Treating A Symptom Does Not Solve The Problem

There have been stories in the news recently about a teenage girl overdosing on ecstacy at a West Edmonton Mall Rock ‘n’ Ride and the mall’s solution is to stop having these events.  While it does remove the problem from the purview of West Edmonton Mall, it doesn’t address the deeper issue: the fact that people at younger and younger ages are involved in the use of drugs and alcohol. I’m not going to preach teenage abstinence towards sex, drugs, and alcohol; it’s been shown countless times that this kind of approach doesn’t work.  What I will suggest is that we look at treating the root cause of the problems we’re facing instead of finding various band-aids to treat the symptoms. I would hope that the people at West Edmonton Mall don’t think that by stopping Rock ‘n’ Ride events the problem of teenage drug use goes away because, effectively, all they’ve done is elbow it out of the mall. Yet it still remains on our streets and in our bars, clubs, schools, and homes.

True Musicianship

There’s so much good music out there and I’m constantly staggered by the phenomenally talented artists I enjoy – Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Eat World, and Foo Fighters just to name a few.  I don’t know how I know but there’s something that fundamentally separates these people from the average musician or band.  My instincts say it has to do with the emotion they put into their songs and the passion they have for music.

Justin Trudeau: New Life for the Liberal Party?

I was fortunate enough to attend a Liberal fundraising event featuring Justin Trudeau on Friday, April 24th.  It was held at the Royal Glenora Club here in Edmonton and involved a sit-down dinner amidst various speeches including the keynote address by Justin.

Truth be told, before hearing him speak I had very little idea of Justin’s background apart from being the son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and a new Liberal MP.  Before entering politics, Justin taught social studies and French to high school students in Vancouver.  With his abilities to engage and captivate his audience, to provoke further thought and discussion of the ideas presented, and to inspire people to act, one can easily see how he would have been a phenomenal teacher and will continue on as a great politician.

Proposed LRT Parking Fees

I sent the following letter to City of Edmonton Councillors Ed Gibbons and Tony Caterina. Hopefully the reply I receive isn’t some boilerplate pitch about “budget shortfalls amidst tough economic times.”

Dear Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Caterina;

On April 14th, 2009, it was reported that the Mayor and City Council are facing a proposal to introduce parking fees at LRT park-and-ride lots. I vehemently disagree with this proposal based on the disincentive it creates (an increased cost to riders) that will result in a decrease in ridership which translates into a decrease in revenue for the City. Furthermore, the environmental impact of this proposal will see an increase in vehicle emissions as more people opt to drive their cars to the downtown core and areas serviced by the LRT.