Guess what?!

I’ve got another illustration in the Globe & Mail today! It involves horribly monstrous raccoons and I’m thrilled with how well it printed. If you pick up a paper today, awesome. If not, I’ll have a high-quality scan of the image up on this here blog sometime soon.

Raccoon power!

P.S: Some eagle-eyed readers may notice I used some themes from my Cat Attack (!!!) piece in this one. It was a neat chance to remedy some of the mistakes that happened with the cats and also play at painting those adorable buildings again.


On this holiday Monday I’m lucky enough to see my fourth illustration published in the Globe & Mail! If you’re in the vicinity of a newspaper vendor, perhaps consider obtaining one, as I did some collage for a change of pace and you can’t see the texture so well when it’s digital (I promise).

I had a lot of fun with this one - the technique, though based on past multimedia pieces, was a bit experimental and I’m (mercifully) thrilled with how it turned out. Also, drawing the various stuffed animals was quite entertaining. The pink bunny in particular makes me giggle every time I look at it.

Top image: original scan of the piece. Bottom left image: piece as it appeared in the paper today. Bottom right image: the wee (unfinished) stuffed animal characters, photographed with tiny watercolour tube for scale.
Double Bunking in Crowded Prison Cells is Not a Problem for Toews

Federal prisons are more crowded than they have been in years. The percentage of inmates sharing cells built for one has more than tripled since 2004. Incidents of prison violence have also risen.

More than 2,600 federal inmates, about 18.5 per cent of the prison population, are double-bunked. That’s a 300-person increase since March, said Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers.


The union representing Canada’s correctional workers has complained its members feel unsafe on the job in prisons where as many as 85 per cent of inmates share a cell built for one.

Crowding makes for restive, tense and often violent inmates, they argue. In some cases, resources such as gyms and visiting rooms have been used as sleeping areas. Incidents of assault – on inmates, staff or visitors – have gone up 36 per cent in four years.

“It’s going to become more dangerous for us, but at the end of the day, when the inmate ends up back on the street, is the public any safer? Not under this government,” said Jason Godin, Ontario regional president for the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers. “Part of our mandate is the rehabilitation process. And, quite frankly, [that is] being lost.”


“As long as it’s done safely and appropriately, there’s nothing inappropriate about two people sharing a cell,” Mr. Toews said.

Français - c'est pour votre santé!

I come from a place where french is not “discouraged”, but you are given a frank discussion by your grade 9 french teacher at the precipice of choosing whether to continue on in french or not. Primarily, the incentive for most of continuing on in french education was the promise of a Quebec City trip/ ski-trip to Tremblant. The french teacher frankly said, “unless you are going to take on teaching french - truly evaluate when you are going to use french again”. I evaluated it with a lens of disdain at that point. 

My french education floundered in Southwest Ontario, even with the statistical highest concentration of francophones outside of Quebec, as it was a low priority in my mind. I finished up after grade 9 and jokingly lamented every time I heard la belle langue in the Student Activities Council (SAC - to which I was co-president) office, as the coordinator for SAC, in my grade 12 year, was my grade 9 teacher. We bonded well as people, however, shared little common interest as I relished in history and politics and she relished in languages. 

Upon finding my path in politics, I knew I had to center myself in Ottawa. Ottawa is a bilingual city where employment is enhanced and facilitated by working ability in both languages. Often times, as the dynamic of french being the minority language in the country - the nation’s capital becomes a hub for francophones, who are much more strongly encouraged to learn english rather than be a unilingual francophone. However, anglophones in eastern Ontario and southwest Ontario find little motivation to expand themselves for tactical gain because they are inundated with “will you teach french then?” However, interestingly, there is new impetus for health’s sake to learn a new language today:

So it seems my memory troubles and my long-term mental health will be improved by an endeavour I was going to work on anyways. It could be my cure-all to mental, memory and career problems all-in-one. I encourage every one of you to take a second look at french. I did. I tossed myself into a bilingual University, started surrounding myself with bilingual people, encouraged them to speak french around me, took a 2nd year-upper level french class (got a B) and moved into Gatineau, QC to immerse myself. I also immersed myself into a french riding association, working with two francophone elected people (MP Mauril Bélanger & MPP Madeleine Meilleur) working to facilitate connections to francophone culture. I’m a little late for the best time in your learning curve when you sponge in languages and information more, but it’s just a bit more of an uphill now. For my overall betterment, it is essential though. 

Donc, à la prochaine et merci pour votre attention. Bonsoir. 


More exciting job-news today - my third illustration for The Globe & Mail is in the paper today (in the Facts & Arguments section as per usual). 

The copy I was able to pick up (seen in bottom photo) has some unfortunate smudges (the photo facing it on the front of the sports section has lots of black ink. Damn you sports!), but besides that I’m once again thrilled to see my work in print!

This one was actually the most difficult one yet conceptually, as the article speaks of both the joy (watching them play, taking care of a fellow creature) and the pain (disappearances and deaths) of having barn cats, and I wanted to balance out those two emotions. Overall I’m happy with how it turned out, which is always a relief.