Thursday, 28 April 2011

Parking Reform is Crucial ... Stop Subsidizing Parking Spaces! (Video)

by Michael Graham Richard, Ottawa, Canada

This video is kind of a follow up to the previous short-film about the problems caused by underpriced parkings, and also the last instalment in the "Moving Beyond the Automobile" series (all of them are worth watching!). It highlights just how important parking reform is, and how alternatives to individual cars in cities aren't competing on a level playing field because of all the direct and indirect subsidies to cars via underpriced parking. Via our friends at Streetfilms.

MBA: Parking Reform from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Real Birds Tweet on Twitter With a Peckable Keyboard (Video)

by Stephen Messenger, Porto Alegre, Brazil

In this era of high-speed internet, smartphones and social-networking, keeping in contact has never been easier -- but in being so plugged-in, we run the risk of losing touch with the beautiful sounds of the world around us. As a sort of tongue-and-cheek response to this and the growing popularity of social Web sites, Voldemars Dudums of Latvia figured out a way to get nature's original tweeters to add their 'voice' online with their very own Twitter account by creating an enticingly peckable keyboard. Sure, the birds' tweets are mostly nonsense -- but their 2,654 followers don't seem to mind.

Voldemars created a special keyboard laden with unsalted bacon fat attached to the keys and a webcam for bird-lovers to enjoy the action online. In the Latvian town of Sarnate, freezing temperatures usually mean lean times for insect-eating birds -- so, with each tweet, the hungry birds are actually getting a much needed meal. Naturally, that was chosen as their Twitter username: @Hungry_Birds.

"Yes, one may say it is quite silly, but if you look at what people sometimes say on Twitter, then the tomtits' messages are still OK," Voldemars told Wired News. He also created a Web site, Birds on Twitter, to accompany the ornithological tweets... read more story at

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Telus World Skins Game to Feature Nike Golf Stars at Fairmont Banff Springs

Anthony Kim, Paul Casey and Stephen Ames first players named to field for 2011 edition of popular summer Canadian golf tradition

TORONTO, April 26, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Five Nike Golf athletes representing the world's largest sport brand will tee it up this summer when the TELUS World Skins Game returns to The Fairmont Banff Springs with Nike Golf as a premier partner.

The five-man field competing in the two-day event on July 25 and 26 features Nike Golf athletes on the PGA Tour including Anthony Kim, Paul Casey and Stephen Ames of Calgary. Kim and Casey will be first time participants in the popular Canadian golf tradition, while Ames will be competing in the event for the fourth time, including in 2006, the last time the TELUS World Skins Game was held in Banff. Two other players will be announced soon.

"Nike Golf has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with the TELUS World Skins Game, and 2011 represents a great opportunity to expand our involvement and feature a field of Nike Golf athletes who star on the PGA Tour," said Vitalis Gomes, director of marketing for Nike Golf Canada. "With the return of the event to The Fairmont Banff Springs, we're thrilled to be a part of one of Canada's top annual sporting events."

"I've heard so many great things over the years about the TELUS World Skins Game and look forward to the chance to visit Banff to be a part of it this summer," said Kim. "I know that the event has always attracted top fields, but the chance to be a part of an all-Nike Golf field this year will make it especially exciting for Paul, Stephen and me."

The TELUS World Skins Game is always a highlight of the Canadian summer sporting schedule for the country's most passionate golf fans, as well as the community that hosts it. Fulfilling its promise to "give where we live," the TELUS World Skins Game has raised more than $10 million since 2001 for a wide variety of important causes across Canada.

"We are most certainly pleased to be bringing the TELUS World Skins back to Banff, and equally excited to bring some of Nike Golf's biggest names to Alberta," said Monty Carter, senior vice-president, TELUS Enterprise Solutions. "The outstanding field of players against the backdrop of the majestic Rocky Mountains, coupled with the TELUS World Skins' annual support of causes important to the community, will make for an unforgettable event."

It's an especially exciting year for Nike Golf which is riding a wave of momentum with global tournament wins and game-changing products such as the Lunar Control shoe, worn by Masters champion Charl Schwartzel; the METHOD putter that has won 19 championships including three majors; and the revolutionary new 20XI premium ball with an innovative resin core that provides more distance off the tee and more spin around greens. Nike Golf, the No. 1 apparel brand in golf, is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of its DRI-Fit technology which modernized golf apparel with its moisture-wicking properties.

"Nike Golf has not only been an outstanding supporter of the TELUS World Skins Game, but of golf at all levels in Canada, and they play a crucial role in helping us bring this popular event to the country's best golf destinations each year," said Danny Fritz, vice-president and co-managing director of IMG Canada. "We look forward to an even more successful event in 2011 as Banff National Park celebrates the 100th Anniversary of organized golf in Banff."

Designed in 1928 by Canada's world-renowned golf course architect, Stanley Thompson, The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course is famous for its panoramic beauty and challenging layout set in the heart of Banff National Park. The course winds along the Bow River under the snow-capped peaks of Sulphur Mountain and Mount Rundle.

Owned and operated by IMG in Canada for 19 years, the TELUS World Skins Game has included many of the biggest names in the game including Jack Nicklaus, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples and Greg Norman. Players for the 2011 tournament will be announced in the coming weeks and regular updates will be posted on

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Golf Industry Kicks-Off Season at Queen's Park

Golf Associations Highlighting Industry's Economic Impact and Environmental Stewardship

TORONTO, April 20, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Allied Golf Associations (OAGA) kicked off golf season by visiting Queen's Park to increase awareness of golf role as a major driver of Ontario's provincial economy and draw attention to the responsible environmental practices of the industry.

"Golf is played by more Canadians than hockey," said OAGA spokesperson Don MacKay, "More than 2.3 million Ontarians, and 6 million Canadians, play golf each year, making it Canada's number one sport in participation and a great way to stay fit, get healthy, and have fun."

A recent report by OAGA found that Ontario's golf industry represents more than $5 billion in direct sales across Ontario every single year. OAGA members and their affiliates employ more than 123,000 Ontarians across the province. The golf industry contributes $1.2 billion per year in tax revenue to the various branches of government.

"Ontario's golf courses contribute a great deal to our economy," MacKay continued. "As people head out the links this summer we wanted to make sure that people are aware of the size and scope of our industry, and what we do to be responsible members of our communities."

Ontario's golf courses are leaders in environmentally sustainable golf course operations. They work extensively with government to meet or exceed provincial water and pesticide regulations, and are constantly researching technologies and techniques to reduce their environmental footprint. Indeed, the industry has spent more than $1.2 million in recent years to research more environmentally sustainable practices.

Ontario golf course owners and operators are at Queen's Park today to make Members of the Provincial Parliament aware of golf's demonstrated track record of being an honest and responsible partner to government in developing regulations that meet the needs of protecting the public and at the same time are in the best interest of ensuring a viable, thriving golf industry.

"Everyone benefits from smart regulations," said Mackay, "But smart regulations mean all stakeholders are actively consulted. We're here to do our part and help policy makers succeed building strong, sustainable regulations that allow our industry to be successful and focus on what it does best, providing a fun, physically-active and family-friendly pastime."

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Get out your checkered flags Canada: Canadian Steve Meehan launches all-Canadian NASCAR team

New team to kick off its run at this weekend's NASCAR Nationwide Series Nashville 300

TORONTO, April 19, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, Go Canada Racing, the newest all-Canadian NASCAR contender, officially starts its quest for NASCAR glory. Go Canada Racing is the only current NASCAR national series team with a Canadian owner, businessman Steve Meehan, and a Canadian driver, rising Canadian NASCAR star J.R. Fitzpatrick.

"Go Canada Racing brings together my two great passions: business and racing," said Meehan. "My success in business has been built on seeing where the right opportunities are and creating a great team of people to do the job. When I saw the opportunity to start a team, I brought in the right people, like J.R., and with their help I believe I can have the same kind of success in the racing world as I had in the business world."

Meehan's goal for Go Canada Racing is for it to become the first fully-Canadian team to compete full-time on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tour - the preeminent series in North American motorsports. The team raced two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and will make its official debut this Saturday, April 24th, at Nashville Superspeedway.

"NASCAR has 7 million fans in Canada, many of whom watch the races every week on TV," continued Meehan. "This team will give the millions of Canadian fans a 'home team' to rally around, and I believe it's a great opportunity for Canadian companies to showcase their brand to this huge audience of Canadian race fans."

The team name, Go Canada Racing, and car number, 67, were both chosen to give the team an all-Canadian feel. The name was inspired by the cheers of "Go Canada" that Canadians are accustomed to hearing at sporting events throughout the country. The car number, 67, corresponds to 1867, the year of Confederation in Canada. This number is very significant for Canadians, and Meehan believes it will help Canadian NASCAR fans identify with his team even more.

In the driver's seat will be Canada's rising NASCAR star, J.R. Fitzpatrick. At age 18, Fitzpatrick became the youngest driver to win the CASCAR Super Series championship, and last year he finished second in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship. Over the last three years he has raced in nine NASCAR Nationwide events, and drove to a career-high finish of seventh at Road America and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, both in 2010. The opportunity with Go Canada Racing is Fitzpatrick's first chance at a full-time ride on one of the premier stock car racing circuits in North America, an opportunity he has worked towards for many years.

"I've been racing since I was 15 years old and it has always been my dream to step into one of these cars full-time," said Fitzpatrick. "Steve has put together an outstanding team and given us the tools to succeed in this sport. We have a great crew, a great car, and a great team, and I'm looking forward to competing with some of NASCAR's best, starting this weekend in Nashville."

"We're looking forward to the addition of Go Canada Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. "Canada is an important market for NASCAR, as demonstrated by our commitment to developing Canadian drivers in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Now, the millions of NASCAR fans in Canada have a 'home' team to root for on NASCAR's national level."

About Go Canada Racing

Canadian businessman Steve Meehan founded Go Canada Racing in the spring of 2011. The result of Meehan's desire to bring together his interest in racing with his talent for business, Go Canada Racing is an all-Canadian team with a goal to bring the NASCAR Sprint Cup title to Canada. Prior to owning Go Canada Racing, Meehan was the Co-founder and CEO of Canadian investment firm Investment Planning Counsel, which boasted $15 billion in assets under management and more than 1,000 financial planners across the country at the time of his departure. For more information about Go Canada Racing, visit

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Walk your way to a healthier you: Free walking program launches this weekend

TORONTO, April 14, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The 9th annual Ontario Walks series launches this weekend, Sunday April 17th and runs until Sunday June 11th with its FREE walking program. Ontario Walks features walking and hiking events from the Shores of Lake Ontario to the forests of Ontario's Greenbelt.


Our mission is to inspire Ontarians to take charge of their personal and environmental wellness through walking," said Tom Fiore, Ontario Walks Director. "We believe that your health is your wealth."

As a proud sponsor of the event, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) continues to lend its support for Ontario Walks and its aim of promoting active lifestyles.

"Ontario's doctors have a strong tradition of promoting healthy living and the Ontario Walks event is a great way of getting active," said Dr. Mark MacLeod, President of the OMA. "I'm pleased to see the continued success of this event and I hope more people incorporate some physical activity into their daily routine."

For a full list of scheduled walks and background information please visit

Crawford Lake Conservation Area (Rattlesnake Point) - 3115 Steeles Avenue West, Campbellville (aka Conservation Road)

Hwy 401 to Guelph Line south to Conservation Rd (aka Steeles Ave West ) Campbellville Ontario

When: Sunday, May 22nd
Start Time: 10:00 a.m.
Duration: 4 - 5 hours
Parking: Yes
Restrooms: Yes

Special Notes:
This is a Level 2 Walk - hiking boots required (running shoes not permitted!)

We suggest you bring a lunch.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Canadian Wildlife Federation Encourages Canadians to Join in the Walk for Wildlife

MONTRÉAL, April 12, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is urging Canadians to get out and go wild with the Walk for Wildlife, part of nationwide celebrations for National Wildlife Week, April 10 to 16, 2011.

Join the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the CWF Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest and IMAX®TELUS at the Montréal Science Centre on April 13, 2011 for the city's first Walk for Wildlife and Get to Know Contest launch. Students from local schools will explore the wildlife and habitats in the CWF gardens, meet the hosts of Hinterland Who's Who, get up-close-and-personal with some visiting animals from a wildlife refuge centre, and see the new IMAX® 3D movie Born to Be Wild.

Walk for Wildlife is a national campaign that encourages all Canadians to experience the wildlife and natural spaces in their area, then log their kilometres at As 2011 is International Year of Forests, this year's focus is forest conservation. The goal is to log enough kilometres to walk across Canada, creating national awareness about our forests and the wildlife that inhabits them.

"More than half of Canada is covered by forests," noted Wade Luzny, CWF CEO and Executive Vice-President. "As Canadians, we are extremely fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most intact forest habitats on the planet, which are home to a spectacular variety of wildlife."

The event also launches the 2011 edition of the CWF Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest ( Launched by renowned Canadian wildlife artist Robert Bateman and now in its eleventh year, the contest encourages youth to get to know their wild neighbours outdoors, then submit artwork, writing, photography or video entries inspired by their experiences for the chance to win prizes. "The Walk for Wildlife and Get to Know Contest complement each other beautifully, and we're proud to be co-managing the contest this year," said Luzny.

Everyone in Canada can be a part of the Walk for Wildlife by hiking on a nature trail, strolling through a park or participating in any number of other outdoor activities that will allow them to connect with native animals, plants and habitats.

"By encouraging people to get acquainted with some of the iconic species and scenic places that exist right across the country, we want to inspire Canadians to an even greater commitment to wildlife and habitat conservation," said Luzny. "We want to leave a lasting legacy, not only for wildlife but also for our children."

National Wildlife Week was declared by Parliament in 1947 and is celebrated each year from Sunday to Saturday in the week of April 10, the birth date of Jack Miner, one of the founders of Canada's conservation movement.

For more information about National Wildlife Week and the Walk for Wildlife, visit

About the Canadian Wildlife Federation:

The Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information, visit

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Calling all golf lovers: Scotland needs you!

Photo Credit: Visit Scotland

TORONTO, April 11, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - With one place available for a golf lover to play in this year's Johnnie Walker ProAm Championship at Scotland's world famous Gleneagles Resort, VisitScotland, Scotland's official tourist board, is calling all golf enthusiasts from around the world to enter its Drive it Home competition, and be in for a chance to win this coveted place in the tournament.

From August 25-28 2011, Gleneagles will play host to golf's finest players as they compete in the Johnnie Walker Championship on one of the most challenging courses in the game, the PGA Centenary Course.

The lucky winner of VisitScotland's Drive it Home competition will experience a pilgrimage to the home of golf like no other.

The spectacular prize includes a four-night trip for two people to Scotland to attend the 2011 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles as VIP guests and experience the course for real, with a place in the Johnnie Walker ProAm Championship.

For anyone passionate about golf, this is an incredible opportunity to get close to the best players in golf; to watch and golf with the pros in Scotland, where golf was born.

With the launch of Drive it Home and the search for a player to represent all golf lovers around the world, VisitScotland is inviting golfers to participate for the chance to fulfil this dream of a lifetime.

To enter visit, from 05 April - 06 May 2011

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Ontario Seatbelt Laws Turn 35 Years Old

Give Yourself the Gift of Survival by Buckling Up Every Time

AURORA, Ontario, April 8, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - It's been 35 years since seat belt laws came into effect in Ontario (1976), and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are as committed as ever to seat belt compliance as they get set to launch the 2011 Spring Seatbelt Campaign.

The province-wide campaign will run from April 13 - 23, 2011. During that time, the OPP will be stepping up enforcement throughout the province to ensure that motorists and passengers buckle up.

Using a seat belt is the single most effective way to reduce the chance of injury or death in a motor vehicle collision. Yet tragically, countless fatalities and injuries relating to seat belt use have continued to occur needlessly each year over the past 35 years.

Last year (2010) on OPP patrolled roadways, 89 people lost their lives in collisions in which lack of seatbelt use was a causal factor and 4,200 people were injured for the same reason.

So far this year (2011), 7 people have died in collisions in which lack of seatbelt use was a causal factor and 855 have been seriously injured. Compared to this same time last year, 13 died and 913 were injured.

The OPP will be focusing their efforts on child restraints during this campaign to raise awareness about the need to properly restrain children in a vehicle. A properly used child seat reduces a child's risk of injury in a crash by as much as 75 per cent, yet many child car seats are incorrectly used or improperly installed.

When used correctly, a booster seat provides 60 per cent more protection than a seatbelt alone. In a collision, children using seatbelts instead of booster seats are three and a half times more likely to suffer significant injury, and four times more likely to suffer head injury. OPP detachments regularly run child car-seat safety clinics and the OPP are encouraging everyone to contact their local OPP Detachment or their local police service for more information.

"In 1976 Ontario became the first province to require all drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt. After all these years OPP officers across this province are just as committed to ensuring that occupants buckle up", said OPP Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety & Operational Support.

Make sure you do your part as a driver. Buckle up first and then make sure all your passengers and children are properly secured.


A driver who is not wearing a seatbelt is over 40 times more likely to be killed in a crash than one who is properly buckled.

The annual Spring Seatbelt Campaign is a partnership between the OPP, Ontario Police Services, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and other road safety partners.


For more information about Seat Belt Laws, go to: Ontario Law on Seatbelt Compliance

For more information about proper child restraints, go to: Smart Love

For OPP information on Driver Safety tips go to: OPP.CA/ Driver Safety Tips