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The Wednesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories

Tony Clement arrives at the national Conservative summer caucus retreat in Halifax on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. Former Ontario and federal cabinet minister Tony Clement has dropped out of the federal Conservative leadership race. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
October 12, 2016 - 2:12 PM

Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Oct. 12

CLEMENT DROPS OUT OF TORY LEADERSHIP RACE: Conservative MP Tony Clement is ending his bid for the leadership of his party, saying he has fallen short of financial and other goals he set when he launched his campaign. Clement, who announced his campaign in July, also thanked the "hundreds" of Conservatives he said were willing to support him. He said he would do whatever he can to support interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose and his caucus colleagues throughout the rest of the leadership race and looks forward to playing some other role.


NOVA SCOTIA PREMIER TAKEN ABACK BY STORM DAMAGE: Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says he couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the damage caused by the fierce storm that raged through Atlantic Canada over the long weekend. Both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador face an expensive cleanup, following torrential rains and strong winds that uprooted trees, washed out roads and bridges and left thousands of people in the dark. The premiers of both provinces have spoken to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about disaster relief.


U.S.-CANADA LUMBER DISPUTE SET TO REIGNITE:Canada's once-a-decade softwood lumber trade war with the U.S. appeared on the verge of reigniting Wednesday with the end of a legal grace period that threatens to kick off another round of petitions, panels and punitive tariffs. The American softwood lobby has confirmed plans to launch a process that could culminate sometime next year in duties on its northern neighbour's lumber, barring sudden progress toward a so-far-elusive deal between governments. "(We have) no choice but to move to initiate trade cases against unfairly traded imports from Canada at the most effective time," said the U.S. Lumber Coalition.


DURING VISIT, PEACEKEEPING A FRENCH PRIORITY: Officials say French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is anxious to hear from Justin Trudeau on Canada's plans for sending peacekeepers to West Africa to join the fight against Islamic militants. Starting tonight, Valls is in Canada for a two-day visit where climate change and the free trade agreement with the European Union will be high priorities for his Canadian counterpart. France, however, wants to know more about Canada's plan to deploy peacekeepers in Mali, the west African country at the epicentre of the rise and spread of extremism across that continent.


ACTIVIST JOSE BOVE ALLOWED TO STAY IN CANADA: After being threatened with expulsion, a member of the European Parliament who opposes the Canada-EU free-trade deal says he is now being allowed to stay in Canada. Jose Bove says he was originally told by the Canada Border Services Agency that he had to return to Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport by 1 p.m. to be expelled from Canada. But he says the CBSA called to let him know he can stay for seven days. Earlier today, Bove had called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to explain why he wasn't allowed in Canada, suggesting it might be related to his opposition to the Canada-EU free trade deal.


TORIES URGE OTTAWA TO FILL JUDICIAL VACANCIES: The federal Tories are calling on the Liberal government to immediately fill judicial vacancies across Canada. Alberta member of Parliament Michael Cooper, the Conservative deputy justice critic, made the plea after a Court of Queen's Bench judge in Edmonton stayed a first-degree murder charge because of unreasonable delay. A jury trial was to begin next week for 29-year-old Lance Matthew Regan, who was accused of stabbing to death fellow inmate Mason Tex Montgrand at Edmonton Institution in August 2011.


OTTAWA ANNOUNCES $55M FOR RAIL SAFETY: The federal government is making about $55 million available over three years to improve rail safety across country, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday. Projects eligible for funding include the installation of flashing lights and bells at railway crossings and the construction of full pedestrian overpasses, he said. The money is earmarked for projects on federal rail property, along rail lines, at crossings and in the form of public education campaigns. After 46 people died last year on federally regulated railways, Garneau said "we need to do more to make grade-level crossings safer."


ONTARIO UNVEILS ANTI-OPIOID STRATEGY: Ontario will expand use of the drug Suboxone as an alternative to methadone to treat people addicted to opioids as part of a new provincial strategy to combat an increasing number of overdoses and deaths. There are an estimated 50,000 addicts currently getting methadone treatment in Ontario, which saw 700 deaths from opioid overdoses in 2014. Opioid use has become the third leading cause of accidental death in Ontario, ahead of car accidents, said Health Minister Eric Hoskins. He calls the situation a "public health crisis," and says family physicians, and eventually nurse practioners, will be able to prescribe Suboxone instead of referring addicts to methadone clinics.


GUILTY PLEA ENTERED IN DEATH OF INFANT BOY: A 16-year-old girl has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of a six-week-old boy in Saskatoon. The teen, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, entered the plea during a scheduled court appearance Wednesday. Nikosis Jace Cantre was found beaten in his playpen in his family's home and died in hospital July 3. Justice officials said shortly after the teen's arrest that she had escaped from a youth centre, where she was serving a 10-month open custody sentence for several offences, including assault with a weapon. The baby's family has said they did not know the girl and invited her to their home when they found her downtown with no place to go.


POLICE LOCATE SUSPECT IN MOUNTIE SHOOTING: The City of Revelstoke in southeastern British Columbia says a man wanted in connection with the shooting of an RCMP officer has been located by police. A post to the city's Facebook page says the search for the man is over and the safety of the community has been restored. Police have said they were looking for 40-year-old Sheldon Kyle Thunderblanket, who they considered to be armed and dangerous. The RCMP say they believe Thunderblanket is wanted for numerous charges in connection with a murder and attempted murder in Saskatchewan.


RESTAURANT RAISES IRE BY INVOKING TRUMP: A Toronto restaurant is promising a charity drive to help women as an apology after invoking Donald Trump's rant boasting of alleged sexual assaults to promote its menu offerings. Mexican eatery La Carnita posted a picture of food on Tuesday under the caption: "What if Donald said, 'grab her by the taco,'" which is occasionally used as slang for female genitalia. The caption was a direct reference to recently released video shot in 2005 during which Trump is overheard telling a television personality that his fame gave him licence to do what he liked with women, including grabbing them by their genitals. The gaffe is the latest in a string of recent controversies for the taco chain, all of which have centred on treatment of women.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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