Extracting Solutions – Mining in Ontario
Badri Murali | August 13, 2014
It’s not every day that you get to go into a mine (unless you’re a miner of course). So when we had the chance to go to Dynamic Earth in Sudbury, Ont., we couldn’t say no to that! As we descended into the mine, the Curiosity Crew saw and learned about mining through the ages. We even took a selfie underground!
But what is it about the Greater Sudbury region that makes it the centre of mining? Two billion years ago, a giant meteorite struck the area. The force from the impact has created a formation known as the Greater Sudbury Basin and has made the area rich in ore deposits like copper and nickel. Ten thousand years ago, the first Aboriginal peoples used to quarry quartzite in the region and eventually discovered copper. The first Europeans who learned of the deposits were fur traders; they learned about it from the Ojibway in the 1870s. Sudbury itself was founded because of the discovery of copper and nickel deposits; as the construction of the railroad ended in November 1884, these deposits were discovered and Sudbury has grown ever since.
Mining has been and still is vital to the economy of Northern Ontario. But one of the unfortunate effects of mining has been the environmental damage. For example, acid pools form when rock waste from the mines are mixed with water. The energy used to operate the machinery required to extract ores often rely on diesel to function. So what can be done to make mining more environmentally friendly and more sustainable?
Thankfully, researchers in Ontario are working on making mining more sustainable and cost efficient. For example, Thomas Merritt at Laurentian University is using the genomes of fruit flies to understand the formation of acid. Also, Dean Millar studies the use of photo-voltaic solar panels to offset energy costs. Ontario’s population is continuing to grow and so is the demand for resources to sustain the economy. What is important is that the solutions to some of these problems are being studied right here, in Ontario.
Adjusting goals is not ...
Deborah Durbin | January 12, 2015On January 1st many people set bold exercise goals for themselves as part of their New Year resolutions. Come Valentine’s Day, though, most of those goals have fallen by the wayside, tossed aside along with empty heart-shaped candy boxes. read more »
Let shopping be your ...
Noreen Fagan | December 18, 2014Here’s a fun fact – Canadians eat more sushi than the Japanese. At least that’s what Mark Cleveland says, and he should know. Cleveland is a professor of marketing at Western University. His research focuses on the integration of cultures on a global scale and the effects of cosmopolitanism, which according to Cleveland is, “the cultural openness and the ability to successfully navigate between different cultural groups.” In other words, people who want to understand and experience other cultures do so by fully immersing themselves in that culture. “You want to live the life of cultural authenticity, by trying to understand the culture through that culture’s eyes,” he says. Cleveland’s interest in cultural openness started when he was a Master’s and then a Ph.D. student at Concordia University in Montreal. He started researching how new immigrants, primarily ethic minorities, adapted to Canadian culture by finding ways to combine their traditional identities, culture and values into mainstream society. “I have always believed that just because you learn another culture does not mean you give up the original culture. You can be bicultural or multicultural and the two can reinforce each other,” says Cleveland. “Not only are minorities affected by cultural exchange but the majority are as well.” Canada’s multiculturalism prompted Cleveland to extend his research into globalization, with a focus on how global cultures affect majority populations around the world. In the last decade Cleveland has conducted research in 15 to 20 countries exploring cultural exchange and cosmopolitanism. He says a person no longer has to travel abroad – although it helps – to become cosmopolitan. A person can experience different cultures in the comfort of their own home or neighbourhood, simply by watching TV, surfing the Internet, playing videos on You Tube or buying and consuming different products. “When we buy products, and types of brands and the reasons for buying them, they are like extensions of ourselves,” he says. So how do the sushi–eating Canadians fit into all of this? Cleveland believes if a person wants to experience cultural authenticity they will gear their shopping towards achieving that aim. In other words, a person is not going to go for the North American version of sushi (think Californian Roll), when they can get the real thing – think Unagi. He says there is probably a general global trend towards cultural openness as people become more educated and have more exposure to other cultures but he warns, there is another side. “A lot of people are really opposed to what is happening with Globalization and they see their culture as under threat,” says Cleveland adding that the threat is heightened when people feel insecure. If people are feeling secure in their surroundings (financially, emotionally and physically), the more open they are to cultural exchange and the more cosmopolitan they become. Being cosmopolitan however, does not mean buying local is a thing of the past; in fact what makes cosmopolitans stand out is that they strive for cultural authenticity. “The more cosmopolitan you are means you are not only interested in preserving differences but also interested in the environment, like getting the best locally,” says Cleveland. In terms of cosmopolitanism Cleveland thinks Canadians are more accepting of other cultures. “We are a new country, most of us go back two or three generations and have one or two grandparents born somewhere else. We have a more fluid identity,” he says, adding that as large cities go, Toronto is well integrated. “We are not just living in these areas dominated by our own ethic group, there are more opportunities to mix, and I think that allows us to become more open-minded.”