Margaret Wente argued that Canadian universities were guilty of "infantilizing," rather than "challenging" students. Ken Coates said universities should function as a "proving ground." But universities were never meant to function as a sorting mechanism for the job market. We should devote the effort and resources necessary to change university education to better serve all students. University shouldn't be more demanding, it should be more engaging.
Last Thursday, CJF's full-house gathering was titled Gutenberg's Last Stand: Reinventing the Modern Newspaper. Sitting in the audience, I was certain that -- plagiarism being a mortal sin in our honourable profession -- someone would raise Wentegate. I waited. Nobody mentioned Wentegate. Or resignations. Surely, if nothing else, Stackhouse deserved his chance to explain?
There are times when the Canuck press is perfectly willing to tun the guns inward. For example, whenever Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente gets embroiled in some kinda plagiarism scandal. Her press buddies really seem to hate her, and my word, are they happy to see her fall! You'd almost think there was some sort of embassy restructuring involved, so heady and thorough has the coverage been.
Canadians use between nine and 15 billion plastic bags a year, enough to circle the Earth more than 55 times, according to Greener Footprints. (U.S. citizens use about 100 billion a year!) Few plastic bags are recycled. Plastic bags are bad and for the most part unnecessary. Many of us older folks remember a time, only a few decades ago, when we didn't have them. Sure, they're convenient, but is that an excuse to damage the environment and the life it supports?