• An RCMP officer (who wishes to remain anonymous) told CBC News he attempted suicide after hitting rock bottom.An RCMP officer (who wishes to remain anonymous) told CBC News he attempted suicide after hitting rock bottom.

    The issue of post-traumatic stress disorder has been a growing concern among Canada military personnel for some time, but it is coming to the forefront for many first responders as well, with more than a dozen suspected suicides being reported among Canadian police, paramedics and correctional service officers in the past 10 weeks alone.

    One of the most recent deaths was a Manitoba RCMP corporal who watched a young man be beheaded on a Greyhound bus six years ago.

    The Canadian Press reports that retired RCMP corporal Ken Barker committed suicide over the weekend after suffering PTSD and fighting depression in the years after witnessing one of Canada's most notoriously gruesome deaths.

    Barker was among the first officers to respond to a standoff on a Greyhound bus in rural Manitoba in 2008, when Tim McLean was attacked, stabbed, mutilated and beheaded by Vincent Li – who was later found not criminally responsible for the death based on mental illness.

    Family members told the news

    Read More »from PTSD-attributed suicides among first responders continue to rise
  • Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow at Tuesday night's debate in Scarborough.Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow at Tuesday night's debate in Scarborough.

    The Toronto mayoral election once again devolved briefly into name-calling and allegations of sexism on Thursday and, for once, Rob Ford wasn't at the centre of it.

    Olivia Chow, a former NDP MP who has been the presumptive favourite in many recent election polls, bristled after being referred to as a "major league biatch" by a former provincial Progressive Conservative representative during a radio interview.

    Peter Shurman, a former Ontario PC MPP who stepped down in December amid questions about housing allowance spending, made the comment on Wednesday while appearing on a Newstalk 1010 roundtable to discuss a recent mayoral debate involving Chow, Ford, John Tory, and two other candidates.

    "Olivia is a continuation of (former mayor David) Miller and she proved herself last night to be, pardon me, a major-league biatch and not worthy of being listened to," Shurman said.

    As the conversation continued, National Post columnist Christie Blatchford agreed with Shurman that while Tory's

    Read More »from Olivia Chow fights back after being called a ‘major league biatch’
  • Image of the HMCS Whitehorse, via WikipediaImage of the HMCS Whitehorse, via Wikipedia

    Ottawa lawyer Michel Drapeau will be closely watching how the Royal Canadian Navy handles the fallout from its latest controversy.

    The apparently unprecedented recall of a warship during a major international training exercise, which occurred after three sailors misbehaved, is expected to set quite the precedent.

    Drapeau, a retired Canadian Armed Forces colonel and one Canada's leading experts on military law, believes the military justice system is dysfunctional and doubts its handling of the incidents that prompted HMCS Whitehorse to be ordered back to its home port of Esquimalt, B.C., will change his view.

    Changes in recent years, forced on the armed forces by the Charter of Rights and the Somalia Affair, have improved some elements of the military's internal justice system. But Drapeau believes it is still opaque and geared to preserving control and the forces' image.

    “It’s a society within a society," Drapeau said in an interview with Yahoo Canada News. "A system of law within a

    Read More »from Recall of HMCS Whitehorse over misconduct allegations shows systemic problems, says retired colonel
  • The massive overhaul of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program was resulted in a bevy of concerns being tabled, from regions of the country demanding access to an extended well of potential employees as well as from industries that have come to rely on access to highly-trained foreign workers.

    Not only have western provinces recently spoken out about their need for temporary foreign workers, now industries are complaining about being left in the lurch by the changes introduced last month by Labour Minister Jason Kenney.

    Perhaps the most notable shortage is doctors.

    The Globe and Mail reports that while the health industry has long relied on foreign doctors to fill vacancies, often in rural areas, recent changes will hurt those recruitment efforts.

    Joan Mavrinac, the head of an Ontario physician recruitment office, told the Globe the latest changes don't make sense for the industry.

    “We are drifting further and further away from anything that makes sense for physicians,” Mavrinac

    Read More »from Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker program impacting doctors, Canadian film industry
  • There are two ways to look at Emma Czornobaj, the Quebec woman who was convicted last month in the deaths of two people who drove into the back of her car after she had stopped to move a group of ducklings off the road.

    Either she is a negligent criminal whose carelessness played a role in the death of a man and his daughter, or she is a caring animal lover whose carelessness played a role in the death of a man and his daughter.

    Considering Czornobaj was found guilty of two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death, a jury appears to lean toward the former interpretation. But nearly 9,000 others, and probably more than that, are leaning toward the latter.

    In a growing petition on Change.org, more than 8,900 people are urging Stephanie Vallee, Quebec's justice minister, to show leniency to Czornobaj. While her crimes could result in a life sentence in prison, the group believes there is nothing to be gained by the Crown asking the

    Read More »from Petitioners demand leniency for Quebec woman who caused fatal crash to save ducklings
  • Douglas Garland is escorted into a Calgary police station late Monday, July 14, 2014. (Canadian Press)Douglas Garland is escorted into a Calgary police station late Monday, July 14, 2014. (Canadian Press)

    The disappearance and alleged murder of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their five-year-old grandson, Nathan O'Brien, would be a high-profile case even without the fact there's still no sign of them two weeks after they vanished.

    But many might wonder whether that fact will make it harder for the Crown to prosecute Douglas Garland for the alleged killings. Veteran criminal lawyers say it could be a challenge but it's not impossible.

    “It’s not a hurdle that can’t be overcome," former Alberta prosecutor Balfour Der told Yahoo Canada News.

    Garland, 54, has been charged with two counts of first-degree and one count of second-degree murders after the Calgary couple and their grandson were reported missing June 30.

    In announcing the charges Monday, Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson said murder charges were warranted because there is a "preponderance of evidence that leads investigators to believe they are dead."

    The first-degree murder counts apparently relate to the Likneses and the

    Read More »from How lawyers can still prosecute in the Liknes-O’Brien murder case without the victims’ bodies
  • Public awareness of a little-known hallucinogenic drug that some consider to be the ideal treatment to battle drug addiction is growing every day, according to the operator of a Toronto clinic.

    Ibogaine is an opiate derived from the African igoba tree, that some claim can help heroin abusers overcome their addiction. The substance made headlines recently after CBC News reported on a Newfoundland entrepreneur offering treatment to users in St. John's.

    Matthew Zielinski, director of the Toronto Ibogaine Centre, told Yahoo Canada News on Monday that he has been operating his own facility for about five years and has seen for himself the benefits of the treatment, and its recent growth in popularity.

    "The awareness of ibogaine is growing at a rapid pace. There are tons of documentaries and tons of scientific data out there now," Zielinski said. "This is not a scam. Everybody who comes in to the experience, everybody is skeptical. This is one of those things that seems too good to be

    Read More »from Hallucinogenic treatment for drug addiction growing in Canada, says Toronto ibogaine provider
  • This July 7 image from Facebook shows Mai Duong with her daughter, Alice.This July 7 image from Facebook shows Mai Duong with her daughter, Alice.

    A public campaign launched by a Montreal woman in search of stem cell donors in her fight against leukemia has exposed the struggles that visible minorities can face in Canada and abroad due to a lower number of willing donors.

    In a widely-shared YouTube video, 34-year-old Mai Duong pleaded for Canadians of Vietnamese descent to consider joining Canada’s OneMatch stem cell and marrow network after being told that doctors were not able to find a match in the current registry.

    Duong, 34, is a woman of Vietnamese descent who was born and raised in Montreal. She was diagnosed with leukemia last year and relapsed in May, when she was told she would need a stem cell transplant.

    "That was pretty rough," Duong said in a video posted to YouTube. "What was worse was when the doctors told me a couple of weeks later that they did not find a match for me for the bone marrow, even though I was on an international list."

    As it turns out, it is exceedingly difficult for many visible minorities to

    Read More »from Montreal cancer patient rallies against limited number of minority stem cell donor registrants
  • Due to the possible theft of powered baby formula, some retail stores are securing the product behind glass. (Getty Images)Due to the possible theft of powered baby formula, some retail stores are securing the product behind glass. (Getty Images)

    Some bottles of baby formula sold at Toronto-area Walmart outlets that turned out to contain just water may have been restocked on store shelves after being returned by customers, Yahoo Canada News has learned.

    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a notice late last week following three complaints involving stores in Brampton and Mississauga, stating that bottles of Enfamil A+ ready-to-feed infant formula were found to contain water and a little formula residue. The fact the tamper-proof seal had been broken and crudely replaced with blue tape seemed to rule out a production defect.

    Walmart pulled the bottled formula from its shelves immediately but did not find any other cases of tampering, the agency said. However, it warned consumers to check the seals on any of the product they bought and if they suspected tampering, to throw it out or return it to the store.

    [ Related: Consumers warned to inspect infant formula after some bottles found resealed ]

    Besides the agency's

    Read More »from Tampered baby formula restocked at Walmart against makers’ returns policy, formula maker says
  • Many things have changed in Ontario since April, when the Liberal government first introduced a spendy $130.4 billion budget that was eventually rejected by opposition parties, triggering a provincial election.

    The Liberal Party of Ontario now holds majority government status and Tim Hudak has stepped down as PC leader after voters rejected his tough-love message of fiscal restraint.

    But one thing that hasn't changed is the financial vision of the Liberals, who re-introduced that same budget Monday despite concerns that the spending plan would wreak havoc on the province's economy, push it deeper into debt and scare off future investment.

    Despite these fears, Finance Minister Charles Sousa stuck to the same budget that forced the election, expressing confidence in the plan and vowing to balance the budget by 2017-18. This time around, opponents at Queen's Park don't have enough votes to block its passage.

    Sousa copy-and-pasted the once-contentious budget and unveiled it as a signal

    Read More »from Ontario Liberals push forward with lush budget despite economic warnings on the horizon


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