Weekend Posted: Some great stories you may have missed

The debate over treating intersex infants, Remembrance Day stories and more

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Welcome to your weekend Posted. Our Remembrance Day edition has a number of stories you’ll want to check out as we reflect upon the sacrifices made by generations of Canadians.

THE INTERSEX CONTROVERSY

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The treatment of intersex infants is becoming increasingly controversial. The term is an umbrella one, meaning, basically, that a person shows variations to binary sexual development. A child may be born with male or female external sexual organs and non-corresponding internal sexual organs. But in terms of their chromosomes, they may look straightforwardly male or female. Intersex is different than being transgender — being intersex is about biology, being transgender is about gender identity. Historically, the treatment for intersex kids has been to decide on the child’s gender and perform surgery to make their genitals male or female. But this is a source of controversy: Activists are calling for Criminal Code changes in Canada that would prohibit “genital mutilation because they’re intersex.” For a long time, writes National Post health reporter Sharon Kirkey, the view of intersex kids was, “This is abnormal. This is bad. This is disordered. We need to fix this.” Now, surgery is used more sparingly, but the debates are ongoing, and there are questions about whether the law is too blunt an instrument to figure out how to care for these kids. “I can’t imagine a way to legislate it or enforce anything other than good communication and honest discussion,” said pediatric urologist Dr. Peter Metcalfe, chief of surgery at Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital.

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CANADA REMEMBERS

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During the Second World War, there was a Canadian destroyer, HMCS Ottawa. Its job was to patrol the Atlantic Ocean during the deadly seafaring war that occurred beyond the reach of patrol aircraft, with German submarines harrying Allied craft that escorted convoys carrying supplies to Britain. The ship, and members of its crew, met its fate eight days into a crossing of the ocean in 1942. Among them was Keith Wright, a descendant of legendary Ottawan Philemon Wright, who died aboard the ship. This tale, from the Ottawa Citizen’s Andrew Duffy, is just one of the Remembrance Day stories in Postmedia publications this weekend. Kevin Mitchell, writing in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, reports on the letter written by Canadian soldier Thomas Bowlt, telling of trench warfare during the First World War. “The trenches,” Bowlt wrote, “were in a deplorable condition, mud and water almost to the knees and with a cold wind blowing and raining to beat the band, our first turn in the trenches was most trying.” You’ll also want to keep an eye on the Ottawa Citizen’s annual We Are The Dead Remembrance Day project, where the newsroom tells the life story of a Canadian war casualty in one day so that our war dead are never forgotten.

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NATIONAL POST NEWS QUIZ

News Quiz Barbra Streisand
Brice Hall/Postmedia Photo by Brice Hall/National Post

Barbra Streisand, the American actress and singer, once had a famous Canadian lover. We won’t tell you who it is, because that would be giving you too much of a head start on this week’s National Post news quiz, but we will note that she wrote in her new memoir that “My brain was in love, but not my body.”

DEAR DIARY

In the weekly satirical feature Dear Diary, the National Post re-imagines a week in the life of a newsmaker. This week, Tristin Hopper takes an imagined journey into the mind of Canada’s carbon tax: The voter will demand all manner of lofty principles from his government, provided he never has to sacrifice or pay for it in any noticeable way whatsoever. Name any popular high-minded pursuit of government — from stream rehabilitation to famine relief — and it all comes crashing down tomorrow if you start making it an itemized charge on everyone’s utility bill.

ET CETERA

  • Ken Hitchcock is among the winningest coaches in NHL history. But he also barely played the game. Prior to becoming a coach, he worked at a sporting goods store in Edmonton and worked at a windshield glass repair place. Then, he got into coaching. If he hadn’t ended up coaching, he may have become a school teacher. You’ll want to check out this longread on “Hitch” from Postmedia sportswriter Jim Matheson.
  • A private member’s bill in the Senate that would remove the carbon tax from propane and natural gas for farmers (they already don’t pay on gasoline or diesel) is on hold until later this month. Senators voted on a motion to adjourn debate, to the frustration of the bill’s proponents.
  • Cameron Jay Ortis, a former RCMP intelligence official, says he didn’t break the law or betray the national police force. Ortis stands accused of sending classified material in 2015 to people who were of investigative interest to the RCMP.
  • The Victoria New Democrat MP Laurel Collins is championing a private member’s bill that would criminalize what’s known as “coercive control.” It’s basically a set of behaviours that domestic abusers use to control their victims, such as limiting access to money or tracking their movements. The bill is likely to receive support from both the Liberals and the Conservatives.

SNAPSHOT

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Unless there’s a hidden tentacle somewhere, this looks to us like a giant septopus, not a giant octopus. Either way, it’s the creation of Greenpeace activists protesting in front of the Eiffel Tower against Norway Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store’s plan to authorize deep-sea mining in the Arctic. Geoffroy Van der Hasselt/AFP Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT /AFP via Getty Images

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