• Ontario police are warning the public not to expose themselves online, financially or otherwise, after a pair of young men were caught naked on camera and extorted out of money by cyber-fraudsters.

    Durham Regional Police say the two victims were lured into posing naked on the Internet by cyber-criminals and later tried to pay an extortion fee of 500 euros (approximately $700 CDN) to make the problem go away. Of course, that didn't make the problem go away.

    Durham police say a 21-year-old from Whitby, Ont., was in an Internet chat room on Aug. 30, talking to someone who he believed to be a young woman when he was convinced to remove his clothing and fondle himself on a webcam.

    He was soon sent a copy of the incident from the suspect, actually a male, who demanded money. The victim paid the bribe, but when the suspect demanded more money the victim contacted police.

    A second incident that occurred on Sept. 1, was reported by an 18-year-old Clarington, Ont., man who visited the same chat

    Read More »from Ontario men become the target of extortion after posing naked online
  • Mumtaz Ladha waits to get into an elevator to go back into court (The Canadian Press)

    For the second time in a year, a B.C. court is hearing details of alleged human trafficking involving women apparently duped into coming to Canada on promises of good jobs, only to become essentially household slaves.

    Mumtaz Ladha, a resident of wealthy West Vancouver, is charged with one count of human trafficking and three counts of misrepresenting facts to immigration authorities.

    Ladha is accused of luring a 21-year-old African woman, who can't be named under a court-ordered publication ban, to come with her to Canada on the promise of a job in a hair salon, The Canadian Press reported.

    Instead, the young woman was put to work as a household servant working 18 hours a day in Ladha's $4-million home in West Van's exclusive British Properties, the Crown alleges.

    The trial comes just weeks after Franco Yiu Kwan Orr was convicted of bringing his family's Filipina nanny to Vancouver from Hong Kong under false pretenses in 2008, then forcing her to work 16-hour days, seven days a week. He

    Read More »from West Vancouver woman’s trial puts human trafficking in spotlight once again
  • Judge France Charbonneau poses a question during a Charbonneau Commission meeting in Montreal, Tuesday, September 3, 2013An exclusive report found on Thursday that more than $2 million was donated to federal parties by people who have been charged in Quebec’s ongoing corruption sweep, yet very little will be done with that information.

    Those confirmed donations are just the latest connection between the focus of the Charbonneau Commission and federal politics, leading to more questions about whether a federal investigation is necessary.

    The Canadian Press reports that 45 suspects — nearly half of those charged in Quebec's anti-corruption sweeps — have made donations to a federal party.

    The amount of donations made is more than $2 million, and is connected not only from individuals but also companies tied to the corruption allegations.

    The details of those donations, which would be certainly relevant had they been to provincial political parties, will not be addressed at the inquiry, which returned from summer break this week.

    [ Related: Corruption suspects gave $2 million to federal parties ]

    The Charbonneau

    Read More »from Donations from Quebec corruption suspects to federal parties begs investigation
  • A teachers' union in Quebec has come out against the PQ's so-called values charter.Media outside Quebec have seized on a decision by a teachers' union to oppose provisions of the Parti Quebecois' proposed values charter as a sign the controversial policy may be in trouble.

    But that may be premature, given most of the hot air expended in the last week has been based on only partial elements of the proposal, likely leaked as a trial balloon, and not the detailed legislation itself.

    The Fédération autonome de l’enseignement, which represents about 32,000 Montreal-area teachers working in the francophone school system, announced Wednesday it won't back any law that bars teachers from wearing religious symbols or headgear at work.

    “We won’t go on a witch hunt to see who wears a hijab, kippa or cross,” Sylvain Mallette, president of the union, told the Globe and Mail. “We will defend the right of our members to work.”

    If the legislation passes and a teacher is threatened with dismissal for displaying religious symbols or garb, the union would take the case to court, the Globe

    Read More »from Is teachers’ union opposition to Quebec values charter a sign PQ policy is in trouble?
  • Whether it's ubiquity or just good marketing strategy, Tim Hortons has become some kind of cultural touchstone across Canada.

    So when something unusual or untoward happens at a Timmies, it often makes the news.

    I doubt you'd be reading about a customer's tantrum if took place at, say, Mickey D's, but an incident at a New Brunswick Tim's has gotten national play and Twitter buzz. It helps that there's video.

    CBC News reports the Crown is seeking jail time for Roy Gilmore, who found himself 11 cents short of the price of his medium double double at a Saint John-area Tim Hortons.

    When employee Katelyn Blair wouldn't give him his coffee, the 49-year-old Gilmore exploded, Blair testified Wednesday in provincial court.

    "For all the times I come in and have given you tips, you couldn't even give me a [expletive] coffee," Gilmore apparently said.

    [ Related: Tim Hortons responds to letter writer’s complaint about lids with novel suggestion ]

    Gilmore turned to leave but then threw the coins in his hand

    Read More »from Tim Hortons coin-tosser could get jail time for assault
  • A black employee of Leon’s Furniture in Nova Scotia has filed a human rights complaint after he says he was the target of racism from co-workers and managers, including coming to work to find a black statue hung in effigy.

    Elsworth Bottomley alleges he was mistreated by co-workers at the furniture store in Darthmouth, N.S., who used the N-word and made openly racist remarks about the intelligence of black people.

    CBC News reports Bottomley, quit his job of two years after arriving at work to find the statue hanging in the store window.

    Bottomley said another employee frequently taunted him and a manager has refused to sent him out with another black mover out of concerns they would scare the customers.

    Leon's has said that two people have been fired over the incident and the remaining staff will receive sensitivity

    Read More »from Nova Scotia Leon’s employee files complaint after black statue lynched
  • It is an exciting time in the life of a university student: returning to classes, learning the ropes at your new school and getting into some shenanigans with new schoolmates.

    Of course, all of that has gone terribly wrong if it combines in the form of a chant seemingly in favour of raping underage girls.

    CBC News reports that students at Saint Mary's University are both shocked and ashamed of themselves after a video of just such a chant appeared online.

    The video has since been removed, but its short existence prompted a massive backlash against the students involved. The Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports that the university will force the student leaders involved to undergo sensitivity training. Premier Darrell Dexter has also called the incident disturbing.

    The chant, which broke out during a frosh event at the Nova Scotia university, is one of those dumb poems where you spell out a word and assign meaning to each letter. The word in question was young.

    According to CBC, the poem went:

    Y

    Read More »from Dumb frosh: Saint Mary’s University chant in favour of ‘non-consensual’ sex with young girls
  • Vancouver Canucks fans watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in Vancouver, B.C., on June 15, 2011. Bert Easterbrook is a hero in Vancouver, honoured for standing up to rampaging Stanley Cup rioters in June 2011.

    But he's a villain as far as Ottawa is concerned because he also refused to correctly fill out his 2011 census form.

    CBC News reports Easterbrook has been charged under the Statistics Act for failing to fill out the census just weeks after fending off downtown rioters who tried to burn a pickup truck the night the Canucks lost Game 7 to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup final.

    Easterbrook, grandson of a policeman, was one of several people honoured by Vancouver Police for his actions during the riot, which resulted in hundreds of charges that are still working their way through the courts.

    But there's another side to Easterbrook that put him in the feds' bad graces.

    Easterbrook has close ties to the movement to legalize marijuana. He's a photographer for Cannabis Culture magazine and friends with its editor, Jodie Emery, wife of jailed pot activist Marc Emery. Easterbrook, who

    Read More »from Hero of 2011 Stanley Cup riot faces jail for refusing to fill out census form
  • Only in Winnipeg, where mosquitoes grow to be the size of crows and the annual battle against the scourge make daily headlines, would an entomologist become a household name.

    Taz Stuart, Winnipeg's entomologist since 2004, has left that job, the city confirmed Wednesday. Photo via CBC

    And only in Winnipeg would his mysterious departure lead to such intense speculation.

    Taz Stuart silently left his position as the chief entomologist for Manitoba's capital, eight years after arriving in celebrated rock star-like fashion.

    "The City of Winnipeg is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Taz Stuart as the Entomologist for the Community Services Department’s Insect Control Branch," reads a still-available news release from 2004, when Stuart was lured away from the City of Regina to lead Winnipeg's war on mosquitoes.

    His departure, however, is cloaked in mystery. With no official announcement and no definitive answer on when or why Stuart left the position, the city has been left wondering about the fate of one of its highest-profile city officials.

    Stuart's departure and the mystery behind its suddenness

    Read More »from The mysterious case of Winnipeg’s missing ‘rock star’ entomologist Taz Stuart
  • The Pivot Legal Society says 10 arrest warrants have been issued for landlord George Wolsey.George Wolsey is, by all accounts, a piece of work.

    The former owner of two decrepit flophouses on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside was once a pharmacist who lost his licence over allegations he'd been forcing his tenants to fill their methadone prescriptions through him or face eviction.

    His two buildings, the Palace and Wonder hotels, were so badly maintained, the City of Vancouver went to court to force repairs. Faced with a court injunction, Wolsey sold them last year.

    But the notorious slum landlord's problems are not over.

    The Pivot Legal Society, which advocates for Vancouver's poor, is going after Wolsey with a vengeance.

    The society has obtained arrest warrants for Wolsey for failing to pay more than $18,000 in compensation owed to several residents of his former properties. The money was damages awarded by the B.C. Residential Tenancy Branch to renters in his single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels who endured insect infestations, broken doors, non-functioning plumbing and other problems.

    Read More »from Notorious Vancouver slumlord facing arrest for ignoring tenant compensation orders

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