• Polar Bears have an undeserved reputation as loners. Not only do they form friendships and spend time together, they even meet up year after year!  From: POLAR BEAR SUMMER http://bit.ly/1IiEYFUPolar Bears have an undeserved reputation as loners. Not only do they form friendships and spend time together, they even meet up year after year! From: POLAR BEAR SUMMER http://bit.ly/1IiEYFU

    The American hunter who killed Cecil the lion has become the hunted and the death of the iconic animal has renewed calls to ban trophy hunting in Africa.

    But what about Canada’s own sport hunting for exotic animals?

    Canada is the only Arctic country that allows trophy hunting of polar bears.

    More than 76,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org pressing the federal government to put an end the sport hunt.

    “Polar bears are some of the most majestic and beautiful animals in the world,” it says.

    Pollution and global warming both threaten the future of these animals, it says, “but the most immediate threat is hunting.”

    The petition claims more than 1,000 polar bears are killed annually. Federal statistics, however, paint a different picture. They estimate that about 300 bears are killed annually.

    Nunavut government statistics show that 33 of 319 bears harvested in 2012-2013 (the most recent year available) were killed by sport hunters. The rest were subsistence hunts by Inuit.

    Read More »from Cecil the lion’s death puts exotic big-game hunts under scrutiny - including Canada’s
  • Taxi drivers protest against Uber in Sacramento, California, June 25, 2014. REUTERS/Max WhittakerTaxi drivers protest against Uber in Sacramento, California, June 25, 2014. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

    There’s been an inevitability about the spread of Uber, the app-based ride-sharing service, as it’s implanted itself into more cities around the world, including major Canadian ones such as Toronto and Montreal.

    Despite its popularity with riders, Uber has met opposition almost everywhere. Taxi operators see it as unfair competition and municipal governments resent Uber thumbing its nose at attempts to regulate the service.

    But it keeps expanding. Like the Borg in TV’s ‘Star Trek,’ it seems resistance is futile.

    Which raises this question: what chance does a lawsuit filed on behalf of Ontario cabbies have of succeeding where regulators and protesting cabbies almost everywhere have failed?

    A law firm has filed a class action worth more than $400 million, alleging the tech company conspired with its UberX drivers to pick up passengers for compensation, breaching Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act.

    Section 39.1 of the provincial law bans the practice of giving rides for money without proper

    Read More »from Will a class-action suit put the brakes on Uber?
  • Adult colouring books and parties are all the rage right now.Adult colouring books and parties are all the rage right now.

    When author and poet Wendy McGrath pitched the idea of a free, all ages colouring party to Audreys Books in Edmonton, neither she nor the manager had any idea it’d be so popular.

    “We thought maybe 30 or 40 people would come,” manager Kelly Dyer told the Edmonton Journal.

    The bookstore is hosting a second “colouring party” on Wednesday evening after too many people responded to the first invitation. Currently more than 100 people have RSVP’ed yes to Wednesday’s party.

    All the rage right now, adult colouring books occupy four of the top 20 spots on Amazon.ca’s best-selling books list for this week. Unlike children’s colouring books, the ones created for adults feature intricate designs of varying complexity and subject matter.

    They’ve been compared to therapy and meditation because they force the user to sit down, unplug and focus intently and narrowly on a creative act.

    “I think it’s a response to the need for tactile experiences in a world where so much of what we do is online, in

    Read More »from Adult colouring books all the rage
  • Sexual assault charges against a decorated Canadian Forces officer have thrust the military’s scandalous record on sexual assault and sexual misconduct back into the spotlight.

    Lt.-Col. Mason Stalker, the commanding officer of the Edmonton-based 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual exploitation, one count of sexual interference, one count of invitation to sexual touching and one count of breach of trust by a public officer.

    All of the charges are related to a male teen who was involved in the army cadets when Stalker was a volunteer mentor.

    “It’s in the news again,” says Dr. Stefanie von Hlatky, an expert in gender in the military and director of the Queen’s University Centre for International and Defence Policy.

    “Obviously these incidents are tragedies but the fact that they’re coming out in the news more and more and keeping this issue on the radar of the public but also the people in

    Read More »from Soldier’s charges put spotlight on military sexual misconduct — again
  • Alysha Mohamed, who goes by the stage name Alysha Brilla, and her two sisters were stopped by police for riding their bikes topless last Friday in Kitchener, Ont.Alysha Mohamed, who goes by the stage name Alysha Brilla, and her two sisters were stopped by police for riding their bikes topless last Friday in Kitchener, Ont.

    One of three Ontario sisters stopped by Kitchener police last week for riding their bikes topless says that she, her siblings and their mother exercise their right to go topless whenever they can.

    That’s what got Tameera Mohamed and her sisters, Nadia and Alysha, a Juno-nominated musician, pulled over by police during their bike ride from Waterloo to Kitchener on a hot Friday evening. That’s also why they’re organizing a protest to raise awareness about women’s rights in Ontario.

    It’s the latest incident of bare-chested females. In June, an eight-year-old girl who was playing at a Guelph wading pool without a bikini top was told by a lifeguard to cover up, citing city policy that prohibits girls over the age of four from going topless at public water parks. A change.org petition was soon launched in an effort to change the policy.

    In the Kitchener incident, Mohamed tells Yahoo Canada News, “He told us to put our shirts back on and that it was illegal to have shirts off.” 

    The sister

    Read More »from Topless sisters stopped by Kitchener officer go bare-chested whenever they can
  • Beers may soon be poured again for those with celiac disease as a new pill is under development. (Reuters)Beers may soon be poured again for those with celiac disease as a new pill is under development. (Reuters)

    Some people will go out of their way to get their buddy a beer.

    More than a decade ago, Edmonton researcher Hoon Sunwoo learned that one of his colleagues couldn’t drink ale because it contains gluten, which exacerbates symptoms of celiac disease. So the researcher dedicated the next 10 years of his career to find a way for his gluten-intolerant pal to enjoy the occasional brew.

    The result is a pill that acts as an antibody against gluten. The natural supplement could drastically change the lives of people living with celiac disease and those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity by diminishing symptoms like bloating, cramps, and chronic diarrhea.

    “I didn’t know much about celiac disease, but I remember one of my friends I was working with at the university couldn’t join us for beer after work because he couldn’t tolerate the gluten,” Sunwoo, a University of Alberta associate professor in the faculty of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, tells Yahoo Canada. “Gluten is everywhere;

    Read More »from Pill to let celiac sufferers eat gluten currently in development at University of Alberta
  • Canada’s top court welcomes Alberta judge

    A pedestrian walks past the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, July 23, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean KilpatrickA pedestrian walks past the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, July 23, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

    The appointment of Alberta Judge Russell Brown to the Supreme Court of Canada this week makes seven of the nine judges on the country’s highest court appointees of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    But if the perception is that the Conservative government is stacking Canada’s top court in its favour, its record before the court would beg to differ.

    Though only two of the high court judges predate the current government — Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin was appointed by Jean Chrétien and Rosalie Silberman Abella by Paul Martin — the court has struck down Conservative government policies time and again in recent years.

    Most recently, the court ruled in June that the government’s ban on medical marijuana products was unconstitutional.

    From Senate reform to native claims, mandatory minimum sentencing to immigration, the high court has culled Conservative policy that strayed away from Charter rights and the Canadian Constitution.

    The Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy named the

    Read More »from Canada’s top court welcomes Alberta judge
  • A recent surge in shares of this picture on Facebook has got people talking about dying elephant tusks.A recent surge in shares of this picture on Facebook has got people talking about dying elephant tusks.

    This pink elephant can’t be blamed on a drunken hallucination, though wildlife conservationists might suggest a certain level of intoxication to those who think their pink tusks could be real.

    Reports abound online regarding elephant tusks being painted pink in an effort to devalue the ivory for poachers. A Facebook post, Stain Tusks to Stop Elephant Poaching, includes a photo of an elephant with pink tusks, but goes on to explain that the photo has been altered. The author then suggests that even though the photo is a fake, the notion of staining tusks should be explored in an effort to stop the killing of innocent elephants in Africa.

    But wildlife conservationists say painting elephant tusks is hardly feasible for animals in the wild.

    “The idea is impractical to impossible on a field-level scale because of the sheer logistics and cost to implement,” says Anne Lambert of the International Conservation Fund of Canada, a charity that focuses on global conservation work. “Darting and

    Read More »from Pink tusks aren't real, but still help combat hunting of elephants for ivory
  • A man from Glen Ellen, Illinois, was detained recently after taking to Facebook and allegedly threatening to point a gun at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, among other people, in a series of hate-filled rants. In one of them, 29-year-old Mohammad Waqas Khan wrote “I want a high net worth individual to shoot. I want this to be a real human tragedy,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

    Earlier this summer, a case involving threatening messages on the social-media site made it to the United States Supreme Court, where Anthony Elonis was acquitted of threatening his estranged wife via numerous graphic and vile posts. In one of his more timid ones, he asked if his restraining order was “thick enough to stop a bullet”. (Elonis spent more nearly four years in jail before his conviction was overturned in June.)

    These two cases may be extreme, but they’re examples of how social media can be used to harass, bully, and threaten others. For those on the receiving end of noxious posts, messages, and tweets,

    Read More »from Where does Facebook and Twitter draw the line on harassment?
  • There was the $30,000 towards the “poodle on a pole” public art installation. There was the $4.5-million park-and-ride where almost nobody parks and rides.

    And then there was the $170-million fare card system that is $24 million over budget, two years behind schedule and still not up and running.

    Now the agency that runs Metro Vancouver’s public transit system has spurred a whole new round of TransLink trashing with an online ad for a new CEO.

    The ad posted last week outlines a base salary of $319,244, plus an annual bonus that could bring the total to just over $415,000. The position includes a $2,500 wellness allowance, a $14,400 transportation allowance and $1,200 for parking.

    “I think it shows the complete disregard the TransLink board has for the taxpayer,” says Jordan Bateman, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the agency’s most ardent critic.

    “We’ve been searching for a transit system boss somewhere in North America who makes more [in total compensation]… .

    Read More »from Metro Vancouver transit CEO’s compensation drives critics to distraction

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