• Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has had trouble with drugs, guns and the police, but his biggest adversary to date may be a tornado filled with flying sharks.

    A fictional version of Toronto's mayor is set to appear in the exclusive Canadian version of Sharknado 2: The Second One, the unnecessary sequel to last year's campy TV movie that swept North America up in a whirlwind of flying ocean predators.

    In the sequel, to air in Canada on Space next week, the Ford character is killed by a flying shark while doing the two things he loves the most: giving back to the community and talking to the media.

    A short clip released on Thursday shows Ford announcing relief aid for New York when a shark flies through a window and impales him through the chest.

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the press conference.

    Space's website reacted with absolute glee upon posting the exclusive clip, writing:

    We'd also like to give a shoutout to the Rob Ford "lookalike"—actually more of a Doug Ford

    Read More »from Rob Ford character impaled by flying shark in Canadian version of Sharknado 2
  • Canadian environmental activist David Suzuki is set to launch a cross-country tour to promote protecting the environment and has called on a laundry list of Canadian musicians and celebrities to join in the cause.

    The Blue Dot Tour will feature the talents of Neil Young, Margaret Atwood, Feist, Jim Cuddy, Raine Maida and many others, and will cross the country over a two-month period as Suzuki "shares the wisdom of a life full of action and celebrates Canadians who are standing up for the people and places they love.”

    The intention of the concert series is to raise support for a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right of fresh air, clean drinking water and healthy food for all Canadians.

    At each stop, Suzuki will be joined by a cabal of Canadian wannabe celebrity activists, who – er, sorry; accidentally switched into "Sun News Network mode" for a moment there.

    But in all seriousness, this lineup is awash with noted targets of right-leaning Canada, singers and

    Read More »from David Suzuki calls on Canada’s collection of celebrity activists for eco-concert tour
  • GlobalGlobal
    If you're one of those people who worries society is devolving into a lawless, dystopian cesspool, take some comfort in Statistics Canada's latest crime report.

    The crime rate last year continue its two-decade decline. And, perhaps more significantly, the measurement StatsCan uses to track the severity of crime also dropped.

    Police-reported crime for the most common types of violent and property offences
    was down eight per cent over 2012, dropping 30 per cent since 2003. The Crime Severity Index (CSI) declined by nine per cent nationally year over year.

    "With the exception of Yukon [up six per cent] and Newfoundland and Labrador [up one per cent], declines in the volume and severity of police-reported crime were reported across all provinces and territories, as well as in virtually all census metropolitan areas," the report says.

    The continuing drop in the CSI is important because it weights the data based on the seriousness of the crime.

    “I would say this metric is more informative and

    Read More »from A safer Canada: Stats show most forms of crime in decline
  • CBC photoCBC photo
    Toronto's transit authority is investigating after a bus driver was caught on video running a red light and nearly striking a pedestrian, the latest recorded incident of apparent employee transgressions playing out amid a mayoral campaign focused on how to improve the city's transit system.

    The video, which was posted to YouTube on Monday, is said to have been recorded on Eglinton Avenue earlier that day and shows two Toronto Transit Commission buses approach a light as it turns from green to amber. One bus crosses the intersection while the light is yellow, while the second appears to speed up and enter the intersection as the light turns red.

    In the video, shot from the dashboard camera of another vehicle, the bus can be seen veering suddenly away from the curb after crossing the intersection as a pedestrian is forced to jump back from the crosswalk.

    The Toronto Star reports that the video was recorded by Steve Taylor, 20, who was travelling to his job at an asphalt repair company

    Read More »from Toronto Transit Commission investigating video of bus running red light, almost hitting pedestrian
  • Arturo, stands inside his concrete enclosure at the zoo in Mendoza, Argentina.Arturo, stands inside his concrete enclosure at the zoo in Mendoza, Argentina.

    There has been an update to the status of Arturo, the polar bear currently languishing in an Argentinean zoo, but it's not what supporters in Canada and around the world will want to hear.

    The bear that has been dubbed "the world's saddest animal" will remain in Mendoza Zoo despite international pressure that included a 635,000-strong petition calling for him to be moved to kinder conditions available in a facility in Winnipeg, Man.

    Another petition calling for the Canadian government to waive any and all impediments and issue a special import permit has garnered nearly 20,000 signatures.

    The Daily Mail reports that Argentinean officials have reaffirmed their refusal to relocate Arturo, citing the bear's advanced age, waning health and other factors they say would make the 9,600-kilometre trip to Canada impossible.

    "Arturo is close to his caretakers. We just want everyone to stop bothering the bear," Mendoza Zoo director Gustavo Pronotto told the newspaper.

    Arturo the polar bear has been deemed the 'world's saddest animal.'Arturo the polar bear has been deemed the 'world's saddest animal.'

    Arturo has been alone at

    Read More »from Argentinean zoo won't move Arturo the polar bear, rejects advice from Manitoba experts
  • Mayor Rob Ford a mayoral debate in Toronto on July 15.Mayor Rob Ford a mayoral debate in Toronto on July 15.

    The latest poll from Toronto's frenetic mayoral race has the three top competitors in a statistical tie, giving troubled Rob Ford reason to believe his re-election hopes are not yet dead.

    But while Ford's numbers have seen a slight improvement since his disastrous return from rehab, they are still nowhere near the high water mark that suggested he was a dominant political juggernaut before being caught in the latest drug and alcohol scandal that forced him into exile.

    The latest numbers from Forum Research suggest Ford's base of support has somewhat stabilized in the month since he returned from rehab, while the momentum that elevated Olivia Chow in his absence has somewhat diminished.

    According to a survey of 1,063 Torontonians, Chow (29 per cent), John Tory (28 per cent) and Ford (27 per cent) are in a statistical tie when the public is asked who they would vote for in a five-way race that also included Karen Stintz (six per cent) and David Soknacki (five per cent).

    Of interest,

    Read More »from Rob Ford vaults into three-way tie with Chow, Tory in latest Toronto mayoral poll
  • Theresa Thomson as the Virgin Mary.Theresa Thomson as the Virgin Mary.An actress performing in a Winnipeg theatre festival, which is celebrated for pushing boundaries, is being chastised and insulted for pushing boundaries by suggesting the Virgin Mary wasn't a virgin at all.

    And all of this is seemingly being done by one or more people who would describe themselves as moralistic folk that don't take kindly to the Bible being played with and have apparently never heard the phrase "any publicity is good publicity."

    Winnipeg actress Theresa Thomson has been called "blasphemer" and worse for her performance in the Winnipeg Fringe Fest production Lies of a Promiscuous Woman, which picks up the idea that Jesus wasn't conceived through Immaculate Conception and runs with it.

    According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Theresa has faced taunts, jeers and has seen the word "slut" penned across her face on billboards as well as on the side of her car.

    "It's hard not to take it personally ... because it's in my face," she told columnist Gordon Sinclair Jr.

    A festival

    Read More »from Winnipeg Fringe play sparks controversy with Virgin Mary character that isn’t a virgin
  • Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton performs last abortions before closure (CBC)Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton performs last abortions before closure (CBC)

    No savvy Canadian politician willingly wades into the issue of abortion. Polling shows public opinion is pretty solidified on either side and bringing it up never wins votes, only loses them.

    Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper has told the socially-conservative members of his caucus his government's won't revisit the issue, for all their attempts to trigger a debate via private member's bills.

    So you can understand New Brunswick Liberal Leader Brian Gallant's reluctance, heading into a fall election, to get too specific about how he would change provincial health-care policy that effectively restricts women's access to publicly funded termination of pregnancy.

    But the Sept. 22 provincial election campaign may force Gallant's hand after the long-expected closure of the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton put the question front and centre.

    The clinic, founded in 1994 by the late abortion activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler, accounted for about 60 per cent of abortions performed on New

    Read More »from Closure of Morgentaler Clinic turns abortion into New Brunswick election issue
  • After catching the eye of Ottawa police and Carleton University security officials, a video of a motorcycle joyride through the underground pedestrian tunnels under the Ontario university campus has been removed from YouTube and the person who posted it is disavowing knowledge of the situation.

    The six-minute video, titled "Underground Carelton (sic) U tunnels, I rode them, it was loud, and slippery," was shot from the perspective of the motorcycle driver, likely via a Go Pro helmet camera, and shows the motorist gunning through the tunnel system at high speeds before awkwardly pushing his vehicle through a door and into the black of night.

    The video was posted on Sunday by a user known as "Logan M", but it is not clear when it had been shot. University officials say that is part of an ongoing investigation. The video had been removed from YouTube on Tuesday in what was likely an attempt at damage control, considering the actions captured in the video could result is several charged.

    Read More »from Motorcyclist brazenly roars through Carleton University tunnels, police investigating
  • Neil Bantleman (second from the right) is a Canadian teacher detained in an Indonesian jail.Neil Bantleman (second from the right) is a Canadian teacher detained in an Indonesian jail.

    The troubling case of a Canadian teacher who has been arrested in Jakarta is evidence of a tricky balancing act that Canadian officials face in deciding when and how to intervene in international incidents.

    Neil Bantleman, a teacher at the prestigious English-language Jakarta International School, has been arrested by police amid a massive sexual assault investigation. Jakarta police allege Bantleman and another teacher, from Indonesia, had drugged kindergarten students before sexually assaulting them.

    The charges also come during an extensive months-long investigation into the school, during which six cleaners have been charged, and several others suspected, in a graphic sexual abuse case that garnered massive local attention. Most recently, a mother at the centre of that scandal has sued Jakarta International School, alleging it fraudulently portrayed itself as an accredited kindergarten.

    According to the Jakarta Post, Bantleman’s lawyer and wife held a press conference at the

    Read More »from Family of Canadian teacher arrested in Jakarta asks government for help

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