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McGill Reporter
September 26, 2002 - Volume 35 Number 02
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Pluralist views

Photo William Galston

The Pluralism, Religion and Public Policy Conference has sponsored two Beatty lectures by very different speakers on similar topics.

William Galston, director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy and professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs, and Richard John Neuhaus, president of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, New York, speak on consecutive evenings.

"Galston and Neuhaus both think that religion has a place in public life in a liberal, pluralistic democracy," professor Douglas Farrow, conference co-chair, says. "But they come from very different places on the political spectrum."

Galston, noted Democrat, was deputy assistant to President Clinton for domestic policy and is co-editor of The Responsive Community, a journal that explores the issues of community, responsibility, and the common good in public policy.

Photo Richard John Neuhaus

Neuhaus, an Ottawa Valley native, was on the radical left when young, Farrow says, and is now a leading neo-conservative in New York City and editor-in-chief of First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life.

Farrow explains that they could have brought in people with opposing views, but thought having two speakers who believe in religion's place in liberal society, but from different perspectives, would lead to a more meaningful discussion within the conference.

Wed., Oct 9, 7:30 pm, William Galston: Religion & Liberal Society, Leacock 132

Thurs., Oct 10, 7:30 pm, Richard John Neuhaus: Liberal Democracy & Acts of Faith, Leacock 132

On buying toques and toothpaste

Some students new to Montreal from locales like Sudbury or Winnipeg might want advice on where to buy a good toque. Students new to Montreal from Malaysia might want advice on what precisely a toque is, and why they need one.


Sandra Phillips has the answers, and she will speak today at the McGill University Bookstore. Phillips is the author of the best-selling Smart Shopping Montreal.

Her advice?

"I always tell them to buy my book, first thing," said Phillips with a laugh.

"I tell people to stay out of the major stores and malls, and to go to discount stores. They're generally further away, but once you get used to going that distance, you never have to wait for sales."

Phillips' talk will be aimed at the specific needs of students, who are unique consumers in that not only are they operating on a tight budget, but in many cases are unfamiliar with the city, and are managing their own finances for the first time. Although the topic of her talk is smart shopping for students, she's willing and able to give advice on a variety of consumer and personal finance issues for any audience.

Kimberly Stephenson, the Trade and Reference buyer for the bookstore, thought that the timing was right to invite Phillips -- who also writes a "Smart Shopping" column that appears Thursdays in the Montreal Gazette -- to McGill.

"Especially this time of year, when there are a lot of students who are new to Montreal and new to McGill, a lot want to know 'where can I get winter clothing, where can I get second-hand skis,'" said Stephenson, adding with a laugh: "Books too -- we aren't going to put our foot down on that."

Sandra Phillips will be at the McGill Bookstore café on the second floor, September 26 at 4:30 pm. For those who can't make her talk then, she will also be on CJAD Friday, from 11 am to 12 pm.

There's no place like Homecoming

Photo Dorothy and her little friend Toto

Dorothy and her little dog won't be there -- the Faculty Club probably wouldn't allow it. However, a chorus of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" might be in order for this year's Homecoming weekend.

September 27 will be a "Return to the Rainbow" for gay alumni. A first for Homecoming weekend, the event was inspired by the recent creation of the Joint Senate-Board Committee on Equity's Subcommittee on Queer People. Gregg Blachford, chair of the subcommittee, explained that they wanted to get the word out of their activities -- although hosting receptions isn't ordinarily the work of Senate.

"We want to publicize what we're doing, so in that sense it's part of our job," said Blachford, who is also Director of Career and Placement Services.

"Who we're inviting is alumni -- gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered -- who are coming back for the weekend activities."

More importantly, it will make the Homecoming weekend more open to alumni who may not have attended the University when clubs and services such as Queer McGill were available. In that sense, the "Return to the Rainbow" serves, at least in part, as outreach.

"I think maybe some people who weren't considering coming to Homecoming might, seeing that this is event is on—it might push them to be more involved in the weekend."

In addition to alumni, the reception will play host to students, staff and faculty, and will serve as a chance to learn what gay, lesbian and transgendered-related issues are on campus.

Blachford said that he hopes that the event can become a regular part of McGill's Homecoming week.

Return to the Rainbow will be Friday, September 27 at 4-6 pm in the Faculty Club 3450 McTAvish. Come as you are. Cash Bar

Tasting treats


Some people bake apples into pies. Others like 'em mushed into sauce. But really, what could be better than to convert the fruity symbol of purity and sin into a refreshing alcoholic beverage?

The alumni and development folk cherish the bounty of beverages Quebec has to offer, and are holding a free beer and cider tasting event for faculty and staff.

"People ask if it's a donor event, but it's just an appreciation event," says Sarah Sandusky, faculty and staff fund coordinator. Last year the annual fund raised $300 000, so A & D want to give a beneficient nod to the community. A couple of short speeches will be given, but the focus will be on hobnobbing and sampling what la belle province has to offer.

Local Microbrew-eries Boreal, McAuslan, and Brutopia will supply malty treats, and non-alcoholic sodas will be on hand. You'll be able to snack from cheese platters and nibble on veggies as you listen to a cappella group Effusion.

So come out to down some brew and feel a happy fall glow.

Redpath Hall, Oct 1, 4 pm – 6 pm. Bring your ID and tastebuds. For info call Sarah Sandusky, 398-3579.

Conservation explanation

Photo Tzigane

It sounds strangely like a motivational broadcast by the Discovery Channel, but don't expect to see prairie gophers jostling for seats with polar bears to hear "How to Become an Endangered Species in Canada." David Green, a biology professor with the Redpath Museum, is more than willing to instruct homo-sapiens on the ins and outs of how a species is classified as "endangered" in this country.

The Endangered Species Act, currently being reviewed by Senate, looks like it is finally going to pass this year (after two previous incarnations of the bill were killed by federal elections). Green hopes his talk will answer some key questions people may have about the legislation.

"Firstly, what's the biology of endangerment, particularly in Canada, and secondly, how is it recognized as such, and what is the investigative process for that?"

Green explained that several provinces -- including Quebec -- already have their own endangered species acts. On a federal level, there was a process for recognizing endangered species, but there were no penalties for those who further contributed to damaging populations. The new legslation will include fines of up to one million dollars.

Despite the void in legislation at the federal level, for a while it looked as it even this third attempt would fail, explained Green.

"It was attacked on several sides -- conservationists thought it was not strong enough, the provinces thought it was intrusive (on their responsibilities), industry thought it was too restrictive," he said.

The bill that emerged has several features Green likes. The 230 species already recognized as endangered will be protected under this legislation without having to be reapproved by Cabinet. Also, the legislation was designed to avoid the mistakes made in the U.S., where similar laws have been controversial, to the benefit of one species that will probably never be endangered:

"In the States…it has led to a great deal of dispute and litigation. The lawyers have had a field day," he said.

"How to Become an Endangered Species in Canada" will take place October 4 at 2 pm in Arts room 160.

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