• Porter Airlines resumes seasonal service to Myrtle Beach, beginning February 11, 2016. Tickets are available now on www.flyporter.com.Click here for high-resolution versionPorter Airlines resumes seasonal service to Myrtle Beach, beginning February 11, 2016. Tickets are available now on www.flyporter.com.Click here for high-resolution version

    According to airline regulations, Canadians weigh more in winter – six pounds more, to be exact.

    The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) sets out the standardized measurements airlines must use to calculate the weight and balance of every flight.

    In winter, airline personnel are instructed to add six pounds to each male or female passenger over the age of 12, to account for “seasonal variations.”

    The standard summer weight is 200 pounds for a male passenger and 165 pounds for a female passenger, the manual, put out by Transport Canada, says.

    During winter, that goes up to 206 pounds for men and 171 pounds for women.

    For planes that carry 12 passengers or fewer, standardized measurements are not good enough — each passenger has to go on the scale to get an exact reading.

    “The risk of embarrassment is not a reason for risking safety or crossing weight limits,” the manual says.

    If scales aren’t available, or if a passenger refuses to be weighed, personnel are to just ask passengers

    Read More »from Canadian passengers pack on the pounds in winter
  • A Comic Con attendee wearing an Iron Man costume poses during the 2012 New York Comic Con. (Getty)A Comic Con attendee wearing an Iron Man costume poses during the 2012 New York Comic Con. (Getty)

    Leaked drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP], specifically the chapters addressing copyright and intellectual property, reveal that the trade agreement may have dire consequences for those in particular fandom communities.

    If you enjoy cosplaying (the act of creating costumes and dressing up as favourite characters) or selling your own original art featuring licensed characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man or the Hulk at fan conventions and you live in one of the 12 countries who negotiated the TPP (including Canada), you may want to pay attention.

    “If you're doing fan art that uses large amounts of the original source material and it's going online, that's the riskiest kind of stuff,” says Jeremy Malcolm, Senior Global Policy Analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a leading U.S.-based non-profit organization dedicated to defending civil liberties in the digital world.

    This is because the TPP applies criminal charges to copyright infringement that's of a “commercial

    Read More »from Will the new TPP copyright provisions hurt homemade Halloween costumes and cosplay?
  • Mason will soon be undergoing SDR surgery, but it wasn't an easy road that got him to this day. (supplied)Mason will soon be undergoing SDR surgery, but it wasn't an easy road that got him to this day. (supplied)

    In less than a month, four-year-old Mason Anderson gets a chance to walk independently.

    The Orillia, Ont. native has spastic cerebral palsy – a neurological disability caused by brain damage at birth that creates motor weakness and can negatively impact balance, muscle tone, dexterity and movement. It sometimes affects speech and often causes crippling increases in muscle spasticity.

    Mason was born a triplet at 29 weeks gestation and after five days on Earth, he suffered a severe brain hemorrhage. This caused cerebral palsy and Mason also developed hydrocephalus, which required shunting. These days, Mason participates in an intense holistic physiotherapy program called Conductive Education. His strict regimen of exercises three hours every weekday before school and five hours on Saturday allows him to walk with a walker.

    Detailed illustration of the SDR procedure. (supplied)Detailed illustration of the SDR procedure. (supplied)On Nov. 12, 2015, Mason will undergo a potentially life-changing surgery known as a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy [SDR]. The procedure sees an incision made on the lower

    Read More »from Coverage for life-changing SDR surgery proves elusive for Ontario families
  • Mayor John Tory congratulates Trudeau on 'impressive' victoryMayor John Tory congratulates Trudeau on 'impressive' victory

    In his first year as mayor of Toronto, John Tory has already distinguished himself as a very different personality than his predecessor, Rob Ford. But how much has he actually gotten done in these 12 months in office?

    Tory’s first year in is not without its accomplishments. There have been two crackdowns on delivery vehicles parking illegally during the city’s rush hour, with 60,000 vehicles ticketed in the first phase. He more than exceeded his target of double the number of companies participating in the Partnership to Advance Youth Employment, going from 40 companies in 2014 to 129 as of September.

    And a decision was made on the Gardiner Expressway, with council voting 24-21 in June for a hybrid approach. But having a decision made doesn’t mean it was the right one, says Glyn Bowerman, transit columnist for Metro News.

    “I really thought that he had positioned himself as the mayor of reason,” Bowerman tells Yahoo Canada News. “Reason, in many experts’ opinion, would dictate that the

    Read More »from Toronto mayor Tory gets mixed results during first year in office
  • Universal childcare would cost N.W.T. $20 million a year: studyUniversal childcare would cost N.W.T. $20 million a year: study

    It's a common complaint among working parents -- getting good quality childcare that doesn’t break the bank can be tough.

    That warning from friends got Halifax-area mom Shannon Miedema mobilized to start looking around for childcare spaces early into her pregnancy with her first child Logan, now 5.

    "If you want to have options, that's when you have to do it ... which is bizarre. I didn't know it was that bad," says Miedema, who has seen desperate parents sending out last-minute notices on Facebook because they're heading back to work but still don't have a spot for their child. She's been more fortunate: both of her children have attended a home-based childcare the whole family is happy with.

    Politicians have come up with their own fixes to the childcare dilemma. During the federal election, the NDP promised to set up a national childcare program that they say would create one million childcare spaces costing no more than $15 a day.

    In Ontario, the governing Liberals introduced an

    Read More »from Navigating the necessary evil of child care in Canada
  • Construction site to delivery room: How I became one of Ireland’s few male midwivesConstruction site to delivery room: How I became one of Ireland’s few male midwives

    The post-circumcision death of an infant boy in Ontario has highlighted the ongoing debate about circumcision in Canada, where about a third of parents still choose to circumcise their newborn boys.

    Ryan Hedari’s parents say their physician urged them to circumcise their son despite their wish not to, and in 2013 the boy died seven days after the procedure due to shock from blood loss.

    Earlier this month an appeal tribunal of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons cautioned the doctor who saw the baby in an emergency room hours after the circumcision procedure, and urged the performing doctor to be mindful of the risks of the procedure and to receive informed consent from patients.

    Though the numbers are declining, about a third of Canadian parents still choose circumcision for their sons. That’s despite recommendations from the Canadian Paediatric Society(CPS), updated last month, saying that circumcision should not be routine for newborn boys.

    A study published in Canadian

    Read More »from Circumcision rates dropping, but infant death highlights ongoing debate
  • A collision between a cyclist and a pregnant woman has triggered a call for a new licensing system for all Vancouver bikes.

    Non-Partisan Association Opposition city councilor Melissa De Genova put forward a motion to city council earlier this week asking staff to look into the viability of licensing cyclists.

    De Genova wants the city to start a licensing program where bikes are registered. A licensing system may help authorities keep track of incidents like the one earlier this month between a cyclist and a pedestrian.

    Mandy Pappas posted on her Facebook page a photograph of the cyclist she said nearly ran her over after knocking her down. She urged anyone who recognized the cyclist to report him.

    Screengrab of Facebook page.Screengrab of Facebook page.

    “I am 5 months pregnant and I was just assaulted by this cyclist as I was on my way to vote. He ran a stop sign full speed and I yelled to him that there was a stop sign - as he almost ran me over. He stopped, turned his bike around and came directly for me, hit and knocked me over,” she

    Read More »from Cyclists near-miss with pregnant woman prompts calls for bike licensing
  • Coffee chain Dunkin’ Donuts was forced to publicly address rumours it would be offering an abortion at one of its locations after parody site Clickhole ran an article saying it would be performing an abortion as part of a scheme to show pro-choice solidarity.  

    The fake news story, which cites a statement from the brand that they would “be taking all measures to ensure the environment will be sterile and completely safe for the procedure,” and “the patient will receive a free egg and cheese sandwich and a medium coffee” asked customers to weigh in using #DunkinAbortion.

    Despite the absurdity of the parody article, some customers actually shared their thoughts on the issue. According to TweetReach, the hash tag was seen by 261,471 people.

    It didn’t go viral but there was enough chatter that the coffee chain felt the need to post a statement on it via twitter saying: “Clickhole is a parody site and not intended to be taken seriously and there is no truth to this article.” 

    “Many of those

    Read More »from When brands are forced to take a stand on an issue
  • Dont anger a woman with a mommy blog.

     That could be the modern equivalent to the old adage of never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel. Its origins are murky no, not Mark Twain but the message is clear: dont mess with the press.

    Busy Canadian mother and blogger Melanie Cote finally had the luxury of reading a book alone, without kids or household responsibilities, on a plane for a recent business trip. She recounts happily reading Who Do You Love, Jennifer Weiners newest novel, until she came across an offending passage that contained the word retarded.Twice.

    Upset, Cote stopped reading, and started writing. The result was her blog post, "To the best-selling author who robbed me of the ending."

    In the midst of a conversation between the main female character and a friend in their teens, the one girl drops the R-word and the other girl responds with the same word. It was like a sneak attack in what felt like a safe place. Retarded. It pains me to type it

    Read More »from Changing language, one tweet at at time

    He was the darling of Canadian public radio, the former frontman for a rock and roll band turned frontman for a flagship talk show heard across the country every day.

    He had a penchant for waxing poetic on everything from music to movies to women’s rights.

    So when Jian Ghomeshi’s star fell from the sky a year ago amid allegations of sexual assault and workplace harassment, the wreckage spread far and wide.

    “In succession we got a few high-profile cases in the national press and then Jian, I think, really was a tipping point in public consciousness,” says Dusty Johnstone, a post-doctoral teaching fellow in women’s studies at the University of Windsor.

    Over the previous year, a number of scandals on university campuses across Canada put a spotlight on the issue of sexual violence and so-called “rape culture.” More than one class of university freshmen was caught chiming in on “rape chants” during frosh week and there were allegations of sexual assault and later charges against two

    Read More »from A year after Ghomeshi scandal, still long way to go on violence against women issue


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