By Thea Sample, Grade 11
Recently, many people have noticed the Occupy Vancouver tents located at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In fact, many students are either taking part in it or openly supporting the Occupy movement. In a nutshell, people are protesting because 1% of the world’s population own or control the vast majority of the wealth. Participants in Occupy protests around the world are advocating for change in the current economic system. More specifically, in Vancouver, (more…)
By: Thea Sample, Grade 10
Fair trade and Fairtrade. What is the difference? Fairtrade is used by the FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organization) in order to identify the certification that certain products have met Fairtrade standards.
Fair trade refers to the notion and the system in general of fair trade.
Fair trade organizations follow a set of “fair trade standards”. These standards determine the minimum amount of money producers must be paid for the products they trade. Other standards that apply include the payment of fair wages to employees and providing a safe and healthy work environment.
How do I even begin to mention all the wonderful things that fair trade organizations do around the world? Fair trade organizations are responsible for improving the lives of workers and producers in developing countries.
Popular fair trade products include fruit, coffee, chocolate, cotton, clothing, jewellery, bags and shoes. Not to mention many more products sold from suppliers around the world.
According to FLO statistics “There are now 827 Fairtrade certified producer organizations in 58 producing countries, representing over 1.2 million farmers and workers.”
Fair trade began in the 1940′s when the first Ten Thousand Villages was created. A woman named Edna Ruth Byler, went to Puerto Rico and discovered women sewing beautiful lace. Despite their magnificent products, these women lived in poverty. Edna took the products back to the United States and began to sell them at church and at fairs. She then would go back and return the money to these women directly thus creating the first fair trade transactions. Her work would eventually become Ten Thousand Villages, the largest fair trade retailer in North America.
At Windermere, we have had our share of fair trade products available for sale. For example, the Cafe Etico coffee sold last year was fair trade. Many different speakers came in to talk to students about different issues within Fair trade organizations. Cafe Etico buys coffee at fair prices from farmer associations in Latin America. Something unique about Cafe Etico is that they buy coffee directly from fair trade associations. This is important because this enables small-scale farmers to sell their coffee to large overseas markets.
Other fair trade organizations include: Oxfam Canada, Equiterre, Transfair Canada, and more.
Historically, the production of bananas has been particularly exploitative for workers. Thankfully you can now buy fair trade bananas in Vancouver and I urge everyone to try and buy fair trade products and support the fair trade system.
By: Max Miller, Grade 11
During a public meeting in a Tucson, Arizona Safeway on January 8, 2011, US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head in an apparent assassination attempt. While Giffords is well on her way to a full recovery, twelve other people were shot and six of the victims, including a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge, were killed. Giffords is a ‘rising star’ in the Democratic Party, hoping to eventually be elected as Arizona’s senator. The shooter, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, claims to have planned and executed the attack alone, though police are searching for a possible accomplice.
While the tragedy is too fresh in our minds to think of laying any blame, the events in Arizona are a chilling reminder of the political climate in America at the moment. Extremist groups – groups who follow a rigid set of ideals and who will go to great lengths to enforce them – have always existed on the fringe, but they have been making headlines more and more recently. The group getting the most press is the “Tea Party”, who believes the government has too much power, and that this power should be given to corporations. Giffords got on the Tea Party’s bad side by voting for Obama’s Health Care reform – Sarah Palin, an American politician and political news commentator, went as far as to mark Giffords’ district (as well as those of nineteen others who voted yes) with a crosshair on a map; the picture bore the caption “Take a Stand.”
Extremism is becoming more prominent with the Democrats as well, though their movement doesn’t have a nifty name like the Tea Party yet. President Obama came in at a dark time for the nation, riding in on his promises of “Hope and Change.” Of course, this motto left out a rather important point that ought to have been included: “and also Years of Hard Work before Our Goals Are Realized.” Many people expected Obama to be an instant cure for their country’s problems, and since, of course, he wasn’t, he is being criticized for accomplishing nothing but breaking election promises in his first years of office. These Democratic supporters have become less trusting of their party and their country’s government.
So, which side does Jared Loughner belong to? Well, that’s not an easy answer. If his Youtube page is to be believed, his favourite authors include Ayn Rand, Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx; political philosophers with very different, conflicting views. He has gone on various political tirades, saying he believed the government was responsible for the 9/11 attacks and are trying to brainwash the public by controlling grammar. He has been described as emotionally unstable by those who know him personally. So it’s easy, and perhaps comforting, to write him off as just one more ‘crazy’ who, unfortunately, got his hands on a gun. At the same time, however, people have suspected Loughner to have been influenced by extremist rhetoric such as Palin’s map.
Whatever your opinions on Loughner may be, the fact remains that such a divided public will only create more tension in our neighbours to the south. If the American people don’t find some way of meeting halfway, tragedies like this may very well become more commonplace.
By: Claire Fergusson, Grade 9
After the devastation and heartbreak of the bloodiest war we can recount in our memory laid its weapons down almost a century ago, what was left behind were the reparations, and the Treaty of Versailles. Ninety-two years ago, on June 12, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, attempting to bring together Germany and the Allies after the destruction of World War I.
In early 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was bargained over in order for the details to be fair to all participating parties of the war. Talk was completed in three months and the conditions were presented to the German government on May 7, 1919. They had three weeks to look it over to either accept or decline the offers put on the table. However, if Germany declined, it would most likely equal more war, more fighting, and more money for all the countries involved around the world.
A lot of the countries did not want that; this was why they negotiated so hard to get the terms and policies to their liking.
With over nine million people killed during World War I, Germany had to face their actions. Although they were not happy with the terms set out, their complaints were mostly ignored. The Treaty took away 13.5% of their land that they held in 1914, handing most of it to Belgium. The Treaty also forbade Germany’s use of heavy armoury or weapons, gas, tanks, aircraft and submarines. They were also restricted to an army of 100,000 men for national defence only, and the navy was limited to shipping less than 10,000 tons.
The total sum Germany had to pay was 226 billion Reich marks, or £11.3 billion, which was worth three or four times more in US dollars during that time. In 1921, the amount was reduced to about £4.99 billion because of Germany’s disagreement with the terms.
It was set to be paid out in many forms, such as through coal, steel, property and agricultural produce. This was argued, because if it was paid in money, it would be a problem to Germany’s economy, create hyperinflation, and ultimately ruin their “Wall Street.” However, in spite of this fact, Germany’s economy faced a lot of damage, and has been on the reconstruction since the day they had to repay.
It has been over ninety-two years, and although pay was halted because of the reunification of East and West Germany, the country has finally paid off the bill. The payments have displayed that because of poor decisions by the government, and the war, the whole country has had to fight to rebuild itself. With Germany’s final payment of £56 million paid on October 3, 2010, it marks the end to a struggle that took nearly a century to pay off.
By: Winnie Liang, Grade 11
What is food? To us, food is something that provides us with nutrients, energy, and life; to Monsanto, a U.S.-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, the food that we consume every single day is a new form of poison that can provide the corporation’s high echelon with virtually limitless amount of wealth.
“Monsanto is an agricultural company. We apply innovation and technology to help farmers around the world produce more while conserving more. We help farmers grow yield sustainably so they can be successful, produce healthier foods, better animal feeds and more fiber, while also reducing agriculture’s impact on our environment.” On Monsanto’s homepage, this excerpt introduces the corporation with great rhetoric… and with zero truth.
Monsanto is well-known for products called genetically engineered seeds, which are modified using insertion or deletion of specific genes to make the crops resistant to the Round-Up herbicide. This allows farmers to spray Round-Up – another product from Monsanto – to kill weeds and all other unwanted plant life while preserving their crops. With these genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Monsanto has linked itself to “life sciences”. Already, about 90% of the plant gene pool in America is genetically modified.
Five pure myths that Monsanto designed for its GMOs to gain public interest are: 1) they are needed to feed the world’s huge population; 2) they have been thoroughly tested and proven safe; 3) they increase crop yield; 4) they reduce the amount of agricultural chemicals that is used; and 5) they can be contained, therefore capable of coexisting with natural crops. As fantastic as the words might sound, every single one of the five has been proven to be false. For instance, a former Monsanto employee named Kirk Azevedo was recruited in 1996 to sell GM cotton, mostly fed to cattle. When he found out that no safety studies were conducted on the new, unintended proteins in Roundup Ready cotton plants, he stressed the necessity of either conducting safety tests or destroying the GM cotton due to possible toxicity. To his utter astonishment, people shunned him and paid no mind to the issue. That was when Kirk Azevedo, feeling disgusted, resigned. “I am not going to be part of this disaster,” he said.
You may ask, “Isn’t the government supposed to protect us?” Contrary to our common belief, this protection is not guaranteed. To get government approvals to sell GM products in countries worldwide, Monsanto, with mountains of cash, coerced and bribed government officials, and even successfully infiltrated the upper echelons by placing former corporate officials into government positions. In Indonesia, at least 140 officials were bribed or given questionable payments for an approval of GM products in the country. In India, official report on Monsanto’s Bt cotton was falsified to show increase in crop yields. Moreover, faces that once appeared in the Monsanto administration continually reappeared in important government positions in America, India, Brazil, Europe, and other countries. In the U.S., GM foods were declared to be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the FDA in 1992 without undergoing the required testing procedures. The policy of self-policing, in which products are believed to be safe in the FDA as long as Monsanto “says so,” was overseen by the Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Michael Taylor, who just “coincidentally” happened to be a former outside attorney for Monsanto and the Food Biotechnology Council.
When it comes to scientific research, Monsanto is definitely brilliant in creating flawed experiments to avoid showing negative effects that would otherwise be present if correct scientific methods were used. Flaws in duration, tested subjects, and amount of variables such as the amount of digestive enzymes are common. For instance, the GM protein in Monsanto’s high-lysine GM corn was labeled as safe because its presence in the soil was consumed as tiny residues in regular human diet. However, the company neglected to mention that the corn’s protein amount is actually 30,000,000,000 to 4,000,000,000,000 times more of what is consumed by an average U.S. citizen, meaning that 22,000 pounds of soil are eaten every second of every day. Do you think 22,000 pounds is the weight of the small, hardly detectable soil residues that a fruit or vegetable has?
Nowadays, desperate farmers in India are forced to buy GM products due to the elimination of non-GM cotton seeds in many regions. No matter how hard they work, the high interest rates of four times the original price only add to a debt that is impossible to pay off, especially when the farmers’ bodies are weakened by the large amount of pesticides used. The number of Bt cotton-related suicides in India exceeds 125,000, often committed by drinking unused pesticides. Although in our much more comfortable lifestyle, we do not handle deadly chemicals everyday, GM foods still affect our health if consumed regularly. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) testified that consuming GM foods, which is hard for us to identify with the lack of labels, can cause health issues such as infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.
After reading about the negative effects of Monsanto’s products, I returned to its homepage and read the so-called Monsanto Pledge under the “Corporate Responsibility” section. What I saw immediately was several bolded key words such as integrity, transparency (of information), sharing, and benefits (to customers and the environment). Any one of these words would contradict the truth of Monsanto’s lack of care for anything other than financial profit. After being proven guilty of covering up a 50-year-long poisoning of a town in Anniston, Alabama, on February 22, 2002, Monsanto’s documents were released to the public. One of the corporation’s best quotations is: “We can’t afford to lose one dollar of business.” Way back in 1991, Monsanto had already been planning for its goal of achieving industrial dominance in a world where there are virtually no natural seeds, but over 100 GM and patented foods. They hope to realize this future around 2015 or 2020. Their goal is very difficult to achieve, but not impossible, especially considering they know controlling global food sources is more powerful and more destructive than nuclear weapons. By controlling what we eat, they control us.
By: Jenny Ho, Grade 12
On August 9th, flight attendant of JetBlue Airlines, Steven Slater, was engaged in a conflict with a female passenger. Slater claims that she was trying to remove her belongings from the overhead compartment. He asked her to remain in her seat for safety reasons. However, as she continued to remove the bag, it struck him in the head. When he asked for an apology, the passenger rudely swore at Slater. Soon after, Slater spoke over the plane’s public address system with profanity. Soon after, he activated the aircraft’s emergency inflatable slide. Before sliding down and reportedly running into his car and driving home, he grabbed two beers from the plane.
Overnight, he became an internet phenomenon. He was on the top of many search engines, and has a dedicated Facebook fan page with over 200,000 people who “liked” the page (myself included). Many of those fans fantasize how they wish they could walk out on their employer like Slater. Also, Slater has been offered a reality TV series, and a free one-year gym membership. Despite his newfound fame, he still faces criminal charges. He was arrested at his home in Belle Harbour, Queens, with charges of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment. Many fans on the Facebook page will raise money, in the case of a lawsuit.
How did the public react to this bizarre incident? To many, he is seen as a working class hero, standing up to ungrateful and rude customers. In a time where unemployment levels are so high, some people will take on any job they can find. However, some employers believe that all employees are desperate, and overwork them for very little pay. To make matters worse, the ideology that the “customer is always right” has taken its toll on many people. Workers can totally relate to this; particularly those employed in the customer service industry. All that stress builds up over time, and is what lead to this blow up on JetBlue. The minority of people see him as an ungrateful, rude employee. Some passengers claim that he was already drunk before the incident, and was the one initiating the argument.
What do I think? He was doing his job, protecting the wellbeing of other passengers. The female passenger, who remains unnamed the entire time, should be arrested. She was engaged in risky activities, which could potentially injure other customers. We might not know until later if Slater will have any post-injury issues. We should all be grateful that he took a less disastrous exit out of his job, than to take a gun to work and shoot people, as seen in many other cases.
In a time where jobs are sacred, I’m glad that someone finally had the guts to take a stand. He represents millions of people, who are fed up with rude customers and less than ideal working conditions, and all they dream about is to have an emergency slide somewhere at work.
By: Puneet Riar, Grade 12
“I come here today not to talk, but to act”. These were the words of President Obama on December 18th at the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, yet it seemed the climate change circus - sorry, summit – running from December 7-18, was dominated by talk.
After two weeks of hectic disagreements and negotiations, the curtains fell on the $225+ million conference on December 18th with a less than ideal, US-led deal that proposed that actions should be taken to keep any temperature increases below 2°C. Additionally, the resolution called for developed and developing countries to cut emissions; countries would set their own targets and the deal would not be legally binding. This agreement also included aims to create a financial mechanism that would be able to provide $100US billion every year to the developing countries by the year 2020. The accord, as of now, is only a draft and has to be adopted by consensus by the 193 members of the UNFCCC to come into effect. If adopted, it will form the mandate to continue the negotiating process into next year and finalise a legally-binding international treaty – something that was originally planned to happen in Copenhagen itself.
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
There is no doubt that being a Canadian girl is one of the most fortunate roles to have in society today. Why would that be you ask? We are currently living in a world of conflict and environmental disaster; a world lacking in proper medical aid and equality between the sexes. You then realize that girls are living wonderfully here. However, I’m not talking about the lives of girls in Canada, but those living in developing countries. The experiences of these young girls are horrific and unimaginable. All this time, has there really been true equality in regards to women rights? I feel ashamed not being able to stop these cruel actions that are inflicted on girls the same age as me, nightmarish torture that strips them of their freedom and integrity. Don’t you?
By: Valerie Wong, Grade 11
Deriving from the Greek word adámas which means unbreakable, diamonds are the hardest natural substance in the world. Not only do they hold much use for industrial purposes (ex. Diamond coating), but they are also beautiful gemstones. People save up for months to buy the perfect diamonds with perfect cut, colour and clarity. As we empty our wallets, we don’t know whose lives were lost in order to harvest our gemstones.
There is blood on our fingers, blood on our necks. Blood trickles from our wrists, and blood drips from our earlobes. It’s ridiculous how we, in developed countries, sit almost completely unaware of the blood that was shed for the diamonds we wear so casually. The term ‘blood diamond’ refers to the diamonds mined and their profit used in war; in funding warfare by purchasing diamonds. Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe currently hold high place in the world’s top diamond suppliers.
By Hassan Haque, Grade 12
On Friday December 11th, 2009, dedicated Windermere Secondary Students organized and hosted a youth driven Climate Change Conference – C3 – to raise awareness and educate youth across the lower mainland about the escalating problem of climate change. The conference was attended by over 270 keen participants; students from schools across the Lower Mainland.
The amazing event ran from 8:30 in the morning to 2:30PM. It was kicked off with an exciting Q&A video-correspondence (via Skype) with wonderful members of the Canadian Youth Delegation attending the climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
By: Brendan Chan, Grade 11
Our society exists in a world where money is everything. Business is everything – this is a world where presidents and CEO’s provide our country with the life we all enjoy. In other words, ours is a society where Friedman’s belief of the global free trade system has been entrenched into our minds; but it wasn’t easy. Although Milton Friedman won a Nobel Prize in economics, his capitalistic ideas weren’t an easy concept to pass, especially since he lived during a time of nationalization. Eventually, Friedman had his way, and his ideas evolved into our current free trade system, where almost everything is owned by a private company. This rise of capitalism is how Friedman created an economic miracle. Yet the majority of people didn’t know the terrible and shocking truth that was the result of Friedman’s ideas.
Milton was a man who believed that having restrictions on companies only slowed them down and didn’t bring out the full potential of the profits that could be made; he had to change how people thought. He did this by using what the CIA calls “cleaning the slate,” or in other words, emptying a person’s mind. As a result of ‘cleaning the slate’, Friedman could fill vulnerable minds with his ideas.
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
Do you have a pet at home? Dog? Cat? Bird? How about a ferret? Just a thought: How would you feel if your furry or feathery friend became an endangered species? Gradually disappearing? It’s reality and it’s the truth. Our animals are slowly dying. Not just a couple hundred species, approximately more than 1000 have been placed under the Endangered Species Act, and the numbers are continuing to rise. The environmental, social, and trading impacts on our world are beyond what we as humans could have ever imagined. Evidently, it has caused our natural world to deteriorate at an appalling rate. I look at these images of animals and think to myself: What has our world become of? The 10 animals listed below have been declared the most endangered species in our world, according to the World Wildlife Fund. We all are capable of preserving the lives of animals, no matter how big or small.
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: Jhona Binos, Grade 12
If you were given time to prepare for an encroaching typhoon, what would you do first? Would you be grabbing your iPod, clothes, food, or important papers perhaps? That’s not the case with many citizens in the Philippines who went through a sudden flash flood that changed their lives forever. Even though the people were given a heads up of an approaching storm, they were overwhelmed of how quickly the water built up in a short amount of time.
By Mitchell Agostinho and Puneet Riar, Grade 12
In 1901, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Frédéric Passy and Jean Henry Dunant for making the world a better place. On October 9th, 2009 it was awarded to Barack Obama for doing nothing. Well,
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
When was the last time it was known to everyone that protesting, a simple display of civil disobedience, has transformed into something disastrous and even deadly? Recently, there have been many of these so-called “peaceful” protests occurring in China. This is in regard to many issues including employment, safety, and security demands in different aspects of the Chinese society. These dangerous protests have occurred in the city of Urumqi, Xinjiang; starting off as a crowd of citizens demanding change to the public health system to having paramilitary policemen being brought in.
So, what is the reason for this hysteria? In early September, many incidents of syringe stabbings were reported in the city of Urumqi. Approximately 600 citizens became victims of these arbitrary stabbings, and fortunately only 100 cases “showed any sign of injury.” Innocent people have been targeted on crowded buses and other well-populated areas in the city. Due to the dangers of these “hypodermic syringe needles”, many parents have been very concerned about the safety of their children at school, especially since the H1N1 flu and many other diseases are infecting more and more people.
By: Puneet Riar, Grade 12
“The objective of the Summit on Climate Change, which I am convening on 22 September, is to mobilize the political will and vision needed to reach an ambitious agreed outcome based on science at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
When you put environment and politics together, it can’t be a good thing. This was the case for the main theme of the day-long UN Summit on Climate Change. Over 100 heads of government attended the summit on September 22nd, which was intended to get all the leaders thinking on the same page before the major climate change summit in Copenhagen (the Copenhagen meeting will replace the Kyoto Protocol). Ki-moon urged world leaders to work on a draft proposal that would work with developing countries.
By: Brendan Chan, Grade 11
Over many generations, people have changed in the same way as animals. We adapt to our new surroundings and learn our manners/behaviours from our parents. Today, a major problem exists. To put it simply, our manners have disappeared. As a result, people have become selfish and in a world that needs more help than ever, selfishness is not the solution.
To begin, as teenagers, we feel we need certain things such as computers, cell phones, and video games. Living in this increasingly changing world means that we the people have to change our behaviours as well. Is change always a good thing? The answer is no; not always. Has society noticed that everyone talks on cell phones instead of meeting with others in person? Where’s the interaction? Why don’t people want to see each other? Or how about the fact that more and more people are either playing video games or working? Why do we interrupt someone when they’re talking? Where are our manners? Communities are no longer close to each other. Parents are constantly busy at work, kids are always at school; there’s just no time for anyone except for ‘Me, Myself and I’. People are simply immersed in a world where work and money overrules all. Our society has definitely changed, a point summarized precisely by Valerie Pringle, a CBC journalist, “I’m always being shocked. No one signals, people don’t say hello back when you pass them in the park, people walk three abreast on the sidewalk and don’t move for anyone. Who says excuse me or sorry or thank you anymore?”
Brought to you by: Puneet & Nikki, Grade 12
Extra, extra, read all about it! Yes, for the first time in Windermere history, Amnesty International will be starting up. For those who are passionate about Human Rights and how they are being abused, and wondering what you can do about this travesty, come out and check us out! Every month we will be focusing on a different topic and a different issue. We will have hands on activities and possibly might even be able to go on a trip if we have enough members! Stay tuned for Clubs Day and come by to get more information if you are just even slightly interested. We will have a column every month from now on discussing our topic of the month, so come and join us if it intrigues you. That’s all from us, for now. Be sure to read more about us in the next month’s issue!
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade11
The many, many countries that exist in our world live under different forms of healthcare, economic values, and one of the biggest driving forces to these factors, the government. Some may be more open to the outside world, encouraging citizens to put in their opinions while others rather keep themselves isolated. North Korea or also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a single-party and self-reliant state, currently run by Kim Jong-Il, the president. Therefore, many limitations are enforced towards not only North Korean citizens, but also visitors of the state. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two young journalists are reporters for Current TV, an Al Gore run production located in San-Francisco. Laura Ling, 32 and Euna Lee, 36 were detained by guards at the North Korean border on March 17th, 2009 for “illegally entering the country.” They were taken in for filming and interviewing female refugees that were near the border of China, which was officially announced in May.
By: Jenny Ho, Grade 11
You know what really grinds my gears? The new HST (harmonized sales tax). In late July of this year, Premier Gordon Campbell and Finance Minister Colin Hansen announced that they would follow in Ontario’s footsteps. Effective next Canada Day (July 1, 2010), taxpayers will pay the combined GST (goods and service tax) and PST (provincial sales tax) on many basic goods and services. This includes all prepared food products, school supplies, magazines, work equipment, bicycles, non-prescription medicines, personal services, restaurants, real estate, admission fees for movies; the list goes on and on. The only things that are exempt from the HST include basic groceries, fuel, books, children’s clothing, hygiene products, and new home purchases up to $400,000.
The 12% tax grab will benefit major businesses (also known as Campbell’s best friends). For example, one of Campbell’s sponsors during the election was B.C. Rail. As you all know, friends help each other out and “scratch each other’s backs”. Since B.C. Rail has done Campbell a favour, he must now return it. They will be able to claim and receive their HST rebates in all cases. In other words, the HST will reduce sales taxes paid by business, and reduce administrative costs. Although it may be beneficial for businesses of all kinds, the HST proves to be extremely unappealing to the public. On average, consumers will pay an extra $1.9 billion with the HST a year. “Not a dime of the HST will pay for healthcare, education or social services”, quotes Bill Tileman, creator of “NO BC HST” Facebook group. “This is the single biggest thing we can do to improve B.C.’s economy”, Campbell is contrarily quoted. Maybe it’s just me, but does anyone else think that he was intoxicated while proposing this?
By: Georgette Gorn, Grade 12
By looking up this topic on government websites, I learned that the Canadian Government recently stated that they are “working closely with Peru to ensure sound mining practices in key mining communities”. Percan, the “key component” in these so-called efforts, aims to improve the contribution of mining companies to sustainable development mining in Peru. Mining in Peru for gold and other resources has been ongoing for the past ten years in the Andes and its foothills, as it is considered to hold “significant potential” for Canadian Companies. Bright picture if not a fairy tale, indeed. Yet how has this affected those that actually live in Peru?
Once upon a time, better said 1999, the Tambogrande region and its surrounding areas were to be developed by Vancouver-based Manhattan Minerals Corporation. This region contains agricultural lands and tropical forests on which thousands of farmers and townspeople alike feared would be destroyed; causing ecological damage to human health, agriculture and endangered species. The proposed mines would also displace communities.
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.
Question: Who are Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas? I think every student I ask will know the answer. Another question: who is Aung San Suu Kyi? I don’t think most students have a clue to who she is. Now after reading this much, you will probably just flip to another page, not caring who this woman is. But in my opinion, I think she should be more well-known than Nick, Kevin and Joe. So now the real question: who is Aung San Suu Kyi?
Born in Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) on June 19, 1945, Aung San Suu Kyi is a pro-democracy activist and leader of the National League for Democracy (pro-democracy party) in Burma. When Aung was just two years old, her father, who negotiated Burma’s independence from the United Kingdom, was killed.