• Mist rises off Lake Ontario in early January with the outside temperature hovering in the - 21 C range. Photo via CBC.Just a reminder to terrible parents out there, leaving a child locked in a freezing car is as bad an idea as leaving them locked in a hot one. It wouldn't seem like it needs to be said, considering the bitter winter Canada has suffered through, but there it is.

    At least one Ontario father allegedly needs the reminder after being accused of abandoning his daughter alone in a store parking lot for more than 40 minutes.

    York Regional Police confirm that a 39-year-old Toronto man has been charged with child abandonment after allegedly leaving his two-year-old daughter in a parking lot near Markham Road and Kirkham Drive on Tuesday evening. The address belongs to a Costco shopping centre.

    Emergency crews pulled the child from the car and she was found unharmed.

    With temperatures in Markham reaching as low as -15 C on Tuesday, and wind chills making it feel like -26 C, there was concern that a child left alone that long could suffer from exposure to extreme weather.

    [ Related: Southern-style

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  • Not everyone was in high spirits after U.S. President Barack Obama delivered his state of the union address last night, and at least one congressman took out his aggression on an unsuspecting television reporter.

    An interview between NY1 reporter Michael Scotto and Staten Island Republican Rep. Michael Grimm ended awkwardly, to say the least, when Grimm was caught on video verbally threatening Scotto.

    A video posted by the Associated Press shows Scotto attempting to ask Grimm about allegations about a campaign finance investigation. Earlier this week, a fundraiser for Grimm was arrested and charged with illegally providing $10,000 to Grimm’s 2010 campaign.

    One suspects Grimm had been less than forthcoming to speak on the issue, and Scotto apparently took the opportunity to question him on it.

    Grimm did not approve of the line of questioning and ended the interview. “I’m not talking about anything that’s off-topic, this is only about the president,” he said, before walking away. He came

    Read More »from U.S. congressman Michael Grimm threatens to throw reporter over a balcony
  • Cooper is escorted at the provincial court in Halifax on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. CP/Andrew Vaughan

    Just what do you do about an incorrigible homicidal booze hound who won't promise never to drink and drive, despite several years in prison to think about it?

    That conundrum is being played out in Halifax this week, where police have once again arrested Michael Gerard Cooper after he breached his release conditions by walking into a liquor store Tuesday.

    Cooper, 55, was released from prison just last week after serving every day of his seven-year sentence for the 2004 deaths of a young couple he crashed into while driving drunk.

    He was denied early release a year ago after the Parole Board of Canada ruled it was too dangerous to let him out.

    Cooper was jailed in 2007 after pleading guilty to two counts of impaired driving causing death. He killed 20-year-old Michael MacLean and his 19-year-old girlfriend Angela Smits after spending seven hours drinking in highway roadhouse.

    Tests found his blood contained three times the legal level of alcohol when he collided with the couple's car.

    Read More »from N.S. drunk driver who killed two in crash arrested days after prison release
  • Caleb Harrison was found dead in August 2013. (Peel Police photo)The bizarre deaths of three family members in the same home over the course of four years took a large step toward resolution on Tuesday when police in Mississauga, Ont., announced arrests in connection to two of the deaths and a re-launched investigation into the third.

    Melissa Merritt, 33, and Christopher Fattore, 36, were arrested and each charged with two counts of first-degree murder in Nova Scotia on Tuesday in the deaths of Merritt’s ex-husband, Caleb Harrison, in 2013 and his mother in 2010.

    Merritt is the mother of Caleb’s two children and moved to Nova Scotia shortly after his death prompted a renewed look into the history of fatalities inside his family home on Pitch Pine Crescent in Mississauga, Ont.

    Harrison was found dead inside the home on Aug. 23, 2013, His mother, Bridget Harrison, had been found dead on April 21, 2010. It was considered suspicious at the time but not determined a homicide. His father had been found dead in the home in 2009.

    [ Related: 17 dead, 15

    Read More »from Murder charges laid in deaths of Ontario man and his mother, killed three years apart
  • I guess when St. Mary's University was riven with controversy over the so-called "rape chant" during frosh week at the Halifax school last fall, the football team was too busy practising to notice.

    Whatever the reason, some members of St. Mary's Huskies apparently didn't get the message coming out of the national flap over the chant, which seemed to glorify underage, non-consensual sex.

    A number of players are being suspended from the team after an online article in the King's College School of Journalism's UNews revealed a series of sexist, racist and homophobic tweets.

    The offensive tweets date as far back as last fall, in the midst of the rape-chant outcry, and as recently as mid-January.

    “Some of them are upsetting for sure,” Huskies coach Perry Marchese said after being shown some of the tweets by UNews. “It’s very disappointing to see it. Very disappointing, absolutely.”

    [ Related: What does the rape-chant furor tell us about the value of frosh week? ]

    Marchese said he has looked at

    Read More »from Apparently some SMU football players didn’t get the message of last fall’s rape-chant flap
  • Well, it looks as if the end of home mail delivery for the privileged one-third of Canadians who still have it is really happening, despite public protests and concerns about theft.

    Canada Post will announce in mid-February the first communities that will transition from door-to-door mail delivery to community super mailboxes plunked into older neighbourhoods, CBC News reports.

    But the Crown corporation is easing into the controversial program that was announced last month, initially avoiding built-up urban areas where it might be tough to find locations that are suitable and within easy walking distance for exercise-craving seniors.

    “We're going to start more in the areas where you already find community mailboxes nearby, where it will be easier to move forward and then work through the challenges as we go,” Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton told CBC News.

    The boxes, the first of which are to be in place by the end of this year, will be a different design from existing community boxes

    Read More »from Canada Post to implement improved mailboxes in transition from home delivery
  • There is little more than a week before the launch of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and despite the bluster and excitement in Canada ahead of the massive event, the Canadian government has recommended residents reconsider their plans to attend the event.

    "Canadians should be aware that, although the host country will have special security arrangements in place at Olympic venues, this does not eliminate the risk of terrorist attacks,” Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said in a statement last week. “The decision to travel despite these concerns rests with the traveller, and such decisions should be considered carefully."

    Consider carefully, indeed. The Canadian Olympic Committee said recently they were confident the country's contingent of athletes, trainers and volunteers would be safe while in Russia. Those who travel on their own dime, however, are responsible for looking after their own skins.

    Here are seven threats Canadian travellers could face during the Sochi Games.

    Read More »from Seven threats Canadians could face at the Sochi Olympics
  • Rob Ford is apparently familiar with an approach made famous by George Costanza on Seinfeld: Keep showing up places and sooner or later people will become resigned to your presence.

    Ford, the Toronto mayor who drank, smoked, swore, lied, attacked, belittled and sneered his way to international infamy, got a taste of his own medicine this week when he showed up uninvited to an economic club dinner and suffered through a stinging speech that questioned his character and competence.

    According to several news reports, Ford unexpectedly attended a Toronto Region Board of Trade (BOT) dinner Monday night at which the spot usually reserved for the city mayor had been given to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

    CP24 reports that organizers found a seat for Ford in the back of the room, but he left when BOT president and CEO Carol Wilding delivered a speech that derided his failures as mayor.

    CP24 reported that Wilding, without naming Ford personally, called for better political leadership and urged the crowd

    Read More »from Mayor Rob Ford crashes Board of Trade dinner, leaves when things get critical
  • If you believe we're already living in the post-privacy era, this piece of news won't surprise you.

    The Toronto Star reports that it has learned Ottawa plans to share personal information gleaned under the new Canada-U.S. border data exchange program with other federal departments.

    We're already coping with the reality that national security snoopers are hoarding our phone metadata and Internet activity. Now, apparently, if you head into the United States for business, a little shopping or for a winter break, the personal particulars American border agents get from you will be funneled to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and from there to, say, Canada Revenue Agency.

    Starting this summer, Ottawa and Washington will begin sharing their citizens' travel and biographical information, the Star reported Monday.

    In Canada at least, that data will be passed on to other government departments, but only under strict rules, the CBSA told the Star.

    It's the final part of an element in the

    Read More »from CBSA to share Canadians’ travel data with other federal departments


    B.C. Premier Christy Clark is signalling she might be ready to back away from a nasty confrontation with Metro Vancouver mayors over her government's plan to hold a referendum on transit funding.

    The province plans to tag a regional referendum onto next November's municipal election ballot in an effort to break the logjam over how to pay for billions of dollars worth of transit upgrades in the Vancouver area.

    But local mayors have opposed the fall referendum, concerned a 'no' vote could torpedo plans for much-needed expansion of rapid transit south and east of Vancouver.

    The government is set to introduce legislation this spring to confirm the fall date but Clark said Monday talks are being held with the mayors on the timing for the vote, The Canadian Press reports.

    The issue rivals and perhaps even dwarfs the debate over Toronto's contentious suburban subway extension. It highlights the dilemma for politicians who know mass transit is a high priority in Canada's biggest cities but

    Read More »from Mayors balk at public referendum to pay for Vancouver transit expansion


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