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Five stories we’re watching in Canada

In the news: Toronto considers safe-injection sites, Room dominates screen awards


 

Five stories in the news today, March 14:

‘ROOM’ DOMINATES SCREEN AWARDS

“Room” was a dominant force at the Canadian Screen Awards. The Canada-Ireland co-production scored nine wins including best picture, best director for Dublin’s Lenny Abrahamson, best adapted screenplay for Emma Donoghue, best actress for U.S. starlet and Oscar-winner Brie Larson and best actor for nine year old leading man Jacob Tremblay of Vancouver. The taut mother-son drama was also an Oscar contender and made Tremblay an international star. Also credit show host Norm Macdonald with championing a new name for the Canadian Screen Awards —the Candy, for the late comic John Candy.

SAFETY OF DIPLOMATS TOP OF MIND FOR DION

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion says there is nothing more important to him than the safety of Canadian diplomats abroad, but the costs involved are rising. Sunday’s car bombing in the Turkish capital of Ankara left more than two dozen dead. Canada’s embassy in its NATO ally is about six kilometres from where the attack occurred. A federal government memo on embassy security says the cost of maintaining security is rising rapidly, well beyond initial forecasts made a few years ago. The memo notes there are a variety of threats and the situation constantly evolves.

DEPORTING CRIMINALS COULD BACKFIRE

A pair of federally commissioned studies warn that deporting convicts to Jamaica and Honduras poses a boomerang-style threat because those kicked out may become involved in international crime that hurts Canada. The studies, obtained by The Canadian Press, say deporting people who’ve committed serious crimes in Canada puts strains on law-enforcement and social services in the two destination countries and could have “unintended consequences” for Canada.

POT COMPANIES TRY TO RESET IMAGE

Canadian companies selling marijuana are trying to reshape perceptions of the drug. Philippe Lucas, with Nanaimo, B.C.-based grower Tilray, says years of drug war rhetoric have made rebranding marijuana a challenging task. Initial efforts were aimed at trying to demonstrate the drug’s medical legitimacy. Now they’re using a variety of strategies, including moving away from the street names typically used to identify strains and using a colour coded spectrum to rank each product’s characteristics.

TORONTO CONSIDERING SAFE INJECTION SITES

Toronto is joining other cities such as Ottawa and Montreal in moving toward setting up safe-injection sites. The sites allow people to take illicitly-obtained drugs while supervised by nurses, in order to prevent overdoses. Currently, there are only two safe-injection sites in Canada, both of which are in Vancouver. Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health will hold a news conference where he’ll promote a new Board of Health report on supervised injection services.


 
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