• Guilt by association isn't enough reason to deny someone refugee status, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.

    In a decision handed down Friday, the high court ordered the Immigration and Refugee Board to take another look at the case of former Congolese diplomat Rachidi Ekanza Ezokola.

    His refugee claim was denied based on his work for the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has faced a range of war-crimes accusations from massacring civilians to using child soldiers, CBC News reported.

    Ezokola served in the Congolese government for eight years as an economic adviser and later as second counsellor in the country's delegation to the United Nations in New York, the Globe and Mail reported. He quit that post in 2004 and came to Montreal with his family, where they claimed refugee status.

    According to the Globe, Ezokola began to fear for his safety after the 2006 election of President Joseph Kabilia, whom he had not supported.

    Ezokola told a the refugee board he was

    Read More »from Supreme Court rules guilt by association not enough to deny refugee status
  • A Calgary Herald columnist wrote a disappointing piece on Friday suggesting Glee actor Cory Monteith died because he was in Vancouver and not another Canadian city — suggesting the city’s safe injection site was directly to blame for the fatality.

    You know a writer is trolling the Internet when she blames the death of a f 31-year old actor, with a history with drugs, on Vancouver by citing as evidence the inherent knowledge of "any informed Vancouverite," a brief relationship she had with a Toronto heroin user, the unwillingness of Montreal police to tell her how to score drugs and her own personal sushi addiction.

    Licia Corbella, the Calgary Herald's editorial page editor, wrote such a piece, stating that Monteith would not have died of a drug overdose if he was in any other city in Canada.

    [ Related: Cory Monteith overdose spotlights surge in heroin addiction and death ]

    No, really. It's an emphatic declaration that borders between her personal conviction and the apparently glaringly

    Read More »from Calgary columnist suggests Cory Monteith died because of Vancouver's sinful drug culture
  • Work continues at the crash site of the train derailment and fire Tuesday, July 16, 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Que.
    The Lac-Megantic train disaster has left a town and country reeling, yes, but it has also left Canada's rail industry in disarray.

    Train operators and oversight agencies continue to introspect and contemplate on Friday, two weeks after a 72-car train filled with crude oil broke from a train yard and rolled into the small Quebec community, derailing and causing an explosive catastrophe that decimated the city core, killing as many as 50 people.

    Investigations by provincial police and the Transportation Safety Board continue to progress, as it becomes apparent that safety measures either failed to keep residents safe, or were not executed properly at all.

    The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) updated the public on its investigation on Friday and urged the Transport Canada to implement some key safety improvements.

    [ Related: CN and CP tighten safety rules after Lac-Mégantic disaster ]

    TSB Investigator Donald Ross shared two such recommendations with reporters, which appeared to shine a light

    Read More »from Transportation Safety Board calls for review after Lac-Megantic train derailment
  • Illegally dumped tires sit in front of a vacant home in a once thriving neighborhood on the east side of Detroit.
    The City of Detroit has announced that it has filed for bankruptcy, which means the once-mighty Motor City could soon be declared financially insolvent and prompt a massive restructuring that could, should any member of its fleeing population remain, set the city on a path to recovery.

    That’s the positive spin. The negative is that declaring a sign that everything has gone completely wrong. That a city is so troubled that its only chance for survival is with powerful intervention. It is an exclamation mark that emphasizes the community’s financial failure.

    This is exponentially more troubling in the case of Detroit – being on the border with Canada and geographically tied to Windsor, Ont., it is a gateway to the fear that a Canadian city could sink to similar depths.

    Reuters reports that Detroit is the largest city to file bankruptcy in U.S. history - underlining the collapse of a once-proud and iconic city spiraling under the faltering automotive industry.

    The newsgroup writes:

    [T]he

    Read More »from Is Detroit bankruptcy a warning sign for Canadian border cities?
  • Two people who prevented a woman from jumping off a bridge in St. John, N.B., are wondering why other motorists on the bridge wouldn't help them keep the dangling woman from falling.

    CBC News reported Jane Foster and Kurt Delaney held onto the woman after she stepped off the Reversing Falls Bridge this week.

    "I could see people in their passenger seats just kind of looking at us," Foster told CBC News. "I was wishing for at least one more person, because the two of us — I don't think we could have held her."

    Foster arrived on the scene first and tried to talk the woman into climbing back over to the safe side of the railing, urging another motorists to call 911. Delaney ran to help after witnessing the drama from a nearby street.

    "Everything pretty much played through my mind," he said. "I thought to myself, I'm probably doing what everyone else is doing: sitting here and contemplating all these different things when really I should go and see what's going on."

    The two each managed to grab

    Read More »from Why many people don’t help when encountering someone in distress
  • John St-Onge was denied entry to Legoland in the Vaughan Mills shopping centre, north of Toronto.LEGO was my favourite toy as a kid.

    For years I built houses, forts, cars, entire towns from the deluxe box set I got one Christmas. I probably played with LEGO a little past the point when I should have outgrown it. But I loved the fact I could create almost anything from these basic building blocks. This was long before LEGO started issuing project-specific kits with tie-ins like Star Wars.

    So the idea of Legoland, an amusement park devoted all things LEGO would have sent me into a giddy spin. I confess the child in me is still enthralled with the thought of a place where I could play with LEGO and view amazing constructions from this amazing toy.

    But the adult in me would not be welcome, apparently, at least not without a child in tow.

    That's what John St-Onge discovered when the Windsor, Ont., resident and LEGO fanatic made a four-hour pilgrimage to the Legoland Discovery Centre in the Vaughan Mills shopping centre, north of Toronto.

    [ Related: Amputee builds her own prosthetic leg —

    Read More »from Windsor, Ont. LEGO fan turned away from Legoland gets apology, free tickets
  • An Edmonton man charged in connection to a graphic video at the centre of the Luka Magnotta murder investigation has been granted bail and is vowing to fight the charges.

    The Edmonton Journal reports that Mark Marek, 38, was granted $7,500 bail on Thursday, one day after police announced he would be charged after a video depicting the death of Jun Lin, a Montreal student whose body parts were mailed across the country, was allegedly posted to his website.

    Police allege Marek knowingly received the video from Luka Magnotta, who has been charged in the murder of Lin, and posted in to his website, bestgore.com.

    Bestgore.com is a graphic "shock" site where disturbing pictures and videos are posted.

    The website posted the video tiled "1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick" on May 26, days before publicly identified Magnotta as a murder suspect.

    The video reportedly depicts a man said to be Lin bound to a bed and slowly being dismembered and killed by another person. Magnotta was arrested while visiting a German

    Read More »from Gore website owner gets bail on morality charge for posting Luka Magnotta video
  • Canadian soldiers on patrol outside Salavat, in the Panjwayi district, southwest of Kandahar, Afghanistan, Monday, June 7, 2010.
    The number of suicides in Canada's military dropped sharply in 2012, a year after the end of the armed forces' combat mission in Afghanistan.

    The Canadian Press says a Defence Department study produced in March showed 13 soldiers — 10 men and three women — killed themselves last year. That compares with 22 (21 men, one woman) who committed suicide in 2011. That figure was revised from 19, the number contained in an April 2012 report on military suicides.

    According to the 2012 report, the number of suicides from 1995 to 2010 ranged from a seven to 13 a year before the spike in 2011.

    "While this number is higher than previous years, it is important to note that suicide numbers vary from year to year and as is the case for any statistics, a variation can either be due to random patterns or indicate the beginning of an upward trend," says the report, adding the military looks at figures over a period of five years to determine if such a jump is unusual.

    Despite the increased awareness of

    Read More »from Canadian Forces still grappling with the problem of soldier suicides
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is shown on the U.S. website Gawker.com, published Thursday May 16, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gawker.comRemember that crazy time, not so long ago, when all anyone was talking about were the allegations that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had been videotaped smoking from a crack pipe?

    That seems like a lifetime ago. Two months later, no video has surfaced and, despite reported ties to a criminal investigation and being the subject of a massive crowd-funded bid to purchase a copy of the video, it seems like it just wasn't meant to be.

    U.S. gossip site Gawker, the first group to report seeing the video, launched a bid to raise $200,000 to purchase the video from a group of men who had been attempting to sell it.

    When the story went public, those men fell off the radar, according to Gawker. The fundraising campaign – coined ‘Crackstarter’ – continued, however, and the site easily reached its target.

    [ Related: Funding woes already cloud fate of Scarborough subway ]

    Gawker editor John Cook announced today what will happen to that money. He had promised to send the money to a Canadian charity, should the

    Read More »from This is where Gawker is sending the Rob Ford ‘Crackstarter’ money
  • Ontario's transportation minister, Glen Murray, at an announcement last month. Photo courtesy CBC.After Toronto city council voted to do an about-face on a transit strategy in its eastern suburb of Scarborough, Ontario's transportation minister said he was willing to play ball.

    But the federal government would have to join the game.

    Minister Glen Murray announced on Thursday that Queen's Park would commit $1.4 billion to a Scarborough subway project – covering about two-thirds of its $2.3 billion price tag.

    "This is the first real money in this project," Murray told reporters. "We are supporting the city under the condition that it gets help federally. This is how you start."

    Toronto council voted this week to set aside a plan to build a light-rail transit line through the region. It was a council-approved project that would have its $1.8 billion budget covered by Metrolinx, the province's transit agency.

    [ Related: Toronto council votes to bring subways into Scarborough ]

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford led a charge to abandon the light-rail plan and instead extend the subway line by three

    Read More »from Funding woes already clouding fate of Scarborough subway project

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