Highlights from the news file for Thursday, April 28:
GLOOMY OUTLOOK FOR OILPATCH
Two new forecasts show little good news for Canada’s oil and gas sector. The Petroleum Services Association of Canada predicts drilling activity will be 36 per cent lower than what it anticipated just six months ago. And a new report from the Conference Board of Canada says the oil and gas industry is expected to be in the red for a second straight year. The Ottawa-based economic think-tank predicts Canadian oil producers will lose more than $3 billion this year, an improvement from last year’s record $7 billion loss.
DELTA TO BUY BOMBARDIER AIRCRAFT
Montreal-based Bombardier has landed a US$5.6 billion order from Delta airlines. The American carrier has placed an order for 75 CS100 aircraft. The aerospace giant is slated to start delivering the aircraft to Delta in 2018. Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare calls it a “big win.” The news comes after a series of tough times for Bombardier, which announced earlier this year it is cutting 7,000 jobs over two years. The Quebec government has promised a US$1 billion bailout for the financially troubled company and the federal government is considering a similar sized financial package.
RETIRED ADMIRAL DECRIES BUREAUCRATS
A retired admiral says the federal defence department is often paralyzed by timid bureaucrats and politicians who refuse to make decisions. Bruce Donaldson pulled few punches in a submission to the Trudeau government’s defence review. He says there is a culture of risk intolerance that has infected the federal level and the consequences are a delay in getting results. The Liberals announced the defence review to try to get an updated vision of the military.
WATCHDOG SAYS LEGISLATION NEEDED FOR BAIL REFORM
Canada’s prison watchdog says federal legislation would be required to making any meaningful changes related to bail reform. Howard Sapers says the federal government remains responsible for the criminal law, even though remand facilities are run by the provinces. A recent federal document suggests more than half of those in provincial jails are on remand and have not been convicted of anything. As of 2013-2014, adults in remand made up 54 per cent of the jail population —with the largest proportions in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Manitoba.
U.S. CABINET SECRETARY GIVES BLUNT ASSESSMENT ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE
The U.S. secretary of the interior says the effects of climate change can’t be turned about and moving some Arctic communities may be the only solution. Salley Jewell made the comment after meeting her Canadian counterpart Catherine McKenna in Ottawa Thursday. Jewell predicts the U.S. and Canada will have “climate refugees.” She says there will be a need to support and build communities that are resilient in the face of what’s happening in the Arctic.“ On average, Canada has warmed more than 1.3 degrees Celsius since 1948 and the result has been melting permafrost that is affecting the integrity of buildings and roads. Jewell says she’s visited villages in Alaska whose existence is threatened by erosion.
WOMEN’S SHELTERS TAKING IN PEOPLE FROM OTHER PROVINCES
A snapshot of the state of domestic violence shelters in this country shows that 84 per cent of them took in a woman from another province in the past year. The third annual report from the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses shows that on just one day, 305 women and children were turned away from shelters because there was no room. Executive director Lise Martin says the number of women being turned away is way beyond acceptable.
POLICE ARRESTS DOZENS IN CHILD SEX ABUSE PROBE
Police say some 80 people are facing charges in connection with an investigation into child sexual abuse in Ontario. Ontario Provincial Police say more arrests are expected. The bulk of the charges relate to sexual assault, child pornography and exploitation, but police say several counts also concern drugs and weapons. Police say the investigation involved the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, United States Homeland Security, and 26 municipal police forces across Ontario. The 80 people charged in latest investigation span the province from Ottawa to Windsor.
TORONTO TEENS KIDNAPPED
Police say two Toronto teenagers were kidnapped, beaten, forced to play Russian roulette and sexually assaulted over two days. Police allege the teens were caught up in a gang war and investigators have issued an arrest warrant for two suspects in the case. Police allege the teens were kidnapped earlier this month hours after members of one gang tried to crash a party held by one of their rivals.
SIXTY PEOPLE DIE IN FIGHTING IN SYRIA
Syria’s largest city has once again turned into a major battleground in the civil war. Monitors and activists say at least 60 people have been killed in airstrikes there in the last 24 hours, including at least 14 who were killed when a hospital and nearby buildings were hit. Aid agencies are warning that Aleppo is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster with the collapse of a two-month cease-fire and stalled peace talks. Both the Syrian government and the Russian Defence Ministry are denying responsibility for the airstrike on the hospital.
NORTH KOREA ACCUSED OF TRYING TO LAUNCH MISSILES
South Korean officials say North Korea tried and failed to launch two suspected powerful intermediate-range missiles on Thursday. The reported failures come ahead of a major North Korean ruling party meeting next week at which leader Kim Jong Un is believed to want to place his stamp more forcefully on a government he inherited after his dictator father’s death in late 2011. The launches were believed to be the second and third attempted tests of a new intermediate-range missile that could one day be capable of reaching far-off U.S. military bases in Asia and the Pacific.
K-TEL FOUNDER DIES
Phil Kives, the tireless and optimistic pitchman who pioneered the television infomercial, died Wednesday after being hospitalized with an undisclosed illness. Kives, who was 87, grew up in poverty and made his riches after founding marketing company K-tel International. He sold everything from Miracle Brush hair removers to Veg-o-matic vegetable slicers to vinyl albums under titles such as “Goofy Greats” and filled with cheesy novelty hits. Through it all, he remained in Winnipeg and always balanced his work with family life, said his daughter, Samantha Kives.