L’Honorable Juge Trahan parle aux élèves du cours de droit

Anne-Marie_TrahanDans le cadre de la participation au concours d’écriture sur le droit des enfants, l’honorable Anne-Marie Trahan, c.r. a rendu visite à Lower Canada College pendant le cours de droit.

Madame Trahan a exercé le droit à Montréal de 1968 à 1979, au sein du cabinet maintenant connu sous le nom de Lavery, puis elle a poursuivi sa carrière comme juriste au service du droit commercial international du Bureau des affaires juridiques des Nations-Unies; elle travaillait à Vienne. Nommée par la suite commissaire à la Commission canadienne des transports (1981-1986), elle a été sous-ministre déléguée, droit civil et services législatifs, au Ministère fédéral de la Justice de 1986 à 1994. Elle a été juge de la Cour supérieure du Québec du 5 juillet 1994 au 30 juillet 2010. Elle se consacre maintenant à diverses activités au sein d’organismes à but non lucratif.

Voici les commentaires des élèves suite à la discussion :

La semaine dernière, Juge Trahan a visité notre école pour nous parler du droit des enfants au Québec et autour du monde. Elle nous a enseigné un peu sur nos droits en tant que mineurs et c’était un grand plaisir de l’écouter parler.
– Ryan Hawa ’16

L’autre jour, j’ai eu l’occasion de rencontrer et de parler avec la Juge Trahan, une femme qui a travaillé dans le système de justice du Québec pendant de nombreuses années. Nous avons parlé des droits de l’enfant, non seulement au Québec, mais partout dans le monde. C’est toujours un plaisir d’écouter ce qu’elle a à dire, et je suis chanceuse d’avoir eu la chance de l’entendre parler à nouveau.
– Christina Papageorgakopoulos ’16

J’ai beaucoup aimé quand la Juge Trahan est venue nous parler car elle est drôle quand elle parle et elle avait beaucoup à dire. Quand on posait une question elle allait en profondeur pour nous répondre le mieux possible. C’était très intéressant de rencontrer quelqu’un qui a déjà envoyé une personne en prison, mais aussi qui était une bonne avocate puisqu’elle a pu devenir juge.
– Madison Llano ’16

J’ai trouvé la visite de la juge dans notre classe de droit très intéressante et j’aimerais bien en savoir plus sur le droit criminel et le code civil. En effet, ça ma juste renforcé dans mes intentions de découvrir plus des choses sur le droit international, le code civil et le droit criminel.
– Giuliano Latella ’17

Lors de la visite de Mme Juge Trahan, j’ai appris plein de nouveaux faits et lois sur le Québec. La juge Trahan nous a enseigné le droit d’une façon intriguante et plaisante. Elle a répondu en détail à toutes mes questions sur le droit des enfants au Quebec, avec enthousiasme! Le fait le plus captivant que j’ai appris c’est que l’article 33 répond à la majorité des questions que j’ai sur le droit des enfants au Québec.
– Ryan Garber ’17

J’ai bien aimé la visite du Juge Trahan. Elle avait une très belle personnalité et elle m’a éduqué beaucoup sur le droit en nous disant son expérience passée dans la domaine du droit. Aussi, elle répondait à nos questions avec une telle facilité et ceci m’ impressionnait beaucoup.
– Adam Mahrouse ’17

 

 

Des élèves de LCC se sont unis pour rendre une beauté aux rivages du Canal Lachine

Blog_Clean_LachineCanalChaque année, des milliers de Canadiens s’unissent pour lutter contre les déchets riverains, qui menacent gravement nos voies d’eau navigables, et prennent part au Grand nettoyage des rivages canadiens. Il s’agit d’une initiative de conservation de l’Aquarium de Vancouver et le WWF et du plus important programme de conservation par l’action directe au Canada.

De plus, un des piliers du Round Square est la protection et la prise de conscience de l’environnement, il est donc logique que nous soyons impliqués.

À ce jour, le Grand nettoyage des rivages a mobilisé plus de 500 000 Canadiens des quatre coins du pays pour contribuer à garder nos rivières, lacs et océans en santé pour les collectivités et les espèces sauvages qui en dépendent.

Un groupe d’élèves du Middle School de Lower Canada College a prêté main-forte à la lutte contre les déchets riverains en procédant au nettoyage du Canal Lachine entre Wellington et Charlevoix, le samedi 2 mai 2015 de 10h00 à 12h00.

Voici des exemples de ce que les élèves ont ramassé :

– Mégots de cigarettes (en grande quantité), bouchons de bouteille de bière, sacs en plastique sur les berges et dans le canal, portes manteaux, aérosols…

Voici quelques impressions des participants :

« J’ai du mal à comprendre comment, j’ai pu trouver un pot d’échappement de voiture au bord du canal! »

« C’était génial de pouvoir aider notre environnement de cette façon! The amount of trash accumulated in the canal was crazy! »

« J’étais contente d’être capable d’aider l’environnement et c’était amusant de le faire avec mes amis. »

“The Great Canadian Shoreline cleanup was a chance us to take care of the Lachine Canal’s waters and shores in the morning.”

« C’était une bonne expérience, où nous étions conscient des conséquences directes de ces déchets sur les océans. »

“I was very surprised about how much garbage was being thrown on the ground especially when the trash can was just a few feet away.”

« J’étais dégouté par tous les mégots de cigarette, de plastique et les nombreux autres déchets qui polluent la Terre. »

Photo gallery

Results
Lachine_Canal_CleanUp_Results

 

 

Round Square: To Err on the Side of Compassion

HomelessI walked in someone’s shoes the other day. What I mean to say is that for one night, I voluntarily slept outside. For one night, I was like the homeless who more and more frequently sleep on the doorsteps of stores and churches, right here in my prosperous city. But, in truth, not really. Unlike the men and women who cannot find or who refuse to seek shelter, I was in the warmest sleeping bag my neurotic and overly protective mother could find; I slept in a quinzee which served as a perfectly adequate shelter, surrounded by friends, protected by teachers. Unlike the men and women who sleep outdoors, I haven’t been ignored, eyed malevolently or stared at contemptuously. My night spent outdoors has earned me a lot of (frankly not quite deserved) sympathy. Still, a little glitch in the zipper of my ultra warm sleeping bag meant that I shivered during the night. It was not totally pleasant, and perhaps explains why today, a few days after my winter experience, I stopped before the man seated on a threadbare blanket in the snow. He held a cardboard, with the heartbreaking words, ”hungry and cold”. I just couldn’t do otherwise. I couldn’t bear to ignore him. I gave him all the change in my wallet.

I have read enough on the issue of the homelessness to know all the arguments against giving loose change to the cold and hungry men and women in the street. I have been warned that my poor dollar would be used to buy hard drugs; that most of those who appear to be homeless are not homeless at all; that they contribute to the decline of neighborhoods, that it is best to leave their fate in the capable hands of organizations. This may be true. It is undoubtedly true, at any rate that dropping a few quarters in a cup will not solve, not even temporarily, the issue of homelessness. Except that I have no hard evidence at all the man shivering right before my eyes is a drug addict. I have no real evidence that all men and women on the streets have drug problems. I have no evidence at all the man staring at me, a little incredulously, really has a home to go to. I do not know that organizations have tried to help him. I do know that he is outside in unbearable -30 C weather, and that he is cold. I do know that not a single person, not a single one, has stopped to acknowledge him. Sherbrooke is a busy street, and there have been many pedestrians. Their steps, though, did not even falter as they passed him by. They rushed past him, without a glance, as though he did not exist at all.

I wonder when we have all become so jaded that we do not shudder when confronted with human misery. This is a man sitting before me. He deserves to be, if not helped, at least acknowledged. He deserves to be looked in the eyes. He deserves an “excuse me”, a “hello”, a nod or a smile. I wonder at the level of misery and despair, which moves a man to seek refuge in the frozen streets. My loose change might not have done much good, but it at least served to remind me, and him, that he is a human being, and he matters. If there is the least little doubt, I will choose to err on the side of compassion.

Service to others is a great Round Square ideal, and it takes a dozen different forms. It does not always have to result in accountable service hours. It does, however, every single time, start with humility and humanity. – David Elbaz ’15, Round Square Head

Assembly Speech: Generational Observations

generation-z-logo-indexThere is the generation X, the generation Y, the baby boomers. And then, there is us. I sometimes wonder whether we are not the attention deficit disorder generation. Someone or something takes our fancy, and for the space of a few months, days, or hours, we enthusiastically embrace an idea, elevate a person to ridiculous heights, and covet the most ridiculous object as if it was made of gold. From nothing, it becomes everything, is everywhere – in multiple copycat versions too – and, just as suddenly, we drop it, never to think of it again. We flit to the next idea, the next trend. It can be charming…except when it comes to charities. Because yes, it appears that for us, charities too are just fleeting fads.

When I was 8 or 9, I wore a yellow rubber bracelet, which bore the catchy slogan “Livestrong”. I loved my bracelet for one reason. My friends thought I was oh so cool. The bracelets were extremely scarce, having sold out of several NIKE stores. They were also very popular, not surprisingly since popularity and scarcity go together. The unexpected shortage of bracelets had naturally spiked interest in the rubber band to such an extend that – and this is the absolute truth – strangers would stop me in the street, offering me up to $20 for my bracelet. I am ashamed to say, that I had no idea that “Livestrong” was meant to serve the cause of cancer; I suspect that I was not alone and that for a great majority of people, the bracelets were simply the expression of a desire to be part of a trend. Quickly enough, yellow bracelets became lost in a sea of other rubber bracelets: green, blue, pink, red, RAINBOW! Rubber bands were everywhere, in sports stores and at the dollar stores. My yellow bracelet was given to my dog as a chew toy.  Livestrong, the slogan and the foundation became passé. True, Livestrong’s spokesperson and founder had spectacularly fallen from grace, but the Livestrong bracelet had faded from our minds long before that.

I can give you dozens of examples. For a few months, we kept cool by throwing ice buckets on our heads. Every time we did it, we raised awareness for ALS. We also raised money. Not as much as we could have, since ice buckets were meant as an alternative to donating money, but still we did raise some money and a lot of awareness for the cause. Until one day, we just forgot to. Bet you a whole bucket of ice that very few of us still think occasionally – if ever – of ALS. So much for awareness.

Joseph Kony, by all accounts an evil man who ordered the abduction of 66,000 children to become sex slaves and soldiers became the cause célèbre in 2012. A video was shown on social media, it went viral within minutes, and suddenly every teenager in America and Canada was heard talking about Joseph Kony. For a minute or two, just a little longer than it takes for us to repost a video, everyone wanted to be part of the anti-Joseph Kony movement. A mere month later, another video called young people everywhere to “cover the night” and put up posters of Kony because, yes, the 66,000 abducted children still deserved to be remembered. And no, no one showed up to cover the night. No one. 66,000 abducted children did not deserve that.

Which brings me to the real point of my presentation. We are in a privileged position, all of us, and we are all conscious of it. We want to help. I want us to remember this: we are an enthusiastic generation, and for whatever time we spend on a trend, we give it our all. We do a lot of good. But we are also fickle, easily bored, easily distracted, and eager to jump to the next cause – one that’s compatible with Facebook and Instagram! Causes and charities cannot be the helpless victims of a generation’s attention deficit. Before we espouse a cause or adopt a charity as our own, we need to find what meaning the cause or charity holds for us. If we do that, we can be assured that our charities won’t be mere fads. Everyone in the 21st century hopes for their fifteen minutes of fame. Cancer research, ALS or children sold as slaves ought to be able to hope for a lot longer than 15 minutes. – David Elbaz ’15

Grateful to be a Round Square Student

Round_Square_Logo
I am often asked, with just a hint of suspicion, “What is Round Square?” Quite simply, it is the sum of six ideals, internationalism, democracy, environment, adventure, leadership and service, which, added one to another, equal a philosophy of learning. Those six goals, each important in and by themselves, are bound together to form an integral whole that we call Round Square.

It is a great source of pride to me that these six ideals are so intricately woven in the LCC fabric, so much a part of the LCC student’s daily vocabulary that the six ideals are not so much applied as lived. Community service, the daily exposure to environmental or international issues, or participation in leadership activities are the common lot of all LCC students – much like homework, part and parcel of student life.

This no doubt explains why I am so often asked, “What is Round Square?” Round Square activities are not notable for the LCC student, exposed right from the start to the Round Square philosophy of learning. Round Square activities are quite simply and naturally part of life.

The most spectacular of Round Square activities are perhaps the international exchanges which give LCC students the chance to live for a couple of extraordinary months, the ordinary life of the Peruvian, South African, Australian, Indian or French student. These exchanges often begin with a burst of, until then unsuspected, patriotic pride. There are friendly patriotic tug of wars, where differences are highlighted. By the end of these exchanges, differences between cultures are dismissed as trivial, and there is the profound realization that for all the geographic differences, which, to all appearances, cause abysses between cultures and nations, we are all one humanity. This is a Round Square lesson.

Twice a year, there are Round Square or CAIS conferences for Middle School and Senior School students. LCC students travel, sometimes to far and exotic places, other times to more familiar destinations, to exchange, with other Round Square students, ideas about international or environmental issues. Open dialogue and finding ways of integrating leadership into everyday life is another Round Square lesson.

And then, there are all the other activities, no less important and very much a huge part of Round Square life. These include, but are not limited to, all the community service activities and the environment-oriented activities. The environment committee’s tireless efforts to educate on environmental issues proved effective: all six LCC students sent to Jordan had the urge to turn off the water sprinklers irrigating, all day and all night, the beautiful school campus. That we are all locally responsible for the global good of the earth is a third Round Square lesson.

The Coat Drive to benefit the Share The Warmth organization is a great example of the way LCC students live Round Square ideals. The drive, undertaken enthusiastically, if quietly, was a great success.

A Round Square student is a Round Square person for life. I am a Round Square student, and I, for one, couldn’t be more grateful. – David Elbaz ’15, Round Square Head