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The bloom is off the Wildrose

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]
posted by Kurichina on Dec 19, 2014 - 41 comments

We eat bacon and pastries and are happy. Oh, and the North Pole is ours.

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]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 15, 2014 - 59 comments

"East bound and down, loaded up and truckin'..."

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]
posted by cwest on Dec 13, 2014 - 43 comments

Toronto: A City of Permanent Renters Unless You're Really Lucky

“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]
posted by Kitteh on Dec 12, 2014 - 129 comments

Canadian government continues valiant fight in the war against science

"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]
posted by randomnity on Dec 4, 2014 - 48 comments

Thomas King wins Governor-General’s Award for fiction.

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]
posted by Nevin on Nov 27, 2014 - 8 comments

Game level: extreme

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]
posted by Cuke on Nov 27, 2014 - 11 comments

.

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.

posted by Fizz on Nov 24, 2014 - 25 comments

Glove Save, And A Beauty

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".
posted by chicobangs on Nov 24, 2014 - 15 comments

Around the clock

The Green Monster: How the Border Patrol became America’s most out-of-control law enforcement agency.
A long-form report from Politico.
posted by Joe in Australia on Nov 16, 2014 - 15 comments

the cult of the uniform

You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 10, 2014 - 221 comments

When the famous start thinking of immortality, they call for Karsh

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]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 6, 2014 - 8 comments

'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong

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)
posted by glasseyes on Nov 1, 2014 - 62 comments

"Limitless wealth was a craft project."

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.
posted by Cash4Lead on Oct 28, 2014 - 21 comments

Gunmen on loose in Downtown Ottawa

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.
posted by dry white toast on Oct 22, 2014 - 407 comments

On Sewing as a Universal Language

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.
posted by Monsieur Caution on Oct 18, 2014 - 11 comments

All cities are mad, but the madness is gallant.

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]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Oct 14, 2014 - 34 comments

The great thing about standards...

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).
posted by GuyZero on Oct 14, 2014 - 23 comments

Long live Þórr

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]
posted by Lemurrhea on Oct 10, 2014 - 83 comments

GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine

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.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl on Sep 26, 2014 - 8 comments

People should wear and eat seal as much as possible

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.
posted by GuyZero on Sep 23, 2014 - 92 comments

Age eclipsing gender as Canada's major income gap

Age as the new inequality. Full report here.
posted by cyml on Sep 23, 2014 - 36 comments

Inuit facial tattoos

Between the Lines: tracing the controversial history and recent revival of Inuit facial tattoos.
posted by Rumple on Sep 16, 2014 - 15 comments

To Find the Hand of Franklin Reaching For the Beaufort Sea

One of the Franklin Expedition ships has been found. The Franklin Expedition set off to find the fabled Northwest Passage in 1845. [more inside]
posted by Erasmouse on Sep 9, 2014 - 93 comments

Growing Number of Canadians Unprepared For Financial Emergency

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."
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Sep 8, 2014 - 19 comments

Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids

"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.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Sep 5, 2014 - 15 comments

have taxes your way

"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]
posted by flex on Aug 26, 2014 - 225 comments

Enough is enough.

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]
posted by jeather on Aug 22, 2014 - 31 comments

Goodbye & Good Luck!

"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]
posted by jbickers on Aug 21, 2014 - 20 comments

Oh Canada...

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.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 19, 2014 - 133 comments

The Cod Will Never Return, And We Must Go To Alberta

Every Canadian Novel Ever [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull on Aug 12, 2014 - 72 comments

Being Gay in Iran

"Farhad Dolatizadeh" writes about coming out and being outed in Iran. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Aug 10, 2014 - 15 comments

Abortion Crisis in New Brunswick

On July 18, the only Morgentaler Clinic in New Brunswick closed. Its closure has an interesting backstory and has sparked a fight. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Aug 8, 2014 - 7 comments

Two Danish visitors in car-centric Canada

Two tourists from Denmark spent five weeks travelling around Canada and, disappointed by the car-centric lifestyle, urban sprawl, lack of human-scale infrastructure and related obesity and unfulfilment, wrote an open letter to the powers that be, lamenting this and urging them to take radical steps to make Canada healthy, happy and sustainable. [more inside]
posted by acb on Aug 7, 2014 - 237 comments

to end all wars

First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers
"On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe" [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 4, 2014 - 27 comments

An ounce of prevention is an administrative violation

Relieving poverty is charitable, but preventing it is not. Oxfam Canada, while renewing its charitable status, got into an argument with the Canadian Revenue Agency over its purpose. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Jul 25, 2014 - 40 comments

A Child Booster Seat Built Into Its Buttocks

On July 27th, the cross Canada journey of hitchBOT will begin in Nova Scotia and make its way to BC as part of an experiment that looks at the interaction between people and increasingly ubiquitous technology.
posted by gman on Jul 25, 2014 - 18 comments

Frankly, my dear, I do give a damn

Meet Scarlett, North America's Top ranked Starcraft player. A complex, real-time strategy game with exquisitely balanced opposing forces, Starcraft is so popular that men can and do make a career out of playing the game. All but one of the top 20 ranked players in the world live and play in Korea. And all of them are men. So maybe it is not surprising that Scarlett, a 20 year-old transgender woman from Canada , is making huge waves in the gaming community.
posted by misha on Jul 22, 2014 - 37 comments

Big, Furry Asymmetrical Balls

"Bear", she cried, "I love you. Pull my head off." In 1976, the prestigeous Governor General's Literary Award went to Canada's arguably most controversial book: "Bear", by Marian Engel, describes a woman's "journey towards inner freedom and strength", via her erotic relationship with...a bear. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom on Jul 9, 2014 - 112 comments

Tsilhquot’in victory in the Supreme Court

On June 26, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of the Tsilhquot’in people in their title claim to more than 1700 square km of land in British Columbia. The case is a landmark, and was a unanimous decision, supported 8-0 by the justices. The decision, is the first time the Canadian courts have recognized full aboriginal title to a specific tract of land by, and experts in the field expect the ruling to have an impact on future title questions worldwide (from Vancouver Island to New Zealand, or, one might say, from PKOLS to Aotearoa) [more inside]
posted by chapps on Jul 8, 2014 - 37 comments

A Canadian perspective on the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model

The Walrus magazine looks into Toronto police shootings of the mentally ill and the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model:

Memphis, one-quarter of Toronto’s size but with a homicide rate nine times higher, has developed a progressive approach to de-escalate high-tension confrontations, improve police attitudes toward those suffering from mental illness, and divert them from the criminal justice system. The Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model centres on dispatching specially trained beat cops to emergency calls as quickly as possible, and giving them the authority to take charge of the scene. That approach triggered a revolution in policing that has now been emulated in 2,700 jurisdictions across the US, including large urban centres such as Chicago and Los Angeles. A handful of Canadian cities, among them Hamilton and Vancouver, have also adopted the CIT model. While the TPS has not, senior officials claim that all of its 5,500 uniformed officers receive some training in how to handle mental illness, which makes the recent proliferation of shootings that much more perplexing.
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 3, 2014 - 11 comments

Toronto Needs More Shirtless Joggers

Toronto Needs More Shirtless Joggers [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jul 3, 2014 - 98 comments

"Lime tainted with the sour taste of racism"

“We pride ourselves on our multiculturalism and inclusiveness, but what kind of message are we sending to visitors and new Canadians from that region (South Africa) when they see this racial slur being used for a trendy ingredient with no thought as to how hurtful it might be to a segment of our own population?”
The Vancouver Sun reports on the increasingly popular southeast Asian lime with the shockingly racist but obscure in Canada name. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 2, 2014 - 109 comments

Canadianisms

55 Canadianisms You May Not Know or Are Using Differently
A (non-scientific) survey providing a thorough & fascinating look at words in Canadian English [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 1, 2014 - 245 comments

Beware of Wildlife: Use at Own Risk

“Pawzing Workout, Resuming Workout” [YouTube] – A black bear encounter while running in Matcheetawin Trails, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
posted by D.C. on Jun 29, 2014 - 45 comments

Ontario Voted

Between 9am and 9pm yesterday, the people of (the province of, not the city) Ontario took to the polls to elect a new government and (possibly) a new premier. Things did not turn out exactly as predicted. [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Jun 13, 2014 - 128 comments

Problem solved!

After the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canadian prostitution laws (previously), the Conservative Party has introduced new measures that would legalize the sale of sex, but that also criminalize the purchase of sex or soliciting in public, print or online. [more inside]
posted by Reversible Diamond-Encrusted Ermine Codpiece on Jun 4, 2014 - 39 comments

RIP

Knowlton Nash, former long-time host of CBC's flagship news program The National, died yesterday, aged 86. [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on May 25, 2014 - 24 comments

Norse in the Canadian Arctic?

Over the past three decades, a Canadian archaeologist found compelling evidence of a Norse settlement in the Canadian Arctic. Then she was fired. [more inside]
posted by Brodiggitty on May 24, 2014 - 48 comments

Lowering the Bar

"The Parties Do Not Need a Judge; They Need a Rather Stern Kindergarten Teacher"
posted by flabdablet on May 21, 2014 - 46 comments

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