• Here is a story that could leave the blinged-out bar-hoppers in Toronto's Clubland clutching their wallets in terror: Toronto taxicabs are considering charging a "vomit fee."

    The idea was one of several proposed changes raised in the city's Taxicab Industry Review, which will be considered by the city's licensing committee next week.

    The change would allow taxi drivers to charge up to $25 whenever a passenger throws up or urinates in the cab, to cover the cost of cleanup.

    The fee could be relevant to anyone who gets sick in the vehicle, the impetus is clearly to combat the prevalence of drunk fools who toss their cookies after a night out.

    While it likely won’t convince anyone to moderate their level of inebriation before getting in a cab, it would appropriately punish them for the lack of consideration. At $25, the fee is about the same as the cover charges levied by most downtown Toronto nightclubs.

    [ Related: Affluent Canadians say they need to save $2.3M for retirement ]

    Frankly, the

    Read More »from Toronto cabbies consider charging $25 ‘vomit fee’ to drunk passengers
  • CBC photo
    It used to be that landing a job with "the city" was thought of as a ticket to easy street. It brought good pay and benefits, a promising career track if you were ambitious, a secure position if you weren't.

    But public service isn't what it used to be. Just ask federal civil servants labouring under their cost-cutting unsympathetic Conservative taskmasters. And working for the city appears to be a downer, too, at least in Vancouver.

    Results of a survey, obtained by the Vancouver Sun, show morale among Vancouver's 10,000 municipal workers remains low despite the city's promises to change the employment culture.

    The survey conducted last year by the Hay Group found the results differed little from a similar one done in 2010, the Sun said. Morale remains low, as does confidence in the city's direction.

    While the results improved in some areas, things have worsened in critical areas of stress and workload, the Sun said. In the case of the Vancouver Fire Department, only six per cent of

    Read More »from Vancouver city employees, especially firefighters, suffer from poor morale: survey
  • The latest details of a Canadian citizen executed during Syrian rebel infighting have once again pushed to the forefront the issue of national security and the question of why so many Canadians are joining radical extremist groups.

    That question circles the recent death of Mustafa al-Gharib, 22, born in Nova Scotia as Damian Clairmont before converting to Islam at the age of 17.

    Reports suggest that after leaving Canada in 2012 al-Gharib joined a rebel group opposing the reign of President Bashar Assad. He was reportedly killed by the Free Syrian Army during infighting among rebel groups earlier this week.

    Al-Gharib dropped out of high school and attempted suicide before converting to Islam. In a 2013 interview with the National Post, he said it was “between me and God” as to why he had decided to travel to Syria, where rebel forces wage war against the despotic Assad regime and also where al-Qaeda-linked terror groups are believe to recruit and train fighters.

    The Department of Foreign

    Read More »from Damian Clairmont is just the latest Canadian to die fighting alongside extremists
  • MS patient Elayne Shapray (left) and B.C. Civil Liberties Association's Grace Pastine are fighting the assisted suicide ban.

    A multiple sclerosis sufferer is welcoming the Supreme Court of Canada's decision to revisit the law banning assisted suicide.

    “I am overjoyed that the Supreme Court of Canada has decided to hear this case," Elayne Shapray, who filed an affidavit supporting the B.C. Civil Liberties Association's application for the high court to hear the case, said in a statement released by the association.

    The court said Thursday it would hear an appeal of the B.C. Court of Appeal decision overturning a 2012 B.C. Supreme Court ruling that had struck down the law against assisted suicide, The Canadian Press reported.

    The initial case was brought by Gloria Taylor, who suffered from the terminal neurological disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, who argued the ban on assisted suicide violated her Charter rights to equal treatment because able-bodied people can legally kill themselves.

    [ Related: Assisted suicide is climbing up the public agenda ]

    The B.C. Supreme Court agreed but gave the

    Read More »from Right to die proponents welcome Supreme Court’s decision to revisit ban on assisted suicide
  • Three Ontario police officers are being investigated over a video appeared online, apparently depicting the disgruntled officers trying to escape their duties of monitoring a court cell block.

    Durham Regional Police Service announced that the Professional Standards Unit would look into two police officers and a civilian special constable captured on video goofing around on police property while using police equipment.

    The one-minute video is presented as if to be a movie trailer and, according to the Durham police, depicts three officers trying to get re-assigned out of the Court Services Branch.

    A video found online that is believed to be the video in question shows three officers performing various duties in what appears to be a detention area, with an epic soundtrack playing in the background.

    [ Related: Jeffrey Boucher ground search to be scaled back ]

    The video then shows "application for transfer" documents being denied, at which point the antics increase to a frenetic pace.

    In one

    Read More »from Durham police under fire again after video surfaces of cops horsing around on the job
  • A British police officer stands guard outside Harmondsworth detention centre.

    A furor has erupted in Britain over the treatment of an 84-year-old Canadian man who suffered from dementia and died in handcuffs at a privately-run immigration detention centre.

    The man, who news reports have identified as Alois Dvorzac, was detained last January at Gatwick Airport while on his way to visit his estranged daughter in Slovenia after being deemed inadmissible to Britain, the Globe and Mail reports.

    Dvorzac, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and heart problems, was sent to the Harmondsworth immigration centre to await deportation back to Canada. But his return was delayed because his frail health. Two weeks later he was dead.

    The story of Dvorzac's treatment was revealed this week in a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons, which conducted an unannounced inspection of Harmondsworth last summer.

    Harmondsworth, which houses about 600 detainees, has been a past focus of criticism and official scrutiny. It's run by GEO Group U.K., the British arm of an

    Read More »from UK detention centre slammed after 84-year-old Canadian dies in handcuffs
  • The CN Tower is seen along the Toronto skyline from Centre Island.
    Southern Ontario cities and municipalities are among the least fiscally accountable governments in Canada, according to a new study that suggests cities tend to use antiquated accounting systems that result in large discrepancies at the end of the year and bewilder councillors over the state of city finances.

    In short: Municipal governments release unnecessarily confusing financial documents that leave the average reader struggling to understand their meaning. And this often results in surprise surpluses at the end of the year.

    "Just about anyone who follows them finds the annual debates over municipal budgets in Canada mystifying,” the C.D. Howe Institute study states. “In city after city, councillors and staff struggle to vote a balanced budget, warning ratepayers of tax increases and lobbying federal and provincial governments for more funds."

    The C.D. Howe Institute studied a decade of municipal budgets and financial reports to find the difference between what cities planned on

    Read More »from Canadian city budgets are inaccurate and confusing, study finds
  • Cheers! Saskatchewan joins other provinces in allowing alcohol sales at theatres. (Fox News photo)Depending on your point of view, Saskatchewan has joined the civilized world by allowing movie patrons to enjoy liquor while watching a movie at a theatre, or the sky is falling.

    Saskatoon's Broadway Theatre has become the first in the province to offer beer and wine during screenings, the Star Phoenix reports.

    "If you decide you want a little glass of wine while you watch a film, I want you to be able to do that," Kirby Wirchenko, executive director of the theatre, told the paper.

    Saskatchewan, following the lead of other provinces such as neighbouring Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, has revised its liquor laws to allow movie patrons to imbibe in "age-restricted areas."

    [ Related: Alcohol coming to a B.C. theatre near you ]

    The Broadway already served booze at live theatre events it hosts, Wirchenko told the Star Phoenix. Offering it to movie-goers was the next logical step.

    Cineplex Entertainment also plans to open one of its VIP cinemas in the province, which are

    Read More »from Saskatoon movie house first in Saskatchewan to offer booze at screenings
  • Cal Wenzel, right, filed a defamation lawsuit against Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi on Nov. 13. (CBC)Calgary's Naheed Nenshi arguably is Canada's most popular mayor, lauded for his handling of last summer's devastating floods and contrasted more-than-favourably with Toronto's buffoonish Rob Ford.

    But not everyone's a fan.

    Nenshi, who won re-election to a second term last October with three quarters of the vote, is in a bitter legal battle with property developer Cal Wenzel, who filed a $6-million defamation suit against the mayor last November. Now the mayor has filed a statement of defence.

    Wenzel, chief executive officer of Shane Homes, said in his statement of claim Nenshi damaged his reputation with comments in a radio interview as part of a smear campaign designed to enhance his re-election prospects.

    Nenshi had been commenting about a leaked video of a private meeting of Calgary developers in which Wenzel outlined which city councillors he approved of and which he was supporting with campaign donations, the Globe and Mail reported when the suit was filed.

    [ Related: Council discusses

    Read More »from Calgary Mayor Nenshi fires back at property developer’s defamation suit
  • Jeffrey Boucher, courtesy Durham Regional Police ServiceAn Ontario teacher whose disappearance during a morning jog sparked a massive search earlier this week appears to have also gone missing for several hours the night before his absence was reported to police.

    Jeffrey Boucher, 52, of Whitby, Ont., vanished on Monday morning after he went out for his morning run. His family said Boucher left without his wallet or cellphone, and his car remained in the parking lot. But police now confirm that Boucher disappeared for several hours Sunday night, and believe it is possible he disappeared of his own accord.

    “There is that possibility that he has just walked away, for whatever reasons he may have,” Durham Regional Police Sgt. Nancy van Rooy told reporters on Wednesday. “We don’t have anything conclusive that gives us a reason to indicate a trigger that would cause that type of behaviour, to simply walk away. But that is within the realm of possibility.”

    Van Rooy added that Boucher did go on a run Sunday night and did not return for several hours.

    Read More »from Missing Ontario teacher Jeffrey Boucher may have ‘walked away,’ but police continue search


(5,623 Stories)