• Like proximity to good schools or metro stations, proximity to bike share stations increase a home’s resale price, a new study says.

    A team of researchers at McGill University looked at thousands of homes sold in Montreal before and after bike sharing was introduced.

    Even accounting for inflation and other factors that could affect the sale price, the team found that proximity to a Bixi Montreal location increased sale prices on average 2.7 per cent.

    “It is that much,” says Ahmed El-Geneidy, an associate professor at McGill’s School of Urban Planning and the study’s lead author.

    Transportation has long been a known factor affecting home prices, El-Geneidy says. Nearby bus stops, subway stations or easy access to freeways is a key factor in home purchases.

    “Areas around public transportation, the land values are much higher,” he tells Yahoo Canada News. “We’re finding this impact with the bicycle sharing system.”

    El-Geneidy, along with urban planning student Dea van Lierop and Rania

    Read More »from Nearby bike share stations boost a home’s value: study
  • (Photo via CBC)(Photo via CBC)

    Go north onto the Saanich Peninsula from Victoria, B.C., and you’ll find farms, an airport – and lots and lots of Canada geese.

    So many, in fact, that area farmers are fuming. There’s also rising concern about possible goose strikes at Victoria International Airport.

    A cull is imminent. A plan is in place to euthanize 250 geese in an effort to restore balance.

    “We’re worried about them bringing down a jet into our town, just on the safety end of it,” Sidney, B.C. mayor Steve Price told the Victoria Times-Colonist last week.

    “But we’re also to the point where we’re losing the use of some of our public parks because of the amount of goose droppings.”

    The biggest concern, though, is farming. Saanich-area farmers are consistently losing thousands of dollars in crops to ever-flourishing swarms of raiding Canada geese.

    “We tend to find that the geese, no matter what you do, they get very smart. They'll figure it out," farmer Bryce Rashleigh told the CBC in May.

    “One farmer chases them off

    Read More »from Canada Goose cull planned in B.C., but euthanization method questioned
  • (Photo via Teach My Baby To Swim/Amanda Christensen)(Photo via Teach My Baby To Swim/Amanda Christensen)

    Elizabeth Christensen looks like a typical toddler. With cherubic cheeks and tiny hands she’s just old enough to walk, but in the water she can do something incredible: at only 16 months old she swims across a pool unassisted.

    Her video Baby Swims Across Pool garnered massive hits on YouTube when it was first posted online in 2012, and her parents have been charting her swimming progress online ever since. With a blog, Facebook page, and YouTube channel, they showcase their daughter’s (and now their son Isaac’s) swimming lessons as they’re taught by an Infant Resource Swimming instructor (ISR).

    Amanda Christensen, the children’s mother, was introduced to ISR during a child development class in college. As a long time swimming teacher herself, she was amazed by the ISR techniques and decided that when she had kids she’d have them learn from an ISR instructor.

    “ISR teaches both the swim and the float which enables those that are developmentally and physically able to get to the side of

    Read More »from Toddlers made famous for swim skills on YouTube show value of learning to swim early
  • Social media may not be having the negative effect you'd think on empathy in young people. (Thinkstock)Social media may not be having the negative effect you'd think on empathy in young people. (Thinkstock)

    Young people today are all about instant gratification and the newest technology. Millennials can’t seem to care about anyone but themselves — or so you’d think, if you believed everything written about that age group.

    Rebeccah Nelems, a scholar of Sociology and Cultural, Social and Political Thought at the University of Victoria, is about to study just that: how youth today experience empathy. Recently awarded a Pierre Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Fellowship for her work, she hopes her research will help improve empathy-based curriculum and bring the voices of young people to educators.

    “We’ve decided empathy is really important,” she says of the explosion of interest around empathy and its effects. “There are all these studies that back that, that show how empathy is positively correlated with all these other socially desirable traits, such as leadership, critical thinking, and business acumen. Some what ironically the second narrative that’s coming out along with that is we feel

    Read More »from Stereotypical views on young adults’ lack of empathy spurs study on youth
  • A ghost bike is installed at the site of last week's fatal accident in an underpass on St-Denis Street.A ghost bike is installed at the site of last week's fatal accident in an underpass on St-Denis Street.

    To say three cyclists were killed in Toronto over the course of two weeks is to simplify a senseless loss.

    Sure, Roger Du Toit, 75, Zhi Yong Kang, 44, and Adam Excell, 26, belonged to the 1.5 million member strong camaraderie in Toronto known as cyclists. But first and foremost they were people – an architect, a father and an adventurer – each one plucked from daily life and reduced to a memory in the minds of friends and family.

    Their deaths bring to bear Toronto’s cycling infrastructure deficit.

    “I wouldn’t call them accidents I’d call them incidents – all of them were avoidable,” Yvonne Bambrick, cycling consultant and author of The Urban Cycling Survival Guide told Yahoo Canada.

    In these cases, negligence seems to have prevailed, she says.

    Du Toit, a founding partner of architecture firm DTAH – known for designing
    cycle trails along the lakeshore and throughout the city – was struck at a T-intersection near Mount Pleasant Road during the morning rush hour on May 19. He died ten

    Read More »from Cycling deaths in Toronto traced back to city infrastructure
  • A nine-year-old Nunavut boy, Atiqtalaaq Uuttuvak, hopes to play hockey in Europe and Russia this summer.A nine-year-old Nunavut boy, Atiqtalaaq Uuttuvak, hopes to play hockey in Europe and Russia this summer.

    By Sheena Goodyear

    When asked what he likes about hockey, nine-year-old Nunavut prodigy Atiqtalaaq Uuttuvak — a.k.a. “Tiny Q” — answers without hesitation: “Everything!”

    His mother Anita Uuttuvak said, “He really enjoys the sport. He has a great passion for it. It’s something he’s made for.”

    Atiqtalaaq has been playing hockey since he was four years old. He’s a forward for the Ottawa Sting Minor Atom A, and he’s good judging by the 29 points he’s scored in 27 games this season.

    So good, in fact, that he’s been invited to play in the Warriors Elite Series this summer in Europe, one year above his age category, and in the Tretjak Cup in Russia.

    “I’m really excited,” Atiqtalaaq said. “It’s one of my dreams. There’s really good players there and it will improve my hockey and I might have a chance to see some of the NHL players.”

    Both are coveted spots, offered only to the best by hockey coaches. But travelling across the world for hockey tournaments is expensive, especially for a

    Read More »from Nunavut hockey player, 9, crowdfunding to play in elite European, Russian hockey tournaments
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. REUTERSPrime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. REUTERS

    The writ has yet to be dropped but the election rhetoric is already up and running.

    Arm’s-length proponents and opponents of the Conservative government have both launched full bore into political advertising with months to go before an expected September start to a federal campaign.

    The latest to enter the fray is the HarperPAC, a U.S.-style “political action committee.” The group officially launched and released its first ad this week on YouTube and social media, taking aim at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

    Group spokesman Stephen Taylor says HarperPAC is a response to the rise of anti-Conservative groups like Engage Canada and Working Families.

    “Being a political observer, seeing the rise of these sorts of groups on the left, I figured it was about time to organize something on the scale of these groups to respond from the right,” he tells Yahoo Canada News.

    Taylor, the former director of the National Citizens Coalition – once helmed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself – says

    Read More »from New HarperPAC group to ‘respond from the right’ ahead of federal election campaign
  • Danika PaquinDanika Paquin

    A Quebec hospital orderly’s resignation letter has sparked a widespread discussion about the state of health care in the province.

    Danika Paquin wrote an open letter to management at the Centre hopsitalier régional de Trois-Rivières, the government of Quebec, and “any other person who has the power to make a difference” explaining why she abandoned her career after five years serving patients. In the letter, Paquin described a system based on overwork, inefficent hierarchy, and the impossibility of accomplishing all of an orderly’s tasks in a shift without cutting corners and sacrificing patients’ comfort and well-being.

    Excerpt from Paquin's resignation letterExcerpt from Paquin's resignation letter

    Paquin said she quit because the job was “destroying” her, physically and psychologically.

    "I'm not looking for pity, I ask only a little empathy, listening and recognition, understanding, support, but especially the desire to make you realize ... I'm trying to save my colleagues and patients in hospitals."

    She described the challenge of serving between 12-16

    Read More »from Resignation letter exposes impossible life of a hospital orderly
  • A white-coloured bear was caught on a trail cam near Calgary and sparked interest on social media. TWITTER/Annalise KlingbeilA white-coloured bear was caught on a trail cam near Calgary and sparked interest on social media. TWITTER/Annalise Klingbeil

    A white-coloured bear caught on a trail cam near Calgary has sparked debate on social media.

    Pictures of the light-coloured bruin crossing the camera’s path were posted on Twitter and Facebook, raising questions about so-called spirit bears making an appearance east of the Rockies.

    But it is not a spirit bear, the white bears that inhabit a set of islands in British Columbia’s coastal Great Bear Rainforest.

    It’s a rather uncommon white-phase black bear.

    Black bears - named for the most common colouring encountered by those who gave them their name – come in a range of colours from black to white and all shades in between, according to WildsafeBC.

    Only about one in 10 spirit bears are actually white and the proportion is far less in other subspecies, but they do occur. The white fur is caused by a recessive

    Read More »from Was the white-coloured bear spotted in Alberta a spirit bear?
  • New MMIW report won't help families heal, Manitoba adviser saysNew MMIW report won't help families heal, Manitoba adviser says

    Lorna Martin’s mother went missing in October 1987.

    She hasn’t read the RCMP’s updated report on missing and murdered Aboriginal women. She doesn’t know what the statistics released this week have to say about the thousands of Indigenous women who have been killed or disappeared.

    What she does know is that when her mother, Mary Jane Kreiser, was reported missing in Edmonton by her sister, the police officer didn’t seem very concerned.

    “They asked if my mother drank,” she says.

    “The police comment on that day, he said: ‘There you go. They go off for a week, or so, and then they come back.’”

    She never came back.

    Police have told the family that foul play is suspected but the first search took place more than a decade after she was reported missing and none since.

    “In 28 years, there’s been very little done to find her,” Martin, 53, tells Yahoo Canada News from her home in Ottawa.

    She and her sisters and brother would still like answers. It seems like those answers will never come.

    Read More »from RCMP report on missing, murdered Aboriginal women means little to family

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