PM SAYS HE’S SATISFIED WITH BRONFMAN’S PARADISE PAPERS EXPLANATION: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he’s satisfied with the public explanation provided by a top Liberal fundraiser whose name surfaced in leaked documents that provide details on legal, offshore tax havens used by the wealthy. Trudeau, who is in Vietnam for this week’s APEC meeting, said he’s accepted Stephen Bronfman’s response to the so-called “Paradise Papers” that he has never funded nor used offshore trusts, and that all his Canadian trusts have paid all federal taxes on their income. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called it “unbelievable” that Trudeau would give Bronfman a clean bill of health so soon after the Canada Revenue Agency had promised to delve more deeply into the murky world of offshore tax havens. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also called for more investigation, saying it’s critical to understand what happened with the Paradise Papers and why Canada’s laws allow the super-rich to avoid paying taxes.
CANADA WON’T BE RUSHED INTO SIGNING TPP, TRUDEAU SAYS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insists he will not be pressed into signing an updated Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty too hastily, even if some of Canada’s partners are keen to secure a quick agreement. Trudeau made the remarks Wednesday in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he started his multi-day trip through Southeast Asia. When asked whether he would walk away from the 11-country trade pact if the revised deal failed to include several new “progressive” chapters Canada has been pushing for.” The remaining TPP economies are trying to revive the deal following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw earlier this year. The TPP is expected to be a central theme at this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang. Trudeau will attend the APEC meetings and there has been speculation that some kind of deal could be reached by the end of the summit.
OPIOIDS HIT ALBERTA INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HARD: A new report says the rising number of opioid overdoses in Alberta is disproportionately affecting Indigenous people, including more deaths and visits to emergency rooms. Alberta Health says Indigenous people have been dying from accidental opioid overdoses at a rate three times higher than non-Aboriginal people. The rate of hospital visits is also greater. Calls to emergency medical responders for opioid-related problems are 12 times higher in Calgary and seven times higher in Edmonton. Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne says the findings show more must be done to help Indigenous people deal with the opioid crisis. The report says 87 Indigenous people died in Alberta from opioids, including fentanyl, last year and in the first three months of this year. That compares with 614 deaths among non-Aboriginal people during the same period. Indigenous people make up about six per cent of Alberta’s population.
CANADIAN OFFICIALS HEAD TO U.S. TO THWART ASYLUM SEEKERS: Liberal MPs are headed back to the U.S. to fend off a new surge of asylum seekers at the Canada-U.S. border following the latest move by the U.S. to tighten its immigration policy. The Trump administration has placed about 5,000 Nicaraguans on notice that their temporary status in the U.S. will be revoked in the next year, while nearly 86,000 Hondurans have been given an extension until July, at which point their status could be revoked. Upward of 200,000 Salvadorans are also awaiting a decision on their status, which is expected in the coming weeks. Pablo Rodriguez, who represents a Montreal-area riding, said Wednesday he’s headed to Texas to reach out to all three communities after myths circulating earlier this year prompted hundreds of people a day to cross illegally into Canada in search of asylum, fearing the end of the temporary status program in the U.S. “We want to make sure that people have all the facts and what we’re telling them is before selling your house, leaving your job, picking up the kids from school, make sure you understand the rules,” Rodriguez said.
HALLADAY WAS AMONG FIRST TO FLY MODEL PLANE HE DIED IN: The tiny sport plane Roy Halladay was flying when he fatally crashed into the Gulf of Mexico was made for entry-level pilots like him, though the plane’s chief designer and test pilot died while flying one earlier this year, officials and experts said. Halladay, the 40-year-old former Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher, had been the proud owner for less than a month of his ICON A5, and was among the first to fly it, with only about 20 in existence, according the website for ICON Aviation. In one of many enthusiastic tweets about the plane, Halladay said it felt “like flying a fighter jet.” Rolled out in 2014, the A5 is an amphibious aircraft meant to be treated like an ATV, a piece of weekend recreational gear with folding wings that can easily be towed on a trailer to a lake where it can take off from the water. The man who led the plane’s design, 55-year-old John Murray Karkow, died while flying an A5 over California’s Lake Berryessa on May 8, in a crash the National Transportation Safety Board blamed on pilot error. The NTSB also will investigate Halladay’s crash to determine the cause.
DEFEATED MONTREAL MAYOR DENIS CODERRE BIDS FAREWELL: Denis Coderre says he has already moved on from asking himself why he lost Montreal’s mayoral election and that he is comfortable with his record in office. “It may sound pretentious, but I don’t have any regrets,” he said Wednesday in his first remarks to reporters since his stunning defeat by Valerie Plante on Sunday. Coderre, who had announced in his concession speech the night of the vote that he was leaving municipal politics, said he has no immediate future political plans and intends to take a few weeks off to reconnect with family. He said he was “delighted” with his time as mayor. The former Liberal MP and cabinet minister, who was elected mayor in 2013, campaigned largely on his record. He was criticized for spending millions on showy projects to celebrate Montreal’s 375th birthday, and drew the ire of dog lovers when he introduced legislation last year to ban pit bulls from the city. Coderre, 54, tried to play up Montreal’s booming economy and his efforts over the past four years to rid the city of the corruption stench that permeated from the previous administration.
WOMAN DECLARED BRAIN DEAD WON’T BE VIDEOTAPED: The family of a Toronto-area woman who was declared brain dead more than a month ago has lost its bid to record her movements as part of an ongoing legal challenge meant to keep her on life-support. Relatives of Taquisha McKitty, 27, had asked a court for permission to film her for 72 hours, arguing it would better allow doctors to determine whether her movements were spinal reflexes or something more. In a decision released Tuesday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Lucille Shaw said there was no scientific or medical evidence to support the argument that such a test would be helpful. She nonetheless granted the family more time to retain an expert who could assess McKitty and report back to the court. An earlier expert hired by the family was disqualified from testifying after Shaw found he could not be impartial because he told the court he does not believe in the concept of brain death. Court has heard McKitty was admitted to hospital in mid-September after overdosing on drugs and was declared brain dead days later after her condition worsened and she stopped breathing on her own.
ENGLISH F-WORD DEEMED ACCEPTABLE FOR FRENCH RADIO: Canada’s broadcast standards regulator has ruled that a swear word that’s off-limits on English-language broadcasts is acceptable in French programming. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that a Quebec music radio station did not violate any rules by airing two clips of celebrities using the F-word as part of public speeches. A listener of CKOI-FM filed a complaint after hearing the profane clips from Madonna and Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong played two months apart on afternoon programming. The council ruled that CKOI-FM did not violate broadcast standards by playing the uncensored clips. It says the F-word does not have the same “vulgar connotation” in French that it does in English and notes that the term was not used as an insult directed at a specific target. The latest ruling is consistent with a similar decision handed down last year regarding a French-language television broadcast.
MOOSEHEAD AT LOGGERHEADS WITH VERMONT BREWPUB: Canada’s largest independent brewery is once again locking horns with a smaller competitor in a trademark dispute over its moose-themed names and logos. Moosehead Breweries has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Hop’n Moose Brewing Co. in Rutland, Vt., arguing that the brewpub’s similarity in name and logos could create confusion and damage the Moosehead brand. In court documents, Moosehead said it owns multiple U.S. trademark registrations for the words “moose” and “moosehead” as well as images of the head and antlers of a moose. The New Brunswick-based brewery said its moose family of trademarks have been in use since at least the late 1970s in the United States in connection to its beer brands and consumer products, which include a variety of drinking glasses, apparel, posters, stickers, playing cards and pens. Moosehead said in the lawsuit that it had made repeated and numerous demands to Hop’n Moose owner Dale Patterson to cease using its trademarks, to no avail.
EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON PLANT-BASED DRINKS FOR YOUNG KIDS: Canada’s dietitians and pediatricians are discouraging parents from relying on plant-based drinks — such as rice, coconut and almond milks — as the main beverage for babies and young kids. Dr. Catherine Pound of the Canadian Paediatric Society said Wednesday that some plant-based beverages are not fortified with any minerals or vitamins and often contain sugar as the second ingredient after water. “There’s a bit of a push from the health movement where people think or feel that plant-based nutrition is better than meat-based nutrition, which may be true in adulthood where we are recommending to move away from eating meat very frequently, but the same doesn’t hold true for children who need the protein,” says Pound. Kids aged two to eight need 13 to 19 grams of protein per day, which can be met with two cups of cow milk or two cups of fortified soy beverage. Meanwhile, almond, coconut or rice drinks contain little to no protein and would require kids to also eat two child-sized servings of meat or two half-cup servings of lentils. Almond drinks only contain about four almonds per cup.
The Canadian Press