• Minister for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre Minister for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre
    Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre announced a few amendments to the government’s Bill C-50 Thursday, but made no apologies — or changes — to parts of the bill that have raised concerns about restricting voter rights.

    C-50, the Citizen Voting Act, would change the Canada Elections Act and alter the way Canadians living abroad vote in federal elections.

    Among other things, the bill eliminates the International List of Electors and rolls that information into the general register of electors for all Canadians and requires electors outside of the country to apply to vote by special ballot after a writ is dropped, and not before.

    Poilievre appeared before the procedure and House affairs committee Thursday morning and defended a bill that critics have said is a solution looking for a problem — namely, attempting to prevent voter fraud overseas, where there’s little evidence of any real issues to warrant changing the Canada Elections Act.

    The opposition has also accused the

    Read More »from Poilievre pushing to have controversial changes in Citizen Election Act in place before next  election
  • With protests at two Ontario schools this week making the news, attention has turned once again to the topic of dress codes. As Andrea Stokes, the mother of a student who drew national attention for a dress code violation in 2014, said, it’s “getting to be that time of year again.”

    Most of the conversation around dress codes has focused on the unnecessary sexualization of teen girls, and the issue of whether dress codes promote rape culture. But as the protests have gotten louder, more administrators are speaking up to say no, dress codes aren’t just about distraction. While the rules vary from school to school, Yahoo Canada found five reasons why institutions say their dress codes are necessary.

    To uphold school principles
    Nicholson Catholic College is a public high school in Belleville, Ont. The school’s motto is “Enlightened by Knowledge. Enriched by Faith.” Originally founded as a private school in 1960, the school is part of the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School

    Read More »from Five reasons schools have dress codes
  • There’s been much controversy surrounding Eugene Melnyck’s public plea for a liver and his ensuing successful transplant. Some say the owner of the Ottawa Senators used his wealth and public profile to his advantage, jumping the queue ahead of other Canadians on a wait list. Regardless of diverging opinions on that subject, there’s no denying his case has raised awareness of life-saving live donations tremendously.

    “Canadians die every day waiting for an organ,” says Aubrey Goldstein, president of the Canadian Transplant Association and a liver transplant recipient himself. “Many people don’t realize how much impact they can have with a donation.”

    While people often associate organ donation with a dying person’s wishes, live donation is becoming more common, with people getting used to the idea of sharing a piece of themselves while they’re alive and well.

    The most urgently needed organs from living donors are kidneys and livers. Of the approximate 4,600 Canadians waiting for an organ
    Read More »from The Melynck effect: NHL owner's plea raises awareness on organ donations
  • Cleveland kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus graduate from high school

    "I always planned to graduate, and my mom always wanted that for me..."

    Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus pose for a photo after accepting their high school diplomas. (Twitter/@EunKim)Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus pose for a photo after accepting their high school diplomas. (Twitter/@EunKim)

    In the spring of 2003, on the day before her 17th birthday, Amanda Berry was abducted by Ariel Castro.

    Gina DeJesus was abducted by the same captor the following year. She was just 14.

    The women, along with fellow kidnap victim Michelle Knight, spent the next 10 years in captivity. Their eventual escape made international headlines a year ago.

    And while they can’t relive the adolescence Castro stole from them, they can celebrate an important milestone they missed out on while imprisoned: high school graduation.

    On Wednesday, the two women donned white caps and gowns and walked across the stage during John Marshall High School’s commencement ceremony, and received honorary high school diplomas.

    John Marshall High School is Berry’s old high school. The idea to honour the women came from a teacher who taught Berry when she attended the school.

    “It was awesome,” Berry told the Plain Dealer not long after the ceremony. “I always wanted to grow up and be somebody and do something with my

    Read More »from Cleveland kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus graduate from high school
  • Round Island, British Columbia. (Courtesy of BCOceanfront.com)Round Island, British Columbia. (Courtesy of BCOceanfront.com)

    Soaring real estate prices are an obsession for people living in Vancouver.

    Mortgaged homeowners worry how they’ll make their payments if interest rates go up. Younger people wonder how they’ll ever scrap up the down payment for even a shoebox-sized condo in one of the city’s many glass towers, never mind an average modest family home that gives not much change from a million dollars.

    So the idea of buying an entire island off the B.C. coast for the price of condo or even less within an easy boat trip to Vancouver or Victoria might be very enticing.

    It sounds romantic. Leave the hustle of the big city behind and telecommute, working to the sound of waves lapping on your private beach while you contemplate the maritime vista from your home overlooking the shore.

    A CTV News report this week noted three-hectare Round Island, off the east coast of Vancouver Island, is on the market for just $380,000 or the undeveloped property.

    But before you go see your bank manager, it’s worth

    Read More »from B.C. island may be on sale for just $380,000, but the reality of living there isn’t idyllic
  • Dropped iPhone retrieved unharmed from ocean floor, with video footage of its underwater journey

    “My brother tried throwing my phone to me in the ocean. It ended up going straight under water and sank to bottom of the ocean floor.”

    Not many iPhones can fall to the bottom of the ocean and live to tell the tale.Not many iPhones can fall to the bottom of the ocean and live to tell the tale.

    It’s a vacation hassle no one wants to deal with: a phone sinking in the ocean.

    Fortunately for Gregory Papadin, a San Diego man vacationing in Menorca, Spain, the captain of his boat was quick to dive after his dropped iPhone 5 and retrieve it from the depths below.

    “My brother tried throwing my phone to me in the ocean. It ended up going straight under water and sank to bottom of the ocean floor,” Papadin wrote on YouTube.

    Paladin and his brother considered diving after it, but knew their rescue attempt would fail.

    “The underwater pressure was too much for both my brother and I to swim and get it, but the owner of the boat we rented was able to reduce the pressure using a special breathing method meant for diving,” he continued. “He was able to retrieve it, and my phone managed to survive the whole ordeal!”

    “Oh, no! Thank you!” Papadin exclaimed upon seeing the captain resurface with his still-working phone. “Oh, my God, thank you so much.”

    If only all owners of dropped phones were

    Read More »from Dropped iPhone retrieved unharmed from ocean floor, with video footage of its underwater journey
  • New York man takes dying dog on bucket-list adventure across the country

    “He loved it, it was so healing for him. It was like he was five years younger."

    Poh poses for a photo during a stop in Portland, Oregon. (Instagram/pohthedogsbigadventure)Poh poses for a photo during a stop in Portland, Oregon. (Instagram/pohthedogsbigadventure)

    Poh doesn’t have long to live.

    The 15-year-old pit bull-lab mix from New York City has been diagnosed with a series of serious health problems including tumours and kidney failure. Veterinarians believe that his days are numbered.

    The terminal diagnosis inspired Poh’s owner, Thomas Neil Rodriguez, to embark on a seven-week road trip with his pet, crossing off bucket-list destinations as they travelled the country.

    Poh looks up at the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington. (Instagram/pohthedogsbigadventure)Poh looks up at the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington. (Instagram/pohthedogsbigadventure)

    “It was a great trip,” Rodriguez, who adopted Poh from a shelter when the pup was just eight weeks old, told ABC News. “I got to spend seven weeks with Poh. At first, I did not think he’d make it two weeks, but he did.”

    Starting on March 6, Rodriguez, his fiancée, and Poh set off on a 35-city, 12,000-mile road trip that included stops in North Carolina, Texas, Oregon and Arizona.

    It didn’t start off as a seven-week trip. It just grew into one.

    Poh and Thomas enjoy the view of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. (Instagram/pohthedogsbigadventure)Poh and Thomas enjoy the view of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. (Instagram/pohthedogsbigadventure)

    Rodriguez, a DJ, had a gig booked in Arizona. Not wanting to leave his sick dog behind, he decided to bring Poh — and a daily IV

    Read More »from New York man takes dying dog on bucket-list adventure across the country
  • Image of a yeast cell. Photo credit: Col Ford and Natasha de Vere. Image rights: Creative CommonsImage of a yeast cell. Photo credit: Col Ford and Natasha de Vere. Image rights: Creative Commons

    It is a central axiom of biology that all living things on the planet are – however distantly – related.

    A fascinating new study is proposing new ways to combat genetic diseases, taking advantage of humankind’s surprisingly strong common ancestry... with baker’s yeast.

    “It doesn’t look anything at all like humans, but yeast is a very, very distant cousin, separated a billion years ago,” Prof. Edward Marcotte of the the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Texas at Austin tells Yahoo Canada.

    “But we still share a lot of genes in common.”

    Around 4,000 genes, it turns out. That’s one-fifth of the 20,000 genes that make up the human genome.

    “The test that we did was to take yeast cells, break the yeast gene, and provide it with DNA from the human equivalent,” Marcotte explains. “We put in the corresponding human DNA, then asked whether the human DNA could keep the cells alive?”

    “We tested a little under 500 such pairs of genes between humans and yeast, and almost half of

    Read More »from 'Partly human yeast' may hold key to some genetic diseases
  • With warmer, dryer weather here, that means more people will be getting out on their bikes. Whether it’s commuting to work, cycling for fitness, or going for easy-going evening rides with your kids, biking is one of those feel-good, fresh-air physical activities that burns calories, improves health, and contributes to a greener planet.

    And depending on where you live, it’s safer in some places than others. While comprehensive, uniform data comparing cycling safety in cities across the country is lacking, a few studies have looked at some of Canada’s best biking spots. Perhaps not surprisingly, West Coast cities consistently come out on top.

    The country’s least bike-friendly cities appear to be St. John’s, Moncton, Charlottetown, Montreal, Ottawa, and Edmonton.

    St. John’s ranked lowest on the Bike Score, which was created by UBC’s Cycling in Cities Research Program in partnership with the Seattle-based company that developed Walk Score. It’s calculated by taking into account factors

    Read More »from The most dangerous cities to cycle in Canada
  • On Sunday morning, a distraught man called 911 saying that his father had gone crazy and was armed with an assault rifle in the house. 

    “He’s shooting a gun,” the man said, adding he thought his father just shot his mother and that he was next.

    The dispatcher advised him to stay hidden and tried to reassure him saying that police officers were almost there.

    But when York Regional Police arrived on the scene at 5:41 a.m. that Sunday, they burst through the front door only to find Vincent Yan, his wife and their two young children sleeping inside their Richmond Hill, Ont., home.

    Yan and his family were the unsuspecting victims of a fake 911 call that police refer to as swatting. 

    What is swatting?  

    According to the FBI who first warned about this practice in 2008, pranksters place a convincing call to 911 about a fake emergency, such as a bomb threat or a threatening gunman, to get police ­— usually a SWAT team — to respond.

    How does it happen?

    The agency, which declined to comment,

    Read More »from What is "swatting" and why does it keep happening?

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