In the news today, Jan. 31

NDP candidate Shiela Malcolmson celebrates with Premier John Horgan after winning the byelection in Nanaimo, B.C., on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. The New Democrats won a key provincial byelection in British Columbia on Wednesday that allows Premier John Horgan's minority government to maintain its grip on power. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Five stories in the news for Thursday, Jan. 31

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MINORITY NDP GOVERNMENT WINS KEY B.C. BYELECTION

The New Democrats won a crucial provincial byelection in British Columbia on Wednesday that allows Premier John Horgan's minority government to maintain its grip on power after facing a spirited campaign from the Opposition Liberals. With the win, the NDP has 41 seats in the legislature and continues to hold power with the support of three Green party members in the house. The Liberals have 42 seats and there is one Independent, who serves as legislature Speaker. With almost all the votes counted, New Democrat Sheila Malcolmson had an almost 1,900 vote lead over B.C. Liberal Tony Harris.

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HUMBOLDT FAMILIES GRIEVE AS SENTENCING NEARS END

After three days of giving heart-wrenching victim impact statements, families of the Humboldt Broncos are hoping to see an end to the court process. Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, who is 30 and from Calgary, has pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving for causing the crash last April that killed 16 people and injured 13 others. Court has heard that Sidhu blew through a stop sign at a rural intersection and the bus driver had no chance of avoiding a collision. There were 90 victim impact statements read at the hearing, and final sentencing arguments are scheduled for today.

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ALBERTA EASING CUTS TO OIL PRODUCTION

Alberta is easing mandatory production cuts as the price of oil increases, but the industry says the tactic won't solve the underlying problem — a lack of adequate pipeline capacity. Premier Rachel Notley said Wednesday that the temporary cuts are working, but she agrees more pipelines are the answer and until that happens more oil will be shipped by rail. Notley thanked companies for working with the government to protect jobs and the economy. Last month, the province ordered production of raw crude oil and bitumen to be reduced by 325,000 barrels per day — almost nine per cent of production.

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TRANSIT OFFICER SHOT IN SURRY, B.C.

The RCMP asked residents of a neighbourhood in Surrey, B.C., to lock their doors and turn on their outdoor lights Wednesday night as they searched for a suspect in the shooting of a transit officer. Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald said the RCMP set up containment zones in an area around the Scott Road SkyTrain station and also around a home in the area. A transit police spokesman said Const. Josh Harms was recovering in hospital. Sgt. Clint Hampton said the 27-year-old has been with the transit police for three years. He was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

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MILITARY SEARCHING FOR MISSING PLANE IN N.W.T

The military is searching for a plane missing in the Northwest Territories with two people on board. RCMP say contact was lost with the aircraft at 9 a.m. near Wha ti about 160 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife. Weather conditions in the area are poor. The military says a CC-130 Hercules is en route to the area from Winnipeg and two other aircraft are helping in the search. Members of a Canadian Ranger Patrol Group are preparing to go to the aircraft's last known position. There is no word on the condition of the aircraft or the pilots.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS:

— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a town hall-style meeting in Milton, Ont.

— Paper Excellence Canada and Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp. will hold an informational update regarding the registering of a wastewater treatment facility environmental assessment as well as the timeline leading up to this project milestone.

— Statistics Canada will releases gross domestic product by industry figures for November, and industrial product and raw materials price indexes for December.


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