We are excited to announce the official Canadian launch of the instanews Android app and instanews iOS app. The instanews mobile app enables anyone with an iPhone or Android phone to share breaking local news with nearby people more effectively than on existing platforms. Quickly and easily publish your own local news stories, and discover […]
Hello fellow Canadian bloggers, I want to take a moment to introduce you to my new mobile app launching next month on iOS and Android. It’s called instanews, and it empowers everyone to be a reporter and makes it extremely easy to share photos, videos, and information with nearby people. You could essentially think of […]
Hello Canada. My name is Ben and Allan has kindly passed me the reins of BlogsCanada.ca – I have big plans for the website so please stay tuned. I’m still getting used to the back-end of the website so please bear with me for the next few weeks as I slowly figure everything out. Over […]
Dear Readers……., and friends! It has been an interesting time, as well as a time that saw major changes in my personal and working life, but now it is time to let others take on the responsibility of populating these pages with interesting and informative news and gossip. Ben Clarke is the new owner of […]
Dear Readers: There is a lot of confusion about whether Monty Python is really funny …………., or not! What I mean is that some sketches like “The dead Parrot” are among the funniest things I have ever seen, and some other stuff is just plain stupid. BUT. I have to admit that when they ARE funny, […]
Dear Readers: Hey kids, I ran across this article today and since Ontario Place opened when I was still quite young, (teens) and these photo’s and video’s brought back a whole bunch of memories! Any kid who spent time in Toronto during the 1970s, 80s and 90s surely fostered blissful, orange-soaked memories at Children’s Village […]
Dear Readers: The Washington Post hit the nail right on the head (Or did they just kick the cat?) when they published this article today! By Michelle Singletary How much is your cat’s life worth? Or your dog’s? Would you take out a credit card specifically to pay for veterinarian care for your cat? Would […]
2015 is shaping up to be a monumental year for the international climate movement, and Earth Day Canada wants to show the world that Canadians are supportive of meaningful climate action. As such, Earth Day Canada is creating a 2015 Earth Flag on which we will collect signatures from people across the country who are […]
Dear Readers: Aficionado’s of online medieval manuscripts—whoever you are—may be intrigued to know about a 14th-century image of Yoda, wide-spread ears and all, NPR reports. (That’s right kids, Yoda lived for over 900 years, so this was a drawing of him when he was middle-aged!) But is it really him? “I’d love to say that it really […]
Firefighters desperately trying to locate voices crying “Help” and “Fire” trapped in an inferno found the desperate pleas came from two parrots. Crews in Boise, Idaho were called to the blaze on Friday night. After arriving on the scene they heard cries of “Help” and “Fire” from inside leading them to believe several people were […]
The woman’s husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, “You know what? You have been […]
Dear Readers: Lots of things confusing me today bunky, including a bit of confusion about how ya can get a free meal just for being old! There are many perks of growing old — seeing your kids have kids, wearing shirts that say “World’s Best Grandma,” calling rowdy youngsters “whippersnappers” and more — and getting discounts […]
Dear Readers: Today we have a couple of stories from opposite ends of the spectrum that show just how crazy things are getting in this world! The Meitiv family, who is once again battling CPS in Maryland over allowing their children to go to the playground unsupervised. (Photo: Facebook) The Maryland parents investigated by Child […]
Dear Readers: You usually forgiving reporter is slowly getting fed-up with individuals and special interest groups who hold society to ransom with whatever stupid bullshit they go on about! The latest case is about a certain Alain Simoneau of Saguenay Quebec who went to a local council meeting seven years ago and decided he didn’t like them saying […]
Dear Readers: Your ever faithful servant and reporter tries to keep up with all the latest news so that we can supply you with the latest poop on what’s going on in your world ………., and this one takes the cake! “Hey, wanna go see the body?” may seem like an odd thing to hear at […]
Dear Readers: Your long suffering reporter fervently believes in that old axiom, “The French are the best second raters in the world” and this article does nothing to dispel that belief! A Montreal man is criticizing Quebec language laws after a clerk at a local Toys “R” Us told him he was wasn’t allowed to purchase […]
O.K. folks, read the following article, and then remember ……., ya heard it here first! A survey by dating social network site Skout, cheese heads get more action. Skout surveyed a total of 4,600 people. Grilled cheese yields more sex, better people! Thirty-two percent of grilled cheese lovers reported having sex at least six times […]
The Ontario government tried to introduce a new sex education course to public school kids a few month ago and it included such things as discussions about masturbation, trans-gender issues, same sex couples and much more. Now I’m bringing this up for a couple of reasons kids. First of all, we’re not sure if some […]
A man turns to his wife in bed and whispers “Did you know it’s National Orgasm Day?” “Oh, what a pity,” she smiled, “Right in the middle of National Headache Week !!” ———————————— SENIOR TRYING TO SET PASSWORD WINDOWS: Please enter your new password: USER: cabbage WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must be more than 8 […]
Seems I don’t know who to believe anymore kids! The CBC is on a campaign to flog what they call the missing and/or murdered native women across Canada and it makes the news every night. You would think there is a vat network of guys like Robert Pickton who are abducting and killing girls left right […]
Wells Fargo has enabled two crooked employees to fleece a famous Mexican singer out of her hard-earned money … so claims the performer in a new lawsuit. Latin Grammy winner Ana Bárbara accuses the bank and two of its employees of…
Conor McGregor is gonna be working in Vegas during UFC 200 weekend — just not in the Octagon. Instead, he’ll be hosting a post-fight party at a massive nightclub at the Wynn Hotel … TMZ Sports has learned. McGregor has signed on to…
Pretty awesome move from MLB superstar Bryce Harper — who’s honoring July 4th with some custom cleats paying tribute to ALL 5 BRANCHES of the U.S. military. The Washington Nationals superstar hooked up with sneaker customizer Dez Customz and…
Women’s clothes can make you super rich … and if you had any doubt look at the estate the creator of Bebe clothing wear is selling. Manny Mashouf has just put his Holmby Hills estate on the market for a cool $40 million. Everything about it is…
Rick Ross has always been an industrious guy — figuring out ways around the word “no” — so it’s no surprise he figured out a way to get a luxurious spa treatment in the confines of his palatial ATL cell, ankle bracelet and all. The rapper…
What do you get when you combine chicks and “Empire”? A lawsuit. Alta Tseng and Jessica Corbin claim they launched their Fempire brand in 2004 to encourage female empowerment and promote female trends. They cemented their brand by snagging a…
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Big names switched teams in a hurry when NHL free agency opened up at noon on Friday.
Loui Eriksson bolted Boston for Vancouver; Milan Lucic left Los Angeles for Edmonton; Andrew Ladd ditched Chicago.
Lucic said he chose Edmonton because of the presence of Connor McDavid. “They have a pretty special young player there,” Lucic told TSN. “I’m excited for a fresh start, a new beginning.”
Between landing Lucic — the first big free agent signing in Edmonton in some time — and trading Taylor Hall to New Jersey for defenceman Adam Larsson — the Oilers have continued to remake their team.
David Backes (to Boston), Kyle Okposo (to Buffalo) Frans Nieslen (to Detroit) also switched teams as GMs gave out long-term deals in the $30- to $40-million range for the top stars, topping $200 million in commitments in the first half-hour of the open market.
In some smaller deals, former Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer signed a five-year deal with Florida to be Roberto Luongo and former Leaf first-round draft pick Stuart Percy signed a two-way deal with Pittsburgh while another ex-Leaf, Sam Carrick, signed with Chicago.
Lucic and Okposo each signed seven-year, $42-million deals.
Eriksson signed a six-year, $36 million deal.
Ladd signed for five years at $5.5 million a year with the Islanders.
Backes signed for five years at $6 million a year with the Bruins.
Nielsen signed for six years and $31.5 million The Penguins also signed GM Jim Rutherford to an extension.
Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant is being sued by a customer who claims their garnish messed him up something fierce. John Santos claims in a new lawsuit he was chowing down on calamari at Pump in WeHo when he felt a sharp pain in his mouth. Santos…
Lovely photochrom prints of the Netherlands before 1900.Dutch windmills, HollandEast gate, Delft, South Holland, the NetherlandsFisher girls, Marken Island, North Holland, the NetherlandsVoorstraatshaven, Dordrecht, HollandMore: vintage everydayVia
Harriet Quimby was an early American aviator and a movie actress, screenwriter and critic. In 1911she became the first woman to gain a pilot’s license in the United States. In 1912, she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She died on July 1that year while piloting her new Blériot monoplane at the Harvard-Boston Aviation Meet. Both she and her passenger were thrown out into the shallow water of the bay. She was just 37.
How many Canadian cliches, from BC Bud to poutine to shinny, can one person handle in a day? We found out.
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Chris Brown is once again in the crosshairs of cops, but this one’s weird. Chris rented a villa in Ibiza for the last week in June, and the landlord went to police and accused Chris of trashing the house. According to the police report, obtained…
For a certain kind of person — especially the kind who become pundits and populist politicians — there is no story more resonant and formative than “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” The message, about the power of an unsophisticated, observant child puncturing societal pretence and hypocrisy by having the willingness to say the thing that everyone else is thinking but is too afraid to say, is irresistible to them.
They spend their careers looking for opportunities to point out the obvious, impolite thing: “Beneath those fancy words, the expert isn’t saying anything at all! The sky is blue! Water is wet! That dude is totally naked!”
And every year, the Pride parade presents almost too literal an opportunity for them to overlook. I mean, it has so much in common with the original story: it’s a grand parade that all the city’s people come out to watch, everyone stands around saying, “how wonderful,” and “how fabulous,” and “how beautiful.” A good many of those watching are perhaps silently coaching themselves to overcome their own discomforts and insecurities. There in the parade comes someone, or someones, dressed in nothing but the outfit they were born in, their heads held high.
“But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” our grown pundit will shout, every year, and smile to himself. He knows this story. He has been preparing for this moment all along. “How can we take this seriously when, when, when… he’s naked?”
People hearing this will start to laugh. “What? What did he say?” they might ask, incredulously. Some get angry. They will shake their heads in disbelief. Except in this case, unlike in the old folk tale, they will be pointing their mockery and scorn at the pundit. Not because he’s said the thing they were all thinking. But because he’s unable to see the truly obvious thing.
Unlike the Emperor in the folktale, the people marching in the parade here are not celebrating vanity but proclaiming pride, which is a far different thing, and a far more necessary thing. Because the history of our society and of our own city — the very recent history — has been to decree that many of the people in this parade should be shamed. Not just shamed, but persecuted.
Not for parading around in public in their outfits — although people did gather to throw eggs and beat up drag queens and gay men dressed for Halloween on Yonge Street in the 1970s. But also shamed and persecuted for what they did in private, in their own homes, and in bars and clubs, in places they thought were meant to be safe. The LGBTQ people who the Pride parade celebrates were shamed and persecuted for who they were, for what they were, no matter what they were wearing.
It was less than 40 years ago in Toronto, in 1981, that police raided four gay bathhouses — 286 men were arrested for being inside them. It was less than 20 years ago, in 2000, that a queer women’s bathhouse party was raided by police. During those events, many were wearing no clothes when they were arrested. Many who had covered up were stripped by police conducting searches. That parade outfit means something.
Far more recently, same-sex couples were unable to marry their partners, right here in Canada. Today, recognizing school support groups or discussing LGBT sexualities and identities in the classroom remain constant struggles. In many U.S. states, using the washroom is a legal issue. Very recently, a gay nightclub was the target of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The point of that outfit, like the point of the whole parade, is to fight persecution, and reject shame. When people see a naked person walking, with pride, some like how it looks, some find it interesting, some are made uncomfortable by it, some prefer to quietly look away. Some are even bored. But when they say, “it’s magnificent,” they are acknowledging how beautiful and important it is that someone can be in that body without hiding, however it is clothed or unclothed, and march down the main street of the city without ridicule or fear.
Even if it looks the same on the surface, that is not the emperor’s outfit. The story of this nakedness on parade has very different lessons to teach, and a very different point. A point still made each year, for all the progress society has made, and a point that still needs making.
How wonderful. How marvelous. How beautiful.
Edward Keenan writes on city issues email@example.com . Follow: @thekeenanwire
Edward Keenan writes on city issues firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow: @thekeenanwire
The City of Markham is the proud new owner of a $10-million piece of junk — and it’s beautiful.
The Pride of Canada is an outlandish carousel made from metals collected across the country, repurposed into stunning sculptures intended to share Canada’s story with Markham’s new immigrant community.
Standing some seven-metres-tall and 15-metres-wide, the mammoth 44-seater carousel features a rideable Mountie centaur, a mermaid wearing a maple leaf bra and a human-sized skate. It looks straight out of a Tim Burton movie, took two years to make and will be unveiled to the public on Canada Day.
“The concept was to take art and take the walls down and put it in public spaces so you interact with it,” said Christopher Bratty, president of land development and investments with the Remington Group, the real estate and development firm behind Markham’s multibillion-dollar new downtown. “(Public art) creates gathering points; it creates places that young kids grow up and remember.”
Bratty — whose CEO father, Rudy Bratty, was ranked as Canada’s 71st richest person by Canadian Business magazine in 2015 — spearheaded the project and commissioned the piece. The Remington Group paid for it as part of its $25-million public art initiative in downtown Markham.
Bratty’s vision was to put a modern spin on a classic carousel and to share Canadian stories with Markham’s burgeoning immigrant community. He had two demands: the carousel must represent Canadiana, and it must be sustainable. The carousel runs on a hybrid motor and is outfitted to eventually run on solar power to align with the sustainability goals his family-run company set for downtown development.
In 2012, he came across renowned Canadian junk artist Patrick Amiot.
Amiot, born in Montreal and now based in Sebastopol, Calif., is known for his quirky, larger-than-life junk art sculptures made from recycled metal. The pieces are so popular there that they’ve become tourist attractions.
But he had never done a carousel.
“I didn’t know what I was getting into,” said Amiot by phone from California, explaining the project took much trial and error to make. By the time it was done, “I didn’t even want to hear the word carousel.”
Amiot wanted the piece to be both symbolically and physically Canadian, so he crossed Canada, travelling the west half of the country for a couple of months, then the east for a few more, sourcing “random things” for the project, he said.
He snatched up discarded metal from roadsides, antique shops and dumpsters. Then at his studio in Sebastopol, where he houses an acre of a junk, he pieced the works together.
Brainstorming ideas for the sculptures, Amiot worked with what he had, including car fenders, dishwasher parts and hubcaps. He let the pieces inspire the works, for instance, sculpting a chicken — “There are chickens in Canada, why not?” — Mountie centaurs, a human-sized skate, a mermaid and 40 other sculptures.
Some creations took two days, others two weeks. One started out as a bison and ended up as a horse head. Brigitte Laurent, an artist and his wife, painted them all.
A team from Chicago-based Brass Ring Carousel Co., which works on Disney carousels, spent six months constructing the carousel framework at Amiot’s studio and giving him tips on making the sculptures more rider friendly.
“In my backyard, it looked humungous,” Amiot said.
Brass Ring owner Daniel Horenberger said the 15-metre carousel is the largest they make — any bigger and they tip over. It took five semi-trucks three days to drive the disassembled carousel to Markham and two weeks to reassemble it, he said.
The project took four years: two to build the carousel and two to build the glass pavilion, designed by Sheldon Levitt, a Toronto-based architect.
“I certainly think it’s genius,” said Bratty of the final product, which is accompanied by rotating playlist of Canadian music. “The (sculptures) are beautiful, but they certainly are wacky.”
Its toughest critics — kids — are yet to come.
They will get the opportunity on Canada Day when rides on the Pride of Canada Carousel are free from noon to 5 p.m. After that, the carousel, at 8080 Birchmount Rd., will be open year-round seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Rides will cost $2.
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For Newfoundlanders, July 1 is complicated and painful.
They are dangerous, start fires, and now we learn, fill the air with particulates.
LONDON — A day after staging a political ambush that reshaped the race to be Britain’s next prime minister, Michael Gove said Friday he acted out of “conviction, not ambition” to open yet another head-spinning drama amid the fallout from Britain’s snub of the European Union.
The justice minister spoke at length for the first time about his vision for the country he intends to lead, a week after Britain was plunged into chaos by a vote to exit the EU that Gove had championed.
The referendum result prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to announce plans to resign by September. Gove initially signalled he would back a former London mayor, Boris Johnson, as Cameron’s replacement.
But just hours before Johnson was to announce his bid for the job, Gove on Thursday launched his own campaign. Johnson withdrew less than three hours later to add another word to Britain’s increasingly dark political lexicon: “Brexecution.”
The betrayal has scrambled an already chaotic picture in British politics. Gove and Theresa May, who leads the country’s domestic security operations as home affairs minister, are now considered the front-runners to replace Cameron.
Gove’s move against Johnson left Britain reckoning with one more betrayal in a political season full of them. It rattled an already dazed nation, and left no doubt — if any remained — that Britain is divided, directionless and leaderless as it prepares for a leap into the unknown of life outside the European Union.
Gove now must rebuild his image to win over voters stung by his Machiavellian moves, and make a case for how he will negotiate the best terms for Britain as it breaks ranks with the other 27 EU nations.
On Friday, he laid out what he described as a radical vision for the country’s future once it leaves the European Union — a process popularly known as Brexit.
“This country voted for change, and I can deliver it,” he said.
Gove said he was particularly driven to reduce immigration levels, which he described as the clear will of the British people.
May has also said she will reduce immigration through bargaining with the EU. But in her own announcement of her candidacy on Thursday, she suggested she will bring more continuity than change.
May would be the second female prime minister in British history, after Margaret Thatcher. May’s unsmiling public persona and hard-line conservative politics have drawn occasional comparisons to the Iron Lady.
Much of the response Friday to Gove’s last-minute announcement that he would challenge Johnson was unfavourable.
A succession of leading Conservative politicians threw their weight behind May. So did the Daily Mail, Britain’s rabidly anti-EU tabloid. The endorsement came despite the fact that May backed the “remain” campaign. Gove’s wife, Sarah Vine, is a Daily Mail columnist.
“A party in flames and why it must be Theresa,” was the paper’s banner headline Friday.
The Sun, another top-selling British tabloid, used a picture of Johnson on its cover with the word “Brexecuted” underneath.
Johnson, the mop-headed rogue who had been considered the odds-on favourite to take the keys to 10 Downing Street, was shunted to the sidelines of the contest to lead the Conservative Party and, by extension, the nation.
The narrowing of the field of likely winners to Gove and May leaves behind two candidates who are expected to drive an especially hard bargain with the EU, meaning the country could be in for years of contentious and costly negotiations no matter who emerges as leader.
Gove’s decision to ambush Johnson brought immediate recriminations from both men’s corners on Thursday. Asked by the BBC about Gove, Johnson’s father, Stanley Johnson, replied: “‘Et tu, Brute’ is my comment on that.”
Gove backer Dominic Raab told the network that Johnson had been “cavalier” in his approach to the campaign. “We’re picking a prime minister here to lead the country, not a school prefect,” he said acidly.
Britain’s next prime minister will not be picked by the public. Instead, he or she will be selected in a two-stage process within the governing Conservative Party. First, the party’s members of Parliament will whittle the field down to two over the next two weeks. Then the party’s rank-and-file members will select the winner.
In addition to Gove and May, three other candidates were nominated Thursday: Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsom. All are considered long shots.
Cameron has said he will not formally trigger Britain’s exit and will leave that task to his successor. Once that happens, the next prime minister will have two years to negotiate a new deal with the European Union.
Europe has already signalled that it will refuse to budge on likely British demands that the bloc relax its rules requiring freedom of movement for workers across national borders. European leaders say that if Britain wants access to the single market, it will have to accept free movement.
Britain’s political unrest has not been limited to the Conservatives.
The internal warfare among Tories has been matched — and even exceeded — within the opposition Labour Party.
Pressure continued to build Friday on party leader Jeremy Corbyn to resign after what was seen as an ambivalent effort to rally party supporters to the pro-EU cause.
He has already suffered an overwhelming vote of no confidence among his Labour colleagues in Parliament, and he has faced additional defections each day this week.
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