In the news today, Oct. 1

By The Canadian Press
October 1, 2018 - 2:15am

Six stories in the news for Monday, Oct. 1

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CANADA INKS 11TH HOUR TRADE DEAL WITH U.S., MEXICO

A new era in North American free trade dawned in the dead of night Sunday as negotiators put the finishing touches on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, or USMCA. The new accord gives U.S. producers increased access to Canada's dairy market, but it also appears to preserve the key dispute-resolution provisions — Chapter 19 — which allows independent panels to resolve disputes involving companies and governments, and Chapter 20, the government-to-government dispute settlement mechanism. Prime Minister Trudeau called it "a good day for Canada" as the trade deal was announced. 

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VOTING DAY IN QUEBEC

Voters in Quebec head to the polls today after a provincial election campaign that locked the Liberal party and the Coalition Avenir Quebec in a battle for first place. Coalition Leader Francois Legault entered the race as the front-runner, but saw his early lead dwindle as he campaigned to unseat Philippe Couillard's incumbent Liberals. The leaders will cast ballots in their home ridings this morning before waiting for the results to come in after polls close at 8 p.m.

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BATTLE FOR GREEN SUPPORT IN N.B.

A game of political tug of war is set to begin this week in New Brunswick as both the province's main parties vie for the support of the Greens in the wake of an election that produced a deadlocked result. The Progressive Conservatives, led by Blaine Higgs, nabbed 22 seats in legislature to the Liberals' 21, but Liberal Leader Brian Gallant will remain in power as both leaders try to gain third party support. The Green party and the right-of-centre People's Alliance party scooped up three seats apiece on Sept. 24.

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WILLIAMS TO TESTIFY AT MUSKRAT FALLS HEARING

Public hearings will continue this morning for an independent inquiry into the $12.7 billion Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador. Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams will begin testimony in St. John's today. During his term, Williams championed the project as a form of energy independence from Quebec. But Muskrat Falls has been plagued by delays and cost overruns, leading current premier Dwight Ball to describe it as "the greatest fiscal mistake in Newfoundland and Labrador's history."

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TORONTO INCREASING NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING

Toronto's police service is set to expand a neighbourhood officer program in an effort to "build trust and reduce crime." Deputy Chief Peter Yuen says the number of community officers in 27 neighbourhoods will be more than doubled over the course of a year, with the first deployments beginning today.  So far this year, Toronto has seen 40 fatal shootings, compared to 29 in all of 2017. But Louis March, founder of the Toronto-based Zero Gun Violence Movement, says placing more emphasis on developing neighbourhoods economically is the surest way to reduce crime.

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PARALYZED BRONCOS PLAYER GETTING USED TO NEW NORMAL

It's been almost six months since Ryan Straschnitzki was paralyzed from the chest down in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, and the 19-year-old has never been busier. After rehab in Philadelphia he has been training in Calgary, learning to play sledge hockey. He also recently presented a sports award in Ottawa, followed by a personal tour of Parliament by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Straschnitzki says it's been a whirlwind since the crash, and he's hoping to set a positive example for other people who suffer serious injuries.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:

— Liberal MP Bardish Chagger will announce investments for the acquisition and sustainment of equipment for the Royal Canadian Navy.

— Husky Energy CEO Rob Peabody holds a conference call (8 a.m. ET) to discuss the company's proposal to acquire MEG Energy.

— Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell shares experience from the 2010 Winter Olympics with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

— The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will hold hearings in Winnipeg.

— Former Burns Lake, B.C., mayor Luke Strimbold appears in Smithers court to face 29 sex-related charges involving minors.

— Vancouver murder trial for William Schneider, charged in death of Japanese woman, Natsumi Kogawa.

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The Canadian Press

Canadian dairy farmers' group pans new trade pact with U.S., Mexico