• A problem gambler who lost $330,000 at a British Columbia casino has failed again in her attempt to sue the province’s gambling agency over its inability to keep her out of trouble.

    Joy Ross sued the B.C. Lottery Corp. after she broke a casino exclusion program she had voluntarily joined, but managed to make her way back into the gambling parlour. According to CBC News, Ross first sued B.C. Lottery Corp. in 2010 after losing the fortune while on the agency's "do not admit" list. The case was dismissed and Ross tried again in 2012.

    When Ross filed her lawsuit in 2012, the woman's lawyer said the government and casinos "owed addicted gamblers a duty of care" once they were on the exclusion list.

    In its ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that the self-exclusion program was not a legal contract that holds the lottery groups responsible for the actions of participants.

    Gaming agencies around the world have begun offering voluntary exclusion programs to help problem gamblers fight the urge to

    Read More »from B.C. woman fails in bid to hold casino responsible for her losing $330K
  • Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair speaks at a news conference in Toronto.

    A Toronto police investigation involving Mayor Rob Ford will have provincial oversight after Chief Bill Blair requested the Ontario Provincial Police get involved in the tempestuous case.

    In an announcement released on Wednesday, Blair requested OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis provide oversight on the investigation involving Ford.

    "As discussed in our recent phone call, I am writing to make a formal request that the Ontario Provincial Police assume an oversight role with respect to Project Brazen 2," the letter reads.

    "As you are aware, Project Brazen 2 arose from the Toronto Police Service's year-long Project Traveller, focusing on organized crime, violence, guns and drugs.

    "I am taking this step to avoid the distractions that have assumed such recent prominence. The only public interest here is the continued investigation, without fear or favour, into evidence of possible criminality."

    The statement further notes that Lewis agreed to the request.

    [ Related: Rob and Doug Ford launch

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  • It's been the nickname of the school's sports teams for almost 100 years, but at the end of the school year, Bedford Road Collegiate will have to pick a new one.

    The "Redmen" are out.

    On Tuesday night, Saskatoon's public district school board passed a motion calling on the high school to drop "Redmen" from its team names.

    "We've come to a point in our time where things need to be changed. We are not really changing the history of the school but an ingredient of the recipe," trustee Vernon Linklater said during the meeting, adding, "We live in 2014 I think it is about time we do retire the name and logo."

    Not everyone was for the name-change decision — the motion passed with eight trustees in favour of the change and two against it — but mostly for nostalgic reasons.

    "So many other people that I have talked to, they take such great pride and they are so proud to be a Redmen," said trustee Donna Banks, who voted against the motion.

    [ Related: Lawmakers call on NFL on Redskins name: it's

    Read More »from Saskatoon public school board passes motion to drop ‘Redmen’ team nickname
  • Kendra Lindon used her SUV to pick up students on Feb. 12, when the temperature felt like -26 with the wind chill.

    There is something about the morning school routine that triggers something deep inside of us. These daily acts of getting our children safely from home to school, their first forays into negotiating the outside world without direct supervision — they are more important than we may consciously realize.

    Bus drivers and crossing guards are the unofficial guardians of our children at the start and end of every school day; they hold a special place in society. We entrust in them our children, we rely on them to guide them to the doors of education, and home again.

    Yet too often when these people embrace that role, they are censured, punished and have their jobs terminated. In Calgary, a bus driver was recently fired after doing what she thought was best for the children.

    CTV Calgary reports Kendra Lindon was fired after picking up children in her own vehicle on Feb. 12, after her school bus failed to start.

    [ Related: Ticket system for pot possession pushed by some Tories ]

    The

    Read More »from Calgary bus driver fired after picking up kids in her own car when school bus wouldn’t start
  • We can all agree that, from time to time, bureaucratic processes result in insensitive snafus that feel heartless and even cruel.

    Jury orders issued for the recently deceased, parking tickets for those who have parked hastily outside hospital emergency rooms. Or, in a recent case, a cheque worth one penny issued to the mother of a soldier who recently committed suicide.

    The Canadian Press reports that the mother of Cpl. Justin Stark received such a cheque at the end of February, marked as "CF Release Pay."

    Stark, however, had committed suicide inside a Hamilton armoury in October 2011, after a seven-month tour in Afghanistan. Tribunals have been held to determine whether his death should be considered connected his military duty.

    The one-cent cheque came while Stark's mother was already in a "fragile state" and, on the outset, seems insensitive. It comes at a time when the Conservative government's sensitivity toward military veterans has been questioned.

    There has been a series of

    Read More »from No political points to be scored after dead soldier’s mother receives one-cent cheque
  • A tarnished silver coin recovered from the mud of a Victoria waterway is being touted by some as proof that legendary explorer Sir Francis Drake reached the B.C. coast 200 years before Captain James Cook.

    Drake is best known as a leader of the English fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada, saving the country ruled by Queen Elizabeth I from invasion. He was a notorious raider of Spanish ships and colonies in the New World (some consider him little more than a pirate) but also a giant of exploration, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe in a secret four-year odyssey of discovery and plunder on behalf of the Queen.

    During that trip, Drake is known to have sailed up the West Coast as far as California or possibly Oregon in search of the western entrance to the Northwest Passage. He reportedly gave up at that point and turned his ship, the Golden Hinde, west across the Pacific and eventually home in 1580.

    Some have theorized Drake reached what is now British Columbia, though

    Read More »from Tudor-era coin found in Victoria mud may prove Sir Francis Drake visited B.C.
  • Canada Post is apologizing after an anti-gay flyer was distributed to residents of a small Labrador community. The eight-page manifesto was delivered to residents of Happy Valley-Goose Bay last week, stating in some detail that homosexuality was a sin.

    According to The Pilot, the flyer was titled "Same-Sex Marriages and God's Word" and used biblical references to condemn homosexuality. The flyer also included statements claiming God hates homosexuals and that homosexuality is "almost always violent." A Halifax group called the People's Gospel Hour has taken credit for the flyers.

    A Canada Post spokesperson apologized through the Canadian Press to anyone who was offended by the material. The spokesperson said they flyers never should have been accepted for mailing.

    The bad press comes at inauspicious times for Canada Post. The agency is currently going through significant changes in a bid to cut operating costs. Most notably, Canada Post is phasing out door-to-door delivery in Canadian

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  • Get ready for more hand-wringing over the collective thickening of Canada's waistline in the wake of a new report showing obesity rates have tripled since 1985.

    The study published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that between 1985 and 2011 there were "significant increases" in the categories of those considered excessively overweight.

    The researchers predicted the trend to increased obesity would continue up to 2019, when 20 per cent of Canadians would be classed as obese, compared with 18 per cent in 2011 and just six per cent in 1985.

    You're overweight if you have a body-mass index (BMI) of between 25 and 29.9. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese, which is split into three classes, with the worst being BMI of 40 or more. Class 2 obesity increased 350 per cent and Class 3 soared 433 per cent, CBC News pointed out.

    Obesity seems to increase as you travel from west to east (though Quebec rivals B.C. for the lowest rates), with New Brunswick reporting the

    Read More »from Could a fat tax curb Canada’s surging obesity rates?
  • Medicinal marijuana regulations about to be imposed by Health Canada may strive to place the responsibility of growing the product in the hands of a few organizations, but the war over who can grow what is about to get messy.

    Canada’s medicinal marijuana industry will be re-crafted at the end of the month, pulling the right to grow weed from the hands of thousands of Canadians and placing it in the care of large companies.

    The Canadian Press cites court documents defending the government's change in tack, which says there have been "significant unintended consequences" in expanding the number of people legally allowed to grow marijuana.

    More specifically, the government says growing pot at home can cause issues such as mould, fire and toxins in the building. Houses that are known to be home to grow ops are also under the threat of home invasion, and the product capable of appearing on the black market.

    The documents were presented as the federal government defends an impending change

    Read More »from Changes to Canada’s medicinal marijuana rules unlikely to stop smaller grow-ops
  • Luka Magnotta is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jun Lin.

    It comes as no surprise, really, that accused murderer Luka Magnotta's trial won't be televised.

    The last case the justice system wants to road test the idea of live televised trials would be that of Magnotta, a one-time stripper and porn actor accused of killing a university student, cutting him up and mailing parts of his body across Canada.

    "The danger [is that media] will get into sensationalism," said Robert Pidgeon, associate chief judge of the Quebec Superior Court, according to QMI Agency. "It scares me. Having to testify in court is already intimidating for witnesses and victims."

    Magnotta, 31, is scheduled to be tried in September for first-degree murder and other counts related to the death and dismemberment of Jun Lin, a Chinese student studying in Montreal, in May 2012.

    The case is already highly charged, given the nature of the crime. Video alleged to be of the murder itself showed up on the Internet.

    [ Related: Judge allows search for evidence in Magnotta case in Europe

    Read More »from Luka Magnotta’s murder trial won’t be televised, Quebec judge rules

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