Five stories in the news for Tuesday, May 14
B.C. MONEY-LAUNDERING PROBE MUST BE FOCUSED: EXPERT
A former attorney general who led a provincial public inquiry into missing and murdered women says the British Columbia government needs to set clear goals and a firm timeline if it launches an inquiry into money laundering. Wally Oppal says inquiries can be very valuable, adding that police now investigate missing women far differently than they did in the years when serial killer Robert Pickton was preying on vulnerable women. But before the government establishes an inquiry, it should ask itself what questions need to be answered and set a definite end date, otherwise they “can go on forever.” Calls for an inquiry have been mounting since a report last week estimated $7.4 billion was laundered in the province last year.
‘JEOPARDY!’ HOST ALEX TREBEK VISITS OTTAWA
Canadian “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek recently completed what he hopes will be his last chemotherapy treatment, he told the Royal Canadian Geographical Society Monday afternoon as he helped open the group’s new headquarters in Ottawa. Trebek, who is the society’s honorary president, announced in March that he has advanced pancreatic cancer. Trebek says he was disappointed all the Canadian NHL teams had been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, before noting the country’s pro-sports championship hopes are still very much alive thanks to the Toronto Raptors. Later in the evening, Trebek fought back tears as he thanked the society for the outpouring of support he’s received since announcing his cancer diagnosis.
TORIES ACCUSE LIBERALS OF POLITICIZING TERROR
The federal Tories are accusing the Trudeau government of playing politics by stripping specific references to specific religious groups from its annual report on terrorism. Conservative public-safety critic Pierre Paul-Hus suggested to the House of Commons national-security committee Monday that the Liberals bowed to “pressure tactics” simply to avoid offending anyone. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the government removed the terms “Sikh,” “Sunni” and “Shia” from the report when referring to extremism to avoid conveying the impression that an entire religion or community is a threat to national security. He told the committee it was not a partisan issue but rather an effort to be accurate, precise and fair in conveying information about terrorist threats.
ONTARIO PLANS TO AXE ENHANCED LICENCES
Ontario is proposing to eliminate an enhanced driver’s licence that allows people to enter the United States at land and water border crossings without a passport. The driver’s licence option was introduced in 2009, when the U.S. required passports or other secure identification for anyone crossing into the country by land or sea, but it hasn’t had the anticipated uptake. British Columbia and Manitoba have enhanced driver’s licences, and Quebec used to, but phased out the program — other provinces rejected the idea because it was too costly or there wasn’t enough public interest. Ministry of Transportation spokesman Bob Nichols says about 60,000 people currently have the secure ID out of 10.2 million drivers in Ontario.
TORONTO SCHOOL BOARD GRAPPLES WITH BUDGET SHORTFALL
Canada’s largest school board says it may have to eliminate jobs, some programs and end some student busing to address a multimillion-dollar funding gap created by provincial cuts. The Toronto District School Board’s education director laid out the proposals that could help eliminate a $67-million budget shortfall — $42 million caused by a cut from the Ontario government. John Malloy says the board could stop busing French immersion, cut some learning centre staff jobs, and administrator roles to find savings. The director called the budget process “very challenging” but says staff are not recommending substantial changes to special education funding, school safety, and equity and diversity programs.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— The youth from Kingston, Ont., charged with terror-related offences is due to make an appearance in court via video conference.
— Robert Andrew Leeming to appear in court on second-degree murder charges in the deaths of Calgary woman Jasmine Lovett and her toddler daughter.
— Trial begins for Calgary police Const. Trevor Lindsay on a charge of aggravated assault. It’s alleged that he repeatedly punched a suspect and threw him into the pavement, causing a brain injury.
The Canadian Press