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    A suspected case of Lyme disease in Newfoundland and Labrador, if confirmed, would be the first one contracted in the province, and highlights how factors like increased travel and a warming climate are reducing the protection from common health concerns that comes with the province’s isolated location.

    Four-year-old Kimmy Boland in Brigus is being tested for Lyme disease after her grandmother noticed a telltale bull’s-eye rash on the girl’s arm last month. Previous cases of Lyme diagnosed in the province were contracted from tick bites received elsewhere, but Kimmy has never left the island of Newfoundland, CBC News reported.

    That means if she does have Lyme disease, she must have contracted it in the province, which has never before had a confirmed case of Lyme disease transmission, Dr. Hugh Whitney, the province’s chief veterinary officer, tells Yahoo Canada News.

    Unlike other Atlantic provinces, such as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador has the distinction

    Read More »from N.L.’s isolation not always a protection against disease
  • Don Iveson visits Edmonton AM for mayor's phone-inDon Iveson visits Edmonton AM for mayor's phone-in

    God may soon be gone for good from Edmonton city council.

    The city’s executive committee voted this week to recommend prayers be permanently abolished from council meetings, to be replaced with a moment of silent reflection.

    City council will vote next week on the committee recommendation.

    The Alberta capital had already suspended prayers following an April ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada involving the city of Saguenay, Que.

    Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson was not immediately available for comment. He told CBC News that the court’s decision clearly prohibits prayers in a government setting.

    “I don’t see us having much of a choice here,” Iveson says.

    The high court decision concerning Saguenay brought to an end a nine-year legal battle.

    Each city council meeting in Saguenay began with the mayor reciting a prayer with the sign of the cross, accompanied by the words, “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

    City resident Alain Simoneau, an atheist who regularly attended

    Read More »from Edmonton likely joining other cities purging prayers from council meetings
  • If parents in the Peel District School Board were planning on asking for “religious accommodation” to excuse their children from sex education lessons they find unpalatable, they’re in for a big surprise.

    Tony Pontes, director of education for Peel, the second-largest school board in Ontario, said Wednesday that when a lesson touches on issues of inclusiveness, parents won’t be able to ask for an accommodation to excuse their kids from class.

    “We cannot — we will not — by action or inaction endorse discrimination,” said Pontes, who cited Ontario’s Human Rights Code as applying to people of all sexual orientation and gender identity. “Supported by legal opinion, bolstered by our core values, I would no more say yes to someone wanting a child excluded because of a discussion about LGBTQ than I would a discussion about race or gender.”

    Peel will still allow accommodations in instances where the lesson itself may contrast with a family’s religious leanings. But when the lesson deals

    Read More »from Ontario school board says “religious accommodation” isn’t an excuse to discriminate
  •  Attempting the longest, toughest horse race on earth is not an effort to be taken lightly. The Mongol Derby is a 1,000-kilometre race starting east of Ulaanbaatar and ending near Lake Hovsgol in Siberia – at least that was the route this year - aboard semi-wild horses. Each year around 40 international riders gather in Mongolia to try their skills and luck at the event. Up to 40 per cent won’t finish due to injury and exhaustion. I was one of the lucky ones, crossing the finish line after riding 28 different horses for nine straight days.

    My journey began 12 months previous, when I came to the conclusion I needed an adventure to break the tedium in my life (working as a copy editor, I’m more desk jockey, then, well, real jockey). For the next year I dedicated my life to training for the race and raising the funds to pay the $17,000 entry fee. I grew up on a farm and have been riding since I was five years old, so I figured I had enough horse knowledge to see me through the

    Read More »from The Hunger Games on horseback: Five ways to survive the Mongol Derby
  • Ashley Burnham of Canada reacts as she wins the Mrs. Universe 2015 contest in Minsk, Belarus, August 29, 2015.  REUTERS/Vasily FedosenkoAshley Burnham of Canada reacts as she wins the Mrs. Universe 2015 contest in Minsk, Belarus, August 29, 2015. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
    Ashley Burnham is taking a lot of flak for speaking up against the Harper Government this week, but the newly-crowned Mrs. Universe says she won’t be quieting down any time soon.

    Burnham is from the Enoch Cree Nation, west of Edmonton. She is the first Canadian and aboriginal woman to win the coveted title, and she didn’t miss a beat urging First Nations people to vote against Harper.

    That stance earned some backlash in social media.

    But Burnham (who’s

    Read More »from Mrs. Universe won't back down on Harper criticism
  • Presidential candidate Scott Walker inadvertently generated Onionesque headlines on Sunday during an interview for the TV show Meet the Press. The Governor of Wisconsin, a Republican, was asked for his opinion about building a wall along the US-Canadian border to deter the illegal entry of terrorists, migrants, and international criminals. Walker called the idea “legitimate.” 

    Jokes about protecting the U.S. or Canada from Justin Bieber, moose, cheese smugglers, poutine, Trump voters, and Republican party presidential candidates soon followed. At nearly 9,000 kilometres (including the border with Alaska), the U.S.-Canadian border is the world’s longest international border without a military presence, and the idea of fortifying it with a physical wall is seen as absurd, not to mention financially infeasible.

    (Walker has since stated that his comment was misinterpreted by the press.)

    Andrew Finn, a scholar and program associate at the Woodrow Wilson International Center’s Canada

    Read More »from Canada-U.S. border isn't entirely a laughing matter
  • Ashley Burnham is having a big week. The 25-year-old from Enoch Cree Nation just west of Edmonton is the newly crowned Mrs. Universe, an international pageant for married women that focuses on community work, rather than looks.

    She’s the first Canadian to take the title of the competition, which took place last week in Belarus, and her focus throughout this journey has been laser clear: to bring attention to First Nations issues and culture to as many people as she can reach.  

    Mrs. Universe — not to be confused with Miss Universe — involves forums for the contestants to talk about a theme, this year’s being violence against women and children. During the weeklong competition, the women discuss ideas on how to combat issues and what they do within their communities. Participants in this year’s pageant came from around the world and included doctors, lawyers and even one politician. (South Africa was the runner-up.) There is no cash prize.

    The issue of violence against women is

    Read More »from Q&A with Canada’s Ashley Burnham a.k.a. Mrs. Universe
  • Addison Drake and her doll Little AddisonAddison Drake and her doll Little Addison

    By Terri Coles

    A Canadian child’s doll will soon be on her way back from a big adventure thanks to a viral social media campaign by staff at the Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry and Mackinac Island Tourism in Michigan.

    Their #HelpDollyHome social media campaign was a success, leading ferry marketing manager Heather Tamlyn to Addison Drake, a three-year-old girl from Windsor, Ont., who had lost her doll while on a family vacation to Mackinac Island in northern Michigan in mid-July.

    Addison's doll, named Little Addison, was purchased specifically to keep her company on trips and had already been to Chicago before her Michigan adventure. Shuttle driver Dan Reynolds noticed the doll left behind on the Mackinac Island ferry after a docking, and it rode around on Reynolds’ dashboard for a day or so after he was unable to find Little Addison's owner in the parking lot, Tamlyn said. After a few days in the ticket office the doll, renamed Dolly by ferry employees found her way to the lost and

    Read More »from Social media campaign cracks missing Windsor doll case
  • Digitally altered photo of Ruby RoxxDigitally altered photo of Ruby Roxx

    It’s called Project Harpoon and it’s a social media campaign to fat-shame plus-sized women by digitally altering their images into thinner versions of themselves.

    But a Vancouver model targeted by the website is fighting back and has successfully had the group’s original Facebook page taken down.

    Ruby Roxx was alerted by a follower of her blog that a photo of her had been Photoshopped and posted by the group.

    And it wasn’t just the poorly done digital slimming that was upsetting. Roxx, whose real name is Jenn Palsenbarg, says the images are accompanied by comments.

    “The comments about myself and other women were atrocious,” she tells Yahoo Canada News. “I’m a confident person and I can handle it, but it made me angry for the women reading these comments, who might be triggered emotionally by them.”

    Roxx, a model and founder of Beauty Mark magazine, wrote an open letter to the group on her blog.

    “Thank you for showing me that I have the drive and determination to fight bullies like

    Read More »from Vancouver model takes on fat-shaming social media trolls
  • 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

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