• Nina Discombe and her husband, Edward Kular.The latest killing of two Canadian snowbirds in Mexico is bound to revive the debate over whether it's a safe destination for tourists. The question is, should it?

    Eighty-four-year-old Edward Kular of Toronto and 67-year-old Nina Discombe of Ottawa have been identified as the victims of what Mexican police believe was a weekend robbery at their home in the town of Ajijic, Global News reported.

    The lakeside community in the municipality of Chapala, in the state of Guadalajara, is a popular spot for Canadian and American retirees, and the murdered Canadians had been living there for about six months, Global News said.

    Kular, clad in his underwear, was apparently struck on the head and Discombe, wearing a robe, was stabbed with a kitchen knife, suggesting they interrupted the robbers. Their bodies were discovered by an employee bringing a jug of chlorine for their pool, according to the Guadalajara Reporter, which covers the expat community.

    Local police told the newspaper the house had

    Read More »from Should the latest Canadian deaths in Mexico make you reconsider a winter break there?
  • Avery Edison, via TwitterA transgender U.K. woman who previously lived in Canada appears to have been detained at Toronto’s airport and transferred to a men’s prison after being denied entry to the country, according to an hours-long narrative the comedian shared on her Twitter page.

    Avery Edison, who left Canada after outstaying her visa last year, says she wasn’t denied entry to Canada because of her transgender status, although it appears to have caused a great deal of frustration and confusion.

    After landing in Toronto on Monday, she was detained at the airport for about eight hours, frequently misidentified as a male despite being listed on her passport as a female and eventually shipped to a men's prison to be detained. Edison recorded her experience in a series of tweets.

    "So I think I’m in the process of getting denied entry at Toronto airport. So. That’s happening," Edison tweeted on Monday, near the start of an hours-long ordeal.

    Read More »from Avery Edison, transgender U.K. woman, live-tweets Canadian border detention and transfer to men’s prison
  • Distracted driving has come to rival impaired driving as a threat to road safety, forcing police to tackle it just as aggressively.

    That means cracking down on the use of mobile phones for talking and texting. There are plenty of other distractions, such as eating or fiddling with the stereo, but U.S. data suggest more than a fifth of all auto collisions involve the use of phones.

    B.C. police data on distracted driving between 2008 and 2011 found it was the third leading cause of fatal accidents, averaging 91 deaths a year.

    Texting is considered especially hazardous, with drivers taking their eyes of the road for at least five seconds at a time.

    Alberta, which according to Transport Canada has the highest percentage of observed driver cell phone use in Canada, is taking a blunt approach, rolling out a new awareness and enforcement campaign provocatively called "Crotches Kill."

    [ Related: Police use hearse to help with distracted driver blitz ]

    The province has a tough

    Read More »from RCMP use novel approach to inform drivers of phone distraction danger in cars
  • A Quebec resident who was mauled by a polar bear while travelling in northern Manitoba has been hit with $13,000 in medical bills because the attack happened while she was travelling outside her home province.

    Erin Greene says she was attacked by a polar bear in Churchill, Man., on Nov. 1, 2013. She was airlifted to the Winnipeg Health Science Centre for emergency treatment.

    "Since she is a Montrealer who was living and seasonally working in Manitoba, she is not covered for medical transportation cost. This includes the three ground ambulance rides, as well as the air ambulance," reads a synopsis posted to an online fundraising campaign intended to help raise $12,500 to help cover the expenses.

    As of Tuesday, that crowdfunding effort had raised $2,800, still leaving her with more than $10,000 in unpaid expenses.

    Being attacked by a polar bear would be a singularly terrifying experience. Even if you are in one of the few places in the world where polar bears are known to frequently

    Read More »from Montrealer mauled by Manitoba polar bear faces $13K in medical bills
  • A three-month-old baby with an imposing name is making history in British Columbia by becoming the province's first child with three official parents.

    But Della Wolf Kangro Wiley Richards is by no means alone in the world of three-pronged family trees. In fact, it may be just a matter of time before children with three biological parents walk among us.

    According to the National Post, Della's parents successfully negotiated with the bureaucracy of British Columbia birth certificates last week, gaining permission to register two lesbian mothers and their male donor as official parents.

    The expanded list of legal guardianship was allowed under the province's Family Law Act, passed last year. Although birth certificate forms still appeared to have trouble accounting for a child having three parents who wanted to be active participants in the child's life.

    [ Related: B.C. father welcomes Baby Iver but bids a final farewell to his wife ]

    In some ways, Della is lucky. She has two mothers who

    Read More »from British Columbia baby with three legal parents at the forefront of new family dynamic
  • Alberta Premier Alison Redford (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch)
    If you're an Alberta taxpayer, how do you feel about Premier Alison Redford's apology for gassing $45,000 in flight costs to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral?

    Redford admitted Monday her office botched the arrangements, which included $15,000 to use an Alberta government jet to take her to Ottawa to catch Prime Minister Stephen Harper's free ride to South Africa, and another $10,000 each for her and an aide to get back to Edmonton so she could attend the swearing in of her new cabinet.

    The government also anted-up $10,000 for the aide to direct fly to South Africa because he wasn't allocated a seat on the federal government's outbound flight.

    [ Related: A breakdown of $45K cost of Alberta premier's trip to Mandela funeral ]

    No one begrudged Redford's desire to attend the funeral of Mandela. She worked with him during her time as a human rights lawyer working in South Africa on constitutional and legal issues in the transition from apartheid to genuine democratic rule.

    But the tab has

    Read More »from Redford’s $45K Mandela funeral trip may signal bigger spending issues
  • Crack pipe vending machineOf all the things a person can get out of a vending machine these days, this may be the most surprising: Two vending machines located in downtown Vancouver dispense clean crack pipes at a cost of one quarter apiece.

    The vending machines are located in the Downtown Eastside – one in a resource centre for drug users and the other at a market on a street known as Vancouver's skid row.

    The vending machines have actually been in action for about six months, but only recently captured widespread attention. Vice wrote on the crack vending machine last week, and Time.com jumped on the story Monday, proclaiming its surprise that Canada's first crack pipe vending machine wasn't located in Toronto.

    That, of course, is a Rob Ford reference. Although Vancouver now has its own claim to Ford, after the Toronto mayor was reported to have drank heavily and acted oddly during an after-hours drinking session at a Vancouver pub two weekends ago.

    Vancouver is at the forefront of Canada's harm-reduction

    Read More »from Crack pipe vending machines now available in Vancouver
  • One of Canada's most notorious killers is rotting in a federal prison but the legal wrangling surrounding Russsell Williams' secret, murderously perverted life will continue for years.

    The secrecy aspect of that life now is in contention as one of the former air force colonel's surviving victims alleges Williams' wife knew of his activities, Maclean's reports.

    Laurie Massicotte, who initially filed suit against Williams and Mary Elizabeth Harriman in 2011, has submitted an amended statement of claim that alleges Harriman "was aware" of her husband's "illicit conduct" but "did not report that conduct to police," Maclean's says.

    Harriman's statement of defence rejects the claim, saying Massicotte has "provided no evidence whatsoever to support" her "frivolous" and "vexatious" claim.

    “These allegations are scandalous and are nothing more than an attempt to diminish Ms. Harriman in the eyes of the public and the eyes of the Court," Harriman's lawyers said in a prepared statement to

    Read More »from Did sex-killer Russell Williams’ wife know about his double life?
  • Khurram Syed Sher arrives to face trial on a terrorism charge at the Ottawa court (CP Photo)
    What a strange journey it's been for Khurram Syed Sher, from medical school to Canadian Idol to the staff of a hospital and now to a Canadian court, where he's on trial as a suspected terrorist.

    The Montreal-born, McGill University-trained doctor was arrested in 2010, along with two other men, who are scheduled for trial in April and can't be named under a publication ban.

    Sher, a pathologist who was working at a London, Ont., hospital, appeared in an Ottawa court Monday and pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiring to facilitate terrorist activity. He will be tried by judge alone, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

    The Crown alleges Sher, who has been living in Toronto on bail, and his co-accused were part of a terror cell plotting an attack that was deemed a threat to the Ottawa area and to Canadian security, the Citizen reported.


    Read More »from ‘Dancing doctor’ pleads not guilty in Ottawa court to terrorism charge
  • Ontario's closed-door approach to selling beer and alcohol is saving people money, unfairly restricting access or both, depending on what set of research you are reading at the time.

    As the debate over privatizing liquor sales in Ontario continues to circle around the political sphere, the Beer Store, a privately-owned company currently tasked with selling brew across the province, is warning the public that such a change would mean higher prices.

    A new study suggests that Ontario beer prices would increase if the government deregulates the industry. The research paper, commissioned by the Beer Store, concludes that allowing beer to be sold in convenience stores could bump the average cost up by $10 for a case of 24 bottles.

    According to the study, the evidence is "overwhelmingly clear" that deregulation of liquor stores in Alberta and B.C. results in higher costs to consumers, not price decreases.

    “Prices will go up. Make no mistake. Beer, wine and liquor will be more expensive in

    Read More »from Ontario’s Beer Store research warns convenience store sales will mean higher prices


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