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Pot demand does not fall – Canada News




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In weeks before cannabis became legal across Canada, the former network of grass merchants in Toronto almost disappeared.

Almost 80 boxes advertised as an ambulance have massively closed their doors, prompting warnings that anyone caught in opposition to the new Ontario sales laws will be banned in the future.

Mark Sraga, city director of investigative services for the municipal licensing department and standards, said only a dozen dispensers remained open days immediately before October 17th – the day of recreational marijuana was legalized throughout the country.

But when it comes to the shortage of cannabis supply, the government has said it limits the number of licenses to only 25 provinces and pulls them out of the lottery, and Sraga has said that pottery stores have started to emerge again.

Today, Sraga said that a team of nine city clerks closes the pharmacy every week, just to make new operations appear at their place. He said there were at least 21 illegal retail outlets today, citing their continued presence as evidence that legalization has not yet come close to meeting one of the federal government's main goals.

"The national strategy was to eliminate the legal cannabis market," Sraga said in a telephone conversation. "For me it was a failure on this political issue because the illegal market was successful."

The cannabis cannabis's face is as different as current regulatory regimes that are currently taking place across the country, experts say, pointing out that unlicensed outpatients are not widespread in each province.

But preliminary numbers support critics' claims that removing punishments for recreational use of cannabis is not enough to eradicate black market activity.

Data produced by Statistics Canada indicates that consumers spent $ 1.48 billion on cannabis products over the last three months of 2018. However, the agency states that 79 percent of this money was spent on the illegal market.

Michael Armstrong, an associate professor at Brock University who has studied the business side of legalization, said that these numbers get shaded pictures when they are divided by the provinces.

In the provinces that provided legal purchase, such as Prince Edward Island, New Scotland and Alberta, legal cannabis sales accounted for 29-39 percent of market activity, Armstrong said. But in Ontario, where the pot can legally be purchased only by April 1, the market share was only 13 percent in the quarter.

The situation was worse in British Columbia, he said, pointing out that one legitimate shop in the province and online sales carried only four percent of the cannabis money spent during the quarter.

There, as in Ontario, the ambulances that are mostly legalized in the black market landscape are again brisk.

Last week, the provincial security minister announced that the provincial provincial team, which was launched last autumn, will begin to step up its efforts to make the ambulances close their doors.

Mike Farnworth said the 44-member team will not immediately close unlicensed pottery stores but will notify operators about new licensing regulations that regulate the sale of marijuana in the province.

"I think right now what they did is what you could call education, visit illegal operations and notify them (team) that they are in the process," Farnworth said.

Police in Ontario took a more aggressive approach, with 10 forces across the province joining to close the ambulances.

Provincial Police Of Ontario Det. Insp. Jim Walker said various police departments formed a joint working group that had carried out at least 44 arrests since his activity in January passed high speed.

Guided by the OPP, a joint working group has acted on intelligence, and the provincial government gathered around the black cannabis market in the year before legalization, he said.

Walker, deputizing director of the Office for Combating Organized Crime, said that although illegal internet operations and pop-ups are increasingly coming out on the surface, ambulances still make the most of the team's work.

Illegal displays are still very impressive, Walker said, adding that cops with the operating group demolished companies that made $ 20,000 daily.

"There is a reason why individuals are doing it and it is not about improving the community," he said. "It's because of a significant amount of money."

However, Armstrong has questioned the effectiveness of the police strategy, pointing out that it is more likely that the closure of the ambulance will force the owner to operate underground but not to completely cease business.

"If you quit, do not quit, close that one supplier," he said. "Closing an ambulance is an important step when there is a legal alternative. As long as there is no legal alternative, I think this is mostly a scum of police resources."

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April 17, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Story:
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When voters on Prince Edward's Island come out to polls next week, they will decide without any contribution from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Although polls show that ruling Liberals Wade MacLauchlana need all the help they can to stay in power, sources close to the campaign say they have not reached their federal support colleagues – a sign of Trudeau's former rock-star status on the island has become a political responsibility.

In the past, Trudeau has always been a popular visitor to the island, and as leader of the liberals and prime minister. His public events usually attracted a lot of fans who wanted selfie or handling.

But while candidates knock on the door before the election on Tuesday, voters who feel they feel the need to venture around the prime minister say campaigners and pioneers – equally liberal and conservative – who talked with Canadian newspapers on condition of anonymity to talk freely about the situation on the island .

Officials at the Prime Minister's Office confirmed on Tuesday that no one in the provincial Liberal Camp was requesting a visit to the Trudeau campaign, and no trip to the island was envisaged.

"It would be crazy," said one senior P.E.I. Liberal Operator. "We would not want them here."

Tuesday's travel to the ballot box promises to close one of the most exciting races that voters have seen in the smallest Canadian province lately, thanks to a dramatic increase in support for the Green Party that has changed the political landscape, mainly in the central part of Ridings Island.

One poll published ahead of the early call for proposals on March 26 suggested that the Green were led by progressive conservatives, led by leader Dennis King, who had been in business since the beginning of February. The Liberals, who have been in power for the past 12 years, have been in third place.

When Trudeau was in the province for the last weeks before the election, he published the job and attended the Liberal Fundraising. But there was a small group of protesters – a common feature of the premier public events in other places in Canada, but the rarity for Trudeau in P.E.I.

PMO officials say Trudeau is rather keeping away from provincial campaigns, though he has backed provincial efforts in Ontario in 2016 and visited P.E. on behalf of the MacLauchlan Liberals 2015, before becoming prime minister.

His turn seems to be at least partly due to the controversy of SNC Laval.

For months, Trudeau has been defending persistent questions about Jody Wilson-Raybould's former Justice Minister's allegations that he and the rest of the PMO have tried to interfere for political reasons in the criminal prosecution of the Montreal engineering companies in Libya. Trudeau and his officials persisted in refuting any misconduct.

However, since voters often do not distinguish between federal and provincial parties of the same name, the turmoil of voters during the campaign – especially at the beginning, when SNC's fierceness was greatest – was often uncomfortable for island liberals.

Some voters express anger and frustration about the way Trudeau and his government deal with this affair, while others are simply disappointed with his record as prime minister, say alike liberal and conservative.

For the last time P.E.I. voters came to the polls in the provincial elections in May 2015, only five months before they voted for their federal ballot papers. Stephen Harper was still in power and deeply unpopular in P.E., partly thanks to the cuts of his conservative government for job security, the reduction of federal affairs and the long-awaited bitterness of his talks before the "crop defeat" in Atlantic Canada.

At that time, Progressive Conservatives dropped to the door facing Prime Minister's unpopularity.

This time is vice versa.

"As far as Harper has hurt things, Trudeau now helps," said one conservative insider, frankly speaking, on condition of remaining anonymous – a sense that others resounded, including the liberals who remember the anti-harpers that fill their sails.

"We are in the race of our lives," he said. "And he (Trudeau) is not what he used to be."


April 17, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Story:
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Jason Kenney and his American conservatives channeled the angry angry electorate to resign to the majority government at the Alberta election on Tuesday and translate NDP Rachel Notley into history textbooks as a ruling organization.

UCP, founded two years ago by joining the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties, held their rural and Calgary headquarters and withdrew many NDP victories in those regions in 2015.

"A Great Day for Alberta," Kenney told reporters after they headed to the congested center of events at the Calgary Stampede Grounds in a blue truck.

"Today, our great province has sent a message to Canada and the world that Alberta is open to business."

UCP ran or selected 63 out of 87 seats on Tuesday night. The DRP has kept the remaining 24. A small number of seats were too close to be able to be called and will have to wait until they are finalized until voting outside the constituency is counted later in the week.

Notley's NDP retained most of his traditional base in Edmonton, which spanned four years ago. But ministers and assistants in the cabinet went somewhere else.

Addressing fans at her headquarters in Edmonton, Notley has advertised her government's achievements and said she will remain at the helm of the NDP.

"We have fundamentally changed the policy of this province forever," she said.

"It is a great honor to serve as your prime minister and I will be honored to serve as the leader of the faithful opposition of her Majesty."

Notley said she congratulated Kenney and "convinced him that we would do all we can to ensure that the transition to the new government is smooth and productive."

"I want him and his government well, we all do this, we have to, because we all love Alberta," she said, her family behind her on the stage as the fans screamed "Rachel!" Rachel!

Kenney, who won in Calgary-Lougheed, was former Federal Minister for Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper.

He is in the first place after getting a job, job, job, and promise to fight against all those who oppose the oil and gas industry in Alberta, especially Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Kenney has embarrassed him with the "Trudeau-Notley Alliance" – a partnership that says he turned Alberto into the Trudeau and other oil industries for nothing more than the weak and unfulfilled promise to extend the Trans Mountain pipeline to the west coast.

Kenney promised to kill Albert's domestic tax on carbon, fight federal tax on carbon in court, and do what could help the federal conservatives defeat Trudeau in federal October elections.

"There is deep frustration in this province, feeling that we have massively contributed to the rest of Canada, but that we are blocked at every turn," Kenney said.

Trudeau congratulated Kenney on the announcement and said he would work with the new government on job creation, infrastructure building, and business and industry growth.

"Together we will address matters of importance to Albertana and all Canadians, including … taking decisive action on climate change, while at the same time getting our natural resources on the market."

When Kenney settles an oath, Canada will not have a women's premier.

Notley's NDP attempted to win a second term after breaking down the 44-year-old progressive Conservative Dynasty that was scandalous, winning the 54-member majority.

In the past two decades, the NDP has never managed to elect more than four members of parliament, and has been excluded from Calgary since the 1980s.

The interest in the 2019 election was high because the leaders launched personal attacks, promoting their platforms as the best draft for the fragile economy of Alberta.

Almost 700,000 people voted in advance, which is well above the record 235,000 who participated in 2015.

The province, once dynamized, thanks to its incredible oil prices, has been struggling for years with slow yields on royalties, reducing drilling activities and higher levels of unemployment.

Kenney claimed that the Notley government was worsening the bad situation with higher taxes, more regulation, and increasing the minimum wage.

Notley said for his part that Kenney's plan to freeze consumption and achieve more private health care options would have a powerful impact on students and patients.

Notley also tried to create Kenney's character. A number of his candidates have either given up or apologized for past comments that were anti-LGBTQ, anti-Islamic or sympathetic to white nationalism.

On the brink of the campaign were centrist and liberal parties. They both chose parliamentarians in parliament four years ago, but this time they failed to win a single seat.

Alberta's leader Stephen Mandel lost to Edmonton-McClung and Liberal leader David Khan failed to win at Calgary Mountain-View.

Kenney now points to the spring-summer and the platform, which includes the cancellation of most of the signature elements of the last four years of the NDP's change, starting from the provincial tax on carbon fuels on fossil fuels and gas on pumps.

He promised to lift the NDP's increase in profit tax and reduce it to eight percent. It is necessary to reduce the minimum wage for young people. Farm safety plans and damage compensation for farm workers must be abolished and replaced. A $ 3.7 billion plan to hire railway vehicles to ship more oil will be canceled.

The climate change program should be removed in favor of the greenhouse gas emission tax intensity plan. The great medical lab in Edmonton, part of the consolidation test plan, will not continue. Changes in overtime pay must be repaid.

It is also expected that a comprehensive revision of school programs will be stopped.

Kenney plans to fire the bullet through the bow of the BK. government on the first day of its mandate. He said he would declare the law passed by the Notley government, but never proclaimed.

Bill gives Alberti the power to reduce the supply of oil to B.C. as retaliated because of his opposition to the expansion of Trans Mountain gas pipeline.

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April 17, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Story:
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Some Alberta NDP members say the party has changed the province better and believes it will be an effective opposition.

Albert picked Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party for the Major Government on Tuesday after taking many of the NDP's victory in the 2015 elections.

On leaving, Prime Minister Rachel Notley said she would remain the head of the NDP.

A counselor who helped run the NDP campaign said that Notley and the party had changed the shape of Alberta's policy after surprise in power four years ago.

"That ended the 44-year-old dynastic political climate you have in Alberta," Sally Hausser said.

"Even these elections have shown – obviously not the result we would like to see – but it is very important that NDP stay here, which is very positive."

Hausser said the NDP managed to raise more money, draw more volunteers, put more signs to the elections, and increase the party.

"Below, you will see that the NDP continues to fight for exactly the same things that were previously fought."

Hausser pointed to economic diversification, climate guidance, child poverty reduction, and a powerful education system as some of the improvements brought by the Notley government.

"One thing that was clear in the campaign and during its rule – it is a fighter and it's always fun to have an opposition," said Hausser.

Other NDP members who were re-elected on Tuesday said they would continue to fight for Alberta they believe.

"Many of us have given Albertini a very strong direction for wanting to deal with the things Rachel was running on her platform," said Sarah Hoffman, a former NDP health minister, who held his headquarters in Edmonton.

"I have the feeling that this will be one of the most effective opposition we've ever seen in Alberta's history," she said.

Former Education Minister David Eggen, who has been a member of Parliament in Edmonton since 2004, said he was proud of the then NDP.

"It is difficult during any economic crisis for any government, but we have decided to continue building – building schools, building infrastructure and building social infrastructure that we need to reflect the modern society here in Alberta," he said.

"I'm very proud of what we've accomplished."

Eggen said the NDP would now hold the government account.

"The UCP must know that responsible management must represent and reflect what we are and who we are as Albertana in 2019," Eggen told reporters after Notley's speech about the concession.

"I'll expect them every day."

Eggen said he continued to support Notley as the party leader.

"Notley is the best thing that has guided leadership and management in this province for 100 years, honestly," he said. "I've never worked with anyone so competent and with such vision and leadership."


April 16, 2019 / 20:17 hours | Story:
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UPDATE: 20:15

Prime Minister Rachel Notley and her NDP government have done one thing and did yesterday, killing Jason Kenney yesterday, whose United Conservatives won the majority in the election in Alberta.

The UCP, founded two years ago by joining the progressive conservatives and Wildrose parties, claimed a lion's share of rural sites, and ran or occupied numerous locations in Calgary.

Notley's NDP retained his traditional base in Edmonton, which sparked in 2015, but he was lost in many surrounding Calgary districts, rural rallies and constituencies captured four years ago.

Kenney, who won in Calgary-Lougheed, was former Federal Minister for Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper.

He will take first place after successfully exploiting the vote of awe because of the sluggish economy of Alberta with jobs, jobs, workplace messages, and the promise to fight against those who oppose his oil and gas industry, especially Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Kenney called him tricky "Trudeau-Notley Alliance" – a partnership that says he transformed Alberta into Trudeau and other oil industries, in exchange for nothing more than a weak and unfulfilled promise to extend the Trans Mountain pipeline to the west coast.

Kenney promised to kill Albert's domestic tax on carbon, fight federal tax on carbon in court, and do what could help the federal conservatives defeat Trudeau in federal October elections.

Trudeau asked in Kitchener, Ont., Earlier on Tuesday, was he worried about his climatic plan if Kenney wins.

"We have decided to put a price on pollution across the country and there are conservative politicians who use the money of taxpayers to fight pollution in the court," he replied.

"Use your dollars to try to make the pollution free again, which makes no sense."

Trudeau said the federal government would continue to work on the growth of the economy while intelligently fighting climate change.

When Kenney settles the oath, Canada will return to the premiere of women.

Notley's NDP tried to win the second term after breaking down the 44-year Progressive Conservative Dynasty in 2015, winning 54 seats in 87 legislative bodies.

In the past two decades, the NDP has never been able to choose more than four MLAs and has been excluded from Calgary since the 1980s.

The interest in the election was high because the leaders launched personal attacks, promoting their platforms as the best draft for the fragile economy of Alberta.

Almost 700,000 people voted in advance, which is well above the record 235,000 who participated in 2015.

The province, once dinamo-dynamo thanks to incredible oil prices, has for years been struggling with slow yields on royalties, reducing drilling activities and levels of unemployment stubbornly above seven percent in Calgary and Edmonton.

Kenney claimed that the Notley government was worsening the bad situation with higher taxes, more regulation, and increasing the minimum wage.

Notley said for his part that Kenney's plan to freeze consumption and achieve more private health care options would have a powerful impact on students and patients.

Notley also tried to create Kenney's character. A number of his candidates have either given up or apologized for past comments that were anti-LGBTQ, anti-Islamic or sympathetic to white nationalism.

On the brink of the campaign were centrist and liberal parties. They both chose members in the 87-member parliament for the last time but lost at all levels in early resettlement.

Alberta's leader Stephen Mandel lost to Edmonton-McClung.

Kenney now points to the spring-summer and the platform, which includes the cancellation of most of the signature elements of the last four years of the NDP's change, starting from the provincial tax on carbon fuels on fossil fuels and gas on pumps.

He promised to lift the NDP's increase in profit tax and reduce it to eight percent. It is necessary to reduce the minimum wage for young people. Farm safety plans and compensation for damage to workers in agriculture must be abolished and replaced. A $ 3.7 billion plan to hire railway vehicles to ship more oil will be canceled.

The climate change program should be removed in favor of the greenhouse gas emission tax intensity plan. The great medical laboratory in Edmonton, part of the pooling test, will not continue. Changes in overtime pay must be repaid.

It is also expected that a comprehensive revision of school programs will be stopped.

Kenney also plans to fire the bullet through the bow of the BK. government on the first day of its mandate. He said he would declare the law passed by the Notley government, but never proclaimed.

Bill gives Alberti the power to reduce the supply of oil to B.C. as retaliated because of his opposition to the expansion of Trans Mountain gas pipeline.


UPDATE: 20:05 hours

The United Conservative Party led by Jason Kenney won the majority government in the election in Alberta.

Alberta's leader Stephen Mandel was defeated in the Edmonton-McClung constituency at the provincial election in Alberta.

NDP leader Rachel Notley retained his headquarters in Edmonton-Strathconi at the provincial election in Alberta. NDP candidate Lorne Dach beat Mandela, who came to third place.

Mandel hoped he would sit in parliament for the second time.

In September 2014 he was appointed Minister of Health in the progressive conservative government of Jim Prentice despite having no headquarters.

Mandel won the following month, but was defeated in the provincial elections in May 2015.

In February 2018, he was elected to the party leader Alberta.

The 73-year-old served as the mayor of Edmonton three times.


UPDATE: 7: 40pm

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney retained his place in Calgary-Lougheed at the Alberta election.

These were the first provincial elections for Kenney, the former minister of federal government in the government of Stephen Harper.

Kenney, who is 50, has been organizing the Alberta Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties in the summer of 2017.

At that time he said that it was crucial to unite the right-wing parties to avoid a split vote and defeat the NDP government.

He was elected a new party leader in the fall of 2017 and became a member of parliament when he won the Calgary-Lougheed Award in December this year.


ORIGINAL: 7: 15 hours

Polls are closed at the election in Alberta and the ruling New Democrats Rachel Notley are hoping for another term because of the United Conservative Opposition's intentions of taking over power.

It is expected that the 28-day campaign will be defined or, in the case of UCP leader Jason Kenney, redefining Alberta's relationship with the federal government, and especially Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Kenney, former conservative cabinet minister under Stephen Harper's leadership, led the campaign of what he called the "Trudeau-Notley Alliance".

This is the partnership that Alberta has turned into a Trudeau and other oil refiner of the oil industry in exchange for the barely noticeable and unprecedented promise of extending the Trans Mountain gas pipeline to the west coast.

Kenney promised to kill Albert's domestic tax on carbon, fight federal tax on carbon in court, and do what could help the federal conservatives defeat Trudeau in federal October elections.

Notley countered the campaign. She said her success in working with Trudeau – or the choice of fighting with her as needed – which led to progress on Trans Mountain, and she expected the start of construction this year.

She said that Kenney's promise to sue Trudeau on everything from carbon tax to proposed changes to the rules of the energy industry, cynically, self-indulgent shady boxing with regard to real collaborative political decisions.

Trudeau asked in Kitchener, Ont., Earlier on Tuesday, was he worried about his climatic plan if Kenney wins.

"We have decided to put a price on pollution across the country and there are conservative politicians who use the money of taxpayers to fight pollution in the court," he replied.

"Use your dollars to try to make the pollution free again, which makes no sense."

Trudeau said the federal government would continue to work on the growth of the economy while intelligently fighting climate change.

Prime Minister of Ontario Doug Ford, whose province one of the three who disputes federal tax on carbon, said he hopes Kenney will win the election.

"I hope to have another partner today with my good friend Jason Kenney," Ford said.

Notley's NDP attempted to win the second term after breaking down the 44-year progressive Conservative Dynasty in 2015.

In these elections, progressive conservatives no longer existed. Computers merged with the other right center party, Wildrose, to create new United Conservatives under Kenney in 2017.

The interest in the election was high because the leaders launched personal attacks, promoting their platforms as the best draft for the fragile economy of Alberta.

Almost 700,000 people voted in advance, which is well above the record 235,000 who participated in 2015.

The province, once dinamo-dynamo thanks to incredible oil prices, has for years been struggling with slow yields on royalties, reducing drilling activities and levels of unemployment stubbornly above seven percent in Calgary and Edmonton.

Kenney claimed that the Notley government was worsening the bad situation with higher taxes, more regulation, and increasing the minimum wage.

Notley said for his part that Kenney's plan to freeze consumption and achieve more private health care options would have a powerful impact on students and patients.

Notley also tried to create Kenney's character. A number of his candidates have either given up or apologized for past comments that were anti-LGBTQ, anti-Islamic or sympathetic to white nationalism.

On the brink of the campaign were centrist and liberal parties. They both chose members in the parliament in 87 places for the last time and hoped to get to the middle.

Everyone set up their political Hail Mary to catch attention. The Liberals promised provincial sales tax, and Alberta's party promised to suspend the tax on profits.


April 16, 2019 / 16:29 pm | Story:
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The parcel delivery is in flourishing, but the Canada Post says it will struggle to meet the self-sustainability target set by the government in the coming years due to the steady fall in postal items, higher employee costs and billions of capital expenditure needed.

In a corporate statement that was quietly invested in parliament, Crown Corporation says it expects to achieve "modest" gains of between $ 10 and $ 125 million from 2019 to 2023 – but will primarily be run by its subsidiary Purolator while the Canada Segment Base postal items will release losses.

"Iako je kanadska pošta danas u financijski održivoj poziciji, predviđeni rast prihoda od parcela neće biti dovoljan segmentu Kanadske pošte da ostvari profitabilnost tijekom ovog razdoblja, niti će to biti dovoljno da Kanada Post financijski samoodrživo u dugoročno “, navodi se u dokumentu.

"Ključno strateško pitanje" za Kanadsku poštu jest da se napravi smjer za postizanje ciljeva održivosti koje je liberalna vlada utvrdila početkom 2018. godine nakon pregleda mandata Kanadske pošte, kaže se, dodajući kako će za to biti potrebna pozornost vlade.

Plan se odnosi na nekoliko prioriteta od strane vlade, uključujući naredbu da se prekine program konzervativaca iz Harpera (suspendiran tijekom pregleda) kako bi se zamijenile isporuke od vrata do vrata poštanskim sandučićima u zajednici.

The document says Canada Post has spent about $4.7 million since last summer to dismantle 2,280 community mailbox sites in 12 municipalities where it had begun but didn't complete the conversion, including removing modules, pads and retaining walls and replacing curbs which had been cut to allow access.

The five-year plan estimates Canada Post will need to invest $3.6 billion to keep up with the growth of e-commerce shipping while modernizing to meet shipper and customer expectations and stay ahead of competitors.

Meanwhile, employee costs are rising, in part due to a rural pay equity ruling last fall identified as the main cause of an estimated $264 million loss in 2018.

The ruling is expected to add $140 million in annual costs going forward.

Canada Post says it expects to have to increase borrowing by about $500 million by 2023 to cover capital needs and to make special employee pension plan solvency payments, expected to start at over $500 million in 2020 and total over $1.8 billion by 2023.

It forecasts a post office sector loss of $22 million for 2019 as total revenue grows 3.5 per cent or $234 million to about $7 billion. It says a 13 per cent increase in domestic parcel volume will be offset by a drop in letter mail activity of about five per cent.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it had no one available on Tuesday to comment on the corporate report.

Postal workers went on rotating strikes in late October, but about a month later the Liberals legislated an end to job action due to a growing backlog of parcels ahead of the holiday shopping period.

In January, Canada Post raised the price for an individual stamp on a letter sent within Canada by a nickel to $1.05, while imposing other increases for mail within the country by between a dime and 35 cents.

The new rates were the first increase since March 2014 and were expected to generate $26 million in new revenues.


Apr 16, 2019 / 4:22 pm | Story:
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The return of oil and gas production following the devastating Fort McMurray wildfire and a colder than usual winter pushed Canada's national greenhouse gas emissions up in 2017 for the first time in several years, a new report says.

The latest national inventory report on emissions, filed this week with the United Nations climate change secretariat, showed 716 million tonnes of greenhouse gases were produced in Canada in 2017, an increase of eight million tonnes from 2016.

The uptick pushes Canada even further away from its Paris climate change agreement pledge to slash emissions to 70 per cent of what they were in 2005 by 2030.

Canada needs to get emissions to no more than 511 million tonnes by 2030 to meet its pledge, even though international scientists last year warned the country must have steeper reductions to prevent the impacts of a warming planet from becoming impossible to mitigate.

The report follows one released two weeks ago — made public amid a political battle over the new federal carbon tax — that said Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna defended her government's record on emissions despite the uptick. She said the government's "strongest" measures to fight pollution hadn't been implemented in 2017, including the carbon tax, clean fuel standards and phasing out coal power.

"Canada's climate plan is working, and the overall trend in emissions is downward toward 2030," she said.

The 2017 emissions are two per cent below what emissions were in 2005.

Canada's existing climate change action plan, which includes the carbon tax and subsidies to spur electric vehicle purchases, only gets Canada about 60 per cent of the way to its 2030 commitment. McKenna has previously said she thinks that gap will be closed as people adopt cleaner technology faster than expected.

On Tuesday, Environment Canada officials said the report did not analyze the direct impact of carbon pricing. Four provinces had a carbon price in 2017 — British Columbia and Alberta had a direct carbon tax, and Ontario and Quebec had cap-and-trade systems. prije Krista and Alberta saw increases in emissions, while Ontario and Quebec saw a decrease.

Conservative environment critic Ed Fast said the 2017 numbers prove the Liberals' climate plan isn't working. The Conservatives are heavily critical of the carbon tax strategy and plan to eliminate it if elected in the fall.

"We don't believe you can tax your way to a clean environment," he said.

McKenna has been critical of the Conservatives for not saying yet what they would do to cut emissions, but Fast said Tuesday the Conservative plan will cut emissions and be released in plenty of time for Canadians to judge it before voting day in October.

Emissions went down from electricity generation, small vehicles and the chemical industry, but that wasn't enough to offset the increases in larger vehicle use, residential heating thanks to the cold 2017 winter, and oil production one year after oilsands producers slashed production for two months because of the Fort McMurray fires.

Environment groups say the oilsands' impact on Canada's emissions cannot be overstated. Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist at Greenpeace Canada, said emissions from the oilsands eclipse those from every province except Alberta and Saskatchewan.

In 2017, oil and gas production and refineries accounted for more than one-sixth of Canada's total emissions. Emissions from production alone were up six million tonnes from the year before.

Stewart said as long as the Liberals try to increase oil exports, they're not going to have much success at bringing down emissions.

"That is the dilemma at the heart of Canadian climate policy," he said. "You can't actually do both."


Apr 16, 2019 / 4:17 pm | Story:
254171

A four-day gap in the whereabouts of a 15-year-old girl is enough to dispute whether she was removed from Canada in 2004 to marry a member of a fundamentalist sect in the United States, a lawyer argued Tuesday at the trial of a former member of the church.

Joe Doyle, who is serving as an amicus curiae or friend of the court to ensure a fair trial, said Crown prosecutors haven't proven that the girl was in Canada when the leader of the sect called James Oler and allegedly ordered him to bring the child to the United States to get married.

Oler is charged with removing the girl from Canada to marry a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which practises polygamy in Bountiful, B.C., and the United States.

He was acquitted in 2017 by a judge who was not convinced Oler did anything within Canada's borders to arrange the girl's transfer to the U.S. But the B.C. Court of Appeal agreed with the Crown that proof of wrongdoing in Canada was not necessary and ordered a new trial.

Oler is self-represented and did not call any witnesses or make a case in his defence.

In his closing argument, Doyle argued prosecutors hadn't accounted for the window when the girl was last seen in Bountiful but then identified by a witness four days later in northern Idaho at a highway rest stop on June 24, 2004.

Doyle raised the possibility that the accused and the girl were potentially already in the United States visiting other communities associated with the fundamentalist sect when Warren Jeffs allegedly called Oler.

Special prosecutor Peter Wilson questioned Doyle's suggestion that Oler and the girl may have already been in the United States in the four-day window, describing his argument on their movements as "fanciful."

"Maybe it did — anything can happen," he added.

Doyle also questioned the credibility of church records seized by U.S. law enforcement officials a decade ago at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Texas.

The court has heard the girl's marriage was documented by priesthood records kept by Jeffs, the church's president and prophet. One priesthood record describes the phone call that Jeffs made to Oler.

Some of the documentation was incomplete and uncertified, which is contrary to the church's doctrine, Doyle said.

"What is not known about these records and is still not known … is which person or persons prepared them, when were they prepared, what information led to their preparation and where that information came from," he said.

In his closing arguments on Monday, Wilson contended that Oler should have known the girl would be subject to sexual activity following her marriage based on the nature of church doctrine and the role of women in the faith.

Women do not have financial assets and need permission to travel or pursue post-secondary education, former church members told the trial. They were taught that their role within the religion was to be a celestial wife in polygamous marriages and to bear children.

Justice Martha Devlin of the B.C. Supreme Court has reserved her decision and tentatively scheduled a ruling on June 24.


Apr 16, 2019 / 3:13 pm | Story:
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Three boys are facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of a 17-year-old whose body was found in a car in a wooded area in Hamilton, police said Tuesday.

Investigators said they were called to the scene Monday evening on reports of a crash and found the vehicle, which appeared to have left the road.

Officers found the teen inside and tried to revive him but he was declared dead, they said.

Police said the injuries he had were inconsistent with a car crash. An autopsy performed Tuesday showed he died from a gunshot wound, police said.

Witnesses reported seeing three youths fleeing the area, and police said boys matching those descriptions were arrested nearby.

Police said the three were expected in court Tuesday to each face a murder charge.

Investigators said they believe it was a targeted attack and there is no risk to the public, nor are they seeking any other suspects.

The suspects cannot be publicly named because they are underage and police said they will not be releasing any additional details on the case.

The victim's relatives have asked for privacy as they grieve.


Apr 16, 2019 / 1:07 pm | Story:
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Century-old love letters are being returned to a family after they were uncovered by a construction crew working on a historic building in Manitoba.

The slightly yellowed letters were found in the basement of the Paris Building in downtown Winnipeg on April 3.

Workers weren't sure where the letters fell from, but Sonya Berthin, general manager for the company that manages the building, said they were in near-perfect condition in a pile on the floor.

Berthin took them back to her office and started reading, quickly realizing just what a unique find they were.

"It's like reading a romance novel, except knowing this is real life," Berthin said.

The letters from 1918 and 1919 are addressed to a Rebecca (Becky) Rusoff in Winnipeg from a soldier in Halifax named Soko.

In the earlier letter, the man talks about life of as a soldier in Halifax and how he had to build courage to send Becky a photo — although the photo was not located with the letters. Soko writes about how he thinks about Becky all the time and believes she is the perfect treasure.

"Whenever I think of you, I feel a perfect well of tenderness pouring from my heart. I feel I could love you until death."

By the second letter, Soko is baring his soul to Becky.

"It's a funny thing, this love business. It has wrecked this calm exterior I have built around me. It's even painful. I understand the bride's tears at a wedding."

The writer describes about how love is changing him, making him substitute others' names in love songs with Becky's.

But he also shares more information about their relationship before he travelled East.

Soko writes that they have known each other for five years and reflects on her beauty at a party they both attended.

"I love you because I know you. You are not a mystery to me, not an angel, but a girl."

The letter ends with Soko writing that he hopes Becky also has feelings for him.

Berthin said she later learned the writer was Hyman Sokolov, who became a prominent lawyer and journalist in Winnipeg. His love letters appeared to be successful, because he eventually married Rebecca and they had three children.

Berthin has since been contacted by the Sokolov's grandson and said she is working on returning the letters to the family.

"It is nice that these people care and want it, and want to share it with the rest of their family," she said. "So many people let go of history."

No one is quite sure when or how the letters ended up in the basement of the building now run by McCor Management.

Many businesses have called the building home since 1915, including the Western Jewish News, of which Sokolov was the managing editor.

Until 1925, it was the tallest building in Winnipeg.

Berthin said treasures from bygone eras can show up when crews are working on older buildings.

But, she added, this one will stay with her.

"Construction is messy and dirty, and its nice to come across something nice."


Apr 16, 2019 / 1:05 pm | Story:
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Ottawa says it will close particularly dangerous rail crossings and upgrade many others as it moves to improve rail safety.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced Tuesday that Transport Canada will provide $16.5 million for 136 new projects.

That will include improvements to 104 grade crossings and other rail infrastructure across the country.

A news release says the changes will include the closures of grade crossings that present safety concerns.

Transport Canada says grade crossing and trespassing accidents still cause the most rail-related deaths and serious injuries.

Garneau made the announcement in Moncton, N.B., only a few blocks from the site of the July 2016 death of Steven Harel, whose wheelchair became stuck and immobilized at a railway crossing before he was fatally struck by a CN train.

A family lawsuit claimed that Harel waited an "excruciatingly long time" before the train hit and killed him.

Transport Canada is basing the spending announced Tuesday on recommendations from the 2018 Railway Safety Act Review report.

"Rail safety is my top priority," Garneau said in a statement.

"We have taken many steps to strengthen rail safety and will continue working on ways to make our railway system safer for Canadians."


Apr 16, 2019 / 10:01 am | Story:
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Housing advocates want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to tweak his government's omnibus budget bill to give greater teeth to the bodies overseeing a new right to housing.

Characterizing housing as a human right is meant to provide a legal remedy — usually through a tribunal — for anyone wrongfully denied a home for reasons including ethnicity, religion, or gender identity.

The budget bill sets into law rules for the Liberals' 10-year national housing strategy and creates two new oversight bodies meant to make sure the spending reduces homelessness.

In an open letter to Trudeau this morning, almost a dozen organizations ask for amendments to give the proposed advocate and advisory council greater powers to investigate and hold hearings on systemic issues in the housing system.

There is a also a push for changes to the budget bill that would require future governments to consider and respond to any recommendations the advocate or council make about the new housing right.

They also want the government to add wording into the bill for the requirement on future governments to have individual housing strategies for Inuit, Metis and First Nations.

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