The Tuesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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

Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, walks through the mail room after making an announcement regarding the vision for renewal at Canada Post, providing high quality service for Canadians at the Canada Post Gateway location in Mississauga, Ont., on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
January 30, 2018 - 2:49 PM

Highlights from the news file for Tuesday, Jan. 30

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NO RULE BOOK ON DEALING WITH MISCONDUCT, TRUDEAU SAYS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concedes he, like all political leaders, is struggling to figure out how best to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct against members of his own caucus or cabinet. He says there's been no rule book handed down to him from the time of Wilfrid Laurier, Canada's sixth prime minister. Indeed, he says politicians are just now establishing processes and support systems to deal with complaints of sexual harassment or sexual assault, processes which have not existed until recently. He says politicians are doing the best they can on a case-by-case basis. Trudeau is offering that explanation in response to questions about why Kent Hehr — who resigned from the federal cabinet last week pending an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct — is still a member of the Liberal caucus.

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ONTARIO TORIES TO 'ROOT OUT THE ROT,' FEDELI SAYS: The newly appointed interim leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservatives vowed Tuesday to clean up the party, "root out the rot" and ensure a fair leadership contest following the resignation of top leaders amid sexual misconduct allegations. Vic Fedeli, who was appointed to his post last week following Patrick Brown's departure, said he needed to focus on internal issues ahead of a spring election and would not be making a bid to be permanent leader as initially planned. The party has been in turmoil since last week when Brown resigned after vehemently denying sexual misconduct allegations reported by CTV News. The allegations have not been independently verified by The Canadian Press.

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SHAW OFFERS BUYOUT PROGRAM TO 6,500 STAFF: Shaw Communications Inc. has launched a voluntary buyout program that it expects to be accepted by roughly 650 employees, as part of the cable, internet and wireless company's efforts to adjust to a new technology landscape. The Calgary-based company said Tuesday it has sent the offer to 6,500 employees and anticipated about 10 per cent of them will agree. Details of the severance offers weren't announced but the voluntary program for Shaw and Freedom Mobile employees will be open until Feb. 14. Shaw said its job cuts are part of a multi-year initiative that will help it succeed amid technological changes — both internally at the operational level and externally in a rapidly changing and intensely competitive marketplace.

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BRIAN MULRONEY DEFENDS NAFTA IN WASHINGTON: Brian Mulroney is delivering a spirited defence of the North American Free Trade Agreement as he testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington. The former Conservative prime minister says the trade deal has benefited both the United States and Canada — not only from an economic perspective, but also in terms of establishing the most peaceful and prosperous bilateral relationship in history. The comments follow the latest round of negotiations for a new agreement, held in Montreal last week against a backdrop of constant threats from U.S. President Donald Trump that he will pull the U.S. out of the current deal. While Trump has blasted NAFTA as a terrible agreement for the U.S., Mulroney — who has resisted mentioning the U.S. president by name — says the deal has created jobs, wealth and prosperity for all three partners: Canada, Mexico and the United States. Mulroney says protectionism can become a handy tool when fear and anger fuel public debate.

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JURY TO HEAR HOW COLTEN BOUSHIE DIED, CROWN SAYS: A prosecutor says evidence will show that three shots were fired the night a 22-year-old Indigenous man was killed on a Saskatchewan farm in 2016. Crown prosecutor Bill Burge told the second-degree murder trial of Gerald Stanley that court will hear from the farmer's son, Sheldon. He came running when he and his father thought someone was trying to steal a vehicle from their yard, and when he ran back inside to get his keys, he heard two gunshots. He heard another shot and came out to see his father standing by the driver's door of the vehicle with a gun and a clip in his hand and Colten Boushie slumped at the wheel. Burge told the jury an autopsy found Boushie died from a gunshot wound that entered behind his left ear and exited through the side of his head. Stanley, who is 56, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Supporters and family members of the accused and of the victim packed the courtroom Tuesday. Boushie's uncle, Alvin Baptiste, brought an eagle feather with him to the proceedings. "I bring it in and this is for justice," he said during a break. "This is a symbolic symbol of First Nations people."

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CLASS-ACTION LAWSHUIT FILED OVER INDIAN HOSPITALS: Lawyers have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging abuse at Indian Hospitals run decades ago by the federal government. A statement of claim filed in Toronto says Indigenous patients suffered consistent physical and sexual assaults at the 29 hospitals from 1945 until the last one closed in 1981. The suit further alleges patients were deprived of food and drink, force fed their own vomit and restrained in their beds. The lead plaintiff in the case, Ann Hardy of Edmonton, was 10 when she was admitted to the city's Charles Camsell hospital for tuberculosis in 1969. The suit says she was repeatedly sexually abused by medical technicians and witnessed other patients being abused. A statement of defence has yet to be filed and a judge must first approve the suit as a class action.

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MORE WORK NEEDED TO MEET ONTARIO'S CLIMATE CHANGE GOALS, REPORT SAYS: Ontario's first year of carbon pricing went well but more work is needed if the province wants to meet its long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the province's environmental commissioner said Tuesday. In her annual report, the commissioner said the government needs a better plan for spending the funds brought in by the cap-and-trade system, which amounted to close to $2 billion last year. The money is meant to be earmarked for green projects and almost all of the $1.37 billion spent as of last November met the established criteria, Dianne Saxe wrote. What's more, some government ministries need to make more of an effort to consider climate change in their decision-making and spending, Saxe said. The Ministry of Energy was named as a top offender, in part because Saxe deemed that its newly announced long-term energy plan is "incompatible" with the province's climate change law. But despite some hurdles in the system, she said switching to a carbon tax, as the Progressive Conservatives have vowed to do if they win the spring election, isn't likely to deliver results faster.

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HALIFAX VOTES TO TEMPORARILY REMOVE CORNWALLIS STATUE: Halifax council has voted to immediately remove a statue of Edward Cornwallis from a downtown park, with several councillors calling the bronze figure of the city's controversial military founder a barrier to reconciliation. After just over an hour of debate, it took less than 10 seconds for council to vote 12-4 to temporarily place the statue in storage until a decision is made on its long-term fate. Morley Googoo, regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the decision to take down the statue is a "huge opportunity for the city." Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq chiefs had called Friday for the statue to be taken down immediately, because a panel appointed in October to study how the city commemorates Cornwallis had not even met yet. Mayor Michael Savage told council that removing the statue is not about re-writing history, but acknowledging that history is also not "cast in bronze." Cornwallis is a disputed character seen by some as a brave leader who founded Halifax, but by others as the commander of a bloody and barbaric extermination campaign against Mi'kmaq inhabitants.

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CANADA SENDS 'STRONGEST TEAM EVER' TO WINTER OLYMPICS: Canada's ambition "to contend for No. 1" at the Pyeongchang Olympics is a shift from the two previous Winter Games, where the publicly stated goal by the country's top sport officials was to finish first in the race for the most medals. "As an athlete, I never really appreciated people who weren't really part of my team telling me how many medals I was going to win," said Canadian Olympic Committee president Tricia Smith, a silver medallist in rowing in 1984. "Contending for No. 1 is what we do as athletes. It makes sense for us as an organization." Heading into Pyeongchang with a broader target that is easier to hit, Canada's team certainly has the depth of talent and experience to both battle for the top of the medal table and win more Winter Games medals than ever before. "We head into the games probably with our strongest team ever," Own The Podium chief executive officer Anne Merklinger said. Germany is on a mission, however, with its athletes gobbling up world championship and World Cup medals. Canada is tracking to duke it out with the U.S. and Norway for second in the overall count.

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ACTIVIST STILL TO PROCEED WITH CLEVELAND INDIANS COMPLAINT: An Indigenous activist says he'd like to go ahead with human rights complaints against the Cleveland Indians despite a recent announcement that the baseball team would be changing its controversial logo. Douglas Cardinal says the decision to remove the image of the fictional Chief Wahoo from a team logo is a step in the right direction, but argues the team's name is still racist and demeaning to Indigenous people. The Ontario-based architect has filed human rights complaints both at the federal and provincial level in a bid to prevent the team from using either its name or the Wahoo logo while playing baseball games in Canada. Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians team and Rogers Communications, all of which were named in the initial complaints, have been fighting to get the cases quashed. Cardinal says he still hopes to press ahead with his complaints despite the fact that Chief Wahoo will no longer appear on team caps or shirts starting in 2019.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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