Canada Standard

Aropostale bankruptcy and store closures hit one New Mexico mall

The teen clothing retailer A'ropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday and announced it would close 154 of its 770 store locations.

The retailer released a list of those 154 store closures,

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 8:35 pm

Life as a Human

Path of Philosophy

As I glean philosophical wisdom from the past, I forge forward to the future.

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 11:00 am

CTV News

More staff going to help process Syrian refugees: McCallum

Talks with the military to provide assistance in bringing thousands more Syrian refugees to Canada are under way as the Liberal government appears to be spooling up efforts to make good on a promise to private sponsorship groups.

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:32 pm

Vancouver Sun

Royal Bank of Canada defends practices after being named in Panama Papers leak

RBC is one of several institutions named in documents leaked to expose activities in offshore tax havens, but the bank says it has procedures in place to detect and prevent tax evasion

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Posted on 8 April 2016 | 8:32 pm


Australia's indigenous 'guardians' program finding favour in Ottawa

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:47 pm


Vine's Windows 10 app is a great way to watch its short videos

Vine finally debuted an official Windows 10 app today, which you can find for free on the Windows Store. It offers everything you'd expect: A selection of the latest trending Vine videos, as well as the ability to explore videos in different category...

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:40 pm

Ottawa Citizen

Downtown councillor McKenney angry over unexpected tree-clearing

The Public Service Alliance of Canada cut down six mature city-owned trees outside its headquarters on Gilmour Street Thursday morning, infuriating Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney. The city's forestry department gave the union permission for the hatchet job: PSAC has an underground garage there, the waterproof lining protecting it needs repairs, and the trees had to come out so the construction workers could get to it. But nobody told McKenney first. "I’m quite upset that I didn’t know because I would need to ask many questions before any trees come down in the downtown," she said. "Trees are golden in the downtown, we don’t have nearly enough, and they’re extremely expensive to replace." The union said it hoped to save the trees but they were in shallow soil over the underground garage and it was too risky. The trees were 50 years old but most were Norway maples, which have shallow root systems. By nature, they're vulnerable to high winds and can be dangerous as "boulevard trees" because they're prone to falling over. "Hindsight's 20/20, but they might not have been the best trees to plant in the first place.," said Bob Kingston, the head of PSAC's agriculture unit. (His regular job is as a plant inspector for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.) The union consulted with the city forestry department and explored ways to box the trees in and protect them, but couldn't find a way. PSAC hired J. Carty's Tree Service, whose large crew made short work of the trees Thursday morning. The workers pulled them down, sawed them up and fed the branches into a chipper. A previous city study pegged the value of a single mature shade tree at nearly $20,000, for what it does for the environment and the urban environment. "I am actually sad. Those were beautiful trees. It was a shaded area. We fight as residents, as a ward, for that shade, for that canopy," McKenney said. The city has started including much more expensive underground vaults for trees to grow roots into when it rebuilds streets, hoping for taller and healthier vegetation downtown. "It’s a constant, constant battle, if you don’t live in the core, you may not even think about it." She promised to get some form of compensation for nearby residents. Maybe PSAC will have to plant similarly sized trees or maybe the city will. The negotiations would have been a lot easier before the trees were cut down, she said.

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Posted on 5 May 2016 | 12:44 pm

Government of Canada

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for Emergency Management: Media availability

The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, along with his provincial and territorial counterparts, will hold a media availability following day-long meetings where they discussed working together to strengthen emergency management in Canada.

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Posted on 5 May 2016 | 8:03 pm


fMRI and False Positives: A Basic Flaw?

Over the past few years I've covered (1,2,3) the work of Anders Eklund, a Swedish researcher who has discovered a potentially serious flaw in software commonly used to analyse fMRI data. Eklund has shown that popular parametric statistical analysis tools for fMRI are prone to false positives - they often 'find' brain activation even where it doesn't exist. The issue affects the leading software packages such as FSL and SPM. The main root of the problem is spatial autocorrelation - the

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Posted on 5 May 2016 | 6:11 pm

Mark Steyn

A Se'nnight of Steyn, April 25-May 1

Happy May Day to readers around the world. Mark's book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is now out in audio format - read by the author himself! More details below. This week The New Criterion posted Ben Weingarten's in-depth interview with Steyn on Big

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Posted on 1 May 2016 | 2:00 pm


Could the oil sands catch fire?

What if the wildfires raging in Fort McMurray hit the oil sands?

The post Could the oil sands catch fire? appeared first on

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:37 pm

Huffington Post

Corporate Welfare Is Bad For National Unity

Bombardier is on bit a roll these days. Large deals with Air Canada and Delta Air Lines for its marquee CSeries planes have boosted confidence in the company. Yet, despite this good news (and the CSeries top exec's statement last month that a bailout is "very clearly not required") the debate over a federal bailout for Bombardier rages on.

While much of the focus is rightly on the economic merits (or more accurately, demerits) of corporate welfare, political considerations are inevitably part of the equation. And on this front, two parallel narratives -- neither of which bode well for national unity -- have emerged.

Outside of Quebec, and particularly in western Canada, there is concern that the Trudeau government will cave into demands to hand over money to a company that has perpetually struggled to survive in the marketplace without taxpayer support.

If Ottawa was willing to waste billions of federal tax dollars in Ontario, surely it's only fair to waste billions in Quebec as well.

This would come in an economic context that saw over a 100,000 jobs lost in Alberta in the last year (where an equivalent bailout was neither proposed nor demanded) and growing hostility towards the company in Toronto, which is seething at Bombardier's repeated failure to deliver streetcars (which, it should be noted, are made by an entirely separate division).

Within Quebec, the narrative is that the Trudeau government is beholden to Bay Street in Toronto, and sees a clear double standard insofar as the federal government (under Stephen Harper) helped bail out General Motors and Chrysler in 2009.

Quebec Premier Phillippe Couillard has even noted that Ottawa "lost billions" bankrolling the auto bailout (taxpayers lost $3.7 billion to be exact). But rather than as an argument against repeating such an expensive mistake, Couillard cites it as an argument in favour: if Ottawa was willing to waste billions of federal tax dollars in Ontario, surely it's only fair to waste billions in Quebec as well.

All of this leaves the Trudeau government between a rock and a hard place. They cannot please both camps. But a critical mistake would be to view this decision as a one-off rather than as setting a precedent that will impact Ottawa's ability to respond to similar demands in the future. The question the prime minister and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains should be asking themselves is: what kind of precedent do we want to set?

Bombardier will be happy for a short while, but as has been the case for the last half century, they will be back for more (and more, and more, and more).

Saying yes to Bombardier would signal that it's business as usual in Ottawa: corporate welfare will continue as it always has, and businesses will know that by dispatching the right lobbyists and telegraphing the right threats ("Those are some nice high-paying jobs you've got there. It'd be a real shame if something were to happen to them!") they can extract cash from Ottawa.

Bombardier will be happy for a short while, but as has been the case for the last half century, they will be back for more (and more, and more, and more). In short, by saying yes to Bombardier, they set themselves up for countless similar scenarios in the future.

Alternatively, they could just say no, and send a dramatically different signal: that this kind of fiscal and economic insanity ends here and now. True, Bombardier and the Quebec government won't be happy. But it will deprive future corporate beggars from coast-to-coast (are there ever any shortage of them?) of a precedent, much like the auto bailout that Quebec and Bombardier are now relying on as justification for their own demands.

Perhaps the most understated evil of corporate welfare in Canada is its ability to exacerbate regional tensions. Governments have limited money to dispense; choices must inevitably be made about which projects in which part of the country receive what amounts and on what conditions. When this happens, discussion of whether such corporate handouts are even a good idea becomes overshadowed by questions of regional fairness.

Corporate welfare teaches companies and regions that what's important is about getting your "fair cut" of "free" money.

This is why Premier Couillard can openly admit the auto bailout was an expensive waste, while simultaneously arguing, with a straight face, that Bombardier deserves the same.

Corporate welfare teaches companies and regions that what's important is about getting your "fair cut" of "free" money. And when your cut isn't perceived as fair, it can turn a wasteful policy into a corrosive, emotional weapon to be used by those with regional grievances.

It is already too late to prevent the Bombardier bailout question from becoming regionally divisive. But the government could at least prevent it from happening again by rejecting the company's request today. If they do, they'll be sparing themselves a dozen similar regional headaches in the future - and saving Canadian taxpayers billions of dollars.

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 8:57 pm

CTV Atlantic

Saint John mayor enters crowded race for N.B. Tory leadership

The outgoing mayor of Saint John, N.B., is now the fifth candidate for the leadership of New Brunswick's Progressive Conservatives.

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 7:36 pm

1000 Awesome Things

#1 Anything you want it to be

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AWESOME!

The post #1 Anything you want it to be appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Posted on 21 April 2016 | 4:01 am

The power of choice

Every day presents us with so many choices, we often take them for granted. Hit the gym for hot yoga, or a spin class? Have a nutritious and responsible kale smoothie, or indulge in a whip cream frappuccino? The choices […]

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Posted on 3 May 2016 | 11:00 am


Bloor bike lanes finally get the go ahead in Toronto

bike lanes bloorBike Lanes are finally a reality on Bloor St. After years of campaigns and debate, city council voted 38-3 in favour of a pilot project that will see cycling infrastructure installed between Shaw St. and Avenue Rd. The lanes could be in place by the end of summer.

The cost of the pilot has been pegged at $500,000 (not including lost revenue from removed parking spots). There's no guarantee that the bike lanes will stay in place for the long term, but the pilot is meant to provide the city with the data required to decide whether or not the lanes should be made a permanent fixture of the street.

The possibility of expanding the project to the east and west of the currently approved route is also possible if the initial project is a success.

"If we want to build the city of the future...we have to try some of these things, Mayor John Tory said of the pilot project. "The idea of building a bike lane on Bloor is not a revolutionary idea."

This echoed the sentiments of the majority of council, who seemed comfortable with the idea of the bike lanes precisely because they are being tried out for one year and could be removed should the feedback for local interests be negative.

Toward that end, you can count on this debate to return to city council with even higher stakes at the completion of the pilot.

Photo by Tom Ryaboi.

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:05 pm


Oscar De La Hoya calls Donald Trump a golf cheat

De La Hoya calls Trump a golf cheat

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:22 pm

Metro News

Fire crews fight to prevent spread of embers as winds expected to move in

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:54 pm

The Province

Queen Elizabeth Park to get love locks sculpture

Vancouver — Looking for an easy way to celebrate your eternal love? Then head down to Queen Elizabeth Park later this summer. And bring a padlock. The Vancouver park board approved the concept and location Monday for a new public art love lock sculpture by Bruce Voyce, an artist from Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood, who submitted the […]

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:31 pm

Rabble CA

The politics of 'too soon' rarely apply to the rich and powerful

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 7:59 pm


UberX Legalized, Accused in Stabbing Fires her Lawyer, and an Esports Bar

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not to miss. After what seems like months in a City Council meeting yesterday, people who want to use UberX now have a legal and regulated way to do so. The vote was 27-15 in favour of the new regulations. […]

The post UberX Legalized, Accused in Stabbing Fires her Lawyer, and an Esports Bar appeared first on Torontoist.

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:02 pm

Quirks and Quarks

The Peacock Makes Eye Contact With Its Tail - 2016/04/30 - Pt. 3

The peacock uses vibration to move its feathers, but keep the eyespots still in order to mesmerize the peahen.

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Posted on 29 April 2016 | 4:00 am

Sun Columnists

Donald Trump can beat Hillary Clinton

From Day 1 of Donald Trump’s campaign, everything the privileged, exclusive white-wing of the GOP has predicted has been wrong, including that he can’t beat Hillary Clinton.

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Posted on 5 May 2016 | 1:00 am

The Progressive Economics Forum

Ten things to know about the 2016-17 Alberta budget

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I have a blog post titled: “Ten things to know about the 2016-17 Alberta budget.” The link to the post is here.

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 1:03 am

Religious News Blog

Nobody joins a cult, but it is easy to get radicalized

how people get radicalized

Today: stories about the Palmarian Catholic Church, how easily people get radicalised, and what IS jihadists have in mind for Europe’s cities.

Also: tongue-in-cheek, How do Operating Thetans get in touch with eachother? And is Crossfit a religion?

Finally: Religion News Blog’s new design.

Full story: Nobody joins a cult, but it is easy to get radicalized

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Posted on 28 November 2015 | 5:16 pm

Much Music

Where Is Post Malone’s Mixtape?

When a new artist releases a song that makes waves and becomes a viral hit, the success can quickly turn to pressure as they look to capitalize on their new found fame. Often times, we see artists release a big song only to fail to maintain relevance by taking too long to release a project […]

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:25 pm


How you can donate to Fort McMurray fire relief

Text this number to give to the Canadian Red Cross

The post How you can donate to Fort McMurray fire relief appeared first on MoneySense.

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Posted on 5 May 2016 | 8:16 pm


Loblaw prez: Grocery stores should sell medical pot

Weston: Grocery stores should sell pot

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Posted on 5 May 2016 | 7:02 pm

National Post Blog

How chaos theory explains climate change: Watch Perimeter Institute tackle global warming in a live lecture

University of Oxford professor Tim Palmer will explain in a live lecture Wednesday night how chaos theory can help the skeptics rest easy

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:21 pm

Eureka Science News

Why vultures matter -- and what we lose if they're gone

Vultures. Cartoon characters in parched deserts often wish them to disappear, since circling vultures are a stereotypical harbinger of death. But, joking aside, vultures in some parts of the world are in danger of disappearing. And according to a new report from University of Utah biologists, such a loss would have serious consequences for ecosystems and human populations alike.

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Posted on 5 May 2016 | 8:23 pm

The Toronto Star Columnists

NDP will pay full market rent in Toronto building being sold by holding company

Ontario’s New Democrats will be paying full commercial rates for office space at the downtown building now being sold by the party’s union-backed holding company.

But the rent will be paid to the company, Ontario Cornerstone Leadership Corporation, whose shareholders are the NDP and eight unions or their locals.

The rent change comes after terms of the sale by Cornerstone were revised last Friday, altering plans to give the NDP free rent at 101 Richmond St. E for the rest of the year, and a reduced rate until July 2017.

“Once a sale is finalized the party will be charged fair market rent by Cornerstone,” Karla Webber-Gallagher, the NDP’s provincial secretary, said in an email Monday. And Cornerstone will keep the rent money, she said.

The rental arrangement follows a Star report that a previously secret Cornerstone shareholders’ agreement from Sept. 9, 2009 showed the company has a complex corporate entity where the NDP controls all of the Class A common shares. Typically, these shares carry more powers. Eight unions hold Class B shares. The agreement also showed that each union has a seat on the Cornerstone board, the NDP has one seat.

The corporate structure is not illegal. But it appears to challenge past assertions by the NDP that the party had an arm’s-length relationship with Cornerstone. In 2014, Cornerstone guaranteed a $6-million loan for the NDP, which currently has a debt of around $5 million.

As the Star revealed Saturday, Cornerstone is selling the building on Richmond St. to Streetwise Capital Partners Inc. for $3.5 million in a deal set to close June 24. That’s $400,000 more than Cornerstone paid nine years ago.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Monday she’s not in the loop of day-to-day operations at Cornerstone, established more than a decade ago to help the New Democrats raise money and secure loans for election campaigns.

The sale of the building to Streetwise comes as Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals are scrambling to reform Ontario’s lax political fundraising laws, possibly imposing bans on corporate and union donations.

It is possible a ban on contributions from unions would lead to an unravelling of the Cornerstone arrangement. That would put extra financial pressure on the NDP.

But Horwath said the four-storey office is “absolutely not” being sold because of the reforms, which Wynne will introduce later this month.

“Nobody even knows what the new legislation is,” the NDP chief said, noting the party has been looking for new premises for some time.

“There have been problems with that building for many, many years. There are problems with accessibility, there are problems with the roof.”

But Finance Minister Charles Sousa suggested the timing of the real estate deal is curious.

“It’s coincidental — or not — that suddenly they’re trying to unwind the shell corporation,” said Sousa, whose own party announced reforms only after the Star disclosed that ministers had annual fundraising targets of up to $500,000 each.

He accused Horwath of trying to “delay the process” of introducing the fundraising reforms.

The NDP leader said the Liberals are using their majority in the legislature to bring in the reforms without enough input from her, Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner.

Horwath, who endured Liberal heckling in question period about the Cornerstone controversy, maintained she is “not involved” with the building sale.

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Posted on 3 May 2016 | 3:00 am

Canadian Tech Blogger - MobileSyrup

City of Saskatoon brings free Wi-Fi to several city facilities

The City of Saskatoon is partnering with Shaw to provide internet access at 10 city-owned locations throughout the region. The initiative came into effect on Wednesday through a partnership between...

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Posted on 4 May 2016 | 9:30 pm

The Daily Galaxy

China's Journey to the Far Side of the Moon --"Will It Lead to the 1st Radio Telescope Beyond Earth?" (Thursday's Most Popular)

China's Chang'e 4 mission to the far side of the moon, planned for sometime before 2020 could eventually lead to the placement of a radio telescope for use by astronomers, something that would help "fill a void" in man's knowledge...

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Posted on 5 May 2016 | 3:59 pm

The Movie Blog

99 Homes is Hollywood, but isn’t Hollygood

  [springboard type=”video” id=”1564395″ player=”tmbg001″ width=”599″ height=”336″ ]   Synopsis: A father struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by ...
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Posted on 25 September 2015 | 3:32 pm


Crocodile eyes are perfect for ambush attacks

Crocs lie in wait, motionless, for an unfortunate animal to drink from the river's edge, before pouncing in a burst of speed and strength. Now Australian scientists have uncovered aspects of the crocodile's vision that make it an ambush expert. Amy Middleton reports.

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Posted on 5 May 2016 | 6:25 am