• A Canadian legal charity that works on cases pro-bono is crowd-funding Canadians for the cause of free beer. At least, that’s what the Indiegogo campaign launched by the Canadian Constitution Foundation is called.

    It’s aiming to raise $20,000 for the legal defense for a New Brunswick man who was charged with illegally importing liquor into his home province from Quebec in 2012. Gerard Comeau, a retired steelworker, was fined $292.50 after buying 17 cases of beer from a Quebec liquor store.

    New Brunswick’s law prohibits importing more than one bottle of wine or 12 pints of beer from another province, according to the federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, which passed in 1928.

    The CCF intend to challenge the constitution, saying it goes against section 121 of the Constitution Act of 1867, which protects the free flow of goods from one province into another.

    “We’re not planning to give away free beer,” Karen Selick, Litigation Director with the CCF tells Yahoo Canada News. “We’re

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  • Six Nations is holding the country's first-ever on-reserve Pride parade on Saturday.Six Nations is holding the country's first-ever on-reserve Pride parade on Saturday.

    Six Nations of the Grand River, the largest and most populous First Nations reserve in Canada, is hosting the first-ever on-reserve Pride parade this weekend.

    Located about 110 kilometres southwest of Toronto, Six Nations comprises 25,660 members, some 12,271 of whom live on reserve. It is famous for being the only reserve in North America to have all six Iroquois nations — Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca and Tuscarora — living together.

    The plan for a Pride march was born after a conversation between band member Myka Burning and her young daughter about the oppression faced by people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Burning, who wasn’t immediately available to comment, was inspired to create the event after her daughter asked her if there were indigenous people who were also LGBTQ.

    “I said, ‘Of course!’” Burning told the Two Row Times. “And she said ‘Why don’t we have a Pride parade on the reserve to show Indians we care about them!’

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  • Celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner have helped raise awareness about transgender issues. (Getty Images)Celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner have helped raise awareness about transgender issues. (Getty Images)

    There are only two surgeons in all of Canada that specialize in complicated sex reassignment surgery, according to experts. And they both work at the same clinic in Montreal.

    Glowing news articles on celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner in recent months are certainly inspiring, but the reality for Canadians who identify as transgender is not quite as heart-warming.

    To be clear, not all people who identify as transgender want to undergo sex assignment surgery, but for those who do it’s a long, hard and often expensive process.

    Waiting a ‘really long time’

    “People have to wait a really long time,” said Jan Buterman, president of the Trans Equality Society of Alberta (TESA), in a phone interview with Yahoo Canada.

    Indeed, because there are so few doctors and surgeons specializing in the field there are really long wait times in Alberta, as well as in the other provinces and territories.

    Funding for the surgery was halted in Alberta in 2009, but reinstated in 2012 after a public outcry.

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  • The Rogers Centre is one venue where patrons have experienced difficulty with accessibility. (Getty Images)The Rogers Centre is one venue where patrons have experienced difficulty with accessibility. (Getty Images)

    As the PanAm Games draw to a close and Toronto prepares for the ParaPanAm Games to get underway, accessibility issues are leaving something to be desired for patrons with disabilities.

    Recently, Yahoo Canada highlighted how walker user Mary Penner lost out on her $150 accessible seats to the opening ceremonies because someone was already sitting in them and Global News reported the story of Joey Freeman, a man with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease who had to walk 400 metres from his parking spot to the Rogers Centre after finding no accessible parking close by for the Opening Ceremonies Dress Rehearsal.

    Then, when looking for an accessible entrance close to his seat, he was instructed by a PanAm volunteer to walk from one gate to another on the other side of the building and the route back to his car became just as circuitous.

    PanAm/ParaPanAm Games CEO Saad Rafi insists that both volunteers and staff received extensive training on accommodating people with disabilities. He

    Read More »from Gaps in Ontario’s disability strategy highlighted with PanAm Games
  • At least there’s no backlog to deal with.

    Canada’s newest immigration scheme for wealthy international investors has proven so popular that just six – count ‘em, six -- people have signed up for it since it was launched in late January.

    The Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program was supposed to draw 60 well-heeled newcomers to Canada out of a pool of up to 500 eligible applicants. But an access to information request by a Vancouver immigration lawyer revealed only six applications had been received by June 8, even with repeated extensions of the original deadline first set for mid-February.

    Poor design is the reason for the collective yawn from potential applicants, says Richard Kurland, the lawyer who made the request at the urging of Jean-Francois Harvey, a fellow immigration lawyer now based in Asia.

    Ottawa policymakers, “built a mousetrap that doesn’t catch mice – and for good reason,” Kurland told Yahoo Canada. “It’s designed so that immigrants have a good chance of losing

    Read More »from Federal immigrant investor scheme draws only six applicants
  • An aerial view shows the spill near the Nexen Energy's Long Lake oilsands facility. (Reuters)An aerial view shows the spill near the Nexen Energy's Long Lake oilsands facility. (Reuters)

    The recent spill of diluted oil sands bitumen after a pipeline break in northern Alberta has largely fallen off the news radar in most of Canada.

    It’s probably not surprising, given the remote location at Nexen Energy’s production site near Fort McMurray. If five million litres (about 30,000 Imperial barrels) of emulsion made up of bitumen, water and sand had created a small lake near, say, Calgary, it would be front-page news.

    Nonetheless, those who follow such things have taken note. The double-walled production pipeline was only about a year old and supposedly had the latest leak-detection technology. Both apparently failed; it was a Nexen worker who happened to be in the area who spotted the spill.

    The embattled energy industry can ill afford another black mark. It’s already tough enough  to sell Canadians on the idea of more pipelines to pump large quantities of bitumen diluted with solvents (known as diluent) through pipelines headed west to the B.C. coast, east through central

    Read More »from No single answer to best ensuring pipeline safety, say experts
  • A student drone project at Carleton University is aimed at helping farmers monitor their crops economically.A student drone project at Carleton University is aimed at helping farmers monitor their crops economically.

    Drones are used for everything from shooting movies to delivering pizzas, and now, a summer research team out of Carleton University may have found a way to help farmers cheaply monitor their crops.

    When Krissia Quesney Nevarez was applying for Mitacs Globalink, a program that connects international undergraduates with research partnerships across Canada, she was compelled by a project out of Ottawa.

    Headed by Jeremy Laliberté, an associate professor in engineering at Carleton, the project examines how drones could use a camera that detects levels of photosynthesis in a plant. That way, the device can measure, through infrared readings, how plants are absorbing sunlight.  

    Growing up on a farm in Valle del Yaqui, Mexico, a region that’s recently been prone to drought, Quesney Nevarez was familiar with how weak crops could affect the local economy.

    “When I saw this project I was totally interested, because I had always tried to find a way to help the people that live like me,” the

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  • Toronto Olympic bid talk should wait until after Pan Am Games, John Tory saysToronto Olympic bid talk should wait until after Pan Am Games, John Tory says

    With the end of the Pan Am Games in sight, Toronto Mayor John Tory is teasing the public with the possibility that the city might submit a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

    These international and sporting events are “good for Toronto, good for Ontario and good for Canada,” Tory tells reporters.

    But are they?

    In recent years, the Olympic motto of “Higher, Faster, Stronger” might as well be “Bigger, Bloated, More Expensive.”

    When it comes to Olympic hosts in hock, Toronto doesn’t have to go far afield for a prime example. The 1976 Games in Montreal remains a standard-bearer of Olympic bloat.

    It took the province 30 years to pay off its Olympic debt. By then, the “Big Owe,” as they like to call the Olympic Stadium, was a crumbling shell.

    But the $1.5 billion debt left to Montreal is chump change compared to the astronomical costs of Olympic Games today.

    The Sochi Winter Games last year set an Olympic record with a final tally in the $51 billion range.

    The 2008 Beijing Games cost a

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  • What do you do after leading a year-long mission on the International Space Station?

    That’s the question Col. Chris Hadfield wrestled with when he returned to Earth after his time spent as the first Canadian Commander of the ISS.

    Hadfield and his son, Evan, discussed at length what could possibly live up to the experience of being an astronaut as Chris settled in to retirement.

    “Once you’re retired, now what to you do?” Evan Hadfield said to Yahoo Canada. “It’s a pretty big leap to go from astronaut to… well, anything else.”

    Chris and Evan have managed to find lots of ways to keep busy – Evan is working with his father on launching an album and book later this year – but one of their latest projects has Evan over the moon.

    Starting this fall, Evan will be working with his dad and a small team to launch a YouTube show titled “It’s Not Rocket Science,” a combination of science and comedy that he hopes will appeal to people around the world.

    “It’s almost like Bill Nye meets Inspector

    Read More »from Chris Hadfield to launch new science-comedy series, 'It's Not Rocket Science'
  • Cree Cabaret performing at the Aboriginal Pavilion at Toronto's Fort York on July 14, 2015.Cree Cabaret performing at the Aboriginal Pavilion at Toronto's Fort York on July 14, 2015.

    The executive producer of the Aboriginal Pavilion, a partner celebration of the Pan Am Games, says low attendance, which has resulted in a slew of media attention, is simply the result of growing pains.

    “We’re the new kids on the block,” Cynthia Lickers-Sage tells Yahoo Canada News. “This is the first time the Pan Am Games have ever embraced an Aboriginal Pavilion and we’re working through all the kinks and bumps.”

    Reports have focused on disappointed vendors, who’ve come from across Canada and shelled out big bucks to sell their wares at the 10-day Toronto event, only to be disappointed by a low turnout.

    Along with an artisan market, the Aboriginal Pavilion features hours of nightly performances along with food vendors. A concert by electronic group A Tribe Called Red attracted 1,400 people to the pavilion, making it the most popular event of the festival. Pavilion officials are hoping a powwow on Saturday will also draw big crowds. 

    Some blame a lack of advertising, competition from

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