• NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is ready to face the prime minister wherever debates take place.NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is ready to face the prime minister wherever debates take place.
    Canada isn’t quite in official election mode, but the topic of leaders’ debates is already at the centre of an exhausting debate.

    The Conservative Party said it’s opting out of the typical TV debate format run by the broadcast consortium — a group of Canada’s major TV networks — so this time around things promise to be different.

    The consortium, which includes CBC, Radio-Canada, CTV and Global, announced Thursday that there’s a tentative agreement for two televised debates with the leaders of the NDP, Liberal Party, Green Party and Bloc Quebecois (for one debate in French). No word on whether the Conservatives are at all interested.

    There’s a lot more up the air though, so here’s what you need to know before the writ drops and the election is, officially, in full swing.

    Last chance to see leaders in action

    Once the session in Ottawa wraps up on June 23, Parliament probably won’t reconve for several months with some observers predicting it won’t resume until January. That means once MPs

    Read More »from Debating the debates: 5 things to know before the writ drops
  • The ‘elfie’: Elephant grabs BC man’s GoPro camera, snaps epic selfie

    "I couldn’t believe it when I saw how well the photo turned out”

    It's not hard to see why this photo quickly went viral. (Instagram/Christian Leblanc)It's not hard to see why this photo quickly went viral. (Instagram/Christian Leblanc)

    They're calling it the "elfie."

    UBC student Christian LeBlanc, 22, spent the last semester on an exchange program in Bangkok, Thailand.

    About two months ago, he and his girlfriend, Laura Reid, stopped at an elephant sanctuary on the side of the road on Koh Phangan Island, bought a basket of bananas and started feeding an elephant.

    When he ran out of the snack, however, the elephant turned its attention to LeBlanc’s GoPro camera.

    “I didn’t even have time to think. It all happened so fast,” LeBlanc told CBC News.

    “I was taking photos and feeding the elephant bananas until I ran out of bananas and the elephant grabbed my GoPro while the camera was set to ‘timelapse,’” LeBlanc wrote to Global News in an email. “This allowed the camera continuous shooting and enabled it to take the ‘elphie’! Couldn’t believe it when I saw how well the photo turned out.”

    In the well-framed photo, both LeBlanc and the elephant appear to be posing for the camera.

    When he posted the elephant’s self portrait

    Read More »from The ‘elfie’: Elephant grabs BC man’s GoPro camera, snaps epic selfie
  • Chloe Cross was fed up. Fed up with her school’s dress code, fed up with being harassed by boys, fed up with being punished for what she wore. But she didn’t run to the media or get her parents to complain; she found a sly, funny and much more effective way of getting her message across that she shouldn’t be shamed for her clothing.

    Cross posted a picture to Tumblr of her yearbook from San Mateo High School, about 20 miles south of San Francisco, with a senior quote that struck at the core of every young girl’s argument that dress codes are sexist and send the wrong message.


    It read, "I would just like to apologize to those who were unable to graduate with the class of 2015 because they were too distracted by my midriff and consequently failed all of their classes! xoxo"

    The Tumblr post might have gone unnoticed, but it was picked up by Amandla Steinberg, a young actor who starred as Rue in the "Hunger Games" films. Before she knew it, Cross’s post had gone viral.

    Yahoo Canada talked

    Read More »from High school grad strikes back at dress code with amazing yearbook quote
  • NDP on ‘charm offensive’ with young MPs

    The NDP is looking to build momentum ahead of what promises to be a tough federal election fight by touting the positives of some of the party’s rising stars.

    And their blitz has been focused on four individuals in particular: MPs Charmaine Borg, Matthew Dubé, Mylène Freeman and Laurin Liu, who made appearances on national TV programs in Toronto.

    Known as the “McGill Four” — all four Quebec MPs who were elected in 2011 while attending McGill  — have what York University professor Dennis Pilon says is an inspiring story.

    When Borg, Dubé, Freeman and Liu were elected, along with other first time MPs from Quebec, there were plenty of concerns about their lack of experience. But so far, the MPs have proven many of those concerns were unwarranted.   

    “Obviously the party wants to capitalize whatever positive associations they can with these MPs,” Pilon told Yahoo Canada News.

    “The public responds very positively to stories that focus on youth doing politics,” he added. “That’s obviously a

    Read More »from NDP on ‘charm offensive’ with young MPs
  • Is #coffeeshaming a thing? Because if it wasn’t, it is now.

    This sign on an unknown sugar container in an unknown coffee shop (or perhaps restaurant, judging by the apparent menu with the customer in the background) is dripping with scorn, snootiness and a snobbish sense of superiority. Not bad for a three sentence pre-emptive scolding.



    We haven’t been able to source the provenance of this sign yet, but the post has been spreading like wildfire on Tumblr, with over 30,000 notes since it was posted earlier this week.

    If you’re thinking “wait - coffee has a natural sweetness?” You’re not alone. Tumblr users were equally taken aback by the airs put on by the sign.


     I am PAYING for caffeine and the right to enjoy it any way I want I will cut it with sugar and mainline it right here don’t try me.

    -if-you-see-gay-me

    Although ‘natural sweetness’ for coffee is cutting it mighty fine. Like. It’s not sweet. Least. No coffee I’ve ever tasted has been sweet black.

    - doctor-phantasmagoria

    I’m

    Read More »from Coffee shop scolds sugar users, demands they sample "natural sweetness of coffee" first
  • Comedian Jen GrantComedian Jen Grant
    Stand-up comedian Jen Grant has criss-crossed the country, performing her comedy for rowdy crowds in every corner of Canada.

    But it was at a corporate event at an Ontario country club where Grant was recently forced off stage near tears after a male audience member repeatedly sexually harassed her from the audience.

    “What I experienced wasn’t heckling,” Grant tells Yahoo Canada News. “It was harassment. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.”

    Like the City News reporter victimized by FHRITP, a mind-numbingly stupid prank that knuckle-draggers like to pull on female reporters while they’re live on air, Grant was at work.

    The job earlier this month was entertaining the crowd at an awards dinner at the St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto, organized by the Ontario Printing and Imaging Association. The audience was 80 per cent male.

    The man was an employee of TC Transcontinental Printing, the largest printer in Canada. He’s been suspended pending an investigation of his

    Read More »from “What I experienced wasn’t heckling. It was harassment," says comedian after disturbing audience encounter
  • Protesters march for animal rights at Central Park West. (Getty Images)Protesters march for animal rights at Central Park West. (Getty Images)

    It’s safe to say that cultural attitudes about animals have evolved substantially over the past century, and especially in the last few decades. Since then, we’ve learned a few things—like the fact that canine brain activity captured in an MRI scanner seems to indicate that dogs “have a level of sentience comparable to that of a human child.” The public has come to abhor inhumane treatment of circus, lab and farm animals, having become aware of the depth of animal intelligence. Despite this, the section of the Canadian Criminal Code that addresses cruelty to animals remains largely unchanged since 1892, the year the legislation was written.

    At that time, says Ewa Demianowicz, a campaign manager at Humane Society International’s office in Montreal, authorities didn’t even bother to define the term “animal” and only addressed those that were the lawful property of an individual. Strays and wildlife were not protected by the Criminal Code, and they still aren’t. According to Demianowicz

    Read More »from Canadian animal abuse laws lacking compared to new FBI rules
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during question period, May 12, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean KilpatrickPrime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during question period, May 12, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s attendance in question period — or lack thereof — is an example of his shrewdness as a politician, says one political science professor.

    Nelson Wiseman, director of the Canadian studies program at the University of Toronto, told Yahoo Canada News that the prime minister recognizes question period as, essentially, a forum for the opposition, and not for the government.

    “In question period you play defence.” As government, you get questioned within a frame you can’t control, he said.

    Better to be outside the House of Commons, on stages away from opposition parties and the parliamentary press gallery making policy announcements that don’t generally happen in the House these days, he added.

    This week the Ottawa Citizen reported that Harper has skipped question period more often in 2015 than at any other time under his leadership.

    According to the Citizen’s analysis, the prime minister has only attended 35 per cent of daily question period sessions this year.

    Read More »from Stephen Harper's low question period attendance part of his 'shrewd' politics: professor
  • I’ve been a boy/dude/guy/man for over half a century. Many times I’ve heard my gender dismissed as macho, chauvinistic, uncaring, insensitive and militaristic.

    But never before have I been told that all males – of all species – might be biologically redundant.

    “Obviously, to reproduce sexually, you need males,” Prof. Matthew Gage of the University of East Anglia in England told Yahoo Canada. “And of the eight million or so multi-cellular species on planet Earth, nearly all use sex to reproduce.”

    But there’s an efficiency problem, he said.

    “Half of the individuals in most species contribute almost nothing to offspring production – they don’t lay eggs or have babies or anything like that. In most of those species, males do nothing apart from supply sperm to the female for fertilization.”

    Gage and his colleagues set out to unravel the riddle: why do males actually exist?

    “As an evolutionary biologist, I wanted to understand why there is sexual reproduction, when there are all these

    Read More »from Why do males even exist?
  • The flag of Canada at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.The flag of Canada at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

    We’ve suspected it for some time, but according to these latest findings we are confident that studying Canada isn't exactly an area of emphasis in elementary schools south of the border.

    In the Nation’s Report Card, a study by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) aimed at assessing “what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas,” more than 29,000 Grade 8 students were asked a series of questions on subjects such as American history, civics and geography.

    One multiple-choice question in the study asked what the current governments of Canada, Australia and France had in common.

    Twenty-three percent of students chose the option, “They have leaders with absolute power.” Ten per cent believed the governments were controlled by the military, and 12 per cent believed “they discourage participation by citizens in public affairs.”

    (To be fair, the majority answered correctly. Fifty-four per cent answered that the governments have “constitutions that limit

    Read More »from Canadians live under a dictatorship, according to one-third of American eighth graders

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David vs. David