Ten stories in the news today, Jan. 12:
HOMELESS COUNT FACING BIG CITY GAPS
Some of Canada’s biggest cities have chosen to opt out of a federally run count of homeless people, resulting in what some experts predict will be an incomplete picture of the national poverty problem. The decision by places like Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, among others, to not join in the federal initiative could make it more difficult for the federal Liberals to create a promised anti-poverty strategy.
PALLIATIVE CARE IN CRITICAL CONDITION
The Canadian Cancer Society says the country’s palliative care is in critical condition and federal and provincial governments need to guarantee its access in legislation. In a report released today, the society says critically ill patients are falling through the cracks of the health care system. It is also is calling for improvements to address the patchwork of care across the country.
COURIER FEES FOR VISA PROGRAM RAISE CONCERNS
People seeking to bring parents or grandparents to Canada this year were reportedly paying up to $400 to ensure their applications were at the top of the pile for the first-come, first-served federal immigration program that was flooded with far more applications than available spots. The appearance that it’s possible to buy a way to the front of the parent and grandparent sponsorship program is raising concerns about the program’s fairness ahead of planned changes to the system.
B.C. AGENCY FACES LAWSUIT OVER MILL EXPLOSIONS
Employees of two British Columbia sawmills destroyed by fire in 2012 have launched a class-action lawsuit against the provincial agency responsible for workplace safety. The separate fires in Burns Lake and Prince George killed a total of four workers and injured 42 others. A notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court says combustible wood dust fuelled the January explosion at Babine Forest Products and an April explosion at Lakeland Mills Ltd. The allegations have yet to be tested in court.
SLIDING LOONIE DRIVING FRUIT, VEGGIE PRICES UP
The sliding loonie could make it harder for some Canadians to eat their Florida oranges or California heads of lettuce this year. The dropping dollar, which is hovering just above the 70-cent U.S. mark, is expected to continue to leave shoppers with bigger grocery bills, especially when it comes to buying fresh fruit and vegetables.
DAVID BOWIE TRIBUTE SHOW TONIGHT IN TORONTO
A band featuring David Bowie’s longtime collaborator Tony Visconti and former drummer Mick (Woody) Woodmansey plans to go ahead with a tribute concert in Toronto tonight. Visconti wrote on Twitter that the group Holy Holy will celebrate Bowie’s life with its show at the Opera House. Bowie died Sunday at the age of 69.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau will deliver a speech in Montreal about Canada’s economic situation.
Members from 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, return to CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick from Lebanon and Jordan where they helped process Syrian refugees destined for Canada.
Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil and Education Minister Francois Blais will meet the families of Syrian refugees in Montreal.
Final day of the Conference Board of Canada’s Oil and Gas Summit in Calgary