August 22, 2008 Features & Images » Feature Story

Writers in Whistler 

Whistler’s 7th annual lit-fest, the Whistler Readers & Writers Festival, is set to take place Sept. 12-13, 2008. With 15 different seminars, sessions, workshops and readings available to select from, the biggest challenge for aspiring, emerging, devoted or lapsed writers is choosing which sessions to take. Streams on fiction writing, non-fiction and magazine writing, as well as memoir and writing from life are programmed, with guest writers including Wayne Grady, William Deverell, Nancy Warren, Shaena Lambert, Leslie Anthony, Susan Reifer, Candas Jane Dorsey, Mel Hurtig and Rebecca Wood Barrett. For more information, visit and download the festival program. Tickets are available online at, and start from $20.

This week, local writer and community activist Pina Belperio profiles Festival guest Mel Hurtig. Belperio, a founding member of the Whistler Writers Group, will moderate two lively panels at this year's Fest: the Friday, Sept 12 Opening Night Forum, taking place at the Whistler Library, and Saturday, Sept 13 Writing from Life panel on How to Interview People for Their Stories, featuring a multi-disciplinary panel of experts including psychologist Mary Macdonald, award-winning non-fiction writer Wayne Grady, and local journalist Jennifer Miller.  


Mel Hurtig uncovers the ‘Truth About Canada’


By Pina Belperio, The Vicious Circle Love him or hate him, Canada’s tireless patriot continues to defend the survival of this country. Mel Hurtig has released his new book, The Truth About Canada: Some astonishing, and some truly appalling things all Canadians should know about our country.

He refers to his latest work as “one of the most anti-establishment books ever published in my lifetime.” If he appears pessimistic, he’s not. He’s simply frustrated with Canada’s failure on the world stage and with our “inept politicians who have allowed a small and wealthy plutocracy to sell out our country.”

The book describes how Canada has changed for the worse under the governments of Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper. Hurtig hopes that readers will be angry after reading his book — very angry.

“As a result of these profound changes, we are no longer the country we think we are, and no longer the people we think we are,” said Hurtig. “We’ve departed from the principles and ideas that helped Canada become on of the most admired countries in the world.”

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