The Wednesday news briefing: An at a glance survey of some top stories – CP

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The Wednesday news briefing: An at a glance survey of some top stories – CP

by ahnationtalk on May 19, 2016248 Views

Source: The Canadian Press
May 18, 2016 

Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, May 18:

FORT MCMURRAY RE-ENTRY MAY START JUNE 1: The Alberta government says people from the fire-ravaged city of Fort McMurray could return home starting on June 1 if conditions are deemed to be safe. “Remember, many hazards remain in Fort McMurray,” Premier Rachel Notley said Wednesday. Notley said the re-entry will be done in stages and will be voluntary. The conditions include no threat of wildfire or from smoke. Basic emergency, medical and other services such as water, electricity and natural gas must be available. She said hazardous areas within the community must also be made secure. More than 80,000 people fled the city on May 3 due to the wildfire that continues to burn in northeastern Alberta.

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AVOID DISASTER-PRONE AREAS: INSURANCE BOSS Decision-makers across the country need to start saying no to proposed developments on flood plains or near fire-prone boreal forests like those around Fort McMurray to prevent widespread damage from future natural disasters, says the head of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Too many cities have allowed homes and facilities to be built in areas where they could be destroyed by floods or fire, said Don Forgeron, the organization’s president and CEO. It’s that kind of planning that put parts of Fort McMurray at risk when a raging wildfire swept through parts of the town earlier this month. The fire continues to burn, affecting communities and oilsands operations.

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KOMAGATA MARU APOLOGY: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologized in the House of Commons for a 1914 government decision that barred most of the passengers of the steamship Komagata Maru from entering Canada. The chartered vessel was carrying 376 Indian passengers, nearly all of them Sikhs, bound for what they thought would be a new life in Canada. They were hoping to challenge the immigration laws at the time which refused entry to any Indians who had not arrived in Canada via a continuous journey from the home country _ nearly impossible at the time. Except for 20 passengers who had previously lived in Canada, Canadian officials refused to allow the Indians in, even though they were British subjects just like every other Canadian of the time.

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LIBERALS WANT MORE CONTROL OVER COMMONS: The Liberals are trying to change the rules of the parliamentary game to give their majority government even more power over how and when things happen in the House of Commons. Government House leader Dominic LeBlanc mounted a strenuous defence Wednesday of a controversial motion that his political rivals decried as an unprecedented affront to parliamentary democracy. “In no other workplace is it acceptable to arrive at work and pull the fire alarm and make all your colleagues cancel their meetings at committees,” LeBlanc fumed during question period, returning fire on the opposition benches.

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RCMP OFFICERS REPRIMANDED: Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says RCMP investigators have been reprimanded for conducting unauthorized surveillance on two journalists nine years ago. Goodale’s comments Wednesday followed a CBC News report that a rogue group of RCMP officers investigating a leak of a secret document spied on the pair for more than a week without authorization. The Mounties placed two Ottawa-based journalists working for Montreal newspaper La Presse, Joel-Denis Bellavance and Gilles Toupin, under physical surveillance for nine days in 2007, says the report, based on a government briefing note obtained by the broadcaster through the Access to Information Act.

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PSYCHIATRIST SAYS KILLER HEARD VOICE OF DEVIL:A Calgary man heard what he thought was the voice of the devil before he stabbed five people to death at a Calgary house party two years ago, says a psychiatric report introduced at his murder trial. Matthew de Grood, 24, told a psychiatrist that he believed a war was about to begin, signalling the end of the world, when he arrived at the party in northwest Calgary in April 2014. “He heard a male voice, who he thought was the devil, telling him to ‘kill them before they get you,’ ” reads the report prepared by Dr. Lenka Zedkova, a psychiatrist at Alberta Hospital Edmonton.

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STUDY SAYS THIRD OF NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS AT RISK: Fully one-third of all North American bird species need quick help to stop them from disappearing, says the first continent-wide bird study conducted jointly by Canada, the United States and Mexico. Of the 1,154 species of birds that fill the forests, marshes, coastlines and grasslands from the Yucatan peninsula to Baffin Island, 432 of them are considered at high risk of vanishing from the skies forever, according to the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. “This is a continuation of trends we’ve known from national reports in the not-too-distant past,” said Steven Price of Bird Studies Canada, one of more than a dozen non-profit groups also involved in the study.

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NEW DINOSAUR IDENTIFIED: A Canadian-led team of scientists has officially identified a previously unknown species of dinosaur, a decade after its bones were first discovered in the badlands of Montana. Dr. Jordan Mallon at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa completed the scientific analysis that confirmed the species. Mallon has christened it Spiclypeus shipporum and says the four-legged creature roamed the Earth about 76 million years ago. He describes it as a horned dinosaur with prominent spikes on an elaborate shield over its head. It’s just one of a growing number of newly discovered ceratopsids, the family of dinosaurs that includes the Triceratops, which are generally characterized by horns on the face and elaborate head frills.

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MONTREAL BANS HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES FOR YEAR: Montreal’s iconic horse-drawn carriages that transport tourists through the cobblestone streets of the old city are banned for one year, Mayor Denis Coderre said Wednesday. Coderre said the city will take the year to create new guidelines for the popular tourist draw, which has faced mounting criticism following a couple of well-publicized incidents that have put the animals’ well-being into question. “I was not at all satisfied with the way things are running at the moment,” Coderre said. “The best option is to restart from zero and give ourselves all the necessary tools to ensure this is a source of pride and not a source of irritation.”

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INDEX: NATIONAL POLITICS

 

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