Archives for posts with tag: opinion


By James Pavel

This past weekend, the tech-savvy group Anonymous protested Canada Goose jackets on Dundas Square in Toronto. They provided graphic videos and handed out pamphlets detailing the barbaric way in which Canada Goose retrieves the fur they use to decorate their winter jackets. Canada Goose has come under fire because videos have surfaced of coyotes being caught in traps, being shot in the head and eventually skinned all to provide a warm neck surface for the consumer.

The jackets are immensely popular and therefore gain strong defending from their supporters. An argument I read against the protest was essentially the following: ‘I was just yelled at for wearing my Canada Goose jacket while that person was wearing an outfit that was probably made by a child laborer in China and drinking coffee that had its beans retrieved by an impoverished child in South America. Hypocrites #Justletmelive.’

This individual is likely correct in his/her assessment of the other’s wardrobe and origins of their beverage. Sweatshops still exist and are still operated by some of the biggest suppliers in the world. Ditto for the coffee. But that provides little justification to completely excuse Canada Goose of their business strategies.

While sweatshops are unfortunately located in countries where we have little to no influence on labor laws, the same cannot be said for Canada Goose. This is the home of the strong and free remember? Canada Goose is a CANADIAN company that is trapping and killing defenseless coyotes daily. The details and the videos are graphic and upsetting, but if you wish to see/hear, visit the PETA website. Although sweatshops are dehumanizing and unethical, they are not killing grounds. These children are not murdered or have their legs locked in traps. These animals are. The Canada Goose headquarters is in Toronto, not in Beijing or another country where a Canadian voice does not register the way it can in North America.

What’s ignorant from this post is that we are provided with a plethora of other alternatives to Canada Goose. Faux fur and materials that are proven to be as warm as real animal fur. Folks, it’s a no-brainer. The idea of having a dead animal draped around your shoulders is as dated as smoking in a restaurant or consuming alcohol while pregnant. Canada Goose is a company that treats animals as creatures incapable of feeling pain, which is tragically not the case.

Visit PETA for more information on why Canada Goose should not be purchased. It’s worth a Google search.



By James Pavel 

 How would you like to pay? “Debit please” will be the future answer from almost every individual waiting in line.

 This human centipede all impatiently awaiting a coffee from Tim Hortons should flow seamlessly. Every exchange between customer and employee should take precisely under one minute, but today and everyday this is not the case because of the absence of actual money. 

 Every single person in line has opted to use the debit terminal, thereby turning a potentially gushing lineup into a delayed medley of wrong-button pushing, late connections, and the horrifying and dehumanizing, insufficient funds. 

 I analyze my neighbourhood and recognize a bank on almost every corner. As recently as ten years ago, one would have to drive to their local bank, but that is no longer necessary because banks are now as ubiquitous as coffee shops. Banks have become filthy rich and are now cornerstones of every suburb and downtown core. A primary reason for their pronounced treasure chests is because men and women can’t refrain from using their debit cards for everything and anything, whether it be a flight to Las Vegas to a slurpee at 7-Eleven. Banks of course profit from this persistent debit use as individuals reguarly over-use their debit cards and are financially penalized or incur numerous bank fees for multiple reasons. 

 I began to shy away from cash a few years ago because every third bill I received in change began to look fraudulent. Many times, the suspicion was accurate, as I would discover five dollar bills that were a quarter inch too short to be considered legitimate. However, the Bank of Canada recognized this and has created outstanding new bills for the 5s, 10s, 20s, 50s and 100s, with such scrupulous detail, that the ability to forge a modern-day Canadian bill would be the work of a wizard. 

 This heavy reliance on debit cards is one of the most non-practical, delayed scenarios businesses must contend with everyday. “Try it again,” “Weird, I just put money in the other day, are you sure your machine is working,?” are cumbersome lines that employees have to withstand everyday because consumers are walking around cashless. 

 Is it strange to request that one would simply take out $100 from a machine to serve as spending money when out shopping to bypass the use of a debit card? Not only does it make a purchase a much more expedient process, but it lessens bank charges and service fees. 

 This cashless society is a slow and tedious one. 

 It is time to replenish our wallets with colourful, dirty paper and park our debit cards for emergencies and actual trips to our local bank institutions. 

 Viva la cash. 

By Séamus Smyth

The Frankenstein storm known as superstorm Sandy that has smashed the eastern United States to the point where millions are currently without power, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and billions of dollars in damages have been incurred, is delivering a stern message to the world that global warming is as real as the air we breathe.

Not only is this storm a haunting combination of a blizzard, a cyclone and a massive flood merged into one natural menace, but it is an event that many meteorologists said they have never seen before and likely will never see again. It appears as a disturbance that would strictly exist within the pages of a Jerry Bruckheimer script, but is instead yet another “freak” natural disaster that is becoming less freaky and more normal in today’s imbalanced climate.

With these behemoth natural disasters occurring more frequently every year, who’s to say that this isn’t the beginning of a yearly intake of “super storms”? And who in their right mind would argue that we are financially or even structurally prepared for regular battles with Mother Nature’s future concoctions?

Our world leaders need to immediately heed to this warning. We are not in competition with nature. Nor are we capable of manipulating it. We are, and forever will be, at nature’s complete and utter mercy.

The fumes, the smoke, and the gases that humankind presently forces into the heavens has clearly and at this point, almost unquestionably, altered the weather patterns and global temperatures for the worse.

Of course the loss of human life is tragic. And yes, the damage to the thousands of buildings and homes is surely headline news. But what can’t be lost in the news feeds and 24/7 reporting is the story that remains in the eye of this monster of a storm: the effects of global warming have arrived.

What superstorm Sandy should signify to all who witnessed its carnage in person or on television is that global warming is a legitimate and frightening issue.

Our governments can no longer simply call it a “freak” storm or an irregular year for weather. Society can no longer ignore this “inconvenient truth,” as former US Vice-President Al Gore called it.

We have accomplished some truly remarkable feats as a species. But when it comes to holding our own against the forces of nature, we are as humbled and meek as a herd of cattle.

It’s now or never that governments across the world address global warming and begin taking immediate steps to hopefully alleviate some of the damage that has already been done to our global climate.