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]
Today is a holiday across most of Canada, though there's little agreement as to why we get the day off. [more inside]
"I'm going to fight this cancer now, so I can be back to fight for families when Parliament resumes"
CanadaFilter: Jack Layton, Leader of the Official Opposition following the New Democrats historic electoral victory this spring, announces he will step aside temporarily after second cancer diagnosis. Nycole Turmel recommended as interim leader. [more inside]
Still, Expo is regarded as the best world's fair ever. Its success changed the world's view of Canada, and more importantly, it changed the way Canadians viewed themselves. For the first time the country basked in the pride and the glory of its talents and accomplishments. A nation had come of age. (previously) [more inside]
Why I Quit My Job Kai Nagata on why he just quit his job as CTV's Quebec City bureau chief at age 24: a critique of Canadian government and media.
The Supreme Court of British Columbia decided that the BC Adoption Act is unconstitutional "because it treats adopted children differently from children of sperm donors. Adopted children are provided information about their biological parents, whereas the children of donors are not." [more inside]
"There are no national standards or regulations regarding forensic pathology and practices vary widely from place to place."
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
While outside Parliament it is 2:00 AM EST, Friday June 24, inside it will remain the "Thursday June 23 Chamberverse" until the Canadian House of Commons rises. Canada's new Official Opposition, the New Democratic party is currently filibustering the Conservative majority government over Bill C-6 - An act to provide for the Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services brought forward to force postal workers at Canada Post, an arms-length Crown Corporation back to work. [more inside]
It's all about the Bordens. The Bank of Canada unveils its new series of polymer bank notes. Because no one wants soggy bills when you're makin' it rain.
CN Tower EdgeWalk, June 2011; YouTube, 2.00. For CAD175 you can harness up and walk around the five-foot-wide edge of Toronto's CN Tower, 356 metres/1,168 feet above ground level. [more inside]
The Biggest Losers. Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella explains the disastrous defeat of the party in Canada's recent general election.
Book rescue turns nightmarish. A Saskatchewan couple saved 350,000 books from being burned by a neighbor, but now the house they bought just to store the collection is collapsing from the weight. What to do?
Giving new meaning to "Contributions of employees have brought about visionary strategies that have defined not only our company, but an entire industry."
Is American law enforcement colluding with Cisco? A quick lesson on how to abuse the law and quiet whistleblowers.
"Juno" was the beachhead for Canadian forces during Operation Neptune (D-Day). 1/10th the size of the British and American forces, the Canadian units were the first to break through German lines; by the end of the day, Canadian soldiers had penetrated deeper into Normandy than any other Allied force. Storming Juno tells their story via an immersive Flash experience that interweaves live recreation, documents, and oral history from veterans. (Flash, interactive, sound)
Canadian contemporary dance icon Margie Gillis gets interviewed by right-wing network "Sun TV". Perhaps "interview" is too kind a word. (and as there is reference to it in the interview, a little background on the current PM's views on the arts)
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]