• Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne increased minimum wage to $11 an hour earlier this year. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne increased minimum wage to $11 an hour earlier this year.
    The common refrain from Conservatives is that raising a minimum wage is a job killer. 

    Well, a new study pokes some pretty big holes into that theory. 

    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives  an Ottawa-based left-leaning think tank  reviewed minimum wage increases in all provinces from 1983 to 2012 and studied its affect on employment levels. 

    What they found was that, in 90 per cent of the cases, there was “no statistically significant relationship whatsoever between a higher minimum wage and labour market outcomes in Canada.”

    "In the overwhelming majority of cases, gradual increases in the minimum wage were not generative of negative labour market outcomes in Canadian provinces," notes the report. 

    "Most fundamentally, employers never purchase labour as an end to its own right. Employers hire workers in order to produce a good or service that is then sold into a product market.

    "The demand for labour is thus a derived demand, which depends entirely on the final demand for the

    Read More »from Increasing minimum wages may not lead to job losses after all, report suggests
  • A car is overturned in the ditch in a cordoned off area in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. on Oct. 20, 2014. A car is overturned in the ditch in a cordoned off area in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. on Oct. 20, 2014.

    A fatal vehicle collision and the death of a member of the Canadian Forces which were quickly linked to terrorism could spark some significant changes to the way in which Canadians consider domestic terrorism, and the way officials handle potential threats inside the country.

    One day after the death of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., was identified by the federal government as a “possible terror attack,” details continued to emerge about what led to Vincent and another member of the military being struck by a suspect who has been identified as a “radicalized” supporter of a terrorist ideology.

    Several media reports identified the man driving the car that struck two members of the military in a parking garage on Monday as Martin Rouleau, one of about 90 potential terrorist sympathizers placed under security surveillance after travelling to terrorist hotspots.

    The Canadian Press cites RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, who confirmed the suspect’s passport had

    Read More »from Terror-linked attack in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu gives security experts new tactics to consider
  • Yesterday, ten curlers at the Coldwater Curling Club finished a very, very long game — and walked away as new world-record holders

    The game began on Friday at 10:05 a.m. It ended 80 hours, 21 minutes and 31 seconds later. 

    “It was an amazing experience and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Corrine Bertolo, one of the curlers, told Yahoo Canada News

    The previous world record for longest curling game was 73 hours, 6 minutes and 52 seconds

    The exhausting game, dubbed “Rocks Around the Clock,” also served as a fundraiser for Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s Radio for Radiation campaignGilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, and for the Coldwater Curling Club. It will be a couple of weeks before the curlers know how much money they raised. 

    Bertolo explained how the long shifts on the ice were organized:

    “We had two five-man teams, and you play with four players at a time. And every eight hours, you got a two-hour break and the next person would come on,” she said. “We would change

    Read More »from Coldwater, Ont. curlers play 80-hour game, await confirmation of world record
  • Forces et Démocratie logo, via FacebookForces et Démocratie logo, via Facebook

    With so many other big stories in the news right now, one fairly important event seems to be getting brushed aside.

    While it may not seem significant today, it could have some serious ramifications for the 2015 federal election.

    On Tuesday, Quebec MPs Jean-François Fortin and Jean-François Larose have started a new political party called Forces et Démocratie.

    Fortin is a former Bloc Quebecois MP that has been sitting as an independent since last summer while Larose just defected from the NDP on Tuesday morning. 

    The FD intends to run candidates in all Quebec ridings in the next election, will push aside the sovereignty issue, will focus on grassroots politics and give party MPs much more power than the traditional parties. 

    Jean-Francois Fortin waits for the the announcement of the new Bloc Quebecois leader, on Dec. 11, 2011. (CP)Jean-Francois Fortin waits for the the announcement of the new Bloc Quebecois leader, on Dec. 11, 2011. (CP)

    For different reasons, the day’s events have to be of concern to both the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP.

    The Bloc has been is disarray since Mario Beaulieu became the party’s leader last spring. Beulieu has become unpopuluar, both inside and outside his party

    Read More »from New political party Forces et Démocratie is bad news for the Bloc and NDP
  • LONDON (Kate Kelland - Reuters) - A Bulgarian man who was paralyzed from the chest down in a knife attack can now walk with the aid of a frame after receiving pioneering transplant treatment using cells from his nose.

    The technique, described as a breakthrough by a study in the journal Cell Transplantation, involved transplanting what are known as olfactory ensheathing cells into the patient's spinal cord and constructing a "nerve bridge" between two stumps of the damaged spinal column.

    "We believe... this procedure is the breakthrough which, as it is further developed, will result in a historic change in the currently hopeless outlook for people disabled by spinal cord injury," said Geoffrey Raisman, a professor at University College London's (UCL) institute of neurology, who led the research.

    The 38-year-old patient, Darek Fidyka, was paralyzed after suffering stab wounds to his back in 2010. Following 19 months of treatment, he has recovered some voluntary movement and some

    Read More »from Cell transplant helps paralyzed man walk with frame
  • Steve Morgan poses with his barramundi catch from the Brisbane River (Courtesy)Steve Morgan poses with his barramundi catch from the Brisbane River (Courtesy)

    In the very early hours of last Wednesday morning, Brisbane fisherman Steve Morgan set out to fish the Brisbane River. 

    It wasn’t long before he was battling the biggest barramundi he had ever heard of coming from the river: it was 110cm long.

    “A mate of mine caught a 92cm barra earlier this year and as far as I know, the one I caught is the biggest one to have been caught in the river,” Morgan said.

    It took Morgan about five minutes to reel in the huge fish. 

    “It was pretty exciting,” he told the Courier Mail. “It put up a really good fight, we were really pumped when we landed it.”

    “There aren’t many barra in there, so to catch one that size is pretty great, I don’t expect to catch another one like that in the Brisbane River in my lifetime.”

    On Facebook, Morgan insisted he did nothing special to reel in such a remarkable fish. 

    “Not much talent involved catching it. Ate the lure (I assume) just under the surface. I was wondering why the lure wasn’t sinking and when I reeled in the

    Read More »from Australian fisherman reels in huge ‘once in a lifetime’ barramundi, lets it go
  • Eve Grayson, a Reindeer herder of the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd, feeds the deer. (Getty Images)Eve Grayson, a Reindeer herder of the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd, feeds the deer. (Getty Images)

    It’s a dream job for animal lovers and wannabe Santa’s helpers. 

    A garden centre in Titchfield, a small village in southern Hampshire, England, is hiring a full-time temporary reindeer carer for the Christmas season. 

    The centre, Garsons, is looking for individuals who love working with animals and are customer-minded. No reindeer experience? Don’t worry. Once hired, the reindeer carer will receive specific animal-care training at the farm where the centre’s two reindeer live year-round. 

    According to the job application: “The successful candidate will be confident with animals. Previous animal handling is not essential but would be advantageous. Candidates will also demonstrate outstanding communication and customer service skills, and possess the ability to build rapport and naturally engage and interact with public and staff members.”

    The successful applicant will walk the reindeer in a paddock, feed them and introduce customers to them from November 17 to Christmas Eve, the Mirror

    Read More »from Must love Rudolph: Garden centre looking to hire a reindeer minder
  • Canada Post community mailboxes. (CBC)Canada Post community mailboxes. (CBC)

    The phasing out of Canada Post’s door-to-door delivery service began yesterday, despite ongoing community petitions and union legal challenges. That isn't stopping yet another controversy from cropping up, though. This time, it's over how the Crown Corporation is introducing its new delivery strategy.

    The question that's top of mind today is, why is Canada Post using community mailboxes designed in, and purchased from, the United States instead of offering Canadian companies a chance to profit from the unpopular transition?

    That query was posed to the Conservative government on Monday, as Canada Post began installing community mailboxes and phasing out postal routes in large cities, including Calgary and Winnipeg.

    In the House of Commons on Monday, Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureaux posed this question to the Conservatives:

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that it is this Prime Minister and this Conservative government who led the charge to get rid of door-to-door delivery. To make matters
    Read More »from Canada Post's 'made in U.S.A.' community mailboxes not government's responsibility: Tory MP
  • A Victoria mom who went looking for a firefighter costume for her young daughter says she is outraged by what she found.A Victoria mom who went looking for a firefighter costume for her young daughter says she is outraged by what she found.

    You’d think after decade of consciousness-raising about women’s roles in modern society and the sexualization of children, we wouldn’t see stuff like this.

    Value Village, popular purveyor of second-hand duds, has been blasted by a Victoria, B.C. mother upset over some pre-packaged kids’ Halloween costumes that not only reinforce gender stereotypes but make little girls look sexy.

    Raina Delisle was shopping at her local Value Village for a costume for her four-year-old daughter, whose possible choices included dressing as a firefighter.

    Value Village, which has an advertising blitz every Halloween to pitch its stores as a costume mecca, offered both girls’ and boys’ police and firefighter costumes. But the take is vastly different.

    The boys get tiny replica of a cop’s uniform, while packaging shows the girls in a form-fitting blue mini-dress and cap.

    The differences between girl and boy firefighter costumes is even more striking; the boy is shown wearing an orange turnout coat and helmet

    Read More »from Value Village pulls 'sexy, sexist' Halloween costumes for kids, but they're part of persistent trend
  • Are you a half glass full or a half empty person by nature? It seems that our temperaments may be tied to the time of year we exit the womb. 

    We have all heard that seasons can affect our frame of mind, but new research is suggesting that the season of your birth can really determine your mood later in life, even indicating a risk for associated behavioural disorders.

    New findings presented this week by a Hungarian research team at a medical conference in Germany claim that those born in springtime were excessively positive, while summer babies were more likely to have mood swings. The study goes on to say that those born in winter tend to suffer from less irritability later on as adults and autumn babies generally were less likely to grow up to be depressive. 

    The work involved 400 volunteers, matching their birth season to personality types and temperaments later in life.  It turns out that certain mood controlling chemicals in the embryonic brain, like neurotransmitters serotonin

    Read More »from How your birth season shapes your adult temperament

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