• Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is pushing for a subway to be built in Scarborough instead of light rail. Toronto's eastern suburb of Scarborough is now on track to get a subway extension. And maybe, just maybe, if funding can be found and the federal and provincial governments agree to follow Toronto's meandering path toward modernization, they might actually get one.


    Toronto city council voted on Wednesday to set aside a plan to build an extensive light-rail transit line in the suburbs and instead tilt at the chance of building an underground subway.

    The vote came in at 28-16, with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leading the subway charge.

    As became apparent during the debate on Tuesday, it was apparent Ford didn't entirely understand the plan he was voting to dismiss. Regardless, the word "subway" has become a re-election rally cry for Ford, so it probably didn't matter what was standing in the way of his plan.

    [ Related: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford confused about current transit plan ]

    Read More »from Toronto council votes to bring subways into Scarborough
  • A nurse takes a blood sample from a boy at the Indian School, Port Alberni, B.C., in 1948.Reports that scientists used aboriginal children as unwitting guinea pigs in a nutrition-research project shows Canada still has a lot to answer for in its treatment of First Nations.

    It's not enough that children were wrenched from their parents to spend years in assimilationist native residential schools, where sexual and physical abuse was common. Now we learn that some were deliberately starved as part of a vast experiment in the value of vitamins for at least a decade in the 1940s and early '50s.

    The Canadian Press reported on research by food historian Ian Mosby of the University of Guelph, who stumbled on references to the federally sponsored research while looking into the development of health policy.

    “I started to find vague references to studies conducted on ‘Indians’ that piqued my interest and seemed potentially problematic, to say the least,” he told CP. “I went on a search to find out what was going on.”

    Mosby's digging revealed a picture of a cold, cruelly calculated

    Read More »from Hungry aboriginal kids became unwitting lab rats in 1940s nutrition experiments
  • The owner of an Edmonton-based “shock” website that posted a copy of a dismemberment video at the centre of the Luka Magnotta murder investigation has been charged moral corruption.

    Mark Marek, the owner and operator of bestgore.com, was arrested on Tuesday and will appear in court tomorrow. Police allege that Marek was aware the video entitled “1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick” depicted an actual murder.

    “It is alleged that Marek posted the video online in Edmonton, knowing the video that was sent to him by Luka Magnotta was depicting a real murder,” Staff Sgt. Bill Clark said in a statement.

    The tape is connected to the shocking and horrifying death of Montreal’s Jun Lin, who disappeared in late May 2012. Pieces of his body were later mailed to political offices in Ottawa and schools in Vancouver.

    The video reportedly shows a naked man tied to a bed being slowly dismembered and killed by a hooded figure with an ice pick. Montreal police have charged Luka Magnotta first degree murder, offering

    Read More »from Edmonton gore website owner charged for hosting video in Luka Magnotta case
  • The sudden death of “Glee” star Cory Monteith left Canadians in a state of shock earlier this week, when he was found in a Vancouver hotel room after a night out with friends. An autopsy later confirmed what many had feared: the Canadian actor, a recovering drug addict, had died from a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol.

    The loss was palpable; fans mourned with family, others joined with their own tears. Debate stirred as the world lost another young talent to drugs.

    Beyond the mourning, Monteith's sudden death prompted thought, introspection and discussion. His death split Yahoo! Canada News readers between those furious that another life had been wasted and those remorseful over the loss of another talented, but damaged, person.

    [ Related: Cory Monteith died from overdose of heroin, alcohol: coroner ]

    Yahoo! reader JLL expressed remorse at the tragic death. "No one should have to die this way," JLL wrote. "I would never wish the disease of addiction on anyone. It's a very tough one

    Read More »from How Canadians reacted to Cory Monteith’s death
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is pushing for a subway to be built in Scarborough instead of light rail.
    Confusion and obfuscation returned to Toronto City Hall on Wednesday as councillors continue to debate the merits of scrapping a plan to build a light-rail transit line in the city's east end and instead approve a stretch of subway expansion.

    It is just the latest battle in a historically epic, and exhausting, war over how to expand transit in the city. Right when the eastern suburb of Scarborough was set to receive 10 kilometres of grade-separated LRT tracks, it seems council may instead approve the construction of a 7.6 kilometre subway line.

    The problem is, however, the plan does not have funding commitments from the federal or provincial governments. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had suggested that $333 million of federal funds allocated for a separate transit line could be taken and used to build the Scarborough subway instead.

    This, aside from putting that separate project at considerable risk, also doesn't seem to be an option.

    [ Related: Scarborough subway debate moves to Day 2 ]


    Read More »from Subways or bust: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford seems confused about current transit plan
  • Cory Monteith died from an overdose of heroin, alcohol, B.C. coroner says

    Glee star Cory Monteith died from an overdose of heroin and alcohol, the British Columbia coroner has confirmed.

    An autopsy performed on the 31-year-old Calgary native included a toxicology analysis.

    The coroners' service says there is no evidence to suggest foul play was involved. Monteith's death has been ruled an accident, but police continue to investigate.

    Monteith's body was discovered by staff of the posh Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel on Saturday, July 13, when he failed to check out on schedule.

    Monteith, who was born in Calgary and raised in Victoria, was raised by his mother after his parents split up when he was seven. He dropped out of school and knocked around different jobs in B.C. — including working as a Wal-Mart greeter in Nanaimo, B.C. — before drifting into acting in the late 1990s. He snagged guest parts on shows such as Stargate: Atlantis and Smallville before landing his star-making role as Finn Hudson on the musical comedy-drama Glee.

    [ Related: How Canadians reacted to

    Read More »from Cory Monteith died from an overdose of heroin, alcohol, B.C. coroner says
  • It's not surprising that the deadly Lac-Megantic rail disaster has reignited debate over the safest way to ship crude oil.

    A runaway train carrying American crude to Maine via Canada derailed and exploded in the eastern Quebec town this month, killing at least 37 and likely as many as 50 residents.

    The disaster shed light on the mushrooming use of rail to transport crude to refineries or for expert because existing pipelines are at full. CBC News noted statistics show shipments have soared from 6,000 train carloads in 2009 to an estimated 14,000 this year.

    The accident produced debate over whether oil pipelines, whatever their risks, perhaps are a safer way of moving large volumes of oil than trainloads contained in fragile tank cars.

    It's a timely discussion, considering major projects such as the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to take Alberta oil sands crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Northern Gateway pipeline that proposes shipping it to the B.C. coast for export to Asia and the Energy

    Read More »from Opposition to west-east oil pipeline heats up as questions grow over shipping oil by rail
  • Work continues at the crash site of the train derailment and fire Tuesday, July 16, 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Que.
    As more of the site of the Lac-Megantic rail disaster is revealed to the public, Canadians are getting a glimpse of the hellish conditions workers face in the gruelling task of recovering remains and gathering evidence.

    It's nothing like TV's CSI:Crime Scene Investigation, one expert told The Canadian Press.

    "Those poor guys are on their hands and knees, wading through soot," said Dr. Bill Inkster, an identification specialist with the B.C. Coroners Service.

    "They look like 17th century coal miners by now, I'm sure, and brushing ashes [away]with paint brushes," he said told CP from the coroners service headquarters in Burnaby, B.C. "It's just plain hard work — meticulous, slow."

    Two more bodies were recovered Monday from the flame-blasted ruins of Lac-Megantic's downtown, where a runaway train of oil tank cars derailed and exploded in the early morning hours of July 6. It brought the number of confirmed dead to 37, with 13 others still missing, their remains likely still in the rubble.


    Read More »from Gruelling job of identifying Lac-Megantic victims is not like some slick TV show, experts say
  • Ombudsman Andre Marin is seen at the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.Ontario Ombudsman André Marin is disappointed, let down by a government that has promised changes, but has not delivered.

    The independent oversight office is tasked with keeping the government and services in line, with protecting the little guy. But even when it gets results, changes are slow coming.

    A report from the Ombudsman’s Office released on Tuesday outlines the issues Marin and his staff have faced this year. One key piece of frustration is his lack of jurisdiction, primarily in the healthcare sector.

    More on that later. There is something else in the report that could make hair stand on end.

    Marin confirmed on Tuesday that a questionable law enacted to give Ontario police additional powers during Toronto's G20 Summit in 2010 is still on the books.

    The Public Works Protection Act, an ancient law resurrected (and more than a few would add, abused) by the province before the summit and its corresponding protests hit downtown Toronto, was supposed to come off the books. Alas, not yet.

    Read More »from Ontario’s overzealous G20 policing law still on books: ombudsman
  • Last month's devastating floods in Alberta also unleashed a torrent of bad publicity for insurance companies that denied many homeowners' damage claims.

    But the Globe and Mail reports the PR disaster that followed the natural disaster has caused some insurers to backpedal and reconsider settling claims that were initially rejected.

    A lot of Albertans weren't happy when they found those warm and fuzzy insurance company TV commercials didn't reflect reality when it came to their situations.

    Most homeowner insurance policies cover flooding due to sewer backup but not the kind of overland flooding responsible for much of the damage in Calgary, High River, Canmore and other Alberta communities.

    The first signs that things were going sideways appeared in early July when homeowners complained about inconsistent policies from different insurers. Some honoured the sewer-backup provisions while others denied claims, arguing the damage was caused by overland flooding, not sewer backup.

    "It is

    Read More »from PR disaster follows natural disaster for insurance companies that denied Alberta flood claims


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