This lynx became buddies with cameraman after spending months together in the Canadian north

It's an accomplishment to find and photograph a lynx: they want little to do with humans and make an effort to keep themselves to themselves. It's an even bigger accomplishment to not only find a lynx to photograph, but to also spend enough time with it that it comes to see you as a hunting buddy. Read the rest

Hackers say they stole tens of thousands of health records of Ontario home-care patients and they want to get paid

CBC reporters have verified health record files provided by hackers who say they acquired them by breaking into the computers of CarePartners, a company that contracts with the Ontario government. Read the rest

Poverty grounds for separating kids from their families in Canada

British Columbia is a rich Canadian province. As with most places where money flows freely, not everyone is allowed a taste of privilege.

British Columbia has one of the highest rates of child-poverty in the whole nation. This lack of wealth to buy the basics of life that most of us take for granted has been giving B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development the excuse it needs to remove kids from their parents. The premise for doing so, sounds logical: If you can’t pay to properly feed, clothe and house your child, you’re neglecting your child. The government will step in to do what you can’t and, in the process, take your child away from you. But once you start picking apart the apparatus that serves to ‘protect’ the kids separated from impoverished families, it’s easy to see that provincial government’s methodology is based in cruel madness, masquerading as concern.

Last year, it came to light that a teen removed from his family lived in 17 different foster placements under the watch of 23 different social workers and caregivers over an 11 year period. His final placement: being kept in a hotel room: a practice that was employed on a regular basis, due to the number of children in B.C.’s child protection system and the difficulty in finding suitable foster families. Unsupervised and suffering from a number of mental health issues, he jumped from his hotel window, to his death. In a feature published this week by The Globe & Mail, it was revealed, that this teen, Alex Gervais, was being “sporadically” checked in on by a caregiver paid $8,000 a month. Read the rest

Weekend Tunes - Colter Wall

No matter where you live, it's going to be too hot this weekend. You could head out to bomb the trails on a mountain bike, wander the canyons and valleys of a major city in search of new experiences or hit the open road. But honestly, this heat: you're best served by plunking down in front of an air conditioner or, lacking that, a breeze-filled porch. Invite a few friends, watch the sun set and down a few brews.

Colter Wall's music is made for this. Read the rest

Code For Canada fellowships: get paid to hack better public services

Ren from Code for Canada writes, "We launched last year and, among other things, fund "fellows'--i.e. tech-savvy, civic-minded professionals who get embedded in government agencies for 10 months (ed: at a pro-rated salary equivalent to CAD75,000/year) and help make services more efficient, intuitive, and accessible. We are now accepting applications for our second cohort of fellows! If you know of any great coders, big data nerds, designers, or project managers who might be interested the application link is here." Read the rest

Canadian border guards have secret access to a US "anti-terror" database of 680,000 names

Canadian border guards' terminals give them secret access to Tuscan, a database maintained by US spy agencies of suspected terrorists; the database has some 680,000 names in it and if you match one of those names, Canadian border and immigration officials are empowered to "detain, interrogate, arrest and deny entry" to you. Read the rest

Rare cotton candy-colored lobster named "Lucky" escapes pot, now lives in an aquarium

A 2 lb. cotton candy-colored lobster was discovered last November by a Canadian fisherman and it's just making the rounds on social media now.

The Portland Press Herald reports:

Canadian fisherman Robinson Russell, 38, caught the lobster off Grand Manan Island in December and decided to donate the 2-pound crustacean to an aquarium in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick.

“Lucky” the lobster will be on display at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre’s aquarium for the remainder of the summer and fall seasons, Russell said.

“I really didn’t know what to do with it at first, so I decided to give it to the aquarium,” Russell said in a telephone interview Tuesday night.

His 5-year-old daughter, who was thrilled to see such a unusual lobster, will now be able to visit Lucky whenever Russell takes her to Saint Andrews. The aquarium opened May 19 and will remain open until Oct. 14.

Russell said he posted a photograph of the lobster on Instagram [last year], soon after he caught Lucky, but it wasn’t until this month that the picture created a stir on Instagram. Russell said a Maine lobsterman spotted the unusual colored lobster and reposted it on Instagram.

The CBC on its rarity:

According to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, the chances of finding an albino lobster are one in 100 million. But Robert C. Bayer, executive director of the institute, said this is just an estimate.

"There is no firm statistic on that," he said. "It is strictly a guess."

Bayer said it is easier to win the lottery than find a white lobster.

Read the rest

Canada's best weapon in a US trade-war: invalidating US pharma patents

As the US-Canada trade war heats up, Canada finds itself in an asymmetrical battle, vastly overmatched against a country with an order of magnitude population advantage. Read the rest

Canadian border authorities hold citizen without charge for eight months

Look, we’re not all maple syrup lollipops and free healthcare up here. According to the CBC, a naturalized Canadian citizen was held against his will, without charge, for 10 months while immigration officials attempted to verify his identity.

47-year old Nigerian-born Olajide Ogunye moved to Canada with his family in the 1990s and, in 1996, he became a Canadian Citizen. But that didn’t matter to the Canadian Border Services Agency. During a sweep of his neighborhood (which, I have to admit, I had no idea that the CBSA did), Ogunye was told to produce evidence of his citizenship. So he did: His Ontario Health card and Canadian Citizenship card.

But here’s the thing: despite his producing two pieces of government identification – the gold standard for get-out-of-my-face-I’m-a-citizen, the CBSA refused to believe that Ogunye was who he claimed to be. So, without charge, they took him into custody so that he could be properly identified.

From the CBC:

According to Ogunye's statement of claim, the officers ran his fingerprints, which they said matched the identity of a man named Oluwafemi Kayode Johnson, a failed refugee claimant who had been deported from Canada to Nigeria in the 1990s.

Ogunye says he was told the CBSA believed he was actually Johnson, who had returned to Canada illegally and assumed Ogunye's identity. Those fingerprints, according to court documents, were never produced by the CBSA to Ogunye.

This shit went on for EIGHT MONTHS. Despite having not committed any crime, Ogunye was remanded to two different mixed medium/maximum security prisons. Read the rest

Eh, too: Canadians will also suffer under the EU's proposed copyright rules

I appeared on CBC Radio's national flagship news programme As It Happens last night, talking about the EU's Article 13 proposal to use AI algorithms to spy on and judge everything posted online for potential copyright infringements. Read the rest

This kitesurfing film feels like taking a ten-minute vacation

Bucking the trend of non-stop adrenaline-fueled aesthetics, this short film about a kitesurfing adventure in Rugged Point Marine Provincial Park takes time to appreciate the stunning beauty of the Vancouver Island locale. Read the rest

Feral Peacocks terrorize Canadian neighborhood

You’ve likely heard of Vancouver, British Columbia. Surrey? Maybe not: it’s a city in its own right and a part of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Surrey’s got an unfortunate reputation for crime due largely to occasional targeted daytime gang hits and the omnipresent narcotics trade. I lived across the bridge from Surrey for close to a decade. I always felt safe there and enjoyed the food, culture and good times that Surrey had to offer.

But now that I know that it’s infested with feral peacocks, I may not be back.

According to the CBC, Surrey city officials believe that Surrey residents living between 150 Street and 62 Avenue are being forced to cope with the presence of between 40 and 150 feral peacocks roaming the streets. Yeah, peacocks are gorgeous when seen in a zoo and hilarious when used as an alarm system by Hunter S. Thompson. But for a bunch of renters and homeowners who just want to live their lives with a minimal amount of bullshit, they’re sort of a nightmare. Peacocks are loud, aggressive and, like most large birds, leave massive amounts of greasy shit everywhere they go. The problem with the birds has gotten so bad that some residents have started taking matters into their own hands.

Shit has gone down, friends.

This past May, in a fit of peacock-induced rage, a man cut down a tree where an ostentation of dozens of the birds had decided to nest, every night. There was just one problem: BC’s kinda touchy about preserving nature. Read the rest

Canadian "Road Rage"

Wherein a motorcyclist strikes a vehicle in Canada. Polite apologies and handshakes ensue. Read the rest

How to vote strategically in the Ontario election

There's only two days to go until the Ontario election, which pits a know-nothing, far-right, failed businessman born with a silver spoon in his mouth (who is too cowardly to talk to a real reporter so he hired his own) against the vastly unpopular incumbent Liberal Premiere Kathleen Wynne and a newly progressive NDP led by Andrea Horwath, who has abandoned the party's failed foray into centrism and returned to its Democratic Socialist roots. Read the rest

Rob Ford's brother is running for Ontario Premier, but Rob Ford's widow is suing him for stealing millions from the family

Rob Ford was Toronto's laughable, deplorable crack-addict mayor; his brother is a far-right Trump figure, running for Premier of Ontario (having stolen the party leadership through dirty tricks), who created literal fake news when he hired a pretend reporter to follow him on the campaign trail and ask him softball questions. Read the rest

Russia-linked hacker Karim Baratov gets 5 years in U.S. prison & $250,000 fine for Yahoo breach

A Canadian man born in Kazakhstan has been sentenced to five years in prison for crimes connected to the massive Yahoo security breach that U.S. federal agents say was directed by Russian government spies.

“Karim Baratov, an FSB go-to guy for webmail hacking, was sentenced to 5 years in prison this morning, less than the nearly 8 years sought by the Justice Department,” says Daily Beast's Kevin Poulsen.

Below, why 5 years in prison is actually a good outcome for Baratov, who is 23. Read the rest

A vital guide to the Canadian encryption debate

Canada's two leading digital rights groups, CIPPIC (previously) and Citizen Lab (previously) have issued a joint report called Shining a Light on the Encryption Debate: A Canadian Field Guide , and every Canadian should read it. Read the rest

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