On April 7th, Quebeckers will head to the polls because of a snap election called by the PQ minority government.
Of course, as in this part of Canada, election time is never without controversy. Between Liberal leader Phillippe Couillard touting the benefits of bilingualism
and CAQ leader Francois LeGault presenting his budget if his party is elected
, it all pales to this past weekend's announcement that Quebec media oligarch Pierre Karl Peladeau is running in a riding for the Parti Quebecois
. [more inside]
Postal History Corner: Canadian Postal and Philatelic History
is chock full of fascinating information and high quality images and has been doing so for four years. [more inside]
26 year-old Inuk woman Loretta Saunders was working on an Honours thesis studying the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal women of Canada. Her supervisor called her proposal "the most beautifully written and cared-for assignment I had ever read in seven years of university teaching."
Two weeks ago, Loretta disappeared and fell out of contact with family and friends. Yesterday police confirmed that her body had been found in the median of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Her disappearance is now being treated as a homicide. [more inside]
John Chen's Plan to Save Blackberry Over all, Chen wants BlackBerry to transform itself from being a “mobile technology company” that pushes handset sales to “a mobile solution company” that takes a broader approach to serving the mobile computing needs of its customers. Remaining in the handset business is important—for now, at least. “I think devices are still one component of the solution,” Chen says. “The question is, Do we need to be in the device business? That remains to be seen.”
This documentary pokes fun at the ways in which Inuit people have been treated as “exotic” documentary subjects by turning the lens onto the strange behaviours of Qallunaat (the Inuit word for white people). The term refers less to skin colour than to a certain state of mind: Qallunaat greet each other with inane salutations, repress natural bodily functions, complain about being cold, and want to dominate the world. Their odd dating habits, unsuccessful attempts at Arctic exploration, overbearing bureaucrats and police, and obsession with owning property are curious indeed.
A collaboration between filmmaker Mark Sandiford and Inuit writer and satirist Zebedee Nungak, Qallunaat! brings the documentary form to an unexpected place in which oppression, history, and comedy collide.
Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny
As part of a Globe and Mail series on the North
exploring Canada's last frontier, writer Ian Brown and photojournalist Peter Power learn that the High Arctic, touted as Canada’s future, is like nothing any southerner expects
. [more inside]
Made by Brad
Brad can't read or talk, but he can put together complex furniture. [more inside]
Public hearings of Quebec's controversial Charter of Values is set to begin today.
The proposal of Charter of Values
seems to be a divisive issue in the province for native Francophones, Anglophones, and allophones. It has led to a rise of ugly incidents.
, the Prime Minister of Canada, has become notorious
for the way his government treats science
. The latest news concerns the shutting of 7 of 9 regional DFO
libraries across the country. Despite claims that the collections have been digitized, alarming reports
that a lot of the materials, some dating back to the 19th century, were simply junked
On a wooded hillside outside Vladivostok, Russia, fourteen Canadians found their final resting place in 1919. Five others died at sea. They were ordinary folk who had enlisted in the closing days of the Great War for service in an unlikely theatre — Siberia. Consisting of 4,209 men and one woman, Canada's Siberian Expedition mobilized alongside a dozen Allied armies in a bid to defeat Lenin’s Bolsheviks. The mission failed — in the face of a robust partisan insurgency, divided Allied strategies, and heated domestic opposition. This is their story
, including over 2,000 photographs and images
. Also available in French
The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down Canada's prostitution laws
saying that bans on street soliciting, brothels and people living off the avails of prostitution are arbitrary and create severe dangers for vulnerable women. [more inside]
This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org [more inside]
Who's influencing reproductive policy in Canada?
Unfortunately, the difference between the religious right in Canada and our neighbours to the south is not so much doctrinal as it is window dressing. The Tea Party’s "late term abortion" red herring with its attendant gruesome imagery very much parallels the "gender-selection" trope of the Conservative base in Canada. It’s a matter of media and public relations, knowing your audience and playing to its sympathies.
In a deal worth $5.2-billion
, Canadian media conglomerate Rogers
has obtained broadcasting rights to NHL games across Canada for the next 12 years
. While the NHL
and its players
appear to come out winners, the deal
is a blow to Canada's other media conglomerate Bell
, whose sports network TSN
has lost all national NHL programming
just five years after winning the rights to the iconic Hockey Night in Canada theme song
from public broadcaster CBC, home to HNIC
for over 60 years
. As for the CBC
, they will retain rights to broadcast games for four years in what president Hubert Lacroix described
as a "partnership"
where they will pay nothing, make nothing, and have no control over content
. Considering HNIC is the only CBC English-language programming that consistently places in Canada's top 25 English TV shows
and allegedly brings in up to 50% of its ad revenue and 30% of its audience
, speculation regarding the future
of a hockey-free CBC
, last brought up during last year's NHL lock-up
, with many characterizing
it as a crisitunity
for a clueless
Welcome to Fort McMoney,
an interactive documentary game. [more inside]
The Canadian Press has released
minutes from the Cabinet's discussions of abortion. The conversations began after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unconstitutional
the restrictions on abortion (wiki)
. [more inside]
are a little-known group of underground rappers, producers, and DJs originally centred around Ottawa and Toronto in the 1990s with a sci-fi/conspiracy-theory/metaphysics/outer-space bent. [more inside]
A Rob Ford video has been found by Toronto cops.
Toronto police chief Bill Blair says the video cannot be released or described, and will be placed before the courts because some unnamed person will be charged with extortion. While he never mentions the word "crack", he does say that the video is congruent with what has been described in the media and does not appear to have been doctored. [more inside]
Astronaut Chris Hadfield (previously
) reflects on his career, life on the International Space Station, and the challenges of returning home (as well as commercial spaceflight and the film Gravity
) in an interview with the Guardian
Got a minute
for Canadian history and some CanCon
)? Great! Because Heritage Minutes
are just that - 60 seconds of history from Canada's past. To date, there have been over 70 short segments produced, and you can watch them online at Historica Canada
, and read about people and events below the videos. If you don't know where to start, here are the top 5 minutes
according to a poll from 2012, and the top 10 from Macleans
. But if that's all too serious for you, there are also parodies
, plus more in this YouTube playlist
isoHunt shuts down, Vancouver operator ordered to pay $110 million US fine A Vancouver resident has agreed to shut down his popular downloading website and pay a $110-million fine after settling a long legal fight with the Motion Picture Association of America.
Gary Fung ran isohunt.com, a search engine for BitTorrent files, which helped users find virtually every type of copyrighted material, including music, movies, computer software, ebooks and pornography.
As of Friday, the site stated it linked to 13.7 million active BitTorrent files with 51 million users either uploading or download them.
According to Alexa.com, it ranked as the 423rd top site on the web for global traffic and 167th in Canada.
On his blog, Fung said he was "sad to see my baby go." [more inside]
CBC host Peter Oldring discusses
customer services at Canadian border crossings with Officer Murray Swift. Five minutes of unbelievable audio.
What is the case for Canada merging with the USA?
With the heady 200th anniversary of the War of 1812
still fresh in our memories, Dual Citizen and Editor at Large of leading Canadian newspaper The National Post, Diane Francis
, has written a book
proposing "the merger of the century"
describing five models for how these two great nations could join as one, and estimating Canada's resource value to the US at about C$17 trillion (US$16.5 trillion)
. Reactions have been mixed
This fall, why not kayak down a drainage ditch
at speeds of 35 mph?
The most Irish island in the world
. Booker Prize winning author Anne Enright travels to the edge of Newfoundland. (single page version, may trigger printer).
Canadian self-described "Freemen" in Alberta
have recently attracted a great deal of public attention to themselves. The justice system generally takes a very dim view of their shenanigans
, as laid out in one of the most comprehensively researched and bizarre judgment issued in recent memory. Here's a general overview and debunking of the arguments they use
. [more inside]
For several months
, bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands has been leaching out of the ground
near Cold Lake, Alberta
, so far amounting to roughly half of the oil leaked in the Enbridge-caused disaster
in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Nearby sites of high-pressure steam injection used to extract the bitumen (and which is already associated with violent seismic activity in natural gas fracking operations) are suspected to have caused fractures that push bitumen "sideways" and out to the surface. As Vice
reporter Sarah Berman notes, "The oozing leaks will continue until the underground pressure subsides. How long that will take is anybody’s guess.
" While tons of contaminated vegetation and dead animals have been removed from the sites, access to the region and to government data by First Nation representatives has been repeatedly denied
"Life is so difficult," reads one reply. "It breaks us down, challenges us, pushes us to the very depths of desperation and darkness. These are the times when we need each other the most." Via. [more inside]
How the Conservative Party in Canada got in bed with Gay Rights
in two decades or less:
The move allowed the Conservative government to poke a stick in Iran’s eye, and help a genuinely in-need refugee constituency, all at one blow. As a bonus, such steps help create a bulwark against radicalism in our immigrant population. “When you’re dealing with a country like Iran, gay asylum seekers are exactly the ones you want,” says Mr. Raphael. “In general, these are precisely the people who you can guarantee don’t support the Iranian regime back home. They’re going to bring in a more secular, moderate perspective.”
Webcomics artist Sarah Becan
and her partner traveled to Montreal in June. She illustrated the culinary highlights
of their trip for Saveur magazine.
gives us a comparison of Google Search Suggestions By Country
for America, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
Of the many available documentaries about the pianist Glenn Gould
, "Genius within - The inner life of Glenn Gould
" is one of the more thoughtful ones. [more inside]
John Morillo of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, will apparently not turn down a dare, even if it causes an international incident and racks up fines in the five figures. For instance, if you tell him he can't swim from Windsor to Detroit across a busy shipping lane, he'll do it
(with the assistance of eight beers). And he'll swim back
, too, as evidenced by the fact that the U.S. Coast Guard found him on the Canadian side. As Morillo said, "If I’m going to be in the paper, I’d at least like them to say I actually made it, even though I got in trouble and everything." [more inside]
The Sardine Museum
with host Tony Nunziata (part two
, part three
, part four
, part five
). Bonus: Tony tells a short story
. [more inside]
Before the 1980 Act of Parliament
which made O Canada
the national anthem of Canada, the anthem was functionally God Save the Queen
, but there was another patriotic song which served as the unofficial anthem: The Maple Leaf Forever
. The song was written
by poet Alexander Muir
in October of 1867 to celebrate the confederation of Canada in July of that year and was famously inspired by a silver maple which stood in his front yard
on Laing St in Toronto. Last night's storms brought the tree down
, after a century and a half. [more inside]