Canada’s finance ministers are meeting in Vancouver today, where they’ll try to hammer out a preliminary agreement on expanding the Canada Pension Plan. Any improvements to the CPP will come at a cost. As benefits increase, so potentially will the premiums deducted from workers’ paycheques. The federal Conservatives say that amounts to a payroll tax hike. But Frank Graves, president of EKOS Research Associates, says it appears Canadians are prepared for that.
The United Nations’ refugee agency has released some sobering statistics today to mark World Refugee Day. It says one in every 113 people around the world is either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee. The U.N. agency says that by the end of last year, 65.3 million people had been forcibly displaced from their homes. But as the crisis deepens, the U.N. agency notes that more refugees became citizens of Canada than became citizens of any other country last year, continuing a trend from 2014.
CANADA’S ANTI-WAR CRIMES PROGRAM ‘WANING’
A new study says Canada’s efforts to deny safe haven to war criminals is being eroded by a stagnant budget, inadequate training and poor communication. The review of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program also uncovered concerns about a trend toward using immigration law to remove war criminals from Canada rather than pursuing prosecutions or revoking citizenship. The internal evaluation notes that resources for the program haven’t changed since 1998.
B.C. COP KILLER BACK OUT ON PAROLE
A man found guilty of killing a Delta, B.C., police officer is back out on parole. Elery Long was granted full parole for the second time in March, 2015 after spending years behind bars for killing Staff Sgt. Ron McKay in 1974. His parole was suspended in April after a confrontation with a woman led to an assault charge. But parole board documents show the charge against the 71-year-old was stayed in May and the parole suspension was lifted.
Last week’s shooting rampage in Orlando, Florida cast a sombre shadow at last night’s IHeartRadio Canada Much Music Video Awards in Toronto. Many of the stars who made appearances took time to acknowledge the tragedy. The big winner of the night was Drake, who took home five awards, including video of the year and best hip hop video. Sadly for his fans, the Toronto-raised performer was a no-show to accept his bundle of trophies.
MacLean says ‘nothing’s official’ amid host report
Ron MacLean says “nothing’s official” following a Toronto Star report he is poised to replace George Stroumboulopoulos as host of “Hockey Night in Canada” next season.
The longtime broadcaster says “there’s a few balls in the air and things like that” but until Sportsnet executives Scott Moore or Rob Corte “says it’s official, it’s not official.”
Citing industry sources, the Star reported Sunday that MacLean would return to main host’s chair, a spot he occupied for nearly 30 years.
A Sportsnet spokeswoman declined comment on the report.
Stroumboulopoulos became the host of “Hockey Night in Canada” in 2014 after Rogers acquired the NHL rights in a 12-year, $5.2-billion deal.
MacLean saw his role reduced to being Don Cherry’s sidekick on Coach’s Corner and hosting the Sunday night show “Hometown Hockey.”