Look Ma! No Hands!

Local Latitude, Global Attitude
Look Ma!
No Hands!
Driverless cars are
much closer
than you
Summer Easy
West Kootenay’s trail
of Hot Springs
Traditional Blessings in
Haidi Gwaii
La cuisine et
la culture de Montreal
April 2015
Modern DeMOCKracy
How to reform and how not to
Local Latitude, Global Attitude
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C ontents
12 Cover Story - The Car that Could
The car that negotiates the traffic jam, the snow storm
and parks itself is much closer than we realize. How it will
change our lives is much more than just convenience.
5 Canada Summer - The Hot Spring Trail
Sure, this is Canada and we know winter, but here are three,
incredible, warm enticing glimpses of summer beginning
with the hot springs of your dreams in the West Kootenays.
7 Canada Summer - Haida Gwaii
Natural wonder and First Nations awesome – Haida Gwaii
offers it up like no other place in British Columbia.
9 Canada Summer - Montreal
Notre-Dame Basilica, the Latin Quarter, Schwarz’ deli, the
biosphere, poutine, the Bonsecours Marché and more.
11 DeMOCKracy - Part II
How one country changed its electoral system and another
shows how not to.
15 A Growing Bunch
We can’t get enough of community gardens.
4 Editorial - Terms of Abuse
17 Ted Farr - A Guy Baby
21 Carla Hindman - Finances: When a Loved One Dies
Publisher / Managing Editor
Devon Brooks
[email protected]
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Layout & Design
Andrew Hutton
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For article submissions or
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Terms of Abuse
s you have undoubtedly read or seen multiple
times, in August last year the police shot Michael
Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, which led to riots and
civil disorder throughout the city.
Last month the U.S.
Department of Justice (DoJ) released
a 105-page report
on the behaviour
of the Ferguson
police. A majority of
media in the United
States characterize
the report as scathingly critical of the
Ferguson police department. In February,
magazine put out
a lengthy article on
racism in Canada,
naming Winnipeg
the most racist city in
The different response to those
reports has been tell-
ing. Many U.S. institutions condemned
what happened in
Ferguson, but too
many dismissed it.
The National Review,
a respected conservative magazine wrote:
“Far more alarming in Ferguson
than whether vestigial racism animates
a policeman here and
there is the perversion of the law, and
of the positions of
those sworn to protect it, to buck up the
treasury on the backs
of the most vulnerable, whoever they
may be”.
In other words, the
police might have
the odd bad apple
abusing Ferguson citizens (it is not systemic racism at all),
but what is really bad
is government.
Not only Ferguson,
but Ferguson’s municipal neighbours
DoJ report.
In contrast, after
Maclean’s scathing
report, Winnipeg’s
new mayor, Brian
Bowman, put together a conference with
all city councillors,
the grand chief of the
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the federal
treaty commission-
excerpted from Maclean’s
Unemployment Rate
Unemployment Rate vs National Average
Median Income
Median Income vs National Average
Infant Mortality Rate vs. National Rate
Dropout Rate (for 20 to 24 year olds)
Dropout Rate vs National Average
er, Winnipeg’s chief
of police, the former
national chief of the
Assembly of First
Nations and many
said, “Winnipeg has
a responsibility right
now to turn this ship
around and change
the way we all relate.”
Of course, only time,
and concrete actions,
will show whether Bowman will do
more than talk. And,
proud as I am of his
response, I can’t turn
a blind eye, as shown
by the horrible numbers below, about
how bad our own
race problem is.
The only thing I am
certain of is that the
first step in dealing
with a problem is
acknowledging you
have a problem.
2.1 times
2.3 times
2.7 times
1.9 times
2.0 times
1.1 times
tenay Lake and tucked against
the Purcell Mountains, this
spring was first commercially
developed in the 1920s.
A unique horseshoe shaped
cave was added in the 1930s
and offers a sense of mystery
as you wade through the 42ºC
water. Stalactites reach down to
greet you as you’re enveloped
in steamy sauna-like heat. The
main pool is 35ºC and if you’re
brave enough for a cold plunge
pool, that’s there for you too. A
hotel and restaurant are onsite
and lots of RV parking is
who would visit
the springs at various times of the
year as they travelled though the
area. Today, many
of the springs are
By F.E. Arcand
all the generous creature
A trip to the West Kootenays, with
but for those willin southeastern British Co- ing to walk
off the beaten
lumbia, wouldn’t be complete track, you can
find wild,
without a visit to at least one
free and untouched
of the many hot
hot springs.
throughout the
West Kootenays
vary dramatically in size,
The b
and even in
from eautiful H
the amount
one o
f its p lcyon reso
rt by
ools o
that’s rev
lookin night
os cou
esy of
g Arr
leased. The
n BC
facilities developed
unique hot around the springs
also differ in price, Halcyon
Inside Ains e Photos courtesy of Destination
amenities, philoso- Hot Springs Village
springs cav
phies and audience.
springs in Developed destinations offer and Spa:
the area. The waters, heated comforts like towel rentals, located between Revelstoke
hundreds of meters beneath group rates, restaurants and and Nakusp, this resort is nesthe earth’s surface, are rich in lodging. Access is generally tled on the shores of Arrow
minerals like magnesium, po- 365 days a year, with day passes Lake underneath the embrace
tassium and iron and are often costing around $20.
of the Monashee Mountains.
thought to have healing quali- Ainsworth Hot
Halcyon has been operating
ties. These wonders of nature
since the late 1800s with the
have a long history going back Spring:
current lodge, luxurious cabins
to the First Nations peoples near Nelson, overlooking KooContinued on page 6
Tripping Through
West Kootenay
Hot Springs
Hot Springs
Cont’d from page 5
and chalets, RV campground, restaurant,
lounge and spa completed in 1998.
Several pools offer
varying temperatures
and since you can even
rent a bathing suit,
there’s no excuse
not to participate in a soothing hot soak by
personal”, the entrance
is one kilometer north
of Halcyon. This
unique property offers
an ‘off the grid’ experience with cabins that
each have a private
hot spring. Campsite and RV spots are
available; children are
Coyote Springs Healing Retreat
Hot Springs
Halfway Hot Springs
St. Leon Hot Springs
a short drive outside of Nukusp,
in the foothills of the Selkirk Mountains,
is where you’ll
find this community owned and
operated facility. Nakusp Hot
rustic cedar chalets, full
service RV sites and a
campground for the
casual, laid back feel.
This is a great home base
for hiking (try the Kuskanax hiking trail right
next door) and then returning for a great hot
soak at the end of the
Coyote Springs
advertised as “sacred,
private, peaceful, and
hike long distances through unknown,
perhaps even difficult, terrain. Routes in
and out, and even the
change over time.
Do some homework.
Make sure you have
food and water; tell
Nakusp Hot Springs
seekers. It has three
peanut shaped pools
for bathing.
Octopus Creek:
These springs can
be found by following bush trails along
the creek from the
nearby forestry
campsite. Expect
to devote a few
hours to locate
the tell tale signs
—steamy, bubbling water—of
wild hot springs.
Octopus Creek
welcome, but no pets.
There are also personalized treatments for
the mind and body,
available by appointment only. Bring your
own food, drinking
water, utensils, and
towels. There’s no internet. This “is not a
hotel or resort, but a
place of retreat and
Au Naturel
Many want to search
out wild, free treasures
away from the crowds,
but be prepared to
Hot Springs
someone where you’re
going and your expected return. These beautiful gifts of nature all
deserve your respect
in keeping them clean
and garbage free.
St Leon Hot
located about 25
north of Nukusp, it
once had a hotel but
that burnt down in
1968. It has been frequented throughout
the years by hippies,
hikers, and adventure
north of Nukusp
is the ‘Halfway’
After a drive and
short hike to the
river you’ll see
outhouses (bring TP; it
never hurts to
leave a roll for the next
guy) but you may have
to dig your own little
pool for soaking.
There’s something very
primal about soaking in mineral laden,
steamy waters offered
up by nature.
So, regardless of your
preference, the West
Kootenay hot springs
offer you the opportunity for a “drive by”
relaxing dip, extended
luxury, or a remote experience won through
hard work. Alternatives for everyone.
Canadian Summer Travel
End of the World
in Haida Gwaii
Visiting Haida Gwaii, formerly
known as the Queen Charlotte
Islands, provides that peculiarly restful feeling of having
gone to the farthest edge of the
world where rigid schedules
and harrying timetables don’t
really exist.
In our first 20 minutes of driving along the narrow-shouldered Highway 16 where great,
mossy trees lean closely over
the road, a bald eagle dove
into the ditch. We couldn’t see
what he was after, because everything, even the ditches, are
writ large on
Island ,
is the
north island
where almost everyone lives.
ourselves on our lucky
sighting so quickly after
arriving, but it turns outthat’s just the norm. We lost
track of the eagles we saw Bald eagles are everywhere on
in one week, exploring long
Haida Gwaii Photo by Devon Brooks
beaches punctuated by the
Haida culture.
odd sea wreck, forests swad- The easy way to find out
dled in thickest moss and small about the aboriginal culture is
towns surviving on forestry through the gorgeous Haida
and the tourist base coming Heritage Centre and Haida
from exploration of the
Continued on page 8
Haida Gwaii
these first people. The
Haida’s ancestors arGwaii Museum, both rived on the islands
located at 2nd Beach, some 13,000 years
Skidegate. That vague ago. By the time Eusounding address is r o p e a n s made cona reflection of
tact in the
late 1700s
m o r e
t h a n
lived in
than a
v i l lages
Christian W use in Old Massett.
Xaadanaay itional cedar strip ha
Note the tr
among the
the size islands.
and immediacy of the European diseases like
Haida Gwaii experi- smallpox and tubercuence. You can wander losis destroyed 90% of
the logging roads of the population. Under
Graham Island (where colonial pressure, the
you must give way to 700 or so survivors
gargantuan logging fled their communitrucks that will truly ties to huddle togethscare the bad stuff out er at Old Massett and
of you when you meet Skidegate.
them coming around Along with these sad
a sharp corner), but facts there is much
most people will tra- beauty and fascinating
verse the north island detail about their culalong Highway 16. ture in the museum.
The museum, like The distinctive, upmost things, is un- side-down
avoidably visible from shaped Haida hat is
the highway.
made from woven
Along with beautiful strips of cedar bark.
carvings and historical The Heritage Centre
artifacts of the Haida attached
culture, the museum Museum
depicts the history of other exciting ways to
Cont’d from page 7
sample this culture.
Three young men,
carving a magnificent totem, bantered
good naturally about
whether the Eagle
or Raven clan was
Next, 16 of us rolled
a traditional Haida
canoe over the pebbly
beach to the water.
Paddling a boat that
had the main hull
carved from a single
huge cedar around the
bay was hard work.
In traditional times,
tribes paddled these
huge boats 50 kilometres across Hecate
to e n g a g e
in trade,
or occasionally,
In Old
Haida Gwaii looks
like a giant triangle,
but on closer inspection it is made up of
hundreds of islands.
The deep sounds and
fjords provide glorious opportunities for
kayaking. Boat tours
with First Nation
guides allow inspection of some of the ancient Haida sites, but
for those looking for
easier, more relaxed
outdoor exploration,
there are plentitudes
of beautiful beaches. The eastern shores
make for great walking, but are less spectacularly
then the harder to
reach west coast.
One east
fores dant rain
t wa
lk a all make
oft g
to by
reen every
tin M
Ma ss e t
Christian White
hightoured us through his
studio and the Tluu is the
Xaadanaay longhouse. a 264-foot log barge
If you want to take that ran aground in
in natural wonders 1928. Today only the
the islands are right- weathered bow is visifully known for their ble, jutting 15 feet out
beauty. On a map, of the sand.
Canadian Summer Travel
you can sample tradi- restaurants and gift shops.
tional poutine at its best, Onward is the Latin Quarter
or perhaps fitting to the
with its vibrant,
city, ‘Montreal smoked
meat poutine.’
Chic, modern Montreal em- The Place d’Armes, the epibraces French and English in centre of historic Montremuch the same joyous manner al, is surrounded by some
that it shares Canadian cul- of the city’s oldest buildture while simultaneously ings. The exquisite Nocelebrating deep European tre-Dame Basilica, built
roots. Old Montreal is the in 1829, holds one of the
perfect place to get lost while largest pipe organs in
you meander along winding the world. In the evecobbled streets exploring his- ning, the basilica along
toric haunts and enjoying an with the entire square, Sometim
ambiance unique in North is illuminated.
things s Montreal i
To elicit the Schw like the fam s about the
ous sa
artz’ P
Rue St
essence of
ndwich ittle
hoto by
Pierrees at
Luc Du
romanc e,
e Mont
take a horse-drawn
carriage ride along feel –
the narrow streets the perfect place to
of Montreal’s his- people watch while sipping a
toric centre with cappuccino.
the one you love.
Alternatively, use the subway
Across the Place to explore Montreal’s underd’Armes
from ground city, including the biothe basilica is sphere museum, constructed
first inside a huge geodesic dome.
bank –the Bank The unique museum focust
of Montreal– es on understanding environg
built in a his- mental issues.
The in
tre-Dame B
torical stately If you want more than poutine
phan Pouli
neo -classical from your culinary experience
style with grand col- try Atwater market’s gourmet
P a u l , umns. Put up in 1847 it is still delights or take a food tour of
which snakes its way through a working bank today. In ad- Little Italy and the Marché
old Montréal, houses many dition however, it houses a Jean-Talon, a wonderful outcafes with terraces and galler- museum, which provides a door farmers market that
ies and the beautiful, recently glimpse of Canada’s 19th cen- opened in the 1930s.
restored, Bonsecours Market, tury banking environment.
Schwartz’ renowned deli has
which is filled with designer Walking is an easy and great deep roots in Montreal hisboutiques.
way to see the city. Make your tory and is famous for smoked
Of course, a visit to ‘Montre- way through bustling Chi- meat sandwiches, coleslaw and
Continued on page 10
al Poutine’ is a must, where natown lined with markets,
For the love
of Montreal
Crossword fun
1. Indian title
4. Necklace piece
12.Fourth letter
15.Barnyard female
16.View flirtatiously
18.Gabor sister
19.Brewery beverage
20.Road tax
21.Duel weapon
22.Gielgud’s title
23.Baby bug
25.Burst forth
27.Copper coin
30.Greek vowel
32.Mascara locale
35.Flourless cake
36.Harsh cry
41.Cable channel
as a TV show
49.Robber’s crime
52.Future frog
54.Stairway support
56.Eastern title
58.Gutter problem
59.“The ____ Duke”
60.Full of substance
62.Tooth doctor
65.Daylight source
66.Celestial being
73.Clear, as a
76.Soup vegetable
79.Harbor helper
80.Male cat
81.“Casino” bet
84.Actress Balin
86.Make an aquatint
1. Laminated rock
4. Science of plants
5. Bruised ____
7. Remove from text
9. Momma’s partner
10.Dill, formerly
11.Society-page word
12.Dry wilderness
13.Make clear
14.Terra firma
24.Gore, for one
29.Reuben’s home?
31.____ service
33.Pay attention
34.Asian nanny
38.Voter’s district
40.Foolish person
44.At close
45.Lily variety
48.Higher ground
50.Boston, for one
53.Install carpet
59.Cato’s route
60.Leave stranded
63.Blade holder
64.Spiny plants
65.Cook in oil
72.Time past
75.Type of dance
77.Set of equipment
78.Fabulous bird
Cont’d from page 9
big old dill pickles accompanied by a cherry
coke! Established in
1928 this eatery is a
must see, but be prepared to stand in line
–it is that popular.
Great poutine
eateries in
Montreal Poutine
- regular or with
chicken or onions
and mushrooms and
we could go on and
on - 161 St. Paul Est
Patati Patata - poutine sauce made with
wine and chicken stock - 4177 St.
La Banquise - 22
different kinds of
poutine - 994 Rachel
Poutine Lafluer - an
original, basic, but
excellent poutinery
- 3665 Rue Wellington
June Halliburton at
Mission Park Travel
loves walking, bicycling, poutine and the
extraordinary jazz
festival that Montreal serves up each
summer. For great
tips on your travel
needs contact her at
Mission Park Travel
[email protected]
Putting it all in Proportion
By Chelsey Baron and
Devon Brooks
“For nearly 150 years,
Canada’s democracy
has laboured under a
first-past-the-post electoral system in which a
riding represents a party’s win, even when a
hot-button issues in
this upcoming election –like if we’re finally going to get the
Turks and Caicos Caribbean islands as a
new province and
the Mike Duffy scandal– should be wheth-
“Most people don’t get excited
about elections in Canada.”
majority of people did
not vote for that party.
North of 50º will dedicate space in each issue
leading up to this year’s
federal election to discuss how this system
could be improved or
It’s that time again.
That time when, over
a cup of coffee, your
buddy casually asks
your opinion about
the next federal election. You shrug. It’s
just politics.
Most people don’t get
excited about elections in Canada. There
are too many other
things that demand
our time: getting the
kids to soccer practice,
doing taxes, watching the next episode of
Amazing Race.
Among the many
er our votes actually
matter. That last bit
concerns the potential
for switching to proportional representation from our current
means that voters are
proportionately represented in government.
If a party receives
29% of the votes, they
should get 29% of the
The electoral system
we do have is called
(FPTP). Seats are
given to the candidate
or party, which has
the highest number of
votes in each riding,
even if, in total, more
people voted for other
parties. The winners
in FPTP usually end
up with a dispropor-
tionately larger numbers of seats, leaving
other parties with a
smaller number.
Four ridings represent the geographic area of the North of
50º readership. Three
of those ridings
went to the Conservative
while one went
to the NDP. For
those people who
voted Liberal (19,002
voters) and those who
voted Green (19,481
voters), there is no
representation in parliament at all. In the
riding won by the
NDP, 19,273 people
voted for the Conservative party, while in
the three Conservative ridings, 41,130
people voted NDP.
They too are not fairly
Nationally the worst
case was the
Vancouver Centre riding
where the Liberals
took the riding with
only 31.03% of the
Continued on page 18
Really putting the 'Auto'
into the Automobile
Why driverless
cars are in the
immediate future
and how they are
going to change
your life
By Devon Brooks
In July 1957 Popular
Mechanics’ cover story
covered the advent of
the flying automobile,
which they confidently predicted would be
in the hands of the
consumer by 1967.
We are still waiting, yet it is impossible not to see that the
next auto revolution
will unfold within the
next decade. That will
be the driverless, or as
the industry prefers to
term it, the autonomous automobile.
about the
2025 date
the development of
this technology is already well
A self-driving
went from
Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and
there are 25 vehicles
on the roads in California right now.
In 2013 Volvo announced that by 2017
there would be 100
driverless vehicles on
the road in Gothenburg for testing and
evaluation. That twoyear-old announcement is already well
out of date. Instead
Volvo announced recent
ly it would
p u t
1,000 such
vehicles on the
road for testing.
In Germany Mer-
cedes Benz staged
a bit of a show by
having its autonomous
repeat the same
106 km journey
pioneered by the
feisty Bertha Benz
in 1888. Bertha
made the trip in
defiance of her
more timid husband, Karl Benz, who
developed the famous
brand, but did not believe the vehicle capable of making the
extended trip.
The fact is the forerunners of this technology are already in
your car. The humble
cruise control, the
butt of a thousand
urban legends where
people switch it on
and expect the car to
drive itself, was the
first step.
Cadillac announced
the installation of
“Super Cruise” on
certain of its 2017
models. That will
allow the vehicle to
take control of steering, braking and acceleration in city traffic
or on the highway.
BMW, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Ford
already offer ‘Traffic
Jam Assist,’ which can
effectively run your
car for you in traffic
jams up to 60 kph.
It isn’t just the big auto
manufacturers that
are into this. Google,
Apple, Tesla and Uber,
the company making
taxi firms everywhere
look nervously at their
bottom line, are getting behind it.
Uber already has a
public worth of approximately US $40
billion. They estimate
that replacing every
taxi in the United
States with driverless cars would cost
from $4 to $5 billion
dollars based on cars
worth $25,000. Uber
reports that 75% of
all its costs are the taxi
driver’s share.
In January this year,
engineering.com estimated the initial cost
of the new technologies would range from
$2,000 to $10,000 per
vehicle. Each year for
the following decade
those costs should decrease by 4 to 10%,
compounded annually, because of technical improvements and
economy of scale.
There are many technical issues remaining
to be dealt with such
as how will the detection devices like sonar
and radar, cameras
with recognition abilities and super-precise
GPS units, deal with
snow storms or ice on
the road and there is
concern over someone
hyberjacking a vehicle’s software. Yet it is
only a matter of time
before the technical challenges will be
sorted out.
ICBC’s manager of
vehicle registration
and licensing. He is
on several working
groups with insurers
from Canada and the
United States considering what the autonomous car will mean
to our future.
Let’s start with some of
the positives: people
with sight impairment
or mobility issues will
have new freedom. Elderly people no longer
capable of driving
safely will retain more
Being able to down
a few drinks and not
have to worry about
the drive home will be
front of your vehicle today. After your
mind registers the
event you might attempt to brake, but
if that isn’t going to
work you must decide
in a split second what
to do.
This is where your reflexes and judgment
come in to play. Can
a draw for more than a
Francis predicts enormous savings for governments because of
the nature of these vehicles, which will have
near instantaneous
Consider a scenario where a pedestrian steps off a curb in
the car beside you
move out of the way if
you swerve? Is it better
to side swipe the car
beside you, possibly
causing a multi-vehicle pile up, or is the
lesser of two evils to
hit the person that
stepped off the curb?
The autonomous car
has no hesitation or
1.Parking Assistance / Vision
3.Parking Assistance
4.Lane-Departure Warning
Radar Application
5.Lane Change Assistance
6.Blind-Spot Detection
7.Side Impact
8.Cross-Traffic Alert
9.Brake Assistance
/ Collision Avoidance
Adapttive Cruise Control
fear to paralyze it. It
can be limited by bad
equipment or faulty
readings, but its microprocessors
react at nearly the
speed of light and, it
can send out a signal
to vehicles around it
that it has to swerve
into the lane. Cars
behind or beside will
react just as quickly –
braking or moving out
of the way and communicating back to
your vehicle on their
beyond this crisis scenario,
cars will work in other
ways. They can report
on icy patches where
traction is poor. With
all cars sending out
messages they will be
able to drive faster and
closer together. Cars
won’t decide to run an
orange (or red) light or
cut other vehicles off
to save a few seconds.
Cost savings to governments will be enormous. Fewer lanes of
traffic will be required,
fewer bridges. Traffic jams will ease or
become non-existent.
Says Francis, “Onepoint-two
people are killed
worldwide each year
[in traffic accidents]
and 90 to 95% are
caused by human
error. Many more are
Continued on page 14
Auto into the
Cont’d from page 13
He believes the savings in medical costs
alone will persuade
governments to back
the autonomous auto.
Most of these savings can’t occur until
the driverless car is so
widespread that there
are more of them than
vehicles driven by distractible humans.
For individuals, insurance costs will likely
be the deciding factor.
Agree to autonomous
driving for insurance
worth and pay $1,000
per year or insist on
being able to drive
yourself at $4,000.
Scott Stuart is a Volvo
specialist at AutoSport in Kelowna.
Stuart is unenthusiastic about the coming
driverless car. He
admits, “The whole
push of this is the
convenience and the
safety of it.”
But he openly laments
where it will take driving. “You get in a car
and you love the way
it sounds and the way
it feels. It makes you
feel alive, but getting
in an electronic autonomous car – it’s a
little bit dead.”
Stuart is not alone.
Anyone who loves to
drive will comment
on how their vehicle
feels on the corners
of a winding road
and the feel of power
when you tap on the
pedal, but if the car
does those things for
you, the driving experience fades.
Zack Kanter, a futurist in the U.S. notes
that the average car
owner in that country
operates their vehicle,
their second biggest
expense, just 4% of
the time, but annually pays US $9,000 for
that privilege.
He says ride sharing
services will become
ever more popular because the driverless car
will make those services so cheap that in
comparison, owning
a car will seem like a
losing proposition.
The impacts of such a
switch from owning
to ride sharing would
be enormous. Kanter
estimates 10 million
jobs are associated
with driving, manufacturing or repairing
motor vehicles in the
U.S., most of which
would evaporate.
He quotes a study by
PricewaterhouseCoopers that suggests a reduction of vehicles on
the road of 99%.
Even if that figure was
only 50%, imagine
how much real estate
will be freed up in
every town in Canada
by roads that don’t
need to be as wide and
whole lanes that can
be reclaimed for other
Auto dealers will
largely disappear because, instead of being
business-to -consumer based, they
will become business-to-business enterprises as most
people prefer to call up
a ride share for transportation. Kanter says
eliminating the privately owned vehicle
will free up $1 trillion
consumer dollars annually for other pursuits; although his
rosy scenario ignores
the impact of job
losses on the economy.
Kanter also believes
most car manufacturers won’t be able
to manage the transition the same way
that Kodak, despite
innovating the digital camera in its own
labs, never successfully switched from a
film-based business to
the digital world.
Initially it was believed that the electronic
which fired up in the
1980s would affect information, but not the
“real,” physical world.
Don’t bet on it.
The autonomous car
is only the latest extension of those electronics. Driving won’t
be the last upheaval,
but it will probably
be the next obvious
one in our day-to-day
A Growing Bunch
The Sutton Glen community garden on a sunny summer
day in north Kelowna is a typical assortment of small plots
growing an amazing amount of food in a very small area
- Photo by Ashlee Robinson
Who are we in the Okanagan?
In previous decades the majority of people here
had large families who lived distinctly rural lives,
mostly tucked away on country acreages farming
for fruit, livestock and a few veggies.
Now we are older and more urbanized, ensconced in townhouses and condos, but it turns
out many of us still want an earthy connection.
That is why every town in the region sports community gardens, where people grow produce on
plots of around 20 x 20 feet. Some of them, like
Armstrong and Summerland, are organized by
churches or other non-profit groups, but with
an ever increasing population, demand has outstripped supply. Local government has stepped
In Penticton a community garden was put in
place on Vancouver Hill in 1998. While no other
gardens have been put in place in Penticton the
Hill has doubled in size from 26 plots to 51.
The Regional District of North Okanagan
is helping out with two allotment gardens in
Vernon. Karen Truesdale says about 80 people
make use of the gardens. A third garden on the
Okanagan College grounds is known as Patchwork Farms.
That plot is even more “community minded” than
the other gardens, if that’s possible. Truesdale is
Patchwork’s project coordinator, which not only
provides a parcel of land for a communal growing effort, but placed three people with developmental challenges to work on maintenance.
Truesdale says much of the harvest is donated to
various needy groups like the local Food Bank,
Upper Room Mission and Women’s Transition
House, but participants are free to take their
share home to enjoy if they want.
Other plots in Vernon have a waiting list, but
currently there are no definite plans to expand
the available land. Changing that, she says, will
Continued on page 16
Growing bunch
Cont’d from page 15
require the regional district and municipalities
to commit more land.
The plots themselves are rented by the growers
for $15 to $40 per year depending on the plot
size, which does not come close to covering all
the costs. The Regional District funds a coordinator, puts in a water supply, port-a-potties
during the growing months, storage space for
tools and infrastructure for the water supply.
Costs for seeds and plants for the plots are purchased by the grower.
The modest amount of money raised from the
rental fees goes toward tools for the growers to
Among the growers she says 70% are retired,
but almost 100% of the people no longer have
access to land to grow food. There are a few flowers, but most of the produce is vegetables and a
little fruit. With pesticides banned, the flowers
often encourage beneficial insects or discourage
the nasty ones.
For a few on minimal budgets it is about putting a little extra food on the table, but for many
others the joys are in getting healthy, fresh produce, which they have raised with their own
hands, getting exercise in the great outdoors and
sharing a moment with others of like mind.
It is a similar story for Nathalie Begin, the volunteer coordinator at the Shannon Woods garden
in West Kelowna.
Shannon Woods is one of 15 community gardens
in the Central Okanagan Community Gardens
network. The space for the gardens comes from
the individual municipalities of West Kelowna,
Kelowna and Lake Country, and like the northern counterparts, annual fees are small ($15-20/
year). Says Begin, “Most people have gardened
before, but don’t have space or can’t do it in their
yard. A few are new; I can usually tell because
they’re usually a little shy.”
Community gardens are pretty easy going, but
there are a few rules. Begin notes, “We do have
guidelines. It must be organic –my job is to
create healthy soil.”
Most people grow vegetables, but there are a few
forbidden plants. Mostly they are plants so aggressive that given a chance, they will take over
the plots of neighbours in addition to the space
provided for them. On the bad-boy list is lemon
balm, oregano and for flowers, morning glory.
Due to its placement among single detached
homes, Begin says the demand in Shannon
Woods is less than most others. She has only four
people on her wait list, well behind the two hundred waiting for a plot to open up at Kelowna’s
other gardens.
Perhaps this is who we really are here: a growing
bunch of aging urban dwellers who want to sink
their hands back into the dirt where all things
are renewed.
Okanagan Rail Trail Update
Last month our cover story
was on the development of the
Okanagan Rail Trail, which depends upon the governments
in the Okanagan coming up
with $22 million to purchase
the land from CN.
As we went to print, Lake
Country appeared on track to
borrow $2.6 million because it
looked like the naysayers were
not going to obtain the 10% of
necessary signatures from residents to stop the Alternative
[borrowing] Approval Process.
It turns out that prediction was
incorrect because they topped
the 10% mark with 931 votes
by February 23. That process
only allowed those who were
against it to make their wishes
known, but not citizens in
In order to secure the extra
funding Lake Country must
now seek approval from its
citizenry by means of a referendum, which will cost in the
neighbourhood of $10,000.
The referendum is scheduled
for April. Advance voting will
occur on April 15-17 and again
on April 20-21. The actual referendum vote will be held on
Saturday, April 25.
The question to be put to Lake
Country residents is:
“Are you in favour of the District of Lake Country adopting Loan Authorization
Bylaw (Okanagan Rail Corridor) 906, 2014 to authorize the borrowing of up to
Two Million Six Hundred
and Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($2,615,000) to fund the
purchase of a 50% share of 16
kilometres of the Okanagan
Rail Corridor within District
My name is
his wife to notify
the family whenever he gets a bad cold.
I’m the one who
hates needles, going
to the dentist or the
doctor. I didn’t have
a yearly physical
until my late 50s because I had this
fear of hearing
farr the snap of the
rubber glove.
and I am a
Guy Baby
The exception
is sports
Yes, I’m a certified,
card carrying, life-long
Guy Baby. Just ask my
wife. I’m the first one
to pop a pill at the
slightest ache. I’m the
Guy Baby who wants
If injured during a
game of any kind, the
injury is like a badge.
Whatever happens in
the hospital, the doctor’s office or at the
dentist becomes a part
of the tale. Since none
of this was ever re-
ported officially and
witnesses have long
since forgotten my
piddly-assed booboos,
embellishment of the
details is, of course,
Here’s what I
firmly believe
Limping is good for
generating sympathy,
at work, in your neighbourhood and among
friends. It is especially good if the ankle
sprain happened while
jumping for a loose
ball in a pickup basketball game against a
guy at least twice your
size who used to play
college ball for UBC.
It doesn’t matter how
much it hurts, you
wear a tensor bandage
and use ice bags to take
down the swelling.
A sling also invites all
the right questions.
So, a sack of fluid on
your elbow is actually a good thing because you can tell
the story of charging
into a corner during
an old-timers hockey
game only to have
the skates pulled out
from under you. The
resulting fall to the
ice caused a brutally
banged elbow. Best of
all: you have a story to
Crutches are a wonderful conversation
starter. It doesn’t
matter that your leg
Continued on page 20
Cont’d from page 11
to their lowest tally at
34 seats.
Smaller parties like
the Blocs and Greens
are barely represented.
If those latter two parties received a number
vote. Out of 308 ridings across the country only 144 sent a
member to parliament with an Do enough people really
actual majority
Many polls from 2001 to
Our system fur- 2010 showed a strong
distorts majority of Canadians
fair represen- (around 70%) believed that
tation because the portion of seats a party
it encourages wins in the House of Commons
tactical voting. should reflect the portion of
Usually voters the votes they receive.
one party more than of seats consistent
others will hold their with the popular vote
nose and vote for the the BQ would have 19
party with the best seats (it has four) and
chance of beating the Greens nine (it
their most disliked has one). Aside from
candidate rather than the well known big
for the individual or five, 13 other parties
party they believe will tried for seats in the
represent them best.
2011 election. None
In the last federal elec- of them are close to
tion, which gave the having even one seat.
majority to the Con- Historically, FPTP
servatives, the party was born out of the
earned 167 ridings United
out of 308 with only during the Medie39.62% of the vote. val Ages. FPTP was
The NDP became the a rough, first attempt
opposition at an electoral system
with 102 ridings while after the signing of
the Liberals dropped the Magna Carta. De-
signed to limit the
powers of the king,
it was admittedly
broken from the start,
but it was a great step
forward for its time.
The Magna Carta
proportional voting
system all votes are
considered in the distribution of seats
across legislative districts. Winning parties should have the
most votes, not
think there’s a problem? just the highest
A February 2010 Environics
within a limitResearch poll showed that this ed geographis still true. It found that 68
ic area, which
percent of Canadians support
means the ma“moving towards a system of
proportional representation
the decision of
(PR) in Canadian elections”
who rules, as
prescribed by
democratic phibequeathed
power losophy. More imporon rich, land-own- tantly, whoever votes
ing nobles by allow- will almost certainly
ing them to vote on be represented, except
key legislation, and for the tiniest of fringe
the council of barons, parties.
eventually One prediction is that
evolved into parlia- if people believe they
ment, was born.
will be better repreThe British parlia- sented they will turn
mentary system’s ad- out in greater numvantage is simplicity. bers, reversing the
With its single-mem- trend in this counber legislative dis- try for fewer and
tricts, voters know fewer people to exerexactly who to turn cise their democratic
to (or blame) within rights.
a particular riding for Other countries have
their concerns.
tried to reform their
Under a proportion- electoral system: some
al representation or successfully, some not.
In 2005, no United than true proportionKingdom MP was al voting. Candidates
voted in with a ma- are ranked in order of
jority vote during the preference by voters.
national election. It If more than half of
highlighted the im- voters picked a candiportance that Brit- date that person gets
ish politicians put in. If not, the person
on “marginal seats,” with the least votes is
those seats dominat- eliminated. Anyone
ed by minorities
of active voters in
particularly important swing ridings, which have
the best chance of
switching, thereby changing or
a • 35,152 votes to elect
one Conservative MP
Alternatively, the • 43,810 votes to elect
majority of “safe
one NDP MP
seats” are often
be- • 81,855 votes to elect
one Liberal MP
cause they provide
little opportuni- • 222,857 votes to elect
one Bloc MP
ty for making a
significant differ- • 572,095 votes to elect
ence. In the Canaone Green MP
dian context, most
Okanagan ridings
are considered “safe who voted for that
seats” because they re- person has their vote
liably vote in the same re-assigned to their
party (Conservative) second choice. After
election after election. that re-assignment, if
In the U.K., after the one person has more
’05 election, the Con- than 50% of the votes
servative-Liberal Co- they take the seat, othalition
Agreement erwise the candidate
put forth a propos- with the least votes is
al to replace FPTP again taken out and
with the “Alternative their votes re-assigned
Vote” method. The until someone gets the
Alternative Vote, also crucial 50%.
known as instant-run- It was ultimately reoff voting or pref- jected by the electorerential voting, is a ate, with 13 million
pseudo-proportional voting “no” and 6 milsystem closer to FPTP lion voting “yes.”
in the 2011
it took...
New Zealand’s referendum in 1993 was more
successful and honest.
First, in 1992 the New
Zealanders had a referendum asking if they
wanted to reform the
system, with a simple
choice: “I vote to retain
the present First Past
The Post system.”
The alternative was
“I vote for a change
to the electoral
Just over 15%
voted to keep the
old system while
84.7% voted for
change. With that
clear, voters were
asked to pick one
of four different
MMP (or PR)
proved to be the
system. The following year, opposition hardened
and became more
organized for the final
binding referendum.
In the end 54% voted
in the change and 46%
went against it in a
referendum in which
83% of the electorate
In 2011 New Zealanders had another referendum to keep
proportional voting
or change to another system. A slightly
larger majority, 58%
voted to keep it in
In British Columbia
a similar referendum
in 2005 set the bar at
60% of the votes for
reform. Voters here
were 57% in favour of
reform. It is somewhat
ironic that parties can
lead the country with
minorities, but reform
requires much more
than a true majority.
In the next edition
of the DeMOCKracy series, North of
50º will explore why
some politicians and
some people are reluctant to implement reform.
is a push for Canada to adopt a national bird.
Canada’s There
The industrious beaver is our official symbolic
animal, and the maple tree is, naturally, our tree,
it turns out we have no official bird.
Official but
Canadian Geographic has taken on the project of getting nominations and votes for a
national avian with the hope of having
it endorsed by parliament in time for
Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2017, when the country
turns 150.
There are 40 different bird nominations ranging from pretty
songbirds to the largest raptors like the golden eagle and the
most common such as the raven or Canada goose.
Some 450 bird species call Canada home and you can view all
forty contenders online at national bird.cangeo.ca. That is also where
you can vote for your favourite.
Guy Baby
Cont’d from page 17
is black, blue, yellow
and green from your
toes to your knee and
you have to take a
week off work because
you can’t walk. You
took a slapshot during
a game that was supposed to be played by
old-timers rules. You
know the ones….no
hitting and no slap
The guy who took the
shot was actually a
pro with years in the
NHL and his slapshot
took you out of action
for two months. But,
how many recreational hockey players do
you know who endured a painful injury
because of a frickin’
ex-NHL player?
The two discoloured
teeth at the front of
your smile came as a
result of being hit in
the mouth by a tennis
racquet during a particularly intense doubles match. You don’t
explain the whack
in the chicklets was
self-inflicted because
you stumbled while
chasing a baseline
shot. But you could,
because it’s a good
story and the root
canal didn’t bother
you that much.
Life stuff is
When something happens to you during a
game, it’s immediate.
You don’t have the
time to think and anticipate. Even when
you hurt the experience is mitigated by
the heroic story.
Regular stuff has no
sacrifice or valiant
moves associated with
it. Then too, there’s the
dread of waiting. Our
medical system operates in slow mode.
Your brain invents the
very worst when you
find a lump in your
Months later, the diagnosis was finally complete. After 60 years
of the usual human
ailments I’m the one
who got cancer at the
age of 62. I know I
am not the only one.
Three in five Canadians will experience
cancer during their
The good news is
that after 35 radiation treatments and
three of the most
toxic chemotherapy
cocktails the oncologists had at their disposal, I was cancer
free. While I share
the lessons learned as
a mentor for the Canadian Cancer Society, I don’t wish the
treatments on anyone.
They are brutal!
I am a cancer graduate so I finally feel I’ve
Photo by F.E,
Guy Baby
But my Guy Baby credentials don’t seem as
great as they used to
If I moan or wince because of some malady
or minor surgery, I
don’t want sympathy. In fact, I’d rather
you not know what
I’m going through. I
recently had a hernia
repaired. The pain
killers helped me tolerate the discomfort,
but now I don’t want
clouding my faculties.
Just ask my wife who
made me take a few
Besides, life stuff is
not sexy like the slapshot in the foot from
an NHL player.
Ted Farr: Husband,
father, grandfather,
writer, Content Marketing and Public
Relations specialist,
cancer graduate and
What to Do When a Loved One Dies
By Carla Hindman
hether it’s expected or accidental, the death of
a loved one can shake
you to the core. The
last thing you want is
to have to interrupt
grieving to deal with
mundane tasks, but
unfortunately there
are many actions that
must be done. Some
must be taken immediately, while with
others you can take
your time and reflect
on the best path to
Here’s a checklist.
If the death occurs
under hospital or hospice watch, they will
notify the proper authorities and help you
make arrangements
with the coroner’s
office for transport of
the remains. If it happens at home, call local
police or 911 for assistance. If he or she was
an organ donor, you’ll
need to act quickly.
Reach out for help in
making arrangements
and locating key documents. Split up such
tasks as contacting
others who will want
to know, taking care
of pets, collecting mail
and safeguarding the
deceased’s home if it’s
now vacant.
Look for a will or
other document that
spells out the deceased’s burial or cremation wishes – many
people make funeral
arrangements in advance, even paying
ahead of time. The funeral home can guide
you through the paperwork process, such
as placing an obituary
and ordering death
Hopefully, the deceased prepared a
will that names an executor/estate trustee to oversee the
disposition of his or
her estate; otherwise,
the court may have to
appoint one. In sorting through their files,
also look for: a trust
document; insurance
policies; bank, credit
card, mortgage and
loan accounts; safety
deposit box key; contact information for
lawyer, accountant or
other professional advisors; and passwords
to computer and other
Within the first few
days, start notifying
which the deceased
had business or financial arrangements. In
most cases you’ll be required to submit a certified copy of the death
certificate, so be sure
to order ample copies.
Things to consider:
or former employers for information
about possible final
wages, accrued vacation, retirement, life
insurance or other
death benefits.
•Cancel any benefits the deceased was
including Old Age Security, Canada Pension
Plan, Employment
Insurance and tax-related payments.
•Forward the deceased’s mail to a
secure address so
you don’t miss important corre-
•Cancel their driver’s license, passport
and Social Insurance
Number to avoid
identity fraud.
credit unions, credit
card issuers and
other lenders to
close accounts – or
if you are a surviving
spouse, to convert
accounts to your
name only.
•If they had a safety
deposit box and
you don’t have
the key, ask what
documentation you
Continued on page 22
Best & Worst Toothpastes
The best and worst depends, of course, upon
what you are measuring. In this case it is
the RDA or “Relative Dentin Abrasively index, which means
how badly it abrades
your tooth surface.
Abrading your tooth
surface is the secret,
unfortunately, of the
whiter teeth promised
by many toothpaste
they work by grinding
off a wee little bit of
your tooth surface to
show the whiter dentin
underneath. A bit like
sand papering off the
top layer of old paint.
The scale begins at
zero (no abrasion) and
goes up from there, but
any number over 100
is considered highly
abrasive and 150 and
above is considered
Higher level figures
can also damage your
gums as well.
The very lowest on
the abrasiveness scale
is a soft bristle toothbrush with water (04)
or a toothbrush with
straight baking soda
(07). The list below
starts with the lowest
abrasive commercial
tooth paste brands. We
have omitted brands
not readily available in
Best Toothpaste Brands
1.Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder (08)
2.Arm & Hammer Dental Care (35)
3.Sensodyne ProNamel (37)
4.Arm & Hammer Metadent Advanced Whitening (42)
6.Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive
7.Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar Control
8.Tom’s of Maine Sensitive
9.Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular
10.Arm & Hammer Sensitive Whitening
Worst Toothpaste Brands
1.Crest MultiCare Whitening
2.Ultra Brite Advanced Whitening Formula
3.Colgate Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening (145)
5.Colgate Tartar Control
6.Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint (168)
7.Nature’s Gate Paste
8.Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/Whitening OR
Colgate Icy Blast/Whitening
9.Crest White Vivid
10.Ultrabrite Advanced Whitening
What to do
Cont’d from page 21
need to gain access.
•Cancel auto and
homeowner’s policies; however, consider keeping them
activated until assets
are sold, in case of
theft or damage.
utilities and magazine
Canada for information on death benefits for surviving
family members.
Finally, the executor/estate trustee will
have to deal with such
issues as locating beneficiaries, distributing
inherited property,
filing final tax returns,
and settling outstanding debts. You’d be
wise to work with an
attorney who specializes in probate issues.
Carla Hindman directs the Practical
Money Skills program
for Visa Canada. More
budgeting and personal finance tips can be
found at www.practicalmoneyskills.ca. As
always, consult a financial professional
regarding your particular situation.