Six stories in the news today, Feb. 29, from The Canadian Press:
DION URGED TO TAKE ON RIGHTS ABUSERS
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion is in Geneva today to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is marking its tenth anniversary. The 47-member council has several members that have poor human rights records — including China, Russia and Vietnam. And the non-governmental organization UN Watch says Dion should get tough on the council. Dion recently announced Canada will provide $15-million to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He has said Canada wants to re-engage with the agency as part of the Liberal government’s broader embrace of the UN.
STUDY SAYS CANADA FALLING BEHIND TRADE PARTNERS
A study done by a clean energy advocacy group says Canada is dropping behind its major trading partners in renewable energy investment. The Clean Energy Canada reports suggests government-set targets for wind and solar power in regional energy grids is the best way to spur that investment and keep Canada in the game.
SCIENTISTS PEER AHEAD TO 2050
Scientists say unless current emissions levels are reduced Canadians can look forward to a country midway through the century that is warmer and wetter. They say the changes won’t translate into gentle averages but will feed into Canada’s natural weather variability. Forecasters say the extra rain is unlikely to come down in a gentle April shower, but rather a winter downpour. And milder winters will turn parched forests into tinder boxes in the summer.
PROVINCES PAYING ATTENTION TO ONTARIO TUITION PLAN
Other provinces are watching Ontario’s decision to pay post-secondary tuition for students from lower income families — but the question is, will any follow suit. One leading expert says he doubts other provinces will make similar offers any time soon. The Ontario Student Grant, announced last week, would entirely pay for average college or university tuition for students from families with incomes of $50,000 or less.
JURORS TO BE SELECTED TODAY FOR TRIAL OF ALBERTA COUPLE
The process of selecting a jury begins today for the trial of a southern Alberta couple facing charges in connection with the death of their toddler. David and Collet Stephan have pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to provide the necessities of life for 19-month-old Ezekiel, who died in 2012. Doctors told the parents the boy died of meningitis.
ONTARIO COURT TO BE ASKED TO QUASH MANSLAUGHTER CONVICTION
Ontario’s appeal court will be asked today to quash a woman’s 25-year-old manslaughter conviction in the death of her stepdaughter. The Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted will go before the court today to argue that Maria Shepherd’s 1992 conviction should be thrown out. Ontario’s attorney general also agrees that Shepherd’s guilty plea and conviction should be struck and an acquittal entered.