• The gruesome death of Montreal exchange student Jun Lin and the high-profile arrest of Luka Magnotta consumed the attention of the international public two years ago, so it is only fair that the world have a chance to participate in the trial.

    Hence, a decision by a Quebec judge on Friday to allow Crown lawyers to seek evidence in other countries – specifically France and Germany, where Magnotta travelled after the death of Jun Lin in May 2012.

    CBC News reports that Superior Court Justice Guy Coumoyer approved the motion despite objections from Magnotta's lawyer, who said any witnesses should be forced to give their testimony in person. That would mean a flight to Canada, and a costly stay, at the expense of Canadian taxpayers.

    [ Related: Sex workers fear new prostitution laws will compromise safety ]

    The real issue is not the cost, of course. To put it bluntly, it is about logistics. There is no way to compel witnesses in foreign countries to take extensive time away from their lives

    Read More »from Quebec judge says Crown can search for evidence in Luka Magnotta case in France and Germany
  • Oilsands worked by energy giant Suncor. (CBC)The federal government's temporary foreign workers program has taken another hit, despite Conservative promises to fix perceived abuses.

    The Canadian Press is reporting allegations an oil-sands contractor laid off 65 skilled workers this week and replaced them with lower-paid workers imported from Croatia.

    A spokesman for Employment Minister Jason Kenny told CP the minister has asked for an urgent review of the case.

    The Alberta Federation of Labour said the unionized ironworkers, who apparently worked for a company called Pacer Promec Joint Venture, were laid off on Tuesday from their jobs at Imperial Oil's Kearl oilsands mine near Fort McMurray, Alta.

    "They called the guys into an office, told them that they were gone, and they literally walked past the replacements on the way out," McGowan told CP.

    The federation claims the Croatian workers are being paid $18 an hour, less than half the going rate earned by Canadians doing the same work.

    "The construction industry in Northern

    Read More »from Ottawa investigates another alleged breach of temporary foreign worker program rules
  • As the Olympics officially got underway in Sochi, Russia on Friday, a storm began brewing back in Canada over a movement to protest the host country's anti-homosexual laws.

    While several Canadian cities chose to fly rainbow flags outside their city halls to show support for Russia's homosexual community and protest recently-passed laws criminalizing homosexual "propaganda," Toronto Mayor Rob Ford reportedly demanded city officials strip down its rainbow flag just moments after it was hung at Nathan Phillips Square.

    "This is about being patriotic to your country, this is not about someone's sexual preference. No, I do not agree with putting out a rainbow flag," Ford told reporters at city hall. He later added, “Let Russia do what they want.”

    CP24's Katie Simpson posted on Twitter that Ford opposed the move and was requesting city staff remove the flag, because he felt the Olympics were not about sexual preference.

    Read More »from ‘Let Russia do what they want’: Rob Ford opposes rainbow flag flying at Toronto City Hall
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford registers as a candidate for October's mayoral race with brother Doug Ford in tow.

    This is exactly what the Ford brothers need: More ways to say things unfiltered, un-fact checked and unfortunate.

    It was announced last night that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, launch their own YouTube show on Feb. 10, which will inevitably be filled with the same partisan and campaign rhetoric that was featured on their cancelled radio show and cancelled television show.

    Because apparently they haven't been able to get their shiny, gem-like nuggets of thought out there fast enough through public speaking engagements and radio appearances.

    This is actually an ideal time for the Ford brother to launch an online talk show. Not only because we are getting into election campaign season, but because this week has given us a great preview of what tones, topics and tangents will be featured on the show.

    Earlier this week, Rob Ford told the audience at a mayoral candidate’s forum that he would never attend Toronto's Pride parade. “I’m not going to go to the Pride

    Read More »from Fords on YouTube: Finally a venue for Doug Ford to rant about "buck naked men" all he wants
  • Hugh Laurie, star of the television show 'House'.

    Anyone who watches a medical drama on television and thinks their are learning about medicine may be pleased to know that apparently real doctors do it, too.

    Doctors in Germany managed to diagnose a 55-year-old patient with the rare "cobalt intoxication" after remembering what they had seen on an episode of House.

    According to an article co-written by Dr. Juergen R. Shaefer, a patient was referred to the clinic in 2012 for severe heart failure. While the man's medical history was fairly basic, he did have two hip replacements.

    Doctors excluded coronary artery disease as a possible diagnosis but still couldn't account for the man's symptoms, which included a fever and enlarged lymph nodes. And then someone remembered that the delightfully-acerbic Dr. Gregory House, played by Hugh Laurie on the popular medical drama House, once struggled with the same issue.

    The article reads:

    Searching for the cause combining these symptoms—and remembering an episode of the TV series “House” which we

    Read More »from Doctors save a patient's life - thanks to a tip from the TV show 'House'
  • An aerial view in Kitimat, B.C., Tuesday Jan. 10, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

    Opponents of controversial pipeline projects planned for British Columbia say Ottawa has unleashed its spies on them.

    It's certainly no secret the Conservative government has, to say the least, an antipathy towards environmental organizations allied with B.C. First Nations to try to stop the Northern Gateway and Kinder-Morgan oil sands pipelines.

    But the B.C. Civil Liberties Association alleges the RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) are breaking the law by snooping on legitimate groups.

    The association announced Thursday it would file complaints against CSIS and the Mounties with their respective watchdog agencies, The Canadian Press reported.

    The group claims the activities include illegal searches and, in the case of CSIS, spying on the peaceful, democratic activities of Canadians, which violates its mandate.

    It also says information was passed on to petroleum companies and the National Energy Board, which was conducting a joint review of Northern Gateway.

    The

    Read More »from Civil liberties group alleges Ottawa snooped on pipeline opponents
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is taking his talents to YouTube.

    On the same day that Ford proclaimed "Bob Marley Day," news came down that the inevitable Ford Nation YouTube show would soon become a reality.

    In the teaser posted to YouTube, Rob and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, are seen sitting together smiling. At one point Rob teases Doug about the size of his belly. Doug then repeats the Fordian claim of "pulling their hands out of the cookie jar."

    The first full segment is expected to be posted on Feb. 10. Just in time for campaign season.

    This is the Ford brothers' third foray into self-promotion. The pair had a long-running afternoon talk show on Newstalk 1010 radio, before it was cancelled in November following revelations the mayor had smoked crack cocaine and then lied about it.

    They were then

    Read More »from Rob and Doug Ford's new YouTube show set to launch Feb. 10
  • A Toronto woman trapped in Cuba following a car accident that claimed the life of her three-year-old son has been given permission to return to Canada ahead of his funeral this weekend.

    Justine Davis had been blocked from leaving Cuba by an ongoing investigation into a December collision that claimed the life of her son, Cameron.

    Six weeks after the fact and Justine was still refused permission to return to Canada. That is until Thursday, when friends confirm the police investigation ended and Justine was told she was free to go.

    “She definitely has a long road ahead of her, but it is the first step in the process,” friend Amber Hussey told Yahoo Canada News. “We are happy to see her coming home safe. We wish Cameron was coming along with her. It is bittersweet.”

    Davis's ordeal began on Dec. 20, 2013, when she and Cameron travelled to Cuba for a week-long vacation following the death of her father.

    On Dec. 23, they were involved in a car accident while riding on a rented scooter. She

    Read More »from Canadian Justine Davis free to leave Cuba ahead of son’s funeral
  • Illicit drugs, it appears, go in and out of fashion, like the size of men's jacket lapels and women's skirt lengths.

    Heroin was never really out but it's been making a major comeback the last few years thanks to lower prices and higher potency.

    The opium derivative that felled Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cory Monteith, not to mention John Belushi, Sid Vicious, Kurt Cobain, Lenny Bruce and a raft of other artists, has been embraced by a new generation seduced by its singular high.

    "There's 17- and 18-year-olds that are getting onto this stuff because [for] $10 you get a bundle," Connie Thompson, a former heroin addict turned addictions counsellor, told CBC News. "That'll get you going for a few hours."

    Heroin's renewed popularity has not happened overnight. As far back as 2010, Postmedia News reported that a surge in production of opium in Afghanistan since 2001 was fuelling heroin supplies. The war-torn country now supplies 92 per cent of the world's opium, Postmedia News said.

    Read More »from Philip Seymour Hoffman’s OD highlights resurgence of heroin, now cheaper and more potent
  • Terri-Jean Bedford talks to reporters at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa Dec. 20, 2013 (CP)It was predictable that when the Supreme Court gutted Canada's prostitution laws, but gave Ottawa a year to come up with new ones, there would be some uncertainty about what to do between now and then.

    The late-December unanimous decision ending the prohibition on brothels, street solicitation and living off the avails of prostitution (aimed at pimps, since prostitution itself is not illegal) has triggered widely varying responses from the provinces, which enforce the Criminal Code.

    Alberta, for instance, is still going after johns who solicit sex. The government issued a directive to Crown prosecutors this week after learning police were not laying charges because they didn't think the cases would be prosecuted, CBC News reported.

    “The existing law will largely be followed,” said Alberta Attorney General Jonathan Denis.

    Meanwhile, Ontario and New Brunswick have indicated they're backing off.

    [ Related: Ontario joins N.B. in move away from prostitution prosecutions ]

    Ontario plans to

    Read More »from Provincial prostitution law enforcement stuck in limbo after Supreme Court ruling

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