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Eight stories in Canada we’re watching

In the news today: Wildfire worries, collector coins, and concerning news about Canada’s Indigenous children


 
A Tar sands worker at the Syncrude mine north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. (Ashley Cooper/Corbis)

A worker at the Syncrude mine north of Fort McMurray. (Ashley Cooper, Corbis)

Eight stories in the news today:

WILDFIRE CONCERN SHIFTS TO OIL PATCH

Officials say the concern with northern Alberta wildfires has shifted from the city of Fort McMurray to the oil industry in the surrounding area. Late Monday night, about 8,000 people at work camps north of Fort McMurray were ordered out in a mandatory evacuation. Alberta government spokesman John Archer said it doesn’t appear the fire is any closer to Suncor or Syncrude or smaller operations in the area _ they just wanted to get everyone out now in an orderly fashion.

GOVERNMENT TO TABLE TRANSGENDER LEGISLATION

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says legislation will tabled today to extend human-rights protections to transgender Canadians. Trudeau confirmed the news in Montreal yesterday as he received an award named after Laurent McCutcheon, a longtime gay-rights activist. Today happens to be International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

STUDY: INDIGENOUS CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY

Indigenous children in Canada are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than non-aboriginal kids, according to new findings released Tuesday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The study, which delves into poverty rates on reserves and in the territories as measured by income, says poverty rates are highest for First Nations kids on reserves in Manitoba at 76 per cent and Saskatchewan at 69 per cent.

ACCUSED CONTINUES TESTIMONY AT BOSMA TRIAL

The cross-examination of one of the men accused of killing Tim Bosma three years ago continues today in a Hamilton court. Under questioning Monday from his co-accused’s lawyer, Mark Smich could not recall key details, including where he buried a gun he says was used to kill the Hamilton father. Smich and Dellen Millard have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder the death of Bosma, who vanished after taking two strangers on a test drive in a truck he was trying to sell.

SASKATCHEWAN LEGISLATURE SET FOR NEW SESSION

A new session of the Saskatchewan legislature begins today following the April 4 election. A Speaker will be elected and a throne speech will be read setting out the government’s agenda for the sitting. Deputy premier Don McMorris says there will 25 to 30 pieces of legislation introduced during the spring sitting of the legislature, including one in the spring to sell 40 of the 75 government-owned liquor stores.

ONTARIO TO SET NEW LIMITS ON POLITICAL DONATIONS

Ontario’s Liberal government will introduce legislation today to tighten the rules around political fundraising amid allegations the government sold access to cabinet ministers at high-priced dinners and receptions. The biggest proposed change for political parties will be the elimination of union and corporate donations, something the federal government did a decade ago.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Statistics Canada will release its monthly manufacturing survey for March.

The Royal Canadian Mint will unveil a new silver collector coin series honouring firefighters, paramedics, police and the military.


 
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