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10 stories in Canada we’re watching

In the news: Syrian refugees, a fiscal update, Mike Duffy — and a traffic ticket in high court


 

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Six stories in the news today, Nov. 20:

GOVERNMENT GIVES FISCAL UPDATE

Newly minted Finance Minister Bill Morneau provides a fiscal update today, which comes after months of downgraded economic projections. Low commodity prices and weaker than expected global growth have meant the economy has struggled this year. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was willing to run budget deficits to kickstart the economy through measures like infrastructure improvements.

More on this story here.

REFUGEE PLAN TO COST $1.2 BILLION OVER SIX YEARS

The cost of the Liberal government’s plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees has been pegged at $1.2 billion over the next six years, The Canadian Press has learned. A government document that lays out the proposed funding model says $876.7 million would be needed in 2015-2016 alone. Some of that will be covered this year by $16.6 million announced by the previous Conservative government during the election and $100 million coming out of an existing pool of funds to respond to international crises.

More on this story here.

HIGH COURT RULES ON ALBERTA LANGUAGE ISSUE

Is Alberta required to enact its laws in both English and French? The Supreme Court of Canada rules on the cases of two Alberta men charged under the provincial Traffic Safety Act, which was only passed in English. The two men argued that tickets they received were unconstitutional because the law wasn’t enacted in both languages.

HIGHER PRICETAG FOR BC PIPELINE PROJECT

The cost of the proposed Trans Mountain expansion is mounting. The company behind the project originally pegged the cost at $5.4 billion. But in a recent conference call with analysts and investors, Kinder Morgan said the cost is expected to be in the $6.8 billion ballpark. A Trans Mountain officials says the company might be able to come up with a more accurate figure once it knows what conditions are attached to a federal permit if the government approves the project.

MIKE DUFFY TRIAL CONTINUES

More witnesses are expected to be called today at the fraud trial of Sen. Mike Duffy in Ottawa. On Thursday, the jury heard testimony from longtime Duffy friend Gerald Donohue. The court heard that Donohue took in roughly $65,000 in taxpayer money for a variety of contracts, directing the money through a firm owned by his wife and son. He also signed several cheques on behalf of the firm to other individuals and companies that Duffy wanted paid for Senate work — including an intern, a makeup artist and speechwriters. Duffy has pleaded not guilty to 31 counts of fraud, breach of trust and bribery.

Full coverage of the Duffy trial here.

NEWFOUNDLAND FOLK LEGEND RON HYNES DIES AT 64

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Ron Hynes, Newfoundland and Labrador’s “man of a thousand songs,” has died in hospital at the age of 64 following a brief battle with cancer. He is perhaps best known for his song “Sonny’s Dream,” a lament about a mother worrying about losing her son to the sea. The song, written in 1976, has been covered by other artists so many times that it has become a late-night anthem in many corners of the globe.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will open the 7th annual Halifax International Security Forum, a meeting of security officials and analysts on international relations.

Statistics Canada releases retail trade figures for September and the consumer price index for October.

Former TV journalist Arthur Kent‘s defamation lawsuit against Postmedia, the National Post and columnist Don Martin continues in Calgary before a judge only.

Canada 2020 hosts a conference on “5 Burning Platforms for Canada’s Future” in Ottawa. Participants include Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and former prime minister Joe Clark.

 


 
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