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Ah, August. The month of endless days and mellow nights; of hammocks, lazy Golden Retrievers, shooting stars, 'smores and, of course, cutting-edge, grassroots media.
August started at The Dominion with an examination of the effects of Canada's new “omnibus” crime bill. Granted, most of us would like less crime. But do mandatory minimums, especially when applied to drug possession-related charges, lead to a “safer” society? Dawn Paley checks it out. (image, left, by End the Prison Industrial Complex).
Some people head to the lake around this time of year, and usually they go for some serious rest and relaxation. But graduate students and researchers, some with years of work on the line, head to Canada's one-of-a-kind Experimental Lakes Area to get their scientific fix. The Harper squeeze is putting all of this in jeopardy, however, as budget cuts threaten to close down this vital research centre. Sheldon Birnie reports on a situation he hopes doesn't dry up.
Funny, seems like there's always money around available to build fake lakes in swing ridings...
And what would summer be without some fireside memories? The crackle and spark of dry wood, the roasting of vegetarian wieners, and all those spooky ghost stories. But sometimes fires can get too hot, especially when uninvited guests show up, start surveying the area and talk headily of mining for gold and chromite. Tim Groves reported earlier in August on the situation in Ontario's “Ring of Fire”, where currently hundreds of pan-national First Nations chiefs are calling for a moratorium on wide-sweeping plans to mine the area.
The pristine shores of Lake Ainslie, nestled in the heart of Cape Breton, is an idyllic place to while away a holiday weekend; that is, until the Nova Scotia Department of Energy determined that an exploratory drilling permit might add some industrial je-ne-sais-quois to the shoreline. Natascia Lypny tirelessly followed the appeal, and eventual loss, brought forward by the Margaree Environmental Association.
Not content with the record-breaking heat and worrisome lack of rain, Miles Howe headed to the island of Grand Bahama to investigate on Nova Scotia's own corporate pirate of the Caribbean, Emera. Thousands of locals are now without electricity; industry is crippled under inexplicably rising power bills; and the union at the power company is complaining they're being busted. Not to worry though, Emera claims this is just the hump year of a three-year turnaround plan.
And Quebec's Printemps Érable may have cooled a little since its height in the spring, but it's not just fading quietly into autumn. Stetan Christoff writes about the lessons about austerity and resistance that the rest of Canada can pull from the Belle Province's protests, in Red Square Roots (thanks to the École de la Montagne Rouge for the image).
Kick back, relax, and leaf through the pages of your new Dominion magazine for these stories and more. Oh, don't have a subscription? Well now's the time. You can also help The Dominion make hay while the sun shines by becoming a sustainer. Unlike rainbows, there is no pot of gold at the end of the Media Co-op, and quality coverage like what you'll find in these stories comes with a price tag.
So unfold the lawn chair, pour yourself some lemonade, pat the dog. And hey, you may as well unplug the lawnmower; it's time to let the grassroots grow.