Canada stripped the TPP of its terrible IP proposals: will the US seek revenge in NAFTA talks?

It's been nearly a year since Trump killed the Trans Pacific Partnership by pulling the US out of it; last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada and the other TPP countries would sign the agreement without the USA -- an announcement timed to coincide with Trump's appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, presenting the TPP nations as a kind of coalition of the willing for political moderation and maturity. Read the rest

Ontario Conservative leader abruptly resigns after he is accused of sexual assault and misconduct with very young, drunk women

Hours after CTV published the firsthand accounts of two women who say they experienced sexual advances and at least one assault from Ontario Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown, Brown has resigned, leaving the party leaderless shortly before a key election. Read the rest

Sears Canada execs paid hundreds of millions in dividends before declaring bankruptcy and leaving 16,000 workers' pensions unfunded

Sears Canada has been in serious financial trouble since 2013, when workers wrote to the CEO and regulators and senior politicians to ask that their pensions be safeguarded. They were ignored, as they had been since 2009, when they first started asking for greater scrutiny of the pension fund. Read the rest

Watch this timelapse of a guy single-handedly building a log cabin the woods

Well, this is damn impressive. Outdoorsman Shawn James built a log cabin in the Canadian woods all by himself -- without power tools -- and created this timelapse video to prove it.

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The story of how sf writer and editor Judith Merril founded Toronto's astounding sf reference library and changed the city

My middle-school used to take us on field trips to the Spaced Out Library, the Toronto Public Library's science fiction reference collection founded by legendary author, critic, editor and activist Judith Merril, who emigrated to Canada after witnessing the police brutality at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention. Read the rest

Happy Public Domain day! Here are the works entering the public domain in Canada and the EU, but not the USA, where the public domain is stagnant

When the USA decided to retroactively extend the term of copyright, it deprived itself of free, open access to important cultural treasures that new creators could build upon as creators have done since time immemorial. Read the rest

When Justin Trudeau was in opposition, he voted for Canada's PATRIOT Act but promised to fix it; instead he's making it much, much worse

Back in 2015, Canada's failing, doomed Conservative government introduced Bill C-51, a far-reaching mass surveillance bill that read like PATRIOT Act fanfic; Justin Trudeau, leader of what was then a minority opposition party, whipped his MPs to vote for it, allowing it to pass, and cynically admitting that he was only turning this into law because he didn't want to give the Conservatives a rhetorical stick to beat him with in the next election -- he promised that once he was Prime Minister, he'd fix it. Read the rest

Bell is leading the push to end Canadian Net Neutrality with a secret, extrajudicial Star Chamber that will decide what Canadians can and can't see

Canada has a grotesquely concentrated telcoms sector and a grotesquely concentrated media sector, and thanks to a series of extremely anticompetitive mergers, the two sectors are one in the same. Read the rest

CIPPIC: Standing Guard for Canadians' Digital Rights

NAFTA 2.0, the return of the TPP, mobile phone surveillance, copyright term extension, class actions targeting movie downloads: Canadians' digital liberties have never been under more pressure than they are today. Digital liberties matter to Canadians. CIPPIC, Canada's public interest tech law clinic, stands on guard for Canadians' digital liberties.

Hey, Kitchener-Waterloo, I'm headed your way next Monday!

I was honoured to be invited to address the University of Waterloo on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Cheriton School of Computer Science; my father is a proud Waterloo grad (and I'm a proud Waterloo dropout!), and so this is indeed a very special opportunity for me. Read the rest

Kickstarting Scintillation, Jo Walton's intimate, conversational science fiction convention in Montreal

Within science fiction, Jo Walton (previously) is legendary for hosting small, intimate gatherings of outstanding conversation and comradeship. Read the rest

Bearded men don mermen tails for charity calendar

The hairy-faced gents of the Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club are raising money for a mental health charity by posing as mermen for this 2018 MerB’ys calendar. CBC reports:

Calendar proceeds are going to Spirit Horse NL, a group that offers support to people with mental health issues via therapeutic interaction with horses. "They're desperately in need of funds and awareness because it's expensive to raise and upkeep horses," says Hasan Hai, who founded the [club]. He knew instinctively this was a challenge fit for the MerB'ys. "I figured right away that this is a cause our club can get behind." Once they had a charity to champion, finding willing men with facial hair did not prove problematic. Hai says he was immediately inundated with at least seventy beardos more than keen to get fishy for the fund raising initiative.

...One happy byproduct of the initiative is that they're also getting to challenge some persistent gender norms.

Hai says rolling around as MerB'y has allowed him and the other MerB'ys a wholly "different take on what manliness and masculinity looks like." He says the response has been largely positive. "People blowing kisses at one another, guys holding hands, being whimsical and silly – it's a lot of fun." That the project ended up "poking a lot of holes at traditional gender roles and stereotypes" was a bonus. As was some added body confidence. Stripping down for charity has made the founder feel more at home in his own skin (and scales).

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There's an advent calendar full of weed

Over the years, we've seen many advent calendars geared for grown-ups. They're filled with things adults appreciate: booze, beer, and of course, Star Wars LEGO bricks.

Now it's weed's turn. To fill that niche, Coast to Coast Medicinals, a mail-order medical marijuana shop in Vancouver, Canada, has created a cannabis-filled advent calendar. The product's description reads, "Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house everyone was smoking, even the mouse."

Their special countdown to Christmas calendar can be filled with 24 days of edibles, flowers, or a combination of both (the current top seller). Coast to Coast's owner Lorilee Fedler shared with Boing Boing that they're anticipating selling out. She writes, "We are selling them so fast that we might have to cut sales off if we can't find more boxes."

As for the inspiration behind it, Fedler explains, "We loved the booze calendar and thought, 'Why not do a weed one?' Something fun for adults."

For those of you who are dreaming of a green Christmas, the calendar is available to pre-order until November 20 (to ensure December 1 delivery), in Canada only. Prices range from C$200 to C$230. For comparison, a gram of the shop's flowers cost between C$9 to C$13 and the flower-only box contains a full 26 grams.

Previously: Cannabis ad brilliantly parodies prescription drug commercials Read the rest

Paradise Papers reveal cozy relationship between Stubhub and Canadian botmaster/scalper kingpin

The Paradise Papers continue to expose the economically useless activity that late-stage capitalism rewards with titanic sums of money: today, it's the story of Julien Lavallée, a botmaster ticket-scalper who has harvested the lion's share of concert tickets from all over the world, laundering them for millions through a secret "top seller" program that Stubhub offers to anyone who can move more than $50,000 worth of tickets per year. Read the rest

Canadian spy agency releases its top anti-malware tool as free software.

The Canadian Communications Security Establishment -- the most secretive of Canada's spy agencies -- has released the sourcecode for Assemblyline, a "Swiss Army Knife for malware analysis" that rolls up several malware analysis tools into a single unit, which can scan files for known malware and also assign a score to files indicating the likeliness that the file has a previously unseen form of malware. Read the rest

Drawn and Quarterly's incredible Montreal book store

This summer in Montreal I stopped by the Drawn & Quarterly book store on 211 Bernard St. Visiting the store was one of the highlights of my trip to Montreal, and it is definitely worth checking out.

Drawn & Quarterly has published comics by some of my favorite authors, such as Dan Clowes. They also carry many awesome books and comics at the store from other publishers. I had a lot of fun looking through some books of R. Crumb's art. The store has a lively atmosphere and often hosts events.

On the store's site, you can find out about upcoming events at the bookstore.

I interviewed Alyssa who works at the bookstore. She told me the store has been open since 2007. Each of the staff members has a section of books that they have chosen for the store. The events that take place at the bookstore are often author readings, and book, poetry, and comic book launches. There's a stage and chairs in the back of the store for these events. These events happen often and the store is one of the most popular places in Montreal to attend a book launch.

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Canadian Parliament cancels plan to legalize drunk canoeing

Proposed Canadian legislation to legalise operating watercraft "propelled exclusively by means of muscular power" has been canceled, after the Canadian Safe Boating Council convinced the legislation's author, Liberal MP Colin Fraser, that "it would send the wrong message to the public to exclude drunk canoeing." Read the rest

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