• A woman holds a ticket purchased for the U.S.  Powerball lottery on February 9, 2015. (Reuters)A woman holds a ticket purchased for the U.S. Powerball lottery on February 9, 2015. (Reuters)

    If you play the lottery regularly, you probably love that interval between the time you buy the ticket and when the numbers are drawn.

    You get to dream a little about what you’ll do with all those millions if you win. You conjure fantasies about quitting your job, lying on a beach, paying cash for your dream house and studding the driveway with toys or playing lady bountiful to your family. That’s what the lottery ads suggest, anyway.

    The dream almost always evaporates after you check your numbers. But for the rare few, that moment makes the dream real. And that can be a daunting prospect.

    Suddenly, you’re confronted with the challenge of actually making decisions about the equivalent of several lifetimes’ earnings for the average person. No one could blame you for being intimidated.

    In B.C., for instance, someone came forward Monday to claim a $50-million Lotto Max price just days before the March 14, 2014, ticket was set to expire.

    It’s the longest anyone has ever waited to bring

    Read More »from Winning the lottery can be more frightening than exciting for Canadians
  • You think we had lots of snow and cold weather in Canada this winter? You're absolutely right. (CBC)You think we had lots of snow and cold weather in Canada this winter? You're absolutely right. (CBC)

    We are Canadian. Winter does not scare us.

    We invented snowmobiles, the snow blower, Polar fleece and Plexi-glass. There may be some debate about whether we invented hockey but, let’s be honest, we own it now.

    But enough already.

    Environment Canada statistics confirm what Canucks felt in their frozen bones — this winter has been a brutal beating from Mother Nature.

    There are reports that the snow banks in Moncton, N.B. are three storeys high.

    Three. Storeys.

    NASA kindly pointed out on Jan. 8 that it was warmer in the Gale Crater on Mars than it was throughout much of Canada, and there was one day in January that Ottawa was the coldest capital city on Earth — colder than Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, and Moscow, Russia.

    Niagara Falls froze. Okay, that happens a lot… when it’s incredibly cold.

    Ontario and
    Read More »from Environment Canada confirms how ridiculously cold winter has been this year
  • Students walk through the campus of Cape Breton University (Facebook)Students walk through the campus of Cape Breton University (Facebook)

    It’s been three years since Canadians had a rousing national debate around the rising costs of a university education.

    The last big dust up was in 2012, when students in Quebec took to the streets by the tens of thousands to loudly – and, ultimately, successfully – protest a plan to hike post-secondary fees across the province.

    Now, it’s Nova Scotia’s turn to speak out, albeit in a much quieter voice (and, so far, no banging pots).

    Earlier this month, officials at Cape Breton University (CBU) joined academics and students at the school in issuing an “urgent” call to eliminate tuition fees at all Canadian universities, similar to the zero-tuition model in Germany.

    Proponents argue that high costs of university unfairly squeeze out thousands of qualified students who can’t afford the upfront costs and fear the financially crippling student-debt levels they’ll face post-graduation.

    It’s a dire situation that, without a coordinated national education policy to guide us, poses “serious

    Read More »from Free tuition: Cape Breton University renews debate on whether it's viable in Canada
  • A sign welcomes visitors to Taber, Alta. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)A sign welcomes visitors to Taber, Alta. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

    Teenagers in the small town of Taber, Alta., will have to think twice before their next act of public mischief thanks to a new bylaw that outlaws what city council deems to be bad behaviour.

    The new "Community Standards Bylaw" was drafted in partnership with local police and has effectively outlawed swearing and yelling, given police the power to break up public meetings between adults in groups of three or more, and enforced an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for minors.

    Those under the age of 18 cannot be in public without a parent or guardian during the curfew and those who are caught doing so will be handing over a $100 fine after being brought home by police. Exceptions will only be given to those travelling by "motor vehicle from one point to another without detour" and to those acting in the interests of an employer or voluntary organization.

    Other fines include $75 for a first offence of spitting on property that you don't own and $150 for being caught yelling or swearing. The

    Read More »from Taber, Alta., outlaws bad public behaviour with fines for swearing, yelling
  • The Supreme Court of Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldThe Supreme Court of Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

    Months after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling placed restrictions on the use of Mr. Big operations, cases relying on the controversial complex stings are continuing to wend their way through the courts.

    Others, whose cases resulted in convictions, are hoping the Supreme Court’s decision will mean their cases get tossed out or at least appealed.

    Mr. Big operations are used by police to obtain confessions or other evidence as undercover police officers  who pose as criminals and offer things to induce information.

    Critics – and there are many – say the nature of the stings can lead to false confessions from people who want to impress Mr. Big or earn money or other incentives offered by undercover operations.

    Last summer, the Supreme Court ruling on the Hart case from Newfoundland set the stage for new rules governing the stings. While it did not prevent their use, it did impose limits on when and how they could be used as confessions during stings can be unreliable.

    An analysis

    Read More »from Mr. Big: Controversial police technique still used, despite Supreme Court limits
  • Speed a factor in Etobicoke woman's snowmobile death: policeSpeed a factor in Etobicoke woman's snowmobile death: police
    A spate of snowmobile deaths in Quebec last weekend is once again calling into question the safety of one of Canada’s most popular winter pastimes.

    Three people died, bringing to 27 the number of people who’ve died aboard snowmobiles in Quebec so far this season. It equals the figure for the 2012-13 season and one below the fatality total for 2010-11, according to figures compiled by the Fédération des Clubs de Motoneigistes du Québec.

    Eleven of this year’s deaths happened off Quebec’s 32,000 kilometres of maintained trails and three involved alcohol, according to the federation’s figures.

    Dozens of people die in snowmobile accidents in Canada every year, though precise figures are hard to come by because provinces usually lump them in with other types off off-road accidents, such as all-terrain vehicle rollovers.

    But data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information suggests snowmobiling trails only skiing and snowboarding in winter activities that result in trips to the

    Read More »from Weekend deaths in Quebec cast light on snowmobile safety
  • Maple syrup labels replacing numbers with descriptionsMaple syrup labels replacing numbers with descriptions

    It’s finally warming up outside, which means the sap in maple trees across the Great White North is starting to flow. Soon all that sap will get tapped, boiled and bottled for sale. As you consider stocking up on this season’s maple syrup, the nutritional data on the side of the bottles might sour your take on the sweet stuff.

    Every tablespoon of syrup has about four teaspoons of sugar in it. Just last week, the World Health Organization recommended people slash their sugar intake to just six to 12 teaspoons per day. The guidelines by the UN health agency focused on the added sugars in processed food, as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. Which means if you slather syrup on your pancakes in the morning you’ll likely have already exceeded your sugar limit for the entire day. Yahoo Canada News tapped the expertise of a dietitian in Quebec ,the largest producer of maple syrup in Canada, for her take on this sticky situation.

    Cutting out all sugar is not

    Read More »from New WHO sugar guidelines shouldn't stop Canadians from enjoying maple syrup
  • TransLink (CBC)TransLink (CBC)

    Transit police in Metro Vancouver have a suspect but no victim yet in an alleged sexual assault incident gaining attention through social media.

    The agency has made a public appeal for the young woman who was assaulted last week to come forward but so far she hasn’t, said spokeswoman Anne Drennan.

    It’s all too common, she said. Only about 10 per cent of all sexual assaults are reported.

    “It can be that the woman believes that nothing can be done, that the police won’t believe her, that they won’t take it seriously and so they don’t bother reporting it,” Drennan told Yahoo Canada News.

    But Metro Vancouver transit police last year launched a campaign specifically targeting sexual harassment and sexual assault on public transit.

    And they want riders to know that any unwelcome touching is assault.

    “We want the predators off the system,” Drennan said.


    Related stories:

    Release of alleged B.C. sex assault victim description raises concerns

    SkyTrain sex assault victim searched for via

    Read More »from Public transit predators all too often go unreported: transit police
  • The remains were found on a part of the Stawamus Chief near Squamish that's not on a path or easily accessible, except to skilled climbers. (Karl Woll)The remains were found on a part of the Stawamus Chief near Squamish that's not on a path or easily accessible, except to skilled climbers. (Karl Woll)
    A rock climber in Squamish, B.C., thought he’d found a pretty interesting artifact while climbing the Stawamus Chief last week.

    He had no idea.

    The man was shocked to learn that the B.C. Coroners Service issued a public appeal earlier this week for the return of the missing piece of what could be skeletal human remains.

    “They just didn’t know what they had,” said Barb McLintock, spokeswoman for the coroners service, which announced Friday that the remains had been turned over.

    Someone contacted authorities on Feb. 27 to report that they’d found the remains on a remote ledge on the famed climbing wall near Squamish, B.C.

    The coroner, Squamish Search and Rescue and local RCMP organized a recovery expedition on Feb. 28.

    When they arrived, they found that at some time between the afternoon of Feb. 26 and noon on Feb. 28, someone had removed a piece of the remains.

    The girlfriend of the climber who picked up the remains saw a public appeal from the coroners’ office on Monday.

    “When the

    Read More »from Rock climber returns skeletal remains from Stawamus Chief to B.C. coroner
  • A pack of Nestle Pure Life bottled water is pictured in a showroom at the company headquarters. (Reuters)A pack of Nestle Pure Life bottled water is pictured in a showroom at the company headquarters. (Reuters)

    British Columbia’s new water laws are making waves. A movement calling on the province to rethink what it costs to drink West Coast water is gaining momentum.

    Nearly 83,000 people have signed an online petition pressuring the provincial government to increase the fees it will charge water bottling companies to tap B.C. water.

    “Call on the government of British Columbia to stop allowing Nestlé and other corporate freeloaders from extracting Canada’s water for next to nothing,” says the petition at SumOfUs.org.

    “Canada has some of the purest, cleanest and most delicious water in the world — and Nestlé doesn’t think anything of sucking it out of the ground for a pittance and selling it back in a plastic bottle. Nor does the government, apparently.”

    The B.C. government passed the Water Sustainability Act last year, replacing the century-old Water Act.

    The new law regulates groundwater use for the first time, bringing water from aquifers below ground on par with surface water from lakes

    Read More »from B.C. residents petition against province's water sales scheme

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