• Earlier this week, Steven Galloway was suspended with pay from his position as associate professor and acting chair of the creative writing department at the Vancouver school because of some “serious allegations” against him, dean of arts Gage Averill wrote in a memo.

    An investigation had not yet begun when Averill announced Galloway’s suspension.

    “No findings have been made about any wrongdoing by Prof. Galloway,” Averill said.

    The suspension is the second time in six months a veil of secrecy has come over the UBC campus.

    In August, it was revealed the university’s president, Dr. Arvind Gupta, had stepped down from his position just one year into a five-year term. The exact reason for his departure was never given, and while some said he faced racism, other reports said it likely had more to do with a rocky relationship with administration and the school’s board of governors.

    On Friday, the school remained mum on the exact allegations against Galloway. Susan Denard, managing director

    Read More »from Secrecy surrounds UBC professor’s suspension
  • FDA's approval of AquaBounty GMO salmon decried by environmental groupsFDA's approval of AquaBounty GMO salmon decried by environmental groups

    U.S. regulators have declared a genetically modified salmon created in Canada safe for human consumption, making it the first transgenic animal ever approved for use as food.

    But whether the altered fish ever appears on an American dinner plate hinges on a legal battle now before a Canadian judge.

    The environmental groups EcoJustice, the Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans are suing the federal government over its approval of the commercial egg production in Prince Edward Island.

    They contend Environment Canada violated federal statutes in what was a highly secretive approval process.

    “The government wouldn’t even tell us what they were doing,” says Karen Wristen, executive director of B.C.-based Living Oceans.

    “The thought that we could approve the world’s first genetically modified food animal for commercial production in a modern parliamentary democracy without anyone even knowing is, to me, mind-boggling.”

    Their main focus of concern is the harm the engineered salmon, dubbed

    Read More »from GMO salmon’s U.S. approval depends on Canadian court case
  • Behind closed doors, Canadian officials are working to extend combat mission from Iraq into SyriaBehind closed doors, Canadian officials are working to extend combat mission from Iraq into Syria

    Canadian military planes are still flying over Syria and Iraq, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated his promise that that will soon change when he spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama in Manila on Thursday at the APEC summit.

    Canada remains committed to withdrawing its participation in airstrikes against the extremist movement, ISIS, the prime minister said in his first formal meeting with Obama. 

    “Canada will continue to work with our coalition partners to ensure that we are doing what we can, including militarily to degrade and defeat ISIL over the long haul,” Trudeau told the press after the meeting. (ISIL is another acronym commonly used to refer to ISIS.)

    Canada’s participation in the coalition fighting ISIS began in October 2014. Under commitments made by the former Conservative government, the country is currently expected to be involved until March 2016.

    As of right now, Canada still has planes, including fighter jets, participating in the coalition campaign against

    Read More »from By The Numbers: Canada’s role in the fight against ISIS
  • The leader of the Saskatchewan NDP is calling for Tory MP Tom Lukiwski to resign after he appeared to refer to provincial candidate Karen Purdy as “an NDP whore.”

    “This is an absolutely disgusting attack on a woman in politics,” Cam Broten wrote in a letter Thursday to interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose.

    “It is unbecoming of a Member of Parliament, and it is clear evidence that Mr. Lukiwski did not learn any lessons from the last major controversy in which he was involved, when a videotape showed him making hateful, homophobic comments.”

    Broten said Thursday that if Lukiwski didn’t resign, he should at least be demoted.

    “It is my hope that you will take this issue seriously, demonstrate that it is completely unacceptable, and remove Mr. Lukiwski from the Conservative caucus,” he wrote to Ambrose.

    Yahoo Canada News has reached out to Ambrose for comment.

    The dispute is over a comment caught on video in which Lukiwski (Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan) encourages the audience to support his

    Read More »from Sask. NDP leader demands MP resign over ‘whore’ comment
  •  The men's maximum security unit of the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert, Sask. (CP) The men's maximum security unit of the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert, Sask. (CP)

    At 9:30 p.m. on Sunday November 1, 2015 20-year-old convicted robber Jesse Grant McMullen was found missing from a head count at Saskatchewan Penitentiary Minimum Security Unit.

    Thankfully, McMullen was recaptured the next day. But his escape, along with the letters from notorious convicted murderer Luka Magnotta from medium and minimum security prisons in Quebec, makes you wonder just how secure minimum security prisons are, and who exactly the offenders housed in these facilities are.

    “With any escape, we take that very seriously from a risk to public safety standpoint,” said Wayne Buller, assistant warden management services at Collins Bay Institution – a multi-level security prison in Kingston, Ont.

    “The offenders that are at a minimum security prison would've been assessed as having a low risk to public safety, but once that offender has escaped lawful custody, and when they are returned to the correctional facility, they are immediately upgraded to a medium security facility

    Read More »from What's the difference between a minimum and a maximum security prison?
  • The Canadian flag flies on Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 2, 2015. REUTERS/Blair GableThe Canadian flag flies on Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 2, 2015. REUTERS/Blair Gable

    Some Americans are once again threatening to move to Canada after U.S. President Barack Obama said he would veto a Republican bill that would slow the process of bringing Syrian refugees into the country.

    “ISIS threatens are (sic) White House but we are still letting refugees come? Who’s ready to move to Canada?” a young man named Jesse Sander wrote on Twitter.

    “If our country allows in Syrian refugees, I’m moving to Canada,” @mmalkoskie wrote.

    “Moving to Canada if Minnesota lets the refugees in,” Chris Vanneste wrote, but later said it was just a joke.

    (Click here to read other posts.)

    The irony, of course, is that the United States has said it will bring in 10,000 next year. Canada has pledged to bring 25,000 refugees to this country before the end of the year. Canadians on social media have been quick to point this fact out.

    “‘If (my town) lets in refugees, I am moving to Canada!’

    Read More »from Americans threaten to move to Canada (again) over Syrian refugees
  • Halifax artist Zeqirja RexhepiHalifax artist Zeqirja Rexhepi

    When Zeqirja “Zaqa” Rexhepi was forced to flee his home in Kosovo in 1999, he wasn’t sure where the war would take him. The now 60-year-old did know two things were certain, though: he’d never stop making art and he’d never forget what’s most important in life.

    The Albanian Canadian artist and former textile designer lived in a crowded refugee camp in Macedonia along with five of his children, his parents and other relatives. He slept outside without a sleeping bag, in the rain, amongst 25,000 other refugees. It helped give him perspective.

    “Sometimes you have money, house, everything and you want more,” he tells Yahoo Canada News. “When it comes to peace, you need absolutely nothing. Only freedom and bread and water.”

    Since two of his children were sick as a result of the poor living conditions, NATO forces urged him and his family out of the camp as soon as they could. There were several options, but Rexhepi was set on Canada, which accepted 5,000 Kosovars under UNHCR’s emergency

    Read More »from Halifax artist shares his refugee story of hope
  • People are taught to use a modern toilet inAddis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 2, 2007. (Getty)People are taught to use a modern toilet inAddis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 2, 2007. (Getty)

    Toilets and having the privacy to use them are things we take for granted every day here in Canada, yet it is a luxury that many countries cannot afford. We rarely think twice about using the washroom. When nature calls, we simply excuse ourselves, close the door and take care of business. However, one in three people across the globe do not have access to the basic toilets that we consider a necessity and for them, this is only a dream.

    November 19 is World Toilet Day, which may sound made-up, but is no laughing matter. The day was created by the United Nations in 2001 as a way to draw attention and encourage action to be taken to address the needs of those millions of people around the world who do not have access to basic sanitation. One billion people today practice “open defecation” across the globe, meaning they relieve themselves in ditches, fields and even streams where drinking and washing water is sourced. Without toilets, health and hygiene become questionable and

    Read More »from Why World Toilet Day is important for women’s safety worldwide
  • In the days following the deadly attacks in Paris, anti-refugee sentiment has become a common occurrence on social media, in political speeches and statements and even by some members of the media.

    Some American politicians have said their U.S. states will be closed to Syrian refugees — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie going so far as to say he wouldn’t even want children or “orphans under five,” while Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said Canada should suspend the plan to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the year.

    But rather than fearing refugees, people should be generous and welcoming, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright wrote in a Time article published online Tuesday. Albright — herself is a refugee to the United States after her family was exiled from Czechoslovakia 67 years ago — said statements about closing borders or denying refugees safe havens are “motivated by fear, not by the facts.”

    “Our enemies have a plan. They want to divide the world

    Read More »from Refugees who made a difference in Canada
  • Making time to go to the beach isn't something all Canadians are taking full advantage of. (Thinkstock)Making time to go to the beach isn't something all Canadians are taking full advantage of. (Thinkstock)

    Canadians take more vacation days than their American counterparts but still lag far behind their fellow workers in Europe, according to Expedia.com’s latest vacation deprivation survey.

    The survey, released this week by the online travel site, showed workaholic South Koreans top the charts when it comes to eschewing time off. They get a median 15 days of vacation time but take only six. The Japanese take 12 out of 20 days and Malaysians 10 out of 14.

    There’s an odd discrepancy in the Canadian numbers. The latest global survey, done in October, shows Canadians take all of the median 15 days they’re allotted. But a separate Canadian survey done in September and released by Expedia.ca in early October found Canadian workers get an average 16.9 days paid vacation, of which they take 15.5 days.

    The difference is due to the fact the Canadian survey reported average as opposed to median vacation days, Expedia.ca brand marketing director Jennifer Callegaro told Yahoo Canada via email.


    Read More »from Many Canadians short-change themselves on vacation time, surveys find


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