• Toronto's municipal election is still six months away and it's already spawned its first attack ad against infamous incumbent Mayor Rob Ford.

    The campaign for Olivia Chow, the former New Democrat MP who's seen as the front-runner to unseat Ford, released the ad this week attacking one of the keystone elements of his popularity, the belief he's in personal touch with citizens and their concerns.

    Ford, who formally launched his re-election bid Thursday night, likes to boast that he spends much of his time on the phone dealing with people's complaints.

    But in the minute-long video, a woman identified only as Laura claims Ford never returned any of the roughly 20 calls she's made to the mayor's office to complain about the city's transit service.

    “Rob Ford is always bragging that he’s too busy to do this or he’s too busy to do that because he’s calling people back. Well, he didn’t call me back,” Laura says in the video.

    "I have Rob Ford programmed into my phone and he's never called me

    Read More »from As Toronto Mayor Rob Ford kicks off re-election campaign, rival Olivia Chow releases first attack ad
  • A New York City taxi cab (New York Daily News)

    Rodolfo Sanchez, a 69-year-old cab driver, is facing multiple criminal charges after allegedly passing through New York City tollbooths more than 3,000 times without paying in a two-year period.

    NBC New York reports that if true, Sanchez may have skipped out on some $28,000 in toll penalties.

    "This type of behavior is egregiously unfair to the millions of honest motorists who pay tolls every day, and we will continue efforts to root out toll evaders and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law," MTA Bridges and Tunnels Chief of Security Donald Look said in a statement.

    So, how did the taxi driver manage to get through the Robert F. Kennedy Triborough Bridge tollgate barricades so many times before the MTA caught on? Apparently, he did so by tailgating the cars in front of him.

    The New York Daily News says Sanchez told investigators he jumped the tollbooths because he needed money for his family. Nonetheless, prosecutors have charged him with third-degree larceny, fifth-degree

    Read More »from How a NYC taxi driver allegedly dodged $28,000 in tolls
  • The newly installed premier of Quebec has signalled that federalism is no longer a dirty word in the province.

    Liberal Philippe Couillard was sworn in Thursday, after upsetting the minority Parti Quebecois government in the April 7 election.

    “We believe that our full participation in the Canadian federation contributes to Quebec’s success,” Couillard said in a speech at the National Assembly following the swearing-in ceremony for MNAs, according to the Globe and Mail.

    “Quebec will be a leader and an active participant in the Canadian federation and use every opportunity to help Quebec progress within it.”

    The bearded neurosurgeon led the Liberals to a substantial majority, taking 70 of 125 seats while reducing the sovereigntist PQ to 30 in spite of Couillard's candid embrace of Canada.

    While the PQ controls the separatist file, the Quebec nationalist vein runs deeply across party lines. Even past Liberal governments have been careful not to be seen cozying up too closely with Ottawa.

    Read More »from Political stakes are high for Quebec’s new federalist premier
  • Dr. Jane Goodall's newest role is that of Disneynature ambassador.

    In anticipation of "Bears" opening this weekend, the famed 80-year-old anthropologist and primatologist is speaking up about the important of preserving habitats and natural resources through protected areas, like national parks.

    "It was absolutely wonderful in Halo Bay," she told EW.com of being on set. "We were so close to the bears, and we met the two cubs that are in the film. And the scenery is so amazing. There’s a real feeling of wildness. To get to this place we had to go in a small plane and then a smaller plane so you felt you were going to the middle of nowhere. And the scenery is so utterly breathtaking. I love it, the wilder the better."

    Goodall hopes the film will give people a sense of the "magic" of nature — and moves them to prioritize the protection of bears and their homes.

    "It's good for your spirit," she told WSJ Live.

    In an interview with TIME, Goodall said that by giving the cute bears names and

    Read More »from Jane Goodall’s newest role: Disneynature ambassador
  • This week's must-see videos feature a hilarious opera show ambush, a "regular dude" with amazing reflexes and a few other incredible moments in time. But first, take a look at this new craze taking over Saudi Arabia.

    You probably don't associate Saudi Arabia with hip dance trends. But that is about to change. A penguin dance, that looks a lot like an updated bunny hop, is taking the kingdom by storm. See more for yourself:

    Saudis aren't the only ones indulging in light-hearted entertainment on camera. Watch this opera singer give a hilarious performance at a Parisian subway station. He's clearly having fun, even if some of the passengers look downright frightened. Does this make you wonder if we should slow down to enjoy those great moments?

    [ Last week's must-see videos: See stunning time-lapse video of volcanic eruption ]

    Here's another great interaction to watch. Listen to the adorable sounds of this little guy:

    Want to see more great moments? We've got a collection of those in a

    Read More »from Must-see videos of the week: April 13-19
  • Ex-prime ministers, former premiers and ousted party leaders are notorious for not showing up for work.

    Those politicians — who in many cases are embarrassed out of their chiefly roles — become diffident about coming to their respective parliaments or legislatures to do their duty and represent the views of their constituents.

    Such is the case of former Alberta premier Alison Redford.

    About a month ago, amid questions about her travel expenses, dwindling poll numbers and a pseudo-caucus mutiny, Redford resigned as premier. She didn't resign as an MLA and continues to earn a whopping annual salary of $134,000.

    But, as explained by the National Post, she's been MIA.

    "With the exception of a few Twitter comments and one meeting during which she took no questions from media, the former premier has been AWOL for her continuing job as a member of the Legislative Assembly, representing the residents of Calgary-Elbow," the Post notes.

    "As of Wednesday afternoon, she had skipped seven

    Read More »from Should we cut former Alberta premier Alison Redford some slack for poor attendance?
  • Crown prosecutors in British Columbia have laid five charges against a man arrested in the Netherlands in connection with the online extortion of 15-year-old Amanda Todd, which led to her suicide in 2012.

    RCMP told a news conference Thursday evening that the man, who hasn't been identified, faces single counts of extortion, Internet luring, criminal harassment, possession of child pornography and possession of child porn for the purpose of distribution.

    Insp. Paulette Friel, chief of operations at Coquitlam RCMP, said her officers began investigating in December 2010, after Amanda and her parents came forward with allegations of harassment and extortion.

    The investigation mushroomed after Todd's suicide, its scope expanding "in ways we could not have imagined," Friel said.

    The case eventually involved the RCMP's major crimes section and the national child-exploitation units of Canada and the United Kingdom, she said. The RCMP had 30 investigators at work who eventually helped identify

    Read More »from RCMP announce charges against Dutch man in Amanda Todd case
  • Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers have issued warnings about the dangers of sexting for teens.Charges laid against a Halifax-area high school student is the latest evidence that police in Canada are serious about going after sexting teens, even if some of the kids still aren't serious about the risk.

    The Halifax Chronicle Herald reports a student at Auburn Drive High School in the suburb of Cole Harbour has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography.

    Police said the 17-year-old was arrested April 11 but has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear in Halifax youth court May 8.

    The investigation began Jan. 9 after police received a complaint from the school. A 16-year-old female student told school staff a male student had shared a partially nude photo of her without her consent, the Chronicle Herald said.

    Police said the images were distributed to other students and investigators seized a number of cell phones.

    "In this case, all I can say is images were distributed in a child pornography sense by a 16-year-old male [who has since turned 17],"

    Read More »from Halifax high school student the latest teen to face child-porn charges for sexting
  • Lance Armstrong explains how to change a flat tire

    Bizarrely straightforward video from Outside magazine features disgraced cyclist demonstrating in a bike shop

    Not all online videos featuring unexpected celebrities are the same.

    This video from Outside magazine starring Lance Armstrong doesn't go for laughs. Instead, it's strangely practical. So much so that you might wonder if you've missed the joke.

    The disgraced cyclist, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories in 2012 and admitted to doping in 2013, appears in a tongue-in-cheek instructional clip in which he educates viewers on how to change a flat tire on a bike.

    His instructions are straightforward and pretty useful for amateur cyclists. And that's what makes the video, which went up earlier this week, so odd. It's just so... normal.

    There's one humorous allusion to rougher times, but for the most part, it's just Lance changing a tire, offering tips and getting his hands dirty, just as if he's a regular bike store employee and not one of the most infamous athletes of all time.

    How did Outside convince Armstrong to make the video?

    “We asked, he said yes — much to our

    Read More »from Lance Armstrong explains how to change a flat tire
  • Canada's temporary foreign workers program continued to rack up criticism this week with fresh allegations that companies were abusing the system in a variety of spectacular manners.

    The program has been maligned by labour unions but defended by business associations, and in the middle has been the federal government, promising to get the program in order and put an end to the perceived abuses.

    The issue has been highlighted by a series of high-profile reports linking several notable companies to allegations of impropriety.

    Most recently, MacDonald's locations in British Columbia and Alberta have been accused of various indiscretions, including forcing temporary foreign workers to live together in a shared apartment and pay rent directly to the company.

    But even before the Big Mac attack, there were allegations that Canada's temporary foreign workers program was being used improperly.

    Last month, the Alberta Federation of Labour claimed 65 oil-sand contractors were laid of and

    Read More »from The values and vulnerabilities of Canada’s temporary foreign workers program


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