Generation Why: April 5
This week's issue of Generation Why features many reflections the behaviour of Canadians abroad and our country's international reputation.
Laura Adams, a reader from Toronto, highlights worldwide protests against Canadian mining companies. Two CBC staffers ask how three young men from London, Ont.- two now dead and one in jail - ended up getting involved with Al Qaeda.
Emily MacIssac, a reader from Halifax, wonders how Canadian expats in South Korea are dealing with threats from their northe
April 5 2013
MUST-READS FOR YOUNG CANADIANS
ABOUT THIS WEEK'S COVER
Christopher van Doorn is a commercial and fine art photographer based in Toronto, Ontario.
"These works are a sort of narrative through which I reflect on a somewhat tenuous relationship with reality, and a long history of sleep disorder.
The history of human - or better yet, 'animal' - sexuality, a religious upbringing, and my own struggles with addiction and mental health - these experiences inform what I consider to be less of a creative production and more of a blurred documentation of the world I inhabit."
Visit Chris' website here. (Heads up: there is nudity)
Chris Van doorn
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NOTE FROM THE EDITORS
but at what cost?
Natural resources are key to Canada’s identity. Our abundant natural treasures have shaped our national symbols, our national myths—heck, even our beer commercials.
Of course, the economic benefits from exploiting resources are significant, and Canada has prospered as a result. But, in this period of economic uncertainty, have we lost sight of the associated costs?
Two news articles this week highlighted the environmental impacts of Canada’s resource industries, both at home and abroad.
On Wednesday, the CBC reported that an Alberta scientist discovered fish deformities downstream from oil sands developments. That same day, the CBC described worldwide protests against Canadian mining companies and their harmful environmental and social impacts on local communities.
I was shocked to read that Canadian companies are free to operate abroad without any minimum standards or processes through which they can be held accountable for these impacts.
It seems to me that in these difficult times, it’s easy for Canadians and our government to dismiss environmental concerns in the name of increased economic prosperity.
However, as this week’s news illustrates, we do so at our own expense, with costly impacts on our quality of life, our other natural resources, and our international reputation.
for the national
They could have been your friends
A team of CBC investigative journalists shocked Canadians Monday evening with their exclusive report that remains found in the aftermath of the Algerian hostage taking were those of two young men from London, Ont.: Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas.
It's a story that's nowhere near over -- since Monday, details about a third man have also emerged.
It's now confirmed that Aaron Yoon is being held in a Mauritian prison for his ties to Al Qaeda.
People are looking to the Ontario city where the boys grew up together for answers about what, and perhaps who, turned them to onto this path.
It's also a story with huge implications for policy and security issues we will be grappling with as a country for years to come. And for young Canadians following this story, there's that extra sense of unease.
These are men that are reported to have been friendly, good natured. They could have been your classmates, your friends. What exactly led them to North Africa?
It's a question that has yet to be answered. But for the latest, you can watch Adrienne Arsenault's update on the investigation here.
Since a CBC News investigation found that two of the people involved in the January attack on an Algerian gas refinery were young Canadians, many have wondered what would drive these relatively privileged western youth to go to such extremes.
Experts say it would be wrong to assume that religion and politics are the sole causes of such radicalization, adding that the emotional component —especially with youth – is a strong pull.
Adventure, excitement and feeling the need to be a part of something, or even simply needing to belong, are factors that contribute to a step by step path that can lead to extremism. Read more.
CBC online writer
I find this really disconcerting. Western should be looking into the problem of drug dealing on their campus.
Will it take a student having a bad reaction or overdose for the school to see what is going on?
I understand the stress they're under, but as students and schools we need to find other ways to help students cope with the pressure instead of turning to drugs.
As a student watching The National Monday night, this story by Nick Purdon caught my attention.
Prescription drugs, usually for ADD, are being taken by college and university students to get through exams and assignments at the end of the semester. Taking one allows a person to work for hours on end.
The VP of Housing Services at the University of Western Ontario said study drugs weren’t a problem.
However, Purdon said that only 2 of the 25 students he talked to hadn’t heard of Study Drugs.
One student said that the drugs were being sold by students at the campus library for $10 a pop.
With over 20,000 Canadians living in South Korea, parents, siblings, and friends here in Canada are worried. As media continue to cover the story, the tone lends itself to doom. Do these actions mean a move towards war or is it just more posturing by the North?
What are South Koreans and Canadian expats feeling?
As a former Canadian expat who lived in South Korea for four years, I think Kim Jong-un is posturing in efforts to unite his people behind him. The relatively new leader is attempting to build a reputation and shape his own legacy with the North Korean people.
Kim Jong-un has a lot to lose if he were to follow through. In fact, he has a cushioned position of power to lose; a lavish behind-closed-doors life.
The instability and level of risk he is willing to take casts doubt in everyone’s mind. However, I’m not convinced that Kim Jong-un will follow through on his announcements -- but the region certainly seems prepared for the worst.
war of words?
The images released by KCNA -- the North Korean state broadcaster -- amidst that country's threats of war with the South and its U.S. allies stood out to me for a number of reasons.
For one, they give us a rare glimpse of how the Hermit Kingdom sees itself, or more accurately how its commanders want it to be seen.
The images from the North, likely taken by a military photographer, depict soldiers positioned in front of a tank yelling, weapons held aloft. There is a battery of missile launchers blasting ordinance between islands, as well images of parades and war games, including a hovercraft landing -- a picture of which was proved to have been not-so-cleverly doctored to double the number of craft storming a beach.
The pictures have been distributed to international image wires including Reuters and Getty. Both agencies caution editors with all-caps disclaimers foregoing any knowledge of the KCNA images' authenticity or date-taken.
Some, like the doctored hovercrafts, have been removed from the wires entirely because of their obvious fakery.
Despite that, the pictures are incredibly compelling, especially in an age when instantaneous smartphone-enabled communication and embedded journalists have dramatically changed the way news is gathered.
In this case however, we are left with what we are given.
the rich hide money
Every year, Canadians move big bucks — billions of dollars — into some of the world's tiniest territories. These aren't ordinary Canadians, mind you. They're the rich, people with millions to spare.
Nor are they stashing their cash in ordinary countries. All that wealth is piling up in jurisdictions with low or no taxes, where there are rules providing strict confidentiality for bank records, corporate information and the like.
Those kinds of countries — Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein, and many more — are called offshore tax havens. They've been around for a hundred years. But usually, because of their secrecy laws, very little is known about who has accounts there or what they do with their funds.
This week, that changed.
A global group of reporters, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, got its hands on a massive leak of data about 10 offshore tax havens.
The sheer number of files is stunning: 10 times more than the U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.
And amid all those documents are names, amounts, addresses and more.
CBC News and nearly 40 other media outlets have partnered with the ICIJ to delve into the data. The first revelations started being published this week. There are stories about the husband of a Canadian senator, the president of Azerbaijan, a Mongolian politician, and one of the French president's fundraisers.
Usually, people who park their money offshore expect anonymity. But for a great number of them, that secrecy is no more.
We are the children of the Baby Boomers, and we’re next to be "taxed" in hospital parking lots.
Erica Johnson explored the issue of sky-high hospital parking rates this week for CBC's Marketplace.
The decision to continue to enforce this de facto "tax" will mean less time with our loved ones because we will constantly be staring at our watches -- and that won’t be comforting to our loved ones. Meanwhile, the profit for hospitals will increase.
Instead of allowing us to pay millions for parking, the government should enforce a reasonable and affordable limit on parking fees. And why not consider free parking since we are paying taxes?
With the Canadian Pension Plan dwindling, the financial strain will only worsen.
I would argue that, similar to Delta, B.C., Ontario should pass legislation that will ban parking meters at hospitals.
If you want to make your own assessment, you can watch the full episode on hospital parking rates here.
The fatal injury of a dog on a Manitoba reservation has raised the hackles of a rescue worker.
The poor pooch, Trooper, was shot in the face with a shotgun during a dog cull — a population control exercise usually carried out with rifles.
He was left for dead, lower jaw and teeth shattered, for days before being flown out for emergency care.
Like his namesake, he stuck it out for days under the care of Sally Hull of Hull’s Haven, a Border Collie Rescue. He was euthanized on Saturday, prompting Hull to demand change.
Making that change is complicated, though. The First Nation where this occured doesn’t enforce pet ownership by-laws, and many pet owners likely can’t afford spaying or neutering.
Moving the dogs, some of which are dangerous, is an expense as well. The cull is the cheapest option, but inhumane.
The rest of the details are in this article. Is the solution teamwork or individual accountability?
Thunder bay, Ont.
A Fresh Take
Oil Sands Debate
An interesting piece on the CBC this past week was an interview with Thomas Homer Dixon on the Lang and O’Leary Exchange, about an article he contributed to the New York Times about the Tar Sands — or Oil Sands (to be politically correct).
It is rare to hear a discussion on the Oil Sands that is not a debate on the environment verses the economy.
Instead, Dixon focuses on how this resource is too heavily relied upon to be crux of the Canadian economy, and that this has ultimately led to Canada having a low innovation economy. In the face of climate change, the world will have to start reducing carbon emissions whether we like it or not. So, are the Oil Sands really going to be a plausible investment for Canada? Can we actually reconcile this industry against a future that will be moving to a carbon free economy?
The interview is broken up into two parts; the first part is found at the 13:54 mark of the show and the second at 27:10.