• MS patient Elayne Shapray (left) and B.C. Civil Liberties Association's Grace Pastine are fighting the assisted suicide ban.

    A multiple sclerosis sufferer is welcoming the Supreme Court of Canada's decision to revisit the law banning assisted suicide.

    “I am overjoyed that the Supreme Court of Canada has decided to hear this case," Elayne Shapray, who filed an affidavit supporting the B.C. Civil Liberties Association's application for the high court to hear the case, said in a statement released by the association.

    The court said Thursday it would hear an appeal of the B.C. Court of Appeal decision overturning a 2012 B.C. Supreme Court ruling that had struck down the law against assisted suicide, The Canadian Press reported.

    The initial case was brought by Gloria Taylor, who suffered from the terminal neurological disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, who argued the ban on assisted suicide violated her Charter rights to equal treatment because able-bodied people can legally kill themselves.

    [ Related: Assisted suicide is climbing up the public agenda ]

    The B.C. Supreme Court agreed but gave the

    Read More »from Right to die proponents welcome Supreme Court’s decision to revisit ban on assisted suicide
  • Three Ontario police officers are being investigated over a video appeared online, apparently depicting the disgruntled officers trying to escape their duties of monitoring a court cell block.

    Durham Regional Police Service announced that the Professional Standards Unit would look into two police officers and a civilian special constable captured on video goofing around on police property while using police equipment.

    The one-minute video is presented as if to be a movie trailer and, according to the Durham police, depicts three officers trying to get re-assigned out of the Court Services Branch.

    A video found online that is believed to be the video in question shows three officers performing various duties in what appears to be a detention area, with an epic soundtrack playing in the background.

    [ Related: Jeffrey Boucher ground search to be scaled back ]

    The video then shows "application for transfer" documents being denied, at which point the antics increase to a frenetic pace.

    In one

    Read More »from Durham police under fire again after video surfaces of cops horsing around on the job
  • A British police officer stands guard outside Harmondsworth detention centre.

    A furor has erupted in Britain over the treatment of an 84-year-old Canadian man who suffered from dementia and died in handcuffs at a privately-run immigration detention centre.

    The man, who news reports have identified as Alois Dvorzac, was detained last January at Gatwick Airport while on his way to visit his estranged daughter in Slovenia after being deemed inadmissible to Britain, the Globe and Mail reports.

    Dvorzac, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and heart problems, was sent to the Harmondsworth immigration centre to await deportation back to Canada. But his return was delayed because his frail health. Two weeks later he was dead.

    The story of Dvorzac's treatment was revealed this week in a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons, which conducted an unannounced inspection of Harmondsworth last summer.

    Harmondsworth, which houses about 600 detainees, has been a past focus of criticism and official scrutiny. It's run by GEO Group U.K., the British arm of an

    Read More »from UK detention centre slammed after 84-year-old Canadian dies in handcuffs
  • The CN Tower is seen along the Toronto skyline from Centre Island.
    Southern Ontario cities and municipalities are among the least fiscally accountable governments in Canada, according to a new study that suggests cities tend to use antiquated accounting systems that result in large discrepancies at the end of the year and bewilder councillors over the state of city finances.

    In short: Municipal governments release unnecessarily confusing financial documents that leave the average reader struggling to understand their meaning. And this often results in surprise surpluses at the end of the year.

    "Just about anyone who follows them finds the annual debates over municipal budgets in Canada mystifying,” the C.D. Howe Institute study states. “In city after city, councillors and staff struggle to vote a balanced budget, warning ratepayers of tax increases and lobbying federal and provincial governments for more funds."

    The C.D. Howe Institute studied a decade of municipal budgets and financial reports to find the difference between what cities planned on

    Read More »from Canadian city budgets are inaccurate and confusing, study finds
  • Cheers! Saskatchewan joins other provinces in allowing alcohol sales at theatres. (Fox News photo)Depending on your point of view, Saskatchewan has joined the civilized world by allowing movie patrons to enjoy liquor while watching a movie at a theatre, or the sky is falling.

    Saskatoon's Broadway Theatre has become the first in the province to offer beer and wine during screenings, the Star Phoenix reports.

    "If you decide you want a little glass of wine while you watch a film, I want you to be able to do that," Kirby Wirchenko, executive director of the theatre, told the paper.

    Saskatchewan, following the lead of other provinces such as neighbouring Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, has revised its liquor laws to allow movie patrons to imbibe in "age-restricted areas."

    [ Related: Alcohol coming to a B.C. theatre near you ]

    The Broadway already served booze at live theatre events it hosts, Wirchenko told the Star Phoenix. Offering it to movie-goers was the next logical step.

    Cineplex Entertainment also plans to open one of its VIP cinemas in the province, which are

    Read More »from Saskatoon movie house first in Saskatchewan to offer booze at screenings
  • Cal Wenzel, right, filed a defamation lawsuit against Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi on Nov. 13. (CBC)Calgary's Naheed Nenshi arguably is Canada's most popular mayor, lauded for his handling of last summer's devastating floods and contrasted more-than-favourably with Toronto's buffoonish Rob Ford.

    But not everyone's a fan.

    Nenshi, who won re-election to a second term last October with three quarters of the vote, is in a bitter legal battle with property developer Cal Wenzel, who filed a $6-million defamation suit against the mayor last November. Now the mayor has filed a statement of defence.

    Wenzel, chief executive officer of Shane Homes, said in his statement of claim Nenshi damaged his reputation with comments in a radio interview as part of a smear campaign designed to enhance his re-election prospects.

    Nenshi had been commenting about a leaked video of a private meeting of Calgary developers in which Wenzel outlined which city councillors he approved of and which he was supporting with campaign donations, the Globe and Mail reported when the suit was filed.

    [ Related: Council discusses

    Read More »from Calgary Mayor Nenshi fires back at property developer’s defamation suit
  • Jeffrey Boucher, courtesy Durham Regional Police ServiceAn Ontario teacher whose disappearance during a morning jog sparked a massive search earlier this week appears to have also gone missing for several hours the night before his absence was reported to police.

    Jeffrey Boucher, 52, of Whitby, Ont., vanished on Monday morning after he went out for his morning run. His family said Boucher left without his wallet or cellphone, and his car remained in the parking lot. But police now confirm that Boucher disappeared for several hours Sunday night, and believe it is possible he disappeared of his own accord.

    “There is that possibility that he has just walked away, for whatever reasons he may have,” Durham Regional Police Sgt. Nancy van Rooy told reporters on Wednesday. “We don’t have anything conclusive that gives us a reason to indicate a trigger that would cause that type of behaviour, to simply walk away. But that is within the realm of possibility.”

    Van Rooy added that Boucher did go on a run Sunday night and did not return for several hours.

    Read More »from Missing Ontario teacher Jeffrey Boucher may have ‘walked away,’ but police continue search
  • The next time you get caught trying to sneak a full-size bottle of shampoo or, say, a pipe bomb in your carry-on past baggage screeners at the airport, take comfort in the fact probably you will not miss your flight.

    You're gonna get the stink eye but nothing more. You'll be on your merry way. Don't believe me? Just ask Skylar Murphy.

    The 18-year-old resident of Spruce Grove, Alta., an Edmonton bedroom community, was headed to an international flight last fall when, according to court documents, the uniformed screeners employed by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) discovered black powder and a pipe bomb in his carry-on bag, The Canadian Press reports.

    We're not talking about some thoughtlessly packed nail clippers or a bottle of water purchased outside the price-gouging confines of the pre-flight security cordon. It was a bomb, or at least the makings of one.

    The screener confiscated Murphy's explosives but the teen was allowed to board his flight on Sept. 20.

    [ Related:

    Read More »from Pipe bomb incident at Edmonton airport reveals flaws in screening protocols
  • Smile wide, Kingston. You are apparently Canada's happiest city. This comes according to Jetpac City Guides, a hipster tour group that calculated the "smile score" of all the cities in Canada.

    The company found that Canada’s widest smiles come from Kingston, Ont., home to Queen’s University, a historical downtown and the country’s first capital city.

    According to Jetpac, "Finding the Happiest City in Canada took doing image proicessing on over 100 million Instagram photos to count and size the smiles on people's faces from all the cities in Canada. From counting the pixels, we were able to come up with a Smile Score for each city."

    In short, the wider the smile, the bigger the score. Smirks counted less than grins, grins counted less than smiles. The more teeth captured in the photo, the more points it scored.

    Before we question the process (do bigger smiles really mean happier people?), here is a list of the Top 10 happiest cities:

    1. Kingston
    2. Regina
    3. Quebec City
    4. Gatineau, Que.

    Read More »from Smile wide: Kingston, Ont., deemed Canada’s happiest city
  • Anyone who attended grade school has some experience with offensive, political or otherwise controversial T-shirt slogans sending school officials into a tizzy.

    Whether it be the graphic images that adorn Iron Maiden gear or T-shirts featuring Bart Simpson's "eat my shorts" catch phrase or the hysterical "FBI: Female Boob Inspector" slogan, which can still be found in the closets of "hip" older uncles from coast to coast to coast.

    We have all seen them, many of us have worn them and some of us have refused to stop wearing them despite being ordered to do so.

    In most cases these slogans are banned for obvious reason: graphic language, sexual content, racial connotations and negative stereotypes. They cause distraction by their outrageousness, leaving one wondering how they were allowed to leave home in the first place.

    In other cases, however, there is more to the debate than foul language. Religious messages can ruffle feathers, declarations of public advocacy can be misread and political

    Read More »from ‘Got Land? Thank an Indian’ sweater joins ranks of controversial T-shirt slogans


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