5 at 5: Flaherty gets state funeral

Also, Supreme Court vs. tough-on-crime, Brazeau goes to rehab, someone is confident about MH370 and the Pope talks tough

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R) and his wife Laureen take part in a news conference following the news of former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's death on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 10, 2014.     REUTERS/Blair Gable     (CANADA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3KRYC

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen take part in a news conference following the news of Jim Flaherty’s death in Ottawa on April 10, 2014. (Blair Gable/Reuters)

Tributes continue for Jim Flaherty. Instead of holding question period this morning, MPs from each party used the time to give tributes to the former finance minister, who died suddenly Thursday. Speaking on behalf of the Conservative Party, MP Kellie Leitch remembered her friend’s determined nature, which was evident when he was trying to recruit her to run in the Simcoe-Grey riding. “In fact, he called probably every day, if not every second day for five months,” Leitch recalled. “If you know his fierce determination as I do, I think many people in this place do, you finally just say ‘yes’ because it is easier than taking the calls.” You can read her moving speech, in full, here. Flaherty is to be given a state funeral in Toronto Wednesday. The last Canadian politician to be given this honour was former NDP leader Jack Layton.

Supreme Court clarifies part of Conservative’s tough-on-crime legislation. The ruling found that offenders could, and should, get extra credit for time served ahead of their sentencing. The decision isn’t a constitutional one, so it doesn’t overturn an existing law. Rather, it clarifies part of a 2009 law that says offenders were still eligible to 1.5 time credit under “exceptional circumstances.” The decision said that these exceptional circumstances should apply in any pre-trial custody. “I conclude that loss of access to parole and early release constitutes a ‘circumstance’ capable of justifying enhanced credit,” Justice Andromache Karakatsanis wrote in his decision.

Suspended senator Patrick Brazeau gets bail, ordered to rehab. Brazeau was released on $5,000 bail Friday, following his arrest early Thursday morning in Gatineau and subsequent charges of assault, uttering death threats, cocaine possession and breach of bail conditions. As one of his new bail conditions, Brazeau was ordered to attend a rehabilitation facility in Quebec. He has three days to report to rehab. Brazeau was already due to appear in court on Friday on charges of assault and sexual assault related to another incident. The hearing on those charges was postponed. The disgraced senator also faces charges of fraud and breach of trust, in connection with the housing expense claims that got him into trouble initially.

Australian PM “confident” they have found are where MH370 black box is located. “We have very much narrowed down the search area, and we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said during a visit to China Friday. However “confident” the Prime Minister might be about finding the data recorder belonging to the Malaysia Airlines Flight that went missing more than a month ago, other officials are not so optimistic. The search coordinator for Australia said that there have been no major breakthroughs that he is aware of.

Pope Francis asks for forgiveness for “evil” of child-molesting priests. Pope Francis addressed the issues of child molestation and abuse in the Catholic Church in his most direct terms yet Friday, while speaking before members of the International Catholic Child Bureau. “I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil that some priests—quite a few in number, (although) obviously not compared to the number of all priests—to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,” he said. He went on to say that there must be “sanctions” against the men responsible and that the Church will move forward, not back, on the issue. He didn’t clarify what the sanctions would be.




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