• Why I want my kid to study sex-ed

    I’m reading a 240-page book looking for pervy passages. I search for graphic images, explicit sentences, and titillating titles.

    In my quest to understand why some parents are protesting (including my Muslim co-religionists) what has been nicknamed Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum, I search for content that might be considered inappropriate for my eight-year-old son.

    Instead, what I find in the alluringly titled, “The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1 – 8: Health and Physical Education”, are topics dealing with children’s physical and emotional safety, living skills, creative and critical thinking. Among other things, the curriculum covers fire safety, nutrition, washing your hands before leaving the bathroom, and working with students for whom English is a second language.

    The curriculum doesn’t get juicy until, well, it doesn’t. No sizzle. Which surprises me because from what I’ve read on the Canadian Families Alliance website and have seen of the protests on TV and in the papers, childhood

    Read More »from Why I want my kid to study sex-ed
  • The cliché “lucky to be alive” is an appropriate way to sum up the fate of a cougar that inspired a dramatic chase through parts of Victoria earlier this week.

    People on social media buzzed with excitement about the large cat, which was tranquilized and not killed Monday after it stalked its way through back alleys and over fences in a neighbourhood near downtown.

    Richard Hamelin tweeted, “A normal day in #britishcolumbia cougar on the loose in #Victoria and whales in #Vancouver.”

    “They better not kill it,” warned Sarah Butts.

    James Bay neighbours watched from their balconies as Victoria police and conservation officers with dogs tracked the animal.

    Sgt. Scott Norris with British Columbia Conservation Officer Service says when it comes to tranquilizing animals on the loose, it’s a case by case basis.

    “It often comes down to public safety and how things play out,” he told Yahoo Canada News. “If a cougar is showing signs of aggression towards people, and it’s taking livestock and

    Read More »from Victoria cougar gets happy ending up island
  • Comedian Tommy Chong Says He is Battling Rectal CancerComedian Tommy Chong Says He is Battling Rectal Cancer

    Tommy Chong has put his foot in his mouth again.

    Growing up in Calgary in the 1950s and ‘60s was like living in the racist, segregated U.S. South, the actor, comedian and perpetual stoner says.

    “You know my dad’s Chinese, my mother is Scottish-Irish, and we were living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which is like living in Biloxi, Mississippi, as far as racism goes,” he said in an interview with pop culture website The A.V. Club.

    Mississippi – where black people were lynched and civil rights advocates were murdered. Where disenfranchisement of African Americans was enshrined until 1965.

    Mississippi – which only officially abolished slavery in 2013. (It was the last state to ratify the 13th amendment, in 1995, but didn’t notify the U.S. Archivist until 2013.)

    Chong’s comments are sure to inflame Calgarians, who elected Canada’s first Muslim mayor in 2010 and was one of the earliest signatories to the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination, in 2006.

    But not

    Read More »from Tommy Chong’s comments of a racist Calgary challenged
  • Arthur McDonald, the Canadian co-winner of this year’s 2015 Nobel Prize for Physics, says a “very friendly collaboration” resulted in getting him to the top of the science podium.

    The professor emeritus at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., shares the prize with Japanese scientist Takaaki Kajita (They are being singled out for their contributions to experiments that show neutrinos changing identities.)

    Their work has “changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe,“ the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in announcing the award early Tuesday.

    McDonald, who is also the director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (also known as SNOLAB) said in a news conference that their discoveries involved a “tremendous amount of work … among scientists from Canada, the United States, Britain and Portugal.”

    Neutrinos are created in reactions between cosmic radiation and the Earth’s atmosphere. Others are produced in nuclear reactions

    Read More »from Canada’s notable Nobel winners
  • Rod Knecht renews call to impound vehicles for excessive speedingRod Knecht renews call to impound vehicles for excessive speeding

    Edmonton’s police chief is blaming the city’s increase in property and violent crime on the economic downturn in Alberta’s northern oilpatch — problems that could eventually find their way east.

    People coming back to Edmonton after losing jobs in Cold Lake and Fort McMurray are behind an increase in crime in the province’s capital city, Chief Rod Knecht told press last week. Alberta’s capital has seen an 18 per cent increase in property crimes and a 12 per cent increase in violent crimes this year, according to the police force.

    But on Monday, acting police Chief Brian Simpson clarified that a variety of factors were at play.

    “It’s not about the oilfield workers; it’s about the oil economy,” Simpson said at a news conference.

    If the chief’s statements are accurate, it wouldn’t be the first time that an economic slowdown leads to increases in crime elsewhere, Albert Jones, a law professor at Memorial University in St. John’s, tells Yahoo Canada News.

    And if Newfoundlanders and

    Read More »from Oilpatch problems could find their way east, expert says
  • The first Star Wars-themed jumbo jet is set to make its inaugural flight from Tokyo to Vancouver later this month.The first Star Wars-themed jumbo jet is set to make its inaugural flight from Tokyo to Vancouver later this month.

    The first Star Wars-themed jumbo jet is set to make its inaugural flight from Tokyo to Vancouver later this month.

    All Nippon Airways (ANA) hopes the market force will be with them in its bid to appeal to North American passengers.

    “Every journey through the sky should be an entertaining one,” the website for the ANA Star Wars Project says.

    Three planes will be rolled out in the coming months, to take travellers far, far away.

    The first is a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with R2-D2 painted on the fuselage. Inside, cups, napkins and headrests will be decked out in the theme, and the in-flight entertainment system will carry all six installments of the film.

    Photos and video footage posted on the ANA’s Twitter account show the plane arriving at Tokyo’s Haneda airport this past Friday. It’s scheduled to fly from there to Vancouver on Oct. 18 before jetting to other cities in the galactic empire.

    As of Monday morning, there were still seats available on flight NH116 to Vancouver.

    ANA teamed up

    Read More »from Star Wars-themed flight will service Tokyo and Vancouver
  • Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi holds a mini Lego Nenshi. Courtesy: Druh FarrellCalgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi holds a mini Lego Nenshi. Courtesy: Druh Farrell

    Move over, Robbie Bobbie, here comes Lego Nenshi.

    “You can have your own little Naheed,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi tweeted on the weekend.

    The limited-edition mini-mayor comes with a $100 donation to the Calgary Public Library’s IdeaLab project, which is based on the notion that digital tools are just as important to literacy as books.

    “We envision the IdeaLab as a space dedicated to increasing our city’s digital and creative skills. It will give people of all ages access to cutting-edge technology while nurturing problem-solving skills,” the project’s Kickstarter page says.

    The library built a 100,000-piece Lego replica of its new central library, due to open in 2018, and it’s crowdfunding to raise $100,000 for phase one of the IdeaLab to pay for Lego education packages, software for developing design, photo and data-mining skills, and a how-to guide for other libraries to develop their own creative tech spaces.

    “Because of the library I spent every Saturday afternoon immersing

    Read More »from ‘Lego Nenshi’ a part of Calgary Public Library’s fundraising effort
  • Mark Carney, the former Bank of Canada governor who now heads the Bank of England, shook up the financial sector earlier this week with a blunt assessment of the economic cost of climate change.

    Calling it the “tragedy on the horizon,” Carney said in a speech to the insurance market Lloyd’s of London that society faces profound environmental and social challenges due to changes in the climate.

    “The combination of the weight of scientific evidence and the dynamics of the financial system suggest that, in the fullness of time, climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer-term prosperity,” he told insurance executives.

    “While there is still time to act, the window of opportunity is finite and shrinking.”

    There are implications for insurers, financial stability and the economy, Carney said, and the insurance industry is already seeing those implications.

    Since the 1980s the number of registered weather-related loss events has tripled and the average annual losses have

    Read More »from Mark Carney’s stark climate change warning has Canadian implications
  • Leadenhall Building PHOTO COURTESY: www.theleadenhallbuilding.comLeadenhall Building PHOTO COURTESY: www.theleadenhallbuilding.com

    Canadians are taking over New York, buying a record US$3.85 billion in property on Manhattan in this year alone, according to data from Real Capital Analytics Inc.

    The company, which monitors commercial real estate transactions, said Canadians have spent more than any other foreign country in the last decade on property in New York’s most expensive borough.

    Canadian pension funds and other investors have extensive real estate holdings overseas, not just in our neighbour to the south. Here are some of the most iconic and interesting buildings in which Canadians have a stake:


    Leadenhall Building, London, U.K.

    One of London’s tallest buildings, the wedge-shaped Leadenhall Building was built by developers British Land and Toronto-based Oxford Properties. Known informally as the “cheese grater,” the tapered 46-storey building is the fourth-tallest in London and a distinctive part of the city’s skyline. 

    Canary WharfCanary WharfThe building, at the heart of the City of London’s financial district, opened in July 2014

    Read More »from Buying the world: 6 iconic properties owned by Canadians
  • Canadian-born Saad Gaya, convicted terrorist, targeted for revocation of citizenshipCanadian-born Saad Gaya, convicted terrorist, targeted for revocation of citizenship

    A dispute between a Canadian-born man convicted of terrorism and the federal government could end in a legal stalemate that keeps a member of the so-called Toronto 18 in jail on an immigration hold indefinitely.

    Saad Gaya, 28, was born in Montreal to Pakistani-born parents. At 18, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in the unsuccessful Toronto 18 bomb plot. In an application to the Federal Court, Gaya is fighting a government notice that his Canadian citizenship will be revoked, arguing that it would leave him stateless.

    Gaya, through his lawyers, asserts that he has only Canadian citizenship, and does not hold and has never sought Pakistani citizenship. But the government says that he retroactively became a Pakistani citizen when his parents — who originally lost their Pakistani citizenship when they became Canadian citizens  restored their Pakistani citizenship in 2014.

    It’s against Canadian law to leave a person stateless — which is what Gaya’s lawyers say would be

    Read More »from Citizenship revocation of Canadian-born terrorist could end in stalemate


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