• “Am I having too much fun?” Toronto mayoral hopeful David Soknacki asked an aide during a recent conversation with Yahoo Canada News.

    He was working on a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and the topic of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had just been raised. Ford, currently in rehab battling an addiction to alcohol and famous for his other vices, is set to return to the campaign train next month. Meantime, his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, had been rumoured set to take his spot.

    "Bring them both on, I think it would be so entertaining, don't you?” Soknacki asked with a wide smile. “And I understand there are a couple other family members in the background. Maybe we could bring them in. You know what, we could have the entire lingerie football team on, maybe they could all register."

    This is the politics of celebrity, he says, where candidates rely on name recognition and flash rather than policy and good ideas. That is not Soknacki’s campaign. In many ways, Soknacki is the antithesis of

    Read More »from Baking Cookies with David Soknacki: Candidate places policy over the ‘politics of celebrity’
  • Bernard Jordan, then and now, courtesy of Gracewell HealthcareBernard Jordan, then and now, courtesy of Gracewell Healthcare
    At 90 years old, Bernard Jordan escaped from his British nursing home, boarded a train to France and won the respect and admiration of police officers tasked with tracking him down.

    But that's nothing for the British war veteran – he survived D-Day.

    A local search for the missing senior became an international celebration of the indomitable spirit on Friday, after Bernard launched a cross-border adventure to participate in the 70th anniversary of the Allies landing in Normandy in WWII.

    Gracewell Healthcare says Jordan disappeared suddenly from the Pines Care Home in Hove, England, on Thursday evening.

    According to ITV, East Sussex police were contacted by the nursing home after he went out for a walk and didn't return.

    It was later confirmed Jordan had caught a train to Normandy to attend a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Cleverly, the veteran had snuck out of the nursing home in a grey raincoat that concealed a jacket containing his war medals.

    Brighton and Hove Police

    Read More »from British Navy vet, 90, sneaks out of nursing home to attend D-Day memorial
  • When the sun sets in Toronto tonight, the tallest tower in the country will become a 457-metre memorial for three RCMP officers shot and killed in Moncton, New Brunswick.

    The lights of the CN Tower will blaze a multi-coloured tribute to Constables David Ross, Fabrice Georges Gevaudan and Douglas James Larche, as well as two other officers wounded on Wednesday when a heavily-armed gunman opened fire on police in the eastern Canadian community.

    In a note, CN Tower officials advised that, "The CN Tower is lit tonight in red, blue and gold, the colours of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police guidon in honour of fallen RCMP Constables David Ross, Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, Douglas James Larche, and wounded Constables Éric Stéphane Dubois and Marie Darlene Goguen as a tribute to the courage and dedication to public service of these and all RCMP officers."

    The CN Tower’s LED lighting system is often light for special occasions, holidays and tributes. Most often, those light shows are scheduled

    Read More »from CN Tower to blaze red, blue and gold in honour of RCMP officers killed in Moncton
  • Caroline (R) and Lily Connors leave flowers on the steps of the RCMP headquarters in Moncton, N.B. (Reuters)Caroline (R) and Lily Connors leave flowers on the steps of the RCMP headquarters in Moncton, N.B. (Reuters)

    Three Mounties killed by a gunman in Moncton, N.B., who were fathers, brothers and heroic public defenders, were remembered and memorialized on Friday in New Brunswick, their home towns and across the country.

    The fallen officers were identified for the first time on Friday, two days after a suspect opened fire in the streets of Moncton, killing three and injuring two others.

    Earlier in the day, the suspect was arrested without incident. He simply walked into the open, unarmed, and surrendered himself to authorities. According to eyewitnesses, he said, "I'm done," as he turned himself in.

    "Now that we have the suspect in custody we have to focus on the future and moving forward to restore a sense of normalcy to our community," Supt. Marlene Snowman said, thanking the public for its cooperation during the manhunt.

    "It will take some time to heal but together we will get there. None of us can ever be prepared for this type of situation."

    [ Full Coverage: Moncton, N.B. gunman kills 3

    Read More »from Moncton lost three RCMP officers; six children lost their fathers
  • To all those Canadians for whom this Friday, the sixth of June, is just another TGIF, here's a reason to pay attention to the 70th anniversary commemoration of D-Day.

    There's a direct line from that long-ago battle on the shores of France to the Canada you live in today.

    Much of the news coverage of the anniversary this week justifiably has focused on the valour of the 14,000 Canadian soldiers who waded ashore on Juno Beach that morning or the 450 Canadian paratroopers who were part of the airborne landing hours before. More than 350 died in the initial landing, and some 5,000 were killed in the subsequent Normandy battle, some of the hardest fighting of the Second World War outside of the Russian front.

    The event is being marked Friday with ceremonies in Normandy attended by leaders from the Second World War allied nations, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Russian President Vladimir Putin, currently not on speaking terms.

    We've been hearing this week from the dwindling

    Read More »from How Canada’s role on D-Day helped shape its identity as a world leader today
  • Gun control is bound to come up in the aftermath of Wednesday's deadly shootings in Moncton, N.B., which left three RCMP officers dead and two wounded.

    The alleged gunman, Justin Bourque, evidently had an antipathy towards police and a dislike of Canada's firearms laws, judging from postings on his Facebook account.

    So how was this apparently angry young man able to acquire the rifle and shotgun he was seen carrying as he walked calmly along Moncton's quiet streets and through residents' yards?

    So far, the Mounties aren't saying. A spokesman at RCMP headquarters in Ottawa told Yahoo Canada News the force would not be releasing any information on whether Bourque had a firearms licence or whether his guns were legally acquired while the investigation was continuing.

    The Coalition for Gun Control said via email it was not commenting on the situation at this time, either.

    The entire screening process, the entire [gun] licence system is actually a waste of effort.
    —National Firearms
    Read More »from The Moncton shootings: Would tougher gun laws have made a difference?
  • Talk show co-host Whoopi Goldberg offered an odd summary of Canada in recent days when she suggested it was defensible that Justin Bieber used a racist word because he's Canadian, and therefore somehow unaware of the plight of black people.

    The View co-host suggested, much to the bemusement of her colleagues, that the n-word does not hold the same context in Canada as it does in America.

    "Canadians words - I'm going to say the word so get ready to bleep me. N--- doesn't mean anything in Canada," she said during a recent episode. "Black Canadians and black Americans are two separate groups of people."

    Goldberg says she knows this because she filmed a movie in Canada last year.

    The comment was an odd twist that comes after the recent release of a video capturing a 15-year-old Bieber using the n-word in a joke. Bieber, a Canadian, issued a heartfelt apology and said he has learned better in the years since the video was shot.

    A second video has since been released in which Bieber uses

    Read More »from Whoopi Goldberg says N-word ‘doesn’t mean anything in Canada,’ excusing Justin Bieber's use of it
  • A massive leak of personal information about patients at a suburban Toronto hospital raises this question: How much can any privacy regulation immunize us from the greed or venality of others?

    Two employees at Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital in Scarborough have been let go after it was learned they funneled the names, addresses and phone numbers of some 8,300 new mothers to companies peddling registered education savings plans.

    The hucksters then bombarded the families with solicitations to buy RESPs for their new offspring.

    “They say, ‘Do you have children? Do you want an RESP?’” Theeban Nanthakumar, whose wife gave birth to three daughters at the hospital, told the Toronto Star.

    The hospital's administrators initially decided against calling in police, opting instead to inform the office of Ontario's privacy commissioner and the Ontario Securities Commission, because it involved the sale of RESPs.

    They were the two "most appropriate authorities," hospital public affairs director

    Read More »from Hospital employees fired for selling new moms’ personal information to companies promoting RESPS
  • Suspect Justin Bourque is pictured in a photo tweeted by the RCMP on Wed. June 4, 2014Suspect Justin Bourque is pictured in a photo tweeted by the RCMP on Wed. June 4, 2014

    Compounding the horrific events that struck Moncton, N.B., on Wednesday evening and continue to shake the community through Thursday is the niggling fear that, just maybe, we should have seen it coming.

    Three Mounties were killed and two others were injured when a heavily-armed suspect went on a rampage in the city of 70,000 people. Photos of the suspect show a young man dressed in camouflage, carrying two large firearms, a crossbow and at least one knife.

    New Brunswick RCMP has identified the suspect as 24-year-old Justin Bourque. But even as the suspect remained out of the grasp of authorities, a clearer picture has emerged about who he was and that an attack may have been predictable.

    [ Full Coverage: Gunman in Moncton, N.B. kills three RCMP officers ]

    At least two people who know Bourque have come out and said they saw warning signs. A close friend told Business Insider that the last time they hung out, Bourque was acting strangely and told him to have a good life. A woman who had

    Read More »from Moncton shooting suspect's online profile offered clues to his troubled state
  • Another serious allegation was leveled against Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Wednesday, and this one didn't involve drugs, alcohol or a single vulgar comment.

    A Globe and Mail report suggested the mayor and his brother may have used their positions at Toronto City Hall for personal gain, specifically the gain of the family company, Deco Labels and Tags.

    But after months of endless scandals, most of which have featured far more visceral details than these hints of backroom dealings can possibly provide, is there anyone still listening? Or could allegations of an abuse of power do more to hurt Ford's re-election chances than any drunken stupor possibly could?

    According to the Globe, a former Deco executive has come forward and confirmed that Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, held negotiations with a major printing company that would secure the company a significant amount of work with the city of Toronto, while at the same time working to secure the Ford family company a more

    Read More »from New allegations of backroom deals could damage Ford's base more than personal problems

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