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Canada can learn a lot from California as it prepares for marijuana legalization

On New Year's Eve, some Californians raised flaming joints in lieu of the traditional champagne toast – a fitting gesture given that Jan. 1 marked the launch of the world's largest legal commercial market for cannabis. Canada can learn a lot from California's experiences as we prepare for cannabis legalization on July 1, even though the respective jurisdictions have as many similarities as differences in the way they are approaching the end of pot prohibition. Cannabis remains illegal under U.S. federal law, so states have to tap-dance a bit around that reality. (Recreational marijuana is already legal in five other states, and medical marijuana in 30 states.) In Canada, cannabis will be legal from coast to coast. Story continues below advertisement In California, a person over 21 can buy up to one ounce of cannabis at a time, and grow up to six plants for personal use. Depending on the province, the legal age will be 18 or 19 in Canada, and a similar amount, 25-30 grams..

'Window Horses': Turning Poetry and Inclusion into an Animated Adventure

“The Breadwinner” isn’t the only female-driven animated feature directed by a woman inspired by peace and inclusion. In “Window Horses,” the darkest of dark horses in the Oscar race, Asian-Canadian director Ann Marie Fleming propels her Stick Girl avatar into the culturally rich world of Iran via a poetry festival. The fish-out-of-water novice not only attains more wisdom, but also reconnects with her Persian heritage. It’s a curious blend of hand-drawn styles that achieves a striking multi-cultural bridge to imagination and empathy. “A lot of my life experiences are in there except for the obvious bare bones of the family’s story, which is a compilation of a lot of people,” said Fleming (“The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam”), who financed through Indiegogo and co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada. Actress Sandra Oh (“Grey’s Anatomy”) not only voiced protagonist Rosie Ming, but also executive produced. [embedded content] Getting Personal Like the director, Rosie is also of..

MADDEAUX: #MeToo movement failing in Canada

BY SABRINA MADDEAUX Harvey Weinstein. Matt Lauer. Kevin Spacey. Charlie Rose. Russell Simmons. Louis C.K. Brett Ratner. Roy Moore. The list of alleged sexual predators and harassers outed and toppled by the #MeToo movement continues to grow by the day. The purge has been a long time coming. Never before have we seen so many powerful men, across multiple industries, forced to come to terms with allegations of abuse and the privilege that afforded them protection– until now. While Canadians have widely been supportive of the #MeToo movement, cheering on women and men south of the border, sharing stories online, petitioning for justice and boycotting the work of outed predators, we’ve yet to see #MeToo rock the core of any Canadian industries. Where is our Harvey Weinstein? Who’s the northern Louis C.K. in sheep’s clothing? There’s no question these men exist in the very upper echelons of the Canadian business, entertainment, sport and media industries. A recent survey by Insights West..

Racism in Canada: Racist rant against Vancouver woman; Sen. Lynn Beyak ousted for residential...

On the same day that a Canadian senator was being removed from the federal Conservative caucus for defending residential schools, a Vancouver woman posted a video to social media that captures a racist rant directed at her. On Facebook, Anika Vassell uploaded a video on January 5 that she said she shot while she was sitting in her car at Ontario Street and West Broadway on January 4. In the video, a white woman with an accent tells Vassell that she sees that she is black, arrogant, and that she should go back to her home country. "So you are not like the rest of us," the woman tells her, and that "maybe we'll hold the majority". She adds that if there are people like Vassell are "free" then they are "in big danger". In an interview with CTV News, Vassell said that she didn't know the woman. In her Facebook post, she stated that she is from Vancouver and is of Jamaican and South African ancestry. However, the woman did not state which country she is from. Vassell told CTV News..

Syrian refugees say thanks to Canada with New Year's blood drive

Dozens of Syrian refugees in Calgary rang in the New Year by donating their blood. Yo Rasso, who arrived in Canada about 18 months ago, said he decided to roll up his sleeves “to say thank you Canada for help(ing) me and my children.” Blood drive organizer Sam Nammoura, from the Syrian Refugee Support Group, said that giving blood is considered a big honour in Syrian culture. “If people are really committed they say, ‘I will do this with my blood,’” he said. “This is (an) opportunity for them to show their appreciation and gratitude to the country.” Jhoanna Delrosario of Canadian Blood Services said she suggested New Year’s Day for the blood drive because the New Year’s holiday and January in general are a slow time for donations. “We are very grateful for the Syrian community and the newcomers,” Delrosario added. “What a way to celebrate the New Year and give back to the community.” Syrian newcomers welcoming the new year by donating blood for Canada! Posted by Saima ..

Hottest tickets in Canada: Five things to do across the country

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Vancouver's annual PuSh does not come to shove, but it is not against nudging audiences toward groundbreaking performing arts. Festival highlights include a music-dance spectacle from the adventurous Frédérick Gravel (Some Hope for the Bastards), a display of family-friendly puppetry about dementia (It's Dark Outside), a monumental work from the Taiwanese choreographer Lin Lee-Chen (The Eternal Tides) and a screening of 2014's Oscar-winning Birdman accompanied by a live score from jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez. Jan. 16 to Feb. 4, in Vancouver. Silence: Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell Story continues below advertisement From Trina Davies, a new play uniquely tells the love story of Mabel Gardiner Hubbard (who was deaf) and her eventual husband, the telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Written from Mabel's perspective and featuring actors who can hear and some who cannot, the Peter Hinton-directed drama imagines what the..

Canadian doctors slam Gwyneth Paltrow-endorsed coffee enema

Gwyneth Paltrow's natural lifestyle website Goop, which has been widely criticized for promoting potentially dangerous products based on pseudoscience, is now recommending a do-it-yourself coffee enema to "supercharge your detox." The $135 US Implant-O-Rama is the latest offering being touted on Goop's website featuring health, fitness and beauty products, which the actress has said she plans to make available to Canadians. The idea of using coffee as a colonic to detox the bowel and the body has been around for a long time, but it's been widely debunked and there's no scientific evidence to support it, said Tim Caulfield, a health law expert at the University of Alberta and a vocal critic of the culture of celebrity-based health advice. Gwyneth Paltrow's natural lifestyle website Goop has been widely criticized for promoting potentially dangerous products or services based on pseudoscience, including vaginal steaming. (Thibault Camus/Canadian Press/Associated ..

Kachin refugee in Canada buoyed by Pope's message

Despite being unable to use the word Rohingya while he was in Myanmar, the Pope’s message on religious diversity and respect for minorities got through loud and clear, a Catholic refugee from Myanmar told The Catholic Register. “His message is very clear about love and peace — support each other and pray for each other,” said Pri Ja N-Jang, a Catholic from Myanmar’s Kachin State who now lives in Toronto. “He was praying for all the ethnic people in the conflicts, including the Muslim people in Rakhine State.”Like the Rohingya people, the Kachin face persecution from the Myanmar government. Pri came to Canada 15 years ago before a 17-year-old peace agreement between the Kachin Independence Organization and Myanmar’s army, known as the Tatmadaw, fell apart in 2011. Since then at least 100,000 ethnic Kachin, mainly from Kachin State in northern Myanmar, have become refugees inside their own country. Estimates of the number of people living in camps for those displaced by civil war in Ka..

Pot's Not Legal in Canada Yet – So Why Are Dispensaries Selling it?

Walk down Queen Street West, one of Toronto's cooler shopping districts, and you'll find something new amid the designer boutiques and H&Ms: stores selling marijuana. The quality of these places varies widely, from unfinished rooms where weed is sold from folding tables, to chic storefronts with the sleek modernity of an Apple store. Whether they advertise themselves as medicinal or recreational, these shops all have one thing in common: as of now, they're completely illegal. RelatedCanada's Legal Weed: What You Need to Know Justin Trudeau introduced a bill that would make marijuana legal – but what will that look like, and what will it mean for the U.S.? On a recent afternoon, a polite young woman who answered the phone at one Toronto dispensary told Rolling Stone that no prescription was needed to come in and purchase marijuana. When asked if this was legal, she gave a long, regretful "No," before explaining that shops like hers were "peacefully breaking the law..

Canada senator kicked out by Conservatives for 'racism'

Canadian senator Lynn Beyak has been removed from the Conservative Party's caucus months after inflammatory remarks about indigenous people. Mrs Beyak has been criticised over the past year for various comments. She posted online letters from supporters who called indigenous people lazy. Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer said "racism will not be tolerated". In Canada, senators keep their jobs until they turn 75 and so she will retain voting privileges in Parliament. Last March she defended Canada's residential school system, church-run and government-funded boarding schools where indigenous children were often physically and sexually abused. She said reports on the abuse only focused on the bad and ignored "the good" aspects of the "well-intentioned" institutions. Her comments immediately provoked an outcry from indigenous leaders and other Canadians, and many called on her to resign. In response, she published "letters of support" on her official Senate website from ..

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