Five stories in the news for Tuesday, June 19
CANNABIS BILL HEADS BACK TO SENATE
A federal bill to legalize recreational cannabis was bounced back to the Senate on Monday, where the government’s representative argued it’s time to get on with lifting Canada’s almost century-old prohibition on marijuana. The House of Commons voted 205-82 to reject 13 amendments passed by Senate, including one which would have authorized provinces to prohibit home cultivation of marijuana plants if they choose. Senators now have to decide whether to defer to the will of the elected government or insist on some or all of their amendments, digging in for a protracted parliamentary battle.
CONSERVATIVES STEAL QUEBEC RIDING FROM LIBERALS
The Conservatives have stolen a Quebec riding away from Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberals, in the first test of Andrew Scheer’s effort to recreate the nationalist-conservative coalition that helped federal Tories dominate the province in the 1980s. Conservative candidate Richard Martel captured 52.7 per cent of the vote in a federal byelection held in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord — more than 5,000 votes ahead of Liberal Lina Boivin, who took 29.5 per cent. Just 36 per cent of eligible voters bothered to cast ballots. The byelection was precipitated by the resignation of rookie Liberal MP Denis Lemieux.
CHARGE LAID IN TORONTO SUBWAY DEATH
Toronto police say a 57-year-old man faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of a man who was apparently pushed in front of a train at one of the city’s busiest subway stations Monday morning. Det. Rob North told a news conference Monday night that police are looking for witnesses to the incident. He also appealed for anyone who may know the victim, who has yet to be identified, to come forward. Toronto Transit Commission spokesman Brad Ross said intentional deaths on the subway system are extremely rare, adding the last case took place in 1997 when someone was deliberately pushed onto the tracks.
REMAINING PROTESTERS ARRESTED AT REGINA CAMP
Police have arrested protesters who remained at a camp on the lawn outside the Saskatchewan legislature, but said they would allow a sacred fire to burn down before removing a teepee from the site. Demonstrators at the “Justice for our Stolen Children” camp had been protesting racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children apprehended by child-welfare workers. Police and government officials evicted most of the camp on Friday morning and the remaining people were supposed to have left the site by noon Sunday.
LOW-COST AIRLINES HOPE TO TAKE OFF IN CANADA
Competition is heating up for Canada’s most price-sensitive travellers as WestJet Airlines gears up to launch the country’s second ultra-low cost airline Wednesday. Swoop, an offshoot of WestJet, will make its maiden flight on its pink and white aircraft before the sun rises in Hamilton, Ont. on a trip to Abbotsford, B.C. By discounting travel, Swoop, Flair Airlines and others are trying to repatriate the more than five million Canadians who cross the border to catch flights from airports in Buffalo and Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Birmingham, Wash.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— A general court martial will be held in Halifax for Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, a military police officer accused of sexual assault
— A judicial review will be held in the case of Abdoul Abdi, a former Somali child refugee who was never granted Canadian citizenship while growing up in foster care in Nova Scotia.
— Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde to meet with federal, provincial and territorial ministers in Yellowknife on how to revitalize and protect First Nations languages.
— Former NDP MP Paul Dewar launches his Youth Action Now initiative in support of youth leadership. He will also be recognized for his years of service to the community.
— Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement on digital and data transformation.