Canadian Geographic: June 2011 issue

Here’s a couple of small pieces I did for the June 2011 issue of Canadian Geographic (original links).

In the next issue, there’ll be a TV documentary on urban agriculture in Ottawa, and an extensive review of the impacts of mining on First Nations communities across Canada.

Briefly Noted

Confronting the World’s Water Woes

By Robert William Sandford
Rocky Mountain Books
304 pp.,

In the eco-political release Restoring the Flow, Alberta-based UN water expert Robert Sandford presents a series of cautionary tales from around the world to illustrate the looming crisis facing Canada. Employing detailed case studies from countries such as Australia and Spain, he examines how poor water management and increasing human demand could cause similar droughts on Canada’s prairies. The book also explores problems such as wetland loss in Manitoba and the danger that tar-sands development in Alberta poses to Great Slave Lake, N.W.T. Alternating between the anecdotal and the polemical, Sandford’s unflinching account paints a vivid and sobering picture of what will happen if there is no water policy reform in Canada.

Marc Ellison

Living life to the fullest

Grete Hale
(Photo: Stephanie Foden)

Addressing a group of recent female immigrants to Canada a few years ago, Society Fellow Grete Hale advised them to “do your best, and fight like the dickens” to overcome challenges in their adopted country.

Hale’s new autobiography, Baker’s Daughter: The story of a long, rich and very Canadian life, shows how that philosophy has guided her throughout her 81 years. With her go-getter attitude, Hale rose from her humble beginnings in Depression-era Ottawa to become a successful businesswoman and a tireless volunteer who has travelled in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Hale contributed to The Royal Canadian Geographical Society for 17 years, including seven years on the Merchandise Committee. She is still involved with many organizations, such as the CANHAVE Children’s Centre in Uganda, which provides care and schooling to orphans affected by HIV/AIDS. Hale is donating the proceeds from the sale of her book to CANHAVE.

Marc Ellison