• The mother of Tim McLean, who was stabbed and beheaded by Li in 2008, is 'horrified' by freedoms granted to himThe mother of Tim McLean, who was stabbed and beheaded by Li in 2008, is 'horrified' by freedoms granted to him
    New studies that suggest a lot of success from programs for people found not criminally responsible for offences they commit due to mental illness have done nothing to sway federal policy makers on how they should be treated by the justice system.

    Four studies and an overview that are part of what’s known as the National Trajectory Project were published this week in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

    Among other things, researchers found the recidivism rate for patients classed as not criminally responsible due to mental defect (NCRMD) was 17 per cent, about half the rate of reoffending by prisoners released from Canadian prisons.

    The rate for NCRMD patents who committed the most violent offences was even lower, 0.7 per cent of the 1,800 cases examined from B.C., Ontario and Quebec.

    And yet there remains a perception, based largely on media coverage of the most shocking offences, that NCRMD patients are time bombs who shouldn’t be released back into society or are feigning mental

    Read More »from Get-tough policy for not criminally responsible offenders unnecessary, studies find
  • He may look cute, but if you're eating this bunny in February, it's probably too early. (Getty Images)He may look cute, but if you're eating this bunny in February, it's probably too early. (Getty Images)

    “Please, please, pleeeese, can I have a Creme Egg!!!!”

    When your child starts screaming for Easter candy at the store, resist the temptation to give in.

    “Parents have to be assertive and have to say no,” Dr. Tom Warshawski, a pediatrician and chair of the Childhood Obesity Foundation in Vancouver told Yahoo Canada News in an interview.

    Of course, it’s often the big kids (a.k.a. adults) who findit hard to resist. Making things trickier for Canadians of all ages is the fact that Easter candy has been on the shelf for weeks, and in some cases months. Just like there has been seasonal creep in other seasons, with Pumpkin Spice Lattes to celebrate fall going on sale in August, there has been Easter Creep.

    In recent years stores tear down their Valentine’s Day candy displays Feb. 15, only to immediately replace all those chocolate hearts with chocolate eggs and bunnies. Last year, Easter Sunday was on Apr. 20, and this year it’s Apr. 5. By the time the holiday actually rolls around this

    Read More »from Easter Creep: Hop away from Easter candy, until it’s actually Easter
  • Samuel Trego plays with 'Stewart' at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Birdsboro, PA. (Reuters)Samuel Trego plays with 'Stewart' at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Birdsboro, PA. (Reuters)

    Annette and Mannie Lewis of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia loved animals, that much we know for certain.

    In the couple’s final years, they lavished their attentions on their beloved cat, Maggie May.

    An article in the Chronicle Herald made it clear that Maggie enjoyed the best life could offer: “The best cat bed money could buy, the best food, the best toys, the best treats, the best of veterinary care and, most of all, unconditional love and affection.”

    The couple also gave generously to the local animal charity, the Companion Animal Protection Society, from which they adopted Maggie May in 2005, the paper reported.

    But it was really only when Annette died in August at the age of 73 that the full extent of their care for orphaned and abandoned animals became known.

    Her obituary offered a hint of what was to come, noting that since Mannie’s death in 2008, it was Maggie who was Annette’s “loving and constant companion.”  

    Then came the reading of the will.

    As it turns out, Annette had

    Read More »from Private estate worth $1.7M in Nova Scotia goes to the dogs (and cats)
  • Alleged sexual assault by taxi driver prompts woman to sue Montreal. (CBC)Alleged sexual assault by taxi driver prompts woman to sue Montreal. (CBC)

    A lawsuit filed by a young Montreal woman against the city and the transport authority in Quebec is raising questions around government responsibility and just who is at fault when individuals licensed to do business within a municipality’s boundaries commit a terrible crime.

    Marie-Anne Legault alleges she was sexually assaulted by a Montreal taxi driver in September 2014. She blames the city and Quebec Transport Commission – the provincial taxi-service watchdog – for failing to protect her safety and that of other women using the public service. 

    Legault is seeking $250,000 in damages but her lawyer, Leslie-Anne Wood, said money is not what is motivating her client.

    “She is deeply concerned about the safety of others. I think this is one of the most important motivator for her behind this lawsuit,” said Wood in an interview with Yahoo Canada News.

    “She has a sense of duty for prevent this from happening again.”

    The case is in the early stages with both the city and transit authority

    Read More »from Montreal woman says city failed to keep her safe from harm at hands of taxi driver
  • Brett Ruskin was just out to report on another snowstorm in the relentless series of snowstorms that have battered Halifax this year.

    Snow was coming down and high winds created blizzard-like conditions. Some roads were nearly impassable. Most business were closed.

    Ruskin, a video journalist for Global News, was filming police and paramedics helping a woman in labour to an ambulance.

    “They were having a tough time getting over these giant snowbanks that we have all over the city,” Ruskin told Yahoo Canada News.

    “I was just about to leave but then I decided to get a witness statement. After I was done that interview that’s when I heard the woman calling out in the snowbank,” he said.

    Ruskin, a former lifeguard, rushed to help a second woman in the throes of labour, struggling to get through the snow.

    “This was in the middle of the storm. Wind was howling and blowing the light snow in all directions, so there were snow drifts building up. As soon as plows took care of one area, it just

    Read More »from Halifax TV reporter recounts helping woman in labour during snowstorm
  • (Photo via WSJ/Getty Images)(Photo via WSJ/Getty Images)

    No one likes going to the dentist, but for adults with developmental disabilities it can be a particularly trying experience.

    Some have trouble brushing and flossing their teeth on their own, with caregivers having to do it for them. Then when they get to the dentists’ office it can be hard to communicate what the issue is—and that’s assuming they have a way to pay for dental care.

    Some people, like Graeme Rush, a 28-year-old with profound autism, require dental treatment under general anesthesia, says his mother Joan Rush. Up until age 18 there are good programs set up to help people with developmental disabilities, but after that, it becomes more challenging, says Joan, who is a retired lawyer and former adjunct professor in the faculties of law and dentistry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). So she proposed a project named Help! Teeth Hurt!!: Creating a Specialized Dental Clinic for Adults with Developmental Disabilities as part of UBC’s start an evolution campaign.

    Read More »from Specialized dental care for adults with developmental disabilities proposed in B.C.
  • We may be headed towards an air fare war on trips between North America and Europe after Dublin-based discount carrier Ryanair announced its intention to break into the transatlantic market.

    According to European media reports, Ryanair’s board of directors this week approved plans to fly between 14 European cities such as London, via Stansted, Dublin and Berlin, and 14 U.S. hubs, including New York, Boston, Chicago and Miami.

    “European consumers want lower-cost travel to the USA and the same for Americans coming to Europe,” the company said in a statement reported by the Guardian. “We see it as a logical development in the European market.”

    Ryanair’s transatlantic service won’t get off the ground for five years, as it works to acquire the aircraft it needs for the long-haul trips. But its reputation for deep-discount airfares on European routes will doubtless have competitors preparing to defend their share of the market.

    “That would put pressure on at least the very price-sensitive

    Read More »from Irish discount airline Ryanair prepares to cross the Atlantic
  • (Photo via user B3ng Jam on Twitter)(Photo via user B3ng Jam on Twitter)

    It looks just like the car decals that denote new drivers, but it bears a “C” and the words “Chinese driver” in smaller type beneath.

    The drivers donning the stickers around Metro Vancouver are mostly young people of Chinese heritage.

    To some, it’s an inside joke; a take-down of an all-too-common racist stereotype. To others, it’s just offensive.

    “It’s obviously a joke,” said Hanson Lau, a prominent radio personality and advocate for the Chinese-Canadian community.

    “I don’t take it as a joke because I’m aware of the history in B.C.”

    That history includes race riots, the 1885 Chinese Head Tax and laws designed to prevent Chinese-Canadians from owning property in certain areas of Vancouver.

    From 1923 to 1947, the Chinese Immigration Exclusion Act barred Chinese settlers and Chinese, as well as South Asian and Japanese, Canadians from acquiring citizenship until 1947.

    “The people who buy these would appreciate the message it’s trying to send,” said Lau, an advocate for reconciliation

    Read More »from Racist or funny? 'Chinese driver' decals spark debate in Metro Vancouver
  • (Photo via Corbis/Yahoo Shine)(Photo via Corbis/Yahoo Shine)

    The story of a teenage boy in the U.K. diagnosed with testicular cancer after taking a pregnancy test got shared thousands of times online.

    It sounds like an urban legend, but there is some truth to it. Pregnancy tests detect beta-hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which turns out to be the same hormone that is elevated in some men who have testicular cancer.

    The U.K. teen said medical professionals used a pregnancy test to check his hormones. After being diagnosed and undergoing treatment he says he is now cancer free. Many commenters on the story have jumped to the conclusion that all men should go out and buy a pregnancy test to screen themselves.

    Not so fast.

    “Absolutely not, it could give false reassurance,” Dr. Padraig Warde, staff radiation oncologist at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, told Yahoo Canada News.

    Dr. Nicholas Power, chair of the medical advisory board for Testicular Cancer Canada, agrees: “It’s not a recommended screening tool.”

    Related stories:


    Read More »from Pregnancy test not a surefire testicular cancer test, despite teen boy’s success
  • OPP union headquarters (CBC)OPP union headquarters (CBC)

    It has all the markings of a TV drama – RCMP raiding anotherpolice force’s union office, sealed court allegations of money laundering, members of the union executive facing criminal investigation, suspension and a scandal that has rocked Ontario Provincial Police.

    Unfortunately for the OPP, these allegations of allegations of fraud, breach of trust and money laundering are aimed at top union managers, who are all still OPP officers.

    The headlines in Toronto newspapers screamed:

    “OPP union brass investigated over fraud allegations

    “Key players caught in OPP union scandal”

    As a result of a complaint, 13 search warrants were executed on March 6 at a number of locations, including at the OPP Association’s head office in Barrie, Ont., and at a number of people’s homes.

    The OPP Association issued a news release the following Monday.

    “The RCMP is conducting a criminal investigation and believed that evidence to support its investigation could be found in the OPP Association Head Office as

    Read More »from RCMP investigating OPP union brass caught up in alleged money laundering scandal


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