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news

Train Derails, Soldier Bails, Barenaked Lady Fails

news_07_16_08.jpg
Omar Khadr’s lawyers recently released video footage of Khadr’s interrogation by CSIS agents in hopes that the video would embarrass the Prime Minister and garner sympathy from Canadians. Unsurprisingly, the PM’s office wasn’t hearing that noise. Clearly these lawyers don’t know how hard it is to embarrass Stephen Harper.
Speaking of Canadians in trouble in the States, Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page was arrested in Fayetteville, New York for possession of cocaine and marijuana. If the story turns out to be true, Fayetteville, New York must have some seriously kick-ass drugs because…why else would you be in Fayetteville, New York?
A Via train carrying more than 200 passengers partially derailed near Brockville yesterday, although thankfully no serious injuries were reported. Good thing passenger trains are only expensive and slow, because people might not want to take a train if it were expensive, slow, and prone to random derailments.
Robin Long, an American soldier in Canada whose appeal for refugee status was denied, was deported back to the U.S. yesterday. The National Post notes that “U.S. deserters who are returned to their military base can face penalties including criminal charges,” but a spokesman for Fort Carson in Colorado, where Mr. Long will be stationed, admitted that Long would probably just have to clean the latrine with a toothbrush.
Average house prices in Canada fell dramatically—sort of—by 0.4% in June. Still, it’s the first decline in house prices since January of 1999. Time to celebrate! Finally you have a compelling reason to spend those hundreds of thousands of dollars you’ve all saved up.
Photo by beembag from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Comments

  • TokyoTuds

    Ahhh, so much to comment on today …..
    TRAINS
    By far the safest and most efficient means of transport in human history. Headline grabbers like this are meaningless…. look at the statistics.
    OMAR
    Harper should be ashamed of himself. Let’s assume Omar is guilty of killing an American soldier. In the first place, Omar was a 15 year old teen when he was captured, and should be treated as such. Then to add insult to injury he was tortured. Then for good measure illegally imprisoned for 6 years in the American Gulag of Gitmo. we have abandoned our principles n this one.
    BNL
    At first I was proud of the MJ bust, but I am disappointed in Steven regarding the Coke. They are in fact 2 classes of drugs.
    US ARMY DESERTERS
    …. are only refusing to obey illegal orders under the Nuremberg principles. I admire that they don’t just want to be “good Germans”.
    HOUSING
    There is no bubble in Toronto like Alberta and BC, thanks goodness.
    Cheers,
    Tuds

  • tripper

    Who knew Stephen Page was such a rock star?

  • james a

    The train is only efficient if you don’t mind being 2 hours late on a regular basis.
    *hugs porter*

  • rek

    VIA is slow? That’s news to me; I regularly take it between Toronto and Belleville and do it in less time than it takes to drive. What were you comparing it to, flying?

  • Green Sulfur

    Who’s going to play NDP fundraisers while Steven Paige is in jail?

  • Maneesh Mohindra
  • andrewpmk

    My dad was delayed by that derailed train and had to take a bus from Montreal because his train was canceled. Sigh. When will the government finally replace remaining level crossings with bridges?

  • Solex

    My dad was delayed by that derailed train and had to take a bus from Montreal because his train was canceled. Sigh. When will the government finally replace remaining level crossings with bridges?

    When will Canada invest in high-speed rail and join the 21st century? When?

  • ZenScout

    I agree, Rek. I’ve regularly taken VIA from Toronto to London for over a decade and have only had a handful of not-so-great experiences, often not at all the fault of VIA. Not that I wouldn’t get behind a campaign to put in a high-speed rail system, but, given the choice, I’ll pick VIA over driving the 401 every time.

  • rek

    Maneesh: Being slow and being late are not the same.

  • Maneesh Mohindra

    Sure, late then. My point wasn’t necessarily about the actual speed of the trains, but rather that it has a reputation for being an unreliable service.

  • davedave

    Via is always late but they never explain why.
    As you finally arrive you get a half-assed apology over the intercom and see ya later bye but nothing else.
    I liked that deal years ago that, if they were more than 15 minutes late you’d get an automatic 50% off your next trip. Which, of course, would be late as well, so you’d get ANOTHER 50% off. And so on and so on.
    We really need the high speed Montreal Toronto Windsor links. What would that cost – 5 billion? 10 billion?

  • Mark Ostler

    Wait the 50% off was if you were at least 15 MINUTES late?!? I thought it was for really egregious tardiness. Despite a love for rail travel, the last time I took VIA was in ’03. I rode the rails to Montreal (on time) then on to Halifax (on time). The return trip, however, was extremely late. I had tried to book my connecting MTL-Toronto train to account for any delays but the ticket agent convinced me to just get a ticket for the train leaving 15 minutes after I arrived from Halifax. Needless to say, the train was late. About 2.5 hours late. They put us on one of the express trains to Toronto and told us our stubs could be used to get the discount, which I, regrettably, never used. Seeing as I wasn’t on business, I didn’t mind.

  • davedave

    Okay maybe it was 30 minutes?
    This was in the late 80′s or early 90′s so I can’t totally remember…
    But whatever it was, they were still late enough all the time to make the rebate valid.

  • rek

    I take about 5 round trip rides on VIA a year and only twice in the last 9 years has it been more than 15 minutes late. I don’t see what the big deal is really; planes are regularly hours late or cancelled entirely without warning, buses get stuck in traffic like anyone else at rush hour and seem to have pretty flexible departure times.
    Late last summer (if I recall correctly) my train was an hour late because a switch farther up the track had been struck by lightning. When we eventually passed the site you could still smell it.

  • Mark Ostler

    I wasn’t criticizing VIA at all, just mentioning that the last time I took the train, it was really really late. I’m sure there was a reasonable explanation for it being that late. I love taking the train and prefer it over the bus, driving, flying, skiing, doing the worm or any other form of long-distance travel. I’ll take VIA anywhere (unless $$$ is an issue).

  • TokyoTuds

    Yeah, I used to get he 50% discount often enough between Toronto and London in the late 80s …. :-)
    But living in Japan now, I’d prefer timeliness and speed. A high speed rail line from Quebec City to Windsor should be a national priority.

  • rek

    Should be, but isn’t. And if it was, we’d want the US to do it first and then wait 15 years.

  • Solex

    Should be, but isn’t. And if it was, we’d want the US to do it first and then wait 15 years.

    Oh, wait, the US just did that-with the Acelo. Which was built by a Canadian company. In Canada.

  • rek

    It remains that high speed trains aren’t a national priority. When it becomes a national priority the 15 year countdown will begin.