the uncontrolled, dangerous and deadly journeys people have been undergoing to reach the European mainland. A statement from the EU called the deal “a temporary and extraordinary measure which is necessary to end the human suffering and restore public order.” WHAT DOES TURKEY GET? In exchange for accepting those who are returned, Turkish nationals can gain access to the EU’s passport-free Schengen Zone, allowing for visa-free travel around European countries that are part of the zone. This was to begin this year but is stalled. The EU has also pledged 6.8-billion Euros in aid to Turkey to help with the refugee crisis. This includes working with Turkey along the border with Syria to “improve humanitarian conditions.” The EU has only paid $740-million US of the 8-billion owed to Turkey, and this process also appears stalled. The EU and Turkey agreed to increasing talks about Turkey’s bid to join the EU, with discussions beginning this summer. These discussions stalled because of European intransigence. WHAT DOES THE EU GET? Under the agreement, Turkey is obliged to “take any necessary measures to prevent new sea or land routes for illegal migration opening from Turkey to the EU.” Turkey did this and it has helped temporarily ease the refugee burden on Greece, In order to qualify for EU membership, the deal obliges Turkey to “take the necessary steps to fulfil the remaining requirements” for membership. This is thought to be a reference to Turkey’s questionable human rights record. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PEOPLE CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE? Anyone arriving in Greece illegally or who has an asylum application rejected is sent back to Turkey. The EU has said people will still have applications processed individually. According to the UN, thousands of people are now being held in a state of limbo on the Greek islands as they await their fate. The agency said conditions are becoming increasingly poor as people are not being allowed to continue their journeys. 23 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
It is critical to ensure that the children have some kind of normalcy and education so the war does not leave a lost generation of children without knowledge. US to shelter three-million Syrian refugees.
tents) with solar powered electricity and water.
The international community has contributed just over a $500 million US to the effort.
The Turkey Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority manage the refugees who live in and outside the centres. The Authority provides more than 250,000 refugees with health, education, social services, and shelter while each family also receives the equivalent of $250 monthly.
Senior Turkish officials in Ankara, Istanbul and Gaziantep told me that the Turks feel abandoned by the West and the EU, and strongly feel they should not be shouldering the burden of the refugee crisis alone. Officials are very polite but you can feel the displeasure they have towards the EU when they start talking numbers. “This is the worst humanitarian and refugee crisis in Europe and one of the worst in the world since WWII,” said Ece Ozbayoglu Acarsoy, Deputy Director General for Immigration, Asylum andVisa at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Turkey should not be doing this alone and we continue to press the EU and others to assist.” The numbers don’t lie. Since 2012, the brutal war in Syria has killed 470,000 people and left seven million displaced. The reality is that 10 countries which account for just 2.5 per cent of the global economy, are hosting more than half the world’s refugees. Wealthy countries have left poorer nations to bear the brunt of a worsening crisis. Despite the magnitude of the tragedy and the inability or even refusual of most EU nations to assist the refugees, the guiding principle of the Turkish government for Syrian refugees is it’s an open door. Today, one in every 24 people in Turkey is a Syrian refugee. Turkey has provided a new type of shelter to the refugees who now live in container-type homes (rather than 24 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
The centres also provide schooling for 508,846 Syrian students and vocational training for 222,869 Syrian adults. Gaziantep
The general manager of the Nizip-2 Syrian refugee camp greets me at the entrance to the camp. He has a gentle demeanour and friendly laugh. The camp is a short distance from the city of Gaziantep, a short distance to the Syrian border. It’s a hot day in the middle of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It begins on the last full moon of the month and lasts 29 or 30 days, depending on the year.
Ms. Fatma Sahin, the mayor of Gaziantep.
discipline and self-sacrifice. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is considered one of the five pillars of Islam that shape a Muslim’s life. The physical fast takes place on a daily basis from sunrise to sunset. Before dawn, those observing Ramadan will gather for a pre-fast meal called the suhoor; at dusk, the fast will be broken with a meal called the iftar. Both meals may be communal, but the iftar is an especially social affair when extended families gather to eat and mosques welcome the needy with food. For this reason, as I walk through the camp most people are either in the container homes resting or at work. I notice there are many children outside playing.
The holiday of Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the next lunar month.
They stare and smile at me as I walk around. Several wanted to see how my camera worked.
Ramadan celebrates the date in 610 A.D. when, according to Islamic tradition, the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are called upon to renew their spiritual commitment through daily fasting, prayer and acts of charity.
There are elementary and high schools in the camp and I am escorted into one of the elementary school classrooms.
It is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God and practice self-
The rooms are air-conditioned and bright and there are lots of colouring books and crayons and drawings. The walls are decorated with their artwork. The children are so innocent. I
think back to when my kids were in elementary school in Ottawa. This could be their classroom. Inside it looks very much the same. The female teachers are all smiling and ask the children to say hello to me. It’s so sad and heartbreaking and wonderful all at the same time. I feel like crying for the tragedy of it all, but don’t succumb. The manager tells me that it is critical to ensure that the children have some kind of normalcy and education so the war does not leave a lost generation of children without knowledge. He says many of the children are traumatized when they first arrive but once they adjust and have some normalcy they do better.
WHEN DID IT START? The deal came into effect on March 20, 2016, meaning any Syrian refugee arriving in Greece after this date would fall under the ‘one-in-one-out’ agreement. WHO DOES IT AFFECT? The resettlement part of the deal only applies to Syrian refugees because Afghans, Pakistanis and other nationalities are not deemed entitled to European protection. These nationalities could be sent back to Turkey under a different part of the agreement, but this will not lead to anyone being resettled in Europe. HOW HAVE PEOPLE REACTED TO IT? There has been anger, protests and violence in both Greece and Turkey over the deal. On Chios, a Greek island where many asylum seekers land, clashes around a registration prompted migrants and refugees to walk out and a medical charity extracted its staff because of the risk. Refugees on Lesbos said they would jump in the sea if they were sent back to Turkey. In the Turkish port of Dikili, where many of the boats will arrive, there were demonstrations against the setting up of a refugee camp. Three days before the returns were due to begin, hundreds fled from the Greek camp in which they were being held, while others tried to sail from Greece to Italy.
We head back to the camp office and have some tea.
WHY ARE HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS AGAINST THE DEAL? Rights’ groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have criticised the deal as breaking EU law, and also being a breach of the UN refugee convention. The convention bans mass expulsions of any people under any circumstances; something rights’ groups argue is going to be the upshot of this agreement.
The camp manager says he was happy when he heard that Canada helped the refugees.
The EU argues that it will be assessing claims individually, but the recent classification of Turkey as a safe country for refugees — a status that is being used to justify the return deal -it is likely many people will be sent there en-masse.
“I know it’s not a lot of people you took, but it is important and it is appreciated. Canada is a good country - thank you for helping.”
WHAT IS A SAFE THIRD COUNTRY, AND IS TURKEY ONE? If a country is not going to keep an asylum seeker in situ while the application is being processed, he/she needs to be sent somewhere that is safe while the paper work is being assessed.
He then says, “Your guy he does yoga. He is the good looking guy with the socks. How is he?”We all laugh.“Prime Minister yoga with the socks”, I say. “He’s fine. A good guy.”
This means that their lives and well-being cannot be in danger in the country they are sent to by the country processing their application.
An odd moment, but a nice one. Go Canada.
Turkey has granted temporary protections to Syrian nationals, including temporary work visas and access to health care and education n
The town of Gaziantep is just a short distance from the Syrian border. It’s a quiet and scenic place that is now home to 336,410 Syrian refugees who found a safe haven here.
existence to be found in the shops, courtyards, cafes and restaurants of this city of 1,889,466 people.
The bombings, the chemical weapon attacks and the violence of their homeland give way to the peaceful
For many Syrians, Gaziantep is the final destination - the place where they will wait out the war.
The Turks are doing such amazing things here.
Turkey has not previously been designated a safe Third Country, in part because it is not a full signatory of the UN refugee convention.
The mayor of Gaziantep is tourde-force named Ms. Fatma Sahin, a passionate, no-nonsense, strong-willed and charismatic leader.The 40-ish yearold Sahin’s compassion, authenticity and commitment to helping her Syrian neighbours is palpable. 25 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
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They are afraid and we are their neighbours. We must help. We are helping we are doing our best. They are good people -they aren’t trying to make problems here.
Registered Syrian refugees benefit from health services free of charge all over Turkey. To address the high demand for shelter, the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality is constructing 50,000 new homes. Syrian women at the Nizip-2 refugee camp's sewing room.
Sahin says that the problem is huge but can be addressed and alleviated.
“There is an understanding here about what is happening to the Syrian people. They are running away from a war, they are running away from violence, from destruction, from bombs, they have lost their homes, some have lost family and it is very sad . . . they are afraid and we are their neighbours. We must help. We are helping we are doing our best. The Syrians are good people — they aren’t trying to make problems here,” she said.
“We were able to create successful examples in Gaziantep and we can multiply these successful examples but we need support to achieve this.”
The fact that Gaziantep’s population has grown by almost 350,000 in only a few years does not weigh down on her or her staff. She says that city residents have been very responsive to the refugees, and want to help. The system and services that Gaziantep is providing with help from the Turkish government is incredible. Sahin says the Syrian migration flux is not a short-term and temporary situation, but a permanent case. Her primary focus is to use a holistic approach to deal with the refugee issue and provide efficient social services in education, health, economy and security. The approach includes budgets for emergency response, humanitarian aid capacity building, social development and need-based programs to aaccelerate social
cohesion and social acceptance. The city also provides close cooperation with international institutions, universities and NGOs. Education and jobs are top of mind for Sahin who said — “We absolutely need to ensure that the children who are refugees have full access to education so we do not find ourselves several years from now with a lost generation of young people who have no education.” So far, Syrian students are enrolled in 54 schools in Gaziantep and it has become mandatory for each school to increase the number of classrooms to support the Syrian students. There are also two information and training centres used as temporary education centres for students who have lost their families and/or have financial problems. All student expenses including transportation are covered by the municipality.
Her hope is that the EU and others will meet their obligations and assist the refugees with monetary, and other, supports. She adds that in the next few years: “We must increase the number of children attending school from 60,000 to 100,000. We aim to support the children financially till they complete college or vocational education and are able to support themselves.” Mayor Sahin adds that building new schools and hospitals are great needs in Gaziantep that require resources and she is committed to getting them built. We talk briefly about the EU and their non-payment. She sighs, agrees it is not helpful and says Turkey has to continue to work on what it is doing for the refugees and hope that Europe will eventually do its part.
To increase prosperity, harmony and acceptance the city has also developed job-training programs and provided employment opportunities to Syrians and established a common market and free trade zones for Syrian businessmen to connect with their network abroad.
I see the disappointment in her eyes when we address the issue, but she is not one to be constrained by what is not happening.
The Gaziantep city policy is to encourage Syrians to work.
I don’t think I have ever met such an impressive politician and mayor n
She is focused very much on what she can do and what can be done.
27 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
canada-china friendship series by Joel Redekop
COULD CHINA BE THE ANSWER
to Canada’s Softwood Lumber Woes?
attended several meetings for issues such as increasing a female entrepreneurial presence in Chinese business, though softwood lumber was the chief concern of the excursion. “Leaving no stone unturned for softwood producers; this is about more than selling wood, it’s about providing (Canadian) solutions to global problems,” the minister wrote in a tweet. His comment touches on two key issues. First, Champagne has guaranteed the federal government will fight with the lumber industry every step of the way, witnessed by the federal loans made available to lumber companies in late May.
hen it comes to Canada’s softwood lumber market, 2017 has been anything but business as usual. Canada has long been in dispute with the United States concerning the sale of softwood lumber - as our southern neighbours argue that it undercuts the ability for American producers to compete, costing them industry jobs. President Donald Trump seems to be finally acting upon this fear, and is planning to roll out a 25 per cent tariff on all softwood lumber. This is devastating news to Canadians in the lumber industry. Analysts are suggesting that it could cost as many as 8,000 jobs, and will be detrimental to Americans as well. In late May, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced that the federal government was making $867 million available in loans to help ease the burden of Trump’s tariffs. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
With its enormous population and need for more housing, China could benefit from a partner who has sustainable resources to spare.
With the softwood lumber industry souring to the south, China and Canada are seeing yet another opportunity to further their trade relationship. In late April, Minister of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne and Finance Minister Bill Morneau visited China to take a further look at what the free trade deal that was proposed last year by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might look like.
Secondly, Canada, a resource-rich country, has exactly what China needs in this transitionary moment in their history. With its enormous population and need for more housing, China could benefit from a partner who has sustainable resources to spare. Softwood lumber is known for its versatility, a building material that can be used for many different kinds of projects, including housing. On top of this, it’s affordable. Furthermore, softwood lumber is known as an environmentally friendly building material. It is biodegradable and a renewable resource. It grows naturally, a huge benefit when compared to the pollution that comes out of steel or aluminum production.
“There’s never been a better time to diversify . . . That’s what I was doing in China,” Champagne said in an interview following his trip.
Studies have shown that wood creates a smaller environmental footprint than using other materials, performing better in categories such as global warming potential, resource use, embodied energy, air pollution and
During that trip to China, Champagne
continued >> page 31 29 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
canada-kazakhstan friendship series by Joel Redekop
Diplomacy on Ice:
Canada Hockey Days in Kazakhstan
Diplomacy, at its best, operates upon the common ground shared by two parties. When it comes to Canada and Kazakhstan, no ground is more suitable for that than that of a skating rink. From May 20-21, Canadian Hockey Day in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana took place; serving as a celebration of 25 years of Canadian-Kazakh relations, as well as an international celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. Canada’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Shawn Steil, explained that hockey has a long history in the eastern European state, with 2017 marking the 60th anniversary of the first championship played by the first professional Kazakh hockey team, Kazzinc-Torpedo. At the time, Kazakhstan was part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, where Soviet soldiers introduced the sport to the region. It was well received, to say the least. 30 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
Though there was obviously a heavy Russian influence in hockey’s introduction to Kazakhstan, the country has since made the sport its own. It is now taught by Kazakhs to Kazakhs. Over the years, several players have even made it to the NHL, including goalie Evgeni Nabokov and Nik Antropov. Kazakhstan’s hockey history has been intertwined with Canada’s. It started in 1972 with the Canada-U.S.S.R. Summit Series. The event was not just important to hockey lovers, for many Kazakhs, the broadcasted CanadianSoviet games were some of the first images many citizens had seen from outside the Soviet Union. Further contact was made during the 1976 Canada Cup, where the first Kazakh-born player, Boris Alexandrov played for the Soviet team. The arena in Ust-Kamenogorsk, serving as the PHOTOS: AKIMZHANOV MARAT
Softwood Lumber>> from page 29
home arena of the Torpedo Hockey Club, honours him as its namesake. Kazakhstan also acts as home to a number of Canadian hockey players. The Torpedoes have eight Canadians on their roster, making it largest contingent of Canadians in the KHL. Needless to say, when it was announced that Ken Dryden, goaltender for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series, was announced as the keynote speaker for the Canada 150 Hockey Celebration in Kazakhstan, it was met with excitement. “When I mention his name, faces light up,” said Steil.
The event (CanadaU.S.S.R. Summit Series) was not just important to hockey lovers, for many Kazakhs, the broadcasted Canadian -Soviet games were some of the first images many citizens had seen from outside the
included a screening of The Rocket: The Legend of Maurice Richard.
Concluding the two-day event was the Heritage Cup Championship match between Team Kazakhstan and Team Canada — a game that Kazakhstan ultimately won 5-4. During the match, the words “United by Hockey” flashed across the jumbotron, both in the English and Kazakh languages.
“For many, simply the words ‘hockey’ and ‘Canada’ is enough to get them excited.” Steil said.
Earlier this year, a youth game was held in Almaty, followed by an event organized by Zamandas 21, a Kazakh non-profit organization committed to supporting children of disadvantaged homes; a mission that includes making youth sports accessible and affordable for young people. In April, a Canadian Film Day event
If China wants to move away from its environmentally detrimental practices, softwood lumber is a good place to start. In recent years, China has shown that it is ready to commit to being more environmentally sensitive. The country has pledged to cut its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 per cent from its 2005 levels by the year 2030, and raise its use of non-fossil derived energy to roughly 20 per cent.
May’s celebration of CanadianKazakhstani hockey included clinics, exhibition matches (including a sledge hockey match), the opening of a Canadian Hockey History Exhibition in the new Kazakhstan Museum of Hockey, and a performance from Canadian rockers the Sheepdogs.
May’s events were not the first opportunity for Canada to use hockey to get closer to our friends in Kazakhstan. It was, in fact, the fourth hockey-related event held in 2017.
As well, hockey events regularly draw out large numbers of fans. Last year, an amateur match organized by the embassy had a turnout of over 1,000 people
But it isn’t just about bringing two countries together. These events are meant to engage youth and foster inclusivity, to show that hockey is a sport for everyone, regardless of age and regardless of gender. Money raised at hockey days go toward funding youth sports all across Kazakhstan. Hockey is looked on as being universal. It bridges differences, revealing the deeper humanity between two peoples. It might just be a game, but in the right context, it becomes much, much more n
Whereas the U.S. recently pulled out of the historic Paris Accord, China is planning to partner with the E.U. to strengthen its commitment to the climate agreement. In words aimed at Trump, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stated that fighting climate change is “a global consensus” and an “international responsibility.” With this apparent commitment to environmentally friendly practices and a need for building materials, China might just be the partner Canada needs for its softwood lumber exports n
31 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
profile by Joel Redekop
Comfort Through Creativity
Art, whatever be its form, is a transformative experience. It allows for the individual to share their unique gifts and perspectives with those around them, provoking change in both themselves and their community. SKETCH is a not-for-profit organization that uses the arts to create equitable opportunities for marginalized and homeless youth. Over their twenty years as an organization, SKETCH has grown from being a small neighbourhood initiative conceived by artist Phyllis Novak to a thriving arts program that fills a 7,500 square-foot studio in downtown Toronto. Their programs are expansive, including everything from visual arts to culinary arts, movement to textiles.
32 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
SKETCH reaches young people through partnerships, word of mouth and by offering free quality meals. Once they’ve toured the studio hub and are welcomed as a co-creator, young potential artists are invited to participate and collaborate with peers in workshops, led by other young people and established artists.
One of these businesses is Sleep Envie, a Toronto-based mattress company that creates mattresses that are as comfy as they are affordable. From every mattress that they sell, they donate a percentage of their sales to SKETCH’s programs. “Sleep Envie contacted us in the fall of 2016,” says Roy. “We really appreciate it when local businesses
The organization’s programs are always evolving. Dale Roy, Marketing and Communications Associate at SKETCH, explains that they are always talking with youth about what artforms they would like to explore in the studio. “We’ll take the time to listen to their ideas, passions, concerns and guidance. This allows for codevelopments of our programs with youth. A lot of our mandates prioritizing equality, diversity and inclusion come from that dialogue,” Roy says. SKETCH has a three-pronged framework to engage youth with as they explore their creative gifts. The first stage is “Discover.” At this point, a young person is just beginning to see the ways in which they can express themselves, and where their passions may lie. Simultaneously, the SKETCH team works to address the basic needs of participants, connecting them with health, legal, housing or employment support.
Next comes the “Develop” stage. Here, youth are encouraged to dig deeper into a particular artform that speaks to them with one of SKETCH’s 10week programs. They may learn how to paint still lifes, or how to play guitar. After they complete one in-depth program, they are encouraged to try out another. The “Launch” stage comes last. Here the young person gets to share themselves with a bigger audience.
capabilities, and sees
choose to support the creativity and skill building that takes place at SKETCH.”
it as an opportunity to
The appreciation is mutual.
SKETCH recognizes art’s
empower marginalized young people to become leaders in society.
“This stage is our invitation to SKETCH artists to take their creativity to the public,” says Roy. “It could be as easy as putting their art up in a gallery or giving a public performance. We want them to engage and collaborate with the public, and develop their skills to become the next generation of cultural leaders.” The program does not run on its own. Though it receives funding and grants, it also relies on donations by the public or local businesses to continue providing at-risk youth with the creative skills they need to be leaders in society.
“Sleep Envie doesn’t get under the covers with just anybody,” says Joy Elena, founder of Sleep Envie. “We don’t partner with an organization unless we believe in their core values. We are proud to do our part by helping develop the next generation of cultural leaders, [and that] our contributions will have an impact in creating social change and promoting diversity and equality.” Everyone has a story to tell, creativity to express. No matter what their background may be, they should have a right to share it. With partners like Sleep Envie, SKETCH is able to continue giving tomorrow’s creative and cultural leaders a voice, so they are able to make a real impact in their respective communities n sketch.ca • sleepenvie.com
33 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
phoenix payroll series Joel Redekop
Phoenix Pay System Loses its Foote-ing ysfunctional computer programs, D bureaucratic confusion and mistakes that are projected to take more than a year to fix.
It’s like something out of the Terry Gilliam film Brazil. The Phoenix pay system, which combines multiple pre-existing pay systems into one monolithic one, was supposedly implemented to simplify the paying of federal employees. But since its launch, it has done anything but. The problems started in July of last year as federal workers noticed that their paychecks had dramatically shrank, increased, or in some cases were nonexistent. And after 12 months, progress is still incremental, moving along at a sluggish, near stagnant pace. How slow? Though officials are noting that parental leave pay requests by public servants are now being reviewed at a normal rate, the same cannot be said of other requests made by federal workers. For instance, disability pay requests are being handled at a snail’s pace, and there is roughly a threemonth backlog on pay transactions. The federal government is now facing more than 2,000 grievances related to the Phoenix Pay fiasco. In late May, the federal government announced that it will spend $142 million during the next two years to hire 200 temporary workers to assist the 300 that have previously been hired to handle the pay system’s failures. Those still affected range from Carleton students - who are waiting to have their pay corrected from last summer’s seasonal job - to Nunavut 34 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
civil servants who are unable to access their northern isolation pay. One seasonal civil servant is concerned that she will face even more pay problems now that she is about to go back to her job. Despite the crippling paycheque problems that are affecting workers, the bureaucrats responsible for Phoenix remain unaffected by their catastrophic mistakes. In early April, documents released in the House of Commons revealed that
Prime Minister’s Office stated that Foote would be taking a leave of absence, and that she “will be away until further notice for personal and family reasons.” Up until now, Jim Carr has filled in for the interim, and there are only now rumours of her returning to her position. Despite there being thousands who have been gravely affected by the Phoenix failures, many of the bureaucrats to be blamed for the mess have gone without much in the way of discipline. Only after an entire year of confusion is the government bringing
DESPITE THE CRIPPLING PAYCHEQUE PROBLEMS THAT ARE AFFECTING WORKERS . . . (PSPC) EXECUTIVES RECEIVED NEARLY $5 MILLION IN BONUSES AND PERFORMANCE PAY IN THE PAST FISCAL YEAR.
340 Public Services and Procurement (PSPC) executives received nearly $5 million in bonuses and performance pay in the past fiscal year. This does not include the general wage increases that were scheduled to come into effect on January 1. In response to this, Judy Foote (Minister of Public Services and Procurement) argued that four senior executives that had been overseeing the pay program “are still working on it” and that “none of them received any executive bonus pay.” When asked whether they were fired or simply working in another department, Foote only commented further that they are not “working with the department.” The day after her comments were reported on outside of the House of Commons, a news release from the
in more employees to handle the backlog. This represents a year of people putting their lives on hold, to receive the money that they should have been paid months ago. Those which the government chooses to neglect are not prospective projects, but human beings, whose lives have been dramatically affected by their lack of proper pay. “You had women who are unable to get their maternity leave paid. You have families who were unable to pay their mortgages. You have students who worked all summer who didn’t get paid and were unable to pay their tuition come fall,” NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said. “And these people are now getting bonuses? I mean, come on, it makes no sense.”n ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK
travel by Dan Donovan
SAN DIEGO'S LEGENDARY TREASURE
to many sunny destinaIone'vetions,oftravelled but San Diego, California is those exceptional places with a big-time wow factor.
The first thing you notice is the natural beauty of the city, its amazing architecture, stately buildings and friendly vibe. San Diego one of the few places I've visited where I thought; “Yeah I could live here . . . easily.” Then I walked into the legendary and iconic Hotel Del Coronado, affectionately referred to locally as “The Del”, and thought, “I'm never going home.” The Del is a truly special destination. It is majestic, charming, elegant and bucket list worthy. Built in 1888 and designated a national historic landmark in 1977, founders, Elisha Babcock and H.L. Story, dreamt of building a seaside resort that would be “the talk of the Western world.” They succeeded wildly hosting movie stars, celebrities, dignitaries, U.S. presidents and world leaders. Today, it retains its glorious reputation with exceptional and styled offerings to guests from the world over. Its original wooden architectural is matched by PHOTOS: COURTESY HOTEL DEL CORONADO
extraordinary ocean-front views and wonderful restaurants. My room was on the water with incredible views of both the beach and coastline. I felt rejuvenated just sitting on the deck watching the people stroll along the coastline. I went for several walks on the beach, joined a free motion-spin bike session and quickly learned that there are sports that test your cardio abilities more than ice hockey. That muscle grinding experience was mitigated by an all too relaxing visit at the Del’s Spa. Other Del offerings include yoga on the beach and beach boot camps, for pushing your fitness to the limit. These include running, weights, plyometrics, and core workouts. I decided to take a paddle boarding lessons and before I knew it, I was half way through a three-hour session and had quickly become a seasoned paddle boarder whipping my way through the waters by the pier. You can also take a
sailing lesson, rent a speedboat, jet ski, waterski, kayak, paddleboat or a take a fishing excursion. Custom services offered include private chef dinners, or beachfront cookouts under the stars with candelabras, music, and wine. Drinks afterwards can be served on the beach next to a large fireplace. The staff even provide blankets for your beach chair in case you get a chill from the evening ocean breeze. For over a century, the Hotel del Coronado has been the premier convention hotel in San Diego. The hotel has 65,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor oceanfront meeting space, along with a sprawling 28 acre oceanfront property. Hotel del Coronado has more than 700 guestrooms featuring a variety of accommodations. Victoria Building, Ocean Towers and Cabanas, and Beach Village give you luxury, comfort and total relaxation to suit your needs and preferences. The Del offers seven exceptional seaside dining experiences featuring locally sourced ingredients, expert chefs, and impeccable service. continued >> page 37 35 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
travel by Jen Hartley
Wonders of Waterloo
Schoolâ€™s out and the summer of Canada 150 is finally here. There are so many ways to celebrate Canada this year and one way is to hit the road and explore. You donâ€™t need to go too far. One hour past Toronto is one of them: the Waterloo-Kitchener region. The area is chock full of adventures just waiting to be experienced by the entire family.
Waterloo Region Museum and Doon Heritage Museum
Waterloo Region Museum is the largest community museum in Ontario. Behind the Museum, be sure to visit the Doon Heritage Village. It depicts life in the Waterloo Region in the year 1914. The village comes to life with knowledgeable interpreters dressed in authentic 1914 clothing and features historic buildings, farm animals and activities. Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory At least 2000 free-
flying tropical butterflies and moths are on exhibit at any given time in the tropical Conservatory. The butterflies and moths originate in either Costa Rica or the Philippines. Most are sent weekly as pupae 36 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
(also called chrysalides(butterflies) or cocoons(moths)) from butterfly farmers. There is daily programming for kids that includes bug and scavenger hunts. The gardens are lush and it is an absolutely beautiful oasis. Trains Much of the region was connected by trains back in the day and a deep respect for trains permeates the area so take a ride on the Waterloo Central Railway. They have regularlyscheduled day diesel trains between the St. Jacobs Farmers' Market, the Village of St. Jacobs, and the town of Elmira but try to do the journey on one of their specially-scheduled steam locomotive train runs. You walk right back in time in the old rail cars. Be sure to stop at the St. Jacobs Village Railway Museum and learn how crucial the rail system was in Canada since before the 1900s.
For an absolutely mind-blowing experience stop at the St. Jacobs & Aberfoyle Model Railway. It is large, PHOTOS: COURTESY EXPLOREWATERLOOREGION.COM
PHOTO: T.J. BALL
San Diego>> from page 35
The signature restaurant is 1500 Ocean which spotlights California coastal cuisine with the freshest garden-totable flavours blended with local artisan products and spices from around the world. The Sheerwater restaurant serves fresh local seafood, savory smoked meats complete with house-made barbecue sauces and slaws, sandwiches and salads, plus an expansive breakfast buffet and a special kids menu.
trying to get out of tricky situations (recommended 13 years and up). Thrills
Like ziplining? Head to Chicopee Tube Park. There is a 50 metre waterless tubing sysem, ziplining and a eurobungy trampoline that allows you to propel yourself 25 feet in the air. All three experiences are exhilarating.
over 3000 square feet and is a project of love that took years to produce, each piece made by hand. Make sure to ask for the exhibit’s night scene. When the lights go down, the exhibit itself lights up. It is stunning. Fuel and Fun St Jacobs Market is
a mix of everything. There is produce, baked goods, ice cream, coffee, sausages (local specialty), crafts. The energy is fantastic in the market and what makes it a unique experience is the presence of Mennonite vendors and shoppers. It is such a contrast to think of the Waterloo as a centre of technological excellence (Perimeter Institute, Research in Motion, University of Waterloo etc.) to then be exposed to a culture and lifestyle found in the “offthe-grid” Old Order Mennonites who live in the area. Water Fun Bingeman’s Waterpark, indoor playland is a hit and offers hours of entertainment for everyone. There is Boston Pizza on site, King Pin bowling, simulated rock climbing. Escapeworx offers the experience of
As the parent of a special needs child, I was particularly impressed with their understanding of our special circumstances and they were very accommodating, ensuring a memorable experience for everyone in the family. Sleep Radisson Kitchener. Perfect
place to hang your hat, swim, work out and sleep.
Canada 150 And given it is Canada 150, there are special exhibits peppering the region. The history of Canadian fashion from 1867 is on display at the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge. Follow the Prime Ministers’ Path. Found at historic Kilbride Castle in Wilmot Township, the Prime Minister Statue Project will commemorate all 22 of Canada’s leaders since Confederation.
This is just a snapshot of what the area holds. There is history, outdoor thrills, indoor adventures and endless summer fun. Bring it on n explorewaterlooregion.com
The Crown Room is a chilled seafood bar with regionally inspired dishes and international cuisine. Guests also enjoy a gourmet Bloody Mary bar, made-toorder mimosas, and a spectacular candy and dessert bar — complete with a design-your-own donut station. ENO is an artisan pizzeria and wine bar in an energetic setting reminiscent of a neighbourhood eatery, all served with a pleasant beachside ambiance and ocean views. The Coronado Sun Deck Bar & Grill offers tropical drinks and its famous Del Fish Tacos. I spent quite a bit of time at The Del at the Babcock & Story Bar, a highspirited, historic Coronado lounge with excellent Wi-Fi and coffee during the day and great cocktails and live music at night. Each afternoon, I wondered over to the Sunset Bar on the beach. This classic outdoor bar offers sensational sunset views, warm fire pits, stellar craft beer and cocktails and like elsewhere at The Del, impeccable service. The Hotel del Coronado is simply a dream. One I hope to revisit n 37 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
travel by Isabel Payne
Istanbul has a very colourful palette of culture and history. Founded as Byzantium in 660BC, then later renamed Constantinople in 330AD, the city was the imperial capital for four empires across roughly 16 centuries until the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923.
Across Two Continents:
Visiting the Ancient Byzantine Capital
No longer the capital, the present day city proudly retains much of its colourful history. The modern was constructed alongside the old and the result is like walking through time itself. What to see
Istanbul is full of fascinating places to visit. From magnificent palaces to hectic markets, there's something to suit everyoneâ€™s interests. Built in 203AD, the Hippodrome of Constantinople was once the social centre of the city. At its prime, Constantinople attracted 100,000 spectators gathered to watch horse and chariot racing. While the Hippodrome itself fell to ruins in the 1400s, it still remains a social centre of modern Istanbul with a few historical gems surviving the centuries. Now called Sultanahmet Square, the area connects multiple historical sites into one convenient location. Several Hippodrome artefacts survived both pillaging and the test of time. The Obelisk of Theodosius I is among the oldest of artefacts still on display. The red granite obelisk was originally erected in Cairo by Pharaoh Thutmose II between 1479-1425 BC and stood 30 metres tall. In 357 AD, Roman emperor Constantius II had the obelisk moved to Constantinople where it was re-erected in the Hippodrome. Today, only around 19 metres of the obelisk survives but it is in remarkably good condition. The square is also home to both the Ayasofya (known in English as the
38 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
PHOTOS: ISABEL PAYNE
Feast on freshly made Baklava or sample the many flavours of Lokum, or Turkish delight. For a frosty desert, try Dondurma, a.k.a. Turkish ice cream, which is noticeably stickier and chewier than the western variety.
Hagia Sofia) and the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Literally translating to “holy wisdom," the current Hagia Sofia is the third iteration to have been built.
Ornately dressed Dondurma vendors can be spotted all around the city flipping around large chunks of Dondurma with thin metal rods.
Tired of the previous churches being destroyed, in 532, Emperor Justinian I decided to construct a massive new church that would put its predecessors to shame. After the Ottomans conquered the city, in 1453, minarets were added and the church was altered to become the first imperial mosque of Istanbul. It continued to function as such until 1935 when it was transformed into a museum.
that Turkish food is a delicious mix of multiple cultures. Cuisine in Istanbul maintains much of what was eaten from the Ottoman era.
The Hagia Sofia is the only place in the world where you can see the artworks of two religions in one place.
For meat lovers, try kofte, a delicious type of meatball, or enjoy freshly caught fish.
Across from it, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (or Blue Mosque) offers a gorgeous look at Ottoman architecture. See thousands of beautiful Iznik tiles that line the interior, or listen for the call to prayer being announced from the mosque’s six minarets.
Begin your meal with fresh hummus or some acili ezme, a spicy tomato dip similar to bruschetta.
While it’s not the biggest mosque in the city, it is arguably one of the most beautiful. Be sure to check the dress code ahead of visiting. What to eat
With its proximity to Eastern Europe and the Middle East, it's not surprising
Follow up with a warm lentil soup or fresh calamari, however don't get overzealous on the appetizers, make sure to leave room for the main course. Mains vary depending on the restaurant. Be sure to try Manti, a dish often called Turkish ravioli, and Pide, a canoeshaped dish very similar to pizza. Turkish desserts are especially lovely.
Sightseeing begins just steps outside of your hotel room. The beautiful Sari Konak Oteli boutique hotel is conveniently located in Sultanahmet steps away from the famous Hagia Sofia (pronounced Ayasofya) and the Blue Mosque. Further down the street, you’ll find the ancient Hippodrome. t THE SARI KONAK OTELI'S ROOFTOP PATIO Fly direct from Montreal or Toronto to the Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport with Turkish Airlines. Pampering yourself by splurging on a business class seat. The perks include increased comfort, a luxurious in-flight menus and access to the Turkish Airlines lounge inside the Ataturk airport. The impressive 5,900-metre space features amenities to help you relax before your flight, including a movie lounge, food options catered by the awardwinning Turkish Do&Co and even a space where you can race slot cars. THE TURKISH AIRLINES LOUNGE AT ATATURK AIRPORT p
One of my absolute favourite desserts is Künefe, a buttery, sweet, cheese-filled treat best eaten warm and fresh. Head into Hafiz Mustafa for freshly made Künefe topped with pistachio or a scoop of Dondurma, or try some of their many puddings including Tavuk göğsü, a sweet rice pudding made with chicken breast (yes, you read that right). Where to shop
Istanbul has thousands of small shops packed with colourful lanterns, detailed pottery and bundles of Turkish snacks. A visit to the Grand Bazaar gives you a little taste of everything, but can be a bit overwhelming for the underprepared. With more than 4,000 shops, the Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Get your bargaining game on and be prepared to face pushy shopkeepers selling everything from carpets to gold jewellery. If cooking is more your thing, the Spice Market boasts an incredible number of spices, including some not normally found in western markets. There, you can sample pomegranate tea, purchase sumac or a bag of kebab spice to bring home for marinades. For a more European shopping experience, İstiklal Caddesi is one of the most famous shopping streets in the city, lined with great coffee shops, popular clothing brands and art galleries. The street goes on for 1.4 kilometres and leads from the famous Galata tower up to Taksim Square n goturkeytourism.com turkishairlines.com 39 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
travel by Karen Temple
Jade Mountain Resort An architect’s love for jade and passion for his craft combined to create a one-of-a-kind paradise that will have you fall in love with Saint Lucia. he scenery is beautiful, the view T is unbelievable but the threekilometre drive from the town of Soufriere feels like a straight vertical climb up the side of a mountain.
Paradise might be around the next bumpy, hairpin turn and the route makes it feels like you are part of a Dr. Seuss cartoon in transit to the Grinch’s lair. But it’s worth the chaos to get to this magical piece of St. Lucia. Once summited, there’s no doubt that you are in anything less than heaven on earth. It all began with architect Nick Troubetzkoy’s love for intricately carved jade mountains: an art form that has existed in China for more than 8,000 years. Before picking up their tools, carvers of jade mountains study the stone’s clarity, patterns and colour to ensure 40 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
that the precious material is used to its maximum benefit.
the Caribbean Sea on one side and clad in louvered shutters on the other.
It’s obvious that Troubetzkoy did exactly this when he began work on his own Jade Mountain (Resort). Part art, part architecture, the resort is a fantastical five-star destination that appears to be the result of a partnership between Tarzan, artist A.E. Escher and environmentalist David Suzuki.
Forget the instant freeze feeling and the incessant hum air conditioners can bring. Instead, this mountaintop resort is cooled by the trade winds and the many ceiling fans that keep things moving when Mother Nature doesn’t.
Devoid of hallways and balconies, a winding staircase takes you up and individual “bridges to infinity” takes you across to private sanctuaries. Open the door and your jaw will drop. The space is open-concept with a view across the bay to the twin Pitons that is spectacular. With no fourth wall, you become part of the scenery. It’s instantly rejuvenating. Each of the 29 sanctuaries is open to
Without televisions, radios or phones, the only noise you hear is the chirping of birds, the trickling of water from your personal infinity pool and the distant sounds of party boats sailing past the bay . . . idyllic. On arrival, each guest is teamed with a private butler and provided with a personal “firefly” cell phone. One call and your butler will arrange anything for you. From the choice of construction materials, energy and waste efficiency to the reusing of wood scraps and the shuttle transportation for staff, Jade Mountain Resort was constructed to
operate in complete harmony with its surroundings. It is a sustainably designed, high-performance, LEED Gold certified resort.
the water from the aqueduct built to serve the plantation now fill the pools in each of the hotel’s sanctuaries. If water sports aren’t your thing head to the jungle for a complimentary guided walk with Meno, the resort’s omniscient naturalist.
Sitting high on Morne Chastanet above the 600-acre sister resort of Anse Chastanet*, Jade Mountain Resort offers resort shuttle service down to the beach and the PADI 5 Star, fullservice scuba centre where you can choose from multiple daily boat or beach dives.
Aside from knowing everyone on the island, Meno will also introduce you to the varied plant species and their homeopathic qualities. Back at the beach bar nursing a cold Piton, you’ll wonder if there is a need to do any off-resort activities. Kayaking, deep-sea fishing, sailing, zip lining, jungle biking, Piton climbing and other excursions are available for an additional fee. PHTOTOS: KAREN TEMPLE
While on the beach, take advantage of complimentary snorkeling, sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing – or just lounge under one of the
Choose to stay on the resort? Take part in morning or evening yoga, play some tennis or get out of the sun and enjoy a spa treatment, take a cooking class or visit the chocolate lab. Chocolate! A quick call to the butler and I was visiting resort’s chocolate lab.
TOP LEFT: The view from one of the 29
Sanctuaries. LEFT TO RIGHT: An aerial view of Jade Mountain resort and the Chastanet Bay with Soufriere visible in the far distant coastline. Yoga is offered daily both on the roof-top patio and on the beach. Meno shows a calabash while describing the uses of the giant gourd.
kontiki-style beach umbrellas. Anse Chastanet is a snorkeling destination which draws boat traffic from other parts of the island, but the beachfront loungers are reserved for guests. A second, more secluded beach, Anse Mamin, is short walk down the coast. It is also accessible by the resort water shuttle. The sugar plantation ruins of Anse Mamin are worth exploring. The jungle with its many lush green hews is reclaiming the structures but
Beautiful as it is, Jade Mountain Resort is not for everyone. There are many stairs to climb and it is a very steep walk down to the beach. There is a shuttle service but the resort advises that anyone with mobility issues should be realistic about their ability and possibly consider vacationing at its sister resort, Anse Chastanet that offers beach level accommodations. .
Coco trees can be seen everywhere on the property. Peter, the lab supervisor and selfproclaimed happiest employee, tells me that there was never much interest in processing the precious beans. Referred to as ‘jungle M&Ms’ the locals would eat the fleshy pulp and spit out the nut at the centre. Not anymore. St. Lucia is a small island where the banana was once referred to as green gold. Today, tourism is the biggest industry and Jade Mountain Resort’s commitment to excellence continues the island’s theme of green gold. Over-the-top beauty, it is refreshing to be able to take advantage of sparkling nature without it being at the expense of local sustainability n jademountain.com
*Anse means bay and Chastanet is the name of the plantation owner who previously held title to the land
Emerald Farms is the resort’s organic farm. 100 per cent of the produce goes to the resort. With an almost neutral soil PH and only one growing season, the farm grows, sows and repeats. They make sure not to compete with produce available from local suppliers. PHTOTO: BERND RAC/JMR
It is no wonder that the resort has won more awards than can be listed.
An ideal destination for a wedding, the setting offers view and vistas that will make any service seem heavenly. Jade Mountain Resort offers wedding packages that include both the Elope to Paradise package and a Total Romance Package. Your new life together is guaranteed to start right. Whatever you choose the staff will ensure that your day is a unique affair. elopetoparadisewedding.com 41 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
opinion by Patrick Gossage
The Langevin Block
– So Much More Than a Historic Site
Chretien and the ever more numerous and powerful PMO.
The Langevin Block
he imposing sandstone structure on T Wellington facing the Hill and the War Memorial has quite a story.
That’s when I came aboard as assistant press secretary, and first walked the hallowed halls of the Langevin.
The Langevin Block has morphed from being the first building outside the Hill to house a growing civil service into a symbol of the power and influence of the Prime Minister’s Office which it has housed since the Pearson era.
Later, after Trudeau’s comeback in 1980, in a further reduced PMO under Tom Axworthy, I finally won the press secretary’s magnificent office on the first floor, its 12-foot-high windows facing the Hill.
It was hardly a centre of power when it opened in 1889. Canada’s famous early poet Archibald Lampman, then a lowly clerk, complained:“We are all crammed together like sardines,” with 13 or more drudges in spaces meant for eight.
Despite Trudeau’s disrespect for the press gallery, I had it relatively easy.
No longer — roomy offices with spectacular views for well-paid PMO staff replaced dingy work rooms. In Pierre Trudeau’s time, numbers of PMO staffers ballooned reaching more than 100. Prime Minister Harper was rumoured to have more than 130 staffers. Early criticism from ministers and MP’s for the PMO’s controlling strategies first afflicted Marc Lalonde, Trudeau’s first principal secretary.
I worked with the Federal Provincial Relations Office under Mike Kirby. The Langevin was the scene of endless strategy discussions about getting the provinces onside for the constitutional conferences, which ended in repatriation with a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Heady times, and scribes and TV reporters were happily engaged. No talk of “message control” needed.
The ineffable Jim Coutts replaced him in 1975 reducing the PMO to 90.
I did make fruitless attempts at gathering media members from minister’s offices to co-ordinate messages. But it was ineffective compared to the more rigorous approach Peter Donolo took when directing communications under Prime Minister Chretien.
He did away with many of the annoying regional political overseers who so distressed elected politicians. Nevertheless, griping about the power of the unelected in the Langevin continued.
It was under Chretien that the influence of the PMO started to be severely criticized. In 2001, the influential Globe columnist Jeffrey Simpson penned The Friendly Dictatorship which harshly criticized the one-man rule of
* THE LANGEVIN BLOCK WILL SOON BE RENAMED.
Much later, the PMO’s role was defended in one of the few readable books by a former PMO heavyweight, Chretien’s long-time confidante and Director of Policy, Eddie Goldenberg. In The Way it Works (2006) he points out that the prime minister is the CEO of the largest and most complex corporation in the country, has huge responsibilities and needs strong staff support to carry them out. This hardly is a defence for the frightening rigour with which Prime Minister Harper and his “boys in short pants” in the Langevin controlled every aspect of government. Harper’s people took message control to new heights, the PMO vetting every public statement by every elected official, and muzzling civil servants to a degree never before experienced in Ottawa. Certainly, under the young Trudeau, the Langevin is much less feared by civil servants. Scientists and data collectors in Stats Canada, experts in environment, can again talk to the media, as can global affairs officials and ambassadors. Nevertheless, the new PMO under Principal Secretary Gerald Butts makes sure ministers are “on message” — with relative success. But there are still few rumblings about an all-powerful PMO. Perhaps he and his colleagues are good listeners. I returned to the Langevin recently. I was ushered through high security glass doors to the holy of holies and saw my old office — now the action centre of “operations,” whatever that is. The high halls were silent – huge doors closed. Memories flooded back. I thought: if this historic edifice could only talk n 43 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
Connection. An active lifestyle. Balance. It starts here, with you, at the Y.
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opinion by Michael Coren
Scheer Story: A Complex One ince Andrew Scheer won S the leadership of the federal Conservative Party, columns have
described him as “Harper Light” or "Harper with a Smile." Yet, to a very large extent the 38-yearold is to the right of Harper, who might have been a committed conservative but was also a pragmatist. Scheer is far more theologically motivated and is now heavily in electoral debt to social conservatives. His religious significant.
He is a traditional Roman Catholic, the son of an Ottawa deacon actually. He is an opponent of abortion, equal marriage, trans rights and euthanasia. While he insists that he will not open up most of these issues to debate, Scheer's traditionalist interpretation of his faith doesn’t provide him with very much wiggle room. Also, while the Christian right has far more influence in the Tory party than the country as a whole, it was vital in making him leader and social conservatives were reportedly jubilant after Scheer was elected. And there is more. One of Scheer’s central supporters, his campaign manager, Hamish Marshall, is a long-time conservative organizer who now runs a research agency named Torch. In October 2015 that agency announced, “Torch's president, Hamish Marshall, will appear on the Rebel’s live election night broadcast to analyze the numbers as they come in. The federal election results show is the Rebel's first foray into live broadcast. The results will be available live on at theRebel.media and on YouTube.
…SCHEER'S TRADITIONALIST INTERPRETATION OF HIS FAITH DOESN’T PROVIDE HIM WITH VERY MUCH WIGGLE ROOM.
Marshall will provide insight and analysis of the numbers as they roll in, explaining what they mean and what will come next. Tune in!” Marshall is also listed along with Ezra Levant as a director of The Rebel. The Rebel – under the leadership of Ezra Levant – is recognized for its forays into the far right. Maclean’s recently described it as one of the “world’s top purveyors of conspiracy and far-right bombast.” It’s not clear how much influence the Rebel gang will have with the new conservative leadership but there is no denying its influence and the fact that Scheer cannot simply jettison the coalition that made his victory possible. Beyond satisfying his voters, Scheer’s a hard-line conservative himself. During Britain’s Brexit campaign he wrote an ill-informed and rather callow column for the National Post supporting withdrawal from the European Union. Aside from the intrusion of a Canadian MP taking a side in a foreign nation’s vital referendum, he effectively allied himself with Britain’s conservative party, one that was opposed by its leadership and the British prime minister, and the United Kingdom
Independence, with more than its share of racists and fanatics. Scheer has also fiercely opposed carbon pricing, has shown little interest in serious opposition to climate change, and is no fan of the public sector. He also voted against Bill C-16, aimed to protect people against discrimination on the basis of gender identity. He’s especially committed to homeschooling and independent schools, both groups very much part of the conservative Christian community. He has said he will give a $1,000 tax credit for home-schooled children and make $4,000 of independent school tuition deductible. A policy he mentioned in his acceptance speech is that he will remove public funding for universities that fail to defend freedom of speech. This is shorthand for universities where radical anti-abortion groups are refused a platform, where opponents of the trans community feel under siege or where anti-Israel activities take place. It’s very much in the eye of the beholder and will open up all sorts of worrying possibilities. There are anti-abortion groups, for example, that insist on displaying enormous pictures of aborted foetuses to students on campus. Scheer has implied that he will defund any college that deems this unacceptable. Safe to say - it’s going to be an interesting time in Ottawa and in national politics, and my money is certainly not on Mr. Scheer n 45 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
education by Sylvie Cloutier
Hospitality in Our Modern Times istorically, hospitality has been H part of every culture and religion and served to guide how we welcome
strangers. It is like a golden rule for all civilizations. For example, hospitality is in the Bible where God tests the goodness of believers by sending angels disguised as beggars asking for hospitality. God rewards and saves those who answer the needs of strangers. The ancient Greeks regarded hospitality as a sacred duty: a tribute to Zeus.They were obligated to welcome anyone knocking on their door and provide them with the best necessities they could. Reflecting on the traditions of hospitality can help us improve our immigration policies to make them more inclusive and welcoming. Such reflection reminds us of our duty to care for people in need. The stranger also has a crucial ethical function as he enables us to become more conscious of our customs and habits. When surrounded only by people who think and act like us, we are unaware of our behaviour and cultural habits. The stranger disrupts the normal course of things and opens up the possibility to call into question our behaviour and customs. By inspiring us to ask how and why, the stranger moves us to evaluate the morality of our practices.
Through exchange with others, we can learn new ways of doing things and improve old ways. Dialogue between cultures initiates a process in which cultures civilize themselves. In this sense, the practice of hospitality generates not only knowledge of others, but knowledge of us. Spanish philosopher Daniel Innerarity regards hospitality as an anthropologic category that characterizes human beings as fundamentally receptive creatures. What concerns us more than what we do, is what is done to us; what happens to us is more important than what we do voluntarily.Why? Primarily because our lives contain more unexpected things than things for which we actually plan. Moreover, it is in the course of unexpected events that our true moral character is revealed. For instance, in a romantic relationship, we will better know our partner when confronted with unexpected incidents. Life is partially made by our voluntary actions, but mostly by events unforeseen. Within the ethics of hospitality, Innerarity proposes an ethics of annoyance, an ethics that guides us in dealing with what upsets us, what disturbs us. Innerarity uses the figure of the unexpected guest. The midnight visitor symbolizes all that is unexpected in
life, like falling in love or getting sick. Indeed, no one puts cancer on their agenda; sickness is the midnight visitor who disturbs our daily life. In the midst of the unforeseen and the strangeness of life, we must cultivate receptivity and openness.We need to be attentive to hear and see the enticements of the world and to transform challenges into opportunities. Nonetheless, welcoming the other requires time and so we need to make time for unexpected incidents. But our fast-paced society ceaselessly produces new technologies and various innovations, all propelled quickly by information networks, challenging our capacity of adaptation. More than ever we are confronted by the strangeness of the world and tormented with feelings of insecurity. We could try to protect ourselves from the strangeness, but that would probably require withdrawing from modern society. Or we could practise hospitality and learn to welcome the strangeness. Xenophobia, the fear of the stranger, is not an essential characteristic of human beings; we are not by nature afraid of otherness. We could become curious and generous, open and receptive to the unknown n Sophie Cloutier is associate professor in the School of Public Ethics in the Faculty of Philosophy and co-director of the Research Centre in Public Ethics and Governance at Saint Paul University in Ottawa.
You can be the face of change! Saint Paul University (1848) is the founding college of the University of Ottawa, with which it has been federated since 1965. Bilingual and on a human scale, it offers programs in social communication, counselling and psychotherapy, canon law, public ethics, conflict studies, philosophy, human relations, and theology. 46 OTTAWALIFE AUGUST 2017
Let’s make giving a habit, not a reflex.
Canadian giving is in decline. The population is growing, but the number of people making charitable donations in Canada continues to drop. In fact, according to the latest Statistics Canada data available, the number of people claiming tax-deductible charitable donations dropped from 5.7 million in 2011 to less than 5.5 million in 2015. That could mean Canadians’ giving impulse is suffering. That’s bad news for the country’s 82,000 charitable organizations. Faith in Canada 150, a program of think tank Cardus, is inspiring a culture of giving with a new initiative: Give150. This initiative is powered by Chimp, a public foundation that facilitates giving by providing individuals access to online tools to integrate giving into their everyday lives. By setting up an account, users have their own free foundation, and can donate to or fundraise for any charitable organization in Canada.
Give150 wants to give you $150 to give to the charities you love.
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