Eleven stories in the news today, March 8:
COST OF WAR TO SYRIANS NEARS US$275B: STUDY
A new study is painting a dismal picture of the human and financial cost of conflict in Syria ahead of the resumption of peace talks in Geneva this week aimed at ending the five-year-old civil war. It comes as MPs vote today on the new Liberal strategy to combat Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq. The World Vision estimates the Syrian economy has lost upwards of US$275 billion, a financial blow that has long-term implications for Syria’s ability to rebuild should a peace deal eventually be reached.
ELECTION CAMPAIGN STARTS IN SASK.
The campaign-style announcements and door-knocking have long been underway, but today marks the official start of the Saskatchewan election. Premier Brad Wall will ask the lieutenant-governor to dissolve the legislature, triggering a 27-day campaign for the April 4 vote. Wall says the choice facing voters is about the economy. Saskatchewan voters last went to the polls in November 2011, when Wall and his Saskatchewan Party won a second term in office.
TRIAL BEGINS IN DEATH OF ALBERTA SENIORS
A trial begins today for an Alberta man charged with the murder of two seniors who disappeared nearly six years ago. Lyle and Marie McCann, both in their late 70s, were last seen fuelling up their motorhome in their Edmonton-area hometown of St. Albert as they headed out for a holiday in July 2010. Travis Vader, a long-time suspect in the case, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
MANITOBA NDP TO DELIVER MINI-BUDGET
Manitobans are expected to find out today who will be paying more — and who will be paying less — in income taxes. The NDP government is scheduled to deliver a fiscal update, or mini-budget, this afternoon. Premier Greg Selinger says the document will detail his plan to enact a new tax bracket on high-income earners while cutting taxes for middle and low-income families.
ALBERTA LAUNCHES SESSION WITH THRONE SPEECH
The Alberta legislature officially begins a new session today with a speech from the throne. Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell will deliver the address, which outlines the intentions and goals of Premier Rachel Notley’s government in the coming session. Government house leader Brian Mason says the province will introduce a bill spelling out the rules and regulations that will underpin the climate change strategy that was unveiled by Notley last fall.
WASHINGTON DECKED OUT IN MAPLE LEAF
The most famous street in Washington is lined with Canadian flags. People are trying to finagle invitations to witness a rarity in international relations: a political celebrity from Canada. And somehow, in the midst of the pomp and preparation for the first U.S. state dinner for a Canadian in 19 years, and the even rarer show of interest in Justin Trudeau, one unavoidable, inescapable name looms behind the fluttering red-and-white flags. TRUMP.
ADVICE FOR TRUDEAU FOR U.S. TRIP
Four former ambassadors to the United States have some thoughts about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s three-day visit to Washington this week, where he’ll be feted at the first state dinner for a visiting Canadian in 19 years. They were asked by The Canadian Press whether they had any advice for the prime minister on diplomacy; on what issues he should raise; and on how to handle questions about the unusual American election now underway.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY
The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly will hear the Ball government’s throne speech.
The British Columbia auditor general will release a report on the provincial government’s fiscal performance.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will appear at a Commons committee to provide a briefing on his mandate.
Olympic gold medallist snowboarder Maelee Ricker will release a seal pup named in her honour back into the wild.