TIME

This Berry Is Causing A Super-Food War Between America and Canada

A fruit picker holds a quart basket of Saskatoon berries at G&S Orchards in Walworth, N.Y. on June 26, 2013 .
A fruit picker holds a quart basket of Saskatoon berries at G&S Orchards in Walworth, N.Y. on June 26, 2013 . Jim Ochterski—AP

Americans haven't warmed to the name. How about "juneberry" instead?

“One berry, two berry, pick me a…Saskatoon berry?!” The name of this little-known purple fruit doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. No marketer’s dream here. And now some Canadians who have long cultivated the tiny super-food are crying foul over a quiet U.S.-led push to re-brand it: from saskatoon to juneberry. And there’s no truce in sight.

Thanks to its powerful anti-oxidant properties and to the entrepreneurial efforts of a handful of commercial growers, this under-the-radar berry has garnered a new wave of interest in parts of the U.S. Some think this delicious fruit–it tastes like a mixture of cherries, almonds and grapes– could be on its way to hit the super-fruit jackpot, a market whose juice segment alone will be worth $10 billion by 2017, predicts research firm Euromonitor International.

If only Americans could pronounce its name. Or spell it. (Canadians, of course, have no diction problems since the name is derived from the city in the Saskatchewan province, Saskatoon.)

Jim Fang, saskatoon berry expert and professor—he fittingly hails from the University of Saskatchewan—is in the midst of establishing the fruit’s precise health effects, which compare to those of the blueberry, the superfruit darling of the past. His prediction: “The saskatoon berry will be offered as an alternative to the blueberry.” The two fruits even look alike.

But Canadian cultivators are a few steps ahead of their southern counterparts: Growers there scooped up 575 tons of the berry last year — dwarfing the United States’ production which is estimated at four tons — and have just begun a promising harvest that will span August.

And the fruit is so popular in Canada it has even shaped the country’s geography. Stroll the streets of Saskatoon, population 200,000, and you’ll run into a 4-meter tall bronze sculpture capturing the city’s berry-driven founding myth. It depicts a Native American chief pointing to the town’s future location while an explorer to his side dubs it the saskatoon, named after the berry long-known by the indigenous population. Canadians kept the moniker.

Yet, many Americans haven’t taken to the name. Maybe because we’re still grappling with the acai berry pronunciation.

“There are certain things that Canadians and Americans do differently and names on things happen to be one of those,” says Jim Ochterski, agriculture issues leader at Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension. The institution has championed the berry stateside by introducing it to cultivators. “We decided to predominantly call them juneberries.”

When a berry is in a pickle

Some Canadians are offended by the name change — to the extent Canadians can get offended.

Sandra Purdy, president of the Saskatoon Berry Council of Canada, the trade group representing the industry, is the de facto saskatoon berry queen of Canada. At a time when funding was flowing to Silicon Valley tech start-ups, she pitched the project of building a saskatoon business empire on the television show “Dragon’s Den,” the Canadian equivalent of “The Apprentice.” An equity firm eventually took the bait and Purdy’s company, Prairie Berries, has grown into one of the largest saskatoon berry producers in Canada.

Purdy says she felt “slighted” when, earlier this summer, she received an email from Cornell’s Cooperative Extension suggesting that Canadian growers use juneberry instead of saskatoon berry “to help overall marketing of the berry.”

“That won’t happen,” she said, “Especially given that they got those plants from Saskatchewan and our Canadian-grown berries.”

The berry is such a source of pride in Canada that it drives a few thousand enthusiasts each year to gather in the town of Mortlach, Saskatchewan, for the Saskatoon Berry Festival — a get together that centers around gobbling the berry in large quantities. (A recent slogan of the gathering: “2,500 people with purple teeth can’t be wrong…”)

One berry, two countries

Still, Americans are indebted to Canadians when it comes to this tongue-tying fruit.

When Cornell Cooperative Extension began growing juneberry in 2010, it brought in its plants from Canada, where a domesticated cultivar grows more berries per bush than any of its cousins across North America.

But Ochterski and his group from Cornell Cooperative Extension followed the money trail. When their market research revealed that Canada’s saskatoon berries seduced the palate of U.S. consumers, but the name didn’t resonate nearly as well as ‘juneberry’ did, which is what the variety found in the Northeast is called, they switched.

“It’s not the Canadian name but it’s the name that seems to sell,” says Ochterski.

It’s not a unanimous stance, however. “I just think ‘saskatoon’ has a sexier name to it than a ‘juneberry,’” says Steve Fouch, one of the founders of a group of growers in Michigan assembled under the Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America.

True to their reputation, Canadians have striven for a compromise. The packages of frozen berries Purdy exports to the U.S. were originally only labeled as ‘saskatoon berries.’ Prairie Berries now offers to its U.S. customers adding, ‘aka june berry’ – but “only… if the customer we are selling to specifically requests us to label it as such,” said Purdy.

Upon hearing about the disagreement, Faye Campbell, the village administrator in Mortlach, Canada where the Saskatoon Berry Festival took place earlier this month, attempts to reach a middle ground. “I guess we might have to change the name of the festival?” she said. “Or not?”

TIME Aviation

Canadian Woman Climbs Airport Fence to Stop Plane

Air Canada
An Air Canada jet takes off over the terminal at the Halifax, Nova Scotia airport on September 12, 2011. Andrew Vaughan—AP

She thought her husband was on board

A woman in Nova Scotia scaled a barbed-wire fence at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Sunday in an attempt to prevent a plane from taking off, authorities said.

The 37-year-old woman was spotted almost immediately by employees in the aircraft control towers and stopped by an airline employee. “She jumped the security fence, but she was nowhere near the aircrafts,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Sgt. Al LeBlanc told CNN. “The airport staff and the Mounted Police responded right away and apprehended her.”

The woman had reportedly scaled the 10-foot security fence—sustaining minor injuries in the process—because she believed her husband was aboard a plane that was about to take off and she was intent on stopping it. The plane was rerouted and police said the woman’s husband wasn’t actually on board.

Though LeBlanc told CNN that the woman is unlikely to face criminal charges, the airport is planning on throughly investigating its security measures.

[CNN]

 

TIME Canada

Canada Accuses Chinese Hackers of Cyberattack

Canada singles out China for a cyberattack on the government's leading research body at a time when Ottawa hopes to increase its oil sales to Beijing

In an unprecedented move, Canada accused Chinese hackers of infiltrating a computer network at the National Research Council on Tuesday, although Beijing denied responsibility for the assault.

Canadian officials lodged an official complaint to Beijing that state-backed hackers penetrated the council — the government’s primary research body that works with many companies, including major manufacturing firms. “The government takes this issue very seriously, and we are addressing it at the highest levels in both Beijing and Ottawa,” said Caitlin Workman, a Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Department spokeswoman, according to Bloomberg.

Yang Yudong, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, told Reuters that the claims against Beijing were based on “groundless speculation.”

China has garnered a slew of media attention for reported cyberattacks, most recently by a New York Times report revealing that Chinese hackers broke into a U.S. government agency in March, but this is the first time that Canada has accused Beijing of hacking. Canada’s claim of the security breach also comes at a time when the country is hoping to bolster its oil sales to China.

The council’s computers are being quarantined from the rest of the government system as a precaution. “We have no evidence that data compromises have occurred on the broader government of Canada network,” Corinne Charette, Canada’s chief government information officer, said in a statement, as quoted by Agence France-Presse.

TIME Canada

Flight Makes Emergency Landing Due to ‘Agitated’ Passenger

The Sunwing flight headed to Panama was forced to return to Toronto after a passenger allegedly made threats concerning the plane's security

Sunwing Flight 772 was forced to make an emergency landing in Toronto at 8:55AM Friday because an “agitated customer made a direct threat against the aircraft,” an official at the Canadian airline said in a statement. The plane, which had departed at 7:00AM, was originally headed to Panama City.

Two U.S. F16 fighter jets from Toledo, Ohio were sent to escort the plane back to the airport, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) told Canada’s CBC News. Several officers with drawn guns boarded and removed the unruly passenger after the plane landed, one passenger told CBC. A Sunwing official said that the passenger was arrested by Peel police and is currently in custody, and that the craft is undergoing a “full security inspection” before returning to service.

Recent weeks have seen a rash of aviation disasters, with the crash of AH5017 in Mali, the crash of GE222 in Taiwan, and the downing of MH 17 in Ukraine last week.

 

TIME Canada

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Promises to Stay Sober

Toronto Mayoral TV Debate
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Lucas Oleniuk—Toronto Star/Getty Images

"I have begun the process of taking control of my life"

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford vowed to stay sober and continue to work for the people of Toronto on his first day back in office after a two-month rehab stint.

“I have begun the process of taking control of my life,” he said at an invite-only press conference Monday. “No matter what I do, I will never change the mistakes I have made in the past.”

Ford, who entered a rehab facility at the end of April, said he “deeply regret[s] some of the personal choices” he made in the past, which included smoking crack cocaine, using vulgar language and appearing in public while intoxicated.

“I want to to sincerely apologize not just to the people of Toronto, but every single person who was hurt by my words and my actions,” he said.

Ford called his commitment to living clean “unwavering” and said he has removed the negative influences from his life.

“I was blind to the dangers of some of the company I kept,” he said. “Those associations have ended.”

Ford thanked his family for their support, apologized to the city council for his embarrassing actions and thanked the media for giving him privacy during his stint in rehab.

Though the city council stripped him of most of his mayoral authority following revelations about his drug use, Ford, who was first elected in 2010, will continue to serve in office unless he is voted out of office on October 27.

“I am not asking for your forgiveness,” he said. “Substance abuse is a vert difficult thing to overcome, but I will keep battling this disease for the rest of my life.”

TIME Canada

Rob Ford Returns to Office After Rehab

Toronto Mayor Ford arrives at City Hall in Toronto
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives at City Hall in Toronto June 30, 2014. Mark Blinch—Reuters

Toronto's notorious crack-smoking mayor is back — but for how long?

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford returned to office Monday following a two-month stay in rehab for substance abuse, CBC reports.

Ford’s return comes after a year of scandalous behavior including public drunkenness, using obscene language and smoking crack cocaine. He agreed to attend rehab at the end of April, releasing a statement that said he had “a problem with alcohol” for which he was seeking help.
Toronto’s city council stripped him of most of his powers and budget following news of his drug-taking, rendering him mayor in name only. Nevertheless, Ford has refused to quit, saying voters will decide his fate in the municipal elections on October 27.

The mayor is due to speak to the media at 3:30pm ET, though what he’ll say remains a mystery. Ford’s main electoral opponents, John Tory and Olivia Chow, have scheduled media addresses directly after Ford’s, at 4pm and 4:30pm respectively.

Councillor Doug Ford, brother of the embattled mayor, has been playing his cards close to his chest. He said Sunday his brother was “looking forward to coming back, that’s for sure.”

The councillor added: “He looks the same, but a little lighter. He’ll be hungry and looking forward to meeting the people.”

[CBC]

 

TIME Canada

Police Catch Canadian Fugitives Who Escaped Prison by Helicopter

From left to right: Denis Lefebvre, 53, Serge Pomerleau, 49, and Yves Denis, 35, who escaped from Orsainville Detention Centre using a helicopter in suburban Quebec City, Quebec June 7, 2014, in this undated handout picture released by Surete de Quebec on June 9, 2014.
From left to right: Denis Lefebvre, 53, Serge Pomerleau, 49, and Yves Denis, 35, who escaped from Orsainville Detention Centre using a helicopter in suburban Quebec City, Quebec June 7, 2014, in this undated handout picture released by Surete de Quebec on June 9, 2014. Reuters

An escape story worthy of Hollywood movies comes to an end

The three men who made a daring escape from a Canadian prison by helicopter earlier this month were arrested Sunday, according to police.

Yves Denis, Denis Lefebvre, and Serge Pomerleau were in a prison in Orsainville — located north of Quebec City in the Canadian province of Quebec — when a helicopter briefly landed in the courtyard on June 7 and took off with the men inside, NBC News reports.

Police pursued the men by land and air and sought them for more than two weeks. Authorities believe only one extra person piloted the helicopter, but more people could be arrested in relation to the break. Quebec police said the three were discovered and brought back into custody in Montreal.

The men were originally sent to prison in connection to drug-trafficking investigation Project Crayfish, which police say led to many arrests. The three are expected to appear in court on Monday.

TIME Canada

Rob Ford Will Return to the Toronto Mayor’s Office Once He’s Done Rehab

A mock "missing persons" poster with a picture of Toronto Mayor Ford is seen in Toronto
A mock "missing persons" poster with a picture of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is seen in Toronto on May 7, 2014. Ford, who said last month he would take time off to get treatment for an alcohol problem, described rehab as "amazing" and said he would return in time for the upcoming city election, a Toronto newspaper reported on Wednesday. Mark Blinch—Reuters

He'll face a fresh mayoral election in October, and while he's behind in the polls, not all hope is lost for the controversial politician

Not long after Rob Ford’s “come to Jesus” moment in November 2013, when he declared to the Canadian press that he would never drink again, a video surfaced online of the Toronto mayor in a diner called Steak Queen, drunkenly swearing in a Jamaican accent on the matters of counter-surveillance measures and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Then there was the incident at a Vancouver bar, and another involving security guards at a Toronto Maple Leafs game, and a second crack cocaine video — all set to the tune of calls for his resignation from the mayoralty, which he’s held for four frequently scandalous years.

Now Ford is on the tail end of an “amazing” two-month stint in rehab, and he fully intends to stay in office once he’s out, the BBC reported Tuesday.

“Kindly be advised that I will be returning to work at City Hall on Monday, June 30th, 2014, in the later portion of the afternoon,” Ford wrote in a letter to Ulli S. Watkiss, Toronto’s city clerk. “Please make the necessary arrangements for my locks to be restored to their state prior to my departure.”

He’ll return to a post he mostly only holds symbolically: Toronto’s city council has stripped him of most political authority over the course of his recent controversies. In October his constituents will return to the polls to decide whether to keep him in office or replace him with either a conservative businessman or an ex-member of the national legislature — both of whom have turned to the incumbent’s personal failings to bolster their own campaigns.

Olivia Chow, the onetime parliamentarian, was ahead in the polls last month, but hope isn’t necessarily lost for Ford. Some 32% of his surveyed constituents said they would vote for him if he got clean, and though a different poll says his latest approval rating is about the same fraction, it’s more or less on par with that of other Canadian politicians, including Prime Minister Harper.

TIME

Here’s How 9 Other Countries Celebrate Father’s Day

People around the world observe Father's Day.

Father’s Day as we know it in America emerged out of the efforts of a woman in Spokane, Wash. in the early twentieth century who believed that that there ought to be a mother’s day equivalent for America’s fathers. The holiday on the third Sunday in June has always taken a back seat to its May counterpart—Father’s Day only became an official holiday in 1972—but it has in fact taken root, in one way or another, in countries around the world.

After looking at how the world celebrates its mothers a month ago, here’s how 9 nations commemorate their fathers:

Brazil

The host of the World Cup will have something to celebrate even after the last goal is scored: Father’s Day is held on the second Sunday in August in honor of St. Joachim, the father of Mary.

Russia

The Father’s Day equivalent in Russia is a celebration that has evolved from a military commemoration to an unofficial tribute to all men. On Feb. 23, Defender of the Fatherland Day, parades celebrate the Russian Armed Forces while men can expect to receive small gifts from men receive gifts from the women in their lives.

India

Father’s Day in India is still an emerging holiday and, by those who observe it, is celebrated in much the same way and on the same day as in the United States.

France

Father’s Day in France is held on the third Sunday in June and can trace its recent history to a company that makes lighters and marketed them as gifts for smoking fathers. Today, lighters are typically replaced with drawings or small gifts. But the idea of honoring one’s father can also be linked to the much older celebration of Saint Joseph on March 19 (other countries, like Spain, still observe Father’s Day then).

Thailand

The Southeast Asian country celebrates mothers on the birthday of Queen Sirikit on Aug. 12—and fathers on the birthday of the widely admired King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The King gives an annual speech, while tradition has it that Thais give their fathers and grandfathers the Canna flower, which is considered to have a masculine association.

Australia

Aussies celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September, which is also the first Sunday of spring there.

Mexico

Just like it does for Mother’s Day, Mexico puts on more festivities to honor its fathers than its northern neighbors. On the third Sunday in June, though it’s not an official holiday, Mexicans give gifts to their fathers and celebrate with food and music. Some also participate in the 21 kilometer race in Mexico city, the “Carrera Día del Padre 21K Bosque de Tlalpan.”

Germany

Germany does things a bit differently. On the 40th day of Easter, Ascension Day, German men have a tradition of celebrating Father’s Day by organizing hikes and other gatherings—and making sure to be well-supplied with food and alcohol.

Canada

An American import, Father’s Day in Canada is an unofficial celebration held on the third Sunday in June.

 

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