Category: GENERAL

Serious delays of new sleek streetcar delivery hit Toronto transit renewal

The streetcar system of Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, is the largest such system in the Americas in terms of ridership, number of cars and track length, as Wikipedia describes. It is one of the few existing streetcar systems with its history dating back to the mid-19th century – 1861 – when a horse-drawn street railway began. This Toronto streetcar system is now adding a new prize – a fleet of 204 21st-century, low-floor, safer and more comfortable, accessible streetcars to be manufactured by Montreal-based Bombardier and put into service completely by the end of 2019. However, there are so far only 17 of such light rail vehicles – painted in […]

Canada moving toward marijuana legalization

Canada is moving toward legalization of recreational marijuana, which the Liberal Party has promised in last year’s election. There are many problems that must be cleared for legislation to be written for legalization, and everybody understands that recreational marijuana will not become available overnight to buy freely at stores. Still a sense of expectation is growing among Canadians and marijuana producers as if legalization of cannabis would happen any time soon. When Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party defeated the Conservative Party in the October election, stock prices of marijuana-related companies shot up, as much as by 7 % on the TSX Venture Exchange. Immediately after taking office, Prime Minister instructed his […]

Cafes evolve in Ontario, Japan

“Shareable plates are a constant across the game cafes, but beverages of choice vary. Each serves up its own drink, whether tea, beer, wine or espresso. But walk into any and you’ll hear the same conviviality: fast talk, laughter and rolling dice. And the one thing you’ll rarely see is the glow of a smartphone screen.” This is how The New York Times international weekly edition (February 21, 2016) described “board-game cafes” that have rapidly increased in number in Toronto especially over the past two years. The news story headlined “In Toronto, the Hot Spots Put Board Games on the Table” went on to say: “There are so many of […]

Large carbon dioxide capture and storage project going on in Canada

When it comes to minimizing global warming, the big, good news was the Paris accord in December 2015 that aims to limit the world’s temperature increase to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. All 196 countries and territories pledged effort toward that goal. You can imagine easily that no single measure can achieve that ambitious goal. Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, especially coal, in power plants and other places may be the first thing you can think of. Consumers are being requested to save energy, too. Few people seem to favor nuclear power generation, despite the fact that its advantages include no emission of carbon dioxide. A Japanese government agency […]

Justin Trudeau visits Washington as first Canadian prime minister in 19 years; Obama extends heartily welcome as climate change, liberal allies

Justin Trudeau visited Washington on March 9-11 to a warm and cordial welcome by President Barack Obama. It was the first official visit, highlighted by lavish and gorgeous state dinner at the White House, by a Canadian prime minister in 19 years. The dinner with exuberant good will and friendship by the host and the guest promised a stronger bond between the two leaders and their two neighbor countries’ closer ties ahead. Even before Trudeau’s visit began, White House officials said “there is a special relationship developing between this president and prime minister.” “Both young leaders with similar visions, both have a progressive vision of governing, both are very much […]

Canada’s cyclotron accelerator king of radioisotopes producers

The March 11, 2011 accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power generating plant released a huge amount of radiation into the atmosphere, which is measured in terms of becquerels. But nuclear power is used not merely to generate electricity. Scientists and engineers have made it possible to utilize radioisotopes in diversified areas, including radiotherapy for cancer treatment, medical research and materials development. Canada has long been a leading isotope producer. The symbol of its leading position in the field is the 520-mega-electron volt (MeV) Main Cyclotron at the Triumf national laboratory located in the University of British Columbia’s campus near Vancouver. Federal science minister Kirsty Duncan […]

Canada may draw increasing number of foreign students

When the Japanese government liberalized foreign currency exchange rules in 1964 that allowed students planning study abroad to obtain any amount of US dollars, for example, it appeared most students took it for granted that they would return home after graduation. Fast forward to 2016. Many international students, especially those from China and India, study and are increasingly granted permanent residence in Canada, according to The Economist (January 30, 2016). Since many foreign students in four Anglophone countries intend to get a job in a host country after completing higher education there, Canada and Australia are likely to attract more international students while the US and Britain “could lose out”, […]

Climate change could cut First Nations fisheries’ catch in half by 2050

Climate change is threatening to reduce First Nations fisheries’ catch by nearly 50% by 2050, according to a new study on the impact of climate change to the food and economic security of indigenous communities along coastal British Columbia, Canada. The study, conducted by a research team of the University of British Columbia (UBC) and released last month, predicts that the wild salmon and herring the First Nations tribes use for food, ceremonies and trade will swim north with dozens of other species as the climate changes, the waters off the coast of British Columbia warm and the fish pursue colder areas. According to the report, half of these communities’ […]

Is it only the Japanese who are interested in eels?

Eel appears to have been considered a nourishing or medicinal food since ancient times, and the centuries-old custom of eating it at the height of summer survives in modern Japan. The Japanese may also assume that they are the only people who are interested in eating and studying the animal that is thought to have come into being about 100 million years ago probably in the waters near Borneo Island. Wrong. Aristotle (384-322 BC) mused that eels were “sexless creatures spontaneously emerging from the earth’s guts,” according to The New York Times (NYT) international weekly edition (December 27, 2015). We know better than the Greek philosopher/scientist that eels spend time […]

Canada is having legal “physician-assisted dying” soon

Just one year ago, on February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada gave a landmark ruling allowing physician-assisted suicide and at the same time gave the federal government one year to produce legislation before the decision takes effect. During the past 12 months, the doctor-assisted dying had been banned. The Supreme Court overturned a ban on physician-assisted suicide last February, recognizing “the right of consenting adults enduring intolerable physical or mental suffering to end their lives with a doctor’s help.” The Canadian top court again drew national spotlight last month, with the deadline for assisted death legislation approaching. On January 15, it gave the government more time – four […]

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