The Dreaded Literary Grey Zone

Have you ever browsed the YA (Young Adult) section at Chapters in search of a new book, and come across one or more of the numerous similarities between various novels? Why do a hundred books display the radiant face of a teenage girl with perfect skin and makeup? Or why do some book covers display a specific body part of a girl, such as her legs (more…)


A Sweet, but Silent, Canadian Victory–Republicans vs the Democrats on Keystone XL

At first glance, it is not easy to discern why the Republican majority victory in the United States’ upper house, or Senate, is in point of fact a potent economic victory for Canada. The reason: Keystone XL (Export Limited) Pipeline.

The already existing pipeline is represented by the solid lines, and the proposed pipeline is represented by the dashed lines.

The already existing pipeline is represented by the solid lines, and the proposed pipeline is represented by the dashed lines.

Proposed by TransCanada in 2008 and largely completed, the Keystone XL Pipeline is a multi-billion dollar project beginning in Hardisty, Alberta and extending south to Steele City, Nebraska. The proposed section of the pipeline is a faster route to the Steele City refineries.

There are many who challenge the integrity of the pipeline in benefiting the Canadian economy, as a large majority of the jobs created in Canada will solely be temporary, involving the construction of the pipeline, however, the permanent employment in refining and processing of the oil sands will be mostly done in the U.S., further aiding the American economy.
Proponents of the pipeline on the other hand, believe that the economy will grow stronger with crude oil exports (to the U.S.) being a chief revenue source unsurpassed by any other country. In comparison to other countries, the new proposed route for the pipeline will transport up to 830 000 barrels of crude oil per day, with Canada’s current import supply to the U.S. being 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd), and the second highest importer to the U.S. being Saudi Arabia, with 1.3 million bpd, and at third, America’s southern neighbor, Mexico, at 850 000 bpd.

Considering these figures, Canada is not only equaling the amount of oil supplied by Mexico by means of a single pipeline, but it is taking into account the environmental standpoint decreeing the transport of bitumen more safer and quicker than transport by rail.

The proposed pipeline is set to be 1 897 km, with a 91 cm diameter.

The proposed pipeline is set to be 1 897 km, with a 91 cm diameter.

While there are benefits to Canada regarding the Keystone XL pipeline, the U.S. is also reaping rewards such as a reduction on the reliance of coal, and a vast increase in permanent refinery jobs.

The Senate with a majority in the Republican’s favour due to the November 4, 2014 midterm elections are in rapid approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. There is a final barrel in Keystone’s way before being constructed, however, and it is not a mere barrel of oil, but a barrel the size of President Obama’s veto power.

– Vish S.

Don’t Look Back – You’re Not Going That Way

Carline 1

Don’t look back; you’re not going that way.

If only I had…I should have…I could have…We’re all guilty of this: looking skeptically at our past, thinking of things we could have done, wishing for things that we could change. But our past self isn’t our current self. We are now wiser and more experienced, with different morals, beliefs, and goals. So how can we use this current self to judge, to critique, the actions of someone of the past?

We all had reasons for our decisions. And sure, that reasoning might not have matched up to the reasoning we currently use, but that doesn’t rule out the fact that in the moment, that decision, that action had made sense. We need to remember that what happened has happened. Wishful thinking, chastising our past self isn’t going to change that.

Yet sometimes, when it’s far too late at night, we still think, our minds filled with regret: what could I have done in that moment to change the outcome of events? But life isn’t meant to be walked while looking backwards, so why are we viewing it that way? Every moment that we turn around, scrutinizing the past, we miss the things lying right in front of us on our path forward.

So leave the past in the past, face the future, and walk towards it. After all, that’s where your life is heading.

– Carline H.

Independence vs Freedom – Catalonia’s Risky Referendum

The term “independence” and the term “freedom” are often used synonymously. As teenagers, we often seek independence to feel a sense of freedom, and seek freedom to feel a sense of independence. It is human nature to believe that the cutting of ties offers liberation in thought, action and identity — liberation that cannot be achieved when bound to someone or something else. But while independence and freedom may sound similar, they are not the same. Sometimes, however, we do not realize the difference until it is too late.


Jim Prentice and His Plan for Alberta

Entitlements, budget cuts, waste of taxpayers’ money – all come to mind when the Alberta PC Party is mentioned. Jim Prentice is out to change that. Jim Prentice has five general priorities. First, a focus on sound fiscal conservative policies. In other words, Prentice does not want to run deficits for day-to-day government expenses. Although Prentice does not want to run deficits, he is willing to take on debt to pay for capital projects such as schools, and is planning to pay it off through future surpluses. He is also planning to save for the future, by using half of all future surpluses to retire the debt, and putting half in the Alberta Heritage Trust fund, a fund for long term savings. (more…)

Back to the Middle East – What a Military Mission Against Islamic State could Mean for Canada

The NDP dislike the idea, the Liberals believe Canada can do better. However, as things go, Canada is set to join the U.S.- led military campaign against the Islamic State by the end of this month. The motion to join the fight against Islamic State was first raised by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on October 3, 2014. Three days later, on October 6, the motion passed 157 -134 in a House of Commons vote. (more…)