Life as a Human

Street Food Tuesdays

If you are looking for a place that serves some interesting street-food dishes, you need to check out the tasty and unusual treats turned out by Chef Page at McKibbin's Irish Pub in Montreal's Vaudreuil.

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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 11:00 am

CTV News

Serial numbers confirm wing debris is is from Flight MH370: official

A French prosecutor says the piece of wing discovered in July on a remote Indian Ocean island has been formally identified as having come from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 3:33 pm

Vancouver Sun

Senior gunned down by accident as neighbour's house targeted in Abbotsford shooting

A 74-year-old Abbotsford man described by police as “an ideal neighbor” was shot to death Wednesday night in a shooting targeting the house next door.

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 4:17 pm


Skype 6.0 brings revamped design to both iOS and Android

Skype users have ridden a rollercoaster of different designs over the years, and the latest version promises yet more change. Version 6.0 has been completely redesigned for both iOS and Android apps, which are now in lockstep with each other. For...

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 4:12 pm

Ottawa Citizen

Some First Nations face cash crunch over lack of disclosures

The Conservative government will start withholding millions of dollars in salaries and other funding from nearly 200 First Nations after they failed to publish detailed financial information online, as is required by a controversial federal law. Under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, 581 First Nations from across the country were required to post audited financial statements on the Internet by midnight Tuesday or risk losing non-essential funding from the federal government. The information to be made public included how much money individual band leaders made during the year, no matter whether the income came from federal funding or the First Nation’s business interests. The federal Aboriginal Affairs department said 191 – or nearly one-third – had not posted their information as of Wednesday. While more are expected to trickle in over the next few days, the figure is still striking after only 10 First Nations did not comply with the law last year. In a statement sent by the Conservative party, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said band councils that have not met the deadline will receive formal reminders. But he added that starting this week, funding for non-essential services will be withheld. Other actions, such as court orders, may also be taken. “All Canadians, including First Nations, want and deserve transparency and accountability from their governments,” Valcourt said. The law applies “the same principles of transparency and accountability to First Nations governments that already exist for other governments in Canada,” he added. Speaking in Ottawa Wednesday, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde described the government’s move to withhold funding from First Nations as “heavyhanded.” “A lot of those people in those communities who need those resources, you’re going to make them suffer,” he said. “That’s what’s going to happen. It’s not proper, it’s not right.” Bellegarde said a number of First Nations plan to post their financial statements online but struggled to meet the deadline because of the extra work and cost. Yet he also said some First Nations have questioned why the government’s push for transparency isn’t being reciprocated by Aboriginal Affairs, which held back $1 billion in approved spending over a five-year period. Moreover, he said the law goes too far in terms of revealing personal and commercial information. Bellegarde said the AFN has no issue with transparency and accountability, but requiring First Nations to post the information on the Internet, “it’s a little too far. It’s a little too public.” The same is true for band leaders having to report income from private ventures, he said. “Those two pieces are problematic,” he said. “Why do we have to do that? Why do First Nations have to do that? So the legislation is flawed in that regard.” The law is currently the subject of a federal court case in Saskatoon, where the government is trying to force five First Nations to publish their financial statements online. The First Nations, two of which have launched lawsuits against the government, say the law violates privacy and confidentiality. Two days of hearings were held in August. The judge has not yet released a decision. One of the First Nations has also written to the United Nations to complain about the law. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau had previously indicated he would repeal the legislation if he wins the election, though the party now says a Liberal government would review all laws affecting First Nations that were brought in under the Conservative government without consultation. The NDP originally voted against the legislation, but Leader Tom Mulcair has not said what he will do if elected to power. [related_links /]

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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 10:41 pm

Government of Canada

Official International Reserves

Official International Reserves

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 12:25 pm


This Guy Went Fishing With a Drone... And It Worked

Call it beginner’s luck. Call it genius. Whatever you call it, the fact remains the same: This guy caught a fish with his DJI Phantom. Derek Klingenberg, whose YouTube alias adds “Farmer” to the front of his name, does the “Whip Nae Nae” with cows, puts a farming spin on Kendrick Lamar songs, and also fishes with quadcopters. It didn't take long for him to get a bite.  Good Catch If there weren’t video, you’d think it was another fishing tale, but Klingenberg actually snagged a fish usi

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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 8:50 pm

Mark Steyn

The Climate of Clinton

Today I started the day with Toronto's Number One morning man, talking Obama's ice follies in Alaska and then the even more rapid melt of Hillary's presidential campaign. And just to connect the two of them up, I advanced my theory that, as the only guy

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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 2:00 pm


Andre De Grasse forgoing endorsement dollars to return to USC

De Grasse has said his mother wanted him to return to school to get his degree.

The post Andre De Grasse forgoing endorsement dollars to return to USC appeared first on

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 4:48 pm

Huffington Post

Our Next Government Needs to Believe in a Strong Public Service

As I listen to the election coverage and that of the Duffy trial, I am struck again by the lack of accountability in both the Senate and Prime Minister's Office. Few seemed to have any sense that repaying Senator Duffy's expenses might not be ethical or even legal for that matter. Nor did some of them seem to care as long as there would be no embarrassment to the prime minister. What message does this behavior send to everyone else in government?

As a former senior public servant and engaged Canadian citizen, I find this lack of accountability very troubling. At the same time the government is expecting the highest level of accountability of public servants while often ignoring their advice or as in the case of scientists seemingly preventing them from disclosing to the public scientific evidence and facts about matters such as the environment and the state of fish stocks. Politicians have been accused of proposing measures to reduce public service benefits as a way of trying to gain voters sympathy. Yet accountability has not applied to all members of our organizations of governance.

Public servants are often criticized or maligned by members of the public. Recently a young woman said to me that public servants have an easy life, do not work hard and get great pay and benefits. Wow, maybe I should have looked for a public service that offers me such a life. Not the public service that I worked in for 25 years.

I have heard similar comments throughout my years in the public service and from politicians who wanted to feed on a misconception about the role of public servants. Governments sometimes trade on issues such as sick leave or mistakes to get voters sympathies. Public servants cannot defend themselves because they are not to be the face of government. Rather than complain about the number of sick days taken by members of the public service or engaging in a blame game, government members should be asking: "What is needed to create a healthy and creative public service within key accountability frameworks?"

For example, the government exhorts public servants to be creative and complains about a lack of creativity. At the same time they are putting in more rules and creating a culture that does not tolerate mistakes. From my experience, working in that kind of environment does not lend itself to creativity of the desired kind. It creates an environment of fear, unwillingness to take risks, hiding mistakes and therefore an inability to find the best solutions to very complex challenges.

Most of the public servants that I worked with were hard working, committed to public service and cared deeply about the challenges they faced in helping Canadians. Many worked long hours and public service executives certainly willingly worked as many hours as most executives in the private sector without the same level of compensation. Yes, like any organization the public service has some employees who do not work as hard nor are as effective as they could be in the workplace. I suggest, from my experience these employees are a very small minority of the public service.

While leading their departments, senior executives in the public service must have the courage to risk mistakes and find ways to serve the public better. Many of the senior leaders will speak "truth to power" even though it does not always make them popular. While ministers make the final decisions on tough policy choices, the public service over the years has offered sage advice. Ministers do not have time to do the required research but public servants can, when there is a relationship of trust, provide the necessary advice to help a minister feel more assured about his/her final choices made along with their cabinet colleagues.

I worked with many great ministers from different parties who valued my advice and I felt respected and happy to work even harder to give them the best support possible in making their often very difficult public policy choices. As public servants we felt trusted and a part of helping to resolve complex public policy challenges.

Public servants believe in accountability and service to the public and their ministers. That is not the issue. Rather it is when rules are so abundant that they cross the line between accountability and immobilization of the ability to act effectively in the public interest. When public servants are not asked for advice, are blamed for mistakes, feel a lack of trust and are subject to excess rules, their health and well-being are affected. Add to that a negative public perception and we can see the reasons for high levels of stress.

When you are committed to making a difference and serving the public, yet do not feel heard nor trusted it's demoralizing. Watching a lack of accountability in the senate and in the PM's office equally cannot be good for morale. Canada's public service has a proud history and has been recognized as world leader in terms of impartiality and offering great advice to ministers. Whichever party forms the next government, it is imperative that they take accountability seriously and create an environment of trust with the public service. Canada needs a creative, healthy and trusted public service and a government that holds themselves accountable.


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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 4:58 pm

CTV Atlantic

Explosion brings down smokestacks at Dalhousie generating station

The second time was the charm for a controlled explosion at the now-defunct NB Power generating station in Dalhousie, N.B.

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 4:11 pm

1000 Awesome Things

#167 The sound of the needle hitting the record

We didn’t used to download. Nope, after spending a few weeks saving money from mowing lawns, shoveling driveways, or delivering papers it was time to get on a creaky bus and head downtown to the record shop. After walking around … Continue reading

The post #167 The sound of the needle hitting the record appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 4:01 am

Mistresses finale ‘gave me chills’, says Jes Macallan

We knew Joss didn’t kill Luca. Calista knew Joss didn’t kill Luca. And now the cops do too. Last week on Mistresses, Calista (Jennifer Esposito) finally confessed that she murdered her husband, exonerating Joss (Jes Macallan). April (Rochelle Aytes) found […]

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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 4:01 pm


MUJI to open massive store in Mississauga

Muji MississaugaFans of minimalist Japanese design can soon rejoice because MUJI is venturing outside of downtown Toronto to open its second location in Mississauga's Square One Shopping Centre.

MUJI, meaning "no brand, quality goods," stocks a variety of furniture, houseware, clothing, stationery and and assortment of miscellaneous goods at competitive prices. It currently has one outlet in Canada, which is located in the Atrium on Bay.

The Square One store -- set to open in November, according to Retail Insider -- will be nearly 1,000 square-feet bigger than its Yonge and Dundas outpost. It'll feature an expanded furniture section as well as children's clothing and food, two items MUJI doesn't sell at its original Toronto outpost.

Along with its foray into Mississauga, MUJI plans to open up to eight additional stores in Canada within the next five years. And don't forget Japanese retailer Uniqlo is finally going to arrive in Toronto in 2016. This massive clothing emporium is slated to open at the Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Mall.

Are you happy MUJI's expanding? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Jesse Milns.

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 5:45 pm


World's 10 most picturesque hill towns

Most picturesque hill towns

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 4:00 pm

The Province

This little boy drowned off the shores of Turkey. His family was trying to reach Vancouver

The drowned child captured in a photograph that went around the world was Aylan Kurdi. He died, along with his brother and their mother, in a desperate attempt to reach Canada

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 1:48 pm

Rabble CA

Fact-check: Does Canada have good refugee policy?

Canada is no longer a welcome nation for refugees. Many Canadians are now realizing just how bad it's become.

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 3:27 pm


An Interview with Safety Cat

We spoke with a West Annex neighbourhood fixture about community and, obviously, safety.

Scratchy vest chair

Chances are that if you’ve been in the western reaches of the Annex these past few months, you’ve seen Safety Cat. The neon orange-vested feline, whose real name is Scratchy, has become something of a community fixture. He’s even gotten real dead-tree media coverage for his “wonderfully goofy” contribution to community spirit. With Safety Cat […]

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 4:30 pm

Quirks and Quarks

We're on Summer Hiatus - No new Podcasts until September

Visit our Website for more downloads of previous episodes of Quirks & Quarks.

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Posted on 30 June 2015 | 4:00 am

Sun Columnists

History suggests Mulcair will run a deficit

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has continued to surprise fiscal conservatives with a string of hawkish economic promises.

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 5:12 am

The Progressive Economics Forum

Balanced Budget Myopia Breaks Both Ways

Opinions on deficit budgeting have become a short-hand litmus test in Canadian politics. Deficits are left-wing and balanced budgets are right-wing austerity.  Economists know that there is virtually no difference between a small surplus and a small deficit, but politicians and voters are a different story. I have spent the past three and half years railing […]

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Posted on 31 August 2015 | 5:37 pm

Religious News Blog

Are you old enough to remember Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh?

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

In 1981 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh spent $5.75 million on a remote piece of property in Oregon and invested millions more to build Rajneeshpuram as a spiritual retreat for thousands of his red-frocked followers.

A few years later some of his followers were convicted of infecting salad bars with Salmonella, as well as other crimes: arson, wiretapping, immigration fraud, election fraud and attempted murder.

Full story: Are you old enough to remember Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh?

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Posted on 18 July 2015 | 12:11 pm

Much Music

Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz Is Wonderfully Weird

After her wonderfully weird hosting gig during Sunday’s MTV VMAs, Miley Cyrus closed out the show with a performance of her new single Dooo It and announced her free album Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz (listen here). Cyrus kicks off the album with a clear explanation of what tone the record will take, singing […]

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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 9:53 pm


Having a baby? Update your financial plan

Now that baby Emily’s here, the Martins’ priorities have suddenly changed—and they’re concerned about their financial future

The post Having a baby? Update your financial plan appeared first on MoneySense.

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 2:18 pm


Man fined for harassing swimming deer in B.C.

Man fined for harassing deer in B.C.

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 12:40 pm

National Post Blog

A very Canadian miscarriage of justice: Judge ruled offside for assault conviction based on hockey knowledge

A high-profile assault trial will need to be repeated after a judge relied on her own armchair hockey knowledge to convict an Ottawa beer league player

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 3:03 am

Eureka Science News

A marine creature's magic trick explained

Tiny ocean creatures known as sea sapphires perform a sort of magic trick as they swim: One second they appear in splendid iridescent shades of blue, purple or green, and the next they may turn invisible (at least the blue ones turn completely transparent). How do they get their bright colors and what enables them to "disappear?" New research at the Weizmann Institute has solved the mystery of these colorful, vanishing creatures, which are known scientifically as Sapphirinidae. The findings, which recently appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, could inspire the development of new optical technologies.

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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 9:04 pm

Canadian Tech Blogger - MobileSyrup

Sony Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium Canadian specs, pricing and availability

Sony just unveiled the latest smartphones in its Xperia line, the Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 Premium, the larger two of which are set to come to...

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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 6:45 pm

The Daily Galaxy

Elliptical Galaxies --"More Likely to Be the Cradles of Life in the Universe"

The field of astrobiology has made huge strides in understanding the habitable zones around stars (stellar habitable zones) where life can begin, sustain its existence and evolve into complex forms. A few studies have extended this quest by modeling galactic-scale...

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Posted on 2 September 2015 | 3:45 pm

The Movie Blog

Macbeth Official Trailer

So, this is supposed to be at least two paragraphs long. So, bear with me as I try to scrape something together. I was never a big fan of MacBeth...

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 5:30 am


From the vault: The science of happiness

A look back at some of our most popular articles.

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Posted on 31 August 2015 | 8:00 am