"We’re now in the home stretch of Canada’s federal election campaign — at seventy-eight days, the longest in modern Canadian history and the most important since 1988, when free trade with the United States was the defining issue. For the first time in Canadian history, it is a close three-way race between the ruling Conservatives, the centrist Liberals, and the social-democratic New Democratic Party (NDP)." [more inside]
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]
"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]
Why the Ice Bucket Challenge is bad for you: "The ALS campaign may be a great way to raise money – but it is a horrible reason to donate it" [more inside]
"Especially with the country in great need of donation, science should speak louder than stigma in determining who can help."
Tainted: Why Gay Men Still Can't Donate Blood - "Since 1983, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines have disqualified men who have ever had sex with men (MSM) from donating blood... Uneven application of exclusion to at-risk individuals suggests that risk aversion disproportionately impacts MSMs. For example, a non-MSM individual who has had sexual contact with a commercial sex worker or HIV-positive partner is deferred for only twelve months... The fact that the U.S. upholds a lifetime ban on MSM donation while Australian policy allows MSM individuals to donate a year or less after contact reveals a glaring discrepancy. Both ethics and science point to a flaw in FDA policy. That I could have had sex with 365 partners this year and be a perfectly fine candidate for donating blood, while the MSM next to me wouldn't qualify, betrays a faulty line of logic." [more inside]
"It would have been quite a news conference, and it very nearly happened. Last fall, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, after months of intense, private talks, agreed to face the media together to declare their agreement that research shows the 'benefits' and 'positive impacts' of supervised injection sites for intravenous drug users. For the RCMP, making such a statement would have been a turning point: the Mounties would have had to distance themselves from dubious studies, commissioned by the force itself, that were critical of Insite, Vancouver’s pioneering safe injection facility." But it didn't happen.
Braille is facing extinction, says Canadian newsweekly Maclean's, thanks to strained budgets, audiobooks and text-to-speech. "In the 1950s about half of all blind children learned Braille, says the U.S. National Federation of the Blind. Today, that number has fallen to 10 per cent -- and it's about the same in Canada. For some, like NFB director Mark Riccobono, that means we're letting blind children grow up as illiterate as Braille's 19th-century contemporaries. 'If only 10 per cent of sighted children were being taught [to read],' he told Maclean's, 'that would be considered a crisis.'"
Mobutu Sese Seko of Et tu, Mr. Destructo? has written an excellent deconstruction of sitcom laugh tracks at Something Awful. (last embedded video is probably NSFW) [more inside]
Teh Intarweb suXXors! Macleans, the venerable Canadian magazine of declining circulation, declares the Internet a failure. But they're not bitter.
Cancer be damned, kids wanna tan “I know I might get cancer, but sometimes you want to look good no matter what. I’d rather look good that worry about what could happen to me–looks are more important to me sometimes than my health.” (Maclean’s Magazine) Perhaps cancer is ‘natural selection’ at work trying to weed out all of societies undesirables from the gene pool. I for one think we could do without people this stupid.
Canada's long term viability in question amongst canadians "only 30 per cent of Canadians are certain we will have an independent country 25 years from now". Sure it's a link about canada, but I'm sure it has plenty of North American and Global relevance, doesn't it?