News / Canada

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

Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks at The Public Policy Forum Growth Summit in Toronto on Thursday, April 20, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks at The Public Policy Forum Growth Summit in Toronto on Thursday, April 20, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Highlights from the news file for Friday, April 21

———

FEDS HINT AT LOW TAXES ON POT: There's some good news for Canadian pot smokers. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is hinting that taxes on marijuana won't be high. Morneau said Friday that he will be guided by one main goal: squeezing out the black market. And he is adamant that maximizing federal revenues is not, and will not be, the priority on pot, suggesting Ottawa favours keeping prices competitive against the street value in order to force the local pusher out of business.

———

MORNEAU APPROVES OF ONTARIO HOUSING PLAN: The federal government welcomes Ontario's move to tax foreign home buyers in and around Toronto, but says it won't be replicated on a national level because it's unnecessary in the vast majority of the country. Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Friday his government was consulted in advance of the move by the Ontario government, which announced a 15-per-cent tax on foreign buyers in the hope of cooling a scorching-hot Toronto housing market.

———

ONTARIO TRACKING EFFECT OF FOREIGN BUYER TAX: Ontario's finance minister can't say whether a tax on foreign buyers — a centrepiece of his new package of housing measures — will have an effect on the red-hot Greater Toronto Area market. When asked what data the decision to implement such a tax was based on, Charles Sousa cited a November 2016 Toronto Real Estate Board survey that suggested foreign buyers were involved in about five per cent of purchases. Ontario started collecting citizenship data on home purchases this week.

———

100 ARRESTED IN ONTARIO CHILD SEX CASE: A Toronto-area police force says more than 100 men have been arrested for allegedly "purchasing prostituted children." Over the last four years York regional police have tried to curb the practice of men paying for sex with underage girls by having undercover officers pose as child prostitutes online. On Friday, the force announced that their operation, dubbed "Project Raphael," resulted in the arrests of 104 men allegedly looking to buy sex from children.

———

DOCUMENTS SHOW COUPLE CHARGED WITH HUMAN SMUGGLING: The husband of a Canadian woman charged with human smuggling is one of three people authorities in the United States have arrested as part of the investigation. Court documents show that Victor Omoruyi, who is a Canadian citizen, was arrested April 14 after an SUV was stopped south of the North Dakota-Saskatchewan border. Omoruyi's wife, Michelle, was charged with human smuggling after RCMP stopped a vehicle just north of the border last Friday and found nine people from West Africa inside.

———

QUEBEC FLOODING AFFECTS HUNDREDS OF HOMES: The Quebec town of Rigaud is under a state of emergency with about 340 homes affected by flooding due to rising water levels of the Ottawa River. Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said Friday he signed a decree allowing emergency funding to be available to local residents. Coiteux says the flooding is the worst in the region since 1998 and is asking people to leave their homes if asked by police. The weather is expected to improve over the weekend.

———

CANADA DELAYS METHANE EMISSION REGULATIONS: Canada is delaying its plans to regulate cuts to methane emissions in the oil and gas sector by at least three years. The move comes less than a month after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order reconsidering existing American commitments to methane cuts — and the timing is no coincidence. Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says Canada remains committed to producing energy more sustainably, but must keep an eye on what is happening south of the border.

———

PHOENIX LEAVES UNIONS IN FINANCIAL LURCH: The federal government says it's trying to figure out how much its troubled electronic pay system has shortchanged the unions representing thousands of civil servants facing pay issues. But officials aren't saying whether the unions will be granted emergency payments like those being offered to workers who've been improperly paid through the Phoenix pay system. The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada says it's owed nearly $2 million in unpaid dues.

———

THIRD PERSON DIES IN B.C. DERAILMENT: A third person has died following a train derailment in the northern Vancouver Island community of Woss, B.C. RCMP Cpl. Tammy Douglas confirms the victim died after being transported to hospital. Dave Rushton, the community's regional elected representative, said Thursday that the rail cars were loaded with logs when they hit a work crew of five people on the tracks. Douglas said an RCMP investigator was headed to the scene on Friday.

———

DOG BOUND FOR N.L. ENDS UP IN HAMILTON: An east coast dog that went missing in Ontario for nearly two days after being placed on a wrong flight has been found. The dog's owners say Cooper — a golden Labradoodle — was supposed to be flown on a WestJet flight from Halifax to Deer Lake, N.L., on Wednesday to stay with family while they headed to Jamaica for a wedding. WestJet apologized for the mishap, flew the dog's owners to Hamilton and said Friday it's was working on getting the family back home. 

———

 

More on Metronews.ca