TIME Canada

Rob Ford: Rehab is Like Football Camp

CANADA-VOTE-FORD
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks during the kick off of his re-election campaign at a rally in the city's north end April 17, 2014. Ford, who made worldwide headlines last year after admitting binge drinking and smoking crack, has been stripped of most of his powers. AFP PHOTO / GEOFF ROBINS GEOFF ROBINS—AFP/Getty Images

Rob Ford loves rehab and can't wait to get back and run for another term as mayor

Rob Ford thinks “rehab is amazing.” It reminds him of football camp.

The Toronto mayor, who has admitted to smoking crack and heavy drinking, is taking a leave of absence to rehabilitate after one-too-many public scenes. The treatment center reminds Ford of camp, “kind of like the Washington Redskins camp I went to as a kid,” he said in an interview with the Toronto Sun.

Ford spoke about the effect substance abuse has had on him. “I think alcohol is the worst drug of all. It makes you do things that you would never do or say things that you wouldn’t,” he said.

Ford is also apparently still intent on running for a second term as mayor this year. “Of course, I am coming back and I am going to kick butt,” he said.

[Toronto Sun]

TIME Arts

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Plays a Delightful Drake Medley

The symphonic mashup of "All Me" and "Trophies" you never knew you needed

Even the Toronto Symphony Orchestra decided to get into the NBA playoffs spirit this year. A few members got together to show their support for their city’s Raptors with a special rendition of two songs by Drake, who happens to be the world’s preeminent Raptors fan and Toronto native.

The video — simply titled “Go Raptors!” — features seven musicians performing “All Me” and “Trophies.” Of course, it was recorded before the Raptors got bumped from the playoffs Sunday.

These musicians certainly put a unique spin on Drake’s songs. We can only hope that he’ll take a break from lint-rolling his pants to watch this mashup.

TIME Congress

U.S. Struggles in Building a Bridge to Somewhere

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson walks to a hearing room to answer questions before a closed meeting of the Senate Homeland Security Committee in Washington, D.C., on April 1, 2014.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson walks to a hearing room to answer questions before a closed meeting of the Senate Homeland Security Committee in Washington, D.C., on April 1, 2014. Cliff Owen—AP

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will travel to Detroit on Friday to discuss a bridge to Canada that is expected to increase trade with the U.S. But infrastructure spending is a tough sell in a Tea-party influenced Congress

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson is expected to travel to Detroit on Friday, where he’ll spend the morning meeting with local groups about a bridge to Canada. An as-of-yet unbuilt bridge to Canada.

The bridge, which would augment an 85-year-old private bridge already in existence, was proposed years ago. It is expected to expand trade between the two nations. Already one-third of all goods passing between the U.S. and Canada go over the existing bridge. A second bridge is expected to boost that number and ease congestion. The Obama Administration issued the construction permit in 2013 and Canada has already said it will front most of the $1-billion price tag, with Michigan paying Canada back its share after the bridge—and tollbooth—are already opened.

So what’s the hang up? The $250-million tollbooth and customs plaza.

In an era after the Bridge to Nowhere made famous by Sarah Palin, spending on infrastructure is not the easiest legislation to get through the Tea Party-influenced Congress—even though this bridge clearly goes somewhere, and has the support of Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. Highlighting just how unenthusiastic this Congress is about infrastructure spending, there’s no deal in sight for how to fill an $8 billion to $12 billion hole in transportation funding that will run dry by the end of August.

The proposed bridge falls under the Department of Homeland Security’s budget since it would be a border connection. Johnson has discretion, to some degree, over his budget and could allocate some of the money without Congress. Meanwhile, Rep. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, has introduced legislation, as part of the 2015 appropriations process, to get the tollbooth built. “I just keep trying to build support,” Peters, who has four co-sponsors thus far, though no Republicans yet, told TIME. “I’m working to have it taken up and get a hearing as quickly as possible. And with Secretary Johnson’s visit, it’s important to lay the groundwork with the Department of Homeland Security. I appreciate how important it is, not just for the Midwest but the country, in terms of our trade with Canada.”

Canada, for its part, has been aggressively pushing the bridge. And between the stalled bridge and the ever-delayed Keystone XL Pipeline, Canadians are starting to wonder if relations with the U.S. are imperiled. “The government of Canada is concerned about the vulnerability of that trade and the jobs it sustains in both our countries,” Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt told a NAFTAnext summit in Chicago in late April.

Raitt warned Canadians against reading too much into the stalling of two of Canada’s top priorities with the U.S. After all, she noted, the pipeline has been stalled by Obama’s Democratic Administration, while the bridge funding has been blocked by the Republican House. “The United States tends not to link things,” she said. “And the Canadians are quick to think about linking things.”

Still, Raitt hasn’t ruled out Canada eventually paying for the U.S. customs booth if the U.S. continues to drag its feet. “We are committed to paying its fair share and we expect, as well too, that the United States pay and be responsible for its share,” she said in Ottawa last month. “But we will continue to talk with our partners in the U.S. and we will continue to work on this bridge.”

Because when America isn’t building bridges to nowhere, or somewhere, it’s burning them.

TIME Canada

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Seeks Help for Substance Abuse

The Toronto mayor, who admitted he smoked crack, will step away from a re-election campaign and seek help for substance abuse, after a new recording surfaced that allegedly captures Ford at a bar making offensive remarks about mayoral contender Karen Stintz

Updated 12:45 p.m. ET on May 1

Notorious crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is taking a break from the campaign trail to seek help for substance abuse problems, his attorney said Wednesday.

Ford’s time out comes after an audio recording (warning: offensive language) purportedly of him at a local bar surfaced earlier this week, where he can be heard being “unruly” and making offensive comments about mayoral contender Karen Stintz. The unverified recording is the latest such incident in the mayor’s infamous record of being belligerent and spouting off in a drunken and/or drug-fueled stupor.

“It’s not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life,” Ford said in a statement Wednesday. “I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence. I have struggled with this for some time.”

“He’s doing what I think most of the population thought would be appropriate a number of months ago. At that time he didn’t think he should, and now I think he realizes, so that’s a good step,” Ford’s lawyer Dennis Morris told the Toronto Star.

While Ford’s attorney did not unveil the specifics of the treatment he would seek, the 44-year-old’s admission that he struggles with substance abuse comes after many months of denying he has a problem.

“I think the public realizes that he may face certain substance abuse problems and was not admitting to them. Finally admitting to a problem is the first step to rehabilitation,” Morris said.

Although Ford has largely been stripped of most formal powers he once possessed as mayor, he launched his reelection campaign two weeks ago promising he wouldn’t “back down.”

 

TIME Canada

Canada’s National Parks Are Getting Wi-Fi: Expect a Flood of Grizzly Selfies

The famous Morant's Curve, offering a beautiful view of the frozen Bow River and the Canadian Pacific Railway at Banff National Park near Lake Louise, Canada, on Dec. 6, 2013
The famous Morant's Curve, offering a beautiful view of the frozen Bow River and the Canadian Pacific Railway at Banff National Park near Lake Louise, Canada, on Dec. 6, 2013 JOE KLAMAR—AFP/Getty Images

Canada has decided to install Wi-Fi at up to 20 thrillingly remote locations in some of its stunning national parks. Because what good is enjoying the solitude of the great outdoors when you can’t upload some photos to Facebook?

Canada’s breathtaking wilderness will no longer be so remote after a decision by Parks Canada to install wi-fi in certain areas.

Some 15 to 20 as yet unconfirmed sites will be equipped with high-speed Internet, and depending on the trial’s success a total of 75 may be rolled out over the next three years.

“Canada is a very big country, and it has become very urban. And for young people from cities, things are different,” said Parks Canada representative François Duclos, according to Agence France-Presse.

Parks Canada runs 44 reserves and 160 historic sites — including the stunning Banff, Jasper and Mount Revelstoke National Parks — but cell-phone coverage is spotty at best in many of them.

Now, though, you can go whale watching, kayaking or rock climbing and make your friends jealous by posting the relevant selfies on social media. What’s a holiday unless you can brag about it on Twitter and Facebook?

[AFP]

TIME Security

The First Heartbleed Arrest Has Been Made

Authorities in Canada have made what appears to be the first arrest related to the Heartbleed encryption bug that pushed millions of people to change their passwords, taking a teenager into custody this week for allegedly hacking into the country's tax agency website

Nineteen-year-old alleged Heartbleed hacker Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes was arrested by Canadian Mounties at his London, Ontario home on Tuesday, and his computer equipment seized. Solis-Reyes is accused of using the Heartbleed bug to hack into the Canada Revenue Agency’s database and hijacking Social Insurance Numbers and other sensitive information from 900 taxpayers. The data breach forced the agency to delay its tax-filing deadline from April 30 to May 5. “We are currently going through the painstaking process of analyzing other fragments of data, some that may relate to businesses, that were also removed,” the agency said in a statement. While Canadians have been relieved of tax-filing pressures for an additional week, Americans shouldn’t count on the Heartbleed bug to do the same for them. The IRS stated last week that their systems are unaffected by the bug – and that all citizens and green-card holders should follow through on their tax-filing obligations in advance of the 15 April deadline. [CNN]

TIME Canada

Calgary’s ‘Worst Mass Murder’ Leaves 5 Students Dead

Canada-Calgary Stabbings
Calgary police lead away potential witnesses for statements regarding the multiple fatal stabbing in northwest Calgary, Canada, on April 15, 2014 Larry MacDougal—The Canadian Press/AP

Less than a week after a stabbing in Pennsylvania left 22 injured, five college students have died in the "worst mass murder" in the Canadian city's history

A 23-year-old man will likely face murder charges after allegedly stabbing and killing five University of Calgary students at a party on Tuesday.

After arriving at a party shortly after midnight on Tuesday, the suspect — who was an invited guest and is also a student at the university — allegedly targeted other students individually, according to Calgary police chief Rick Hanson. “The suspect arrived at the party, obtained a large knife and targeted the victims one by one, stabbing them,” said Hanson.

Calling the incident “the worst mass murder in Calgary’s history,” the chief identified the arrested suspect as Matthew de Grood.

Hanson said de Grood had no prior history with the police and was likely not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. Police believe he brought a weapon directly from his place of work to the party, but used a knife found at the party to stab his victims.

“The suspect arrived at the party, obtained a large knife and targeted the victims one by one, stabbing them,” Hanson said.

The victims were four males and one female. Two of them have been identified as Josh Hunter and Zackariah Rathwell, members of the Calgary band Zackariah and the Prophets, which just put out a debut album on Saturday.

[CBC]

TIME Crime

‘Webcam Killer’ Found Guilty of Murdering Chinese Student

Undated handout photo of Qian Liu, a 23-year-old York University student
Qian Liu, a 23-year-old York University student, is seen in this undated handout photo. Her killer was convicted of first degree murder in a Toronto court on Monday. Reuters

Brian Dickson, 32, was found guilty of first-degree murder by a Toronto court for sexually assaulting and strangling to death a Chinese college student in an April 2011 attack that was partly witnessed by her former boyfriend during an online video call

A 32-year-old man was found guilty Monday of the first-degree murder of a Chinese student in Toronto that was captured on webcam.

A jury took only four hours to a hand down a guilty verdict to Brian Dickson. He broke into the apartment of Qian Liu on April 15, 2011, and made sexual advances toward the York University student before strangling her to death.

Qian’s ex-boyfriend, Xian Chao Meng, testified at the trial that he had been video chatting with her and witnessed Dickson enter the apartment and assault Liu before her computer was disabled.

The victim’s parents were present in the courtroom on Monday when the guilty verdict was handed down.

“We believe the Canadian judicial system is very good and very fair,” said Qian’s father Jian Hui Liu following the verdict, according to the Toronto Sun.

“This is not simply a crime against my daughter, but also against the whole society.”

Dickson will serve a life sentence for the murder with no parole option for 25 years.

[Tornoto Sun]

TIME

This Cannabis-Infused Pizza Will Satisfy Your Munchies Then Get You High All Over Again

Pizza
Getty Images

Just give it 30 minutes.

It’s always tough to decide what toppings to get on your pizza: Pepperoni! Mushrooms! Pineapple! Peppers! Anchovies! But what if marijuana was also a topping option? That would change everything!

Well, at Vancouver’s Mega iLL restaurant, pot on your pizza actually is an option. If you’re 18 and have a medical marijuana card, that is. For an extra $10, you can get the special ingredient baked right into your pie.

“Basically we infuse it through an oil extraction process, where we drizzle the oil onto the pizza and it medicates you when you eat it,” employee Anthony Risling told CBC News. “It’s a little different effect from smoking it. It takes maybe about a half hour for it to activate.”

Talk about high-end dining.

TIME Music

Justin Bieber Gets Booed At Canadian Music Awards

Diddy Hosts Deleon Tequila Launch Party At Vanquish
Justin Bieber attends Ciroc party at Vanquish Lounge on February 5, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Prince Williams -- FilmMagic

Looks like Canada won't be taking the pop star back willingly

America might be sick of troubled pop star Justin Bieber, but it doesn’t look like his native Canada has much love for him these days either.

During Sunday night’s Juno Awards—Canada’s answer to the Grammys—the Biebs was awarded the fan’s choice prize to audible boos from the crowd. Though the 20-year-old singer didn’t attend the award ceremony, Canada’s Olympic women’s curling team accepted the award on his behalf in front of a jeering crowd, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Canadian acts that were far better received included Tegan and Sara, who took home three awards, and Arcade Fire, who scored two awards, including best album for Reflektor.

Bieber’s superstardom has taken a hit in both the U.S. and Canada over recent months, after a stretch of legal trouble. Not only has the pop star been accused of egging a neighbor’s home, he’s also been arrested for a DUI in Miami Beach and charged with assaulting a limo driver in Toronto. The bad publicity has inspired a running joke between the U.S. and Canada over which country should “take” Bieber. Unfortunately for the U.S., if the reaction at the Junos is any indication, Canadians really aren’t willing to welcome him back anytime soon.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

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