Six stories in the news today:
PEOPLE OF FORT MCMURRAY ANXIOUS ‘TO GET LIVES BACK’
It’s the day that thousands of residents of Fort McMurray have been waiting for. Residents of some neighbourhoods in the northeastern Alberta city are being allowed to return today at 8 a.m. — the road blocks will be lifted and government reception centres will be open for business. Read more here.
TOOTOO CITES ‘ADDICTION ISSUES’; LEAVES CAUCUS
Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo, citing “addiction issues,” has resigned from the federal cabinet and is leaving the Liberal caucus. Dominic LeBlanc, the government’s House leader, will assume Tootoo’s cabinet responsibilities. Read more here.
TRADE, SECURITY HANG OVER CHINESE VISIT
High seas geopolitical tensions in Asia and free trade aspirations will hang over the arrival of China’s foreign minister in Ottawa today for talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is set to meet his Canadian counterpart, Stephane Dion, but will also pay a visit to Trudeau’s Parliament Hill office.
SASKATCHEWAN TO TABLE DEFICIT BUDGET
Saskatchewan residents are about to find out how badly falling oil and gas and potash prices have hit the provincial coffers. The Saskatchewan government will table a budget today that Premier Brad Wall has already said will show the books are in the red.
CALLS GROW TO MAXIMIZE OIL COMPANY PAYOUTS
A rising chorus of voices is calling for the oil industry to reduce spending on growth and begin rewarding shareholders through things like higher dividends and share buybacks. Investment researchers, think-tanks and newspaper editorials have recently begun advocating that big petroleum companies return as much capital to shareholders as possible as the transition away from fossil fuels gathers momentum and profits fade.
B.C. PEDOPHILE ‘TO BE SENTENCED
A British Columbia man who infamously disguised his face in child pornography he made in Southeast Asia will be sentenced today by a B.C. Supreme Court judge. Christopher Neil pleaded guilty in December to five child-sex crimes that took place in Cambodia, Vancouver and Maple Ridge, B.C., spanning a 10-year period.