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The Ubyssey Oct 21, 2010

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Array The rent is too damn high SINCE 1918
Going Coastal 2/UBYSSEY.CA/E VENTS/2010.10.21
OCTOBER 21,2010
VOLUME XCII,  N°XIV
EDITORIAL
COORDINATING EDITOR
Justin McElroy: coordinating@ubysseyca
NEWS EDITOR
ArshyMann: news@ubysseyca
ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR
Sally Crampton : associate.news@ubysseyca
CULTURE EDITORS
Jonny Wakefield & Bryce Warnes:
culture@ubyssey ca
ASSOCIATE CULTURE EDITOR
Anna Zoria: associate.culture@ubysseyca
SPORTS EDITOR
Vacant
FEATURES EDITOR
Trevor Record :features@ubyssey ca
PHOTO EDITOR
Geoff Lister: photos@ubysseyca
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Virginie Menard: production@ubysseyca
COPY EDITOR
Kai Green: copy@ubysseyca
MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Tara Martellaro: multimedia@ubysseyca
ASSOCIATE MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Stephanie Warren:
associate.multimedia@ubysseyca
VIDEO EDITOR
Matt Wetzler: video@ubysseyca
WEBMASTER
Jeff Blake: webmaster@ubysseyca
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
tel: 604.822.2301
web: www.ubyssey.ca
e-mail: feedback@ubysseyca
BUSINESS
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604.822.1654
business office: 604.822.6681
fax: 604.822.1658
e-mail: advertising@ubysseyca
BUSINESS MANAGER
FerniePereira: business@ubysseyca
PRINT AD SALES
Kathy Yan Li: advertising@ubysseyca
WEB AD SALES
Paul Bucci: webads@ubysseyca
ACCOUNTS
Alex Ho opes
CONTRIBUTORS
Eunice Hii      Alexandros Mitsiopoirlos
Miranda Martini Helen Drost
Conrad Compagna Jay Ritchlin
Kasha Chang Alexandria Mitchell
Austin Holm
Lisa Danielson
Karina Palmitesta
Irene Lo
Mandy Ng
Brian Piatt
Jonathan Chiang Francis Arevalo
LEGAL
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of
the University of British Columbia. It is published
every Monday and Thursday by The Ubyssey Publications Society. We are an autonomous, democratically run student organization, and all students are
encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opinion of the
staff, and do not necessarily reflect the views of
The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of British Columbia. All editorial content appear-
ng in The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey
Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs
and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced
without the expressed, written permission of The
Ubyssey Publications Society.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian
University Press (CUP) and adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
fetters to the editor must be under 300 words
Please include your phone number, student number
and signature (not for publication) as well as your
year and faculty with all submissions. ID will be
checked when submissions are dropped off at the
editorial office of The Ubyssey; otherwise verification will be done by phone. "Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750 words and
are run according to space. "Freestyles" are opinion
pieces written by Ubyssey staff members. Priority
will be given to letters and perspectives over free-
styles unless the latter is time sensitive. Opinion
pieces will not be run until the identity of the writer has been verified. The Ubyssey reserves the right
to edit submissions for length and clarity. All letters
must be received by 12 noon the day before intended publication, fetters received after this point wil
be published in the following issue unless there is
an urgent time restriction or other matter deemed
relevant by the Ubyssey staff.
Itisagreed byall persons placing display or classified advertising that if the Ubyssey Publications
Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an
error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS wil
not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The
UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes or
typographical errors that do not lessen the value or
the impact of the ad
University
Press
Canada Post Sales
Agreement
Number 0040878022
pnintsa onj[0.0%
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EVENTS
THURSDAY, OCT. 21
FILM FUNDRAISER WITH THE SOCIOLOGY STUDENTS'ASSOCIATION
Come out to watch (500) Days of Summer, an offbeat romantic comedy about a
woman who doesn't believe true love exists and the young man who falls for her.
Popcorn and hot chocolate will be served.
A critical discussion will follow the movie.
• 5-8pm, MASS Lounge, Buchanan D, $2
for members, $4 for non-members, contact ssa.ausrep@gmail.com for more info.
FRIDAY, OCT 22
UBCTENNIS CLUB: MIDNIGHT MADNESS
The Tennis Club's epic social event is
back! There will be many different activities to keep you busy and awake through
the night, including a foamball tennis tourney, dodgeball, Wii tennis tourney, speed
serve contest and a doubles tournament.
Free food and drink will be provided. •
11pm-12am, UBC Tennis Center, membership card required, non-club members
can sign up at the event for a membership
card ($12 for new, $10 for returning).
SATURDAY, OCT 23
UBC FILM SOCIETY SCREENING: THE KIDS ARE
ALL RIGHT
The UBC Film Society will be showing The
Kids Are All Right, the breakout indie comedy of the Sundance Film Festival. Two
children conceived by artificial insemination bring their birth father into their family
life. • Runs until Oct. 24, 7pm-9pm, Norm
Theatre, SUB, $5 non-members, $2.50
members.
SUNDAY, OCT 24
HIR0MI 0KADA PIANO RECITAL
Hiromi Okada is visiting UBC from Japan
to give master classes to students of the
UBC School of Music. In addition to his
wonderful teaching abilities, he will grace
UBC with his artistry as a pianist in this
special concert featuring a fabulous repertoire. • 3pm, UBC School of Music Recital
Hall, $20 adults, $10 seniors and students
(cash only).
THE ACORN WITH LEIFVOLLEBEKK
Anchored by vivid songwriting and
eclectic instrumentation, The Acorn produce an original brand of experimental,
popular folk music that effortlessly marries modern and traditional forms. • Oct.
21-22, 9:30pm (doors open at 8pm), Biltmore Cabaret, 2755 Prince Edward, $13
tickets in advance at Zulu, Red Cat, buy
tickets online at ticketweb.ca.
WEST COAST CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL
The West Coast Chocolate Festival is a
unique and innovative collection of individual high calibre chocolate-themed
adult and all-ages events that occur
throughout the Lower Mainland. The
Festival not only focuses on chocolate,
but on healthy food choices and active
living. • Runs until Nov. 10, across Lower Mainland, go to chocolatefestival.ca
for more information.
UNIVERSITY SINGERS AND UBC CH0RALUNI0N
Enjoy this free concert featuring UBC's
own University Singers and UBC Choral Union. Highlights to include Britten's
"Hymn to St. Cecilia" and works by
Haydn, Palestrina and Whitacre.* 8pm,
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts,
free event, visit music.ubc.ca for more
information.
CORRECTION
In the October 7th issue of The Ubyssey, we reported that the
UBC Faculty Association bargained away the right to strike earlier this year. Rather the two parties agreed on interest arbitration as the mechanism for settling bargaining disputes over thirty-five years ago. We sincerely regret this error.
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MEMBER
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Send us the events you
want to advertise.
events@ubysseyca
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We're looking for a
new Sports Editor.
Interested candidates
must submit a
resume, cover
letter, and relevant
writing samples
to coordinating®
ubyssey.ca. For more
information, go to
ubyssey.ca/news/
hiring-sports-editor.
JUSTIN MCELROY
coordinating@ubysseyca
U THEUBYSSEYc 2010.10.21/UBYSSEY.CA/NEWS/3
NEWS
EDITOR ARSHY MANN»news@ubyssey.ca
ASSOCIATE SALLY CRAMPTON»associate.news@ubyssey.ca
Professor attacks Craigslist over erotic ads
Benjamin Perrin says website supports human trafficking
CONRAD COMPAGNA
Contributor
Earlier this month, Benjamin
Perrin, a law professor at UBC,
publicly called upon Craigslist
to "shut down the online flesh
market" that is its erotic services section.
Perrin, who recently wrote a
book about human trafficking in
Canada called Invisible Chains:
Canada's Underground World of
Human Trafficking, said in an
interview with the CBC that he
is prepared to bring criminal
charges against Craigslist if it
does not comply.
"The basis of the case would
be the evidence that we have
obtained through our research
over a three-year period that
they are aiding and abetting
human trafficking and the sale
of minors and prostitution," he
said.
Perrin is not alone in his call.
In September, Craigslist shut
down its erotic services section in the United States after
17 state attorney generals demanded that it do so. It simply
replaced it with a black bar that
says "censored."
North of the border, Ontario
cabinet ministers have demanded that it do the same.
Perrin addresses a crowd at the Chan Centre. FRANCIS AREVALO PHOTO/THE UBYSSEY
This month, police arrested
a Burnaby man who used Craigslist to advertise brothels staffed
with trafficking victims that he
ran throughout the Greater Vancouver Area. Police say that he
had lured the women from Hong
Kong and that he was making
up to $40,000 a week selling
them for sex.
Perrin thinks that Craigslist
is "the new technology of human trafficking," but many others think that banning sex ads
from Craigslist might drive
prostitution further underground, which would place sex
workers at greater risk.
John Lowman, a professor
of criminology at Simon Fraser University, pointed out that
sex workers on the street are
far more likely to go missing
or be murdered than sex workers indoors.
Joyce Arthur, the cofound-
er of FIRST, a feminist group
that advocates for the rights of
sex workers, said that "Craigslist offered more privacy and
control to advertisers compared
to many other online venues. It
acted as a buffer that allowed
them to screen clients."
This debate comes in light
of an Ontario court ruling in
September that struck down
key laws against prostitution.
Though the ruling still has to
survive appeals, it could have a
lasting impact on the legal status of prostitution in Canada.
Perrin believes that "legalizing prostitution is not the answer," but in a September opinion
piece in the Globe and Mail, he
also acknowledged that many
see sex workers as victims, and
laws which criminalize them are
"unpalatable to many." Instead
of legalization, he advocates a
method of policing prostitution
developed by Sweden in the late
90s, which decriminalizes selling sex but criminalizes buying
it. "Without demand," he said,
"there would be no sex trafficking and prostitution."
Perrin said that the 'Swedish
model' has reduced the number
of women being sold for sex in
Sweden by 40 per cent, and that
it has been so successful it has
been adoptedbyboth Iceland and
Norway. But Professor Lowman is
unclear on what the legal status
of websites like Craigslist would
be under the 'Swedish model.'
"Would it be legal for sex sellers to advertise their services?"
he asked. "If yes, why would
they not advertise on Craigslist? If no, would they advertise 'nude dancing' on Craigslist
instead? If Craigslist refused to
host such advertising would it
merely transfer to another site?
Attempting to ban sex advertising might be something like trying to trap a ball of mercury on
a glass table top with the underside of a spoon." tl
Party of Five: AMS gets feedback on proposed SUB designs
Architects to take concepts from all five options
in final design ofthe new building
SALLY CRAMPTON
associate, news® ubyssey.ca
On Monday and Tuesday, designers and architects showcased
five potential designs for the
new Student Union Building in
the current SUB concourse.
According to AMS VP Administration Ekaterina Dovjenko,
student unions "rarely play such
an active role in the design and
construction of a building."
The project invited all undergraduates to look at the designs
and submit their comments. Jennifer Cutbill, an architect on the
project and a UBC graduate, said
that "student participation has
been great."
"The general overall feedback
is that people are very excited
to have a new SUB building,"
she said.
The first step in the project
began in mid-September, when
students were invited to participate in a two day design char-
rette. After the charettes, the
architects drafted up five possible designs.
"After the feedback from the
charettes we teased out two
main sets of ideas," said Cutbill.
"We're hoping the new design
will be transparent, legible and
visually explanatory."
"Most of them revolve around
flows of materials, ideas, perspectives," added Culhill. "Flow
and movement is a key strategy in each of the five design
options."
Students who came by the displays were happy to debate the
different options.
Sara Binns, a third-year environment and sustainability student, said "I was most drawn to
the grand stair design. I'm interested in sustainability, so I
hope they might include features that are more visible, such
as a green roof."
"They look a lot more interesting than the existing SUB,"
added Alexandra Lam, a first-
year commerce student. "This
one is functional but outdated."
Andreanne Doyon, the new
SUB project coordinator, said
that they are doing all they can
to make sure that the project
has full student input.
"The design cube (located in
the SUB) is supposed to be a vehicle where students can see us
working and ask any questions,"
she said, adding, "We have students doing research projects
as to what could be implemented. We also attend different AMS
meetings so we can see how students use their spaces, as well
as things like UBC sustainability talks."
So what's next for the new
SUB?
"The next step is to tease out
the most opportune elements
from the five proposed designs
and take the best from each to
come up with a consolidated
option that takes the best of all
these strategies in a cohesive
way," said Cutbill.
Dovjenko seconded the fact
that the five options presented
are not the final five.
"They are more like concepts
and there will be a sixth option
that will try to incorporate what
students and staff like from each
option. The sixth option might
not look like any of the options
presented, but will be a hybrid
of them all." tJ
^1
ONLINE
EXCLUSIVES
A breakdown of the five proposed
designs forthe new Student Union
Building @ ubyssey.ca/news.
The St Lawrence Market in Toronto—a real-life example of one of
the proposed models for the SUB.   COURTESY OF HBBH+BH 4/UBYSSEY.CA/NEWS/2010.10.21
LAND USE
UPDATE
METRO VAN, AMS
PRESIDENT WEIGH IN
ON LAND USE DEBATE
by Arshy Mann
news@ubyssey.ca
AMS CONFLICT
AHMADIAN CAUSES STIR WITH
HOUSING SPEECH
AMS President Bijan Ahmadian stirred up some controversy at last Thursday's All Presidents' Dinner, when, in front of
300 student leaders, he made
a speech alongside UBC President Stephen Toope that detailed
some of the benefits of increased
market housing on campus.
"The funding from the university endowment lands creates the largest discretionary
fund in Canada for UBC [with
which] UBC finances student financial aid, research initiatives
and discretionary projects, such
as the university's contribution
of $2 5 million to our new SUB,"
he said.
He later said that "U-Town
means creating a sustainable
community on campus that
brings more funding for scholarships, more housing for students
and more jobs for students,
and as we are going through
the land use consultations, Stephen, we're going to work closely with you to make sure those
concepts are materialized."
VP Academic Ben Cappellacci, who is in charge of dealing
with the university on land use
issues, walked out in the middle of the speech. VP External
Jeremy McElroy tweeted during
the speech that "The views ofthe
AMS President are not those of
the AMS. I cannot stress this
enough."
Ahmadian felt thathis speech
was misinterpreted by many
people.
"The speech focused on several facts that were accurate
about family housing," he said.
"We don't have a policy which
says we are against market
housing. We just want the interface to work. The AMS doesn't
oppose University Town. The
AMS just says we want to make
sure the interface between
5 ^/
/
_ ^
K'
students and others is constructive and productive and
that makes sense.
"I have heard that some people misheard it, but I'm happy to clarify and lots of people
have also commented to me
that they thought it was a great
speech and they do agree with
the concept that this is a UBC
community."
He also said he believes his
relationship with the other executives is still very strong.
"We have chatted since then
and I think the executives have
a good understanding of each
other and we are working very
well together," he said. "We still
have a very strong executive dynamic here."
Ahmadian, who sat on the
UBC Board of Governors for two
years before he was AMS President, has been criticized in the
past for being too close to the
university. Earlier this year, he
clashed with AMS Council over
the AMS's lobbying document
for the land use plan, which he
believed was too specific on zoning issues and did not give him
enough space to utilize his good
relationship with the university.
He was the only person to vote
against the final document. tl
KEY UPCOMING EVENTS
OCTOBER
Oversight committee appointed for the  public
hearing
NOVEMBER
UBC Board of Governors
holds official
public hearing
JANUARY
BoG approves Land Use
Plan amendments
EARLY 2011
Amendments
taken to government for approval
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
STUDENT APPOINTED TO
PUBLIC HEARING COMMITTEE
UBC has appointed two people
to sit on an oversight committee for a crucial public hearing
that will determine UBC's land
use policies—and one of them
is a student.
Sean Heisler, one of two AMS
representatives to the BoG, and
Andrew Irvine, a faculty representative, will be part of the
committee that will oversee November's hearing.
Heisler's appointment follows
through on previous statements
from the university that said
they would like to see a student
on the committee.
"The committee that is created to conduct the public hearing
will be a board-appointed committee and I would look to see
at least one student appointed
on that," UBC VP External Stephen Owen said in September.
The creation ofthe committee
was mandated by a ministerial order which said that it must
contain two BoG members, the
Chair of the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA),
the Associate VP of Campus and
Community Planning and two
external professional planners.
The order also said that the
board must consult the UNA,
the University Endowment
Lands, Metro Vancouver, the
City of Vancouver, the Vancouver School District, the provincial and federal governments
and the Musqueam First Nation.
AMS Presdent Bijan Ahmadian said he was happy to see a
student on the committee.
"This was a request from the
AMS so we are very pleased with
the outcome. The university values student engagement in this
and values student input and we
are grateful they respondedposi-
tively to our request," he said, tl
METRO VANCOUVER
METRO VAN CONCERNED OVER
MARKET HOUSING AT UBC
Metro Vancouver has questioned
UBC's plans to significantly increase market housing on campus over the next 20 years, citing
concerns over increased pressure on nearby infrastructure.
A report produced by Metro
Vancouver staff argues that the
growth proposed by UBC, which
would see the population of University Town expand to 51,000,
is too dramatic and would put
too much pressure on the roads
and transit to the university.
AMS President Bijan Ahmadian said that he believes
this opposition is tied to Metro
Vancouver's desire to not have
rapid transit to UBC.
"The key message from Metro Van is that the population
that UBC is thinking about is
too large for us to support it
through the transit system
that we are envisioning, which
takes us back to how they don't
want the UBC line," he said.
"They're saying that we don't
like this plan, because we don't
have the transit system to support it."
Electoral Area A Director Maria Harris, who represents UBC's
residents on the Metro Vancouver board, said that she believes
the university needs to be more
clear with their plans moving
forward.
"There might be a radical
change in the population plan
for UBC [and] we need some clarity on what that is," she said.
"Then we're going to be able to
understand the impact on regional transit networks, and on
regional public infrastructure
requirements and particularly
on regional utilities."
She also believes that the
public hearing should allow for
more time to comment because
of these new concerns.
"Given that this key issue of
population has been raised and
brought to wider public attention at this late stage, it would
be really beneficial to extend the
timeline for comments on the
land use plan.
"To accommodate UBC, if
there's a particular type of construction or piece of construction they want to embark on that
they're being stopped from doing, I would rather see that proceed piece by piece, because
I think we're talking about
months and not years."
UBC VP External Stephen
Owen declined comment, stating that he believes it is "premature to provide any updates at
this point." tl
There might be a
radical change in the
population plan for
UBC [and] we need
some clarity on what
that is.
MARIA HARRIS
ELECTORAL AREAA DIRECTOR 2010.10.21/UBYSSEY.CA/OCEANS/5
OCEAN HEALTH
EDITOR TREVOR RECORD»features@ubyssey.ca
GUEST EDITOR JONNY WAKEFIELD »culture@ubyssey.ca
GEOFF LISTER PHOTO/
THEUBYSSEY
WELCOME TO THE
OCEANS SUPPLEMENT
JONNY
WAKEFIELD
culture@ubyssey.ca
Since the catastrophe in the Gulf,
many in the environmental movement have been
touting "blue as
the new green."
This conventional wisdom that is
starting to take
hold in the public
mind as we begin
to realize the damage humans are doing to the world's oceans. But no matter what colour we choose to brand the
steps we need to take to avoid the global cataclysm, one thing is clear: we still
don't know enough.
The ocean is dark and deep, so I'm told,
as are the politics surrounding its management. Though many BC residents live
a few blocks from salt water, few understand what we're putting in and taking out
of it. This is especially clear in BC with this
year's record salmon run—which, after last
year's distressingly low run, has left many
scientists, fishermen and policy analysts
scratching their heads.
These fish are fickle creatures, and
we'll be talking quite a bit about them
this issue. Many agree that overfishing
is one of the most pressing threats to the
global ocean ecosystem: some estimate
that we face a global fisheries collapse
in 2048 if we continue fishing at the current rate. Among other things, we look at
consolidation of fishing rights in BC and
the policies that allowed this resource to
fall into the hands of a wealthy few. We
look at Ocean Wise, a local group that
is trying to change how we think about
seafood, and at the huge diversity of life
in BC waters that is at stake.
If managing and protecting our aquatic
resources doesn't become a higher priority, we may live to see a world in which
the diversity of sea life is wiped out. The
thought of this kind of future is paralyzing. But it needs to be talked about.
Fishy business: genetically engineered salmon
USA DANIELSON
Contributor
Would you want to eat a genetically modified fish? You may not have a choice
soon, if American Food and Drug Association (AFDA) approves the first genetically engineered fish for human
consumption.
September 19, the AFDA started panel discussions on the approval ofthe release ofthe genetically engineered salmon, which is called AquAd
vantage. If it goes
through,
the    GE
salmon
will not
be labeled
any  differently
from its conventional coun
terpart in US stores.
AquAdvantage was created by Aqua Bounty, a biotech
company based in Massachusetts. The
company has been working on the development ofthe AquAdvantage salmon
for 15 years with their main facilities in
Prince Edward Island. The AquAdvantage
is an Atlantic salmon modified with an
antifreeze gene from the ocean pout species (so it can survive in colder waters)
and with a growth hormone from the Chinook salmon (so it grows twice as fast as
a normal Atlantic salmon).
The "advantage" of this salmon is clear:
if it can grow twice as fast as a regular
fish, the farming time is cut in half, meaning the production cost is cut in half. Furthermore, as the AquAdvantage can survive in colder waters than its conventional counterpart, it can be raised on land-
based farms, as opposed to ocean pens.
This salmon has a significant environmental advantage; conventional ocean-
based fish farms create large nitrogen deposits that then disperse and are harmful for ocean ecosystems, and have been
linked to increasing sea lice populations.
Elliot Entis, cofounder of Aqua Bounty, describes the salmon to The Boston Globe as
"...a way to help feed people and decrease
the footprint of aquaculture on oceans.
I know some people when they hear or
read that are going to be cynical, but it's
really quite the truth."
Aqua Bounty and the FDA both say
the fish is safe to eat, but the approval of this product has met with opposition from environmental and consumer groups. The main issues brought up
by groups such as the Consumers
Union, the Center
product. Aqua Bounty and the FDA both
say that the new salmon is equivalent
to the normal fish, so there is no need
to label it differently.
Mark Begich, the Senator of Alaska,
commented for the BBC and reiterated the opinion of many, stating, "Consideration of this gene-spliced salmon
needs to move beyond the
closed doors of the FDA and
into the daylight where the
public can weigh in whether this risky development is
desired." tl
«tte»
*
for Food Safety and Food & Water Watch
is that there is not enough data to disprove the potential health and environmental risks. The approval of this
product also revisits the debates surrounding GE food in general.
Ronald Stotish, the Aqua Bounty Chief
Executive, argued in The Vancouver Sun
that without GE food, "it's hard to imagine how we'll meet the protein needs of
the developing population over the next
20 to 30 years."
The salmon is currently going
through the approval process of a veterinary drug, instead of a food source.
The FDA says that this process means
it will go through more stringent regulations than it would as a food product, but it also means that certain information is kept private to protect the
company.
The FDA's labeling protocol has also
been criticized for keeping the public
in the dark. Current FDA rules only
call for special labels for altered food
when there is a difference in the end
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PERSPECTIVE: SALMON SHOW THE NEED FOR BETTER OCEAN CONSERVATION EFFORTS
JAYRITCHUN
David Suzuki Foundation
This year's Fraser River sockeye salmon return is rightly being celebrated as
good news. But it does not signal, as
some have implied, that all is well with
the salmon or with the environment we
share.
Last year's run was extremely low and
followed decades of declining productivity. In addition, 2010 was an expected
peak year in the salmon's four-year cyclical returns. This year's run tells us nature has a great capacity to pull itself back
from the brink, but we still have a lot to
do for the ocean and the life it supports.
We should respond to this incredible
ability of nature not with misguided optimism and a return to business as usual, but rather with greater investment in
scientific monitoring that allows better
conservation of marine ecosystems and
greater commitment to carefully managing our interaction with the environment.
We need to become allies of nature, not
antagonists.
Building sustainable fisheries and aquaculture operations is one important aspect of caring for our oceans. The seafood industry, retailers and consumers all
have a role to play. In Canada, SeaChoice
(www.seachoice.org) assesses fisheries
and provides sustainability recommendations that allow consumers and corporate
buyers to make informed choices about
what seafood to eat and what to avoid.
This in turn creates market pressure for
better practices and a base of support
for needed regulatory changes.
UBC, urged on by informed students,
improved its seafood menus and deserves credit for that. Changing the fish
we eat is crucial, but must be tied to larger efforts to protect and manage marine
ecosystems as a whole, not as individual
activities in isolation. As with all natural systems, the health of the whole depends on many interrelated factors. Everything is connected.
Salmon demonstrate this because they
range from inland freshwater spawning
grounds to the open ocean and interact
with the human activities, plants and animals they pass. Low salmon populations
mean bears, eagles, and other animals
have less food. Forest health is affected
because those animals fertilize the magnificent coastal rain forests with the salmon that they drop or excrete. Salmon, in
turn, are affected throughout their journey by the number of predators they encounter, fishing, pollution, sea lice from
fish farms and by climate change.
Ocean ecosystems are complex, but
we know enough to support strong action. We know that our health and economy depend on healthy oceans. Oceans
give us oxygen and food and they protect against climate change by storing
carbon. We also know that ocean ecosystems are at a tipping point, with pollution, resource extraction and industrial
impacts contributing to declines in fish,
mammals and other marine life. Add
temperature and acidity variations linked
to climate change and the need for cautious, whole-ecosystem planning and
regulation becomes even more urgent.
A credible plan for any ocean region
must include an increase in protected areas with restricted industrial activity. Canada has the longest coastline of any nation on Earth, yet has less than one per
cent of that in marine protected areas. On
the Pacific Coast, we have finally started an integrated planning and protected
area process in the Pacific North Coast
Integrated Management Area (PNCI-
MA), from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska panhandle. This
hopeful step, unfortunately, lacks the resources it needs to succeed.
It is essential that we increase efforts
to protect our oceans. So please, choose
your seafood wisely and urge your political leaders to give efforts like PNCIMA
the resources they deserve. Maybe then
we will truly be able to celebrate the return of the salmon.
—Jay Ritchlin is the director of the
David Suzuki Foundation's Marine and
Freshwater Conservation program.
FEDERAL INQUIRY INTO BC'S SOCKEYE DRAWS CRITICISM
ALEXANDRIA MITCHELL
Contributor
As British Columbians were becoming increasingly aware of declining
sockeye salmon stocks, 2010 ended
the trend with the inundation of the
Fraser River in what Mark Hume of
The Globe and Mail described as "the
biggest sockeye salmon run in nearly 100 years."
The salmon issue, while having become highly political over the past few
years, is essentially about fish farms and
their relation to sockeye and the overall
health and vitality of these Fraser River
resources. Salmon farming and sea lice,
in addition to climate change, are possible causes of the previously declining
stocks. Prime Minister Harper lastyear
described it as "a serious matter."
After three consecutive years of closed
fisheries in British Columbia, a federal
inquiry into sockeye salmon stock declines was commissioned by the federal
governmentin November of 2009. Under
BC Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen,
the Cohen Inquiry is meant to identify
the reasons for the decline, make long
term projections and determine the necessary policy direction to ensure salmon sustainability.
Then, approximately 34.5 million
sockeye returned to their spawning
ground for this year's run. A significant advantage though this may be,
there is frustration amongst a wide
cross section ofthe fishery community,
concerned with DFO's (Department of
Fisheries and Oceans) lack of capacity
to accurately predict salmon returns.
Pending the final report, a movement to
protect natural resources in BC has begun. Alexandra Morton, a known voice
on salmon issues, led the "Get Out Migration" from the Ahta River to Victoria
in April, calling for Norwegian salmon
farming companies to 'get out' of the
region, or move to closed containment.
"Government is allowing Norwegian salmon farmers to continue denying even the most basic issues, like
sea lice and ISA virus introduction,"
said Morton. "If we let this play out,
our wild fish simply will not survive."
Spawning sockeye salmon COURTESY OF THE DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION
While a federal inquiry has been in-
dentified as long overdue and essential to BC's salmon sustainability, thorough support for the process is distinctly sparse. In this battle over BC salmon, the very nature of the Cohen Inquiry is being challenged by the broader
community. Rafe Mair, BC minister of
environment from 1978-79, has suggested that the inquiries are politically motivated.
"....while the Commissioner Bruce Cohen may not be political, his boss, Stephen Harper—a man whose only demonstrated interest in the environment has
been to let corporate friends destroy it-
sure as hell is," said Mair in a column
last month.
Criticism is coming from those who
are not convinced about the validity of
the Cohen Inquiry, given some appointed members ofthe Commission.
"Cohen ought instinctively to know
that a full-fledged judicial inquiry into
the department's management of the
salmon fishery should not, indeed must
not, employ people who had in any way
advised the department or those who
had relied on departmental funding for
their work," wrote John Cummings, MP,
Delta-Richmond East, in a press release.
Public forums have been taking place
since August 2010, having featured conflict from commercial fishers to salmon activists. Following the Forum in New Westminster September 20, Don Staniford of
Salmon First said, "There's no need to wait
until the Cohen Commission's report in
May 2011. We must remove open net cages from BC waters now. Taking immediate action to get disease-ridden Norwegian-owned salmon farms out ofthe path
of migrating wild salmon is an easy first
step to putting wild salmon first."
The co-founder of Greenpeace International, Rod Marining, also went on record
to explain his view that with the loss of
smolts, one farmed Atlantic Salmon costs
$650,000 to produce and that much political willpower is needed to shut down
coastal salmon farms. The last public forum is in Kamloops on October 21. Cohen's final report is to be released in the
spring of 2011. tl 2010.10.21/UBYSSEY.CA/OCEANS/7
IS YOUR SEAFOOD OCEAN WISE?
VANCOUVER AQUARIUM STARTS SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM
IRENE LO
Contributor
At the current rate that we're taking from
the ocean, there may be no fish left by
2048.
It's this startling figure, taken from a
2006 study from Dalhousie University
and the University of Washington, that
underlies the mission of Ocean Wise,
one of the pioneering ethical consumption certifiers for seafood.
It's a very simple equation, says Ocean
Wise manager Jaye Russell. "Overfishing
is taking more fish out ofthe ocean than
the ocean itself can sustainably produce."
Overfishing poses a number of ecological threats to overall ocean health.
Large scale fishing operations are
marked by bycatch (catch that is thrown
out) and habitat damage. Currently, the
diminishing population of the blue fin
tuna and west coast salmon has conservationists worried about whether they
might turn out like the eastern cod, a
fish that was once plentiful but is now
endangered.
The Ocean Wise program certifies restaurants, retailers and suppliers based
on the sustainability ofthe seafood items
they serve. They provide consumers of
seafood with information about the most
sustainable species.
Ocean Wise oversees that fish are
caught sustainably in adherence to
strict regulations established by the
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
Program.
These regulations are:
1) Before a species offish maybe harvested, it must be abundant in stock.
2) The species stock must be consistent
in number.
3) The harvesting method makes sure of
limited bycatch.
4) The harvesting method makes sure of
limited habitat damage.
Russell says that individuals can help
by making healthy choices, looking
for the Ocean Wise symbol and asking
shops if they serve or sell sustainably
caught fish.
Based at the Vancouver Aquarium,
Ocean Wise is a national program.
"We have close to 400 locations across
Canada that make up close to 2800 locations when you look at our partner
restaurants."
Ocean Wise has been growing with
more restaurants (Cactus Club, Earls),
suppliers (Marketplace IGA, Thrifty
Foods) and institutions becoming
members. Currently, universities have
started jumping on the bandwagon
as well. UBC Food Services, SFU and
McGill, among others, are all recent
members, ttl
—With files from Jonny Wakefield
7 pacific west coast tidbits   Throwing the fish to the fat cats
HELEN DROST
Contributor
1. In our backyard lies the world's first regional-scale underwater ocean observatory. Called NEPTUNE, the observatory connects the ocean directly to the Internet. The NEPTUNE website promises to enable people everywhere to
surf the seafloor, allowing ocean research to be conducted from landlocked labs anywhere in the world. NEPTUNE
Canada has collected $100 million in funding to date. www.
neptunecanada.ca/dotAsset/7985.pdf
2. The designation 'BC status red' includes any ecological community, indigenous species or subspecies that is
extirpated, endangered or threatened in British Columbia. Coastal creatures at risk include sea otters, northern fur seals, marbled murrelets, peregrine falcons (ana-
turn subspecies), short-tailed albatrosses, white pelicans,
western grebes, leatherback turtles, green sturgeon and
northern abalone. If you see any of these creatures, consider yourself lucky.
Being on the red list does not mean they are protected.
There are 83 plants and animals (land, sea and lakes) listed as red in BC, yet only 4 species are legally protected:
the Vancouver Island marmot, the American white pelican,
the burrowing owl and the sea otter, www.env.gov.bc.ca/
wld/serisk.htm
3. Oxygen minimum zones are expanding and moving closer to shore. "In the past," said Frank Whitney, a BC-based
oceanographer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, "there
was enough oxygen in the ocean, so fish could find refuges when upwelling caused local hypoxia. But that may
be changing." It is also a very big problem in most of the
lakes in BC. You can help—refusing to use soap with phosphates is one way. www.nature.com/news/2010/100811/
full/466812a.html
4. Salmon provide nutrients to forest ecosystems. The transport of nutrients is called 'salmon-derived nutrients.' This
flow of nutrients is limited by the fact that 90 per cent of returning salmon are harvested annually. Bears rely on salmon to increase their bulk before hibernation; 80 per cent of
a bear's body mass is due to consuming salmon, www.
zoologyubc.ca/../Adrian%20MacKay%2035809052.ppt
5. When it rains heavily in Vancouver (as it is prone to do),
untreated sewage and industrial waste enter coastal waters
through storm drains, findarticles.eom/p/articles/mi_m1594/
is_n1_v6/ai_16551320/
6. Enbridge wants to put in a pipeline that would end at Kitimat, although many residents of BC do not want Calgary
Tar Sand Oil piped over to the BC coast. The dispute is heating up: www.tarsandswatch.org/union-b-c-municipalities-op-
pose-oil-tankers-oil-pipelines-and-offshore-oil-development
7. Canada has the world's longest coastline, http./fatlas.nrcan.
gc. ca/auth/english/learningresources/facts/coastline.html
JONNY WAKEFIELD
culture@ubyssey.ca
BC's quota fishing was once hailed
as the cure-all model for fisheries
around the world. But now critics
are lambasting the policy, arguing
it has failed to promote sustainable
fishing practices and allowed one of
BC's most precious resources to fall
into the hands of the wealthy, such
as Vancouver-based businessman
Jim Pattison.
"[We] don't want to see Jimmy Pattison or any other multi-millionaire
owning a resource that thousands
of people used to benefit from," said
Dennis Brown, a third-generation
fisherman and author of the book
Salmon Wars.
Brown says the quota system has
privatized the fish swimming in BC's
waters. The Department of Fisheries
and Oceans (DFO) introduced the Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ)
in 1989 as a reaction to the increasing competitiveness of fishing in BC,
which led to overfishing.
According to an analysis by Eco-
trust Canada, the ITQ is a percentage of the Total Allowable Catch, the
ceiling on catch weight. As transferable quotas, they can be bought, sold,
leased or traded. According to that
study, 74 per cent of BC fisheries are
managed in this way.
Brown said this capitalization of the
fishery was meant to reduce the number of boats on the water, making the
fishery more sustainable. "Fishermen
that can't compete or don't want to compete or are not viable sell their quota
to somebody who is ostensibly more
viable. And this means there are fewer fishermen," he said.
This, in theory, takes pressure off
the resource. In an interview with
Business Edge, Ecotrust Canada President Ian Gill said ITQ has had the
side-effect of creating an unregulated quota trading system.
"The old adage is that there are
too many boats chasing too few fish,"
said Gill. "That's what we've always
been told. So the logical conclusion
to that is, if you take out the boats,
you somehow re-order the balance.
Well, right now, there's too much capital chasing too few fish—and that's
the real problem."
A former representative for the
United Fishermen and Allied Worker's Union, Brown fought this consolidation. Over the years, he has seen
family fishers from communities up
the BC Coast hang up their hats.
"The people who made the sacrifices for those cut backs weren't the
taxpayers of Canada, not DFO-sala-
ried people," he said. "It was poor
working fishermen, who have really
been pushed to the wall."
Brown argued that the ITQ has
made fishing a viable source of income for a wealthy few. "The average black-cod fisherman is a multimillionaire," he said. When quotas
were introduced, 48 fishermen received quotas from DFO. Half of them
don't actually fish their permits—they
lease them. Brown and others call
them armchair fishermen.
"What happens with the quota
fishery is you start to see the participants in the actual fishery drop,"
said Brown. "[Investors] end up buying quotas not because they want
to fish them, or bring benefits to
a coastal community like we used
to have in the old days. They sit on
the beach."
Jim Pattison's Canadian Fishing
Company is well positioned in terms
of quotas, said Brown. Pattison is sole
owner of the Jim Pattison Group, and
the wealthiest man in the province-
Forbes places his net worth at $5.5
billion. Brown estimates that Pattison
owns up to 60 per cent of the seining fleet ITQs for the salmon fishery,
a fleet that takes about 40 per cent
of the total catch. "He's a major player," said Brown. "And there's nothing stopping over the years ahead
for more and more concentration."
Brown argues that the root of
the problem is the transferable nature of the quota, which allows for
consolidation.
"Over the last 20 years, we did everything that the critics said. The
commercial salmon fleet has been
reduced to about a third of what it
was in the 1980s. You have a fraction of the fishermen fishing a fraction of the area.
"There's been a huge curtailment
in fishing effort, but there's been no
consequential improvement in the
stocks." til 8/UBYSSEY.CA/OCEANS/2010.10.21
On the oil-blackened shores ofthe Gulf
New Orleans slowly recovers in the wake ofthe BP oil spill
ALEXANDROS MITSI0P0UL0S
The Cord (Wilfrid Laurier University)
NEW ORLEANS, La. (CUP)-It's been just
over five years since Hurricane Katrina
devastated the southern coast ofthe United States. The anniversary was met with
the ramifications of another catastrophe—this time man-made.
Facing the aftermath ofthe recent Gulf
of Mexico oil spill, caused by an explosion on the BP rig Deepwater Horizon,
President Barack Obama's administration pledged stringent fiscal measures
in order to jump-start recovery following the disaster.
"I'll not be satisfied until the environment has been restored, no matter how
long it takes," Obama said in Panama
City Beach, Fla., on August 14.
Many, however, simply cannot wait any
longer. Life along the Gulf has become a balancing act of survival. For small fishing communities, recovery programs following Katrina have progressed slowly The floods and
destruction claimed more than $ 100 billion
in damages, along with the lives of over 1500
people in New Orleans alone.
Revival ofthe region was progressing
until the recession flattened economic advancements in 2008, when unemployment rose to almost six per cent in
September, compared to 3.7 per cent the
previous September. The BP catastrophe
seemed to deliver the final blow to the
people and region of the Gulf of Mexico.
Following an explosion that took place
on April 20, which claimed the lives of
11 workers on the drilling platform, millions of gallons of crude oil were released
into the Gulf.
The weeks that followed the initial disaster saw varying levels of success in
capping the spill. The leak was eventually capped on July 15, but not before releasing what the BBC has reported as 4.9
million barrels of crude oil into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate varying from 53,000
to 62,000 barrels a day.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR WILDLIFE
A Coast Guard operator from Tennessee,
who wished to remain anonymous, said
that crude oil regularly leaks from slits
in the ocean floor, allowing the region to
have the capacity to absorb oil via bacterium naturally occurring in the water.
Weather patterns have also aided in dispersing the oil into low-threat regions. In
addition, the clean-up responses of both
BP and the federal government have had
an integral role in greatly diminishing the
impact of the spill.
Yet the incidenthas still taken a toll. Eight
US national parks are threatened by oxygen depletion and petroleum toxicity. More
than 400 species of animals are at risk in
the Gulf region and more than 5000 dead
animals have been recovered thus far.
"Katrina took away most of what I had
and BP came along to claim the rest."
Crews work on cleanup around the BP Oil Spill. COURTESY OF KRIS KRUG
PETER JENNING
FISHER
The spill has also taken a toll on an
animal preservation program close to
the hearts of Gulf natives. Louisiana has
the largest alligator population in the
US, due in part to an alligator management program launched by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 1972. The program has since grown
to become one ofthe most successful of
its kind in the world; Louisiana's alligator population is over three million,
up from 150,000 in 1972. However, the
spill threatens to diminish the population and destroy this work.
A Consolidated Fish and Wildlife Collection Report released on September 7
by the US Fish and Wildlife Service placed
the number of dead birds, sea turtles,
mammals and other reptiles collected
on the coast as a result of the spill at a
staggering 6372. Some 2512 visibly oiled
live organisms had been collected by the
service since the disaster.
Reuters has reported that scientists
are expressing concern about effects
that cannot be seen, caused by underwater plumes of dispersed oil, such as
long-term disruptions in the food chain.
IN LAYMAN'S TERMS
For the people of New Orleans, the oil
spill has become the primary determinant of their livelihood, whether good
or bad. Many in and around the fishing
communities of Louisiana endure a love-
hate relationship with BP. Some quietly tolerate the presence of the oil giant;
some refer to it with disdain; still others
live by the company.
The quality of life for Robert Jefferson,
a commercial fisherman living in Covington County, La., has increased exponentially at the hands of BP.
"We love BP," Jefferson said. "They put
me and my ship back to work right after
the disaster."
As a facet of BP's clean-up response
efforts, captains and their fishing boats
were employed to help clean up the spill.
"They're paying me $1500 a day for my
boat, they're paying me $800 as a captain
and they're paying my wife $600 a day
to continue work as
my first mate as she
did before," Jefferson
continued.
Many fishers, like
Jefferson, were hired
to deploy and collect
containment booms
to absorb oil in the water.
"I'm receiving an exorbitant amount of
money to continue working at a rate that
none of us ever expected. Above and beyond that, I've been instructed that I can
still sue for damages, even after all the
money I've been paid so far," he added.
However, Jefferson represents a minority of fishermen in the area who were
selected to continue with the assistance.
Many workers in the industry were ordered ashore due to the presentation of
a variety of health risks.
As a result, some individuals do not
share Jefferson's enthusiasm. For those
like Peter Jenning, a fisherman living
near Lake Pontchartrain, La., extensive
damage has already been done.
"We are unsure exactly how badly the
spill would affect our lives. The oil may
be cleaned up, but the spill area has become a dead zone, maybe for decades to
come," said Jenning.
"Katrina took away most of what I had
and BP came along to claim the rest."
Many feel alienated and forgotten by
BP. Those in the fishing communities
are unsure to what extent the company
will be prosecuted and held responsible.
For now, it is a struggle for many to even
become eligible for BP's $20-billion compensation fund. A number of families are
confronted with the challenging decision
between enduringyears of litigation or accepting a settlement without being sure of
the damages sustained. The existence of a
controversial clause that establishes eligibility by proximity to the Gulf and the spill
has complicated matters. Fishers or boat
operators whose businesses have been directly affected by the spill should have no
difficulties submitting claims.
However, out-of-state companies,
whose business contracts are held with
partners in the affected region, for example, will be hard-pressed to make a case.
Ron Abellard, the owner of a bait and tack-
0PEN SEASON
As New Orleans is experiencing some
newfound buoyancy, the state of Louisiana turned its attention to the start of
shrimp fishing season. Typically set on
the third Monday of August, few shrimp
docks actually opened at that time.
Since the spill began, certain areas
of state water were kept open to harvest
brown shrimp, but it was only recently that the larger, more desirable white
shrimp were deemed safe for human
consumption by the US government.
However, it has proven difficult to convince consumers.
John Morin, a restaurant employee in
the French Quarter, explained the difficulties in finding suitable seafood to serve.
"We do not sell Gulf products here," he
said. "We simply can't do it. The customers would never eat here."
le shop in Meridian,    a
Miss., said his store   As trivial as it may sound, folks here
has been supplying . , Z u    c   .
fishermen in the Gulf were given a boost when the Saints won
for nearly a decade.       fte Super Bowl."
JUDYLE0NHARD
"My business has
suffered a lot after
the spill. My lawyer
has told me the outlook for claims is grim," Abellard said.
"But it's not over, and we'll keep pushing."
THAT N0LA OPTIMISM
While recovery has been difficult, the
people living in and around the Gulf area
have proven their resilience.
According to the Brookings Institute,
more than 90 per cent of New Orleans residents have returned to the region since
Hurricane Katrina and 85 per cent of the
jobs had been re-established as of June
2010. Neighbourhoods and communities have banded together in civic duty,
which the Wall Street Journal has attributed to grassroots organizations rather
than government intervention.
"The people are very optimistic," said
Judy Leonhard, a chef in the city's French
Quarter. "As trivial as it may sound, folks
here were given a boost when the Saints
won the Super Bowl."
Leonhard explained that the team's
victory symbolized how the city could
transcend the ruin they faced and truly
believe that success was possible.
"I feel like the Saints almost had to win
to give this city the wake-up it needed,"
she said.
CHEF
The majority ofthe Gulf of Mexico fisheries in US federal waters were shut down
following the spill. Overall, Louisiana accounts for 72 per cent of the seafood that
is collected from the Gulf region.
According to the Louisiana Department
of Wildlife and Fisheries, 17 million kilograms of seafood were caught lastyear.
This year, the catch stands at just over
six million kilograms. The department
has estimated that it will be more than
five years before consumers will trust
the Louisiana brand again.
LOOKING AHEAD
For the population of New Orleans, the
next fewyears present an interesting scenario. The spill has thrust the city back
into the spotlight. Many residents are
optimistic that this exposure will help
expose some ofthe lingering needs that
remained unaddressed from Katrina,
such as stimulating economic diversity
and rebuilding the region.
"Everyone's focused on all the negatives here; I like to think of it as more of
an opportunity," said Jefferson.
"There's a lot of unfinished business
here." tl 2010.10.21/UBYSSEY.C A/CULTURE/
CULTURE
EDITORS BRYCE WARNES & JONNY WAKEFIELD »culture@ubyssey.ca
ASSOCIATE ANNA ZORIA»associate.culture@ubyssey.ca
Margaret Trudeau on changing her mind
EUNICE HM
Contributor
Margaret Trudeau gave the first
Main Stage Lecture at the Chan
Centre this past Sunday to promote her latest book, Changing
My Mind. The memoir is an
honest look at the author's personal struggle to overcome bipolar disorder. Sharing all the
details of her life and then
some, Trudeau delivered a clear
message of hope to those suffering from the condition.
It is easy to see why Pierre
Elliot Trudeau fell for her. She
speaks as if she were singing,
barely pausing to catch her
breath and emphasizing all
the wrong syllables. "I love
marijuana. I took to it like a
duck to water...I was a hip-eee,"
Trudeau recalled of her youth.
When dwelling on her encounters with The Rolling
Stones, she held nothing back:
"I didn't like Mick much. He
was too full of himself." Her
narrative was open and infectious, and she admitted, "I totally misbehaved," but pausing, added, "I have no regrets."
You wouldn't guess that this
woman continues to battle bipolar disorder. Her journey
has been a long, arduous one
filled with misinformed doctors, misdiagnoses, mis-prescribed drugs and enormous
tragedy in losing both her son
and beloved husband.
The bipolar condition is characterized by extreme mood
swings, from deep depression
to elevated episodes of mania.
In her deepest bouts of depression, Trudeau said, "Nothing's
funny. Nothing's beautiful.
Children's eyes are just eyes."
In search of a cure, she remembered how limited the
knowledge about her disorder
was. Doctors did not know how
to help or even classify her: "I
was put into an executive suite
with people who had erectile
problems."
Since that first visit to a
doctor, there have been many
breakthroughs in mental
health studies and Trudeau
spends much of her time traveling from engagement to engagement to spread the word
and advocate for research in
mental health.
Now, she is making her illness public in order to raise
awareness of a condition that
so often claims lives.
"We have to get the tools to
live the best life we can with
the hand we've been dealt...In
the beginning I was on a tightrope. Now I'm on a boardwalk."
Though you can never truly be
cured ofthe condition, Trudeau
stated, "I have been cured ofthe
fear of my bipolar disorder...To
think, I just about lost my life."
When asked why she continues to tell her story, Trudeau replied, "Just gratitude." tl
Margaret Trudeau struggled for years with bipolar disorder. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CHAN CENTRE
Pornographisticated: smart comics get sexy
COMICS WITH
MIRANDA MARTINI
MIRANDA MARTINI
Columnist
A while back,
a friend
asked me to
recommend
some sex-
themed comics that aren't
terrible. As a
person with
both a column about
comics and
astronomical knowledge of sexy
comics, I figured I might as well
kill two birds with one stone
and use this month's column to
make recommendations. Now
that I've started, however, I'm
worried I can't do justice to the
subject in 400 words. Comics
and smut have a long and glorious history together, from depictions of the liaisons of gods
and demi-gods right through
the French Libertines' satirical pamphlets featuring Marie
Antoinette letting them eat cake
(among other things).
Easily the most historically relevant smut comics in more recent times are Tijuana Bibles,
pamphlets running eight pages
and printed on cheap paper featuring popular characters like
Betty Boop or Popeye in sexy situations. They peaked in popularity
around the Depression but were
made up until the '60s. Tijuana
Bibles are fascinating time-capsules of cultural trends and often
unintentionally hilarious to boot.
However, if—like most people—
you don't have a burning desire
to see poorly-rendered versions of
Jughead or J. Wellington Wimpy
in their full glory, they may not
be your thing. In fact, artistically relevant erotic comics could
be said to have dropped off the
map almost entirely in the last
century. We of the internet generation are no strangers to cartoon smut, but it's only very recently that anyone has attempted to make changes in the way
comics reflect our sexual culture.
Almost all of the best erotic
graphica to emerge in the last
fewyears have been written and
drawn by women, giving the comics scene a much-needed push towards more multifaceted depictions of female sexuality. Probably the best known is Jess Fink's
sepia-toned steampunk love story
Chester 5000 XYV, which is available in full online but due to be released in book form by Top Shelf
in 2011. It seemed to become everyone's new favourite comic
overnight when it started running
lastyear, and it's not hard to see
why: no graphic work for a long
time has been simultaneously so
beautiful, funny and sexy. But the
real magic of Chester is that the
sexiness comes first—it's a "smut
comic" that also happens to have
clean artistic lines, sharp characters and a real beating heart behind it. Justknowing it's possible
to combine those things could
mean huge leaps and bounds for
sexual liberation.
Another up-and-comer in the
erotic comics milieu is Oglaf an
online comic (I know, I know, another one) that follows, among
other things, the adventures
of a manservant-intern to a libidinous femme-fatale dictator.
While author/artist Trudy Cooper has no qualms about calling her work porn, the elegant
artwork and impeccable comedic timing present a challenge
to the already-flawed working
definition of the word.
Sex isn't a back room deal anymore. Kids have access to sexual images the second they develop the motor skills to open a
browser and society still seems
to be working out what this will
mean for the new reigning generation. Comics like Oglaf and
Chester represent the hope that
easier access to erotic art (or, to
use Cooper's translation of this
phrase, "porn that works for me")
could mean a more sex-positive
society, rather than a society of
overwhelmed, oversexed, ill-adjusted berserkers.
Or, you know, maybe not. But
the sheer numbers of terrific
sexy comics out there make
it difficult not to see this as a
real trend. There are so many
good ones that I feel compelled
IMAGE COURTESY JESS FINK/ CHESTER 5000 XYV
to mention them all: Curvy, I
Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space! and
the now-ended (but still available in full) Girly and DAR are
all worth a peek—for story,
for art or just for the cartoon
boobs and dicks. You might
find yourself sticking around
for all three. I can guarantee
Popeye doesn't appear in any
of them, til
U
ONLINE
EXCLUSIVES
Profiles of Music students Jocelyn
Lai and Roydon Tse, plus video of
the AMS Art Gallery's latest exhibit,
I'm a Debasex.
www.ubyssey.ca/culture 10/U BYSSEY. CA/G AMES/2010.10.21
GAMES 8 COMICS
CROSSWORD
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47. Farewell
18. Down for the count
49. "You've got mail" co.
22. Wagner heroine
1. McGregor of "Trainspotting"
51. Young girls
24. Surplus
5. It's a wrap
54. Hired parker
25. Biblical beast boat
10. Panama and bowler
58. "The Time Machine" race
26. Author of fables
14. Curse
59. Not moving
27. Duplicity
15. Designer Simpson
63. Hindu lawgiver
28. Senator Specter
16. Drug-yielding plant
64. Conger catcher
30. At all
17. Bubonic plague
65. Faucet problem
32. Prophets
19. Widespread
66. City near Provo
33. 2, 4, 6, 8, etc.
20. Brief brawl
67. Ribbons
34. Curt
21. Precious metallic element
68. Japanese rice wine
36. Happen
23. Commercials
37. Actress Berger
25. Divert
39. Rare element
26. Culture medium
40. Rank
29. Graph prefix
DOWN
42. Monetary unit of Romania
31. Beginning
45. Lipton competitor
35. Where it's at
1. Declines
46. African antelopes
36. Financial institution
2. Fabric ridge
48. Atlas feature
37. Arm cover
3. Med school subj.
50. Egg head?51. Office note
38. Argent
4. Drink of the Gods
52. Banned apple spray
40. Cervus elaphus
5. Downcast
53. Actress Skye
41. Soap ingredient
6. Summer drink
55. Zhivago's love
42. Single
7. Actor Stephen
56. Actor Estrada
43. Hosp. workers
8. Nissan model
57. Class
44. Old Finnish money
9. First prime minister of India
60. High mountain, as found in
45. "She turned me into a I ...I
10. Inveterate
central Europe
got better..."
11. Et
61. Driving aid
46. "       quam videri" (North
12. Beancurd
62. Apr. addressee
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Submit your comics
to our website at
ubyssey. cal volunteer I
submit-a-comic.
VIRGINIE MENARD |
production@ubyssey.ca
tlTHEUBYSSEYca
GROCER'S CONVENTION, BY SEAN MACDONALD (THE GOLDEN RAM,       C0MICMASTER, BY MARIA CIRSTEA
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SUSC0MIC.COM, BY MIKE BROUND
RI&HT
A&S7 2010.10.21/UBYSSEY.CA/OPINIONS/ll
OPINIONS
DO YOU CARE? WRITE US A LETTER»feedback@ubyssey.ca
EDITORIAL
WANTED: UNIVERSITY THAT SPEAKS TO
STUDENTS LIKE ADULTS
We're sorry ifyou're bored with our coverage of
the land-use discussions. We understand that it's
a dry abstract process which won't really impact
any current student. But UBC was built, and has
evolved, because students cared what this campus would be for future generations. Which is why
the land-use consultations deserve your attention.
For the past few months, the university has "consulted" with the public about changes to zoning
on campus. For the first time in 13 years, land
use designations at this university will be changing. For the first time in decades, UBC can decide
long-term land uses without negotiations with
any local democratic body. This is a big deal. It
will affect what this university will look like for
generations to come.
And during these consultations, students have
been suckered, snookered and skunked. Again.
Thus far we have seen show-trial open houses asking us how much we love sustainability
(a whole bunch? or the mostest ever?), feedback
forms with questions that even a third-rate pollster wouldn't ask for fear of appearing too sleazy
and a glossy promotional blitz. Oh, and an AMS
President who has stood in support every step of
the way. What we haven't seen is an honest debate
about the benefits of UBC wanting maximum flexibility for land use in the future without any real
accountability.
This is how UBC has always conducted these issues—not as an actual debate, but as a necessary
step needed to get to the desired outcome. There
are open houses. There are discussions. There
are feedback forms. And yes, these are all parts
of an open consultation.
But a fundamental part of consulting is a willingness to consider options and to enter in with an
open mind. And in that, the university has failed.
Consider Gage South. Currently, the land where
the bus loop sits is slated for market housing. To
any sane observer, having market housing in an
area dominated by student life makes no sense.
But rather than defend why they think Gage South
makes sense, UBC talks in general terms about
why market housing is a good idea.
The university did the same thing for almost
a decade with the UBC Farm—rather than talk
about future plans for the area, they talked about
the need to grow their endowment, without ever
bringing up the farm directly. It took 16,000 signatures and concerted media pressure for them
to adjust their thinking.
Or consider the maximum height of buildings
on campus. Right now, it's capped at 18 stories.
The university wants to remove this cap, in the
name of sustainability. Don't want to have 30-sto-
rey towers on campus? You obviously don't understand UBC's long-term needs.
When previously criticized, Campus and Community Planning Head Nancy Knight or VP External (and lobbyist-in-chief) Stephen Owen have argued that we need to grow University Town. But
few are arguing that. Most understand the need
to build market housing, but what remains under debate is the rate, the size and the location
of construction.
As we said though, this is nothing new. It is a
bad joke that repeats itself over and over again:
UBC has an idea. They consult without ever entertaining the possibility that their idea may be
flawed. The consultation happens in bad faith.
And unless thousands of people rise up against
the plan, UBC does what it always wanted to do
in the first place. If thousands rise up and UBC
is forced to change their public stance (as they
did with the UBC Farm and University Boulevard)
they cite it as proof that the governance structure
works. Either way, UBC argues the system— essentially, a system without democratic government and where the university is the owner, developer and regulator of land—works.
Stephen Toope has said repeatedly that consultation with students doesn't mean agreement
with students. But no one is asking for that. What
we are asking for is a frank, adult conversation
about what UBC's plans are for increasing market housing, the points for and against changes
to how the campus is zoned and an acceptance
that opinions not already formulated by UBC have
merit. We're still waiting, vl
Somewhere lrj
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BRYCE WARNES GRAPHIC/THE UBYSSEY
COLUMN
Why Afghanistan matters, and why Tm going there
BRIAN PLATT
Contributor
On October 27, I'll disembark from a
plane at the airport in Kabul. This will
pretty much be the most exciting moment of my life.
I am making this ten-day trip with a
friend and colleague of mine, Lauryn
Oates. Lauryn signed up with the organization Canadian Women for Women
in Afghanistan as a teenager in 1996, a
time when most of the world had forgotten or just didn't care about the plight
of Afghans. She now works for them
as projects director, and I couldn't be
prouder to be traveling with her.
I've been thinking, writing and arguing about the struggle for democracy in Afghanistan for years, and it
eventually took me into the orbit of
another organization Lauryn works
with, the Canada Afghanistan Solidarity Committee. CASC is an alliance of
feminists, humanists, journalists and
ordinary Afghans and Canadians of all
political stripes who adamantly call
on Canada to stand for a democratic
state in Afghanistan, and nothing less.
From the beginning, I've supported
Canadian participation in the international project to fight off the Taliban
and build up democracy in a country
that has been absolutely devastated
by three decades of war. To be frank,
I don't care much about the argument
from national security. I understand
why it's a serious discussion, but unlike most ofthe world's population, we
live in one of the safest, freest, most
prosperous societies in the history of
humankind. It embarrasses me when
we're constantly wringing our hands.
What I care about is the defense of
democracy and human rights against
the brutality of clerical fascism. This is
a just cause and I'm proud ofthe work
Canada has done, as difficult and depressing as that work sometimes has
been. Without question, grievous mistakes have been made by the international coalition in pursuit of this cause.
But let's keep things in perspective.
Afghanistan's social fabric has been
completely destroyed since the violent Soviet-backed coups ofthe 1970s.
Yet today, in a country notorious for
endemic and horrific levels of poverty, corruption and illiteracy, and with
a complete lack of modern infrastructure, and with gangs of religious death
cults running around threatening to
cut off the ink-stained thumbs of voters, turnout in elections in many areas of Afghanistan is not far off from
that of posh, comfortable Canada. On
this alone, I recognize it as a state of
affairs worth fighting for.
I will be filing a series of stories for
The Ubyssey based on conversations
and experiences with the people Lauryn and I will be meeting with—Afghans on the front lines of this struggle. I will also be blogging regularly on
The Ubyssey's website during the trip.
This will no doubt generate a strong
reaction from my fellow students at
UBC. I look forward to it. tj
TOO SEXY
HEY TOO SEXY:
I've been having a problem with premature ejaculation. No matter what
I try, two condoms, masturbation beforehand, anything, I still end up ejaculating too soon and am unable to satisfy my partner "Jeremy." How can I
help myself and save my relationship?
"Ben Parker"
HI BEN,
Thanks foryour letter. First of all, this
isn't an uncommon problem; 24 per
cent of Canadian men identify themselves as having this issue. That said,
"premature" and what defines it is in
the mind ofthe ejaculator (and sometimes his partner). Ejaculation times
anywhere between 2 and 20 minutes
can be totally normal. If, as you say,
your partner isn't getting off, however, there maybe a tendency to assume
that's a result of the length of time it
takes you to come, when in fact there
may be other factors involved.
If it takes your partner longer to orgasm, you may want to think about
stimulating him in other ways before initiating penetration. Your penis, while a perfectly legitimate and
enjoyable avenue to sexual gratification, isn't the only tool you can use to
satisfyyour partner. Your hands and
mouth are also pretty good bets. As
well, the introduction of toys, if seen
as a fun and non-threatening penetrative alternative, can add a lot to
any sex life.
Aside from that, thinking of something else is a common method some
men use to delay ejaculation. We'd
recommend thinking of something
pleasant and non-stressful, like not
being in a hurry, rather than something that puts a damper on your sexual enjoyment.
It's a cliche to think of something
mundane or horrific to delay orgasms
(like baseball scores or Robin Williams taking a dump), but you're probably better off on the whole (no pun)
just doing whatyou do best and going
with the flow.
As well, a method called the stop-
start technique is often used to lengthen ejaculation time. If your partner is
willing, have him manually stimulate
you to the point of orgasm, and then
tell him to stop and wait for your erection to go away. Repeat twice more. The
fourth time, don't tell your partner to
stop and allow yourself to come. This
may help you become familiar with
feeling aroused and not ejaculating,
which in turn could give you more control. You can also tell your partner to
squeeze sharply (but not painfully) at
the spot where the head ofyour penis
ends and the shaft begins. This has the
effect of delaying orgasm. You can practice these things yourself if your partner isn't willing to help you.
Lastly, as tricky as it can be in sexual situations, try to relax. Feeling
anxious or depressed will only make
a sexual issue worse. Don't be afraid to
tell your partner ifyou need to take a
break during sex, and please remember thatyou have tons of other qualities that make you a good sexual and
relationship partner, tl 12/UBYSSEY.CA/OURCAMPUS/2010.10.21
IHHBN^^H
2!5^!S!EJ

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