TIME Canada

Canada’s National Parks Are Getting Wi-Fi: Expect a Flood of Grizzly Selfies

The famous Morant's Curve, offering a beautiful view of the frozen Bow River and the Canadian Pacific Railway at Banff National Park near Lake Louise, Canada, on Dec. 6, 2013
The famous Morant's Curve, offering a beautiful view of the frozen Bow River and the Canadian Pacific Railway at Banff National Park near Lake Louise, Canada, on Dec. 6, 2013 JOE KLAMAR—AFP/Getty Images

Canada has decided to install Wi-Fi at up to 20 thrillingly remote locations in some of its stunning national parks. Because what good is enjoying the solitude of the great outdoors when you can’t upload some photos to Facebook?

Canada’s breathtaking wilderness will no longer be so remote after a decision by Parks Canada to install wi-fi in certain areas.

Some 15 to 20 as yet unconfirmed sites will be equipped with high-speed Internet, and depending on the trial’s success a total of 75 may be rolled out over the next three years.

“Canada is a very big country, and it has become very urban. And for young people from cities, things are different,” said Parks Canada representative François Duclos, according to Agence France-Presse.

Parks Canada runs 44 reserves and 160 historic sites — including the stunning Banff, Jasper and Mount Revelstoke National Parks — but cell-phone coverage is spotty at best in many of them.

Now, though, you can go whale watching, kayaking or rock climbing and make your friends jealous by posting the relevant selfies on social media. What’s a holiday unless you can brag about it on Twitter and Facebook?


TIME Security

The First Heartbleed Arrest Has Been Made

Authorities in Canada have made what appears to be the first arrest related to the Heartbleed encryption bug that pushed millions of people to change their passwords, taking a teenager into custody this week for allegedly hacking into the country's tax agency website

Nineteen-year-old alleged Heartbleed hacker Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes was arrested by Canadian Mounties at his London, Ontario home on Tuesday, and his computer equipment seized. Solis-Reyes is accused of using the Heartbleed bug to hack into the Canada Revenue Agency’s database and hijacking Social Insurance Numbers and other sensitive information from 900 taxpayers. The data breach forced the agency to delay its tax-filing deadline from April 30 to May 5. “We are currently going through the painstaking process of analyzing other fragments of data, some that may relate to businesses, that were also removed,” the agency said in a statement. While Canadians have been relieved of tax-filing pressures for an additional week, Americans shouldn’t count on the Heartbleed bug to do the same for them. The IRS stated last week that their systems are unaffected by the bug – and that all citizens and green-card holders should follow through on their tax-filing obligations in advance of the 15 April deadline. [CNN]

TIME Canada

Calgary’s ‘Worst Mass Murder’ Leaves 5 Students Dead

Canada-Calgary Stabbings
Calgary police lead away potential witnesses for statements regarding the multiple fatal stabbing in northwest Calgary, Canada, on April 15, 2014 Larry MacDougal—The Canadian Press/AP

Less than a week after a stabbing in Pennsylvania left 22 injured, five college students have died in the "worst mass murder" in the Canadian city's history

A 23-year-old man will likely face murder charges after allegedly stabbing and killing five University of Calgary students at a party on Tuesday.

After arriving at a party shortly after midnight on Tuesday, the suspect — who was an invited guest and is also a student at the university — allegedly targeted other students individually, according to Calgary police chief Rick Hanson. “The suspect arrived at the party, obtained a large knife and targeted the victims one by one, stabbing them,” said Hanson.

Calling the incident “the worst mass murder in Calgary’s history,” the chief identified the arrested suspect as Matthew de Grood.

Hanson said de Grood had no prior history with the police and was likely not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. Police believe he brought a weapon directly from his place of work to the party, but used a knife found at the party to stab his victims.

“The suspect arrived at the party, obtained a large knife and targeted the victims one by one, stabbing them,” Hanson said.

The victims were four males and one female. Two of them have been identified as Josh Hunter and Zackariah Rathwell, members of the Calgary band Zackariah and the Prophets, which just put out a debut album on Saturday.


TIME Crime

‘Webcam Killer’ Found Guilty of Murdering Chinese Student

Undated handout photo of Qian Liu, a 23-year-old York University student
Qian Liu, a 23-year-old York University student, is seen in this undated handout photo. Her killer was convicted of first degree murder in a Toronto court on Monday. Reuters

Brian Dickson, 32, was found guilty of first-degree murder by a Toronto court for sexually assaulting and strangling to death a Chinese college student in an April 2011 attack that was partly witnessed by her former boyfriend during an online video call

A 32-year-old man was found guilty Monday of the first-degree murder of a Chinese student in Toronto that was captured on webcam.

A jury took only four hours to a hand down a guilty verdict to Brian Dickson. He broke into the apartment of Qian Liu on April 15, 2011, and made sexual advances toward the York University student before strangling her to death.

Qian’s ex-boyfriend, Xian Chao Meng, testified at the trial that he had been video chatting with her and witnessed Dickson enter the apartment and assault Liu before her computer was disabled.

The victim’s parents were present in the courtroom on Monday when the guilty verdict was handed down.

“We believe the Canadian judicial system is very good and very fair,” said Qian’s father Jian Hui Liu following the verdict, according to the Toronto Sun.

“This is not simply a crime against my daughter, but also against the whole society.”

Dickson will serve a life sentence for the murder with no parole option for 25 years.

[Tornoto Sun]


This Cannabis-Infused Pizza Will Satisfy Your Munchies Then Get You High All Over Again

Getty Images

Just give it 30 minutes.

It’s always tough to decide what toppings to get on your pizza: Pepperoni! Mushrooms! Pineapple! Peppers! Anchovies! But what if marijuana was also a topping option? That would change everything!

Well, at Vancouver’s Mega iLL restaurant, pot on your pizza actually is an option. If you’re 18 and have a medical marijuana card, that is. For an extra $10, you can get the special ingredient baked right into your pie.

“Basically we infuse it through an oil extraction process, where we drizzle the oil onto the pizza and it medicates you when you eat it,” employee Anthony Risling told CBC News. “It’s a little different effect from smoking it. It takes maybe about a half hour for it to activate.”

Talk about high-end dining.

TIME Music

Justin Bieber Gets Booed At Canadian Music Awards

Diddy Hosts Deleon Tequila Launch Party At Vanquish
Justin Bieber attends Ciroc party at Vanquish Lounge on February 5, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Prince Williams -- FilmMagic

Looks like Canada won't be taking the pop star back willingly

America might be sick of troubled pop star Justin Bieber, but it doesn’t look like his native Canada has much love for him these days either.

During Sunday night’s Juno Awards—Canada’s answer to the Grammys—the Biebs was awarded the fan’s choice prize to audible boos from the crowd. Though the 20-year-old singer didn’t attend the award ceremony, Canada’s Olympic women’s curling team accepted the award on his behalf in front of a jeering crowd, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Canadian acts that were far better received included Tegan and Sara, who took home three awards, and Arcade Fire, who scored two awards, including best album for Reflektor.

Bieber’s superstardom has taken a hit in both the U.S. and Canada over recent months, after a stretch of legal trouble. Not only has the pop star been accused of egging a neighbor’s home, he’s also been arrested for a DUI in Miami Beach and charged with assaulting a limo driver in Toronto. The bad publicity has inspired a running joke between the U.S. and Canada over which country should “take” Bieber. Unfortunately for the U.S., if the reaction at the Junos is any indication, Canadians really aren’t willing to welcome him back anytime soon.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME celebrity

Canadians Will Get a Taco Bell Breakfast Menu If and Only If They Take Justin Bieber Back

justin bieber
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

According to the franchise's president in a Reddit AMA

Yesterday, Taco Bell rolled out its highly anticipated breakfast menu and, naturally, the chain’s president, Brian Niccol, took to Reddit to host an AMA (ask me anything) about the new offerings.

The best part of the spirited question-and-answer session came when one user asked, “Only to America? When is this coming to Canada?”

Niccol responded with some pretty solid snark by saying, “When you take Justin Bieber back.”

TIME Disease

Officials: No Ebola In Canada

Ebola Virus
This micrograph reveals human hepatocytes infected with the Ebola virus, the cause of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The Ebola pathogen is a member of the Filoviridae family of RNA viruses. It is known to be spread through close contact with an infected host. Media for Medical / UIG via Getty Images

An outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever in the West African country of Guinea is causing a global scare, though Canadian authorities say that reports the virus appeared in that country aren't accurate

UPDATE 10:05am

Canadian health officials have ruled out the ebola virus as the cause of a hemorrhagic fever suffered by a man who recently traveled to Liberia.

The man, currently in medical isolation, became sick after he returned to Canada from West Africa, but officials have determined he does not have the virus, reports the Associated Press. There are no other confirmed cases of ebola in Canada.

An outbreak of the virus has killed 59 people in Guinea, on the border of Liberia, in recent days. The fever has no vaccine or specific treatment and ends in bleeding from the mouth or eyes.


TIME Religion

This Guy Gave Up Food for Lent and Is Surviving On Beer Instead

Beer glasses
Getty Images

Though he's supplementing with water and juice so he doesn't get TOO inebriated

There are all sorts of things you could give up for Lent: selfies, trolling on Tinder, binge-watching mind-numbing Bravo shows, carbs, etc. But one guy decided to go back to basics by simply giving up food — and surviving on beer instead.

For the past 19 days, Toronto resident Chris Schryer has consumed beer for every meal — and plans to do so until Lent ends on April 17. His friend penned a column about the experience for QMI News Agency, explaining that Schryer “has given up solid food for Lent in emulation of the monastic order who created Dopplebock in Bavaria in the 17th century.”

Don’t worry, though: Schryer is also drinking water, juice and tea during his fast to keep hydrated and avoid, you know, getting wasted. He’s just getting his nutrients from beer — which he made at a Toronto brewery. He used oats to provide nutrition through their proteins and unfermentable sugars, though he initially considered using seaweed.

Schryer has also been writing about his beer diet on his blog, where he addresses topics like alcoholism and his deeper reasons behind his fast.

TIME Travel

The Poor Writer’s Life, Now With Free Travel … and Free Houses

Colorado Scenics
Robert Alexander—Getty Images

Yes, free travel and free housing are possible for writers thanks to with two new residency programs. This isn’t a open-ended free-for-all, however: Note that the free travel comes via Amtrak, and the free houses being given away are in Detroit.

A couple dozen writers’ dreams may come true, courtesy of … Amtrak? America’s national rail service recently introduced the #AmtrakResidency program, in which up to 24 writers will be granted a free round trip on one of Amtrak’s long-distance routes. “Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration,” the application form explains. In exchange for a rail journey valued at up to $900, the writer is expected to, well, write while on board, in long form (blog posts, poetry, maybe a few chapters in a novel) and short form (Twitter) alike. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis through the end of March.

As a post on The Wire summed up in late February, the writer-in-residency idea is one that popped up and evolved over the course of several months. In an interview in December, the author Alexander Chee mentioned his love of writing on trains, and that he wished “Amtrak had residencies for writers.” The comment kicked off tons of discussion—and similar yearnings—by writers on Twitter, and eventually Amtrak reached out to one of these writers, Jessica Gross, to see if she’d be interested in a train writer-in-residency test run. Of course, she was “on board,” and the results can be seen partially in a piece published by The Paris Review, in which Gross ruminates on (of course) train travel, among other things. A brief excerpt:

Train time is found time. My main job is to be transported; any reading or writing is extracurricular. The looming pressure of expectation dissolves. And the movement of a train conjures the ultimate sense of protection—being a baby, rocked in a bassinet.

(MORE: College Offers to Pay Students to Take a Year Off)

Apparently the test run was considered a success, because Amtrak opened the residency program up to the masses last week. Understandably, Chee, the program’s unintentional visionary, was overjoyed. “It’s one thing to dream about these things. It’s another thing to try to create them,” Chee said in an NPR interview. “And usually when people try to create residencies for artists and writers, you have to go through so much red tape.”

Amtrak haters, on the other hand, are using the residency program as an excuse for criticizing the rail operation, which has a very long history of losing money. In a letter sent to Amtrak’s president (and the media), U.S. Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), wrote of the residency program, “Given Amtrak’s prodigious annual taxpayer subsidies, this plan raises multiple red flags.”

In Detroit, meanwhile, a program offers writers a lot more than just a train trip. Various artist colonies welcome writers-in-residences to free lodging for a year or some other specified period of time. But the non-profit Write a House project stands out because if a participating writer fulfills the program’s requirements—including living in a rehabbed Detroit home and writing about the experience for two years—the house is his or hers to keep. Three houses are up for grabs, and project organizers are in the process of raising money and renovating them.

“People who move here will have to be prepared for some boarded-up houses on their blocks,” Sarah Cox, co-founder of Write a House, explained to the New Yorker. “But you’ll get the opportunity to be part of a community, own a house, and see real change happening.”

Applications will start being accepted this spring.

(MORE: Airline Travelers, Your Future Will Look a Lot Like … Cleveland)

Other kinds of artists aren’t entirely left out of such freebie-barter arrangements. As frommers.com pointed out recently while highlighting Amtrak’s new residency program, Canada’s Via Rail service grants free food and long-haul trips to singers and musicians in exchange for performances in the economy-class lounge car.

“It’s such a charming place to play music, and it’s a captive audience to say the least,” one musician said to the Globe and Mail of his experience playing on the train. “There’s not that much space for an audience, in the tens of people for sure. So it is really intimate.”

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