• Battle Harbour Labrador, in July 2009. This 19th century fishing village appears much as it did 100 years ago. (CP Photo)One of the bittersweet aspects of living in Newfoundland is that while people cherish their communities, they're often forced to leave them.

    It's always been that way and it marks Newfoundland and Labrador's history deeply.

    As the National Post reports, the village of Little Bay Islands now finds itself wrestling with a tough decision: agree to a provincially funded resettlement plan that would pay remaining residents tens of thousands of dollars to leave, or stay to watch their economically bereft community inevitably die.

    Despite the riches that offshore oil and gas development have brought in recent years, life on The Rock remains tenuous. Governments have struggled with the issue since before it joined Confederation in 1949.

    [ Related: High Liner plant closure devastates Newfoundland town ]

    In the 1960s, a federal-provincial resettlement program depopulated Newfoundland's outports. Many were demolished so people wouldn't return but the province still is dotted some 300 abandoned

    Read More »from Another Newfoundland village set to join hundreds of other abandoned settlements
  • FILE -This undated photo provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., shows a pre-production model of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Pentagon on Friday grounded its fleet of F-35 fighter jets after discovering a cracked engine blade in one plane. The problem was discovered during what the Pentagon called a routine inspection at Edwards Air Force Base, California, of an F-35A, the Air Force version of the sleek new plane. The Navy and the Marine Corps are buying other versions of the F-35, which is intended to replace older fighters like the Air Force F-16 and the Navy F/A-18. All versions , a total of 51 planes , were grounded Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 pending a more in-depth evaluation of the problem discovered at Edwards. None of the planes have been fielded for combat operations; all are undergoing testing.AP Photo/Northrop Grumman, File) no sales

    The mass purchase of Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jets by the U.S., Canada and their allies hasn't exactly gone according to plan and could soon face even more setbacks.

    The latest hiccup in the near-boondoggle is a crack found in the stealth fighter's turbine fan which has caused delays, although the company says it will not hinder the delivery of fighter jets to the collection of buyers. At least, no more than they already have been delayed.

    The purchase has been struck by additional problems in Canada, where the Conservative government has restarted the purchasing process over complaints that the F-35 program was pushed through and not well considered.

    The Canadian reset has allowed Lockheed Martin's competitors to pitch alternatives, and Boeing has not wasted its chance, pushing hard to win the lucrative contract.

    CBC News reports that Boeing is pressing the government to switch its purchase order to its own Super Hornet, considered an economical alternative to the F-35 stealth

    Read More »from F-35 stealth fighter purchase faces challenges in Canada and abroad
  • Vandals have damaged the nets a contractor is using to cull deer in Cranbrook, B.C.One of my favourite photographs of my late grandmother is shot of her feeding a deer in the forest during a trip to Jasper National Park years ago.

    She has a priceless look of astonishment on her face as the deer, obviously used to people using the nearby trails, accepts a bit of bread from her hand.

    We don't seem to think of deer in the same way as, say, bears or coyotes, with close contact to be avoided. I mean, it's Bambi. What's the harm in making friends?

    [ Related: Vandals damage Cranbrook deer cull nets ]

    But as wildlife experts will tell you, deer aren't any more suitable candidates for being our animal pals than a cougar or a grizzly. In fact, they've become a particular nuisance in some B.C. communities as a population boom brings them into closer contact with humans.

    A woman in Kimberley, in southeastern B.C., suffered cuts and bruises in 2011 after being stomped by an aggressive deer while walking her small dogs, The Canadian Press reported at the time. It's thought the

    Read More »from Violent incidents with deer prompt plan for cull in B.C., angering activists
  • Lisa Dudley, in a photo held be her mother, died four days after she was shot in 2008.It's hard not to be outraged about what happened to Lisa Dudley but now her family worries their last apparent chance at justice slipping away.

    Dudley and her boyfriend, who were allegedly involved in the drug trade, were gunned down in the kitchen of their rural home in Mission, B.C., about an hour's drive east of Vancouver, in 2008.

    Dudley did not die right away. She sat in a chair, paralyzed from a neck wound.

    A neighbour dialed 911 and reported hearing what sounded like a half-dozen gunshots, according to the Globe and Mail. That brought out an RCMP cruiser but the officer never got out of the car, never talked to the 911 caller. Finding the area quiet, he drove away.

    Dudley would sit, paralyzed, for four days until a curious neighbour went into the house and found her, alive. She died on the way to the hospital.

    [ Related: Grieving mom fights Ottawa over lawsuit for slain daughter ]

    Police would later track down the alleged shooters in what was a targeted hit. One has since

    Read More »from B.C. mother begins fight for dead daughter’s Charter rights
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford seen leaving his lawyer's office last Friday. Earlier this week we wrote that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had clear skies ahead, after surviving three court challenges that threatened his mayoralty.

    Ford appears to be playing nice with city staff, and staying generally quiet otherwise. He even jetted off to Disney World for a vacation on Wednesday, almost unnoticed.

    Even his level of support has rebounded from recent lows, begging the question of why he would start behaving now, when flying too close to the sun has so far only resulted in a tan.

    It seems Ford may agree.

    The Toronto Star reports that Ford started hitting city lobbyists up for private donations again, just days after surviving a conflict of interest case based on similar questionable activities.

    The newspaper reports that Andy Manahan, of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario, and another unnamed city lobbyist both say they felt uncomfortable after being asked to donate to the mayor's private football foundation in recent months.

    [ Related: Toronto

    Read More »from Vacationing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford back to lobbying for private charity
  • Tom Flanagan, a political science professor at the University of Calgary, says it's unlikely the premier did anything legally wrong. Noted Conservative political commentator Tom Flanagan has apologized after enraging the public and his own supporters by standing up for a persecuted group of Canadians — viewers of child pornography.

    Flanagan is a former adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and currently a politics professor at the University of Calgary. He received swift rebuke for his comments from the Prime Minister's Office and CBC News, where he had frequently appeared as a political commentator.

    The University of Calgary and Alberta’s Wildrose Party also expressed disappointment in his comments, which launched a firestorm of unrest on social media on Thursday.

    In a tangential moment during a discussion on aboriginal issues at the University of Lethbridge on Wednesday, Flanagan said he supported the right to watch child pornography because it didn't cause harm to anyone.

     “I certainly have no sympathy for child molesters, but I do have some grave doubts about putting people in jail because of their taste

    Read More »from Former advisor to Stephen Harper apologizes for supporting right to watch child porn
  • Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson.Anyone wondering how Alberta's ongoing teacher dispute is going to conclude should take a quick peek at Ontario, where months of disagreement ended with the premier stepping down, but teachers no further ahead.

    It was a lose-lose result, and the Alberta dispute has all the makings.

    For one, the Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) has rejected a deal that would see teacher salaries frozen for the next three years.

    Factoring in cost of living increases, their Ontario kin argued, that is tantamount to a salary cut.

    Next, there is the province hinting they will move forward with the salary freeze if teachers and school boards do not come to an agreement.

    Play it again, Sam. They did that in Ontario, as well.

    CBC News reports that ATA president Carol Henderson said they do not respond well to ultimatums. Which suggests some form of job action should the government go on with the threat.

    [ Related: Alberta teachers reject 'unacceptable' offer ]

    “Stripping teachers of conditions of practice

    Read More »from Alberta’s teacher dispute has makings of an Ontario-style debacle
  • The Supreme Court of Canada has handed an anti-homosexual crusader and Saskatchewan's Human Rights Commission partial victories in a decision with implications on how hate-speech laws are applied.

    Court strikes part of Sask. rights codeThe Supreme Court of Canada has upheld provisions against hate speech in the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, but struck down some of the code's wording in the case of a man who distributed anti-gay flyers.

    The high court found William Whatcott violated Saskatchewan's Human Rights Code in two of four flyers he stuffed into Regina and Saskatoon mailboxes a more than decade ago, The Canadian Press reports.

    But the court also struck down some language in the code as unconstitutional because it does not meet the test of being a reasonable limit on Charter rights to freedom of religion and expression as can be justified in a free and democratic society.

    "A prohibition of any representation that 'ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of' any

    Read More »from Supreme Court says Saskatchewan activist’s anti-gay flyers violated hate law
  • York Regional Police arrested a suspect in connection with a fatal overnight stabbing in a basement apartment on Levendale Road in Richmond Hill, Ont.From now on, everyone should overreact to everything, because turning the other cheek just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. File a complaint, call a lawyer, clog up the court system. Finally, there is proof that rationality has abandoned us entirely.

    A black Ontario police officer is facing misconduct charges for not investigating racial taunts spat his way during a tense investigation.

    The Toronto Star reports that Const. Dameian Muirhead faces charges under the Police Act for the way he handled being racially taunted, including one person who shouted he "would love to see that guy (Muirhead) hanging from a tree.”

    You see, he handled it by turning the other cheek. Forgiving and forgetting. Taking the higher ground.

    [ More Brew: Northern Ontario reserve police cleared in in-custody death ]

    The bizarre case began when Muirhead and other York Regional Police officers investigated a bush party in May 2011. They were looking for a suspect who had struck a woman with an off-road vehicle, and

    Read More »from Black Ontario police officer faces misconduct charge for not reporting racial taunt
  • Quebec's student protest is threatening to break into its second act, following a sudden demonstration that resulted in the arrest of 13 people in Montreal on Tuesday.

    The act of civil disobedience, deemed illegal due to its sudden nature, was just more of the same after a spring of discontent over the provincial Liberal government's plan to increase university tuition.

    Montreal protest turns uglyProtesters clashed with police in Montreal Tuesday, as demonstrators marched through the streets in response to the Quebec government's announced tuition hikes.

    Student protesters seemed to think their troubles were over after helping the Parti Québécois form government. After all, Pauline Marois had promised to hold the line on tuition costs.

    Now, Quebec students know what most of us have already learned. Politicians say the dandiest things during an election campaign.

    [ Related: Montreal students return to streets to protest tuition hike ]

    The protest came after Marois announced her plan to

    Read More »from There should be no sequel to Quebec’s ‘Maple Spring’ student protest

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