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Ottawa Star The Voice of New Canadians www.OttawaStar.com • January 16, 2014 • Volume 1, Issue 13
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Pilots sometimes fail to take control in mishaps
Ontario court considering Quebec order removing kids from sect
By Joan Lowy, The Associated Press
By Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
Airline pilots too reliant on computers
ASHINGTON—Pilots are becoming so reliant on computer systems that do most of the flying in today’s airliners that on the rare occasions when something goes wrong, they’re sometimes unprepared to take control, according to aviation safety experts and government and industry studies. Increasing automation has been a tremendous safety boon to aviation, contributing to historically low accident rates in the U.S. and many parts of the world. But automation has changed the relationship between pilots and planes, presenting new challenges. Pilots today typically use their “stick and rudder’’ flying skills only for brief minutes or even seconds during takeoffs and landings. Mostly, they manage computer systems that can fly planes more precisely and use less fuel than a human pilot can. But humans simply aren’t wired to pay close and continual attention to systems that rarely fail or do something unexpected. “Once you see you’re not needed, you tune out,’’ said Michael Barr, a former Air Force pilot and accident investigator who teaches aviation safety at the University of Southern California. “As long as everything goes OK, we’re along for the ride. We’re a piece of luggage.’’ The National Transportation Safety Board holds a two-day investigative hearing Dec. 1011 on the crash of an Asiana Airlines jet that was flying too low and slow while trying to land at San Francisco International Airport last July. The plane struck a seawall just short of the runway, shearing off its tail and sending the rest of the airliner sliding and turning down the runway before breaking apart and catching fire. Three passengers were killed and scores of others injured. Continued on page 12
CHATHAM, Ont.—A judge must take into consideration a proposed secular charter in Quebec when ruling whether to enforce a court order that would see children from an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect who left the province returned there to foster care, the group’s lawyer said Jan 10. Members of the Lev Tahor community were under investigation by social services in Quebec late last year for issues including hygiene, children’s health and allegations that the children weren’t learning according to the provincial curriculum. Court has heard that most of the community of about 200 people left their homes in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts in the middle of the night while that investigation was ongoing and settled in Chatham, Ont. Sakshi with a safety device worn as a pendant. Story on Page 2 photo: Robert McKenzie/Safety Labs
Continued on page 2
B.C. NDP release list of discrimination to Asian Canadians ahead of apology By Vivian Luk, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER—In 1876, a motion was put forward in the British Columbia legislature that called on the government to prevent Canada from being flooded with “a Mongolian
population’’ that would ruin B.C.’s working class. Though the federal government disallowed the law, “An Act to Prevent the Immigration of Chinese’’, discussions about opposing the “influx of Orientals’’ and banning employment of
Chinese or Japanese workers continued in the B.C. legislature up until the 1930s. On Jan 8, more than 100 archival records of such government-sanctioned discrimination against Canadians of Chinese, Japanese and South Continued on page 4
Ex-astronaut Hadfield says co operation with China in space a logical step By Peter Rakobowchuk, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL—Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is calling for more co-operation with China in space and he wants it to be part of any international effort to return to the moon.
And he’s not alone in his thinking. Space experts agree the Chinese can no longer be left out. “I think right now a lot of people see it as kind of crazy to co-operate with the Chinese, but I think it’s the next logical step,” Hadfield recently told The Canadian Press.
China sent its first astronaut into space in 2003 and Hadfield noted the country’s ambitious space program aims to eventually put an astronaut on the moon. On Dec. 15, a Chinese Chang’e 3 rocket landed a rover on the lunar Continued on page 9
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Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
New device promotes community safety By Ellen O’Connor
oon you will be able to keep yourself and your loved ones safe with an innovative device small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Designed by Safety Labs Inc., SafetyLink is a new device set that harnesses the power of wireless internet, smart phones and crowd sourcing to serve the worldwide community and protect one another. Sanjay Chadha, co-founder and CEO of Safety Labs Inc., began developing the product in 2012 in India where he was works at his New Delhi and Ottawa-based mobile software development company, S5 Mobile Systems. The initial idea came to him following the gang rape incident that took place in New Delhi. “Somewhere in the back of my head I was very disturbed,” said Chadha. “One morning I got up at 4 a.m. and thought, ‘We need to have a mobile-based solution that will actually help people.’” Targeted at children, women and seniors, users of SafetyLink press and hold the coin-sized button to send an SOS if they are in danger, hurt, or a child wandered off. The cloud server then distributes the SOS and notifies people in the sender’s network who are in proximity to the sender, as well as emergency services such as 911. Chadha and his team worked closely with the Delhi police to establish key features including a way to ensure only real calls are made, to get GPS coordinates of the location of the sender, and an SOS management system to travel through the multi-tiered police system
Sanjay Chadha holds up a SafetyLink device that discreetly clips to your keychain, purse or jacket to be used in an emergency situation. Photo: Safety Labs
finding your phone or keys, it also works as a way to find missing children. Clipped to their backpack or jacket, the parent’s smart phone will beep if the child wanders out of the range set through the online application. If the child is lost, the parent can register the child’s device with the cloud server and community members and police will be notified to look for the child. Parents can turn the wireless “leash” on and off, adjust the range, and add people to their
network through the application. However, the success of the device depends on the participation of the community, says Chadha. He encourages people to download the free application to their phones and purchase the device for $35. So far, 220 devices have been pre-ordered from people in Canada, U.S., Brazil, Europe, and India. Pre-orders can be made now at safetylink.org and the product will officially go on the market in May 2014.
Ontario court considering Quebec order removing kids from Jewish sect
The Lev Tahor, which means “pure heart,’’ came to Canada in 2005 after their spiritual leader, Rabbi Shlomo Elbarnes, was granted refugee status here. Children’s aid has intervened with the community in the past, court heard through transcripts of social workers’ testimony. Social workers say their concerns about the community are that it is almost completely isolated from the outside world and the children are terrified of others who are not modestly dressed or “pure.’’ The leader makes all decisions about the community, a social worker said, and some girls are married as teenagers. Regarding the children in this case, because of a restriction that females in the community cannot remove their socks, one child’s feet were “blue’’ from the amount of toe fungus, the social worker said. Community members said the infection could be cleared up with coconut oil and they were willing to modify their restriction to allow women to take their socks off at night, the social worker said.
Continued from page 1
Child welfare authorities in Chatham are now asking the court to enforce an order subsequently made in Quebec that would see 14 children placed in foster care. The order is being appealed in Quebec. The Ontario judge is set to rule on Feb. 3. He must keep in mind a proposed charter of values looming in Quebec, said Chris Knowles, a lawyer for the families. The charter would restrict the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols such as turbans and hijabs by public-sector workers. “When we’re talking about religious rights what you’re being asked to do is to send these children back to a province which I submit has chosen to place religious rights beneath other rights,’’ Knowles said. “So I do think it’s rel-
from the call centre directly to the dashboard of a police officer. “I wanted something practical for the mass market so that anybody and everybody can use it, rather than a fancy feature that is expensive and bulky,” said Chadha. The device can be worn as a keychain, clip or pendant and because it uses blue tooth low energy it only needs to be charge once a year. While it performs a variety of services, including
evant to your determination of what is in these children’s best interests.’’ Knowles argued that the children’s aid society in Chatham has no legal jurisdiction to ask the court to enforce Quebec’s order, as he said their powers are limited to starting a child protection investigation of their own. There is no specific avenue under the Child and Family Services Act for the Ontario court to enforce Quebec’s order, said Chatham-Kent Children’s Services’ lawyer Loree Hodgson-Harris, but she pointed to other legislation under which she said the Ontario court could make an order. “We can’t allow in this country people to just pick up and leave because they don’t like the process or they don’t want to comply and it was pretty clear form the evidence that they weren’t going to comply,’’ she said.
The community denies any mistreatment of the children and says they were already planning to move out of Quebec. But Hodgson-Harris, said the evidence clearly shows the group fled to escape the Quebec court’s jurisdiction. “The state of the families’ homes obviously implied that the departure of the families was precipitous,’’ she said. Some jewelry and credit cards were found left behind, and one coffee maker was left on, she said. The hearing was previously adjourned on Dec. 23 so that one of the children—a teenage mother—could be represented by a separate lawyer. Chatham-Kent Children’s Services’ lawyer said they are not asking the court to order the return of the teenage mother.
Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 3
Lifestyle centre offers holistic approach to train body and mind By Maryam Mirza
t’s that time of year again. Resolutions have been made and workout gear purchased. Our plans have been set in motion and for many of us a healthier lifestyle and losing weight are at the top of our lists this year. But wait. We haven’t taken into account the freezing weather. Or all the chores that need to get to. Or that you’re just too tired from work or class. Or maybe these are all perfect excuses keeping you from realizing your own potential. To help us figure it out Ottawa Star sat down with the team at UMTBC Lifestyle Centre, a movement that is sweeping across Ottawa. “Enhance your life by surrounding yourself with motivated everyday normal people,” said Michael Alemao, co-founder and head trainer at UMTBC. “Here, instructors are more like your personal life coach and motivator in an environment that feels more like your second home, where you can just be yourself and focus on the goals that are important to you and be treated just like anyone else.” Unlike many other fitness organizations, UMTBC combines fitness training, group dynamics, live stimulating music by their very own DJ, Muay Thai and mindfulness into a tremendously effective shape-up program. Along with physical training, it also focuses on the mind and soul through meditation and yoga classes. “Life is a continuous enfoldment that connects all aspects of you and the experiences you take part in,” said Corey Sheikh, CEO and co-founder of UMTBC. “When it comes to health and well-being it’s no different, we must look at it in a holistic manner. All aspects connect to one another, if you are missing one, the other will fall.” Born to Pakistani parents, Sheikh began training at the age of 15 and launched his fighting career a year later. His road had its ups and downs too and he believes training the mind is a vital component to health and wellness. Here are five tips that can help every one of us train our mind and keep sight of our goals: 1. Why? Why are you setting this goal and is it really for you? Goals always need to be intrinsically focused. Is it to improve the way you feel, your confidence or your energy levels? 2. Accountability. Let’s be real, we all know how hard it is to keep ourselves accountable. Whether it’s a friend, trainer or fellow members at your local gym/ centre, find someone who can help you stay on track with your goals. 3. Balance. If you are too focused on one area of your life and are denying all oth-
ers, you will ultimately fail. While you may have some short term successes, you will always have to come back around to pick up those other areas of your life that will be much harder to deal with in the long run. 4. Thoughts. To keep yourself in a state where achieving goals, success and overall health and happiness is the norm, you must
Participants in the kickboxing class held at UMTBC fitness centre Photo: UMTBC
be able to keep control of your thoughts. Through meditation we can practice keeping ourselves in this no-thought zone and
ultimately bring this practice into our everyday life to keep ourselves more focused, driven and successful.
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The Triple Package : How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld “That certain groups do much better in America than others—as measured by income, occupational status, test scores, and so on—is difficult to talk about. In large part this is because the topic feels racially charged. The irony is that the facts actually debunk racial stereotypes. There are black and Hispanic subgroups in the United States far outperforming many white and Asian subgroups. Moreover, there’s a demonstrable arc to group success—in immigrant groups, it typically dissipates by the third generation—puncturing the notion of innate group differences and undermining the whole concept of ‘model minorities.’”
Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success. Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all. Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success. A superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control—these are the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group success. The
Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
Triple Package is open to anyone. America itself was once a Triple Package culture. It’s been losing that edge for a long time now. Even as headlines proclaim the death of upward mobility in America, the truth is that the oldfashioned American Dream is very much alive—butsome groups have a cultural edge, which enables them to take advantage of opportunity far more than others. Americans are taught that everyone is equal, that no group is superior to another. But remarkably, all of America’s most successful groups believe (even if they don’t say so aloud) that they’re exceptional, chosen, superior in some way. Americans are taught that self-esteem—feeling good about yourself—is the key to a successful life. But in all of America’s most successful groups, people tend to
feel insecure, inadequate, that they have to prove themselves. America today spreads a message of immediate gratification, living for the moment. But all of America’s most successful groups cultivate heightened discipline and impulse control. But the Triple Package has a dark underside too. Each of its elements carries distinctive pathologies; when taken to an extreme, they can have truly toxic effects. Should people strive for the Triple Package? Should America? Ultimately, the authors conclude that the Triple Package is a ladder that should be climbed and then kicked away, drawing on its power but breaking free from its constraints. Provocative and profound, The Triple Package will transform the way we think about success and achievement.
B.C. NDP release list of discrimination to Asian Canadians ahead of apology Continued from page 1
Asian descent were released to the public by the B.C. New Democrats. NDP leader Adrian Dix said the move was an effort to substantiate the government’s planned formal apology to Chinese Canadians for historic wrongs. The apology is expected to be delivered during the spring sitting of the legislature. Though the Liberal government is already conducting province-wide public consultations on how best to word and deliver the apology, Dix said the forums are meaningless and insincere if British Columbians don’t know the history around why the government is apologizing. “Rather than just criticize, we’re making a positive contribution by making this information available, by engaging with young people, by making the situation better,’’ he told reporters on Wednesday. An all-party apology over the Chinese head tax fell apart just before last May’s provincial election, when the NDP leaked documents indicating the Liberal government planned to use a controversial strategy to win votes from ethnic communities. The plan, which suggested having government workers appeal to multicultural communities ahead of the election, resulted in the dismissal of at least one bureaucrat as well as the resignation of a cabinet minister and an aid to Premier Christy Clark. It also prompted Clark to apologize on several occasions. Sitting behind several thick binders with New Democrat MLAs Jenny Kwan and Bruce Ralston on Wednesday, Dix said the legislative records
include 89 laws, 49 motions and other records from 1872 to the late 1930s. They reflect restrictions on immigration and employment, taxes based on ethnicity, and bans on the right to vote or to hold public office. Kwan pointed that out not all racist or discriminatory acts were documented by legislation, such as the segregation of Chinese children from other school children. “We all know that, we’ve heard stories about it, and we need to understand ... why it is that this is a significant moment in history,’’ she said. “It’s to recognize all of those wrongs ... and to move forward.’’ Teresa Wat, the Liberal cabinet minister responsible for coming up with a formal apology, said she appreciates the NDP’s efforts, though she pointed out that the historical information is already available on a B.C. government website. Wat has already hosted two out of seven community forums to discuss the wording and delivery, as well as legacy efforts, of a formal apology. “I had two public consultations already and each time I brought in thick binders to show them how much discriminatory legislation there was,’’ she said in an interview. “(The Liberal government and the NDP) are working on the same goal, so I am happy to see that.’’ Bill Chu, with the Canadians for Reconciliation Society, said making the long-forgotten discriminatory legislation public would help British Columbians understand why a formal apology is crucial to many within the Chinese community. “You hear all kinds of comments,
like, ‘Everybody suffers in this province. How come (the government) favours the Chinese?’’’
“They have no idea what really happened. Before reconciliation, we need the truth to come out,’’ Chu said.
New Year’s Resolution anyone? How about being your own health advocate. The 8th Annual Ottawa Health and Wellness Expo By Samantha Ammoun
The ice-covered vehicles decorating driveways, slippery roads and the massive water puddles at every corner did not stop Ottawans from making their way to the 8th annual Health & Wellness expo at the Shenkman Centre on Saturday, Jan. 11. Mayor Jim Watson did not miss the opportunity to present Natalie Beauchamp, organizer of the event and owner of Santé Chiropractic Centre, the proclamation for health and wellness month for the city of Ottawa yet again. “The mayor has always been so supportive of the event,” said Beauchamp. “For the last four years he’s always made a presence here and he really gets it, especially being a previous health promotion minister.” With over a hundred different booths to explore, visitors were given a passport-like sheet to fill with a sticker every time they spoke to one of the ven-
dors, as an incentive to encourage people to ask questions and have a chance to win an iPad mini. Marina Fleck, one of Natalie Beauchamp’s patients, did not hesitate to do so as she went a step ahead and gave Deborah Cameron’s “sole to soul” reflexology treatment a try. “It was more than just a 10 minute foot treatment, it was much more holistic than that plus I’m feeling much better than when I sat in the chair,” she said. Working out of the Integral Health Clinic, Cameron says sessions like the one Fleck experienced can relieve someone from a lot of pain. “When we think about it, the body is like a sponge, so any experience you’ve had in life be it sadness, depression, stress, the body is holding that emotion in its cells so if we can release it during a session…we can make an amazing difference,” she said. Continued on page 8
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Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 5
Board helps newcomers
By Ellen O’Connor
ewcomers to Canada face a long list of challenges from financial security and adjusting to the climate to becoming an active member of the community and learning the language. They may improve their English proficiency, but that’s just the beginning of the obstacles ahead. Although a highly-trained professional in their home country, government regulations often land them rungs lower on their career ladder, driving taxis or working as a cashier. To attend more years of schooling is a luxury not all can Shailja Verma and Continuing and Community Education offer ESL programs for immigrants to improve language skills, afford because of mouths gain employment Photo: Ellen O’Connor to feed at home. But the doors to employment and social opportunities aren’t fulfounder of the Ottawa Carleton Immily closed thanks to continued work done by grant Services Organization in 1978 and Shailja Verma and her drive to always ask— her role model, drove to Montreal or Toronto for India spices. and answer—the question, “What’s next?” Verma was also the only student of Verma is the manager of Continuing colour in her faculty at Carleton University and Community Education for the Ottawa where she earned her Honours in LinguisCatholic School Board. Involved with ESL tics before getting her Bachelor of Educafor more than 35 years in many capacities, tion at Queens University and her Specialshe has worked to make the OCSB a forerunner in developing ESL programs. ization in ESL at the University of Ottawa. “My passion is working with newcomIt wasn’t until the mid ‘70s that a shift ers,” said Verma, as she glanced around in global immigration led to an influx of her office, the walls plastered with inspiranew faces in Canada. tional photos and certificates of achieve“All of a sudden you had people who ments. “My whole life has been working looked different on the streets. People who with Adult ESL, government, curriculum didn’t speak English or had different religious beliefs all in your backyard,” said development, and looking at what is the Verma. “Adjustments had to be made on best kind of program for someone who is both ends of the spectrum.” new to Canada to integrate and become an Making adjustments and overcoming culactive member of society.” tural and language barriers is a large part of the Verma represents the OCSB on the work she does today, with not only newcomers, governing council of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership Board, is an expert but mainstream organizations as well. Verma advisor for the Centre of Canadian Langives workshops to organizations such as the Otguage Benchmarks, and was past president tawa and National Police Forces and Children’s of TESL Ontario and TESL Canada. Aid Society as well as many local schools on cultural diversity, racism, and how they can provide An immigrant herself, Verma is familiar employment opportunities for immigrants. with the obstacles newcomers encounter. “Unless we open doors for people, they “It was a very cold February 3,” she said, are going to get on that cycle of social asreminiscing on the day she arrived with her sistance and poverty and lose the interest in family at age 16. “Coming from New Delhi, becoming a part of society.” India, Ottawa was like a little tiny village. I Government funded programs are ofwas coming from an extremely cosmopolitan city that had lots of people, lots of differfered through Continuing and Community ent aspects to it, to a city that was primarily Education to help break that cycle and integrate newcomers. Over 30,000 people register white, in its people and its climate.” yearly for the programs which include LiterThere was very little in Ottawa that Continued on page 8 was ethnically oriented. Verma’s mother,
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Tiger mom stirs controversy. Again! A
my Chau, a law professor at Yale launched to international fame in 2011 when The Wall Street Journal published an extract from her book, ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom’ where she argued that strict Chinese parenting was superior and produced very successful children. Now the self-proclaimed ‘Tiger Mom ‘ Chua is making even more controversial claims in her new book «The Triple Package,» which she has co-authored with her husband Jed Rubenfeld. In “The Triple Package,” Chua and Rubenfeld, “gather some specious stats and anecdotal evidence,” to argue that there are eight distinct cultural groups that fare better in the U.S., because they successfully balance three critical character traits: a superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control. The eight groups whose members have risen to the ranks of the rich and smart and powerful include: Jewish, Indian, Chinese, Iranian, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles and Mormons. The implication that some groups are inferior and broad categorization of ‘‘groups’’ by cultural background —has irked critics, who dismiss the book and its arguments as shock bait, an irresponsible festival of stereotypes that doesn’t account for fundamental inequalities that date back generations. The New York Post slammed the book as “a series of shock-arguments” and that it’s, “meant to do what racist arguments do: scare people.”
“The message of Chua’s book is based on a fairy-tale, and a historical view of the world where the playing field is even,” wrote blogger Soya Jung. “It asks us to forget that the present is built upon the past, that the real and brutal terrain of American enterprise is rife with racial bluffs and potholes forged over centuries.” A very disturbing aspect about the book is the notion that one cultural group is more exceptional than another and also the fact that without a group sense of superiority, an individual has a hard time getting ahead. It is more effective to focus on the characteristics of individuals who have become successful than talk about groups. Even though certain cultures inculcate and imbibe certain values it doesn’t make it right to paint the entire group or culture as superior. Maureen Callahan in her article “Tiger Mom: Some cultural groups are superior” says that the writers seem to overlook the evidence that show that historically immigrant groups show upward mobility or do well until the third generation. Then, for reasons not known they tend to plateau. The authors also completely dismiss the great contributions made by the earlier immigrant groups like the English, Irish, Germans, and Eastern Europeans who were pioneers and worked extremely hard to build America. They ignore to account for the strength and resilience of the human spirit and of individuals who find success overseas. I would argue that the human qualities that produce success transcend boundaries. Editorial by Sangeetha Arya
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Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
Get ready for the new baby boomers By Don Marks
INNIPEG, Troy Media— There has always been this big bulge in Manitoba’s population graphs that reflects so-called baby boomers. During the 1960s most of the people in Canada were under 25, and now they are approaching old age and carrying their bulging numbers with them. The only thing comparable is the huge bulge we have today which reflects the huge increase in our native population. Those 60s baby boomers have dominated our music and culture (why do you think we are still listening to the Rolling Stones and guys like Paul McCartney fill our stadiums with parents, grandparents and grandchildren?) But for a long time, there was little hope these “hippies” would amount to anything, especially in business. They dressed funny, their music was strange and they had long hair. Flash forward and those hippies, like Steven Jobs, have become the tycoons of industry and technology. And, according to Keith Martell, the Chief Executive Officer of the First Nations Bank of Canada, this is exactly what is going to happen to the huge group of First Nations people who are under 25 right now but will carry a huge bulge in our population graphs for years to come. The First Nations Bank was established to loan money to First Nations people, mostly commercial investments, but also mortgages and other loans like banks do. The Bank has completed 12 straight years of profitable operations and now has assets of $300 million dollars (audited financial statements are published annually). You don’t have that kind of success rate unless you are dealing with corporations that are managed
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competently by hard-working people who are marketing goods and services to ready markets that are expanding. And that is the hugely growing demographic of First Nations people which is exceeding all other growth by far, and is primarily a younger group. First Nations Bank is primarily owned and operated by First Nations people. This could be one of the major factors in their success. “The Aboriginal Capital Corporation that started the Bank took over a First Nations loan program which was administered by the Federal government which had an 80 per cent failure rate and brought that rate down to 1.5 per cent,” says Martell. “First Nations Bank has since built on that success and experience and should convince First Nations and all Canadians to take a look at us and bring their banking business to First Nations Bank of Canada.” There’s a big boom happening and First Nations bank is cashing in on it. Martell is inviting all Canadians to get involved and they might be wise to do so. First Nations Bank Senior Commercial Accounts Manager Tom Thordarson says he is sick of reading “negative stories” about First Nations people. Thordarson, from Peguis First Nation, is married with one child, lives in the suburb of West Kildonan in Winnipeg, loves taking holidays in the Dominican Republic and joining his neighbours in supporting the Jets and the Bombers. So much for comparing First Nations people with their long hair, different clothes and music with the 60s baby boomer hippies of yesteryear. Just like their Caucasian brothers and sisters of the same era that I mentioned previously, there is a lot of smarts and creativity around which spells success if it is combined with opportunity. Thordarson and Martell have accounting and business degrees up the ying yang. They are ignoring the stereotypes and looking at the facts. And business is booming. Troy Media’s Eye on Manitoba columnist Don Marks is a Winnipeg-based writer. Article courtesy: www.troymedia.com
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Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
Canada’s future prosperity at risk from environmental “zealots”
By Gwyn Morgan
ICTORIA, BC, Troy Media—From the day the first Europeans set foot on our soil, Canada’s resources have been the core of our nation’s development. It started with fur traders who endured danger and deprivation exploring Canada’s vast wilderness followed by the forest workers who wrestled hug logs to tidewater. Then came the hardy and determined settlers who turned soil frozen half of the year into a breadbasket of the world, creating the driving force behind the most important project in Canadian history, the building of a national railroad. Steam locomotives require large amounts of coal, motivating the first underground mines. Then in 1883, during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway,
nickel-copper ore was discovered near Sudbury, Ontario, launching a huge metals mining development. That same year, thousands of kilometres to the west, the national railway helped launch Alberta’s petroleum industry when a well drilled to supply water for steam locomotives struck natural gas. It would be another four decades before production from Alberta’s first major oil field began in 1936 at Turner Valley. Remarkably, what has become Canada’s most notable oil resource was discovered 158 years earlier when, in 1778, fur trader Peter Pond became the first European to witness bitumen seeping from oil sands along the banks of the Athabasca River. He learned that natives had long mixed that bitumen with pine tar to seal their canoes. Our country’s rich endowment of resources was pivotal to the building of this nation and remains fundamental to the prosperity that makes Canada one of the best places in the world to live. Natural Resources Canada’s most recent data shows that the resource sector
generated 1.6 million jobs and $233 billion in export revenues in 2011. But the potential is even greater. Resource development companies are planning to invest a staggering $650 billion in hundreds of Canadian projects over the next decade. Economic research firm Informetrica estimates these projects will add $1.4 trillion to Canada’s GDP and create an average of 600,000 jobs per year. Just as past resource development has been the key driver to our nation’s privileged living standard, these new projects are crucial to preserving that prosperity, anchoring the careers of many young Canadians while providing the financial underpinning for our generous social programs. But what are the chances that those investments will actually occur? While a perennial optimist, I worry that most will be stymied by the actions of environmental zealots who oppose virtually every mine, pipeline or hydroelectric project. That Canadian environmental standards rank among the worlds’ best and are administered by regulatory agencies staffed with highly qualified scientific experts matters little in the public opinion marketplace where fearinstilling propaganda lacking scientific foundation all too often wins the day. The proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline is a prime example. Opponents would have us believe that environment-wrecking oil spills are
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 7 inevitable. Yet every day in Canada, some three million barrels of oil is safely transported through oil pipelines. The design criteria of Northern Gateway would make it the most robust and reliable oil pipeline ever built in Canada, and very likely the whole world. Anti-pipeline propaganda has not only been successful in instilling fear in the general public, but also in First Nations who live near the proposed route. That the courts and our politicians have conceded a defacto veto to First Nations means that, even if it wins authorization in accordance with the laws the land, this project crucial to Canada’s economic future may never be built. Canadians today stand on the shoulders of previous, less-fortunate generations whose determination, courage and hard work carved a livelihood out of a harsh and unforgiving wilderness. Few of their achievements would have been possible had every new initiative been met with such strident kneejerk opposition. As another New Year dawns, my wish for Canada is that the previously apathetic “silent” majority rises up to prevent our new nation builders from being stymied by a highly vocal minority with an ideologically-driven agenda that doesn’t include creating prosperity and jobs. Gwyn Morgan is a retired Canadian business leader who has been a director of five global corporations. Article courtesy: www. troymedia.com
Economic arguments often used to stall progress
By David Suzuki
ANCOUVER, BC, Troy Media—Nelson Mandela, who died last month at age 95, was sentenced to life in prison in 1962 because he fought for justice, equality and democracy. He was finally released in 1990, 27 years later. South Africa’s racist apartheid system fell and Mandela served as president from 1994 to 1999. The tributes after his death rightfully celebrated him as a forgiving, compassionate humanitarian and great leader. Closer to home, on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat to a white person. She was arrested for violating Alabama’s segregation law. It wasn’t the first challenge to U.S. racial policies and prejudice—it wasn’t even her first—and that act alone didn’t change laws and attitudes. But it catalyzed the civil rights movement that led to massive social change. In Canada, in 1965, Everett George Klippert was sentenced to “indefinite”
imprisonment for having sex with other men. Then-Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau later said, “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” and sexual activity between same-sex, consenting adults was decriminalized in 1969 (although Klippert was imprisoned until 1971). Now, same-sex couples can get married in Canada. We pride ourselves on our democratic traditions, but in Canada women couldn’t vote until 1918, Asians until 1948 and First Nations people living on reserves until 1960. We’ve come a long way. It’s hard to fathom that such widespread, often state-sanctioned discrimination occurred so recently – much of it in my lifetime. My childhood memories include a time when the government confiscated my family’s possessions and exiled us to a camp in the B.C. Interior, just because my grandparents were from Japan. We still have discrimination and many other problems, but these examples show change is possible – often quickly, after reaching a critical mass of public support. Studies show discrimination, murder and other violent crime rates and death from war have all declined over the years. Throughout history, we’ve faced challenges and adapted to changing
conditions. We’ve renounced practices that, in hindsight, seem foolish and often barbaric. We’ve overturned economic systems that no longer meet our needs or that our increasing wisdom tells us are destructive or immoral. Often, resistance to calls for greater social justice or environmental protection is based on economics. When momentum to abolish slavery in the U.S. started building in the mid-1800s, many feared the economy would fail without free human labour. People fought a war over what they believed was a right to enslave, own and force other human beings to work under harsh conditions for free—in a democratic country! U.S. President Ronald Reagan and U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opposed sanctions against apartheid South Africa in part because of concerns about trade. Fortunately, Canada’s Prime Minister Brian Mulroney stood firm on sanctions, despite pressure from his allies. Economic arguments are also often used to stall environmental progress – something we’re seeing with climate change, and pipeline, mining and fossil fuel projects, among other issues. They were employed in the 1970s, when scientists found that chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, were contributing to a weakening of the ozone layer, which protects us from
the sun’s rays. Despite opposition, world leaders signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987, and today, it’s starting to recover. We now face many other global challenges in addition to regional ones. Our impacts have multiplied as population, trade and communications have grown to encompass the planet. World events viewed in isolation may make it appear as though humanity is moving backward. We still suffer wars, unimaginable violence, prejudice, environmental devastation, foolish politicians, greedy industrialists and selfish individuals. But we also have new ways to communicate widely at lightning speed, wisdom acquired from millennia of experience and people everywhere reaching out to encourage respect and kindness for each other and all life sharing our planet. Change is never easy and it often creates discord, but when people come together for the good of humanity and the Earth, we can accomplish great things. Those are the lessons from Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and all those who refuse to give up in the face of adversity when the cause they pursue is just and necessary. Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. Article courtesy: www. troymedia.com
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Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
Decision to cut Arab federation funding did not breach protocol: judge By Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA—Former immigration minister Jason Kenney acted reasonably in cutting federal funding to the Canadian Arab Federation because the organization appeared to be supporting the actions of terrorist organizations, a judge says. Federal Court Justice Russel Zinn’s ruling dismisses the federation’s challenge of Kenney’s decision not to continue funding for a language-instruction program for immigrants in 2009-10. It also strengthens the federal government’s hand in adhering to its position that it will not give taxpayer dollars to organizations that tolerate or espouse hateful views. Citizenship and Immigration Canada told the federation in March 2009 that statements made by its officials appeared to be anti-Semitic and supportive of terrorist groups. The department’s letter said this raised serious questions about the federation’s integrity and had undermined the government’s confidence in it as an appropriate partner for delivery of services to newcomers. Zinn’s ruling says Kenney’s office took exception to six specific episodes involving the federation, including the fact its thenpresident forwarded a leaflet in 2006 attacking Liberal leadership candidate Bob Rae for supporting “Israeli Apartheid’’
and singling out his wife, active in the Canadian Jewish Congress. The minister’s office also objected to the federation’s webpage having links to sites that featured videos with images of Hamas operatives undergoing training as well as depictions of flags of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In addition, a federation gala honoured Zafar Bangash, who had “referred to Canadians as ‘infidels or non-believers’ in the past and reported on the September 11 attacks in a way that was unsympathetic to the victims,’’ Zinn’s ruling says. The federation argued to the court that the actions and statements in question were either by people who did not officially represent the organization, or that it did not authorize or approve of them.
It filed affidavits from academics, Jewish advocacy groups and people with whom it had worked closely, stating that they have never witnessed anti-Semitism, promotion of hatred, or support for terrorism from the federation, Zinn’s ruling says. The judge said, however, that this ignores the maxim “one is known by the company one keeps.’’ “Quite simply, CAF cannot completely disassociate itself from the content of web links it includes in its materials, or from comments, distribution of materials, or attendances at meetings and conferences by its executive.’’ The judge cites email correspondence in concluding Kenney had made up his mind as early as February 2009 to terminate the federal funding arrange-
ment with the federation, and that his only interest was in finding a way to do so. Still, Zinn says the federation’s behaviour could reasonably lead one to come to the same conclusions as the minister about the organization. “There is an abundance of evidence in the record to show that, although many do not consider CAF’s actions to be antiSemitic, including people of Jewish ethnicity, there are many others that hold the opposite view, including a former CAF president,’’ Zinn wrote. “In this context, it is especially important to be deferential to the Minister’s decision.’’ Zinn rejected the argument that Kenney owed a duty of procedural fairness to the federation, saying the nature of the relationship was “strictly commercial.’’
New first family of New York City: Bill de Blasio, the new mayor is a white Italian-American married to African-American activist and poet Chirlane McCray. The couple have two children—Dante de Blasio and Chirlane McCray. Photo: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Continued from page 5
acy and Basic Skills, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), International Languages Program, and numerous skill-specific ESL programs. One successful ESL program is the Childcare Worker program, created in 1996 when there was a shortage of daycare providers, particularly for immigrants who don’t speak English. The women are trained to open their own home daycares, which teaches them parenting skills and provides an income. Verma and her team also helped to create the first-ever ESL program for the deaf in Ontario. “It was brought to my attention that there were people coming into this country who were refugees or immigrants who were deaf and there was no program available to help them and so they were getting house bound.” Funded by both levels of government, this program has about five students per class learning American Sign Language and how to read and write in English.
be your own health advocate Continued from page 4
Adria Vasil, bestselling author of Ecoholic and leading environmental columnist, was the highlight and special guest of the event. She shared her thoughts on what consumers are using just about every day and how not-sohealthy certain products can be. From St.Ives cream, polysporin, antibacterial soap to age-old home-made remedies, Vasil touched on almost everything. “The toxic journey doesn’t end at paraben-free,” she said. “Companies and marketers out there are very clever. They know once you catch on to a particular ingredient, they will go on to look for another one to replace it with. Now they’re using shape shifting preservatives that no one can even pronounce,” she said. Vasil listed some of her 15 mean ingredients consumers should avoid when shopping, among them, BHT, BHA, Palm
oil, parabens, fragrance and the list goes on. Spring cleaning? Vasil reminded the audience that preservatives are usually listed at the bottom of the ingredient list and are usually the most harmful. However, identifying the ingredient is not the only thing Vasil says is important. “If companies want to get at my wallet, they better work for it. If you want me to shop at your store, I want to see more green products,” she said. “Johnson and Johnson did respond. Customers across the US harassed them to get rid of parabens and other chemicals and it did work.” Even brands labelled organic should be questioned added Vasil. Organic coconut milk body wash anyone? In California a warning message comes with this wonderful smelling product, but not in Canada. “It contains cocomide DEA and last summer, this brand was sued by the State
of California because it contained an ingredient known to cause cancer and birth defects,” said Vasil. “Until we get this kind of warning, we’re a little bit like guinea pigs.” Vasil went on to discuss the importance of natural remedies you can find right at home such as garlic for pimple treatments (cut the clove in half and rub it lightly on the area), honey for burns and throat infections, olive oil for shaving and moisturizer, and even baking soda combined with water for shampoo. Other booths included the Apollo Physical Therapy Centre who offered musculoskeletal assessments, Raw Vitality, a certified organic company that showcased some surprisingly delicious flax crackers, and others for hair, makeup and more. As people made their way in and out of the expo, Beauchamp said she could not be happier with the turnout. Her mission to make Ottawa the healthiest city is far from over but she says she is definitely optimistic. “I love hearing life changing experiences, and every time I hear them it reminds me why I’m doing this,” she said.
Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 9
Ex-astronaut Hadfield says co operation with China in space a logical step Continued on page 1
surface, making China the third country to do so after the United States and the former Soviet Union. It was the world’s first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades. He also pointed out that China launched an experimental space station in 2011. It will be replaced with a more permanent one which will be completed in 2020. A Chinese astronaut said in September his country is willing to open its space station to foreign astronauts and even train them for such missions. China was barred from participating in the current orbiting space station, largely because of U.S. objections over political differences. Hadfield added that after the Russians launched the Mir Space Station in February 1986, other nations dropped in for a visit during its 15 years in orbit. NASA says on its website that Mir hosted 125 cosmonauts and astronauts from 12 different nations before it was deorbited and sunk into the ocean in 2001. Hadfield, who became a Canadian astronaut in 1992, visited Mir in November 1995 on the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis. He was the only Canadian to ever board the Russian space station. “If you predicted in 1989 that I would fly on an American shuttle to go build a Russian spaceship, people would have said you were crazy,” said Hadfield, who last March became the first Canadian to command the International Space Station. “So I think looking forward, there’s a great opportunity to include the Chinese in the world space program—the international space program.” Hadfield said a logical progression would be to include as many countries as possible in an international mission beyond Earth—“hopefully including China and India and the other countries that have launch capability and then progress to the next stepping stone, the next natural waypoint out to space, which is the moon.” Iain Christie, executive vice-president of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, says China’s presence in space cannot be ignored. The association represents the interests of more than 700 aerospace companies across Canada. “I think China is back where we were in North America 50 years ago,” he said in an interview from Ottawa. “They’re excited about space, they’re not spending their time justifying why they’re in space, they’re spending their time justifying why they’re not doing more. “I am hopeful that their enthusiasm for space becomes infectious to the rest of us.” Christie said decisions will have to be made in the coming years. “We’re going to have to decide what to do about engaging with China in
space—whether it’s to be more collaborative or more competitive,” he said. “I don’t know which one we’ll choose.” Ron Holdway, an independent space consultant, says there will eventually be closer relationships with the Chinese. “I think that’s the way we’re inevitably headed because space is so expensive and the Chinese are proving to be quite good at it and willing to share the cost,” he said in an interview. Holdway, a former vice-president with COM DEV, a Canadian space technology company, added there’s already a certain amount of co-operation between the United States and China in areas like weather satellites and data sharing. “There’s also limited co-operation on science programs and that sort of thing,” he said. “It’s natural that it starts in areas that have nothing to do with defence and security. “But I think the reality is that, just like we did with the Russians, we will get past political obstacles and move on to greater co-operation because that’s what common sense says you should do.” Holdway said areas of co-operation with China may include trips to the moon
or Mars or other sorts of manned and unmanned interplanetary exploration. Walt Natynczyk, the new president of the Canadian Space Agency, was in China in September to attend the annual International Astronautical Congress in Beijing. It was described as an opportunity to visit some major space actors in the country. Meantime, as Natynczyk continues work on a long-term space plan, Hadfield said Canada must look at where the world’s space program is headed. “Canada needs to choose what makes sense to us,” he said. “There’s so much technology that we need in power generation, in navigation, in communications, in environmental recycling—there’s all sorts of technical issues that we need to solve that will also have use for us here back in Canada.” Hadfield attracted worldwide attention with his dramatic photos of the Earth, his tweets and his “Space Oddity” video during his space station visit which began when he blasted off in December 2012. He returned to Earth in mid-May 2013. The David Bowie cover has had close to 20 million views on YouTube.
Hadfield also said the question he gets asked the most by interviewers during his current book promotional tour is: How do astronauts go to the bathroom in space? “There’s a YouTube clip that’s been seen a million times—even on orbit I carefully took the camera and showed people how the urinal works, where the solid waste goes. it’s fundamental human curiosity. It’s the number one and number two question,“ he joked.
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Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
Younger generation dominates list Your ‘digital of a dozen MPs to watch in 2014 tattoo’ won’t By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press
TTAWA—No one can predict the political future but here’s a list of a dozen federal MPs worth watching in 2014. A large number are in their 40s or younger, suggesting a generational change may be afoot in federal politics: Michael Chong The former Conservative intergover nmental affairs minister, who quit cabinet in 2007 over Prime Minister S t e p h e n Harper’s move to recognize Quebec as a nation within Canada, is pushing parliamentary reform that would give backbench MPs more independence, and future prime ministers less caucus control. If the bilingual 42-year-old Ontarian isn’t harbouring future leadership ambitions, he should be. Jason Kenney T h e minister of employment and social development has long had a power base within the C o n s e r va tive movement in his own right. He made some waves late in 2013 when he abandoned the party line by supporting former Harper chief of staff Nigel Wright and by calling for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s resignation. Kenney, 44, must find a way to make a key Conservative promise, the already-advertised Canada Job Grant, a reality. He’ll also be under intense scrutiny by Conservatives interested in succession planning. Larry Miller / James Rajotte Miller from rural southwestern Ontario and Rajotte from Edmonton are well-respected anchors in the Conservative caucus. They both support Chong’s private member’s reform bill. Neither is a partisan firebrand or caucus trouble-maker. If parliamentary reform is to become reality, it will require the steady resolve of backbenchers such as these.
James Moore The bilingual British Columbian makes every short list of potential successors to Stephen Harper. His move to industry minister from heritage last summer appeared designed to give the 37-yearold more economic gravitas. If the Conservatives’ much-hyped consumer-oriented focus on cellphone plans and cable TV is to have an impact, Moore will have to manage the high-visibility changes. Jim Flaherty The only finance minister this government has known limped out of a health-problem-plagued 2013 sounding sick, tired and intransigent on the issue of pension reform. It is feasible the Conservatives could announce a balanced federal budget as early as this spring (freeing Flaherty to retire on a high note), but it may make more sense politically to hold off until the budget of 2015, an election year. Flaherty’s health, relations with other key ministers, and the politics of budget balancing will make his office one to watch. Dean Del Mastro Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former parliamentary secretary goes to trial this June on charges stemming from allegations of election spending irregularities dating back to the 2008 campaign. There will also be unrelated court dates dealing with Elections Canada’s continuing investigation of fraudulent robocalls in the 2011 election. Both court cases could reopen old wounds for the governing party. Justin Trudeau
Trudeau’s to-be-expected honeymoon after being elected Liberal leader in a landslide last April has proved remarkably durable and gaffe-resistant. His third-place party in terms of parliamentary seats enters 2014 reliably leading in public-opinion polls. Trudeau, 42, says he will remain unscripted and accessible but won’t be releasing a policy platform until 2015, which could make
for another interesting year of open-mic high jinks. Given Trudeau’s position and pedigree, Canadians—and Conservatives most of all—can’t seem to take their eyes off him. Chrystia Freeland The star Liberal candidate won a seat in downtown Toronto in a muchwatched November byelection. The former business journalist, 44, has written a book “Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else,’’ that focuses on income inequality. She’s been appointed co-chair, with MP Scott Brison, of a Liberal economic advisory group. It will be up to policy advocates like Freeland to provide evidence the Liberal middle-class mantra is more than just rhetorical positioning. Tom Mulcair The NDP leader has won widespread plaudits for his work grilling the government in the House of Commons over the Senate expenses scandal, and tells Parliamentwatchers to expect more questions in the same vein when the House resumes in 2014. But with the NDP consistently languishing in third place in the polls, Mulcair needs to find an issue that casts him as something other than the inquisitorial leader of the official Opposition. Energy policy, where the Liberals are closer to the Conservatives, provides Mulcair an obvious path to differentiate his party from the pack. Nathan Cullen/ Olivia Chow Cullen has announced he’ll keep his northern B.C. seat rather than run for the leadership of the provincial New Democrats, but Chow is thought likely to take a run at the mayoralty this year in Toronto. Bruce Hyer in northern Ontario quit the NDP caucus over his position on the gun registry and B.C.’s Alex Atamanenko announced recently he won’t seek re-election in 2015. The NDP can’t afford to lose many more seasoned MPs outside Quebec, where 57 of the party’s current 100 MPs were elected in 2011.
disappear from web
By LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL—Cyber criminals will still be out in force in 2014, but privacy is expected to come to the forefront of digital concerns. Along with scams, cyber security firms see a continued risk to citizens’ privacy with basic activities such as posting on social media sites, downloading apps on their smartphones and, of course, through indiscretions. “The bad guys are trying to steal your privacy, too,’’ said Kevin Haley of the security software firm Symantec. But Haley said recent news events revealing how personal information can be scooped up online will get people thinking about their digital privacy. “I think it finally gives people the perspective, the concept, of how much information can be gathered about them online,’’ said Haley, a director with Symantec’s security response team in Culver City, Calif. For example, documents obtained from former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden showed that the organization gathered as many as five billion records every day from hundreds of millions of cellphones worldwide by tapping into cables that carry international data traffic. Also reported by media outlets were American and British intelligence operations spying on gamers across the world. Reports suggested that the world’s most powerful espionage agencies sent undercover agents into virtual universes to monitor activity in online fantasy games such as “World of Warcraft.’’ In Canada, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has filed a lawsuit against the Communications Security Establishment Canada, or CSEC. The group claims Canadian data is being swept up as CSEC monitors emails, phone calls and text messages of foreign targets, when those targets are communicating with Canadians. Haley said he expects privacy concerns will push app makers to offer users increased data protection. “We will see a lot of failed attempts and partial solutions. We’re not going to solve this problem in 2014, but we’ll begin to make steps and people will begin to do things to try to create a sense of privacy,’’ he said. Online users, especially younger ones, will move to more obscure or niche social media sites, believing they will have better privacy. “Security by obscurity, in this particular case, by using not as popular or nonpopular social media sites is just not going to do it,’’ Haley said. People will also try to create false identities that only their circle of friends will know, he added. Continued on page 11
Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
Travelling exhibit in Nova Scotia tells dark chapter of Canadian history By Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press
ALIFAX—It’s a dark chapter in Canadian history, one that raises questions of a potentially anti-Semitic climate in Canada on the eve of the Second World War. But the story of the MS St. Louis’s voyage in May 1939 is one that should nevertheless be told, said Gerry Lunn, curator of exhibitions at Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax. A travelling exhibition created by the museum and the Atlantic Jewish Council chronicles the trying journey of the ship’s 900 Jewish passengers, who thought they were making their escape from Nazi Germany. But when Cuba broke a promise to provide refuge, the ship searched for other countries to take those seeking a safe haven, only to be denied again and again, including by Canada—its last hope. The passengers eventually ended up in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, which became overrun by the Nazis, as well as Great Britain. About a quarter of them died in death camps. “At first, it was a very happy voyage,’’ said Lunn in an interview at the museum, pointing to a photo of two passengers blissfully smiling as they leaned out of a porthole. “But when it became apparent that there was no way they could avoid going
digital tattoo Continued from page 10
Raj Samani of McAfee Inc. said online users need to understand their “digital tattoo.’’ “When they put something or post something online, it’s there for life,’’ said Samani, vice president and chief technology officer for McAfee in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Samani notes that in some cases parents are signing up their children for social media sites when they’re actually underage. Facebook users must be at least 13 years old. “Parents in many cases are enabling children to be on the Internet without any safeguards at all,’’ he said from London. Both Symantec and McAfee said they expect to see more threats from mobile apps for smartphones next year and consumers should be aware of what they could be consenting to— such as having data and locations collected and sold—when they download an app. Some apps have a list of permissions that must be agreed to before they can be installed—and they can sometimes open the door to malware attacks. Samani said in some cases a user’s camera or microphone can be taken control of by a third party. Added Haley: “People download apps or do things on a phone that they would probably never do on a PC.’’
Jewish refugees aboard the MS St. Louis while the ship was docked in the port of Havana Photo: Wikipedia
MS St. Louis surrounded by smaller vessels, Havana, June 1939 Photo: Wikipedia
back to Europe, people started to panic. Suicide attempts were made.’’ The Ship of Fate exhibit, which will be housed at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton, N.S., until the end of January, includes a metre-long model of the St. Louis and 11 traditional display panels that tell the little-known story of the voyage. Visitors can use interactive kiosks to read scanned documents associated with the ship.
Also included is a postcard from a passenger on board the St. Louis a few months after the tragic voyage. Although it’s not directly related, Lunn said it could be reflective of a broad anti-Semitic atmosphere in Canada at the time. The postcard, which was addressed to someone in Halifax, includes what Lunn called a “chilling’’ phrase: “Good food, nice crowd, no Jews.’’ “It’s casual anti-Semitism. The person writing this postcard obviously didn’t
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 11 think twice about what the significance of writing it that way was,’’ said Lunn, wearing white gloves as he cautiously removed the artifact from a photo album. “The way it’s written, one would think that she’s writing to a receptive audience.’’ Debra McNabb, director of the Museum of Industry, said it’s important to reflect upon the negative aspects of Canadian history as well as the positive. “It’s important for our understanding of ourselves as Canadians to do that,’’ she said in an interview. Canada’s role in the tragic event was first brought to light by staff at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic about a decade ago and an exhibit was created for the 70th anniversary of the voyage in 2009, said Lunn. Some of Canada’s key immigration officials at the time were blatant anti-Semites, but it wasn’t the only factor preventing the entrance of the ship’s passengers, Lunn said. “Canada’s economy was in terrible shape, so there was fear that letting in too many people of any sort, let alone a group of German Jews, would be poorly perceived by the Canadian public,’’ said Lunn beneath the wood beams of the museum’s library. The exhibit has already made its way to Charlottetown, P.E.I., and several museums in Nova Scotia. Lunn said fundraising efforts are underway to help send the exhibit to more museums in Nova Scotia and across Canada.
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Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
The hearing will focus on “pilot awareness in a highly automated aircraft,’’ the board said Continued on page 1
Investigators want to know how the three seasoned pilots allowed a passenger jet with no apparent mechanical problems in near-perfect weather conditions to lose speed so dramatically that it was on the brink of stalling moments before the crash. The pilot flying the plane was attempting to land without use of the autopilot. Normally, the pilot in the second seat is supposed to have his eyes on the plane’s computer screens to monitor airspeed and other readings, rather than looking out the window. In this case, the second pilot was a training captain who was grading the performance of the pilot flying the plane. The training captain told investigators he thought the plane’s autothrottle was maintaining engine power and thus speed, but discovered that wasn’t the case just moments before the crash. The autothrottle was “armed,’’ or made ready for activation, investigators
said in briefings after the accident, but they left open the question whether it was engaged and in idle or another mode. Aircraft systems can have many modes, or settings, and perform quite differently depending upon the mode. Pilot “mode awareness’’ is a more common automation-related problems showing up in accidents and incidents, according to an automation study released last month by the Federal Aviation Administration. Mode changes occur frequently during flight, often without any direct action by pilots. If pilots aren’t continually paying close attention, they can lose track of which mode their systems are in. Pilots also make mistakes when selecting modes. Mode selection errors were cited in 27 per cent of the accidents reviewed in the FAA study. Less than six weeks after the Asiana crash, a United Parcel Service cargo jet flying too low while trying to land in Bir-
mingham, Ala., struck trees and then a power line before crashing into a hillside near the airport. Both pilots were killed. In that case the autopilot was on, and seconds before the crash there was a loud automated warning that the plane was losing altitude too rapidly, according to investigators. The investigation is continuing, but some safety experts see a possible link between the two accidents. “I think mode awareness is going to be very central in both investigations,’’ said John Cox, an aviation safety consultant and former accident investigator for the Air Line Pilots Association. “In both cases the airplane appears to have been properly maintained, everybody is properly trained. A lot of the focus is on how the crew operated the airplane so that it ended up with the airplane short of the runway.’’ The Asiana accident was the first fatal crash of a passenger airline in the U.S. since a regional airline pilot lost control of his plane during a landing approach in
Buffalo, N.Y., in February 2009. In that crash, investigators found the two pilots weren’t closely monitoring airspeed and failed to notice when the speed began dropping rapidly. The plane plummeted to the ground, killing all 49 people on board and a man in a house below. There was nothing mechanically wrong with the plane, and the captain should have been able to regain control of the plane if he had responded correctly to an automated stall warning, investigators said. Such “loss of control’’ accidents accounted for 43 per cent of fatal passenger airline and air cargo accidents over the five years that ended in December 2012, according to the International Air Transport Association, which represents carriers around the world. Last month, the FAA issued new pilot training regulations calling for more attention to teaching pilots how to recover from stalls.
China’s 1st aircraft carrier Cuba, US hold ‘respectful’ talks in Havana completes trial run in On migration, fighting people trafficking South China Sea By Peter Orsi, The Associated Press
The Associated Press
BEIJING—China’s first aircraft carrier has successfully completed sea trials in the South China Sea, state media reported. The Liaoning returned to port Jan 1 after a 37-day voyage, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Citing an unnamed naval source, Xinhua said the aircraft carrier tested its combat Liaoning before refurbishment Photo: Wikipedia system and conducted a marked the two countries’ most serious sea formation practice and “attained the anticipated objectives.” confrontation in years. “All tests and training programs went The Liaoning was bought from well as scheduled,” it said. Ukraine more than a decade ago and Aircraft, naval vessels and submaextensively refurbished before entering rines also participated in the Liaonservice in 2012. ing’s tests. China claims virtually the entire Early in the Liaoning’s trial run, one South China Sea. A recent expansion of of the Chinese ships accompanying it was its naval reach has challenged the decadesinvolved in a near collision with a U.S. Navy old American dominance and alarmed its ship. A Chinese media report blamed the smaller neighbours, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam, which have comU.S. ship getting too close to the Liaoning, peting territorial claims with Beijing to a while U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel string of islands. called China’s behaviour “irresponsible.” It
HAVANA, Cuba—U.S. and Cuban representatives held a fresh round of migration talks in Havana on Jan 9, continuing a recent trend of the two Cold War foes working together on some issues. A Cuban government statement said the talks covered the status of 1990s migratory accords under which the U.S. agreed to issue 20,000 immigrant visas a year to Cubans, as well as efforts to combat illegal immigration and people trafficking. Havana reiterated its stance that to ensure legal and orderly migration, the U.S. must do away with the Cuban Adjustment Act, which makes Cubans eligible for permanent residency after being in the States for one year, and the “wetfoot, dry-foot’’ policy, which lets islanders who arrive on American soil stay while those detained at sea are repatriated. “These are the main encouragement to illegal departures and irregular arrivals of Cuban citizens in the U.S. territory,’’ the statement said. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. delegates, who were expected to speak to reporters Friday. A day earlier, the U.S. State Department said the talks did not represent any change in Cuba policy.
The meetings have sometimes been used as a back-channel for two countries without full diplomatic relations to broach other issues, though there was no word on whether the discussions strayed this time around. Migration talks were suspended in 2011, the year Cuba sentenced U.S. government development subcontractor Alan Gross to 15 years in prison for alleged crimes against the state. They resumed last July. Cuban and American officials also met multiple times in 2013 on re-establishing direct mail service. On Jan 9, Cuban authorities said they briefed their U.S. counterparts about the Caribbean nation’s changed migratory policy. Next week is the one-year anniversary of a law scrapping an exit visa requirement that for decades made it difficult for Cuban citizens to travel overseas. The government says more islanders making trips abroad under the new rule. The Cuban statement called the discussions “respectful’’ and reiterated Havana’s “willingness to continue exchanges on matters of mutual interest for their importance to the two nations.’’ The delegations were led by Alex Lee, deputy assistant secretary at the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Josefina Vidal, director of the U.S. Division at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry.
Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 13
India rockets into select club of spacefarers By Venkatachari Jagannathan
riharikota, India (IANS) On January 5 India joined the select league of spacefaring nations with indigenous cryogenic engine technology, successfully launching its rocket—endearingly called the naughty boy for its earlier waywardness—that put a communication satellite in orbit. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed it “yet another important step”. The successful launch of India’s heavier rocket—the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-D5 (GSLVD5)—not only means the indigenous cryogenic engine has performed well but would also pave way for sizeable savings for the country in future launch costs. It also opens up a window to earn foreign exchange from launching heavier foreign satellites. The communication satellite will be used for telemedicine and tele-education services. The Indian space scientists’ toil of around two decades in conceiving the more efficient cryogenic engine technology, which provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant, spending around Rs.400 crore has come to fruition with the delivery of the GSAT-14 in the outer space. At precisely 4.18 p.m., GSLV-D5 rocket with a deep roar rose into the sky on a tail of an orange flame, breaking away from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here. Around 17 minutes into the space flight, the 49.13-metre tall, 414.75-tonne GSLV-D5 rocket slung the 1,982-kg GSAT-14 in the intended orbit. Manmohan Singh described it as “yet another important step that the country has taken in the area of science and technology”. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was to launch this rocket last August but aborted the blast-off just hours before the deadline as fuel started leaking from its second stage or engine. ISRO’s scientists at the mission control centre were visibly happy with Sunday’s blast-off. They back-slapped and hugged one another.
GSLVD5 lift off
ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishan said: “The Indian cryogenic engine and stage performed as predicted and as expected for the mission and injected GSAT-14 in its intended orbit.” “We have paid back all our debts to the country.” Radhakrishnan said that “20 years of efforts and toil in developing cryogenic engine and stage has paid off. The excruciating efforts of the past three years has been realized”. An ecstatic S.Ramakrishnan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said: “At ISRO we used to call GSLV as
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naughty boy. But today the naughty boy is a very obedient boy.” The reference was two earlier attempts to launch the GSLV in 2010, which failed. As the rocket zoomed away, a former space scientist could barely contain his joy in Kerala. “I am really happy… Now the sky is the limit for India. We should now have an overall plan and am sure scientists are working on it as this cryogenic engine is the best of its kind,” said S. Nambinarayanan. In 1991, it was S. Nambinarayanan, one of country’s foremost space scien-
tist, who was working as project director for the development of cryogenic technology. He was later arrested following allegation that India’s space programme was sold, with the help of two Maldivian women. The Jan 5 launch success is sweet for the Indian space fraternity as it comes after successful launch of Mars Orbiter last year. The GSLV is a three stage/engine rocket. The core of first stage is fired with solid fuel while the four strap-on motors by liquid fuel. The second is the liquid fuel and the third is the cryogenic engine. Radhakrishnan has told IANS that the country pays around $85-90 million or around Rs.500 crore as launch fee for sending up a 3.5p-tonne communication satellites. The cost of satellite is separate. He said the cost of GSLV is Rs.220 crore. The ISRO can send smaller communication satellites—weighing around two tonnes—till such time it gets ready an advanced GSLV variant—GSLVMark III—that can lug satellites weighing around four tonnes. While that is for the future, Radhakrishnan said ISRO has lined up several satellite launches for the current GSLV rocket version. Other than the flight testing of cryogenic engine, 2014 will be an important year for ISRO. According to ISRO, several design changes were incorporated in Sunday’s rocket after studying the past GSLV rockets and the issues faced in them. ISRO officials told IANS that though the rocket’s rated carrying capacity is around 2.2 tonnes, it was decided to carry a sub-two tonnes satellite with minimum number of transponders (receivers and transmitters of communication signals). The cuboid shaped Rs.145 crore GSAT-14 is India’s 23rd geostationary satellites built by ISRO. It has a life span of 12 years. It carries six extended C-band and Ku-band transponders (receivers and transmitters of signals), and two Kaband beacons.
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Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
A beloved icon, singer Fairouz is dragged into Lebanon’s divisions By Bassem Mroue, The Associated Press
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EIRUT—Through decades of conflict, there has been one thing all Lebanese could agree on, their adoration of the country’s iconic singer Fairouz, who stood unquestioned above the fray with her anthems to Lebanon and Palestine and songs of love. Now the 78-singer has been dragged into the thick of the country’s bitter political and sectarian divisions after her son said in an interview that she loves the leader of Hezbollah, sparking an uproar among opponents of the Shiite guerrilla group. Angry critics on Twitter and Facebook and in Lebanese newspapers have sharply said Fairouz should stay out of politics, some even accusing her of treachery while supporters has indignantly replied that she is free to support whomever she chooses. Fairouz herself has remained silent: Throughout her career, she has never expressed her political opinions and she rarely gives interviews. The storm has brought warnings from politicians that Lebanon’s society itself is fraying—an indication of just how prominent a national symbol Fairouz is. Fairuz in the 1970s. “This surprising campaign is an indication that the country is heading toward destruction,’’ parliament speaker Nabih Berri, head of a Shiite party allied to Hezbollah, told the As-Safir newspaper. The comments by Fairouz’s son touched off the increasing divisions in the country over Hezbollah. The Syrian- and Iranian-backed group gained prominence and support in Lebanon and around the Arab world for its fight against Israel. But it has long had opponents in Lebanon, particularly among the Sunni community, because of its domination over the country’s politics and its state-within-a-state status, backed by its guerrillas, who are even more powerful than the military. The criticism increased this year when the group sent fighters to back Syrian President Bashar Assad against rebels in that country’s bloody civil war. Since openly joining the war in May, battlehardened Hezbollah fighters have helped Syrian forces capture areas near the capital Damascus as well as the strategic town of Qusair near Lebanon. That has infuriated Sunnis in Lebanon and elsewhere in the region, who largely support the rebels. In mid-December, Fairouz’s son Ziad Rahbani, a prominent composer and playwright who openly expresses his support for Hezbollah, told a news website linked to the group that his mother loves Hezbollah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah “a lot.’’ He added that his mother will “will be angry with me as she did last time when I gave a TV interview and revealed some of her personal matters. She boycotted me.’’ Last year he told the Lebanon-based TV station Al-Maya-
deen that his mother’s points of view in politics are “not far from mine.’’ Later, after the uproar began, Rahbani gave an interview to Lebanon’s pro-Syrian AlMayadeen TV, saying Nasrallah and Fairouz are Lebanon’s two most important figures over the past 60 years. He said those who criticize them are indirectly “defending Israel.’’ Fairouz, who is Christian, has been an icon Lebanese of all stripes can agree on, with her music touting love of the country above its divisions. That reputation was enshrined during Lebanon’s bloody 1975-1990 civil war, when she stayed in the country. Love for her extends across the Arab world because of her songs to Jerusalem and the Palestinians, supporting their cause against Israel. But her son’s comments threatened to tarnish her with the same brush as Hezbollah in the eyes of critics. “If you seriously love Nasrallah, do you know how many .... have been lost in Syria because of the war and Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria,’’ Nadim Koteich, host of a news show on Lebanon’s Future TV and a sharp critic of Hezbollah, said on his show recently, addressing Fairouz. He also pointed indirectly Photo: Wikipedia at assassinations of nearly a dozen anti-Syrian figures in Lebanon since 2005, which some have blamed on Hezbollah, though the group denies any role. “Do you know how many Lebanese were draped in Lebanese flags because of Hezbollah’s policies,’’ Koteich asked, referring to the flags draped on coffins. Rahbani’s comments appear to have caused disagreements within his family. His sister, Rima, who is a close aide to Fairouz, wrote on her Facebook page Wednesday that no one can speak for their mother and criticized Ziad for pulling Fairouz into “the narrow alleys of Lebanese politics.’’ Pierre Abi Saab, who heads the cultural section of Lebanon’s daily al-Akhbar, told AP that Rahbani “said something that is probably true, but he had no right and had no authorization from the family to say it.’’ He added that Rahbani is “known for saying everything in interviews without any self-censorship.’’ Politicians are saying people need to lay off the criticism, given Fairouz’s status. Druse leader Walid Jumblatt issued a statement saying Fairouz should be kept out of controversy, describing her as “symbol of national Lebanese heritage.’’ Even Nasrallah spoke about the issue in a speech last week marking the assassination of one of his group’s military commanders, though he didn’t specifically name the singer. “We have reached a point in the country when someone says he loves someone this could lead to the country’s destruction,’’ Nasrallah told hundreds of supporters. “No one is allowed to love.’’
Ottawa Star • January 16, 2014
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China says Japanese PM not welcome after war shrine visit, urges him to admit mistakes By Gillian Wong, The Associated Press
EIJING—China accused Japan’s prime minister of hypocrisy and said he would not be welcome in China after he visited a shrine honouring Japan’s war dead, the latest sign of worsening ties between the two nations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Dec 30 said that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni shrine in central Tokyo had seriously hurt relations between the countries and shut the door for dialogue between their leaders. “Abe’s hypocrisy in his claims of prioritizing relations with China and hopes for dialogue with the Chinese leaders has been fully revealed,” Qin said at a regular briefing. “The Chinese people do not welcome him. Now, Abe needs to admit his mistakes to the government and people of China, cut loose from the past and make a new start,” he said. Abe’s war shrine visit and China’s reaction escalated tensions already running high over a festering territorial dispute. Relations sank to a new low recently after China announced an air defence identification zone that covers a string of uninhabited East China Sea islands controlled by Japan but also claimed by China. Tokyo has repeatedly called for dialogue to resolve the islands dispute. But Monday’s comments show how the shrine visit has added another reason for China to reject talks between President Xi Jinping and Abe on the issue. Xi and Abe had a five-minute exchange on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Russia in September. Beijing’s remarks add to the steady drumbeat of criticism that Beijing has kept up against Abe since the shrine visit late December. China’s foreign minister
Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Photo: Wikipedia
summoned Japan’s ambassador to protest, while other spokespeople from the foreign service and the defence ministry issued scathing criticisms. Japanese politicians’ visits to Yasukuni have long caused friction with China and both Koreas, because the 2.5 million war dead enshrined there include 14 class A war criminals from World War II—national leaders who were either executed or died in prison or during their trials. Japan colonized Korea and occupied parts of China, often brutally, before and during World War II. “They are the people who masterminded, launched and carried out the war of aggression against China,” China’s Qin said of the Japanese war criminals. “Their hands are covered with the
blood of the victimized peoples. They are fascists. They are the Nazis of Asia.” It was the first visit to the Shintostyle war shrine by a sitting Japanese prime minister since Junichiro Koizumi went in 2006 to mark the anniversary of the end of World War II. Abe, a nationalist who advocates revising Japan’s pacifist constitution, had previously visited Yasukuni while out of office. South Korean President Park Geunhye on Dec 30 also urged Japan not to impair bilateral ties by opening up past colonial wounds. “I hope that there won’t be any act of breaking down country-to-country relations … by digging up the wounds of the past,” Park said during a regular meeting with her aides, according to
South Korean media pool reports posted on the website of her office. Park didn’t cite Japan by name but Park’s office said she was referring to Japan. Also Dec 30, North Korea’s state media said that Abe’s shrine visit was tantamount to a “declaration of war” against people in Asia and the rest of the world. “Japan has now turned into a war state deviating to the right and fascism,” the official Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary. Abe has previously said criticism that visits to Yasukuni are an act of worshipping war criminals is based on a misunderstanding. He said he did not intend to hurt the Chinese and Korean people’s feelings and expressed conviction that Japan must never wage war again.
European Union official accuses British government of peddling immigration ‘myths’ By Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
LONDON—The British government is threatening the country’s future by stirring up unfounded fears about immigration, a senior European Union official has said - comments that drew an angry response on Jan 10 from Britain’s governing Conservatives. EU Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding accused the British government of using a “supposed invasion of foreigners’’ to distract attention from the country’s real problems.
“Most of the things which are told to the people in Great Britain are myths, have nothing to do with reality,’’ she said in an online question-and-answer session earlier this week. Reding said statistics showed EU immigrants were an economic boon to Britain, and accused Britain’s political leaders of using “populistic speech to gain votes.’’ “You are destroying the future of your people, actually,’’ she said. Britain’s Conservative-led government—threatened electorally by the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party—has used increasingly tough rhetoric about
migrants, especially those from the EU’s poorer eastern European members. Labour-market restrictions across the EU for people from Romania and Bulgaria ended Jan. 1—fueling fears, especially in Britain’s populist press, of a tide of unemployed migrants. British Prime Minister David Cameron’s government has taken an increasingly tough tone on immigration, proposing to limit new arrivals’ access to welfare benefits and charge migrants for some health services. The rhetoric has annoyed some of Britain’s EU partners. This week Polish
Prime Minister Donald Tusk chastised Cameron for using “unacceptable words’’ in making comments about Poles who work in Britain and claim U.K. child benefits for their families back home. On Friday, Conservative lawmaker Mark Reckless accused Reding, Tusk and others of using heated rhetoric over Britain’s immigration measures. “I think the measures taken by the government have been quite moderate and actually I think it’s these European politicians ... who seem to have been stoking this thing up,’’ Reckless told BBC radio.
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