• (Isabelle Larose/Radio-Canada)(Isabelle Larose/Radio-Canada)

    Gaspé, Que. doesn’t come up in conversation too often. Despite being the cradle of French culture in Canada, the point where Jacques Cartier took possession of New France in 1543, the seaside town of around 15,000 has become the sort of place known for heavy snowfalls, year-round winds and tourists who come to snap photos next to the gargantuan windmill blades manufactured nearby.

    Recently, it added “home to Canada’s newest currency” – the demi – to its quirks.

    The local currency, French for “half”, is the byproduct of a discussion between friends and a visitor over pints at the local microwbrewery Le Naufrageur, explains Martin Zibeau, one of the first adopters, to Macleans.

    But it’s not printed with local symbols nor registered with a local currency exchange. Instead Gaspé demi adopters have taken the simple route: cut your Canadian bills in half. That’s right. All you have to do is physically cut your twenty, ten or five dollar bill in half.

    “Most people, their first reaction is:

    Read More »from Gaspé's ‘demi’ just one of Canada’s (legal) alternate currency systems
  • Avery Edison's Twitter profile picture. Edison, a transgender woman, is being held in a men's prison after issues with her travel status at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.(Twitter)Avery Edison's Twitter profile picture. Edison, a transgender woman, is being held in a men's prison after issues with her travel status at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.(Twitter)

    Many transgender Canadians are pleased with an announcement from the San Francisco sheriff’s department that transgender inmates will be housed according to their gender identity, whether or not they have had surgery to physically transition.

    But while Ontario announced a similar policy change earlier this year, Canada remains a patchwork of approaches — most of them less accommodating.

    “The policy is placement by genitals, which is really outdated,” says Jennifer Metcalfe, executive director of B.C.-based Prisoners’ Legal Services.

    Last January, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in Canada to put in a place a policy allowing inmates to be placed in facilities based on their gender identity, rather than just their genitalia.

    At the time, the ministry said there were 25 inmates in the Ontario provincial prison system that identified as transgender in 2014.

    Neither the federal government nor any other provinces have yet followed Ontario’s lead, though British Columbia is “in the

    Read More »from Transgender inmates policy in Canada falls far short of San Francisco sheriff’s new policy
  • A physician injects a pregnant mouse in a laboratory at Yale University in this file photo. (Reuters)A physician injects a pregnant mouse in a laboratory at Yale University in this file photo. (Reuters)

    When new and returning students arrived at Halifax’s Dalhousie University campus the first Sunday in September, many were perplexed by a small campus protest about the alleged use of cats in the school’s research labs. Others were less surprised, as they’d already learned about the cats through – what else? – social media.

    In late August, a photo of a stack of cat food cans at a local supermarket appeared on Facebook and Twitter, and eventually in local news stories. The cans were apparently waiting for delivery to “Dalhousie,” according to a hand-written sign. First came jokes about the student meal plan, then an online discussion began about the likely connection between the food and scientific research.

    Ashley Leslie, an animal rights activist in Halifax, organized the protest to approach students

    Read More »from Canadians would be 'shocked' by how universities use animals, expert says
  • Calgary Pride bus (Calgary Transit)Calgary Pride bus (Calgary Transit)

    A neo-Nazi who got a $5,000 ticket for blocking a rainbow-coloured Pride bus in Calgary took to GoFundMe to help pay the fine, but found little support.

    According to the Calgary Sun, “notorious local neo-Nazi” Kyle McKee, 29, stood in front of the bus for about 20 minutes last week in a show of solidarity with a transit driver who refused to drive the Pride-themed vehicle. 

    "Christianity is under constant attack and not given the same religious freedom and protection as other groups," McKee told Yahoo Canada News by email.

    "When I seen in the mainstream media and on social media a brave transit driver being publicly crucified for standing up for his moral convictions I thought I would stand with him — or rather in front of a bus — in support of religious freedom being equally given and in protest of the fact that it isn't."

    Calgary police confirmed they slapped McKee with the maximum fine for interfering with the operation of a transit vehicle.

    “It must have seemed a little like a

    Read More »from Calgary neo-Nazi crowdfunds to pay ticket for blocking Pride bus
  • The Richmond Hill, Ont., teacher fired this week after allegedly posting racist and anti-Muslim tweets didn’t just violate his school’s social media guidelines, an education expert says — he broke the “unwritten social contract” that all teachers are expected to adhere to. 

    Society holds teachers to a higher standard than the average person, who might be able to get away with behaving badly or speaking out of turn when they’re off the clock, said Benjamin Kutsyuruba, an educational policy and law professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

    “Unlike some other professions that enjoy greater anonymity, the teaching profession is held to a greater standard of care because of the nature of their work and their role of teaching children and other vulnerable persons,” Kutsyuruba said.

    We trust teachers every day with an enormous responsibility — to take care of our children and help shape their minds. Every time a teacher breaks this trust, Kutsyuruba said, the effects ripple through

    Read More »from Ontario teacher fired over racist tweets broke ‘unwritten social contract,’ expert says
  • A graphic video of hunters shooting a grizzly bear has gone viral as British Columbia’s fall hunt gets underway.

    The video posted by the Wildlife Defence Fund on its Facebook page has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.

    In it, a grizzly bear is seen on a mountainside before being shot several times as it tries to flee.

    The video shows the bear tumbling down the mountainside, blood staining the snow in his wake. The hunters joke that it means they will have less distance to carry the carcass.

    “You hammered him, like, three times solid,” says one of the hunters.

    The undated video was released as part of the group’s annual fundraising campaign.

    A group member told Yahoo News Canada that the video was taken from YouTube.

    “We believe the video was filmed within the last two years,” the group says in an email. “We don’t know where it was shot, who was in the video or who filmed it as it was made private by the YouTube user.

    “We can’t confirm whether it was in British Columbia or not.”

    Read More »from Graphic grizzly hunt video released ahead of B.C. fall hunt
  • Fourteen years later, the effects of 9/11 are still being felt today.

    Most people remember exactly where they were and exactly what they were doing on September 11, 2001 with remarkable accuracy. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for what actually happened on that day. With the passage of time, rumours and myths continue to persist.

    Conspiracy theorists and “9/11 truthers” have blurred the line between fact and fiction even more. Therefore, as we approach the fourteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we thought we'd set the record straight on the most persuasive 9/11 myths out there, still confusing the public today.

    1. “Tower Seven was a controlled demolition”

    WTC 7 after its collapseWTC 7 after its collapse

    In addition to the Twin Towers, another tower fell on September 11. This one was World Trade Center Seven and it collapsed at 5:20 p.m. EST – several hours after towers one and two. This led many people to believe that Tower Seven was part of a controlled demolition and was brought down by explosive charges placed

    Read More »from 9/11 myths that won't go away
  • 1 Windsor-Essex beach closed, swimming not recommended at 6 others1 Windsor-Essex beach closed, swimming not recommended at 6 others

    Taking a long leap off a short pier into cool water is no problem for many Canadians when the lazy, hazy days of summer hit.

    Fortunately, most of those refreshing dips are in some of the cleanest waters on the planet.

    “By and large swimming in fresh water, swimming in the oceans in Canada is extremely safe. We are very lucky to have very clean water supplies,” says Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases consultant at University Health Network in Toronto.

    Still, swimmers should remember that they share lakes, rivers, ponds and oceans with lots of different organisms, big and so small they can’t be seen, some of which can put a damper on that summer fun by sending the swimmer sprinting for the bathroom or dealing with a nasty rash. Most cause only mild symptoms but there are those rare times when tragedy strikes. An Oklahoma swimmer died Aug. 12 after picking up a brain-attacking amoeba while swimming in a lake the week before. Called Naegleria fowleri, the freshwater amoeba is
    Read More »from The hidden perils of swimming in open Canadian waters
  • The Who Is She fundraising campaign, launched Wednesday in Toronto by Ontario’s First Nations, will raise money for a judicial inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

    The federal government has repeatedly declined to hold a public inquiry into the matter. Now Ontario’s chiefs will attempt to fund their own inquiry through the Who Is She campaign. 

    “It’s going to be designed by us as First Nations, for First Nations,” deputy grand chief Glen Hare of Anishinabek Nation told Yahoo Canada News. “It’s going to be our work for our women and our girls.”

    The fundraising campaign’s launch follows the Ontario chiefs’ decision in June 2014 to organize their own inquiry into the tragedy. The fundraising aspect of Who Is She will raise money towards an aboriginal-run inquiry, but there is not yet a set financial goal or timeline, Hare said.

    “We don’t want to put a dollar figure on it,” Hare said. “It’s something we’re starting as First Nations because nobody else is doing it.”


    Read More »from Ontario First Nation chiefs launch ‘Who Is She’ campaign for inquiry into missing women
  • While the cool, wet summer weather might come as a relief to some who struggle through the heat, farmers in parts of Southern Ontario are feeling its affects, particularly on tomato crops.

    A fungus called late blight has ruined a number of commercial crops, particularly the organic variety.

    Other parts of Canada are dealing with the destructive disease, which isn’t harmful to humans. The federal government issued an alert in Prince Edward Island, advising farmers to adopt PLANT-Plus system, a prediction system, to help farmers “with the implementation of reduced risk management strategies on their farm.”

    In British Columbia, the ministry of agriculture has a comprehensive breakdown of the fungus on its website, from its symptoms to tips on late blight management.

    Monica Brandner, a farmer with Brandner Farms in Ruthven, Ont., says since she grows tomatoes organically, it’s been particularly hard. The fungus has affected up to 80 per cent of her tomato crops.

    “For us, it’s a bit more

    Read More »from Late blight fungus ruining tomato and potato crops


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