New Pot Legalization Causes Unemployment (LOL)

Cannabis Legalization Forces 14 RCMP Sniffer Dogs Into Early Retirement
It will cost about $5,000 to train each new pup with the updated drug palette that excludes cannabis.
Holly McKenzie-SutterCanadian Press
RCMP police dog Tessy poses next to seized marijuana in an RCMP handout photo. There are a number of police dogs across the country who will be out of a job before October 17, as the RCMP prepares for cannabis legalization.
RCMP police dog Tessy poses next to seized marijuana in an RCMP handout photo. There are a number of police dogs across the country who will be out of a job before October 17, as the RCMP prepares for cannabis legalization.
Earlier this month, the RCMP threw a retirement party in St. John’s, N.L., for a Labrador retriever named Luke.

As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and as cannabis legalization approaches, that puts Luke and other dogs like him out of work.

Luke, who sniffed more than five million of dollars’ worth of drugs during his time on the force, is one of 14 canines across the country who will be out of a job before October 17.

Traffic and interdiction dogs like Luke are trained to detect cannabis, but once the substance is legal, they can no longer be used to establish grounds for search in a traffic stop.

All 14 dogs need to be replaced, and it will cost about $5,000 to train each new pup with the updated drug palette that excludes cannabis.

Also on HuffPost:

Luke is the only dog retiring in Newfoundland and Labrador, but there are others in British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Manitoba who will be hanging up their hats by October.

Traffic and interdiction dogs represent about 12 per cent of the total narcotics canine force. Staff Sgt. Gary Creed, senior trainer at the RCMP’s police dog service in Innisfail, Alta., says he considers this the largest group of dogs the force has ever had to replace at one time.

And with a staff of just seven trainers, Creed is not sure that the replacements will be ready before the legalization date.

“Yes, it’s going to be a strain on our budget, but it’s manageable,” Creed said.

“The federal government changes the laws on us, right, and we have to deal with it. And not just us, all police forces.”

The federal government changes the laws on us, right, and we have to deal with it.
The force’s general duty dogs can still be used in situations where cannabis is still illegal, or when grounds for search have already been established, minimizing the number of replacements.

But Creed said it’s been a work-in-progress figuring out how to manage the quick, sizable turnover.

In the scenario that the dogs aren’t trained by October 17, Creed said he isn’t sure how the officers will proceed in the field without their four-legged partners.

“The guys will just have to manage that out on the road,” said Creed.

The RCMP has updated the narcotics detection profile for its dogs before. A few years ago, the animals were taught to detect fentanyl — but adding one substance to the dogs’ training is significantly easier and cheaper than putting a whole group through a new course.

Earlier on HuffPost Canada:

U.S. Border Officials Might Already Know All About Your Cannabis Use
Health Canada Wants Crackdown On Pot Promotion At Concerts
Creed said he hopes to have the replacements ready for duty by the end of the year.

It takes between 20 and 50 days for a dog to complete the narcotics training at the Innisfail centre, where the force breeds and trains its canines.

The dogs are taught to detect illegal substances and run through training simulations before they’re sent off across the country with their new handlers.

For Luke, it’s been a long journey from the street to today’s cushy retirement.

Luke was recruited by Sgt. Don Bill, who found him at an animal shelter in St. John’s. Luke completed his training course with flying colours — and the Labrador retriever stood out among his peers at the training centre, where most are German shepherds bred specifically for duty.

They finally get to play all day.
His handler is retiring from the force as well, giving 11-year-old Luke an early retirement in July.

Caroline Nadeau, an RCMP spokeswoman, said the bond between the officer and dog is so strong that in most cases, the handlers keep their dogs as pets when they retire from active duty.

But Luke’s handler is moving to a colder climate, so he’s given Luke to a new home in St. John’s where he can enjoy his retirement.

Nadeau said Luke and the others will spend their days doing what dogs do best.

“They finally get to play all day.”

Suggest a correction
Holly McKenzie-SutterCanadian Press


Firm Friends?

Firm friends? Macron handshake leaves mark on Trump

JUN 10, 2018
LA MALBAIE, QUEBEC – They once shook hands for an eye-watering 29 seconds, with neither man willing to show a hint of weakness. Now Emmanuel Macron has left a firm impression on Donald Trump in their latest squeezing contest.

Photos that have gone viral show how Macron turned part of Trump’s hand pale with a blood-squeezing grip when they met Friday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Canada.

Another picture appears to show the 71-year-old Trump wincing slightly as he struggles to get to grips with his 40-year-old counterpart.

The relationship between the two alpha males has been something of a roller-coaster ride since they first met last year, epitomized by their infamous handshake marathon in Paris during Bastille Day celebrations last July.

Although Macron was given the honor of the first state visit of the Trump era in April, one of the most enduring images of the trip was when Trump brushed some flecks of dandruff off the Frenchman’s jacket in the White House.

The two men also traded jibes on Twitter in the build-up to the summit in Canada, which has been soured by Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum exports from the European Union.

Despite their differences, the two men seem at least to enjoy a mutual respect.

“We have a very really good relationship, very special,” Trump told reporters after Friday’s handshake.

Why does McDonald’s hate Canadian skunks?

NEWS 06/28/2017 16:50 EDT | Updated 06/28/2017 17:36 EDT
Canadian Skunks Can’t Stop Getting Stuck In McFlurry Cups
File this under ‘weirdly specific.’
By Michelle Butterfield

Canadian skunks have a very particular problem — they can’t seem to stop from getting their heads stuck in McFlurry cups.

For the third (yes, THIRD) time in a year, video has captured a skunk running around blindly as a result of trying to eat up the remnants of a McDonalds’ ice cream treat.

Tina Christie from Kemptville, Ont. recorded the latest footage while at a car wash last week. A skunk had gotten the plastic lid of a McFlurry cup stuck around its neck and was running around in circles before Christie was able to get close and pull it off. (You can watch her brave feat in the video above.)

But, like we said, this is not the first time an Ontario skunk has pulled this stunt.

Last summer, skunks in both North Bay and the Peel region had to rely on humans to free them from dessert captivity.

In North Bay, two police officers helped out a skunk while on patrol one night, reports CBC News.

And in the other instance, paramedic Justin Mausz donned an Ebola suit before comically chasing a critter around the paramedic station parking lot and swiping the cup off its head.

And while it’s amazing enough to note that this specific mishap keeps happening all the damn time, what’s even more incredible is that not one of these brave rescuers got sprayed. NOT ONE.

For the record, it’s not just McFlurry cups that are posing a problem for Canada’s skunk population. Last year Manitoba Mounties came to the rescue of a skunk that got a Tim Hortons cup stuck on its head, and an Ontario man helped free a skunk who was running around with its head trapped inside a Coke can.

Hmmm. Maybe it’s not the skunks that have the problem, after all. Maybe it’s the humans who can’t seem to put their garbage in a place where these stinky animals won’t get into it.

Trouble Deciding How to Think on Canadian Issues? No worries: from now on, we’ll tell you what you’re allowed to think. Part Three

University of Lethbridge teacher to be investigated for alleged anti-Semitic views

University of Lethbridge teacher to be investigated for alleged anti-Semitic views

More from Ryan Rumbolt
Published on: September 30, 2016 | Last Updated: September 30, 2016 8:47 PM MDT

Lethbridge police have concluded an investigation into University of Lethbridge professor Anthony Hall for alleged hate speech against the Jewish community. BILL GRAVELAND / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Jewish advocacy group B’nai Brith are calling for action, alleging a University of Lethbridge professor is spreading anti-Semitism.

Spokesperson and Western Canada Advocacy Coordinator, Ryan Bellerose, alleges Anthony Hall has been using his classroom and social media to promote an “honest, open debate on the Holocaust” and spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Hall runs a YouTube channel where he proclaims the terror attacks of 9/11 was a “Zionist job.” B’nai Brith have started a petition online calling for the University of Lethbridge “to investigate” Hall’s denial of the Holocaust and other conspiracy theories.

Bellrose said B’nai Birth’s complaints against Hall date back to 2009, but this most recent allegation was brought to the attention of the Lethbridge Police Service after a Facebook post was made on Hall’s wall by a third-party.

“We felt that it was incitement (of hate speech),” Bellerose said. “The actual post itself called for the genocide of Jews. It basically said, ‘we need to kill them all.’

“For (B’nai Brith) it was a no brainer — it’s a direct attack on Jewish people.”

A petition calling for the university to investigate Hall has been circulating online.

Sgt. Renee Scotland with the Lethbridge Police Service said the inflammatory post was deleted by the time police investigated and no charges will be laid.

“You have to be able to prove that the act of posting this … disgusting material, that the person had actually had the intent to incite hatred and wilfully promote hatred against an identifiable group,” Scotland said.

Scotland said Hall was aware of the investigation and Hall cooperated with police, adding he was in the United States at the time the post was made. Scotland said because the post was made by a third-party, and quickly deleted, it is impossible to prove the poster’s “intend to incite hate”.

“The threshold is high and the burden of proof has to be clear, and it isn’t in this case.”

The University of Lethbridge said in a statement that they are “actively engaged with this issue” and Hall “does not speak on behalf of the University or its faculty, staff and students,” adding there have been multiple inquires into Hall’s “activities, views and teachings in the classroom.”

The university also said they cannot provide specific commentary or details on any disciplinary action against Hall.

Bellerose said he is an advocate of free speech and is aware anti-Semitic views are often spread online, but Bellerose takes exception to anti-Semitic material being spread by a professor.

“As an educator, he automatically has credibility,” Bellerose said. “We are taught in Canada that university professors especially are people that know things.”

Bellerose said he is aware any decision made by the university will be made discreetly, but he remains hopeful the university will take a stand against anti-Semitism.

“They need to come out very strongly and say that, ‘Look, we do not in any way shape or form condone this type of behaviour, and we will act within our purview to prevent it from happening again.’”

Trouble Deciding How to Think on Canadian Issues? No worries: from now on, we’ll tell you what you’re allowed to think. Part One

Julie Payette’s transgression is more serious than some suppose. In a speech last week, she celebrated secularism and science over faith and superstition in tones so derisive that the Conservative Leader protested and the Prime Minister rose to her defence, which only made things worse.

In presenting herself as an enlightened governor-general, did Ms. Payette inadvertently cast herself as a Liberal governor-general? If the next election produces an unstable House, can we count on her to rule impartially on who should be asked to form a government, or whether and when to accept a recommendation to prorogue or dissolve Parliament?

The governor-general exists to resolve such impasses. With her remarks on science and superstition, Ms. Payette has made it harder to credibly fill that role.

Read more: Governor-General 101: Don’t insult Canadians

We don’t need to rehash exactly what the Governor-General said last Wednesday, because it wasn’t her opinions that got her into trouble so much as her tone. “Can you believe that still, today, in learned societies and houses of government? …” and “that we are still debating and still questioning …” and “so many people, I’m sure you know them, still believe, want to believe …” Here was a Governor-General mocking those who do not share her world view.

In rising to her defence, Mr. Trudeau actually deepened the hole.

“We are a government grounded in science,” he told reporters. Ms. Payette “has never hidden away her passion for science … and I applaud the firmness with which she stands in support of science and the truth,” he added.

With those comments, Mr. Trudeau allied the Liberal Party with the Governor-General, in essence saying both celebrate the power of science over superstition.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, not wanting to be seen criticizing the Governor-General directly, instead criticized Mr. Trudeau for coming to her defence.

“It is extremely disappointing that the Prime Minister will not support Indigenous peoples, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Christians and other faith groups who believe there is truth in their religion,” he said on Facebook.

 So now we have the Liberals: We are the party of reason and the scientific method and the Governor-General is with us. And the Conservatives: We are the party that respects rights of all people to worship as they choose without being judged – in particular, by the Prime Minister and the Governor-General.

A stark divide. A wedge issue, even. What on Earth was the GG thinking?

These are early days. We should assume that Ms. Payette received unsound advice, or failed to follow the advice she received. Someone in the Prime Minister’s Office is no doubt having a quiet word with someone at Rideau Hall, so that this mistake is not repeated.

But Ms. Payette needs to get the hang of this job, quickly. Yes, the next election is two years away, but consider: What if the NAFTA talks fail and Mr. Trudeau decides on a snap election to obtain a mandate for whatever follows? What if the voters return a hung Parliament?

After the BC Liberals were defeated in the legislature in the wake of last May’s election in that province, Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon rejected Christy Clark’s advice to dissolve the legislature, and instead invited NDP Leader John Horgan to form a government.

Throughout those tense days, no one questioned Ms. Guichon’s impartiality. If Ms. Payette is forced to make a difficult choice when the House meets after the next election, will all Canadians trust her impartiality?

The Governor-General speaks for everyone – believer and non-believer, people of science and people of faith and people of both. She must represent all, regardless of what she might think of some.

Julie Payette should be very careful with what she says and how she says it from here on in.

Governor-General Julie Payette takes aim at bad science(THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Giants Roamed Canada’s North!

Did giants roam Canada’s Northwest Territories — or do they still?

Given its large expanse and low population, there’s plenty of room for folklore in the Northwest Territories

Darren Bernhardt · CBC News · September 30

Andrew Paul Beaverho took this shot while flying between Whati and Yellowknife. (Andrew Paul Beaverho)
A pair of photographs are stirring the folklore pot in the Northwest Territories — or perhaps more accurately, leaving a big impression.
Both photos, sent to CBC North, show lakes that resemble gigantic footprints.
“Godzilla exist!” Eric James wrote on CBC North’s Facebook page, under the photo of a lake with the unmistakeable shape of three-toed foot.
The photo was sent in by Kailie Letendre, who snapped it on on her way up to Inuvik.
Another, shared more than 250 times, shows another foot-like lake formation — with islands and trees at the top forming the toes. The aerial shot was taken by Andrew Paul Beaverho between Whati and Yellowknife.
“It’s Yamoria’s footprint from when he fought the giant beavers!” Keith Shergold commented on CBC North’s Facebook page.

Kailie Letendre snapped this shot from the window of a plane on her way to Inuvik. (Kailie Letendre)
While many comments are made for amusement, they are steeped in lore that goes back millennia and form the rich culture of the land’s first inhabitants.
“A lot of this is still revered and adhered to. People use these stories and legends to guide their lives,” said Alestine Andre, heritage researcher with the Gwich’in Tribal Council.
“Some are very serious, but some of them are for entertainment as well. It’s a very rich description of how things used to be and an explanation for how our land was shaped.”
The Northwest Territories is nearly 1.2 million square kilometres with a topography of Precambrian volcanic rock heaved into mountains and carved into valleys, along with untold lakes, rivers, turbulent waterfalls, islands and a tapestry of trees.
The Nahanni Valley, west of Yellowknife, is many worlds unto itself. Despite the harsh conditions in winter, the valley contains tropic areas with hot springs, lush plants and sweltering whirpools in an area known as Hell’s Gate.
Then there’s Great Slave Lake, which is too deep to know what really lurks at its dark base. The official estimate is that the deepest lake in North America — the sixth deepest on Earth — goes down 614 metres but a University of California researcher claims there are trenches that reach even farther down.
For all of its breadth, the N.W.T. is populated by just 41,462 people, according to the most recent Census.
That leaves an extensive reach of uninhabited space — and room for plenty of legends.
N.W.T. man tells of encounter with nàhgą — the Tlicho sasquatch — following boat accident
Sasquatch sighting by Nunavik berry pickers
The earliest of days was a time when people and animals were equals and giant creatures wandered, and it was during these days that many features of the modern landscape were created, according to Andre, ​co-author of the book, Gwichya Gwich’in Googwandak: The History and Stories of the Gwichya Gwich’in, As Told by The Elders of Tsiigehtshik .​
“These marks and tracks show that the animals who made them must have been of enormous size. Mostly these were animals that everybody knew — beaver, fish, or wolverine — but they were bigger than any that the people had ever seen, and they lived much longer,” the book states.
“These giant spirit animals, chijuudiee, have inhabited the land since the earliest days.”

Ch’ii choo’s thunderous steps
One of the greatest legends is that of a great traveller and warrior known by many names, depending on the region and tribe. The the Gwich’in call him Atachuukaii, while he is Yamoria for the Dene of North Slavey and Zhamba Deja for the Dene of South Slavey.
The Chipewyan call him Hachoghe while the Tlicho and Yellowknives Dene have named him Yamozha.
By all, he is known as a hero.
The Gwichya Gwich’in Googwandak says Atachuukaii encountered the man-eating giant Ch’ii choo near present-day Fort Yukon. The giant chased Atachuukaii across the land and all the way up the Mackenzie River.
The chase lasted a long time and Ch’ii choo’s thunderous steps made indentations in the ground, creating six big lakes between Norman Wells and Fort Good Hope.
Legends of Yamoria from the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Giant beavers, wolverines

According to the Dene, their ancient land Denendeh, was terrorized by giant beavers that would attack people.
Yamoria chased them to the northwest corner of present-day Saskatchewan, where during the struggle, one beaver kicked away all the trees, creating the Athabasca sand dunes. After killing another, Yamoria tossed part of the empty dam into the Athabasca River, where it is now an island.
Yamoria also saved people from two giant wolverines, who used a medicine power to control their minds and entrap them before devouring them. Yamoria tricked the adult wolverines in order to get close, then killed them.
He then squeezed the young wolverines, shrinking them to the size the animals are today — an animal small in body but with the power of a giant.
Some other legends from the Gwichya Gwich’in Googwandak include:
Gyuu dazhoo
A giant hairy worm, or snake, that came out of the ocean and travelled up the Mackenzie River and into the Peel River. He wanted to go up into the mountains, so he swallowed big rocks as he moved along, burrowing out the shape that is now the Snake River. Gyuu dazhoo still lives in the area, but it has not been sighted for so long now that nobody is quite sure whether it actually lives in the mountains near the headwater of the Snake River, or in a lake beside the river.
Nehtruh tshì’
This is the name of an area on the bank of Tsiigehnjik, just downstream from Martin zheh, which is very distinct from its surroundings. The land here looks as if it has been torn apart. It is said to be the work of a giant wolverine that came out of a nearby lake. He broke up the hills and big boulders while heading underground.
Nobody knows what these giants looked like or who they were, but the marks they left were so large and unusual that they could not have been made by a normal-sized being. One such chijuudiee must once have come out of a little lake southwest of K’eeghee chuudlaii, where it created a wide trench through the trees.
More beasts whose stories persist in the Northwest Territories include:
The Tlicho sasquatch known for stealing people from bush camps. It is said to have powerful magic that helps it lure people who are then never seen again.
Described as a creature resembling a wolf or wolf-bear hybrid. It is said to stand four to five feet tall at the shoulders, with a wide head, enormous body, and blazing white fur. Various legends describe it as an evil spirit with supernatural powers and a penchant for removing people’s heads.
It is said to reside in the Nahanni Valley, which has earned the nicknames Valley of Headless Men, Deadmen Valley, and Headless Range.
The decapitated bodies of prospecting brothers Willie and Frank McLeod were found along the Nahanni River in 1909, while Swiss prospector Martin Jorgenson was found in the same condition in 1917, followed in 1945 by a miner from Ontario, who was headless and still in his sleeping bag.
‘Tip of the iceberg’
These stories are “just touching the tip of the iceberg because there’s just so much,” said Andre. “And this is just on the land — we also have stories about the sky.
“People are still very respectful of the teaching of our ancestors so we still have a great deal of respect for these stories and the information. And I’m only talking about the Gwich’in area — you go into the Sahtu, you go into Behchoko and all that area, and also south of [Great Slave] lake and around there.
“Aboriginal culture is just so rich.”
So is there still a chance some of those legendary beings still exist, somewhere in the vast hinterland of the Northwest Territories?
“You could think that, yeah,” said Andre.