Six stories in the news today:
ZIKA VIRUS FOUND IN SEVEN B.C. RESIDENTS
Two pregnant British Columbia women who have tested positive for the Zika virus face frightening days ahead, but most Canadians don’t need to worry about the virus transmitted by mosquitoes, health experts said. The pregnant women are among seven British Columbians with confirmed cases of Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control and the provincial health office say the confirmed cases are from people who recently travelled to areas where the virus is spread by mosquitoes in South America, Latin America and the Caribbean.
PCs AND BRIAN PALLISTER WIN BIG MAJORITY
An orange dynasty stretching back to the 1990s fell Tuesday as Manitoba voters painted the political landscape a hue of Tory blue. Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives routed Premier Greg Selinger and the New Democrats to put an end to 16 years of the NDP in power. With all the polls counted, the Tories won 40 of the 57 seats, with the NDP holding on to just 14 and the Liberals taking three.
PARDON POT POSSESSION CONVICTS: THINK TANK
Justin Trudeau’s government should consider pardoning people convicted of pot possession — and drop any outstanding charges — to free up much-needed resources for legalization of the drug, says a prominent think tank. In a newly released policy paper, the C.D. Howe Institute also recommends the government focus on achieving public-health goals and avoiding a black market in marijuana.
FIRE IN B.C.’S NORTH FORCES HUNDREDS OUT
Dozens of wildfires burning around the northeastern B.C. community of Fort St. John have forced residents from nearly 500 homes to evacuate or prepare to leave at a moment’s notice. Peace River Regional District declared a state of local emergency Monday night, just hours after winds gusting to 80 kilometres per hour brought down power lines.
FIRE DANGER EXTREME IN PARTS OF PRAIRIES
Large swaths of red — meaning extreme risk — cover Alberta and Saskatchewan on the latest fire danger map from Natural Resources Canada. Grass and brush fires forced people from their homes Tuesday in some small communities west of Edmonton. Many other areas are considered high or very high risk in the two Prairie provinces, where there’s been below average snowfall and above normal temperatures in much of Western Canada.
ALUMINUM SECTOR FACES BATTLE IN U.S.
The federal government and members of Canada’s aluminum industry are expressing frustration over an effort to impose a 50 per cent tariff on aluminum imported into the U.S., most of which comes from north of the border. The United Steelworkers union filed a petition Monday with the U.S. International Trade Commission that aims to stem the flow of imported primary unwrought aluminum it claims has decimated the American industry and jobs.