Parliament ponders letting US immigration strip-search Canadians in Canadian airports, force them to explain immigration withdrawals

The current pre-clearance rules for Canadians being processed through US immigration at Canadian airports limit the powers of US immigration officials, preventing them from strip-searching Canadians (they can ask Canadian border guards to do it, but if the Canadian guards refuse, they're out of luck) and giving Canadians the ability to turn around and leave the immigration area, returning to Canada, if they don't like the way they're being treated by the US guards. Read the rest

The vicious war of succession for the baboons of the Toronto Zoo is finally over

When zookeepers at the Toronto Zoo euthanized Betty, the zoo's 16-year-old baboon-troop matriarch, it touched off a vicious war of succession among the troops female members that saw them mutilating one another in savage combat -- the war was finally settled when zookeepers implanted the warring baboons with estrogen-releasing implants that reduced the viciousness of the fighting. Read the rest

Canadians overwhelmingly support trade war with the USA if the alternative is capitulation on NAFTA

A Globe and Mail poll of Canadians shows that 58% of the country wants PM Justin Trudeau's government to stand strong on NAFTA's terms, even if it means a trade war with the USA. Read the rest

Canadians: Parliament is holding an emergency session tonight about the #muslimban, call your MP NOW!

From Leadnow.ca: "The most important thing you can do right now is take 5 minutes to call your MP demanding that the Canadian government: Make an immediate, public condemnation of the executive orders by President Trump that bans Muslims and refugees from entering the US, and; Rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement which bars most refugee claimants entering from the United States over land to claim asylum in Canada." Read the rest

6 killed in terror attack on Quebec mosque

Two suspects are in custody after gunmen opened fire in a Quebec mosque, killing six and injuring eight. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned it as an act of terrorism aimed at the Muslim community.

"It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear," Trudeau said in a statement.

The identities of the suspects have not yet been released. Nor have authorities identified a motive in the attack on some 40-50 worshipers gathered at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre. Mass shootings in Canada are rare, reports USA Today.

It comes amid heightened tensions worldwide over President Trump’s ban on admitting refugees and travel restrictions on certain Muslim countries.

"Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country," Trudeau said in his statement. "Canadian law enforcement agencies will protect the rights of all Canadians, and will make every effort to apprehend the perpetrators of this act and all acts of intolerance."

At least one news outlet mistakenly reported that two white supremacists were identified as the shooters, sourcing the details to a fake Reuters Twitter account. CBC News reports that the attackers were masked, had Québécois accents, and yelled "Allahu akbar" as they fired upon praying congregants. A witness told them that...

"... the bullets hit people that were praying. People who were praying lost their lives. A bullet passed right over my head.

Read the rest

Canadians: tell your MP to change the law so Canada can welcome Trump-stranded refugees

Under the 2004 Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement, refugees that are turned away from the US are not allowed to seek entry into Canada. Read the rest

Here be dragons: Thrifted Ikea dresser remade with graphite paper and woodburning kit

Lorraine Andrusiak couldn't get a new Ikea Moppe dresser in Canada, but she found this one in a thrift store, marred by a thick, ugly coat of paint; so she stripped the paint, transferred vintage sea-monster art with graphite paper, and burned the decorations into the wood -- the result is gorgeous. Read the rest

For sale: one 19th century Quebec village, slightly fake, $2.8M

Canadiana Village is an hour north of Montreal and sports 45 buildings that are intended to recreate rural Quebec life in the 19th century (though only one is habitable); and once served as a destination for school groups and film-crews. Now it's for sale for CAD$2.8M. Read the rest

China's anti-money-laundering rules could burst Canada's real-estate bubble

China has adopted stringent new anti-money-laundering rules that will make it nearly impossible for small investors -- for example, middle-class families who pool their savings -- to get their money out of the country in order to buy condos in Canada's superheated property market (not just Canada, of course!). Read the rest

Canada's telcoms regulator declares internet an "essential service"

After decades of allowing anti-competitive mergers in the TV, radio, phone and internet sectors, Canada's telcoms regulator, the CRTC, has taken an important step to address the underperformance of Canada's monopolistic, bumbling phone companies and cable operators, declaring internet access to be an "essential service" and thus something that operators must offer in all territories in which they operate. Read the rest

Sikh maritimers stage astounding bhangra dance-routine with snow shovels

Three members of Halifax's Maritime Bhangra Group appear in this beautifully choreographed dance routine on a snow day, using shovels as props -- they're raising funds for the ALS Society of Nova Scotia. (via Neatorama) Read the rest

McGill Neurology will no longer patent researchers' findings, instead everything will be open access

The Neurological Institute at Montreal's McGill University is host to the "Tanenbaum Open Science Institute," endowed by a $20M contribution; since last spring, the unit has pursued an ambitious open science agenda that includes open access publication of all research data and findings, and an end to the practice of patenting the university's findings. Instead, they will all be patent-free and usable by anyone. Read the rest

Canada's music lobby admits WIPO Internet Treaty drafters were "just guessing"

Michael Geist writes, "The global music industry has spent two decades lobbying for restrictive DMCA-style restrictions on digital locks. These so-called "anti-circumvention rules" have been actively opposed by many groups, but the copyright lobby claims that they are needed to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization's Internet treaties. Now the head of the RIAA in Canada admits that the treaty drafters were just guessing and that they guessed wrong." Read the rest

The Internet Archive is putting a Trump-resistant mirror of the web in Canada

The Internet Archive is augmenting its existing mirrors -- one in San Francisco, one in Amsterdam, one at the Library of Alexandria (that is: San Andreas fault, below sea level, military dictatorship) -- with a copy in Canada, on the premise that "lots of copies keep stuff safe." Read the rest

Conservative Alberta politician changes sides over Trumpism, gets gendered death threats and slurs from the Tory base

Sandra Jansen was elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party, but now she sits with the left-leaning New Democratic Party, who took the provincial government is a surprise upset that was driven by a mix of a split in the right (the Conservatives are mired in infighting with the ultra-right Wild Rose Party) and the decline of the oil industry. Read the rest

Canadian tech firms will have their pick of overseas talent thanks to Trump's anti-immigrant policies

The massive talent shortage in tech has all kinds of weird effects: the inability to outbid tech giants means that badly secured hospitals get devoured by ransomware; it means that companies that value diversity get to outmaneuver much better-resourced competitors; it means that companies that pledge to be ethical can edge out their competition (and that unethical conduct can have real costs); and it means that companies get so desperate that they form industry-wide criminal conspiracies to try to short circuit the seller's market for tech skills. Read the rest

Ontario judge dishonours his court and disgraces himself by presiding in a MAKE AMERICA GREAT hat

Ontario Judge Bernd Zabel displayed contempt for his position and its political impartiality by showing up for work the day after the US election in a Donald Trump "Make America Great Again" hat, which he wore, and then perched on his bench. Read the rest

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