Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 7:00 am

Breaking the taboo on suicide

Suicide. It’s one of the most taboo of words for the media. We avoid reporting on suicides and do our best to leave the word where most people prefer it, in quiet whispers.
The problem with suicide is that there isn’t enough light shed on the topic and it’s because it’s left in the dark that we continue to see the number of suicides rising.
A petition started by Partners for Mental Health on Care2: The Petition site summed it up in one sentence: “Canada is at a point where youth suicide can no longer be ignored.”
Data from Statistics Canada shows more than 3,500 people commit suicide a year in Canada alone. Studies done by the Canadian Mental Health Association state that suicide accounts for 24 per cent of all deaths among those aged 15 to 24 years. Those numbers are based on the known ones. How many are unknown?
While 3,500-plus people...

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Rolling up the rim rolls over the Earth

SUBMITTED PHOTOIt’s that time of year again and everyone is excited to get to the bottom of their coffee cup and roll up the rim… except me.
Tim Hortons’ Roll Up The Rim To Win promotion started in 1986 and is an annual event. It starts in February and continues until the promotional cups run out. Customers have the chance to win many great prizes; however, those of us who want to help the environment are being left out.
Millions of the cups are thrown into garbage cans or make their way to landfills. Many cups don’t even make it to a garbage can and just clog up the outdoors with litter.
Tim Hortons has over 4,000 restaurants throughout North America. The company’s 2013 Sustainability and Responsibility Report says only 30 per cent of locations provide hot beverage cup and paper packaging recycling and composting. Considering how many Tim Hortons restaurants are operating throughout...

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No matter the condition,we’re all human

By CARLY McHUGH
Columnist
“People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer,” said Andrew Smith, young adult author and political science, journalism and literature scholar. This is true of a society like ours that is often judgmental and uninformed. Unfortunately, we fail to understand Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
While gradual efforts have been made to understand the various aspects of autism, there is still confusion over how it results. There are many theories, but the most prominent is the presence of “toxins”. These are believed to come from vaccines, more specifically the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine.
However, while this theory has provoked extensive research, no direct link has been made between autism and vaccines.
This theory has been embraced by celebrities, like Jenny McCarthy and Kristin Cavallari, who have spoken out against vaccinations of young children for fear autism will result.
McCarthy also formed her own organization, Generation...

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Can you handle parenthood?

By CHRISTOPHER BREEN
Columnist
Every child deserves parents, however, not every parent deserves a child.
With every new parent that I see this statement becomes to me a deeper-rooted fact.
According to the statistics laid out in a yearly report released by the Children’s Aid Society of Ontario in 2007-2008 there were more than 77,000 investigations launched in Ontario pertaining to the well being of children. Five years later in 2011-2012 that number had risen by 1.1 per cent climbing to 85,277.
Reasons for the investigations range from neglect (60 per cent) to emotional harm (40 per cent) and physical harm (33 per cent).
Last year there were more than 167,000 calls made by professionals and concerned members of the public about suspected abuse and neglect of children.
Children today seem to be more of an attention grabber or for some, a source of income.
We have all seen that parent who reaches for the cellphone...

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Aren’t Canadians environmentalists?

A caribou in its natural habitat in British Columbia. SUBMITTED PHOTOBy BECKI CREWE
Columnist
Within the lush forests of British Columbia lives a unique species. Surviving in small herds, mountain caribou linger throughout temperate rainforest areas. These magnificent large mammals are endangered in North America as humans intrude on their habitat.
These Ice Age survivors, which feed on arboreal lichens in winter, have faced a drastic population decrease over this century.
The United States has committed to protecting mountain caribou under the Species at Risk Act, preserving its habitat. Why hasn’t Canada done that? Canada isn’t doing much, if anything, to protect mountain caribou and the habitat.
Canada must engage in stronger efforts to protect these endangered mammals or they will quickly become extinct. If we can help prevent the loss of such a beautiful animal, then why isn’t Canada taking fast action?
British Columbia biologists sounded the alarm on the large drop in the number and survival rate of mountain caribou. The South...

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Drinking and driving could make you (in)famous

By JENNIFER HARDY
Columnist
Public shaming has been around for as long as humans have made mistakes.
In biblical times, the offender would be brought to the town square and the residents would be invited to stone the person.
Pillories, a wooden construction with holes for the head and the arms, were found in a public place as well and the offender would be held in the pillory for several hours, while people could walk up to him and slap him across the face or even spit at him.
You have probably seen something like that in movies.
Nowadays, things such as the pillory or stoning aren’t the norm anymore unless you live in Iran or Somalia, that is.
The fact that it isn’t the norm doesn’t mean public shaming doesn’t exist.
Quite the contrary, if you keep in mind how fast news travels the Internet.
Everything you do or say could end up on one or...

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Sorority sisters are forever – ΩΣΧ

Omega Sigma Chi sorority sisters and pledges holding their letters. From left to right, Veronica Przenioslo, Courtney Abel, and Karley Doucette. In front is Jelena Slat. PHOTO BY BRITTANY ERWINBy BRITTANY ERWIN
Columnist
It is often said, from the outside looking in, you can never understand it; from the inside looking out, you can never explain it. This is what being involved in a sorority feels like.
The experience is not like anything you have been part of before. You go from meeting all these new women during rush week to getting your bid, which is when the members of the sorority come to your house and give you an invitation to join the sorority by becoming a pledge. Bid day was by far one of the best days of your life and you spend the next three hours crying because you are
so happy.
Over the next few weeks, you realize that you now have a home away from home. You have a place you can go to at any point in time and you’ll have over 40 women who...

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