Content Local Lit
Heaven in Hell
6 By: Jacqueline Seewald
Oh Youth 11 By: Anthony Leclair
By: Nishayel Williams
By: Nick Ntoukas
More than words
City Moments: Toronto Remembers
City Moments: Torontonians Talk Next Gen Consoles
13 By: Colton Gilson
By: Nicholas Lachance
Rolli Comics 30
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp 32
News & Opinion
By: Nicholas Lachance
By: Rebecca Byers
A Cartographic Wet Dream 40 By: Anthony Leclair
Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday 44 By: Anthony Leclaire
Kraft Dinner 49 By: J.P.
Playing With Fire 52 By: Janie Ginsberg
P Is For Pricey Parking 50 By: Mamta Lulla
Q & A With Greg Loon 54 By: Nicholas Camilleri
Shale Gas Protests Continue in New Brunswick 56 By: Mamta Lulla
Masthead Nicholas Camilleri Founding Editor
Jen Alvarez Managing Editor - News and Content
Alex Lambert Managing Editor - Copy and Research
Neil McKenzie-Sutter Local Lit Editor
Magda Wolak Content Resourcing
Dona Boulos Feature Reporter
Colton Gilson Cartoonist and Illustrator
Ivan Kostynyk Art Director - Editorial
A Burgeoning Collective By Alex Lambert
For me, it’s already more than a year and a half into this thing, but somehow it feels like it was only last week that we were writing our first articles, designing our original layout, and just beginning to grasp how far Swept would take us and how big Swept could actually become.
Maybe it’s everything I’ve learned or who I’ve become since Swept got started, or how it’s enriched my life in the months since I first started editing Sweptmedia.ca. Perhaps it’s seeing our collective vision and collaborative effort become something tangible, and watching it evolve and succeed. It could be the inspiration derived from the ongoing, growing response we’ve received from people across the GTA, throughout the country, and around the world who are passionate about literature, journalism, arts and culture. But what once might have seemed to me like such a daunting project, now feels like something that’s only just begun, with so much more work left to do. And though I still feel that sense of urgency every time I think of Swept, it has grown and transformed considerably. Our content schedule has gone from a few posts a month to at least a few posts a week – sometimes a few per day, and thanks to the brilliance of Swept’s design team, our layout has never looked so gorgeous.
Still, as inspiring and fulfilling as it’s been working on this project, it’s been just as much a struggle and a learning experience. Between wrapping half my head around my CP Stylebook, making cold calls to sources who don’t want to talk to me, and trying to exert some level of understanding when it comes to WordPress and Joomla, I’ve had plenty of work to do. But as I said before, though it has been frustrating, it’s also been very rewarding witnessing the realization of the shared vision the Swept team set out to create. Most importantly, I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s worked on Swept, all who’ve contributed to the website or the e-zine, and everybody who’s shown any kind of interest in Swept, whether it’s attention on social media, or kind words in person. Thank you. Without your interest, hard work, and support, Swept would be a shell of what it is today, and my life would not be nearly as enriched for being a part of it.
Before my husband died, we’d go to Atlantic City maybe once a month. Larry claimed it was an excellent antidote to boredom. He called it the great escape, fantasy-land, Disney for adults. I was skeptical, but now that I’m alone, I take the bus to A.C. once a week. It’s become a ritual for me. I know that sounds pathetic, but that’s just how it is.
By Jacqueline Seewald
There are a lot of lonely older people, widows and widowers, divorced or never married, who are looking for something to fill their lives. On the surface, it appears the casinos benevolently bestow a glittering mecca where senior citizens may enjoy the fruits of their golden years. The bus ride down to A.C. is an experience in itself. During the course of the bus trip, I speak to several people, mostly regulars. Sitting opposite me is an elderly gentleman, nicknamed Little Joe, who states that his near daily pilgrimage is the best thing in his life. Although he’s lost most of his savings, he has no regrets. “The casino threw a birthday party in my honor. Can you imagine? They gave me a free stay in a suite and meals at the best restaurants in the hotel. Made me feel like a king.” There are tears in his pale, rheumy eyes. “The way I look at it, my wife is dead and I don’t have children to leave any money. So I might as well spend it in Atlantic City as anywhere.” A white-haired lady with gaunt cheekbones named Emma agrees with him. She leans over to pat Little Joe’s hand. “I won’t be leaving much to my children. I told them not to wait around like vultures for me to die. I’m going to enjoy what money I have. Let them earn their own!” I notice the tee shirt she is wearing proclaiming: I’m spending my children’s inheritance! “What do you like to play?” Emma asks me. “I’m not much of a gambler,” I reply. At the last stop in Lakewood, the bus becomes more crowded. “Is anyone sitting here?” A man of about thirty-five, somewhat rough-edged in appearance has spoken to me. He is dressed in flannel shirt, faded denim jeans and looks weary. I stand and let him take the window seat. I am about to read a paperback novel for the rest of the trip that will last approximately an hour and a half. But Emma and Little Joe aren’t willing to end our conversation just yet. “Why do you come go down to A.C. if you don’t gamble?” Little Joe asks me. Should I explain how lonely and lost I’ve felt since Larry’s death? Do I really
want to tell strangers about the panic attacks that grip me in the middle of the night, how I sweat, hardly able to catch my breath, seized by a fear that has the ferocity of a pit bull, as I toss and turn in my bed, a prisoner caught in the throes of an insomniac’s agony. Maybe casino life is an attempt to escape the inevitable, to convince myself that I can evade death, if only for a little while. It’s illusion, of course, but one I desperately need. “I like a change of scene, to get away. There are some other things to do in A.C.,” I say. “Like walk by the ocean.” “Is there an ocean out there?” Emma jokes, “I hadn’t noticed.” “I take it you’re not a nature lover,” the man next to me says to her. His earthy brown eyes twinkle. “We don’t see many young people going down on the bus during the week,” Little Joe observes. “Yeah, well, I’m celebrating the fact that I got laid off my job.” “I’m sorry,” I say. “Don’t be. Wasn’t such a great job. I work construction. It’s seasonal for the most part. There’ll be other jobs. So today I’ll try my luck in A.C.” “You shouldn’t waste your money,” I say. “There are only two kinds of people who claim they’re winners in A.C.: liars and casino owners.” “Pay no attention to her,” Emma says. “She’s a moralist. Shouldn’t even be allowed on the bus.” She sniffs in my direction. “Right,” Little Joe agrees, “wants to spoil our fun.” “Yeah, don’t lecture us. And don’t take a superior attitude.” “Lucky for me the Salem witch trials are over,” I say, “otherwise you might burn me at the stake.” “I don’t get out of joint if people express different opinions than me. I mean it’s a free country, right? I’m Rob by the way,” the young man says. “And you are?” “Sara.” “So what bothers you about A.C., Sara?” “There are entirely too many people spending their Social Security or welfare checks on gambling. Those who can least afford it often gamble the most. Because gambling has become increasingly socially acceptable, serious addictions are growing. Funny how it doesn’t draw the same censure as drug or alcohol addiction.” Rob stares at me. “You a teacher or something? I mean you really talk like one.” I feel my face start to flush and heat. “Sorry, guess I got a little carried away. And yes, I used to teach English.” “Lady, you should run for politics. You got such passionate concern.” “Get off your soapbox!” Little Joe points his index finger at me. Do I come off sounding self-righteous? I am mortified with embarrassment. Clearly, I’ve been talking too much. “Stick your neck out and someone’s likely to try and chop it off,” Rob observes with a good-natured shrug. I open my novel and try to slip into the story. I look up to see Rob grimly watching the scenery go by like the flickering frames of an old time movie. I try to read again but find it hard to concentrate and soon look up to see the sign announcing that we have entered the Pine Barrens. “Nice down in the south,” Rob says. “Wouldn’t mind living here if there was more work. You work?” he asks. I shake my head. “I took early retirement. My husband was dying and needed care.” “You don’t look old enough to retire.” He turns his head to one side
giving me a speculative look. I find the heat rising to my face. “I turned fifty last month.” “You look younger.” Not knowing what to say, I try to read my novel again. “Where do you live?” When I don’t respond immediately, he speaks again. “Hey, I didn’t mean I wanted to know your address. You probably think ‘cause my name is Rob I might rob people.” His tone is half-joking, half-serious. “I don’t believe in name symbolism.” “I thought all English teachers thought in literary symbols. What I wanted to ask was: do you live in a house or an apartment?” “A house.” “Your husband’s dead? You need any work done? I got time and I’m real handy.” “No, I don’t need anything done right now. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking of selling the house. It holds too many memories that cause me pain. I might be better off living somewhere else. The house was meant for people with children. It’s right near an elementary school. My children used to walk to school from there when they were little.” “You miss having kids around?” He gives me a perceptive look, no longer looking as rough-edged as he did before. “I never thought I would say it but I do. I miss my children bursting through the front door full of young life and vitality, tossing down books and jackets, eager to tell me about their day.” “I think my old lady said good riddance when I moved out. But I guess the world has all kinds of people, right? There’s all kinds of places to live too. You know, we’ve built some real nice condos for senior citizens--not that you’re one of them.” “Thanks, Rob, but I’m not exactly a kid.” “As old as you feel, they say.” “Well, I don’t feel much like a senior citizen yet. The problem is, I don’t feel much like anything in particular. I’m sort of in suspended animation.” “Me too. Come on, what do you say, we hang out together today?” His imploring look surprises me. “I’m not sure.” “I am. We could both use some company, some cheering up.” “Rob, why do you want to be with me?
I’m much older than you. When people hit A.C., everyone on the bus goes their own way.” “I had this girlfriend, Lori. I went with her for two years. I don’t think we talked this much in all that time. It was always about where I was taking her and whether or not we’d go to bed that night. I mean, maybe I got to know her in the biblical sense, but I really didn’t get to know her. Right now, I want someone to talk with, someone who’ll listen, and maybe even care, even pretending to care would be enough. See it’s not just you who feels out of it. Look, I’m getting hungry. Why don’t we eat together when we hit A.C. I got enough cash for that.” “Dutch treat only.” “Even better, so you’ll come?” “Yes,” I respond somewhat hesitantly. The buffet we settle on is imitation Tudor in design, beige stucco walls and dark, wooden beams across the ceiling. It is really an updated cafeteria. It is perfect for us, large and impersonal. A waitress dressed in uniform hurries over to ask if she can take our beverage order. Rob wastes no time in getting to the food. He digs in hungrily, quickly demolishing beefsteak, baked potato and roll. I pick at some salad, feeling too uncomfortable to really eat very much. As I watch Rob walk back to the buffet for another plate of food, I wonder what I am doing here with this total stranger. It seems absurd. Probably Sartre would have appreciated the irony but I do not. “I have to go now,” I tell him, starting to get up. “You haven’t eaten anything.” He looks genuinely upset, concerned. “Maybe we should have just left things as they were.” “No, I enjoy talking to you. Know what I really like about this place? They leave you alone here. So a person can relax. You look like you need to unwind a little. What’s wrong? You seem kind of strained.” “We don’t have anything in common. You should be with people your own age.” “Mostly I am. It’s overrated.” “Do I remind you of your mother?” “Completely different. And you’re a lot younger. My old lady was loud and hard. My
Roxana Labagnara “Rain Boots” old man was an okay guy when he wasn’t drinking. Too bad he drank a lot. They’d go at it like animals. Maybe that’s what happens when people get married.” “Not all people. Larry and I had a good marriage for nearly thirty years. We rarely argued. He was a fine husband and father. Both of our sons went to college. He provided well for them and me.” “Were you really happy?” His eyes are intense like searchlights. “Doesn’t it sound like I was?” “I don’t know. People are weird. You can’t always know what they feel from what they say.” “Do you keep in touch with your parents?” “Not since I was seventeen. When I finished high school, the old man turned to me and said, ‘kid, you done better than I thought you would, getting your diploma and all. Now it’s time for you to move on. I put up with you all I’m going to. Find your own place.’ And that was it.” “He actually made you leave?” “Yeah, booted me out.” “But your mother, didn’t she have any say in the matter?” “She agreed with him, said I caused trouble between them, that they’d get along better if I wasn’t around. So I left, and I ain’t seen or talked to them since. The old man was right. I managed okay on my own.” “It must have been very difficult for someone so young.” He smiles again, but his eyes are dark. “Hey, you manage! I hustled around, found lots of different kinds of jobs. At first, it was fun, meeting new people, doing different things. But now I’m starting to feel like I want something more out of life.” “I understand. I think you’re right.” “You care about people, don’t you? I used to think nobody really gave a damn about anybody but themselves, but I guess there are some people that care.” I read the pain in his eyes and suddenly I am reaching out and taking his large hands in mine.
“Think of getting in touch with your parents. They might appreciate a phone call, just to know that you’re all right.” He laughs and the sound is oddly hollow and bitter. “That’s how you would feel, not them. Believe me, they don’t care.” “You could be wrong.” “Okay, maybe I will someday. You got much family?” “Not anymore.” “Me neither. What about your kids?” “My boys live far away, one in California, the other in Chicago. The younger one travels a lot for business. They have their own lives, their own families and friends. Every once in a while, they remember to call. And I call them, usually on Sundays. But they are very busy.” I don’t tell him how sad I feel about it, but I can see that he understands. “Sometimes friends can make up for that. You got friends?” “Not really. Larry and I were so close. I married him when I turned twenty. He was my best friend.” “Well, they say a person can never have too many friends.” His eyes catch mine and suddenly, we both begin to laugh. It is spontaneous and I can’t explain why we laugh, only that we do. “So let’s be friends.” “Just like that?” “Why not? When you need friends, when you really want them, you find them.” He smiles and a dimple winks in his cheek giving him a boyish quality. “Sometimes, strangers make the best kind of friends. You can say things to strangers that you can’t say to family.” “I suppose that’s true. My children don’t want to hear that I’m lonely. It makes them feel guilty.” “My point exactly. You’re healthy and attractive, Sara. You can start a whole new life.” “At my age?” “At any age. It doesn’t matter.” “If only I had the courage.” “If you got the money, you’ll find the courage.” His statement startles me. “You think money is that important?” “Sure, if you haven’t got it. Take me, money’s real important to me. Unemployment benefits don’t stretch very far.” “I’m sorry.” He puts one large, callused hand over mine. “Don’t be sorry, ‘cause it ain’t your fault. I’m nowhere ‘cause I never got a real education.” “You can still get an education.” “Maybe. I signed up for training.” “You’re young, Rob. You can make your life better.” “You know, I’d like your phone number so we can talk again.” “Not a good idea,” I say. “Why not?” “Because we’re just two people who met on a bus to A.C. All we have in common is right here and now in the casino.” “Pardon me if I don’t agree.” He pulls out a pen and proceeds to write on a napkin. “Here’s my phone number. Will you call me sometime?” His eyes rivet to mine. “Truthfully, I doubt it.” We finish eating, have a companionable cup of coffee, and go down to the casino together. Rob’s eyes restlessly follow the action on the floor of the casino. At the craps table closest to us, they are having one good, old noisy time; animated shouts carry across the room, in contrast to the silence of the
slot players. One elderly woman, white hair tinted a delicate robin’s egg blue, mindlessly shovels quarters into the slots, alternating between two machines in zombie fashion. So many old and infirm come here wrongly believing these casinos, built on human greed, are Lourdes in disguise. But they will find no cures here. I look at Rob and see the need in him, the hunger. Am I really so different? I open my wallet and reach in, count out five twenties. For me, this money is mostly meaningless. But not for Rob. “Please play this,” I tell him. He gives me a hard look. “I don’t want your sympathy or your charity. I’m not trying to hit you up for cash.” “I know that.” It’s clear I’ve offended him, hurt his pride. “I have a feeling you’re going to be lucky today. So play this for both of us. Whatever you win, keep half, since we’re partners.” “All right,” he says. “But what if I lose?” “Then you’ll be like most of the people here.” Of course it’s a bad bet. But I feel today as if the cosmos has rearranged its molecules in some benevolent manner. The money in itself is unimportant, but it symbolizes something significant. Rob understands now that I trust him. Rob and I walk around for a time. I think he intends to play craps, but he surprises me by choosing roulette. He asks me my birthday and plays that number along with his own. Strangely enough, he begins to win. The wheel is his lover, bestowing gifts. When he has won $10,000, he excitedly pulls me into his arms and kisses me smack on the lips. His mouth is warm and alive. He signals that he is done playing. Slightly dazed, in shock and disbelief, we collect the winnings. “So let’s have a drink to celebrate, maybe take a walk by the ocean first,” he says. “I think we need to clear our heads.” “Are you finished playing?” “I don’t intend to play again,” he says. “How about you?” I shake my head as we walk out into the sunlight together. We quit while we’re ahead, both hoping that somehow our luck has somehow changed for the better.
heaven in hell By Nishayel Williams
Roxana Labagnara “Hasta aqui”
There lies no satisfaction In seeing destruction; Sacrifices and deaths— embedded in conflicts Which result into corruption, see Gaia has rotated to a point When everyone’s quest – Is to further their own nest During these conflicts of men Victors are none; only survivors Who have to witness physical and spiritual horrors As consequences, since we are all “sinners” You should not be making any judgments Only “true selves” from the place “higher” May let us wash our hands in life’s rivers At times those conflicts hurt you Moving one’s inner compass into betrayal. The heart and spirit may feel separated when inflicted by devastation. What’s new…? is that I found Heaven in Hell Occupying the same place Where your sentiments of love and hatred Dwell! 10
oh youth By Anthony Leclair
Oh Youth Well met, the pleasure When first we did meet. Denied, this joy, and Ever for my sweet. Too old, the man, for Whom your love embraced. This day, unfold, a Time without a place. A dream, perhaps, in Wishing wells and wine May stop your heart and, Apart, stop this rhyme. What love, oh people, Say we come undone: What hope have we then; Battles lost or won? Too young, I say, in Loving way, for all Trouble we may cause, We’ll not want to fall. Oh, hear me then, I Strike a lover’s tune; How by chance we’d meet And away fall soon.
Zara Zankoul “Defence Instinct” 11
Benoit Courti “Untitled”
She rolls. Eyes squinted, jaw clenched, hoping, praying that the day has come. The light searing through the window floods her loft, only enriching her dilemma. As she comes to be, like a disoriented fetus, she realizes. Nothing has changed. This is not the day. The room slowly begins to dim, resembling a gaudy love scene. The breeze signals the hairs on the back of her neck; erect, like a soldier’s awakening. As she hears the thunderous thumps coming towards her room, she reminisces about the good days. The old days. She could not remember. He arrived in a heartbeat with a gruesome look on his obtuse face, strangling her with a mere glance. Those eyes. She knew those eyes all too well. She knew. He had wronged, though she was to blame. Each word, with extreme force, lashing upon her just as her mother did when she thought she did not know. She did not know. She does not know. Here, she was free. An addict, in the midst of her high. By Nick Ntoukas 12
Colton Gilson â€œMetropolismâ€? 13
Toronto remembers A mixture of images from Remembrance Day ceremonies at Queenâ€™s Park and Old City Hall. Torontonians experience personal moments of commemoration on November 11, 2013.
city moments By Nicholas Lachance
city moments By Nicholas Lachance
Torontonians talk the new gen of consoles Q
Whatâ€™s your opinion on the new console race? Are they going to be that different from each other? Will one come to be more superior than the other?
A I honestly think the PS4 may win over Xbox One. It’s a little cheaper, even the online subscription is cheaper. I’m going to try the Xbox One. Hopefully I’m going to win one, a lot of my family is planning on getting an Xbox so, you know, I haven’t gotten either one yet, I’m open minded.
Lawrence: Xbox was my first love but I got into PS3 because they had some exclusive games but now I think I’m focused on Xbox One. There has been a lot of news leading up [to the release] since E3, but overall I just like Xbox because it’s more of an integration hub as opposed to just pure gaming. I think more people will catch onto that further into the development cycle but I think for now, yeah I’m sticking with Xbox One.
Nick: So that sells it for you the home entertainment integration? You want more than just a game system.
Lawrence: Yeah, and there are future plans, I don’t know if they are all announced yet, but things to do with home automation with Xbox and Windows, things like that.
A I really like Xbox. That being said, I think PlayStation is trying new things. Honestly, I’m probably going to wait it out and see which one I like more in the end, most likely I’m going to go with Xbox, but I’m not 100 per cent sure.
Heather Goldberg & Josh Shymko
Heather: I think based on what I’ve read the PS4 is going to win, isn’t it? I think Xbox has its work cut out for it.
Josh: I grew up following PlayStation, but Xbox’s marketing is brilliant. I have a PS3, I’ve tried the new Xbox and I’m really impressed with the marketing.
Nick: But has it won you over?
Josh: Umm I would have to try both side by side and see.
Ideally I will end up playing both of them, budget allowing… as for who will come out on top though, that’s a good question. Microsoft really hurt whatever momentum they had with Xbox 360 coming out of [this year’s] E3. Since then they have made [policy] changes that have gotten them back in good graces but I think a lot of people are viewing them with more of a raised eyebrow now. I think it will be pretty close between the two, though.
Comics above by Rolli
When I first arrived in Berlin, by train from Munich, I felt further from home than I’d ever felt I’d been, which although not geographically true, may have been true psychologically and emotionally. It was a Europe I had not previously known, as until then I had really only experienced the very basics of western Europe: London, Paris, and Rome – cities I had romanticized from an early age from postcard images I was seeking to confirm the existence of. Even when compared to Munich, Berlin felt like an entirely different world, with stark differences from my own version of reality and how that reality is defined in relation to my country of birth. Still, I was instantly drawn into the rich and often dark history the now reunified city never attempts to hide, but from time to time allows you to forget as you find yourself placated by the beauty of its architecture or mystified by the sheer number of museums you can choose to tuck into for hours at a time. Once I knew there was a concentration camp within a reasonable distance of the city, I knew it was something I had to squeeze in, regardless of whatever postcard image I had initially been spurred to chase and verify. Sachsenhausen concentration camp is located 35 km north of Berlin, about an hour out of Berlin on the U-Bahn, in the quiet town of Oranienburg. It’s hard to put my finger on where exactly the energy changed as we approached Sachsenhausen, now a free museum that shares a street with quaint, silent homes.
As soon as you enter the main gate in concentration camp, which was, in fa ten camps set up by the NKVD in So Germany between 1945 and 1949, yo the full weight of a place vibrating on frequency, heavy in a way that makes G-force.
There are many things that stand out that had caught my attention, despite state I found myself in. Before enteri gate, there is a heavily treed area whe was housed, just on the other side of topped walls of the triangular yard th main camp and its prisoner barracks there is a prison within these walls, w with watchtowers still possessing a g on your back as you walk solemnly, l the grounds and exhibits, stopping to ery fact and detail presented, as if fee there, then, and taking that experien you can do. And it is, really.
nto the former act, also one of oviet-occupied ou begin to feel n a very low s gravity feel like
t in my mind e the trance-like ing the main ere the Gestapo f the barbed wire hat denoted the s. Inconceivably, which are dotted gaze that you feel lifelessly through o read almost eveling all you can nce with you is all
I began to grasp the importance of and dedication to keeping the Holocaust story alive: even generations later, itâ€™s almost entirely impossible to comprehend the basic numbers and facts of the place, like the massive amount of prisoners and the inhumane treatment they endured in inconceivably horrifying conditions, let alone when standing in the execution trench shrouded with roses that seem so bright in contrast to the grey buildings that remain, matching the lifeless sky that can offer no comfort. But then thatâ€™s the point, I think; keeping the story alive is the only resolution in a story without a means to resolve. And indeed you will leave there with more questions than answers, but thatâ€™s the point as well, I think, because there really are no answers.
a cartographic wet dream By Anthony Leclair
Nathan Ng, a 15-year resident, and professed lover of Toronto, has It’s not like maps did given Torontonians and the whole They were here [Ref world a fantastic perspective on You’d a of Toronto]. the history of growth in Toronto. come here, go throu Thanks to Nathan’s ‘Historical look it up. There wa Maps of Toronto’, historygated professite for people sors, researchers, students, and enthusiasts alike can now delve into the developing world of Toronto, circa 1787-1902.
dn’t exist before. ference Library actually have to ugh the index and asn’t this aggree to look stuff up.
“ Full credit should be given to the archivists, and librarians, and institutional people here because they’ve done the important work of actually conserving and keeping these items of our history for the future, and they’re super friendly and helpful.
“It’s not like maps didn’t exist before. They were here [Reference Library of Toronto]. You’d actually have to come here, go through the index and look it up. There wasn’t this aggregated site for people to look stuff up.” Stemming, foremost, from personal interest, to find the history of a then closing rock climbing facility, Rock Oasis (a favourite haunt of his), Ng began to digitize maps of Victorian Toronto. On his journey, from archives and libraries to the World Wide Web, he realized the joy he found in the utility devotees and authorities saw in his work. “It’s not just what I find interesting. In a way, it’s a public good; it’s available and easily accessible, and fairly easy to use. People can access it in a way that they wouldn’t have been able to before.” In the spirit of common good, Nathan has created not only one historical map project, but three: The Old Toronto Maps blog, features maps regarding the city’s establishment, expansion, boom, and emerging metropolis. Goad’s Atlas of Toronto Online, shares a plethora of “information-rich late Victorian-era (and beyond) fire insurance maps published by Charles Goad, as well as a bonus article/ photo gallery on the Toronto Fires of 1895 and 1904.” In cooperation with the Friends of Fort York, Ng has launched the Fort York and Garrison Common Maps, a visually detailed history of the birthplace of Toronto.
In humility, Ng recognizes those public servants who keep and catalogue the maps of old: “Full credit should be given to the archivists, and librarians, and institutional people here because they’ve done the important work of actually conserving and keeping these items of our history for the future, and they’re super friendly and helpful.” So for those of you interested in your local history, but too intimidated by the archival stacks, hop on to one of these historical map projects and find out what your neighbourhood was up to over a century ago: you may be surprised by what you do and do not find throughout the hasty expansion of our metropolis, Toronto.
Every day is an atheist holiday: Swept looks at CFI By Anthony Leclair
I delved into the surprisingly wide world of atheism here in Toronto. Not only did I meet with CFI (Centre for Inquiry) founder and spokesperson, Justin Trottier, but I also found myself at a CFIhosted event with Penn Jillette: great American comedian, magician, and author, as well as atheist and skeptic. They both spoke of community, charity and respect (even if Penn was a little more loose with his language).
I spoke with Justin Trottier from a purposeful point of innocence.
So CFI, in your own words: what is it? What are you about? What do you do?
That’s a very big question. I would say that, at its core, it’s about pushing forward a worldview that is distinct from both religious worldviews and what you may perhaps call new-age, quasi-spiritual worldviews. I kind of see them as two poles on a spectrum and we’re not on that spectrum. We’re more about, in broad strokes, a scientific, naturalist approach to looking at questions related to: our place in the universe, who we are, where we’re going, that kind of thing. Operationally, that translates into two major thrusts: one would be building a community for people of this worldview. So it’s building a community through social services, through educational programs, and what have you. And the other thing is pushing a social and political agenda, so we are not shy to say that we do have certain beliefs of our own. Those become public policy positions that we take on in a variety of different areas and then we push those through government lobbying, through media exposure, through work in multimedia channels and, again, through public educational engagements; education is really at the core of everything we do because we’re registered as an educational charity, so we have a legal mandate in that direction, and it’s kind of who we are, you know, we’re about evolving our own understanding of those big questions and doing it in a community environment, so of course education is the way to go. Building a community of like-minded people, devoid of faith, through educational programs and social services, helping non-believers work toward answering those big questions that trouble us all in the wee hours of the night: I wasn’t fully convinced that, in a country like Canada, there could be a significant need for such an organization. Is Canada not free and friendly enough already to welcome all points of view and give them equal opportunity?
Do you think there’s a great need for CFI, specifically in Canada?
Obviously we don’t have anything like a theocratic government that would make CFI strongly needed, maybe for the survival of some people. Actually that is 100 per cent true: CFI could save people’s lives if it weren’t an illegal organization in places like Indonesia where there are protests in the streets against atheism. Or Bangladesh: we actually have a member, Sharif Ahmed, we did a video with him, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, it’s on Think Again TV... An amazing story; a very sad story, he’s Bangladeshi, he was an out-and-out atheist; he was actually a publisher of humanist literature, in Bangladesh. He was discovered, assaulted; they tried to hang him, he still has the scars to prove that, he survived it…miraculously, if I can use that word, and then he ended up emigrating to Canada. So in Bangladesh, CFI, if it were allowed, could make a real difference. In Canada, the issues are much more minor. We have public funding to religious schools, we have public religious ceremonies, like public prayers and stuff like that, that we
don’t like. So in terms of ‘are these life and death issues in Canada?’, no they’re not. But still, in terms of effective use of government funds, in terms of making non-believers feel like they’re equal to all other citizens in Canada, I think that there still are barriers that speak to a continued need for that public policy agenda, but I think, for us in Canada, it is more that community side, because there are definitely a large and growing number of Canadians who are coming out of religion and they need an alternative. And that’s what we are. So they still want to be part of a community, they still want to be involved in charitable, benevolent ends, they still want to connect with like-minded people in educational or social settings, so we provide all of that. It’s true: it seems that the only province that has fully rescinded the constitutional blotch of public funding for faith schools, without concession or stipulation, is Newfoundland: and people think that the East Coast moves slower than the rest of the country; perhaps the rest of the country should catch up. There are currently 37 Catholic school boards in Ontario alone. There are only 35 public school boards in Ontario, and when the government’s total investment in education from 2012 to 2013 reaches upwards of $20 billion, for Ontario alone, I think one should wonder how much of that is going toward funding a school system based on the religious beliefs of less than half of the population of the entirety of Canada, and wonder why, as well. So apart from the educational and political mandate of CFI, I wondered about the community building Justin continued to mention. I found myself on the media list to see Penn Jillette at U of T, promoting his new book and giving a talk to those very same like-minded non-believers Justin spoke so well of. As I strode up to King’s College Circle and found my place in line near the entrance of the JJR Macleod Auditorium, I saw it took little time for the line to reach out into the street and begin making its way around the circle. A community indeed!
Beaming faces, one and all, the crowd squeezed into the greeting area of the auditorium. Smiles and goodwill came from all CFI volunteers. After an eloquent, heartwarming introduction by Justin Trottier, Penn Jillette took to the stage with a jolly stride, carried by jovial applause and cheer. Like a true skeptic, Penn began by addressing not how great atheists are or how paltry the religious, but his respect and love for the faithful; for people like his dear friend, Glenn Beck, without hint of sarcasm.
I like to mention Glenn Beck to atheist/skeptic organizations because he is so completely and utterly hated. He’s also completely wrong about, as far as I can tell…everything. And he’s also a friend of mine. And he’s also the reason I wrote the book, Every Day is an Atheist Holiday. There are some really good things about Glenn Beck. First of all, Glenn Beck can take a punch.
After much praise of a man who is so seemingly bigoted and insane, I began to realize that this gathering wasn’t going to be a chorus of atheists, shouting together in solidarity over the ineptitude or prejudice of any one person or group. This community was, as Justin said, based on education:
and they were indeed being taught a lesson by Penn. He seemed to work in the opposite of so many atheists I had known before him.
If you believe, for instance, that everlasting life is possible, then not talking about it is completely immoral. I love the fact that [Christians] proselytize. And I also believe that the quickest way to find out if you’re wrong about something, is to say it everywhere: tweet it, lay it out, say it at every party possible, till you get the shit beat out of you [figuratively speaking], then you may find out where you’re wrong. I love the fact that people proselytize. I even love it when they come to the door and they want to talk to you about Jesus Christ. Sometimes I invite them in and actually talk to them. And sometimes I’m not in the mood. And then I just simply strip naked, open the door, and say “Come on in!”…I’m not bluffing. One, I really did that. Two, I’d love to have them come in. Maybe I could fuck the living Jesus out of them.
It was clear where he stood, but it was clear that, in spite of the tactless humour, there was a real love for the world in Penn Jillette. Not satisfied with simple answers and ‘offering it up’, Penn spoke of his hatred of herding people together, finding meticulous ways to manipulate others to rally under a certain banner, which struck a chord with me - given the mass of people gathered together to hear Penn speak, and his platform is clearly of no insignificant influence.
Penn: I hate, so much, the lack of respect, and the lack of love for humanity, to think there are techniques to win friends and influence people. We should be kind. And we should not be hostile, and aggressive, and insulting. When I am talking to someone and I am having an argument or a discussion, and I sense in any way, in any level, that they are trying to work me, that they are trying to manipulate me, I just shut down completely. I believe the moment you have that [sort of] plan, you are a pig. And that doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to be polite, it doesn’t mean the only way to talk to these people is to say “motherfucker”, it doesn’t mean the only way to talk to these people is to say “you’re wrong”, but it does mean that whatever side you have: if you are genteel and soft-spoken or if you’re a big, loud asshole [points, very grandly, to himself], you should be that. That’s my sense of how to proselytize without being manipulative.
He continued on about his dislike of the word cynicism and its constant, and unfair, interchange with the word skepticism. He regaled us with stories of his very kind-hearted ‘hate-mail’, his work on Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, and his work and relationship with South Park creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker. He spoke beautifully about his heroes and with great reverence and personal account of other famed atheists like Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss and the late Christopher Hitchens. Being raised Catholic, I still couldn’t help but be put in mind of church, albeit a far more entertaining and joyous church. I wondered if this community wasn’t unlike those communities of churchgoers. What made these inquiring minds different than those soul-searching minds (besides the obvious)?
swept Audience Member
I’m curious what you think about the idea of an atheist church.
What that brings to mind is a standup comedy standard joke. When someone gets up and walks out during a comic’s act, a guy would say “If you’re looking for the toilet, you’re standing in it”. If you’re looking for the atheist church, you’re standing in it. That’s what CFI is, that’s what all these things are: gatherings of people. I think using the word church is just a little too confusing... But one thing, that I’m sure a lot of you have dealt with is hearing, “I’m so sorry the religious people treated you so badly you became an atheist”. Religious people treat me so well. I’ve been treated fabulously by religious people. But I think you’re completely right, but I’d rather not call it church, I’d rather call it CFI; I’d rather call it a collection of people. But that’s really important to me.
It all came to me with the very first question of the night, from the audience, to Penn.
Penn made me realize what, I think, many people seem to forget: we are all just people. Regardless of how we think or what we think we see. No matter what we say, we all go through this life together. So why not show a hint of respect? Respect people enough to tell them how you see things, and respect them enough to let them tell you how they see. I think he’s got the right idea. And we should work to better the quality of life through education, as per CFI’s mandate. And hey, if nothing else: in spite of all religious observances through the year, be content knowing that every day is an atheist holiday.
Kraft Dinner By J.P.
Even though many of my friends do not condone the consumption of this deliciously forbidden out of the box delicacy, I have been a die hard consumer of your macaroni and cheese for many years.
I’ve been eating Kraft Dinner for 35 years and I’m only 23. I’ve cooked it for my family (there’s only 3 of us), for my friends (me and another dude, double box bros!), for my past girlfriends (several of them, I usually cook for them, but I get them to wash the dishes, suckers…I love cooking, no one loves washing dishes haha!). True story, I give my girlfriends the KD test: served in a bowl with a fork in under 20 minutes, if it doesn’t maintain the correct viscosity WITHOUT using measuring devices I usually tell them to leave…after they wash the dishes HAHA suckers! But for real…who puts ketchup on their macaroni and cheese? That’s another major deal breaker. If you can’t accept the cheesy goodness in its natural neon yellow state without any alterations, then you’ll never love me for who I truly am – it’s very simple. Next thing you know I’ll be role-playing in the bedroom dressed up as Pocahontas yelling “the British are coming!, the British are coming!” because I’m not flavourful enough on my own. I hope I never have to do that again. And yes, I did just compare putting ketchup on your macaroni and cheese to role-playing in the bedroom. I mean…if the sex is that bad, then don’t eat it. There should be a warning label on the box that says “warning: add ketchup at your own risk”. But anyways, my question is this.
time, what’s going on here? I started timing myself to see if the taste was directly related to an inconsistency in the cooking time, no resolve. I thought it could have been a heating issue, so I bought an infrared thermometer to make sure my oven was properly calibrated, still no resolve. I thought that maybe it was different cooking pots that gave off a different hint of flavour, so I started cooking Kraft Dinner with only one specific cooking pot (I even brought it over to friends’ houses and insisted we make macaroni and cheese with my cookware!), still no resolve! Good lord sweet baby Jesus, I’ve given up. I’m just gonna have to live with the fact that my KD will always taste different every time I make it, and my childhood memories will only be relived every fourth or fifth box. (I trick myself into thinking it still tastes the same way it did five years ago, it doesn’t always work). In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for ruining something so dear to my stomach’s heart. Please leave my salad dressings alone. Sincerely, The neon yellow-stained intestines of my current human vessel.
Why is it that every single time I’ve ever made Kraft Dinner does it come out tasting different than the last time? I mean, I use the same brand butter and the same brand milk every
One of the many issues in Toronto is parking. Just ask drivers. It’s often talked about; especially by those who drive to Toronto every day for work or school. Complaints about parking echo, especially in the downtown area. With the holiday season approaching, some of us drive down south. But for those who shop downtown, parking can be a hassle.
“It just gets too busy in traffic and there aren’t too many places to park,” said Margaret, who has been driving for six years in Toronto but does not like driving downtown. A transit agency expert’s advice to Torontonians is to live close to work and use public transit.
“I would recommend anyone living in the downtown area not to buy a car before they’ve thought about using public transport and shared car rentals and rent a car probably on a weekend to go out of town or something,” said Anthony Cooper, who volunteers for Travellers’ Aid Society. The agency has a booth at Union Station to provide information and direction to commuters. It has over 25 volunteers who answer questions about sightseeing in the city and help newbies find their destinations. But what if you already own a car or you can’t afford to live downtown to dismiss the idea of a private vehicle? What do you do about parking? Cooper’s choice is Green P Parking.
“I would always recommend Green P Parking in the downtown area. It offers the best value in terms of money. There’s absolutely no doubt about it,” he said. “There’s one near Union Station which is at University and York and that’s Green P. It’s very quick for going to Union Station or if you want to go to the CN Tower, or the Rogers Centre. That one is essential in the downtown area,” said Cooper. He is also a fan of a lot west of York Street, across from the Harbourfront.
“Another very good Green P which I sometimes use is on Bloor Street just next to the InterContinental Hotel. It’s the corner of Prince Arthur Avenue – very convenient and flexible,” he said. And if you’re shopping downtown this holiday, consider three Green P parking lots which are only a block away from each other, said president of the Toronto Parking Authority, Lorne Persiko. First, the Dundas Square garage across from E
s for pricey parking By Mamta Lulla
First, the Dundas Square garage across from Eaton Centre, which has a direct connection to the shopping mall, secondly, the city hall garage, which isn’t too far, and thirdly, the lot on the east side of Yonge “which is just east of Victoria Street across from St. Michael’s hospital,” said Persiko. Persiko confirmed parking in the city is expensive, hence the complaints. But Green P believes in affordable parking, he said.
“A lot of the places are $4 for a half hour – these are private car parks and go under condominium buildings and office buildings. Each time I see them $4 for a half hour it’s a bit extreme,” said Cooper.
“Our pricing is fair. I think it’s below. Our rates are probably equal to the competition in the private sector but our half hour rates are below, so it’s cheaper,” said Persiko.
“Sometimes after 5 or 6 p.m. on Friday evening you can get some good deals on York Street and Richmond Street. There’s a car park next to The Keg. They have some good deals on Friday in the evening and all day Saturday and Sunday. A lot of these car parks downtown lower their prices on the weekend,” he said.
Cooper said we complain because there is limited parking in the city.
“Like 10, 15 years ago there used to be a lot of car parks and now they have condominiums and office buildings on them. But having said that there are car parks underneath them, but you have to pay a fortune to use them,” said Cooper.
Cooper’s tip for drivers is to keep their eyes out for weekend parking because there are no business drivers on the streets.
Both parking experts’ advice to Torontonians is to consider the public transit. And if you want our advice, try the Green P Parking app if you must drive downtown.
“I would (also) blame it on the construction right now in the city.”
playing with fire
Generally, expectations are the root of all heartbreak, and this is especially true when it comes to Tinder. Toronto psychotherapist Rob Peach says, “I hear of people using apps with the hope that something beautiful is going to grow. People think it will happen instantly and that just simply isn’t true.” Romanticizing is dangerous. People use Tinder for a variety of different reasons, which can result in confusion between matches. Toronto-based registered sex therapist Adrienne Bairstow says, “problems arise when people have different expectations of what they’re getting into.” Jay, a 28-year-old paramedic student has the right idea. “On the surface it looks like a hookup app,” he says, “but I had no expectations.” He met a girl just three days after installing the app and has been on a couple of dates so far. His overall experience with the app until now? Satisfied.
By Janie Ginsberg
It’s the remix to ignition, literally. With the stigma of online dating virtually gone, new ways to spark romance are surfacing – convenient, mobile ways. Tinder, a smartphone app that debuted last year, uses a combination of GPS and Facebook to create a profile and find matches. Swipe right if they’re hot and left if they’re not – only once mutual sexiness is agreed upon can you message one another. With the current realm of dating in a constant state of flux, it’s hard to stay in touch with reality. Here are seven ground rules that will allow you to navigate through the emotionally prickly world of Tinder and come out relatively unscathed.
DON’T HAVE EXPECTATIONS
PICTURE NO-NOS Dear (heterosexual) guys of Tinder, just because you click yes to a nice pair of breasts doesn’t mean girls will drop their pants for your faceless body. Laura, a 21-yearold student says, “some guys just put up a picture of their abs, it’s so obnoxious, please don’t put that as your picture.” Photos of couples are confusing. Anne, a 28-year-old from Toronto says she’s seen pictures of married couples on Tinder pretending they don’t know what the app is for. Playing dumb on Tinder isn’t going to get you a third wheel – save it for Craigslist. Lastly, a tip for boys about the infamous crotch shot. If you send a picture of your penis to a girl you met in Tinder, there is a 100 per cent chance she will show her friends and hilarity will ensue. You will gain nothing.
DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE In an interview with Fast Company, Tinder founder Sean Rad says, “We now live in an environment in our digital world where you can shield yourself against rejection.” Tinder takes pride in being part of this magical world, where life is full of rainbows and unicorns and nobody gets hurt. With the app, you only see who likes you and never find how many people quickly swiped you to the left after seeing your picture – ignorance is bliss right? Peach agrees that dating through a mobile app is emotionally safer, but warns, “sometimes this veil of anonymity causes people to feel like they have a license to say whatever they want.” Basically, due to such a depersonalized connection, people think they can mess around with other users – real tough. “Liking” someone just to insult them could destroy their potentially already damaged self-esteem. Please, don’t be an asshole.
If you’re sitting on the fence between cheating and faithfulness, do not use Tinder. We live in a culture of sex in a time where regulations on mainstream media are looser than ever (pun intended). Toronto-based relationship coach Lesley Edwards says this creates an “agreement reality” where increasing pressure puts us in the “well, everyone is doing it” mind frame. Tinder doesn’t make you cheat – it just makes it easier for people who already had the idea. “The bottom line,” says Peach, “is that if someone wants to engage in any kind of behavior they’re going to do it regardless of whether there is an app that makes it available.” In the wise words of Jay, “Tinder won’t change a person, it just allows what is on the inside to come out.”
UNCERTAINTY WILL COME – BE READY Over-analysis plagues us all. Tinder is designed to enable accessing the hearts and pants of a lot of people very easily, naturally causing you to question: am I the only one? Due to the ease of mingling it’s safe to assume that your matches are not strapping on a chastity belt on your behalf. Women are hard to interpret as it is, so trying to read them through a dating app is pretty much impossible. Jay understands this plight after he developed feelings for a girl he met on Tinder. “Girls don’t make any sense so to understand what she’s thinking is tough,” he says, “I really don’t know what she wants from me.” In practice, Bairstow has dealt with couples that have fallen victim to this uncertainty. “One partner may assume they are in a monogamous relationship, but then find out the other was using the technology to talk to different people,” she says. In order to enjoy the Tinder-verse you must welcome the notion that “the people you’re talking to are talking to other people, you have to let that go and accept it – you have to assume everybody is dating around,” says Anne.
CHEATING – THE BEAST WITHIN
SAFETY FIRST It’s fine to expand your horizons, but remember Tinder does not perform background checks. Their website states, “You agree to take reasonable precautions in all interactions with other users of the service, particularly if you decide to meet offline.” Laura has slept with two guys she’s met off Tinder, but she has mutual friends of both on Facebook. “I only message people I have mutual friends with so it’s not scary,” she says. The mutual friends feature is definitely praise-worthy. It adds a level of comfort that other mobile dating apps don’t have. Anne appreciates the Facebook element as well - “the feature is nice because it helps you figure out your network,” she says. With that being said, you can never be too careful. Meet in a public space to begin with and stay out of stranger danger.
YOU WILL GET OVER IT “In the beginning it’s like a new toy, and it’s pictures of boys, everyone wants to look at pictures of boys,” says Laura. The start seems to be most exciting for people regardless of what gender they’re ogling. After having it for a month and a half, Anne says, “I don’t take it seriously anymore and I could care less about it now.” Tinder will turn into something you play with when you’re bored in class instead of Candy Crush – completely detached from love and sex, meandering into the land of lighthearted entertainment. Consider yourselves reality checked. Happy swiping!
Q Nicholas Camilleri A Greg Loon 1.
Have you always been a resident of Toronto?
I believe I always had writing in me. As a child, I was always reading books/comics. I remember reading a poem I wrote when I was 10 or 11 in front of my class in school. I started writing short stories in late 2011. That’s when I thought seriously about my writing skills. Poetry came to me in May 2013. It started to flow like water. It was endless. I knew at that point I wanted to share my poetry.
Where do you draw inspiration for your poetry, your own life? A lot of your content has a dark vibe to it, is this reflective of the events in your life or is it more than that?
Yes, the poetry is a big reflection of my life. It also represents a general view of what people feel. So I like to catch that in everything I write. My life is an inspiration, personally I feel like you have to live out your life with all the problems/issues you face. And write about it. That’s where all the blood, sweat and tears come from when you write a poem or a short story. You can read Ernest Hemingway and clearly you can see his style on writing and the issues he was facing – past and present – during his career. My poetry is dark, but there is always a feeling of light when you read it in some way. The light is sharing and completing a story or a poem. I’m not a dark person, I just have dark issues.
When did you first take interest in literature? When did you first become interested in creating your own literature?
I was born in Moose Factory, Ontario – in the northern region of the James Bay coastline. I grew up in Sudbury, Ontario. I have lived in Toronto off and on since 2000. But as a resident, I moved to the city in August 2007. And I’ve been here ever since.
Your blo It might select th the cont skin, hav of the w
Q and A with Greg Loon 6.
o you look up to?
I look up to a native writer name Sherman Alexie. I adore Hemingway, Hunter Thompson, Edgar Allen Poe, Dylan Thomas.
og is called The Redskin Poet. t be evident, but why did you hat name? And considering troversy over the use of redve you caught any flak for use word?
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself in a better place, a good job and being the man I should have been. I’m on my way, that’s the one thing you should always follow. Dreams, thoughts, etc…follow your path. I have made bad choices, I was angry at whatever I was facing. I want to move away from that and connect myself in a positive environment. One day at a time. Writing is only the beginning. The first step.
As a Cree writer, I decided to use the term redskin because it was a play on words for me. But it also had a serious impact on me as well. I didn’t want the term redskin to be racist. I wanted to be careful with how I presented it. It would have been a different story if I was white/ non-native but as a native man using the term redskin…it was empowerment, a light of who I am as a human being, my skin color does not reflect who I am, but my spirit does. I write. I have problems. I want to overcome them and be a better man today and tomorrow. I haven’t received any feedback yet for the name. I know who I am and where I am going in my life.
sues interest you?
I have a strong interest in the community. A community that is natural, organic and independent. It could be media, arts and healthy eating habits. I have a connection with the arts and people. Besides everything, I like music and film.
November saw demonstrations against shale gas exploration in New Brunswick continue as protestors blocked SWN Resources trucks from entering an area to conduct seismic testing. Despite protests being largely peaceful, they resulted in the RCMP having to temporarily block Highway 11, near Laketon, N.B. However, the confrontation ended triumphantly for protestors on Nov. 14, as SWN’s thumper trucks (equipment for seismic testing) gave up and left the protest. One of the protestors, James Lane, who was at the Oct. 17 demonstration when 40 protestors were arrested by the RCMP, said the protestors won’t back down.
“There were no thumper trucks out today. When they go out, the protest would go up,” said Lane. For environmental and health reasons, First Nations have been protesting against SWN Resources Canada’s decision to conduct seismic testing for shale gas in the province. The RCMP were on site for precautionary reasons. Const. Julie Rogers-Marsh and Lane both confirmed the protest held Nov. 13 was quiet.
“We were in that area, there are people that were demonstrating and it was peaceful at this point. Because of what took place on Oct. 17, it would be irresponsible for us to not be in that area. It’s their right to protest but in a peaceful, lawful and safe manner,” said Const. Rogers-Marsh. Protests held Nov. 14 led to the arrest of a woman for mischief, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police officer, reported Global News.
It’s been weeks since the RCMP found guns and explosives and arrested 40 protestors. Some of the charges reported include threats, firearms offences, intimidation, and mischief. Rogers-Marsh said she doesn’t believe everyone that was protesting on Oct. 17 was involved in criminal activity.
“The amount of people that were there, (only) 40 were arrested, so that would tell you it wasn’t everybody.” She said protests have been peaceful in the past; but the Oct. 17 demonstration was not one of them.
Shale Gas Pr tinue in New
“I certainly don’t want the public to think we are putting everybody together. I mean, the people that were not protesting peacefully, those people who were involved in criminal activity have been charged. Other people may have been protesting peacefully up until that point but due to public safety we had to go in and do what was needed to do and ensure public safety,” she said.
“We’re talking about firearms, death threats, explosive devices – to me, that’s not a peaceful protest.” Lane said that while protestors might have been in possession of firearms, they weren’t using them. “You can’t fight violence with more violence,” he said.
Alison Menard, a lawyer representing some of the protestors who have been charged, said though she wasn’t on site on Oct. 17, she has seen photos and done her research, and she thinks protestors’ actions were largely peaceful that day. Menard said protestors had been charged throughout the summer and “those charges have been dropped for whatever reason – the Crown or the police have determined they won’t proceed.” Based on those dropped charges, she said there is a chance the significant amount of charges laid on Oct. 17 could be withdrawn, as well.
rotests Conw Brunswick
Charges that won’t be withdrawn will go to trial, where police will have to connect their claims with the people who were arrested, she said. The RCMP confirmed at least one shot was fired by someone other than the police, Molotov cocktails were thrown at them, and five police vehicles were set on fire, reported CBC News.
“For example if we look at cars that were burnt – that happened about four or five hours after all the protestors were arrested on that day so the responsibility of burning cars or some of the other things that police say they have seen on that day, it would be difficult to connect people who were arrested and in custody of the police. Because those people were at a police station many miles away,” said Menard. A meeting between the protestors and SWN Re-
sources’ lawyer Michael Connors took place Nov. 10. Lane, who was present at the meeting, said the protestors have been pondering why SWN Resources only sent one person – Connors – to meet with them. Lane’s guess is SWN was testing the waters. Connors had been “feeling the attitude of everybody, of the movement and perhaps wondering our plan. Just to get our attitudes. They just sent one person – by himself,” said Lane.
“It was just to see how many people are coming out. How much interest there was still there after the attack with the RCMP on Oct. 17,” he said. When asked how interest has changed since October, Lane said it has only grown.
“The response has increased, but the number of people on the ground has decreased because of the weather, of course,” he said. Lane confirmed that despite the weather, protestors won’t quit anytime soon.
“This battle will continue three more weeks or three more years.” “No money can buy it. And it’s not about money at all,” he said. “I know the people involved in (protesting) shale gas; they would turn down millions of dollar if they were approached. They would say no,” said Lane. So when will the fight end? Lane said it will end during the next election when people vote for someone who shares a platform that’s in protestor’s interests.
Swept Media. 2013