Boxing Day 2016: What's Open And What's Closed In Canada On December 26?

Boxing Day 2016 is here, and anyone looking to find what’s open and what’s closed across Canada will have some work to do. While the annual December 26 holiday is a chance for government employees to get the day off and (most) banks to close, it’s also a key shopping day where retailers hope to attract customers out to use their gift cards. That leaves it difficult for those scheduling errands on Boxing Day 2016 to find out what’s open and what’s closed in Canada. So below is a guide to which stores and offices you can expect to find open this Boxing Day and which ones will be closed. What’s closed on Boxing Day 2016 in Canada? The annual day-after-Christmas celebration is rooted in Victorian England, when servants of the wealthy were given December 26 off after working on Christmas Day to serve their employers. The “boxing” part comes from the gifts these employees were given, the Telegraph noted. “They were therefore allowed the following day for their own observance of the holiday and each servant would be handed a box to take home, containing gifts, bonuses and sometimes leftover food,” the report noted. In that same idea, public servants are generally given off on Boxing Day in Canada. Government offices will be closed on December 26, including public libraries. Banks are also closed on Boxing Day 2016, though customers who need to perform a simple function like depositing a check or transferring funds will be able to do so if their bank offers “smart” ATMs. What’s open on Boxing Day 2016 in Canada? The day after Christmas is normally a busy one for shopping malls. They will be ready for an influx of shoppers exchanging gifts they didn’t like or itching to spend the gift cards they got the day before. So most shopping malls across Canada will be open normal hours on Boxing Day 2016 — and some even offering expanded shopping hours. And because many offices are closed and many have the day off, movie theaters will be open and ready for some big crowds. Nearly all movie theaters will be open on Boxing Day 2016, though there are some exceptions, as the CBC noted. For example, the Revue Cinema in Toronto is actually closed on Boxing Day. Other attractions will be open on Boxing Day 2016 in order to give Canadians a chance to enjoy their extended holiday. The Toronto Zoo is open throughout the holiday week, for example (though it was closed on Christmas Day). And most museums will also be open on Boxing Day, as are pretty much all ice rinks. [Image by Guang Niu/Getty Images] And sports are a popular destination on Boxing Day 2016 as well. As the Telegraph noted, this harkens back to the roots on the holiday. “Boxing Day was a day on which families continued their Christmas celebrations by venturing out of their homes to enjoy entertainments including pantomimes, plays, variety shows, exhibitions, and sporting events such as football matches and hunts.” “In recent times, the day has become synonymous with many sports. Horse racing is particularly popular with meets all over the country. A full programme of football fixtures is also played on Boxing Day.” In Canada, that generally means watching at home on television as there’s not a lot of live sporting events to pick from. There are two hockey games in Canada on the AHL schedule and no NHL games at all until Tuesday. [Image by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images] There are likely many other small stores and locally owned restaurants open on Boxing Day 2016 in Canada, but for these it’s best to call ahead to make sure. [Featured Image by Adam Berry/Getty Images]

Boxing Day 2016: What's Open And What's Closed In Canada On December 26?

Boxing Day 2016 is here, and anyone looking to find what’s open and what’s closed across Canada will have some work to do. While the annual December 26 holiday is a chance for government employees to get the day off and (most) banks to close, it’s also a key shopping day where retailers hope to attract customers out to use their gift cards. That leaves it difficult for those scheduling errands on Boxing Day 2016 to find out what’s open and what’s closed in Canada. So below is a guide to which stores and offices you can expect to find open this Boxing Day and which ones will be closed. What’s closed on Boxing Day 2016 in Canada? The annual day-after-Christmas celebration is rooted in Victorian England, when servants of the wealthy were given December 26 off after working on Christmas Day to serve their employers. The “boxing” part comes from the gifts these employees were given, the Telegraph noted. “They were therefore allowed the following day for their own observance of the holiday and each servant would be handed a box to take home, containing gifts, bonuses and sometimes leftover food,” the report noted. In that same idea, public servants are generally given off on Boxing Day in Canada. Government offices will be closed on December 26, including public libraries. Banks are also closed on Boxing Day 2016, though customers who need to perform a simple function like depositing a check or transferring funds will be able to do so if their bank offers “smart” ATMs. What’s open on Boxing Day 2016 in Canada? The day after Christmas is normally a busy one for shopping malls. They will be ready for an influx of shoppers exchanging gifts they didn’t like or itching to spend the gift cards they got the day before. So most shopping malls across Canada will be open normal hours on Boxing Day 2016 — and some even offering expanded shopping hours. And because many offices are closed and many have the day off, movie theaters will be open and ready for some big crowds. Nearly all movie theaters will be open on Boxing Day 2016, though there are some exceptions, as the CBC noted. For example, the Revue Cinema in Toronto is actually closed on Boxing Day. Other attractions will be open on Boxing Day 2016 in order to give Canadians a chance to enjoy their extended holiday. The Toronto Zoo is open throughout the holiday week, for example (though it was closed on Christmas Day). And most museums will also be open on Boxing Day, as are pretty much all ice rinks. [Image by Guang Niu/Getty Images] And sports are a popular destination on Boxing Day 2016 as well. As the Telegraph noted, this harkens back to the roots on the holiday. “Boxing Day was a day on which families continued their Christmas celebrations by venturing out of their homes to enjoy entertainments including pantomimes, plays, variety shows, exhibitions, and sporting events such as football matches and hunts.” “In recent times, the day has become synonymous with many sports. Horse racing is particularly popular with meets all over the country. A full programme of football fixtures is also played on Boxing Day.” In Canada, that generally means watching at home on television as there’s not a lot of live sporting events to pick from. There are two hockey games in Canada on the AHL schedule and no NHL games at all until Tuesday. [Image by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images] There are likely many other small stores and locally owned restaurants open on Boxing Day 2016 in Canada, but for these it’s best to call ahead to make sure. [Featured Image by Adam Berry/Getty Images]

Canada Post Strike Status: CUPW Presented With Second 72-Hr Lockout Notice

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has been presented the second “72-hour notice of lockout” by Canada Post. Strike status currently appears to be on hold; CUPW has not issued any 72-hours notices to Canada Post. As this is the second lockout notice, it would appear that a lockout could be imminent. “What will happen Monday?” CUPW leaders ask in their most recent release. “Only time will tell.” As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the membership of CUPW has been in a legal strike position since July 2. The union and the management of the crown corporation remain far apart on the direction of Canada Post and on employee retirement benefits. Canada Post has proposed a 30-day “cooling off period” with CUPW in an attempt to negotiate an agreement. CUPW has balked at what is being described as a “poison pill” clause in the proposal, which would see each side enter into binding arbitration at the end of the 30-day period. [Image via Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 1.0]“We have been crystal clear from the beginning we want a negotiated settlement,” CUPW President Mike Palecek stated in a release. “We want to have meaningful discussions with management, but getting a guaranteed bail-out from an arbitrator at the end of it isn’t the incentive they need to stop playing these games with the public.” Management with Canada’s national mail system has commented on an 80 percent year over year drop in volume in recent days, which it concludes is a result of uncertainty with regard to the unknown Canada Post strike status. “Our employees are coming to work to find the amount of mail and parcels they process and deliver has dropped significantly.” Currently, it does not appear that CUPW members will strike in the next few days, as they have been in a legal position to do so for a week, and have been forthcoming in the fact that they have not issued 72-hour strike notices. As Canada Post has issued the second 72-hour notice, it appears that a lockout of CUPW members could be imminent. To customers of Canada Post a strike and a lockout have a very similar effect: mail delivery stops. In 2011, in contrast to the current dispute, CUPW members first staged rotating strikes before being locked out by Canada Post after about two weeks, as reported by the CBC. Then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government passed legislation, forcing CUPW members back to work, which was recently ruled to be “illegal and unconstitutional.” [Image via of Kristoferb via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0]“We’re here to put people back to work because it affects the national economy and their process isn’t working,” Lisa Raitt, the Minister of Labour, was quoted in 2011. Leadership with CUPW reports a belief that Canada Post needs to further expand its offerings in direct mail, parcel delivery, and postal banking in order to grow the corporation’s bottom line. Canada Post is adamant that the union accept defined-contribution pensions for new hires, as a result of the Canada Post Pension Plan carrying a $6.2 billion “solvency deficit,” as previously reported by The Inquisitr. Currently, most Canada Post employees are members of a defined-benefit benefit pension. With defined-benefit pensions, after retirement, members are guaranteed a certain amount of income for life: the responsibility to grow employees’ capital rests with Canada Post. Defined-contribution plans offer no guarantees. Instead of a traditional pension, employees are offered mutual funds, guaranteed investment certificates, and other investments to hold in registered savings plans. Usually, employers match employee contributions to a certain amount. With defined-contribution pensions some members’ retirement savings will earn more than others’; some could even lose money. The responsibility to grow employees’ capital rests solely with the employees themselves. Exposure to risk in the investment marketplace appears to be the most divisive issue in the potential 2016 Canada Post strike/lockout. How this dispute will be resolved may serve as precedent for the pensions of other government employees in Canada. If history is a guide, it would appear that Canadians could expect Parliament to intervene before mail delivery is disrupted for an overly extended period, which may have consequences for the future of defined-benefit pensions in the country. Just how a Liberal majority intervention may differ from the 2011-Conservative invention will be the subject of close scrutiny by observers. [Image via Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 1.0 Public Doman]

Canadians Disappointed in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has had a rough week. His constituents were angered both by his comments on Fidel Castro early this week, and now by his announcement that the Kinder Morgan pipeline will be expanded. While the handsome, young Liberal Party leader inspired Canada’s Millenials to vote in record numbers, his approval ratings took a hit this week as Canadian commentators announced that the honeymoon with their hunky incumbent is over. According to Vancouver’s Daily Hive nearly 80% of Canadians aged 18-34 were satisfied with Trudeau’s performance one year after he ousted Conservative Stephen Harper, yet this may have changed this past week as the tribal-tattooed PM raised the ire of his main base of support. As Maclean’s Canada reporter Terry Glavin recently wrote: “Ever since his election as Canada’s Prime Minister last October, Justin Trudeau has revelled in global tributes, raves and swoons. He’s the Disney prince with the trippy dance moves, the groovy Haida tattoo and the gender-balanced cabinet. He’s the last best hope for globalization, the star attraction at the Pride parades, the hero of the Paris Climate Summit, the guy everyone wants a selfie with.” Justin Trudeau boxing at Gleason’s Gym [Image by Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx/AP images] “Trudeau made himself synonymous with Canada. He made Canada cool again. It was fun while it lasted.” What undid Trudeau was his complimentary eulogy of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, followed by confirmation that he will approve two separate oil pipeline projects – a move that has angered Canadian environmentalists and First Nations leaders, as reported by the Inquisitr. Upon hearing of Castro’s death, Trudeau released the following statement, which many have condemned as apologist: “Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation. While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognised his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante“. Please read my statement on the passing of former Cuban President Fidel Castro: https://t.co/vIYCZrJGfg — Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 26, 2016 Justin Trudeau’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, maintained close ties with Cuba’s communist leader, a relationship that began with a 1976 when Canada attempted to normalise relations with the Latin american country. Following Justin Trudeau’s ambivalent statement, Canadians took to Twitter in a storm of anger and mockery, including the following image that mistakenly places baby Justin in Castro’s arms (the baby in the picture is actually Justin’s brother Michel who was four months old at the time). #FidelCastro holding Canadian prime minister #JustinTrudeau. pic.twitter.com/TVR49FRajf via @HistoryInPix — Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) November 27, 2016 Even Senator Marco Rubio seemed aghast at Trudeau’s diplomatic treatment of Castro: Is this a real statement or a parody? Because if this is a real statement from the PM of Canada it is shameful & embarrassing. https://t.co/lFXeqU7Ws0 — Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 26, 2016 Meanwhile, the controversy has spawned hilarity as #TrudeauEulogies went viral with numerous parodies of Trudeau’s blunder. These are glorious. #TrudeauEulogies pic.twitter.com/VXleNZDNET — Elias Toufexis (@EliasToufexis) November 27, 2016 In an attempt to recover from his fall from public grace, Trudeau announced that like President Obama and British Prime Minister Theresa May he will not be attending Castro’s funeral, as reported by the BBC. In the embarrassing aftermath of the viral #TrudeauEulogies, young Canadians were already starting to waver in their unfailing support of Trudeau when the Prime Minister announced that he would approve the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline linking Alberta’s plentiful oil sands to British Colombia’s shipping ports, a nearly 7 million dollar project that has sparked protests across Canada, especially among young environmental activists. Kinder Morgan gas tanks in Phoenix Arizona [Image by Alan Staats/Getty Images] These two controversies have alienated many of Trudeau’s Millenial supporters, potentially impacting the high approval rating reported in October of this year. Trudeau is back peddling on his statements regarding Castro’s death and emphasising the potential economic gains of the pipeline project, as reported by the CBC: “It is a major win for Canadian workers, for Canadian families and the Canadian economy, now and into the future.” Nonetheless, it remains to be seen whether Canada’s young people will regain their near-fanatical support for the ‘cool’ Prime Minister despite this week of fumbling. [Featured image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

Cash May Stop Kevin O'Leary Of 'Shark Tank' From Pursuing Canadian Political Office

For months now, Shark Tank investor and television personality Kevin O’Leary has toyed with the possibility of running for the leadership of one of Canada’s major political parties. As The Inquisitr previously reported, he ruled out a bid for the left-leaning New Democratic Party, leaving the Conservatives, who lost the October, 2015, election to the ruling Liberal Party. But as CTV News reported earlier this month, O’Leary may have a cash problem: not that he doesn’t have any, but that Canada’s strict campaign finance laws won’t let him spend it. As is clearly laid out on the Elections Canada website, leadership candidates are forbidden from contributing more than $25,000 to their own campaigns. In addition, each Canadian has a total cap of $1,525 to give to candidates. The Conservative Party is charging each leadership candidate $100,000 just to enter the contest: a $50,000 registration fee and $50,000 compliance deposit to ensure adherence to party rules. In order to put his hat in the ring, therefore, O’Leary will have to convince enough people to contribute $1,525 — or less — to make up the $75,000 that would remain of the fee if he paid $25,000 out of his own pocket. The same rules apply, of course, when the actual leadership campaign is underway. According to CTV News, the party has put a cap of $5 million on candidate spending. O’Leary may not have made his run for the Conservative leadership official, but in the past two weeks he’s appeared on social media with declared candidate Tony Clement, a current Member of Parliament, who was not shy about making a dismissive remark about the current Prime Minister. Singing from the same song sheet on the need to end @JustinTrudeau war on the taxpayers. @kevinolearytv #empower pic.twitter.com/lMapbv1Tex — Tony Clement (@TonyclementCPC) July 15, 2016 Clement is one of four declared candidates in the contest so far. Ice cream is serious business #NationalIceCreamDay pic.twitter.com/IZcY2CFwl9 — Shark Tank (@ABCSharkTank) July 17, 2016 But even if O’Leary doesn’t go ahead with his political run and loses that platform to espouse his financial philosophies, he’ll still have the ears of entrepreneurs who pitch him and the other investors on Shark Tank. In an interview with CNBC last Spring, he revealed that an entire season is filmed in a series of marathon taping days. The sharks start taping at 8 a.m. and may still be at it 12 hours later, getting in about eight or 12 pitches. As Shark Tank viewers know, each episode features about 10 minutes of four different pitches. The longest pitch O’Leary experienced lasted for two and a half hours, and the shark put the blame squarely on the entrepreneur. “The guy was an idiot — he just couldn’t make a decision. The sharks were interested, but getting him to do a deal was a huge problem.” O’Leary also revealed there’s an on-set psychiatrist for those pitches that don’t go as planned and that entrepreneurs can’t leave the set during the pitch except to consult with advisors. Big congrats to @wkdgoodcupcakes on selling their millionth cupcake yesterday in #faneuilhall!!! Partnering with these women was one of the smartest decisions I've ever made. I hope they can say the same about partnering with me!! Here's to another million! ???????????? #SharkTank #SheEO #WomenInBusiness #ProudShark A photo posted by Kevin O'Leary (@kevinolearyshark) on Jul 15, 2016 at 8:22am PDT CTV News reported O’Leary’s worth to be between CAD$300 million and CAD$400 million. He’s made that money in various capacities, including through his investment firm. Business Insider reported this month that O’Shares Investments, a division of O’Leary Fund Management, has created 17 new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to join the five O’Shares already has trading on the New York Stock Exchange. If you’ve been hearing about #OShares and OEUH and want to know what the fuss is about, check this out! https://t.co/jM1ofTjY3N — Kevin O’Leary (@kevinolearytv) July 12, 2016 With Mike and Matt the killer #SharkTank #illumabowl founders and the #bedbathandbeyond team at our 1,000 store launch. We won't stop until we have lit up every toilet bowl! A photo posted by Kevin O'Leary (@kevinolearyshark) on Jun 29, 2016 at 7:06am PDT If O’Leary decides he can rustle up enough interested Conservatives to back his bid for the leadership, he still has plenty of time to make it official. The deadline to enter the race is more than six months away: February 24, 2017. The party will choose a new leader to succeed former Prime Minister Stephen Harper on May 27, 2017. [Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images]

Free Parks Canada Pass 2017: 'Discovery' Offer Slows Government Website

To commemorate Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary of its birth as a nation, the Government of Canada is making the Free 2017 Discovery Pass offer, which will allow free access to all national parks in the country for the entire year. Demand for the free Canada Parks pass has been so heavy that the Canadian government posted a statement on the site with regard to “issues,” as reported by Global News. Jasper National Park, in 1967. [Image by Phillips/Fox Photos/Getty Images] “Due to the exceptionally high volume of Discovery Pass online orders, you may experience delays in accessing the site,” the Parks Canada Discovery pass statement was quoted. Issues were reported to begin as soon as the offer first became available on Thursday, December 1, and to have continued into the weekend. The government encourages those who have tried and failed to obtain their free pass to “try again later” and notes that the Discovery Pass 2017 offer is not for a limited time, Canadians may access the passes for free on the Parks Canada website through all of 2017. [Image by Parks Canada] The Discovery Pass is said to include free admission to national parks, national marine conservation areas, and national historic sites. Fees are still charged for other services, such as park tours, camping, rentals, and Parks Canada merchandise. In anticipation of an increased number of park visitors through 2017, Parks Canada is reported to be increasing the number of available camping sites, as well as committing advertising dollars to promoting less-popular destinations. Just one Discovery Pass is required for each vehicle arriving at a Canadian national park. Families and friends traveling together do not need to worry about downloading individual passes, which would seem to make a certain amount of sense for a free offer. The agency, administered by the Minister of the Environment, has advised Canadians that the website with the free pass offer will be unavailable between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. tomorrow, Sunday, December 4, 2017, for maintenance, perhaps in order to upgrade capacity with the increased traffic it has received. Reminder: Our website will be unavailable tomorrow, Sunday December 4th, from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. (EST) for maintenance. Thank you. — Parks Canada (@ParksCanada) December 3, 2016 Business owners in Banff, Alberta, located within Banff National Park, are reported to be pleased with expectations that the free Discovery Pass will bring increased tourist business, particularly among Canadians, to the park, helping boost revenues. Local business owners cite a large proportion of visitors to Banff coming from the United States. Other Banff locals, however, are said to be less enthusiastic with the free Parks Canada pass initiative. Global News reports that the mayor of Banff, Karen Sorensen, has concerns with regard to parking and traffic congestion. Conversationalists are said to have concerns about area’s “fragile ecosystems.” Mary-Eve Marchaud, a conversationalist, stated that increased numbers of visitors would bring more garbage, people camping in places that they otherwise would not, and the creation of trails that did not exist before, potentially resulting in a fragmentation of currently relatively pristine environments. Lake Louise, Alberta and Banff National Park, in February 2016. [Image by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images] “Since 2013, visitation to Banff National Park has increased by 24 percent,” Jayme Doll with Global News stated. Greg Danchuk, with Parks Canada, spoke about meetings between the Town of Banff and Parks Canada officials that have been planned over coming months to address the issues raised by the mayor and other concerned parties. Michael Mendelman, the CEO of the Banff Hospitality Collective, stated that he wished that Parks Canada had decided to charge fees through 2017 and used the proceeds to make a significant investment in the town, instead of offering admission for free. “If it makes one person in, let’s call it, Calgary,” the collective CEO was quoted, “to come and experience the park, and everything that is alluring about it, then maybe it is a good thing.” [Featured Image by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]

Iraq War Resisters Who Fled To Canada Beg Canadian Government To Let Them Stay

A group of Iraq war resisters, American soldiers who fled to Canada to avoid being deployed to Iraq, are now asking the Canadian government to let them stay, the Guardian is reporting. About 200 American servicemen and women are believed to have fled to Canada to avoid having to go fight in the Iraq War, and only 15 or so are known to remain there. That’s small potatoes compared to the Vietnam era when some 90,000 Americans fled to Canada to resist the draft. And unlike Vietnam-era Canada, which welcomed draft resisters with open arms, Canada has not made life easy for Iraq War resisters who have sought refuge there. Now, they face being deported back to the U.S., where they may face prison time for desertion. The Iraq War has been going on since 2003. [Photo by Giles Penfound/British Army/Getty Images] Iraq War resister Joshua Key is one of those Americans. Key remembers the exact moment he decided he could no longer participate in the Iraq War. Key says that he had befriended a 7-year-old local Iraqi girl who would come to the base each day to beg for bread and water. For weeks, Key gave the girl his rations. Then, one day, their friendship ended. “Then one day the little girl comes running across the street with a smile on her face and her head exploded like a mushroom.” The girl, standing just about 15 feet from Key at the time, had been shot and killed. While back in the U.S. on leave, Key spoke to his lawyer about his options. He found that he had very few. “[My lawyer] said ‘soldier you’ve got two choices: you either get back on that plane and go to Iraq or you’re going to prison.’” Instead, Key chose to live the life of an outlaw. He packed up his family and hid out in Philadelphia for a while before eventually making his way to Canada. Shortly after he arrived, a conservative government took over in Canada, and although Canada’s participation in the Iraq War had ended, the government was not interested in harboring American war deserters. He and his fellow resisters were deemed criminals. Rodney Watson, another American Iraq War resister, has been in Canada since fleeing there in 2006. In 2009, his claim for asylum was denied, and he has since taken refuge in a Vancouver church, which has provided him sanctuary. “This is not a game, this is not a joke for me at all.” Now that Justin Trudeau has instituted a more liberal government in Canada, Watson, Key, and other resisters are seeing a faint glimmer of hope. Sixty-three percent of Canadians now support the idea of allowing American war resisters to stay in Canada, and a court has given Trudeau until mid-September to decide whether or not to continue with the old policy of treating them as criminals. Justin Trudeau becomes first Canadian PM to march in Vancouver Pride parade: https://t.co/4ZZXtkjF8q pic.twitter.com/GwLSbupIiJ — Attitude (@AttitudeMag) August 2, 2016 Watson is calling on Trudeau to do the right thing and allow him to leave the walls of the church where he’s been holed up and live his life as a free man. “I want to tell Justin Trudeau to please – I’m pleading – to do the right thing and allow me to be free with my son. Allow me to be a part of his life, to be a great father, a great role model.” Ashlea Brockway has been living in Canada with her family since her husband, Jeremy, fled there to avoid going back to Iraq. In addition to suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his time in Iraq, Jeremy’s condition is made worse by the constant worry that Canada will send him back to the U.S. to face trial for desertion. “If we were to have to return to the United States… I’m afraid of what that would mean for my children, who would be ripped away from everything that they’ve ever known, as well as having their father taken away. And potentially losing him forever because I don’t think mentally he could handle being put through the stress of a court martial or whatever that process would be.” Do you think American Iraq War resisters who have fled to Canada should be allowed to stay there, or should they be forced to return to the U.S. to face trial for desertion? [Image via Protasov AN/Shutterstock]

Boxing Day 2016: What's Open And What's Closed In Canada On December 26?

Boxing Day 2016 is here, and anyone looking to find what’s open and what’s closed across Canada will have some work to do. While the annual December 26 holiday is a chance for government employees to get the day off and (most) banks to close, it’s also a key shopping day where retailers hope to attract customers out to use their gift cards. That leaves it difficult for those scheduling errands on Boxing Day 2016 to find out what’s open and what’s closed in Canada. So below is a guide to which stores and offices you can expect to find open this Boxing Day and which ones will be closed. What’s closed on Boxing Day 2016 in Canada? The annual day-after-Christmas celebration is rooted in Victorian England, when servants of the wealthy were given December 26 off after working on Christmas Day to serve their employers. The “boxing” part comes from the gifts these employees were given, the Telegraph noted. “They were therefore allowed the following day for their own observance of the holiday and each servant would be handed a box to take home, containing gifts, bonuses and sometimes leftover food,” the report noted. In that same idea, public servants are generally given off on Boxing Day in Canada. Government offices will be closed on December 26, including public libraries. Banks are also closed on Boxing Day 2016, though customers who need to perform a simple function like depositing a check or transferring funds will be able to do so if their bank offers “smart” ATMs. What’s open on Boxing Day 2016 in Canada? The day after Christmas is normally a busy one for shopping malls. They will be ready for an influx of shoppers exchanging gifts they didn’t like or itching to spend the gift cards they got the day before. So most shopping malls across Canada will be open normal hours on Boxing Day 2016 — and some even offering expanded shopping hours. And because many offices are closed and many have the day off, movie theaters will be open and ready for some big crowds. Nearly all movie theaters will be open on Boxing Day 2016, though there are some exceptions, as the CBC noted. For example, the Revue Cinema in Toronto is actually closed on Boxing Day. Other attractions will be open on Boxing Day 2016 in order to give Canadians a chance to enjoy their extended holiday. The Toronto Zoo is open throughout the holiday week, for example (though it was closed on Christmas Day). And most museums will also be open on Boxing Day, as are pretty much all ice rinks. [Image by Guang Niu/Getty Images] And sports are a popular destination on Boxing Day 2016 as well. As the Telegraph noted, this harkens back to the roots on the holiday. “Boxing Day was a day on which families continued their Christmas celebrations by venturing out of their homes to enjoy entertainments including pantomimes, plays, variety shows, exhibitions, and sporting events such as football matches and hunts.” “In recent times, the day has become synonymous with many sports. Horse racing is particularly popular with meets all over the country. A full programme of football fixtures is also played on Boxing Day.” In Canada, that generally means watching at home on television as there’s not a lot of live sporting events to pick from. There are two hockey games in Canada on the AHL schedule and no NHL games at all until Tuesday. [Image by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images] There are likely many other small stores and locally owned restaurants open on Boxing Day 2016 in Canada, but for these it’s best to call ahead to make sure. [Featured Image by Adam Berry/Getty Images]

Nova Scotia Court To Test New Canadian 'Intimate Image' Sharing Law Targeting Revenge

Last year, the Canadian federal government passed new laws intended to target the non-consensual sharing of “intimate images” which had originally been shared with consent – which, in layman’s terms, refers to explicit images shared through “ting” and other similar means which are then passed on by the person receiving them to one or more third-parties. Specifically, the law was intended to combat the practice of “revenge ” which is typically shared by one (usually male) member of a separated couple after the breakup out of a sense of vengeance or as part of an attempt to actively damage their ex. Now, a Nova Scotia court is preparing to test that law. According to CBC, six teenage boys, aged 15-18, are scheduled to appear in Bridgewater youth court after explicit images of more than 20 teenage girls were found in a Dropbox account being shared by the boys. The names of the perpetrators are protected under law, but two 18-year-olds and four 15-year-olds are facing charges of both distributing intimate images without consent and possession and distribution of child ography after a 13-month-long investigation involving both Canadian authorities and the FBI. Dropbox has made sharing photos easier – but that’s not always a good thing. [Photo by Don Crothers]All 20 of the girls live, or have lived in, the Bridgewater area. The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, also known as Bill C-13 or the cyberbullying act, is intended to protect youth against cyberbullying and to protect people of all ages from having their images distributed online without consent. Previously, the Canadian court system considered that once you had given the image out once, what happened with it was out of your hands, a stance still taken by most American courts. Kevin O’Shea, executive director of the Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, explained the new law. “This new law applies no matter what the age of the person. The key difference is this new law is for distributing photos or videos without this person’s consent – the consent of the person in the photo or video.” “It makes it a new offence to do a number of things with videos or photos of a person in an intimate setting without that person’s consent – including publishing, distributing, transmitting those images.” As CFJC reports, Bridgewater Police Chief John Collyer considers the case an important test of the new law, which allows prosecution for a much broader range of images – including the showing of breasts, which was previously not explicitly illegal under Canada’s existing child ography laws. “From a policing perspective, we needed some legislation. Whether it’s hit the right balance or not in terms of severity, and keeping in mind we’re dealing with young people… time will tell.” “The image was being shared, usually with a boyfriend, and that was with consent. The issue becomes when it’s shared beyond that point and that’s the allegation that these images were going beyond what the young women had agreed to.” It is important to note that, while this case was already prosecutable under existing child ography laws, the Canadian court system sets strict limits on punitive damages – but those limits are on a per-charge basis. If convicted of both offenses, the boys could find themselves facing a much more significant punishment. The investigation began in May, 2015, when the Bridgewater Junior Senior High School principal contacted police after several students were suspended for sharing the images. Collyer said the investigation took so long because it required cooperation from electronics forensics experts from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) – who serve a similar role in Canada as the FBI – and from the FBI itself, which was called in to serve a warrant on Dropbox to obtain the contents of the account. The RCMP serves as both a regular police unit in some areas and a SWAT/special investigations unit in other cases. [Photo by Shane Shaw/iStock] “Once it goes on the internet you really don’t have any control over where it’s going to end up and that is for some people very devastating. It is a conversation that we need to have with our young people.” [Photo by Zerbor/iStock]

American Partiers Rescued In Canada Turn To Crowdfunding To Repay Sarnia, The City That Saved Them

A group of American partiers who were rescued from drowning by a small-town Canadian police force last week have turned to crowdfunding to try to repay the town that came to their aid when they needed it the most, CBC News is reporting. You may remember that last weekend, the Port Huron Float Down – an annual party of American boaters floating down the St. Clair River between the USA and Canada – went horribly awry. As CBC News reported at the time, high winds blew some 1,500 boaters off-course, and they wound up on the Canadian side of the river. The Port Huron Float Down went horribly awry. [Image via GoFundMe]Seeing that they were about to have a mass drowning on their hands if they didn’t act quickly, Canadian authorities leaped into action. Police from the small town of Sarnia, Ontario (population: 72,000), with help from the Ontario Provincial Police, the Canadian Coast Guard, Canada Border Service Agency, and employees from a nearby chemical company all helped rescue the American partiers. Peter Garapick of the Canadian Coast Guard described the scene to CBC News on Monday. “There were Americans everywhere. There was no chance for anything floating, or people on inner tubes, to go anywhere but Canada.” It was then that the city of Sarnia found itself at the center of something resembling an international incident. The city was suddenly home to 1,500 illegal immigrants – cold, wet, passport-less refugees, some of whom had just been saved from drowning. Sarnia, Ontario, Canada became the unlikely scene of an international refugee crisis. [Image courtesy of Sarnia Police Service]Once the refugees were safe and accounted for, the city of Sarnia mobilized efforts to get them back home. Ten Sarnia city buses were pressed into service, and the Americans were loaded onto them and driven back to the U.S. border under police escort. The Inquisitr will leave it to the reader to determine if Sarnia was trying to do right by the Americans in getting them home, or were trying to be rid of them as quickly as possible. Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley is none-too-pleased about the whole situation. “When you’ve got over 1,500 people — many of them over-refreshed, to use the phrase — on your doorstep, you have to handle them in a manner that doesn’t lead to any other issues.” Sarnia has estimated that the cost of the rescue will come to around $8,100 – about $5.40 per rescued American floater. Most of the cost of the rescue will be borne by Canadian taxpayers – specifically, those of Sarnia – and Aaron Wudrick of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wants the American government to kick in. “If you have situations where people are knowingly, willingly, recklessly putting themselves in situations that are going to require considerable use of taxpayer-funded resources, it might be appropriate in those cases for the government to seek some cost recovery.” American Joe Wiedenbeck is having none of that. Even though he wasn’t one of the Americans rescue that day, he doesn’t want to see his northern neighbors on the hook for the cost of rescuing his drunken brethren. He’s started a GoFundMe page to raise the money to pay Sarnia back. “Let’s show our Canadian neighbors how awesome we are! They are claiming nearly $9,000 in costs because of the “unsanctioned” float down. If you floated then donate $5.00. I didn’t participate but it sure seems neighborly.” Donors from both sides of the border appear to be chipping in. Larry Edmonds of Sarnia says he’s embarrassed by the way city officials are acting: “We are neighbours and should expect to help each other out occasionally with no reimbursement required.” And Daniel Harding would like to see the two countries participate in a joint Point Huron Float Down together in a show of international neighborliness: “I would like to see Sarnia and Port Huron do a float down together.” As of this writing, the crowdfunding campaign to reimburse Canada for rescuing the American partiers has raised just over $2,280 of its $9,000 goal. [Image via Shutterstock/Artindo]