Yesterday’s news | Bancroft this week

August 30, 2022

By Nate Smell
THERE IS NOTHING like a pile of old newspapers or magazines to keep my wheels turning. As soon as I see such a pile, I immediately add browsing it to my to-do list.

With our climate and the geopolitical landscape changing so rapidly these days, for some, spending time exploring yesterday’s news can feel like a waste of time. While it is true that you have to stay tuned to the daily news, for me, taking the time to understand yesterday’s news is just as important.

Looking back, my appreciation for yesterday’s news began when I was nine years old. When my grandparents visited, there was a room that served as a library/office/art gallery they called the Den. I remember that space had a certain magic of its own. Where the walls weren’t lined with books, there were oil paintings, sculptures, weird-looking houseplants, and mysterious-looking artifacts they had collected during their travels.

Being the most accessible, the bottom shelves were where I started my exploration. On the bottom shelf in the corner next to my grandfather’s reading chair, there was always a pile of newspapers and magazines from the past week or two. When left to my own devices, that was where I could be found. A pair of scissors in hand, I worked my way through the old papers, cutting out the most interesting articles and photographs, then pasting them into a scrapbook.

Although I understood very little of what I was reading at the time, my grandparents tried to keep me busy and planted the seed that grew into my active appreciation of yesterday’s news. To this day, I use the same copy-and-paste search method when working on a story.

Recently I came across a treasure chest of vintage records and rolling stone magazines from the 1970s and 1980s that I picked up at a garage sale a few years ago. I haven’t dabbled in magazines yet, however, on Sunday morning I decided to give a few albums a spin. After indulging in a bit of Tom Waits Swordfish trombonesand Ween Chocolate and CheeseI started flipping through the pages of Saturday’s edition of Financial position, while listening to “The Unfinished Symphony, Symphony #5” by Schubert. Shortly after picking up the paper, I found myself immersed in a story of Job journalist, Meghan Potkins regarding the United Nations mission in northern Alberta.

What is the UN doing in northern Canada?

Crucially, the peoples of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation contacted the UN in an effort to protect their ancestral lands – which are also home to Wood Buffalo National Park, the site of one of the largest deltas freshwater in the world, and home to endangered whooping cranes and the largest population of wild bison on the continent. – plans by Suncor Energy Inc. to release 1.4 trillion liters of wastewater currently stored in oil sands tailings ponds into the Athabasca River.

Wastewater, or tailings as the industry calls it, is a highly toxic slurry of sand, silt, clay and water that is separated from bitumen during the refining process. Although the remnants of hydrocarbons, salts, organic compounds and metals that make up this mixture pose a life-threatening threat to any living thing that comes into contact with them, according to Suncor’s director of water and closure , Ron Guest, the company argues that they have “done a lot of testing to find out that we can treat the water and bring the chemistry into the acceptable range for aquatic organisms and the environment.”

Now I’m not one to doubt scientifically proven truths for no good reason, but given that it’s been known for over a decade that every year on average between 458 and 5,029 [CTV News] migrating birds die simply by landing on these man-made cesspools, I highly doubt any of Suncor’s executives would drink, swim or even sprinkle their lawns with this water.

Nevertheless, this column is about the value of print journalism and yesterday’s news, not about the people of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation being under threat, as Chief Allan said. of the ACFN “basically lose [their] ecological system.

Nor is it about how the Mikisew Cree First Nation is “absolutely [does not] support the treatment and release of oil sands process water, including tailings,” Melody Lepine, MCFN’s director of government and industry relations, noted in Potkins’ article. As all vinyl collectors know, a wealth of music – an important part of our creative history – was lost when the music industry moved online. The same goes for newspapers and magazines. Countless articles and photographs – chronicling snapshots of our journey to the present – have also gone forever, since the great shift from print to online journalism.

Fortunately, many of these historical treasures are still around, slowly deteriorating at the bottom of a box in a garage sale or thrift store; waiting for us to enjoy what they have to offer our future.

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