News / Canada

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

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau talks with reporters before the morning session as the Liberal cabinet meets in St. John's, N.L. on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau talks with reporters before the morning session as the Liberal cabinet meets in St. John's, N.L. on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Highlights from the news file for Tuesday, Sept. 12

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NEARLY 700 CANADIANS BROUGHT HOME FROM CARIBBEAN: International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says 691 Canadians have now been flown out of the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean as the Liberal government fends off criticism of how it handled the disaster. And Bibeau acknowledged that the federal government could have been more efficient at communicating with those affected and their families. Bibeau said as far as she knows, all Canadians who wanted off the islands of Turks and Caicos and St. Maarten "have had the possibility" to get home as of Monday night. She urged any other Canadians who still need help, or their families, to reach federal officials.

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N.L. PREMIER HEARS FEARS ABOUT TAX CHANGES: Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball is worried there'll be "unintended consequences" from the federal government's plan to end what it calls an unfair tax advantage for some wealthy small business owners. And Ball says he's not alone — he says he's heard this from all provinces, from small businesses and doctors. Critics say drawing higher taxes from doctors could raise medical fees or make it tougher to attract physicians to rural areas.

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POLICE WANT MORE TIME BEFORE POT LEGALIZATION: Canada's police services say there is zero chance they will be ready to enforce new laws for legalized pot by next summer. Representatives from different police forces are appearing before the House of Commons health committee, which is studying the government's bill to make marijuana legal. Representatives from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Saskatoon Police Service also say they want the government to reconsider allowing people to grow pot at home, because it will be difficult to police and could make it easier for young people to obtain marijuana.

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JURORS SELECTED FOR TERROR-RELATED TRIAL: Fourteen jurors were selected Tuesday at the Montreal terrorism-related trial of two people, with particular attention in the vetting process paid to race and religion. El Mahdi Jamali, 20, and Sabrine Djermane, 21, each face four charges: attempting to leave Canada to commit a terror act abroad; possession of an explosive substance; facilitating a terrorist act; and committing an act under the direction or for the profit of a terrorist organization. Both pleaded not guilty through their lawyers.

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FINANCIAL WATCHDOG WARNS ONT. MINIMUM WAGE WILL COST JOBS: Ontario's financial watchdog says more than 50,000 people could lose their jobs if the provincial government goes ahead with its plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019. In a report that assessed the economic impact of the proposed increase, the Financial Accountability Office said the job losses would be concentrated among teens and young adults, while the number of minimum wage workers in Ontario would increase from just over 500,000 to 1.6 million in 2019. FAO chief economist David West said the province is entering "uncharted waters" with the increase.

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QUEBEC ANNOUNCES NEW MEASURES FOR FLOOD VICTIMS: Quebec's public security minister says new measures to assist flood victims who feel they've been abandoned by the province will help them cut through the bureaucracy. Martin Coiteux was in Montreal on Tuesday to announce personalized meeting days will be held with affected residents, allowing them to meet directly with municipal and provincial representatives to deal with their cases. Several dozen people attended a rally on Montreal's West Island on Sunday to protest the government's response to the floods this past spring.

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NORMANDEAU TRIAL EXPECTED TO BEGIN IN EARLY 2018: The Crown says the fraud-related trial of ex-deputy Quebec premier Nathalie Normandeau and five co-accused will likely be held in early 2018 and last at least four months. Prosecutor Claude Dussault said Tuesday he has 139 potential witnesses, although not all will necessarily testify. Normandeau, 49, is charged with conspiracy, corruption, breach of trust and fraud in a scheme in which political financing and gifts were allegedly exchanged for lucrative government contracts between 2000 and 2012.

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EVACUATIONS MOUNT AS ALBERTA WILDFIRE SPREADS: A wildfire that Parks Canada says has spread to various spots in Waterton Lakes National Park has prompted evacuation orders in some surrounding areas. The Blood Tribe, a First Nations community southwest of Lethbridge, ordered everyone out early Tuesday from homes and apartments in the extreme southwest corner of the reserve. Residents of about 150 homes in another area of the reserve, further away from the fire, were told to be prepared to leave on short notice. Cotton said the blaze was moving rapidly.

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JUDGE SUSPENDED FOR WEARING TRUMP HAT IN COURT: An Ontario judge who wore a hat in court bearing Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan has been suspended without pay after an oversight body ruled his behaviour constituted a "single aberrant and inexplicable act of judicial misconduct." In a decision released Tuesday, the Ontario Judicial Council said it struggled to reconcile Justice Bernd Zabel's actions with his stellar record as a judge. It found his conduct warranted the most serious reprimand possible short of removing him from the bench. The council received 81 complaints about the incident.

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BURNED RACCOON DIES; POLICE LOOKING FOR SUSPECTS: A baby raccoon that was allegedly lit on fire and left in an Ontario park last month has died. Linda Moores of the Procyon Wildlife Centre in Beeton, Ont., said Tuesday the months-old animal, dubbed Phoenix Rose, died unexpectedly last Thursday after a near-miraculous recovery. In early August, a woman came across the raccoon in a park in Barrie, Ont., and took it to Procyon, a registered charity that rehabilitates wild animals.

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