Alberta’s New Government and the Funding of Postsecondary Education and Academic Research in Alberta

reposting…excellent commentary written by Arts Squared ….the environment, petroleum state single resource development and other oil connections underpin issues of postsecondary funding in Alberta that are analysed in this article…

Alberta’s New Government and the Funding of Postsecondary Education and Academic Research in Alberta.

via Alberta’s New Government and the Funding of Postsecondary Education and Academic Research in Alberta.

Honouring Cindy Gladue

Two events in the past week remind me of the strength in collective action. This is one of them and the most significant in terms of public awareness.

A demonstration in 23 different centres from coast to coast to coast across Canada began with plans for a demonstration April 2 in Edmonton in front of the law courts where the trial of the accused murder of Cindy Gladue had ended in a shocking acquittal.

Gladue, an Indigenous woman, mother of three and sex worker, had bled to death in a bathtub in the Yellowhead Inn, a hotel in north Edmonton along the route from Saskatoon to Jasper, named for explorer and fur trader and explorer Pierre Bostonais nicknamed “Tête Jaune” for the blond streaks in his hair. has become a symptom of the contempt for the missing and murdered Indigenous women. So many of the signs “Colonialism kills” “We are human” etc. addressed the dehumanizing and deadly process of systemic racism. And this deep analysis of how this trial could come about in 2015 was there on the tip of everyone’s tongue. As the 1000 or so demonstrators headed south to Jasper Avenue from the Law Courts en route to City Hall, three Asian pedestrians approached the throng eager to cross the road.

Continue reading “Honouring Cindy Gladue”

Janice Williamson writes “the turquoise sea”: a personal essay on suicide and survivors

(First  published in AlbertaViews Jan/Feb 2010, this won a Silver Medal in the 2011 National Magazine Awards and was a finalist for the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize in Alberta. This is a slightly revised version of the original publication.)
 

The Turquoise Sea


What are we whole or beautiful or good for
but to be absolutely broken.
                                           Phyllis Webb


As though nostalgic for his Manitoba boyhood, my father points to his beloved hunting rifle. Transforming his fingers into a silent trigger, he touches his temple and says, “Sometimes I want to take that gun off the wall and blow my brains out.”

My father’s eyes are hooded and dark as he shows me how the skin peels off the back of his hands. “Stress,” he explains modestly, his face lined with sleepless fatigue. I feel awkward in an unfamiliar living room. On this my first visit to the suburban house where my father lives with his new love and her two children, I enter his new domestic life like a visitor to a foreign country. Lost in the limbo of in-between, my father is caught in a long look back. It has been two years since my parents’ separation after decades of intermittent misery. Confused and ambivalent, he refuses to grant my mother a divorce.

Later he’ll call to tell me he loves me, but this morning he’s enmeshed in what ails him. New American owners have bought out the Quebec manufacturer that supplies snowmobiles to his Ontario distribution company. He predicts this change will shut down his business since local distributors become redundant when ownership is transferred south of the border. My father doesn’t tell me he has become a useless middleman. But I’ve studied political economy and know he’s another statistic in branch-plant Canada. Continue reading “Janice Williamson writes “the turquoise sea”: a personal essay on suicide and survivors”

writing the i in oil

the pomegranate Writes the “I” in Oil

Why “oil”?

This site and blog are based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where the economy pivots on oil. I encourage contributors to reflect on the oil economy. How does it impact your everyday life? How do you think through sustainability in an oil economy?

This category “oil” slides into issues around the environment. But to write “oil” is to think about how we live and work. Who profits? How is our economy tied to it whether we live and work in Fort McMurray’s Tar Sands  or bicycle to work in Vancouver. Oil is what we take for granted. How does oil impact our lives? How we are implicated in it?  How do our workplaces benefit from it? The oil industry contributes millions to the workplace that puts a roof over my head.

How do we write ourselves in the oil economy. What is accomplished when bring this network of connections into the light?

How might things might be different? Continue reading “writing the i in oil”