A not so In-depth Look at my In-Depth Night Preparations

Finally, time for the last In-Depth progress post! (I shouldn’t be too excited, as In-Depth night is fast approaching ?) In this post, I will mostly outline what I plan to have in my learning centre on the “Big Day”.

I plan to have several boards/mindmaps/separate displays, to fit the main categories that I’ve spread my project out to. The first one would contain key terms related to investing spread out like a mind map. The goal of this is to have people look at it and get a general sense of what is going to be talked about, or for them to learn some of the most important words and definitions. It will look like this in my mind.

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The next board will have some degree of interactivity, I hope. What I am thinking right now would be to have a list of articles on the table, printed out, and ask what each person would do in this scenario. If I can, I will have an iPad with current holdings (imaginary just to fit the exercise), and stock trend charts until the day the news report came out. The reports will be of something positive or negative, and people would need to respond by buying more, selling or shorting, or holding and doing nothing. At some point, I will introduce how different mainstream investment ideas will respond to the news, and “predict” how the stock will go. It is an exercise to practice critical thinking and to learn some investment strategies and market psychology. Below is the general outline.

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In the last part, there will be a “self-serve” information section with different types of ways to invest. I am thinking of having three boxes labelled with high risk, medium risk and low risk that contains paper slips inside. The idea is to have people reach into the box that they are comfortable with and pull out a method that they can invest. One challenge with this method is that in some boxes, there won’t be a lot of paper slips, so it would feel empty when people do the draw.

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I am still trying to think of new ideas or to perfect my current ones. Suggestions welcomed!


For my progress so far, I am behind schedule, as I haven’t started frequently looking at finance new and actually buying things. I should be trading at least five times a week, and right now it is more like two. I will try to redesign my schedule by Thursday night, and hopefully, I can get on track. By the way, I have finished all of the Khan Academy videos on Stock and Bonds, but I will still keep watching about mortgages, banks and inflation.

All images made from MS Paint.

Tommy Douglas: Check In

“At that time Saskatchewan had the fewest hospital beds per capita in Canada. The ultimate goal should be kept in mind, said Sigerist: “to provide complete medical services to all the people of the province, irrespective of their economic status, and irrespective of whether they live in town or country.” [… Soon,] within seven years Saskatchewan had the most hospital beds per capita in Canada.”

The world-changing public health care program started from a vision, that everyone regardless of their class can receive world-class medical services, born from the visionary that is Tommy Douglas. Douglas’s family had always been part of the working class, and when he was young, he had not the resources to find a doctor to perform surgery on his infected legs. His legs would have been amputated if a renowned orthopedic surgeon hadn’t passed by and offered his service free of charge. Since then, the seed grew so that when Douglas had the power to change the world, he did so for the people. Douglas was all about the socialist movements, aimed at the workers who are not respected and protected by rights. Worker’s lives in the early 20th century are hard, as they have not the money to provide for themselves even the basic necessities of life. Their lives are in the hand of big corporations, which benefit from tariff and price control. Nowadays, Canadians can all receive decent health care regardless of class and race, a feat that even in the present world is scarcely seen.

“workers in the building trades had become increasingly frustrated. The cost of living had jumped by 73 % since the beginning of the war, while their wages had risen only 13%. They wanted better wages and the right to form unions and bargain collectively. […] Business leaders spread the baseless rumour that Bolsheviks were behind the action, and the Winnipeg Citizen reported that the strike constituted a “determined attempt to establish Bolshevism and the rule of the Soviet.” (23)

This passage strikes me as significant since workers are unequally treated, and that they are also not allowed to protest. They are not given a voice. To protect their interests, corporations would spread fake news and later, strikers are silenced by force, resulting in death and blood. Voices supporting the protest are arrested soon after. It is a very different society from our own now, and once again, we see that workers have no rights. If they are not being treated fairly and are struggling to make ends come, especially later in the 1930’s, why are they still not allowed to voice their concerns? Do they even have a voice then? The answer would be no. The society was focused on the upper classes and the corporations, and the workers are not respected. A couple more steps and we would arrive at fascism. Today, it is different and at least everyone is given a voice and a right to peacefully demonstrate. We have a society that is built on its people, and Canada is still developing to support and equalize its peoples. Without many of the CCP’s or NDP’s early policies (worker’s rights, old age pension, healthcare, co-op), this process would be significantly delayed and perhaps our society will be a lot more racist and unequal for our citizens.

“I recognized then that if you came to a choice between losing freedom of speech, religion, association, thought, and all the things that make life worth living, and resorting to force, you’d use force” – Tommy Douglas (89)

This is a conclusion that Douglas drew during the onset of World War 2. The party leader of the CCP then was a pacifist, who opposed all military activities. Douglas argued that the basis of Canadian society is the values that we possess, and if fascism from the Axis powers takes over, we would cease to be ourselves and the values that we had held would evaporate under force. Pacifism would not matter if we do not use force, as there would be no means for anyone to act or speak anymore. There were many with this idea, but not many had expressed it as elegantly as Douglas did. This was an occasion when Douglas develops as a mature politician and realizes that his ideas are important and valid and that ideas and values should never yield to authority.

One of the great legislative advances of the government was the passage in 1947 of the Saskatchewan Bill of Rights. It protected freedom of conscience, opinion, religion, expression, and […] preceded the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by a year and came a full thirteen years before the Canadian Bill of Rights. […] Even prior to the end of the Second World War, the CCF invited Japanese-Canadian internees to resettle in Saskatchewan, at a time when most parts of Canada were trying to keep [them away].” (143)

Many of the innovative ideas by the CCF had Douglas, and most importantly, the people behind it. These new concepts that aimed to equalize Canadians and improve life for most of Canadians would not have been possible without leaders who care about the people. Douglas was the essence of the CCF, as Woodrow Lloyd remarked, “[…] I doubt if we could win an election without Tommy Douglas.” This relates to our current world as individuals are given the opportunities to speak, and under this hat, everyone can succeed or make themselves known. With Douglas’s vision, Saskatchewan was turned from a province loaded with debt and unhappy citizens to a booming, front-facing multicultural world. Canada had led the world towards universal human rights, and Douglas is the pioneer behind the wheel. It shows how Canada is a country built by people who are different, yet the same when they unite as a nation.

“Douglas’s style of campaigning: while the ethos was socialist, he distilled from it a number of understandable, achievable goals that had a direct relevance to people’s lives.”

The norm of political campaigning is to fill the crowd with exaggerated promises and wild demonstrations, especially at that time, but Douglas set a new record by using terms and goals that are not only understandable, but most importantly, relatable to the public. It is easy to see how the CCF won the provincial election that year, despite Liberals and all major newspapers calling them “Communism in North America”, and then “Bolshevism of the Soviet” or “Fascism”. Douglas revolutionized the election campaigns first pioneered by Macdonald, and he suggested a way for future campaigns to be carried out by all parties. It also shows how Douglas was at his core a peoples person, keeping with the principle that the people are the ones who have the vote, and they are the ones who need to see change.


 

The overarching idea in this book is of respecting the rights of every single person. The wealth of a nation may be concentrated in a select few individuals, but ignoring the other is a huge mistake for a political party or a nation. The power of the people, when added up, is formidable as many dictators have experienced in their country’s rebellions. When a leader cares about its people and provides for their outcries, it improves the society to be more humane and ultimately, more prosperous. Canada’s current state as a post-national state clearly demonstrates that we are becoming a country that respects the ideas of individuals, and works to embrace the differences in nations. It is undeniable how much of this is due to socialist individuals advocating for more unheard of voices.


Lam, Vincent. Tommy Douglas. Penguin Canada, 2013.

A Double-edged Sword: J. A. Macdonald’s Soul Soup

Mr. Morris

Humanities

April 19, 2018

Canada’s first prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald once remarked, “let us be English or let us be French . . . and above all let us be Canadians,” leading the two opposing cultures to unite as Canada.  John A. Macdonald’s efforts in bonding the North and giving birth to the Confederation has long granted him a place as one of the greatest prime ministers in Canada, but recent reformations and value changes shed light on his not-so-great acts. Like the much loved and scrutinized fast-food chain Mcdonald’s, John A. Macdonald is under debate of whether his physical presence is a healthy contribution to the society. Many critics urged for the removal of his figure and likeness from the public sphere, but due to his indispensable contributions the newborn Canada and the influences his legacy still have on us, I firmly believe that John A. Macdonald’s name should remain in the public sphere.

Throughout the history of mankind, many notable people have come and past, their best ideas and contributions engraved in our brains and our society, and Macdonald is one of those visionaries and missionaries. There can be no denial of his part in founding Canada, from solidifying the notion of two official languages, to building and expanding the confederations, Macdonald is someone who deserves to go remembered. Macdonald believed that “[Canada is] a great country and shall become one of the greatest in the universe if we preserve it; [but] we shall sink into insignificance and adversity if we suffer it to be broken,” and held on to his beliefs with the National Policy to insist on an independent and free Canada (Gwyn; Crane). That was a time when “one in five Canadians left for a better life below the border” (Gwyn). Canada is forever changed for the better with Macdonald’s contributions. While he did make some mistakes, “so did [all] Canadians, collectively,” and it is unjust to impose our current criticisms on someone who is irreplaceable in Canadian history (Gwyn). Macdonald deserves to be remembered by not just those who can afford to learn history in the private sphere, but everyone who have the right to walk the streets. Removing his name and figure not only removes his contributions, but also an opportunity to connect with the past.

Many critics argue that having John A. Macdonald’s representation in the public sphere show that we as Canadians support racism and all of Macdonald’s values, and that keeping the values of the past discourages change. However, change does not occur through a removal of the past, but instead through knowledge of mistakes and admittance of what is wrong. John A. Macdonald’s statues highlight his contributions while shedding light on how we as Canadians have changed, not the deeds of the past that reflects old values. Macdonald is known for “preserving the larger half of North America as a country of its own” and maintaining multiculturalism to a degree unheard of in his time, and his statues illustrate just that (Symons). The statues are not made to glorify Macdonald as a saint, or to show endorsement for every single idea of his. Just like how a war general would be portrayed in uniform, highlighting military talents and nothing else like his drinking habits or temper; John A. Macdonald is portrayed as the founding father of Canada, a respectable political figure, and not much else. It would be irrational to treat every representation of Macdonald as supportive acknowledgement for his not-so-great ideas, just as regarding statues as idol worshiping is silly. Erasing Macdonald from the public sphere will remove his legacy from most of known history, encompassing not just the contributions worth praising, but a bit of the past values worth reflecting about.

Although many have argued for the removal of John A. Macdonald’s figure from the public sphere due to changing values, he remains the founding father of Canada that shaped us like no other. When considering the effects of Macdonald’s figure on current Canadians, we conclude that his’s deeds not only deserve to be remembered and nodded-to, but reflected and act upon, both important reasons for his name to be in the public sphere. Through Macdonald’s figure, Canadians can wonder about the political, social and economical challenges of early Canada, review and learn from discriminatory actions committed from arrogant and self-righteous societies, and cheer about how far the social values have progressed to be more inclusive and supportive. Macdonald always had his nation in mind, and his ideas outshone and outpaced other ideas then, a strikingly similar attribute to Canadians now, who are progressive and empathetic. Macdonald’s case will prove Kelly Clarkson’s famous line, “what doesn’t kill [us] makes [us] stronger,” as Canadians have walked out of discrimination strong and free. Sir John A. Macdonald would be proud looking from above.


Crane, David. “Canada–US Economic Relations.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada, 3 Sept. 2009, www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/economic-canadian-american-relations/.

In-Depth Wk11

orMy mentor is not currently active in the investment field, besides from a couple of small exchanges. He has not many resources for me besides from books that are very technical, but his conversations with me are the best kind of learning for developing critical and creative thinking. We would talk about things in the news such as Google not reporting their Q4 earnings or Apple announcing that they will start to make MacBook chips. These conversations serve to reinforce what I had learnt, and sometimes my mentor will explain the whole thing over to me again. I think that our conversations together are the best way to develop actual “financial” thinking. This serves to bring my knowledge about textual thing to life. The face to face interaction is amazing for not just reinforcing knowledge, but gaining new ones in a more personal setting.

The process of our meeting usually starts with me asking questions about anything that I had learnt. I would share what I did and some confusing things. This part isn’t very long, as I try to get my questions answered online beforehand. After this, we have time to discuss things and he will mention some things that he thinks is interesting or worth mentioning. I will sometimes start the conversation, but it will always go off-topic. It is funny that way, but also a reminder that we think differently and that my mentor has more life experiences. The “off-topics” are often educational though, as they are almost always about philosophy, politics or religion. I think that as mentor and mentee we are developing our relationship to understand each other more. We may still be uncomfortable with things (he is an introvert mostly), but we respect each other. This is what I think is the most important.

What I have learnt about my mentor is that he can talk for a very long time when he finds something that he is interested about, but otherwise he is not someone who will always have something to say. Sometimes it is my questions that “excites” him and sometimes he would just have an idea flash across his head that he wanted to mention. He knows a lot about Chinese markets, where he had worked and studied, but he kept up in reading on the American and Canadian markets too. I think that he is learning that I am usually independent, but would sometimes forget to do the scheduled work. He has his ways of dealing with it though since he will just tell me that I have extra homework for the next meeting.

 

DOL #2: CPR

To what extent did John A. McDonald’s decision to build the CPR influence Canada as seen now?

  • Historical Significance: 

Outline the focus of your inquiry and provide background knowledge. Why is this an important and significant question to ask about the past? Provide evidence from primary and secondary sources.

The CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) was a transcontinental railway system that would connect the west with the more developed and populated east. It was promised by John A. MacDonald, our first prime minister, when he rose to power in 1867, leading to the entry of British Columbia into Confederation. The railway came under many critics’ attack, and the Pacific Scandal threw MacDonald off the seat of power. When MacDonald came back to power in 1878, he was determined to make the railway happen. The Canadian Pacific Railway company was incorporated in 1881, and construction finished late 1885. Soon, the first passenger train arrived transcontinental into Port Moody from Montreal in 1886.

Map of Canada with BC, Canada, and the other provinces. Image from cpconnectingcanada.ca

The CPR is a massive operation at the beginning of Canada’s history, and in the process of making it happen, many mistakes and sacrifices were made. It is undeniable, however, that it profoundly changed the course of Canada and its people. By weighing the pros with the cons, we can judge the value of the CPR and MacDonald’s decision in retrospect.

  • Cause and Consequence:

Why did your researched events happen the way they did and what were the consequences?

  • Perspective

The first intentions of the railway were to prompt BC to join the Confederation and grow the feeble Canadian economy independent of the US (who refused all trade with Canada at the time). The two goals were certainly met, as BC joined the Confederation soon after the railway was promised with the condition that it must be built in a decade, and businesses sprouted all along the western provinces. The addition of British Columbia further diversified Canada both socially and environmentally and provided a place for people to settle. Canada’s increasing land mass supported its growth politically and economically too, gaining more voice as its assets increased. The railway also fueled new corporations to develop and flourish. The communities started from scratch to provide necessities of life. The new environments also demanded new industries different from the ones Canadians are used to. Fur trading companies became farming and logging ones, and farm forks replaced snowplows. The west and the east could trade local goods, and everyone was happy – the people, who had the commodities they wanted, the companies, which lowered expenses in transport and increased sales, and the government, which sees increased nationalism and a better self-sustaining economy. The brand new Canadian settlements needed much, and the revenues generated by the new industries meant better economy. It is a positive influence on Canadian development as seen from the eyes of mainstream Canadians.

The Last Spike being laid by Donald A. Smith on Nov. 7, 1885. Image from Library and Archives Canada

There are more unintended and unthought of consequences of the CPR though. The railway was built on the 10 million hectares of land provided by the government, but one might ask: where did that land come from? To make way for the railway, thousands of indigenous people are forced to leave the land that they have resided on for many hundreds of years. MacDonald even resorted to using hunger to stave off the people, killing many with starvation. These inhumane acts reflect values then and even values now, when indigenous people are on many fronts not equal to non-indigenous Canadians. The Canadian “victory” over the indigenous may even have served to ridicule Louis Riel’s efforts to keep the Metis’ land. Discrimination had only grown with the CPR. Even now, those communities of indigenous people may remember how they lost their ancestral land because of the construction of a railway profiting white people.

Image Courtesy of The Globe and Mail; Indigenous people forced to leave

To the early Chinese in Canada, the CPR did not bring much hope at all. Forced to work in danger with very little pay, the Chinese workers often died on the job. The Canadians found that the Chinese can be paid very little, expected to work on hard jobs, and more of all be bullied around without care of their lives. Subsequently after completion of the railway, a head tax was introduced for Chinese immigrants, and they were denied the right to vote. The building of the CPR did not do much for the Chinese, who only suffered more because of the labor and discrimination. The history and culture of maltreatment for the Chinese and Asian minorities may have influenced as far as Canada’s treatment of the Japanese in WW2. Looking at the present society, few of the evidence from that period of maltreatment can be seen as apologies are made, and history avoided. However, we need to remember that the same event can be great to one community, race or even country, but the back side of the story is often either untold or drown out in a sea of chants coming from the majority in the front rows.

It is important to mention that although John A. MacDonald did many things unacceptable by today’s standards, we are judging him from our perspective. Many of his policies contained acceptance not found in his era. We should not blame him for his actions extensively, but to properly criticize his actions, we need to look at a different perspective from his own time.

  • Social Studies Inquiry Process

What conclusions can you reach about your question, based on the research you conducted?

Through an investigation into the influence of the CPR, it becomes evident that many actions, even ones that are celebrated by something as large as a nation, can have darker sides. While something may have tremendously positive influences, the negative influences could also be far-reaching and extensive, as is the case with the CPR. As all humans are equal, we cannot just shout “for the greater good” and only look at the big picture. It is necessary, especially in the case of multiple identities (Indigenous Canadian, etc.) to investigate every possible perspective to assess a fair picture of the consequences of an action. The negatives can be hard to find in a sea of praise, but it is just in fairytales that “all lived happily ever after” exist.


 

Sources:

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canadian-pacific-railway/

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/national-policy/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/when-canada-used-hunger-to-clear-the-west/article13316877/

https://www.library.ubc.ca/chineseinbc/railways.html

http://www.cpr.ca/en/about-cp-site/Documents/cp-history-for-students.pdf

Images are linked.