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July-August 2010

Moncton groups spar over Petitcodiac River’s future

Andrew Livingstone

When the New Brunswick government built a controversial causeway splitting the Petitcodiac River in 1968, Moncton’s 129 km river quickly came to look like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which is how it earned its local nickname, the “Chocolate River“). It didn’t take long for tempers to boil over too: conservationists have […]

Is Canada’s genetically engineered “Enviropig” headed for your plate?

Julia Prinselaar

It may be anticlimactic for those who picture transgenic animals as products of zany laboratory cut ’n pastes, but Canada’s first genetically engineered animal to be raised for food looks just like the ordinary farm pig that shares its DNA. Dubbed “Enviropig,” its creators at the University of Guelph say it’s a boon to the […]

Book review: Ghosted by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall

Sarah BarmakWebsite

Meet shambolic, directionless Mason Dubisee, an author-manqué who has just turned 30 and can’t seem to finish his big novel. Decimated by his cocaine and gambling addictions, he agrees to ghostwrite a love letter for an odd, lovesick man named Warren. When Warren is found dead, the missive becomes a poignant suicide note—and Mason decides […]

Montreal’s Vanessa Rodrigues blends music and food activism

Jenn HardyWebsite

When she isn’t playing jazz organ in Rio de Janeiro or running her own jam session during the Montreal International Jazz Festival, musician Vanessa Rodrigues can usually be found making her own pickles. The Montreal-based musician has her plate full with music projects, but high on her list of priorities is food—the growing of, the […]

How Canwest helped Shell Oil greenwash its tar sands business

Raina DelisleWebsite

Shell Canada’s operations in Alberta’s oil sands are clean and green, and simply the victim of nasty rumours spread by environmentalists trying to tar the company’s reputation. That is, if you believe the “six-week Canwest special information feature on climate change, in partnership with Shell Canada.” Canada’s largest media company teamed up with the oil […]

Whatever Happened To… Gary Freeman, “Canada’s Black Panther”?

Wendy Glauser

He was branded Canada’s very own Black Panther. In 2004, Gary Freeman, born Joseph Pannell, was arrested by Toronto police at gunpoint outside of his workplace, the Toronto Reference Library. It turned out that this friendly library assistant, father, and husband was harbouring a secret past. In Chicago in 1969, he had shot a cop […]

Book Review: Andrew Potter’s The Authenticity Hoax

Eve Tobolka

Sure, it’s easy to be disenchanted with society: its corporate lies, political impotence, and information overload. The hunt for authenticity “has become the spiritual quest of our time,” Andrew Potter, famed co-author of The Rebel Sell, writes in his new book, The Authenticity Hoax. A way to escape all we believe to be fake and […]

26 million hectares of forest, $17 billion, and one lonely bush pilot

Ashley Walters

For years, Joel Theriault has waged a losing battle against pesticide spraying in Northern Ontario forests. He’s made enemies in the logging business, the Ministry of Natural Resources—and even among his fellow environmentalists. What keeps him going? On a chilly afternoon in mid-June 2009, bush-pilot-turned-environmental-activist Joel Theriault is once again flying over the deforested landscape […]

It’s not TV. It’s George F. Walker

Emily LandauWebsite

After decades of populist programming, serialized television has blossomed into an auteur’s medium over the last decade. This new golden age is marked by subtle characterization and complex narrative: American cable networks such as HBO and AMC have pioneered the revolution with series like The Sopranos, Mad Men and The Wire. Here in Canada, playwright […]

Progressive Detective: Is it safe to use the Pill to skip my period?

Sarah SnowdonWebsite

Dear Progressive Detective: I’ve heard of a new birth control pill, Seasonale, that reduces your period to four times a year instead of 12. I see the appeal, but messing with my cycle just seems like a bad idea. How safe are these kinds of contraceptives? Extended-use hormonal contraceptives like Seasonale boost estrogen to levels […]

In Google’s spat with China, the legacy of colonialism still echoes

Navneet AlangWebsite

When Google, citing concerns over security and censorship, pulled their operations out of China in March this year, they were widely praised for taking a stand for democracy. But Google’s move wasn’t the first time a Western entity had taken the moral high road in regard to China. In fact, almost 200 years ago, the […]