NHL Recap

By Ally Harris

It has been a mixed week for the Canadian NHL teams, but for the most part things haven’t been as good as they would like. Here’s how each team got on over the past week.

Toronto – 1-3-0

It hasn’t been the best week for Toronto. A close battle with Pittsburgh last Friday saw them come away with a 2-1 loss, but the following night in Buffalo they fell 6-2 to the league’s worst team. Things weren’t any better when they returned home on Tuesday, with a 9-2 loss to Nashville causing frustrating fans to throw their jerseys on the ice. Things turned around last night, though, with a 5-2 win over Tampa Bay. They play again on Saturday at home to the Red Wings.

Ottawa – 1-1-0

There have been only a pair of games for Ottawa over the past week, beginning Saturday night in Calgary, where they fell 4-2. They had a few days off before returning home to play Nashville last night, coming away with a 3-2 win. They play again on Saturday afternoon against St. Louis before heading out on the road for a five-game trip.

Montreal – 3-1-0

It has been a pretty good week for the Habs, who currently sit atop the Eastern Conference. On Saturday they handed Philadelphia a 6-3 loss, and the following day in Detroit they came away with a 4-1 win. Their six-game win streak came to an end on Tuesday when they were blanked 4-0 by Pittsburgh, but they got back in the win column last night with a 4-1 win over St. Louis. They’re back in action tomorrow in Boston.

Winnipeg – 1-2-1

It has been another tough week for the Jets. It began Saturday with a 2-1 loss to Nashville, then the following night they fell 4-3 in overtime to Minnesota. They rebounded with a 3-1 win against New Jersey on Tuesday, but dropped a 4-3 battle against Detroit last night. They don’t play again until Sunday against St. Louis.

Edmonton – 0-2-0

The Oilers have only played a pair of games this week, but they haven’t gone well for the team. They narrowly missed out in both games – on Sunday they fell 2-1 to Arizona and on Wednesday they were beaten 5-4 by Vancouver. They play again tonight against New Jersey.

Calgary – 2-1-0

It hasn’t been a bad week for the Flames. On Saturday they were able to beat Ottawa 4-2 and on Tuesday they earned a 4-3 win over Anaheim. They just missed out on a perfect week when they fell 4-3 to Chicago last night, but they are back in action tomorrow against New Jersey.

Vancouver – 1-1-1

It was an average week for the Canucks. It didn’t start well, being shut out 5-0 by the Coyotes on Friday, but they were able to pick up a 5-4 win when they faced the Oilers on Wednesday. It took a shootout to decide last night’s contest against Anaheim, but the Ducks got the edge and won the game 4-3.

Studying Abroad – A Student’s Perspective

By Alex Heighington

Last year, I spent ten months on exchange in Istanbul, Turkey. It was an incredibly empowering experience that made me curious to learn about and share the experiences of other UPEI students who are on exchange. As the VP Communications of the UPEI SU, I decided to take this on as a project and share these amazing stories of students who are abroad and representing our University on a global scale. I sent a few questions to some UPEI students who are on exchange this semester to get their feedback on their experience.

This week, I spoke with Natalie Baird about her study abroad experience in England! Here is what Natalie had to say.

SU: Where are you studying abroad?
Natalie: I am on exchange in Portsmouth, UK  (England) for the fall semester!

SU: Have you had any embarrassing moments? (ie: a funny mistake with the language)
Natalie: An embarrassing moment for me was walking into the wrong classroom multiple times because the floor numbering is different as they start with floor 0 instead of 1 so I was constantly on the wrong floor for the first couple of weeks.

SU: Do you have an empowering story in regards to your abroad experience? (ie: figuring out a very large city and how to get around it)
Natalie: An empowering story is that I moved into the halls of residence a week earlier than the UK students and therefore was almost completely alone the first week and had to figure out the city on my own. That’s difficult enough without adding the language barrier. Even though they speak English in the UK, there are enough differences to make it hard to communicate. But I was able to do it and now I can speak like a local!

SU: What is your favourite part of your exchange so far?
Natalie: I’ve had the opportunity to see London (England) which is an amazing city, and before I go home for Christmas I will be going to Italy for a week to visit Rome and Pisa. Everything in Europe is close together and it’s very cheap to travel.

SU: Your exchange in one word?
Natalie: Can I use two? Surreal but also tremendous!

Do you have questions about going abroad or want to share your abroad experience with fellow students? Don’t hesitate to email Alex at vpcommunications@upeisu.ca

Exit Interview with Premier Robert Ghiz

image courtesy pei gov

image courtesy pei gov

By Drew MacEachern

Premier Robert Ghiz shocked the Province last week with his announcement that he will be resigning as Premier as soon as the Liberal leadership convention picks its next leader. I had the chance to sit down the Premier one last time and ask him some questions about the announcement and his reflections on life during his time in office.

Cadre: How do you feel the media has covered the news of your resignation?

Ghiz: “I try not to pay too much attention to it but you can’t help but read the paper and watch a little bit of the news. So far, I think it has been pretty fair. But you know, usually when you’re leaving, it’s not classy, so to speak, to kick somebody on their way out the door. But having said that, I think everything I’ve read has been fair. Yes, there are a lot of positives but there are also some negatives and that is to be expected. The one thing I can say for sure is that I’m definitely looking forward to not having to wake up in the morning and worry about what’s on the front page of the paper or watch the news at night and worry about what’s on the news.”

Cadre: How would you respond to criticisms of your decision to resign before the end of your term?

Ghiz: “It’s my prerogative, and within our democracy you’ve got to wait to a certain time so that a smooth transition can take place. So even if I did run one more time and step down a year after, people would still complain that there are still three years to go. There’s never a perfect time. This is a timeframe that I’ve had picked for a while; I did a gut check to see if maybe I did want to run for a third term, give it a try, but when I did the gut check it just wasn’t there. So I might as well go out at a time when hopefully I can allow some continuity to exist within our party and also for our province.”

Cadre: What was the best aspect and the worst aspect of the job?

Ghiz: “I guess the best aspect was helping to make a difference. Whether or not you look at bringing in a catastrophic drug program or early childhood education, [or the] residency program in the province now which is helping out young doctors, or something as simple as someone calling and needing help navigating their way through the provincial government system, helping people was probably the best aspect.

I guess the worst aspect I would say would be disappointing people. Whenever you make a decision, there are always going to be people who are upset. So you look at, you have to close some small schools and there are going to be people who are upset. You need to build a highway, and there are going to be people who are upset. You don’t run in politics to upset people. You run in politics to make improvements, but regardless of what the decision is that you make you’re never going to get 100 per cent agreement on it. Perhaps some of your biggest rewards are in making some good tough decisions. You know the toughest part is dealing with people who aren’t happy with those decisions.”

Cadre: How difficult is it to maintain a division between your private and public life?

Ghiz: “In PEI, it’s hard. I think the whole thing goes together. Anywhere that I go in the province, I was still the Premier and that’s good and bad. I think its good; that’s why you see a higher voter turnout here in the province of PEI because people are more connected to their politicians, they tend to know them more, they see them at Maid Marian’s, or the hockey rink, or the soccer field. So from that perspective, it was very hard to do the divide. But I was very fortunate – Islanders are extremely polite. Yes, there is always going to be a small fraction of the population that may not be nice, but 99.8% of the population of the Island is extremely polite, generous, and kind. When I’ve been out with my kids, I don’t even know if I can think of one instance where someone has been rude. Yes, you get approached, but Islanders are extremely kind and it has been an absolute pleasure.”

Cadre: What major issue would you like to see your successors to the Premiership pursue?

Ghiz: “I’m going to say a couple of different areas. One is around the economic development that we’re doing in the province right now. There are a lot of files that are still going on in business development [in terms of] different companies looking to expand here in the province, different companies looking to move to the province, and I want to see that continue.

And secondly is the reforms we have made in education. You’re not going to turn around your education system overnight. It’s a long term investment and I’ll give the previous government credit. Back in 2006, when our test scores were low, they issued the Kurial Report which made recommendations on what we should be doing to turn things around. That’s, what, eight or nine years ago, and we are starting to see some improvements now. But if someone says “Oh no, things aren’t working; let’s start all over again”, well, we’re another eight or nine years away. There’s no point throwing out that Kurial Report and saying everything that we’re doing is wrong. I’d like to see [them] continue on with the improvements because we have seen improvements and if we [stop seeing improvements], that is the time to re-evaluate things. But don’t throw out something until you’ve had the chance to do it and see those decisions come to fruition.”

Cadre: What advice would you give to someone considering a career in politics?

Ghiz: “Great question. Being through it right now, I would say it is an extremely rewarding profession, but at the same time there are a lot of demands. You need to be able to find the balance in terms of the demands that are out there and what you’re able to deliver. So I think that some of the advice I give, when I speak to students especially, about going into politics is that you need to be respectful of everyone’s opinion. There are going to be some opinions that you may not agree with, or they may not agree with yours, and it’s important to respect those opinions. I’ve always tried to keep an open ear. Yes, I’ll make a decision that will disappoint people but I always try to hear both sides of the argument. I’ve had meetings in my office with Peter Bevan-Baker [Green Party Leader] and we have great discussions and that’s really what it’s about. It’s about debating the policies in our society and hearing both aspects of it. No one is right about everything and I think that balance is extremely important. The second point I would say is the word compromise. People that have black and white attitudes on issues are never going to get anywhere. You need to realize that there is a grey area with everything and be willing to adapt your opinion to mesh with another opinion. If you’re not willing to do that sometimes, its going to be difficult. Now sometimes you’re going to have to make a decision, but a lot of the time compromise is a very strong attribute to have.”

The Right to Die: The Carter Case and Assisted Suicide in Canada

Originally posted on The Public Policy & Governance Review:

Alexia Mulvenna

On October 14, the question of whether Canadians have the right to seek assisted suicide made its way to the Supreme Court of Canada yet again. Assisted suicide, which is currently illegal in Canada, is the intentional killing of oneself with the help of another. The issue was famously first addressed by the Supreme Court over twenty years ago in Rodriguez v. British Columbia.

In 1993, Rodriguez, a woman diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), contested that she be legally allowed to end her own life once the illness progressed. The arguments made, which challenged the prohibition on assisted suicide under section 241(b) of the Criminal Code, were made on the basis of section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – namely, that this prohibition infringed upon individual liberty and personal autonomy in exercising a right to die. In a 5-4 vote, the Court decided that the…

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Opinion: Canada, Iraq, Intervention, and Moral Self-Righteousness

By Drew MacEachern

Canada’s intervention in Iraq has inspired a lot of debate. I myself am not entirely sure where I stand on the issue. But there is one thing I am sure of; that debates of these kind tend to encourage a very counterproductive mentality of self-righteousness. Both sides of the debate tend to be filled with people who view their opinion as morally unquestionable and are keen to heap moral distain on those who disagree with them. Personally, I find this style of debate counterproductive and corrosive to public debate and true sense of the nature of the debate.

Let’s take them one at a time. Let’s start with the interventionists. Many people on this side of the debate claim that it is our moral duty to intervene. Right now Yazidi women are being sold into sexual slavery, numerous massacres have been committed by ISIS against civilians and captured soldiers alike, crucifixions have taken place.  All of this is true, but does it justify intervention?

Let’s look at Saddam Hussein. The American invasion in 2003, whatever its true intentions were, was a successful intervention which stopped a murderous dictator from carrying out his policies. However, while a dictator was overthrown, the country was also thrown into chaos which set up the conditions for a group like ISIS to gain power. Will an attack on ISIS stop the killings, or merely exacerbate the underlying factors at play? Of course, it is almost inevitable that civilians will be killed in this intervention (in fact, there are reports that some have). There were Allied-caused civilian deaths in the Second World War as well. Does that negate the possibility of good that could come from intervention? These questions needs to be taken into account. The world is not perfect. Moral objectives need to be weighed against such factors as unintended consequences and likelihood for success.

Pacifists are no better. You sometimes hear people say that war is wrong no matter what. We can’t fight back against ISIS because killing is wrong and civilians will be killed. Pacifism of this nature is, at its core, a fundamental rejection of reality. It is a rejection of the difficulty of dealing with complex moral solutions by surrounding oneself in an ephemeral notion of ‘justice’. Sometimes you have to fight to keep peace. Might makes right might be poor ethical theory but it’s a fairly accurate statement about the way the world works.

During the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, the Athenians threatened the neutral city of Melos with destruction unless they joined them. When the Melians tried to appeal to the Athenians history of democracy and sense of decency the response came back, “the strong do what they can while the weak suffer what they must.” Murder may be against the law but that doesn’t prevent murder from happening; that requires enforcement and prevention by police forces. Intervening will cause death, but so will not intervening. If it is so immoral to cause death and violence, then is it moral to pursue peace if doing so will cause death and violence to befall others?

Both of these positions fundamentally disregard the fact that the world is messy. I don’t care which side of the debate you fall on; it is healthy to have disagreements as they help force people to think about the world and their place in it. What I do care about is that people have thought long and hard to come up with an opinion. I am not denying there is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to this question; some answers will probably be more valid than others, some solutions will lead to better outcomes. The only way to determine what that is likely to be is through debate and examination. These style of arguments, however, do not so much attempt to find the best solution for the problem, but the solution which gives the debater the greatest claim to moral superiority. 

Ironically enough, these kinds of ‘moral’ arguments actually diminishes the morality. While my argument may be preaching a form of amorality, it is an amorality that recognizes the moral dimension. Too often, in order to justify the moral contradiction that I laid out above, you hear people denigrate the moral dimension involved in one decision or another. “They’re going to die anyway so we may as well intervene/not intervene”, “It’s not our problem” etc. The fact of the matter is, you will have blood on your hands no matter what you choose and this should disturb you. My argument is not to deny morality; but rather to insist that it be filtered through concrete political circumstances. In this regard I am in full agreement with Hans Morgenthau, a famous international relations theorist who is considered one of the fathers of modern day political realism.

In Morgenthau’s book Politics Among Nations, he famously laid out his ‘six principles of political realism’. The Fourth Principle is as follows, “Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action. It is also aware of the ineluctable tension between the moral command and the requirements of successful political action. And it is unwilling to gloss over and obliterate that tension and thus to obfuscate both the moral and the political issue by making it appear as though the stark facts of politics were morally more satisfying than they actually are, and the moral law less exacting than it actually is. Realism maintains that universal moral principles cannot be applied to the actions of states in their abstract universal formulation, but that they must be filtered through the concrete circumstances of time and place. The individual may say for himself: “Fiat justitia, pereat mundus (Let justice be done, even if the world perish),” but the state has no right to say so in the name of those who are in its care.”

I included that passage because Morgenthau can say what I want to say better than I can and because I hope that it inspires people to think. In a democracy of hopefully-informed citizens, we need more than stark moral platitudes if we want to address the problems of the world.

The Cadre Reviews: “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler

image courtesy amazon

image courtesy amazon

By Sierra Roberts

Amy Poehler is an actress, comedian, feminist, mother, producer, and a “poetic and noble land-mermaid” … among other things. It was only a matter of time before she penned a book. 

Yes Please, released on October 28th, explores a variety of methods in telling Amy Poehler’s story. Poehler includes emails, newspaper clippings, scripts, and a haiku on plastic surgery along with her essays. She also enlists her parents and a few friends (Seth Meyers, Mike Schur) to weigh in and add to the book.

The book jumps around from topic to topic as Poehler discusses her too-safe childhood, the improv group Upright Citizens Brigade and its evolution over the years, being an SNL alumni, Parks and Recreation, divorce and raising two young boys, and much more. Yes Please is filled with the kind of humour that the blonde Tina Fey has become known for.

This book is a perfect read for the Christmas break, but if you can’t wait that long it is a quick read (it only took me a few hours). The text is also broken up with plenty of photographs from her life, and the chapters a relatively short making it easy to squeeze readings in between classes or during the bus ride to school.

If you still can’t fathom the thought of sitting down to read yet another book at this point in the semester, you can always listen to Poehler, along with a few other stars, read Yes Please for the audiobook. Check out a sample here. I was always a little apprehensive when it came to audiobooks, but they are surprisingly relaxing and enjoyable (it’s basically Amy Poehler reading you a bedtime story!). 

If you’re looking for something light, funny, as well as thoughtful and honest then read this book. For more Amy Poehler check out her website, Smart Girls at the Party. I also recommend you watch her hilarious television series, Parks and Recreation, as well as one of my favourite movies ever, Wet Hot American Summer. Happy reading!

Internships Could be Replacing Entry-Level Positions, On-the-Job Training

The comedic video series Turning Intern is set to be released in January. (Image courtesy Turning Intern)

The comedic video series Turning Intern is set to be released in January. (Image courtesy Turning Intern)

By Rachel Ward (CUP Labour Bureau Chief)

HALIFAX (CUP) — At this point his words are almost famous among young people.

“If your parents are letting you live in the basement,” said Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz on Nov. 3, “you might as well go out and do something for free to put the experience on your CV.”

He was speaking about unpaid internships students and recent graduates take on when they’re unable to find work. He defended his opinion the next day to a House of Commons finance committee when questioned about how poorer graduates could afford to work unpaid internships.

“I still think that when there are those opportunities,” said Poloz, “one should grab them.”

Similar placements are sometimes mandated by university or college program for educational work experience. Currently the exact number of people doing such work is unknown, as Statistics Canada doesn’t collect that information in its Labour Force Survey.

In October, youth unemployment was 12.6 per cent, down slightly as fewer young people look for work, saidStatistics Canada. According to a recent Conference Board of Canada survey, employers said applicants and new hires lack essential skills, such as communication, critical thinking and teamwork. That same report shows companies invested 40 per cent less money in on-the-job training from 1993 to 2010. Current opportunities, it says, for “workplace training … are limited, declining and of questionable impact.”

Karen Foster, a sociology professor at Dalhousie University, said unpaid internships have become a replacement for that training.

“Over the last decade employers are reaching for the unpaid internship first as a way of getting recent graduates and not having to pay anything to train them,” said Foster, who studies economics and youth. “They’re essentially putting all their risk on young, recent graduates.”

Advocates say unpaid internships are unfair and illegal. Courts seem to agree. Recently in the U.S. major media company Condé Nast agreed to pay $5.8 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by 7,500 former interns. Condé Nast owns several media brands, including magazines the New Yorker and GQ. Canadian unpaid internship programs have taken a hit, too. Just this summer in Canada Bell Aliant shut down its unpaid internship programfollowing court action from ex-interns.

The matter has reached Parliament. In June, NDP MPs Laurin Liu and Andrew Nash proposed an amendment to the Labour Act to include unpaid interns as employees. That means interns would be, for example, covered by workplace safety laws and protected from sexual harassment.

Liu said the bill is inspired by Andrew Ferguson, an intern who died in 2011. He fell asleep at the wheel after working an overnight shift at an Edmonton radio station.

“I believe that interns need to benefit from at least basic protections,” said Liu, 24. “Most of my friends, most of my peers, have recently graduated from university and many of them are working in unpaid internships. I’ve seen how they themselves are vulnerable.” The bill goes to second reading in early February.

To raise awareness, Alex Dawson, a English and theatre graduate, is using her own interning experience to produce a comedic web series called Turning Intern. Her group of former interns just raised over $3,000 to professionally produce the videos. Dawson did her first internship after completing a copywriting certificate, and has since left the field.

“The foundation of this industry, the copywriting industry, relies on the unpaid work of talented young people,” she said. “That really made me mad.”

Dawson, 25, now works in marketing and accounts management at a job which, she said, combines skills from her previous internships and contract work. She’s paid and puts in reasonable hours. At her unpaid internship, Dawson said she worked long days.

Government has “no shortage of policy solutions,” said Foster, to improve working conditions for interns.

“But they have to be enacted,” said Foster, “instead of just saying, ‘Well, it’s up to the individual to fight over the very last low paid job or unpaid internship.’

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