• A collision between a cyclist and a pregnant woman has triggered a call for a new licensing system for all Vancouver bikes.

    Non-Partisan Association Opposition city councilor Melissa De Genova put forward a motion to city council earlier this week asking staff to look into the viability of licensing cyclists.

    De Genova wants the city to start a licensing program where bikes are registered. A licensing system may help authorities keep track of incidents like the one earlier this month between a cyclist and a pedestrian.

    Mandy Pappas posted on her Facebook page a photograph of the cyclist she said nearly ran her over after knocking her down. She urged anyone who recognized the cyclist to report him.

    Screengrab of Facebook page.Screengrab of Facebook page.

    “I am 5 months pregnant and I was just assaulted by this cyclist as I was on my way to vote. He ran a stop sign full speed and I yelled to him that there was a stop sign - as he almost ran me over. He stopped, turned his bike around and came directly for me, hit and knocked me over,” she

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  • Coffee chain Dunkin’ Donuts was forced to publicly address rumours it would be offering an abortion at one of its locations after parody site Clickhole ran an article saying it would be performing an abortion as part of a scheme to show pro-choice solidarity.  

    The fake news story, which cites a statement from the brand that they would “be taking all measures to ensure the environment will be sterile and completely safe for the procedure,” and “the patient will receive a free egg and cheese sandwich and a medium coffee” asked customers to weigh in using #DunkinAbortion.

    Despite the absurdity of the parody article, some customers actually shared their thoughts on the issue. According to TweetReach, the hash tag was seen by 261,471 people.

    It didn’t go viral but there was enough chatter that the coffee chain felt the need to post a statement on it via twitter saying: “Clickhole is a parody site and not intended to be taken seriously and there is no truth to this article.” 

    “Many of those

    Read More »from When brands are forced to take a stand on an issue
  • Dont anger a woman with a mommy blog.

     That could be the modern equivalent to the old adage of never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel. Its origins are murky no, not Mark Twain but the message is clear: dont mess with the press.

    Busy Canadian mother and blogger Melanie Cote finally had the luxury of reading a book alone, without kids or household responsibilities, on a plane for a recent business trip. She recounts happily reading Who Do You Love, Jennifer Weiners newest novel, until she came across an offending passage that contained the word retarded.Twice.

    Upset, Cote stopped reading, and started writing. The result was her blog post, "To the best-selling author who robbed me of the ending."

    In the midst of a conversation between the main female character and a friend in their teens, the one girl drops the R-word and the other girl responds with the same word. It was like a sneak attack in what felt like a safe place. Retarded. It pains me to type it

    Read More »from Changing language, one tweet at at time

    He was the darling of Canadian public radio, the former frontman for a rock and roll band turned frontman for a flagship talk show heard across the country every day.

    He had a penchant for waxing poetic on everything from music to movies to women’s rights.

    So when Jian Ghomeshi’s star fell from the sky a year ago amid allegations of sexual assault and workplace harassment, the wreckage spread far and wide.

    “In succession we got a few high-profile cases in the national press and then Jian, I think, really was a tipping point in public consciousness,” says Dusty Johnstone, a post-doctoral teaching fellow in women’s studies at the University of Windsor.

    Over the previous year, a number of scandals on university campuses across Canada put a spotlight on the issue of sexual violence and so-called “rape culture.” More than one class of university freshmen was caught chiming in on “rape chants” during frosh week and there were allegations of sexual assault and later charges against two

    Read More »from A year after Ghomeshi scandal, still long way to go on violence against women issue
  • Researchers are calling on the federal Liberals to make good on a campaign promise and reinstate the mandatory long-form census as soon as they take office.

    “They have to act now. They cannot wait. Time is of the essence,” said Don Kerr, a sociology professor at King’s University College at Western University in London, Ont.

    Kerr, who worked at Statistics Canada for 10 years, said it is possible to have the mandatory long-form census in place by May 10, 2016, the official census day.

    “The level of expertise at Stats Canada is enormous and if anyone can pull it off, it’s Stats Canada that could pull it off,” Kerr said.

    He added, “I would be surprised if they didn’t have contingency plans” to bring the long-form census back.

    The mandatory long-form census was replaced with the voluntary National Household Survey (NHS) by the Conservative government in 2010. That led Munir Sheikh, then Statistics Canada’s chief statistician, to very publicly step down. In a letter following his

    Read More »from Trudeau urged to reinstate long-form census
  • Does Canada ship its garbage problems to other countries?

    Cities generally deal with their garbage close to home, but private haulers are sometimes a different story

    For most of us, garbage goes down the chute or on the curb, and thats the last we think of it. Easy, right? Well, not so fast. Somebody has to figure out where to take your unwanted stuff.

    Two years ago, Canadian garbage was sent to the Philippines, reports the Vancouver Sun. The Philippines is not a trash bin of the world. Canada should take back their garbage,said senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources in July on her website.

    However the owner of Chronic Inc., Jim Makris has said that it would be cheaper to dump the garbage in Canada, and that the 2,500 tonnes in question is less than a days worth from Metro Vancouver, where the garbage originated.

    The 1992 Basel Convention was designed to control the export of toxic materials from rich nations to developing ones,write Craig and Marc Kielburger cofounders of Free The Children, adding that Canada is one of four countries blocking an amendment that would ban rich nations from

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  • Rob Ford, centre left, his family and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, centre-right.Rob Ford, centre left, his family and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, centre-right.

    News on the Rob Ford front has been relatively quiet since the controversial former Toronto mayor returned to city council following his successful treatment for an abdominal tumour.

    And with their late campaign rally last week for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, Rob and his older brother made it clear that they don’t intend to stay in the political shadows forever.

    A new book hitting shelves Oct. 27 by Coun. John Filion aims to examine just what drives Ford’s career in politics, and why it’s been quite successful so far, despite all the reasons why it should not have been.

    The Only Average Guy: Inside the Uncommon World of Rob Ford gives readers an inside look at the former mayor from a man who for years sat two seats from him in Toronto’s council chambers. But it also looks more widely to Toronto’s political culture and the motivations of Ford Nation, the citizens who continue to support Rob fiercely — no matter what.

    Filion, a journalist before he went into politics, spoke to

    Read More »from Q&A with Coun. John Filion who penned a Rob Ford book
  • B.C. Arctic apple targeted by U.S. GMO opponents

    The Arctic Apple on the right, does not brown like the conventional apple on the left, because the genes which produce polyphenol oxidase have been silenced, meaning the chemical reaction that leads to browning does not take place.The Arctic Apple on the right, does not brown like the conventional apple on the left, because the genes which produce polyphenol oxidase have been silenced, meaning the chemical reaction that leads to browning does not take place.

    As a U.S. Senate committee hears testimony this week on labelling of genetically modified food products, a British Columbia-born biotech apple is once again in the eye of the GMO storm.

    The Arctic apple has become target No. 1 of GMO opponents since it was approved earlier this year in the United States and Canada.

    Since then, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a measure to block mandatory GMO labelling by states in favour of a voluntary national standard. Genetically modified foods are not labelled in Canada.

    With the U.S. Senate set to weigh in, activists say they are making headway in a campaign calling for an industry boycott of Arctic apples. The variety, which has been modified not to brown when cut, is the first genetically altered apple approved for commercial sale.

    Friends of the Earth (FOE) says Wendy’s and McDonald’s in the U.S. have confirmed to the environmental group that they do not plan to add Arctic apples to their menus.

    Baby food maker Gerber says the same.


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  • As evening falls on Toronto’s streets and the commuter crowd thins away, the ghost walk tour guide Shirley Lum gathers her group for a night of exploring spooky places.

    Tourists and locals alike turn out for haunted tours across the country and as Lum can attest, they may experience a shudder or two due to paranormal activity.

    “I started in the year 2000 and we had a lot of experiences…specifically in 2003,” says Lum about her ghost walk career. “From 2000 to 2003 I had a tremendous attendance by mediums, a lot of wiccan, witches and warlocks. A lot of them were coming from the Hamilton area, which is very haunted.”

    Lum, who runs A Taste of the World: Neighbourhood Bicycle Tours and Walks Inc., leads walks that span the city and she’s had many members of her tour groups confide in her about their own ghostly experiences.

    “We don’t force people to share right at the tour because sometimes that’s too much pressure,” she says. “I’ve sometimes had people email me later because they said

    Read More »from Explore Canada‘s haunted history with spooky ghost walks across the country
  • The Eye on Long Island along the Fundy shore in Nova Scotia earlier in October before its collapse.The Eye on Long Island along the Fundy shore in Nova Scotia earlier in October before its collapse.

    Nova Scotians awoke early Tuesday to discover that one of their standout geological landmarks was suddenly much different.

    A rock formation on Long Island in the Minas Basin along the Fundy shore, shaped like a natural arch and known as “The Eye,” has crumbled from the top. Now where a hole and archway once stood in the island’s sandstone and basalt rock, there are two pillars.

    The arch had likely been there for thousands of years and has been an iconic landmark in the province. It has appeared in countless photographs taken by tourists and local alike.

    “The arch has been a focal point for tourists and local people for many years. We are still trying to work out how long it has been present,” Tim Fedak, Fundy Geological Museum’s director and curator, tells Yahoo Canada News.

    At low tides hikers could travel across the bay’s mud flats to get to The Eye. During high tides, kayakers and canoers could paddle through the hole. But those famously high tides in Fundy, where they are the

    Read More »from Mother Nature takes down N.S. natural landmark


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