• Yahoo! Canada News talks to 20-year veteran Adam Rees about what his days were like after superstorm Sandy

    Two months after superstorm Sandy hit the U.S. East Coast, we still see images of houses half knocked down, trees uprooted, cars on their sides and furniture piled high on the curbs.

    But the good news for most people who still have a home standing is they have power. Once the storm blew through and the weather started to calm down, the first item many mayors and governors started reporting is the number of people without power. Getting it restored to homes is a priority and something that couldn't have been done as quickly without utility workers from all over the continent including about 65 from Toronto Hydro.

    "I never even hesitate, especially when they say stuff like we are going to go help out another utility...let's go, let's help out," said Adam Rees, a 20-year veteran of Toronto Hydro, to Yahoo! Canada News.

    65 Toronto Hydro crew members are in New York & New Jersey to help restore power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. (Toronto Hydro Facebook photo)

    He and others from Toronto left a week after Sandy hit. They

    Read More »from Yahoo! Exclusive: Toronto Hydro employees worked long days in Long Island after Hurricane Sandy
  • For the past six years a group of Canadian doctors and transplant recipients have challenged and conquered some of the world’s most dangerous terrain, climbing mountains in Nepal and braving the treacherous wastelands of the Arctic to raise awareness for cardiovascular health.

    Dr. Heather Ross is the director of the Cardiac Transplant Program at Toronto General Hospital and the head of the Mount Sinai Hospital’s Heart Failure Program. In an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Canada News, she discussed the group’s next mission: to reach the South Pole.

    Dr. Ross, The Only Woman on the South Pole ExpeditionDr. Heather Ross chats with Yahoo! Canada about being the only woman on the Test Your Limits expedition to the South Pole.

    Yahoo! Canada News When you first entered medical school, did you see your career leading you to the South Pole?

    Dr. Heather Ross Well, no. But I have always been a bit of an adventure seeker and adventure admirer. I grew up with two older brothers. My first big

    Read More »from Yahoo! Exclusive: Transplant doctor takes on epic journey to the South Pole
  • The Supreme Court of Canada, REUTERS/Chris Wattie
    Personal injuries, paralysis and the mental health issues that arise from such ailments are sad and terrible, and society should do everything it can to help people heal from, and adapt to, such problems.

    That disclaimer seems important when discussing the plight of Shannon and Erica Deering, two Ontario sisters left wheelchair-bound by a single-vehicle accident nearly a decade ago.

    Both Deerings suffered partial paralysis after a 2004 crash, when Shannon drove her car into a ditch between Oshawa and the municipality of Scugog. The communities were later found two-thirds responsible for the crash because of the quality of the road.

    The Toronto Star reports that the Supreme Court of Canada upheld that ruling this week, creating a possible precedent for holding municipalities at fault for accidents that happen on their roadways.

    [ Related: Top court won't hear appeal from municipalities found liable ]

    Roger Oatley, the Deerings’ lawyer, told the newspaper that the ruling states that

    Read More »from Supreme Court ruling may force cities to spend millions for upkeep of rarely-used roads
  • It is hard to believe that another attack on a public school could come so soon after the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, where 26 teachers and students were gunned down last week.

    But that could have been the case, had it not been for a Toronto blogger who spotted a threat posted online and took action that led to the arrest of a 16-year-old girl in Mesa, Arizona.

    Shooting plot thwartedAuthorities in Arizona, with the help of Toronto police, have arrested a 16-year-old high school girl who they say was plotting to gun down her classmates and then kill herself.

    CBC reports that Ryerson University student Alex Haney noticed the comment posted on a YouTube channel where he runs an online diary about his experience as a transgender person.

    [ Related: Arizona cops foil school shooting plot with help from Toronto police ]

    "It could have been a hoax, it could have just been meaningless," Haney told the network, but said decided to alert Toronto police just in case.

    It could have been a hoax, but all

    Read More »from YouTube user in Toronto helps thwart Arizona school shooting plot
  • Rain soaks parts of a memorial to the Newtown shooting victims in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn.

    Something in the collective conscience of North Americans snapped in mid-December, when a heavily-armed gunman shot his way into a sleepy Connecticut elementary school and murdered a classroom of 20 children, ages six and seven, as well as six school officials.

    The tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., just weeks before the holiday season highlights a particularly deadly year for mass shootings in North America. The Associated Press named mass shootings (plural) the story of the year, beating out a presidential election and a devastating superstorm.

    The stark details surrounding the attack — from the high number of child victims to the innocence their slight ages belied — made the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre somehow more gut-wrenching and horrific than those that had preceded it.

    “As a nation, we have endured far too many of these tragedies in the last few years,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in the wake of the Newtown school shooting. “An elementary school in Newtown.

    Read More »from 2012 in review: Newtown tragedy caps a year of mass shootings
  • The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that niqabs will be allowed on the witness stand in some cases and not in others, leaving it up trial judges to decide on a case-by-case basis.A debate over whether Muslim women should be allowed to wear face-covering niqabs while testifying at trial has wheeled its way through to the Supreme Court of Canada, where a seven-judge panel weighed religious and “fair trial” rights and issued a 65-page conclusion.

    The result is a decision only negligibly clearer than those that preceded it. But what did we really expect?

    The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a split decision that niqabs will be allowed on the witness stand in some cases and not in others, leaving it up trial judges to decide on a case-by-case basis.

    [ Related: Canada's top court rejects blanket rule on niqabs in court ]

    Those who wanted a clear court decision should keep their eye on the Ikea Monkey ownership battle. This one is for lovers of specificity and detail.

    The question about whether niqabs should be allowed in court was raised in a criminal case against two Muslim men who had been accused of sexually assaulting a female relative.

    The men requested she

    Read More »from Niqabs for some who testify, but not for all, Supreme Court declares
  • That funky monkey found wearing a fancy shearling coat and gallivanting about a Toronto Ikea parking lot has indeed captivated an adoring public, some of whom gathered as his owner demanded his release from a primate sanctuary.

    'Free Darwin' rally for Ikea Monkey's releaseThe woman whose pet monkey was taken away after it was found wearing a shearling coat in a Toronto Ikea parking lot staged a small protest calling for Darwin's release. Yasmin Nakhuda alleges Darwin was taken from her illegally.

    Darwin, as he is known, has been declared by the Guardian as the most fashionable pet of the year, beating cats owned by fashion designers and Kim Kardashian. He has inspired tattoos, Internet memes and a few of my own half-written ballads.

    But now the circus is over and the legal wrangling has begun.

    CBC reports that Yasmin Nakhuda — self-described as Darwin’s “human mother” — appeared in court on Thursday to ask for her monkey back. She argued that the city’s animal services

    Read More »from Ikea monkey’s ‘human mom’ in court to get Darwin back
  • Port Mann Bridge in B.C. closed after falling ice smashes cars, injures at least one

    Falling ice from the new Port Mann Bridge in B.C. has been closed after several cars were damaged, The Province reports.

    On Wednesday afternoon, several people began posting pictures to Twitter of the damage done to their cars after they were hit by what some referred to as “ice bombs.” The images show smashed windshields, dented hoods and damaged mirrors. The bridge has been closed in both directions, and Drive BC estimates the bridge will reopen sometime between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. PST.

    “The closure was necessary because falling ice from the bridge injured a motorist who required ambulance attendance and damaged vehicles,” said Sgt.

    Read More »from Port Mann Bridge in B.C. closed after falling ice smashes cars, injures at least one
  • Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s plan to starve herself until she gets a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper is rounding through its second week without an end in sight.

    However the First Nations leader’s hunger strike is just the tip of a mountain of discontent growing in Canada, as members of aboriginal communities coast-to-coast rise up and demand to be heard. Elders in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have joined Spence in her campaign.

    But more than that, an informal campaign to have the voice of First Nations heard in Ottawa has grown into a nation-wide movement.

    The group Idle No More, borne at a kitchen table in Saskatoon, has organized more than a dozen protests and rallies across the country.

    [ Related: Hundreds take part in 'Idle No More' protest at West Edmonton Mall ]

    Hundreds of supporters have gathered at shopping centres and along highways everywhere from Toronto and Winnipeg to Vancouver and Whitehorse.

    The push will grow even larger on Friday, when protests are

    Read More »from ‘Idle No More’ movement grows beyond a single hunger strike
  • In this March 7, 2012 file photo, gun owners and supporters participate in an Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day rally.Gun control is finally taking centre stage south of the border, much to the relief of those of us in Canada who hope real policy change will mark improvements in the U.S. as well as here at home.

    President Barack Obama today announced that real, actual action will be taken, and soon. He is placing Vice-President Joe Biden in charge of pursuing policy changes by as early as January.

    And even the National Rifle Association is vowing to offer a “meaningful contribution” toward stopping the next mass shooting. Considering the positions taken by gun advocates since the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting, that meaningful contribution could be offering free rifles to school teachers.

    Consider the significant role weapons smuggled into Canada from the U.S. play in our own problem with gun violence, Canadians can be forgiven for watching intently to what changes may be on the way.

    The Washington Post reports the likely result of the Biden task force will involve a ban on assault rifles

    Read More »from Any positive steps on gun control in the U.S. will only benefit Canada

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