• Marina Banister, 20, was the target of online sexism after she led a proposal asking Edmonton council to go meatless during its catered meetings.Marina Banister, 20, was the target of online sexism after she led a proposal asking Edmonton council to go meatless during its catered meetings.

    A slew of sexist and threatening online comments isn’t stopping a University of Alberta political science student from encouraging Canadians to think about food sustainability.

    Marina Banister never thought she’d spark such a strong reaction when she presented a motion as the chair of Edmonton’s Youth Council sustainability committee to city councillors on Tuesday.

    It recommended that council members offer vegetarian or vegan catering during meetings as a way to be more environmentally sustainable.

    “Even though not all the councillors agree with the motion, many of them said ‘Wow…I’ve never even thought of food sustainability through the lens of municipal politics before. Thank you for bringing that to our attention,’” Banister told Yahoo Canada News.

    Although councillors moved a motion to defer the decision until October, it’s sparked a strong reaction across the country and on social media.

    After several media outlets picked up on the story, there was a barrage of abusive online

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  • Sensory deprivation tank at Float TorontoSensory deprivation tank at Float Toronto

    The initial minutes in the first-time isolation tank session are the ones you have to get through. For a “therapy” touted as relaxing and stress reducing, I’m hovering somewhere between alert curiosity and distress. I’m not claustrophobic, but crawling naked into a four-by-eight pitch-black tank filled foot-deep with water and pulling the door shut can threaten to broaden the definition of the word.

    In this space, my vivid imagination is not my friend. As the air warms from the 34 degree (Celsius) water, I can imagine the building collapsing around me, leaving me to stew to death in darkness. I lie on my back, buoyed by 850 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt, and I’m suddenly floating in a silent sea at night. My mind goes to the creatures in the miles of water below me, and I wonder if I’ll be cutting my one-hour float appointment short.

    I’m in a tank in a windowless room at Float Toronto, which bills itself as “the largest floatation and sensory deprivation centre on the east coast”.

    Read More »from Naked and floating: Into the darkness of an isolation tank
  • Relatively speaking, it has never been easier to travel. But recent events in Greece are making even seasoned globetrotters rethink their established "money abroad" habits.

    For decades, best money practices for the savvy traveller have emphasized the use of special credit cards, debit cards and ATMs, as well as conversion fee-limiting bank accounts. But, if the current spate of financial clamp down policies in Greece are anything to go by, these tried-and-true methods could prove much less effective in the years to come.

    In an effort to keep their banks from running out of money, Greek ATMs and banks are limiting withdrawals to 60 euros (with a weekly limit of 120 euros).

    Officially, visitors to Greece are not subject to these transaction limits. Unofficially, there's a good chance that the ATMs will have run out of money by the time you get to use one. You'll also likely have to wait in line for a very long time to find that out. And if the ATM doesn't have a snaking line tailing

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  • B.C. drought: Hundreds of Metro Vancouver's water hogs issued sprinkler warningsB.C. drought: Hundreds of Metro Vancouver's water hogs issued sprinkler warnings

    The California phenomenon of drought shaming may not be far behind as hundreds of B.C. residents snitch on their car-washing and lawn-watering neighbours.

    Vancouver and its surrounding communities have issued tight restrictions on water usage this summer amid quickly evaporating reservoirs. Residents have been told to let their cars stay dirty and their lawns go brown.

    "Following a low snow pack and increased heat with no rain, new water restrictions came into effect this week throughout Metro Vancouver,” reads a notice on the City of Vancouver’s website.

    “New water restrictions for municipalities, residents, and businesses are designed for an immediate impact to slow down and curb water consumption to protect our reserves for the rest of the summer.”

    But not everyone is complying with the rules. Between June 1 and July 7, the City of Vancouver received 780 complaints on its 311 line regarding water usage violations, resulting in 700 warnings and two tickets, city spokesman Jag Sandhu

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  • Pamela Anderson, holding a picture of a rabbit allegedly used in a cosmetics toxicity test, April 25, 2008. (Getty)Pamela Anderson, holding a picture of a rabbit allegedly used in a cosmetics toxicity test, April 25, 2008. (Getty)

    June 18 marked a watershed moment in the fight to end cosmetic testing on animals in Canada. Just one week prior to the Senate’s summer recess, Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen introduced Bill S-234, the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which will ban animal testing for cosmetics and prohibit the sale of cosmetic products or ingredients that have been animal tested in other parts of the world.

    But, if you really haven't thought about cosmetic testing on animals since, well, the last time you thought about acid rain or The Body Shop’s Peppermint Foot Lotion — let's say the mid-90s — you're not alone.

    "Most people don’t actually know that it still occurs and when we tell them we're working to ban it in Canada, the first thing out of their mouth is 'I thought they stopped 20 years ago’," says Aviva Vetter, the Program & Development Officer for Humane Society International.

    This historic legislation resulted from a partnership between Senator Stewart Olsen, the Animal Alliance of Canada and

    Read More »from Canada makes new progress in banning animal-testing for cosmetics
  • Canadians complaining about the cost of living in Vancouver or Toronto ought to try a stint in Luanda in Angola or Hong Kong.

    According to the recent cost of living tally by global consultancy firm Mercer, both Vancouver and Toronto land somewhere in the center, placing 119 and 125 respectively on the list which takes into account the cost of over 200 goods and services in over 360 cities worldwide. Meanwhile, Montreal place 140 and Calgary came in 146.

    It turns out Canadian cities are on par with luxe locales like Barcelona or Cairo which placed 124 and 120.

    Compared to last year, it’s a 23-spot drop for Vancouver and 25-space slip for Toronto on the chichi list, but it pales in comparison to Toronto’s 61 place finish and Vancouver’s 63 in 2012.

    The catalyst is Canada’s weakening loonie against the U.S. greenback, says Gordon Frost, Mercer’s Talent Leader for Canada.

    “There are two variables that influence the index movement, the currency and the price movement, both in the home and

    Read More »from Vancouver and Toronto a bargain compared to other global cities
  • Cait FlandersCait Flanders

    By Aviva West

    Cait Flanders, a 30-year-old woman from Vancouver, has made exactly three unplanned purchases in the past year.

    Flanders, who has been on a strict shopping ban since July 7, 2014, has a long list of items she isn’t allowed to buy, including takeout coffee, books, clothes, makeup and electronics.

    Author of the Blonde on a Budget blog, Flanders started her mission to rehab her finances back in 2011 when she realized that she was 26 years old and $28,000 in debt, with very little to show for it.

    Hoping to share her journey and be held accountable as she attempted to pay down her loans, she blogged about her experiences living on as little as 45 per cent of her monthly income. Within the first year she was able to repay $10,000 and by the second year had paid off another $11,000. On May 21, 2013, Flanders was officially debt-free.

    In 2014, despite being debt-free, Flanders — who wasn’t immediately available to comment — realized that there was still work to be done. She was

    Read More »from Vancouver woman blogs about her yearlong shopping ban
  • A grad student is on a road trip across Western Canada to study the elusive wild boar.A grad student is on a road trip across Western Canada to study the elusive wild boar.

    A grad student from University of Saskatchewan is embarking on a road trip across Western Canada to learn everything she possibly can about an elusive creature that wreaks havoc on our land: the feral boar.

    Ruth Kost, a master’s student at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources, chose to analyze the wild pig since little is known about its activity in Canada.

    “I wanted to do my research on a big animal, not a bird or fish,” she told Yahoo Canada News. “It’s gotten more interesting since no one else has studied it. It’s exciting. We can go anywhere we want with this.”

    For Kost, anywhere means crisscrossing between Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia for the next three months, collecting as much data as possible.

    She intends to conduct surveys amongst local farmers, hunters, biologists and conservation officers regarding ecological information, like the habitat they’ve been spotted in and whether they were alone or in a group. She’ll

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  • Porter Airlines: North America's Best Regional AirlineClick here for high-resolution versionPorter Airlines: North America's Best Regional AirlineClick here for high-resolution version

    The Office of the Official Languages Commissioner is investigating a complaint from a francophone Toronto man who says he was escorted off a Porter Airlines flight  “like a terrorist” after demanding service in French.

    Louis Labrecque filed two complaints — one against Porter and another against Ports Toronto, which operates the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

    But the complaint against Porter has already been dismissed. An investigation is underway into the complaint against the airport.

    Labrecque, who did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment, told Le Droit newspaper that he was on board a Porter flight from Montreal to Toronto on July 1 when he asked for a “jus de pomme.”

    The flight attendant responded that they did not speak French.

    Then just before landing, Labrecque says he was given a safety instruction in English only and at that point, he raised his voice.

    He says none of the three security agents who escorted him off the plane spoke French and he had to wait

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  • Pauly, a six-legged stray cat in Edmonton, needs surgery to have his extra limbs removed.Pauly, a six-legged stray cat in Edmonton, needs surgery to have his extra limbs removed.

    It may be hard to say how many lives Pauly the cat has lived, but it’s easy to count how many legs he has: six.

    Well, at least for the time being since an Edmonton cat rescue is raising funds for the surgery required to remove the extra limbs from the extraordinary feline.

    Two neighbours in the city’s South-West region initially discovered the black and white stray in their yard. While they fed and cared for the cat, they noticed he was having trouble walking. The Good Samaritans managed to trap Pauly, who’s believed to be about seven, and transferred him to the Little Cats Lost society.

    The volunteer group, which runs on a trap, neuter and return system, knew the animal needed specialized care, so it brought him to the Oxford Animal Hospital.

    “I’ve never seen anything like this,” says Tara Weismantel, manager at Oxford Animal Hospital. “Our vets who work here have never seen anything like this. It’s very, very rare.”

    Specialists who examined Pauly suspect he “absorbed another kitten

    Read More »from Six-legged cat needs surgery to walk again

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