Monday, October 23

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News In Brief

Highlights from the news file for Monday, Oct. 23

FEDS TO SHOW SMALLER DEFICIT IN UPDATED FISCAL OUTLOOK: The Trudeau government will release fresh projections Tuesday that predict smaller-than-anticipated deficits over the next several years – but the Liberals are not expected to provide a timeline to bring the books back to balance. After the economy’s surprisingly strong performance in early 2017, a senior government official says the fall fiscal and economic statement will contain an updated outlook of shrinking annual shortfalls as well as new measures aimed at reinvesting in middle-income earners.

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RAE NAMED SPECIAL ENVOY TO MYANMAR: Former Ontario premier Bob Rae promised no miracles Monday, but rather a sustained effort towards finding a way Canada can be part of a solution to the humanitarian crisis generated by ongoing violence in Myanmar. Rae was appointed as a special envoy to the country and will head there next week to begin gathering facts from officials on the ground as reports now say nearly a million Rohingya refugees have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. What he learns will be reported back to the prime minister, and eventually Canadians. Myanmar’s security forces began a crackdown earlier this year on what it called Muslim insurgents.

 

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Brown - WynneONTARIO PC LEADER IGNORING PREMIER’S LIBEL THREAT: Ontario’s Opposition leader says he plans to ignore a libel notice from Premier Kathleen Wynne. Wynne took another step toward a defamation lawsuit against Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown last week after he refused to retract comments suggesting she was personally on trial. After receiving the original letter from Wynne’s lawyer, Brown said he would “ignore her baseless legal threat,” and now after receiving the follow-up notice of libel, he says his position is unchanged. A letter today from Brown’s lawyer to Wynne’s says his statements weren’t defamatory and he will not be “distracted” from his duty as Opposition leader.

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CANADA LOOKING TO CUT NORTHERN DIESEL USE: The federal government expects to introduce new regulations next year to try and match decade-old American standards for diesel-powered generators. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna was presented with a strategy in June to combat short-lived climate pollutants, including black carbon, which is one of the most troublesome, and sometimes deadly, pollutants in the Canadian Arctic. Black carbon is produced by burning diesel fuel, which is the main source of electricity for more than 200 communities in the North. It is a significant contributor to global warming.

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CANADIAN PEACEKEEPING NUMBERS AT LOWEST POINT IN YEARS: New UN figures show that the number of Canadian peacekeepers deployed on missions has sank to its lowest point in recent memory — lower even than when the Harper Conservatives were in power. Canada had 112 soldiers and police officers working on UN missions in August 2016, when the Liberals announced their plan to make up to 600 soldiers and 150 police available for peacekeeping. Since then, however, the number of Canadian blue helmets and blue berets in the field has steadily dropped, to the point where Canada had only 68 peacekeepers in the field last month.

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TRAGICALLY HIPS SALES AND STREAMS SPIKE: Fans of the Tragically Hip flocked to the band’s music as they mourned the death of singer Gord Downie, which drove a huge boost in sales, streams and radio play. Eleven albums by the Kingston, Ont., rockers climbed onto the Billboard Canadian Albums chart for the week that ended Oct. 19. It was the previous day that Downie’s family announced the Hip frontman had died. Overall sales for the band’s catalogue spiked 1,000 per cent, rising to a combined 11,000 equivalent units from 1,000 units the previous week.

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BRITAIN GIVING CANADA FRANKLIN WRECKS: Canada is thanking Great Britain for the gift of two shipwrecks once commanded by John Franklin that lie at the heart of one of this country’s most compelling Arctic myths. Britain announced Monday that ownership of the ships will be transferred to Parks Canada, with Britain retaining a small sample of artifacts. Under international law, warships remain the property of the country they sailed under. Before they disappeared beneath the ice in the waters of the Northwest Passage, Franklin’s Erebus and Terror were both commissioned ships in the Royal Navy.

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