• Prince Edward Island is the only jurisdiction in Canada where abortion services are not available.

    The province announced with some fanfare Tuesday that arrangements have been made for the Moncton hospital, in neighbouring New Brunswick, to provide abortion services to island women beginning in July, but the fact remains that abortions are not available within PEI’s boundaries.

    The province’s medical health plan covers only procedures performed at the hospital, not at a private clinic.

    The private Morgentaler Clinic in PEI closed last July because of the lack of funding from the province. The government then rejected an offer to have physicians from outside the province travel to PEI on a regular basis to offer the service. Before it closed its doors, the clinic said between 70 and 80 women paid for their own abortions annually at the facility.

    Women in PEI will no longer need a doctor’s referral to terminate a pregnancy.

    The province had been sending women to the hospital in Halifax

    Read More »from Abortion in Canada - it’s legal, but is it accessible?
  • A Canadian one dollar billA Canadian one dollar bill
    An Edmonton hospital may be able to lay claim to a truly dubious title: the worst time capsule opening ever.

    The Misericordia Community Hospital on Monday opened a time capsule that had been buried for just 25 years, and had nothing of any real interest buried inside.

    In fact, the time capsule was so inconsequential that for years, the hospital forgot all about it.  According to the Edmonton Journal, the only reason anybody found it all was because in 2013, when the hospital buried a different time capsule, someone remembered they’d already done this before. Except nobody remembered where it had been hidden.

    A granite bird bath supposedly marked the spot, but the bird bath had been moved several times because of construction, with no records to determine where the time capsule might be.

    A report in the

    Read More »from Edmonton hospital's time capsule opening may be the worst ever
  • Photo courtesy of Lucky Iron FishPhoto courtesy of Lucky Iron Fish

    It’s proving to be a beautifully uncomplicated solution to a complex problem.

    To treat iron-deficiency anemia in rural areas of Cambodia, a Canadian company is making and selling cast iron ingots that can be dropped into boiling water where they act as fortifiers. The reusable ingots leach small amounts of iron into the water, which can then be cooled and consumed for drinking or used in a soup. Using the fish daily —it needs to submersed in boiling water for 10 minutes— will supply 75% percent of the iron an adult needs in a day. Brilliant.

    Equally ingenious, even witty, is the ingot’s design: it’s a smiling, palm-sized fish, cute enough to be a family pet. When the fish’s smile fades—in about five years—it means the ingot has become less potent and needs to be replaced. A fish is a symbol of good luck in Cambodia, which obviously helps health advocates with the sales pitch. The good reasons for dropping a chunk of metal into one’s pot aren’t intuitively understood.

    These ‘Lucky

    Read More »from Feeling Sluggish? Looking Pale? Why You Might Need a ‘Lucky Iron Fish’
  • When Lucia Jang of Toronto sits down to watch the nightly news, she is sometimes overwhelmed by all the options available. The day’s events are on so many channels, each one offering slightly different stories, many from the lives of everyday people. She recognizes that this is a good thing, but Jang grew up in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea, where the news focused almost exclusively on the sometimes miraculous, always magnanimous “Great Leader,” Kim Il-Sung. Military developments also featured prominently. Watching the news in Canada is a completely different experience, and sometimes, she says, “not everything registers. It’s too much.”

    Having near limitless access to information would come as a shock to all but the most elite of citizens in North Korea, where owning a fax machine is prohibited, all TV and radio channels are controlled by the government and the internet is actually a closed-network national “intranet” called Kwangmyong. (Cell phones are

    Read More »from Why a North Korean defector is supporting a Toronto campaign to smuggle Wikipedia into the DPRK
  • The days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, and you might already be planning some big summer bashes. But with some pretty wild weather, environmental issues caused by climate change, and economic instability around the world, you may be shelling out more cash for your favourite goodies. Keep your eyes out for sales on these foods or start looking for replacements if you don't want to break the bank at your next summer fiesta.

    Bacon & Eggs

    Breakfast with bacon and eggs. (Thinkstock)Breakfast with bacon and eggs. (Thinkstock)

    Last year's pork shortage caused quite a scare among bacon lovers, who were relieved when prices fell again by winter. But the problem of unsustainable agriculture isn't a temporary one. Even if your bacon is temporarily safe, your eggs may not be.

    The effects of an egg shortage caused by avian flu outbreaks are being felt by major restaurant chains like McDonald's and IHOP, who are considering importing eggs from overseas to make up the loss. Other chains, like the Texas franchise Whataburger, are making drastic changes to their

    Read More »from Popular foods Canadians may see shortages of this summer
  • Thousands descend on Ottawa to march for reconciliationThousands descend on Ottawa to march for reconciliation
    With the release of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Canada will take one more step towards reconciling its past and its future, its Indigenous peoples and the community at large.

    Although the report is unlikely to appease all sides, Canada is among the world leaders when it comes to addressing historical wrongs.

    There are more than 370 million indigenous peoples in the world, in more than 90 countries. They account for just five per cent of the global population but 15 per cent of the world’s poor.

    Subject to systemic discrimination and excluded from political and economic power, they continue to be dispossessed from ancestral lands and deprived of the resources for survival, says the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

    “Although the state of the world’s indigenous peoples is alarming, there is some cause for optimism. The international community increasingly recognizes indigenous peoples’ human rights,” it says.

    Canada

    Canada has offered three

    Read More »from How does Canada compare when it comes to reconciliation?
  • A Lebanese Sunni Muslim fighter with the 'Jihad to Liberate Syria' group rests at a home 12 kilometers from the Syrian border, on November 13, 2012 in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. (Photo by Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)A Lebanese Sunni Muslim fighter with the 'Jihad to Liberate Syria' group rests at a home 12 kilometers from the Syrian border, on November 13, 2012 in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. (Photo by Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)

    With the so-called war on terror well into its second decade, are we any closer to decoding the allure of radicalism to some young people and finding ways to disrupt it?

    The brief arrest of 10 young Quebecers who went to the same junior college and the seizure of their passports as they tried to leave the country a couple of weeks ago underscores the scope of the problem. It also demonstrates some success in identifying potential foreign fighters. The fact a parent alerted the RCMP suggests perhaps authorities are getting better at eliciting help from Muslim communities.

    However, those who study radicalism and violent extremism are still debating what weight to give the basic motivating elements, facets that can help distinguish potential terrorists and expat jihadis from people just blowing off steam.

    And government apparently still hasn’t developed solid strategies to divert them from radicalism, though piecemeal programs exist.

    Building an exact profile of a potential jihadi has

    Read More »from What does the face of radical jihadism look like? No 'magic profile' exists, experts say
  • On its website’s FAQ page, Sunwing Vacations explains how passengers in need of special services should contact the airline, and what to expect. One line reads: “Please note that some foreign destinations may not define or provide for wheelchair access in the same fashion that we are accustomed to in Canada.”

    What a lot of people would like to know after a recent Facebook post went viral is how Sunwing describes “what we are accustomed to in Canada.”

    Based on Bowmanville, Ont. resident Rose Finlay’s alleged experience, it appears to include being left “stranded” and “bed bound” until her wheelchair is returned to her and a lack of response from the airline after sending multiple messages about her wheelchair that went missing between Cuba and Canada.

    Finlay posted a status update to Facebook on Thursday describing her situation following a nightmarish vacation with her husband. Finlay uses a custom wheelchair, which she says was taken from her when her flight arrived in Varadero,

    Read More »from Sunwing blamed for losing woman's wheelchair on flight home to Canada
  • Bees enter a thermosolar hive in Chrudim May 25, 2015. Roman Linhart's thermosolar hive fights the varroosis disease decimating bee populations by raising temperature above 40 degrees Celsius when its transparent top side made from thick glass is uncovered and sunshine heat accumulates in black-painted metal sheets inside the insulated hive. Picture taken May 25, 2015. REUTERS/David W CernyBees enter a thermosolar hive in Chrudim May 25, 2015. Roman Linhart's thermosolar hive fights the varroosis disease decimating bee populations by raising temperature above 40 degrees Celsius when its transparent top side made from thick glass is uncovered and sunshine heat accumulates in black-painted metal sheets inside the insulated hive. Picture taken May 25, 2015. REUTERS/David W Cerny

    The bees started dying, noticeably, almost a decade ago in this country.

    What would come to be known as Colony Collapse Disorder was already widespread in the U.S. and Europe, and in the spring of 2007 New Brunswick beekeepers reporter losses of 59 per cent of their bees over winter.

    Last year, Ontario lost 58 per cent.

    “We need bees if we are to continue to grow the food we eat,” says a senate report released this week, after hearing from 85 witnesses over eight months.

    The report by the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry points out that of the 100 crop species that provide 90 per cent of the world’s food, more than 70 are pollinated by bees.

    Canada has 800 different species of wild bee and more than 8,700 commercial and hobby beekeepers managing over 694,000 bee colonies. Bee crop pollination is worth an estimated $2 billion a year.

    Though neonicotinoid insecticides have borne the brunt of blame for killing bees – the European Union has put a two-year moratorium

    Read More »from What do the bees need? Senate report makes several recommendations
  • If a modelling contract sounds too good to be true, it probably is. (Thinkstock)If a modelling contract sounds too good to be true, it probably is. (Thinkstock)

    You’re young. You’re hopeful. You have dreams of becoming a star. Everyone sees potential in you, so you’re not entirely surprised when an agent walks up to you on the street and says you’re amazing. He sees greatness and can make you famous, all you have to do is a pay an expensive fee to sign a contract and have headshots taken.

    You don’t need to think about it, they urge. After all, how can you put a price on your dreams?

    If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. Scam artists parading as talent agencies work across Canada to turn people’s dreams of success into cash to line their own pockets. They’ll promise their target a career as an actor or a model, but demand a hefty fee up front for their services, and then never deliver on the deal.

    Earlier this month, ModelandTalent.tv was profiled in a La Presse story detailing those very practices: Parents took their children to an audition in Dorval, Que., and all of them were told that their children would be stars, they

    Read More »from Legitimate talent agency or scam artist? How to tell you’re working with the real deal

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