• In the relatively small firmament of Canadian radio stars, Jian Ghomeshi is about as big a celestial body as you can get. Or should we say ‘was’?

    The career of the popular host of CBC Radio’s Q unravelled in the space of a weekend following a terse announcement by the public broadcaster that it and Ghomeshi had parted ways.

    The program went on Monday with substitute host Brent Bambury, who began with the show’s signature opening essay, this time on the future of Q.

    Ghomeshi tweeted last Friday that he was taking time off to deal with personal issues, which many ascribed to grief over the recent death of his father.

    But on Sunday evening, Ghomeshi posted a bizarre announcement on Facebook that he’d been “stripped of my show” over the CBC’s concerns about allegations connected with his kinky sex life, which he said includes dominance, submission and role-playing.

    “I have always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom but I only participate in sexual practices that are

    Read More »from For Jian Ghomeshi, allegedly fired for his kinky sex life, the best defence is a good offence
  • Looking for a fresh start, Toronto has elected John Tory as its next mayor. Tory beat Doug Ford, the brother of current mayor Rob Ford, in a tight race Monday night, severing the city from the past four years of scandal, embarrassment and mismanagement.

    Tory, the former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader, defeated Ford’s brother, one-term councillor Doug Ford, and former NDP MP Olivia Chow to end a contentious nine-month campaign that came on the heels of an even more contentious four years of city council.

    Tory’s victory secured a tight victory over Ford, securing more than 395,000 votes, or 40 per cent of the total number cast. Ford, meantime, grabbed more than 331,000 (33.7 per cent), while Olivia Chow placed a distant third with 227,000 votes, or 23 per cent of all ballots.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, the people have spoken and tonight we being the work of building One Toronto, a prosperous, fair, and caring Toronto," Tory said in a speech Monday night. “Together like never

    Read More »from Toronto elects John Tory next mayor in tight race over Doug Ford
  • Rob Ford is congratulated by his brother Doug after it was announced that Rob was elected as a city councillor.Rob Ford is congratulated by his brother Doug after it was announced that Rob was elected as a city councillor.

    The conclusion of Toronto’s mayoral election on Monday will bring about an end to the current Rob Ford era of politics, but it does not spell an end to the Ford family’s influence on Toronto.

    Far from it, in fact. Despite Doug Ford’s failed attempt to replace his brother as mayor, The Ford brand is likely to continue playing a significant role in how this city is governed over the next four years and beyond.

    Key to this point will be Rob Ford’s return to council, after abandoning his mayoral bid to run for his old post in Ward 2 – Etobicoke North.  Ford called the audible in September after being diagnosed with cancer, saying returning to the Mayor’s Office while battling cancer would be too demanding. Instead, he returns to the embrace of his old council seat. 

    Ford won his campaign handily, Monday night, securing 11,629 votes in Ward 2, or 59 per cent of all votes cast. The victory will return Ford to council for the next four years, after 10 years as councillor and four more as

    Read More »from Rob Ford re-elected in Ward 2, ensuring Fords will continue to influence Toronto politics
  • CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi is photographed in Toronto, July 3, 2012. (The Globe and Mail)CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi is photographed in Toronto, July 3, 2012. (The Globe and Mail)

    There’s ample discussion today about former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi, his departure from the CBC, a statement he released saying that his firing was due to his sexual preferences, and a Toronto Star article that attributes anonymous sources saying what Ghomeshi did was abuse.

    As there are currently no reports in to police, or cases before the court (although Ghomeshi filed a lawsuit today against the CBC for $55 million for “breach of confidence and bad faith”), this isn’t the time or place to discuss the veracity of Ghomeshi or the alleged victims’ claims, as many questions about what happened between Ghomeshi and the women remain.

    However, Ghomeshi’s explicit discussion of BDSM (referring to bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism in sexual activities) has brought an oft-ignored topic into public discussion today, opening bedroom doors and inviting the Canadian public into a discussion about what constitutes sexual play and what is abuse.

    According to Canadian law, there are

    Read More »from Jian Ghomeshi accusations bring questions about what consensual BDSM activity is
  • John Oliver discusses Doug Ford on 'Last Week Tonight' (Screengrab via Crooks & Liars)John Oliver discusses Doug Ford on 'Last Week Tonight' (Screengrab via Crooks & Liars)

    Late-night American television has finally moved away from the “Rob Ford’s troubles are hilarious” trope, but if Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is any indication, some of those comedians are praying for a sequel.

    The outgoing Toronto mayor’s struggles with drugs, alcohol and video cameras were a treasure trove of content for late-night talk show hosts including John Stewart and Conan O’Brien. Most notably, Jimmy Kimmel sparked up a relationship with Ford, having the mayor down to Los Angeles to appear on the show live, and appealed for him to seek help for his addictions.

    Since Ford sought counselling in May, those jokes have largely stopped. And with Ford ending his re-election campaign in September, after being diagnosed with cancer, they have ended entirely.


    Full coverage: Toronto Mayoral Election 2014

    Inside Ford Nation: A series on the people who support the Fords

    5 things to know about the Toronto election

    But as Oliver noted on Sunday, and

    Read More »from U.S. comedian John Oliver begs Toronto to elect Doug Ford
  • John Tory is in a comfortable lead according to the latest polls. Photo: CBCJohn Tory is in a comfortable lead according to the latest polls. Photo: CBC

    First thing next week, Toronto will elect a new mayor, a new city council and by doing so, choose to put the city on a path toward a new vision.

    What that path turns out to be, and how different it promises to be from the past four years under Mayor Rob Ford, is yet to be decided. When Torontonians go to the polls on Monday they will make that decision, ending a 10-month campaign that has seen as many twists, turns and surprises as any election in recent memory.

    With the time remaining countable in hours, it appears to be a two-horse race between Doug Ford, the brusque one-term councillor and older brother to the mayor, and John Tory, a more polished conservative alternative to what Toronto has experienced since 2010. Former NDP MP Olivia Chow, once a frontrunner, has slipped behind but remains poised for a potential upset.

    While Doug Ford told reporters that his campaign is in a “dead heat,” signs point to Tory taking a strong lead going into the home stretch.

    The former Ontario

    Read More »from Tory rides momentum into final stretch of Toronto mayoral campaign
  • The Conservative Party caucus room is shown shortly after shooting began on Oct. 22, 2014. The Conservative Party caucus room is shown shortly after shooting began on Oct. 22, 2014.

    It may be fair to call it a utility closet, or perhaps a broom closet or a cubby of sorts, but it was by no means a bunker.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper was whisked away to relatively safety earlier this week when an armed gunman stormed Parliament Hill after killing Cpl. Nathan Cirillo a short distance away. But it wasn’t to the fortified location many might imagine — at least not immediately.

    It was a modest closet attached to a meeting room in the Centre Block, where the Conservative caucus had gathered unaware of what was about to happen outside.

    According to various reports, Conservative MPs barricaded the door to the meeting room after gunfire broke out, while RCMP security forces engaged the aggressor in the hallway.

    The Globe and Mail reports that Harper was taken to a small closet for protection, while other politicians fashioned spears out of flagpoles. Some didn’t even realize Harper was still in the room until his security detail managed to slip him to safety after the

    Read More »from Prime Minister Stephen Harper found refuge in a broom closet during Ottawa attack
  • Security on Parliament Hill and in provincial legislative buildings across the country will never be the same following the attack in Ottawa on Wednesday, and the RCMP is already announcing that protective measures will be taken to safeguard the prime minister at all hours of the day.

    The announcement of an armed detail for Stephen Harper comes as a debate about security at provincial legislatures and other official bodies only begins.

    “We have adopted a condition where we will stay with the prime minister, as the prime minister’s protective detail 24/7 no matter where he is,” RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson announced Thursday afternoon while discussing the attack on Ottawa.

    The confirmation of an enhanced security detail for Harper came at the end of an extensive press conference, during which officials detailed the chronology that led from Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s death at the National War Memorial on Wednesday morning to the suspect’s death inside the Centre Block a short time later.

    Read More »from Stephen Harper to get 24/7 protection as the debate over Canada's security begins
  • Chloe Hogan places flowers in memory of soldier Nathan Cirillo in Hamilton. (CP)Chloe Hogan places flowers in memory of soldier Nathan Cirillo in Hamilton. (CP)

    It is perhaps befitting of Canada’s international identity as a country of peace-loving, hockey-playing hosers that one of the most touching tributes to follow Wednesday’s tragic attack in Ottawa came from an ice rink in Pennsylvania.

    Ahead of their game against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Pittsburgh Penguins dimmed the lights in the CONSOL Energy Center, filled the arena with Canadian colours and sang our national anthem.

    It was a touching but simple tribute and it showed America’s ties and commitment to our country in its simplest form.

    The tribute garnered a nod of appreciation from Prime Minister Stephen Harper in his first comments back to work on Thursday. Harper commended the team alongside the international leaders who had offered us support, as he stood in a chamber he accurately referred to as the heart of Canada’s democracy.

    Messages and condolences streamed in from leaders and everyday citizens from around the world. Most were like the one seen at the Pennsylvanian

    Read More »from World mourns Canada's "lost innocence," overlooking our true history and strength
  • A soldier, police and paramedics tend to a soldier shot at the National Memorial in Ottawa. (CP)A soldier, police and paramedics tend to a soldier shot at the National Memorial in Ottawa. (CP)

    Regardless of whether Wednesday’s Ottawa shooting rampage was a planned terror attack or the act of one mad man, it’s clear access to public buildings will become harder, maybe much harder.

    A shooter who reportedly began by gunning down an ceremonial guard carrying an inoperable rifle at the National War Memorial, then gained access to Parliament a few hundred metres away before being cornered and killed by the Commons Sergeant-at-Arms.

    Hard questions will undoubtedly be asked about how the gunman was able to get through a lightly guarded door used by MPs and accredited media, among others.

    The larger question is, how far do we go in a free society in turning public buildings into fortresses in the name of security, making the word public more ironic than real?

    “In a democratic society people expect access to democratic sites,” former public safety minister Stockwell Day told Yahoo Canada News. “Having said that, I think generally the public, especially now, are going to be more open to

    Read More »from Ottawa shootings to prompt security review, fortifications of public buildings


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