"Canada exists for no natural reason.... [This] is not to say that no significant differences exist between Canadians and Americans — just that our shared national border, unlike those of Europe, was not shaped by linguistic and ethnic variations. The War of 1812 made all the difference here. A complicated and unpleasant struggle, mostly forgotten, sundered our two countries. And that struggle is now 200 years old, which makes this as good a time as any to start remembering."
Today we learn that Neil Hope, popularly known as Wheels from Degrassi Junior High passed away - in 2007
The true name of the man most famously known as Lord George Gordon Gordon will likely never be known. His name, though false, will nevertheless live in history for pulling one of the great advance-fee cons of all time, swindling in 1872 over a million dollars out of Jay Gould, most unscrupulous of all the robber barons and no stranger himself to a long con. Gould's quest for revenge would nearly lead to a military invasion of Manitoba by the Minnesota state militia. [more inside]
About 13 km (8 miles) north of the US/Canada border is Spotted Lake (Google Maps/streetview), a endorheic basin, or terminal lake. In wetter times, the lake is full, but spots are visible. During the summer months, the water level drops, leaving spots of mineral-rich water. The waters have long been considered therapeutic, and one story cites a truce in a battle to allow both warring tribes to tend to their wounded in the lake. Though a sacred medicine lake of the Okanagan People, the lake and the land around it were privately owned for 40 years. Mineral-rich salts were harvested during World War I for munitions, and decades later, the land owners were looking to mine the mud to sell for use in therapeutic spas. In 2001, the land was finally purchased by the The Indian Affairs Department and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. kłlil'xw is property of the Okanagan Nation once more. [more inside]
Canada's attempts to alter its Copyright bills over the past 7 years have all failed, often dying when an election is called. Attempts at implementing so called "Lawful Access" legislation have also previously died in the House of Commons. Yesterday, Bill c-30, "the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act" was introduced by Vic Toews, Minster of Public Safety, accompanied by one of the harbringer states of the "Four Horsemen of the Infopocolypse", "[one] can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.". The interent has a history of responding poorly to politicians trying to limit online freedoms and didn't respond to nicely to Vic Toews wanting to know more about your life. Meet @Vikileaks30, a twitter account exposing portions of Vic Toews acrimonious divorce proceedings, adultery, and public accounts bills. [more inside]
Through a Glass, Smartly Larry Sherk is one of the world's foremost brewerianists, a collector of beer stuff who over 40 years has amassed the country's second-largest private collection of beer labels (about 3,000), many of which date to the late 1800s. [more inside]
Canadian queer magazine Xtra! has found itself at the center of controversy after refusing to refer to certain transgendered interviewees by their preferred pronoun: "they." [more inside]
Taxali is not my original last name. It was changed 300 years ago to Taxali by a Maharaja in India. My ancestor invented a coin that was difficult to counterfeit and was subsequently knighted Taxali by the Maharaja. It means, "Maker or Steward of The Mint". How serendipitous!! Here I am, 300 years later, honouring my ancestor's achievements and mine and my sister's family name. via [Drawn]
Today on Rewind a remarkable historical piece that features two American icons who clashed over issues of corruption and misappropriation of funds in the 1950s and 60s. They are Robert Kennedy- former Attorney General of the United States, but at the time Chief Investigator of the Rackets Committee for the United States Senate, and James Hoffa- head of the Teamsters Union. (MP3) [more inside]
In July 2011, Uganda's Little League baseball team became the first African team to qualify for the Little League World Series, which was held in Williamsport, Pa., in August 2011. After beating the the 22-time World League qualifying Arabian American Little League squad from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the Ugandan team couldn't take part in the world series after their visas were denied (NYT; alt: HuffPo), due to concerns about birth certificate validity, but that's not the end of their story. The Canadian team from Langley raised funds to travel to Uganda, giving the Ugandan team the match they were denied. [more inside]
In an editorial (PDF) in the Canadian Medical Association Journal this week, interim Editor-in-Chief Rajendra Kale suggests that the sex of a fetus, determined by ultrasound, should not be revealed until after 30 weeks of pregnancy to prevent the selective abortion of females, common in other countries and taking place in some immigrant communities in Canada. [more inside]
Catch 167: Harper government pulls rug out from under non-Canadian gay couples who married here in good faith
Ottawa does about face on same-sex marriage for non-Canadians. The Harper government has served notice that thousands of same-sex couples who flocked to Canada from abroad since 2004 to get married are not legally wed. The reversal of federal policy is revealed in a document filed in a Toronto test case launched recently by a lesbian couple seeking a divorce.... The government’s hard line has cast sudden doubt on the rights and legal status of couples who wed in Canada after a series of court decisions opened the floodgates to same-sex marriage. The mechanics of determining issues such as tax status, employment benefits and immigration have been thrown into legal limbo. [The lesbian couple's] divorce application will be considered next month by an Ontario Superior Court judge. They are asking the judge to either craft an exemption allowing them to divorce or to strike down any legislative provision that has the effect of preventing them from doing so. [more inside]
Canada declares its "canadacy" in the race for US President (The Canada Party on Twitter; also spotted on HuffPo)
The Montreal Screwjob (part 1, part 2, aftermath) - as remembered by Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels,and Vince McMahon (previously)
"In 1999, Toronto-based photographer Jeff Harris began taking a photo of himself each day as an alternative to all those diaries he started but couldn't keep up. But what began as a self-portrait project has evolved considerably in its 13 years. Harris' photographs aren't the typical, self-portrait vanity projects that crop up on YouTube now and again. Instead, he used the project to inspire him in his daily life, to go out and do something that would get him off his couch....This story becomes even more incredible as it progresses, but it's difficult to explain without cheapening it."* So watch it now [video || 05:26].
Garth Turner, former Member of Parliament and current entertaining, curmudgeonly, and well-informed Greater Fool blogger about Canadian real estate -- and the world economy generally -- gives his predictions for 2012. The main one, IMO, is the one that he talks about relentlessly in his postings: "Most people won't get it."
Grierson believed strongly that the filmmaker had a social responsibility, and that film could help a society realize democratic ideals. His absolute faith in the value of capturing the drama of everyday life was to influence generations of filmmakers all over the world. In fact, he coined the term "documentary film." [more inside]
Mark Carney: the man who speaks the truth. Toronto Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson recommends a recent speech by Bank of Canada head Mark Carney. "Most fundamentally, current events mark a rupture. Advanced economies have steadily increased leverage [i.e. debt] for decades. That era is now decisively over. The direction may be clear, but the magnitude and abruptness of the process are not. It could be long and orderly or it could be sharp and chaotic. How we manage it will do much to determine our relative prosperity." [more inside]
This is a subject of but small importance; and I know not whether it will interest any readers, but it has interested me.
CN Turbo Train Part 2, part 3, 1970 Film. Canada Off the Rails: You know the story of the Avro Arrow, now discover how Canada fell from leader to laggard in another cutting edge, vastly profitable, globally relevant transportation industry, where Canadians had held a strong lead, until this Canadian homegrown industry was derailed; high-speed derailed... CN Turbo Train - "3:59" - The Lost Film (the high speed rail flickr pool is recommended viewing). [more inside]
Canada is planning to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty. CBC, BBC, AFP. The Herald Sun claims that this is to allow shale sands oil extraction.
Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress of Victoria, Canada sells you mattresses via star trek (and superman and batman and...)
The U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border agreement is wide-ranging in its impact. Indeed, Prime Minister Harper referred to it Wednesday as "the most significant step forward in Canada-U.S. co-operation since (NAFTA)". This deal promises regulatory alignment (including the food and automotive sectors), quicker border crossings for business or travel (with pre-clearance options), and "screened once, accepted twice" cargo. Perhaps the biggest concern for Canadians however are the changes this agreement could have for their privacy. [more inside]
Keeping wildlife, an amphibious rodent, for uh, domestic, you know, within the city — that ain't legal, either. But in the outskirts of Calgary, that's just adorable.
The history of Toronto in photos is 90 some odd posts linked to provide a thematically organized visual overview. The vast majority of the photographs featured derive from the Toronto Archives. Should you be interested in a less visually oriented take on Toronto history, there is also the Nostalgia Tripping series, which was designed to be a bit more about storytelling than just the photos.
The Canadian government has put a negative spin on the state of emergency and situation at Attawapiskat, in northern Ontario. A Plains Cree speaking Metis woman in Montreal has prepared an excellent series of responses to the major comments being generated by the crisis at Attawapiskat. (Via:âpihtawikosisân)
"The best way I can describe our predicament to someone outside our culture is to call up the sensation of orgasm. You lose control of your destiny, and you are grateful for the loss. Time dissolves. Nothing that came before matters. You lose all sense of consequences and would sacrifice anything to safeguard the moment. Then, just seconds later, the blighted past and an uncertain future rush back in to drown you." Michael Harris writes in Walrus Magazine about coming of age in the long shadow of the AIDS epidemic. via utne. [more inside]
Street Skiing in Nelson, BC. Gorgeous cinematography of skiing down the snowy climbs and alleyways in city of Nelson BC. Watch the sparks fly. [Vimeo]
It's smooth, it's stretchy, it's waterproof - Canada's new currency feels a lot like the celluloid film you used to load into your old-fashioned camera. [more inside]
This year the CBC Massey Lectures celebrates fifty years with bestselling author, essayist, cultural observer, and famed New Yorker contributor Adam Gopnik. His subject is winter - the season, the space, the cycle. Gopnik takes us on an intimate tour of the artists, poets, composers, writers, explorers, scientists, and thinkers, who helped shape a new and modern idea of winter. Listen to Winter: Five Windows on the Season Streaming files for this years lecture will be available until Friday, November 18. [more inside]
lululemon athletica, the "yoga-inspired athletic apparel company", has rapidly become a brand fixture in the Pacific Northwest since its founding by Chip Wilson in 1998. Recently, a strange ode to Ayn Rand appeared on their website, and a "Who Is John Galt?" advertising campaign has adorned company packaging this November. Meanwhile, one of their employees has been convicted in the bizarre murder of a co-worker, in which the employees of a neighbouring Apple Store ignored the victim's cries for help.
Esi Edugyan wins the Giller Prize, the richest prize for English fiction in Canada ($50,000 to the winner). Those on the shortlist get $5,000 each.
Vintage photographs of Toronto at night is brought to you by the same people who put out Toronto in photos from the 1850s to the 1990s, and several other sets linked within.
While Occupy Wall Street has captured the attention of major American politicians, its counterpart in Canada has been mainly a municipal headache. Despite inequality north of the border rising at a comparable rate, and similar political sentiments, most Canadians also believe the movement is ineffective, though their hearts are in the right place. As the movement slows as winter weather sets in, cities are taking various measures to discourage the protests, hoping a combination of inconvenience and weather will disperse the encampments. [more inside]
Global British Columbia Sports Anchor Barry Deley wins lotto home draw, live on his own TV channel. But it turns out he's got an even more personal connection to the lottery.
Vancouver aims to "end homelessness by 2015". Officials have been working over the years to reduce the city’s homelessness, and in July passed an ambitious plan that targets eliminating street homelessness by 2015 and creating nearly 40,000 new units of social, rental, and condo housing by 2021. The plan is aimed at building multiple types of housing to address shortages, but the first three years focus mainly on supportive and social housing. It calls for 3,650 units of such housing, 1,700 of which are already funded and in either the planning or construction phase. According to city councilor Kerry Jang, the need for this type of supportive housing has skyrocketed in recent years.
The government of Canada has decided to end the Canadian Wheat Board's single desk system for the sale and export of wheat and barley. This has been on the Conservative agenda for some time now, despite some claims that farmers support the Wheat Board. Many are suggesting that the repercussions could stretch beyond wheat farmers; including concern for the town of Churchill, known mostly for the local bear population, which does 95% of their port business through the Wheat Board.
A history and primer of the Wheat Board.
It's co-op week on metafiler?
A history and primer of the Wheat Board.
It's co-op week on metafiler?
With the Ontario provincial election campaign still extremely close (warning: PDF link) in its last days, the Conservative party sends out a gay-baiting and trans-baiting direct-mail ad. [more inside]
A series of emails released through a Freedom of Information Act request shine light on collusion between the United States government and TransCanada, a corporation building a controversial pipeline from the Canadian Athabasca oil sands into its southern neighbor. The controversy extends beyond the currently poor safety record for delivering oil between the two countries, and beyond the environmental and health consequences of the oil extraction process for locals and the cost of climate changes it will contribute to, all the way to legal wrangling between Canadian media and Saudi Arabia over the "death panels"-like term "ethical oil", based upon a conservative group's advertising that argues that the purchase of Canadian-sourced oil is a morally superior act, because of oppression of women and human rights violations by the Saudi kingdom.
In Canada, "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" is sung to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down, and is super depressing..
SCC approves safe injection sites. The Supreme Court of Canada today ordered the federal government to stop its efforts to shut down a safe injection clinic in Vancouver, opening the door to more clinics opening across the country. [more inside]
Frédéric Back was born in 1924 in France, where he studied drawing and lithography. He was lured to Canada by Jack London's stories and Clarence Gagnon's paintings, as well as correspondence with a Canadian pen-pal. Back moved to Canada in 1948, married his pen-pal Ghylaine Paquin, and was hired by Radio Canada at the birth of their television network to create still images for display on and to promote moving pictures. The drawings lead to experiments with animations, which lead to a series of animated shorts, starting with the wordless short Abracadabra (9:23, YT) in 1970. You can read and see more about Frédéric Back on his extensive website, and see more animations inside. [more inside]
Human foot washes up on beach near Vancouver for 11th time in four years Previously - The DNA matchup - previously again
Realtors in Cars is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these agencies got their realtors wedged into their cars, or why.
Comic Syrup. A Blog About Canadian Comic Books.
First Air flight 6560 crashed yesterday in Canada's High Arctic. Fifteen passengers were on board, including four crew and eleven passengers. All the crew members were killed in the crash, while three pasengers survived. The plane crashed five miles from the airport in Resolute. Rescue efforts began immediately, as hundreds of military personnel were in Resolute participating in the annual Arctic military exercise Operation Nanook, an operation which includes an exercise in which military personnel respond to a mock air disaster. As a result, military helicopters, medical personnel, Canadian Coast Guard, and local fire and medical crews were on site and ready to respond immediately.
Yonge Street: Toronto Rock & Roll Stories. This documentary series by Bravo tells the story of Toronto's early rock scene, when "the Devil's music" stormed Toronto and Yonge Street became an essential destination for musicians, singers and music fans not only in Toronto but across Canada and beyond. [more inside]