• Pamela Anderson, holding a picture of a rabbit allegedly used in a cosmetics toxicity test, April 25, 2008. (Getty)Pamela Anderson, holding a picture of a rabbit allegedly used in a cosmetics toxicity test, April 25, 2008. (Getty)

    June 18 marked a watershed moment in the fight to end cosmetic testing on animals in Canada. Just one week prior to the Senate’s summer recess, Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen introduced Bill S-234, the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which will ban animal testing for cosmetics and prohibit the sale of cosmetic products or ingredients that have been animal tested in other parts of the world.

    But, if you really haven't thought about cosmetic testing on animals since, well, the last time you thought about acid rain or The Body Shop’s Peppermint Foot Lotion — let's say the mid-90s — you're not alone.

    "Most people don’t actually know that it still occurs and when we tell them we're working to ban it in Canada, the first thing out of their mouth is 'I thought they stopped 20 years ago’," says Aviva Vetter, the Program & Development Officer for Humane Society International.

    This historic legislation resulted from a partnership between Senator Stewart Olsen, the Animal Alliance of Canada and

    Read More »from Canada makes new progress in banning animal-testing for cosmetics
  • Canadians complaining about the cost of living in Vancouver or Toronto ought to try a stint in Luanda in Angola or Hong Kong.

    According to the recent cost of living tally by global consultancy firm Mercer, both Vancouver and Toronto land somewhere in the center, placing 119 and 125 respectively on the list which takes into account the cost of over 200 goods and services in over 360 cities worldwide. Meanwhile, Montreal place 140 and Calgary came in 146.

    It turns out Canadian cities are on par with luxe locales like Barcelona or Cairo which placed 124 and 120.

    Compared to last year, it’s a 23-spot drop for Vancouver and 25-space slip for Toronto on the chichi list, but it pales in comparison to Toronto’s 61 place finish and Vancouver’s 63 in 2012.

    The catalyst is Canada’s weakening loonie against the U.S. greenback, says Gordon Frost, Mercer’s Talent Leader for Canada.

    “There are two variables that influence the index movement, the currency and the price movement, both in the home and

    Read More »from Vancouver and Toronto a bargain compared to other global cities
  • Cait FlandersCait Flanders

    By Aviva West

    Cait Flanders, a 30-year-old woman from Vancouver, has made exactly three unplanned purchases in the past year.

    Flanders, who has been on a strict shopping ban since July 7, 2014, has a long list of items she isn’t allowed to buy, including takeout coffee, books, clothes, makeup and electronics.

    Author of the Blonde on a Budget blog, Flanders started her mission to rehab her finances back in 2011 when she realized that she was 26 years old and $28,000 in debt, with very little to show for it.

    Hoping to share her journey and be held accountable as she attempted to pay down her loans, she blogged about her experiences living on as little as 45 per cent of her monthly income. Within the first year she was able to repay $10,000 and by the second year had paid off another $11,000. On May 21, 2013, Flanders was officially debt-free.

    In 2014, despite being debt-free, Flanders — who wasn’t immediately available to comment — realized that there was still work to be done. She was

    Read More »from Vancouver woman blogs about her yearlong shopping ban
  • A grad student is on a road trip across Western Canada to study the elusive wild boar.A grad student is on a road trip across Western Canada to study the elusive wild boar.

    A grad student from University of Saskatchewan is embarking on a road trip across Western Canada to learn everything she possibly can about an elusive creature that wreaks havoc on our land: the feral boar.

    Ruth Kost, a master’s student at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources, chose to analyze the wild pig since little is known about its activity in Canada.

    “I wanted to do my research on a big animal, not a bird or fish,” she told Yahoo Canada News. “It’s gotten more interesting since no one else has studied it. It’s exciting. We can go anywhere we want with this.”

    For Kost, anywhere means crisscrossing between Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia for the next three months, collecting as much data as possible.

    She intends to conduct surveys amongst local farmers, hunters, biologists and conservation officers regarding ecological information, like the habitat they’ve been spotted in and whether they were alone or in a group. She’ll

    Read More »from Grad student studying elusive wild boars across Western Canada
  • Porter Airlines: North America's Best Regional AirlineClick here for high-resolution versionPorter Airlines: North America's Best Regional AirlineClick here for high-resolution version

    The Office of the Official Languages Commissioner is investigating a complaint from a francophone Toronto man who says he was escorted off a Porter Airlines flight  “like a terrorist” after demanding service in French.

    Louis Labrecque filed two complaints — one against Porter and another against Ports Toronto, which operates the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

    But the complaint against Porter has already been dismissed. An investigation is underway into the complaint against the airport.

    Labrecque, who did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment, told Le Droit newspaper that he was on board a Porter flight from Montreal to Toronto on July 1 when he asked for a “jus de pomme.”

    The flight attendant responded that they did not speak French.

    Then just before landing, Labrecque says he was given a safety instruction in English only and at that point, he raised his voice.

    He says none of the three security agents who escorted him off the plane spoke French and he had to wait

    Read More »from Francophone man escorted off Porter flight after demanding service in French
  • Pauly, a six-legged stray cat in Edmonton, needs surgery to have his extra limbs removed.Pauly, a six-legged stray cat in Edmonton, needs surgery to have his extra limbs removed.

    It may be hard to say how many lives Pauly the cat has lived, but it’s easy to count how many legs he has: six.

    Well, at least for the time being since an Edmonton cat rescue is raising funds for the surgery required to remove the extra limbs from the extraordinary feline.

    Two neighbours in the city’s South-West region initially discovered the black and white stray in their yard. While they fed and cared for the cat, they noticed he was having trouble walking. The Good Samaritans managed to trap Pauly, who’s believed to be about seven, and transferred him to the Little Cats Lost society.

    The volunteer group, which runs on a trap, neuter and return system, knew the animal needed specialized care, so it brought him to the Oxford Animal Hospital.

    “I’ve never seen anything like this,” says Tara Weismantel, manager at Oxford Animal Hospital. “Our vets who work here have never seen anything like this. It’s very, very rare.”

    Specialists who examined Pauly suspect he “absorbed another kitten

    Read More »from Six-legged cat needs surgery to walk again
  • By Sherry Noik

    Rape, murder, dismemberment — these are just a few of the horrific allegations against Canadian mining operations in foreign countries.

    And thanks to a landmark Ontario ruling, Canada’s courts are set to decide whether corporations based here are culpable for atrocities committed by their contractors thousands of miles away.

    “Survivors of abuses associated with Canadian mining companies are increasingly frustrated and vocal about the lack of redress in Canada because there is no meaningful government regulation or process to seek remedies from Canadian corporations,” Matt Eisenbrandt, of the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), said in a statement. “Survivors are turning to civil lawsuits as the only means for accountability and compensation.”

    In one case, three separate lawsuits were filed against Hudbay Minerals Inc. of Flin Flon, Man., and its El Estor mine site in Guatemala, located on lands the Mayan Q'eqchi locals claim is traditional ancestral

    Read More »from Foreign workers suing Canadian companies for atrocities
  • A demonstrator holds a sign during a march to protest against Nestle bottling water during the California drought, outside a Nestle Arrowhead water bottling plant in Los Angeles, May 20, 2015. Despite the current California drought, the total volume of bottled water consumed in the United States hit 11 billion gallons last year, up more than 7 percent from 2013. That translated into an average of 34 gallons per person, according to the International Bottled Water Association, citing data from the Beverage Marketing Corp. REUTERS/Patrick T. FallonA demonstrator holds a sign during a march to protest against Nestle bottling water during the California drought, outside a Nestle Arrowhead water bottling plant in Los Angeles, May 20, 2015. Despite the current California drought, the total volume of bottled water consumed in the United States hit 11 billion gallons last year, up more than 7 percent from 2013. That translated into an average of 34 gallons per person, according to the International Bottled Water Association, citing data from the Beverage Marketing Corp. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

    Hundreds of wildfires are scorching British Columbia, while drought conditions just a few weeks into summer have forced water restrictions and the closure of fisheries in some areas of the province.

    So many residents are asking why Nestle Canada and other water bottling companies are still allowed to bottle unknown millions of litres a day — for free until new, low fees go into effect next year.

    Even once those fees are in place, water bottlers like Nestle will pay just $2.25 per million litres for B.C. water.

    “It is by far the lowest in the country,” says Ian Stephen of the Water Wealth Project.

    The group worked with SumofUs.org to launch an online petition demanding the province revisit its water pricing regime.

    The petition is well past its goal of 150,000 signatures. Stephen says the date for delivering the petition to government has yet to be decided.

    The B.C. government passed a new Water Sustainability Act last year. The new act regulates groundwater use for the first time,

    Read More »from B.C. water woes prompt protest against water-bottling companies
  • Canada Post has pulled one of its UNESCO World Heritage Sites stamps after it used the wrong image of Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park.Canada Post has pulled one of its UNESCO World Heritage Sites stamps after it used the wrong image of Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park.

    Canada Post is taking the blame for issuing a stamp with the wrong image of a Canadian landmark.

    The stamp in question features a photo of hoodoos, columns of rock that jut out from the badlands, which can be found in Drumheller, Alta.

    However, the image is labelled as Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park, which is almost two hours away.

    Spokeswoman Anick Losier says the stamps, which were part of a pack of five, were issued on Friday and meant to celebrate the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Almost immediately, Canada Post received feedback that it had made a mistake and took full responsibility for the flub on Monday.

    “We contacted the mayor of Drumheller, Alberta Parks as well as the Canadian Badlands Tourism to apologize,” Losier says.

    Once the mistake was confirmed, the stamps were pulled from Canada Post’s website and mail orders. The agency is currently recalling the product from about 6,000 post offices across the country. Once the incorrect stamps are collected, they

    Read More »from Canada Post pulls stamp after using wrong image of Alberta park
  • Four cancer charities allegedly used more than $187 million in donations to buy cars, luxury cruises, concert tickets and even dating memberships for families and friends   Four cancer charities allegedly used more than $187 million in donations to buy cars, luxury cruises, concert tickets and even dating memberships for families and friends

     

    We’ve all experienced that knock on the door, usually during dinner, and almost always involving a sincere-looking soul, clipboard in hand, asking for just a moment to discuss this important cause. Of course they don’t want to talk about the cause, they just want you to give them money, but okay, fine, you get the drill. They’re fundraising. Often the organization is instantly apparent and familiar - Heart and Stroke, Canadian Diabetes Association - though sometimes it only sounds familiar, like a name you’d give to a charity if you wanted it to sound legit. But is it? Frequently it’s hard to know. When there are an estimated 170,000 Canadian nonprofits and charities, 88,000 that are registered, it can be difficult to confidently draw the line between the good and the bad, the altruistic and the scammers, especially face-to-face.

    But Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of Imagine Canada, a national charitable organization dedicated to providing charities and nonprofit organizations

    Read More »from Is that 'charity' canvassing at your door a scam?

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