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images Allan's Perspective

Yorkville

Dear Readers: This might not be of interest to anyone not of a certain age and from Toronto, but since I practically grew up on this street it held a lot of memories for me! Posted by Chris Bateman / December 17, 2014 No neighbourhood in Toronto has undergone a more seismic aesthetic and ideological […]

sdvoylmc4tuuduecxo1z Allan's Perspective

Cosby should have kept his mouth shut!

Dear Readers: So far in this whole mess surrounding Bill Cosby, the man has taken the high road and refused to comment on the allegations ………………, until this weekend, that is! Then, the sit hit the fan, and it all backfired on him! On Friday, Bill Cosby broke his silence to speak to the New […]

dynamic_resize Allan's Perspective

Guilty?

Dear Readers: Yes, your faithful reporter knows all about Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby, and I know that sexual assault is not to be treated lightly, and I realize that women need to be treated equally in modern day society! I know all this, and I am also aware that I have to make a […]

images7UYN5WAC Allan's Perspective

Maybe women are smarter!

Dear Readers: Much as it pains me to admit this …………….., I might owe the ladies an apology! As you well know, your favourite reporter has ranted and raved for years about how women’s libbers, and feminists, have portrayed men as idiots. It even got to the point where a lot of TV ads show […]

Project1 Allan's Perspective

Sunday Morning Funnies – 72

One day, a little girl asked her father, “How did the human race start?” The father answered, “God made Adam and Eve and they had children, and so all mankind was made.” Next day, the little girl asked her mother the same question. The mother answered, “Many years ago, there were monkeys, from which the […]

Project1 Allan's Perspective

Saturday Morning Confusion About Indians!

Dear Readers: Your much maligned reporter is a confused as ever about what is going on with the Indians in this fair land of ours! You might remember we had a post in yesterday’s blog about a teacher in Winnipeg!Without going into all the sordid details again today, let me say that I forgot to […]

untitled Allan's Perspective

“ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN”

OK folks, it’s now official! “ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN” During his weekly address in the Vatican on Wednesday, Pope Francis was consoling a little boy who had recently lost his #dog, assuring the boy that he and his furry friend would reunite in heaven. “One day, we will see our animals again in the […]

imagesCA8VG99L Allan's Perspective

Cosby Guilty?

Dear Readers: It’s gotten to the point that whether Cosby is guilty, or not, of sexual assault, is not the issue! Let me explain. These allegations are from thirty to fifty years old and the reason it didn’t blow up at the time was supposedly because the women were embarrassed to come forward back in […]

drama5 Allan's Perspective

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Dear Readers: Boy, do we have a conundrum with that report on the CIA that was making all that fuss yesterday! SOOOOoooooooo! “Let’s get things back into perspective here!” Near as your ever faithful reporter can figure out ……….., these are the facts! 1. The program was started by Bill Clinton, but ya don’t hear […]

1144045-Cartoon-Of-A-Chorus-Line-Of-Naked-Men-Dancing-The-Can-Can-Royalty-Free-Vector-Clipart Allan's Perspective

You can never go home again!

That kid who made a terrorist video that has been making the rounds these last few days is more of a “terrorist wanna-be,” than an actual bad-ass, according to some experts in the field! However, even though his statements and claims don’t resonate with most North Americans, it’s a terrific “shot in the arm” [sic] […]

images Allan's Perspective

Praise Allah that it’s not the 1950’s anymore!

Dear Readers: While a great number of politically correct, left wing do-gooders are running around thanking God that it’s not the 1950’s anymore ….., all those Muslim Jihadist’s in the Middle East should REALLY be the one’s that are Praising Allah that it’s not the 1950’s anymore! If it was, they, and large parts of […]

images Allan's Perspective

Watch yer ass, Jim!

Dear Readers: Since this is Sunday you should know that I go off on a rant every now and then about religious fanatics and extremists, so it is only fair that every once in a while we here at the Perspective Research Department also give equal time to what I can only charitably describe as […]

drama5 Allan's Perspective

Sunday Morning Funnies #78

The DEA officer stopped at a ranch in Texas , and talked withan old rancher. He told the rancher, “I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.” The rancher said, “Okay, but don’t go in that field over there…..”, as he pointed out a distant location. The DEA officer verbally exploded, saying, ” […]

bill_cosby_a_l Allan's Perspective

Saturday Morning Confusion # 92

O.K. boys and girls, it’s time for another edition of “Let’s Get Things Back Into #Perspective Here!” (God I love that word!) Since regular readers know that I live in a constant state of confusion about what’s going on in the world, they will also know that I attempt to set things straight every now […]

untitled Allan's Perspective

Happy Holidays!

In keeping with our musical theme at this time of year, we have a Merry Christmas one for you!

Funday-1914 Allan's Perspective

HELP!

Dear Friends: For the last three or four days your “much put upon” reporter has been having a tune run through my head that just won’t go away! As a last resort I am going to put it here in the hope that spreading it around will lessen the impact on me! Don’t know if […]

2014-02-08T221147Z_571215577_GM1EA290H5J01_RTRMADP_3_USA-WEATHER Allan's Perspective

Whither goes winter?

“Canada winter forecast update: El Nino should keep polar vortex at bay!” Dear Readers: I looked in the local paper today, they had a long term forecast on what sort of a winter we were in for by Environment Canada, The Weather Network, AccuWeather, Old Farmers Almanac and one other, whose name escapes me at […]

untitled Allan's Perspective

I must have lost my mind!

The University of Texas at Austin is missing about 100 brains — about half of the specimens the university had in a collection of brains preserved in jars of formaldehyde. One of the missing brains is believed to have belonged to clock tower sniper Charles Whitman. “We think somebody may have taken the brains, but […]

imagesM5IUFATM Allan's Perspective

Get out of town!

Now, over the past few days we have looked at an American Democrat with Republican leanings, and an American Republican who likes the Democrats. How about somebody who doesn’t like either? By Lance Freeman Americans, I have some bad news for you: You have the worst quality of life in the developed world – by […]

n-RAND-PAUL-large570 Allan's Perspective

Other than being dyslexic, Rand Paul is perfect!

Dear Readers: In keeping with that great Canadian obsession of………….., “American Politics,” we featured a letter yesterday by a Texan who gave us reasons for NOT being a Republican. Today, we have an article from the Huffington Post by a Democrat who is thinking of voting for Republican Rand Paul. (Will wonders never cease!) After […]


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Microsoft’s Xim app now lets you share smartphone photos on bigger screens

Posted  December 18, 2014  by  Mariella Moon

Microsoft Research’s Xim app for sharing photos can now beam slideshows on screens bigger than phones and tablets through streaming devices. Just log into the wireless network all your other devices are connected to and it will automatically detect a…

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Stars shut out Canucks, 1-0

Posted  December 18, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - News

Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots for his second shutout of season and the 29th of his career as the Dallas Stars defeated Vancouver 2-0 on Wednesday to extend the Canucks’ losing streak to five games.

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NBA roundup: Hawks rout Cavaliers

Posted  December 18, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - Sports

Shelvin Mack scored a career-high 24 points and the Atlanta Hawks routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-98 Wednesday night for their 11th victory in 12 games.

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On ‘Drake Night 2′, Raptors outdo their star ambassador

Posted  December 18, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - Sports

TORONTO — The original Drake Night came to us at a time when the Toronto Raptors were a curiosity with some potential to be more than that. The We The North campaign had not launched, and the playoff series against […]

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daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: Has the Wildrose Party outlived its purpose?

Posted  December 18, 2014  by  daveberta

TweetAnyone already cynical about politics in Alberta will have their views reinforced with yesterday’s announcement that Wildrose leader Danielle Smith and eight of her party’s MLAs have abandoned their role as the Official Opposition and joined the 43-year governing Progressive Conservatives. After a five hour meeting of the PC Caucus at Government House, Premier Jim Prentice and Ms. Smith walked […]

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Bubbly eight-year-old Teagan Batstone remembered for giving ‘amazing hugs’

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  The Province - News

It doesn’t usually follow the natural timeline of life for a family to have to attend their child’s memorial. Such was the case Wednesday when friends, family and others gathered at White Rock Baptist Church to mourn the loss of young Teagan Erin Batstone.

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Charges laid in Port Moody crime spree

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  The Province - News

A 31-year-old man is facing numerous charges after a crime spree in Port Moody Tuesday. Five schools were placed in a “code yellow lockdown” while police and a K9 unit searched for the suspect. He was arrested at about 10:30 a.m.

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Chicago Bears benching Jay Cutler in favour of Jimmy Clausen

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - Sports

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Multiple reports say the Chicago Bears are benching quarterback Jay Cutler and going with Jimmy Clausen. ESPN first reported Wednesday that the Bears were switching quarterbacks, with Clausen getting the nod over Cutler for Sunday’s game […]

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Anderson stops 34 shots, Turris scores pair in Sens’ 2-0 win over Devils

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - Sports

NEWARK, N.J. — Craig Anderson made 34 saves, and Kyle Turris scored two goals as the Ottawa Senators beat the New Jersey Devils 2-0 on Wednesday night. Anderson earned his third shutout of the season and 29th in his NHL […]

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Message in a bottle is a puzzle that White Rock family would love to solve

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  The Province - News

A White Rock family wants to get to the bottom of a mysterious message in a bottle. Franny Shandro, husband Craig and young son Kristopher were on a Tsawwassen beach in 2011 when the boy spotted a shiny object covered with some rocks.

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Flying from Vancouver to U.S. gets easier

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - News

The federal Department of Transport has announced a new initiative to make air travel to the U.S. easier for Nexus Card holders and other “trusted travellers” who have undergone extensive background checks. Canada’s four busiest airports — in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal — will have dedicated security lines for qualifying airline passengers. One such line is already operating in Vancouver. Who qualifies?

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Bruins go past Wild in OT, 3-2

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - Sports

Loui Eriksson’s goal 1:30 into overtime gave Boston a 3-2 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night, only the second victory for the Bruins in eight games and the fourth loss for the Wild in the past six.

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Sprint could face $105 million fine over unauthorized customer billing

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Timothy J. Seppala

Sprint can’t catch a break. As if its financial woes weren’t enough, the outfit was recently accused of letting consumers get billed for “tens of millions” of dollars in unauthorized charges for premium text messages between 2004 and 2013. The Consum…

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Recovering Howe could make public appearance in Saskatoon

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - Sports

SASKATOON — Gordie Howe’s kids are telling his sister back home in Saskatoon that the Hockey Hall of Famer “is kicking ass” as he recovers from a series of strokes. If that recovery continues, Helen Cummine can look forward to […]

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Evil Scientist: That didn’t take long.

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Anonymous

Back here I opined about the fact that Danielle Smith was basically done as Wildrose Party Leader. I figured that there would be a leadership review, the far right of her party would revolt and demand a far right leader and Smith would end up riding off into the sunset. Well things happened much faster than I thought and despite no leadership review it would seem that Smith and 8 of her fellow Wildrose MLA’s will head their own party off at the pass and head on over to the government benches.

This is a bit unprecedented as I can’t (Read more…)

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Blunt Objects Blog: Welcome to WildRump and Alberta’s future

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  TheNewTeddy

WildRump will retain the title of “Official Opposition” it seems.

The Wildrose party, which was originally elected with 17 members, now has 5 remaining. This ties the Liberals at 5; however, due to precedent, they will retain the title they already hold.

Speakers across the country have ruled, time and time again, that whatever titles a caucus holds, pre or post election, they are able to retain it unless overtaken. This means by dropping to 5, a tie, Wildrose will retain it’s status as Official Opposition, and only should it drop to 4, or, should the Liberals rise to 6, (Read more…)

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Raptors power their way to victory over Nets

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Doug Smith - Sports Reporter

It is a nice round number and a significant one, one Raptors coach Dwane Casey is likely proud of but one he will scarcely acknowledge publicly, however, and he is not alone.

As part of the blistering and history-making start to the NBA’s regular season, this Raptors team has reached the 20-win threshold faster than any Toronto team ever, running its record to 20-6 with a 105-89 dismantling of the Brooklyn Nets at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night.

Big whoop, Casey said for public consumption.

“Everybody gets excited, I’m a realist,” the coach said after the Raptors wore down the under-manned Nets before another sellout audience of 19,800. “I’m going to continue to pick out the places where we need to grow and get better but at the same time, it’s very unusual that you can grow as a team and get some wins.

“That’s something our guys have accomplished and my hat’s off to them but they know, everybody knows in that room, that there’s a lot of areas where we can get better.”

The players, who have taken on a lot of the coach’s characteristics over the years — selflessness, modesty, a willingness to concentrate on defensive play — seem to concur.

They are proud, no question, but they are also not about to crow over what they’ve done.

“All that doesn’t mean nothing,” said Kyle Lowry, who led the Raptors with 20 points and 12 assists. “All it means is what you’re doing when the regular season is over.”

This group seems intent on letting its actions speak for it rather than display outward shows of emotion. They are businesslike in the way they take care of most games, wearing down opponents with depth and talent and effort. They did it again on Wednesday, shrugging off a slow opening 10 minutes before buckling down on defence and pulling away.

They had six players scoring in double figures, no one had more than 13 shots and five had at least 10 field goal attempts. They were just better and deeper one through 10 than the Nets, who were without injured starter Sergey Karasev and the resting Kevin Garnett.

“For the most part in the second half we did a good job of keeping them off the boards, that’s what was killing us in the first half was our lack of defensive rebounding,” said Casey.

“Lack of just finding a body and going and getting the ball with two hands. It sounds fundamental, it sounds high-schoolish, junior high, but that’s what we’ve got to do.

“That’s our Achilles heel right now defensively, just rebounding by everybody.”

But the way the Raptors have been built, and how they recover from in-game lulls, has been good enough to be 7-3 without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan and atop the league’s Eastern Conference.

The earliest a Toronto team has ever reached 20 wins was after 36 games in both the 1999-2000 and 2001-02 seasons; it took last year’s team until Jan. 29 — 39 games — to reach that plateau.

“(It’s) just our ability to come together like we did last year, having great team chemistry,” said Patrick Patterson, who had 13 points on a fine 5-of-10 night from the field. “Great leadership with Kyle and DeMar. Great bench, great coaching staff, great organization. From the players all the way up to management, it just shows how close we are, how tight-knit, and how focused.”

While there really was no comparison in intensity and certainly not in importance, there were those who paid attention to the fact it was the first meeting with the Nets since the epic Game 7 of last spring’s playoff series.

One of them was Patterson.

“For myself, yeah,” he said. “I’m not sure with everybody else. I’m sure Kyle, because he took that last shot and it didn’t fall through, it probably was on his mind, but for myself, I can only speak for myself, that Game 7 was on my mind from the time I woke up this morning to even now.

“I’m just definitely happy we won the game, that we handled our business out there, but it was a bit of revenge in my eyes, for myself. Even though it’s a different team, even though they have different personnel, it was still a great environment, just like Game 7.”

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Russians flock to stores, snapping up consumer goods before prices rise due to sinking ruble

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  The Province - News

MOSCOW – Russian consumers flocked to the stores Wednesday, frantically buying a range of big-ticket items to pre-empt the price rises kicked off by the staggering fall in the value of the ruble in recent days.

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Attackers in Quebec, Ottawa might not have been acting alone, Harper suggests

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  The Province - News

Stephen Harper says the two men with jihadist sympathies who launched separate attacks in Quebec and on Parliament Hill might not have been acting in isolation.

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Sudbury Steve May: Giving Sudbury Reasons to Vote Green in 2015

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Sudbury Steve

An abbreviated version of this speech (without hyperlinks) was given by me earlier tonight at the Sudbury & Nickel Belt Greens Holiday Gathering.

Thank you, Simon! It’s great to be here tonight at Sudbury and Nickel Belt Greens Holiday Gathering. Peddler’s Pub has always gone out of its way to make us feel at home – and what great service! This is a great venue for this time of year, a great place to come together in fellowship and in celebration! There’s a lot of anticipation filling the room – more so than I think I’ve ever felt at a (Read more…)

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The Arctic Continues to Bear the Brunt of Global Warming

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Latest Blogs

Acknowledgment: I want to thank my friend and colleague, environmental journalist Susan Moran for help with this story. She covered the NOAA press conference today at the AGU meeting and sent me her notes.

The Arctic continues to warm faster than any other region, according a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday.

Moreover, the extent of Arctic sea ice continues to shrink, and as a result more and more energy from the Sun is being absorbed

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Video: Sony Pictures cancels theatrical release of Seth Rogen’s The Interview after threats of 9/11-style attacks

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - News

Sony Pictures has cancelled the release of The Interview after several major movie theatre companies refused to screen the comedy film following a threat of violence.

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Cuba’s renewed US relations will bring internet upgrades

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Jon Fingas

It would be an understatement to call Cuba’s existing telecoms modest — roughly five percent of residents have internet access, and cellphone access is pricey at best. The US may just turn that situation around through its new deal with Cuba, though…

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Educational Training

The Deadlines to Apply for, Redeem, and use Personal Credits have been Extended

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Canada News Centre - National News

Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court of British Columbia to grant Canada’s request for an extension to the deadlines to apply for, redeem, and use Personal Credits.

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Environment

New York State to ban fracking

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  JR

The anti-fracking scaremongers score another win.  And it’s all political:

… Fracking, as it is known, was heavily promoted as a source of economic revival for depressed communities along New York’s border with Pennsylvania, and Mr. Cuomo had once been poised to embrace it.

… For Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, the decision on fracking — which was immediately hailed by environmental and liberal groups — seemed likely to help repair his ties to his party’s left wing.

…  the acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, said the examination had found “significant public health risks” associated with fracking.  “We cannot afford to make a mistake,” he said. “The potential risks are too great. In fact, they are not even fully known.” [Risks too great? Not fully known? In spite of a million plus fracked wells across the country, over 60 years, with no significant adverse environmental effects?]

… As he traveled around the state, Mr. Cuomo was hounded by protesters opposed to fracking, who showed up at his events and pressed him to impose a statewide ban. Opponents were also aided by celebrities who drew attention to their cause. …

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TDSB troubleshooter given extra time to report

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Kristin Rushowy - Education Reporter

It’s a tough assignment — and she’s just been given an extension.

The provincial troubleshooter sent in to repair relations at the Toronto District School Board — who will also suggest ways to start restructuring a board that has been called too large and unmanageable — now has until the week of Jan. 12 to submit her report to Education Minister Liz Sandals.

Margaret Wilson’s initial deadline was Dec. 31.

“Based on the fact that there have been a large number of people interested in speaking with Margaret Wilson, we are now expecting the final report during the week of January 12,” said Mike Semansky, a spokesperson for Sandals.

“Given the significant feedback she has already received, we want to make sure Margaret has the time she needs to finalize her report.”

Wilson was appointed at the end of November after months of scandals at the board, including trustee infighting, accusations of document tampering, allegations Director of Education Donna Quan withheld her contract — which she refutes — as well as criminal charges against former trustee Howard Goodman, who stands accused of forcibly confining and criminally harassing Quan during his time in office.

Goodman, who did not seek re-election, appears in court Thursday.

Wilson was also tasked with supporting a smooth transition for the 11 new trustees recently elected, and will also look at the issue of Quan’s $289,000 salary. At issue is whether it is allowed given it was negotiated under the broader public sector pay freeze and is higher than her predecessor, Chris Spence, though equal to his predecessor Gerry Connelly.

At a board meeting Wednesday night, trustees had a chance to look at and discuss Quan’s contract as well as those of Spence and Connelly, during a private session, said Chair Shaun Chen.

The lawyers who represented the board during that contract negotiation were present to answer trustee questions, he added.

One trustee said the board was surprised to find out there was a decade-old motion on the books to make director contracts public, something that has not been done.

During the public meeting, trustees approved a motion to hold a low-cost retreat to help build relationships and set goals, as proposed by Chris Glover.

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Cowichan Conversations: New York State Just Banned Fracking!

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

In BC residents face a BC Liberal-BC NDP united front in favour of fracking and all things LNG.

Prices are dropping, mounting evidence of a give away grows daily, an abdication of responsibility on every level becomes irrefutable.

Premier Christy Clark has a free ride as BC NDP leader joins her arm in arm in a bi-partisan endorsement of the most massive give-away in our history.

It is remarkable that in spite of the eloquent NDP arguments against fracking prior to 3rd reading and the vote when it mattered, they rolled over at the direction of leader (Read more…)

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Smyth: BCLC gets ‘a damning report written in the nicest possible language’

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  The Province - News

They say there’s no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to gambling. But don’t tell that to the lucky employees of the B.C. Lottery Corporation, where just about everybody hit the bonus jackpot.

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Dalhousie students choose restorative justice to resolve Facebook complaints

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Michael Tutton - The Canadian Press

HALIFAX—Dalhousie University is proceeding with a restorative justice process to resolve complaints about sexually violent comments posted on a Facebook group page about female dentistry students, the university’s president said Wednesday.

The Halifax university said many of the women who were the subject of the comments and members of the Facebook group have come forward.

University president Richard Florizone said the women have chosen the restorative justice process, which is an informal and confidential resolution procedure that includes the parties involved.

Florizone said the restorative justice process is intended to explore the impact of the comments and address accountability, adding that its outcome may be made public if those involved want it to.

He said all 13 men who were members of the Facebook group are fourth-year dentistry students and they will participate. There are 47 people in the class, he said.

“The route we’ve taken is the route the women have selected,” Florizone told a news conference Wednesday night. “We will also hold the men accountable for participation in this process.

“We all know some redress needs to be made. Our objective is to create some space to create what they think the effective redress is.”

At a couple of points during his news conference, Florizone choked back tears as he discussed meeting with the female students.

“I’m struck by the maturity and grace of the women I’ve talked with. I’m struck by the horror and regret I hear from some of the men involved that have corresponded with me,” he said.

“It doesn’t excuse it. It doesn’t remedy the situation. But it’s a fact.”

According to the CBC, members of the Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen page voted on which woman they’d like to have “hate” sex with and joked about using chloroform on women.

In another post, a woman is shown in a bikini with a caption that says, “Bang until stress is relieved or unconscious (girl).”

Florizone said the matter was brought to the university’s attention on Dec. 7 from one of the affected students, who met with the school’s human rights, equity and harassment prevention office.

He said he has heard from some experts that’s it’s important to be cautious in these situations because emotions are running high and counselling may be needed.

“It’s a very significant situation. It’s a watershed moment at Dalhousie and the road forward is not easy.”

He said if the people involved in the process don’t participate in good faith, a more formal complaint process will go ahead involving an investigator that could be referred to a discipline committee of the school’s senate.

In the university’s students’ code of conduct, penalties for violating set behavioural expectations range from a warning to a suspension or expulsion.

Florizone said not all of the women affected have said they will participate in the process and it’s still possible one or more could launch a formal complaint procedure that could go to the university senate disciplinary committee.

The university has also postponed fourth-year dentistry school exams until January, a decision Florizone has said was made due to anxiety among students that was caused by the Facebook page.

He said Wednesday he will form a presidential task force in the coming weeks aimed at nurturing an inclusive and respectful community at the university.

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Drake passionate about his role with Raptors: Griffin

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Richard Griffin - Baseball Columnist

On the surface it might seem a little hokey — a major professional sports team taking advantage of the profile of a big-name hip-hop star from its own city to promote the franchise and carry it up to and through a huge event.

But in the case of Drake, the Raptors and the 2016 All-Star Game, it works.

Wednesday was the second annual Drake Night since he was first named the team’s global ambassador in September of 2013. All fans received a Drake t-shirt and the former Degrassi: The Next Generation star dramatically emceed the pre-game introduction of the Raptors’ starting lineup with an improvised script, labelling point guard Kyle Lowry ‘the baby-faced assassin.’

“I just care so much about this city and the people in it — night after night it’s just so amazing to see all these seats sold out,” Drake said at a pre-game press conference. “It’s amazing to see all these people so passionate about something. Toronto itself is such a mosaic of different people from different cultures and different walks of life, and you look around the building and you just see all these people coming together for a great game. It just gets more and more exciting every day.”

The question was raised to Drake, that with the man who hired him to the prestigious but unpaid ambassadorship, MLSE president Tim Leiweke, soon headed for the exit, will the ’16 All-Star Game be Drake’s swan song with the organization in terms of having an official role?

“Tim has been a great boss and a great mentor, but I’ve been in this city for 28 years so all respect to Tim, but with or without him my focus has always been about Toronto and about the Raptors,” Drake said. “It was a blessing for him to give me the opportunity. Prior to that, I had to work my career up to get there, for somebody to notice me enough, to give me the opportunity, but I really do commend him for being brave enough to give me a shot.

“The 2016 All-Star weekend . . . I’ll be doing my best to curate the weekend and making it an exciting, safe, positive weekend for everybody who decides to come down to a different country, which is going to be very interesting for the all-stars. But yes, my goal is to stay with the Raptors as long as I have to.”

With Drake’s season seats right next to coach Dwane Casey at the end of the Raptor bench, the coach has seen first-hand what impact Canada’s most famous hip-hop star has on the fan-base.

“To go out there and see the t-shirts and see the crowd, again, I’m bragging on our fans, but I think we have the best fans in the league,” Casey said. “I’ve been around good organizations. This is by far one of the most passionate fan bases.

“I get texts asking, ‘You know Drake? Have you met Drake?’ He sits there every night and hears me cuss out the referees every night. He knows all my cuss words, but again, it’s all about the passion of the fans. It’s going to help us down the road.”

One profile-enhancing aspect of having Drake around is the Raps finally have a bona-fide No. 1 fan, just like Jack Nicholson of the Lakers, Spike Lee of the Knicks and Billy Crystal with the Clippers. Sports Illustrated’s off-beat weekly feature, Extra Mustard, lists 13 teams currently assigned music industry celebrities as unofficial No. 1 fans.

Counting down from No. 13 to No. 1 in the music biz, they list Alice Cooper (Suns), Wale (Wizards), T.I. (Hawks), L’il Wayne (Pelicans), Usher (Cavaliers), Eminem (Pistons), Will Smith (76ers), Justin Timberlake (Grizzlies), Beyonce (Rockets), Jay-Z (Nets) and Drake (Raps). Beyonce is a stretch, being too closely associated to Jay-Z to be able to count for her hometown Rockets.

“It’s just fallen into place,” Drake shrugged. “I don’t think about what I add, I think it’s more about the fans. If people are excited because they see me get excited — my goal is just to try and stay off the court and not get in trouble. What the franchise has given me as far as a purpose, confidence, an incredible hobby, I just try and give it back every night when I come to the games. I don’t think about what we’re getting out of it. I don’t think guys like (GM) Masai (Ujiri), guys like Tim are thinking about that either. I think they just enjoy working it for the city.”

Meanwhile, Drake was asked about the parallel between those haters who have always seen his lyrics and persona as soft, perhaps like the recent Raptors pre-2014-15.

Are they both gaining an edge together? When Drake gave a shout-out to Kevin Durant at his annual OVO concert, asking Toronto fans to show what they thought of the Thunder MVP playing in Canada, the league jumped in with a $25,000 fine. Durant becoming a Raptor is a possibility the team’s players and fans had never considered. Now they start to believe they are on a North American par with the rest of the NBA.

Drake’s influence?

“I don’t know, man, for that question just watch the game,” Drake rebuffed the “hater” question. “Don’t worry about what any of these people say, man. I tell you, just believe what you see.”

And in the case of the Raptors, seeing is believing.

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Braid: How could Danielle Smith do that to her Wildrose party?

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  The Province - News

What a thing Danielle Smith did. It takes the breath away. It tests the gag reflex. Not only did she abandon her party to join the government, taking eight Wildrose MLAs with her; not only did she praise the very premier her byelection campaigns vilified only weeks ago. No, along with all that, she wants […]

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Cowichan Conversations: Black Press Goes On A Buying Spree-Buys Cowichan Citizen While Cowichan News Leader Workers Strike Continues

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The Vancouver Island Community Newspaper Group has been sold to Black Press; this includes the Cowichan Valley Citizen.

Black Press and The Vancouver Island Community Newspaper Group have shuffled the deck that may well be a lump of coal in the Christmas stockings of striking workers picketing the Cowichan News Leader.

Will Black continue to run both papers in the same market? Will he drop the News Leader and shut it down in favour of entrenching the Cowichan Citizen with its lower wage operation.

Personally I think that it is time that we had the option of (Read more…)

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Nick Jonas — I’m a Big Pianist … Don’t Be ‘Jealous’

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  TMZ Staff

Nick Jonas killed it on the famous giant piano at FAO Schwarz in New York City … playing his new hit song. And with a new show, new physique and hot GF — we’re declaring Nick the winner of 2014.Yep, the whole damn year. Now check out his foot…

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webOS 2.0 will make LG’s smart TVs much faster next year

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Richard Lawler

The usual pre-CES flood of information is under way, and LG is announcing details of the webOS 2.0 package its smart TVs will ship with in 2015. Improving on the menus we already dug at last year’s show, LG says that the new versions will improve mai…

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Vancouver accountant pins hopes on civil action against newspaper publisher he says attacked him

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  The Province - News

A Vancouver accountant is upset that a prominent South Asian newspaper publisher he accused of attacking him won’t go to trial.

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Coach Jacques Chapdelaine leaves SFU Clan

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - Sports

Less than a year after his move from pro football (the CFL’s B.C. Lions) to his gridiron alma mater, Simon Fraser University head coach Jacques Chapdelaine is on the move again … “to pursue other career options.”

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Pete McMartin: George will be home for Christmas, he hopes

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - News

George walks down the street to a Starbucks. Most days, he’ll walk there from his room a couple of blocks away to pass the time. George is 33, but there is a vulnerable adolescence to him, an unfinishedness that makes him seem younger than his age. He’s pallid, and looks just out of bed. His eyes are dark brown, and they widen whenever he is eager to make a point, which he does in a rush of words. The day is cold but he doesn’t seem to feel it: He wears is an orange T-shirt, gym pants and a knit coat he leaves unzipped. His running shoes look ready to fall apart. He was born, he says, in a “hick town” in Ontario. He never knew his mother; she left when he was six months old, the circumstances of which George does not say, or does not know. His father eventually handed him off to his grandparents in Winnipeg to raise him and a stepsister. His grandparents and father are now dead, his stepsister has her own family in Winnipeg. He has no idea about the whereabouts or circumstances of his mother. He has no idea, he says, of his genealogy or cultural background.

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Facebook page targets Penticton’s suspected shoplifters, dognappers, graffiti artists and bike thieves

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  The Province - News

Social media users in Penticton are banding together online to fight crime on the city’s streets, but don’t call it vigilantism, says the creator of a Facebook group created to out criminals and delinquents. Leigh Follestad, owner of SuperShopper in Penticton, created the Facebook group “Penticton Shoplifters and Thieves — EXPOSED!” after two young men broke into his convenience store in April.

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Stateless Yukon man may declare refugee status in Canada

Posted  December 17, 2014  by  Vancouver Sun - News

Donovan McGlaughlin admits his story is hard to believe, but he wants Canadians to keep an open mind as he explains why he may have to apply as a political refugee in the country he’s called home for his 60 years.

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