Italian tourists end up in Sydney Nova Scotia instead of Australia

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/italian-tourists-end-up-in-wrong-sydney-1.975605

Italian tourists end up in wrong Sydney
Travel agency’s booking error landed couple in Nova Scotia instead of Australia
CBC News Posted: Jul 07, 2010 5:38 PM AT Last Updated: Jul 07, 2010 11:58 PM AT

No kangaroos. But can we interest you in a fiddle?
Accidental tourists get royal treatment; Sydney gets the BBC flush
wrong-sydneytopjpg_1
Serena Tavoloni, 25, and Valerio Torresi, 26, arrived in Sydney, N.S., instead of Sydney, Australia. ((CBC))

A couple from Italy got a taste of Cape Breton hospitality Wednesday when they unexpectedly arrived in Sydney, N.S., instead of Sydney, Australia.

Valerio Torresi, 26, and Serena Tavoloni, 25, had never travelled outside Europe until Tuesday night when they found themselves in Nova Scotia instead of Australia where they had planned to fly.

At first, they assumed they were only changing planes, and when they found out it was actually the end of their flight, they didn’t believe what had happened.

“The first reaction was fear,” Torresi said. “And the second reaction is, ‘No, it’s a joke.’ But it’s true.”

The couple’s travel agency in Italy is correcting the booking error, and the couple hopes to be on their way to Australia soon.

In the meantime, they are being treated to a warm welcome in the city of about 23,000 on Cape Breton island. A local restaurant is providing a lobster dinner, and the couple will stay at the Day’s Inn for free.

Torresi and Tavoloni said everyone they have met in Sydney has been kind, friendly and helpful.

This isn’t the first time the two Sydneys have been mistaken.

Two years ago, a woman from Argentina spent an unintentional week in Cape Breton, and in 2002, a British couple made the same mistake and spent several days on the island.

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Bar brawl breaks out at funeral fundraiser for man killed trying to stop brawl

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/brawl+broke+fundraiser+funeral+Saskatoon+killed+trying+stop+brawl/11287987/story.html

Bar brawl broke out at fundraiser for funeral of Saskatoon man killed trying to stop bar brawl

BY HANNAH SPRAY, THE STARPHOENIX AUGUST 17, 2015

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Bar brawl broke out at fundraiser for funeral of Saskatoon man killed trying to stop bar brawl

Family and friends attended Dustin Boulet’s funeral at Royal Canadian Legion Hall on March 9, 2014. (Michelle Berg / The StarPhoenix)
Photograph by: Michelle Berg , The StarPhoenix
At a fundraiser to help cover the funeral costs of a friend who died trying to stop a fight outside a Saskatoon bar, a group of young men ended up embroiled in a fight that led to two of them facing assault charges.

It was a sad set of circumstances that concluded in Saskatoon provincial court on Thursday, with Christopher Godlien pleading guilty to assault causing bodily harm. The second accused, Robbie Watier, previously pleaded guilty to assault in relation to the same incident.

They were at Tequila Nightclub on the night of March 8, 2014, at a fundraiser for the following day’s funeral for Dustin Boulet. The 29-year-old Boulet died March 1, 2014, after he was stabbed outside Bridge’s Ale House & Eatery.

Another man at Tequila that night, Brandon Selinger, apparently was looking for a fight, according to Godlien’s defence lawyer Leslie Sullivan.

“In (Selinger’s) own statements, one of the things he likes to do is go drinking and look for fights,” Sullivan said in court.

Selinger started “beaking” at a group of young men standing outside the bar, and a scuffle started between him and another unidentified young man. At some point, others joined in and the consensual fight turned into a multi-person assault on Selinger — but Godlien and Watier were the only two who were positively identified.

The group of men fled before police arrived and Selinger was taken to hospital. He required surgery for a broken jaw and had to be on a liquid diet for two months while he recovered, Crown prosecutor Val Adamko said in court.

Godlien and Watier were initially charged with aggravated assault, but eventually pleaded guilty to lesser charges. One of the reasons Godlien’s case took so long to conclude was that there were issues accessing the surveillance video so he and his lawyer could watch it — and when his preliminary hearing was scheduled earlier this year, Selinger didn’t come to court.

The Crown and defence jointly proposed a one-year conditional sentence order, or jail sentence served in the community, for Godlien — the same sentence Watier received. Both men agreed to pay $1,500 each in restitution to Selinger.

“He’s sorry this ever happened,” Sullivan said. “He wishes he could have had this over, in this fashion, a long time ago.”

Steve-O Milhouse Harputin makes the New York Times!

THE CLOSING OF THE CANADIAN MIND

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/opinion/sunday/the-closing-of-the-canadian-mind.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

THE prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has called an election for Oct. 19, but he doesn’t want anyone to talk about it.

He has chosen not to participate in the traditional series of debates on national television, confronting his opponents in quieter, less public venues, like the scholarly Munk Debates and CPAC, Canada’s equivalent of CSPAN. His own campaign events were subject to gag orders until a public outcry forced him to rescind the forced silence of his supporters.

Mr. Harper’s campaign for re-election has so far been utterly consistent with the personality trait that has defined his tenure as prime minister: his peculiar hatred for sharing information.

Americans have traditionally looked to Canada as a liberal haven, with gun control, universal health care and good public education.

But the nine and half years of Mr. Harper’s tenure have seen the slow-motion erosion of that reputation for open, responsible government. His stance has been a know-nothing conservatism, applied broadly and effectively. He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.

His relationship to the press is one of outright hostility. At his notoriously brief news conferences, his handlers vet every journalist, picking and choosing who can ask questions. In the usual give-and-take between press and politicians, the hurly-burly of any healthy democracy, he has simply removed the give.

Mr. Harper’s war against science has been even more damaging to the capacity of Canadians to know what their government is doing. The prime minister’s base of support is Alberta, a western province financially dependent on the oil industry, and he has been dedicated to protecting petrochemical companies from having their feelings hurt by any inconvenient research.

In 2012, he tried to defund government research centers in the High Arctic, and placed Canadian environmental scientists under gag orders. That year, National Research Council members were barred from discussing their work on snowfall with the media. Scientists for the governmental agency Environment Canada, under threat of losing their jobs, have been banned from discussing their research without political approval. Mentions of federal climate change research in the Canadian press have dropped 80 percent. The union that represents federal scientists and other professionals has, for the first time in its history, abandoned neutrality to campaign against Mr. Harper.

His active promotion of ignorance extends into the functions of government itself. Most shockingly, he ended the mandatory long-form census, a decision protested by nearly 500 organizations in Canada, including the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Catholic Council of Bishops. In the age of information, he has stripped Canada of its capacity to gather information about itself. The Harper years have seen a subtle darkening of Canadian life.

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The darkness has resulted, organically, in one of the most scandal-plagued administrations in Canadian history. Mr. Harper’s tenure coincided with the scandal of Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto who admitted to smoking crack while in office and whose secret life came to light only when Gawker, an American website, broke the story. In a famous video at a Ford family barbecue, Mr. Harper praised the Fords as a “Conservative political dynasty.”

Mr. Harper’s appointments to the Senate — which in Canada is a mercifully impotent body employed strictly for political payoffs — have proved greedier than the norm. Mr. Harper’s chief of staff was forced out for paying off a senator who fudged his expenses. The Mounties have pressed criminal charges.

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RECENT COMMENTS

Kathie 51 minutes ago
Mr. Marche – I know what you’re doing. You just don’t want us to move to Canada if the worst case scenario happens to us in November, 2016….
Brian C. 54 minutes ago
If only there was someone better from either of the Opposition parties….there’s your decade-long problem.
W.a. Thomaston 54 minutes ago
TPP is playing a critical role in the Canadian election:“Canada Changed Its Election Laws So It Could Negotiate The TPP”http://motherboard…
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After the 2011 election, a Conservative staffer, Michael Sona, was convicted of using robocalls to send voters to the wrong polling places in Guelph, Ontario. In the words of the judge, he was guilty of “callous and blatant disregard for the right of people to vote.” In advance of this election, instead of such petty ploys, the Canadian Conservatives have passed the Fair Elections Act, a law with a classically Orwellian title, which not only needlessly tightens the requirements for voting but also has restricted the chief executive of Elections Canada from promoting the act of voting. Mr. Harper seems to think that his job is to prevent democracy.

But the worst of the Harper years is that all this secrecy and informational control have been at the service of no larger vision for the country. The policies that he has undertaken have been negligible — more irritating distractions than substantial changes. He is “tough on crime,” and so he has built more prisons at great expense at the exact moment when even American conservatives have realized that over-incarceration causes more problems than it solves. Then there is a new law that allows the government to revoke citizenship for dual citizens convicted of terrorism or high treason — effectively creating levels of Canadianness and problems where none existed.

For a man who insists on such intense control, the prime minister has not managed to control much that matters. The argument for all this secrecy was a technocratic impulse — he imagined Canada as a kind of Singapore, only more polite and rule abiding.

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The major foreign policy goal of his tenure was the Keystone Pipeline, which Mr. Harper ultimately failed to deliver. The Canadian dollar has returned to the low levels that once earned it the title of the northern peso. Despite being left in a luxurious position of strength after the global recession, he coasted on what he knew: oil. In the run-up to the election, the Bank of Canada has announced that Canada just had two straight quarters of contraction — the technical definition of a recession. He has been a poor manager by any metric.

The early polls show Mr. Harper trailing, but he’s beaten bad polls before. He has been prime minister for nearly a decade for a reason: He promised a steady and quiet life, undisturbed by painful facts. The Harper years have not been terrible; they’ve just been bland and purposeless. Mr. Harper represents the politics of willful ignorance. It has its attractions.

Whether or not he loses, he will leave Canada more ignorant than he found it. The real question for the coming election is a simple but grand one: Do Canadians like their country like that?

Caesium giant!

Most of the World’s Caesium is in a Lake in Manitoba
The best-known use of this element is in Caesium-based atomic clocks – which are so accurate they would only be off by 2 seconds over a 65 million year lifespan. It’s also used as a lubricant for large drilling projects. The world’s richest deposit of caesium (roughly two-thirds of it) is at Bernic Lake, Manitoba.