Racial Profiling in Canada, the Podcast


Hey guys it's Megan. So today I'm going to talk about an issue that plagues not only Canada but almost every other country in the world. Racial profiling in the police force. I was reading an article by Desmond Cole titled The Skin I'm In and it was just fascinating to get a look at what some people in our society go through just because of the color of their skin. So it got me thinking how often does this really occur in our community. And why don't we hear about it more often if it really is that present in our daily life. In the article Cole talks about his first encounter with racial discrimination when he was just 9 years old. The police pulled his dad over because his cousin had thrown a dirty tissue out the window. It didn't seem like a big deal to him but he watched how that officer treated his father and how his father reacted. He states in the article, “my dad isn't a big man but he always cut an imposing figure in our household. This was the time I realized he could be afraid of something.” (Cole, 2019). Despite this cool says his elementary and high school years were like anyone else's. He did a lot of extracurricular’s and even got accepted into Queen's University. (Cole, 2019)

He says that he was only one of 80 black undergrads out of the 16000 undergrads admitted in his here. It wasn't until his second year that he had one of his first encounters with the police. He was walking his friend Sara back to her house after a party when an officer stopped them and with his back turned to call. Asked Sara who is a white woman I might add if she needed any help. When she told them no he simply walked away. The experience had shaken them both. Obviously it wasn't OK for the officer to do that and they both knew it. After that incident calls run ins with the police became more frequent. They would stop him anywhere especially at night and he began to see them as a threat and rightly so. There were times that he would have police pulled guns on him and ask him for identification and the one time he didn't have his I.D. on him the cops didn't believe him. And what made all of this worse especially in my opinion was the fact that when he told his white friends about it they were skeptical doubtful and sometimes made him question whether he had made it all up in his own mind. They would ask him questions like What were you doing to make the cops think that you were a suspect or that you were doing something suspicious when in reality he wasn't. And this is something that a lot of not just young black males but black females can also contend to that this happens on a daily basis when cool turned 22. He moved to Toronto with the hopes that in a city this size he could blend into the crowd and not be racially profiled and singled out because of the color of his skin. But he soon realized just how wrong he was. He realized that there is a heavier policing of black people in Toronto than there was in Kingston. He also notes in his article and this is actually very interesting. Black people make up nine point three percent of Canadian prisoners but only eight point three percent of Canada's entire population is black. And he makes an excellent point when he talks about how black people are always presumed guilty and given a harsher punishments for the same crimes as white people. And it's no wonder many black people end up dropping out of school living in poverty and even reoffending. (Cole, 2019)

After reading this article and being thoroughly disgusted with society in general I started to do a little digging of my own and it turns out there are literally hundreds if not thousands of stories similar to this one. There are numerous news articles video clips academic papers and more on this topic.

There is an article in The Globe and Mail about how black people are more likely to be injured or killed by Toronto police officers. This article is published on December 10th 2018 for those of you who think that this information might be a little outdated. It's not. It has statistics from the Ontario Human Rights Commission from a study in 2017. The research shows that 36 out of view 125 police use of force cases that resulted in injury or death involved black people (Hayes, 2019) That's twenty eight percent of these use of force cases. There is no way that number should be anywhere near that high unless the police were racially profiling these people and projecting this supposedly dangerous stereotype onto them and then there's an article in The Washington Post as well this one stating that over policing in black communities is also a problem in Canada. They look at a report published by CBC News that revealed this shocking statistic. It says that although black people only make up eight point three percent of Canada's total population they make up thirty six point five percent of police fatalities. And it isn't just black men who are experiencing racial profiling by police. Black women also experience physical and even sexual violence at the hands of the police force. (Maynard, 2019)

The report's done by the Ontario Human Rights Commission also an unhealthy and unprecedented representation of what the lives of many black people in Canada look like. Personally I couldn't imagine living under the constant surveillance and possible threat from the people who are supposed to keep our city our community and us safe. And my heart goes out to all of the people who have lost someone to racial profiling and police brutality. It really is a shame that people have to lose their lives because the police perceive them to be something that they're not. I 100 percent do not agree with how police handle these cases because there's so much more that the police could be doing besides pulling a gun and shooting at these young men even if they are running chase them down. You don't have to pull a gun on them if they are unarmed. There should be no need for violence. There should be no need to pull a gun on somebody who is unarmed.

I had the pleasure to interview somebody who was a victim of police racial profiling and here's how that interview went.

So first I want to thank you for coming here today and talking with me. Um, can you tell me a little bit about your experience with racial profiling in the police?

Okay. So basically I live around Jane and Finch area and in that area like theres a lot of crime happens and whenever like I'm around during the night there's a lot of police cars and they always, whenever I'm walking down the street they go by slowly and like look at me carefully and several times ask me where I'm going and all that kind of stuff.

And it's it's pretty it's pretty... All the time whenever I'm walking alone or with my friends at night and.

How does it make you feel when this happens?

Whenever this happens. I feel kind of bad because it's like you know it could either be like and if I were to be in a different area rather than Jane Finch or if I were to be of a different racial background I think that would have a huge effect on whether I would have these experiences with the police. And that's quite tragic because I mean in the end it shouldn't matter where you live or what race you are like. It's kind of unfair how different races and how different areas are treated differently just because of external factors that I can't control.

And do you think that this experience has affected your life in any way do you. Is there anything you do differently now that you've had these experiences that you didn't before.

Oh because of these experiences it has traumatized my life like lately I've just whenever I see a police car it's like my heart is pounding I'm like thinking oh what do I do now. And like what's happening around me now. And like I've had to train my children to be like careful around the police. And like I've had to tell them like to not walk alone at night and just to be careful. And like where you are and who you're with and all that kind of stuff and it's just affected my life and my family in a huge amount of home stress and anxiety.

So I'm going to tell you a statistic now and I want you I want your reaction on this statistic. There were one hundred and thirty five cases of police use of force done in the past couple of years. Thirty eight out of those one hundred and twenty five were against black males. Does that statistic surprise you?

Considering that I myself am a black male and have seen this scene some of these cases happened before me. It doesn't really surprise me that black males tend to be the most the most victimized of people around.

So what do you think that we as a society or our government what do you think we can do different to kind of get this the stigma this stereotyping this racial profiling how do you think we can help minimize that and ultimately get rid of it.

Oh to start off with. I'd say we need better education and this begins with in school because some of my children whenever like I used to send them to white kid schools and they did not like it compared to the local I mean local black kids school because they just didn't seem to fit in because you know they were bullied by the white kids and they kind of left out and everything. And so this has forced this this lack of education in school is forcing us black and white and other racial racial societies apart rather than together.

OK. Well I want to thank you for coming here today and meeting with me. I know it's it's a very controversial topic it's not something that a whole lot of people like speaking out because they feel like their voices won't be heard. And that's one of the reasons that I'm doing what I'm doing right now. So I do want to thank you for that.

There is a disturbing pattern to all of these events and reports. How can we as Canadians supposedly the nicest people on earth sit back while citizens of our own country suffered daily because of what they look like and the perceived stereotypes that go along with the color of their skin. Canadians continue to believe that racism is only something that happens in America. Well I say wake up Canada. This is happening in our own backyards. And we are so blind that we don't think it's happening at all. Something needs to be done about the way we treat people in our country. We need to stand up for our people and treat them with human decency.

The fact that there are people out there who are scared for their lives just because of who they are is absolutely disgusting. We need to do something to help them because I couldn't imagine living in fear of the people who are supposed to be helping me. I can't imagine you know going out of my way to stay away from certain places or not go out at night or just walk on eggshells because of the color of my skin and I cannot believe. That we are not standing up for those we're standing up for themselves. A lot of the times in these use of force cases involving young black people it's only them defending their right to freedom. They're running away from the police because they know that if they stay the police might use force anyway or they might arrest them and blame them for something that they didn't do just because of the color of their skin so they run because they're scared and then the police use force against them because they're running. It just makes me sick because everybody. Everybody should have a chance. Everybody should be given equal opportunity. I know in my heart that if everybody was given an equal opportunity an equal chance that they could do wonderful things with their lives. There are so many people right now who are in jail and it wasn't because of something they did it was because of who they are and they could be doing so much more with their lives than sitting in a cell. It just it's not fair. [

And once more there are many many reports of the police being brutal towards young people in Quebec a young girl named Selena Sylla was leaving a party with a friend when the two had an argument and then the friend lived wasn't too long after that when the police showed up and when they asked her if she'd been involved in a fight she said “No I haven't done anything.” And then the policemen actually grabbed her arm. They were pulling her arm away and she was thrown face first into the pavement before being handcuffed and pushed up onto the hood of a car. (Olivier, 2019) I mean. I can only imagine the amount of terror. This poor girl was going through. She's only 16 years old. She's handcuffed. She's spitting up a lot of blood because you know face first in the pavement. That's got to be scary. Like she even states that she was choking on her own blood because she couldn't breathe. The doctors told her that she had a concussion and a broken nose. (Olivier, 2019)

I mean all of this because she's black like that makes no sense to me. This is definitely something that we as a society need to get a handle on because honestly I can't imagine I can not imagine how this young girl feels. And why we would put anybody else through that..

But I just want to thank you guys for tuning in and listening because the more we talk about it the more we have an open discussion about what's going on right now. The more awareness we bring to it there's more of a chance that we can do something about it. So I just want to say thank you.


Cole, D. (2019). The Skin I’m In: I've been interrogated by police more than 50 times—all because I'm black. Retrieved from https://torontolife.com/city/life/skin-im-ive-interrogated-police-50-times-im-black/

Hayes, M. (2019). Black people more likely to be injured or killed by Toronto Police officers, report finds. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-report-reveals-racial-disparities-in-toronto-polices-use-of-force/

Maynard, R. (2019). Over-policing in black communities is a Canadian crisis, too. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/04/24/over-policing-in-black-communities-is-a-canadian-crisis-too/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.9cad6b945bef

Kong, S. (2019). "If It Feels Like Racism In Canada Is Getting Worse, That's Because It Is." Retrieved from https://www.flare.com/news/racism-in-canada/

McQuigge, M. (2019). Black residents more likely to die during interactions with Toronto cops: report. Retrieved from https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/black-residents-more-likely-to-die-during-interactions-with-toronto-cops-report-1.4211542

Olivier, A. (2019). Laval teen claims she was racially profiled during forceful arrest. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/5139127/laval-teen-claims-she-was-racially-profiled-during-forceful-arrest/

Phase Three

Week 9 Haider Syed

My Podcast Characters would be:

Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith talks about white supremacy in her book “Heteropatriarchy and The Three Pillars of White Supremacy”. I would choose her as a character in my podcast because she tells us about the roots of racism and takes us through the history of racsim. The author asserts that the poor treatment of black people, which led to the formation of #Blacklivesmatter as a result of the white supremacist's view of slavery. She, therefore, denotes that the events occurring in the contemporary society such as the police brutality have their roots in the inhumane treatment of the black people many years ago by the whites

Desmond Cole:

The second character I would choose for my podcast would be the author of the article, on which my podcast is based. Desmond Cole in his article: “The Skin I’m In: I’ve been interrogated by police more than 50 times, all because I’m black” talks about first hand experiences of him and his family in relation with the police. Being a black male, who has faced multiply police injustices, he would be perfect for my podcast, which is based on racism and police brutality.

I chose these two persons because, one of them talks about the history of racism and how racism took birth because of white supremacy and the other tells us about his own experiences with the police first hand. I believe these two authors have been very helpful for my podcast episode because they both cover the topic of police brutality against the black community but from a different perspective from one another.



Smith, Andrea. (2016). Heteropatriarchy and the three pillars of white supremacy: Rethinking women of color organizing. Women in Culture: An Intersectional Anthology for Gender and Women's Studies.

Desmond Cole. (April 21, 2015). The Skin I’m In: I’ve been interrogated by police more than 50 times, all because I’m black. Retrieved from: https://torontolife.com/city/life/skin-im-ive-interrogated-police-50-times-im-black/

Week 12

During the semester, making this podcast I would say that I learned a lot. I learned that I’m great with technology and as the semester progressed, I found myself becoming more and more familiar with the tools required for recording my final podcast. Before this course  I didn’t really know what a podcast was and had certainly never listened to one. As a writer, I’ve learned that narrowing my focus down to one topic not only makes my opinion and argument more structured but gives it more legitimacy as well. Overall, I couldn’t have had a better opportunity to learn about podcasting and speaking my mind in a creative way.

Haider Syed

Podcast transcript:

Hi everyone, from Scratch Media this is A Matter of Opinion, your guide through opinion to the facts. I’m Haider Syed, and in this episode, we’re talking about “Racism gone too far, police brutality on the black community.”

 In the recent past, there are many incidences like the shooting of Michael Brown, which have led to numerous uprising among the black community. The events were as outcomes of anger directed towards the unfair treatment of individuals of black origin in the US primarily by the police. Eventually, the uprising led to the formation of the “#Blacklivesmatter” that is now famous across all nation. Nevertheless, many people still do not understand the reason for such massive uprising. Therefore, various groups and individuals have written dozens of works expressing their opinion on the issue. The picture can become clear if all the individual’s and group’s perspectives on the matter are put in context. The surprising fact is that everybody has a different viewpoint on the subject. For instance according to #Blacklivesmatter website they claim that black people are still internationally and systematically targeted for demise (Pellow, 2016, p.221). That is a different view from other groups that are not in support of the idea. Discerning the various opinions of other people and organization towards the movement is imperative.

African Americans have been struggling with many ongoing problems since the early 1800s. Issues such as racism, prejudice, segregation have caused a heavy burden on the black community. Although there was some progress made with some of these issues. The issue of police brutality have resurfaced in the eyes of the country. Police brutality have been going on since the time of segregation. Some officers use extreme force when it is not necessary. Police brutality is an ongoing issue and should be addressed.

            In America today there is a rise of police brutality towards young African Americans that leaves a distrust with many Americans when it comes to law enforcement. Brutality against African Americans has a long history in the United States. During the time of slavery, violence toward slaves was common. Slaves did not have civil or political rights, so they were not entitled, as others were, to a fair trial or the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. (Police Brutality Sparks Outcry, 2010, p.546). Conferring to Andrea Smith’s Heteropatriarchy and The Three Pillars of White Supremacy, the author asserts that the poor treatment of black people, which led to the formation of #Blacklivesmatter as a result of the white supremacist's view of slavery. She, therefore, denotes that the events occurring in the contemporary society such as the police brutality have their roots in the inhumane treatment of the black people many years ago by the whites (Smith, 2016, p.404). Black people thus had fewer rights compared to their white counterparts, and they mostly worked on the plantation as slaves. Andrea goes further to suggest that the white supremacist acts as the modern slave masters. They still believe that white people are superior to blacks and it is evident in their three pillars as stated by the author. ‘Logic of slavery’ is the first pillar of the white supremacy. It renders the black people as slaves. Similarly, they are considered as the property of the white and nothing more. The claim explains the belief behind the opinion of the white people of slavery, and how they perceive black people as assets that are disposable and ready to be exploited. For that reason, many white supremacists are in support of the police brutality on the black people.

The second pillar is the ‘logic of genocide’ and its motivation. Readers are informed that ownership of the properties of another person is the primary driving force behind it. Further, the idea can be expanded to entail the notion of colonialism and how the whites aim to take control of other things. According to Andrea, the white supremacy pillars showed the white people’s ideology at the time and how they mistreated the black people during the period of slavery. The books put the thinking into perspective that black people were considered by white as the property, which was to be owned for their benefits. Their aim was also to make them extinct because they believed them to be of a foreign race and that is what caused the ideology of colonialism and their primary objective was to make the black people disappear. It is thus exceedingly ethnocentric the way some white people thinks and do such actions, especially in the modern times. The effects of such actions are leaving the nations with scares that are not anticipated to heal shortly. This is a very serious issue that we Americans need to consider.  Police now have the mentality that they can shoot first and ask questions later. Each day young black men have been taken from their families all because instead of using a civil approach, they use deadly force. What makes the issue more of an outrage is that the officer’s that use these senseless deadly force never get indicted most of the time.

            The ones that are mostly affected by these actions are the children, the wives, parents and friends of these young black men who lives have been taken away by law enforcement. The pain of losing someone at a young age is very painful. Those young black men could have been someone important in life, but that chance to see it unfold has been taken away. The causes of uprisings and police brutality by the whites are as a result of the white people’s definition of the blacks apart from any representation for the interest of the nation. Many white people even today still perceive blacks as foes of a liberal nationalist order that is newly emerging (Singh, 2009, p.16). As a result, black people are oppressed in all the aspects of life, and they have no opportunity to maneuver in their current situation. Signs, therefore, suggest that all the uprising taking place currently are because the black people still feel some level of oppression in a free country where they are supposed to be protected by democracy in all aspects of life (Singh, 2009, p.16). The author also suggests that the uprising is due to the notion that black people are considered to have power when they come together as compared to when they are separated. That is true as evident from the recent shooting of Michael Brown, which caught the attention of both national and international organizations. The success of such groups is what motivates more uprisings in the country and other parts of the world.

W.E.B Du Bois explains the situation in Souls of Black Folks by asking God why he made him a stranger and outsider in his own house. He goes ahead to states that he wishes that a man can be both a black person and an American at the same time without getting cursed and looked down upon by his fellows (Du Bois, 2011, p.179). Likewise, he wants to live a life in which the doors of opportunities are equally open to both the whites and the blacks. What the author talks about is the expression of the frustrations black people undergo in the country leading to uprisings such as #Blacklivesmatters and their popularity. The author, therefore, justifies the actions of the black people to start such revolutions as they are the only avenues by which they can protect themselves against police brutality. The riots are used by the black community to show the world how the whites are using their discrimination on the race to oppress them. It is evident from the author that the uprisings would not occur if the blacks were treated equally by the whites.

Multiple incidents

There have been many incidents of police brutality over the course of the previous century but Perhaps the most famous incident of police brutality is the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers in 1991. On March 3 of that year, 27-year-old King was involved in a high-speed chase with the Los Angeles police. When police finally caught him, instead of restraining and arresting him right away, they brutally beat him with their heavy batons. Police also kicked and stomped on King while he lay on the ground. An onlooker, George Holliday, videotaped about three minutes of the incident. (Police Brutality Sparks Outcry, 2010, p.547).

            Another incident was the Detroit police raid in 1967. The event occurred before 4 A.M. on July 23 when Detroit police raided an after-hours and illegal drinking club, referred to locally as a “blind pig,” on 12th Street. A blind pig operated in open violation of city ordinances, which prohibited the sale of alcohol at bars after midnight. When the police arrived, they expected to encounter a small crowd. To their surprise, this particular blind pig had close to 80 people who were attending the celebration of two returning African American soldiers from the Vietnam War. Typically in raids on blind pigs, Detroit police would have simply arrested the proprietors and a handful of customers caught with illicit drugs. In this instance, they arrested all 73 African American patrons and the bartender. Rumors quickly spread that some of those arrested had been beaten by police officers. Given the number of individuals arrested, it took about a half-hour before police vans arrived and, in the interim, a small crowd of local residents began to gather outside the blind pig. (Rucker, 2013, p.11)

            There have been hatred and prejudice towards the African American race since the abolishment of slavery. Whites in the south believe that blacks should not have any rights or opinion towards anything. Racism is the belief that one race is naturally superior to other races. Racists believe they should enjoy some exclusive benefits because of their perceived superior genetic attributes. Racists believe that human physical traits determine intellectual capacity and behavioral characteristics. Such beliefs have major negative implications for many people. African Americans are denied opportunities in life not because of their abilities, but because they are considered a member of some identifiable group. As a result, they may be denied equal access to education, housing, jobs, and even justice before the law. These prejudices are often built into the very institutions of a society. Racism equates differences in physical appearance with differences in status and power in a society. A race can exert its superiority through military conquest, colonialism, forced migration of others, and various social policies that deny others equal consideration and treatment. (Racial Prejudice, 2007, p.61)

            Because the police attitudes are violence first and questions later towards blacks, it creates unrest and anger within the African American community. Some officers believe that they are above the law and with this attitude it causes them to act with no consequence. The worst demonstration was during the early days of the Civil Rights movement. Peaceful demonstrators were targeted by police in which they were hosed down, beaten and attacked by police dogs. (Brooks, 2011, p.405)

            As police brutality continued during the years, the repercussions of the injustice caused the L.A. Riots back in 1992. The beating of Rodney King set off a chain reaction of angry African Americans. The riots started that day when the 4 officers responsible for the beatings was not indicted. Protestors went from peaceful to violent. Looting, attacking drivers, destroying property was the outcome of the frustration in police brutality.

            One way that this situation can change is that the officers get hold accountable for their actions. The reason why the community is upset is that most officers that commit unnecessary violence do not get indicted. If the justice system starts indicting these officers then it would give the community the sense that justice is being serve for their love ones. Protecting the officers from their actions is not a solution to the problem. There were many video evidence of officers caught in the act but with the failed justice system, the officer never got indicted. This is a process that have to be change.


In conclusion, black people just like in the past are still experiencing injustice. It is because they have a feeling that they are always treated unequally even in the modern time, even though racism is not encouraged and slavery is prohibited. The popular ‘hashtag’ is a representation of the black people’s anger on the current prejudice and treatments they are experiencing. Therefore, a question arises whether race is serving a purpose, which is more than just category for labeling individuals. According to most people who are against the unjust treatment of the black in the community, the race for Whiteman is a tool used in separating people that are potential assets to be used for the beneficial needs of the white community. Likewise, they still view blacks as people with fewer rights compared to them. Therefore, they should not be treated equally. It follows that the issues attract different views centered on an individual or a group of people opinions. However, based on numerous literature present on the topic many people are against police brutality and the racial discrimination of the blacks. although the problem with police brutality is nowhere near resolved, there have been a little progress when it comes to surveillance of the officers. In some states, police are now required to wear body cameras and record every situation are called to giving them accountability. Police brutality will continue to be an ongoing issue unless change is made within the government. The stand your ground law states that you have the right to shoot someone whom you feel threatened by, but in today’s time we obviously do not know the meaning of a threat (Volokh, 2014). Overall, our society might think that we are over the issue where we play the racism card, but in reality it has just begun. Safety has become a huge uncertainty especially for African Americans. With the Stand Your Ground Law still being in affect, people don’t feel safe walking out to get the mail anymore.


Volokh, Eugene.(2014). "What ‘stand Your Ground’ Laws Actually Mean." Washington Post. The Washington Post.

Police Brutality Sparks Public Outcry. (2010). In African American Eras: Contemporary Times (Vol. 3, p.546-549).

Racial Prejudice. (2007). In Prejudice in the Modern World Reference Library (Vol. 1, p.61-82).

Rosenberg, C. (2014). Los Angeles Uprising (1992). In L. I. Gerdes (Ed.), Perspectives on Modern World History. The 1992 Los Angeles Riots (pp. 15-23). Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.

Du Bois, W. E. B.(2011). The Souls of Black Folk. Charleston, South Carolina, Nabu Press.

Pellow, David N. (2016). "Toward a Critical Environmental Justice Studies: Black Lives Matter as an Environmental Justice Challenge." Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, vol.13, no.2, p. 221-236.

Rucker, W. C. (2013). Overview of the 1967 Detroit Riots. In N. Berlatsky (Ed.), Perspectives on Modern World History. The 1967 Detroit Riots (pp. 11-16). Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Civil Rights. (2011). In C. A. Brooks (Ed.), The African American Almanac (11th ed., pp. 401-473).

Singh, Nikhil Pal. (2009). "Rethinking Race and Nation." American Studies: An Anthology, vol.9.

Smith, Andrea. (2016). "Heteropatriarchy and the three pillars of white supremacy: Rethinking women of color organizing." Women in Culture: An Intersectional Anthology for Gender and Women's Studies

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 Haider Syed

Irresponsible Media: Podcast

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"Dirty Tactics": The Podcast

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 You may have heard about the fierce opposition the Canadian government is facing with regards to building new and expanding the existing oil pipeline network. Just recently news came out that Enbridge’s line 3 replacement has been delayed by one more year due to regulatory issues, which was a set back for Canada’s already beaten down oil industry. The province of Alberta needed the pipeline on time to ease the province’s oil glut, and end production cuts. As existing pipelines were running to their capacity, these production cuts were taken by the Government of Alberta to bring down record levels of oil inventory and support sagging Canadian crude prices. This pipeline and others like it have been a major source of controversy amid stiff opposition mainly from environmentalists and indigenous people. The opposers argue that pipelines will facilitate the use of fossil fuels contributing to climate change. Earlier this year the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz sided with the environmental groups saying that his administration will continue to oppose the Enbridge line 3 replacement. Margaret Levin, director of the Sierra Club, an environmental group opposed to Canadian oil said, and I quote “this dirty tar sands pipeline would threaten our clean water, communities, and climate, all for the sake of more oil our state does not need”. Sierra club is among many environmental groups that are campaigning against Canadian oil on funding from charitable organizations in the United States. More on that later in the show, but for now focus on how disparagingly Sierra Club’s Director Margaret Levin, spoke about Canadian oil. She said, and I quote “dirty tar sands”.

From Scratch media this is A Matter of Opinion, your guide through opinion to the facts. I am Jawad Khan. Today we are talking about the Canadian oil sands.

            You may ask, why is Canadian oil being labelled as “dirty” or as “tar sands”. Well, Canada has oil sands, which are subsurface hydrocarbon deposits that contain a type of oil (called bitumen) that is mixed with sand, water and clay. This composition gives it a peanut butter or tar like consistency. The worlds largest oil sands deposits are in Canada but there are also important deposits in Venezuela, the United States, Russia and several other countries.(Heyes, Leach, & Mason, 2018) It is being termed as “dirty” in the media because of more green house gas emissions from oil sands production, which according to a study prepared for the European Union, is 22% more than is the standard for European fuels. United States Congress conducted its own GHG emissions study and found out that emissions from oil sands are 14 to 20% higher, while an Alberta Government sponsored report concluded that GHG emissions from oil sands are 12% higher than several common crudes consumed in Europe.(Alberta’s oil sands crude, n.d.). There are so many different estimates of GHG emissions from oil sands that its difficult to differentiate between opinions and facts. Saying that Canadian oil is “dirty” is as good as an “opinion”. On the other hand, my claim is that Canadian oil is being stigmatised as a poster child of “dirty fuel”, which is not just a “matter of opinion”, it is a fact. I will give you four reasons to prove it.

The first reason for my claim that Canadian oil is being stigmatized as dirty is;

delays in the completion of crucial pipelines: the strong opposition that pipelines in Canada are facing is mainly due to an organized campaign to stigmatize Canadian oil as “Tar sands” or “dirty oil”. Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves but not enough pipelines to reach international markets. The three most notable pipeline proposals in Canada are, Trans Mountain, Keystone XL and Enbridge’s line 3 replacement and all these face regulatory delays. Trans Mountain pipeline has caused a major rift in relations between the governments of Alberta and British Columbia. The pipeline starts in Edmonton, Alberta and terminates on the west coast of British Columbia in Burnaby. British Columbia’s provincial government along with Washington state of the United States, fears that the pipeline would increase oil tanker traffic in British Columbia waters increasing the risk of spills and are both opposing it, saying and I quote “this project does not move us toward a clean energy future”. (Commodities & Energy, 2019) Let me give you a little surprise here, British Columbia opposing the passage of oil through its territory is surprising, because the number one export from British Columbia is coal and solid fuels manufactured from coal.(Services, n.d.) The second pipeline, Keystone XL which was to move oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas in the United States, is facing delays since last 10 years.(Jan 24, January 24, & 2017, 2017) President Trump approved the project in 2017, which was later blocked by a United States court decision in favour of the environmentalists fighting fossil fuels and global warming.(Aug 16, August 16, & 2018, 2018) Enbridge’s line 3 replacement which is the third pipeline marred by controversy as environmentalists in Minnesota argue that it will accelerate climate change, because it will carry Canadian oil sands oil which generates more climate – warming carbon dioxide. As I have already mentioned in the beginning that Minnesota governor is siding with the environmentalists on this issue.

Due to these pipeline constraints Canadian oil producers are selling their crude at huge discounts. In January 2019, the difference between the prices of Canadian and the United States crude was $17/barrel, but the difference went as high as $45/barrel in Nov 2018(“Economic Dashboard - Oil Prices,” n.d.). If provinces come together, and if the realization sets in that all concerned parties need to maximize the benefits of Canadian natural resources our problems will be resolved. Canadian oil will reach the markets one way or the other, the question should be how safe and economically viable is the mode of transportation? If pipelines are built on time, Canadian oil will be able to realize its true value because Canadian producers won’t have to bear the heavy cost of transportation by rail and pipelines would open export avenues, like for example the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would increase access to tidewater. Access to tide water will fetch higher prices in World markets, rather than relying on the United States alone. As far as the environmental argument is concerned, there is a very strong case in favour of moving oil by pipelines. Environmentalists are giving an impression that by not letting the pipelines go through, they are somehow keeping the oil in the ground. It is not happening as oil producers are using riskier modes of transportation, mainly rail. Rail is 4.5 times more likely to experience an occurrence of spill as compared to pipeline and rail does pass through inner cities, increasing the risk to lives and property(“Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil and gas,” 2015).

The second reason for my claim that Canadian oil is being stigmatized is as dirty is;

Funding from United States charitable organizations: it is no secret that campaigns, and funding’s go hand in hand. This campaign against Canadian oil is being funded by the United States charitable organizations. These campaigns have so far successfully labelled Canadian oil as “Tar sands” or “dirty fuel” and have been instrumental in landlocking Canadian oil. I found out about this organized campaign while I was researching the environmental groups that are behind pipeline opposition. I could not get my head around the idea that these pressure groups could be so strong that they can literally bring the government on its knees. So, while researching I found out about Vivian Krause, who is an independent researcher and has monitored the “tar sands” campaigns since 2010. Krause has spent years following the money trail from these charitable organizations and found out that they are spending a lot money towards non charitable causes. Krause appears regularly on television and radio sharing her research and writes regularly in national newspapers against this campaign.(“Danielle Smith,” 2018) During her research Krause came across a United States charity called Corporate Ethics who were involved in the tar sands campaign. Corporate Ethics were funded by the Rockefeller Brothers fund and they openly shared the success the funding was giving them on their website by saying that the tar sands campaign successfully land - locked the Canadian Tar sands industry by blocking the approval of all major proposed pipelines in Canada and the U.S.(“tar-sands-campaign-22land-lock22.png (2062×1222),” n.d., p.) The Rockefeller Brothers fund, have been funding indigenous and environmental groups to oppose pipelines. Rockefeller family amassed all the wealth from their oil business but now they are spending money against fossil fuels claiming that its harmful for the environment. They are particularly targeting Canadian oil and are funding opposition campaigns against pipelines crucial to Canadian oil industry.(Jan 20 & January 25, n.d.) Krause claims that The Tides Foundation, another charitable organization has granted at least $35 million to organizations involved in anti pipeline activism in the United States, Canada and Europe, which includes Sierra Club, that I mentioned at the beginning of the show(“Anti-Pipeline Activism Funded by Tides > 400 Payments for $35 Million,” n.d.).

These campaigns against Canadian oil and pipelines have not helped the environment at all, as they have failed to keep oil in the ground, both in Canada and elsewhere in the world. If Canada is not producing, another country is producing and supplying oil to satisfy the demand that will exist anyway, until viable renewable energy is developed. These campaigns are organized to block market access for Canadian natural resource, and bully Canada out of the global energy market. Following Krause’s research Canada Revenue Agency has conducted detailed audits and revoked the licenses of several public foundations. The Canada Revenue Agency revealed that some public foundations have doled out huge sums of money and the bulk of that wealth did not go to working charities, which was in contravention of the federal charity laws. These foundations merely acted as conduits to provide tax relief to its donors and later returned their donations back.(Tomlinson, 2018). This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that charitable organizations can fly under the radar for an indefinite period, or till the time when someone really digs deep and find out what they want to hide.

The third reason for my claim that Canadian oil is being stigmatized as dirty is;

The quick build up of pipelines in the United States without any hinderance from the environmentalist. The United States has built pipelines unhindered during the same time that Keystone XL has dealt with regulatory issues. Crude oil pipeline mileage rose a whopping 29% from 2011 to 2015 according to data from Washington, D.C. based Association of oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) (Exhibit A). In 2018, no pipeline was constructed in Canada, while in the United States 405 miles of crude oil pipeline was constructed (Exhibit B). John Stoody, a spokesperson for AOPL said, and I quote “while people have been debating Keystone in the U.S., we have actually built the equivalent of 10 Keystones. And no one’s complained or said anything.”(Commodities & Energy, 2015) The United States have got its side of the environmentalists too busy opposing pipelines that will carry Canadian oil, to worry about pipelines being constructed in their own backyard. Perhaps funding the environmentalists and organizing protests proved to be a good diversion tactic that helped the United States towards energy independence. The United States had always wanted to be energy independent, and recently it has achieved just that by becoming the world’s biggest oil producer.(“The United States is now the largest global crude oil producer - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA),” n.d.) Not only that, but after decades of being an importer of crude oil and refined product the United States is now exporting thousands of barrels of crude oil and refined products per day.(“In major shift, U.S. now exports more oil than it ships in,” 2018) Canada on the other hand despite having worlds third largest oil reserves is struggling to send its oil to refineries other than ones in the United States Gulf Coast.

Here I think I should also touch upon the refining business, just to debunk the myth that crude oils other than the Canadian oil are not dirty. Crude oil from around the world are different from each other in composition and properties. Some crudes are heavier while other are lighter. Every crude oil need refining to make it clean for usage, which means that all crude, no matter where it came from is dirty. So, if crude oil comes with different composition and properties so do refineries, which means that such refineries are already in place which can only refine the heaviest of the crudes, because they are purpose built only for that kind of crude(“How much for that heavy oil?,” n.d.). The refineries in the Gulf Coast of the United States are an example that not only buys Canadian oil but also oil from the oil sands of Venezuela due to which they are the biggest buyers of heavy crude in North America.

The fourth reason for my claim that Canadian oil is being stigmatized as dirty is;

Canadian oil is not alone in the heavy crude league. Canada is not the only country that has oil sands, countries like Venezuela, Russia and the United States also has similar natural resources. These countries are using these resources to take advantage of an already existing demand and are competing against each other for market share. In tough economic times keeping the oil in the ground is not an option for these countries, because they know that doing this would let another country capture market share. Almost 50% of world’s oil reserves are heavy and a good fraction of these are in Alberta, Canada and Venezuela. Venezuela’s oil sands are “extra heavy oil” deposits since they do not contain bitumen, but Venezuela has easy access to tide water and the world’s biggest consumer of heavy oil is relatively close by in the United States gulf coast.(“Why Venezuela is Alberta’s biggest competitor,” n.d.) But probably the biggest advantage Venezuela has over Canada is that there is no anti pipeline opposition there. No environmental groups are rallying local populations and threatening to take the government or oil companies to the court. Venezuela has seen the disadvantages of having abrupt changes and giving conflicting signals to international markets and investors, with regards to their most valuable assets. Countries who have tar sands like Canada do not feel guilty, and are not shying away from developing those assets, but are openly seeking international help, Mexico and Venezuela being prime examples.

Apart from Venezuela, California in the United States has oil that is as carbon intensive to extract as Canadian oil, if not worse. The California oil is among one of the most climate polluting sources of oil in the world, according to climate change news.(“Dirtier than tar sands,” 2016) California in the heart of the United States, is at the forefront of climate leadership and still extracts, refines and burns some of the dirties oil on planet.

In conclusion, I would like to say that forces that are opposing the construction of pipelines on the pretext that Canadian oil is “dirty fuel” are shying away from the simple truth that they are doing more harm to the environment than good. Referring to Canadian oil as “dirty” could be an opinion, but the fact is that similar, and in some cases more carbon intensive oil is being pumped out, transported, refined and used around the world. Additional pipelines are needed for a reason, and the reason is that in Canada there is an abundance of oil and gas and the existing network of pipelines are running to their maximum capacity. The new discoveries of oil and gas have also been made in the United States, and as I have already discussed earlier that they continue to lay pipelines boosting the existing infrastructure, while funding environmental campaigns against Canada. The United States energy industry cannot wish for anything better than Canadian pipelines faltering in the face of opposition from environmentalists. Like any other country they must be concerned about their market share, after recently acquiring energy independence by being able to export oil and refined products. The United States based charitable organizations who are funding environmental groups against Canada have a clear objective. They want U.S. energy independence, which is difficult if Canada continues to sell its oil in the international market. In my view, if the environmentalists are too worried about global warming from fossil fuels, they should lobby to stop governments from giving concessions to oil companies to drill for oil in the first place. Pipelines it seems is an easy target because sometimes they must pass through a different province or another country, but if there won’t be any drilling for oil, then there won’t be any pipelines.

Everyone who thinks that Canadian oil should stay in the ground must realize that there are no viable alternatives to fossil fuels at present. In the absence of a viable renewable alternative other countries will continue to drill for oil and gas, which won’t help the environment. Opposing a pipeline does not mean that other, risky modes of transportation are not available and if rail and trucking companies are willing to transport oil than oil companies will continue to drill. I have already discussed earlier that despite blocking three proposed pipelines, the protestors have achieved nothing, but forced oil transportation by a much riskier mode. For most of us the memory of the deadly rail derailment that took 47 lives in 2013, in Lac – Megantic, Quebec would still be fresh.(Jul 06, July 6, & 2018, 2018). The rail was carrying 7.7 million litres of crude oil, when it derailed and exploded.

Professor Ian Clark, a professor in the department of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa, says and I quote “the environmental movement has lost its way”. He is qualified enough to have an opinion on the science of climate change. He believes that killing the Canadian oil sands would be to the great detriment of all Canadians, as it is one project that will improve the lives of Canadians for years to come.(News, 2012). There may come a time in future when renewable energy can take over from oil and natural gas, just as oil and natural gas took over from coal. But we are not there yet. It is not a matter of opinion, but a clear fact that Canadian oil is being stigmatized as a poster child of “dirty fuels”.




Alberta’s oil sands crude: the science behind the debate. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/albertas-oil-sands-crude-the-science-behind-the-debate/article11837683/

Anti-Pipeline Activism Funded by Tides > 400 Payments for $35 Million. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2019, from Rethink Campaigns website: https://fairquestions.typepad.com/rethink_campaigns/2014/11/tides-tar-sands-tax-excerpts.html

Aug 16, T. R. · P., August 16, 2018 7:57 AM MT | Last Updated:, & 2018. (2018, August 16). Further delay expected to Keystone XL after judge orders review of new pipeline route | CBC News. Retrieved April 6, 2019, from CBC website: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/keystone-xl-pipeline-review-judge-1.4787374

Commodities, & Energy. (2015, November 4). America has built the equivalent of 10 Keystone pipelines since 2010 — and nobody said anything | Financial Post. Retrieved March 7, 2019, from https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/america-has-built-the-equivalent-of-10-keystone-pipelines-since-2010-and-no-one-said-anything

Commodities, & Energy. (2019, February 8). Trans Mountain pipeline faces opposition from Washington state amid oil spill, traffic concerns | Financial Post. Retrieved April 3, 2019, from https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/governor-says-washington-will-try-to-influence-trans-mountain-every-way-it-can

Danielle Smith: Foreign interests behind effort to stop Trans Mountain Pipeline | Globalnews.ca. (2018, March 2). Retrieved April 4, 2019, from https://globalnews.ca/news/4059563/danielle-smith-foreign-interests-behind-effort-to-stop-trans-mountain-pipeline/

Dirtier than tar sands: California’s crude oil secret. (2016, December 21). Retrieved April 5, 2019, from Climate Home News website: https://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/12/21/dirtier-than-tar-sands-californias-crude-oil-secret/

Economic Dashboard - Oil Prices. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2019, from https://economicdashboard.alberta.ca/OilPrice

Heyes, A., Leach, A., & Mason, C. F. (2018). The Economics of Canadian Oil Sands. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 12(2), 242–263. https://doi.org/10.1093/reep/rey006

How much for that heavy oil? (n.d.). Retrieved March 7, 2019, from Oil Sands Magazine website: https://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/news/2015/12/26/how-much-for-that-heavy-oil

In major shift, U.S. now exports more oil than it ships in. (2018, December 6). Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-oil-eia-idUSKBN1O51X7

Jan 20, P., & January 25, 2019 4:26 PM ET | Last Updated: (n.d.). The American money behind the anti-pipeline fight | The Weekly with Wendy Mesley | CBC News. Retrieved April 4, 2019, from CBC website: https://www.cbc.ca/news/theweekly/the-american-money-behind-the-anti-pipeline-fight-the-weekly-with-wendy-mesley-1.4986050

Jan 24, T. C. P. · P., January 24, 2017 3:01 PM ET | Last Updated:, & 2017. (2017, January 24). A history of the Keystone XL pipeline project | CBC News. Retrieved April 3, 2019, from CBC website: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/keystone-xl-pipeline-timeline-1.3950156

Jul 06, J. P. · C. N. · P., July 6, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated:, & 2018. (2018, July 6). 47 goodbyes: How art and memory are helping Lac-Mégantic rebuild hope 5 years on | CBC News. Retrieved April 5, 2019, from CBC website: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/lac-megantic-five-years-community-rebuilding-hope-1.4735338

News. (2012, February 9). ‘The environmental movement has lost its way’ | Financial Post. Retrieved March 14, 2019, from https://financialpost.com/news/the-environmental-movement-has-lost-its-way

Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil and gas: op-ed. (2015, August 14). Retrieved April 3, 2019, from Fraser Institute website: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/pipelines-are-safest-way-transport-oil-and-gas

Services, M. of C. (n.d.). Country Trade Profiles - Province of British Columbia. Retrieved April 3, 2019, from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/data/statistics/business-industry-trade/trade/trade-data/country-trade-profile

tar-sands-campaign-22land-lock22.png (2062×1222). (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2019, from https://fairquestions.typepad.com/files/tar-sands-campaign-22land-lock22.png

The United States is now the largest global crude oil producer - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2019, from https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=37053

Tomlinson, K. (2018, October 25). Inside the charity network that has helped wealthy donors get big tax breaks – and their donations back; To some, the Vancouver lawyer at the centre of some unusual donation deals involving securities and real estate is ‘a hero of the philanthropy movement.’ Others think the CRA needs to take a closer look. Kathy Tomlinson investigates. The Globe and Mail (Breaking News). Retrieved from http://global.factiva.com/redir/default.aspx?P=sa&an=GMBN000020181025eeao0005m&cat=a&ep=ASE

Why Venezuela is Alberta’s biggest competitor. (n.d.). Retrieved March 8, 2019, from Oil Sands Magazine website: https://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/news/2016/2/15/why-venezuela-is-albertas-biggest-competitor













Exhibit A

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Exhibit B

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Week 12: Podcasting: My thoughts.

Before this course I had never given a serious thought to podcasting as a genre for conveying information or telling a story. I had never listened to so many podcasts before, let alone trying to work on one myself. Honestly, if I had not taken up this course, I would never have made a podcast myself, not even for fun. For me it is not impossible to picture myself doing a radio show, but not the kind in which I decide the topic, then research, present drafts or pitch ideas, then research, more research, than give an outline, write the content of the show and finally record the show. I would not have done it even if my life depended on it. Now that I can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, I am starting to believe that ability is something that is hidden beneath so many layers of fear and doubt that it is very easy to give up even at the time when just one more push of the drill bit could strike a major artery of abilities. I wouldn’t say that I have reached such depth, but what I can say is that I have gained a lot of confidence.

I have learned that writing can be very versatile, and that simplicity can be a very powerful conveyor of thoughts and ideas. I have come to know the power of a narrative, and how coherence in thoughts can be transferred to paper in plain language and yet it sounds so original. I had no idea that the opinion piece that I will select, will be transformed at the end of the course in to my own unique and original work. I enjoyed the fact that I could take an idea in the shape of an opinion piece and than follow the course directions, step by step and having something of my own at the end, which is distinct from the original opinion piece.

I have no qualms in accepting that research is not for the faint hearted. The whole process of systematic investigation to establish facts and reach conclusions is detrimental to the sanity of an individual. Research made me wonder that why do we have search engines and not research engines? See, this is what research can do to a person. I must say that conducting this kind of research really tested my patience during the whole process, but at the end what I have learnt about myself will help me a lot in life.    

Jawad Khan

Phase 3

Week 12

Making a podcast consists of many stages with different skill requirements and new challenges to explore, especially for a first timer. Having a specific sequence, the process of creating a podcast helped me gain more confidence in my ability to bring something from an idea to reality. The planning phase requires brainstorming and idea gathering helped me in organizing my thoughts and ideas into a story with a begging, ending with the moral of the story and why I chose in between.  It also enhanced my ability in choosing the right words that will click with the listener. The power of the written word and how to apply different tones to each sentence when speaking it to connect to the listener through words that have an impact as you have to adapt certain styles of writing and speaking your words to stay relative to the listener.

Salem Bawazir

Week 9

Whats nice about creating your own podcast is the infinite pool of sources to choose from which can range from something written as books, surveys, articles etc.., to something viewable such as movies, documentaries,  info graphic shows and interviews, etc...

However, the sources I was able to procure with the most relation to my podcast, were mainly written. Starting with “A New Political Generation: Millennials and the Post-2008 Wave of Protest” a journal written by Ruth Milkman. Which supports the idea behind the argument that a positive election campaign as well as the candidate having a positive public persona helped in appealing to millennials. And gaining their trust by staying simple and relative to the general youth. As a result, Barack Obama had 60% voters under the age of 30 (millennials). Furthermore , around 2000 millennials campaigned for him. Hence, creating the perfect character for the podcast as he appealed greatly to the youth and as such, millennials voting for him played a key role in Barack Obama wining the presidential race.  

The other two being “Youth Turnout: At Least 49%, 22-23 Million Under-30 Voted” and “An Estimated 24 Million Young People Voted in 2016 Election” procured from THE CENTER FOR INFORMATION & RESEARCH ON CIVIC LEARNING AND ENGAGEMENT. Which states that according to CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), nearly half of eligible voters between the age of 18-29 had voted in the 2012 election. When according to the same organization 50% of the same age group had voted in the 2016 election while the other half had not. However, around 9% of the ones who did vote, voted for a third party and was not appealed by Hillary or Trump. Although this source does not answer quite specifically why the 50% restrained from voting, it raises light on how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton did not appeal to the youth and the younger voters. 

Salem Bawazir



Scholarly sources are something we all need to have when doing research. There are two distinct scholarly sources that have been particularly helpful in my research.

Incidents of police misconduct and public opinion by Ronald Weitzer is the first. While this one deals with New York and Los Angles, I believe it to be relevant. It gives us an interesting look into the world of racism and discrimination in the police force. It not only opens our eyes to adverse effects on the victims of these incidences, but also the adverse effects they have on the public opinion of the police force.

The second source I am using is an editorial piece called “All Change but Nothing Changes” . This article is about police brutality and racism in the U.K. I find that it helps to show that this issue isn’t just something that Canadians need to worry about, but people all over the world need to be open to the fact that this isn’t just an American thing.

There was a number of issues that I came upon while searching with my keywords. When you search for your keywords, you may get articles that don’t match what you are looking for, or you think they do at first but when you read them they don’t. Then there is the issue of when you do find the perfect scholarly source, most of the time you have to pay for it. It is because of these issues that the research takes so much time and dedication.

Weitzer, R. (2002). Incidents of police misconduct and public opinion [Ebook]. Washington, DC: Department of Sociology, George Washington University. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047235202001502

Editorial: All change, but nothing changes. (2003). Socialist Lawyer, (37), 3-3. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/42949161


What is a Popular Source? A popular source is, simply, a source that is not commonly used by scholarly or academic persons. You can identify a popular source by the type of source you are reading. Popular sources are mostly blogs, social media, new articles, even Wikipedia. Where the general population might be more likely to get their information. There are some ways to find out if popular sources are credible or not, one of those ways is evaluation. We have to look at who wrote the source, when it was published and if there are more than one sources claiming the same information. More than likely, if more that one popular source claims the same thing, it is reliable. This isn’t always the case, research into what the popular source is claiming is the only way to be sure that it is, in fact, reliable.

Keywords are a very important part of research. They help link popular sources. While searching through the internet for specific popular sources, keywords will help make the search more efficient. For example, if you type ‘weather’ into a search engine, you will get millions of results for anything weather related.

Phase 3


For my podcast, I am planning to use my work environment and certain employees (with fake names) to express the challenged associated with a wide range of ages in a workplace. I am using the character ‘Karen’ from my work as an example of someone that is in the minority age range and will compare her strengths, weaknesses, abilities and values with the rest of the employees and myself. I am using the example of Karen and my other coworkers to apply the knowledge I will be informing my listeners of, to an example to help it make sense and flow through the podcast. The first key source I plan to incorporate is a Harvard health article titled “How Memory and Thinking Ability Change with Age” which explains that most people reach their peak mental age in their early 20’s and their ability to learn new ideas and memorize them declines with age. I plan to explain that by being exposed to technology in the buildup to this ‘mental peak’, shows that most my coworkers are in the same stage in the process of development and learning and Karen (in her 50s) does not have the same mental capacity as is losing her memory slowly.A second key source I will be incorporating is a Forbes article by Drew Carter titled “Bridging the Generation Gap Through Tech, Design and Leadership” which addresses ways we can reduce tension and conflict in the workplace by involving management, adjusting and incorporating new training to unite workers. I can use this source to explain the potential benefits of management and training tweaks to my own workplace (Karen vs the millennials). Thirdly, I hope to incorporate a Queens U article “Understanding Generational Differences in the Workplace: Findings and Conclusions” which breaks down the different work values of younger versus older workers and although I am not certain yet how I plan to relate this to my characters I think it will help the listener gain a better understanding of why there are such differences between the two groups which causes conflict. Overall, going through these sources and planning how they will fit within the flow of the podcast has benefitted my planning process. 



Harvard Medical School (2019). How memory and thinking ability change with age. Retrieved from    https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/how-memory-and-thinking-ability-change-with-age

C, Drew. (2018, Dec 18). Bridging the generation gap through tech, design and leadership. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2018/12/18/bridging-the-workplace-generation-gap-through-tech-design-and-leadership/#53b30eb239ab.

 T, Saba. (2013). Understanding generational differences in the workplace: findings and conclusions. Retrieved from https://irc.queensu.ca/sites/default/files/articles/understanding-generational-differences-in-the-workplace-findings-and-conclusions.pdf

WEEK 10/11

As I begin to record my podcast and piece it together to one final product, sound is something I am finding very difficult. I am struggling with the quality of sound as I am recording in a large room using headphones as a microphone and this has made the quality very poor as the room is echoing and the sound seems muffled. I have tried multiple forms of recording (laptop speaker, headphones, wireless headphones, cellphone etc.) but have concluded that the quality of sound I am hoping for will not be possible without pricey equipment which is not an option. Therefore, I hope to get that professional edge by possibly incorporating music or sound effects. Below is a brief compilation I created as a mini rough draft to help learn how to piece together different audio clips, insert sound effects and test out background music to see if this is something that will benefit the sound of my podcast or be a distraction.


I was extremely confident in the quality of this podcast I created until about four hours before it was time to submit, when I was completing some finishing touches. I opened my Audacity file only to see an extensive series of blank clips and no audio after working on this for weeks. I managed to piece the bare MP3 files together once again but the podcast now lacks all the smooth transitions, editing, sound clips and music intro’s and outgo’s. I am extremely disappointed that this happened at the last minute but I am very proud of how much time and effort I put into these piece even though it unfortunately does not show.




Sent VIA Email (tech problems)



Throughout the process of structuring and putting my podcast together, I have had to do a lot of research about my topic. Since my topic is a topical issue, my research has been quite successful and I have received a lot of useful results to support my episode. However, as I keep structuring and restructuring my episode, some sources become very useful and others have to be left out. As known, my episode is about US Immigration. I do not plan on including any characters in my episode because I would not be able to access real victims of the situation.

Even though I would not be including characters in my episode, I would be using articles from my research and names of the people who wrote the article would be mentioned. Therefore, these names would serve as my characters for my episode. Their names would be mentioned to attribute their work to them to avoid any form of plagiarism. One of my sources was written by the CAP immigration team and Michael D. Nicholson and their article discusses some of the effects of Immigration on the US economy. This source is useful for my episode because my episode is going to explain the positive and negative effects of immigration on the US economy and based on that discussion, I would make a conclusion on if the US should gladly receive its immigrants without any problems. 

At the beginning of my episode I would give a little insight on what Immigration generally means and I would be picking that from the Merriam- Webster dictionary. I will eventually zoom into what US immigration has looked like over the years by stating a rough figure I got from one of my research results; Science Vs Immigration from Bello Collective. These sources are useful because they give the listener of the episode a general insight of what is going to be discussed further. 

In the episode, I may repeatedly use the phrase “according to”. This phrase indicates my way of introducing my sources or characters which would give my episode a supporting evidence. Most of my sources are coming from different people or organization but they have the similarity of country of origin which is the United States.








It has been an overwhelming process throughout the course. Putting the final podcast together has not been entirely easy at all. However, I have acquired some skills and learnt new ways of researching for a project or even for an academic work. I now know other types of sources apart from academic and popular sources such as industrial or government sources. I also know when to bring these kind of sources into a research project.

Using the Audacity application has aided me develop very new skills on editing audios. Initially, I was bothered about how I was going to go through the course using the audacity application because I had never really edited an audio before, not that I remember. However, with the help of a colleague, I have gracefully developed the skill of recording and editing audios which I believe would help in my aspiring future endeavours.

I have also developed a new way of writing scripts to sound interesting. Initially, I thought I would not have a good podcast because I do not have a good radio voice but after all, I came to realize it is not about your voice but about the content you put out and the vigour you put in explaining and analyzing the content. I have also learnt how to include sources into a script, even though it is an aural script and how these sources make your presentation a solid presentation.

Overall, I enjoyed these past weeks of putting together the blog posts and the final podcast, despite its overwhelming feeling. I am glad I have been able to develop some new skills.


The United States of America is one of the most powerful countries in the world and is perceived to be the land of greener pastures by many, especially those in developing nations. This has led to the desperate desire of many to gain US citizenship for themselves and their families to be able to access all the wonderful opportunities they dream and hear about all the time…………. (sound)….. From Scratch Media this is A Matter of Opinion, your guide through opinion to the facts. I’m Nicole Maafo, and in this episode, we're talking about the effects of Immigration in the United States.


Over the years, millions of foreigners have trooped into the United States to live there, have a family and earn a good living. Wendy Zuckerman (2017), in a Science Vs podcast episode, indicated that over forty million people living in the US today are immigrants. Some of these people followed the right procedure to get into the US, whilst others came into the US illegally. One may ask who exactly an immigrant is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary (1828), an immigrant is a person who comes into a country to take up permanent residence. 


Over the last three years, there has been a serious controversy on immigration policies under the Donald Trump led administration, as it is a top most priority for Donald Trump himself. The most critical of it all is the building of the wall between Mexico and the United States. The most important questions to be asked about this issue is, Would these changes have a magnificent or disastrous impact on the United States? Would the economy of the country be affected? Would the people of the country be affected? These and many more questions should be thought through critically.


Immigration affects every nation positively and negatively and it is no different in the US. In an article on Forbes by Michael Blanding (2018) “immigrants as a group can have an effect on the economy and it ranges from low skilled immigrant workers opening up dry cleaning businesses restaurants, and autobody shops, and high skilled immigrant workers launching tech firms.” As indicated earlier, millions of people migrate to the US and these people may range from skilled to unskilled workers. These people who belong to the two categories of workers can be innovative enough to set up businesses all around the US. Once they set up these businesses, it is an avenue for the creation of jobs. In literal economic terms, the creation of jobs would lead to an increment in people’s disposable incomes and that would aid them increase their living of standard. An economy with a high living of standard is an indication of a thriving economy and once an economy is thriving it attracts more investors into the country. Nicholson and the CAP Immigration team (2017) explain that “Immigrants added an estimated $2 trillion to the US GDP in 2016 and it is a result of their innovative and entrepreneurship skills.”


Taxes are one of the factors which help build a solid economy. Immigrants could contribute to high tax revenue and one may ask how that is possible. When immigrants are allowed into the US and they set up businesses, these businesses would pay commercial taxes to the government. The employees of these businesses would also pay income taxes from time to time. Once taxes are paid accordingly by these people, the government would receive some funds enough to progress with developmental works to make the United States look more like the greener pastures most perceive it to be and also maintain an attractive economy.


The slight beauty of allowing immigrants into the US is the benefits US businesses would gain. Dr. Caro (2018) states that some immigrants would work for less money. Some immigrants, especially the unskilled people, who do not even have a high school diploma would be willing to do any job for any amount just to be able to survive in the US because that could enable them gain US citizenship. Also, the money they would be gaining could be a lot of money if converted into their home currency and that could also help them take care of their families back home if they have such responsibilities. US businesses which employ this kind of people may have lower costs because they aren’t paying high wages to their labor and that would lead to the smooth running of these US owned businesses. This could also boost the US economy fervently.


Tourism is a great contributing factor to an up and well running economy. The United States is one of the countries in the world which almost everyone would like to tour before they die. Millions of people around the world are always applying for US visas to tour the US. Not all businesses in the US are US owned but they contribute to making the economy a good one. According to Blanding (2018) “immigrants contribute to the innovation of larger companies, accounting for roughly a quarter of US patent filings. These contributions are reshaping US invention in dramatic ways.”  Immigrant businesses bring all kinds of innovations to the country and these innovations make the country attractive to tourists. Tourists pay fees to tour these attractive sites and this would lead to high tourism revenue in the US. Therefore, an influx of tourists in the US would boost the US economy.


Immigration has definitely got its negative impacts. These negative impacts contribute to the reasons why President Trump is extremely desperate to “repair” the US immigration policies. Some people may argue that these negative effects are not valid enough to cause a change in immigration policies and others may also agree that these reasons should be the sole reason why a change should be made.


Dr. Caro (2018) “Immigrants of low skilled workers depress wages and drive US citizens out of the labor market.” It is believed that when low skilled workers migrate to the United States, due to the fact that they are ready or desperate to work for any amount of money, they drive US citizens out of the labor market. US citizens would mostly demand for high salaries because they are well informed about the way the system works and they also need a lot of money to pay for some expensive things such as their car insurance, mortgage and others. Immigrants may not have this much responsibilities, they may not mind working for lower salaries and low salaries means lower cost for companies and businesses. Therefore, they would hire more immigrant unskilled workers.


Skilled immigrant workers who are also specialized in the production of a particular good would be employed than a native worker who is not specialized because specialization leads to efficiency. According to the National Academics Press “If immigrant labor can produce something for $3.00, what do we gain from producing it ourselves for $3.50? We can let immigrants produce it and pocket the 50 cents we save.” It would cost businesses less to employ immigrant workers who produce at a cheap cost.


An influx of immigrants in the US can affect the US political system. For instance, immigrants may vote for the party which favours them but this party may not be the best party with the best policies to govern the US. 


Dr. Caro (2018) “Trump claims that immigrants and refugees pose a threat to national security and that they bear responsibility for a large portion of violent crime in the United States.” As mentioned earlier, some immigrants migrate to the US illegally. Some of these illegal migrants may be people who may have committed crimes in their native countries and have found a way to escape the hands of security in their country. The fact that they have escaped from their native countries may not necessarily mean they have learnt their lessons. They may continue to commit much more serious crimes than they committed earlier in their home nation. When this occurs, crime would heighten in the United States and that would cause the government to tighten security policies, which is an extra cost to the government because they may have to provide more security personnel, etc. 


The issue of immigration in the US is a critical issue which needs to be handled critically. According to Alexander (2018) the USA is the only nation which advertises itself as a nation of immigrants and the land of the free which is been confirmed by the Statue of Liberty which was erected in the US several years ago. It might be difficult or unfair to make drastic changes to the immigration policies in the US because over the years the US has gladly received its immigrants and it would also be hypocritical of them not to allow many people migrate into the US now because up till this very day, the Statue of Liberty is still high up with the same inscription.


The US is also one of the most powerful nations in the world and from way back as far as the first world war, they have been intensively involved in many world problems. As many people perceive the United Stated to be the land for the free and a land of greener pastures, it would only be fair if they allow immigrants into the country to be able to have a better living for themselves and their families.


However, the US can slightly tighten their immigration policies to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country. That would reduce the problem of people such as criminals trying to escape from entering the United States. 


The negative and positive effects of immigration should be weighed out properly. After all, with the analysis, it is clear that the positive effects outweigh the negative effects.


Once again, this is the matter of opinion episode on US Immigration with Nicole Maafo.


Thank you for listening. 


Science Vs Immigration (2017). Retrieved from https://bellocollective.com/not-from-around-here-7-podcasts-about-immigration-and-people-3195fb8c326c


Immigrant. (n.d) In Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/immigrant


Caro, Céline- Agathe. (2018, Jan). Walls, Bans, Deportations: US Immigration Policy in the age of “America First”. Think Tank Analysis. Received from https://www.kas.de/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=7b3f8de5-a9fc-6737-6eab-e69e30aaa77f&groupId=252038


Blanding, Michael. (2018, Aug 1). In America, Immigrants Really Do Get The Job Done. Forbes Magazine. Received from https://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2018/08/01/in-america-immigrants-really-do-get-the-job-done/#5c0e7d911935


Nicholson, Michael D., CAP Immigration Team. (2017, Apr 20). The Facts on Immigration Today: 2017 Edition. Center for American Progress. Received from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2017/04/20/430736/facts-immigration-today-2017-edition/


The National Academies Press. Received from https://www.nap.edu/read/5779/chapter/5


"Pyro Flow" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Professor Janet Melo- Thaiss – Tutorial Leader/ Teaching Assistant for Team 6

Dr. Stephanie Bell- Writing Department and Course Professor

Alexander, Michelle. (2018, Dec 23). None of Us Deserve Citizenship. New York Times – Original Opinion Piece

Omotoso Olaoluwasubomi – Colleague 

Phase Three

Week 12: The Process

Over the last few months, I have learned a lot about researching effectively and I have been able to further develop both my oral and written communication skills. One of my weaknesses regarding communication is my ability, or lack thereof, to convey my ideas concisely. With the abundance of information I gathered for my podcast episode, I had to focus on eliminating any unnecessary points and avoid going off topic to stay around 20 minutes. I believe this will help me in the future with writing papers, public speaking and entering the field of journalism. One of my strengths regarding oral communication is my ability to convey my thoughts clearly. I believe I have a fairly clear speaking voice and I don’t often use “filler” words, such as ‘like’ and ‘umm’ when I’m not actively speaking. I believe this makes me sound a bit more professional, which is important given the nature of my podcast is serious and controversial.

I believe the most valuable knowledge I have acquired from this course, and rightfully so given the course’s nature, is the ability to research efficiently. Whether it’s for school papers or one of the countless articles I write on my own time, it feels like I am constantly researching; I felt as though I was doing so effectively until recently. Going in depth about the usage of keywords and how/when to use different journals to access scholarly articles is something that I will always benefit from learning.

Zach Cunningham

Week 9: Introducing Characters

I have been able to find a variety of useful sources throughout my researching process. Arguably the most important is Scott Johnson’s piece, titled Christine Blasey Ford’s Accusations Against Brett Kavanaugh: A Case for Discussion. Johnson effectively breaks down the case from both factual and psychological viewpoints. As a licensed psychologist with a master’s degree in counselling and psychological services, Johnson was able to identify and explain common tendencies and attitudes of sexual assault victims and offender; no other source I have come across was able to do this. I am going to introduce this source as a character because of Johnson’s unique perspective; I believe that he offers more to the breakdown of the case than anyone else does thanks to his psychological approach.

Another article that I have found particularly useful is Abortion Rights and the Kavanaugh Nomination by John Greabe. When Dr. Ford publicly said that she wanted to remain anonymous throughout the whole process and she had no intention of bringing this case to the media, a lot of people were left wondering how this case reached the levels of popularity that it did. Many speculate that the Democratic Party leaked this case to the public in an effort to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Greabe goes in depth into this possibility as well as why. He explained the impact Kavanaugh would have on current abortion laws, as well as where the other judges stand on the issue. I will introduce this source as a character because it outlines a side of the case that the media didn’t touch on very much, if at all; the possibility that Dr. Ford lied. Greabe brings to light what reasons she would have to lie. This going hand-in-hand with the first article I mentioned because Johnson touched on commonalities of liars from a psychological standpoint. I think it is very important to examine all possibilities of the case in order to cover it more responsibly than the main stream media did.

The third article I believe to be very important is a government publication by the Department of Justice. This article assesses the qualifications, credentials and character of Brett Kavanaugh. When I discuss the credibility of both parties, this article will prove to be very important. This relates to Greabe’s article in the sense that when addressing whether or not Dr. Ford was telling the whole truth, I must look into the credibility of both parties.

Greabe, J. (2018). Abortion Rights and the Kavanaugh Nomination. University of New Hampshire Scholars' Repository.

Johnson, S. (2019). Christine Blasey Ford‘s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh: A case for discussion. Forensic Research & Criminology International Journal,7(1).

USA, Law & Justice. (2018, September 4). Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/judge-brett-m-kavanaugh-exceptionally-qualified-deserving-nominee-supreme-court/

Zach Cunningham


I was not planning to introduce characters in my podcast, even though I did mention a researcher by the name of Vivian Krause in my outline last week. I will introduce Vivian Krause as a character, as someone who has researched on the funding, from charitable organizations based in the United States to run an organized campaign against Canadian oil industry.  I initially thought that, a character in a podcast can only be a person who is being interviewed as part of an episode or who must feature in the podcast in some way. The lecture and tutorial discussions prompted me to consider, introducing characters as people telling stories through their writing.(Bell, 2019)

After listening to the Science vs podcast on alternative milk during tutorial, everyone agreed that its main weakness was that all the evidence came from one researcher/character only.(“Soy, Almond, Oat Milks,” n.d.) In the light of this, I have decided to introduce Professor Ian Clark as another character, who is a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Professor Clark in response to an interview question answered that, “cutting off the oil sands energy supply will not reduce our addiction to fossil fuels. It will only require North Americans to import more.”(News, 2012)

I will introduce Dr. Patrick Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace who served as the president of Greenpeace Canada for nine years and seven years as a Director of Greenpeace international. He dropped out of Greenpeace because it got “corrupted” and pursued a policy of “political agendas and fear mongering over science and truth.”(Clean Energy Philippines, n.d.) Patrick Moore is of the view that every square inch of the oil sands development will eventually be reclaimed because it is the law, while Edmonton will never be reclaimed because it has been converted from what the eco system was in to human habitation.(Shaw TV Fort McMurray, n.d.)




Bell, S. (2019, March). Week 9 Online lecture. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1s8C34ecLFZjZP7qXlYRG3XhTc_HJiw0uRIM5d1yFLTE

Clean Energy Philippines. (n.d.). Patrick Moore: Why I Left Greenpeace. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRlYHF9Bqps

News. (2012, February 9). ‘The environmental movement has lost its way’ | Financial Post. Retrieved March 14, 2019, from https://financialpost.com/news/the-environmental-movement-has-lost-its-way

Shaw TV Fort McMurray. (n.d.). Patrick Moore Supports Fort McMurray Oil Sands Reclamation. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brK2MHJGsqA

Soy, Almond, Oat Milks: Are They Udder Bull? by Science Vs. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2019, from https://www.gimletmedia.com/science-vs/soy-almond-oat-milks-are-they-udder-bull#episode-player




Transcript, including Works Cited list, located here.

Music Attributions:

Anguish Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Bittersweet Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Decisions Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

"Fretless" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Porch Swing Days - faster Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

"Pyro Flow" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Shadowlands 4 - Breath Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Silver Flame Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

ZigZag Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Week Eleven: We Weren’t Kidding When We Said Podcasting Is A Whole New Genre!

Sound, sound, sound. As someone who processes information better when I read it, aural rhetoric is completely unfamiliar to me. Even just listening to podcasts, I tend to tune out from what’s happening unless it’s structured to the moon and back. That being said, I’m my own pickiest audience member. When I started recording, all I could think about was how my voice sounded. During my genre analysis research, I came across a book written for voice actors to enhance their voice while recording and to make it engaging. Although, as podcasters, we aren’t exactly acting, I thought it would be helpful to engage with the source anyway. When recording my episode pitch in the first section of the course, I noticed that my voice came out breathy, due to anxiety. Alburger (2014b) suggests taking deep breaths before recording, as it calms the speaker’s nerves and prevents their voice from being pitched high in their chest. When recording for the podcast, I followed his advice and found the audio to be much better quality than earlier in the course.

When creating this sound clip, I used a seamless editing style, defined as an editing style that attempts to mimic normal speech and aims to create a very clear and straightforward listening experience (McKee, 2006). The music I used in my audio clip was also edited to flow with my voice and the progression of the story, so that it wouldn’t end up distracting from what was going on. Using silence to my advantage is also very important (Alburger, 2014a; McKee, 2006). I purposely created a silence right before the sound effect to enhance its effectiveness, as I didn’t want to risk overusing sound effects, which can detract from the overall message of the media (McKee, 2006).

That being said, I’m sure all of this will make way more sense once you listen to the audio clip I’ve recorded.

Note 1: Interviewees in the audio clip have been notified that the clip is going to be uploaded here. Their consent forms have been filled out, but are not in PDF format as of yet.

Note 2: Music used in the clip is from http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music.

Alburger, J. (2014a). Developing style and technique. In The art of voice acting: The craft and business of performing for voiceover (5th ed., pp. 87-110). Burlington, MA: Taylor & Francis Group.

Alburger, J. (2014b). Using your instrument. In The art of voice acting: The craft and business of performing for voiceover (5th ed., pp. 23-57). Burlington, MA: Taylor & Francis Group.

Bensound. (n.d.). Little idea. On bensound.com [MP3 file]. Cernon, France: Bensound.

McKee, H. (2006). Sound matters: Notes toward the analysis and design of sound in multimodal webtexts. Computers and Composition, 23(3), 335-354.

SFX Planet. (2013, November 12). Free sound fx crying toddler crying, wail [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-THl_72tO8I.

Week Nine: Fiction Isn’t The Only Place For Stories

As humans, stories shape our lives. We live out stories all the time, and we seek out stories in fiction and nonfiction alike. In a video by the Future of Storytelling (2013), Jennifer Aaker points out that narratives are particularly persuasive to us because they are memorable, impactful and personal. She continues to talk about how statistics fade from our memories, but stories stay with us much longer. Many effective forms of persuasion involve creating a story, even in areas like climate change (Jones & Peterson, 2017), where a setting, plot and characters are introduced in order to actualize or, as Dr. Bell (2019) explains in her lecture slides, activate the topic of climate change in a way that is personal and meaningful to the public.

For example, a condom ad created by Zazoo (2011), a French condom company, is persuasive because it introduces two characters: a man and a boy. The boy wants to buy candies at the grocery store, but when the father says no, the child throws a temper tantrum. This story connects to us in a way that statistics can’t, and when the punchline “Use condoms” comes in, it creates a full and unforgettable picture.

I plan to use the impact of stories in my podcast by activating my points with narratives. For example, I plan to use descriptive language and imagery, like a quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn stated in an interview (Experience Life Magazine, 2018) that uses a powerful metaphor of being imprisoned by the strength of emotion. This imagery is repeated as I explain the theories, and then I activate it with a story about a child I have worked with that struggles with this very concept. These characters complement each other, as one solidifies the other’s points. Neither of them would be as effective alone. The audience would not feel as impacted by the story of the child if they didn’t have such strong imagery about imprisonment from an expert voice, and the audience would not feel as strongly about the imagery without the narrative of the struggling child.

Thinking of people as characters and their words as elements of a larger story makes me much more excited to continue on with my podcast. It could be said that the narrative is persuading me before it’s even written. When I chose my topic, I had a narrative in mind, the story of the child worked with, and knowing that his story is being told in a powerful way is incredibly motivating to me. It helps me look for sources that can supplement his journey, that can explain it and eventually help him and other children like him to avoid suffering in this way. As I shape my podcast, thinking on the sources as characters telling a story, I plan to craft a powerful and persuasive narrative that holds strong throughout the entire piece.

Bell, S. (2019). Narrative nonfiction [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1s8C34ecLFZjZP7qXlYRG3XhTc_HJiw0uRIM5d1yFLTE/edit#slide=id.p.

Experience Life Magazine [ExperienceLifeMag]. (2018, August 23). Behind the scenes with Jon Kabat-Zinn [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZcUJRgxRtA

Future of Storytelling. (2013, September 14). Persuasion and the power of story: Jennifer Aaker (Future of StoryTelling 2013) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL-PAzrpqUQ

Jones, M., & Peterson, H. (2017, August 22). Narrative Persuasion and Storytelling as Climate Communication Strategies. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science. Retrieved from http://oxfordre.com/climatescience/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228620-e-384.

R0FLMAOWPIMP (2011, January 9). Zazoo condoms commercial supermarket - use condoms [banned] [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5aDiRmN1yg

Pan Goordat

Phase 2

Haider Syed

Week 5 Popular source

Popular sources contain a broad range of topics, presented in a shorter, more condensed article. Unlike scholarly sources, popular sources may not be credible as they do not use citations and are simple articles which offer an overview of a subject matter, rather than in depth research. Popular sources can be found on social media, in newspapers like; the Toronto star and magazines like; Vogue and the rolling stones. Popular sources can be extremely useful when an individual is searching for the public’s opinion as public opinion is mostly based on popular sources such as newspapers and magazines. An example of this is when someone wants to find the latest fashion trends, one must go through the latest fashion magazine issues to get a general idea of what’s popular in the fashion industry. Popular sources give us general information regarding any subject matter. One way to evaluate the credibility of popular sources is to primarily check if the platform from which the source is coming from, reliable or not. If the source is a newspaper article, we must check if the person who published the article actually works for the newspaper agency and if the newspaper agency itself is an old and reliable source of information. An example of an unreliable popular source could be someone’s podcast on Youtube.

 Keywords help us narrow our research into one or two words which are related to the main topic and help us get an overview of the topic in one or two words. These are words used in search engines like google, to get more accurate results. If I would be writing an essay of police brutality, I would use keywords such as racism.

Week 6 Scholarly articles

The first scholarly source I selected for my podcast episode, which is turning out be really helpful is “Police Brutality and Black Health: Setting the Agenda for Public Health Scholars” written by Sirry Alang, PhD, Donna McAlpine, PhD, Ellen McCreedy, PhD, MPH, and Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH. This article speaks about police brutality on the black community and mentions about several effects such as: fatal injuries that increase population-specific mortality rates and adverse physiological responses that increase morbidity as a result of police brutality. I found this source through Google Scholar as I searched for “police brutality”. After looking at the contributors information section in the article, I found out that this source is scholarly as all the authors have a phD which proves that they are well qualified in their fields and furthermore, more than 20 sources were used in creating this article, from which many are scholarly sources. The second source I’m finding really helpful in my research is titled: “Pulling the Trigger: Dehumanization of African Americans and Police Violence” written by Themal I. Ellawala. This scholarly journal mentions the role of racial bias in police violence and talks about the dehumanization of African Americans, especially the youth. I also found this source through Google Scholar. I know this source is scholarly because in the author biography section, it says that Themal Ellawala, the author is a psychology major and the article uses many scholarly sources as references. I found it quite helpful when I searched typed the keyword “police brutality” in the science data base as a lot of results regarding the psychological aspect of the matter showed up and when I searched the same key words in the humanities data base a lot of articles related to movements against police brutality showed up. I found this really helpful as it helps in narrowing down the topic to something precise and specific.


Sirry Alang, Donna McAlpine, Ellen McCreedy and Rachel Hardeman,(March, 21st, 2017). Police Brutality and Black Health: Setting the Agenda for Public Health Scholars. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388955/

Themal I. Ellawala. (April, 2016). Pulling the Trigger: Dehumanization of African Americans and Police Violence. Retrieved from:  https://commons.clarku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1039&context=surj

Week 7 Government sources and statistics

Government and institutional sources could be very useful for my podcast episode, primarily because they are highly credible. Credibility makes any argument stronger and more trust worthy. Government sources provide accurate and updated information to the viewers. For my podcast, one of the most important government sources is Statistics Canada which can really provide the exact figures of police brutality incidents and the mortality rate which resulted from the police force. When my argument would be backed by official figures, I believe the argument would be more convincing to the viewers.

Week 8 Episode outline


Police Racism

Opinion Piece:

The Skin I’m In: I’ve been interrogated by police more than 50 times. All because I’m black

Focus Question:

Why is the black community more likely to be subject to police brutality as compared to others?

Recently, high-profile cases where people of color have been racially profiled, confronted by police, and, in some cases, arrested after white business owners, employees, or bystanders viewed them with suspicion. Many of the incidents have spread on social media, calling national attention to the issue. Coloured people have long been subject to racial profiling in public, or private spaces. The only thing that has changed is how social media, cellphones and cameras have made it easier for black people to capture and share the footage of confrontations and arrests.

 T. Ross, a doctoral student in the anthropology at the University of California states there is "evidence of a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans." The probability of being black, unarmed and shot by police is about 3.5 times the probability of being white, unarmed and shot by police.





P.R. Lockhart. (11, May, 2018).White people keep calling the cops on black people for no reason. That’s dangerous. Retrieved from: https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/5/11/17340908/racial-profiling-starbucks-yale-police-violence-911-bias


Kirsten Weir. (December, 2016). Policing in black & white. Retrieved from: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/12/cover-policing


Haider Syed

Week 8: Episode Outline


Topic: Demonization of Canadian oil as “dirty”.

Opinion Piece: Maloney, it’s time to end oil sands shaming. Enough with the guilt trip. Canada and Canadian workers have nothing to be ashamed of and should sell more oil, not less.

Focus Question: Is Canadian oil dirtier than other oils?

Thesis: Canadian oil is being stigmatized as a poster child of “dirty fuels”.

Introduction: Here I will give some background information about Alberta oil, and the reasons it is being called “dirty”.

First argument to support my thesis: delays in the completion of crucial pipelines.

The reason I am starting with the issue of the pipelines is that, the delays caused in their completion was mainly because of the stigmatization of Alberta oil. I will start by introducing a story about pipeline delay from Financial Post (Mar 4, 2019) which reports that Enbridge Inc.’s replacement and expansion of its line 3 crude oil pipeline will be in service a year later than expected(Commodities & Energy, 2019). I will discuss the hindrances that the Canadian government is facing with regards to building other important pipelines as well, like the Keystone XL, which is being delayed since last 10 years. I will argue that these delays are part of an organized campaign which is stigmatizing Alberta oil by calling it the “tar sands” and “dirty oil”. I will than show that, not completing the pipelines on time, is costing Canada in the shape of not having access to markets and buyers beyond the United States(“Canada paid high price for oil pipeline, faces delay risks,” 2019). It is costing Canada, because the United States gulf coast refineries are buying Alberta oil at a discount to the international oil price. At present the United States GC refineries are the only buyers of Canadian crude, in the absence of the Trans-Mountain pipeline, which will increase the value of Canadian oil by moving oil from the Pacific coast refineries to the Asian markets.

Second argument to support my thesis: funding from US. Charitable organizations.

Campaigns and funding go hand in hand, therefore the funding argument is the logical progression from the pipelines issue that I have just discussed. I will discuss that the funding to these environmental groups is from the charitable organizations in the United States(U.S. charities are investing millions into anti-pipeline campaigns in Canada, 2018). I will introduce listeners to Vivian Krause, an independent researcher who has been monitoring the “Tar Sands” campaign since 2010 and how she explains the role of funding from the United States charitable organizations(“Rethink Campaigns,” n.d.). Vivian Krause has been interviewed on television by business and other news channels, where she explained how important pipeline projects are sabotaged to bully Canada out of the oil market(“B.C. researcher argues anti-Alberta oil campaigns about protecting U.S. interests, not environment | Globalnews.ca,” 2018).

Third argument to support my thesis: quick buildup of pipelines in the United States without any hindrances from environmentalists.

It was very important to show here, that while in Canada the environmental groups protest pipelines and the same groups choose to remain silent when the United States expand and build new ones(Commodities & Energy, 2015). A very interesting fact for the listeners here is, that the United States has built equivalent of 10 keystone pipelines, since 2010 and after decades of being an importer of crude oil and refined products, is now exporting thousands of barrels of crude oil and refined products per day(“In major shift, U.S. now exports more oil than it ships in,” 2018). On the other hand, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves but cannot export crude oil to refineries beyond United States. Here I will educate the listener about refineries and their different specifications(“Oil Price Differentials Explained,” n.d.). I feel it is necessary for two reasons, first, to debunk the myth that other crude is not dirty, because every crude is dirty and needs refining and second to inform that such refineries are already in place that can only refine the heaviest of the crudes. The refineries of the United States gulf coast are an example – by specification they can only refine crude like the Alberta oil, because separate refineries are there for the light crude(“How much for that heavy oil?,” n.d.).

 Fourth argument to support my thesis: Alberta oil has competitors.

 The reason that this will be my last argument to support my thesis is to show that other countries have similar natural resources(“Why Venezuela is Alberta’s biggest competitor,” n.d.). These countries are fulfilling an existing demand and if they won’t, some other country will. Alberta oil is not the heaviest of the crudes and there are other crudes which are equally heavy if not more. Venezuela’s oil sands are technically “extra heavy” deposits since they do not contain bitumen, but has better geography than Alberta, as Venezuelan oil has excellent access to tide water, and is relatively close to the US gulf coast which is the world’s biggest consumer of heavy oil. California, in the United States is another example as mush of its abundant oil reserves are as carbon intensive to extract and refine as Alberta oil(Mernit, 2017).

At the end of my episode I will leave the listeners with the question that in the light of what they have heard, should Canada abandon its natural resource and let other countries supply to the demand that will exist till proper alternatives are in place.

I have left out research of the global warming issue in its entirety to keep the scope of my argument as narrow as possible. I have also left out my research about Canadian jobs, and economy which are being affected by this campaign against Alberta oil and my research on the fact that fossil fuels are here to stay for longer than being anticipated, was also not used to keep the focus narrow.




B.C. researcher argues anti-Alberta oil campaigns about protecting U.S. interests, not environment | Globalnews.ca. (2018, November 13). Retrieved February 1, 2019, from https://globalnews.ca/news/4657720/b-c-researcher-argues-anti-alberta-oil-campaigns-about-protecting-u-s-interests-not-environment/

Canada paid high price for oil pipeline, faces delay risks: watchdog. (2019, January 31). Reuters. Retrieved from https://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCAKCN1PP2EF-OCABS

Commodities, & Energy. (2015, November 4). America has built the equivalent of 10 Keystone pipelines since 2010 — and nobody said anything | Financial Post. Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/america-has-built-the-equivalent-of-10-keystone-pipelines-since-2010-and-no-one-said-anything

Commodities, & Energy. (2019, March 4). Fresh blow to Canada’s oil industry as key pipeline delayed by a year | Financial Post. Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/enbridge-pipeline-delayed-a-year-in-hit-to-canadian-oil-industry

How much for that heavy oil? (n.d.). Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/news/2015/12/26/how-much-for-that-heavy-oil

In major shift, U.S. now exports more oil than it ships in. (2018, December 6). Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-oil-eia-idUSKBN1O51X7

Mernit, J. (2017). Why Does Green California Pump the Dirtiest Oil in the U.S.? Yale Environment 360. Retrieved from https://e360.yale.edu/features/why-does-green-california-pump-the-dirtiest-oil-in-the-u-s

Oil Price Differentials Explained: Why Alberta crude sells at a deep discount. (n.d.). Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/market-insights/crude-oil-pricing-differentials-why-alberta-crude-sells-at-deep-discount-to-wti

Rethink Campaigns. (n.d.). Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://fairquestions.typepad.com/rethink_campaigns/

U.S. charities are investing millions into anti-pipeline campaigns in Canada: Researcher. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/commodities/video/u-s-charities-are-investing-millions-into-anti-pipeline-campaigns-in-canada-researcher~1367354

Why Venezuela is Alberta’s biggest competitor. (n.d.). Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/news/2016/2/15/why-venezuela-is-albertas-biggest-competitor












Week 7: Government, Industry and Institutional Sources


I am finding all three sources relevant due to the scope of my opinion piece. I have looked at the data about the Canadian economy and its reliance on the energy sector on government websites. I had to search the employment data to find out the statistics about the energy sector to come to an understanding about its importance to the economy. The contribution to the Canadian gross domestic product (GDP) of this sector was also an important factor to look at and government sources were of the greatest help(“Economic Contribution,” n.d.). In researching for the environmental aspects of the natural resource, I found the government websites very helpful, especially in relation to the steps the government is taking to reduce carbon emissions. I have also noticed the fact that governments fund a lot of research work, especially in areas were the governments are looking to expand and face stiff resistance(“Funding & Support :: CERI,” n.d.). These kinds of research work have a bias, even though their scope is very wide and are conducted very professionally.

Canada’s energy industry was very relevant to my research. I have used trade magazines to research a lot of basic and historical information about my project. These trade magazines have articles pertaining to technical information, for professionals of that area. These magazines deal with issues ranging from the importance of the energy sector, to export markets and the future of energy(“Oil Sands Magazine,” n.d.).

The international source that I have found to be particularly helpful is the International Energy Agency (IEA), which I used mainly to see the forecast of the world’s energy demand, and the breakup of the energy sources to meet that demand(“International Energy Agency,” n.d.). IEA also projects the demand of various energy sources, well in to the future and is also helpful to research on the alternatives to fossil fuel.



Economic Contribution. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2019, from https://www.canadasoilsands.ca:443/en/explore-topics/economic-contribution

Funding & Support :: CERI. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2019, from https://ceri.ca/about/funding-support

International Energy Agency. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2019, from https://www.iea.org/

Oil Sands Magazine. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2019, from https://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/



Phase Two:

Article 1: Fifty Shades of Erotic Stimulus: Feminist Media Studies Vol. 1

summary: This article explains the success of Fifty Shades of Grey as well as explaining why it caught the attention of many: sex. It goes onto explaining why the sexual aspect of this book was such a selling a point and narrows down the topic as to why sex in this story can be mis-perceived.

How I discovered article: I searched on google scholar for Fifty Shades of grey, simply because I want my podcast to use this literary piece as a floodgate for all the juicy and controversial topics discussed or triggered from this book/movie.

Article 2: ‘Spontaneous’ Sexual Consent: An Analysis of Sexual Consent Literature

summary: This article is about explaining sexual consent and how the line is so grey that sometimes things could be percieved as sexual assault to one person but to another it isn’t. It also goes through different literary pieces that talk about sexuality and consent and combs through the details of sexual violence, the sciences of sexual consent and premeditated results that this article opened up in the minds of others.

How I discovered article: I googled sexual consent because I really want to put emphasis on this topic in my podcast, especially with, how the media seems to be handling a new sexual assault case so often it’s becoming normal.

What is a scholarly source: A scholarly source is when it’s written by someone with a lot of knowledge on their topic. They are usually in academia and have done through research. The articles typically don’t have strong opinions and more so, present the information as facts. The information used is always cited in a long bibliography.


{} Beres, M. A. (2007, February 07). 'Spontaneous' Sexual Consent: An Analysis of Sexual Consent Literature. Retrieved February 16, 2019, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0959353507072914

{} Comella, L. (2013, May 07). Fifty Shades of Erotic Stimulus. Retrieved February 15, 2019, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14680777.2013.786269?journalCode=rfms20

Week 6: Scholarly Sources


The two scholarly source that I am finding helpful are the “The Economics of Canadian Oil Sands”(Heyes, Leach, & Mason, 2018), and “Human contributions to climate change remains questionable”(Singer, 1999). The first source deals with key economic drivers of oil sands costs and discusses transportation related challenges, of getting Canadian oil to export markets. It also examines climate change, and other environmental issues, along with economic impacts and considerations. The second source deals with the question of human contribution to climate change. The author who is a climate skeptic, and not a denier argues that earth’s climate has never been steady, it has either warmed or cooled without any human intervention. Both are journal articles and the authors are scholars in their fields, with stated credential and affiliations. Both have extensive references, citing all sources that have been consulted by the authors, and their work has been scrutinized and reviewed by experts. The purpose of both sources is to present research findings, and to expand knowledge in the field of study.(Labaree, n.d.) I found the first source on google scholar by typing the keywords, “economics of Canadian oil sands”, and the second source I discovered when I typed “S Fred Singer Climate change” on google scholar.

            I searched for my keywords on a humanities data base(“Humanities International Complete | EBSCO,” n.d.), but the results that came were far away from the area of my interest. This tells us that researching in the wrong direction can lead the researcher off track and that it is very important to know the area that our topic of research covers.




Heyes, A., Leach, A., & Mason, C. F. (2018). The Economics of Canadian Oil Sands. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 12(2), 242–263. https://doi.org/10.1093/reep/rey006

Humanities International Complete | EBSCO. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2019, from https://www.ebsco.com/products/research-databases/humanities-international-complete

Labaree, R. V. (n.d.). Research Guides: Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: What Is Scholarly vs. Popular? [Research Guide]. Retrieved February 8, 2019, from //libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/scholarly

Singer, S. F. (1999). Human contribution to climate change remains questionable. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 80(16), 183–187. https://doi.org/10.1029/99EO00132







Phase 2


A popular source is a term used to describe a sources content, unlike a scholarly source popular sources are usually general interest stories written by the public that contain no real citations. You can identify a popular source most easily by the audience it is produced for. Popular sources are made for the average person; they are easy to read and do not require any special background to understand the content. Though they are not as credible as scholarly sources, popular sources can provide useful and reliable information for content you are creating.  A good example of this would be any local news content.  If you were writing an article about the impact of the Canada Day on patriotism, news articles may be a good source to display the level of emotion the public carries during this day.  The important thing when choosing these sources is making sure it is reliable. To do this the best thing to do is look at the sources history.  If the popular source is coming from a well-known organization that has a history of being ethical and legitimate, then it is most likely a good source to use.  A prime example of this would be Canadian Broadcasting Network vs a Blogger writing about Canada Day.


The first scholarly source I chose to apply to my project is “Bridging the Generation Gap: How to Get Radio Babies, Boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Yers to Work Together and Achieve More” written by Linda S. Gravett and Robin Throckmorton. Gravett and Throckmorton breakdown some characterizes of various generations and discuss how, although we possess differences, can work together and manage to minimize conflict and preconceived ideas of others based on age. I found this source through the York University online library of scholarly sources. I know that this source is scholarly because, after doing some brief research on the two authors, it was clear that they are well educated and working in the discipline they are writing about. The source is peer reviewed and many of the sources cited for this piece are also scholarly. The second source I found is a book titled “Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation” written by Neil Howe and William Strauss. Howe and Strauss breakdown and analyze millennials as an entire generation through various interviews, surveys and anecdotes; as well as revamp the generation as a whole from downbeat to successful. I found this source through Google Scholar relatively easily. I entered the following key words: millennials, generation gap, Gen X and Gen Y before coming across this source. I know that this source is scholarly because of the credibility of these authors, as well as the lengthy list of sources cited and the peer review process.  I somewhat struggled to find reliable scholarly sources for this area of research and struggled to pinpoint where this topic fit within a specific academic discipline. I also found it quite difficult to determine who a reliable author is because of the complexity of this topic. For example, it would be easy to determine that a certified dietician would be reliable to source information from on an essay about youth obesity in Canada; yet it was tricky to pinpoint where reliable information would be found; a historian, or perhaps a teacher with decades of experience, maybe even an ‘expert’ on the generation gap in Canada? 

Gravett, L., Throckmorton, R. (2007). Bridging the generation gap: how to get radio babies, boomers, gen xers, and gen yers to work together and achieve more. Retrieved from https://yorku.skillport.com/skillportfe/assetSummaryPage.action?assetid=RW$28563:_ss_book:14384#summary/BOOKS/RW$28563:_ss_book:14384

 Howe, N., Strauss, W. (2000). Millenials rising: the next great generation. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=18pvDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=millennials&ots=6WApu_XUcg&sig=nWaWg9aXd-FqWPFoSgLvyxCRwUA#v=onepage&q=millennials&f=false


I never really considered conducting research through government documents but since reading the instructions for this post I have personally had a lot of luck with conducting research through government documents. I did a bit of research using information from the Canadian demographic reports on many major cities (age, income, level of education etc.) I also had luck getting information from American government documents on voting demographics. Although voting is done anonymously there are statistics available to say which states voted mainly for each party as well as age of voters in those states. I believe that this information in extremely relevant and helpful in my research and I will continue to do so.

U.S Census Bureau. (2012). Voting and registration USA. Retrieved from https://thedataweb.rm.census.gov/TheDataWeb_HotReport2/voting/voting.hrml

File, T. (2017). Voting in america: a look at the 2016 presidential election. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/newsroom/blogs/random-samplings/2017/05/voting_in_america.html

U.S Census Bureau. (2016). Selected characteristics of the citizens, 18 and older population. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/voting-and-registration/electorate-profiles-2016.html


Outline Transcript W/ Sources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZkuqTHpiHexgiVCZOzfW4UpwQlzCUbCq4Ank3dvZbY8/edit?usp=sharing

I was unable to attach a Word/PDF. Please email me if you have trouble with the Doc.