• For years, police have relied on hand-held breath-testing machines as their main tool for determining whether a driver is impaired.

    Critics have questioned the hand-held breathalyzer's accuracy and reliability almost from the beginning but the courts have upheld their use.

    But the cop's key tool in pulling suspected drunk drivers off the road is under serious challenge in British Columbia, which led the country in stiffening impaired-driving laws.

    A B.C. Supreme Court ruling this week undermined the way police can attest to the breathalyzer's accuracy.

    CTV News reported the court determined a document known as the "Superintendent's Report on Approved Screening Devices" was inadmissible and an adjudicator who upheld a roadside driving prohibition imposed on a woman in February was wrong to rely on it.

    [ Related: Report on breathalyzers not admissible in driving ban review: B.C. Supreme Court ]

    Angela Lichun Buhr was pulled over around 2 a.m. and failed a breathalyzer test. The law allows

    Read More »from Breathalyzer use under renewed attack in B.C. as critics challenge their accuracy
  • He's only 25 but Justin Timothy Mack has already racked up a fearful record of terrorizing his fellow motorists in Edmonton.

    Mack was arrested July 31, and charged with several offences after allegedly chasing another car and allegedly trying to run it off the road with his large SUV, CBC News reported.

    According to police, the early-morning incident began when a motorist tried to pass Mack, who was driving erratically at half the posted speed limit and hitting the curb.

    Mack allegedly started throwing garbage at the other vehicle and challenged the driver to a fight. When the other motorist tried to escape, it's alleged Mack kept pace and swerved at him in an apparent attempt to force him off the road. The other driver managed to get a photo of the SUV's licence plate before it fled.

    CBC News said it had obtained documents showing Mack had two previous road-rage convictions and was on probation for one of them when the latest alleged incidence took place in April.

    According to a police

    Read More »from Canada’s worst ‘road-rager’ could be an Edmonton man
  • There is something intrinsically Canadian about Tim Hortons, that cross-country coffee shop frequented by campaigning politicians, construction workers, mothers, children and everyone else.

    We love talking about their coffee just about as much as many people enjoy drinking it. We complain about it the way we complain about lines at the DMV, slow service from city hall and taxes.

    A Calgary environmental analyst tapped into that passion this week when he posted online a cheeky letter he says he sent to the company complaining about, of all things, their coffee lids.

    In a letter directed to Tim Hortons' "Lid Manager," Bryan Hansen takes umbrage with the company's current lid design, that jagged hack job we are all more than familiar with.

    He calls them "the worst thing to happy to Canada since Justin Beiber pissed in that mop bucket, since Avril Lavigne married Chad Kroeger, since Rita Macneil left us far too soon."

    He writes:

    There is nothing more frustrating than receiving a piping hot coffee

    Read More »from Calgarian’s complaint about Tim Hortons coffee lids taps into Canadian identity
  • It took the mayors of two of Ontario's largest cities to get the job done, but that salmon never stood a chance.

    Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, still scrappy at 92 years young, found herself in the midst of a massive struggle on Thursday while participating in the Great Ontario Salmon Derby.

    She managed to reel in a 16-pound salmon, and stay on board the boat, thanks to the protective arms of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

    "I got her, I got her ... don't worry," Ford tells a crowd gathered nearby, in a video later posted to his official Twitter account.

    “Thank you Rob,” McCallion says once the fight is over.

    I didn't appear Ford was expecting to be called into action during his naval sojourn, still wearing a suit and standing nearby without a rod in hand.

    He appears positively uncomfortable while trying to determine

    Read More »from Ontario mayors unite: Rob Ford holds Hazel McCallion as she reels in big fish
  • There are times, which occur more often than one might wish, when the overwhelming sense of human depravity and rottenness become so prescient that the only rational response is to reject society entirely and build a new life in isolation.

    We're not talking about the thoughtless moments when someone cuts you off in traffic, or knocks your latte off the table without apologizing. We are talking about the moments when the depravity of human consciousness is truly exposed. We are talking about the cackling-miser-steals-ice-cream-from-toddler kinds of moments. Which occur more often than one might wish.

    Toronto police are investigating two separate robberies that occurred in the past week as the victim laid bleeding and barely conscious following traffic accidents.

    Police say a cyclist was struck by a vehicle in downtown Toronto last weekend. She was thrown to the ground and her bag fell from her body.

    [ Related: Police charge Edmonton man after son left in hot vehicle ]

    Police allege a man

    Read More »from Toronto victims left bloodied by car accidents become a target for theft
  • The group will be represented by constitutional lawyer Clayton Ruby.An environmental conservation group is challenging restrictions on who can testify at National Energy Board (NEB) hearings on projects such as pipelines.

    ForestEthics Advocacy has filed suit in Federal Court against the federal government and the NEB over new rules that make it harder for Canadians to appear before review panels unless they can demonstrate a direct impact of a project.

    The group and co-plaintiff Donna Sinclair will be represented by constitutional lawyer Clayton Ruby.

    “Through legislative changes snuck into last year’s Omnibus Budget Bill C-38, the Conservative government has undermined the democratic rights of all Canadians to speak to the issues that impact them,” Ruby said in a news release.

    “Right now, they cannot question the development of the tar sands itself! We're challenging the legislation and the NEB’s new rules because they violate fundamental free speech guarantees enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

    ForestEthics said it objects to a new

    Read More »from Environmental activists fighting restrictions on testifying at hearings
  • Vein therapy is based on a theory put forward by Italian doctor Paolo Zamboni that blocked veins in the neck or spine are to blame for multiple sclerosis.It's doubtful advocates of a controversial treatment aimed at easing symptoms of multiple sclerosis will be deterred by a new Canadian study saying essentially it's useless.

    The research by a team at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.,, published Wednesday in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE, concluded there's no evidence that blocked and twisted veins in the neck are a factor in the disease and that unblocking them could help relieve debilitating MS symptoms.

    MS attacks the brain and spinal cord, destroying the mylin sheath around the nerves and producing a variety of symptoms, from dizziness and balance problems, difficulty walking, bowel and bladder problems, pain, weakness, spasticity and tremors. The symptoms can come and go for a lifetime but often can progress to the point of serious disability.

    Italian vascular surgeon Paolo Zamboni, whose wife suffers from MS, theorized that blocked neck veins played a role in the disease by preventing blood from draining properly from

    Read More »from Canadian study discounts controversial MS treatment but not everyone agrees
  • Some of Manitoba's funeral directors are apparently up in arms over a proposed service fee they say would amount to a "death tax" on their clients.

    The fee, ranging from $10 to $40 per funeral, would be used to pay for inspections and audits of funeral-services companies by the watchdog Funeral Board of Manitoba, along with investigations of any potential wrongdoing.

    "The province doesn't have the appetite to call it a death tax," Owen McKenzie, president of the Manitoba Funeral Services Association, told the Winnipeg Free Press.

    "We pay a lump sum for our licence as a funeral home and in addition, we'll likely end up paying a licence fee per death. It will be a small amount -- it could be considered an assessment -- that will be paid by us and, in turn, we'll transfer it to the family we're serving."

    [ Related: Funeral homes to see tighter regulation ]

    Word that the fee would be passed on to customers appeared to have the government backtracking, CBC News said. Officials said no fee would

    Read More »from Manitoba’s proposed service fee on funerals amounts to ‘death tax’, critics say
  • Stephen Coyle pleaded guilty to 14 charges of professional misconduct in April and has been ordered to pay $40,000. Photo via CBC.The job of a doctor involves diagnosing real people in need of real help, keeping accurate health records and always remembering that the drugs are for the patients. But apparently doing the exact opposite of all of that isn’t quite enough to get you fired.

    The Canadian Press reported this week that Dr. Stephen John Coyle, the former chief medical officer at Winnipeg’s Misericordia Health Centre, is still allowed to practice after creating fictitious patients in order to score drugs.

    Coyle pleaded guilty to 14 counts of professional misconduct in April, after an 18-month investigation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.

    According to the official report, Coyle created fake patients, recorded false patient visits and prescribed drugs to patients who didn't need them in order to feed his own drug dependency.

    The college also found that he "engaged in the practice of medicine while under the influence of injectable Demerol and/or benzodiazepines while his ability to practice

    Read More »from Creating fake patients to score drugs not enough to get Winnipeg doctor fired
  • Luka Rocco Magnotta is taken by police to a waiting van in Mirabel, Que., in this Monday, June 18, 2012 file photo.
    It's difficult to believe that Luka Magnotta has fans, but apparently he does and apparently they are sending letters to his detention centre. And he's writing them back.

    QMI Agency reports that Magnotta has received dozens of letters from fans across the country, and beyond, from people who knew him before he became Canada's most notorious alleged murderer and those who have never met him.

    A source told QMI:

    From the United States and even around the world. It's incredible how many people write to him and seek advice.... Many people have written and talked about how much he has helped them.

    Magnotta is currently being held in Quebec's Rivière-des-Prairies Detention Center awaiting trial for the death and dismemberment of Jun Lin, a Concordia University student who was found cut into pieces last May.

    His trial is expected to begin in September 2014.

    [ Related: Edmonton gore site owner released on bail for 2nd time ]

    Of course, there is nothing against the rules about those being held in

    Read More »from Luka Magnotta reportedly receiving and responding to fan mail

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