• Defence lawyer Leo RussomannoDefence lawyer Leo Russomanno

    A bill that presents a shift in how security is conducted at courthouses, electrical generating facilities and nuclear plants across Ontario goes into affect Monday, leaving one legal expert wondering if the new measures are overblown.

    Bill 35, Security for Courts, Electricity Generating Facilities and Nuclear Facilities Act, grants officers at courthouses the right to search people entering without a warrant. If someone refuses a request to be searched, she or he can face fines or imprisonment.

    Courthouses, electrical generating facilities and nuclear plants aren’t the only places that are seeing amped up security measures.

    Starting Sept. 14, anyone attending public meetings in Calgary’s council chambers will be subjected to security screenings that includes metal detectors and a bag search by guards. Those new measures are said to cost $100,000.

    Physical pat downs won’t be performed and shoes, belts and jackets don’t have to be removed.

    At the Ottawa courthouse, X-rays and metal

    Read More »from Increasing security at Ontario courts may be overblown, limits access: expert
  • College grad puts her diploma on eBay for $50,000

    “Why waste four years of your life going to a state school for a piece of paper when you can just buy mine?”

    (Photo: eBay)(Photo: eBay)

    Paying off your student debt isn’t easy, and it gets even more frustrating when you have limited job prospects after graduation. 

    One frustrated Florida State University (FSU) graduate turned to eBay for help.

    Stephanie Ritter, who attended the university from 2007-2011, listed her Bachelor of Arts in Theater diploma on eBay for $50,000.

    In addition to offering the actual piece of paper in “mint condition,” Ritter offered the buyer a full Florida State experience, including a tour of the university and access to her college memories through Facebook.

    “I thought this piece of paper has so much worth to so many people, but for a theater major, it couldn’t mean less,” Ritter told BuzzFeed. “I’m doing the exact same things and probably getting paid the exact same amount as people that dropped out halfway through freshman year, except I’m still $40,000 in debt and they’re, well, not.”

    After graduating college, Ritter was unable to find a job in her field and ended up working as a personal

    Read More »from College grad puts her diploma on eBay for $50,000
  • PETA had a quick response to the Cecil the lion Killer costume (L).PETA had a quick response to the Cecil the lion Killer costume (L).

    The costume battle began last week when a company called costumeish.com unveiled the “Cecil the Lion Killer” Halloween costume.

    As you can imagine, a costume featuring a blood-spattered dental coat and a severed lion’s head really didn’t sit well with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and for good reason.

    Back in July, an American dentist named Walter Palmer became a victim of global public shaming after killing Cecil, Zimbabwe’s beloved lion and a popular attraction for wildlife tourists. Moral condemnation quickly swept every corner of the Internet, prompting the UN to unanimously adopt a resolution to combat illegal wildlife trafficking.

    With today’s trend of attempting to make a joke out of tragic events, the “Cecil the Lion Killer” costume was almost inevitable. So in response to the tasteless idea, the good folks at PETA have created their own alternative entitled “Cecil’s Revenge.” 

    (Photo: PETA)(Photo: PETA)

    As you can see, the ensemble features a stuffed lion mauling a dentist,

    Read More »from PETA responds to ‘Cecil the Lion Killer’ Halloween costume with its own alternative
  • This past January, Target Canada announced it was seeking protection from its creditors after taking huge losses due to a rapid expansion plan that failed to capture the attention of Canadian consumers. By May, all of the company's 133 retail locations were closed with virtually every last bit of merchandise, including store fixtures themselves, being sold off.

    The bottom line is, the American chain missed the mark in trying to compete on both pricing and selection north of the border, especially with its major competitor Walmart. Now, a Tumblr called "Abandoned Targets of Canada" is chronicling the chain's slow, sad decay.


    Square One Mall in Mississauga, Ontario housed just one of the many stores that left tens of thousands of retail employees looking for new jobs when the chain closed. That same mall was also home to a Walmart Supercentre. So on more than one occasion I personally walked from one to the other looking for deals, only to realize that almost anything found at Target

    Read More »from Documenting Canada's abandoned Target stores
  • Dentist gives once-homeless man a $50,000 smile

    "Now when I smile everyone smiles back.”

    Harvor Davis used to be homeless and has now dedicated his life to helping others living on the streets. 

    He has a lot to smile about, but after years of neglect, a large gap in the front of his mouth was stopping him.

    Dr. Lee Fitzgerald of Forte Implant Center in Plano, Texas, took in Davis as a patient and was able to save eight teeth through dental surgery. The rest aren’t real, USA TODAY reports.

    “He’s a very humble, kind, very appreciative person,” Fitzgerald told CBS News. “Some people you do something nice for, they have the sense ‘you should have done it for me’ – he’s not like that at all.”

    The dental work was worth almost $50,000, CBS News reports, but for Davis it was free of charge.

    “My smile used to be green and ugly, but now when I smile everyone smiles back,” Davis told Today.com.

    Davis first volunteered for SoupMobile, a non-profit service that feeds the homeless, after meeting the executive director while waiting in line to get food five years ago.

    Now he’s the senior

    Read More »from Dentist gives once-homeless man a $50,000 smile
  • (Photo: YouTube)(Photo: YouTube)

    Dr. Adnan Khera is an anesthesiology resident at Tufts Medical Center, but on the streets of Boston he might be better known as the “dancing doctor.”

    Throughout his work week, Khera often takes to the city streets with a boom box and a collection bucket in tow. And no, he is not trying to raise money to help pay for his residency; Dr. Khera dances for charity.

    Khera is raising money for his organization “DoctorBeDancing,” which supports “animals that need rescuing, children who are living in poverty and need school supplies, terminally ill children, and meals for people who have chronic illnesses,” CBS Boston reports.

    “One of the missions of this project is to show the value of individuality inside of medicine,” Khera told TODAY. “What I do on the streets allows me to communicate with the population at large, whereas I feel like normally in medicine, we have trouble communicating with patients.”

    So far, Khera has raised about $6,000 and plans on raising $10,000 by October, Good News

    Read More »from 'Dancing doctor’ takes to streets of Boston to raise money for charity
  • With the extended 11-week election upon us and over two dozen third-parties looking to influence voters, you may be wondering if any of them actually have a chance at affecting the election outcome in any way.

    These aren't actually political parties, but unions, veterans groups, animal rights groups — groups looking to defeat Stephen Harper's conservative government and groups representing a particular issue like heathcare, open Internet or safe technology. All of them are looking to influence the election in some way, but it's a steep hill to climb.

    Nelson Wiseman, director of the Canadian Studies Program in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, predicts third parties won't have much influence at all.

    “They're limited in how much money they can spend now, which is one of the reason the election was called early because they could've spent all the money they wanted until the writ was dropped. Now that the writ's been dropped, they're limited, so they won't

    Read More »from Will non-political third parties have an influence on the Canadian election?
  • No lemonade for you! Cops shut down Jerry Seinfeld’s family lemonade stand

    The comedian stayed true to himself, had a little fun with the ordeal

    (Photo: Instagram/@jessseinfeld)(Photo: Instagram/@jessseinfeld)

    In a scenario fit for an episode of his classic sitcom, local police in East Hampton shut down a lemonade stand operated by Jerry Seinfeld, as peddling of any form in the area is strictly deemed illegal.

    The lemonade stand was set up last week for Seinfeld’s son Julian and his pals to not only have some harmless summer fun, but to raise money for Seinfeld’s wife Jessica’s charity Baby Buggy, the Huffington Post reports.

    Apparently, a neighbour wasn’t to happy with cars being illegally parked near the stand’s location and a complaint with the East Hampton Village Police was quickly phoned in. Our best guess: it was Seinfeld’s pesky television neighbour, Newman, up to his old tricks once again.

    When police arrived on scene, the Seinfeld clan was informed that “village code does not permit lemonade stands on village property and the village prohibits all forms of peddling on its property,” the East Hampton Press reported.

    Seinfeld, of course, managed to have some fun with the ordeal,

    Read More »from No lemonade for you! Cops shut down Jerry Seinfeld’s family lemonade stand
  • Stephen Harper speaks during a campaign stop in King Township, Ontario, August 20, 2015. (Reuters)Stephen Harper speaks during a campaign stop in King Township, Ontario, August 20, 2015. (Reuters)

    We take for granted that government will continue when an election campaign is underway. Public works will get done, cheques will be sent out, foreign policy matters dealt with.

    But how does that happen, exactly, when the Governor General has dissolved Parliament and the government has lost its mandate? And what’s to stop the ruling party from nudging the levers of power to make inroads with voters come polling day?

    Incumbency offers huge potential advantages. That’s why there’s something called the Caretaker Convention, which sets the rules of how governments can operate during election campaigns and after the vote before a new government is sworn in.

    The convention has existed for about as long as Canada itself but largely out of sight of the public until earlier this month when the government was pressured to post the latest version of it on the Privy Council Office’s web site on Aug. 2, the day the election was called.

    “This is the first time that a government has just voluntarily

    Read More »from There’s an election on, so who’s running the country?
  • Campaign to help Syrian refugee family start a new life tops $150K

    Photo shared by millions leads to generous crowdfunding campaign

    More than $150,000 has been raised after this photo quickly went viral. (Photo: IndieGoGo)More than $150,000 has been raised after this photo quickly went viral. (Photo: IndieGoGo)

    A Syrian refugee who was selling pens on the streets of Beirut to help support his family is feeling the power and love of the Internet, after his story touched countless people around the world. 

    A photo of the man was reposted on more than a million social media feeds last week, prompting a wave of interest in finding out more about him and his situation. The shot shows the man peddling pens while his daughter is hoisted over his shoulder, asleep.

    Icelandic designer Gissur Simonarson, who’s based in Oslo, launched a campaign to find the man, which led to him being interviewed on Sky News Arabia.

    Shortly after the report went to air, activists in Lebanon were able to locate the man, named Abul, and his children, nine-year-old Abdelillah and four-year-old Reem, at a refugee camp. The hashtag #buypens was launched,

    Read More »from Campaign to help Syrian refugee family start a new life tops $150K

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David vs. David