• Photos from Slut Walk in New York, Saturday, October 1, 2011 (<a href=https://flic.kr/p/as14kq target=_blank>David Shankbone/Flickr</a>)

    For over a week now, Twitter feeds and Facebook walls have been flooded with the latest in the ongoing saga of Jian Ghomeshi and the women he allegedly assaulted. Since the Toronto Star published a story on Oct. 26 with accusations from three women that Ghomeshi had assaulted them, several more, both named and anonymously, have stepped forwards with their own allegations. That in turn has been followed by a deluge of women who have shared their own, unrelated stories of assault.

    In the wake of the scandal, hashtags like #BeenRapedNeverReported have appeared online, with thousands of women sharing their own, often heartbreaking accounts of sexual assault that have never been taken to the police.

    But why now? Why did it take the firing and ostracizing of Jian Ghomeshi to prompt so many women to come forward with their own stories?

    The question is understandably a complex one, and in reality, the Ghomeshi scandal came at a time when the sexual assault of women is a particularly charged

    Read More »from Why so many women are stepping forward with stories of sexual assault now
  • Marie Henein, leaves the Old City Hall courthouse in Toronto on Monday October 19, 2009. (CP)Marie Henein, leaves the Old City Hall courthouse in Toronto on Monday October 19, 2009. (CP)

    As yet another person comes forward with allegations of sexual impropriety against Jian Ghomeshi, this time a male, the former CBC radio host has hired a high-profile criminal defence attorney in anticipation of potential charges by police.

    But it appears even she has something to say about Ghomeshi’s sexual history.

    The Toronto Star reports that Ghomeshi has retained Marie Henein, a name partner at Henein Hutchison LLP, who notably represented former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant when he was charged in the death of a bicycle courier in 2009.

    Ghomeshi had previously retained the crisis management firm Navigator, which also represented Bryant in 2009, until it confirmed they had dropped Ghomeshi as a client last week.


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    Read More »from Even Jian Ghomeshi's new lawyer has joked about the ongoing scandal
  • (CBC Photo)(CBC Photo)

    An Edmonton clothing store has apologized for turning away a group of cadets looking to distribute poppies ahead of Remembrance Day, in what is being described by Royal Canadian Legion officials as a forgivable misunderstanding.

    And while the incident would seem destined to leave a mark on the Legion’s annual Poppy Fund campaign, it is but a blip in what could turn out to be the most successful campaign in recent memory.

    Legion officials told Yahoo Canada News that, just days into their annual poppy drive, they estimate they will distribute as many as 20 million poppies in just over a week – two million more than last year.

    “The early indication is that the poppies are being distributed like never before,” Tom Eagles, Dominion President of the Royal Canadian Legion, told Yahoo Canada News. “We are seeing more people coming to the poppy trays. We are seeing more people (than usual) this early. We are a week before November 11 and we are seeing a lot of people wearing the poppy, which

    Read More »from Royal Canadian Legion forgives Edmonton store that booted out Poppy Fund volunteers
  • If you’re a Canadian named Elizabeth Gallagher, there may be an early Christmas present waiting for you.

    Thanks to the archaic policies of the airline industry that makes adjusting flight reservations either expensive or impossible, and his recent separation from a former girlfriend, Jordan Axani is searching for someone who can put several flights on a round-the-world trip to use, no strings attached.

    The only issue is that one set of airline tickets is reserved under the name of his ex-girlfriend, and it seems it has to stay that way.

    "My hope in the whole thing is to find somebody who maybe wasn’t able to travel to far-off places, or hasn’t had the opportunity yet, who can put it to good use," Axani told Yahoo Canada News in a telephone interview on Monday.

    "It’s a ticket around the world and if it goes to waste it would be a shame."           

    Axani launched his search for the fortuitously-named stranger on the social media site Reddit this weekend, saying the ticket will only

    Read More »from Canadian seeking someone with same name as ex due to frustrating airline name change policies
  • Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan: Is a 'gay serum' rumour a new low in an ugly campaign?Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan: Is a 'gay serum' rumour a new low in an ugly campaign?

    Municipal political campaigns can be messy affairs, with smears and attacks coming both directly from opponents and from their anonymous backers, spin coming from all directions and wild claims taking life completely out of nowhere.

    In Canada, the hope is that candidates maintain integrity over the course of the election, that their teams run honest campaigns and that no one accuses a candidate of injecting children with a mysterious serum intended to turn them gay.

    That last tenet may have been broken in Burnaby, B.C., where rumours and allegations swirl that the civic party backing the current mayor intends to inject students with a serum that could turn them homosexual.

    The unfounded rumour is being panned by both sides of the debate, but a battle of finger-pointing has broken out in its wake.

    Katrina Chen, a school board candidate running under the  Burnaby Citizens’ Association banner, says she believes the smear is coming from those inside the camp of the opposition, the Burnaby

    Read More »from Ugly politics in Burnaby, B.C., get uglier as election marred by 'gay serum' rumours
  • In an effort to foster a decent level of etiquette on public buses, Toronto transit officials are set to make priority seats brighter, more vibrant and more noticeable – a sure sign that common decency is all but dead in Canada’s largest city.

    The Toronto Transit Commission announced this week that they would be introducing new priority seating measures on all city buses. The measures include posting large decals identifying seats as reserved for priority passengers, and giving those seats bright, plush covering so they stand out.

    The new initiative should solve the problem of people not knowing it is common courtesy to offer your bus seat to someone in need. But it sadly can do little to make those who don’t follow societal customs act like they were raised by human beings.

    The new seats will be bright blue, unlike the reddish maroon colour of most current transit seats. They will also be plush, which will make them a far cry more comfortable that some worn-out seats on the older

    Read More »from Toronto to urge basic etiquette with bright 'priority seats' on all buses
  • Ex-CBC host Jian Ghomeshi (CBC)Ex-CBC host Jian Ghomeshi (CBC)

    Less than a week ago, Jian Ghomeshi was an adored media personality backed by a legion of fans, Canada’s public broadcaster, high-profile industry insiders and a large majority of the country’s arts and cultural elite.

    Today, Ghomeshi stands nearly alone.

    As fans flee in droves, and as the now-fired CBC radio host and admitted kinkster digs in for a major lawsuit against his former company, his list of supporters – even those seeking nuanced ground – grows short.

    Save for a select few, public sentiment has turned against Ghomeshi as nine women have now come forward describing their rough, unwelcome sexual encounters with the celebrity.

    Two of those women have publicly identified themselves – actor Lucy Decoutere and author Reva Seth – while the rest remain too afraid of repercussions to come forward. But as the circumstances behind more than a decade of Ghomeshi’s sexual encounters come to light, the scandal moves beyond a he-said-she-said situation.


    Jian Ghomeshi says he

    Read More »from One week into scandal, Jian Ghomeshi's cupboard of allies is almost bare
  • A promotional image from the 'Thanks Alcohol!' website, via the Alberta Gaming &amp; Liquor Commission.A promotional image from the 'Thanks Alcohol!' website, via the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission.

    Have you been punched in the face after having a few too many drinks at the bar? Thanks alcohol!

    That message and others are part of Alberta’s new, cheeky anti-drinking campaign, which attempts to use humour to point out that bad booze management can lead you to some pretty rough places.

    The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission launched the new awareness campaign on Friday, reminding us about something many of us know from experience: Alcohol can help turn you into a pretty crummy person.

    The commission has released a set of posters of young adults in uncomfortable situations, such as recovering after a fight and laying awkwardly in bed with a stranger, capped with the slogan, "Thanks Alcohol!"

    Every Canadian of legal drinking age has known someone, or is someone, who has exhibited horrible behaviour after a few drinks. There’s the pacifist guy who suddenly thinks it’s a good idea to fight strangers, or the entirely law-abiding gal who thinks vodka and pulling fire alarms is a match

    Read More »from Alberta launches cheeky 'Thanks Alcohol!' anti-drinking campaign
  • Calgary Police Service Victim Assistance Unit dog Hawk and his handler Sgt. Brent Hutt.Calgary Police Service Victim Assistance Unit dog Hawk and his handler Sgt. Brent Hutt.

    If you believe there aren’t any police dogs you can safely cuddle without having your face ripped off, you’d be wrong.

    Meet Hawk, a four-year-old black Labrador retriever who comforts the victims of crime rather than tackling the baddies.

    A judge in Calgary ruled this week Hawk could accompany two young children, a seven-year-old girl and her nine-year-old brother, as they testified in a case alleging their father sexually abused his young daughter.

    "You might be the first dog in Canada, Hawk, to be a court-ordered comfort dog," Justice Bruce Millar said in granting the application, CBC News reported.

    Both Crown and defence lawyers supported the decision.

    Hawk and his handler, Calgary police Sgt. Brent Hutt, work in the department’s victim’s assistance unit. They’re familiar figures in the halls of justice, helping tense witnesses get through pre-trial interviews with Crown prosecutors and to relax before testifying.

    If Hawk being in this room with these kids we’ve been dealing with
    Read More »from Hawk, a different kind of police dog, comforts victims instead of chasing baddies
  • This witch may be glum, but at least she got to dress up in costume for Halloween at school. (Reuters)This witch may be glum, but at least she got to dress up in costume for Halloween at school. (Reuters)

    It is that spooky time of year when Canadian parents and students in small pockets around the country bristle at being told their schools will not be celebrating Halloween this year.

    Instead, children will be welcome to celebrate something a little safer, something that doesn’t have its roots in the occult. Call it Spirit Day, or Black and Orange Day, or just Friday.

    This year’s Ground Zero for anti-Halloween outrage is Windsor, Ont., where parents are unhappy that Anderon Public School has barred Halloween costumes and parties.

    The Windsor Star reports that the public elementary school has instead implemented “Black and Orange Day.” Which, y’know, are the colours of the Halloween season.

    There will be no parade, and costumes are outright discouraged, with the school saying it would be neat if kids wore black and orange clothing. Though it’s not all trick, there will be some treat: Classes are welcome to hold discussions about the history of Halloween and the different customs that

    Read More »from Happy Orange and Black day: Canadian schools turn against Halloween


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