By: Emily Chan, Grade 12
One of the most critical barriers that Canadians face in regard to addressing environmental issues is the lack of regulation in support of green initiatives. However, our new Environment Minister makes environmentalists slightly more dubious about the government’s position of support for the green movement.
Mr. Kent was a Deputy Editor of Global Television News before he became the Environment Minister. He started out, in the 1960s, as a radio journalist; and then moved onto television, working for many well-known stations (CBC, CTV, Global, and NBC). His background in the media earned him the President’s Award in 2006 for his history of bringing distinction and major contributions to the media industry.
On January 4th, 2011, Peter Kent became our Environmental Minister.
In merely his first week on the job, he’s already created uproar amongst environmentalists; the Environmental Defence launched a campaign to write letters to Mr. Kent to show tell him what he needs to do to become a worthwhile minister.
His stance on the Athabasca Tar Sands has been the most unnerving (However, instead of having to read the details of the Tar Sands’ negative impacts in this article, please read past Word articles referenced at the end of this article). Peter Kent claims that the Tar Sands are ethical, stating: “The profits from this oil are not used in undemocratic or unethical ways. The proceeds are used to better society in the great Canadian democracy. The wealth generated is shared with Canadians, with investors.”
Mr. Kent’s position is one that needs to be dealt with honestly. His support for the Athabasca Tar Sands is not only unsettling, but is disappointing. As Environmental Minister, he should be trying to help our movement, instead of hindering our efforts.
It is our moral obligation to help save the environment; as the saying goes, “We’re all part of the problem – so we must all be part of the solution.” We will wait with baited breath for Mr. Kent to step up and deliver the change that’s essential for a safe future for our families.
We can make a wave of change, but unless the government removes the barrier that’s currently blocking our pathway, the change will not be visible enough. And Mr. Kent needn’t worry. We will continue to weather down the barriers until our wave is heard and received with support. Until then, I hope he’ll rethink his policies and realize that, right now, the environment relies upon his choices.
Past Word Articles about the Athabasca Tar Sands:
Neelam Khare, “A Not So Happy New Year” January 2009: http://whsword.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/a-not-so-happy-new-year-the-tar-sands-take-over/
Mitchell Agostinho, “The Shame of Canada” March 2009: http://whsword.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/the-shame-of-canada/
By: Emily Chan, Grade 12
How is a bill even passed through the House of Commons in the first place? First, an idea is brought forward and created into a bill. After the bill is debated and successfully passed by the House of Commons, the bill is sent to the Senate. This group of wealthy, appointed members is affectionately called the “sober second thought” as they have the final say on whether or not the bill will be created into law.
Bill C-311’s required regulations were to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 25% from 1990 levels by 2020, and to bring emissions down by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. Based on the bill’s summary, its purpose was “to ensure that Canada meets its global climate change obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by committing to a long-term target to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions…”. It was the only legislation in the world to pass through a democratically-elected parliament that promised strong reductions of greenhouse gas emissions at Kyoto (although we have broken this promise; emissions have increased instead).
Some background information first; the Senate is a highly debated topic in Canada, as many argue that the Senate is not needed in the process. As the House of Commons has already decided to pass the bill, many believe that we don’t need an extra veto power to have the last word on these policies. As well, the 105 members are appointed by our governor general with the advice of our prime minister. Of course, seats are allocated based on the region; the four largest regions receive 24 seats each, and the remaining seats are assigned to the less-populated regions. However, supporters of the Senate will defend that it’s needed in case the House of Commons passes a bill that shouldn’t be passed. Did I mention that members in the Senate can stay in until they’re 75 years old?
On November 16th, 2010, the Senate voted against Bill C-311, AKA the Climate Change Accountability Act. AKA Canada’s only piece of federal climate change legislation.
Bill C-311 was originally brought forward in October of 2006 by the leader of the NDP; Jack Layton. By a 148-116 vote at third reading (the Liberals, Bloc Québécois, and NDP supported the bill while the Conservatives voted against it), the bill was murdered by the Senate while Parliament was dissolved for the 2008 federal election. Amazingly, it came back to life on February 10th, 2009 and after a 169-93 vote on October 21st, 2009, the act sat there past its allotted 60-day timeframe for the House of Commons to read the bill and therefore wasn’t ready in time for the 2009 Copenhagen world meeting. Before the government could respond to the Senate’s votes, the bill was defeated on November 6th, 2010, by a vote of 43-32.
Before this bill, the Senate had only defeated one bill since 1988, which was respecting abortion. The David Suzuki Foundation emanated frustration in November of 2010 as they explained, “and so, just as Canada prepares to join world leaders at the UN climate change negotiations in Mexico, a group of unelected senators have decided, without any debate, that the future of Canada’s youth is not worth the bother. It’s a shame these elderly senators may not be around to face the most severe consequences of their actions.”
As the DSF eloquently states, the bill is dead. Along with it, some would claim that the chance of strong objectives to address climate change has gone down too. For now at least; I have an inkling that the enviros of our society won’t give up that easily.
By: By Emily Chan, Grade 12
Looking for some easy-to-understand information on the Tea Party? You’ve come to the right place. The Tea Party is a political movement in the US, whose members have been in the news lately because of their controversial views and protests. They’ve been labelled as racist and homophobic, but who are we to judge? Throughout this article, you should be able to conclude your own opinions on this movement; these are merely the opinions of some. The name has come from the Boston Tea Party (long story short. British colonists destroyed tea instead of paying a tax that they believed violated their rights in 1773).
This party isn’t a national political party, nor has it appeared on any ballots to date. However, they have held various “protests” to express their points of views. And what are they? Here are a few statistics for you, from a University of Washington poll of 1,695 voters: 73% of Tea Party supporters disapprove of Obama’s policy of engaging Muslim countries, 82% don’t believe gay/lesbian couples should have the legal right to marry, and 52% believe that gays/lesbians have too much political power. A very small percentage of supporters believe global warming to be a serious problem, a smaller percentage than the general public. Hmmmm.
By the way, guess who’s on the band wagon? That’s right, Sarah Palin. According to writers Rasmussen and Schoen, Palin is “the symbolic leader of the movement, and more than anyone else has helped to shape it.” A large portion of their funding has come from an anonymous donor in September 2010; $1,000,000 to be precise. Sarah Palin was also a large contributor for four of their bus tours (a way to fundraise for candidates). But who really runs it? Dick Morris, a political analyst, says that the movement is made up of smaller local groups. The teapartypatriots.org group has 2,800 members, with only 7 paid employees.
They wanted the Democrats and Republicans to sign on to their contract, “The Contact of America,” which was made through an online voting process. The contract, according to one of the leaders, is based on individual liberty, limited government and economic freedom; but no Democrats have signed on and the contract has also met large resistance from the Republicans. Here are 5 out of the total of 10 agenda items on their contract.
1.) Identify constitutionality of every new law: In other words, the Congress will need to identify which specific part in the Constitution allows them to pass every new law.
2.) Reject emissions trading: Stop “cap and trade” to control carbon dioxide, and instead give money for reducing CO2 emissions.
3.) Demand a balanced federal budget: Institute a balanced budget, with two-thirds majority needed for tax modifications.
4.) Simplify the tax system: Get rid of the Internal Revenue Code and replace it with a simple, single-rate tax system that’s the same length of the original Constitution (4,543 words)
5.) Repeal the healthcare legislation passed on March 23, 2010: Get rid of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Since then, this contact is still as stands. It has gotten very harsh attacks from the Democrats, paraphrasing the contract to support the following (copied directly from the Democrats’ website):
1.) Put the big banks back in charge of student loans and put an end to federal assistance for public schools.
2.) Gut the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act — which together protect our kids from air pollution and keep drinking water safe — and disband the watchdog that holds polluters accountable.
3.) Take away your right to pick your U.S. Senator.
4.) Put insurance companies back in charge and repeal tax credits for small businesses.
5.) Phase out and end Medicare as it presently exists for future generations of seniors — ending Medicare’s guaranteed healthcare benefits for more than 40 million American seniors — and replace it with a voucher system which will result in higher premiums and fewer services for seniors.
To be honest, I wasn’t even able to match up these two completely different interpretations of this contract; the first from the Tea Party, and the second from the Democrats. I’ll leave that up for your judgement.
This movement is more Republican-friendly than Democrats. The New York Times reports that 138 candidates running for Congress have significant Tea Party support – and all 138 of them are Republicans. Think about that: it’s a pretty large majority. As well, a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll reported 35% of voters were Tea-party supporters, in which 94% supported Republicans and 10% supported the Democrats.
Mark Mardell of BBC News has an interesting view on this party, claiming, “fury tends to dissolve into concern, worry about the economic direction of the country, worry about the size of the government and the level of taxation.” His interpretation of this movement goes so far as to foresee economic and governmental destruction. This is no small grassroots movement. It may have started that way, but it’s growing. And fast.
By: Emily Chan, Grade 12
Hi there. My name is Emily Chan, grade 12. I live an average life in an average house with average interests. I care about the world, and I care about my friends. Point is, everyone is affected by budget cuts, whether you like it or not. So if you care for our education system, read on. I’m sure that by this time, you’ve heard about the cuts that have seemed to engulf our media for the past few months – so why not learn a few things about them?
The Vancouver School Board has declared numerous means that they can use to make back the $18.12 million deficit that they’ve found themselves in. They’ve taken millions of dollars from arts programs, created a new schedule to save $1.2 million per year, planned to lay off 162-full time staff positions, and introduced preliminary closures of 11 elementary schools. But let’s take it step-by-step.
1.) New Schedule: Let’s begin with the new schedule that all schools in the Vancouver School District will have to follow. Each school has to start at 8:35am and end at 3:07pm on every school day. The 45-minute lunchtime is also set, from 11:40 – 12:25pm daily. This is meant to help the TOCs (Teachers on call), as they will be able to alternate around the schools on a regular and comparable schedule. To decrease the expense of supplying heating, lighting, and custodial staff across the city, they have also promised more regular four-day weekends and a two-week-long Spring Break, both of which will “increase student and staff productivity” and will be “contributing to the wellness of employees and students of the district.” What I find personally amusing is that in the next paragraph, they state that, “Trustees stressed the decision to adopt the local school calendar was not done because of a clear educational benefit to students, but rather, the need to save money at a time when the district must address an $18.12-million deficit.” At what point did money start coming before our educational benefit? To me, the fact that they are able to admit that on the VSB website seems to foreshadow a dim future.
2.) Charging After-School Groups: Secondly, they have decided to raise the rate for groups to rent out their rooms after school hours – something that hadn’t been an issue up until now. Starting in September, these groups will have to pay at flat $25/year cost, along with a $23.70/hour cost after 6pm. As a Girl Guide myself, I know that groups are already pressured to fundraise to pay for the current rental costs, camps, supplies, and other expenses. This is just too much to ask for.
Vicki Fanous, the Council Field Executive of Scouts Canada (Boy Scouts), eloquently responded that, “it would have a detrimental impact on the ability of our groups and programs to operate, and youth who benefit most from the programs would no longer be able to participate.” Most of these programs will leave the schools and find a facility somewhere else that would be more accommodating. So, in the end, the school board isn’t saving money at all – they’re merely rearranging the groups elsewhere.
3.) School Closures: Of course, who could forget about the school closures; the preliminary list of 11 schools in Vancouver that are on the possible chopping block. Among these schools are Bruce, Carleton, and Collingwood – three of Windermere’s seven feeder schools. Adrian Dix, Vancouver-Kingsway’s MLA, held a meeting on July 15th to talk about the closures and what will happen next. Attended by 75 people, this meeting allowed the public to voice their opinions and concerns on this issue. The VSB estimates that closing an annex would save around $200,000, while closing an elementary school would save approximately $400,000.
After June 23rd, the day that the closures were first publicized, the District Management Team had 60 days to produce a report of each school, including closure evaluation criteria, public consultation processes and school closure decision timelines. Things will be decided from there whether the school will be closed or not. Unfortunately, the VSB won’t tell us why those schools are chosen to be shut down. There have been speculations, such as choosing Carleton because of the extensive cost to maintain it, but nothing has been official. It makes it hard to advocate for the schools to stay open if we don’t know exactly why they’re being closed in the first place!
However, although we may not know the exact reason why each school was chosen, we do know that the choices were based on low enrolment, how often it’s used, and if there’s space at neighboring schools. One attendee at the meeting suggested having more community groups utilize the schools to justify the necessity of the school. However, if they charge these groups money to use the spaces, the school will lose its eligibility as a heavily-utilized school!
Point blank, Adrian said it best: “closing schools will come at too high a cost for minimal savings.” So, let’s work together to figure out a solution. If the VSB can save $1.5 million by moving around some investments, there must be a way of fixing this mess without sacrificing our education system.
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11
When you think of “green,” what comes to mind? Do you picture a contrast of green paint against a stark white canvas? Do you image a green frog, leaping across the ripples of a pristine lake? Or is your mind immersed into imagery of nature: green grass and trees swaying in the gentle night-time breeze?
Whatever image is conjured up in your mind, there is one term that seems to be currently sweeping the nation: ‘GO GREEN’. Despite our humorous ideas, I regret to inform you that they’re not recommending painting yourself the colour of an unripe banana. Even if that is the case, I really wouldn’t recommend it. ‘GO GREEN’ is a term used to describe the concepts of sustainability; being environmentally-friendly, and respecting the Earth.
As green is often associated as the colour of nature, the term has caught on and is used constantly when describing environmental efforts! But what if I were to tell you something that would go against all of this logic? What if I were to tell you that going “GREEN” may not be the right thing to do? What if I were to tell you…
THE COLOUR GREEN ISN’T GREEN?
Hello again, everybody! This is our second-last part of Behind the Word! My apologies for the last part not appearing in the April issue. There was a mix-up with the layout team and it wasn’t printed. It’s still on the website, which is http://whsword.wordpress.com! Now, this month I have interviewed the Promotions team, which consists of Puneet Riar and Emily Chan! Here’s the interview, enjoy!
1. What did you think of the Word Committee when it was first started?
E: I thought that it was a great opportunity. It gives us the chance to work together and aim higher. As cheesy as it sounds, more heads are better than one!
P: When it started, I was like “OMG”. I never thought our own school would have a newspaper, but when the Word came out, I was really excited.
2. Why did you join the Word Committee in the first place?
E: Well after writing for a year, I thought it was a cool opportunity. Besides, as one of the promotions people, it’s something I enjoy and can work with.
P: I read the Word in the first couple years it started, and I thought the articles were really interesting and I really wanted to share some of my opinions with other people who read the newspaper.
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11
It all started when I read a comic strip in the paper. It was from Pardon My Planet, a classic comic featured in The Province daily. An overweight man sitting at the bar states, “After six years of high school, I lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of the school system for not properly preparing me for unemployment.”
Even though this may seem like a juvenile comment at first glance, it caused me to sit back and think about our education system. We are taught to succeed in life; we are taught to keep our heads high and accept accomplishments gratefully. We are also expected to be content with trying our best – because with that, we’ll go far in life…
But what will happen when the gigantic brick wall of failure sneaks up on us and smacks us down? As harsh as that may sound, it’s how failure will feel if you’re not prepared. You’ll be caught off guard, and won’t know how to gain the confidence back in order to pick up the pieces of your life.
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11 & Puneet Riar, Grade 12
P: CONGRATS FRANCO, ON BEING APRIL’S WARRIOR OF THE MONTH! TELL ME, HOW DOES IT FEEL?
F: Surprised and annoyed because I have to answers these questions.
P: LOL! FUNNY GUY! SO OBVIOUSLY, PEOPLE MUST LIKE YOU. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WERE NOMINATED?
F: I have no clue.
P: OH COME ON, SURE YOU DO! RANDOM QUESTION NOW, IF YOU COULD HAVE THREE WISHES, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11
It hit me one day, while selling hot chocolate. I was sitting with a girl, and we were having a normal conversation. After pulling out her cell phone to check the time, she then proceeded to place the phone into the side pocket of her jeans. I looked at her in alarm, and warned her to put the phone in her jacket, as my friends told me that the cell phone’s LED rays can cause bone and brain cancer.
She looked at her phone, then up at me, then back to her phone. After a few seconds of silence, she stated, “Well, everything causes cancer these days,” and stuck her phone right into her pocket. This action startled me. Why would someone knowingly expose themselves to something that could harm them? Especially something that could kill them?
The second thought that crossed my mind was this: at what point did society begin to get so used to cancer that we’re willing to openly embrace it?
To prove my point, I searched, “Things that cause cancer,” and I got a list of around 250 different things! The list ranged from pesticides to gasoline to sunlight and smoking. However, even I draw the line at things such as ’brooms’. Apparently, there was a ban on brooms because sweeping up wood chippings can provoke asthma attacks and eventually nose cancer.
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11 & Puneet Riar, Grade 12
First of all Cinzia, congrats on becoming warrior of the month! How does it feel?
I’m really excited to be the Warrior of the Month. I really didn’t think I would ever be Warrior of the Month but I guess people actually like me.
I like you! Hahaha! Why do you think you were nominated?
I really don’t know why I was nominated. It was probably by mistake. LOL.
No! I’m sure it’s wasn’t a mistake! What are you involved in, in school? Anything outside of school?
Well, I do WCP and Prevention Education.
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11
To Whom It May Concern,
I’m writing this letter on behalf of environmentalists across the world. If you’re unaware, there will a world meeting taking place from December 11th – December 18th of this year. It’s taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is meant to create a replacement for the 2005 Kyoto Protocol.
This protocol was an international agreement to lower the amount of global production of greenhouse. In 2005, there were 187 states that agreed to follow a list of guidelines to reduce their carbon footprint. There were three mechanisms to the protocol.
The first was the Carbon Market. Its idea was to only allow each country to produce a certain amount of carbon. They were given “carbon credits,” which allowed each nation to produce a certain amount of greenhouse gasses. Otherwise, they would be destructing the environment because of the emissions. However, the wealthier countries were allowed to buy these carbon credits from the poorer countries, therefore enabling these richer countries to continue unreasonable carbon production.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was the second mechanism to be deployed. It allowed countries pledged to Kyoto to implement projects to minimize the gas produced. Some alternative-energy initiatives include solar panels or energy-efficient boilers.
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11 & Puneet Riar, Grade 12
PRESENTING! Your November 2009 Warrior of the month: Chanel Ly!
Congratulations Chanel! You’re November’s Warrior of the Month! So, first of all, why do you think you were nominated?
C: I don’t know exactly… I didn’t even know I was nominated until I heard I won!
ARE YOU SERIOUS! It was, like, all over school! Haha! Jokes! Anyways, what kind of extracurricular stuff are you involved in?
C: Hmm… Currently, I am coordinating Windermere’s organic garden and I teach piano at elementary schools. I’m also this year’s community service liaison.
You have such an expensive name. How does it feel to be named after a high end fashion line?
C: It’s pretty handy to be named after the brand because my name would often be spelled wrong. All I have to do is refer to the brand.
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11
It’s a day of remembrance, a day for thought, and a day of memories. For some, the memories will be of a loved one, killed in war as a prisoner. For others, thoughts and prayers will be with the soldiers currently fighting in wars around the world. Remembrance Day is “a day to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War.” In other words, we are meant to remember the veterans and soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. We wear the red poppy to show our remembrance and support for the troops. The symbol of the poppy is to honour the poppies that bloomed among the worst battlefields of World War II; the red colour came from the bloodshed. The significance is also credited to the Canadian Lt. Colonel and physician John McCrae, and his poem, In Flanders’ Fields.
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11 & Puneet Riar, Grade 12
So Windermere voted, and your October Warrior’s of the Month are Kimmy Basra and Jason Dhatt in grade 12!
Here’s an exclusive interview I had with them.
CONGRATS! YOU GUYS ARE THE WARRIORS OF THE MONTH FOR OCTOBER! ARE YOU GUYS WILLING TO DO A VICTORY DANCE?
K: Uhhh…. NO!
J: Yeah I’ll dance! I’m a dancing machine!
LOL! ANYWAYS, WHY DO YOU GUYS THINK YOU WERE NOMINATED?
J: I think for the recycling program I lead but I’m still kind of surprised and I have a feeling that this is some kind of set up.
CONSPIRACY! NO, I’M JUST KIDDING HAHAHA! HOW ABOUT YOU KIMMY?
K: I didn’t even know I was nominated…. I guess because people felt like it…
NEXT QUESTION. WHAT KIND OF THINGS ARE YOU GUYS INVOLVED IN WITHIN THE SCHOOL?
J: I lead the recycling program at our school and am on the senior boys’ soccer team. Out of school I volunteer at RCC and play ice hockey.
K: I’m a leader of the recycling program too.
ANY HOBBIES? INTERESTS?
K: Recycling… and watching 90210 and One Tree Hill and So You Think You Can Dance! I like to read too… OH! And I like to ride my bike sometimes.
YOU READ KIMMY? REALLY?? JOKES! HOW ABOUT YOU JASON?
J: I love sports, especially ice hockey and soccer, watching the Canucks and spending time with my friends.
OH EM GEE! I LIKE SOCCER AND HOCKEY TOO! SO, WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR AFTER GRAD?
J: Post secondary, work, and partying 24/7 lol.
K: Oh goodness! I want to be an elementary school teacher.
NICE! OKAY, RANDOM QUESTION: WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD? I LIKE PIZZA, BUT SOMETIMES I LIKE ICE CREAM…OR EVEN LIKE THOSE LITTLE… SORRY! I FORGOT THIS ISNT ABOUT ME. GO AHEAD J
K: OH! I know this one…BREAKFAST! I love breakfast. If I could eat breakfast all day I would. I would eat breakfast for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND midnight snack!
J: Pizza or Inderpaul’s famous butter chicken (inside joke) LOL!
HAHAHA! SO, LAST QUESTION AND THEN YOUR 15 MINTUES OF FEELING LIKE CELEBRITIES BEING INTERVIEWED ARE OVER! CANUCKS OR FLAMES?
WELL, OBVIOUSLY! THANKS FOR DOING THE INTERVIEW KIMMY AND JASON, AND CONGRATS!
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11
Money, money, money – must be funny – in a rich man’s world. Although this may merely be the opening line to ABBA’s hit song’s chorus, it has a much deeper meaning than that. Have you ever stopped and just thought about money? Has it ever occurred to you how foolish it is to immerse ourselves in the world of money the way we do? Every thing that we buy, and every choice that we make, is, for the most part, centered on money. How absurd is that?
On Monday, March 19th, 2009, our Finance Minster – Jim Flaherty – issued a new budget, which, amazingly, dealt with … money! This budget had everything in it, from tax-cuts to up to $2000 rebates for buying environmentally friendly cars. Not only will the budget help children with giving the benefit of a $310 tax relief, but you’ll also be able to receive pensions and saving plans for an extra 2 years!
Unfortunately, there are two sides to every story… and in this case, the other side is not a pretty one. Although the new budget seems to be promising in terms of tax-cuts, other areas are being overlooked – the main one being the Arts. What wasn’t written on the CTV article was the 45 million dollars that was taken away from the arts and culture funding. As Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party questioned, “I think it’s a fair question to ask Mr. Harper what has he got against artists. Maybe they were mean to him in high school.” (qtd. in “Harper’s art cuts slammed in Canada” by Jessica Werb, 2008). All jokes aside, rallies have been held all over the country to protest this unreasonable cutback. Even on Facebook, people are changing their profile pictures to grey boxes to point out that the cutbacks on funding is like a cutback on creativity. As they’ve said repeatedly, “the Arts aren’t a luxury – it’s a necessity.”
Sadly, these cutbacks will not help the cause for bringing awareness to the importance of fine arts. In fact, quite the opposite will happen. Arts programs and camps will start to be cut, and there will be no escaping them.
By: Emily Chan, Grade 11
“Next stop – Richmond Brighouse.” This announcement was heard throughout the new rapid-transit system, notoriously named the ‘Canada Line.’ This line is full of promise, new beginnings, new jobs for 1, 4000 employees, and it will hopefully give a more “eco-friendly” name to Vancouver. Although this new line was created and built for the 2010 Olympic games, it will be in use far after that – 100 years, to be exact! The 19km of tracks link Vancouver to Richmond and the YVR Airport, so visitors will be able to access the city without the use of a vehicle.
In fact, I was lucky enough to ride the Canada Line just last week. As I entered the station, a smile spread across my face as I realized that this skytrain line isn’t only to get from one place to the next – it’s a place to reconnect with friends, to visit places you’ve never been before, and to realize the importance of being “eco-friendly.” The idea of community was thrust into my face in one point of my excursion. My cousin and I had our bikes, and we were trying to get to Aberdeen Station. We went across the bridge by our bikes, which was an amazing and beautiful sight. But once we got across the bridge, we were lost! There were no signs to direct us to the next station, so we were lucky that we chose to turn right. Once we got to Brighouse Station, we had to wait THIRTY minutes until a train came that we could get on – and once we got on, we were stuffed into there like a can of sardines. As we were riding, we realized that we had to get off at the next stop – and looked around in horror as we realized that not only were we going to have to push through people to get out, but also the door was on the opposite side of the train! Once our station came, we apologized profusely as we continuously injured people trying to get out. When I successfully got off, I looked back. Guess what I saw? Every single person near the door was holding the door for us to get out safely! That’s when it hit me – the importance and relevance between the Canada Line and community.
By: Cassandra Ly & Emily Chan
Everyone has that special day once a year to celebrate with their loved ones with more and more fun as the years fly by. On Wednesday, July 1st, 2009, come down to celebrate Canada’s 142nd birthday here in our community at Renfrew Community Centre. Youth Celebrate Canada Day core committee is holding its 13th annual event with exciting new games, entertainment, crafts, prizes, and the best of all, food! Starting from 1:00 – 4:30, you have plenty of time to enjoy Canada Day with your family and friends. Come check it out; this event is going to be a blast!
By: Emily Chan, Grade 10
What does the number 26 mean to you? December 26th is Boxing Day, it’s the atomic number of iron, and it’s the number of letters in the alphabet. What else has the number 26 in it? Did you know that the war in Sri Lanka lasted 26 years? That’s longer than most of us [students] have been alive. With this war, these painful years have passed insignificantly, but in fact, it’s all relative. For the average Tamil, or the Sri Lankan government, the last 26 years have been full of mental warfare and murders. Conversely, the majority of the western society hasn’t even heard of the war in Sri Lanka, let alone take a day out of their busy schedules to educate themselves about the situation of the 300,000 Tamils being forced to live in nazi-style concentration camps.
10. Misspelled Mitchell’s last name and said Emily Chan was in Grade 9 – September Issue.
9. Said Emily Chan was in Grade 11 – October Issue
8. Repeated a paragraph in Mitchell’s article “Burn After Reading” – October Issue
7. No “Warrior of the Month” photo for Emily Chan and Brendan Chan – January Issue
6. Pope Gregory VIII not Pope Gregory – April Issue
By: Puneet Riar, Grade 11, Emily Chan, Grade 10 & Cassandra Ly, Grade 10
Congrats Jason! You are June’s warrior of the month! Why do you think you were nominated?
JD: I was probably nominated because people were intrigued by my amazingly good looks or they rigged the election. I’m 92.5% sure it’s the second one though.
LOL! Well you won, so whatever! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
JD: Well, I have 2 legs which are nice to have especially since I love sports. I do everything around it; read, write, eat, sleep, talk, breathe. If sports were a woman, I’d marry her.
So, you were recently voted valedictorian. How does it feel to be valedictorian, Mr. Valedictorian?
JD: Becoming valedictorian was very cool, especially since I was chosen by my fellow grads and it wasn’t a random choice. It’s very humbling.
By: Puneet Riar, Grade 11 & Emily Chan, Grade 10
All throughout the year, there have been some amazing, dedicated students. Those who possess those awesome leadership skills, those who have an exceptional community service record, or that person who is just an awesome friend or a great role model. Or maybe, even that teacher who doesn’t get mad if you chew gum in class.
By Emily Chan, Grade 10
Since 2007, only two years ago, Mexico has filed a grand total of 7,000 deaths. The headlines, which have been plastered over every newspaper in the last few months, have been questioning Mexico: are they becoming a failed country? In other words, is it too late to dig them out of the hole that they’re already in?
Mexican cities are lined with bullets, grenades, and beheadings; it’s no wonder that the citizens are scared. Since last June, an amazing 329, 000 jobs have been lost which amounts to 30% of Mexican adults unemployed. This just adds to the inevitability of Mexico’s current spiral towards failure.
Jorge Marrufo, a Mexican citizen, has lost his chance at life. Jorge was working at his ranch, when a group of gunmen ravaged through. Trying to run away into the desert, he was found dead with his skull caved in and four bullet holes on his chest. The authorities are still looking into whether he was involved with drugs or if he was an innocent citizen. However, in a city without rules, it is up to the hands of the drug lords to determine if you are a problem or not. This is just one example of the brutality of the 6,000 deaths in Mexico; and it doesn’t end there. Marrufo wasn’t even able to rest in peace, as the drug lords drove over his gravesite repeatedly, crushing his flowers and the simple cross lain by his loving family.