Recent Entries in Can-con

Police raided the headquarters of the British Columbia Marijuana Party on Friday at the request of U.S. investigators targeting one of Canada's best-known advocates of legalizing marijuana.

U.S. officials have charged Marc Emery, founder of the Marijuana Party, and two other people with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, distribute marijuana seeds and money laundering. The charges are in connection with a business that Emery has operated for years over the Internet from offices in Vancouver, on Canada's Pacific Coast.

Emery, who has been nicknamed the "Prince of Pot," was arrested in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he was on a visit. He is expected to have a hearing in a court in Vancouver next week for extradition proceedings, according to police officials.

Canada | Reuters.co.ca

The last time a province invoked the "notwithstanding clause," the U.N. came in an kicked their collective ass. Wonder if Alberta's hankerin for a spankerin...

CTV.ca | Same-sex marriage battle not over in Alberta

In an effort to give religious officials and marriage commissioners in Alberta the right to refuse same-sex marriage, the provincial government is considering invoking the notwithstanding clause.

In an interview with the Edmonton Sun, Alberta Justice Minister Ron Stevens said Tuesday his government is prepared to, "do what we feel is necessary in that regard to protect the marriage commissioners and their religious belief.''

"If in fact that does require the notwithstanding clause, it is our intention to use it, but we haven't made the decision on whether that's necessary yet.''

A U.S. court order that kept the border closed to live Canadian cattle imports until mid-July was deeply flawed, say the judges who overturned the injunction.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the order on July 14, opening the door for live cattle under the age of 30 months to begin moving south again.

In a written copy of their decision released Monday, the judges said the original injunction by Montana Judge Richard Cebull was fundamentally flawed and based on legal error.

CBC News: U.S. court says judge erred in keeping Canadian cattle out

Not that I think the world needs more Catholic priests, but, this is pretty cewl. Only in Canada, eh? Pity.

CBC News: Catholic women unofficially ordained

Nine women are referring to themselves as ordained priests and deacons in the Roman Catholic Church, risking excommunication after a secret religious ceremony on a boat in the St. Lawrence River.

The women -- eight Americans and a Canadian, 65-year-old Michele Birch-Conery, a former nun from Vancouver Island -- were unofficially ordained Monday aboard a tour boat in the Thousand Islands near Gananoque, Ont.

Church members from as far away as Europe and South Africa were involved in the ceremony, packing the Thousand Island III with more than 250 people.

Four of the women became "priests" and five became "deacons," although the Vatican doesn't recognize such ordinations and could kick them out of the church.

  Canucks are getting fat

Two out of every three Canadian adults, and one in every three children, is now overweight or obese, according to new Statistics Canada data.

The sharp and sudden increase in the number of chubby citizens -- to 59 per cent from 48 per cent of adults -- came about because, this time, the national agency directly measured the height and weight of those surveyed, instead of depending on the respondents to tell the truth.

The Globe and Mail: Canadians are bigger than ever, survey finds

It was fought in courtrooms, in legislatures, in street protests, and one of the most turbulent debates in Canadian history was settled Tuesday with a vote in Parliament.

The House of Commons voted 158 to 133 to adopt controversial legislation that will make Canada the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Several Liberals marked the occasion by invoking the memory of their party's philosopher king, Pierre Trudeau.

It was the late Liberal prime minister who decriminalized homosexuality in 1969, and whose Charter of Rights and Freedoms became the legal cudgel that smashed the traditional definition of marriage.

News | canada.com network

Prime Minister Paul Martin's government pulled a fast one late last night and won a surprise budget vote that killed the Tories' chance to topple the government.

In a move the Tories likened to a sandbagging, the Grits made a deal with the Bloc Quebecois, who backed the Liberal government long enough to ensure they held on to power in exchange for a written guarantee that the same-sex marriage bill would be passed before summer recess.

The deal saw the Bloc vote with the Liberals to stop debate on budget Bill C-48 late last night, forcing it to a vote.

The Bloc voted against the actual budget bill -- a confidence vote that could have forced Martin to call a summer election -- which outlines $4.6 billion in funding in a deal the Grits inked with the NDP to retain power.

But the surprise timing of the vote meant a handful Tory MPs were absent and with the backing of the NDP, the Liberals won, 152 to 147.

TorontoSun.com - Canada - Sneaky Grits' vote shocker

A Catholic priest in Paul Martins riding, is:

"praying the prime minister will lose his seat in the next federal election because he's doing the devil's bidding on same-sex marriage."

... and the editor of Catholic Insight magazine is

asking Archbishop Marcel Gervais of Ottawa to deny Prime Minister Paul Martin the status of "faithful parishioner" and to deny him access to Holy Communion.

...

Does that mean that if Martin gets re-elected next time around that same-sex marriage is Gods will as well?

Stageleft: Life on the left side � Ah ... The Devils Work Now Is It?

When televangelist Jimmy Swaggart said he would kill a homosexual who looked at him romantically, he violated the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' ethics code, an industry panel has ruled.

Swaggart made the remarks during a discussion of same-sex marriage on a Sept. 12 broadcast that was carried by the Toronto station Omni 1.

"I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died," Swaggart said.

Swaggart also said that politicians who are undecided on the issue of same-sex marriage "all oughta have to marry a pig and live with him forever."

The comments prompted a complaint that was filed with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, the arm of the CAB that deals with viewer feedback.

CBC Arts: Televangelist breached guidelines: ruling

The military has marked its first same-sex wedding, more than a decade after gays were allowed to join the Armed Forces.

Two servicemen, who do not want to be named, exchanged vows May 3 at the chapel at CFB Greenwood, N.S., in front of 45 friends and a United Church minister.

Lt.-Cmdr. David Greenwood, the base's head chaplain, said the couple's decision to wed at the military chapel might encourage others to step forward and make their vows official in a setting that not long ago had a policy of excluding them.

TorontoSun.com - Canada - Forces' first gay wedding

The federal government will introduce new legislation aimed at toughening up copyright laws in the digital world, CTV News has learned. Still, industry stakeholders who say file sharing is stealing say the laws are not stringent enough.

About seven million Canadians download music from the Internet and the Canadian market for music downloads is estimated to be $100 million, according to The Canadian Independent Record Production Association.

CTV.ca | File-sharing law to be tabled next week: CTV

  Flag Etiquette in Canada

Canada has some pretty specific rules about flags too. Here's all you need to know.

Flags are symbols that identify people belonging to a group. The National Flag of Canada and the flags of the provinces and territories are symbols of honour and pride for all Canadians. They should be treated with respect.

The manner in which flags may be displayed in Canada is not governed by any legislation but by established practice. The etiquette outlined in this brochure is an adaptation of international usage and of customs the federal government has been observing for many years.

The rules applied by the federal government are in no way mandatory for individuals or organizations; they may serve as guidelines for all persons who wish to display the Canadian Flag and other flags in Canada.

Flag Etiquette in Canada

Ontario has passed a bill the government says is the strictest anti-tobacco legislation in North America.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking in all workplaces and indoor public spaces. It is to take effect in June 2006.

Bars, restaurants and casinos say their businesses may be hurt by the ban, but Premier Dalton McGuinty says smoking is the number 1 cause of preventable illness in the province. Smoking-related illnesses kill 16,000 residents every year, and cost the province billions in lost productivity and health-care costs.

CBC News: Ontario passes tough no-smoking legislation

The recent Federal Court of Appeal music file sharing case, in which the court rejected the Canadian Recording Industry Association's attempt to uncover the identities of 29 alleged file sharers, raises important privacy and copyright issues. Last week's column reviewed the court's test to protect personal privacy; this week's column assesses the copyright implications of that decision.

Although the court declined to articulate definitive conclusions on important copyright issues associated with file sharing, its decision will undeniably have a major impact on copyright policy. This impact is best addressed by analyzing three questions -- can CRIA sue file sharers? Can it win such suits? And what legal reverberations might ensue if it does win?

The answer to the first question is relatively straight forward. CRIA can sue file sharers in Canada and it has indeed asserted that the decision provides a blueprint for future suits.

In the aftermath of last year's trial decision, the recording industry expressed grave concern about the state of Canadian copyright law and lobbied aggressively for immediate changes. In light of the appellate decision, it is now safe to declare the copyright emergency over. In fact, the fears of a devastating effect never materialized. According to CRIA's own figures, in the thirteen months of reported sales since the March 2004 decision, both sales and shipments have increased.

The answer to the second question -- whether CRIA can win file sharing suits -- is open to debate, particularly with respect to suits filed against individuals that solely download music from peer-to-peer networks. The complicating factor is the effect of Canada's private copying system, which establishes a levy on blank media such as recordable CDs. Anna Bucci, the Executive Director of the Canadian Private Copying Collective, the body that administers the $120 million in royalties that have been generated by the levy, last week described private copying as creating "a new right for the Canadian public -- the right to make private copies of music for their own personal use."

The State of File Sharing and Canadian Copyright Law

A Brampton real estate agent and a surveillance tape spoke up when Toronto Police thought a homeless man was giving them the gears.

Loren Campbell says he used his savings from two months of panhandling to buy himself a new red bicycle from Zellers on May 6.

But one week ago, police officers confiscated the bike at Eastern and Carlaw Aves. because, Campbell said, they didn't believe him when he told them it was his.

TorontoSun.com - Toronto And GTA - A rough ride

A Canadian record for the world's deepest live radio broadcast may soon appear in the Guinness World Records book.

The necessary documentation has been sent to a Guinness adjudicator in London after CBC Sudbury completed a live broadcast from more than two kilometres underground Tuesday.

Points North, CBC Sudbury's afternoon radio show, broadcast from Inco's Creighton mine Tuesday. It took host Dan Lessard and others nearly 40 minutes to reach their destination: the broadcast was conducted from the part of the mine known as "the deep" – located underground at a depth of about four times the height of Toronto's CN Tower.

CBC Arts: CBC attempts record for deepest live radio broadcast

A Canadian court upheld a ruling on Thursday that stopped major record companies from forcing Internet service providers to disclose the identities of 29 high-volume song swappers they have wanted to sue.

But the Federal Court of Appeal also left the door open for record companies to launch new lawsuits against Canadian song swappers, a strategy an industry spokesman said will be pursued in earnest.

"I think the court is trying to send a very strong signal that they want to ensure that privacy is adequately protected, but they've also made clear that they are not standing in the way absolutely of launching a lawsuit," said Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa.

Song swappers rejoiced last year when the Federal Court of Canada ruled against the record companies, effectively protecting the anonymity of people who exchange music on the Internet.

The case was a blow for the labels, which included the Canadian units of EMI Group Plc and Warner Music Group Corp., who say downloading has caused a sharp fall in their sales.

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

Belinda Stronach, who ran for the leadership of the Conservative party in early 2004, has crossed the floor to the Liberal party and will sit in Paul Martin's cabinet.

The millionaire businesswoman becomes minister of human resources and skills development and will also help the Liberals implement the recommendations in the Gomery report when it is delivered later this year, the prime minister said Tuesday morning.


CBC British Columbia - Conservative Stronach joins Liberals

As of January 2006, cigarette-loving Quebec will join the ranks of other Canadian provinces and cities that have banned smoking in bars and restaurants.

The province introduced legislation Tuesday that prohibits people from lighting up in most enclosed public spaces, including bars, restaurants, casinos, bingo halls, conference centres, private clubs, bowling alleys and even festival tents.

Bill 112 will also restrict people from smoking in schoolyards and within nine metres of an entrance to a health-care facility.

CBC News: Quebec to crack down on public smoking

A pizza shop owner who forced former Canadian immigration minister Judy Sgro to resign by claiming she had offered to help him avoid deportation has admitted he lied and has apologized, Sgro said on Tuesday.

Sgro quit her job in January after Harjit Singh filed an affidavit accusing her of offering to help him stay in Canada in return for pizza deliveries and assistance with her election campaign. Singh was deported to India in February.

"I now admit I did not have a meeting with Judy Sgro and at no time did she request any campaign assistance from me. Nor did she help me with my immigration problems," Singh wrote in a letter to Sgro which she read out in Parliament.

At the time of her resignation, Sgro was also under investigation by Parliament's ethics commissioner for giving a temporary residency permit to a Romanian stripper who had worked on her election campaign. She also extended the woman's expired work permit.

The commissioner told Sgro this week that she had done nothing wrong but had been put in a conflict of interest by staff who did not give her all the details about the stripper.

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

An American veteran who says he guarded a secret stash of nuclear weapons in Newfoundland claims his government would rather see him dead than admit to violations of international law.

Almon Scott, who worked as a guard at the Argentia military base between 1963 and 1965, claims that years before Ottawa allowed nuclear weapons on Canadian soil, he was guarding them at a secret weapons lab in Placentia Bay.

Scott, who is dying, blames the cancer in his blood and bones on his duties four decades ago.

He claims the U.S. government is not only refusing to help him, but will not give the veteran his own service records because that would mean admitting to its ally that it had nuclear materials on Canadian soil without informing the government.

CBC News: Ex-marine claims nuclear weapons stored at Nfld. base

Two new polls show the federal Conservative party has lost its lead in public opinion across Canada in the past week.

And a third poll, taken just in Quebec, indicates support for separatism may not be as high as another survey showed earlier this week.

The two national polls, by GPC Research and Strategic Counsel, each have a margin of error that puts the Liberals and Conservatives in a statistical tie.

But they are a substantial turnaround from other recent polls, which have shown the Conservatives ahead of the Liberals by as much as seven percentage points.

CBC News: Polls show Tories have lost their lead


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