January 17th, 2017


[PHOTO] Marshes of the Cataraqui, Kingston

Seated on the second level of the Megabus as it drove east through the Ontario countryside in the afternoon, I got great views but relatively few good pictures. The kind of speed that the Megabus travels at makes good photography shot en passing difficult. Easily the best I could take was as we were leaving Kingston, Ontario</u>, the only stop on the Megabus' route between Toronto and Montréal. The marshes along the upper Cataraqui River were perfect for my purposes, a homogeneous brown foreground against the more complex skyline of the forests in the background.

Marshes of the Cataraqui (1)

Marshes of the Cataraqui (2)

Marshes of the Cataraqui (3)

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly calls on journalists to stand up to Trump.

  • Centauri Dreams looks at exocomets.

  • Language Log shares an ad from the 1920s using the most vintage language imaginable.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money talks about globalization as a mechanism for concentrating wealth at the top of the elite.

  • The LRB Blog talks about the ghosts of the Cold War in the contemporary world.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen argues that Germany has its own responsibility in transatlantic relations.

  • The New APPS Blog looks at the importance of administrative law.

  • The NYRB Daily celebrates John Berger.

  • Savage Minds proposes a read-in of Michel Foucault in protest of Trump's inauguration on the 20th.

  • Towleroad reports on the latest statistics on the proportions of LGBT people in the United States.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at the continuing depopulation of the Russian Far East and examines the shift to indigenous naming practices in Kyrgyzstan.

[ISL] "Rustico priest had first automobile in Canada 150 years ago"

The Guardian of Charlottetown's Mitch McConnell writes about how 19th century Rustico priest George Belcourt, a leader in the Island's Acadian community, was the first owner of an automobile in all Canada in the 1860s.

Although few Prince Edward Islanders are aware of it, the wheels of Canadian automobile history first began rolling a little over 150 years ago in P.E.I.

The little-known piece of Canadian history was celebrated recently at the Farmers’ Bank of Rustico Museum during a ceremony put on by the P.E.I. Antique Car Club and the National Association of Automobile Clubs.

December marked the 150th anniversary of the first automobile arriving in Canada, before the country was even officially formed, a steam-powered carriage that was imported by Father George A. Belcourt.

Rudy Croken, president of the P.E.I. Antique Car Club, said many already know Belcourt due to his “spectacular” work as a missionary.

“But his contribution to Canadian automobile history is every bit as spectacular,” said Croken. “He was the first person to have an automobile. To think the automobile history in Canada started in this very area is astounding, and that’s what Father Belcourt did.”

Croken said Belcourt purchased the car for about $300, equivalent to about $5,000 today, from a manufacturer in Bayonne, N.J.

In 2014, I shared 2013 photo from a South Rustico museum dedicated to Belcourt and his community.

[ISL] "P.E.I. gallery celebrates artist Caroline Louisa Daly whose work was attributed to men"

The Globe and Mail carries a Canadian Press report describing how the Confederation Centre of the Arts gallery in Charlottetown has restored the identity of a woman artist of the 19th century.

For decades, her creations have been wrongly attributed to men — but after a two-year investigation of her work, the daughter of a former Prince Edward Island lieutenant governor is finally getting credit long overdue in what a researcher calls a “little feminist victory.”

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown opened its “Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly” exhibit over the weekend, but it’s hardly the first time her paintings have graced its halls. Some pieces have been part of the gallery’s permanent collection since the 1960s.

But the paintings and drawings were for years wrongly attributed to Charles L. Daly and John Corry Wilson Daly — Ontario men who were of no relation to Caroline Louisa Daly.

“I don’t think it was a malicious misattribution by any means, but I think it’s just all too easy to forget the accomplishments of women sometimes,” said gallery registrar Paige Matthie. “(That was) the driving force that kept me going back to it over and over again ... to give credit to a woman who we’ve never, ever acknowledged before.”

[ISL] "Holland College marine education bridges P.E.I. and The Bahamas"

Michael Robinson of MacLean's describes how Holland College, the chief non-academic institution of higher education on Prince Edward Island, is involved with teleeducation in the Bahamas.

Despite thousands of kilometres of ocean separating Prince Edward Island and the Bahamas, the allure of a marine education and a shared nautical ancestry has built a bridge between the two island communities.

P.E.I.’s Holland College first began angling for Bahamian students in 2004 as part of a joint effort with the Bahamas Maritime Authority. The object? To train Bahamian youth so they could work on vessels like tugboats and bulk carriers anywhere in the world.

Michael O’Grady, the college’s vice-president of innovation, enterprise and strategic development, says the size and feel of Canada’s smallest province evokes a sense of familiarity with Bahamian recruits.

“We like to say we are more alike than we are different, culturally,” he says. “There is a basic understanding among islanders of the challenges and opportunities of living on a island. You appreciate the importance of your surroundings and sea-faring traditions.”

[LINK] "More immigrants coming to Atlantic Canada, but retention rates low: report"

MacLean's shares the Canadian Press report noting how immigration to Atlantic Canada, though rising, is not necessarily permanent enough.

More people are immigrating to Atlantic Canada than ever before, but many do not stay, a new report says.

The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council report released Thursday said a record 8,300 immigrants arrived in 2015, and yet more the following year.

The Halifax-based council said 11,600 immigrants came to Atlantic Canada in the first nine months of 2016, due in part to an influx of Syrian refugees.

“The total numbers have tripled since 2002,” David Chaundy, author of the report, said in a phone interview Thursday.

Chaundy, the council’s research director, attributes the increase to expanded use of provincial nominee programs, which allow provinces to nominate people who wish to immigrate to their region, up to a cap.

“That’s what has really driven the growth,” said Chaundy, adding that this year the region could see closer to 19,000 immigrants, due in part to a new three-year Atlantic immigration pilot project announced by Ottawa and the four provinces last year.

[URBAN NOTE] "Toronto housing boom to continue as Vancouver slumps"

The Globe and Mail's Brent Jang notes that Toronto's housing market is continuing to lead Vancouver's.

Canada’s two largest housing markets are going in different directions, with the Greater Toronto Area poised for another rally in 2017 while the Vancouver region girds for a decline.

Royal LePage forecasts the median residential price in the GTA will jump 10 per cent this year while Greater Vancouver will experience an 8.5-per-cent price decrease for various housing types.

“People in Toronto think that they live in this outlandishly expensive region, but they don’t realize just how affordable homes are relative to the price of homes in Vancouver. There is a dramatic difference,” said Phil Soper, chief executive officer of the real estate firm.

Last month, the average price for detached houses sold in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s territory was $1.68-million, compared with $1.02-million in the GTA. In the city of Vancouver, the price for detached properties averaged more than $2.6-million last month, compared with $1.29-million for sales in the city of Toronto.

The GTA tops the list of nine selected major markets covered by Royal LePage in its 2017 outlook. Other price gains are envisaged in Greater Montreal (4 per cent), Calgary (2.5 per cent), Winnipeg and Halifax (2 per cent), Ottawa (1.7 per cent) and Regina (1 per cent). Edmonton is forecast to have a decline of 0.9 per cent, leaving Greater Vancouver trailing the pack in the forecast.

[URBAN NOTE] "Toronto building houses the world's largest independent LGBTQ archive"

blogTO's Phil Villeneuve describes the CLGA, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, to his readers.

You might never guess it to walk by, but inside 34 Isabella St., sits the world's largest independent LGBTQ archive.

Built in 1858, the three-storey house that holds Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives is bursting at the seams with a mind-boggling number of collections. They also house some of their archival materials at Church and Wellesley and lesser-used materials in a larger storage facility outside of the city. But the real juicy stuff is in this downtown home.

"I think that people are kind of unaware of archives in general, not just the CLGA," says Raegan Swanson, the Archive's new executive director. "It’s one of those things that until you need to use one, you never realize how much they’re used."

All those historical images you see in magazines, newspapers articles or online pieces about LGBTQ happenings in Toronto? Yeah, they probably came from this archive.

[LINK] "Kevin O'Leary to enter Conservative leadership race tomorrow"

CBC shares the news. How appropriate, how derivative it is that Canada seems set to have its own cut-rate CanCon version of Donald Trump.

Businessman Kevin O'Leary will enter the Conservative leadership race tomorrow, CBC News has learned.

The Montreal-born anglophone will launch his campaign in Toronto only hours after skipping the French-language debate, which will be held tonight in Quebec City, sources close to the candidate said.

The move comes a week after his campaign exploratory committee told the former CBC Television host there was a "clear path to victory" if he jumped into the crowded race to replace Stephen Harper as permanent leader of the Conservative Party.

"Your many fans are eager to support you and will join the party to do so," Mike Coates, chair of the committee, told O'Leary in a letter, adding that many existing party members would support him because he offers "the most compelling chance at winning the next election."

The former Dragon's Den investor must file his candidacy papers and pay a deposit by Feb. 24 in order to be a candidate in the May 27 vote.