Five stories in the news today, July 31:
GOOD NEWS FOR SUSPENDED SENATORS
If Prime Minister Stephen Harper calls an election this weekend it will be good news for three suspended senators embroiled in an expense scandal. The suspensions of Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau only apply until the end of the current Parliamentary session, which dies with an election call. It means the three will resume drawing their salaries.
STATSCAN TO RELEASE GDP FIGURES
Canada’s political and business leaders will be watching today’s release of May’s gross domestic product. There are concerns that Canada slipped into a recession following April’s figures showing the economy contracted slightly. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters with no growth, but economists say the situation is unclear, pointing to job growth and the stable employment rate.
ONTARIO, OTTAWA HELPING TOYOTA EXPANSION
The federal and provincial governments have teamed up to provide financial assistance to help expand Toyota’s manufacturing operations in southern Ontario. The two governments will provide a total of $100 million towards Toyota’s planned $421 million investment in the automaker’s Cambridge, Ont., operations. Sources say the announcement was planned for next week, but moved up to today because of the expected federal election call this weekend.
OIL SPILL REVIEW EXPECTED TODAY
A review of the coast guard’s handling of an oil spill in Vancouver’s English Bay is expected today. The coast guard commissioned an independent review into the spill from a cargo ship that dumped 2,700 litres of fuel oil into the bay last April. The coast guard has disagreed with assertions that its initial response was too slow.
CLARK TO STAY AWAY FROM PRIDE PARADE
Members of B-C’s government will be no-shows at this weekend’s gay pride parade in Vancouver. Members of Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal government have refused to sign a pledge that calls for legislation to protect transgender people. Organizers made signing the pledge a requirement for politicians to march in the parade. Clark has said transgendered British Columbians are already protected under the province’s human rights code.
ALSO IN THE NEWS
Trial date to be set in Calgary for Douglas Garland, charged with first degree murder in the disappearance and death of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their five-year-old grandson Nathan.