• UPDATED (DEC. 12 5:45 p.m.): Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale has announced he has served Mayor Rob Ford with a libel notice after the allegations he made earlier this week, and then repeating them on two occasions. Dale explains what he is seeking with the lawsuit in a post to the Toronto Star website:

    As my libel notice says, I’m asking Ford to immediately retract the false insinuation that I am a pedophile and all of his false statements about my conduct on May 2, 2012. I’m also asking Ford and Vision owner ZoomerMedia to apologize immediately “publicly, abjectly, unreservedly and completely.”

    Dale's legal representative Iris Fischer says that when her legal team and Dale served Ford with the libel notice this afternoon, they were asked to leave all cell phones outside of the office, and sign a document confirming that they had no recording devices on their persons.

    Ford has long maintained that the media was part of a conspiracy out to get him, and that has left a reporter unfairly

    Read More »from Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale calls Rob Ford a liar, launches lawsuit
  • By all accounts, Joan Warren should have been safe.

    The 76-year-old woman, who suffered from dementia, was living in a North Vancouver care home designed to house people like her. She wore a special wristband to alert staff if she left the building and the entrances were supposed to be monitored.

    But Warren vanished from the Sunrise Senior Living facility last week. A search of neighbouring streets, alleys, carports and other buildings turned up nothing. Her frozen body was discovered several kilometres away by a hiker in the forested area. She may not have been wearing her wristband.

    An investigation is underway at Sunrise to discover how Warren was able to leave the home undetected.

    "Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we cannot discuss any additional details but can say that we are conducting an internal investigation of this matter and continue to take every precaution to maintain the safety of all of our residents," a spokeswoman said in an email to the Globe and Mail.

    Experts say

    Read More »from B.C. woman’s death highlights challenge of keeping rising number of dementia patients safe
  • A bid for British Columbia to join neighbouring Washington state in becoming a hassle-free zone for recreational pot users has, as expected, fallen short. But advocates are not giving up.

    The well-funded effort by Sensible BC to force a referendum to effectively decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use failed to collect the more than 300,000 signatures required under provincial legislation to force a ballot.

    "We will have about 210,000 signatures to hand in to Elections BC on Monday morning," Sensible BC said on its web site. "While we won’t have enough to trigger a referendum, that’s still over two-thirds of the 312,000 minimum required.

    "We didn’t achieve our ultimate goal this time around, but this is still a remarkable feat, and everyone involved in this campaign should feel proud of our accomplishments so far."

    [ Related: B.C. pot advocate's petition to decriminalize marijuana comes up short ]

    To force a referendum under British Columbia's recall and

    Read More »from B.C. pot decriminalization referendum bid falls short but advocates not giving up
  • Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird walks past a map of the Arctic at a news conference on Canada's Arctic claim. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

    Recent actions taken by Canada and Russia in a land dispute over the resource-rich Arctic circle says just about everything there is to know about the countries in question.

    Canada officials have filed a claim on Arctic land based on a mostly-finished study of the Arctic seabed. And while the claim does not yet extend as far as the North Pole, more is in the works. Meantime, Russia is beefing up its military might in the area and claiming the land as its own.

    On Monday, Canada submitted a claim to the United Nations for seabed rights in the far north, leaving Canada stumbling towards a frigid conflict over the frozen land. Russia's response was to flex its muscle. But Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs has a message for Russia: tread lightly.

    Rick Roth, director of communications to Canada’s Foreign Ministry, told Yahoo Canada News that Canada is determined to assert and defend its sovereignty in the Arctic.

    "We will do so in adherence to International Law, and through science-based

    Read More »from Canada to Russia: Military buildup in the Arctic sends wrong message
  • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden during an interview with The Guardian. REUTERS/Glenn Greenwald/Laura PoitrasIn the game of international espionage, sometimes a kernel of truth is worth as much as the whole story. Disguise, deception and misdirection are par for the course, all part of the war that pits spy against spy. Even Canadian spies, who it appears play a larger role than we have previously known.

    As classified documents obtained and leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden continue to make headlines, Canada's eavesdropping agency continues to do the same.

    Jean-Pierre Plouffe, a watchdog for Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) said on Tuesday that he fears the headlines will be taken out of context and lead to misinformation in the public sphere.

    "The information provided by Mr. Snowden made the news, often very sensational in the media," Plouffe said, according to the Canadian Press.

    "Unfortunately, this information is often taken out of context, which as a result becomes misinformation. So one of the key objectives of my office is to help to

    Read More »from Snowden documents show depth of Canadian spy agency amid ‘misinformation’ fears
  • More than 2.3 million Canadians suffer from asthma (PA)The unnecessary death of a child is always tragic but the manner of Ryan Gibbons' demise seems like the stuff of a parent's nightmares.

    The 12-year-old Ontario boy suffered a severe asthma attack while playing soccer at his school in the village of Straffordville.

    But under Ontario school policy, he wasn't allowed to carry an emergency inhaler of asthma medicine. It had to stay locked up in the principal's office.

    His mother, Sandra Gibbons, told The Canadian Press Ryan probably panicked as his friends were carrying him to the office to get the inhaler. He blacked out and later died, his inhaler behind that locked door.

    "To this day I really don't know how exactly the whole day unfolded for him," she told CP.

    Since her son's death in October 2012, Sandra Gibbons has channeled her grief into ensuring this doesn't happen to anyone else.

    According to Statistics Canada, more than 2.3 million Canadians suffer from the disease, more than 40 per cent of them in Ontario. The Asthma Society of Canada

    Read More »from Mother of boy who died from asthma attack at school pushes for policy change
  • Stephen Harper and wife Laureen stand next to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto during the memorial. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldIt seems a delegation of Canadian leaders, past and present, sent to attend the memorial for former South African president Nelson Mandela can't help but make headlines.

    On Tuesday, as the world tuned in to celebrate Mandela's life, some Canadian politicians were temporarily denied entry to the massive memorial.

    The memorial was being held in a Johannesburg soccer stadium that seats 95,000 people, with scores of world leaders, hundreds of dignitaries and several celebrities in attendance.

    [ Related: Obama thrills crowd, hails Mandela as a liberation hero ]

    Yet part of Canada’s delegation almost didn’t make the guest list, despite taking an 18-hour flight to be there. According to the Canadian Press, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, four provincial premiers and several others were set to be refused access by the South African protocol office. In the end, the entire party was allowed in.

    The near miss came after reports that Canadian officials reportedly tried to move South African media out of the

    Read More »from Kim Campbell dances while Canadian delegation takes in Nelson Mandela memorial
  • Mayor Rob Ford attends an executive committee meeting at Toronto's City Hall on Thursday, December 5 2013. Toronto's embattled mayor has told ex-media mogul Conrad Black he's willing to submit to a urine test to prove he has no drugs or alcohol in his system. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris YoungMuch has already been made about the contents of a recently-broadcast collegial interview between Conrad Black and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, from new claims of a vast police conspiracy against the mayor to the latest assertion that Ford's closet is finally bare, that there is nothing left to learn about his troubled past.

    Yes, the VisionTV exclusive was billed as the latest peek behind Ford's curtain and delivered merely another secure pulpit from which Ford was invited to spin and obfuscate his history of illegal drug use, the concerning details of a police investigation and his relationship with the media.

    The most concerning moment of the interview came when Black all but begged Ford to start picking on individual journalists. What were the most offensive abrasions perpetrated against you, he asked.

    Ford took that chance to smear a respected member of the city hall press gallery. Because he’s the mayor of Canada’s largest city and it’s totally acceptable for him to make defamatory

    Read More »from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford makes wild allegation against Toronto Star reporter
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is interviewed by Conrad Black on Vision TV.

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford accused Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair of using his friend and occasional driver Alexander Lisi as a “prop” in a political attack against him, telling Conrad Black in an exclusive interview that investigators should charge him if he has done anything illegal.

    “I definitely think this is political. I think they used Lisi as a prop to get at me,” Ford told the former media baron in an interview that aired on VisionTV Monday night.

    This is not the first time Ford has claimed Blair had a political vendetta against him. It has been a common refrain from the embattled mayor ever since police announced they had recovered a video reportedly showing the mayor smoking from a crack pipe, forcing him to admit to smoking crack cocaine and lying about it.

    But this is the first time he has publicly claimed that Lisi, an unsavoury character with a criminal history who has been charged with drug trafficking and extortion, was a police prop.

    Ford made the comment during an interview

    Read More »from Mayor Rob Ford tells Conrad Black his closet is empty in chummy exclusive interview
  • This Sept. 19, 2011 aerial photo shows an oil sands mine facility near Fort McMurray. (CP)

    When rock legend Neil Young compared Fort McMurray to Hiroshima last fall, supporters of Alberta's oil sands industry centred there rolled their eyes.

    Nothing to see here, folks. Just another piece of celebrity sanctimony.

    Well, the Canadian-born Young is putting his time and money where his mouth is. He plans to stage a series of concerns to raise money for a northern Alberta First Nation fighting oil sands development, The Canadian Press reports.

    Young, who was born in Toronto but has lived in the United States for most of his life, is organizing four Canadian concerts scheduled for next month in Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary. Tickets are set to go on sale Tuesday.

    “The theme of the concerts is honour the treaties," Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation spokeswoman Eriel Deranger told CP, which will receive the benefit. “All the ticket sales, all the proceeds from the concerts, not a single cent goes to anyone other than [the First Nation].”

    [ Related: Neil Young slams oil sands,

    Read More »from Neil Young staging concerts across Canada to support fight against Alberta oil sands


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