April 2011 Archives

The Story of Polar Bears

Kim Saraceno
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Image source: Flickr

Since the 1980s, Arctic sea ice has been retreating very rapidly due principally to global warming. Polar regions are amongst the most affected by climate change in the world. In part, this is because ice has higher reflectivity compared to the ocean or the land, which has the effect of increasing the absorption of the sun's heat and eventually of warming the Polar regions. Polar bears, who only live in the Arctic, have been affected by climate change as it especially influences the way they hunt and breed within their habitat that is continuously retreating. It is predicted that polar bears could become extinct in the next century or so primarily because of the consequences of global warming in the Arctic. However, climate change is not the only reason polar bears are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Additional factors are also responsible for their vulnerability such as pollutants in the air, oil exploitattion, hunting, and amongst many others.

By Chris Love
Thumbnail image for Screen shot 2021-04-25 at 3.26.32 PM.pngThey are like balls of white fluff, shockingly soft fur, the colour of the snow and snowy sky, frame impossibly black eyes that reflect one's own face back at them. For hundreds of years, the men of Canada's Northeast coast have brought their hakapiks and gaffs and clubs down through the fragile skull between these eyes, sending gushes of familiar red squirting into the frigid wind. Steam rises from their young, undeveloped muscles as their skin is cut; a careful slice below the flipper, avoiding penetrate of the large sac holding their guts, down and around the abdomen and up to the other end. The flippers are removed, collected from each seal (a maximum of 12 per man) to be taken home for Mom to make the obligatory stew or to be sold privately. The pelt is removed as efficiently as possible and piled with the others. Steam rises from their young, undeveloped muscles as their carcass are left behind at the scene. Nature will take care of the thousands upon thousands of skinless corpses.

A man has got to eat.

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By JS-Brasssard
Screen shot 2021-04-23 at 7.18.09 PM.pngIt had been less than a week since I left Los Angeles when the police officers accused of beating Rodney King were acquitted by a jury mostly composed of whites. The date was April 29th 1992; I was 18 at the time.


A couple of months earlier, my friend Fred and I had run away from home and bought a one-way bus ticket from Montreal to El-Paso, which we eventually extended to San-Diego. But our first stop in California was Los Angeles. After stepping out of the Greyhound bus station, we wandered south towards the Santa Monica freeway, and soon realized this was not a place for backpacking teenagers. Even as we walked towards the downtown area on 6th street, we could feel, and see, the presence of gangs everywhere. Those were really rough times.


After a few weeks of camping out on the beach in SoCal, we hitched a ride to San Francisco with a group of three Five-Percent Nation types who were heading to Eugene, Oregon. Brother B Wildflower was heading up there to reunite with his child's mother, trading away L.A's urban landscape for the lush greenery of the Northwest.  The two other guys, Beau-Sage and Ko, were just tagging along for the ride. Fred stopped in San Francisco, but I pushed all the way to Eugene with the rest of the crew.


A day or two after we made it to our destination, Ko and I were invited to a house party with a couple friends, a native dreadlock named Corey and a wigger whose name I don't recall. This was April 29. Upon Corey's suggestion, we took a shortcut through an alley. Soon, we encountered a large black man who was washing his sports car and really looked like an NFL linebacker in his L.A. Raiders jacket. The wigger took it upon himself to strike a conversation with this man and bragged about his first hand experience of L.A.'s gang ridden neighbourhoods. The black man accused him of lying and, soon enough, started swinging at the wigger. He missed, pulled out a knife, and started chasing us down the alley. I don't think I ever ran as fast in my entire life. Not surprising so many talented athletes come from the inner city.


It was only later that night, on the news, that I found out what had happened in Los Angeles. The repercussions of the Rodney King Uprising were felt all over the West Coast, from San Diego to Seattle.

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Andrew Nikiforuk's "Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent"
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Canada is on the verge of becoming a global supplier of bitumen production. As the petroleum issue grows into a worldwide matter of emergency, Andrew Nikiforuk is using his writing a platform for awareness. Now, every Canadian must ask themselves: Am I ready to give up my country for the development of something that works to destroy our economy and environment?   

 "Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent" by Andrew Nikiforuk is a bold declaration of facts, figures, and opinions concerning the immense exploitation of Alberta's bituminous sands. As a result of greed and negligence from political leaders and capitalists, the author states his passionate proclamation for action against the economic and environmental destruction of Canada's Great Reserve. Nikiforuk successfully pleads a case for his purpose as he exposes the reality of petroleum issues, and encourages readers to react to the immense destruction taking place in Alberta.

Giovanna Salvagio

Effective, simple and swift are three words that best describe our system (Gardner 2010)


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A flattering description of the Sociéte de L'Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ, 2002), the government agency that regulates Québec's no fault insurance system. Québec drivers insure their vehicles against theft and vandalism; however, the SAAQ compensates for personal injury and or lost wages.  All Québecois drivers contribute towards Québec's no fault insurance.

A portion of the contribution derives from drivers licence fees and a much larger portion comes from vehicular registration. Drivers do not have any choice in the matter, and willingly contribute. Unfortunately, drivers in Québec have a false sense of security that in the event of an accident, citizens won't have the burden of dealing with loss of wages. Indeed, the SAAQ compensates car accident victims; however, if the accident victim suffered injuries that prevent the victim from resuming his/her activities indefinitely, then the SAAQ arbitrarily cesses compensation.

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By Loic Welch
Screen shot 2022-04-11 at 2.13.51 PM.pngImage source: Flickr

In era of social consciousness an active revolution is upon us. Two months into 2011 and already three countries have turned over decades old tyrannies; furthermore, storms are brewing in many more of the Middle-Eastern countries. With the turning governments, the oil economy shakes to its very core; many of the supplying sources are located around if not directly in the effected areas. The turmoil creates great strains in the trade of the black gold. The tensions result in soaring prices of over $100 a barrel, only comparable to the peak oil prices of 2008. Now would be an ideal moment in history to make the progressive switch to more sustainable or even renewable energy sources.

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