• A Calgary radio station that burned $5,000 in cash as part of an elaborate publicity stunt is facing a backlash from local listeners, even as it plans to run a similar contest with $10,000 on the line.

    AMP Radio recently ran a contest called "Bank it or Burn it," in which listeners could weigh in on what the station should do with $5,000. The result of public voting was 54 per cent in favour of burning the money, rather than splitting it among listeners or donating it to charity.

    Now, the station is set to run the same contest with $10,000. Even as some members of the public predictably criticize the contest.

    “What a disgusting choice to burn it while people are starving and children living in poverty are suffering,” one listener wrote on Facebook.

    [ More Brew: Was sexism a factor in the downfall of Alberta Premier Alison Redford? ]

    “Pathetic. Count another listener lost here,” wrote another. While some respondents were in favour of the result, the overwhelming majority seemed

    Read More »from Calgary radio station that burned $5,000 doubles down with another contest
  • THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson photo
    Alberta Premier Alison Redford had barely walked out of legislature rotunda after announcing Wednesday she was stepping down when some observers began playing the gender card.

    Redford, whose resignation takes effect Sunday evening, is the third Alberta premier to be shown the door in less than 10 years by the long-ruling Progressive Conservative party. The decision came after weeks of internal turmoil over her travel-spending habits and leadership style.

    The tipping point appeared to be the $45,000 price tag of Redford's trip to South Africa for her friend Nelson Mandela's memorial, along with other questionable uses of government aircraft. After defending the spending decisions for weeks, while at the same time apologizing for the way they were made, Redford paid back the money. But the damage was done.

    The controversy opened a festering sore within her caucus. Two MLAs – a backbencher and a junior minister – defected. Departing Calgary MLA Len Webber complained Redford was a bully

    Read More »from Was sexism a factor in the downfall of Alberta Premier Alison Redford?
  • At this time of year, people gather in workplaces and at social gatherings across the country and share the oft-repeated joke that there are two Canadian seasons: winter and pothole.

    Those people then leave the safety of those gatherings, get into their cars and begin an uncomfortable and bumpy drive home, before their vehicles inevitably tip bumper-first into a chasm the size of Main Street.

    In short, spring potholes are bad. So bad that, should someone actually come up with a solution, they would immediately be named President of Canada. Or at least Mayor of Winnipeg. That is, at least, the thinking of one would-be Manitoban mayoral candidate.

    The Winnipeg Free Press reported on Friday that Mike Vogiatzakis organized to have the creators of an inventive new pothole solution come to town and demonstrate its healing powers.

    "This stuff really works," Vogiatzakis told the newspaper. "It will save the City of Winnipeg millions of dollars."

    The solution isn't futuristic, so set aside

    Read More »from Someone has a permanent pothole solution? Make that man Mayor of Canada
  • A note for criminals: If you want to pull off the perfect heist while also evading the attention of police and the public, don't steal an adorable puppy. At gunpoint.

    Toronto news outlets and social media has been awash in images of a tiny black puppy dressed in a pink sweater ever since the image was released as part of a police investigation late Thursday night.

    Police report that the darling Labrador puppy, named Onyx, was stolen from its owner in northwest Toronto on Tuesday night by two men, one of whom was armed with a gun.

    An official statement says the victim and his girlfriend were near a bus station at Jane St. and Weston Road at about 10 p.m. when they were approached by two men. One held a gun to his stomach.

    "The victim was handcuffed and robbed of a BlackBerry, gold chain and three-month-old Labrador Corso dog, Onyx. The female dog has two white spots on her chest."

    Det. Const. Matt Pinfold says the victim is most distressed about losing his dog.

    [ More Canada News: Rob

    Read More »from Toronto puppy stolen at gunpoint the focus of police and public attention
  • A Supreme Court of Canada appointee was blocked from taking up the appointment on Friday after the court ruled the Stephen Harper-picked applicant did not meet the requirements for the job.

    The Supreme Court claimed that Justice Marc Nadon, appointed to the club in September, was not suited to sit as a representative of Quebec and that Harper’s appointment stepped outside of the legal guidelines.

    And while the decision itself and the inevitable fallout may be a matter of legal nitpickery, best left to legal chin-scratchers, it is just the latest case of the Harper government being smacked down by the country’s judiciary. Not a happy place to be for a government seeking to position itself as Canada’s legal guardians.

    On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled 6-1 against allowing Nadon to join its ranks, claiming the appointment breached rules set out to ensure Quebec was properly represented on the bench.

    [ Related: Harper's high-court appointment Marc Nadon ineligible, Supreme Court rules ]

    Read More »from Supreme Court rejection of Marc Nadon latest legal blow to Harper government
  • If you were told the mayor of a Canadian city was recorded threatening to murder someone while playing make-believe as a professional wrestler, how many chances would you need to guess who it was?

    Yes, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford claimed this week that a video of him, animated and allegedly inebriated, threatening to murder someone in graphic detail was cheap heat.

    The video is the subject of a lawsuit launched by the ex-partner of Ford's sister, who had alleged he was the target of a jailhouse beating ordered by Ford in an attempt to keep him quiet.

    You can read the full details of the lawsuit in this story here, but in short, Scott MacIntyre alleges that in 2012, Ford ordered a former football player who was being held in the same detention centre to lead a vicious attack on MacIntyre to compel him to stay quiet about Ford's personal life.

    The lawsuit says the video is evidence of that.

    Ford filed his statement of defence on Thursday, claiming that he had no connection to the attack. More

    Read More »from Rob Ford says he was channeling Hulk Hogan in famous rant video
  • No one expects the people working at non-profit organizations to be martyrs, but audits of one of British Columbia's largest organizations has found that senior staff members were living large while working with the province's poorest citizens.

    As a result of an audit by the B.C. health authority, the board of directors for the Portland Hotel Society are all on their way out.

    The bad news about the tangled financials of the Portland Hotel Society, which operates Vancouver's safe-injection site and offers 25-cent crack pipes in a vending machine, was not unexpected.

    The society, whose staff of more than 300 employees administers 1,200 social housing units and delivers various health and social programs on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, gets most of its budget (more than $28 million last year) from the federal and provincial governments.

    BC Housing, the provincial agency that oversees the society, warned last fall its books were being audited after an initial review found irregularities

    Read More »from Non-profit helping Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside lived large on taxpayer dollars, audit shows
  • Three York University employees have been arrested in connection to an alleged scheme to defraud the Toronto institution of more than $1.6 million, Toronto police announced on Thursday.

    Two men and one woman, all confirmed to be members of York University's administration, are alleged to have been members of an criminal enterprise that has been targeting York University's billing department over the past four years.

    Toronto police announced on Thursday that Vittoria Caparello, 51, Yossi Zaidfeld, 38, and Melissa Caparello, 27, were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly participating in a fraud scheme that bilked the school out of more than $1.6 million.

    Details were scarce, but police confirmed the people were allegedly siphoning money out of the university through a fraudulent billing scheme. York University is said to have lost $1,603,529 in the process but the school announced it has recovered the money.

    [ More Canada News: Former candidate Sarah Thomson vows to 'keep it real' in

    Read More »from Three York University employees charged in $1.6 million fraud scheme
  • Rest easy, Canada. A university student leader who was ordered to apologize for emailing an apparently somewhat-racist image of President Barack Obama kicking down a door no longer has to apologize.

    In other words, a Canadian university is sorry for making a student say sorry for something almost nobody thought he should be sorry for.

    The drama that played out on the campus of Montreal's McGill University drew international attention last month when it was reported a vice-president in the students' association had been accused of perpetuating a "microaggression" by distributing an email containing a GIF of Obama kicking down a door following a press conference.

    Brian Farnan sent the doctored image, which had originally appeared on The Tonight Show, through a listserv, probably not realizing there was any way it could cause a national controversy.

    "Honestly midterms get out of here," the cheeky email read. But someone didn't see the humour. Instead, they felt the image perpetuated a

    Read More »from Apologizing for apology: McGill uproar reflects growing oversensitivity on university campuses
  • THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick photoPrime Minister Stephen Harper's get-tough approach to crime and punishment has produced contentious legislation. We now have mandatory-minimum sentences for drug or violent offences, higher victim surcharges and no extra credit for time spent in pre-trial custody.

    But some of it is being peeled back either by the work of defiant judges or direct legal challenges.

    The Conservatives' crime agenda took another blow Thursday when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down part of a 2011 law that retroactively reduced parole eligibility for inmates who'd been sentenced before the legislation was passed.

    The Abolition of Early Parole Act eliminated accelerated parole review, effectively lengthening the amount of time a non-violent, first-time offender would remain in prison before being eligible for parole, The Canadian Press reported.

    The Supreme Court decision released Thursday concluded the law is unconstitutional because it amounts to double-jeopardy – imposing additional penalties on those

    Read More »from Tories’ tough-on-crime battle takes a hit as top court quashes aspect of parole reform


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