• The Supreme Court of Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldThe Supreme Court of Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

    Months after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling placed restrictions on the use of Mr. Big operations, cases relying on the controversial complex stings are continuing to wend their way through the courts.

    Others, whose cases resulted in convictions, are hoping the Supreme Court’s decision will mean their cases get tossed out or at least appealed.

    Mr. Big operations are used by police to obtain confessions or other evidence as undercover police officers  who pose as criminals and offer things to induce information.

    Critics – and there are many – say the nature of the stings can lead to false confessions from people who want to impress Mr. Big or earn money or other incentives offered by undercover operations.

    Last summer, the Supreme Court ruling on the Hart case from Newfoundland set the stage for new rules governing the stings. While it did not prevent their use, it did impose limits on when and how they could be used as confessions during stings can be unreliable.

    An analysis

    Read More »from Mr. Big: Controversial police technique still used, despite Supreme Court limits
  • Speed a factor in Etobicoke woman's snowmobile death: policeSpeed a factor in Etobicoke woman's snowmobile death: police
    A spate of snowmobile deaths in Quebec last weekend is once again calling into question the safety of one of Canada’s most popular winter pastimes.

    Three people died, bringing to 27 the number of people who’ve died aboard snowmobiles in Quebec so far this season. It equals the figure for the 2012-13 season and one below the fatality total for 2010-11, according to figures compiled by the Fédération des Clubs de Motoneigistes du Québec.

    Eleven of this year’s deaths happened off Quebec’s 32,000 kilometres of maintained trails and three involved alcohol, according to the federation’s figures.

    Dozens of people die in snowmobile accidents in Canada every year, though precise figures are hard to come by because provinces usually lump them in with other types off off-road accidents, such as all-terrain vehicle rollovers.

    But data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information suggests snowmobiling trails only skiing and snowboarding in winter activities that result in trips to the

    Read More »from Weekend deaths in Quebec cast light on snowmobile safety
  • Maple syrup labels replacing numbers with descriptionsMaple syrup labels replacing numbers with descriptions

    It’s finally warming up outside, which means the sap in maple trees across the Great White North is starting to flow. Soon all that sap will get tapped, boiled and bottled for sale. As you consider stocking up on this season’s maple syrup, the nutritional data on the side of the bottles might sour your take on the sweet stuff.

    Every tablespoon of syrup has about four teaspoons of sugar in it. Just last week, the World Health Organization recommended people slash their sugar intake to just six to 12 teaspoons per day. The guidelines by the UN health agency focused on the added sugars in processed food, as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. Which means if you slather syrup on your pancakes in the morning you’ll likely have already exceeded your sugar limit for the entire day. Yahoo Canada News tapped the expertise of a dietitian in Quebec ,the largest producer of maple syrup in Canada, for her take on this sticky situation.

    Cutting out all sugar is not

    Read More »from New WHO sugar guidelines shouldn't stop Canadians from enjoying maple syrup
  • TransLink (CBC)TransLink (CBC)

    Transit police in Metro Vancouver have a suspect but no victim yet in an alleged sexual assault incident gaining attention through social media.

    The agency has made a public appeal for the young woman who was assaulted last week to come forward but so far she hasn’t, said spokeswoman Anne Drennan.

    It’s all too common, she said. Only about 10 per cent of all sexual assaults are reported.

    “It can be that the woman believes that nothing can be done, that the police won’t believe her, that they won’t take it seriously and so they don’t bother reporting it,” Drennan told Yahoo Canada News.

    But Metro Vancouver transit police last year launched a campaign specifically targeting sexual harassment and sexual assault on public transit.

    And they want riders to know that any unwelcome touching is assault.

    “We want the predators off the system,” Drennan said.

    Related stories:

    Release of alleged B.C. sex assault victim description raises concerns

    SkyTrain sex assault victim searched for via

    Read More »from Public transit predators all too often go unreported: transit police
  • The remains were found on a part of the Stawamus Chief near Squamish that's not on a path or easily accessible, except to skilled climbers. (Karl Woll)The remains were found on a part of the Stawamus Chief near Squamish that's not on a path or easily accessible, except to skilled climbers. (Karl Woll)
    A rock climber in Squamish, B.C., thought he’d found a pretty interesting artifact while climbing the Stawamus Chief last week.

    He had no idea.

    The man was shocked to learn that the B.C. Coroners Service issued a public appeal earlier this week for the return of the missing piece of what could be skeletal human remains.

    “They just didn’t know what they had,” said Barb McLintock, spokeswoman for the coroners service, which announced Friday that the remains had been turned over.

    Someone contacted authorities on Feb. 27 to report that they’d found the remains on a remote ledge on the famed climbing wall near Squamish, B.C.

    The coroner, Squamish Search and Rescue and local RCMP organized a recovery expedition on Feb. 28.

    When they arrived, they found that at some time between the afternoon of Feb. 26 and noon on Feb. 28, someone had removed a piece of the remains.

    The girlfriend of the climber who picked up the remains saw a public appeal from the coroners’ office on Monday.

    “When the

    Read More »from Rock climber returns skeletal remains from Stawamus Chief to B.C. coroner
  • A pack of Nestle Pure Life bottled water is pictured in a showroom at the company headquarters. (Reuters)A pack of Nestle Pure Life bottled water is pictured in a showroom at the company headquarters. (Reuters)

    British Columbia’s new water laws are making waves. A movement calling on the province to rethink what it costs to drink West Coast water is gaining momentum.

    Nearly 83,000 people have signed an online petition pressuring the provincial government to increase the fees it will charge water bottling companies to tap B.C. water.

    “Call on the government of British Columbia to stop allowing Nestlé and other corporate freeloaders from extracting Canada’s water for next to nothing,” says the petition at SumOfUs.org.

    “Canada has some of the purest, cleanest and most delicious water in the world — and Nestlé doesn’t think anything of sucking it out of the ground for a pittance and selling it back in a plastic bottle. Nor does the government, apparently.”

    The B.C. government passed the Water Sustainability Act last year, replacing the century-old Water Act.

    The new law regulates groundwater use for the first time, bringing water from aquifers below ground on par with surface water from lakes

    Read More »from B.C. residents petition against province's water sales scheme
  • Women protest against the government and violence against women on March 9, 2014. (Reuters)Women protest against the government and violence against women on March 9, 2014. (Reuters)

    It used to be that women rarely talked about abuse publicly; it was a dark subject rarely discussed out in the open by Canadians.

    News stories involving high-profile men, such as former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi, comedian Bill Cosby and NFL star Ray Rice, have gotten women talking openly about physical and sexual abuse. With the world marking International Women’s Day on Mar. 8, now is the time to keep the conversation going.

    "It’s great that Canadians are starting to have an open dialogue about these issues, but we shouldn’t stop there," said Dr. Valerie Taylor, the psychiatrist-in-chief at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, in an interview with Yahoo Canada News.

    “These cases have highlighted some of the flaws in our system,” said Dr. Taylor, who recently moderated a discussion on the complex issues surrounding violence against women. “We need to provide ways to help women navigate the justice system and mental health resources.”

    Related stories:

    Ontario releases powerful new

    Read More »from International Women’s Day: Survivors need support today and every day
  • Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf poses during a shoot for a television network Sept. 18, 2014. (CP)Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf poses during a shoot for a television network Sept. 18, 2014. (CP)

    Canadians this week got a short, sharp object lesson in the pitfalls of unfiltered social media courtesy of some Toronto Maple Leafs and a Canadian-born Hollywood starlet.

    Most of us by now understand the perils of posting potentially embarrassing things about ourselves or hurtful things about others on Twitter, Facebook or on other social platforms, even if some people do it anyway.

    But the legal consequences of saying something nasty came home to Leafs fan Anthony Adragna.

    While watching the TSN sports channel’s NHL trade deadline coverage on Monday, Adragna tweeted what he apparently considered a droll remark about the personal relationships of Leafs’ captain Dion Pheneuf, his wife actress Elisha Cuthbert and forward Leafs’ Joffrey Lupul.

    The tweet ended up as part of the Twitter feed TSN was scrolling across the screen during its program.

    Lupul didn’t take long to respond to the nasty piece of gossip:

    Read More »from TSN Twitter flap highlights the liability users have for what they tweet
  • Border guards replace each other at the Douglas border crossing in Surrey, B.C., Aug. 20, 2009. (CP)Border guards replace each other at the Douglas border crossing in Surrey, B.C., Aug. 20, 2009. (CP)

    Border guards have long had more powers to search individuals than police, but a case this week will finally make Canadian courts determine whether those guards can force you to turn over the passwords to your phone or computer without a warrant, legal and privacy experts tell Yahoo Canada News.

    For police, the law was clarified in December when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on the case of Ontario man Kevin Fearon, who was convicted after a Toronto flea market robbery. Police looked through his cellphone after his arrest and found pictures of a gun and cash and a message about jewelry.

    The Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision said police can conduct a limited search of a suspect’s cellphone without a warrant— but they must follow strict rules.

    Now, the rules for border officers from Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are about to get tested in the courts.

    If you are not a Canadian citizen, you have no right of re-entry, so you could refuse to hand over the password, and the remedy by
    Read More »from Courts to decide whether border guards can force you to reveal phone passwords
  • Split image of Elton McDonald (via Facebook) and the tunnel in Toronto (Toronto Police Services).Split image of Elton McDonald (via Facebook) and the tunnel in Toronto (Toronto Police Services).

    It really was just the coolest fort ever.

    The architect of a mystery underground tunnel found near the Rexall Centre at York University in Toronto says it was just a fun project for him and some friends.

    Elton McDonald, a 22-year-old construction worker, has come forward to say he meant no harm by building the bunker discovered near the venue for the upcoming Pan-Am Games.

    “It was not meant as a bad thing,” McDonald told the Toronto Sun in an interview.

    “It was just something I always wanted to do,” he said. “When you went down there it was like you don’t even exist. I wanted to make it a place that no one knew about it.”

    Related stories:

    Toronto tunnel dug by 2 men as 'man cave', police say

    How to end the fear economy

    Toronto cop hopes his 'call us' tunnel tweet that's gone viral stirs up tips

    The tunnel – 10 metres long, almost two metres high and less than a metre wide – sparked a great deal of speculation after it was discovered Jan. 14 by a Toronto Region and Conservation

    Read More »from Elton McDonald tells newspaper why he built the mysterious Toronto tunnel


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