In the news today, Mar. 6 - InfoNews

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In the news today, Mar. 6

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is shown in Vancouver, on Tuesday January 29, 2019. Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, is set to return to British Columbia Supreme Court today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
March 06, 2019 - 1:15 AM

Five stories in the news for Wednesday, Mar. 6

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HUAWEI EXEC MENG WANZHOU RETURNING TO COURT

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, is set to return to British Columbia Supreme Court today. The executive was arrested in December at Vancouver's airport at the request of U.S. authorities and Canada announced last week it intends to proceed with the extradition case. The U.S. Department of Justice has laid out 13 criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against Huawei and Meng, who is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei. Both Meng and the company have denied any wrongdoing and the case has set off a diplomatic furor, with China's embassy calling it a "political persecution" against a Chinese high-tech enterprise.

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PM'S FORMER TOP ADVISER IN SNC-LAVALIN HOT SEAT

Liberals are hoping they'll get some ammunition today to fight back against accusations of political interference in the justice system when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's former principal secretary tells his side of the SNC-Lavalin saga. Gerald Butts will be testifying this morning on the affair at the House of Commons justice committee. He'll be followed in the afternoon by the top federal public servant, Michael Wernick, and the deputy minister of justice, Nathalie Drouin, both of whom figured prominently in former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould's explosive testimony last week. She accused Trudeau, Butts, other senior staff in the Prime Minister's Office, Wernick and Finance Minister Bill Morneau's office of inappropriately pressuring her to halt a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

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TRUDEAU TO APOLOGIZE FOR TREATMENT OF INUIT

The federal government is planning to open up a database of more than 9,000 files to allow Inuit families to learn about relatives lost during the tuberculosis outbreaks of the mid-20th century. Sources familiar with the plan say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce the opening of the database tomorrow in Iqaluit as part of a federal apology for how some Inuit were treated during the epidemics. The aim is to help Inuit find the gravesites of family members who were transported to southern Canada for TB treatment between the 1940s and the 1960s. The Canadian Public Health Association has estimated about one-third of Canada's Inuit population became infected during the outbreaks.

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SCHEER PLEDGES TO REMOVE GST FROM HOME HEATING

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is promising to remove federal sales tax from Canadians' home-heating bills as part of an early election campaign commitment. If elected in the October federal election, Scheer says he would offer rebates to Canadians for the five per cent tax charged on all residential home energy, including heating oil, electricity, natural gas, propane, wood pellets and other heating sources. Scheer estimates this could save Canadians an average of $107 per year. The rebate would be capped at a maximum of $200 per household and would not be available for commercial energy costs. People who live in provinces that have harmonized provincial and federal sales taxes would get the same rebate.

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GOVERNMENT DELAYS THREATEN N.W.T. SATELLITES INDUSTRY

A Norwegian company with millions of dollars invested in the Northwest Territories says it could lose a major contract in the emerging space satellite industry because of a lengthy government delay. Kongsberg Satellite Services, known as KSAT, owns seven satellite-reading antennas in Inuvik. The community's location makes it an ideal spot for downloading data from government-owned and private satellites. KSAT has a contract with the European Space Agency, but needs a licence from Global Affairs Canada. The company applied in 2016, but still hasn't received a full licence. KSAT is blaming outdated legislation.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS:

— The Bank of Canada will make an interest rate announcement today.

— The case of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman is back in court today.

— Statistics Canada will release its international merchandise trade figures for December and labour productivity, hourly compensation and unit labour cost for the fourth quarter of 2018.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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