• Nurses who work for the Canada Pension Plan have won a major gender-discrimination settlement that could reach more than $200 million, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

    The nurses, most of them women, determine the eligibility of people applying for CPP disability benefits. They filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Right Tribunal that their salaries of $50,000-$60,000 a year was half that of CPP doctors, a male-dominated group that performed essentially the same job.

    The tribunal, in its 2007 decision, sided with the nurses and ruled they were being discriminated against on the basis of gender.

    However, a second tribunal ruling denied the nurses compensation for wage loss or pain and suffering. The nurses successfully appealed in the courts, triggering negotiations with the federal Treasury Board, the Citizen said.

    Under the settlement, endorsed by the tribunal, nurses will be paid $160 million but other elements of it, including adjustments to pension benefits, could bring the

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  • Canada's two historically most important fisheries have gotten some good and bad news.

    On the East Coast, there are signs devastated northern cod stocks are finally rebounding, 20 years after the federal government imposed a moratorium on the once lucrative fishery.

    But on the West Coast, a newly published study raises the alarm about sockeye salmon stocks.

    First, the good news. Researchers say there's evidence cod are living longer and growing larger, thanks ironically to warmer ocean temperatures presumably linked to climate change.

    Life after cod fishery moratoriumCBC's Lee Pitts looks at the many ways life has changed in Newfoundland, 20 years after the federal government shut down the cod fishery in Atlantic Canada

    "In particular, this year we're seeing evidence that a lot of the real negative signs in the cod stocks that have been with us for 20 years are turning around," George Rose, director of the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research at Memorial University in St. John's,

    Read More »from Canada’s fisheries: Good news on the East Coast, bad news on the West Coast
  • Hospital food will never win awards for taste. But shouldn't it at least be healthy?While it's not as though hospitals have ever been lauded for their gourmet cuisine, the idea that you're filling your body with the nutrients it needs to heal has certainly inspired more than one patient to force that last bit of rubbery mystery meat down the hatch.

    Because when you're lying prostrate in a bed on wheels, IV firmly hooked into your right arm and your wellbeing in the hands of the people around you, it's important to trust your health is being looked after from top to bottom.

    But according to the CBC, your gag reflex may have been trying to tell you something all along.

    According to a host of experts sourced by the news network, hospitals often use frozen, processed food out of cost and convenience — food that, naturally, lacks proper nutrition. It's edible, but it's not actually good for you.

    "The vegetables are frozen and it is convenient, but they are so waterlogged that they are really not there," Joshna Maharaj, a Toronto-based chef and healthy food advocate told

    Read More »from Hospital food not only tastes bad, it actually isn’t good for you
  • Canadian prison inmates have been building furniture and punching out licence plates for decades but CTV News reports India's apparently just waking up to the potential of an imprisoned labour force.

    Correspondent Janis Mackey Frayer says Tihar Jail, which at 12,000 inmates is the largest prison complex in south Asia, has been turned into a profitable producer of goods ranging from food products to shoes, with proceeds going to help victims of crime.

    Officials told CTV News that Tihar generated $3 million in revenue last year while also teaching prisoners skills that can help them find jobs after they're released.

    Its bakery, for instance, produces some of the country's most popular bread, biscuits and muffins.

    "I am learning and it passes the time," Ashwini, serving a life sentence for murder, told CTV News.

    Inmates also build furniture, sew uniforms and make eco-friendly paper and office supplies ... for the country's police and courts.

    Prisoners are paid up to $80 a month but a

    Read More »from India’s prison work programs keep inmates busy while helping victims of crime
  • The study said nearly two-thirds of adolescents reported lifetime anger attacks that involved destroying property, threatening violence, or engaging in violence.Harvard Medical School researchers have found that 1 in 12 teens suffer from what's being called "a controversial mental illness": intermittent explosive disorder.

    The findings were based on a study which involved in-person interviews of over 10,000 individuals, including 6,483 adolescents and their parents. Researchers determined that about 8 per cent of the young people interviewed met the criteria for intermittent explosive disorder, or IED.

    The disorder is "characterized by frequent and often unpredictable episodes of extreme anger or physical outbursts. Between episodes, there is typically no evidence of violence or physical threat."

    "The attacks must involve failure to control aggressive impulses and not be accounted for by another mental disorder or physiological effects of a substance. Intermittent explosive disorder is the only DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) disorder for which the core feature is impulsive aggression," the study

    Read More »from New study claims 1 in 12 teens have intermittent explosive disorder
  • The Calgary Stampede's Rangeland Derby. (CBC photo)It's been called the "half mile of hell," and for some horses, it is all that.

    The famed chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede have been a major target of animal-welfare activists.

    Horses sometimes die in the chaotic races, some put down after breaking their legs in crashes and others simply expiring from the stress.

    But on the eve of the centennial edition of the "Greatest Show on Earth," which runs July 6-15, the Stampede's supporters are showcasing new research they claim can reduce the chances of death in its signature event.

    The Globe and Mail reports a new study is underway aimed at detecting heart problems in horses before they run.

    Dozens have already been wired up with electrodes that provide wireless telemetry to electrocardiogram monitoring gear.

    "Nowadays, in veterinary medicine there's very much a push on for evidence-based decision making," chief Stampede veterinarian Greg Evans, a partner with Moore Equine Veterinary Centre in Calgary, told the Globe. "We want hard

    Read More »from Research aims to reduce horse deaths at Calgary Stampede’s chuckwagon races
  • A man, drapped by the Quebec flag, waves a Canadian flag during the Canada Day parade in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul ChiassonCommentators have long observed Quebec's separation from the rest of Canada seems to have become de facto reality since the 1995 referendum.

    Political realignment, a westward shift in the economic centre of gravity and the steady withdrawal of Quebecers from active participation in federal decision-making have played a role. But also seems to be a matter of benign neglect, mutual disinterest, like a married couple sharing the house but with separate bedrooms.

    So the Globe and Mail story Monday reporting a big turnout for Canada Day celebrations on Montreal's Ste. Catherine Street might come as a surprise.

    Thousands of people, most from visible minorities, turned out to wave the Maple Leaf and hold a parade in a multicultural celebration of Canada's national day.

    "Quebeckers don't get many chances to freely express love for Canada," the Globe's Les Perreaux wrote. "Those who dare are often dismissed as cranks and extremists by the francophone nationalists who dominate Quebec's cultural

    Read More »from Thousands attend Canada Day fest in Montreal but it’s not a sign of stronger ties to country
  • REUTERS/Rick Wilking/FilesA new poll suggests there's a growing disconnect between Canadians and their government over marijuana.

    The Ipsos Reid poll released Monday indicated about two-thirds of those surveyed support decriminalizing possession of small amounts of pot.

    The poll, conducted last month, showed 32 per cent of respondents strongly supported and 34 per cent somewhat supported the idea of eliminating fines or other penalties for having a little cannabis.

    The survey, commissioned by Postmedia News and Global TV, indicated support for decriminalization was strongest in Atlantic Canada (72 per cent), and in B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario, at 69 per cent.

    Not surprisingly, Alberta showed the least support at 42 per cent.

    The results were released as pot fanciers wrapped up Cannabis Day celebrations, which coincide with Canada Day.

    Ipsos Reid president Darrell Bricker told Postmedia News the results of the June 18-25 poll follow a rising trend towards decriminalization among Canadians over the

    Read More »from Poll suggests two thirds of Canadians want possession of small pot amounts decriminalized
  • Water from the Fraser River floods properties in Chilliwack, British Columbia June 27, 2012. REUTERS/Andy Clark While most of my fellow Canadians look forward to prime Canada Day barbecuing weather, I'm gazing out my window at grey skies and persistent rain.

    Welcome to "Juneuary" on the West Coast.

    The weather geeks forecast a sunny Canada Day for us as a reward for the unrelenting grey skies that lingered over much of British Columbia in June.

    But a look at Environment Canada's weather map shows that promise is evaporating like a politician's campaign pledge.

    British Columbians accept grey, rainy winters because summers can be glorious. May is usually pleasant and warm, and although the rain often returns in June it's also when summer sunshine really gets a foothold.

    Not this year.

    As the North Shore News reported, June has been significantly cooler and rainier than normal.

    "We're on a bad streak here," Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones admitted to the North Vancouver-based paper. "It's not a very summery pattern."

    This June's mean temperature was 13.9 degrees C, compared with the

    Read More »from British Columbians bemoan cool, rainy ‘Juneuary’
  • Passengers walk past Air Canada planes on the runway at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. REUTERS/Mike CasseseTravel enough and it's inevitable.

    Whether it's a multiple-hour delay while you're trapped on the tarmac, luggage that mysteriously vanishes and is never seen again, or a canceled flight that leaves you scrambling for expensive, last-minute accommodations, many of us have experienced the aggravation of airline screw-ups.

    And as anyone who has lodged a formal complaint knows, it's the rare Canadian airline that actually steps up to offer fair compensation.

    But as the Financial Post reports, frustrated flyers may have a new folk hero.

    Gábor Lukács has taken up the cause of airline accountability — and unlike hordes of angry letter-writing customers, he's actually gaining traction.

    Lukács, a former math professor, has been labeled the "Phantom of the Airline Industry" for his advocacy work against what he believes to be unfair business practices.

    The Canadian Transport Agency would appear to agree. The CTA has ordered three Canadian airlines to offer more substantial recourse to

    Read More »from Lone crusader takes a stand for airline regulation changes


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