"I need to tell you about the Cirque of the Unclimbables. Ever since I went there, I’ve tried to describe it to friends and family, tried to explain its power and its perfection. It is, I tell people, the best natural campsite I have ever visited. It’s also among the most beautiful eyefuls of landscape I’ve ever seen — its rock walls more overpowering than Zion’s, in Utah, its evening light more perfect than Hawaii’s, its peaks more menacing than Denali, and its stillness more complete than the deep rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula. It’s a place that forces me to reach for comparisons from fiction: It’s “Lord of the Rings,” I tell people. It’s Mordor crossed with the Shire."
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. [Toronto Star] [Autoplay Video]
A heart-wrenching and damning report culminates a six-year examination of residential schools that oversaw the ill-treatment of aboriginal children for more than a century. It pieces together a horrifying history that has been repeatedly dismissed or ignored.[more inside]
A video from Rainbow Health Ontario interviews three bisexual people and their partners about support and identity within relationships. Part of a series including friends and parents. (Bi defined broadly in video.) Other links below the cut... [more inside]
Adnan Khan: ‘Our Brownness Does Not Belong Here’
“It has nothing to do with you, it has everything to do with everyone else.” Canadian reporter Shauna Hunt confronts the young men who were vulgar and sexually harassing her as she tried to do her job. [more inside]
Canadian government signals intent to use hate speech laws against Israel boycott. Canada is not alone. In France, "more than 20 have been convicted" of hate speech for boycott advocacy. This apparently reflects a diplomatic push from the Israeli government. In addition, last month, the Israeli high court upheld a law allowing businesses to sue boycott advocates for lost sales, on the grounds that boycotts may be "political terror."
WHO CARES whose picture they put on the US$20 bill? (previously, currently) Because Canada is putting Bugs Bunny, Tweety & Sylvester, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote and even Marvin the Martian on coins!!!
also en Français, because Canada
also en Français, because Canada
"I think we might have made a little bit of history tonight." Alberta, Canada's most conservative province, the home of the oil/tar sands, and most of Canada's oil and gas industry, has elected a majority NDP government. And one run by a woman, at that. [more inside]
"In four short weeks, the sure-thing election about nothing has turned into an election about everything; a historic campaign that could spell the end of the 44-year Progressive Conservative political dynasty, or see them snatch another stunning victory from the jaws of defeat." Alberta goes to the polls May 5 in their 29th general election. It has turned out to be a far more interesting campaign than many thought at the outset. [more inside]
“I asked, ‘Why are you here?’ He said ‘pot.’ Later I saw him and asked, ‘What did you get?’ He said he got a $150 fine. And for selling maple syrup, I have a $424,000 fine. There is something wrong with this picture.”
An oral history of The Littlest Hobo, Canada's greatest TV show.
"My second episode was a few years later, as a DEA agent who was tracking some drug smuggling that was going on in a movie unit. So I was undercover as a vampire in this movie. And the dog was helping me unearth the bad guys."
"I’ve been interrogated by police more than 50 times—all because I’m black." Desmond Cole writes in Toronto Life about his experiences with being carded and harassed by police.
Retrontario remembers Johnny Cash advertising for Canada Trust, along with several other advertisements from the 80s.
"I am in the depths of despair." Jonathan Crombie, the raven-haired actor best known to a generation of literature lovers as Gilbert Blythe in the classic Anne of Green Gables miniseries(es), has died at age 48 of an apparent brain hemorrhage.
Bridge scene (ending) in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel [more inside]
Bridge scene (ending) in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel [more inside]
The Local Eyes Project is an effort to explore the Americas through the eyes of 12 local residents in Canada, the United States, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, by sending them a disposable camera and asking them to take "travel photos." [more inside]
What’s a student strike? Can the education minister cancel the semester? How many students are in the streets? Though it may have appeared spontaneous, the student strike of 2012 took a year and a half of preparation. Since last fall, Quebec students, along with other elements of civil society such as unions and NGOs, have been mobilizing against Liberal premier Philippe Couillard’s austerity policies, typified by deep cuts to public services. That mobilization led to this week’s strike. [more inside]
The new host of Q has been announced! It's Shad / Shadrach Kabango. Some coverage at the Globe and the Mothership. [more inside]
Rocket Boy was a short-lived Canadian TV series. Starring Dave Thomas, Ron James, and an assortment of Thomas' SCTV comrades. Sadly, the series is not displayable on the internet. [more inside]
Canada, long considered a "global outlier" on compensation for thalidomide survivors, has announced new lump sum compensation payments. [more inside]
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)