• Chiheb Esseghaier, one of the suspects in an alleged terror plot against a Via Rail train, tried to address a Montreal court Tuesday. The Crown prosecutor says the judge made it clear the hearing wasn't the right venue for his remarks.
    Two men suspected of plotting to derail a passenger train on Canadian soil as part of an al-Qaeda-supported terrorist attack are now working their way through the criminal justice system.

    Arrested on Monday and appearing in court on Tuesday (and one of them again today) the fates of Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier now rest in the hands of Canadian courts. But the timing of those arrests has come into question on various fronts, with the Conservative government defending it as appropriate and U.S. officials suggesting the arrests were purposely executed in the wake of last week’s Boston Marathon bombing.

    RCMP investigators have said the two suspects had the capacity, and were prepared, to attack a VIA Rail passenger train but that no attack was imminent.

    “Had this plot been carried out, it would have resulted in people being killed or seriously injured,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia announced on Monday.

    “I want to assure the public that while the RCMP believed the accused had

    Read More »from Timing of Canadian terror arrests questioned; did they come too late or too soon?
  • The search for a man suspected in the violent robbery of a Toronto bank, during which two people were shot, ended in an arrest early Wednesday, one day after another suspect was taken into custody.

    Toronto police announced that Lenroy Jackson, 27, was taken into custody shortly after midnight and charged with 10 counts related to the weekend robbery of a TD Bank in the city’s west end.

    Andre Palmer, 26, of Brampton, Ont., was arrested on Tuesday and also charged in connect to the robbery.

    Police have said the armed robbery was especially violent, with a bank teller and a customer suffering gunshot wounds in the process. Police say both continue to recover from their injuries in hospital.

    The arrests come after police made a public plea for assistance.

    “In a serious event like this, a horrific robbery like this… we reach out to the public and hope they public takes it in, digests it and steps forward to call police,” Staff Insp. Mike Earl told reporters on Tuesday.

    [Related: First suspect in

    Read More »from Second suspect arrested in violent Toronto bank robbery
  • The unfortunately-worded advertisement for Atlantic Canada's Blue Nose Marathon. Photo via FX 101.9's Facebook pageYour heart has to go out to the people behind the advertising campaign for the Blue Nose Marathon, whose once-innocuous promotion for Atlantic Canada's largest run is now suddenly cloaked in awkward sensitivity.

    An advertisement that appeared in the Halifax Chronicle Herald on Monday asks, "Do you smell something burning?"

    Not the best way to commemorate last week's Boston Marathon bombing, which took place only about 650 kilometres from where the Bluenose Marathon is set to run next month.

    “The ad was meant to represent the burn of running,” marathon co-chair Gerry Walsh told CTV Atlantic. “Unfortunately, the timing of that one was bad, unintended, and we’re very sorry for what happened.”

    [Related: Biden to join thousands honoring slain Boston officer ]

    Organizers say the ad copy was prepared long before the Boston Marathon bombing killed three people and injured scores more. No one involved in the race or involved in printing the advertisement connected their ad to the bombing until it

    Read More »from Nova Scotia marathon apologetic for poorly-worded newspaper advertisement
  • For a country that admits an average 250,000 newcomers each year, according to department stats, that adds up to a pretty long line.The Conservative government has trumpeted its 40-per-cent reduction in pending immigration applications but now we're hearing those who do come here and want to become citizens are also facing a longer wait.

    CBC News reports almost 350,000 permanent residents of Canada are waiting to swear their oath of allegiance, according Citizenship and Immigration Canada statistics from last September. That compares with just under 190,000 in 2007, the year after the Conservatives took power.

    For a country that admits an average 250,000 newcomers each year, according to department stats, that adds up to a pretty long line. The department says about 160,000 immigrants are granted citizenship each year at 1,900 ceremonies across Canada. So you can see where this is headed.

    According to CBC News, the problem seems to be an increase in the length of time it takes to process "routine" applications. In 2008, applications took 12 to 15 months to pass through the system, according to department data cited

    Read More »from Crackdown on immigration scams blamed for growing backlog of citizenship applications
  • Is illegal killing of wild animals to harvest parts for black-market sales behind the death and decapitation of four West Coast sea lions?

    Federal Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) officials are investigating the recent discovery of a headless Stellar sea lion washed up on a beach near Campbell River, on Vancouver Island.

    "We’ve got another situation of a sea lion that’s died [and] that’s had its body parts removed, head in this case," DFO spokesman Paul Cottrell told CBC News.

    It's the fourth such incident on Vancouver Island since late November. Three of the dead and mutiliated animals, apparently shot, were found in the Campbell River area, on the island's east coast, and a fourth further south near Comox, the Campbell River Mirror reported.

    “We’re very concerned – we want to find out who’s doing this and put a stop to it,” Paul Cottrell, DFO's marine mammal co-ordinator, told the Mirror.

    Sea lions can grow to more than 10 feet long and weigh more than a ton, so decapitating one would not

    Read More »from What’s behind the killing and beheading of West Coast sea lions?
  • One suspect has been arrested in connection to a brazen and deadly Toronto bank robbery, police said on Tuesday while appealing for more help from the public in capturing a second suspect.

    Staff Insp. Mike Earl of the hold-up squad confirmed that 26-year-old Andre Palmer, of Brampton, Ont. was arrested and charged in connection to the weekend robbery, during which two people were shot and injured.

    A second suspect remains at large, and Earl believes the public could hold the key to tracking him down.

    “In a serious event like this, a horrific robbery like this… we reach out to the public and hope they public takes it in, digests it and steps forward to call police,”  Earl said, in an interview aired on CP24.

    [ Related: $100,000 reward in hunt for violent Toronto bank robbers ]

    Police previously released video of the robbery, in which two masked suspects "took over" a TD Bank on St. Clair Avenue in Toronto's west end.

    The video shows two armed suspects jump the counter and demand

    Read More »from Suspect in violent Toronto bank robbery arrested; police seek second
  • As the case against two suspected terrorists accused of plotting to inflict massive casualties in an attack on Canadian soil began working its way through the criminal justice system on Tuesday, questions linger about who the two men are and how they would have got involved in an alleged plot against the country where they chose to live.

    Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, made separate court appearances in Montreal and Toronto, one day after being arrested in an RCMP-led investigation into an alleged plot to derail a VIA Rail passenger train outside of Toronto.

    Both appearances were brief. According to Reuters, Esseghaier told a Montreal courtroom that conclusions had been drawn from actions and “were only appearances.” He was remanded and was expected to appear in a Toronto court, likely next week.

    [ Related: VIA terror plot suspect remanded in Toronto till May 23 ]

    CBC News reports that a Toronto judge granted a publication ban on the case against Jaser on Tuesday, who

    Read More »from Image of normalcy surrounds Canada’s terror plot suspects
  • RCMP Chief Superintendent Gaeten Courchesne (L) speaks during a news conference as Assistant Commissioner James Malizia (R) looks on in Toronto, Ontario, April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Aaron Harris (CANADA - Tags: CRIME LAW TRANSPORT CIVIL UNREST)Iran is furious that the peace-loving nation has been implicated in a terrorist plot on Canadian soil, denying any involvement and accusing Canada’s “radical” government of harassing the Islamic republic – even though Canadian officials have not leveled any accusations against them.

    Reuters reports that Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was furious the country had been connected to a terrorist plot to derail a passenger train and inflict mass casualties on Canadian soil.

    "No shred of evidence regarding those who've been arrested and stand accused has been provided," Mehmanparast told a local news agency.

    "In recent years, Canada's radical government has put in practice a project to harass Iran and it is clear that it has pursued these hostile actions."

    Canadian intelligence officials announced on Monday that the plot to derail a passenger train outside of Toronto had been linked to al-Qaeda elements in Iran. Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of

    Read More »from Iran accuses Canada’s ‘radical’ government of tying it to terrorist plot
  • A case that experts hoped would clarify the rights of sperm donors in Canada has been settled out of court, leaving unclear the legal boundaries around the guy who provides his little swimmers and the parents who use them.

    According to the National Post, the lesbian couple being sued by their sperm donor agreed to settle the case shortly before a trial was scheduled to begin.

    Under the deal, the northern Ontario man who launched the suit, and his parents, will be allowed a one-time public meeting with his offspring, now two years old, but they can't reveal his relationship to the little boy or even touch him, the Post said.

    The parties to the case cannot be identified because of a publication ban, though they were named in previous news reports.

    The man launched the suit after having second thoughts about the agreement he'd signed promising to have nothing to do with the child he fathered. He also believed the biological mother, an acquaintance from childhood days, had reneged on her

    Read More »from Sperm-donors’ rights remain murky after out-of-court settlement in Ontario
  • Leah Parsons, mother of late 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons, leaves St. Mark's Anglican church with boyfriend Jason Barnes following her daughter's funeral in Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 13, 2013.If Leah Parsons gets her way, will they call it Rehtaeh's law or Amanda's law?

    Canadians are about to have a discussion about the need for new sanctions against firing nude pictures of someone off into cyberspace without their permission.

    Is a new law really necessary? Isn't illegal already, especially when the subjects like Rahtaeh are underage?

    Parsons, the mother of Rehtaeh Parsons, who killed herself after a photo of her alleged sexual assault was distributed, will be meeting Tuesday with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to talk about just such a law.

    "The meeting is specifically revolving around one aspect. It's revolving around changes to the Criminal Code," Parsons told The Canadian Press.

    Parsons told CP she and her boyfriend Jason Barnes were invited to meet with Harper. Her 17-year-old daughter died earlier this month, three days after she hanged herself in her bathroom.

    [ Related: Internet ‘trolls’ use cloak of anonymity to torment Amanda Todd in death ]

    The young Halifax woman

    Read More »from Leah Parsons pushes for new law on posting explicit images, but is it necessary?


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