• A customer tries different e-cigarette flavors at the Henley Vaporium in New York, June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonA customer tries different e-cigarette flavors at the Henley Vaporium in New York, June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

    Saskatoon city council will vote later this month on whether to become the latest jurisdiction to ban electronic cigarettes.

    The municipal planning committee made a unanimous recommendation to council to bring the popular “vaping” devices under its tobacco control bylaws, barring their use in all city buildings as well as bars and restaurants.

    “We’ve even had complaints about people lighting up e-cigarettes on buses,” says Coun. Pat Lorje, who voted for the bylaw on the planning committee and hopes for unanimous support when council votes Aug. 20.

    “I don’t care what it is you’re smoking in the e-cigarette — I don’t care if it’s a fruit-flavoured concoction or if it’s tobacco or marijuana or what — smoking is behaviour that should not be occurring in public and certainly not around children.”

    E-cigarettes have rapidly grown in popularity in recent years.

    The tube contains batteries that heat a chamber holding liquid, turning it into a vapour to be inhaled. While nicotine products for

    Read More »from Saskatoon city council latest to consider butting out e-cigarettes
  • Montreal taxi driver charged after hitting passengers with cabMontreal taxi driver charged after hitting passengers with cab

    A Montreal cab driver is facing several offences including a charge of assault with a weapon after allegedly trying to run down two passengers who refused to pay a fare. An 18-year-old man endured head wounds and a 20-year-old man was treated in hospital for less serious injuries on Monday.

    It’s latest in a slew of road rage incidents over the years that involve cab drivers across the country.

    June 2015: A cab driver goes on a racist, profanity-riddled tirade after refusing to move from a parking spot outside a building that was expecting an ambulance. In a video that was posted to YouTube, a security officer and several others are subjected to an onslaught of expletives after telling the driver he needs to move his car. The driver’s taxi licence was suspended.

    October 2012: A former Toronto cabbie is sentenced to two years less a day for mangling the leg of a cyclist during a heated dispute. Sultan Ahmed reversed his taxi into Krzysztof Kastelewicz’s bike after they squared off on a

    Read More »from Cabbie road rage in Montreal not only incident in recent years
  • The City of St. John's Scouts Canada office. (CBC)The City of St. John's Scouts Canada office. (CBC)

    In a policy change that was years in the making, the Boy Scouts of America  (BSA) last week announced it would no longer bar openly gay adults from becoming scout leaders.

    Momentous as that is for scouting in the United States, it might surprise you that Scouts Canada has accepted gays and lesbians as troop leaders for almost two decades. The policy was embraced with no fanfare and apparently little controversy, perhaps a reflection of how Canada copes with social change compared with its American neighbour.

    “It was the next step that they had to logically take after their decision last year to enable gay youth members to join the organization as well,” John Petitti, Scouts Canada executive director of marketing and communications, said of the BSA’s decision.

    BSA president Robert Gates, the former U.S. defence secretary, took a bold approach in shepherding through the change, “in order to continue to sustain the organization’s relevance and growth within today’s society,” Petitti told

    Read More »from Gays scout leaders OK’d in U.S., but old news in Canada
  • Leslee White-Eye became chief of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation earlier this week.Leslee White-Eye became chief of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation earlier this week.

    Earlier this week Leslee White-Eye became chief of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, the first female chief of the band in more than 60 years.

    “Her success is our success,” says Isadore Day, Ontario regional chief. He cites the Indian Act laws, which prohibited women from voting or running in elections until 1951, as a digression for the First Nations community.

    It wasn’t until Bill C-31, which amended the Indian Act in 1985, that things started to noticeably change.

    “It’s taken us a few years to get us here,” he says. “We’re now seeing not just more women in leadership roles, but the quality women bring to the First Nations is quite evident across the country.”

    White-Eye agrees. She says she wonders about “what’s in the water” when it comes to women in political leadership roles in the First Nations community. There are about 130 female chiefs across the country, compared to 10 in 1960.

    “Our women have always been leaders,” she says.

    When it comes to addressing her platform,

    Read More »from Leslee White-Eye joins growing roster of female First Nations chiefs
  • A supercut shows 13 Tory MPs sticking to an eerily similar message ahead of the federal election.A supercut shows 13 Tory MPs sticking to an eerily similar message ahead of the federal election.

    Political observers aren’t surprised by a supercut featuring YouTube videos of 13 Conservative MPs reading line for line the same script that emphasizes the party’s accomplishments.  

    Press Progress, a Broadbent Institute media project, edited together the video after watching a series of the MPs clips, which were posted to each of the politicians’ personal YouTube accounts.

    It intersperses the identical clips with footage of robots like Johnny Five and R2-D2, implying that the MPs are actually robots. The end of the video features the MPs reciting a line about balancing the budget, which is then edited alongside a recent news story about the Parliamentary Budget Officer stating that the country is headed for a fiscal 2015 budget deficit.

    “These ‘personalized’ videos by Conservative MPs seem like a bad attempt by the Prime Minister’s Office to communicate a central message to local constituents,” Luke LeBrun, the website’s editor, tells Yahoo Canada News. “Instead it comes across like

    Read More »from Supercut shows 13 Tory MPs sticking to an eerily similar script
  • Donald Trump's  unapologetic zaniness – much like his hair – has been a staple since the billionaire first edged his way into the public eye. But while that ostentatiousness earned him attention as a T.V. personality and real estate developer, it’s proving a bit too much to handle for some of his Republican peers as he makes his bid for presidency.

    They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
    Donald Trump, 2015

    It started in mid-June with anti-immigration comments that “when Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.”

    “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,”  Trump said.

    The comments prompted other GOP candidates and members, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney to distance themselves

    Read More »from Canadian politicians have also played the Trump card
  •  

    If you’re seeking a mate, you may want to dig out your skis, dust off that passport, or join a gym. A new survey of 47,000 Canadian singles reveals that both men and women find winter sports, travel, and health and fitness as some of the hottest hobbies out there.

    EliteSingles, a Berlin-based company with operations in more than 20 countries, found that Canadian men and women valued travel the most. On the list of top 10 preferred pastimes of their ideal partner, the women surveyed favoured fine dining over movies and music, while men ranked movies and music over fancy restaurants. Both also had health and fitness as the fifth sexiest hobby.

    From there, men said gardening—yes, gardening—was the next most appealing pursuit, followed by adventure sports, hiking/climbing, photography, and winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.

    Women, meanwhile, are apparently attracted to men who take up reading, theatre or opera, photography, gardening, and art.

    Team sports like hockey didn’t

    Read More »from The top hobbies to get you hitched
  • 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.

    The

    Read More »from Cecil the lion’s death puts exotic big-game hunts under scrutiny - including Canada’s
  •  

    Robert Poëti to decide on mandatory bike helmet law in QuebecRobert Poëti to decide on mandatory bike helmet law in Quebec

    Robert Poëti, Quebec's Minister of Transportation has pledged to make the province's roads safer for cyclists when he makes changes to the province's Highway Safety Code this fall. Some hope one of those changes is a law making bike helmets mandatory.

    One of them is Louis Garneau – a professional road racing and track cyclist who owns a Quebec-based biking apparel manufacturer that bears his name. As part of his safety code revamp, Poëti sought Garneau's council and those discussions had Garneau speculating on the eventual passage of mandatory helmet laws across the province.

    “Me, I think it's coming. Maybe the minister wants to go in stages ... It could be that one way to change the law in one year, two years, three years. Will we start with children? I do not know ... I'm suggesting he decides,” he told the Journal de Montréal.

    Currently, Quebec is one of five provinces or territories with no legislation whatsoever around wearing bike helmets. The others include Saskatchewan,

    Read More »from Why bike helmets may not be a good idea
  • 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?

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