• The Edmonton Police Service released the premiere episode of their new web series The Squad on Friday. An Edmonton lawyer is challenging the city police's latest effort to engage the public via a slick online video series called The Squad.

    Defence lawyer Tom Engel watched the first episode that went up Friday on the Edmonton Police Service's YouTube channel. He told CBC News he was very disturbed by the apparent abuse of police power and breaches of Charter rights he saw.

    The series follows Squad Seven as "they confront crime and disorder in the city's west end," according to the police service's news release.

    "When The Squad responds you know justice will prevail."

    The slickly-produced 4 1/2-minute debut segment, which had more than 7,000 views as of Monday morning, shows Edmonton officers and a police dog combing the thick underbrush of the city's river valley at night for a screaming man.

    [ Related: Immigrant advocates protest reality-show cameras along for CBSA migrant-worker raids ]

    He eludes them for some time before stumbling into the arms of other cops waiting on a nearby road.

    Read More »from ‘Cops’-style Edmonton police videos on YouTube causing controversy
  • Canadian police and intelligence services arrested two men in an al-Qaeda-supported plot to attack a VIA Rail passenger train with the intention of inflicting mass causalities and causing terror on Canadian soil, investigators announced on Monday.

    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced at a press conference that two men – Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser – were arrested in Montreal and Toronto on Monday after an extensive investigation into a plot believed to be connected to al-Qaeda.

    The plan to derail a passenger train – reportedly during a trip between Toronto and New York – could have resulted in a high number of casualties and scarred a region already suffering from last week’s bombing of the Boston Marathon.

    The RCMP said the suspects had scouted railroads in the Toronto area as part of their preparations. The pair had been under investigation for an extended period of time and investigators said they were ready to act if they went into action.

    The suspects are

    Read More »from RCMP claim arrests thwarted al-Qaeda-linked attack on Canadian passenger train
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford offered to coach women interested in politics on his radio program.Canada’s political landscape features more female role models than ever, although there is always room for more.

    Five of Canada’s 10 provinces and one of its territories are currently led by women. Still, only 25 per cent of the House of Commons are women and most provinces, according to figures from the Globe and Mail, hover around or below 30 per cent female representation – evidence of a gap that has failed to be addressed.

    But perhaps that gap still exists because Toronto Mayor Rob Ford hasn’t offered to address it.

    The Toronto Star reports that Ford offered to go for coffee with any woman who was interested in running for politics, to give them pointers about how the system works.

    Let’s take a moment to remember that Ford recently won a legal challenge and was allowed to keep his seat as mayor after not reading the council’s code of conduct and therefore not realizing actions may have been suspect.

    So perhaps Rob Ford’s first rule about politics is “don’t understand politics.”

    Read More »from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford offers to explain politics to women
  • Ontario Progressive Conservatives are not impressed with Kathleen Wynne's throne speech. Opposition leader Tim Hudak says the Liberals are leading the province to financial ruin, and vowed to vote against the speech.Ontario’s Liberal government simultaneously announced the timing of its next budget and warned its supporters to prepare for an election on Monday, but opposition parties may not let the fate of Queen’s Park wait until a new spending plan is announced on May 2.

    Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced on Monday that the budget would be tabled on May 2. If the NDP and Conservatives both vote against the Liberal budget, the government will fall and an election will be called.

    The Toronto Star reports that Sousa also announced Ontario’s deficit last year was only $9.8 billion — $5 billion less than expected.

     “We're putting forward a Budget that will benefit everyone. But if the opposition parties decide to force us into an unnecessary election, we'll be prepared to fight for what's right,” Sousa wrote in an email to supporters, appealing for donations to help in a re-election campaign.

    But it might not even get that far. Ontario’s new Liberal government may be brought down by old

    Read More »from Ontario Liberals to announce budget on May 2 if Tories, NDP let them get that far
  • As the pungent scent of marijuana wafts over communities across Canada to mark 420 Day on Saturday, Bob Erb will be smiling.

    Erb — yes, that's his real name — is the B.C. man who won a $25-million Lotto Max prize last fall and pledged to use it to campaign for the legalization of marijuana, including bankrolling the unofficial day to celebrate the joys of weed.

    The 60-year-old resident of Terrace, B.C., who's been smoking up since the the late 1960s, will doubtless be sparking up a fatty.

    The reason for the significance of April 20 is clouded by, well, you know. A Toronto Star article suggests the origin lies in a group of California teens who lit up every day a 4:20 p.m., which is when many of the public commemorations begin.

    [ Related: Shots fired at a 4/20 party in Denver ]

    If you wander down to a place like the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday, you'll likely get a second-hand high long before then. The Vancouver Province says organizers expect 20,000 people to vote with their Read More »from 4/20 bankrolled by B.C. lottery winner Bob Erb
  • A student cut a chicken's throat and let it bleed out before plucking it and placing it in a pot in the cafeteria of Alberta College of Art and Design today.I grew up in southeast Calgary a few blocks from the stockyards, the Burns meatpacking plant and the Pinecrest "chicken factory," as my friends and I called it.

    One day, a chicken turned up in our backyard, an escapee from the crates of birds that arrived daily at Pinecrest's loading dock. We corralled it and in my 10-year-old mind I figured we'd keep it as a pet.

    A few hours later, though, a family friend took the chicken into the garage, where the it met its ultimate destiny. The message I got was clear: Chickens aren't pets, they're dinner.

    I thought of that when I read about the uproar after a student at Calgary's Alberta College of Art and Design beheaded a chicken in the school's cafeteria as an artistic statement.

    According to The Canadian Press, Calgary police said the chicken was killed as part of a project and was sanctioned by the student's instructor.

    Police were called at lunchtime Thursday by a student reporting someone killing a chicken with a knife. Officers interviewed

    Read More »from No charges against Calgary art student who beheaded chicken in college cafeteria
  • A French soldier holds his weapon in the village of Sarakala, Mali January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Joe PenneyHey, remember all the fighting and complaining and debating about the Canadian military getting involved in a mission in Mali – the mission so fraught with peril our army was bound to be dragged into a decades-long battle?

    Yeah, we can stop that all now. The Canadian Forces mission in the West African nation ended two weeks ago and Canada pulled out of the area without issuing an official announcement or explanation, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

    Military sources told the Citizen the Royal Canadian Air Force C-17 transport plane and personnel sent to help the France-led mission against terrorist organizations in Mali returned to Canada on April 3.

    David Pugliese wrote:

    Military personnel were told to remain quiet about the end of the mission but were not given any explanation why it abruptly ended.

    Fighting continues in Mali and while France is starting to pull its troops from the country, at least 1,000 are expected to still be there until the end of the year.

    [ Related: U.N.

    Read More »from Canada’s military mission in Mali ends in silence
  • The War on Terror often is a story of missed opportunities.

    Even as the hunt for the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings pushes forward, American authorities will be trying to piece together the movements of the attackers in the weeks and months leading up to the attack.

    They'll want to know if these suspects were on the radar, anywhere. If there was any good intelligence about them that could have prevented last weekend's carnage. The "if only" factor.

    Probably there'll be some of that second-guessing after news that one of two Canadian home-grown terrorists killed in January's deadly attack on an Algerian gas plant could have avoided his deadly fate.

    CBC News has discovered Ali Medlej, one of four young men from London, Ont., thought to have left Canada to become jihadists, was in custody in the African country of Mauritania a year ago. But he was released by authorities without Canadian officials even knowing he'd been arrested.

    Medlej, 24, and his his high-school

    Read More »from Did authorities miss a chance to keep Canadian out of deadly Algerian terror attack?
  • Two Chechen brothers who are suspected in the deadly Boston Marathon bombing and more recently alleged to have led police through a fatal overnight car chase and gunfight have received both vocal support and admonishment from factions of their split family, some of whom claim they were set up to take the fall for the attack.

    The father of suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev has come out in support of his children, suggesting they are patsies used by those actually behind Monday’s bombing, in which three people were killed and scores more injured .

    [ Full coverage of the manhunt ]

    His sentiments were shared by an emotional Canadian aunt, who told reporters in Toronto that pictures of her nephews taken on the day of the bombing were staged by “whoever is looking for people to be blamed for this attack.”

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan, 26, were named as suspects on Thursday in the Boston Marathon bombing. The pair reportedly led area police on a fatal chase

    Read More »from ‘Give us evidence,’ demands Canadian family of Boston bombing suspects
  • Cyndy Vanier was transported earlier this year to Federal Court in Chetumal, where she made a statement on video in response to allegations she plotted to smuggle members of the Gadhafi family out of Libya.A Canadian woman accused of attempting to help the adult son of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi escape punishment has been released from a Mexican prison, but that won’t be the end of the sensational fallout from the collapse of the family regime.

    CBC News reports Cynthia Vanier has been released from a Mexican prison after successfully appealing charges that she tried to help members of the Gadhafi family escape the country.

    Vanier spent 18 months in custody after being accused of masterminding a plan to smuggle Saadi Gadhafi into Mexico. Her release comes after she challenged the validity of evidence that had been gathered against her.

    It has been a bizarre and torturous experience for Vanier, no doubt. She was first arrested in 2011 while in Mexico working as a consultant for SNC-Lavalin. Mexican police allege she was actually in the country preparing to smuggle Saadi Gadhafi into Mexico.

    [ Related: SNC-Lavalin agrees to 10-year ban from World Bank projects ]

    At the time,

    Read More »from Canadian accused of assisting Gadhafi regime released from Mexican jail


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