Canada’s dairy stance frustrates TPP talks: New Zealand envoy

If they really want what’s best for Canadians, they should keep the dairy board and reinstitute the wheat board, too. Free trade has not helped the average person. It outsources jobs to weaker economies. And the LAST thing anyone in North America should want is cheap food from China. Mmmm, melamine.

Global News

OTTAWA – Other parties around the bargaining table are growing exasperated with Canada for stonewalling their demands to pry open its dairy market as part of a major global free-trade deal.

But cracks in the Canadian government’s position have begun to show as an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership appears within reach, says a trade envoy for the New Zealand government at the talks in Hawaii.

READ MORE: Harper government hopes TPP deal is signed before election campaign kickoff

Even so, protectionist stances by Canada and Japan on dairy-market access remain rigid and could even prevent the pact from being signed this week, Mike Petersen told The Canadian Press in an interview Thursday.

“It is so small that it’s hard to take it seriously at this point,” Petersen said of an offer by Canada to unlock the door to its dairy market.

“Frankly, the discussion’s at such a level that…

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Report clears U of T course that teaches anti-vaccination materials

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Oh, no. Selling snake oil in a health studies program is TOTALLY okay!!!! Guys, don’t worry: this dandelion tincture will cure your hep C in a flash. (And if it doesn’t, we have cod liver oils, stinkweed tisanes, and the cure-all of cure-alls: boiled hog tits!)

Of course, if this hadn’t been taught by the dean’s wife, maybe they would have decided otherwise.

Global News

TORONTO — A University of Toronto investigation into a course that taught anti-vaccination materials has concluded the instructor’s approach did not warrant concern.

But the three-page report, by the former head of Public Health Ontario, acknowledges the course could have been stronger if it relied more on scientific studies.

Dr. Vivek Goel, who is now the university’s vice-president for research and innovation, was asked to look into the course after a number of expert groups as well as professors at the university complained about it.

Alternative Health: Practice and Theory was a fourth year course in a health studies program offered at the university’s Scarborough campus.

The course was taught by homeopath Beth Landau-Halpern, who is also the wife of the Scarborough campus dean Rick Halpern.

Landau-Halpern espouses the use of nosodes, controversial products sometimes called homeopathic vaccines.

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Want a promotion? Cheer up and be on time

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“How to get promoted: look the part”
Isn’t it time to toss the HR handbook? What utter BS. Especially when ‘looks’ are strongly correlated with classism, racism, and age prejudice. Aren’t those exactly the structural inequities that HR is supposed to correct??

Fortune

If you’ve ever lost out on a promotion you believed you deserved, it’s entirely possible that no one ever told you why (even if you asked). The answer may lie somewhere in a new survey of 2,175 managers, by CareerBuilder and Harris Poll, that says a “negative attitude” and chronic lateness are the main reasons people don’t get tapped for bigger jobs, cited by 62% of those surveyed.

But it seems people do plenty of other things that sabotage their own advancement, like using salty language (51%), frequently leaving work early (49%), taking lots of sick days (49%), spreading office gossip (44%), and frittering away company time on personal social media sites (39%).

Moreover, even though many office dress codes have gotten more relaxed or disappeared altogether, getting promoted still means looking the part. More than one in four (27%) of these managers would hesitate to promote someone whose attire…

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Ontario court sides with Uber in legal battle with City of Toronto

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The judge is exactly right — Uber ISN’T a taxi company. Taxis have insurance. They vet their drivers. The cars have cameras.
When you’re kidnapped in an Uber car, sorry — not their problem!

Global News

TORONTO – An Ontario judge has sided with the ride-hailing service Uber in its legal dispute with the City of Toronto.

The city sought a permanent injunction on the company’s operations, arguing Uber is a taxi company and must abide by the city’s regulations.

But Judge Sean Dunphy dismissed the application, saying there is “no evidence” the company is operating as a taxi broker.

READ MORE: Toronto taxi drivers stage protest against Uber as court hearing begins

In his decision, he says questions surrounding the regulation of evolving communications technology should be resolved politically.

Uber has always argued it is a communications company that connects passengers and drivers, and thus isn’t subject to the city’s bylaws.

The company says it is pleased by the ruling and hopes it paves the way for regulations around the service.

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Microsoft wants educators to use Minecraft in the classroom

Or just give the kids some damn blocks. Cost savings across a school system to NOT buy computers and software: millions.

Global News

TORONTO – It’s no secret that kids love Minecraft, the “sandbox” game that allows users to build and interact with other users without any scripts. But Microsoft is hoping more educators can turn that passion for gaming into an immersive learning experience.

Microsoft, which acquired the widely popular game for US$2.5 billion last year, has launched a new website that allows teachers to share ideas about how to use the game for educational purposes and inspire new uses for the technology.

“I’m personally excited by how educators are incorporating Minecraft into their curriculum and what their students are picking up in this immersive learning environment,” said Anthony Salcito, Microsoft’s vice president of worldwide education, in a blog post.

“Elementary students in Seattle are learning foundational math skills by calculating perimeter, area and volume in Minecraft during a Saturday math program. Middle school students in Los Angeles are learning about…

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“Free” Wikipedia photos worth at least $246M a year, study says

TLDR version: Study uses a lot of made-up statistics to assign value to things that are inherently worth nothing. The result is almost $300 million.

Remember that the next time you’re thinking about buying tech stocks.

Fortune

Wikipedia pages are more popular if they have a picture, but does that translate into economic value? Yes, according to a new study, which surveyed the biographical pages of 362 best-selling authors to suggest that public domain photos added roughly $77,400 to the value of those pages over five years – which translates to $246-$270 million per year to Wikipedia as a whole.

The study, which is to appear in the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, adds more grist to the debate over the proper scope and length of copyright in the digital age, and could act as a counterweight to industry groups that regularly call for longer copyright. It also reinforces that “free” or public domain works – those that date from prior to 1923 – are valuable as raw material for all sorts of content industries.

“[There’s been] a rhetorical imbalance, as copyright expansionists come to…

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Blog: What we learned from following Canada’s Food Guide

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Wah wah wah. Always bad when the comments are more reasonable than the reporters.

A few further thoughts for the individual reporters:

* Dude, if you normally eat 3000 calories, of which 50% are meat-based protein, you are eating 1500 calories of meat a day. A single serving of meat is, on average, under 200 calories and about a quarter-pound (maybe the problem with these reporters is that they didn’t understand ounces?). So let’s do the math: 1500/200 = 7.5 servings of 0.25 lbs = 1.75 POUNDS of meat per day. You are killing the environment, and wow you must stink.

To those of you who think heavy meat-eaters don’t smell bad: sorry, you do. Eating meat once a day or even 8-10 servings a week isn’t a problem. Eating 8-10 servings per diem? No, you smell.

* Lady, if you normally use a food scale, it’s off-limits to complain about using a food scale. Also, the commenter who said “it’s a GUIDE” clearly got it. You want hot sauce? Eat your damn hot sauce! The guide says “limit”, not “shun”.  Same with coffee. Same with beer. Have a pint. Don’t play pong.

Seriously, people like you discourage those with unhealthy diets from trying to eat better. Because you reinforce the idea that eating healthy is so hard boohoowaaaaah. It’s really not. Why don’t you find some real news?

Global News

WATCH ABOVE: Canada’s Food Guide. For most, it’s that colourful poster many of us remember hanging on our grade school walls.  But the Food Guide is also the country’s model for proper eating. So how practical is it?

We put two reporters, James Armstrong and Heather Loney, to the test: eat nothing but the foods from Canada’s Food Guide for one week. This is what happened.

James

I spent the last five days living by the servings standards set out by Health Canada in the Canada Food Guide.

For those wondering, the Food Guide recommends eight servings of grain, three servings of “meats and alternatives” (think peanut butter, eggs, fish), two servings of milk, and eight servings of fruits and vegetables.

The change in diet was huge for me. I usually try and eat 3,000 calories a day, the Food Guide kept me around 2,000. My diet is usually made…

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Toxic plants popping up in parks

Today, on Global, we fired, the copy editor. And so, there are, a million, commas.

Global News

WATCH ABOVE: Toxic plants are popping up in some Ontario parks. They are easy to spot, and painful to touch. Christina Stevens reports.

TORONTO – Giant plants in a Toronto area park may be nice to look at, but not to touch.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has identified the towering plants as Cow Parsnip. They look extremely similar to an invasive plant called Giant Hogweed.

Cow Parsnip is native, so doesn’t threaten the ecological balance like Hogweed. A critical difference for conservatio authorities who have to preserve the ecological balance in parks.

However, the distinction is less important to people who come into contact with the plants.

“The important thing you want to remember is both plants cause photo toxicity so you don’t want to get any of the sap on your skin,” said Karen McDonald, Project Manager with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

TRC is in the process…

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Toronto & East York Community Council votes to knock down speed limit

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OR you could spend $1.1 million to improve transit and get more cars off the streets. But that would require having a brain, which unfortunately isn’t allowed on community council.

Global News

TORONTO  – The speed limit on some Toronto streets could soon drop from 40km/hr to 30km/hr.

Members of the Toronto and  East York Community Council unanimously voted to reduce the speed limit on 387 km of local roads Monday evening.

The changes will cost an estimated $1.1 million, something City Council has to approve.

Councillor Josh Matlow has been championing the idea, after 6-year-old Georgia Walsh was struck and killed by a van in Leaside last summer.

The vote is welcomed by Alan Wayne Scott, who’s been advocating for cycling safety.

“We…

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Why doctors are warning about the health risks of too-tight skinny jeans

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And in other news, being an idiot is fatal.

Global News

WATCH ABOVE: A warning is going out to wearers of skinny jeans – avoid prolonged periods of squatting. Doctors in Australia report that a 35-year-old woman was hospitalized for four days after experiencing muscle damage, swelling, and nerve blockages in her legs after squatting for several hours while wearing tight-fitting denims.

Her calves ballooned, her skinny jeans had to be cut off of her body and she spent four days in hospital. In a new study documenting the dramatic incident, Australian doctors are warning women about damaging nerve and muscle fibres in their legs from wearing tight-fitting pants.

A 35-year-old Australian woman couldn’t move her ankles or toes and lost feeling in her lower legs and feet after squatting in her skinny jeans, according to scientists out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. She was helping a family member move homes, and was squatting for hours while emptying out cupboards.

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