• Divers from the Sea Life London Aquarium eat an underwater fish supper as part of Sustainable Fish Week in England. (Getty Images)

    A lot can change over the course of a decade. Just look at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program. What started as a local grassroots movement has now become Canada’s most recognized sustainable seafood program.

    The program was launched in 2005, in response to requests from concerned citizens who wanted the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance that the seafood they were consuming was sustainable.

    Initially, Ocean Wise followed the Seafood Watch Program, which was being run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. The American aquarium had created consumer wallet guides that listed fish in three categories: green (the best choice), yellow (a good alternative) and red (avoid).

    A chart illustrating the Ocean Wise program's 10 most sustainable fish to eat.A chart illustrating the Ocean Wise program's 10 most sustainable fish to eat.Ocean Wise spokesperson Teddie Geach says that in the early days, they thought the Seafood Watch was an ideal initiative.

    “It was something easy that consumers could use when they

    Read More »from Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program still protecting aquatic life 10 years on
  • Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Justice Murray Sinclair, and Governor General David Johnston attend the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's closing ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa June 3, 2015.     REUTERS/Blair GableCanada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Justice Murray Sinclair, and Governor General David Johnston attend the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's closing ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa June 3, 2015. REUTERS/Blair Gable

    Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau promises a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says he would repeal the anti-terror legislation that is a concern to many First Nations activists. Elizabeth May says Greens will press for all the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report.

    But Prime Minister Stephen Harper promises nothing to Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples. The Conservative leader declined the invitation to speak to a summer gathering of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) last week, as did his Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt.

    And that speaks volumes to some.

    “I wish he was here,” AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde tells Yahoo Canada News.

    “I think it’s only appropriate that the prime minister of Canada take the time to come and address the chiefs in assembly directly. We’ve got to work collectively together. We’ve got to communicate. We know we’re not going to agree on every issue but let’s at least

    Read More »from Conservatives' snub of First Nations gathering a sign of campaigning to come?
  • John O’Kane, a bar owner in Windsor, Ont., left $20 vouchers, two free hours of volleyball court rentals and a thank you note on cars left overnight in his lot.John O’Kane, a bar owner in Windsor, Ont., left $20 vouchers, two free hours of volleyball court rentals and a thank you note on cars left overnight in his lot.

    Several patrons who left their vehicles overnight in the parking lot of a Windsor, Ont., bar were likely pleased by what was left for them under the windshield.

    Last Friday morning, John O’Kane, one of the owners of John Max Sports & Wings, left $20 vouchers, two free hours of volleyball court rentals and a thank you note on four cars left overnight in the lot.

    “I didn’t know if they’d drank alcohol so I said ‘Thanks for not drinking and driving, if you did consume alcohol, we really appreciate your business,’” he tells Yahoo Canada News. “I didn’t do it for any PR. I just did it to give thanks.”

    A similar notice that his wife had shown him on her Pinterest inspired his gesture.

    “Please accept this as a thank you for being responsible,” O’Kane’s note reads. “Life is valuable, have a wonderful weekend.”

    While no one has directly come forward to thank O’Kane for his kind act, Scott Defoe shared a photo of the note and posted it on Facebook. Soon enough, it started trending in the

    Read More »from Windsor bar patrons thanked for 'not boozing and getting behind the wheel'
  • Pope Francis waves as he leaves the Bolivian prison of Palmasola in Santa Cruz, Bolivia July 10, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro BianchiPope Francis waves as he leaves the Bolivian prison of Palmasola in Santa Cruz, Bolivia July 10, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

    An historic apology from the Pope for the “grave sins” of the church during the colonization of the Americas is a sign the pontiff recognizes the sad history of his church when it comes to Indigenous peoples, says the head of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

    Justice Murray Sinclair says the apology delivered Thursday by Pope Francis in Bolivia gives hope that the Catholic leader may comply with his recommendation that the church apologize for its role in residential schools here in Canada.

    “This can be taken perhaps as an indication that maybe he will be open to complying with, accepting our recommendation, that he come to Canada and apologize specifically to survivors of residential schools and their families…,” Sinclair tells Yahoo Canada News.

    “Overall, I see it as a good sign.”

    Pope Francis made the plea for forgiveness during a speech on social justice.

    “I say this to you with regret: Many grave sins were committed against the native people of America in the name of

    Read More »from Pope’s apology in Bolivia a ‘good sign’ for residential school survivors: TRC commissioner
  • Smoke comes off the CN Tower in Toronto on Thursday July 9, 2015. Social media exploded Thursday night with reports that the CN Tower in Toronto was ablaze. Toronto fire officials say they responded to the reports and determined the smoke was from a fireworks display connected with the Pan Am Games, which officially open on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ashton LawrenceSmoke comes off the CN Tower in Toronto on Thursday July 9, 2015. Social media exploded Thursday night with reports that the CN Tower in Toronto was ablaze. Toronto fire officials say they responded to the reports and determined the smoke was from a fireworks display connected with the Pan Am Games, which officially open on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ashton Lawrence

    Torontonians are used to being called all kinds of things — self-centred, arrogant, self-important. Living in the most populated and multicultural city in Canada can often give outsiders the impression that they’re a force to be reckoned with.

    But indifferent? Meh.

    And yet, that’s exactly how Torontonians are portrayed in a New York Times piece titled In an Indifferent Toronto, the Pan-Am Games Land With a Thud. It details a city that’s not exactly emotionally invested in the country’s biggest sporting event for most of July.

    Ian Austen writes: “After six years of preparation, construction, marketing campaigns, controversies and snags, the Pan-American Games officially open here on Friday, and some preliminary competition rounds are already in progress.”

    “But most Torontonians seem to be greeting the event with a shrug, and Mayor John Tory is so exasperated that he has taken to lecturing them about their attitude.”

    It goes on to highlight Torontonians annoyance with how much has been

    Read More »from Torontonians portrayed as indifferent to Pan Am Games
  • The federal government should outlaw membership in a terrorist group, bar radicals from Canada and look at forbidding the glorification of extremists to protect the Canadian way of life, says a Senate committee. The Senate chamber sits empty on September 12, 2014 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldThe federal government should outlaw membership in a terrorist group, bar radicals from Canada and look at forbidding the glorification of extremists to protect the Canadian way of life, says a Senate committee. The Senate chamber sits empty on September 12, 2014 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

    A Senate committee recommendation that the government train and certify imams in order to curb Islamic extremism has Canadian Muslim organizations crying foul.

    The Senate security and defence committee on Wednesday released a report with 25 recommendations aimed at combatting violent extremism. They reflect the views of the committee's Conservative majority, but do not have the support of its Liberal members.

    Among them is a call on the federal government to “investigate the options that are available for the training and certification of imams in Canada.”

    The recommendation stems from concerns that foreign-trained Muslim religious leaders are preaching radical ideologies.

    “The committee heard testimony from members of the Muslim community and others that some foreign-trained imams have been spreading extremist religious ideology and messages that are not in keeping with Canadian values,” reads the committee’s interim report.

    “These extreme ideas are said to be contributing to

    Read More »from Muslim groups call push to certify imams 'racial and religious discrimination'
  • One of the most notorious criminals in Canada, Paul Bernardo is now serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. He has been designated a dangerous offender, the most extreme classification in Canada’s justice system.

    First known as the Scarborough Rapist, in 1995 he was convicted of the brutal kidnapping, rape and murder of two Ontario teens, Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy. He and his then-wife Karla Homolka also raped and killed her younger sister. Homolka served a 12 years for manslaughter after striking a plea bargain dubbed a “deal with the devil” for her testimony against Bernardo.

    After 22 years behind bars, Bernardo is applying for day parole

    Is there any chance he could be released?

    Basically no. With his dangerous offender status, he’s entitled to make an application, but the chances of it being granted are virtually nonexistent, says Michael Scott, partner at Patterson Law in Halifax and head of the firm’s criminal law department. “He is entitled to

    Read More »from Why we don't need to worry about dangerous offenders
  • Marina Banister, 20, was the target of online sexism after she led a proposal asking Edmonton council to go meatless during its catered meetings.Marina Banister, 20, was the target of online sexism after she led a proposal asking Edmonton council to go meatless during its catered meetings.

    A slew of sexist and threatening online comments isn’t stopping a University of Alberta political science student from encouraging Canadians to think about food sustainability.

    Marina Banister never thought she’d spark such a strong reaction when she presented a motion as the chair of Edmonton’s Youth Council sustainability committee to city councillors on Tuesday.

    It recommended that council members offer vegetarian or vegan catering during meetings as a way to be more environmentally sustainable.

    “Even though not all the councillors agree with the motion, many of them said ‘Wow…I’ve never even thought of food sustainability through the lens of municipal politics before. Thank you for bringing that to our attention,’” Banister told Yahoo Canada News.

    Although councillors moved a motion to defer the decision until October, it’s sparked a strong reaction across the country and on social media.

    After several media outlets picked up on the story, there was a barrage of abusive online

    Read More »from Student urging Edmonton council to go meatless unfazed by online sexism
  • Sensory deprivation tank at Float TorontoSensory deprivation tank at Float Toronto

    The initial minutes in the first-time isolation tank session are the ones you have to get through. For a “therapy” touted as relaxing and stress reducing, I’m hovering somewhere between alert curiosity and distress. I’m not claustrophobic, but crawling naked into a four-by-eight pitch-black tank filled foot-deep with water and pulling the door shut can threaten to broaden the definition of the word.

    In this space, my vivid imagination is not my friend. As the air warms from the 34 degree (Celsius) water, I can imagine the building collapsing around me, leaving me to stew to death in darkness. I lie on my back, buoyed by 850 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt, and I’m suddenly floating in a silent sea at night. My mind goes to the creatures in the miles of water below me, and I wonder if I’ll be cutting my one-hour float appointment short.

    I’m in a tank in a windowless room at Float Toronto, which bills itself as “the largest floatation and sensory deprivation centre on the east coast”.

    Read More »from Naked and floating: Into the darkness of an isolation tank
  • Relatively speaking, it has never been easier to travel. But recent events in Greece are making even seasoned globetrotters rethink their established "money abroad" habits.

    For decades, best money practices for the savvy traveller have emphasized the use of special credit cards, debit cards and ATMs, as well as conversion fee-limiting bank accounts. But, if the current spate of financial clamp down policies in Greece are anything to go by, these tried-and-true methods could prove much less effective in the years to come.

    In an effort to keep their banks from running out of money, Greek ATMs and banks are limiting withdrawals to 60 euros (with a weekly limit of 120 euros).

    Officially, visitors to Greece are not subject to these transaction limits. Unofficially, there's a good chance that the ATMs will have run out of money by the time you get to use one. You'll also likely have to wait in line for a very long time to find that out. And if the ATM doesn't have a snaking line tailing

    Read More »from Handling your money while travelling abroad

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