Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I had a chance to hear Romeo Dallaire (UN leader during Rwandan genocide) speak to delegates at a Colleges Conference in PG. Wow... he had a few interesting loose ends that left me with some questions (military simplicity vs political ambiguity), but I came away with a renewed sense of the difference between management and leadership. He suggests we have too much of the former and a vacuum of the latter in Canada ("there is no one selecting and maintaining a vision for Canada"). He also suggested that Canada has stumbled onto world power status and thus needs to be more responsible on the world stage in preventing and addressing humanitarian issues (perhaps starting with keeping the Americans accountable for their human rights abuses in Gitmo). He figures the way forward is better cooperation between gov't, military, and NGOs.

Paris of the North

Saw this on the CBC News website story on the big plywood plant fire and subsequent fires in the BCR industrial site in Prince George. The interesting part comes in the comments, where PG's industrial zone is elegantly slandered and someone rebuts... a good case study in heartland/hinterland dynamics!

Punchinello's comment #1 "Yes, Prince George is the Paris of northern BC. This cultural icon, the industrial district is the Champs d'Elysée of the Cariboo with it's famous neo-baroque second empire poured concrete cinder block truck stop. I think it was about to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site too. What a loss."

kristahuot's response: "To Punchinello: I see a Vancouverite has seen fit to grace us all with their perspective on Prince George. Congratulations on knowing the main street in Paris, how extremely worldly and cultured of you. It is industrial cities like Prince George who provide BC's economy with most of its revenue, so this fire is actually more devastating than your comment implies. Many of those hardworking people will be out of jobs, and they are already suffering enough due to the pine beetle infestation and the softwood lumber crisis. I grew up in Prince George, and I lived in Vancouver for 5 years. I've also lived in Toronto and Montreal which are both 5 times the city Vancouver will ever be. Call Prince George whatever you like, but Vancouver as a city is nothing but a cultural black hole, with the artistic merit of a condo developer's sales model made out of used syringes. The beauty in that city is its natural surroundings, not the city itself. The poverty and addiction in Vancouver are an absolute disgrace, something that most Vancouverites turn a blind eye to, while they hang out in Yaletown sipping lattes and toting around tiny dogs. Maybe Main and Hastings can be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site too?"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wow time flies... let's see: ECONOMY!

Pick one of the following "industries" in BC to investigate and learn about. Prepare a one-page summary of your findings (including references). This could take the form of an advertisement or a pamphlet, and should include facts, examples, and pictures. Choose from:

Forest harvesting (logging)
Forest manufacturing (wood products)
Pulp production
Big Agriculture (wheat farming)
Dairy Farming
Market farming (vegetables)
Mixed Agriculture (crops)
Wine-growing (vineyards)
Fruit-growing (orchards)
Cattle & Ranching
Copper mining
Coal mining
Gold mining (modern)
Tourism in the northern interior (e.g. Prince George)
Tourism in the southern interior (e.g. Kelowna)
Tourism on the South Coast (e.g. Victoria)
Tourism specific to Whistler/Olympics
Transportation and Shipping
Film & Television (Vancouver)
High Tech (e.g. game design)
Commercial fishing (wild species)
Fish farming (aquaculture)
Sports Fishing (recreational)
Artisans and craftwork in BC
Road & Bridge Construction
Construction homes
Smelting (e.g. Trail / Cominco)
Aluminum production (e.g. Kitimat)
Power production (e.g. hydro dams)

If you want one that's not on the list, see your teacher. Focus on things like: where is the industry located? What do they do/make? Where do they sell their products? How many people are employed in this industry? What are the jobs like? How does this industry impact the economy and environment? Make your research and product BC-specific! Reference your sources but steer way from Wikipedia as an end-source (good place to start looking, though).

Human RIghts & Activism

Investigate at least ONE human rights organization (see a list at Wikipedia, especially the international NGOs)) and at least ONE other organization that defends a value or works towards something you find important (e.g. Wildlife, Clean Air, Climate Change, Anti-globalization, Addressing HIV/AIDS).

Visit a couple of sites for each group to get an idea what they do, why & how and then leave a comment here about what you learned. Last step... record one of the sites you visited and be ready to show & share it with the class (explain the organization's purpose or maybe why you like the work the group does). Use a NON Wikipedia site... if you start there, scroll to the bottom of the article to see the external links.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Climate Change

What did you learn from Mr. Lear's climate change presentation? Any issues or questions you have? Learn more about his topic at the Council of Forest Industries site.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Witness to Evil

We have recently watched the documentary Shake Hands with the Devil chronicling Romeo Dallaire's experience in Rwanda as commander of U.N. Forces. Respond to the documentary considering the following questions.

Romeo discussed images, what images stood out for him? Which images stood out for you? Why did these images stand out? How can images be powerful? What emotions did Romeo experience? What events lead to these emotions? What emotions did you feel while watching this documentary? What events lead to your emotions? How can your emotions be translated into actions? Should Canada make its involvement in these types of conflict more of a priority and send more troops and resources?

Here's a link to the SAME post on another SS11 teacher's blog... feel free to copy and paste your coment there, too!: