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January-February 2011

Book Review: Not Yet by Wayson Choy

Jeremy BealWebsite

Wayson Choy’s second memoir, Not Yet, is bookended by two brushes with the undiscovered country via ticker trouble. The first, an asthma attack and a handful of “cardiac events,” leave him in an induced coma. The second attack is recognized by doctors quickly enough to be reduced to an epilogue and concludes with a writer […]

Is flushable, biodegradable kitty litter really environmentally friendly?

Jenn HardyWebsite

The Claim All-natural wood- and corn-based cat litter is a better, greener alternative to traditional clay cat litter. Not only is it biodegradable, but pet owners can flush kitty’s mess down the toilet without getting the guilty conscience that comes with adding a plastic bag per day to already overflowing landfills. But could cat poop […]

How Sudanese refugee Mijok Lang became Winnipeg rapper Hot Dogg

Devon BabinWebsite

Mijok Lang may not know how old he is, but he has no doubt where he comes from. He remembers, as a child, singing a familiar tribal song with friends. It was the only way, he says, that they could keep lions and other animals at bay in the jungles of Sudan and Ethiopia as […]

Province-like clout for Northwest Territories brings prosperity—and power struggles

Herb Mathisen

[This article has been updated since its January 2011 publication; please see 3rd paragraph] Territorial devolution is key to a successful North… After decades at a frozen impasse, it appears the federal government’s position on devolving province-like responsibilities and powers to the Northwest Territories has finally thawed. In October, a draft agreement-in-principle between the feds […]

Three poems by Jaime Forsythe

Jaime Forsythe

Former Girl Guide goes camping I spelled Cassiopeia to earn the astronomy badge, carpooled to the planetarium. Concentric circles of blue dresses. Phoebe rings, falling star, meteorite. A girl’s right hand on my left armrest. My gaze strung between the Milky Way, the reef knot moving at her throat. Ten years later, you inherit an […]

Why the Tories’ $100-a-month child-care plan isn’t enough

Kevin Philipupillai

Advocates have long argued that a publicly funded universal daycare system would support low-income families, single parents, and working mothers. Support for variants of universal child care was a hallmark of the Mulroney, Chrétien, and Martin election platforms—but none of them made it happen. Instead, in 2006, the then new Harper government made the Universal […]

Always known for its commerce, Calgary’s got culture too

Allison McNeelyWebsite

Calgary is not a place to stay. A cultural wasteland with a boom-bust oil economy where hard workers can make their money before moving to a “real” city with “real” arts and culture—but not a place to stay. This is an all-too-common belief about Calgary. But skeptics should take a closer look at the Heart […]

Fiction: We continue to pray for something to end our prayers by Peter Darbyshire

Peter DarbyshireWebsite

We expected the world to end in fire, or maybe flood. An asteroid from the heavens, perhaps, or a drowning ocean from the melted ice caps. We expected a plague to arrive on every flight that descended into our cities, for our own bodies to rise up against us. We expected something apocalyptic. Something we […]

Forget mandatory voting. Canada should be paying people to go to the polls

Bruce M. Hicks

From the Second World War until the end of the 20th century, roughly 75 percent of eligible voters consistently cast ballots in federal elections. During the Jean Chrétien era, however, that number began to drop and has been declining ever since. There are many theories as to why this is the case: the increased frequency […]

Iconic youth volunteer program Katimavik struggles as budgets are slashed

Denis CalnanWebsite

Before his experience with the youth volunteer program Katimavik, Kamloops resident Erik Nelson subscribed to the usual Quebec stereotypes. “Out here in the West,” he says, “we kind of view Quebec in a very simple light: as the angry, dissatisfied province.” Nine months later, you’ll find Nelson busy planning ways to feed his new-found “obsession” […]

Shut out of international adoption, aspiring queer parents face hard choices

Meghan Davidson Ladly

Some LGBT would-be parents find ways to thwart foreign bigotry—while others simply walk away The test kitchen of the Bayview Village Loblaws grocery store in North Toronto is packed. Around 30 women and men sit clustered in pairs in a horseshoe, framed by the cupboards and counters lining the room. They are almost all white, […]