Dwindling Democracy: The End Of Public Campaign Financing

flickr.com Stephen Harper
flickr.com Stephen Harper

On the first of April this year, a fundamental shift in Canada’s democracy will be complete.

The per-vote-subsidies federal political parties have received since the Liberal government of Jean Chretien in 2004 will be eliminated on this day. The subsidy—in 2011 valued at $2.03 per year per vote—has been gradually lowered by $.51 each April 1st since 2012 as part of the 2011 Conservative budget. The significance of this may seem unclear; but let me assure you, this is a political coup d’etat designed to upend one of the world’s most progressive electoral finance policies and preserve Tory power.

The measure places all burden of campaign funding on private donors. This means that political parties will need to focus heavily on fundraising to ensure they can campaign effectively. The most effective fundraising machine in the Canadian political landscape is the Conservative Party.

According to Elections Canada, the Conservatives raised $18.1 million from 80,135 contributors in 2013—nearly $7 million more cash and nearly 9000 more contributors than the Liberal Party, their nearest competitors. The Conservatives average donation sits at just over $225 while the Liberals sit at just over $155.

This kind of fundraising domination is possible because the Conservatives represent the moneyed interests in our society. Tax cuts and credits, deregulation, and social programming cuts to fund lost revenues dominate their agenda. It is these interests who have money to burn on political campaigns. It is these interests who benefit most from the abolition of per-vote subsidies.

This is because the subsidies have always made up far less of the Conservative war chest than the other major parties. What the subsidies did was level the playing field to some extent; allowing parties to focus on issues important to constituents rather than pandering to the financial elite to fill their coffers. It also ensured parties would be compensated for their public support, rather than just the support of those with enough disposable income to contribute to political parties.

The Conservatives justified this move under the auspices of austerity. According to budget documents, eliminating the subsidies will save $30 million dollars per year. This may be true, but this amount is a tiny drop in a huge budget, one which included tax credits and cuts amounting to far more than this. Was this worth sabotaging a program that ensures a base level of equality in speech? I think not. Nor do I believe savings were the intent.

It is clear the Conservative Party knows they hold the balance of fundraising power. Just as they sought to marginalize populations who wouldn’t typically vote for them with Pierre Poilievre’s ill-fated voter identification legislation last year, they are seeking to silence millions of voters whose only choice for giving to their party of choice lies at the ballot box. By taking political capital from these people, they are striking a major blow to their political foes by choking financial resources needed to effectively campaign.

The near total lack of coverage of this issue since the 2011 budget measures is inexcusable. It is the duty of our media to constantly question our leaders and in leaving this issue out of editorial pages, they have failed. Political parties will be forced to resort to American-style retail politics, equality of speech will be eroded, and near-hegemonic power will be afforded to one political party.

If we refuse to act against these measures—at the ballot box and beyond—we are allowing the subversion of our democracy. It is a quiet, unassuming tyranny, but a tyranny nonetheless. Be aware of the implications and fight back with your words and votes in 2015.


Article by Mike Westwick

Connect with Mike on Twitter @westwick_m

Seahawks Progress to Super Bowl Despite Lackluster Passing Game

Courtesy Flickr.com nojuanshome
Courtesy Flickr.com nojuanshome

“Whoa…that was a little too close for comfort,” was the collective sigh of relief for thousands of Seattle Seahawks fans across the Pacific Northwest. Seattle rallied back from a 16-0 first half deficit to beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 in overtime and return the defending Super Bowl Champions to back to back championship games.

The Seahawks won the game on a 35-yard touchdown reception in overtime by Jermaine Kearse. In each of the four previous quarters of regulation football, Kearse had been targeted by quarterback Russell Wilson, and the University of Washington product was picked off on each occasion, including two perfectly thrown balls, which were tipped by Kearse into waiting defenders hands.

Also, in the first half of Sunday’s NFC Championship, the Seattle return game was equally inept as the offence was, with Seattle’s top receiver, Doug Baldwin, turning over the ball on the kick-off return after the Packers put their first field goal points on the board.

The Seattle offence, as was the case in the regular season goes through Marshawn Lynch. Lynch ran for 157 yards and tallied one touchdown to give Seattle their first lead in the game in the fourth quarter.

Seattle has been without a top receiver since trading Percy Harvin to the New York Jets back in October. Harvin was dealt as result of mediocre performance on the field and  reports of altercations including fights with Doug Baldwin and former teammate Golden Tate. Harvin was used as the primary kick returner during his short stint with the Seahawks and scored a beautiful touchdown on the opening second half kickoff in Super Bowl XLXIII. After the trade, the team did not replace the former pro-bowler with another top receiver. The Seahawks elected to have Russell Wilson use a myriad of receivers for the remainder of the season, but with no main threat coming to the forefront.

The Seahawks receiving corp has been very green this season. The team was using rookie receivers Paul Richardson(suffered season ending knee injury in divisional playoff win vs Carolina), Kevin Norwood and Ricardo Lockette regularly in the receiving corp, second-year wideout Chris Matthews, fifth-year Bryan Walters, third-year receiver Jermaine Kearse playing every down as well as being lead by fourth-year man Doug Baldwin. Combined in the Seahawks lineup is 14-years of experience in the wide out position.

Baldwin was arguably the third receiver last year behind Sidney Rice(he was injured after Week 6 and retired before this season) and Golden Tate who lead the team in receiving yards with 898. Baldwin had 788 receiving yards last year, and 825 this year. His nearest team mate, Jermaine Kearse had 537 yards receiving this season.

They’ve been able to win by committee, but will the existing committee be enough to beat a very experienced New England Patriots defence? “Y’all didn’t believe in us,” said Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, “16-0, in the first half, how many of y’all counted us out? How many of y’all doubted us? It’s indicative of our entire season. Y’all don’t want to believe in us, it’s okay. You ain’t gotta believe in us because we’re going to believe in ourselves.”

But people’s belief certainly wavered after that 16-0 first half deficit. Many may have been thinking that this inexperienced group just got beat by the Packer’s stronger receiving corps led by Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. But Baldwin and his Seahawk teammates weren’t phased by the hold they had dug themselves, “You don’t win the game in the first half, you win in the second half, and what do we do? We come out and we do what we do, we play Seahawks football! We got an opportunity to do what we love, and we’ll see y’all in the Super Bowl!”

The real saviour for the Seahawks offensively has been the running game led by  Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson. Lynch racked up 1,306 yards on the ground while the starting QB tallied 849 yards.

The Hawks defence has also followed up last year’s Super Bowl win with an equally stingy defence this year, keeping teams to the fewest yards against(267.1 YPG during regular season) in the league. The defence did manage two takeaways, but gave up 306 yards of offence to Green Bay on Sunday.

Fans of the team can only hope that the team’s defence and run game can lead them past New England in Super Bowl XLIX February 1st.


 

By Zameer Karim

The Royal Horoscope: January

Are you curious to find out what’s in store for you this month? Look no further…

Aquarius: January 20 – February 18

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, Aquarius. The full moon on the 4th will help you to feel more comfortable with opening up and asking others for help. Once you ask for help, you will be ready for the New Year and a new you.

Pieces: February 19 – March 20

You are a very mellow person, Pieces, but you are not afraid to show your every emotion: good and bad. This will be no exception when Mars and Neptune meet on the 19th. Before then, try not to get flustered and aggravated when you get in a sticky situation between friends.

Aries: March 21 – April 19

January has many good things in store for you, Aries. The full moon on the 4th will bring you luck in the New Year. Your New Years resolution will be easy to achieve, as long as you stay patient, my ambitious Ram. This will bring you confidence as the Sun moves into Capricorn on the 20th.

Taurus: April 20 – May 20

You are a very private person Taurus—and you prefer to keep it that way—but you have been dying to get something off of your chest. Mars will help to give you courage to be open about your feelings towards a special someone until the 12th. Your ruling planet, Venus, is moving into Aquarius making this your powerhouse month for communication.

Gemini: May 21 – June 20

Gemini’s are always ready for anything. You expect the unexpected, which will be very important this month when the moon moves into Gemini on the 1st. You will be ready for anything and everything, making you the life of the party. It is important to keep this momentum as Mercury will try to slow you down on the 21st. 

Cancer: June 21 – July 22

Balance is a key aspect of a Cancer’s everyday life. When the full moon moves into Gemini on the 4th, you will feel rejuvenated and ready for the New Year. With your newfound peace of mind, you will be able to focus on developing new friendships and building on old ones. 

Leo: July 23 – August 22

The cosmos are aligning in your favour, Leo. The sun will help you focus on taking care of yourself this New Year—something that you have not done in a while. It is time to relax and look back on your year, while setting goals for the New Year. This reflection will bring you newfound knowledge about yourself when Venus is in Aquarius from the 3rd to the 27th.

Virgo: August 23 – September 22

You are a social and outgoing individual, Virgo. These traits will be enhanced when the sun moves into Aquarius on the 20th, making you very flexible and ready for a fresh start this New Year. With a fresh start comes a new opportunity to communicate and enhance your friend list.

Libra: September 23 – October 22

It is time for you to relax, Libra. It has been a very stressful year for you, but that is behind you now. Venus will bring you comfort this month, starting your year off with a good mindset. This feeling will be enhanced when Mars is in Aquarius on the 12th.

Scorpio: October 23- November 21

Luck is on your side this month, Scorpio. You can do anything and everything you want. This truth will bring you positive energy and enthusiasm starting on the 12th. Try to keep this energy as the sun moves into Aquarius and slows you down on the 20th.

Sagittarius: November 22 – December 21

Your family and friends are extremely important to you, Sagittarius. The moon is colliding with Gemini and is helping you to focus on your relationships. Mars will bring you the chance to spend more time with your loved ones until the 12th—use this time wisely.

Capricorn: December 22 – January 19 

It is very rare that you are at a loss for words, Capricorn. This month you will have to work on your communication skills when the sun is in Capricorn until the 20th. This practice will help you to rekindle with a blast from a past this New Year.


Horoscopes brought to you by BAPC’s resident “astrologist”, Kate Church.

Recipe: Poutine

 

HISTORY OF POUTINE

There are many, unconfirmed claims to have invented the poutine, dating from the late 1950s through to the 1970s, in the Victoriaville area—about one hour outside of Montreal.

One thing is for certain: poutine was born in rural Quebec in the 1950s.

The most widespread story is that poutine originates from a restaurant called Le Lutin qui rit in Warwick, in the Arthabaska region. In 1957, a client named Eddy Lainesse purportedly asked the cook, Fernand Lachance, to mix the cheese curds with the fries.

Another story relates to a long-standing restaurant called Le Roy Jucep in Drummondville, Quebec. The story claims that in circa 1964, restaurant owner Jean-Paul Roy saw some of his customers putting cheese curds on their French fries and gravy; this gave him the idea of creating the mixture himself and offering it on the menu. Jean-Paul Roy is the first person to have served poutine as we know it today. Authentic Canadian poutine features deep-fried potatoes, gravy, and white cheddar cheese curds tossed together into one dish.

Poutine has become increasingly popular in the last few years.

Although many people outside of Quebec pronounce poutine as “poo-teen”, the correct pronunciation—at least in Quebec—is “poo-tin”.

IMPORTANCE OF POUTINE

The poutine grew popular in the small towns of southeastern Quebec before arriving in Quebec City in 1969, and in Montreal in 1983. At that time, poutine became a common offering on menus in Quebec.

As poutine’s popularity spread, various iterations began to appear, such as Italian poutine (made with spaghetti sauce in place of gravy, or sausage), veggie poutine (made with mushroom sauce and vegetables) and Irish poutine (made with lardons). It now comes in a plethora of modern variations from duck confit to pulled pork, and is even served in fast food restaurants nation-wide.

Poutine is becoming a symbol of regional cultural diversity in Quebec.

HOW TO MAKE POUTINE

Making authentic poutine is not simply a matter of getting French fries, adding cheese, and pouring gravy on top: There are certain requirements for each of the three components in the meal.

1.  Prepare the gravy.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring regularly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds. Add the beef and chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Stir in the cornstarch and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Taste and add additional salt, if necessary, to taste. Make ahead and re-warm or keep warm until your fries are ready.

2.  Prepare the fries.

Choose potatoes that are good for frying: new red potatoes are ideal. Prepare potatoes by rinsing and cutting into 1/2-inch thick sticks. When ready to cook the potatoes, heat the oil in a heavy skillet or deep fryer. Add the potatoes and fry until a crispy golden brown. Set on paper towels or cloth towels to drain.

3.  Add the cheese curds and gravy.

Add fries to a large, clean bowl and cover with fresh cheese curds. The best curds are real Quebecois curds. Finally, top fries with hot gravy.

OPTION: Be creative and add meat and/or vegetables. 


By Song Zhe
Royal Roads University Student

A Very Newd Experience at “Big Fun”

We stood there completely naked.

It was 2 a.m. in Tokyo and we were in a bathhouse with 100 Japanese women—fully nude. If this isn’t stepping outside of one’s comfort zone, I don’t know what is. How did we end up here? Let’s rewind two hours and I’ll explain.

The women at the information desk giggled as if we should have booked this hotel five years in advance, “No, sorry, hotel full,” she said in her broken English. “Are you sure, totally full?” I pleaded, my eyes full of sleep and my body begging to be horizontal. We had been traveling for 24 hours and there we were standing in the Tokyo airport at midnight, with no place to stay. The trains were done for the day and a taxi to anywhere would cost us about the same as a kidney sold on the black market. We wanted so badly to bite the bullet and go to the nearest plushy airport hotel, but refrained as we could already hear our credit cards screaming. We eyed up the white tile floor and single metal bench that made up the arrivals area, before deciding this was not an option.

The sweet woman at the information desk—bless her heart—suggested we go to Big Fun. She proceeded to rummage through a pile of papers and pulled out a pamphlet that was 99.9% in Japanese aside from “STAY 3300¥”. I did the quick math in my sleepy brain and realized that was only $33 Canadian. Now we’re talking! All we needed to know was what exactly was Big Fun?  Due to the confused look on our faces, she tried her best to explain in English what it was, “Nice reclining chairs, big bath, free shuttle”. We liked those words and decided the Big Fun option was really our only option. I waved the Big Fun pamphlet at anyone who would look at me and attempted to find where this alleged shuttle bus was hiding. We finally found it—only God knows how—and piled on the bus at 1 a.m. with 50 Japanese people; they looked at us like we were from another planet and we kind of felt like we were.

Skip forward 30 minutes and we were at Big Fun: a building that looked like a mall. We followed the crowd of people and did what they did, having no idea where to go nor a clue what to do. We locked our shoes in individual shoe lockers, paid the nightly fee, and we were given bags that contained two towels and a set of pajamas. We were on our own, aside from the sweet Japanese front desk staff trying their best to use charades to tell us where to go. The signs around the building were thankfully in English and Japanese so between the charade attempts and the signs that said “relaxation room” and “women’s change” we kind of got the idea. We slowly realized that this was a bathhouse, or an onsen: something we later realized is very common in Japan. I had a distant memory that these onsens are to be entered completely nude.

Shay Daviau and Kristin Arneson
Shay Daviau and Kristin Arneson

To avoid being the odd ones out who went in naked when others were clothed, I attempted to peer into the onsen to see if everyone else was naked. Upon feeling creepy, we tried our best at charades and asked two young Japanese girls what to wear; they managed to explain that we needed to take everything off. We gasped at each other, shocked that we were about to go into a bathhouse, nude, with 100 other Japanese woman. The Japanese girls giggled and attempted to show us how to use the towel as some sort of a loincloth. We thanked them and stripped down to nothing but a towel that was the size of a face cloth.

There we were, amidst 100 Japanese women, completely nude. I think some people have nightmares about this kind of thing: being completely naked in a room full of strangers.

For us it was a large step, or rather a leap—straight out of our comfort zones and right into Japan.

We didn’t slowly ease into Japan like we thought we would, we had suddenly jumped in with two feet (literally). We sat there in the indoor hot spring baths, tried out the different types of saunas, and felt increasingly obese as we compared ourselves to the tiny Japanese woman. It was surprisingly relaxing after so many hours of travel, regardless of how far away from home we felt at that moment. Later on we found an actual—and much needed—shower, which luckily came with all the fixings: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and even disposable razors. Unfortunately and unluckily, the showers were two glass walled cubicles smack dab in the center of the whole hot springs area. It felt like we were on display, and although slightly unsettling, we went for it anyways.

After our very public showers, we changed into our pajamas and went to the “relaxation room”. Picture this: a large dark room full of 200 leather reclining chairs, full of snoring Japanese folks. While we couldn’t find any chairs beside each other, we settled for two on either side of a snoring 80-year-old Japanese man. We were lulled to sleep by the buzz of snores around us.

I was told when traveling to “expect the unexpected”. Cliché as that might be, in my experience it has rang true more often than not. As unsettling and weird as something may be in the moment, I can assure you that a week later it will be hilarious.

A good story always comes from an experience that has a few quirks.

Stepping way out of your comfort zone is the only way to have interesting experiences, even if those turn out to be newd experiences.


By Shay Daviau
Royal Roads University Student

Ten Strategies To Embrace Change

A new year, a new you: The attraction of reinvention is understandably alluring.

But what if the “old you” wasn’t so bad?

Change Ahead
Image: Stuart Miles | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fickle change is fine, but meaningful change is usually more of a process of day-to-day refinement. Let’s take a look at what it takes to create, carry out, and maintain meaningful change.

Imagine you are holding an elastic band. There is a picture of a sunny, warm Hawaii taped to the wall in front of you. You stand. You want to shoot the elastic at Hawaii. And now you’re ready to shoot the elastic at Hawaii.

You pull the elastic backward, creating necessary tension and—here’s the critical part—only in pulling back and letting go, can you launch the elastic forward. Newton’s third law of motion holds as true for elastic bands as it does for life.

In moving forward it is necessary to leave something behind.

If we want to launch far and forward, we must look back in order to inform our reality in the present.

Major and minor life changes are rarely easy. These ten strategies are a catalyst for deeper conversations with yourself and with those who know best about what you want. The hope is to narrow the gap between who you are now and who you want to be.

1.  START WITH “WHY” 

Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, suggests all behaviour is driven by our limbic brains and rationalized by our neocortex. In essence, emotion drives behaviour stronger than thought.

When a problem exists, try to work out why it exists. Doing this will allow you to see barriers and will help clarify the source of frustration, fear, or disappointment.

Answering why you want to change will provide the necessary clarity, focus, and motivation to accomplish your goals.

2.  CLARIFY THOUGHTS, BELIEFS, and IDEAS 

Before you can change your future, you must be brutally honest about your present. Knowing why you want ____ is as important as knowing what thoughts, beliefs and ideas have previously prevented you from getting _____.

What beliefs, thoughts, and ideas have reinforced your patterns of behaviour in the past? Would changing or letting go of those beliefs, thoughts, and ideas help you get to where you want to go?

3.  SET REALISTIC and ACHIEVABLE GOALS 

When approaching change, psychologist Mira Kirshenbaum asks two questions: Are you able to change? And are you willing to change?

SMART goals are a mnemonic acronym that can help shape goals into achievable objectives. Is your goal Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-related?

4.  TAKE ACTION 

You’ve completed the necessary preparation; now it’s time to try it out.

5.  PLANT MANY SEEDS 

While we may not be able to accurately predict the details of our future, we can remain active in areas where possibility exists.

6.  SNOWBALL YOUR BEHAVIOURS TO SUCCESS 

The key is to approach change from an incremental perspective and do many small actions over time. By creating little victories you accumulate momentum. Increasing the time, difficulty, or complexity of your daily actions will naturally result in small changes growing into bigger changes.

7.  EXPECT BARRIERS and SETBACKS 

New behaviours and incremental change is imperative to avoiding inertia because our brains are hardwired to react to the present. Given our limitations in energy, time, and resources each day, sometimes putting out fires takes precedence over long-term goals. To keep morale high and maintain motivation, seek ways to track your successes as you go.

8.  PAY ATTENTION TO REINFORCING FACTORS 

What and who will support you in moving toward your goal? Using an application that tracks your progress, logging your daily accomplishments, or staying in touch with a friend can reinforce the hard work you’re doing in forging this new path forward.

9.  CONTINUALLY REASSESS and EVALUATE 

  • How is this going for you?
  • Do you still like or want the goal that you initially set out for yourself?
  • What’s not working well?
  • What’s working well?

10.  CELEBRATE PERSONAL WINS 

When we successfully accomplish what we set out to achieve, we feel good because we’re rewarded with a sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and satisfaction. Whether it’s a step towards your goal today, or the attainment of the goal itself, celebrate both your small and big personal wins.

You’ve looked back and know why you want to change.

You are committed to doing the hard work and persevering when setbacks arise. And here’s the critical part: if you’re ready to let go and launch in the direction you want, you just might hit your mark.


Article by Yiely Ho

Yiely Ho
MA in Leadership Student, RRU

Dollars & Sense: Save Your Money

Everyone likes to spend money, and in contrast, every company is trying to separate you from your money, one nickel at a time.

Companies spend millions of dollars every year looking to find ways to convince you to part with your hard-earned cash, so shouldn’t you spend a little time and energy watching it? I think so and I hope you do too!

To highlight our theme of a New Year, New You, I have come up with a few tips you can act on today. I hope one or more of these tidbits will get you on your way to keeping more of your money, whether it comes from student loans, part-time job, or (like me) a full time career while completing my studies; every dollar counts!

1) Did you know that many financial institutions offer free banking for students? Next time you are in your branch, ask about “Student Banking”. With your Royal Roads University ID, you could save up to $30 per month in fees! That is over $300 per year! TD is a sure thing, and others brands likely have similar programs in place. It does not hurt to ask!

2) Pay yourself first! It does not matter if you make $100 part time every two weeks or 100K per year, you MUST put away a chunk (at least 20%) off the top to pay yourself.

3) Do not keep up with the Jones’! Nobody cares if you don’t have that newest iPhone except Apple.

4) Do not buy coffee from the green logo barista that rhymes with five bucks! This is the most insane craze out there. I do not care how good, how sweet, or how good that mocha frappe is, it is making you broke. I usually buy good Hawaiian Kona coffee, use 2% milk and it blows any soy chai latte away (plus most of those beverages contain a pound of sugar). You do not have to go Hawaiian, but I’m sure your favorite blend is at your local Thrifty’s at a fraction of the cost of five bucks.

Money saving lunch tip (Yes I did invent, use and may patent this awesomeness):

Take any bowl of spicy (or regular) kimchi noodles, cut out a quarter avocado, a couple slices of cheddar, mozza, or marble cheese, pour in boiling water and you have a hearty gourmet Asian version of tortilla soup. A $10 box at Costco will last you a month and then you can spend spring break in Vegas!

Until next time,
Paul Allen
Royal Roads University Student
Paul Allen

Contact: paulallensblog@gmail.com
Twitter: @paulallensblog

Use a Recruiter for Your Next Job Search

Recruiting: The Answer to Your Job Search?It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of open jobs are not advertised using traditional methods (i.e. job boards, company websites, newspaper classifieds, etc.). Therefore, recruiting firms often have leads on positions you might never hear about, including confidential job searches. Whether you are searching for a temporary, contract or permanent opportunity, there are many reasons why you, as a job seeker, would benefit from partnering with a recruiting firm.

You will be better prepared
Recruiting firms can help hone your resumé, assist with interview techniques, and provide you with more insight into the company, the job, the interview, the culture, the environment and, sometimes, even your competition.

Your resumé will stand out
Your recruiter will personally represent you to the hiring manager. It is not uncommon for hiring managers or Human Resource (HR) departments to receive hundreds of applicants for advertised positions; many qualified candidates’ resumés go unnoticed.

You can negotiate the highest compensation package
Your recruiter can provide advice on how to secure a higher income and better benefits and, in many cases, handle the negotiation for you when it comes to your new employment contract.

It’s free!

It is against British Columbia law for any worker to be charged money or a “placement fee” by a recruitment or employment agency.

Tips for getting the most out of your recruiting firm

Build a good rapport with the recruiting firm. Whether you’re meeting with a recruiter to discuss possible employment opportunities or a specific opportunity with one of their clients, the old standard “dress for success” still applies; you need to present yourself to the recruiter as a professional so he/she is comfortable recommending you to his/her clients.

Don’t underestimate the power of a recruiter. Many clients without an internal HR department develop a strategic business partnership with a recruiting firm. They trust their recruiters to present a shortlist of qualified candidates based on technical and cultural fit.

Work quickly. If a recruiter contacts you with an opportunity, respond as soon as possible. Recruiting firms pride themselves on being able to offer their clients a quick turnaround on filling open positions. So, if they do not hear back from you they may move on to other qualified candidates.

Keep control of your resumé. Make it clear you want to make decisions about who sees your resumé, especially if your job search is confidential. Some less professional agencies may flood the market with your resumé.

Use their knowledge. Particularly true of specialist consultants who work exclusively within your chosen profession or industry, recruiting firms can offer you salary advice based on benchmarking within the industry.

When to apply directly

• If you know the hiring manager, it’s almost always best to apply directly.

• If you have a professional (not personal) relationship with an employee at your target company, it may be advantageous to have him or her pass your resumé along for you. Keep in mind your resumé will likely be judged based on the quality of your referrer; “B” players are thought to attract “C” players.

• If you do not have the requisite experience, skills or current employment history specifically requested by the client, but want to “throw your hat in the ring” via the company’s website.

Given the benefits mentioned above, why not take advantage of the free services a professional recruiter provides when contemplating your next career move?


Article by Jacqueline Gallagher

Jacqueline is the Managing Consultant at the David Alpin Group, one of Canada’s largest recruiting firms, and a MBA candidate at Royal Roads. 

Connect with her on Twitter @recruiterjax 

Concert Review: Mother Mother

There is no question what happened at the Royal MacPherson theatre in downtown Victoria on December 10th. Mother Mother came home, and an exuberant homecoming it was.

The band is now referred to as a ‘Vancouver band’ in the music press; their rabid Island fan-base knows otherwise. Originally hailing from Quadra Island, this band found their legs in Victoria’s vibrant music scene and built a strong following here.

They are in the middle of a run of three sold out shows at the theatre. One show had to be added when the first two sold out in a matter of days. This is a massive achievement for any band, let alone one who doesn’t sell out venues this size in far larger cities.

Toronto band Ubiquitous Synergy Seekers (USS), kicked off the festivities with a frenetic energy that carried their entire forty-five minute set. Ash Buchholz may have provided the vocals, but the undisputed frontman of the group was turntablist, backup vocalist, tiger onesie-clad, human clusterfuck Jason Parsons. I mean this in a loving way—the dude was everywhere. During the band’s biggest hit Shipwreck he whipped the crowd into a frenzied dance party sing-a-long that had all the kids losing their minds—the high point of their set.

USS has always been an exercise in style over substance. The batshit craziness of their live sets compensate for a somewhat banal brand of song-writing accentuated by the stereotypically aggro, modern-rock styling of Bucholz’s vocals. That being said, if you want a band to get a room of people ready to rock, USS is definitely the opener for you.

With USS’s priming, the anticipation was palpable as the house lights went down and the roadies got to work setting the stage for the headliners. The room exploded as the band walked out under cover of shadows and the first notes of Have it Out reverberated through the theatre. Lead singer Ryan Guldemond need not have sung the lyrics, the crowd would’ve had that covered. The relentless, driving keyboard and guitar riffs of hit single Get out the Way followed seamlessly. “I’m not antisocial, I’m just tired of the people,” Guldemond laments during the bridge of that song. He and the band seemed anything but tired of these people dancing at their feet.

In presiding over the crowd, the band did not forget about their long-time fans. There were healthy doses of fan-favourites peppered amongst the new material. The pacing of this was fantastic and demonstrated the evolution of the band since Touch Up. The fact that the crowd sung about disliking life in a ‘dirty town’ with equivalent zeal as living in a monkey tree showed their fans had come along for that ride.

The undeniable highlight of the night came when backup vocalist and keyboardist Jasmin Parkin emerged from behind her instrument to deliver a rousing, soulful cover of Lana Del Rey’s Video Games. Her voice was breathtaking—you could almost see the crowd’s mouths collectively fall agape. Talented frontman Guldemond’s step back from the spotlight, while unexpected, was ultimately thrilling—the element of surprise only adding to the brilliance of the moment.

The show was not without its flaws. While the band seems to be gaining confidence in their technical prowess, there were certain moments where this manifested itself in overzealous instrumental wanking. This detracted from the tight structuring that the band is known for on their studio albums. While this diminished the impact of certain songs, it’s not as if they went all Phish on us.

Petty grievances aside, the show wound up just as it started. The crowd remained ecstatic through the encore. Guldemond stopped for a moment; seemingly making eye contact with everyone in the theatre, and said “All the drugs are right here in this room;” words of thanks the crowd enthusiastically accepted.

As the band dove into Simply Simple, their final song, friends and lovers embraced and sang along. “I just want it to unfold, simply simple,” the chorus goes. This ode to simplicity was a fitting end to the night; seldom is a homecoming as uncomplicated and triumphant as this.


 

By Mike Westwick

Mike is a founding editor of The Royal and a student in the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication program. 

Connect with him on Twitter @westwick_m

NYE: A Catalyst To Create An Effectual, Rewarding Life?

Think Big Dream Bigger

 

It’s New Year’s Eve and you’re making plans for the “special occasion”.

Would you rather attend an expensive, crowded soirée, only to find yourself regurgitating your party fare into a Porcelain God the next day, while worrying about what you might have said or done in the midst of your drunken stupor? Or, would you rather spend the night in a quiet and relaxing environment, determining how you want to live for the next 365 days, and then wake up feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to tackle the world?

Why do so many people choose the first option?

Is it to commemorate our ability to survive another year of living in a world full of violence, abuse, political corruption, poverty, injustice, and discrimination—to name a few? Or, is it just another excuse to let loose and blow off steam with friends?

Legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson wrote, Buy the ticket, take the ride.” If we are afraid to embrace positive people and experiences in our life, then we are actively choosing a “ride” of acceptance; we remain complacent with the unsatisfactory life that we have and believe we deserve. On the other hand, if we spend time with people we care about and set clear goals for ourselves, then we are more likely to achieve the “ride,” and life, that we truly desire. In short, we get back what we put in.

As the CEO of my life, I choose the latter.

Despite there being a lot of wrong in the world, I’ve decided to focus on what’s right, and more importantly, do what I can to create positive change through community work. Having overcome poverty and horrific trauma, I find it especially empowering to make a fresh start each year with a clear plan for success. Undoubtedly, my resilience, ambition, and ability to focus have played a significant role in any success that I have achieved over the years. However, I believe that my annual New Year’s Eve ritual has played a huge role in ensuring that my goals were aligned with the person I was at the time, and who I aspired to be.

So, while people are busy drinking and having fun, I spend quality time on my own on this momentous night, reflecting and journaling about the year that is drawing near, by documenting my successes, challenges, key learnings, and even regrets.

To create my SMART goals for the next twelve months, I ask myself the following important questions:

  • What do I want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • What possible barriers can get in my way?
  • What tools do I have to overcome these barriers?

This magical process is simple, really.

I create ambiance by filling a dimly lit room with a dozen candles and make space for my favorite pen and a beautiful new notebook, which is used to plan and curate my dreams that evening, and throughout the coming year.

If you haven’t guessed it, I LOVE New Year’s Eve because it’s an ideal time to reaffirm and reinvent myself. Sure, I can do this at any time of the year, but I find the symbolic freshness of embarking on a new year to be a great motivator for change. If we are fortunate to be already living the life that we truly want, it’s also the perfect time to celebrate and practice gratitude.

That, my friends, is why New Year’s Eve is the perfect impetus for embarking on a life-changing transformation!


Article by Christine Morrell
BAPC Distant Ed. Student