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Ding Dong The Separatist Witch is Dead: Quebec Bids Farewell To Pauline Marois

Pauline Marois

(Former!) PQ Leader and (former!) Premier of Quebec Pauline Marois suffered a crushing defeat Monday night – and I mean crushing. Not only did the Liberals win a majority government, Pauline Marois lost her own seat in Charlevoix-Cote-de-Beaupre and resigned as leader of the Parti Quebecois.

Pauline Marois became the province’s first female premier only 18 months ago, as the once-dominant Quebec Liberal Party struggled amid widespread allegations of corruption. But her time in office wasn’t… the best. Marois promised to cut taxes and end government corruption but instead spent a lot of time re-igniting the push toward Quebec independence and defending the controversial Charter of Quebec Values, designed to regulate religious identity. Determined to win a majority mandate, Marois dissolved the provincial government back in March and embarked on a campaign riddled with referendum talk.

Turns out running a campaign without a substantive platform but with a strong focus on separatism and religious discrimination wasn’t the smartest idea. But on the bright side, it will be a great case study for future politicians on how not to run a campaign. 

Monday’s provincial election was not kind to Marois. In her own riding Pauline Marois lost a tight race to Liberal candidate Caroline Simard. Simard took 35.1 per cent of the vote, and Marois 32.6 per cent.

The premiership race wasn’t quite so close. The Quebec Liberal Party returned to power with a majority government – mostly by default. With a mandate to be anything but the PQ, Philippe Couillard, a former neurosurgeon, became Quebec’s newest Premier. Now the province can finally put the issue of separation aside and return to what they know best: complaining about Liberal Party corruption.

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St. Patrick’s Day + Rob Ford = Another Drunken Video

Rob Ford St. Patrick's Day

A new video has emerged of Mayor Rob Ford that reportedly shows him slurring his words, swearing, stumbling, and generally acting like every other St. Patrick’s Day drunk.

Who would have thought that a holiday devoted to drinking would bring out the worst in Toronto Mayor Rob Ford?

The footage, recorded outside City Hall on Saturday night by a “star-struck” suburban mom and her teenage son, shows the mayor wearing green St. Patrick’s Day beads and standing with a group of people. The mayor agreed to take a picture with them but then began slurring his words and swearing.

When reporters questioned him about the video during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, Ford appeared irritated and wouldn’t confirm whether or not he had been drinking – an activity he had sworn off months in November but quickly backtracked on, claiming he “wasn’t elected to be perfect”.

“Guys, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, alright? It’s about St. Patrick’s Day,” said Ford, who was wearing an oversized shiny-green bow tie and a shamrock necklace.

“Were you drinking last night? You never drink, right? You guys don’t drink,” he said when asked if he had been partying.

Still, it’s a vast improvement over his 2012 St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans, during which Ford allegedly attacked two aides, referred to a South Asian taxi driver as a “Paki” and mocked his accent, stormed the dance floor of a downtown bar, threw a wild after-hours party inside the mayor’s office, and wandered around city hall with a half-empty bottle of booze. So yeah… he’s getting better, one St. Patrick’s Day at a time!

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Poking Holes In Your Girlfriend’s Condoms Might Not Be The Best Way To Save The Relationship

Poking Holes in Condoms

In fact, poking holes in your girlfriend’s condoms to trick her into getting pregnant and then later telling her about your plan might be the best way to ruin the relationship. Plus, according to the Supreme Court of Canada, it’s considered sexual assault.

The Canadian Supreme Court has upheld the sexual assault conviction of Craig Jaret Hutchinson, the notorious piercer of condoms.

Hutchinson, 43, secretly tampered with his girlfirend’s condoms back in 2006 to trick her into getting pregnant, ultimately saving their deteriorating months-long relationship. After the woman ended up getting pregnant, the Nova Scotia native revealed what he had done through a series of text messages. The girlfriend then made two calls: one to the abortion clinic and the other to the police.

Hutchison was subsequently charged with aggravated sexual assault but was acquitted by a trial judge, despite his “dastardly” actions. But determined prosecutors appealed the decision and he was later convicted at a second trial. He then appealed against that verdict but on Friday the Supreme Court shut him down.

“When a woman agrees to have sexual intercourse with a condom, she is consenting to a particular sexual activity; it is a different sexual activity than sexual intercourse without a condom,” the judges wrote in their unanimous decision Friday.

“The deliberate and undisclosed thwarting of her agreement as to how the intercourse is to take place turns the sexual activity into a non-consensual act, regardless of its consequences.”

Hutchison will now have to serve the remainder of his 18-month prison sentence and have his name placed on the national sex offender registry.

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Daylight Savings: Time To Spring Your Clock Forward – Unless You’re Rob Ford

Rob Ford Daylight Savings

Reason #32,456 to not take advice from Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor: Rob Ford doesn’t understand daylight saving time.

Fresh off his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel that highlighted his year of gaffes, Rob Ford added another one to the pile when he confused the daylight savings protocol and offered up misguided advice on Twitter.

While not as bad as driving while drunk and smoking crack while mayoring, Rob Ford apparently doesn’t know that daylight saving time requires individuals to set their clocks forward instead of back.

The mayor tweeted, “Daylight Saving Time starts this evening, turn your clocks back and change batteries in smoke alarms.”

Screenshot 2014-03-10 10.04.14

Not sure what type of smoke alarms he was referring to, but the original tweet was deleted corrected 29 minutes later (or 31 minutes ealier?) and a new tweet was posted with correct information.

But does Rob Ford even write his own tweets? Well, Ford’s receptionist and social media manager Tom Beyer resigned on Friday so either yes, Rob Ford has unsuccessfully learned how to tweet, or he has put someone equally incompetent in charge of the mayor’s Twitter account.

Not that I’m one to talk. After a 30 hour journey back from Thailand, I spent the morning trying to figure out why my clock and iPhone didn’t match up…

UPDATE: 

Dan Jacobs, Mayor Rob Ford’s chief of staff, confirmed that he was the one who tweeted the daylight saving time tweet from the mayor’s Twitter account.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Canada’s Hockey Team(s)

Current Event Cat - Canada Hockey

Can’t beat Canada at their own game! Canada’s women’s hockey team took the Olympic gold in Sochi Thursday, beating the Americans 3-2 in overtime.

The Canadian team started out a little shaky (ok, a lot shaky) and stayed pretty shaky until the very end. Team USA had a 2-0 lead with 3:26 left in regulation, but Canada ended up tying the game with 54.6 seconds left. Then, in the overtime sudden-death match, Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin scored the golden goal on goalie Jessie Vetter to win Canadian women’s fourth straight gold medal in women’s ice hockey.

“To be back here with my jersey on and gold medal around my neck is the best thing ever,” said Poulin.

Looks like President Barack Obama owes Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper one case of beer. The two leaders agreed to wager two cases of beer: one for the women’s final game and another for today’s men’s semifinal showdown between Canada and the U.S.

Upon hearing the news after coming back from a trip to Mexico, Harper sent out a tweet to rub the Canadian victory in Obama’s face.

Screenshot 2014-02-20 22.31.44Bets are a great way to spice up sporting events, but Stephen Harper doesn’t need another case of beer. He can just scan his passport at the Canadian beer fridge, like all Canadians do.

team-canada-beer-fridge So here’s a better idea for a bet (taken from a Chicago billboard): Loser keeps Justin Bieber. After all, no one wins with dual-citizenship!

Loser Keeps BieberAt the very least it should make today’s men’s match more interesting…

UPDATE: America keeps Bieber.

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Canada To The Rescue! Canadian Coach Comes to the Rescue of Fallen Russian Skier

Coach Wadsworth

Forget poorly constructed Russian hotels and mass stray dog killings, this is what the Olympics is about – sportsmanship!

Canada took its notorious politeness to a new level today when the Canadian cross-country ski coach Justin Wadsworth came to the aid of a Russian skier who had damaged his skis in a crash.

Russia’s Anton Gafarov crashed and broke a ski during a semifinal heat in the men’s cross-country sprint. While struggling to reach the finish line on a broken ski, Gafarov fell again, rendering the ski pretty much useless. Although he was clearly wasn’t getting any medals for this run,  Gafarov still wanted to finish the race – but it looked like he might have to walk to the finish line. Enter the Canadian coach.

Coach Wadsworth ran onto the slope with a spare ski and quickly fastened it to Gafarov’s boot, effectively saving the day!

“It was like watching an animal stuck in a trap. You can’t just sit there and do nothing about it,” Wadsworth said later.

“I wanted him to have dignity as he crossed the finish line.”

Even though his own cross-country ski team was eliminated early, Wadsworth won over the crowd with his simple act of sportsmanship. Or maybe he was just paying back a favour. During the 2006 Olympics in Torino, the Norwegian cross-country skiing coach Bjornar Haakensmoen tossed Canadian Sara Renner his own pole once she’d lost hers. Renner, a teammate of Wadsworth’s wife, Beckie Scott, ended up winning the silver while the Norwegians placed fourth.

As a token of their appreciation, fans across Canada donated five tonnes of maple syrup to Haakensmoen as a thank you gift. So I guess Justin Wadsworth can expect a crate of vodka to be shipped to his house?

Via: Toronto Star

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Defends The Biebs

Bieber in Toronto Biebs

Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor knows what it’s like to come out of a drunken stupor and realize you’ve gotten yourself into a bit of trouble, so it’s no surprise that Ford is backing up the Biebs.

Justin Bieber is back in Toronto to turn himself in after being charged with assaulting a limousine driver last month. According to police, the limo picked up the Biebs and five wannabe Biebers outside a nightclub in the early hours of 30 December.

“While driving the group to a hotel, an altercation occurred between one of the passengers and the driver of the limousine,” a police statement said.

“In the course of the altercation, a man struck the limousine driver on the back of the head several times.

“The driver stopped the limousine, exited the vehicle and called police. The man who struck him left the scene before police arrived.”

Bieber was subsequently charged with one count of assault, or what Rob Ford calls child’s play.

Bieber turned himself in at a Toronto police station on Wednesday amid swarming paparazzi and screaming girls. The pop star/Canada’s worst export is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on March 10.

This latest arrest comes just a week after the Biebs was arrested and charged for driving under the influence in Florida. Law enforcement sources are now saying that the Biebs tested positive for alchohol, marijuana and Xanax. New reports also reveal that Bieber was “excited,” “talkative,” “insulting” and “cocky” and “used profanity”. That sounds about right.

But while the whole world is laughing at Bieber’s downwards spiral, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford – who coincidently was also arrested in Miami, Florida back in 1999 for driving under the influence and possessing marijuana – refuses to slam the singer.

“You know what, he’s a young guy,” Ford told the radio hosts on Thursday, “At 19 years old I wish I was as successful as he was.”

“He’s 19 years old guys, think back to when you were 19, you know.”

If Rob Ford is out smoking crack, drinking and driving, and shouting death threats at half the city at 44 years old, I hate to think what he was like at 19.

Biebs Ford

Via: The Globe and Mail

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Montreal Woman Dies In Freak Escalator Accident

 Fabre Metro Escalator

Right up there with having the subway doors close on me, getting sucked into an escalator is among my worst public transit related fears.

For one women, that fear came true on Thursday morning after her scarf became caught in the escalator at Fabre station in the east-end of Montreal. After struggling to pull out the scarf, the 30-ish year old woman also managed to get her hair tangled up in the moving staircase.

“When she bent over to try to get the scarf out, her hair was also caught,” Police spokesman Jean-Pierre Brabant told reporters.

The scarf began strangling her and by the time firefighters and paramedics arrived on the scene, it was too late; the woman died at the scene.

The coroner’s office will review security video, talk to witnesses, and conduct an autopsy to determine precisely what happened – although it’s pretty obvious she choked to death on her scarf.  And by witnesses, I hope they mean commuters who found her unconscious at the bottom of the escalator, not people who walked by without stopping to help.  At a metro station during Thursday morning rush-hour it seems kind of weird that there would be no one around to give her a hand. Perhaps it was actually a headscarf she was wearing and Montrealers were just letting their Charter of Values run it’s course…

Via: CBC News

Update: The Toronto Sun is now reporting that is was a headscarf that became tangled in the escalator, but I wouldn’t exactly call the Toronto Sun a reputable news source…

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Polar Vortex

Current Event Cat - Polar Vortex

A polar vortex has descended on the U.S and parts of Canada, forcing many to stay inside and drink hot chocolate.

After a winter storm blanketed areas of Canada and the northeastern U.S. with up to 2 feet of snow over the weekend, a polar vortex causing subzero temperatures slammed a good portion of the U.S. on Monday from the Midwest to the Plains. Frigid air swept through the Dakotas into Minnesota and Illinois, with temperatures dropping as -50 degrees (Celsius!) with the wind chill.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn advised people not to go outside unless absolutely necessary, while meteorologists warned that with the polar vortex, there is the threat of frostbite in “minutes or even seconds.”

Exposed flesh can freeze in as little as five minutes with wind chills colder than 50 below,” the National Weather Service said.

The artic blast has brought the coldest weather in decades for many states in the U.S. But the northern states aren’t the only ones who will have to deal with the record-breaking temperatures. Snow is expected to fall as far south as Tennessee and Alabama, and even Atlanta is expected to fall below freezing on Tuesday.

More than 3,000 flights were cancelled on Monday, on top of thousands grounded over the weekend. The winter storm and the polar vortex that followed have been linked with 16 deaths so far. So avoid the evil polar vortex by staying inside, drinking some tea, cuddling some cats, and cursing the Obamas for going on a 2-week vacation to Hawaii.

Via: CNN

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Can Toronto Handle Ford More Years?

Ford More Years

With his new campaign slogan: Ford More Years, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford filed to put his name on the ballot for another run.

It looks like the crack-smoking, p*ssy eating saga will continue for Torontonians after Mayor Rob Ford officially filed his nomination papers to re-run for Mayor in 2014. Ford, who was the first candidate to arrive at City Hall on Thursday, thinks he’s got a pretty good shot, despite his somewhat turbulent behaviour over the last year.

“I’ve got the strongest track record, I’ve been the best mayor this city has ever had,” Ford told reporters shortly after submitting his nomination papers for the Oct. 27 municipal election.

Well, that’s a bold statement. Must be the crack talking. But you never know… Former DC Mayor Marion Barry also got caught in a hotel room smoking crack with a hooker and won re-election in the 1990s with the slogan: He May Not Be Perfect, But He’s Perfect for D.C.

If anything, Ford’s Ford More Years campaign will be interesting to watch – especially since his brother Doug has taken up the position of Campaign Manager. And don’t forget about the debates! Ford has promised to debate anyone anytime, anywhere – including someone’s backyard. And instead of promising change for the future, Ford has suggested that he won’t do anything differently.

“I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing, watching every dime that’s being spent,” he said.

So now Torontonians have ten months to decide if they want to disband the Ford Nation or see Ford More Years of international ridicule. Or the Toronto police can decide for them and charge the Mayor Ford with a crack-related crime…

Via: CBC News

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