Seven stories in the news for today, September 14th

morning news break

JUSTICE MINISTERS TO DISCUSS FEDERAL POT PLAN: Marijuana legalization will be at the top of the agenda when Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould meets with her provincial and territorial counterparts today in Vancouver. B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says he hopes the two-day meeting offers more clarity around how the federal government intends to make good on its ambitious timeline to legalize pot by next summer.


HALF OF CANADIAN WILDLIFE SPECIES DECLINING: An extensive survey of 903 species of Canadian birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and amphibians over more than four decades has found that half of them are in serious population decline. The World Wildlife Fund report says declining species lost a total of 83 per cent of their numbers between 1970 and 2014 and that the federal Species at Risk Act doesn’t seem to have made any difference.


APOLOGIZE OF FACE LAWSUIT, SAYS ONTARIO PREMIER: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne wants the Opposition leader to retract comments he made about her or face legal action. Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said Tuesday that Wynne was on trial in a Liberal bribery case. But Wynne is not on trial and is offering voluntary testimony at the trial in Sudbury, Ont., where two former Liberal staffers face bribery charges.


PM TRUDEAU TO LEAD DELEGATION TO UN: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week, underscoring Canada’s commitment to multilateralism as it vies for a coveted seat on the Security Council. Former prime minister Stephen Harper attended UN events sporadically, and that has been blamed for Canada’s failure to win a seat on the Security Council in 2010. Trudeau has said Canada will try again for a two-year term beginning in 2021.


FUKUSHIMA DIDN’T AFFECT HEALTH OF HUMANS OR FISH: A B.C. scientist says radioactive contamination following a nuclear power-plant disaster in Japan after the 2011 earthquake never reached unsafe levels in the north Pacific Ocean for either marine life or human health. Chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen of the University of Victoria has monitored levels of contamination from radioactive isotopes since the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.


MANDATORY MINIMUMS FACE NEW CHALLENGE: The Liberal government is taking so long to unveil its promised sentencing reforms that a Toronto legal agency has decided it would be irresponsible to delay a charter challenge for a woman facing a mandatory minimum penalty. Aboriginal Legal Services is intervening in the case of Cheyenne Sharma, a 21-year-old Indigenous woman who pleaded guilty to importing cocaine and is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of two years.


EQUIFAX CLASS ACTION: As the list of class-action lawsuits against Equifax continues to grow in the wake of the consumer credit reporting agency’s massive security breach, many Canadians may be wondering how they can join in. Earlier in the week, an Ontario resident became one of the latest Canadians to propose a class action in Ontario Superior Court. In most of Canada, anyone who has the same legal complaint as the plaintiff who launches a class action can automatically share in the settlement.



— Statistics Canada will release Canada’s international investment position for the second quarter and the new housing price index for July.

— Health Canada officials will hold a briefing on the latest actions in response to the opioid crisis.

— Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre will host a town hall meeting in Ottawa to discuss the government’s planned tax changes.

— Former Saskatchewan Roughrider Justin Cox will appear in a Regina court to face charges of causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.