• Peel police officer facing child pornography charges released on bailPeel police officer facing child pornography charges released on bail

    Craig Wattier, a 30-year veteran of Peel Regional Police and a supervisor in the Technological Crime Unit, was charged this week with fraud and child pornography. The officer has been suspended but he will continue to draw a paycheque as required under current provincial legislation, Peel police chief Jennifer Evans said in a statement.

    Just how long Wattier will remain on suspension — and how many months of salary he’ll accumulate while he does so — remain unknown. The news has brought the controversial issue of officers suspended with pay once again to the fore.

    Several high-profile cases of cops suspended for serious offences who then continued to receive their salary and benefits for months – and sometimes years – have angered the public and police chiefs alike.

    In 2009, David Doel, a high-ranking officer with the Hamilton Police Service, was suspended and soon after charged with having sex on duty, keeping pornography on his work computer, using police cameras to spy for personal

    Read More »from Ontario to review rule guaranteeing suspended cops full pay
  • Larry Horwitz will not seek Conservative nomination in Windsor WestLarry Horwitz will not seek Conservative nomination in Windsor West

    A group of street people in Windsor, Ont., are banding together to prove that what they do is valid. The Street Labourers Of Windsor, a.k.a. SLOW, is a union for panhandlers, vendors and street performers.

    Potential members are asked to sign membership cards for the Industrial Workers of the World. The 110-year-old union emphasizes grassroots democracy and doesn’t require its members to have a job.

    Andrew Nellis, a tarot reader who was once the spokesperson for the Ottawa Panhandlers’ Union, organized the group. He told the Windsor Star that the union doesn’t have a hierarchy and that its purpose is to protect each other.

    SLOW holds monthly meetings, in which they develop a code of conduct and address concerns like changing the public’s perspective of them. The union will also act as a liaison between businesses that have problems with particular street workers.

    The union currently has friction with the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association (BIA), which paid to erect

    Read More »from Windsor panhandlers, street performers unionizing
  • The co-owner of FBI Pizza in Toronto says he has retracted a job ad that triggered furious debate online and in the local media yesterday, because, in his words, “the wording could have been misconstrued, and I apologize for that.”

    In the ad, Sean Tanha had specified that applicants for a customer service representative—someone who would take pizza orders by phone—have “no audible accent.”

    On Reddit and Twitter, the owners of FBI Pizza (FBI stands for Full-blooded Italian) were immediately accused of being discriminatory, a label Tanha says he found offensive, even laughable because “it’s so not true.”

    His new job ad will list “strong English skills” as opposed to “no audible accent,” Tanha, tells Yahoo Canada.

    “Listen,” he adds. “I would absolutely consider you if you’re from the UK and you have a very thick British accent, as long as you’re able to take down street names correctly and there are no spelling mistakes or confusion.”

    He insists that his intention was (and still is) to

    Read More »from Pizza job applicants must have “no audible accent”: Is that even legal?
  • Late summer. The carnival. The lights on the Midway. Excited screams from the rides.

    The corn dogs. The candy floss. The...other food.

     

    … The games.

    The Canadian National Exhibition (founded 1897) is set to kick off its annual run in Toronto. And all over everywhere, fairs and carnivals are popping up every weekend.

     It’s a perfect time for an expert overview of midway and carnival games – how they work, and which ones to avoid.

    Derek Potter is a games expert from South Carolina, who blogs insightfully for Theme Park Insider.com.

    Potter doesn’t believe the games are rigged. But he says there are some things you need to know.

    “If you want to win these games, you really have to observe," he says.

    “These games look very winnable..but everything is not as it seems. If your goal is to win, then watch, observe and look at everything. Because there is a catch somewhere.”

    Some contests are just inherently difficult, he warns. The house wins because you can’t.

    “The game that you have the

    Read More »from You probably can't win games at the CNE. Here's why.
  • Racers and remote-control aficionados alike will gather in Collingwood, Ont., this weekend to mark the first-ever Canadian Drone Nationals.

    More than 100 people from all over Canada and the United States have already signed up to pilot first-person view (FPV) racing drones at the tournament that runs Friday to Sunday.

    Organizer David French from RacingFPV.com says he isn’t surprised by the enthusiasm for the event but he is excited to introduce drone racing to new crowds.

    “Once you get in and you put these [goggles] on, it’s like an out of body experience,” he says. “It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. People try it and get hooked.”

    Drone racing, sometimes called Rotorcross, involves participants controlling drones equipped with cameras while wearing goggles that allow them to view what the drone sees. The goal of the race is to complete an established course as quickly as possible without crashing or colliding into another drone.

    The first-ever U.S. Drone Nationals were

    Read More »from Remote-control racers to take to the sky in first-ever Canadian Drone Nationals
  • Terminally ill Toronto man who crowdfunded 'dream’ wedding dies at 26

    “I don’t want to imagine a world without Sol in it. It sure as hell won’t be as bright.”

    Solomon Chau and his wife, Jennifer. (GoFundMe)Solomon Chau and his wife, Jennifer. (GoFundMe)

    A terminally ill man who got to live his dream wedding as a result of a GoFundMe campaign has died.

    Solomon Chau, originally of St. Catherines, Ontario, died this week after an eight-month battle with cancer. He was 26.

    His wife, Jennifer Carter, took to social media to break the devastating news.  

    Solomon Chau and his wife, Jennifer. (GoFundMe)Solomon Chau and his wife, Jennifer. (GoFundMe)“He fought until his very last breath and had all of his doctors shaking their heads in disbelief at just how much he could handle,” she wrote. “I don’t want to imagine a world without Sol in it. It sure as hell won’t be as bright.”

    Chau, a chef who lived in Toronto, had planned on getting married this month. Those plans had to be rescheduled after he was told he had terminal cancer. 

    He discovered the disease after experiencing excruciating pain in his lower abdomen. Doctors found a cancerous tumour on his liver, which had ruptured. Despite emergency surgery, the disease had spread to the rest of his body and in March, he was given only a few months to live.

    Chau and Carter’s family and

    Read More »from Terminally ill Toronto man who crowdfunded 'dream’ wedding dies at 26
  • It's only been a few days since a recent New York Times piece rocked the world of tech giant Amazon, calling the company’s work culture “bruising” and one where annually firings are fuelled by “purposeful Darwinism.”

    Like any fearless leader would, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos tried to counter the backlash, asking employees to tell him how they really feel.

    “The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day,” Bezos wrote. “But if you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR. You can also email me directly at jeff@amazon.com.”

    Unfortunately for Bezos, his challenge was accepted by both the media and employees. The response, so far, has been overwhelming.

    Sure, you can attribute the sweeping media coverage to capitalizing on the buzz and generating clicks, but there’s a more sinewy interior than that, one that needs to be explored.

    The truth is, we’re shocked because the technology world is one that, for the most

    Read More »from Why we fetishize tech companies
  •  

    In a bizarre trend that’s happening in cities across Canada, panhandlers dressed up as Buddhist monks are asking pedestrians for money. At times, their approach can be aggressive. 

    Similar incidents in Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria involve men wearing the traditional orange, brown or grey Buddhist robes who hand passersby a golden tickets or beaded bracelets and ask for money in return. 

    Those in the Buddhist community say no real monk or nun would ask for money by way of panhandling.

    Chris Ng with the Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada says it’s not in the Buddhist tradition to ask for money that way and that these people are “simply imposters who try to take advantage of the kindness of strangers.”

    While fundraising happens in the community, it’s done through donations boxes inside the temple or through festivals and events. She adds that monks and nuns wouldn’t leave the temple in order to solicit funds.

    “I’d say if you went to any Chinese temple in our Buddhist

    Read More »from Panhandling ‘Buddhist monks’ a growing concern across Canada
  • B.C. premier Christy Clark is calling for tougher penalties on learning that the massive wildfire that destroyed at least 30 homes in the Okanagan may have been started by a carelessly discarded cigarette.

    Along with more than 3,750 hectares of land, 30 homes were confirmed lost in the small community of Rock Creek and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary reported 11 other structures also destroyed. The wildfire, which is said to have started near a highway junction on Thursday, killed livestock, forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents and shut down two highways.

    The premier, speaking on Sunday at a community centre housing evacuees in nearby Midway, told those present that she would like to see harsher punishments for people who start forest fires.

    “If you are found to have been throwing a cigarette butt out of your car, perhaps one of the penalties available should be that we should be able to take away the use of your car for a period of time,” she said.

    Kevin Skrepnek

    Read More »from B.C. premier wants tougher penalties for human-caused wildfires
  • (Thinkstock)(Thinkstock)

    For the vast majority of Canadians a family doctor normally is their first point of contact with the medical system but a significant percentage still rely on hospital emergency departments and walk-in medical clinics.

    The reasons why an average 15 per cent of Canadians don’t have their own doctors are complex. Some haven’t been able to latch on to someone’s practice in their community while others, especially the young and healthy, don’t feel they need one.

    For instance, Statistics Canada figures show about a third of young men aged 20 to 34 don’t have their own doctors.

    StatsCan’s latest health fact sheet shows about one in four Quebecers don’t have family doctors, compared with 7.5  per cent of Ontarians and six per cent of New Brunswickers. The ratio is worst in the territories topped by Nunavut, where 82 per cent of residents have no primary care physician. B.C. is close to the national average.

    Many orphaned patients – and some who don’t want to wait for appointments – haunt

    Read More »from Walk-in clinics can become ‘de facto’ family doctors, to chagrin of some physicians

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