• Oil bust putting damper on Calgary Stampede

    Calgary Stampede hopes to buck economic downturnCalgary Stampede hopes to buck economic downturn

    Usually a sirloin-and-champagne affair, this year’s Calgary Stampede may be more of a hotdogs-and-lager event.

    Dismal oil prices are putting a damper on celebrations but never has Calgary needed a party more.

    “Stampede has always been a big party; it will continue to be a big party,” says David Howard, president of The Event Group, one of the largest event planning companies in the country. “They need a reason to right now. There’s a lot of doom and gloom… they need to let loose.”

    Howard, whose company usually has one or two large corporate events a day during the 10-day western extravaganza that kicks off Friday, has seen his business dry up completely this year.

    Beginning last fall, clients started talking about the bust in oil prices, which have plummeted from more than US$100 per barrel last July to nearly half that these days.

    “This has been the worst corporate stampede ever, to the point that we’re out of it completely,” Howard tells Yahoo Canada News.

    Companies that were

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  • Canada flag (Thinkstock)Canada flag (Thinkstock)

    WHY 'CANADA'?

    Our country was founded on a mistaken premise. And like the very best of humanity, once the mistake was made, we owned it.

    If you are a Canadian, or a canadien/ne, or anyone who travels around the globe with a cartoon leaf sewn onto to your luggage — or even if you're just pitifully obsessed with re-enacting zeitgeist beer ads from the 90s — you should know that every time you say "I'm a Canadian" or "I'm from Canada" you are also saying "I'm a villager" or "I'm from the village."

    Most of us know that because it was so wonderfully and kitschily canonized in that Canadian 'Heritage Minute' where a pompous French priest insists that he knows what the Iroquois chief is saying, and mistakenly translates an invitation from the elder to check out the neighbourhood as a declaration of nationhood. The Iroquois word "kanata" means village.

     

    Some 500 years later and that mistake of meaning has proven to be one of Canada's most defining qualities. We are physically the second

    Read More »from 4 things you don't know about Canada on its 148th birthday
  • On toques, bacon and the best sport on Earth: Canadian stereotypes, eh?

    One in 10 Canadians admitted they were “sick to death of hearing about hockey all the time”

    Oh Canada, you are a hockey-loving, maple syrup-swilling, toque-wearing cliché. And you love it.

    A new poll says 64 per cent of Canadians have seen a beaver in the wild, 60 per cent a moose, 59 per cent a loon and 55 per cent a bear.

    The Historica Canada survey found that six in 10 Canadian are hockey fans – 18 per cent proclaiming it the greatest sport on earth.

    Seventy-three per cent of more than 1,000 Canadians surveyed across the country have been in a canoe and 65 per cent on a snowmobile, according to the survey conducted by pollster Ipsos Reid for Historica Canada, the independent charitable organization best known for its Heritage Minutes ads.

    Half of those surveyed said the toque is the most Canadian item of clothing, followed by the plaid shirt (18 per cent) and the parka (17 per cent).

    It was evident that the survey took place in summer, since just five per cent considered longjohns the most iconic of Canuck duds.

    Celine Dion topped the list of Canadian crooners we’re most proud

    Read More »from On toques, bacon and the best sport on Earth: Canadian stereotypes, eh?
  • While Donald Trump makes political hay from losing platforms for his beauty pageants after race-baiting Mexicans, a Canadian pageant winner is facing real repercussions for using her position to try to effect actual social change.

    Anastasia Lin won the Miss World Canada pageant in May. Lin, 25, is a theatre major at the University of Toronto, and spoke out frequently against China’s persecution of religious minorities during the competition, according to the Globe and Mail. She has also acted in numerous films that deal with the issue of human rights in China.

    Those actions are now having a significant impact on her family. Lin, who was born in China and moved to Canada wih her mother at age 13, wites in the Washington Post that while winning the competition is an honor, it’s coming with consequences for her father, who still lives in China.

    Shortly after my victory, my father started receiving threats from Chinese security agents complaining about my human rights advocacy. As an

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  • It’s almost Canada Day and you’re likely to be deep in the throes of Canadian patriotism. Which means, probably, finding a red shirt, grabbing a six-pack, and heading down to your local playground or parkette to watch the Spoons or Kim Mitchell or whichever other Canadian musical celebrity happened to be available.

    But maybe you’re a little more into the whole “day of national birth” thing, and you want to express your love for country with a flag. You’re in luck. In true Canadian fashion, we’ve checked out the rules that govern the display of our national flag to make sure you don't get in trouble, and we’ve found some examples of how not to do it, so you can learn form other people's mistakes.

    The National Flag of Canada should be displayed only in a manner befitting this important national symbol; it should not be subjected to indignity…
    So, for example, when Rob Ford decided to hang a Canadian flag in his office window to protest the raising of the Rainbow Flag at Toronto’s City Hall

    Read More »from Seven things you can't do to the flag on Canada Day (or ever)
  • A search and rescue helicopter leaving Cathedral Provincial Park. COURTESY: Randall St. GermainA search and rescue helicopter leaving Cathedral Provincial Park. COURTESY: Randall St. Germain

    After five days of combing British Columbia’s rugged back country on the ground and in the air, searchers were beginning to think the worst.

    Lynne Carmody and Rick Moynan, from Ontario, went out for a day hike in Cathedral provincial park near Keremeos on June 22 and didn’t return.

    Up to 50 trained search volunteers fanned out along the route they’d planned, to no avail.

    “There is some really bad terrain there. We’ve seen people with multiple fatalities in that type of terrain and we were strongly thinking that might have been the case,” says Alan Hobler, a search manager from Kamloops Search and Rescue and one of the search managers involved in the rescue effort.

    Then, on Sunday, the pair emerged on their own, hiking six hours through the timber in the direction they’d seen the helicopters fly.

    “They had lots of mosquito bites and scratches and they’re dehydrated and hungry, but aside from that it sound like they’re doing well,” Hobler tells Yahoo Canada News.

    The pair were very

    Read More »from Ontario hikers’ ordeal in B.C. a reminder for others to be wilderness prepared
  • An RCMP demo of a takedown at a Sunset Ceremony in Ottawa over the weekend has drawn criticism online. An RCMP demo of a takedown at a Sunset Ceremony in Ottawa over the weekend has drawn criticism online. 

    There was face painting, a petting zoo, the RCMP’s world-renowned Musical Ride and an armed takedown complete with flash bangs and assault rifles.

    The national police agency’s Sunset Ceremonies performed over the weekend in Ottawa is raising a few eyebrows for a short performance by the force’s emergency response team (ERT).

    The four-minute spot in the evening show featured police officers in combat fatigues, weapons at the ready, pulling a suspect out of a vehicle window. Another team then arrives, guns drawn, to arrest a second suspect.

    “The RCMP offers a career like no other,” says the announcer. “If you want to make a difference in your community and your country, this can be the career for you.”

    The four-day ceremonies — Sunday's was cancelled due to weather — are an annual event in Ottawa.

    Supt. Leslie Cook, the officer in charge of the ride, describes it in a statement as a “family friendly event.”

    Not everyone saw it that way.

    A video of the Saturday performance drew some

    Read More »from RCMP takedown demo at Ottawa Sunset Ceremony draws fire
  • (Photo via CBC)(Photo via CBC)

    With Canada Day approaching, people across the country will be loading up on flag capes, maple leaf ball caps and fireworks… armloads and armloads of fireworks.

    It’s curious that in a modern society where it’s illegal to walk a dog off-leash or transport a 7-year-old without a booster seat, we’re okay with Joe Six-pack carrying an evening’s worth of explosives home to enjoy in the back yard with a few drinks and the neighbours.

    But before you fill the bucket of sand and set up the lawn chairs, you might want to make sure it’s actually legal for you to do so. While federal rules govern the use and distribution of fireworks, it’s up to municipalities to decide when they’re allowed. And while some cities are okay with a small pyrotechnic display on a random summer night, others have instituted outright bans. So it may be okay on a certain day to fire off a spinner in Vancouver, but if you step into Richmond, you’ll be running afoul of the law.

    Your best bet is to check your local bylaws

    Read More »from Where you can and can’t set off fireworks this Canada Day (and all year long)
  • Constance Backhouse, a professor at the University of Ottawa who led an investigation into the Dalhousie Dentistry School scandal, sexism, homophobia and misogyny, appears at a news conference in Halifax on Monday, June 29, 2015. The task force says that the university should overhaul its culture and the way it handles complaints of sexism in the aftermath of misogynistic comments posted on Facebook by some male dentistry students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John MorrisConstance Backhouse, a professor at the University of Ottawa who led an investigation into the Dalhousie Dentistry School scandal, sexism, homophobia and misogyny, appears at a news conference in Halifax on Monday, June 29, 2015. The task force says that the university should overhaul its culture and the way it handles complaints of sexism in the aftermath of misogynistic comments posted on Facebook by some male dentistry students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Morris

    A task force called to examine how Dalhousie University dealt with sexually violent Facebook posts by a group of dentistry students uncovered a much deeper culture of bigotry and harassment on the Halifax campus.

    “The report acknowledges what students have been saying for years — that misogyny, racism and other forms of bigotry are prevalent on our campuses,” said Michaela Sam, Nova Scotia chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students.

    Dalhousie was thrown into the spotlight last year when it was revealed that 13 male members of the school’s dentistry faculty had posted sexually violent comments about their female classmates on a private Facebook group.

    A task force into how the school handled the situation released its report Monday, calling on Dalhousie to overhaul how it deals with complaints of sexual harassment and inequality.

    But the report also found the problem goes deeper than the Facebook scandal.

    "The culture within the Faculty of Dentistry permits incidents of

    Read More »from Culture of sexism, racism went beyond Dalhousie dentistry faculty: report
  • We’ve spent a lot of time talking about dress codes lately, but this story may be the most absurd of all.

    Girls from a public school in Elmira, Ont.. say they were told to cover up because they were wearing two-piece bathing suits on a school trip - to a water park.

    Park Manor Public School said it would be revisiting its dress code policy after a girl complained that she and others were told to cover up their tops while on a class trip to Bingemans Big Splash in Kitchener, Ont., according to the Waterloo Region Record.

    The school sets its own dress code, but a spokesperson for the school board said covering up was standard practice.

    "The practice of requesting that tank tops be worn over two-pieced bathing suits has been in place for many years at the school," (Waterloo Region School Board) spokesperson Lynsey Meikle said in an email.

    Not only is that counter-intuitive for a water park, it may be unsafe. Mark Bingeman, president of Bingemans, told the Record that wearing shirts over

    Read More »from School tells girls to cover up bathing suits - at a water park

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