• Few things are more jealously guarded in the business world than trade secrets.

    Where would Kentucky Fried Chicken be without its 11 secret herbs and spices? And when someone tried to peddle the secret formula for Coca-Cola to Pepsi in 2006, the iconic soft drink's arch rival promptly went to the cops, resulting in three arrests.

    "Competition can sometimes be fierce, but also must be fair and legal," PepsiCo spokesman Dave DeCecco told Fox News at the time. "We're pleased the authorities and the FBI have identified the people responsible for this."

    So when a human rights case involving a Tim Hortons franchisee threatened to reveal the doughnut king's trove of baked-goods recipes, the company's legal team sprang into action.

    An exasperated B.C. Supreme Court judge urged the two sides to work things out themselves, but not before Christopher McHardy, representing Tim Hortons Inc., warned that key elements of the company's business could be compromised, the Globe and Mail reported.


    Read More »from Human rights case risks exposing secret Tim Hortons recipes, lawyers say
  • Despite an ongoing scandal involving the cancellation of two Ontario gas plants and an alleged coverup that's shaking, to say the least, the province's Liberal government, it looks like voters are no closer to holding them accountable at the polls.

    While the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario hammers its drums and calls for the end of Premier Kathleen Wynne's government, the third-placed Ontario NDP still doesn’t seem to be in a rush to force an election.

    This is in spite of recently-released court documents which suggest a former chief of staff is being investigated for an alleged breach of trust.

    New information released this week suggests David Livingston, the chief of staff for former premier Dalton McGuinty, in being investigated for allegedly attempting to cover up the ongoing gas plant scandal by allowing an outside tech expert access to 24 government computers in order to clear the hard drives ahead of a leadership transition.

    The revelation inspired fresh attacks from

    Read More »from Scandal-plagued Ontario Liberal government stuck in limbo because of the NDP
  • Police officer Michael Klarenbeek shot at Brampton, Ont. courthouse in stable condition

    Ontario's Special Invesitgations Unit has confirmed a man suspected of shooting a police officer at a Toronto-area courthouse has been shot dead, CP24 reports.

    Peel Region Police officer Const. Michael Klarenbeek was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital shortly after 11 a.m. ET after police responded to reports that a shooting had taken place at the Davis Courthouse in Brampton, Ont. The 53-year-old officer, who was providing security in the courtroom, is now reported to be in stable condition.

    Early reports from the scene were confirmed by people at the courthouse via social media.

    Several witnesses have tweeted from the Brampton, Ont., courthouse that they heard a shooting and that the building was locked down. One lawyer in the building says she was ordered to stay in her office for security reasons.

    Const. Fiona Thivierge says the shooting occurred within the courthouse, but adds that the Special Investigations Unit has been called in and police are not allowed to provide any more

    Read More »from Police officer Michael Klarenbeek shot at Brampton, Ont. courthouse in stable condition
  • Know what we haven't had in a while? A good old fashioned book banning, where we get together and decide our children shouldn't read something because it's offensive or vulgar or promotes (or simply references) activities and lifestyles of which we don't approve.

    Thankfully, society rarely has to wait long for someone to read something they don't like and call for the mob.

    A Kamloops, B.C., father announced this week that he wanted the local school board to remove The Perks of Being a Wallflower from its curriculum for vulgar content and its pornographic nature.

    "The amount of vulgarity and the amount of pornography was just overwhelming," Dean Audet told a local television station this week, adding he found 41 points of offense after reading the book.

    The issue received further attention when The Province newspaper joined the debate. The father of four, whose oldest child had been assigned the book for his Grade 10 class, told the newspaper he'd fight the school board "for another 10

    Read More »from When should books like ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ be banned?
  • University of Victoria students Isabelle Couture and James Attfield did a survey of unpaid internships with the Canadian Intern Association. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
    The Ontario government has fired a shot across the bow of the province's magazine sector over the use of unpaid internships.

    The Ministry of Labour has ordered The Walrus and Toronto Life to kill their internship programs by Friday following complaints of unfair labour practices, the Globe and Mail reports.

    A ministry inspector found the magazines' programs employing aspiring journalists, designers and others in unpaid roles contravened the Employment Standards Act, the Globe said.

    The Walrus's web page for jobs and internships carried an announcement that no four-to-six-month unpaid internships can be offered unless the interns have a formal agreement for a work experience with a vocational school.

    According to Postmedia News, Toronto Life was using interns for work that was not tied to their studies. Only people doing work for school credit can participate in unpaid internships. The law requires all others to be paid at least minimum wage, Postmedia News said.

    [ Related: Backlash

    Read More »from Ontario cracks down on unpaid internships at prominent Canadian magazines
  • Toronto politics tends to dominate the headlines, especially in southern Ontario. But beyond the circus tents at Toronto City Hall, to borrow a phrase, elections worth watching are looming in cities across the Greater Toronto Area.

    Mississauga will choose a new mayor for the first time in 36 years, following news that octogenarian Mayor Hazel McCallion is not seeking re-election.

    But Brampton, often lost in the shadows of larger GTA communities, has an election tale of its own to tell, and from recent accounts it an intriguing one.

    The Toronto Star reports that Mayor Susan Fennell is facing questions after quietly requesting her salary be lowered ahead of a provincial audit last year. The move comes after Fennell was found to be the highest-paid mayor in the country.

    The issue was to be discussed at a city council meeting on Wednesday, but Fennell was a no-show.

    In a statement released that day, Fennell said her husband was admitted to hospital to undergo heart surgery. "As a result, I

    Read More »from Where will Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell rank on next list of highest-paid mayors?
  • We may be reaching a tipping point when it comes to citizens' tolerance of our political class's sense of entitlement. Politicians may be starting to realize it, but they still only seem to acknowledge it when they're caught.

    The latest outbreak of perk remorse comes from the left coast, where two New Democrat MLAs and the speaker of the B.C. legislature, who's a Liberal, have cut cheques in the last week to reimburse taxpayers for dubious travel expenses.

    On Wednesday, the NDP's Raj Chouhan, who also happens to be deputy speaker, refund the $2,200 cost of taking his wife with him on a South African junket last year. It follows Speaker Linda Reid's decision to pay back $5,500 in government funds used to bring her husband on the same trip. Why the travel cost of Reid's spouse was more than twice as much as Chouhan's is anyone's guess.

    Last week, New Democrat MLA Jenny Kwan repaid $35,000 for vacation trips bankrolled by the Portland Hotel Society. The society is a sprawling non-profit

    Read More »from Travel expenses: Are politicians only sorry when they’re caught?
  • Making a life in northern Canada has never been easy and it's no secret food prices are astronomical compared with south of 60.

    But a study just released by the Council of Canadian Academies offers a picture of just how difficult things are for aboriginal northerners, especially Inuit people, when it comes to food security.

    The study, released Thursday, looks at the state of knowledge about aboriginal food insecurity in the North among First Nations, Inuit and Metis households.

    It shows that aboriginal households across Canada experience food insecurity at more than twice the rate of their non-aboriginal counterparts – 27 per cent versus 12 per cent.

    [ Related: Northerners blast high prices for basic foods, including $20 for jug of milk ]

    And when you move north, the problem skyrockets, especially among Inuit people.

    It found almost 70 per cent of Inuit preschool-age children live in food-insecure households, with 56 per cent of living in homes with child-specific food insecurity.


    Read More »from Many Inuit children regularly going hungry due to food insecurity: report
  • By most accounts, Mayor Rob Ford was the hands-down winner of Wednesday's televised Toronto mayoral debate, based on his ability to stay on message and the almost dispiriting inability of other candidates to pin him down on his record, either personal or political.

    The debate was a messy affair, with Toronto television station CityNews intentionally slotting in three segments of unregulated "discussion," which descended so quickly into a pointless shouting match that moderator and veteran news anchor Gord Martineau at one point threw his hands up in despair.

    The chaos was music to the mayor’s ears. You could see Ford smiling as the mousey voices of his four competitors fought to reach a pitch his own reaches naturally.

    The chaotic tone to the first televised debate of the 2014 Toronto mayoral election – still seven months from voting day – was the perfect environment for Ford to excel. And he did, by relying on blunt talking points and misinformation, to which his opponents had little

    Read More »from The political genius of Rob Ford’s ‘billion-dollar’ savings claim
  • A Toronto woman is warning dog owners to keep extra vigilant after a terrifying elevator accident nearly cost the life of one of her pets.

    Tamara Seibert told the Toronto Sun that the leash of her 50-kg Rottweiler was caught in the door of her condominium's elevator, lifting the hefty creature off of the ground and nearly choking it to death.

    She fought to free him from the leash, breaking two fingers in the process, before finally the leash snapped and the dog fell to the ground, panicked but alive.

    Seibert posted a video of the incident her Facebook page and warned followers that the accident, which happened nearly a month ago, could happen to anyone.

    "I am posting this because thank god my dog survived but I want to warn people how fast something so simple can go horribly wrong," she wrote. "I never want anyone else to ever go through this. You can't see my face but I've never been so hysterical in my life."

    [ Related: Toronto mayoral debate: Who won, who lost? ]

    Seibert concedes

    Read More »from Dog nearly strangled in terrifying Toronto elevator mishap


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