Five stories in the news for Friday, July 12
VOTERS NEED CONVINCING ON CLIMATE: TRUDEAU
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged Thursday that he has more work to do to sell Canadians on further actions to fight climate change, pointing to new premiers elected on vows to fight his government’s agenda. Trudeau addressed the issue at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, where he took part in a one-on-one conversation in front of union representatives. The prime minister said it’s clear from public-opinion polls that most Canadians are concerned about the environment and want measures to protect it. But that desire isn’t always reflected in their votes, he said, when voters “turn around and elect climate-denying provincial premiers right across the country from the Rockies to the Bay of Fundy.”
FORCES FACING CHALLENGES WITH JUSTICE SYSTEM
Canadian military prosecutors and police have dropped several cases and are changing the way they lay charges as they wait for the Supreme Court to decide whether the military-justice system is constitutional. Seven criminal cases in the system have been abandoned and more than 30 others are either in limbo or have seen reduced charges, according to officials. More than half the cases involved sexual-assault allegations. Military police have also started turning to a lesser charge for what one official called “lower-end” sexual assaults to keep cases in the court-martial system and referring more serious cases to civilian authorities. The moves follow a lower court’s bombshell ruling in a sexual-assault case last September that found military tribunals are not equivalent to a trial by jury for serious civilian offences such as murder and sexual assault.
EVIDENCE TO BE RELEASED IN WRONGFUL CONVICTION
A federal Justice Department report that led to the release of a Halifax man wrongfully convicted of murder is expected today. Lawyers for 63-year-old Glen Assoun say the release of hundreds of pages of documents means the public is going to learn information never put before juries and judges. A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge agreed to release the report after a case launched by The Canadian Press, CBC and the Halifax Examiner. Assoun was wrongfully convicted of slitting Brenda Way’s throat on Nov. 12, 1995 — sending to him to a federal prison where he’d suffer beatings, heart attacks and depression for a crime he’s now exonerated of.
TRY AGAIN ON CHATEAU LAURIER, MCKENNA ASKS
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna wants the owners of the iconic Chateau Laurier by Parliament Hill to come up with another plan for an addition to the historic hotel even after Ottawa’s city council approved the controversial expansion. McKenna is the Liberal MP for Ottawa Centre and the senior minister for the Ottawa area. “We are building for the next 100 years and I believe there is still time for common sense to prevail and for the community and the private sector owner to come together to achieve an outcome in which everyone can take pride,” she said in a statement after a second city council vote in two days supported the expansion plan. The national historic site sits across the Rideau Canal from Parliament Hill and is just outside McKenna’s riding.
THE NEW INVASION OF QUEBEC: WILD TURKEYS
They arrived a few years ago — three-foot tall, bare-headed visitors that would occasionally stare intently at residents from their balconies and yards. The wild turkeys frankly unnerved some citizens of St-Sauveur, a picturesque town in the Laurentians region north of Montreal, says Jean Beaulieu, the town’s general manager. “They were in people’s yards, on their cars, and there were people who were scared to leave their homes because they can be aggressive, especially when they have their young,” Beaulieu said in a phone interview. Once hunted near extinction, wild turkeys are an increasingly common sight in southern Quebec, thanks to warmer winters and a successful conservation and relocation program that has brought their numbers back from the brink.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— Advance polls for July 15 election in the riding of Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park. The vote for this riding was not held during the April 23 provincial election because of the death of Green candidate Josh Underhay just days before the election. Other advance polls on July 6 and 8.
— CP, CBC and the Halifax Examiner are expected to receive preliminary assessment that led to Glen Assoun’s bail and exoneration in murder of Brenda Way after successfully arguing for release of records.
— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi meet with workers at the Trans Mountain Edmonton Terminal.
— Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and the Manitoba Metis Federation highlight a first-of-its-kind initiative for the Métis Nation.
— The federal minister of environment and climate change, Catherine McKenna, will announce support for climate action by the City of Winnipeg.
The Canadian Press