• People look at a dead orca as it lay on a Vancouver Island boat launch in this handout image. (CP)People look at a dead orca as it lay on a Vancouver Island boat launch in this handout image. (CP)

    A bizarre, macabre theft is being investigated in British Columbia this week, after someone stole the teeth from a dead orca.

    The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is investigating the theft, and while officials couldn’t say why someone would want the teeth, whale ivory can be a hot commodity on the black market.

    One thing is clear, however: It is very illegal to steal those teeth.

    The Canadian Press reports that the body of a deceased orca was lying near a boat launch on Vancouver Island waiting to be examined by biologists.

    The endangered whale had been found floating offshore late last week and was moved to shore for a post-mortem investigation.

    It is still not clear what killed the whale, though it has been confirmed it was pregnant with a full-term calf at the time of her death.

    Overnight, however, someone removed several teeth and damaged several others.

    Her jaw and teeth were in great shape and solid,” DFO co-ordinator Paul Cottrell told the news agency.

    "It looks like

    Read More »from Teeth theft from endangered orca carcass being investigated
  • Carol Leigh, an advocate for decriminalizing prostitution, poses for a photo Jul. 18, 2014. (Reuters)Carol Leigh, an advocate for decriminalizing prostitution, poses for a photo Jul. 18, 2014. (Reuters)

    Canada’s new prostitution laws went into effect over the weekend, and already they are prompting concern and doubt. And confusion — always good when you’re at risk of jail time if you don’t understand the law.

    The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, which replaces former laws that have been shot down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, are meant to give sex workers the ability to protect themselves, and create avenues to help get them out of the industry.

    But those on the ground have complained that they still can’t tell what is legal and what is not.

    “The rules and regulations are still hazy,” Cameron Diablo, a Victoria, B.C. sex worker, told the Victoria Times Colonist.

    “We’re unsure about licensing, legality, if we live near schools but work indoors, landlord-tenant regulations with the new law, advertising. The list is endless with the detailed questions my group of colleagues and I have come up with.”

    It is not a great sign for a set of laws that were

    Read More »from What is and is not legal under Canada's new prostitution laws
  • Queen Elizabeth II attends the Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 13, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)Queen Elizabeth II attends the Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 13, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
    Sure, Canada is a constitutional monarchy. But that doesn’t mean Queen Elizabeth calls all the shots.

    In fact, she has few direct powers inside the country. And many folks will be happy to learn that she cannot unilaterally send Canadian troops into battle. And those who oppose the monarchy in Canada note that she has few other actual authorities, thanks to the arms-length that Canada’s governor-general provides.

    Tom Freda, president of Citizens for a Canadian Republic, says that despite the pomp and circumstance surrounding the monarchy in Canada, the Queen has little actual ability to directly affect its affairs.

    “First of all, the Queen has no power to do anything in Canada without first being asked by the Canadian government. That includes royal visits,” Freda wrote in an email to Yahoo Canada News.

    “She must be invited to come to Canada. No invitation, no royal visit. She doesn’t even write her own speeches that she delivers here. The Ministry of Canadian Heritage does.”

    The issue

    Read More »from The Queen can't send Canada into war; what can she do?
  • File photo of Alok Mukherjee, head of the Toronto Police Services Board on June 29, 2012. (CP)File photo of Alok Mukherjee, head of the Toronto Police Services Board on June 29, 2012. (CP)

    An errant Facebook post shared by the chair of the Toronto Police Service Board that compares police brutality in the U.S. to the work of the Islamic State terrorist group has union officials seething.

    The Toronto Police Association are demanding the resignation of Alok Mukherjee on Friday, declaring that the leader of Toronto’s civilian oversight body crossed the line by sharing an Occupy Wall St. Facebook post.

    Image posted by Occupy Wall St. to Facebook and shared by Alok Mukherjee.Image posted by Occupy Wall St. to Facebook and shared by Alok Mukherjee.The post, which has been widely shared, reads:

    Americans killed by ISIS: 3

    Americans killed by Ebola: 2

    Americans killed by the police: 500+ every year

    The shared post is no longer publicly visible on Mukherjee’s Facebook page.

    In a screen-grab provided by the TPA, it appears Mukherjee wrote “I can’t breathe” under the poster – a reference to the death of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a choke hold by police in New York.

    "[Mukhergee’s] sharing of this poster is clearly unprofessional, clearly unethical and clearly seeks to undermine the very people he is paid to

    Read More »from Toronto police union demands chair of the police service board resign over Facebook post
  • Tourism Canada, this is lovely, but it's not a selfie. (Photo courtesy Jamie in Bytown/Flickr)Tourism Canada, this is lovely, but it's not a selfie. (Photo courtesy Jamie in Bytown/Flickr)

    That’s not a selfie, Canada. That’s barely even #DigitalDiplomacy.

    Tourism Canada is currently running a campaign to have Canadians take “selfie” photographs in beautiful locations, and they are promoting their efforts by posting branded content on Buzzfeed.

    The only problem? None of the photos are selfies.

    The post, which is clearly marked as branded content provided by Tourism Canada, purports to contain a list of selfies snapped in beautiful parts of the country.

    "The problem with selfies is that unless you’re doing something amazing, they’re pretty lame," the post reads before providing a list of 19 spectacular images.

    None of which are selfies.

    If we’ve lost you with all this selfie talk, permit me to explain.

    "Selfie" is a now-shark-jumped term coined about a decade ago, which refers to a photograph snapped of oneself… by oneself.  Selfies exploded in popularity around the time cellphones started taking decent photographs.

    According to Yahoo Tech, photographer Jim Krause defined

    Read More »from Tourism Canada’s Buzzfeed list of selfies doesn’t contain any selfies
  • This undated image posted on Aug. 27, 2014 by the Islamic State group shows a fighter of ISIS. (AP)This undated image posted on Aug. 27, 2014 by the Islamic State group shows a fighter of ISIS. (AP)

    The arrest of a 15-year-old Montreal boy on terror-related offences suggests jihadist propaganda is reaching a younger audience, probably through social media, an expert on terrorism says.

    The teen, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, made a second court appearance on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to staging a robbery to fund terrorist activity (Criminal Code Section 83.2) and for planning to leave the country to participate in terrorism (83.181).

    He’s among the youngest ever charged in Canada with a terror-related crime, the same age as one of four youths arrested as part of the 2006 Toronto 18 terror plot, though charges against that unnamed 15-year-old were later dropped. He’s also the first youth to be charged under the Conservative government’s newly minted Section 83.181.

    For adults, the charges carry a maximum 10 years if convicted of terror-related travel and life for criminal activity tied to terrorism.


    Related Stories:

    Montreal teen faces

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  • PETA's sexy pizza gals dish up free vegan slices in Winnipeg. (CBC)PETA's sexy pizza gals dish up free vegan slices in Winnipeg. (CBC)

    The animal rights group PETA has a way of making headlines, and its recipe is no secret.

    You take one part sensational outrage at the everyday plight of pets and animals, sprinkle in a heavy dose of female nudity and a dash of sexual innuendo. Add sensational outrage to taste. Replace with sensationalized human tragedy if preferred. Set to boil.

    Take for instances dueling headlines in Canada right now. First you have PETA trotting out scantily-clad women – dressed as “sexy pizza” – In Winnipeg, during one of the province’s coldest months.

    And now, PETA is trying to post a billboard in Hamilton, Ont., that makes light of a woman who kept her husband’s corpse for six months, in the hopes he could be resurrected.

     ”Are there corpses in your home? Time to go vegan,” the desired billboard reads, according to the Hamilton Spectator.

    "If you have chicken breasts, steaks, or bologna in your refrigerator, we have news for you: You’re sharing your home with corpses," PETA president Ingrid

    Read More »from PETA again tests recipe for success: Objectifying women and sensationalizing tragedy
  • Six easy steps to fix Toronto’s transit problem, could it really be so simple?

    The John Tory era officially began in Toronto on Thursday when the new mayor promised a marked and nearly-immediate improvement to the city’s oppressive traffic congestion.

    And he isn’t going to do it by pushing forward with SmartTrack, the expansive public transit plan that helped put him in office, but with a series of simple, common-sense proposals that aren’t likely to stir much controversy at all.

    Could it really be that simple?

    “When it comes to traffic, there’s a new sheriff in town,” Tory said during a morning press conference.

    Tory, who was elected mayor of Canada’s largest city in October and was officially sworn in on Tuesday, knows that traffic is a major issue for Torontonians.

    During the election, he promoted an expansive rail line known as SmartTrack to take pressure off of roads and subway lines. He also vowed to address congestion more directly.

    Thursday’s announcement was the culmination

    Read More »from Toronto's new mayor pitches six ideas to get city's traffic flowing immediately
  • Hens are seen in cages at a state poultry farm on the outskirts of Minsk.Hens are seen in cages at a state poultry farm on the outskirts of Minsk.

    The latest Canadian outbreak of avian flu appears to have caught animal-health authorities by surprise.

    Although they seem to have moved quickly to try to contain it, one official admitted they may be dealing with a very virulent strain.

    Two more farms in B.C.’s Fraser Valley, just east of Vancouver, were quarantined Wednesday, bringing the number of poultry operations being investigated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to four, said chief veterinarian Dr. Harpreet Kochhar.

    He also warned that officials aren’t sure the outbreak will be limited to those four, three of which are chicken farms and another that was raising turkeys for the Christmas market.

    “As avian influenza is highly contagious and can spread rapidly; it is possible that additional at-risk farms may be identified in the coming days,” Kochhar said.

    Chief B.C. Medical Officer Dr. Perry Kendall said there’s no evidence of people being infected by the virus, though health officials are prepared to isolate and

    Read More »from Scope of surprise bird flu outbreak still unknown
  • Would you do this with a stranger?Would you do this with a stranger?

    If you want to pay a stranger to snuggle with you to scare away your loneliness, you are in luck. Canada appears to have entered a golden age for professional snuggling, with parties and personal services available in many cities across the country.

    There are websites listing local cuddle parties, storefronts where would-be cuddle recipients can go to get some personal tenderness, and online advertisements for similar services being offered out of the home.

    "For a lot of different reasons, many of us may not, or do not receive the closeness and non-sexual touch we require as human beings in order to fully thrive and enjoy our lives," reads one such Kijiji advertisement for a service in Victoria, B.C. “To fulfill this need in our community, I have created Snuggle Service to provide the non-sexual cuddling/snuggling needs you may have in a completely warm, safe and nurturing context.”

    Note the declaration of a sexless interaction, because it’s the norm in the cuddle party scene. Cuddle

    Read More »from Cuddle services creating an outlet for lonely Canadians

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