• An Ontario school that feels Halloween is too exclusive an event has cancelled its holiday celebrations and replaced them with the toned down, more inclusive Spirit Day.

    The Welland Tribune reported Port Colborne's McKay Public School told parents last week that children in costumes were not welcome and instead recommended they wear black and orange clothing.

    A Halloween dance was also cancelled, which angered some parents who felt their children were missing out on something really special. The Tribute reports that another school in St. Catharines, Ont., has also cut back on Halloween costumes.

    One Port Colborne parent told the newspaper she would organize a costume parade to be held outside the school. Consider it an Occupy Halloween movement enforcing a child's right to dress as a ghost or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

    [ Related: Albino moose killing in Cape Breton outrages Mi'kmaq ]

    In this age of cultural over-sensitivity, this is not the first time Halloween has been set aside for a

    Read More »from Ontario schools axe Halloween celebration for more inclusive Spirit Day
  • Gordon Moore, dominion president of the Royal Canadian Legion. CBC photo.Countries throughout time are accused of short-changing their military veterans but Canadian vets have nurtured a particularly deep anger toward the Conservative government over a series slights.

    The Royal Canadian Legion hammered the government Monday for its decision to try and quash a class-action lawsuit by injured veterans of Canada's Afghanistan mission over its revised benefits program.

    Legion Dominion president Gordon Moore said it's "reprehensible" that Ottawa is claiming it is not bound by promises to wounded vets made by previous governments dating back to the First World War, The Canadian Press reported.

    He suggested it might become harder to recruit soldiers in the future when Canada needs them.

    CP reported last week the government announced it plans to appeal a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for the class-action suit against changes to the compensation system for wounded vets that replaces the regular lifetime disability pension with a lump-sum payment.

    The

    Read More »from Legion chief slams Ottawa’s claim it’s not bound by longstanding promises to wounded veterans
  • Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark BlinchIt is hard to defend some $7 million worth of bonuses set to be claimed by executives behind Toronto's 2015 Pan Am Games, but points to Premier Kathleen Wynne for trying.

    The revelation that massive balloon payments are available to some 64 already-well-paid top executives who stay in their contracts through the end of the Games and manage to stay on budget fell like a ton of bricks earlier this week, landing squarely at the feet of the political opponents of the government hailing the upcoming event as a victory.

    Considering Wynne had previously shown distress over various expense claims made by the same gang — things such as $1.89 Starbucks coffee and fancy Blackberry covers — surely she'd have something to say about six-figure bonuses. CEO Ian Troop, already making $390,000 per year, is in line for a $780,000 bonus, for example.

    Apparently, Wynne sees it is simply the cost of doing business.

    "We may think it's out of whack in terms of comparing it with other endeavours," she said

    Read More »from Ontario Premier stands behind big bonuses for Pan Am Games execs
  • The Evan Hall floor of the Parkland Clayton Park complex is for people with dementia who are physically well.

    A fight between two residents of a Halifax home for people with dementia that resulted in the death of a 91-year-old woman is the latest example of what some see as a growing problem of violence among the elderly, especially those living in care facilities.

    CBC News reports police were called to Evan Hall on Saturday evening after a fight between the woman and a 74-year-old woman. The older resident fell and died in hospital Sunday of her injuries.

    Halifax Regional Police Const. Pierre Bourdages said the death is being investigated as suspicious but the investigation is complicated by the dementia element.

    “It does bring a unique twist to the investigation," he told CBC News. "Sometimes individuals might not recall what happened.”

    [ Related: Murder suspect, 95, to undergo psychiatric evaluation ]

    As Baby Boomers move into their senior years, worries are increasing about the prevalence of Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia. Along with that, there are concerns about violence in

    Read More »from Renewed focus on seniors violence after 91-year-old woman dies following fight
  • Kharis Bercier, 4, holds a sign as Idle No More protesters gather for a worldwide day of action.

    Idle No More supporters gathered, chanted and marched in towns and cities across Canada on Monday in a campaign to garner respect for First Nations communities on the 250th anniversary of an agreement that secured land rights for aboriginal communities.

    From Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Ont., and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, to a public square in Edmonton and an art gallery in Vancouver, The Idle No More movement held protests in as many as 40 locations across Canada on Monday, with more scheduled to be held in other countries.

    Today was chosen because it is 250th anniversary of the day King George III signed the Royal Proclamation, outlining a framework around aboriginal community and protected lands in what would eventually become Canada.

    [ Related: Idle No More protests mark proclamation's 250th anniversary ]

    Since that peak, a rift has grown between First Nations and the rest of Canada which prompted a massive rally earlier this year under the name Idle No More,

    Read More »from ‘Idle No More’ returns with rallies marking 250th anniversary of Royal Proclamation
  • Charles McVety says author Prof. James R. Kincaid is a "well-known advocate for pedophilia."Right-wing Christian leader Charles McVety is demanding Ottawa bar a respected but controversial American academic from coming to Canada to speak, alleging he advocates sex with children.

    The Toronto Sun reports McVet, has written Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, urging them to prevent Prof. James R. Kincaid from coming to the University of Toronto to give a lecture later this month.

    Kincaid, a professor emeritus of English at the University of Southern California, studies pedophilia and deviant sexuality, focusing especially on literature and culture of the Victorian era. He's scheduled to deliver the keynote address at an Oct. 19 symposium called "Bodies at Play, sexuality, Children and the Classroom," organized by the U of T's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

    Kincaid's academic honours include a Guggenheim Fellowship and awards at USC as an outstanding teacher and scholar. His books include Child-Loving: The Erotic Child and

    Read More »from Christian leader wants Ottawa to bar visiting U.S. prof, claiming he advocates pedophilia
  • Five inmates at Edmonton Institution have filed a lawsuit against prison guards, officials and the Canadian government.

    A maximum security prison in Edmonton has been named in five lawsuits launched by inmates who allege security personnel and staff members were responsible for the abuse, neglect and mistreatment of those placed in their custody.

    CBC News
    reports that five inmates have alleged they were beaten and abused at the hands of prison staff, including guards as well as the warden, manager and supervisor.

    The lawsuits allege inmates were ordered to fight one another, had their food tainted and beds doused in liquid.

    CBC News writes:

    In separate statement of claims, James Wigmore, Arafat Fatah, Terrence Naistus and Lance Regan all claim they were beaten, abused and faced degrading treatment at the hands of the warden, Kelly Hartle, manager Chris Saint and supervisor Chris Spilsbury. Several guards and other staff are also named in the actions, which were filed in Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

    The Edmonton Institution is a maximum security facility capable of holding about 230 of the region's most

    Read More »from Edmonton Institution building bruising legacy as inmates allege abuse

  • A nightmarish stay in Egypt is not yet over for two Canadians who have been held in prison for seven weeks despite having no charges yet laid against them.

    John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani, arrested on Aug. 19 after allegedly participating in a political protest after curfew, were released from a Cairo prison over the weekend amid celebrations from Canada's ministry of foreign affairs.

    Yet an attempt to board a plan to Frankfurt, Germany was blocked, according to the Associated Press. Now CBC News reports that the two men are not free to leave the country because charges may still be laid against them.

    CBC's Middle East correspondent Sasa Petricic reported that Greyson and Loubani may have to wait for prosecutors to determine what charges they will lay against all 600 people arrested the night of the unlawful protest.

    [

    Read More »from Charges could still come against Canadians held in Egypt
  • Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald. Photo courtesy of CBCA few years from now we may look back on the last couple of weeks as a tipping point in the debate over assisted suicide. Or is it death with dignity, the right to die, physician-assisted dying or euthanasia? What you call it often depends on where you stand.

    It was on the agenda for Canada's health ministers when they met in Toronto, though they were reluctant to talk in detail about their discussion.

    "What I can say collectively is that there are many standing here that are torn on this matter and believe that this is a conversation whose time has come," Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald told reporters, according to The Canadian Press.

    "That doesn't mean that they are fors or againsts. I think that there are people standing here – and certainly in my province –that believe we should be having a national conversation about this."

    Oswald said the Manitoba government takes no position on the issue but that any conversation must be "entrenched in compassion."

    [ Related: Will late SARS

    Read More »from Assisted suicide is climbing up the public agenda, whether politicians want it to or not
  • Pirate Joe's owner Michael Hallatt poses for a photograph at his store.Score one for the Canadian pirate, at least for now.

    A U.S. Federal Court judge has tossed out a complaint against Vancouver grocer Pirate Joe's for reselling goods bought at California-based grocery chain Trader Joe's.

    The upscale chain, which has almost 400 stores in 30 U.S. states but none in Canada, alleged Pirate Joe's store owner Michael Hallatt was using deceptive business practices, infringing on its trademark and cutting into its business from Canadian cross-border shoppers.

    But in a ruling released this week, U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman dismissed Trader Joe's suit against the tiny Canadian upstart.

    Pechman accepted the contention of Hallatt's lawyer that the court lacks jurisdiction to sanction his business because it is located in Canada and Trader Joe's has no operation there to damage.

    The U.S. Lanham Act gives the Federal Court jurisdictional power to intervene in extraterritorial disputes, Pechman said, but the facts here simply don't support doing so.

    "Here, all

    Read More »from Vancouver pirate grocer wins U.S. court battle with Trader Joe’s

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