Five stories in the news for Friday, May 3
NO PMO INPUT IN SNC ELECTIONS DEAL: WATCHDOG
The watchdog who enforces Canada's election laws says no one from the Prime Minister's Office tried to help SNC-Lavalin avoid being charged with breaking campaign-financing rules. In a rare written statement, elections commissioner Yves Cote said Thursday that no minister, political staffer or public servant attempted to "influence or interfere" in any of his decisions "that did not directly involve them as the subject of the investigation." Before Cote's statement became public, the Conservatives had again asked the Liberals in question period whether anyone from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office leaned on Cote to let SNC-Lavalin sign what's known as a compliance agreement after being found in violation of financing rules.
IS CLIMATE CHANGE INCREASING INSURANCE COSTS?
Flood damage, particularly in Atlantic and Central Canada, has been dominating news coverage in recent weeks as homeowners build sandbag fortresses, pump water out of basements and frantically move belongings and valuables to higher ground. Karen McCrimmon, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale's parliamentary secretary and the MP for an Ottawa riding that's seen flooding twice in three years, made her perspective clear earlier this week when asked about the issue on Parliament Hill: climate change, she said, is causing "an increase to the cost of insurance" in Canada. Is she right?
APPEAL COURT TO RULE ON CARBON CHALLENGE
Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal is to make the first ruling in Canada on whether a federally imposed carbon tax is constitutional. The Saskatchewan Party government filed a legal challenge of Ottawa's levy that came into effect April 1 in provinces without a carbon price of their own. Over a two-day hearing in February, Saskatchewan argued that the question isn't one of climate change, but rather the division of power. It argued a carbon tax is unconstitutional because it's not applied evenly across the country and erodes the sovereignty of provincial jurisdiction.
FORD TO MEET WITH KENNEY AT ONTARIO LEGISLATURE
Premier Doug Ford will meet with newly-elected Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at the Ontario legislature today. The Conservative premiers will meet for the first time since Kenney led his party to a majority government victory in Alberta's provincial election last month. A statement from Ford's office says the pair will discuss the federal carbon tax, pipelines and interprovincial trade.
DOCTORS ADVISED ON TREATING PATIENTS DURING RAMADAN
A Canadian psychiatrist is advising doctors to help address the needs of mentally ill Muslim patients whose medication regimen could be affected by fasting during the upcoming religious observance of Ramadan. Dr. Zainab Furqan, a psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto, said about a billion Muslims around the world participate in Ramadan each year but there's little research about fasting among patients dependent on psychiatric drugs. She said physicians should consider the timing and dosing of medication for patients abstaining from food and water between sunrise and sunset during the annual month-long observance, which this year begins on Monday in Canada.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan marks the start of construction of the fourth Arctic and offshore patrol ship.
— Students walkout of classes in Alberta to protest the new provincial government's plan to change legislation about gay straight alliances.
— TransCanada Corp. will hold its annual meeting, along with a live webcast at www.transcanada.com.
— NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection candidate Bob Chamberlin have coffee and discuss affordability.
The Canadian Press