• 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

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  • 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

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  • Get the gang back together, it's the 2010 Toronto mayoral campaign all over again. Another notable name has jumped onto the competitive campaign trail to replace Rob Ford, and this time it is a blast from the past.

    Sarah Thomson, a somewhat high-profile candidate from Toronto's previous election, launched a second bid to be mayor on Thursday, telling reporters she is “in it to win it.”

    “It is time to get this city back in line,” Thomson said at city hall.

    This will be Thomson's second bid for Toronto's top job, after polling as high as third place in the 2010 campaign before eventually withdrawing her after her campaign ran out of money.

    But Thomson is joining a very different race this time around. Unlike last time, there are several conservative options already on the docket, undermining her business-savvy background. Unlike last time, there are two high-profile female candidates that undermine her appeal as a family woman.

    And unlike last time, Thomson has a local profile that

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  • Guy Turcotte was found not criminally responsible in July 2011 in the deaths of his two children.

    One of Canada's most controversial murder cases will have a second act after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Guy Turcotte should be retried for the stabbing deaths of his two children.

    The country's top court declined to hear an appeal on Thursday, meaning Turcotte will be retried for the 2009 murder of his two young children after being previously found not criminally responsible for the act.

    Turcotte has admitted to stabbing Anne-Sophie, 3, and Olivier, 5, as many as 46 times as they were asleep in their Montreal home five years ago, but told a court he didn't remember doing it.

    A jury ruled that he was not criminally responsible for his actions because of a mental disorder. Last year, he was granted release from a psychiatric institute, prompting a public backlash.

    "He still poses a risk but that risk can be controlled if he's supervised," said panel commissioner Danielle Allard said at the time Turcotte's release was announced.

    The Turcotte case has been the focus of an

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  • There's a saying in my business; news abhors a vacuum. In the absence of verifiable information people are left to speculate, seizing on a scanty collection of facts to come up with an explanation for something that happened.

    The Internet has made this kind of phenomenon even more intense and fast-moving, which is how you explain the latest surge of interest in a theory about what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

    No trace has been found of the Boeing 777 jetliner, which disappeared March 8 with 239 passengers and crew bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. The search by more than a dozen countries has ranged over huge swaths of ocean as theories swirl whether the flight encountered some mysterious mechanical problem or was the victim of some kind of inside-job hijacking, possibly by one of its pilots, perhaps even some James Bond-style plot.

    All anyone has to go on is an apparently routine sign-off with an air traffic controller by the co-pilot, the unexplained loss of

    Read More »from Canadian pilot’s theory for Malaysia jet mystery goes viral, then debunked
  • The eastern Arctic region of the Northwest Territories split off in 1999 to become Nunavut. But dividing into a separate territory seems to have done little to improve the bleak lives of many of its 35,000 residents, certainly not its most vulnerable children.

    An audit completed last December said Nunavut is still not measuring up to child-protection standards three years after the Auditor General of Canada issued a toughly-worded report on conditions. According to QMI Agency, the new report found that out of 395 foster-child cases, only 13 per cent had been checked on after a year. Fewer than a third of all foster children had received visits from social workers at all in 2013.

    The 2011 audit found the territory's Department of Health and Social Services was not meeting key responsibilities when it came to protecting and caring for children, youth and their families.

    "Although it reacts quickly when it is made aware of children in need of protection, the Department is not meeting many

    Read More »from Three years after damning report, Nunavut still failing its children: watchdog
  • It's pretty hard not to see William Melchert-Dinkel as a predator.

    The American man, who is a former nurse, lurked on Internet chat rooms devoted to suicide where, posing as a suicidal female nurse, he encouraged others to kill themselves. At least two people, including a Canadian teenager, actually did.

    But Minnesota's top court ruled Wednesday that what Melchert-Dinkel did was not illegal because prosecutors didn't prove he actually assisted in the suicides. Encouragement was not enough.

    "We conclude that the State may prosecute Melchert-Dinkel for assisting another in committing suicide, but not for encouraging or advising another to commit suicide," the state Supreme Court said in its ruling.

    "Because the district court did not make a specific finding on whether Melchert-Dinkel, 51, assisted the victims’ suicides, we remand for further proceedings consistent with his opinion."

    [ Related: Court reverses convictions of ex-nurse accused of aiding Canadian's suicide ]

    The decision

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  • A Mohawk Warrior flag flies in front of a Canadian border crossing station.

    The minds that have drawn up a strategy for Quebec's separation from Canada might imagine a strong, unified nation doused in blue fleur-de-lis French song, sung in celebration.

    But the more likely result of a successful sovereigntist movement would more likely be a fractured region further split along linguistic and cultural lines. That reality came into focus this week when the Chief of a First Nations community near Montreal announced that they would hold their own referendum should Quebec secede.

    The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne released a public statement on Tuesday saying Quebec sovereignty would create "very real concerns" for the First Nations community.

    “If Quebec ultimately chooses to separate, I would advise our Council and community to hold our own vote in order to determine whether we would stay within the borders of Quebec or separate ourselves,” MCA Grand Chief Mike Kanentakeron Mitchell said in the statement.

    The question of Quebec separatism has been top of mind in

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  • An Ontario court released more documents from a police investigation involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Tuesday, including a detailed account from a police officer who watched the much-discussed video of the mayor smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine.
     
    There was other information contained within the latest batch of documents related to Project Brazen 2, a Toronto police investigation involving Ford and his friend and former driver, Alexander Lisi, but few revelations previously unknown to the public.
     
    The documents reveal the date on which the video was purportedly shot – Feb. 17, 2103, the Sunday of Family Day weekend – and describe the bizarre habits and frequent meeting of Ford and Lisi as “indicative to that of drug trafficking.”
     
    But beyond more fulsome details and a more complete account of the police investigation, the latest batch of documents is otherwise bereft of revelations. Though Olivia Chow, a candidate to replace Ford as mayor, claims the documents are further

    Read More »from Notorious Rob Ford drug video detailed in latest Project Brazen 2 documents

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