The Fulcrum - Vol 76 Issue 14

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This Week Days since the fireworks have not been used...

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IN THIS ISSUE... Order in the court P.7 U of O opens up courtroom to refugee claim cases Feminist frequency P.10 TV today has no shortage of leading ladies Post-postmedia P.12 How the largest modern media merger affects your news Hard-hitting headlines P.15 Football players today are in danger from the sport they love Washed out P.18 Why it’s time for people of colour to get the recognition they deserve X marks the spot P.20 Don’t miss Di’s exceptional, exciting advice this week



NEWS

NEWS EDITOR

Eric Davidson news@thefulcrum.ca (613) 695-0061 @Eric_Davidson93

SFUO says U of O investigation involves alleged sexual assault within student-run club

‘The university’s Sports Services is implicated’: Student fed NADIA DRISSI EL-BOUZA Editor-IN-CHIEF

T

he Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) said in a statement release to the Fulcrum that the University of Ottawa is investigating an alleged sexual assault that occurred within a student-run club.

Contrary to a statement put out by the university on Nov. 24 pertaining to “misconduct”, the SFUO says “varsity athletes” are involved. The university said in a statement that they’ve launched an internal investigation regarding a student-run club, but that the investigation did not involve Sports Services. Both the university and the SFUO’s statements said the alleged incident occurred in February of 2015 but they weren’t informed until recently. The university said they received an anonymous report on Nov. 11, while the SFUO says both they and the university were informed anonymously on Nov. 7. “On Friday November 13th, the SFUO as well as many

university administration members met to discuss how we would proceed in working collaboratively on this issue as students, as well as varsity student athletes, are implicated in this situation,” read the SFUO statement. The SFUO says that they were informed that a media release would be created by the university about the alleged assault, which was released yesterday. However, they say this release “failed to make a link to the varsity athletes involved, contrary to a request made by the SFUO to include them in the university’s release.” “To our knowledge, this is a club mostly made up of GeeGee varsity athletes,” said the SFUO in their statement. “Thus, contrary to the statement put out by the university, the university’s Sports Services is implicated in this through an alleged aggressor in the anonymous email being a varsity athlete.” Students at the U of O can participate in athletics in several different ways, either through Sports Services-administered varsity teams, competitive clubs, and intramurals, or a student-run SFUO club. “The SFUO is disappointed to see that the University of Ottawa has again failed to name the

problem, using terms like ‘misconduct’, thus delegitimizing the experiences of survivors of sexual assault,” reads the statement. The police have been contacted but no charges laid, according to the U of O. “Based on the contents of the report, the university made inquiries, and further investigation is required,” said the U of O statement. “The university has engaged an independent investigator to review the alleged misconduct and make findings of fact to assist the university in determining whether further action is necessary.” The Ottawa police said they do not have “any information on the matter” and that they “cannot comment on any matters involving a named organization unless a charge is laid.” The U of O has seen several high-profile cases of alleged sexual assault in the last 18 months. Several weeks ago another story of an alleged sexual assault on campus hit the headlines. Former U of O student Mélodie Morin went public saying she was sexually assaulted by another student near campus, and called on the Ottawa police to re-open the case, which they subsequently did.

Minto Sports Complex Athletic Servuces where many of the universities sports events are held.

In February 2014 a sexually graphic online conversation between several student leaders about then-SFUO president Anne-Marie Roy was made public. Reports surfaced a few days later that members of the U of O men’s hockey team were involved in a sexual assault during a road trip in Thunder Bay. Two players, Guillaume Donovan and David Foucher, were charged with sexual assault in August 2014 by Thunder Bay police, and the trial is ongoing. The U of O launched an in-

ternal investigation following the events surrounding the men’s hockey team, however the Canadian Press revealed that the documents were prepared as part of a pre-emptive legal defence. The university also created a Task Force on Respect and Equality to create a set of recommendations for the university to combat rape culture and sexualized violence on campus. They released their recommendations in January 2014, and U of O president Allan Rock said the university would be adopt-

Photo: Marta Kierkus

ing all of them. The recommendations include a gender audit of Sports Services, mandatory training on harassment and sexual violence for campus leadership and university-run groups, and the creation of an explicit sexual violence policy among several other recommendations. The SFUO says the club in question will be suspended until further notice. Both the university, and the SFUO said in their statements that they would not be commenting further.

Ottawa-Vanier MP Mauril Bélanger diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease Eric Davidson news editor

Mauril Bélanger, Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ottawa-Vanier region, which the University of Ottawa is located, has been diagnosed with the incurable amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Bélanger told the Ottawa Citizen he plans to continue to serve as an MP. Lou Gehrig’s disease causes a person to lose control of

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their muscles, and the average life expectancy after being diagnosed is three to five years. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his condolences, saying “My thoughts are with my friend @Mauril_ Belanger today. Stay strong. We will always have your back, Mauril.” While Bélanger will continue to serve as MP, he has withdrawn his candidacy for the role of Speaker of the House of Commons, a role that functions to maintain order in parliament and defend the

Ottawa-Vanier MP Mauril Belanger (centre).

rights and privileges of MPs. According to the Citizen Bé-

Photo: Eric Davidosn

langer has suffered from from a weakened voice in recent

months, which caused him to consider withdrawing from the race for Speaker. It also forced him to avoid speaking in a number of situations, such as having to limit his speaking to colleagues or refusing interview requests. In a letter to Liberal caucus members, Bélanger wrote: “I wish to thank everyone who has encouraged me and supported my candidacy for Speaker. I will be eternally grateful. Thank you to my election team and the voters of Ottawa–Vanier for the

privilege of serving them.” Bélanger has been MP of the Ottawa-Vanier riding for 20 consecutive years, and was re-elected this year with 58 per cent of the vote. In this year’s election, Bélanger’s stated plans to improve Ottawa-Vanier were to reduce the burdens of student debt and high tuition fees, as well as improve infrastructure. Bélanger is also a U of O graduate, and served as president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa.

NEWS | 5


U of O takes a step in the right direction to reduce carbon footprint

University is first Canadian school to sign Carbon Pledge Jaclyn McRae-Sadik Associate News Editor

The University of Ottawa has become the first university in Canada to sign the Montreal Carbon Pledge, and the second in the world after the University of California. The Montreal Carbon Pledge requires its signatories to measure and publicly disclose the carbon footprint of their investments each year. There is no cost in joining, but participants may have to pay if they decide to hire a provider to measure their emissions. While committing to the pledge doesn’t obligate participants to reduce their carbon footprint, it does encourage them to review the information. Stewart Elgie, a professor at the U of O faculty of law specializing in environmental and natural resources law and policy, explains how the original goal of the initiative was to rally U.S. $3-trillion in global investment assets to commit to a reduction in carbon emissions. The intention was to meet this goal by December 2015 for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. However, they’re set to

hit around $8.5-trillion, nearly three times the initial target. The conference also spurred the “100% Possible” climate marches around the world on Nov. 29. The protesters called on the world’s governments to switch to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050. Around 1,700 marches took place around the world, and the one in Ottawa saw thousands in attendance. “There are two goals I guess. One of them is to do the right thing and to do our part, to drive investment for low carbon future,” said Elgie.“The other is to set an example for other universities. We hope that by doing this it’ll challenge other universities to do the same.” This pledge follows recommendations from a U of O-commissioned report by professor Tessa Hebb, an adjunct professor at Carleton University’s Sprott school of business. The university will also continue with its other ongoing carbon-related commitments, said Barbara Miazga, treasurer and director of pension fund at the U of O. This includes the Fossil Free uOttawa Campaign, which aims to have the university divest itself from fossil fuels.

Thousands flocked downtown to demand that the world’s governments switch to renewable energy by 2050.

Elgie commends the university’s overall efforts to tackle climate change. “The university made a commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by twice as much as Canada’s national targets, so we committed to reduce by 34 per cent between 2005 and 2020,” he said. “We’ve reduced emissions by

Former Parliamentary Budget Officer gives talk at U of O

Kevin Page: ‘hopeful about the future’

Kevin Page (third from right) poses with Nick Zelizniak and other organizers from AEEIPPSSA.

Kevin Page, Canada’s former and first Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO)—responsible for providing independant

eric davidson News Editor

6 | NEWS

Photo: Eric Davidson

financial analysis to parliament—gave a talk to students on Nov. 23 at the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) building

Photo: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik

23 per cent in 10 years, so we’re on pace to get that 34 per cent reduction.” However, he stresses the importance of decarbonizing their entire investment portfolio, not just those related to oil, gas or coal, and believes this pledge is a much more ambitious commitment in that di-

rection. “The key to tackling climate change will be reducing carbon emissions across the whole economy,” he said. “If you look at what drives climate change, it’s emissions from all of those sectors, not just oil and gas. Oil and gas are big ones, but you really have to decarbonize the

entire economy.” Elgie said this type of large investment of nearly $9-trillion dollars—around five times Canada’s total annual Gross Domestic Product—could be the example the global economy needs to seriously begin moving away from carbon emissions production.

on his time as the PBO, and his hopes for Canada’s future and tell his story. “It’s a story about what it’s like to try and build something new for your country,” said Page of his publication Unaccountable: Truth and Lies on Parliament Hill. Released in August, the book talks about his time as PBO, and his many clashes with the government along the way. “With Kevin Page releasing his new book, we thought this would be the perfect event for students that are interested,” said Nick Zelizniak, who led the organization of the event by the International, Political, and Policy Studies Students’ Association (AEEIPPSSA). Page is also the current Chairholder of the Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, a position tasked with studying Canadian political institutions and governance. Page said that despite his

initial issues with the position—weak legislation, a lack of interest and an abundance of secrecy—that the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s role is beginning to be accepted. “I think some change is happening, the town is getting used to the Parliamentary Budget Officer releasing reports on big issues,” he said. “The media’s paying attention, members of parliament are using this … you can see progress.” While he sees positive change from the PBO, he says we have a ways to go. “I think we have to do more,” he said. “Public service renewal is important, I think MPs need to review the processes that we use to hold the executive accountable.” “There are people in this country who are very concerned about the state of our institutions, I think that cuts across all demographics,” he said. “It would be ideal if the

student generation starts to get involved in this kind of literature.” He continued that the student generation will soon have a vital role to play in Canada’s future. “The generation of students now have been handed a difficult set of cards,” said Page. “The more time I spend with your generation the more I realize that what you will bring to these challenges is the right style of leadership… I’m actually quite hopeful about the future.” Zelizniak said he was happy with the event, especially the response from the attendees. “We actually got a lot of questions, it was awesome, it shows the interest of students in public policy,” he said. AEEIPPSSA will also be hosting a public policy conference on Feb. 6-7, which will touch on poverty reduction, marijuana policy, Aboriginal policy, and more.

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U of O offers up courtroom for refugee hearings for second time University continues to show commitment to serving refugees The University of Ottawa will be offering up its Ian G. Scott courtroom, free of charge, for hearings to determine refugee status. Currently, refugee applicants in Ottawa must travel to Montreal for hearings, adding to an already stressful situation. This extra travel comes with a host of additional hurdles. “Some people, to avoid accommodation costs, have taken very early bus and train rides. They have to take public transit to get to these (hearings), so you know, they’re not sleeping the night before and this affects the way that they might present themselves at a hearing,” said Jamie Liew, professor at the U of O’s Faculty of Common Law and a practicing immigration lawyer, as well as a strong advocate for the U of O’s decision to offer the courtroom. Not only that, but the entire family, children included, must travel to attend the hearing. While the offer may seem perfectly timed with the im-

minent arrival of the first wave of Syrian refugees to Canada, Liew says there is no relation and they will not go through these proceedings. Rather, the offer’s re-submission is more closely related to the recent change on Parliament Hill. “We believe that this government is more willing to listen to stakeholders about challenges that could be facing immigration applications that are going to Immigration Review Board(IRB),” said Liew. The U of O opened the Ian G. Scott courtroom in 2013— becoming the first Canadian university to have a fully functioning courtroom on campus. It has an adjoining classroom so that students can learn from the proceedings. The university had previously offered its courtroom to the Immigration Review Board (IRB) in 2014 after it closed its Ottawa office, though their offer was rejected at the time. Liew believes the IRB’s previous concerns and reasoning for not taking the offer are un-

The University of Ottawa will be offering its courtroom to facilitate refugees’ court processes.

founded, as the Ontario court of appeal and the federal court have used the courtroom with no issue. “They had indicated to us concerns with regards to whether or not the courtroom was technically built to accommodate the IRB and security concerns,” she said. “It’s our

understanding that if it’s good enough for the federal court, which hears judicial reviews or appeals from the IRB, then it shouldn’t be a problem for this administrative tribunal.” The IRB confirmed that they had “received correspondence from the Law Faculty at Ottawa University stating its

News Briefs

cording to the Ottawa Citizen. Initial findings by the TSB named driver distraction and speed as potential factors of

stories draw a disproportionate number of comments that cross the line and violate our guidelines,” reads the post. The office of the the CBC’s general manager and editor-in-chief said in an online post that they hope to reopen the comments section in January, “after we’ve had some time to review how these comments are moderated and to provide more detailed guidance to our moderators.” —Eric Davidson

Carleton University’s Board of Governors (BOG) has been accused by one of its members, biology professor Root Gorelick, of not allowing members to fully express their opinions. Gorelick has used his blog to publicly disagree with actions taken by the BOG. Carleton Univer-

Final report on 2013 bus-train crash to be released soon The final report by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) on the 2013 bus-train crash in Barrhaven, which killed six people and injured 35 more, is due to be released on Dec. 2. Thirty-five people have filed lawsuits after

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the incident. Claims of negligence have been directed at the bus driver, who was killed in the crash, OC Transpo, Via Rail, and the City of Ottawa. Damages sought total over $27-million, ac-

the crash—they did not identify any issues with the procedure of the train. —Eric Davidson

Carleton Board of Governors accused of preventing board members from expressing themselves

CBC shuts down comments on stories related to Indigenous people, cites uncivil dialogue The CBC has temporarily disabled comments on their online stories pertaining to Canada’s indigenous people. The decision was made on Nov. 30. A blog post by the office of the general manager and editor-in-chief of the CBC said that posts related to indigenous people were the only ones closed due to a disproportionately high number of negative and hateful comments. “We’ve noticed over many months that these

Photo: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik

intention to renew an offer to hold refugee hearings at a location on campus,” but they did not wish to comment further. While the university’s offer is not affiliated with the current Syrian refugee crisis, refugee law is a prominent area addressed by faculty and students.

Aditya Rao, second-year student in the U of O-Carleton joint M.A./LL.B program, is interested in specializing in refugee law and cites the faculty’s reputation in the area as one of the reasons he chose the U of O. Rao has been an active figure in the Ottawa branch of the Refugees Welcome movement, a Canadian organization that seeks justice for refugees and displaced people. Rao cohosted two rallies in September and a panel discussion on Nov. 27. “I’m not the least bit surprised that the University of Ottawa has offered the courtroom up because they’ve been just absolutely phenomenal in taking a leadership role in this community to keep up,” he said. The U of O has created a number of initiatives to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis, including offering legal counsel through the Faculty of Law, a postsecondary certificate program for refugees, and scholarships.

abcd

sity told the Ottawa Citizen that Gorelick is free to disagree during meetings, but afterwards is bound to publicly support their positions. “If it’s an open session, that should mean public and that should be protected by free speech. As with anything to do with free speech, the way we counter it is with more speech rather than to silence the debate,” Gorelick told the Citizen. The university also released a statement which said that Gorelicks blog posts were not accurate reflections of the meetings or other members. The debate comes after the university adopted a new code of conduct for its BOG, which further restricts what its members can discuss in public. —Eric Davidson

NEWS | 7


National News

CBC investigation highlights UBC’s lack of overarching sexual assault policy

‘We can do better and we will do better’, says university in a statement Emma Partridge The Ubyssey

Vancouver (CUP)—A much anticipated documentary by CBC’s The Fifth Estate has made some startling discoveries that ultimately cast an unflattering spotlight on how the University of British Columbia handles sexual assault and the university’s lack of an overarching sexual assault policy. According to the CBC, Dmitry Mordvinov, who was working towards his PhD in history at the university, was accused of multiple sexual offences that were committed two years ago. However, Mordvinov was only expelled from the university last week. UBC spokesperson Susan Danard issued an emailed statement Friday evening responding to the story. “It is important to understand that BC privacy law prevents us from disclosing information about or responding to specific cases mentioned in the media. What we can say is we continuously strive to improve our collective response to sexual violence through education. We can do better and we

will do better,” read part of the statement. Several women came forward to The Fifth Estate to tell stories of assaults committed by Mordvinov. One preferred to remain anonymous, but another, Caitlin Cunningham, went on record. She told the CBC that after reporting her attack to the university, UBC encouraged mediation between herself and Mordvinov. According to the CBC’s reporting, Monica Kay, director of conflict management, perpetuated a sense that the survivors should keep their experiences to themselves. At this time, Kay has not responded to requests for comment. When The Ubyssey spoke with Clark Lundeen, assistant principal of Green College—the residence in which Mordvinov was staying while studying for his PhD—he said that reports of sexual assaults would be taken very seriously. Based on the findings of an investigation, the survivor would be referred to on-campus resources for support. “Confirming is a difficult thing. If we receive a complaint

from somebody at the college who alleged that they’re a survivor of sexual assault by somebody, then we take it very seriously and make sure that their safety will be made a priority and that includes… not sharing information that might compromise their privacy,” said Lundeen in that interview. According to Lundeen, a report of sexual assault had been filed at the college within the last two years and the response by Green College “would be very similar to how it would be handled in any other residence managed by Student Housing and Hospitality Services.” Janice Robinson, director of Residence Life and Administration in Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS), said there is a process in place to ensure survivors get the resources they need after the disclosure. “At that point, a residence advisor would also share with the Residence Life manager that a resident has disclosed,” said Robinson. “From there, the Residence Life manager would coach (the) residence advisor on how to be the most supportive that they could.”

A documentary by the CBC calls attention to UBC’s inadequate sexual assault protocol.

When asked to address the issues raised by The Fifth Estate documentary, SHHS, Green College and UBC interim president Martha Piper all insist that UBC takes the issue of sexual assault seriously. However, if the CBC is correct in their findings, the university was officially aware of Mordvinov’s actions for almost a year before he was expelled. All of this is ultimately complicated by the fact that the UBC does not have a single overarching policy on what to do in the event of a sexual assault. When asked about the progress of such a policy in Senate, both Piper and interim provost Angela Redish said the question ought to be directed to the vice-president of students, Louise Cowin, who was not present. According to Ashley Bent-

“My experiences from talking to clients, to survivors of violence and to members of this community is that the lack of a policy by UBC makes it seem like they aren’t supporting survivors— that they’re not caring.”—Ashley Bentley, Alma Mater Society’s Sexual Assault Support Centre

ley of the Alma Mater Society’s Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC), it is problematic that UBC lacks such a policy to deal with assaults and instead relies more on Policy 3—dealing with harassment and discrimination in general. “My experiences from talking to clients, to survivors of violence and to members of this community is that the lack of a policy by UBC makes it seem like they aren’t supporting survivors—that they’re not caring,” said Bentley. “It’s not necessarily to say that a policy solves everything, but what I do think it does is it has clear set guidelines and processes in place which at least make survivors feel like they have options.” The protocol that is currently in place at the university is that, should someone disclose

Photo: Courtesy of UBC Public Affairs.

an assault and would like to report in some capacity, they will first be referred to SASC. Should the student report internally—not to the RCMP— the allegations will be put to the non-academic misconduct committee where the survivor makes a formal report and both parties are asked questions— similar to a trial. “A lot of people often don’t actually want to go through that process because they don’t really want to disclose to a group of peers,” said Bentley. “From what I’ve seen of other policies… I have really liked the statement of belief a lot of these policies have adapted ‘cause I think it really speaks to survivors and shows them it’s okay to come forward.” This story was updated Nov. 20 at 5:55 p.m. to include a statement from Susan Danard.

Canada NATO envoy says Russia didn’t communicate prior to jet downing Canadian Press iPolitics

iPolitics (CUP)—Canada’s NATO ambassador says Russia has repeatedly fallen short of its commitment to inform Turkey of its bombing runs over Syria in the weeks leading to the downing of one of its jets by Turkish forces on

Nov. 24. Ambassador Kerry Buck tells The Canadian Press that Canada is actively engaged with various countries, including Russia, to strengthen the communication protocols to prevent future incidents. Buck also says Russia needs to join western forces in attacking Islamic militants, instead of bombing ethnic

8 | NATIONAL NEWS

Turkmen in Syria, whom she described as a moderate opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad. The ambassador was in the Nov. 24 emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council, which Turkey called after it shot down a Russian plane that crossed into its airspace near the Syrian border. It was the first downing of

a Russian plane by a NATO country in more than half a century and marked a dangerous escalation in the longrunning tension between the Kremlin and the 28-country military alliance. Buck says NATO supports Turkey’s version of events, but wants to work towards lowering the heated rhetoric the incident has spawned.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the media at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Nov. 24. Photo: Courtesy of Virginia Mayo

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A&C EDITOR Allegra Morgado arts@thefulcrum.ca

ARTS&CULTURE

(613) 695-0062 @allietate

Ottawa artists explore the ‘self’ through multimedia

Student-curated exhibit features media and performance pieces from local artists Graham Robertson fulcrum contributor

I

n an effort to shed a light on new forms of artwork in the city, five up-andcoming artists will be showcasing their talents in a multimedia exhibition later this month.

The Self-Collective hopes to challenge viewer’s preconceptions of traditional art by focusing on media and performance pieces, such as projected images and videos. The exhibition, which is being organized by students in the University of Ottawa’s curating for contemporary art course, will display works “that explore the body as a site of identity,” says Sabrina Chamberland, a fourth-year fine arts student at the U of O and one of the featured artists in the exhibit. The organizers of the exhibition Lilian Barrera, Sydney Bejcar, Tristan Calleja, Talia Golland, Molly Mask, Kate-Lynn Tougas, and Kelsey McGruer, all third and fourth-

Sabrina Chamberland’s projected photo pieces that caught the eye of Kelsey McGruer to use for The Self-Collective.

year visual arts student at the U of O. Chamberland believes that the “self” is something that is not clearly defined, and says that the exhibition will showcase pieces “that explore the body as a way to question constructions of the self.” Other artists featured in The Self-Collective include Radchuka, Kathleen Reichelt, Katarina Tkaczyszyn, and Mercedes Ventura.

The exhibition will touch on the ways in which society imposes certain rules on the body, and how these rules are challenged and opposed by self-identity. The influence of media on the perception and performance of the body and the self will also play a key role in the artwork showcased. McGruer, a fourth-year visual arts student, approached Chamberland to be part of the exhibit after her piece One

Photo: Courtesy of Sabrina Chamberland.

Two. “I projected a male face onto a female face—my own—and then my face onto a male face, to see what might come out of that duality,” says Chamberland of the piece. “It’s more than just projecting one sex onto another; there’s these alien-like things that came out, there’s these weird morphologies that would surface. Just by using two representations of a normal human body, you

can incite much more.” Since the exhibit will be held only for the night of Dec. 12, nothing will be allowed to hang on the walls of Club SAW. Many pieces will therefore be in multimedia format, such as videos and projections. With these guidelines in place, many of the art pieces will be different than what the artists typically produce. When Chamberland created her piece, it was a way to chal-

lenge herself to create something she hadn’t done before. “I was just trying to get out of my comfort zone, because what I normally do is I explore the surface of the body in high detail, so I am interested in the flesh and how that links to the psyche.” This unique exhibit is something that will give spectators the opportunity to see pieces that are not typically found at many galleries in the city. “It’s going to be really neat to see so much media work because I think that’s another thing that’s not well-represented in Ottawa either,” said Chamberland, who points out that more traditional forms of art, like painting and sculpture, usually steal the show. “It’ll be nice to have a night where mostly media is in the highlight.” Chamberland is hoping that this exhibit inspires artists to explore more deeply with multimedia art, and encourages local galleries to feature similar contemporary exhibitions in the future. The Self-Collective takes place Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Club SAW. Free admission.

Making waves in the zine world

Women’s Resource Centre releases feministfocused zine Alternative Waves Allegra Morgado arts & culture editor

When the volunteers at the Student Federation of University of Ottawa (SFUO) and Graduate Students’ Association (GSAÉD)-run Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) were trying to figure out what project to do this semester, they wanted to find something creative, informative, and fun to make. This is how Alternative Waves was born, a feminist-centric zine which the WRC released on Nov. 27 at a launch party at Café Alt. Alternative Waves features contributions from many of the WRC’s volunteers this semester. The zine has different forms of content, from a list concerning “Consent Culture at Clubs & Parties”, to an essay entitled “Gender

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and Transformation in Woolf’s To the Lighthouse”. Although the different contributions may seem like they have very little in common, Stephanie Meunier, a third-year women’s studies and communications student at the U of O and the volunteer coordinator of the WRC, assures that they all have one collective theme—alternativism. “When we tried to find a theme, we couldn’t find something super specific, like one central issue or a thing to focus on, but we found that everyone was … being critical of something, or looking at alternatives,” says Meunier. She says that the “waves” portion of the title is related to the different waves of feminism throughout its history.

“(There’s) first wave, second wave… now we’re kind of like in a weird “who knows what?” wave, fourth wave, no wave, who knows,” she says. “So we’re suggesting that we might be in an alternative wave.” Holly Dominato, a second-year nursing student and volunteer at the centre, wrote a piece entitled “Sex Ed in a New World” about the new sexual education curriculum that was introduced in Ontario this year. Dominato believed that this topic fit well with the alternative theme as the new curriculum is “a change we’ve been seeing in society towards better, comprehensive education.” Dominato is hoping that her piece, as well as the others in the zine, will allow readers to see important issues

Free copies of Alternative Waves will be kept in the library at the WRC.

like sexual education, racism, and consent culture from different points of view. “It kind of talks about different issues that are happening now in the world, and kind of how those perspectives affect different people, and so I hope it kind of encourages people to consider things from other people’s perspective.”

Photo: Allegra Morgado.

Meunier is hoping that the centre can continue to release zines in the future, and that the new batch of volunteers next semester will have their hands at sharing their feminist knowledge in a unique and fun way. Alternative Waves is available for free at the WRC, which is located at UCU220. The centre is open Monday to Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ARTS & Culture | 9


The rise of feminist television TV today is riddled with the “f-word” Allegra Morgado arts & culture editor

In the opening credits of new CW series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebecca Bunch, the main character, shows off her feminism freely, when dubbed “the crazy ex-girlfriend” by a group of other characters. Bunch calls them out, pointing out “that’s a sexist term”, and “the situation’s a lot more nuanced than that.” Feminism has become a much more common occurrence this past year on television. Although the title may be offputting to some, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend might be the most feminist show on television at the moment. It continuously critiques inequality, especially the sexist tropes that are common to most romantic comedies. The show also delves into other issues, such as mental illness, all while staying lighthearted with numerous catchy songs each episode. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, however, is not the only feminist show on the air at the moment. Broad City, How to Get Away With Murder, Jane the Virgin, and Inside Amy Schumer are just a few of the many shows with strong female leads on television at the moment. 2015, the year of #squadgoals, and #shoutyourabortion has undeniably been one where the spotlight has been on feminism, especially on the small screen. “It’s been, I think, quite mystifying in some ways to see this turnaround in mainstream media,” says Mythili Rajiva, an associate professor at the Institute of Feminist and Gender

Studies at the University of Ottawa. “For the last decade, possibly two, maybe even three, there has been such an anti-feminist discourse at work, both in larger North American society, as well as certainly the mainstream media, where feminism became the ‘f-word.’ ” This discourse, it seems, may finally be changing. From openly feminist characters like Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, to shows with diverse female characters and crews like Scandal and Orange is the New Black, feminism appears to be everywhere you look. Some of these shows are much more overtly feminist, with characters such as Leslie Knope identifying as a feminist throughout all seven seasons, and critiquing the way in which women are treated differently in politics than men. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend takes a different approach. The most feminist parts of the episodes are normally the musical numbers, with songs like “The Sexy Getting Ready Song” showing the ridiculous lengths women go to in order to achieve normative beauty standards, prompting the featuring rapper to call it “nasty-ass patriarchal bullshit.” Orange is the New Black, like many other “feminist shows”, has much less overtly feminist characters, but still fits the category, as it features a diverse female cast, and deals with important issues, such as sexual assault in women’s prisons. The most important thing to note about these shows is that many of them are not being considered niche,

Rebecca Bunch, the main character of The CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, flying through the air on a giant pretzel in the show’s first musical number. Photo: Courtesy of The CW, YouTube.com.

female series’, but are being widely watched by both male and female viewers. Scandal and Inside Amy Schumer have both won Peabody Awards, and have been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards, each winning two. The success of the series’ suggests that people are becoming more accepting of feminism in mainstream media. “I think one of the things we’re seeing with girls and young women now is a sense that it’s OK to be a feminist,” says Rajiva. “It doesn’t mean that you hate men, it doesn’t mean that you’re always angry or negative, it

just means that you believe in things that supposedly society says are good things like equality and justice.” The success of these shows, unfortunately, doesn’t mean that women have suddenly achieved equality in the film and television industry. Although there are big-time celebrities like Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence advocating for change, there’s still an imbalance in the industry that will take a lot more than female-centric television shows to change. According to the Center For the Study of Women in Television & Film’s 2014-2015 report on women

in prime-time television, women made up 40 per cent of characters on television and Netflix programs, but only 20 per cent in behind-the-scenes roles. “There’s a long way to go before we see real barriers, structural barriers, in Hollywood overcome, but I think it’s certainly a step in the right direction,” says Rajiva. Although equality may be far off, for now we can enjoy the time that women are having in the spotlight, and continue to listen to Crazy ExGirlfriend’s catchy, sexism-critiquing musical numbers.

Ukrainian Students’ Club commemorate the Holodomor Club holds event for famine-genocide remembrance “It was against the cultural issues, like wearing embroidered shirts, the Ukrainian language. A lot of people now don’t speak Ukrainian, they try to speak Russian.”—Julia Zubrytska, law student and member of SUSK Ottawa.

Ryan Pepper

staff contributor The University of Ottawa Ukrainian Students’ Club (SUSK Ottawa) hosted an event in the Alumni Auditorium on Nov. 24, featuring a historical exhibit, speakers, and a documentary film to commemorate the Ukrainian famine-genocide of 1932-33, called the Holodomor. The students in SUSK Ottawa felt that the commemoration was important to remember the millions of victims of the man-made famine, and to spread awareness of it on campus. For all the loss of life, the

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The historical exhibit in memory of the vicitms. Photo: Marta Kierkus.

Holodomor was only recognized as a genocide against the Ukrainian people in 2006. Julia Zubrytska, a law stu-

dent at the U of O and member of SUSK Ottawa, says this recognition was largely due to the work of many Canadian professors and Manitoba-born MP James Bezan, who was honoured by SUSK Ottawa at last year’s commemoration event. During the first of his “Five Year Plans” Joseph Stalin, then leader of the Soviet Union, began the collectivization of all private property with an emphasis on mass industrial revolution and militarization. To feed the workers of this

growing industry, he turned to Ukraine’s abundant wheat fields. He began a forced starvation which killed upwards of 25,000 people a day, yet the Soviet government always denied such a thing had ever happened. There have been many big pushes to raise national awareness of the Holodomor, which feels especially poignant given the current political atmosphere between Ukraine and Russia. Canada is home to over 1.2-million Ukrainian-Cana-

dians, the third-largest Ukrainian population behind Russia and the Ukraine itself, so many Canadians have a direct connection to victims. This year’s memorial event featured the 2005 film Holodomor: Technology of Genocide depicting images of the Holodomor, and included heartbreaking testimonials from survivors. There was also an historical exhibit in memory of the lives lost. “Canadian professor Taras Kuzio stated that the Holodomor targeted Ukrainian national identity,” says Zubrytska. “It was against the cultural issues, like wearing embroidered shirts, the Ukrainian language.

A lot of people now don’t speak Ukrainian, they try to speak Russian.” For SUSK Ottawa, hosting an event on campus for the Holodomor genocide is also very personal, as many of them, including Zubrytska, have family members who are survivors of the Holodomor. The Holodomor is now remembered around the world, normally in the last week of November, and SUSK Ottawa holds an annual event on campus. Zubrytska would like to encourage more people to join in the event next year to ensure that the victims of the famine-genocide will not be forgotten.

thefulcrum.ca


Ready, set, whoa: A Gee-Gees’ guide to France Ch. 7: Travel Raghad Sheikh-Khalil staff contributor

Before I decided to come to Paris on exchange, Europe seemed like a far off “Neverland”. Growing up, the term “vacation” meant a three-day road trip to Chicago with my family. While flying across the Atlantic was not unfamiliar—I have visited family in the Middle East several times—the closest I’d come to European soil was a collection of stops in various airports on the way to my journey’s end. In truth, thanks to many Buzzfeed quizzes, I’d always considered Europe as some sacred destination to be preserved until my post-marriage honeymoon. So, dearest readers, you can imagine that coming to Europe alone was definitely eye-opening. I came to Paris to study—

however, it’s very easy to forget that fact. Easy access to travelling to different countries is possibly the greatest advantage of studying abroad in Europe. While a $1,000 ticket will get you round-trip to Paris from Canada, you can easily fly roundtrip to many countries within Europe for under €50, which is approximately $70 Canadian. By the end of my four-month adventure I will have travelled to and within France, Italy (and the Vatican City), Germany, Spain, England, and the Netherlands—a feat which would be much more difficult to accomplish if I didn’t have my apartment in Paris to come back to. While this may disappoint the parents, most of my learning during this experience has taken place outside of the classroom. I’ve been able to meet

students from a myriad of cultures, can distinguish between accents I never knew existed, and have made lifelong friends with homes that I’m welcome to all across the world. In four short months I have been able to taste Bordeaux wine in Bordeaux, go on a week-long pizza diet in Italy, have the greatest hamburger of my life in Germany, and understand the simple joy derived from bread and butter in France. I will have attended soccer matches in Paris, Barcelona and London—living out a fantasy of mine I never thought possible. I will have seen monuments such as Big Ben, the Eiffel tower and the Colosseum, understood history at the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, and visited museums across Europe, as well as been part of a new step

Illustration: Kim Wiens.

“So perhaps I did come to Paris to learn—however, what I have taken out of this experience is much more than what I possibly could have by solely sitting through several threehour lectures every week.” in history as it unfolded before me here in Paris. So perhaps I did come to Paris to learn—however, what I have taken out of this experience is much more than what I possibly could have by solely sitting through three-hour lectures every week. I’ve learned what it means to be self-sufficient. The thought of travelling alone no longer

scares me, nor does the thought of going without my phone or Google Maps for a few days. On the other hand, as cheesy as it sounds, I’ve also learned the value of friendship. Through every experience, and every trip, my most cherished memories are the simplest ones, spent with the people who matter. Whether that be cooking thanksgiv-

ing dinner with friends while many of us missed our families back home, sharing a bottle of wine while watching unintelligible Italian soap operas, or sitting in front of a church eating McDonald’s and discussing slang terms from each of our respective countries, these are the lasting memories that I will look back on. If you’ve followed along thus far, I want to thank you. I hope that my experiences have allowed you to learn something new, and I hope that this column has encouraged some of you to go on an adventure of your own. For now I will say goodnight to Paris, this city that I have come to adore. I hope to see you again soon, but for the time being many adventures in Ottawa await me! À bientôt!

Why it’s famous: Enemy of the State is an action thriller about a lawyer, played by Will Smith, who is framed for a murder of a

Moussa Sangaré-P once Staff Contribut or

congressman by a corrupt National Security Agency (NSA) agent, played by Jon Voight. The film, which was released in 1998, came out during Smith’s prime and was his first blockbuster where he played a serious and in-depth character. The film’s setting and plot were also believable to a certain extent, as government surveillance was a trending topic in the political discourse at the time.

Why you haven’t seen it:

field.”

Why you should watch it anyways:

You (or, more likely, your parents) probably opted to watch The Rugrats Movie instead of Enemy of the State when it came out in 1998. Despite being

Brill: “Huh, not too stupid after all.”

Will Smith, who has been in numerous box office hits and has been nominated for

classified as a spy movie and action thriller, there’s also a political focus, which could be a turnoff for some viewers. Despite the fact Will Smith is a

Rachel Banks: “How’s the trout?”

two Academy

Robert Dean: “Tastes like fish.”

Awards and four Golden Globes, delivers a strong and convincing performance as the star of this movie. If you aren’t an admirer of his work, the film has stellar performance s by a cast that includes Gene Hackman, Jack Black, Jon Voight, Seth Green and even a Larry King cameo to sweeten

blockbuster machine and the movie had strong box office numbers, it’s not Smith’s most popular work, so it often gets lost in the shuffle.

the deal. Despite being released over 15 years ago, the movie touches on a topic that’s

Why it might be tough to get through: There’s a lot of political talk, especially in the beginning of the movie. As a classic ‘90s film, cheesy one-liners and clumsy scenes are abundant. For those who aren’t fans of action films, the numerous foot and car chases

even more

relevant today—government surveillance.

ited.

Enemy of the State doesn’t slow down from the opening scene until the last two minutes. Although there are many different storylines, they are all shown to be connected at the end. If you enjoy thrillers, this movie is definitely worth watching.

Film critic Kim Newman said Enemy of the State could be considered as a sequel to The Conversation, a 1974 spy thriller starring Gene Hackman.

may become a bit much, since some scenes feature little talking and mostly

Famous lines:

action. Also, if you’re not a fan of gratuitous violence, you’re in for a long

Robert Dean: “I’m sick of this, you either shoot me or tell me what the fuck is going on.” Thomas Reynolds: “Credibility, it’s the only currency that means anything on this playing

one.

Fun facts: Larry King and Seth Green’s roles in this movie were uncred-

Mel Gibson, George Clooney, and Tom Cruise were also considered for Will Smith’s role, but producer Jerry Bruckheim er chose Smith because of the success the two had with Bad Boys.

Most of the movies mentioned in Movies You Should Have Seen are available for loan at the Morisset Library! thefulcrum.ca

ARTS & Culture | 11


The future of Canada’s print media landscape Our newspaper industry is stodgy, run by short-term thinkers, and is seriously lacking in diversity. What can be done about it? In October 2014, Postmedia Network Inc., the owner of the National Post, Ottawa Citizen, and an assortment of other Canadian news outlets, announced its intention to purchase Sun Media’s newspaper collection. After finalizing this purchase in March, the Postmedia umbrella now contains the most—over 200—newspapers and digital news sources of any company in the Canadian print media industry. Of course, the op-eds followed from what publications were left, with many decrying the increasing centralization of media ownership and bemoaning its consequences for the future of journalism in Canada. Others scoffed at the idea of a news monopoly, arguing that the growth of digital news had created a market for information as competitive as any that had been seen before. Still, more critics predicted the death of newspapers as a whole, with the Fulcrum itself putting forward a piece of its own on the medium’s bleak future over a year ago. In the subsequent year, it seems like many of these fears were well founded, since Postmedia has continued to sustain heavy losses after the acquisition, with a net loss of $263-million this year alone. Kelly Toughill—a professor of journalism at King’s College in Halifax who specializes in journalism business models, and a former writer for the Toronto Star—points out the company’s declining revenues are consistent with market trends. “Postmedia might be a bit more obvious, but they’re not unique in any way. They’re suffering from structur-

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al problems in the industry,” she said. These structural issues include sharp drops in ad revenues as online platforms provide more affordable and effective options for advertisers. Postmedia’s response to these structural problems provides a case study in what’s going wrong with the industry—and how hard it will be to fix it.

A “moose corpse in the middle of the highway” After spending a decade working as a journalist, Jesse Brown has managed to make a business out of frank, behind-the-scenes coverage of the Canadian news media. His podcast, Canadaland, has shed some light on important figures in the Canadian media, most famously through its role in helping break last year’s Jian Ghomeshi story. When it comes to the issue of Postmedia’s deliberate continuation of its unsustainable business strategy, he doesn’t hold back with his diagnosis. “I think that if you’re paying attention to what’s happening in their business strategy you’ll see that there isn’t one,” he said. “They’re having a laugh— they are very intentionally driving that bus off of a cliff.” Beyond the financials, it’s pretty clear to see where Brown is coming from. Despite the heavy burden of civic responsibility that one might attribute to Canada’s largest newspaper chain, Postmedia has hardly been boosting its public image as of late. Just in the last few months, they’ve censored literary legacy Margaret At-

wood, bringing vindictive pleasure to anyone who’s suffered through a high school class’s painfully shallow interpretations of The Handmaid’s Tale, but collectively appalling the rest of the country’s Canadian sensibilities. They followed that up in October by blocking the anti-Harper election editorial of prominent political journalist Andrew Coyne, forcing his resignation as the National Post’s comment editor in their quest to have all 16 of their major papers make unsuccessful endorsements of ex-PM Harper. Just days before the Oct. 19 federal election they ran front-page wraparound pro-Conservative advertisements in most of their papers, an act that incited condemnation from the remaining outlets independent of Postmedia. And at the tail end of November, they posted a statement to their website reporting that, while their company copes with declining print revenue and major staff cutbacks, the Board of Directors has awarded itself over a million dollars in bonuses this year. The depreciation of the Postmedia brand’s credibility, as much as it reflects in the company’s financial performance, doesn’t bode well for its staff, which includes some of Canada’s most talented and committed career journalists. Without a clear plan to move forward, it seems only a matter of time before some of these papers are forced to fold or amalgamate, leading to substantial layoffs. To Brown, the issue extends beyond his own interests or “the interests of anybody else who wants to get into

this business.” “More importantly, the Canadian citizenry wants to be informed, wants to have good news coverage, and the problem for all of those citizens is that we have… essentially this massive moose corpse in the middle of the highway.” Despite these concerns, Postmedia’s papers continue to cling to large shares of the journalism community’s advertising dollars, viewership, and overall capital—all resources that could be directed to more competitive brands. To be fair, it does take time for viewers and advertisers to adjust to changes and start looking for something new. But in the meantime, the highway of innovation remains blocked. “If people experimenting with their business models are trying to make some headway, we need everything we can get,” said Brown. “And even though the market for selling ads against news content ain’t great, it still exists, and it’s being monopolized by this zombie.”

One size fits all Postmedia’s stranglehold on Canadian journalism is not just halting progress on the business model front, but in other ways as well. This past fall, the federal government’s promise to appoint equal numbers of men and women to their cabinet stirred up discussion on the topic of representation in politics and decision-making. However, the Canadian newspaper industry doesn’t seem to be that eager to follow in kind. Vivian Smith is a professor at the


University of Victoria and former columnist for the Globe and Mail, who published a book, titled Outsiders Still: Why Women Love – And Leave – Their Newspaper Careers, earlier this year. Her book illustrates some of the many reasons why women remain so woefully underrepresented in the industry. “I think at some point you can start connecting the dots. If you don’t see yourself in the ranks of government, you don’t see yourself in the ranks of commentators… and it’s harder to imagine that you’re competent to do it.” she said. According to a 2014 report by JSource, which surveyed 339 Canadian national and regional columnists, almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of the people paid to express opinions on our country’s civil and political society are male. This diversity problem isn’t limited to gender either. As Davide Mastracci discussed in a Nov. 24 article for the Ryerson Review of Journalism, the juxtaposition between the 3.4 per cent of Canadian journalists who are people of colour and the 19.1 per cent of the population made up of visible minorities points out a pretty extreme divide. The same dynamic can be seen when it comes to age, as the same JSource report highlights the fact that the median age of these columnists is 58.5. Smith aptly highlights the link between this lack of representation and the stagnancy of Postmedia’s ownership model. “Reporters who become columnists and are paid to have an opinion often look a lot like the people who hire them,” she said. “And if it’s only one quarter of the senior editors are women, and fewer the higher up you go, and fewer still at the ownership level, then those guys are just reproducing themselves in the pages of the paper.” As Smith relates, what ends up happening in a business model that discourages risk-taking is homogeneity—those women, people of colour, or younger voices who are actually hired by these newspapers don’t end up changing the tone of conversation all that much. Which is how you end up with a country where so many prominent female columnists—Christie Blatchford, Barbara Kay, Barbara Amiel, Margaret Wente— who are white, middle-aged,

and Conservative; not exactly representative of Canada’s female population.

Give the kids a chance Cameron Welch is a freelancer and recent university graduate living in British Columbia with a background in student journalism, having spent five years at the Phoenix News, the student newspaper of the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. In his opinion, basic representation is “definitely” an important part of news coverage. However, as someone who hopes to work in the newer segments of the media, such as digital web design, Welch doesn’t just want to witness change on a surface level. “I think it’s equally important to have a landscape that welcomes diversity of perspectives, diversity of styles, and levels of professionalism so that people from different backgrounds can be confrontational, or can be fun, or can be candid, and are actually injecting a unique perspective in the media landscape.” Ryan Macfarlane is another recent journalism graduate, and the current president of Canadian University Press, a student press cooperative that provides resources to and networks between a number of Canada’s student papers (of which the Fulcrum is a member of). He believes that another major problem is the sheer lack of opportunities that usually allow recent grads to develop their skills in the field. “Comparing it to the American market, there you see a lot more fellowships from all of the public broadcasters,” he said. “And they’re really trying to get students while they’re young so they can train them and prepare them for careers in journalism.” “In Canada, we just don’t really have that many media outlets and they’re all corporate, except for the CBC and you know, their capacity has just been completely cut. So I don’t think there’s a lot of investment in taking risks on young people, it’s really about shoring up what corporations have.” Macfarlane sees the corporatization of media as damaging to local news and local democracy, particularly in Canada where said news is mainly privately owned. “I think the real solution is you need

a strong public broadcaster—if you look in the UK the BBC is one of the oldest and most well-respected media organizations and it’s because they have stable funding and they don’t stand by the whim of any one person.” Toughill believes that giving young journalists knowledge of industry trends is essential to prepare them to adapt to a changing job market. “When I started teaching we were one of the only ones that offered this in Canada, one of the only ones anywhere in the world,” she said. “Now most journalism schools have some version of a ‘business models in journalism course’.” Looking at the bleak state of the

tives have added important balance to Canada’s media landscape, their status as franchisees of American companies raises even more questions about the implications of foreign, not just corporate, ownership. For example, these companies are prevented from participating directly in Canadian politics via traditional methods such as issuing election endorsements. As Brown puts it, “there are some really wonderful people, they are picking up the slack and those new outfits are doing good things, but I would rather those be Canadian companies.” After all, Canada was a country founded on being un-

ella, the content of several prom Under the Postmedia aumbr tising ) now has more unifor m look.

industry, one can only hope this business savvy will help newcomers break out of the tired newspaper mould.

What’s being done about it? It’s certain that Postmedia, along with the rest of the industry, is aware that their demographic engagement has much to be desired. What’s not as clear is whether or not they view it as a problem. Attempts to remedy the issue (like their misguided and ineffective “Get To Know Us” Summer Tour) appear shallow at best. In the meantime, as Canada’s “newspapers of record” fail to engage with voices that aren’t white, male or middle-aged, a number of other outlets like the Huffington Post, Vice News, and Buzzfeed are moving in to clinch that market. And as much as different perspec-

inent publications (including adver

-

American. Much of our media content, from television broadcasting to music airplay is regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, whose job it is to guarantee that at least a certain amount of native Canadian-produced content is represented. But when it comes to our printed news, the shift to online content has changed all that. “That was always the worst nightmare of the people who were concerned about foreign ownership, that you would have a Canadian media that is owned by American companies,” said Brown. “And that is a little worrying, I think we need to have our own independent community.” But with most of the funding and resources still being taken up by the old stock papers of Postmedia, a future where the independent, innovative journalism community is flourishing in Canada looks to be a long ways away.

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SPORTS

SPORTS EDITOR Spencer Murdock sports@thefulcrum.ca

@SpencerMurdock @FulcrumSports

Gee-Gees men sweep weekend, close semester undefeated Wins over top-notch teams prove team’s strength moving into second half spencer murdock sports editor

The best basketball team in Canada had to put their talents to the test against their toughest challengers of the year so far. The unbeaten Gee-Gees entered the big weekend at home prepping for two top 10 teams. For the Windsor Lancers and Western Mustangs, they had their shot to gain legitimacy among the national ranks. In the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Wilson Cup semifinals last season, the heavily favoured Gees lost to Windsor in a shocking upset that wouldn’t soon be forgotten. With this in mind, the GeeGees took their chance to exact revenge with a dominant 87-53 win. As far as all-encompassing wins go, this game may have been the strongest team effort this year. Windsor hung with the Gees early in the first quarter but as to be expected, they couldn’t break through the staunch Ottawa defence. “It’s a different team than in the past,” said head coach James

Derouin. “We’re a little bit bigger, and when we’re able to shoot the ball well and defend it looks pretty good.” Derouin admits that the days of blowing teams out and averaging 100 points per game might be over, but far better defensive showings and strong overall positional play makes the team better as a whole. There weren’t many Gees without a hot hand on the night as five players scored in double digits. Caleb Agada led the team with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and two assists, while Brandon Robinson and Matt Plunkett added 16 each off the bench. Robinson’s performance was potentially the best of his young career. After starting for the first five games of the season, a lineup shift may have been what the doctor ordered to get him going. “I’ve been having a rough start to the year,” said the sophomore guard from Montreal. “My teammates kept believing in me and I worked really hard… and finally it’s starting to pay off.” From a coaching standpoint, having a wealth of offensive

talent to come off the bench is a luxury. Plunkett and Robinson’s games showed the power the Gee-Gees have when they’re locked in. “It’s a different look for (Robinson) but maybe one he feels more comfortable with,” said Derouin. “Plunkett, when he’s hot he just has to touch it and it goes in. He got it going tonight but he’s just got to give us that more consistently. Sixteen and four for both those guys is huge off the bench.” In the second game of the weekend, the Gee-Gees faced their first nationally ranked team of the season. The sixthranked Western Mustangs gave the Gees all they could handle in London last season, and were hungry for a win this time around. After foul troubles caused a first quarter offensive lull, the Gees were down 16-14. The garnet and grey would gain their legs when Mehdi Tihani decided to take over the game powering the team to a 88-57 win against the Western squad, which was averaging 70 points per game.

Caleb Agada goes strong to the hoop against Western.

Tihani is undoubtedly one of the best defenders in the country. He earned his stripes being one of the only players in Canada able to guard Carleton’s Philip Scrubb, but against Western he decided to flex his offensive muscles as well. Shooting a killer six-for-eight from beyond the arch, Tihani dazzled with 20 points and

three assists, rebounds, and steals. After a slow offensive start to the year, an assistant coach told Tihani to be more confident with his shot and the tip payed off. “I was hesitant on my first couple of shots,” said Tihani. “He told me to let it fly, just be focused and shoot. I guess that’s what I did today.”

Women’s hoops splits weekend series sports editor

All good things must come to an end. The Gee-Gees women’s basketball team’s unbeaten streak was broken up just one night after defeating five-time CIS national champion, the Windsor Lancers. Faced with the accomplished Windsor squad, the Gees controlled the tempo of the game for three quarters before the Lancers started to make a run in the fourth. Ultimately the Gee-Gees offence was too much for the champions to handle as they came away with a 75-60 win. The Gees were led by Katherine Lemoine with a 14-point, eight rebound performance.

14 | SPORTS

Kellie Ring contributed 12 points, sliding seamlessly back into her role after a concussion. “I’m really pleased with the girls,” said head coach Andy Sparks. “They stepped up and really took (Windsor) out.” Playing the role of David is nothing new for the Gee-Gees, they have had great success over Windsor in the past handful of years. If anything, this game adds to their reputation of having the Lancers’ number. “We don’t want to play slow basketball,” said Ring. “We want to play up-tempo basketball, that’s our goal every time. They kind of got us out of that with their press but it was good, we stuck to our game plan.” With a tough win, the GeeGees would have to outwork

Kellie Ring and the Gees will prepare for the next step with a long winter break. Photo: Rémi Yuan.

Western, which is something they accomplished—for three quarters. Carrying a slim lead the Gees looked to close out the first half of their year 7-0, but Western

had other plans. The Mustang defence tightened up, and mistakes and bad shots ruled the closing minutes for the Gees. Ultimately, Western took the 75-66 win.

The team is going to prep for the second half of the year during the break with a visit to an exhibition tournament at Université Laval in Quebec City. The Gees will see Laval, New Brunswick, and Calgary at the tournament before two weeks of preparation to face Carleton at the Raven’s Nest for the Bytown Battle on Jan. 16.

“We don’t want to play slow basketball. We want to play up-tempo basketball, that’s our goal every time.”—Kellie Ring.

Gees couldn’t muster enough to take down Mustangs after big win spencer murdock

Photo: Rémi Yuan

Catherine Traer and Julia Soriano’s combined efforts were not enough to fend off the Mustangs. Traer continued her elite scoring ways with an 18-point performance, while Soriano put up 16 in the losing effort. “The follow up of last night’s game was potentially what you just saw,” said Sparks after the game. “The second game of a double-header having beaten a team you really wanted to beat badly … They attacked the basket well but we could not guard the ball at all.” “We broke down in a tremendous number of ways but it seemed to me we were playing tied and standing up a lot. We weren’t getting down playing square and taking responsibil-

ity for the ball.” Regardless of the outcome, the team has had one of the best starts in the team’s history. They look primed to be a playoff contender, but will need to make some unforeseen adjustments to get to the next level. There was some bad news for Ottawa as they learned that second-year point guard Ariane Lefebvre tore her ACL in practice on Nov. 23 and is out for the season. Lefebvre was settling into a solid role with the team, but will now have to focus on recovering for next season. The Gee-Gees will return to the floor at Carleton on Jan. 16, where they will look to continue their dominance over the Ravens.

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A deadly ultimatum: Concussions in football With rising cases of the degenerative brain disease, CTE, something needs to change Dylan Yegendorf Staff Contributor

When it comes to concussions, the NFL and its players need saving—from themselves. It’s not called America’s Game for nothing—people truly love football. But whether the love for the game stems from the unmatched athleticism and skill it puts on display, from the excitement it provokes—or even from Fantasy Football— one thing is for certain: everyone loves football’s big hits. Of football’s many cheerrousing collisions, one in particular, a takedown of St. Louis Rams Quarterback Case Keenum, drew a far less inspired reaction. After being violently slammed to the ground by his opponent, Keenum remained down and rolled around in a confused daze, clutching his helmet. To the disgust of fans and analysts alike, he was kept in the game. It was later revealed that Keenum had suffered a concussion on that play. This highly scrutinized play calls attention to the issue of concussions in the NFL. Old-timers once cavalierly called it “getting your bell rung”, but concussions have since evolved into a very serious problem in the NFL. The issue was recently brought even further into the spotlight, with the discovery that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is rampant among ex-NFL players. CTE is a degenerative neurological disease associated with Tau protein build up and tissue

The damaging effects of CTE are visually present and striking, soon it will become a reality for many sports stars.

loss in the brain. The disease is caused by frequently sustained brain traumas, including concussions. The symptoms can be crippling, and include memory loss, aggression, personality disorders, and depression—the symptoms indicate a progressive decline of overall brain function. “There is a compelling need to better understand the underlying mechanisms of traumatic brain injury and to develop neuro-protective and neuro-regenerative strategies,” says Mahmud Bani a professor in the University of Ottawa’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Unfortunately, the presence of CTE can only be detected postmortem. But with many ex-NFL play-

Quick Hits

ers growing older and dying, more and more studies have been conducted on their brains, revealing cases of CTE at an alarming rate. In studies performed by Boston University Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute, 96 per cent of those brains examined in deceased NFL players showed evidence of CTE. Recently, cases of CTE have manifested themselves in more troubling ways. In 2012, retired NFL Hall of Fame player Junior Seau shockingly committed suicide. Brain pathology reports from his autopsy confirmed that Seau suffered from CTE. Later that same year, 25 year-old Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Javon Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend and then himself. Autop-

spencer murdock sports editor

Women’s hockey shuts out Ravens, drops close game to McGill

Home win keeps the GeeGees atop the RSEQ heading into the holiday break

Photo: CC, Boston University

sies later revealed that he too had the disease. In spite of these disconcerting reports, concussions remain rampant in the NFL. In fact, there is still an average of 167 reported concussions sustained each season, according to NFL Health and Safety. However, many concussions go unreported by the players who suffer them. Thanks to the macho culture entrenched in football, oftentimes an injury—such as a concussion— that won’t directly hinder the player’s ability on the field, is concealed or even ignored. Unlike a knee injury, the effects of a concussion are often insidious and far worse in the long run. While the NFL has taken steps to make right by the

The nationally ninth-ranked GeeGees women’s hockey team continued their impressive season with a strong showing in two weekend matchups. On Nov. 27, the Gees took on the Carleton Ravens, who have struggled mightily this season. Strong early offensive pressure has been the key to many victories for the Gees team, and nothing changed against the Ravens. Fifth-year forward Carling Chown got the Gees on the board in the first period. Chown’s goal was followed by a power play goal by fourth-year forward Carol-Ann Upshall on her fourth of the year. The Gees clinched the win on an empty netter from first-year forward Roxanne Rioux, her sixth of the year. Backup goaltender Sarah-Maude Labrecque stepped in and earned the shutout in the 3-0 victory. Two days later, the Gees made their weekly trip to Montreal, this

past and compensate those for whom it is already too late—the league settled a massive civil lawsuit which paid $1-billion to thousands of ex-players suffering from neurological disorders—they have yet to solve the current problem, and many of today’s players seemed destined for a similar payout. The league has put forth several new initiatives in an effort to slow down the current concussion epidemic. These include increased penalties for headshots, concussion spotters watching every game, and funding for youth football head trauma awareness programs. It is yet to be seen whether these measures will be effective. The concussion crisis has not only shaken the NFL, but has affected even the lowest

rungs of the sport—youth football, and in turn has put the future of pro football in jeopardy. Many wary parents are no longer letting their children play football, and as a result, Pop Warner, the largest youth football program in the U.S., has seen a 10 per cent decline in participation between 2010 and 2012 alone. The game of football and, more importantly, its players are in danger. But what can be done to save them both from a dreary future? Spreading awareness and teaching safe fundamentals can only do so much—too many young men are still suffering concussions in the NFL. And with the medical community in complete unanimity regarding the life-threatening nature of frequent concussions, more significant measures must be taken. Should the league implement more penalties, fines, and rulechanges be implemented to ensure greater chances of player safety? Recent efforts in that direction have yielded minimal results. Many purists warn that taking those efforts further could turn the NFL into a glorified game of touch football. While the disturbing medical reports continue to pour in, banning the game remains unthinkable. However, the NFL needs to show improvements, and fast, before the ominous ultimatum is presented. Let America’s most beloved game wither, or continue to let its players die.

Photo: Marta Kierkus

time to take on the McGill Martlets. The second match of the weekend did not fare as well for the Garnet and Grey. The Gees traded goals with the second-ranked McGill squad, until a late push in the third period won the game for the Martlets. Starting goalie Maude LévesqueRyan’s return to net after a night of

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rest was very strong. Lévesque-Ryan was peppered with 41 total shots on net, only letting the three goals in, all of which came with McGill’s time on the powerplay. For the Gee-Gees, they will continue to prepare for their relentless schedule after the break. They return to the ice at Concordia on Jan. 10.

Sports | 15


Swim like nobody’s watching The problem facing varsity sports at the fringe david agbaire proofreader

Varsity sports are a cherished part of the University of Ottawa’s culture, and rightfully so. The athletes who represent the U of O deserve our support when they compete at the highest level. The problem however is that not all athletes get our glowing support in their endeavours. Football and basketball are by far the most attended student sports—the athletes are often heralded as near-royalty on campus. But for other varsity sports like swimming, rugby, track, and others, the stands are a lot less full. I recently spent time covering the women’s rugby team’s playoff run and the unbeaten Gee-Gees’ most pivotal games were met with decent crowds— but paled in comparison to the turnout for the Panda Game or Capital Hoops. So why is it that some sports get more spotlight on campus than others? It certainly isn’t a result of some sports being more ‘athletic’ or ‘harder’ than others. Try telling any student athlete that they didn’t have to dedicate an enormous amount of energy, time and resources to get to whatever level of skill they’ve achieved.

The average person, or even athlete, wouldn’t likely stand a chance competing against a university-level athlete at their given sport. Sports are important tools for personal growth, teaching essential life skills such as time-management, discipline, prevailing in the facing adversity, and celebrating success. As such, all sports deserve respect and so should all participants in it. The issue is perhaps one rooted in social trends, if we simply look at attendance figures for different sports around the world. The top-viewed athletic leagues in the world are the NFL, the various European soccer leagues, Indian Cricket, and the NBA. It’s clear that not all sports are treated equally. People often muse how the only time they pay attention to certain sports is when the Olympics comes by every four years. Think about this, do you personally watch the 100m sprint at the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) world championship events? Okay, how about just the national level? As we go down athletic levels into the amateur and collegiate levels, it becomes clear that public

Sports like swimming often get overlooked in the shuffle of popular sports at the U of O.

interest in tuning in dissipates until it’s often just an audience of coaches, bench players, relatives, and nearby onlookers. All sports deserve our respect and attention—not a halfinterested gaze while we idly walk home. The achievements that our athletes from sports like swimming and track and cross

country have accomplished are nothing to sneeze at. The male and female swim team managed to secure three bronze, two silver, and two gold medals at this weekend’s Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Fairweather Divisional Championships hosted in Toronto. Audrey Prayal-Brown set

Photo: Marta Kierkus

the CIS record for the 50 meter breaststroke with a time of 32.77 seconds. Yet her amazing achievement will not be discussed in the same breath as how the Gees folded in this year’s Panda Game, or how good the men’s and women’s basketball teams are looking this season. It’s a shame that she and her

fellow Gee-Gees’ achievements are just as impressive as any other this season, but they get much less shine. Hopefully society will one day start paying more attention to achievements like Prayal-Brown’s, and start tempering our over-infatuation with only a few overhyped sports.

Gee-Gees water polo captures bronze at OUA finals Both men’s and women’s teams come away with hardware in Hamilton

Dominant weekend proves bright future for Gee-Gees water polo. Photo: Spencer Murdock

david agbaire proofreader

The University of Ottawa men’s and women’s water polo teams participated in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships held this week-

16 | SPORTS

end in Hamilton. In a valiant effort, the women’s team secured a welldeserved bronze medal finish as they defeated their Carleton rivals 7-4 on Saturday. The Men’s team also won their

“We now know where we need to improve, it was kind of a learning experience and in January (at the next tournament) we’ll do better.” —Erin Woods.

bronze medal game on Nov. 29 by upsetting McMaster in their home pool. For the women, things did not get off to the best start as they lost their first match in an upset on Nov. 27 to hosts McMaster. The Gees were ranked second going into the women’s championship games. However, the team bounced back to reel off two consecutive victories, which were enough to secure a third-place finish. They opened their Saturday with a narrow 13-11 victory over the Queen’s Gaels, led by a three-goal performance from Tara Hristov. The team then put themselves in contention for bronze in the following game when

they faced a Carleton team coming off a semifinal loss to the top-ranked Toronto Varsity Blues. The men’s team won two of three games, with their only loss coming at the hands of the eventual champions Carleton Ravens. The men initially started with a strong 18-12 victory against the Western Mustangs in Friday’s game. Having been primed for a championship

final appearance against the top-ranked Varsity Blues, the Gees were shocked 9-7 by the Ravens, who had received a bye in the first round. However, the Gees recovered to defeat McMaster in their final game and clinch the bronze medal. After all is said and done it was a successful weekend for the two programs, who are bound to be delighted with their two-medal haul at the

championships. Erin Woods, a member of the women’s team, played for the Hamilton team while growing up in Burlington, Ontario, and said she and other members of the team felt at home playing in front of the spectators at the championships due to the amount of family, coaches and former teammates there. “Playing (McMaster), our weaknesses were pointed out. The next couple of months we’ll be kind of pinpointing some things that we need to work on,” said Woods in an interview with the Fulcrum. “We now know where we need to improve, it was kind of a learning experience and in January (at the next tournament) we’ll do better.”

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OPINIONS

OPINIONS EDITOR David Campion-Smith

opinions@thefulcrum.ca (613) 695-0062 @davidcs96

Who is allowed to play transgender characters?

Point

Transgender actors can connect more with the roles Graham Robertson Fulcrum Contributor

Solely transgender actors should be allowed to play transgender characters because they’ll be able to give a more authentic performance and produce better content. The actors who have personally experienced a situation bring a more personal connection, which results in a more real experience for viewers. Transgender actors should be favoured when casting transgender characters to simplify the portrayal of the characters. The consequences of not doing so were clear when Degrassi introduced character Adam Torres, the first transgender teen character to appear as a series regular on a scripted TV show. Torres was played by Jordan Todosey, a cisgender female. After three seasons of playing Torres, Todosey left the series, supposedly due to her contract ending. However, many fans and critics have speculated about the reasons behind the actress’ departure. One common theory was that since Adam was beginning hormone therapy on the show, it would have been difficult for Todosey to depict this part of the transition, especially considering that she’s a cisgender female. This example demonstrates

how difficult it is for cisgender actors to portray transgender characters, due to the complex natures of the lives of transgender people, particularly surrounding their transitions. Transgender actress Laverne Cox rose to prominence for her role as inmate Sophia Burset on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. Cox’s character depicted the struggles of being a transgender woman. Through Cox’s own experiences and personal journey of being born in the wrong body, she was able to authentically create and play a character whose message reached a wide audience, and effectively taught viewers about the lives of transgender people.

Finally, only transgender actors should be allowed to play transgender characters because they deserve recognition for their talents and efforts as a marginalized community. A study released by GLAAD, a media monitoring site, found no identifiable transgender characters in any of the 114 major studio release films they examined in 2014. Laverne Cox has gained widespread recognition for her acting abilities as well as the work she has done in the transgender community. Allowing transgender actors to play transgender characters gives them a more prominent place in society, and ultimately acts as a form of advocacy for the minority group.

Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

Focus on the portrayal of transgender characters instead Nicholas Robinson Staff Contributor

Portrayals by non-white men in mainstream media have always left something to be desired. While there should be some limits to what characters should be able to represent, specifically around race, cisgender actors should be able to play transgender roles, and vice-versa. Acting is all about roleplaying. Nobody can expect a movie or a play to perfectly model reality. Should we be

Photo: Youtube.com

outraged that sci-fi movies almost always portray spaceships zooming through space, when that isn’t how the science works? Should we also be outraged that American actors regularly fake British accents and vice-versa? It doesn’t matter so much who plays the role as how the role portrays transgender people. Movies such as Dallas Buyers Club and The Danish Girl are true stories that helped bring awareness to the difficulties of life for transgender people. If the role portrays transgender people in a positive light, then why does it matter who the actor is behind the role? However, if the role is transphobic, then there is a problem. If we address the root causes of transphobia, transgender role models will become more prominent in the film industry on their own. Having rigid societal rules , such as saying that only those actors who have fully completed their transition may play transgender characters, will only limit the actors who could play these roles. Not to mention that such a policy

would marginalize viewers who are at the beginning of their transition by limiting the amount of characters they can directly identify with. Censuring movies also won’t help fight transphobia. The best way to fight discriminatory ideas is through free speech—show why those ideas are wrong. Also, if you don’t like the way a minority is portrayed in a movie, fight it with your wallet by boycotting a movie or donating to a program with a larger platform to echo your concerns across the industry. If we feel comfortable giving transgender roles to cisgender actors then we should also open up the possibility for transgender actors to play cisgender roles. If we want to effectively fight transphobia, we need to make sure that the education system is properly addressing youth, and normalizing transgender identities in Canadian culture at an early age. With these measures Canada can ensure that discriminatory ideas won’t be reflected among future generations, or on the silver screen.

Counter Point thefulcrum.ca

OPINIONS | 17


Heckle Whitewashing in Hollywood Deborah Sogelola Fulcrum Contributor

Imagine you’re producing a play detailing the life of Martin Luther King Jr. who would you want to play the influential civil rights leader, Denzel Washington, Will Smith or David Oyelowo? When it came to a similar production held at Kent State University, they opted instead for a white actor to portray the famed pastor. While it’s a distasteful and ridiculous example of the whitewashing of a character, the concept itself is not new. The issue of diversity in the film industry is a constantly recurring one. Not only are there fewer roles available to people of colour, but it’s not uncommon to see Hollywood completely replace a character of colour with a white actor. This whitewashing of characters has happened in movies like Exodus: Gods and Kings, Prince of Persia, and Argo. Is there a shortage of actors of co-

lour? Or is ignorance just rampant in Hollywood? Judging from the responses of fans to these movies, ignorance seems to be the only explanation. Complaints about the whitewashing of roles are usually brushed off, for example with Exodus: Gods and Kings, when Rupert Murdoch defended the movie by tweeting that all the Egyptians he knows are white. When you compare this reaction to the outrage some felt at the notion of a black James Bond, a black Spider-Man and a black storm trooper, the lack of concern around whitewashing becomes ridiculous. For some reason, more people are bothered at the notion of these completely fictional characters being black, yet no one sees how strange it looks to have a white person play the prince of Persia? When characters are whitewashed it is readily accepted as a cultural norm, which as a result discredits the presence,

Art: Brennan Bova, Edits: Kim Wiens

actions and history of minorities and racialized peoples. In Hollywood it seems that if you put white men in a nice toga and throw some eyeliner on you’ve got Egyptian royalty, as with the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings, where all the Egyptian pharaohs were played

by white actors, and the only people of colour in the movie served as slaves and servants. While the directors and actors in the movie claim that the casting decision was due to financial backing, and that the only way they can make the movies is if they have big

Provincial government needs to clear smoke around pot policies

Some restrictions for public use needed, but have to be specific

names. Are there really no big name actors of colour? Creating these standards in media culture gives the impression that power and authority cannot possibly be in the domain of people of colour—the role of characters with power, influence and the space leaves other people exposed to by-products they might not feel comfortable inhaling. According to the Canadian Cancer Society people exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke can develop the same health issues related to cigarette smoke. The restrictions for e-ciga-

David Campion-Smith Opinions Editor

Last week the government of Ontario announced, and then reversed, its policy on where medical marijuana users could use their medicine. The one-day policy moved to exempt users from the laws regarding public smoking, which meant that medical marijuana users could light up pretty much anywhere. The policy was reversed after backlash over the lack of limitations. Marijuana clearly has medical benefits, however the provincial government was right to place restrictions on smoking it in public. Laws for marijuana use, either for legalized recreational or medicinal reasons should be held to the same standard as smoking or vaping laws, provided that’s how it’s being consumed. If the drug is used through inhalation, then it makes sense it would fall un-

18 | OPINIONS

Photo: CC, Chuck Grimmett

der public smoking laws that limit smoking in enclosed

spaces. While it is being used for

medical purposes, smoking marijuana in an enclosed

rettes under Bill 45, the “Making Healthier Choices Act”

ability to save the day is automatically ascribed to those who are white. The excuse that the casting decisions are made for financial reasons is just that—an excuse, and the success of movies and TV shows with actors of colour in leading roles, such as the Mindy Project, Straight Outta Compton, The perfect guy, and Blackish, is proof that people are ready to pay for movies and support TV shows that represent them. When it comes to whitewashing, the words of Viola Davis ring true when she stated that the only thing standing in the way of actors of colour is opportunity. The whitewashing of characters takes away opportunities from actors of colour who can act, sing and bring life into these roles. When there are stories that depict minorites or racialized persons, there must be people of colour in those role—it’s really that simple. Casting directors need to stop making excuses and take more time to cast actors of colour that closely reflect the character, and as audiences we need to stop supporting films that have whitewashed a character or an entire nation of people. should apply to vaporizing medical marijuana as well. This bill, which will go into law on January 1st, doesn’t allow e-cigarette use in schools, enclosed public spaces, enclosed workplaces, or in the common areas in apartment buildings and residences, among others. Yes it’s medicine, but it still produces a vapour and so should fall under laws for other vapour producing devices. However the government shouldn’t distinguish between marijuana and prescription pills, when marijuana is consumed in ways other than smoking or vaping. If a medical marijuana user ingests in any other way, through oil, food or in a pill, then they are, and should be, allowed to do so. As a society we can’t be OK with someone downing prescription pills by a school but upset over a medical marijuana user eating a pot brownie in the same place. If the only way that a user can take their medical marijuana is through smoking or vaporizing then an exception should be made. The government must form a clear standard for legal control around its use, as hazy policies on recreational marijuana use will only lead to chaos.

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UN moves to resolve succession issue in Toronto Zoo UN to provide peacekeeping forces to resolve baboon dispute

david Campion-smith opinions editor After news that the Toronto zoo is closing its baboon enclosure due to fights between female members, the United Nations (UN) has stepped in with hopes of peacefully resolving the power struggle. In light of recent UN failure to mediate in Syria they’ve moved onto more realistic goals and are trying to successfully provide peacekeeping assistance to these baboons. After an older baboon, Queen Betty, died, tensions emerged between her daughter and natural successor Molly, and an older baboon named Putsie. An uneasy truce exists right now between the two warring parties and a UN peacekeeping force is being constructed to ensure the peace remains. UN secretary general Ban

Ki-Moon called an emergency meeting of the Security Council to discuss what should be done about the emerging difficulties in the Toronto Zoo. “I believe this is an area that the UN can do a lot of good in—I think we’ve finally found ourselves a situation that we can resolve,” said Ki-Moon. A peacekeeping force is expected to arrive in the baboon enclosure at the Toronto Zoo around the time that the succession issue is sorted out. The peacekeepers are being drawn from all permanent Security Council members as well as some NATO forces. “We’re going to try and distract the forces with bananas so that we can then sit down and negotiate with the leaders of each side,” said Amy Williams, the American officer appointed as leader of the force. “Hopefully we can quickly get the exhibit back up and making money rather than

Photo: CC, Tambako

being closed down. Our goal though is to go in there and accidentally make the situation worse by playing politics,” says Williams. Many are hoping that UN involvement

will only make things a little worse, rather than the drastically worse it normally does. The Tomato reached out to either Molly or Putsie for a comment but they did not pro-

vide comment before the time of publication. “They’ve both moved into their own little hideaway in the enclosure and seem to be making more advanced weapons,” says zoo-

keeper Jeff Fischer. “I hope the peacekeepers are able to do something because I’ve seen Planet of the Apes and I have a very bad feeling that this might be the start of that.”

Slices

U of O student realizes it’s December

david Campion-smith opinions editor

Philip Roberts, first-year student and Marchand resident, has been in a trancelike state ever since his roommate revealed to him that it’s actually December. It’s an easy thing to miss, between having a so-called “midterm’” a week before final exams start, and the unseasonably warm weather. Normally the short calm after midterms finish in October are a gentle enough wake up call to ease people

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into December. The confusion caused by seeing snow while studying for a “midterm” can be enough to cause a lasting mental snap. The incident arose when Roberts’ roommate came home to their dorm room with armfuls of Christmas decorations. “I honestly just thought October was running long this year,” said a wide-eyed Roberts—these would be his last words before falling into a panicked

stupor. Roberts was unable to provide comment to the Tomato, aside from a near unintelligible “f-f-finals… but midterms just… just want sleep… Doritos”. It’s unclear whether his state of confusion will end before his first final, but upon examining Roberts Health Services said his condition is “nothing that a case of Red Bull and a few bags of Doritos can’t fix.”

THE TOMATo | 19


FEATURES EDITOR Kyle Darbyson

DISTRACTIONS Dear Di

Dear Di,

features@thefulcrum.ca (613) 695-0062 @KyleDarbyson

Dear Di, I like a little rough sex, but sometimes I wonder if I can sustain damage to my lady parts from my partner’s enthusiastic thrusting. Is this possible or can I continue with the savage lovemaking routine worry free?

I’ve gotten a lot of vaginal infections over the years. I know they’re common but are there any techniques or methods I can use to reduce the chances of getting another one?

-Rough Houser

-Yeast no more Dear YNM,

Dear RH,

It’s true that vaginal infections are common and normal. In fact, three out of four women experience bacterial vaginosis at least once in their lifetime. The bacterium that causes vaginal infections are found naturally in the vagina, but these bacteria need to stay balanced. So there are a number of things you can do to help your lovely lady lips stay healthy and infection-free. First step: don’t douche. For the uninitiated, douching refers to spraying water into the vagina, usually in an attempt to keep it clean. But here’s the thing ladies, your vagina is exceptional, since it largely cleans itself, and using any sort of perfumes, body wash, or cleansers down there can disrupt your hooha’s delicate balance. Another good vaginal infection countermeasure is to wear cotton breathable panties. They allow air to circulate and keep moisture to a minimum. Moisture fuels the growth of bacteria, so in the summer months be sure to take off the wet bathing suit quickly and change into something dry. Also, for those of you who are just looking for an excuse, ditch the panties at night and sleep commando. This gives your vagina time to air out and breathe making it more difficult for bacteria to grow. In the end, vaginal infections do happen, but taking simple, every day precautions can definitely make life a little more comfortable.

You should be fine. It’s unlikely that aggressive thrusting will cause any real, long-term damage. But to ensure the safety of your genitals make sure that you are fully aroused before you go in for the main dish, or use lube to reduce friction. If you’re dry down there when your man slides into home base, it increases the risk of tears or abrasions in the vaginal wall, which can be quite painful. On that note, if you ever feel any pain when your man is thrusting don’t ever hesitate to tell him to slow down or stop. Your body is very good at letting you know when to draw the line. If you experience any bleeding or post-coitus pain, put the rough stuff on the shelf for the time being until everything has healed. Continuing on in this fashion without a decent recovery time in between can lead to more tearing and potentially scarring. The moral of the story is: rough sex can be a lot of fun but it can get out of hand quickly, so just make sure you and your partner communicate clearly about boundaries with each other—you could even have a safe word for when it gets a little too intense. Otherwise, you should be able to enjoy your adult rough-housing without a worry.

Love, Di

20 | DISTRACTIONS

Sex position of the week: The “X” Ladies, lie down flat on your back on the side of a bed or a table and have your man stand next to you, fully erect. Raise your legs and create an “X” by wrapping them around your partner’s neck as he enters you. It works by creating tightness in your vagina, which allows for deeper penetration. So, in this case, “X” does mark the spot ;)

Love, Di

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Dec. 4 to dec. 10, 2015

THRYLLABUS

Friday, Dec. 4 Memories of the Future (indigenous futurism), works by Elizabeth LaPensée, Pinnguaq, and Skawennati, opening day, SAW Gallery—11 a.m. Mirror Mountain Film Festival (best of Canada’s independent, underground, and alternative cinema), opening day, SAW gallery—6 p.m. Modern Baseball, Ritual Nightclub—7 p.m. Zeus, Zaphod Beeblebrox—9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5

MUSIC arts Sports FUN Thinking

Santa Shuffle, 5K fun run and 1K elf walk, Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park—10 a.m. Ottawa Senators vs. New York Islanders, Canadian Tire Centre—7 p.m. Saskatchewan Rush vs. Toronto Rock, Landsdowne LAX Showdown, exhibition game, National Lacrosse League, TD Place—7 p.m.

Bowser and Blue live, Yuk Yuks Comedy Club—9:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 The Nutcracker, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, National Arts Centre—1:30 p.m.

Bar—7 p.m. Wild Life (French import), European Union Film Festival, Bytowne Cinema—7 p.m. A Christmas Story (stage adaptation), Ottawa Little Theatre—7:30 p.m.

A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas, Shenkman Arts Centre Arts Centre—3 p.m.

Roger Hodgson (formerly of Supertramp), National Arts Centre, National Arts Centre—8 p.m.

Malala: A Girl from Paradise (documentary), University of Ottawa Human Rights Film Festival, last day, free admission, Alumni Auditorium—4 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 9

Monday, Dec. 7 Trailer Park Boys live, The Dear Santa Claus Tour, National Arts Centre—8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8 Rockin’ Around: A Punk Rock Celebration of Christmas, Kinocular Vision, screening of Stunt Rock (Spinal Tap meets Jackass), Avant-Garde

“Landscape Architecture in Canada 1870-1920”, Heritage Ottawa lecture series, free admission, Ottawa Public Library—7 p.m. Ottawa 67’s vs Kingston Frontenacs, TD Place—7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10 Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale, EY Centre—11 a.m. Fever (Austrian import), European Union Film Festival, last day for festival, Bytowne Cinema—9:10 p.m.

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DISTRACTIONS | 21


22 | LETTERS

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EDITORIAL Volume 76, Issue 14, Dec. 3, 2015 Sitting through commercials since 1942. Phone: (613) 695-0061 | Fax: (613) 695-9006 631 King Edward Ave. Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5 Recycle this paper or we’ll pay you 0.77 cents on the dollar.

Nadia “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Drissi El-Bouzaidi Editor-in-Chief editor@thefulcrum.ca Devin “Game of Thrones” Orsini Production Manager production@thefulcrum.ca Savannah “Gilmore Girls” Awde Managing Editor content@thefulcrum.ca Eric “Newsroom” Davidson News Editor news@thefulcrum.ca Allegra “Mindy Project” Morgado Arts & Culture Editor arts@thefulcrum.ca Spencer “Sex and the City” Murdock Sports Editor, Rap Correspondent sports@thefulcrum.ca Kyle “Downton Abbey” Darbyson Features Editor features@thefulcrum.ca David “Veep” Campion-Smith Opinions Editor opinions@thefulcrum.ca Reine “Orange is the New Black” Tejares Online Editor online@thefulcrum.ca Kim “House of Cards” Wiens Visual Editor visual@thefulcrum.ca Jaclyn “Scandal” McRae-Sadik Associate News Editor associate.news@thefulcrum.ca Marta “Parks and Recreation” Kierkus Staff Photographer photographer@thefulcrum.ca Zach “Broad City” Verret Multimedia Coordinator multimedia@thefulcrum.ca Nicole “How to Get Away With Murder” Rutkowski Associate Features Editor associate.features@thefulcrum.ca David “American Horror Story” Agbaire Proofreader Deidre “Orphan Black” Butters Advertising Manager ads@thefulcrum.ca Dayne “Nashville” Moyer General Manager manager@thefulcrum.ca

Contributors

Moussa “Mad Men” Sangaré-Ponce Nicholas “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” Robinson Raghad “Quantico” Sheikh-Khalil Graham “Homeland” Robertson Ryan “True Blood” Pepper Julia “Jessica Jones” Riddle Dylan “Daria” Yegendorf Deborah “The Good Wife” Sogelola Rémi “Alias” Yuan Cover: Kim Wiens

Opening up the debate on offensive speech T

he American-based Pew Research Center put out some interesting facts several weeks ago. In a survey American participants were asked whether they “believe that citizens should be able to make public statements that are offensive to minority groups, or whether the government should be able to prevent people from saying these things.” The respondents were separated by age group including Millennials (18-34), Gen Xers (35-50), Boomers (51-69), and the “Silent Generation” (70-87). While no age group overwhelmingly favoured government censorship, the results did find a startling trend. Forty per cent of American Millennials said the government should be able to prevent people from publicly making statements that are offensive, compared to 27 per cent of Gen Xers, 24 per cent of Boomers, and 12 per cent of Silents. While the United States has an amendment in their constitution that protects free speech, no matter how heinous, in Canada and many European countries there are protections against “hate speech”. According to the Canadian Criminal Code, “hate propaganda” is defined as “any writing, sign or visible representation that advocates or promotes genocide or the communication of which by any person.” In addition, while Canada does have provisions protecting free speech, the Canadian Human Rights Act also prohibits discriminations based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted.” The University of Ottawa is also quite familiar with the “free speech versus hate speech” debate. The U of O has frequently been featured

thefulcrum.ca

Ann Coulter.

in the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms Campus Freedom Index, for such widely publicized events as the cancelling of Ann Coulter’s appearance in 2010, and the ban of Israeli apartheid posters in 2009. More recently, student protesters also disrupted the speech of Men’s Rights Activist, Janice Fiamengo, in 2014 and defaced a free speech wall. However, the lines of what is and isn’t considered hate speech have become quite blurred as of late. In the British newspaper, the Spectator, Brendan O’Neill described his encounter with the “Stepford students,” when invited to argue pro-life at a debate at Oxford University. “But apparently it is forbidden for men to talk about abortion,” wrote O’Neill. “A mob of furious feministic Oxford students, all robotically uttering the same stuff about feeling offended, set up a Facebook page littered with expletives and demands for the debate to be called off.” While O’Neill’s views aren’t necessarily shared by this editorial board, he made some interesting observations about the type of people

Photo: CC, Gage Skidmore.

who used to call for the government to ban certain types of speech. “I had spent my student days arguing against the very ideas they were now spouting—against the claim that gangsta rap turned black men into murderers or that Tarantino flicks made teens go wild and criminal—not so much as

were making those censorious, misanthropic arguments about culture determining behaviour weren’t youngsters like you,’ I said. ‘They were older, more conservative people, with blue rinses.’” Most influential music of the past fifty years as well as numerous beloved books have been banned at one point or another for their corrupting influences. However, the Pew Research Poll not only suggests that Millennials are comfortable with censorship, but that they hold a fierce aversion to debate—which is the best way for people to develop new opinions. Most people don’t grow up with an in-depth understanding of social justice issues, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re hateful people. Very few of us came out of the womb understanding the distinct and complex types of discrimination that various groups of people face, as well as how those different identities interact. At a certain point we may have spouted offensive statements—but at another point, we learned why it was wrong. While comedians are often

median’s right to offend. “To a degree, everyone’s going to be offended by something, so you can’t just decide on your material based on not offending anyone,” said Silverman, according to Vanity Fair. “But, I do think it’s important, as a comedian, as a human, to change with the times.” Silverman used the word “gay” as an example of this change, how it used to feature regularly in her sets, and why it doesn’t anymore. “It’s not hard to change with the times, and I think it’s important,”said Silverman. “And when you have new information and when you become more aware of the world around you, you can change.” The Young Turks host, Ana Kasparian, is another example of a left-leaning public figure who isn’t afraid to talk about some of the questionable views she used to hold. Kasparian frequently brings up on the show how she used to be against gay marriage, and she previously believed that the best way to stop prostitution is through a toughon-crime approach. We have to give people the

Photo: Julia Riddle.

a flicker of reflection crossed their faces,” wrote O’Neill. “‘Back then, the people who

considered enemies of the state when it comes to college campuses, Sarah Silverman has different views on the co-

chance to learn and understand. If someone is offending you, tell them why, but don’t shut down the debate.

EDITORIAL | 23


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