NYMag profiles American military deserters in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.
Desertion is always a solitary choice, but it can be especially so for those who seek refuge in other countries. The deserter in exile is cut off from community, family, and country, knowing there may never be a safe way home. For the alienated troops who fled to Canada in the early years of the Iraq War, the decision seemed to offer solace. The northern border has always welcomed disaffected Americans, from the British Union Loyalists who opposed the Revolutionary War to the draft dodgers and deserters avoiding Vietnam. Between 1965 and 1975, roughly 50,000 U.S. citizens took shelter in Canada, where the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau quietly embraced them. In the first three years of the Iraq War, at least 200 new American troops joined them, believing they would find the same open arms. Most of the new deserters chose to live and work in cities like Toronto and Montreal without revealing their military past; only about two dozen stepped forward publicly to request political amnesty as “war resisters.”
"We need to deal with the fact that our kids are starting to go through puberty much younger than they used to," said Sandals, Education Minister. [more inside]
How to Make Handmade Candy (SLYT)
As of 5 am last Friday morning, Sun News went off the air. Unable to find a buyer, the controversial news network is no more. Ratings were falling, Ezra Levant kept doing stupid things, and briefly, the network gave a show to the Ford brothers (but it didn't work out).
Beginning in 1920, Robert J. Flaherty spent a year in the Canadian Arctic (Port Harrison in Northern Quebec) documenting the daily struggles of an Inuk man named Nanook. The resulting feature-length film, an American silent documentary with elements of docudrama, was the first of its kind, in a style that would eventually become known as "salvage ethnography." Nanook of the North: A Story Of Life and Love In the Actual Arctic (1922) [more inside]
Today is the fiftieth birthday of the Canadian flag. Questions have been raised, however, as to why the federal government has more or less ignored it. [more inside]
Gone With A Trace (pop-up audio warning): a 20-min. audio documentary about photographer Richard Misrach (previously) and the objects he finds along the US/Mexico border, which are then turned into musical instruments by Guillermo Galindo. There's an accompanying photo slide on cbc's The Current site.
In a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that Canada's century-old legislation banning doctor-assisted suicide is unconstitutional. The decision is stayed for 12 months to allow for legal frameworks to be devised.
How A Chicago Man Hampered His Own Rescue From The Columbia Icefield, And What Searchers Learned From Him.
When you ask members of the Jasper Parks Canada visitor safety team if they remember the search for George Joachim, a common response is a deep sigh, and something like: “Ah yes…George.” Four years later, the name still conjures head shaking and wary glances. ... Joachim unintentionally misled searchers by listing his destination incorrectly in the climber’s registry, and then behaved so unlike other people previously have in his circumstance that he was repeatedly missed in the search. Parks Canada’s search and rescue community considers his case a valuable learning experience and have since tweaked search protocols to account for other behavioral outliers.via BLDGBLOG: Algorithms In The Wild
Canada's government on Friday introduced its new anti-terror legislation, a sweeping range of measures that would allow suspects to be detained based on less evidence and let CSIS actively interfere with suspects' travel plans and finances. [more inside]
On Trial for Rape by Ann Brocklehurst [The Walrus Magazine]
"Late last year, in a Toronto courtroom, a young woman faced off against the university student whom she accused of raping her in a school parking lot. The media ignored the story. This is a series about a criminal rape trial that took place in Toronto late last year. The trial lasted eight days; the judge announced his verdict earlier this month." —Ann Brocklehurst[more inside]
Maclean's brings to the forefront the dark reality faced by the country's aboriginal population. Maclean's article on Winnipeg has generated a lot of buzz in the city and beyond, and a mixed reaction. What's more, the statistics speak to those still tempted to claim the problem isn't as bad as America's race issues.
A presentation about Ontario's lost villages, ten communities which were flooded as part of the creation of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1958.
Young Politician Munira Abukar discusses the sexism and racism she faced as a consequence of running against Rob Ford for a councilor position in Toronto
Glenn Gould's North is an essay about the radio documentaries composed by Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. The most famous are the three "contrapuntal" documentaries which comprise The Solitude Trilogy [available on Spotify and can be purchased on iTunes]. What is contrapuntal radio? The Glenn Gould Foundation explained in series of short podcasts, and a glimpse of Gould's scripts and diagrams may aid understanding, as well as quotes by Gould and others about The Solitude Trilogy. Many have responded to The Solitude Trilogy, from the perspectives of a hermit, mennonite, and a collage artist, whose collage series can be seen here. As the title suggests, The Solitude Trilogy deals with isolation, quietude, loneliness, seclusion and solitude in modern life, but Gould also made documentaries on a variety of musical subjects, such as Richard Strauss and sixties pop singer Petula Clark. Most of his documentaries, including The Solitude Trilogy, are available for listening on the website of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Links below. [more inside]
In what will no doubt live on as one of the most stunning political moves in Canadian political history, Alberta Wildrose Party (and official opposition leader) Danielle Smith, along with 8 other Wildrose MLAs, crossed the floor of the legislature to join the ruling Progressive Conservatives, under the leadership of Premier Jim Prentice. She also proposed that the Wildrose party formally merge with the PCs, which the Wildrose administration and members reject. While floor-crossings are not uncommon in Canadian politics, there has never before been a complete capitulation of an official opposition party to the governing party before. [more inside]
In 2012, the UN said that Denmark was the happiest place on earth. This year, Denmark returned to the UN with some nice Danish pastries, and a territorial claim to the North Pole based on its relationship with Greenland, a Danish autonomous territory. [more inside]
Have you ever wanted to quit your job and head out on the open road? Perhaps long distance trucking might suit you? Yes? No? No worries. We can go on a trip right here and see what the life of a long distance trucker is really like. Being an over-the-road driver has the reputation of being tough and hazardous. Why do they do it? Schneider National 11 Western Regional. Cincinnati, OH to Toledo, OH. Jeffersonville, IN to East Chicago, IN. What truck driving is all about. A Truckers View. An Office With a View. The long haul - OTR truck driving. This trip will be North American-centric, because it's what I'm familiar with. So with that proviso in mind, let's ride. We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there. [more inside]
“It’s all we think about every day — that if we had just bought a house back when we first started looking, we would have overpaid, but at least we would have been in a house." [more inside]
"It’s absurd to be forced to make an argument in 2014 about why a country needs to invest in long term basic science" [more inside]
Thomas King wins Governor-General’s Award for fiction In February, King won the British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. On Tuesday, he won the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction for The Back of the Turtle, his first novel in 15 years. [more inside]
How to play the game of life when you are Black. Mike Sholars, associate editor at the Huffington Post Canada, on what it takes to "win". [more inside]
Ex-Maple Leaf coach Pat Quinn dead at 71 [Toronto Star]
"Former Toronto Maple Leaf coach and general manager Pat Quinn has died at the age of 71. Quinn died Sunday night in Vancouver after a lengthy illness, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Vancouver Giants said Monday. Quinn, who was co-owner of the WHL’s Giants, was 71.
At a Gander Flyers game against the Corner Brook Royals, a fan suffered a heart attack in the stands. The first two people there were the Mayor of Gander and the starting goaltender, Patty O'Brien, who moonlights as a paramedic. The victim is fine, Patty's a hero, and this story couldn't be more Canadian if the Trailer Park Boys were in the ambulance, feeding everyone poutine & Eric's Red beer and singing "I's The By".
The Green Monster: How the Border Patrol became America’s most out-of-control law enforcement agency.
A long-form report from Politico.
A long-form report from Politico.
You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy [more inside]
In Yousuf Karsh's 93 years, he had amassed more than 15,000 sittings to his name, capturing portraits of famous and worldly people. He rose to international prominence due to his portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941. At first, it was an honor for the amateur Karsh to walk up to or invite people to photograph them. After that, it became a privilege for future subjects to be accepted into Karsh's gallery. Karsh's website is a source for great insight into the photographer's life, in his own words and through his works. You can read more in this 1988 interview Karsh gave to the Paris Voice, see a few more portraits from the Smithsonian Magazine, and view an interview in three parts. [more inside]
Actor spouts extreme views about Muslims to gauge reaction of public. In an attempt to test whether Canadians feel safe in the presence of Muslims following the fatal shooting of Corporal Nathan Cirillo by an Islamic extremist last week, director Omar Al-Bach conducted the experiment in Cirillo's home town of Hamilton to see how many people would defend a supposed Muslim from verbal abuse. (link to The Independent)
The Great Paper Caper: Wells Tower (previously) reports on how one guy in Canada, Frank Bourassa, manufactured over $200 million in counterfeit U.S. twenty-dollar bills and more-or-less got away with it.
The Canadian Parliament and several blocks of Downtown Ottawa are unlocked down following shootings inside Parliament Hill and at the War Memorial a block away. A soldier at the memorial was shot. One shooter is dead inside Centre Block of Parliament Hill but at least one is still on the loose. Reports that shots have been fired inside the Chateau Laurier. University of Ottawa and large chunks of downtown Ottawa are on lockdown. Said one officer: "if you can see Parliament Hill, you're not safe." Live coverage from CFRA in Ottawa. Footage of exchange of gunfire inside Centre Block (Via Globe and Mail). This comes a day after another Canadian Forces officer was deliberately killed by a car that targeted him.
Cousu Main (which starts here) is an adaptation of The Great British Sewing Bee, and the blog of one of the participants features significant spoilers for this season. Although it's in French, the show is not hard for an English speaker to follow, just as Project Runway Vietnam (2013: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8), Project Runway Korea (2009: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ...), and Projeto Fashion from Brazil--among others--make some sense to those familiar with the English-language series Project Runway Australia, Project Runway Canada, Project Runway Malaysia (2007 finale: 1-5 and 6), Project Runway Philippines (2008: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15), and Mission Catwalk from Jamaica.
Planned cities are not a new idea (Palmanova, Italy, 1593). From Washington, D.C. (1791), to Canberra, Australia (1911), to Brasilia, Brazil (1957), planned cities have long been an urban dream (from space), perhaps most frequently applied to national capitals. But they don't always work out as planned. [more inside]
Today, October 14, 2014, is World Standards Day! Except in the USA, where it's celebrated October 23, 2014. (Canada splits the difference by celebrating it on October 15).
In recent days, news stories have emerged about a wilderness expedition company, Amaruk, rejecting an applicant due to her religious beliefs and affiliation with a restrictive Christian evangelical school. [more inside]
GUTS is a new online feminist magazine. Topics from the first two issues include Canadian feminist documentary filmmaking; feminist strategies for commemorating gender-based violence; "postfeminist" parliamentary political discourse; Canadian novelist Sheila Heti's genre-bender on women's relationships, How Should A Person Be?; women's paid and unpaid labour; institutionalized gender inequality in organized sport; Indigenous women, decolonization, and institutionalized racism. There's also a blog.
Tanya Tagaq, an Inuk throat singer, has won the 2014 Polaris Prize for her album Animism. The Polaris goes to the best Canadian album of the year based on "artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation". Her acceptance speech was a little more controversial than usual for the Polaris, with Tagaq saying "People should wear and eat seal as much as possible" and "Fuck PETA." Her performance. Her acceptance speech.
Between the Lines: tracing the controversial history and recent revival of Inuit facial tattoos.
One of the Franklin Expedition ships has been found. The Franklin Expedition set off to find the fabled Northwest Passage in 1845. [more inside]
According to the Annual BMO Rainy Day Survey released today, "the percentage of Canadians that have enough savings to only cover one month or fewer has climbed to 27% - up 8 percentage points [since 2012]. For those who have one month or fewer in savings, the average fund is only $2,051. …. Three-in-ten Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque or spending more than they earn". The Huffington Post Canada reports that "[t]his comes at a time when Canada's support structures for the unemployed are growing thinner. Recent estimates show that little more than a third of Canadians who lose their jobs now qualify for Employment Insurance."
"Since 2007, Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids has invited brave Canadians to read their childhood and teenage writing… out loud in front of an audience." This summer, CBC recorded and broadcast a 10-date tour. Episodes. Podcast.
"International fast food behemoth Burger King Worldwide Inc. confirmed Tuesday that it will pay about $11 billion to buy Canadian chain Tim Hortons Inc., which sells coffee, donuts, and other breakfast food fare. The deal would merge America's second-largest burger chain, which is valued at nearly $10 billion, with the Canadian equivalent to Dunkin' Donuts, which is valued at more than $8 billion. It would also move the new company's headquarters to Canada, where corporate taxes are significantly lower." [more inside]
On Sunday, Tina Fontaine's body was found in the Red River in Manitoba after running away from a group home. There are more than 1100 missing or murdered indigenous women in Canada, and PM Harper has said that an inquiry into this is not needed, as it is "not a sociological phenomenon [but] crime". [more inside]
"Each of us is born uniquely and dies uniquely. I think of dying as a final adventure with a predictably abrupt end. I know when it's time to leave and I do not find it scary." Gillian Bennett, whose last words are captured in her eloquent farewell website, has died. (Trigger warning for suicide.) [more inside]
A "secret" government proposal would no longer mean automatic citizenship to babies born to foreign parents on Canadian soil, despite this happening fewer than a few hundred times each year.
On July 18, the only Morgentaler Clinic in New Brunswick closed. Its closure has an interesting backstory and has sparked a fight. [more inside]