Editorials - July 21, 2023
Another dot on the map
The magnificence of Canada’s natural beauty is a point of pride for many Canadians and a driving force that propels tourism from coast-to-coast-to-coast. It’s not uncommon for any of the many natural wonders that define the Canadian landscape to top international lists that rank the most interesting/incredible/awe-inspiring sights to see around the world.
Recently, a location in Canada has been selected for a new and unprecedented designation that has a lot of people talking. Scientists are proposing Crawford Lake in Ontario as a site that best represents humanity’s impact on Earth. They aim to define a new geological time period called the Anthropocene Epoch and to designate Crawford Lake as a Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP).
A collective of scientists known as the Anthropocene Working Group presented evidence from Crawford Lake, which they believe can help determine a start date for this epoch. Sediment samples from the lake’s depths provide a geological record of environmental changes, including a notable “golden spike” indicating a sudden shift in Earth’s conditions. Plutonium found in the sediment suggests nuclear testing in the 1950s and serves as a clear marker for the Anthropocene’s onset, proposed to be between 1950 and 1954. The Anthropocene Working Group plans to submit its findings to the International Commission on Stratigraphy.
We may be small as individuals but collectively we’ve made an outsized impact on our planet and, relatively speaking, it didn’t take very much time at all. Better make plans to visit Crawford Lake soon before the Anthropocene tourist season really starts heating up. – SBS
In your eyes
Stop, children, what’s that sound? It’s federal Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre’s closed fist, Fonzie-style, bopping a jukebox, of course, perhaps followed by The Tragically Hip’s “Fifty-Mission Cap” at a loud-but-not-too-loud volume. (He has permission, I’m sure.)
In search of happy days for the Conservatives, the man they call “Skippy” is smack-dab in the middle of a makeover. He’s taken off the glasses and ditched the suit for a t-shirt to appeal to... who exactly?
An article from the Toronto Star states that no Canadian leader has been consistently bespectacled since John Diefenbaker over 50 years ago. In the U.S., just three men regularly wore glasses in the White House. The Star also states that, while most studies show that glasses engender feelings of honesty, intelligence and trust, Conservative voters tend to eschew intelligence in favour of strength and dominance. When the question of who will best lead in the coming years is asked, the answer should be based in logic, facts and ability, not in the looks and clothing of the candidates. We (and other voters) have shown that this is not the case time and time again and that we will be swayed by glasses, clothes and facial hair. (Remember, “nice hair, though”?)
The unfortunate thing is that this tells us less about Poilievre and more about ourselves. We’ve told people like him that wearing glasses or not wearing glasses is relevant to us. As a result, he has no choice but to pay attention. He’s in the men’s department when he should be in the war room, but we voters have sent him to the men’s department.
Poilievre’s choice to go au naturel with his peepers may seem silly, but its impact on his popularity, either way, is even sillier. – SL
Humanity shining through
After weeks of waiting, an ever-growing group of asylum seekers sleeping on the streets of Toronto has finally been offered respite in the form of temporary shelter. A collective of community members, philanthropists and businesses have worked together to provide accommodations, utilities and food to hundreds of these refugees. It is the kind of admirable act of compassion that Canadians can take pride in. But why were these refugees on the street to begin with?
Since June, the city has begun referring refugees to federal programs, instead of admitting them into city shelters as part of the regular population. While refugee issues are the dominion of the federal government, the city itself spends $34 million to fund 500 beds specifically for refugees. A recent increase in demand has taken up all those beds and more. In September of 2021, there were 537 applications for asylum, whereas, in May of 2023, Toronto received at least 2,900 applications - an increase of over 400 per cent. The municipal government says that an additional $100 million in federal funding is needed to cover the rising costs. The federal government has, thus far, been leaving the municipality to handle the problem alone. With both levels of government failing to act, those fleeing their homelands have been left to sleep out in the rain and extreme heat.
By stepping in where governments fear to tread, these citizens are offering these newcomers a reason to continue hoping that Canada is the country they were told it is. It is time for our leaders to lead, and work together on a plan to assist them as they strive for a better life. Because when people are suffering, delay is cruelty. – SBS