• Bass baritone Clayton Kennedy rehearses for the opera, I Will Fly like a Bird: a Tribute to Robert Dziekanski in a studio in Halifax on Tuesday, May 29, 2012.Upset with how the Canadian media dealt with the Tasering death of Robert Dziekanski five years ago? There's an opera for that. And it's set to premiere at the Scotia Festival of Music in Halifax on Thursday.

    The one-show-only concert opera — vocalists don't act or wear costumes — chronicles the life of Robert Dziekanski, the Polish immigrant who died in 2007 after being Tasered repeatedly by Mounties at the Vancouver airport.

    "Quite frankly, I got tired of seeing Robert Dziekanski die," J.A. Wainwright, a poet and author, told the Canadian Press.

    "I wanted to see him live."

    Dziekanski's death was captured on camera by an onlooker. The footage brought the story international attention.

    Wainwright, who wrote the opera's libretto, says he wanted to treat Dziekanski as a human being and to give both Dziekanski and his mother a voice:

    "It doesn't focus in any direct way on the Taser, although it's alluded to metaphorically and very powerfully in the music."

    "He was a man filled with hopes

    Read More »from New opera tells story of Robert Dziekanski, pre-Tasering
  • Cars quickly went from driving on clear road to being abandoned in mini lakes

    An intense downpour caused flooding in parts of Montreal forcing parts of the city to shut down.

    Within minutes clear streets turned into rivers and cars looked like they were driving through lakes with the bottoms of their doors in water. Many drivers were forced to abandon their vehicles in the middle of the road.

    Read more about the wall of rain

    The sewer system became overwhelmed by the downpour and shut down as manhole covers blew off.

    The main metro line was forced to close and passengers on buses had issues of their own. As seen in this video, passengers on this route 491 bus in Lachine had to wait with their feet up to be rescued as water covered the floor and the bus could no longer move.

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    Environment Canada said as much as 80 millimetres fell in less than an hour before abruptly stopping. Workers cleared the way for the sewer system to start draining the water again, but more than 28,000 people

    Read More »from Montreal flooding shuts down city after sudden torrential downpour
  • Young people have long flocked to big cities in search of opportunity and excitement, and Canada's major urban centres are no exception.

    But throw in a couple of kids, including competition over the best schools and affordable single family homes with backyards and suddenly the landscape starts to look different.

    And with the latest census figures showing the highest jump in babymaking since the early 60s, more young families are starting to consider more fertile pastures.

    So where are they flocking? To places like Airdrie, Alberta.

    The Globe and Mail reports that Airdrie, with its population of 45,000, is attracting young workers — both of the single and family-way variety — at an explosive rate.

    Though 45,000 may not sound like the next major metropolis, when you consider Airdrie's population was listed as just under 29,000 residents during the 2006 census, the numbers gain some context.

    In fact, the article notes that public schools are currently filled beyond capacity as officials

    Read More »from 2011 census figures show population explosion in smaller urban centres
  • Burnaby snakehead caught — on camera

    The elusive Burnaby snakehead has been caught — on camera.

    Last Friday, amateur wildlife filmmaker Bruce Causier captured the elusive fish on camera just days after provincial officials failed to find it.

    Causier spent almost every sunny day since hearing about the snakehead fish looking for it. After studying previous footage of the fish, he determined that the fish was most often spotted near a stream that flows into the Lower Pond of Burnaby's Central Park's fish pond.

    Sure enough, he found the fish where he thought he would — and has returned numerous times to find it swimming in the same spot.

    "If it's hot out, he'll be there, slowly swimming around," Causier told the Vancouver Sun.

    Watch Causier's video below.

    Read More »from Burnaby snakehead caught — on camera
  • The latest census data shows that Canada's population is showing its age, but how will that change what our country looks like in the future?

    Using projections by demographers, this age pyramid shows what our country's age makeup may look like in fifty years. By using the slider, you can compare the age breakdown of today to past and future years, from 1971 to 2061:

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    For more information on Canada's 2011 Census, check out our Census 2011 page.

  • It's no secret that Canada is getting older: the latest data from the 2011 Census shows that for the first time ever, there are more Canadians looking to leave the workforce than there are people getting ready to enter it. See how your province compares to the others below:

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    For more information on Canada's 2011 Census, check out our Census 2011 page.

  • A man looks over a brochures offering various retirement savings options Friday, February 3, 2012 in Montreal.Canadians have new insight into what our nation looks like, as new data from the 2011 Census became available this morning.

    And we're looking pretty grey.

    For the first time in history, the number of people getting ready to retire is higher than the number of people who are entering the workforce, an expected side-effect of aging baby boomers.

    According to Statistics Canada, seniors (aged over 65) account for 14.8 per cent of all Canadians, up from 13.7 per cent in 2006.

    What's more shocking is who makes up the second fastest growing group in Canada; there are 25.7 per cent more people over age 100 than there were five years ago. Centenarians numbered 5,825 in 2011.While that may seem like quite a few, it’s still relatively low compared to countries like the United Kingdom. The Daily Mail reports that 13,420 people are over 100 years old in England and Wales (for comparison, England has an estimated population of 62,262,000 versus Canada's 34,278,400, meaning 0.022 per cent of Brits

    Read More »from Census 2011 shows seniors are Canada’s fastest growing group
  • An Air Canada plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport Monday after debris reportedly fell from the plane.

    The Boeing 777 took off from Toronto heading for Narita, Japan, said Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick. Shortly after takeoff, one of the two engines shut down and the plane headed back to Pearson.

    Investigators know of four vehicles being hit by pieces of metal about the size of a cellphone. Shortly before the debris was reported, witnesses saw a plane with smoke coming from one of its engines.

    "As it was travelling away from Pearson we had other complaints stating that debris, consisting of metal objects, was falling for the sky," said Peel regional police Const. George Tudos to The Canadian Press.

    Tudos said while the police can't positively say the debris came from the plane, they believe it did and they are investigating.

    Despite the engine failure, the plane landed safely on one engine and all 318 passengers and 16 crew

    Read More »from Air Canada plane makes emergency landing after reports of falling debris
  • The Children's Museum of Indianapolis [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsIt had all the trappings of a budget horror flick. Amateur video captured what appeared to be a northern snakehead fish taking a leisurely Mother's Day swim in a suburban Vancouver pond.

    But unlike most budget horror flick stars, this one wasn't ready for its close-up.

    A team from the Ministry of the Environment combed the surrounding Burnaby area, hoping to find the predatory creature before it turned local waterways into the aquatic version of 28 Days Later.

    So far… nada. Zip. Not a trace, turning the scenario into a different sort of movie genre altogether.

    Whether the Vancouver snakehead exists or not, this is far from the first time we've hosted foreign invaders.

    As the Toronto Star reports, a school of blue crabs washed up in the city's Mimico Creek last July.

    While the fast swimming, iron-gripped crustaceans aren't exactly a menace to underwater society (nor are they a particularly rare species), the mystery of how six of them happened to land so far from their natural habitat

    Read More »from Mysterious blue crabs wash up in Toronto creek, 1,000 km from Chesapeake Bay home
  • In January, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Doug, launched the "Cut the Waist Challenge," a weight-loss plan to lose 50 pounds in six months. They would track their progress with public weekly weigh-ins.

    "Enough's enough," Rob said at his first weigh-in. "It's the heaviest I've ever been. And Doug and I went down to Florida and we just discussed it. I've got young children, and this is not healthy. You can't be running the city, you can't be doing all this, at 330 pounds. You guys know it, I know it."

    The Fords even encouraged — somewhat tactlessly — other mayors to join the effort.

    "The first mayor we might target is our friend over in Calgary [Naheed Nenshi], because he has a little beef on the front of him," Doug challenged at the time.

    The brothers also targeted New York City's Michael Bloomberg. His spokesperson did not sound impressed:

    "Mayor Bloomberg exercises daily and very avidly watches what he eats — two reasons why he's about as thin as he was in college 50 years

    Read More »from Rob Ford’s latest cut: his weight-loss challenge


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