Coppermine film review

Ray Harper’s 1992 documentary Coppermine analyses the integration of outsiders into the community of the Copper Inuit of Coronation Gulf and the Coppermine River. The documentary illustrates the spread of disease among the Inuit and the government’s failure to respond.

The documentary does well to illustrate the central theme of a doctor attempting to treat an epidemic among the Inuit. However, the documentary would have been significantly more effective if the editor and director focused on just one subject. Instead, the documentary splits the film’s focus on two different subjects. The film excels when focusing on Dr. R.D. Martin. However, the film spends too much time focusing on one Inuit women who contracts tuberculosis. Instead of integrating her story into Martin’s, the director has made this woman her own focus. At times her focus overshadows Martin’s struggles, and makes the epidemic appear smaller than it actually was. The split focus within the film reduces its effectiveness and at times makes it difficult to follow because viewers never really learn who this woman is.

The film did an excellent job gathering effective sources that were able to illustrate what happened in Coppermine from 1929 until the early 1930s. The film talks to Dr. Martin, and some of his associates serving in Northern Canadian outposts. The film also does a good job talking to multiple Inuit people. However, the subtitles used could have been improved. The film benefits greatly from the clips of b-roll that was filmed during the timeframe that Dr. Martin was in Coppermine.

The film begins with the double marriage between two Inuit couples. This scene really sticks out as it is completely unrelated to the next 45 minutes of the film. It is not until the end of the film, when we see one of the people from the wedding again. At the end of the film we learn that the groom’s mother was the woman the film split its focus on. One of the better scenes shows the man, attempting to locate his mother’s grave. However, with all the crosses and poor documentation, he is unable to find it.

The documentary does an unbelievable job of pinpointing the person who contracted tuberculosis. Through this person, were are able to get a better understanding of how the disease was first contracted in an Edmonton prison and then spread among the Inuit once the man returned. By being able to trackback to the initial case, the viewer is able to get a better understanding of how serious the epidemic was.

The Dr. Martin storyline is aided by effective b-roll footage, Martin’s own personal accounts and the readings of telegrams and letters that Martin sent to his superiors. Martin articulates how when he was assigned to Coppermine, he was told to expect to deal with eye issues. However, when Martin arrived, he learned that the community was dealing with a tuberculosis outbreak. Prior to arriving, no one had mentioned anything about tuberculosis to Martin.

Through Martin’s own account we are able to see how poorly the government handled the tuberculosis epidemic. The historical value of the film is added through Martin’s account and the footage of planes arriving with supplies. However, the viewer learns that the supplies arriving were used during the previous decade in World War One and were not the supplies Martin required.

Martin’s letters and interview to an excellent job of illustrating how hard he tried to help the Inuit people, and what little help the government was. One of the more powerful scenes is when Dr. Martin gets on a plane and flies to Ottawa after not receiving the supplies he requires. Upon arriving in Ottawa, he is put on leave. Dr. Martin goes to Scotland to learn more techniques to better combat tuberculosis. However, Martin never returns to Coppermine and the government never replaces him.

The film really makes the Canadian government look terrible. In addition to not replacing Dr. Martin in the mid-1930s, the government assigned just four doctors to cover thousands of kilometers across the North West Territory. The footage showing supply boats and planes arriving with supplies is excellent footage to have. But the viewer learns through interviews that the supplies the people receive were all dated and not what was required. The government appeared to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to Dr. Martin when he contacted them about the outbreak and what he required to treat the people of the region. By not providing the necessary medicine, and isolation equipment, the government is responsible for the deaths of many Inuit people.



Ottawa Redblacks stun Calgary Stampeders to win 104th Grey Cup

Few gave the Ottawa Redblacks a chance in the 104th Grey Cup, but after four quarters and overtime, Ottawa defeated the heavily favoured Calgary Stampeders 39-33.

Calgary entered the Grey Cup as 9.5 point favourites. In the regular season they went 15-2-1. A Grey Cup win, would have put Calgary in the conversation as one of the best teams in CFL history. Earlier in the week, they cleaned up at the CFL awards ceremony. In the two previous matchups with Ottawa, one ended in a 26-26 draw, the other a convincing Calgary win. But in neither game, did former Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris play.

Burris played one of the greatest games in his 20-year professional career to led Ottawa to its first Grey Cup since 1976. In what very well might be his final CFL game, the 41-year old Burris threw for 461 yards, 3 touchdowns and ran for a touchdown.

The 104th Grey Cup will go down as an instant classic and one of the biggest upsets in CFL history. Ottawa jumped out to a 27-7 lead early in the third quarter. But in the second half, Calgary slowly chipped away tying the game and forcing overtime.

Ottawa finished the regular season 8-9-1, winning the East Final against the Edmonton Eskimos in a 103rd Grey Cup rematch. But they followed the blueprint they used in their two previous matchups with Calgary to victory. For the third time this season, Ottawa held the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian, Calgary’s Jerome Messam to under 40 yards rushing.

But the difference between the first two matchups and the Grey Cup, Ottawa forced Calgary quarterback and Most Outstanding Player Bo-Levi Mitchell to uncharacteristically turn the football over. Mitchell threw three interceptions, gave Ottawa’s offense the chance to win advantage in time of possession and total yards battle.

After going down 27-10, Mitchell lead back to back touchdown drives to cut the score to 27-23, after kicker Rene Paredes missed a point after with 13:35 to play. With six minutes left, Burris scored a touchdown, but kicker Ray Early missed the point after. Six minutes left and Ottawa lead 33-23.

In the CFL, three minutes can feel like an eternity, and for Ottawa it certainly did. With 1:38, Most Outstanding Rookie DaVaris Daniels ran for a 19 yard touchdown. Down three Calgary got the ball back and drove down inside the Ottawa five yard line. A touchdown would win the Grey Cup for Calgary, a field goal would force overtime.

From the two yard line, CFL Coach of the year Dave Dickenson elected to use Canadian quarterback Andrew Buckley on a quarterback rollout to score the winning touchdown. Ottawa stuffed the play and forced Calgary to hit the game tying field goal.

The decision to go with Buckley will be compared to Super Bowl 49, when the Seattle Seahawks elected to pass the football from the two yard line instead of handing the football to bruising running back Marshawn Lynch.

In the Calgary backfield, is most outstanding Canadian, and league leading rusher Jerome Messam. At 6’3” and 263lbs, Messam is a difficult man to stop from getting two yards. The decision to not give Messam a chance to win the game, will be discussed for years to come.

In overtime, Burris led his final touchdown drive, connecting with Ernest Jackson for the go-ahead touchdown. A failed two point convert gave Calgary a chance to win with a touchdown and convert. Calgary went for the tying touchdown on the first play, but could not complete the pass. Second down, Calgary went short, but again, incomplete. Third down, Mitchell’s pass fell incomplete. Despite, early contact from the Ottawa defender, the flags remained in the officials’ pockets. Ottawa had won the Grey Cup.


Toronto sports fans are the worst

Toronto sports fans are the worst. Throwing cans of beer, racial and homophobic insults are just the beginning of why Toronto sports fans are some of the worst behaved fans in North America.

During the seventh inning of the Toronto Blue Jays American League Wild Card game, Baltimore Orioles left fielder Hyun-son Kim made a routine catch on a warning track fly ball. Or at least it should have been a routine play, except for a Toronto fan throwing a beer can at the Orioles’ outfielder.

This was not the first incident of Toronto fans throwing cans of beer onto the field. In the prior season’s playoff series against Texas, Toronto fans littered the field with everything they could throw onto the field after the fan base disagreed with the umpires call on the field. In previous years’ home openers, fans have stolen rolls of toilet paper out of the bathroom and thrown them from the upper deck onto the field. Sit in the lower level outfield for a game and you will hear and chances are you will a few comments yelled at the opposing outfielders that are offensive.

But what can you expect; the Blue Jays have made going to the game more about getting drunk than baseball. By removing a restaurant and replacing it with a beer garden it’s more about drinking than enjoying the game. The Blue Jays should be taking more accountability for their fans bad behaviour. But the fans need to behave like responsible adults and not toddlers who throw toys when they get upset.

But Blue Jays fans are not the only bad sports fans in the Ontario capital. Earlier this summer Toronto FC fans brought a sign to Montreal that depicted a Montreal Impact fan performing oral sex on a Toronto FC fan. The team had to apologize for the sign, but it’s not the first instance of the fan base has behaved poorly. In 2008, approximately 2000 TFC fans travelled to Columbus for a game. But prior to the game, fights broke out between the two fan bases in the parking lot.

Toronto Maple Leafs fans, besides being delusional in their expectations of Stanley Cup parades, are known for running players out of town and again throwing stuff on the ice. With the Leafs finishing near the bottom of the NHL standings for the past few seasons, fans threw jerseys on the ice. The fans were charged with trespassing, forced to pay a fine and banned from the Air Canada Centre for a year.

Scarborough native and Hockey Hall of Famer, Larry Murphy was traded for virtually nothing after the fans constant harassment became too much for management to ignore.  In 151 games, Murphy produced 19 goals, 100 points and just a minus one rating. It wasn’t enough for the delusional fan base, and Murphy traded away to Detroit and won two cups with the Red Wings.

Want a more recent reference see Kessel, Phil; who was ripped by the fan base before being trading to Pittsburgh where he would go on to win the cup. Toronto fans complained that Kessel was fat, lazy and consumed too many hot dogs. Oh and let’s not forget, that Maple Leaf fans threw waffles on the ice and at the aforementioned Kessel.

The Toronto Argonauts and Toronto Rock are the two most successful teams in the city. But the city fails to support them. For years, the city’s sport fans made excuses as to why they would not go to an Argos game inside of the Skydome. First it was the sight lines, and then it was the fact that there was no tailgating. But when they moved outdoors to BMO field and introduced tailgating, attendance was expected to improve. Spoiler alert, attendance has not improved. With the exception of the home opener against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (and their fans who made the trip), the Argos have not exceeded 18,000 fans in any of their other seven home games.  The Argos current average attendance is 16,550 fans per game. The team ranks dead last in the league, averaging over 3,500 fewer than second last British Columbia.

The Toronto Rock won championships in 2012-13 and 2015. But attendance has been on the decline since their 2005 championship when attendance peaked at over 17,000. In 2015, attendance was hovering around 10000, an all-time low for the franchise.

Maybe the best behaved fan base within the city is for the Toronto Raptors. The fans travel well to opposing cities, and sell out home games. The fans don’t just sell out home games, they jam pack the plaza outside of the arena to watch the games. If there is one complaint, it is the bandwagon nature of the fan base. A few years ago when the Raptors found themselves near the bottom of the NBA standings, the arena was not coming close to selling out, and it was incredibly easy to find tickets on the secondary market for significantly less than face value.

Brantford Cold Cases

Police considered it a cold case when the investigation expels all of its leads and evidence without solving the case. In the city of Brantford, there are currently three cold cases.

The first cold case occurred on September 8th 1983 with the disappearance of 25 year old Mary Hammond. Hammond left her Elgin St. townhouse at 3:30 am, cutting across a field towards the bakery she worked at on Morton Ave. When Hammond did not make it to work the police were contacted. Police followed her footprints but only found items from her lunch and pieces of clothing. The police never found Hammond. Police investigated a suspicious vehicle parked near the bakery, but never located the truck.

In 2012, the case was reopened as Police executed a search warrant for a house on 143 Market St. Police performed a forensic search, but the case still remains cold more than 30 years after the disappearance of Hammond.

On Friday April 8th 1994, truck driver Michael Lovejoy was making his return journey to Michigan after picking up parts in Buffalo. Travelling westbound on the 403, Lovejoy pulled over a kilometer and a half east of the Wayne Gretzky Parkway overpass. Lovejoy proceeded to take off his socks and shoes to have a nap in the bed in the back of his truck.

On April 9th, Lovejoy was found dead after being shot multiple times. Despite receiving over 300 tips, the case remains unsolved. Numerous tips from witnesses claim they saw a male park a transport truck with similar markings and paint behind Lovejoy’s truck. Witnesses state the man then got out of his truck and walk up to Lovejoy’s truck. However, this man has not never been identified.

The final Brantford cold case occurred on Thursday July 28th 2005, when a women walking her dog discovered a full-term baby boy near an abandoned train tracks near Dufferin Ave and Parkside Drive. A police investigation was launched to discover who the mother was.

On August 3rd, Police received a letter from a woman claiming to be the mother saying she would be in contact with them. However, no further contact was made. Nine days later, police released two pieces of the letter from the public hoping to find a way to identify the mother.

The baby was laid to rest on August 17th, given the name “Baby Parker.” The name was given to the baby after the street, Parkside Drive, where the baby was found.


Author Note: Another class assignment, and one I would like to revisit and rewrite in a longer format. This assignment had only 600 word count. This has really sparked my interest in cold cases and could see myself revisiting the topic and maybe even writing a book if I ever had the financial resources to dedicate that much time and money into the topic.


Canada Post Door to Door Delivery Analysis

Author Note: The charts and graphs, and additionally part 4 are unavailable. Unfortunately, the copy and paste from my word document that I submitted for my class assignment did not copy and paste properly into this post. Hopefully it still make sense for anyone who takes the time to read. Thank you.

Part One: Executive Summary:

The Canadian Government announced prior to the 42nd election, that their crown corporation Canada Post would end door to door mail delivery. The Conservative government planned to replace door to door delivery service with community mailboxes. Newly elected Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he would stop the plan to end door to door service.

My research will investigate the financial records of Canada Post, and determine if it makes financial sense for Canada Post to continue with door to door service. Or if Canada Post needs to end door to door service and go ahead with the prior government’s plan to end the service and replace it with community mailboxes. I will also offer a third option that attempts to balance the concerns of the government, public and union in an attempt to provide the best alternative for each stakeholder. I will review the publically released financial statements for the past several years, reviewing changes in revenue and net income. By looking at those numbers, I will be able to make a determination at what the best course of action is for the Canadian Government.

The story will continue to be newsworthy until a final decision is made by the Canadian Government. As traditional mail becomes a less popular method of communicating, Canada Post will have to find alternative ways to remain profitable.

Part Two: Contextual Research:

Large portions of this section is from the contextual research assignment submitted earlier. However changes have been made to include more context and the information I was missing as I did not see the second sheet on my learning space for the assignment.

Section One: Issue within the News:

  1. Geographical Context:

Article from The Times Colonist discusses how some communities were put on hold following the statements of Trudeau. However, it also talks about how Sidney, British Colombia had community mailboxes fully installed in the city and will not be getting door to door service anymore, regardless of the liberal’s decision.

  1. Contextual Relationships:

Local postal workers union pleased with the decision to continue door to door delivery. This provides context by showing what large stakeholders the union are in any decision made by the Canadian Government.,-more-to-go%3A-Canada-Post-union-representative%26nbsp%3B%26nbsp%3B/1

  1. Political Context:

The follow article looks at the idea that tax payers are the only reason Canada Post exists. The article states that eliminating door to door service would eliminate 8,000 jobs. The context added is the stances taken by both Harper and Trudeau and also brings to light the amount of people who would be out of a job.

Section Two:

  1. Canada Post 2014 Financial Statement. This adds context to show that Canada Post is turning a rather sizable profit in its most recent year ending statement.

  1. Business Context:

Quarter 1 and 2 reports from Canada Post. The quarterly reports add context by being the most update financial information. By using this reports I can see if past years financial trends are continuing. Or if they differ largely from the past few years. This is one of the main areas of research.

  1. A series of blogs from the Canada Post Union that follows their coast to coast campaign that protests cuts to Canada Post. This provides context, as it shows the Union fighting for the potential job loss should the government move to the community mailbox delivery system. Further areas of research are looking into the number of employees that Canada Post employees. Second, would be to attempt to find out how many jobs would be loss if the Canada Post moved to Community mailboxes which would eliminate many delivery jobs.

Canada Post 5 Point Action Plan:

The pdf provides a lot of context to how many Canadians are effected. Only 32% of the 15.7 million addresses are effected by the proposed change to community mailboxes. Plan to spend $25M yearly to ensure these mailboxes are safe during the winter months. Saving more than 2 million work hours per year.

Part Three: Data Analysis:

The following 6 graphs will be used to illustrated revenue, net income and volume over several years and quarters. From the graphs, people will be able to gain a better understanding of the operational success of Canada Post. This graph illustrates how Canada Post revenues have increased nearly every year.

The second graph looks at the net income of Canada Post over the past decade. Unlike revenue which was rather consistent on a year by year basis, net income was highly variable. Canada Post turned a profit in eight of ten years, but are trending negatively. Interestingly the first year and tenth year are the two closest years in net income, separated by only one million dollars.

The third graph illustrates the decline in the total volume of mail over the past decade. As people may have suspected, total volume of mail has seen a large decline over the past decade.

The third chart combines all three of the graphs previously used to see if there are any relationships. Unfortunately, due to the wide range of between pieces of mail in total volume and net income, the line graph is rather poor. Although the early years between 2005 and 2008 there appears to be a relationship between revenue and volume that trend does not continue as revenues grew despite the decline in mail volume. 2011 saw a sharp drop in mail volume and that is reflected in the net income.

The following charts are from quarterly reports. Quarters generally follow this dates, however exact date changes on a yearly basis. Quarter one runs from January to April 4th. Quarter two runs from April to July 4th. Quarter three runs from July to October 4th. Quarter four runs from the beginning of October until the following January 4th.

The first graph compares revenue and net profit. There is a much greater correlation on a quarterly comparison than a year by year comparison. The second and third graphs look at the lineal relationship of consolidated revenue and net income respectively. Both quarterly numbers have a large amount of variance. Especially net income which goes from peak to valley only a quarterly frequence.

Part Four: Freedom of Information (Access to Information):

Please see attached printed copy for my submission of the Freedom of Information request. For the online submission, please see attached file.

Part Five: Story Ideas:

Since the government has made a decision to continue door to door service, story ideas are mostly opinion pieces. In the coming years, further articles will need to be written reviewing how financially stable Canada Post is and if they should again reconsider the decision, as mail continues to decline.

Personally I would write an article that argues that Canada Post should continue with the plan to switch to community mailboxes, however they should also offer citizens the option to continue with door to door service for any citizens willing to pay a yearly fee to have their mail delivered directly to their home. I believe this is the best option, as Canadians would have the option to pay for the level of service they want. For many they want to have mail delivered to their door, so why shouldn’t they pay more for that service. This would save jobs, but would still cost thousands of people their job. It’s a proactive approach that accounts for a continual decline in the use of mail services.

Another alternative option would be to eliminate mail delivery on an every weekday basis. Switching to a twice a week or weekly basis would be financially more viable and would save the government money. Questions to answer, would be how many hours would mail delivery people lose on a yearly basis. Would they be able to find other part-time jobs to make up for the loss in hours? The real question this brings up is if we need daily mail delivery. Is there any piece of mail that we need daily? With improved shipping with Crown Company Purolator, next day shipping is a reality and we do not need to use the postal service.

A fact based story would be monitoring the decline of mail volume. If this continues, what is the future of Canada Post? At what point does the company need to undergo a major restructuring to deal with the lower volume.