This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture


March-April 2012

What rereading tells us about ourselves

Christina Palassio

In some circles these days, talking about reading is tantamount to announcing you have leprosy. Once, I was greeted by plaintive laments and guilty, apologetic admissions: I wish I had time to read or I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a book. Now, my mentions of books are more often met by […]

Greenwashed: Bioplastic packaging may be more hype than help

Lauren Gillett

THE CLAIM: Plant-based packaged goods are sprouting up across Canada. Made from renewable resources such as vegetable oil and starch from corn or sugar cane, bioplastics, such as polylactic acid (PLA), are often touted as the earth friendly alternative to conventional petroleum or fossil-based plastics. Some products claim to be biodegradable or even 100 percent […]

Is New Brunswick’s budding natural gas industry worth the environmental uncertainty?

Kyle Dupont

Yes, natural gas development is good for New Brunswick’s flagging economy When the New Brunswick government granted Southwestern Energy its first natural gas exploration permit in March 2010 hundreds of angry citizens set up blockades and held rallies on the lawn of the Legislative Assembly. Two years later, the debate is just as explosive. In […]

Andrew McPhail’s quirky Band-Aid art

Shannon Webb-Campbell

Imagine 60,000 Band-Aids stuck together in small wagon-wheel patterns, draped over a mannequin in an art gallery. Now, imagine a person wearing this cloak in the middle of a downtown street, who if feeling confrontational, sticks Band-Aids on passersby. Hamilton-based artist Andrew McPhail’s installation and performance all my little failures explores obsession, humour and disease. […]

Lorraine Johnson breaks the law to keep chickens in her Toronto yard

Paul McLaughlin

For the past three years urban gardener and author (City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing) Lorraine Johnson has kept chickens in her Toronto west-end backyard. As Toronto considers ending its current ban on urban fowl, Johnson, 51, serves up her reasons for overturning the bylaw. THIS: What inspired you to get chickens? LJ: I […]

In the quest for just and sustainable food practices, why is nobody talking about the organic farming’s dependence on migrant labour?

Annie Crane

The organic food industry in Canada is booming. As of 2009, more than 3,900 certified organic farms were in operation across Canada, accounting for just under two per cent of the country’s total farms. This number is growing fast, too—along with knowledge and consumer preference for organic food. Retail sales from 2008 (the most recent […]

Tzeporah Berman’s last Canadian project could have changed Canada’s climate politics. So why did it flop?

Andrew Stobo Sniderman Website

Canadians who care about climate change have good reason to be depressed about our history of climate change politics, which goes something like this: Jean Chrétien promises a lot, does little; Paul Martin promises more, does a bit, but not much; Stephen Harper promises nothing, and delivers. What explains this pattern? The answer has a […]