The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today, in a 6-3 decision, that a person cannot give advance consent to sexual activity while unconscious. [more inside]
On the same morning that Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi struck down Wisconsin's infamous union-busting bill on the grounds that it violated the state's Open Meetings Law (PDF of decision, previously), Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed America's first state-level single-payer legislation into law. [more inside]
A bridge builder, a student of how societies hold together; an advocate of dialogue. Standing against polarized and simplistic styles of thought. Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor is Canada's best known and most widely read contemporary thinker. In books like Sources of the Self and A Secular Age, he has attempted to define the unique character of the modern age. He maps the fault-lines in our modern identity, and points to both the pitfalls and the promise of our condition. Learn about his life, history, upbringing, and... ideas. Now available, CBC IDEAS in five one-hour parts: the malaise of modernity (this special program has the same title as the 1991 Massey Lecture of the same name, but is not the same [MP3's, get them now, they will go away, and then you can only stream them]). One, Two, Three, Four, Five. [more inside]
Political shifts mustn’t threaten Canada’s unity, vision. An opinion piece by (the much loved and/or hated)Preston Manning about the recent Canadian election, and how it will affect Quebec's relationship with the rest of Canada.
Recognize Immigrant Credentials is a series of Canadian PSAs that are at once funny and heart-breaking.
Montreal-born actor William Shatner, 80, sings the National Anthem of Canada to show his appreciation for getting a Lifetime Achievement Award from Canada's Governor General, the greatest honour given to artists in the country (and yeah, in fact it comes with some cash).
Chester Brown's autobiographical works such as I Never Liked You (1.3 MB PDF) placed #38 on The Comics Journal's list of the 100 Best Comics of the 20th Century. In his new graphic novel, Paying For It, he "calmly lays out the facts of how he became not only a willing participant in but also a vocal proponent of one of the world's most hot-button topics--prostitution".
12 maps of the recent federal election in Canada. See also this large PDF map posted by Elections Canada.
"Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, a professor at the U of A Department of Medicine, has shown that dichloroacetate (DCA) causes regression in several cancers, including lung, breast, and brain tumors. " Between rumors that pharmaceutical companies have no interest in this discovery because it can't be patented and quacks jumping on the bandwagon to sell home made DCA to hopeful cancer patients for self medication, things are not exactly going the way Dr. Michelakis would have probably hoped.
The Don Cherry Jacket Watch. Amazing, mind-blowing garishness.
This kite-aerial photography (KAP) gallery flies through Seattle, NW Washington, Peace Arch, and a Burning Man festival. [more inside]
Election Day in Canada. The Globe and Mail's guide to voting and watching the federal election. [more inside]
Starting in the summer of 2009, Southern Souls began by capturing unique performances by musicians that call southern Ontario home. Seeing musicians play in the places that they live and breathe, places they themselves have chosen—in the street, in a store, in a kitchen or bedroom—is almost a homecoming for the music itself, returning it to the places in which it started.[more inside]
Grandmothers are agitated to the point of singing K’naan songs. This basically concerns the frustration over the Canadian Senate killing Bill C-393 (a law to facilitate production of cheaper life saving HIV/AIDS drugs for developing countries). With the new election looming, the “Grannies” would like to see folks use aidsaction.ca to email their candidates and ask them about their Access to Medicines stance.
Despite the federal election focus on BC ridings, Vancouverites are having a hard time looking past the municipal. Things are quite dramatic in the urban planning scene. The city's regional growth plan was recently paralyzed by disagreement from Coquitlam. TransLink announced permanent cuts to bus service during Earth Week, describing it as "service optimization," highlighting its own chronic funding issues. The city successfully stopped a "megacasino" project after community backlash, but the $3 billion freeway Gateway Project continues despite ongoing protests. As the city struggles to find its way to the goal of Greenest City 2020, it's a good time to look at the paths not taken, via this excellent podcast on Vancouver's relationship with roadways. Part of a series called "Moving Through" from the Museum of Vancouver. [more inside]
Vancouver comedian Guy Earle and the restaurant he was performing at were fined a combined C$22,500 by the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal after a 2007 incident where Earle mocked a member of the audience. [more inside]
Though mentioned intermittently, Mr. Harper's determination to muzzle critics will not be a “ballot box question” for most Canadians when they vote. Yet the implications for a Canada ruled by an unrestrained Harper majority government are obvious, and terrifying. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has now published an excellent commentary by Maria Gergin called “Silencing Dissent: The Conservative Record”. [via Gerald Caplan for the Globe and Mail] [more inside]
"The truth is, I see myself as a girl that types instead of talking out of my mouth. I don't really see anything so special about that."
From an early age, it was clear that Carly Fleishmann had autism. Furthermore, she couldn't speak, and professionals who had diagnosed her considered her moderately to severely cognitively impaired. Therapy helped, but she still wasn't able to speak. Then at age ten, working with a computer equipped with pictures and symbols, she started typing and spelling words. She started with single words, then wrote sentences, describing how she felt, and how she wanted people to treat her. Her story has been presented on a variety of shows, often with insight provided by Carly that she typed with one finger. As her writing ability has improved over the years, she has shared her thoughts through her blog (and as a guest on Larry King's blog), on her own Twitter feed, and Facebook page. Now 16, she recently appeared again on TV, talking through her writing (transcript). [more inside]
The Canadian Pirate Party is official, registered, and running 10-12 candidates in the current federal election. The recent debate over usage-based billing convinced at least one of its candidates of its potential appeal to voters. They are unabashedly an issue-based party, whose platform deals with intellectual property, privacy, net neutrality, and government access/openness. [more inside]
"If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia." - Margaret Atwood
Dear Canada: [SLYT] An Open Letter to Canada.
Shit Harper Did Does exactly what it says on the can. Example: "Canadian PM Stephen Harper weakened regulations so that more pesticide residue could be left on your fruits and vegetables." "Harper decorated the government lobby in parliament with photos of just himself, instead of the traditional portraits of former Prime Ministers." And much more.
1980SLYT: Kim Mitchell* - "Go For a Soda" (1984). In whiche our protagonist experiences his favorite rock singer (1) step out of the television, (2) do a little dance on the table, and (3) join his band in the refrigerator. All while singing a Hard Rock Anthem about the joys of S-O-D-A. [ *wiki • via the voice of great antiquity's great blog post about being a contestant on Jeopardy. via jessamyn ]
The German weekly newspaper Die Zeit shows Americans (and a few Canadians) what a Fukushima-sized evacuation zone might mean to them.
"The Harper government misinformed Parliament to win approval for a $50-million G8 fund that lavished money on dubious projects in a Conservative riding, the auditor general has concluded." Or maybe not - the final report won't be released until Parliament is sitting again. Or, maybe not - John Baird says the Conservative party would agree to a release of the final report.
A Political Meltdown: For decades, Canada has been a world leader in the production of medical isotopes. So why did the government announce that it was dumping the entire program? (alt)
Survival, Strength, Sisterhood: Power of Women in the Downtown Eastside (Vimeo link; possibly triggering) is a 2011 short film by Alejandro Zuluaga and Harsha Walia, based on a concept by the Downtown Eastside Power of Women Group (TRT 32:00). [more inside]
"A group of Inuit experts, community researchers, and university researchers, have worked together over the past several years to document specialized Inuit knowledge about sea ice." [more inside]
The Government of Canada has fallen after a 156-145 contempt motion passed in Parliament. The contempt motion came after a Parliamentary committee found (PDF link) that the government failed to provide adequate information on the costs of crime legislation. Stephen Harper will go to the Governor-General on Saturday to request an election.
Yesterday Air Canada said it would stop shipments of all cargo to the U.S.A. due to an "emergency change to US security" [more inside]
Public servants from four different departments have confirmed to The Canadian Press that they received a directive late last year that the words "Government of Canada" in federal communications be replaced with "Harper Government." [more inside]
Waterlife — No matter where we live, the Great Lakes affect us all. And as species of fish disappear and rates of birth defects and cancer rise, it seems one thing is clear: the Great Lakes are changing and something's not quite right with the water. An interactive documentary film from the National Film Board of Canada. [more inside]
Canadian horror flick Pontypool (trailer) is a modern zombie tale quite unlike any other. Loosely based on a dense, complicated novel by Tony Burgess and inspired by Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, it tells the story of Grant Mazzy, a grumbling yet likable radio host (played by veteran character actor Stephen McHattie) whose penchant for philosophical ramblings gets him booted from Toronto to the sleepy winter pastures of Pontypool, Ontario. One bleak morning, as the outspoken Mazzy chafes against no-nonsense producer Sydney Briar, disturbing news begins rolling in of a series of bizarre and violent incidents sweeping the town. Trapped in their church basement broadcasting booth, Mazzy, Briar, and intern Laurel-Ann Drummond struggle to understand the odd nature of the crisis and warn the wider world before it's too late. But this is no ordinary virus, and they find their efforts may be causing far more harm than good. You can watch the film on YouTube horror channel Dead By Dawn (1 2 3 4 5 6 7), but if you're pressed for time you can also experience it in its more logical form: as a one-hour BBC radio drama voiced by the original cast. And after the credits, make sure not to miss the film's playful non-sequitur coda.
Forty years of incredible programming from Ontario's public broadcaster now viewable on the Web at The TVO Public Archive. Samples include: Imprint 1993: Leonard Cohen talks about his poetry and music. The Education of Mike McManus 1977: Timothy Leary talks about what freedoms the drug culture wrought and reflects on his own role in bringing about these changes. Talking Film 1980: The Cinema Of John Huston offers anecdotes about Orson Welles, Humphrey Bogart, and Truman Capote. Allan Gregg in Conversation 2007: Carol Off/Alvin Toffler, authors of Bitter Chocolate and Future Shock. [more inside]
Politicians who live in glass houses, etc. ... The Canadian House of Commons is in need of repair, and while it's being done, a dome will cover the elected gabbers. It might cost as "little" as $42 million or as much as $1 billion. The pre-construction vacuuming has already begun.
Imagine your hometown never changed. That no one ever grew old or moved on. Part book, part film, part family photo album, Welcome to Pine Point unearths a place frozen in time and discovers what happens when an entire community is erased from the map. [Autoplaying music/film in links] [more inside]
The CBC Radio 3 Digital Magazine ran from November 2002 until March 2005, garnering numerous accolades in Canada and abroad with its unique blend of music, journalism, literature and photography. Here is the complete archive of 105 issues. [more inside]
The CRTC has just authorized usage-based internet billing in Canada. The decision has been met with some criticism but is being reported differently by some outlets. [more inside]
Right before the 10th anniversary of the first same-sex marriage in Canada, Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled that a proposed law allowing provincial marriage commissioners to refuse to wed same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Thecourt.ca gives its thoughts on the decision and the social context surrounding it.
Twenty-five years after hitting the airwaves, the Dire Straits hit "Money For Nothing" has been banned from Canadian radio. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council decision is here.
What does it mean to be Canadian? It isn't about an ethnicity, a religion, a language, or a shared heritage or history. From CBC's Ideas comes the two-part radio documentary, Being Canadian. "From east to west, public intellectuals and private citizens (both new and old Canadians), tell film-maker Sun-Kyung (Sunny) Yi about the concerns, the questions, and the challenges of living together in a multicultural and diverse society." It is also the story of how and why a Korean family became Canadian, first in the law, and then in their hearts.
Stephen Harper once referred to the Canadian Senate as a "dumping ground for liberal cronies". He has now appointed his 36th senator, more than double the number of appointments by his predecessor, Paul Martin. Of further interest is that while 5/17 of Martin's appointments were members of the opposition party all 36 of Stephen Harpers appointments were directly affiliated with the conservative party. His most recent appointments? A Priest and a former CFL Comissioner
If you lived in Canada in the 80s and 90s, then the holiday season meant one thing: Give like Santa, save like Scrooge.
Since approximately 26% of Canadian children age 2-17 are now considered obese, few would disagree that drastic measures are warranted. A dude and his wife have decided that the best way to inspire kids to get some exercise outdoors is to run daily marathons across the country. [more inside]
This documentary is the story of two Mennonite brothers from Manitoba who were forced to make a decision in 1939, as Canada joined World War II. In the face of 400 years of pacifist tradition, should they now go to war? Ted became a conscientious objector while his brother went into military service. Fifty years later, the town of Winkler dedicates its first war memorial and John begins to share his war experiences with Ted. [more inside]
The Revolutionary War in the US was fought for freedom. For Blacks, the promise of freedom was on the side of the Crown. [more inside]
Will Canada be the first developed nation to decriminalise Polygamy? After Charter challenges legalised orgies, prostitution (most recently "living off the avails"), same-sex marriages, non-sexual adult interdependent relationships, common-law marraiges and multiple legally recognised spouses in Saskatchewan, the West Coast is now hosting a unique reference case in B.C.'s superior court considering whether section 293 of the Canadian Criminal Code is legal under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [more inside]
The Complaints Choir phenomenon, started by the Finnish artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, has spread all over the world since last we paid it any attention, from Birmingham to Helsinki, Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Poikkilaakso, Bodø, Penn State, Canada, Juneau, Gabriola Island, Sointula, Jerusalem, Melbourne, Budapest, Malmö, Chicago, Florence, Copenhagen, Vancouver (2), Philadelphia, Sundbyberg, Milano, Åland, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Basel, Umeå, Ljubljana, Gdansk, Arizona State University, Washington, DC, Horace Mann School, Durham-Chapel Hill, Auckland, Toronto theatre students, Kortrijk, Cairo (2), St. Pölten, Maribor, Port Coquitlam, Ústí nad Labem, Columbus & Kauhajoki (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). For more information, including a 9 step guide to forming your own complaints choir, go to the Complaints Choir website. Finally, here's the Singapore Complaints Choir, whose performance was banned by the Singapore government.
I hate hype. Gives me hives. Sends me right into a lather, when publicists write that so-and-so is "the next big thing" or "the next Mozart" or the "reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix". [more inside]