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Canadian Milos Raonic wins suspended match to begin play at Australian Open

3 hours 50 min ago
MELBOURNE, Australia - Canada's Milos Raonic won his first match since October on Tuesday, finishing off a suspended opening-round contest at the Australian Open. The 32nd-seeded Raonic beat Italian lucky loser Lorenzo Giustino 6-2, 6-1, 6-3. Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., was one game away from winning the match on Monday when rain washed out play for the rest of the day. The 29-year-old Raonic was sidelined by various injuries for large portions of the second half of last year, hurting his ranking (which was a career-best No. 3 in 2016). Giustino, ranked 150th in the world, was making his Grand Slam debut. He got in after Radu Albot of Moldova dropped out because of injury. The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam Raonic hasn't missed at least once since turning pro. He has made the quarterfinals three times, including last year, and the semis once. Raonic is Canada's first player to advance this year. Top Canadian male Denis Shapovalov, the No. 13 seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., was upset by Hungary's Marton Fucsovics on Sunday. Raonic will play the winner of a match between world No. 36 Cristian Garin of Chile and No. 82 Stefano Travaglia of Italy. Garin led 6-4. 6-3, 1-1 before play was suspended on Monday. They were scheduled to restart play later Tuesday. Also later Tuesday, No. 20 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal will make his Australian Open main-draw debut against Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis. Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil will be the final Canadian man to play his first-round match when he meets Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic. And Leylah Annie Fernandez, the lone Canadian in the women's singles draw, is scheduled to square off with American Lauren Davis in a first-round match. The 17-year-old from Laval, Que., won three matches last week to qualify for her first Grand Slam.  Top Canadian Bianca Andreescu, the reigning U.S. Open champ, withdrew from the Australian Open because of a knee injury. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020. The Canadian Press

Iran has asked for technical help on black boxes in downed plane

3 hours 59 min ago
Iran needs technical assistance from France and United States to analyze data from the Ukrainian jetliner that was accidentally shot down, says a preliminary report released by the country's National Aviation Authority on Monday. The flight recorders, commonly known as black boxes, sustained physical damage, although the memory is intact after the flight was hit by two missiles within three minutes of taking off from Tehran's airport on Jan. 8, the report says. Witnesses reported a fire in the sky and the aircraft crashed to the ground with an explosion, says the report, written in Farsi and translated by The Canadian Press. Ukraine representatives who are investigating the incident and other experts agree that the data recorders are some of the most technically advanced devices in the world, it says. But because of the damage sustained they need some parts for repair, which will ensure they can be investigated in Iran, it says.  A request for technical help has been sent to the Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety in France and the National Transportation Safety Board in the United States but they have not responded positively to the request, it says. The report says Canada, Sweden, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Ukraine are asking to be part of the investigative process rather than being observers. On Sunday, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne wrote to his Iranian counterpart to stress Canada's view that the black boxes should be sent quickly for analysis by experts in either France or Ukraine, which is the consensus of the countries who lost citizens when Iran's Revolutionary Guard accidentally shot down the passenger plane, killing all 176 aboard. Hassan Rezaeifar, Champagne's counterpart in Iran, was quoted Sunday by the state-run IRNA news agency as saying "the flight recorders from the Ukrainian Boeing are in Iranian hands and we have no plans to send them out." He said Iran is working to recover the data and cabin recordings, and that it may send the flight recorders to Ukraine or France. "But as of yet, we have made no decision." Canada's Transportation Safety Board issued a statement Sunday saying it understands that the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder are still in Iran. "The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau of the Islamic Republic of Iran's investigator-in-charge may travel to Ukraine this week to meet with the National Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine to discuss the investigation and visit the National Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation recorders lab," the statement said. A second team of Canadian investigators who specialize in downloading and analyzing aircraft recorder data will be deployed once it is clear when and where that work will be done, the board said. The report from Iran's aviation authority says the jetliner was carrying five Canadian nationals. Canada has said 57 Canadians were aboard the Ukraine International Airlines flight.   The report says the figures reflect the passports used by passengers to board the aircraft. The nine crew members killed were Ukrainian nationals, the remaining passengers included 146 Iranians, 10 Afghans, four Swedes and two Ukrainians, the report says although it recognized that some of the passengers may have had dual nationalities. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020. Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

Quebec minister says reform needed after people line up for days to sponsor refugees

5 hours 23 min ago
MONTREAL - Quebec's immigration minister has acknowledged the province's system to sponsor refugees needs reform after hundreds of people camped out in his department's Montreal offices over the weekend, hoping to claim one of the few available applications. The government said it would only accept 750 privately-sponsored refugee applications for the entire province. Most were reserved for organizations seeking to bring an asylum seeker to Quebec, while just 100 applications were reserved for groups of two to five people hoping to sponsor a refugee. The Immigration Department held to a first-come, first-served policy, and it only accepted applications by courier, one at a time. As a consequence, people began lining up Friday inside the department's Montreal offices, waiting for the bureaus to open Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. Aspiring sponsors were forced to pay hundreds of dollars to have a courier make the application for them once the offices opened, and news reports over the weekend indicated people were trying to bribe others to get a better place in line. "The process to deliver applications by courier has revealed numerous issues regarding its efficiency," Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette said Monday via Twitter.  "It has to be reviewed." Quebec is planning on accepting between 4,500 and 5,500 refugees in 2020. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Jan. 20, 2020. The Canadian Press

Three cases of coronavirus ruled out in Canada as precautions taken nationally

5 hours 53 min ago
Three possible cases of a new type of viral pneumonia have been investigated in Canada and ruled out as coronavirus, the country's chief public health officer said Monday. The World Health Organization, meanwhile, announced plans to hold an emergency meeting to decide whether the illness linked to three deaths in China is an international emergency. Dr. Theresa Tam declined to say where in Canada the potential cases were located, but she said the individuals had travelled to Wuhan, the Chinese province where coronavirus is believed to have originated in a now-closed seafood market before being detected in Shenzhen and Beijing and beyond to Japan, Thailand and South Korea. "What I can say is that I did immediately contact my counterparts, the chief medical officers of health, in the provinces and territories. They in turn have notified their front line in terms of their health system," Tam said. The novel coronavirus was thought to spread from animals but Chinese officials have said it's now being transmitted from human to human and 217 cases had been confirmed as concerns mount the virus may be increasingly transmitted during the upcoming Chinese lunar new year holidays. Canadians are at low risk of contracting the illness, Tam said, adding precautionary measures are being taken, including screenings at airports in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal of passengers who have flu-like symptoms after travelling from Wuhan in central China. Messages in English, French and simplified Chinese will also appear on arrivals screens at the airports in the coming weeks, Tam said. The measures are similar to those at airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York as well as in some Asian countries. An additional health screening question will be added to electronic kiosks on whether passengers have travelled to an affected area in the last 14 days, she said. "It is important to take this seriously and be vigilant and be prepared but I don't think there's any reason to panic or be overly concerned," Tam said, adding the novel virus has non-specific symptoms, such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, first infected people in southern China in late 2002 before spreading to more than two dozen countries and killing over 900 people globally, including 44 in Canada. Two commissions of inquiry criticized the health system's response to SARS, leading to changes including the creation of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Tam said Canada is now better prepared to respond to similar situations. "We have governance mechanisms with the provinces and territories," she said, adding that a national laboratory to test for infectious diseases also owes its existence to the tragedy, which mostly involved people in the Toronto area in Canada. She said the severity or the full spectrum of the current coronavirus is unknown. The World Health Organization is expected to meet on Wednesday. Tam said if an international emergency is declared, the agency will make temporary recommendations that Canada would adopt. Dr. Allison McGeer, who was head of infection control at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto during the SARS outbreak and is now a researcher in the field there, said trying to stop coronavirus at airports through current screening measures won't help if an increasing number of people are exposed. McGeer, who contracted SARS at a Toronto hospital while at the centre of the early response to the virus, noted the Spanish flu pandemic that swept the world between 1918 and 1920 killed an estimated 50 million people, decades before extensive air travel. "Screening at airports is difficult to do well and very expensive, so what we want our government doing is thinking very carefully about what the right extent is and the timing of it and making decisions based on science and evidence, not based on what our gut feeling is because the gut feeling tends to be we can control this at our borders, we can stop it coming in. But microbes don't recognize borders. It does not work," she said. McGeer said pandemic preparedness policies are much more applicable to slowing a virus's transmission in populations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020 Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

When it comes to unanimous Hall picks, Jeter could be No. 2.

6 hours 51 min ago
NEW YORK - When it comes to unanimous picks for baseball's Hall of Fame, Derek Jeter quite appropriately has the chance to be No. 2. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera became the first player to appear on every ballot when he swept 425 votes in last year's election. Ken Griffey Jr. was three votes short perfection in 2016, breaking the mark of five shy that had been held since 1992 by Tom Seaver. Bill Madden, the longtime New York Daily News baseball writer, said attitudes had changed and Rivera's performance could lead to more 100% results from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, whose 2020 votes are announced Tuesday. "Nobody wants to be branded or held accountable on social media if they're not voting for an obvious selection," Madden said Monday. "I could see people's lives being threatened if they didn't vote for Derek Jeter." Jeter was picked by all 201 voters tabulated through late afternoon Monday by Ryan Thibodaux's Hall of Fame vote tracker, nearly half the expected ballots. A 14-time All-Star shortstop who hit .310, Jeter led New York to five World Series titles and captained the Yankees for his final 11 1/2 seasons. New York retired No. 2 in his honour, but Jeter has struggled for success in his post-playing days as CEO of the of the Miami Marlins. Larry Walker, who hit 383 homers in a career boosted by nearly a decade of home games in the launching pad of Denver's Coors Field, was at 170 (84.6%). Curt Schilling, a three-time World Series champion for Arizona and Boston, was next at 158 (78.6%). While Walker and Schilling were thus far above the 75% threshold needed for election, percentages usually decline among the non-public ballots. Attitudes have changed since the initial Hall vote in 1936, when Ty Cobb was left off four ballots, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner were omitted from 11, Christy Mathewson from 21 and Walter Johnson from 37. Joe DiMaggio received one vote as an active player in 1945, fell short in his first two ballot appearances after retirement and was elected in 1955, when 28 voters left him off. Yogi Berra was elected in his second appearance in 1972 after missing by 28 votes in his first try. Willie Mays was deemed unworthy by 23 voters when he was elected in 1979, and 52 bypassed Sandy Koufax when he was voted to the Hall in 1972. John Thorn, Major League Baseball's official historian, called last year's election a precedent. "Mariano was the very best at what he did. Derek Jeter will not be the very best at what he did," Thorn said. "The meaningfulness of Mariano achieving unanimity just testifies to a herd mentality." Walker is on the BBWAA ballot for the 10th and final time after improving from 34.1% in 2018 to 54.6% last year. Schilling is making his eighth appearance after going up from 51.2% to 60.9%. He dropped from 52.3% in 2016 to 45% the following year and claimed his support dropped because he publicly supported the election of Donald Trump for president. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both tainted by accusations of steroids use, also are on for their eighth time. Each received just over one-third of the vote in his first appearances in 2013 and both were at about 59% last year. Bonds was at 72.6% on this year's vote-tracker and Clemens at 71.6%. Manny Ramrez, suspended twice under Major League Baseball's drug program, was at 31.8% on the vote-tracker. Sammy Sosa, another steroids-tainted star, was at 16.9%. Bonds and Clemens could benefit next year, when the most prominent players eligible for the first time are Torii Hunter and Mark Buehrle. The 2022 ballot will include David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez, who served a season-long suspension in 2014 for violations of the drug program and baseball's collective bargaining agreement. Joining the ballot in 2023 is newly tainted Carlos Beltrn, who quit as New York Mets manager last week after he was implicated in using electronics to steal signs with Houston in 2017, his final season as a player. "It seems to me that as the older voters get lopped off the list because they haven't covered a baseball game in decades," Thorn said, "it makes the perceptions sharper so that younger voters are going to have attitudes that permit them to vote for Bonds or Clemens or Sosa or Schilling or any number of individuals with presumed black marks against their record." Players elected by the BBWAA will be inducted on July 26 at the Hall in Cooperstown, New York, along with catcher Ted Simmons and former players' association head Marvin Miller, who were voted in last month by the Hall's Modern Era Committee. ___ More AP MLB: and Ronald Blum, The Associated Press

Whitecaps hope changes on field and in front office lead to better results in 2020

6 hours 56 min ago
VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Whitecaps are hopeful that a fresh approach will lead to improved results as their 2020 training camp kicked off Monday at the National Soccer Development Centre on Monday. The Whitecaps are looking to improve on their 8-16-10 record from 2019, which saw them finish last in the Western Conference. "We don't want to look too much in the rearview mirror. We want to look through the windshield," said midfielder Russell Teibert, who has been with the club since it joined Major League Soccer in 2011. "It's a new decade and that's super exciting," he added. "I've been wearing this badge year after year and I still get that excitement coming back into work. "Not many people know how far this club has come over that period. We're still growing, but I can tell you this is a real exciting time for this club, for fans, for players, for staff, for the entire organization." Starting his second season with the Whitecaps, head coach Marc Dos Santos believes his team's foundation is much more solid this year. "You can't compare," he said. "With all due respect to everyone that was here, we had kids in pre-season (in 2019), 15 years old. I think 60 per cent of the roster were our academy. "I'm excited if I compare with Day 1 of pre-season last year. It was very, very different, just because of the age, us not having players signed. We had a lot of our players arriving five days before our first game against Minnesota last year. We're not in the same spot and it's going to help us in the medium and long term." The list of new faces is headlined by Canadian striker Lucas Cavallini. The brawny 27-year-old, who's known as 'El Tanque' (The Tank), signed a three-year deal after being acquired from Mexican side Club Puebla in December for a club-record transfer fee. "He has the profile that I believe a No. 9 should have in what modern soccer is today," Dos Santos said. "He's very aggressive without the ball, his workrate is great. It's a player that I've wanted here for a while." Teibert played on the same club team as Cavallini when the two were kids, as well as on the Canadian national team. "You guys see his physical stature, he's a machine," Teibert said. "I think the biggest thing besides the goal scoring is the presence that he has when we're defending. I've never seen a striker that likes to slide-tackle centre backs and defenders as much as he does. "He's such a workhorse. It's great to have a guy like that." Cavallini, 27, returns to Canada after 11 years of living and playing abroad. "I come home as a man, I left as a boy," he said. "I'm really happy to be back and anxious to get started." Also new to the Whitecaps this season are winger Cristian Dajome, defender Cristian Gutierrez and MLS SuperDraft selections Ryan Raposo and Daniel Gagliardi. Dajome, 26, was acquired from Bogota FC via transfer last Friday. One day earlier, Canadian-born left back Gutierrez, 22, was acquired by a free transfer from the Chilean first division side Colo-Colo. Like Whitecaps goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, Gutierrez, 22, was born in Greenfield Park, Quebec. He moved to Chile when he was three and grew up in the Colo-Colo youth system. Gutierrez is now in Vancouver, but flight delays prevented him from joining his new teammates on the pitch on Monday. Dajome's visa is expected to be sorted out in time for him to join the club for its first pre-season games, which begin this Friday in San Diego. Midfielder Raposo, 20, was born in Hamilton and played as a Canadian youth national team player. The sophomore from Syracuse University was selected fourth overall in the SuperDraft Goalkeeper Gagliardi, 22, was selected 32nd overall. Dos Santos has indicated that he'll get the opportunity to challenge for the backup position behind Crepeau. The Whitecaps also made a major off-season change in their front office, hiring Axel Schuster in November as their new sporting director after Bob Lenarduzzi moved to a club liaison position when his position as president was eliminated by the organization in August. Schuster joined the Whitecaps after more than 20 years as an executive with Bundesliga teams in Germany. His organizational philosophy is built around four cornerstones: team spirit, work ethic, discipline and mentality. "I think that should be the cornerstones for everything we do every day," Schuster said. "If we are good on that, then I'm really optimistic that we are already in a good way." Schuster has indicated that he's hoping to make one more signing this week. The club is also hoping to re-sign defender Erik Godoy, who spent last season with the Whitecaps on loan from Club Atletico Colon in Argentina. The new-look squad will open the 2020 regular season on February 29 against Sporting Kansas City, at BC Place. Carol Schram, The Canadian Press

Powell’s big 4th quarter leads Raptors past Hawks, 122-117

7 hours 9 min ago
ATLANTA - Norman Powell scored 27 points, including 17 in the final period, and the Toronto Raptors withstood Atlanta's late charge to beat the Hawks 122-117 on Monday. Toronto led by 21 points, 112-91, before surviving a late comeback by the Hawks, who pulled within two points at 117-115. Fred VanVleet, who had 20 points, sank three free throws with 14.2 seconds remaining after he was fouled by John Collins, pushing the lead to five points. Powell had only 10 points through three quarters before finding his 3-point range in the final period to lead Toronto's productive second unit. The backups were on the floor when Toronto made its comeback in the third quarter and remained in the game for most of the final period. Trae Young had 42 points and 15 assists for Atlanta. Young's four-point play cut Toronto's lead to 114-107 with 1:39 remaining. Collins' layup cut the deficit to two points. Powell made three straight 3s to lead the Raptors' decisive surge early in the final period. After Serge Ibaka added a 3, Powell continued his hot streak with another long-range shot, this one a 27-footer. Powell has scored 20 or more points in five straight games. Toronto earned its fourth straight win. Pascal Siakam scored 18 points for the Raptors. Toronto scored the first nine points and quickly stretched the lead to 12 points, at 34-22, in the first period. But this would not be a runaway for the defending NBA champions. Atlanta outscored Toronto 35-21 in the second period to lead 60-57 at halftime and then opened strong in the second half. The Hawks stretched the advantage to nine points, 70-61, on a 3-pointer by Cam Reddish. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Powell helped the Raptors quickly close the gap. Two free throws by Siakam tied the game at 79, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's jam gave Toronto an 81-80 lead. The Raptors led 83-82 entering the final period. TIP-INS Raptors: Toronto hasn't found a final version of its starting five, even after VanVleet's second game of his return after missing five games with a hamstring injury. "I think it's going to be in constant shuffle the rest of the season," said coach Nick Nurse, who said "a lot of guys are worthy." ... Powell made 6 of 9 3s. Hawks: Vince Carter made two shots - both 3s - against his former team. ... C Alex Len (lower back pain) missed his fourth straight game but is expected to be available on Wednesday against the Clippers. ... After making only 1 of 7 field goals and scoring only two points in Saturday's 136-103 loss to Detroit, Kevin Huerter had nine points while making only 3 of 12 shots. Honouring KING Pierce said the holiday to honour the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is special to Atlanta, King's hometown. "The significance of the day here in Atlanta goes without saying," Pierce said, adding King is "the most important figure in the history of our city." Nurse said he hopes young players use the day to learn more about King. "Hopefully this is an educational day for them," Nurse said. UP NEXT Raptors: Return to Toronto to face Philadelphia on Wednesday night. Hawks: Host the Clippers on Wednesday night. ___ More AP NBA: and Charles Odum, The Associated Press

A brief look at carbon taxing by province

7 hours 20 min ago
OTTAWA - As of Jan. 1, every Canadian and all Canadian businesses are paying a price on carbon. The federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act means provinces that do not have their own price on pollution that meets a federal standard get the federal carbon tax applied to them. That includes Manitoba, whose premier talked Monday about the prospect of replacing the federal charge with a home-grown version. The federal tax is currently $20 a tonne and will rise $10 a year, on April 1 of each year until it hits $50 a tonne in 2022. For individuals and businesses with relatively small emissions, that carbon levy is applied to liquid and gaseous fuels at the point of purchase. Households receive rebates on their income taxes to offset the cost of the carbon tax. The amount varies by province to account for different uses of fossil fuels. There is a separate carbon pricing system for big industrial emitters. It charges the tax on a portion of their emissions, rather than on the fuels they purchase. This is known as the "output-based pricing system," and the carbon price is charged on between five and 20 per cent of those emissions depending on the industry. Some provinces have both federal systems in place, while others use one or the other. Here's a quick glimpse at how the national price on pollution works in every province and territory. British Columbia Charges a provincewide carbon tax of $40 per tonne on fossil fuels including gasoline, natural gas and diesel. The B.C. government intends to raise the tax to $45 on April 1, and to $50 on April 1, 2021. B.C. uses revenues to invest in clean technology and environment policies, as well as provide direct rebates to individual households with an income-based tax credit. The credit is worth up to $154.50 per adult (or for the first child in a single-parent home) and $45.50 per child. The credit is phased out as income rises, and eliminated completely for any family with a net income over $62,964. Alberta Albertans began paying the federal carbon levy Jan. 1. Alberta is challenging Ottawa's authority to impose the tax in court. The carbon rebate in Alberta will amount to $888 for a family of four in 2020. The amount represents a rebate for carbon tax paid over 15 months, from January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, because Albertans were not included in the rebate program last year. Ottawa recently approved the Alberta system for big emitters, which charges $30 a tonne on emissions from facilities that emit more than 100,000 tonnes a year. Those facilities are each asked to reduce emissions by 10 per cent in the first year, and one per cent per year after that. If they don't hit those reductions, they pay the carbon tax on whatever they emit over their cap, or buy credits from firms that exceed their targeted reductions. Saskatchewan Saskatchewan families and small businesses pay the federal carbon levy. A Saskatchewan family of four received $609 in the climate rebate in 2019, and it will be $809 in 2020. Saskatchewan has a large industrial carbon price that partially meets Ottawa's requirements, so Ottawa is charging its output-based carbon price on electricity generators and pipelines that are not subject to the provincial system. Manitoba Manitoba families and small businesses pay the federal carbon levy. A Manitoba family of four received $339 from the Climate Action Incentive in 2019 and will receive $486 in 2020. The province is also subject to the output-based system on any facility emitting more than 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas each year. On Jan. 20, Premier Brian Pallister raised the possibility of replacing the federal levy with a provincial one, which he said should be "flat and low like the prairie horizon." Ontario Ontario families and small businesses pay the federal carbon levy.  Ontario challenged Ottawa's authority to impose the carbon levy in court and lost and is now appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada. An Ontario family of four received $307 in 2019 from the climate rebate and will receive $448 in 2020. The province is also subject to the output-based system on any facility emitting more than 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas each year. Quebec Quebec has had a cap-and-trade system since 2013. The system sets caps on emissions by industry, and companies that cannot reduce their emissions below that cap must buy credits from a carbon market shared with California. Each jurisdiction sets a minimum price per tonne for credits, which in Quebec last year was the equivalent of $20.82 per tonne of emissions. Individuals pay the carbon cost embedded in the price of goods. New Brunswick New Brunswick is subject to the federal carbon levy of $20 a tonne but on April 1, it will switch to a provincial system. The details of that system are still to come but will involve introducing a price per tonne on carbon and then reducing the province's gas tax by a similar amount to make the cost to individuals mostly neutral. New Brunswick industry is also subject to the federal output based system at the moment but has proposed its own version that requires big emitters to cut pollution by 10 per cent over the next decade. Nova Scotia Nova Scotia introduced a cap-and-trade system in January 2019 that meets the federal standards. It sets limits on emissions in specific industries and companies that emit more than their limits must buy credits from companies that emit less than their limits. Prince Edward Island P.E.I. has a provincial carbon levy of $20 a tonne on most liquid and gaseous fuels with the exception of furnace oil and propane. P.E.I. opted to use Ottawa's output-based system for big emitters. Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador introduced a carbon price of $20 per tonne on Jan. 1, 2019. At the same time it reduced its provincial gas tax by about the same amount. The province has an output-based system for big industry that sets targets for cutting emissions. Yukon Opted to use the federal carbon levy but was allowed to collect the revenues itself. It is providing rebates of about $172 per family of four in 2019 and 2020. Yukon is paying $20 per tonne on fuels. The territory is exempt from paying the tax on aviation gasoline and aviation turbo fuel. The territory is also using the federal output-based system for big emitters. Northwest Territories Implemented a territorial carbon tax of $20 per tonne last fall, with various rebates and offsets to aid residents, including a 100 per-cent point-of-purchase rebate on the carbon tax on home heating fuel, and a cost-of-living benefit of $260 per adult and $300 per child. Nunavut Opted to use the federal carbon levy. Nunavut is reducing the cost to individuals by covering half the levy, meaning instead of the cost of five gallons of gasoline going up 90 cents, it will go up 45 cents, with the territory paying the other 45 cents. The levy applies to all fuels except aviation gasoline and aviation turbo fuel. Nunavut is also using the federal output-based system for industrial emitters. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020. The Canadian Press

Ted Hughes, British Columbia’s first conflict watchdog, dies at 92

7 hours 57 min ago
VICTORIA - Ted Hughes, whose reports led to the resignation of a premier and the overhaul of child welfare systems in British Columbia and Manitoba, has died at the age of 92. Hughes was B.C.'s first conflict of interest commissioner and his reviews of the child welfare systems after the deaths of Sherry Charlie in B.C. and Phoenix Sinclair in Manitoba prompted change. Conflict of interest commissioner Victoria Gray says Hughes, who died Friday in Victoria, will be remembered for his compassion, determination and clarity of thought. She says Hughes leaves a legacy that includes stronger ethical constraints on politicians and the establishment of an independent office in B.C. representing children and youth. Hughes served as conflict of interest commissioner from 1990 to 1997, but his lengthy career also included service as a lawyer, judge, senior civil servant and commissioner of inquiry into the deaths of children in public care. His 1991 conflict investigation report into former premier Bill Vander Zalm's sale of his private Fantasy Gardens home to a billionaire Taiwanese businessman resulted in Vander Zalm's resignation. Former B.C. children's representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond says she applied for the position after reading a 2006 report by Hughes calling for stability in the child welfare system. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020.   The Canadian Press

Canadian James Hinchcliffe crossing off items on his racing bucket list

8 hours 7 min ago
James Hinchcliffe was surprised and disappointed when he was dismissed from Arrow McLaren SP last October. Now he sees it as an opportunity to live out all his racing fantasies. The 33-year-old from Oakville, Ont., has won six IndyCar Series races over the past nine years - and is gearing up for at least two open-wheel events on that circuit this season - but now that he's not on a team, he has the free time to try new things. Hinchcliffe is going to make 2020 his "gap year." "If it's got four wheels and an engine, I'm into it," said Hinchcliffe in a phone interview on Monday. "There's a lot of races on the bucket list. First and foremost of the ones that I haven't done already would obviously be the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I've always wanted to try a stock car, maybe do a stock car race, one of the road courses, something like that. Those are a few of the options we're looking at as well." Hinchcliffe signed a deal with American telecommunications company Genesys last week that will see him race the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 9 and Indianapolis 500 on May 24. The partnership began in a distinctly modern way. "Genesys slid into my DMs. That's no joke there was actually an employee from Genesys who reached out via Instagram direct message shortly after news broke of my situation (with Arrow McLaren), and that is really how the conversation started," Hinchcliffe said. "I don't know if it's the first time in history that's ever happened, but it's certainly the first time it's ever happened to me. "What impressed me the most was it's not necessarily the kind of program that turns into a title sponsorship for the biggest race on Earth." Hinchcliffe said on Monday that he's still in negotiations for a new race team and that he's narrowed the possibilities down to a handful of organizations to help him get back to full-time status on the IndyCar Series. Because of those ongoing talks Hinchcliffe couldn't get into many details but he is looking toward the future and trying out new things in the world of racing. "It's like when you graduate from school and you travel the world for a year before you go get a job," Hinchcliffe said. "The IndyCar schedule and the demands of full time IndyCar drivers are so great that a lot of these other opportunities, they're just not realistic during a full IndyCar campaign. "But with the way this year is shaping up, there are some doors opening and certainly some more options available that hopefully won't be there next year because I'll be back full time." Hinchcliffe and his management team have several dates on the IndyCar calendar circled for races he'd like to be in. He was quiet on what races he's looking into but said he will be in Toronto for the Honda Indy on July 10-12 in some capacity. "I think regardless of driving status at that race this year, I still plan to figure in to the event and be a key part of the promotion," Hinchcliffe said. "Whatever benefits the Honda Indy Toronto, benefits my city, my sport, and if I'm unfortunately not going to be behind the wheel, I'm going to do anything and everything I can working with (race promoters) Green Savoree and working with IndyCar to still very present at that event."   This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020. ___ Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

Rookie F1 driver Nicholas Latifi to represent Toronto with race number 6

8 hours 46 min ago
Formula One driver Nicholas Latifi says he will represent his hometown of Toronto in his rookie season on the circuit by choosing No. 6 as the race number for his Williams. Latifi made the announcement Monday in a post on his website. "The main reason is that 6 is so closely linked to Toronto," Latifi said. "It's where I'm from, where I was raised, and the city I'm proud to be representing." Latifi goes on to explain why the number is associated with Toronto, from the music of rap star Drake through six being prominent in the city's two area codes (416, 647). "For all these reasons the name has just stuck," continued Latifi, who was born in Montreal but moved with his family to Toronto at a young age. "Anyone who's from North America knows what 'The 6' is - especially if they listen to Drake." Latifi also used the number in three of his four seasons on the Formula 2 circuit. The number was last used by retired Williams and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020.   The Canadian Press

Fraud allegations a facade, Meng lawyer argues as extradition hearing begins

9 hours 3 min ago
VANCOUVER - A defence lawyer says fraud allegations against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou are a “facade” and the charges are really about the United States attempting to enforce its sanctions against Iran. A court hearing began Monday in Vancouver over the American request to extradite Meng on allegations she lied to HSBC about a Huawei subsidiary’s business in Iran, putting the bank at risk of violating U.S. sanctions. At issue at this week’s hearing is the legal test of double criminality, meaning if the conduct she’s accused of would also be a crime in Canada then Meng should be extradited to face the accusations. Her lawyer, Richard Peck, told a British Columbia Supreme Court judge that it’s a fiction that America has any interest in policing a foreign citizen or foreign bank, but it does have an interest in enforcing its sanctions. Peck says the sanctions are the basis of the alleged fraud, since the bank wouldn’t have faced any economic risk if the penalties didn’t exist, and he notes Canada has refused to impose similar sanctions against Iran. Lawyers for the attorney general have argued in court documents that Meng’s alleged misrepresentations put HSBC at risk of economic loss and are sufficient to make a case of fraud in Canada. Peck disputed this argument by posing a question to the judge. “Would we be here in the absence of U.S. sanctions law?” he asked. “In our respectful submission, the response is No.” A decision to extradite Meng would undermine the double criminality rule and the values it protects, including the liberty of the person sought and Canada’s autonomy as a sovereign state, he said. The start of the extradition hearing drew a large crowd of members of the public, supporters of Meng and international media. A courtroom with a capacity of 150 people quickly filled and an overflow room was set up. Meng, who’s free on bail and living in one of her two multimillion-dollar homes in Vancouver, denies the allegations. She wore a black polka dot dress and took notes in court with the help of a Mandarin interpreter. Her husband, Liu Xiaozong, listened in the courtroom gallery. The case has severely strained relations between Canada and China. Beijing has detained two Canadians and restricted some imports including canola, moves that are widely seen as retaliation. A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that the United States and Canada abused their bilateral extradition treaty and arbitrarily took compulsory measures against a Chinese citizen without cause. “This is entirely a serious political incident that grossly violates the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizen,” said Geng Shuang, urging Canada to release Meng. If the judge decides the legal test of double criminality has not been met, Meng will be free to leave Canada, though she’ll still have to stay out of America to avoid the charges. If the judge finds there is double criminality, the hearing will proceed to a second phase. That phase, scheduled for June, will consider defence allegations that Meng’s rights were violated during her arrest in December 2018 at Vancouver’s airport. Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

Hall of Famer Raines pulling for Expos teammate Walker ahead of 2020 HOF reveal

9 hours 22 min ago
Tim Raines can speak from experience when he describes what Larry Walker might be feeling in the hours before Tuesday's Hall of Fame induction announcement. Raines, a former teammate of the Canadian slugger with the Montreal Expos, was in Walker's shoes exactly three years ago. "It's tough to sleep the night before, it really is," Raines said with a chuckle in a phone interview with The Canadian Press.  "Knowing that it's his 10th year (on the ballot), that makes it more nerve wracking, especially when you feel you should have gotten in a few years ago. And I'm pretty sure he feels that way - I feel that way for him, even if he doesn't." Raines, now a special assistant to player development for the Blue Jays, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 2017. He made it in with 86 per cent of the vote on his 10th and final year on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot, one year after missing out on induction by just 23 votes. "It was a lot of mixed emotions," Raines said of his induction announcement day. "After having such a good ninth year I felt there was no way I shouldn't at least get 23 more votes the next year. "But you're still not sure until you get that call." Walker sat around 85 per cent as of Monday afternoon - well over the 75 per cent threshold needed for induction - with approximately half of all votes yet to be tabulated. The Maple Ridge, B.C., native had fallen short by 87 votes in 2019, finishing at 54.6 per cent. He received 34.1 per cent the year before. Raines' ascension followed a similar pattern. "I would say my last three years (on the ballot) made it more enjoyable because each year I gained a bit more," he said. "At the end I got in with over 85 per cent and that made it better because I didn't just barely get in. It wasn't like I got 76 per cent, you know what I mean? "That was very gratifying." Walker followed his six-year Expos stint with 10 seasons in Colorado, giving some voters reason to think his career stats were inflated by hitter-friendly Coors Field. But Raines said he saw Walker's power begin to blossom in Montreal, where the Canadian hit 19 homers in 1990, his official rookie season and Raines' final year with the team. "I had heard he was a hockey player, but his baseball skills were top notch," Raines said. "I mean, I was surprised hearing he was Canadian - not that Canadians were bad, I just didn't really know many Canadian players at the time - and I felt he definitely had a chance to be a great player. "I wouldn't say I kept tabs on him after I left (Montreal), but it was hard not to notice that he was putting up the numbers. You didn't really have to look too far to see that."  While Raines said he was impressed with every aspect of Walker's game, he marvelled at the big outfielder's unexpected speed, calling him "probably one of the best base-runners I had ever been around other than myself."  "Looking at his size and his power and the way he drove runs in, you wouldn't think that stealing bases would be a part of his game," said Raines, who swiped 808 career bags himself, good for fifth place all-time in MLB history. "You don't see guys put up the numbers that he did - other than Hall of Famers - and also have success in stealing bases. ... That guy did it all, really." Raines wasn't the only former teammate to be impacted by Walker in such a short period of time. Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo, who spent just one month in the big leagues in Montreal in 1993, appearing in four games, called Walker "one of the best players" he'd ever seen. "I wasn't around long but I had enough time to see that," Montoyo said. "God, he was fun to watch. Great arm, he could steal bases, good outfielder, good hitter, he was fun to watch. That's the best way to describe it. "He knew how to play the game. He knew when to steal a base, he knew which base to throw to. I appreciate guys like that." Walker was batting .322 and leading the league with 44 doubles for the first-place Expos in 1994 before a strike cancelled the rest of that season. Montoyo said a lengthy post-season run that year could have helped strengthen Walker's Hall of Fame case.  "They could have won the whole thing in '94 if it wasn't for the strike, you know?" Montoyo said. "That would have been something else to give Larry a push." Raines and Montoyo both said they'll be watching Tuesday night when the vote is revealed. Raines, who described feeling "pure elation" following his own January phone call from the Hall three years ago, wants Walker to finally experience that same joy. "Most definitely I'll be watching," Raines said. "And he's the one guy I'm really pulling for."   This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020. Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press

Armed Forces in St. John’s as state of emergency stretches into fourth day

9 hours 24 min ago
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A state of emergency stretched into its fourth day in St. John's, N.L., Monday as Armed Forces personnel began to help dig out a city where travel remained difficult and some residents were relying on each other for food. Eastern regions of Newfoundland have been largely paralyzed since Friday when a major blizzard dumped 76 centimetres of snow in a single day in the capital, amid winds gusting over 150 kilometres per hour. "In many cases, the roads are still not safe to drive on, and emergency responders need unhindered access to provide emergency services," a release from the provincial Municipal Affairs Department said Monday afternoon. The province urged neighbours to continue to check on seniors, people with disabilities and others at risk from days of being housebound without access to food stores or prescription refills. The city announced some stores would be allowed to reopen on Tuesday to sell "basic foods." "Residents please be prepared to purchase enough food for your family for 48 hours," the city said in a release. "Future opportunities to open food stores during this state of emergency will be evaluated and communicated as conditions warrant." Green-clad Canadian Forces soldiers were being deployed around the city in response to calls from people in need of help with snow clearing. A team of four soldiers chipped away Monday afternoon at a steep, buried driveway on Topsail Road, a task that took a few hours. They were joined by a civilian passerby with a snowblower and encouraged by people in passing vehicles, who honked horns and shouted their thanks. Bill Ash, 70, said the sight of a clear driveway was a relief after being snowed in for four days. "I was in quite a predicament until I saw our military men turn up this morning," he said. "I really appreciate everything they done." The Canadian Armed Forces said on Twitter it had deployed 300 personnel to the province Monday and expected close to 425 people on the ground by the end of Tuesday. Brad Tuck, a 30-year-old musician, has passed the time shovelling snow and writing a song about "Snowmaggedon 2020." He said that after four days, some residents' food supplies were running low on his street in the centre of town. "Some people are running out of things .... People are having to help each other with food and if you're stuck, you make do with what you have at the moment," he said in a telephone interview. His song's lyrics praised the resilience of residents: "All hands got together, everybody worked as one / 'cause that's what Newfoundlanders do when there's work here to be done." Some neighbouring communities lifted states of emergency during daytime hours Monday, but one remained in place in the provincial capital, requiring most businesses to close and people to stay off the streets, with some exceptions. After a second snowfall Sunday night, the city advised pharmacies would be closed Monday, updating later to say some may be allowed to open for prescriptions. Search efforts continued Monday for 26-year-old Joshua Wall, who was last seen leaving his home in Roaches Line on Friday to walk through a wooded area to a friend's home in nearby Marysvale. The RCMP says the Avalon North Wolverines Search and Rescue would focus Monday on areas off the trail where it's believed Wall was travelling on foot from his home. - With files by Michael Tutton in Halifax. Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press

Canadian snowboarder, speedskater capture medals at Youth Olympics

9 hours 35 min ago
LAUSANNE, Switzerland - Snowboarder Liam Brearley captured a silver medal in the men's slopestyle Monday, highlighting a two-medal day for Canada at the Youth Olympics. Brearley, of Gravenhurst, Ont., and Florence Brunelle of Trois-Rivieres, Que., who won bronze in the women's 500-metre short-track speedskating final, pushed Canada's total medal count to four after 11 days. Canada has two silver and two bronze medals. In the luge mixed team relay Monday, Calgary's Kailey Allan, Vancouver's Natalie Corless and Caitlin Nash of Whistler, B.C., combined with Italy's Alex Gufler to finish fourth. In the women's freeski halfpipe, Calgary's Emma Morozumi was eighth. Canada has sent 77 athletes - all between the ages of 15 and 18 - to the Youth Olympics, which conclude Wednesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020. The Canadian Press

Unifor president arrested on picket line at refinery

10 hours 23 min ago
Things got a lot more heated on the picket line at the Co-op refinery Monday night as police arrested several people, including Unifor national president Jerry Dias. On Monday morning, Unifor announced it would be blockading the entrances to the refinery — not allowing anyone in, including trucks to pick up fuel. Late Monday afternoon, police officers showed up at Gate 7 along Fleet Street to tell picketers to move the vehicles blocking the entrance. Police said they would give the picketers a reasonable amount of time to move, but they didn’t move the vehicle. Regina police brought in tow trucks to haul away vehicles the Unifor picketers were using to block entrances to the refinery on Jan. 20, 2020. (Jessie Anton/980 CJME) “The police have a job to do, they’re trying to gain access to the facilities and we’re not allowing them. And ultimately, we are being every bit as straightforward as they are. They have a job to do, we have a job to do … and the bottom line is we are not going to surrender our picket line so that they can move scabs, move the management and move the trucks in the facilities,” said Dias. Dias said he was talking to police and telling them not to escalate the issues, though he couldn’t say what escalating things on the police’s part might look like. About an hour later the officers returned with tow trucks, which is when things escalated — picketers physically blocked the tow truck from taking a U-Haul truck away and six people, including Dias, were arrested. Dias spoke from the back of the police van: “If they’re going to arrest all of us, then they’re going to have to bring a hell of a lot more paddy wagons.” Before being arrested, Dias also called for Unifor members from locals across the province to come to the picket lines at the refinery. The union had brought in about 500 members from across the country on Sunday night, and he said union officials expect another 200 to 250 to arrive for Tuesday morning. After Dias was arrested, the national secretary-treasurer for Unifor spoke to media. Picketers climbed on top of a U-Haul that was being taken away by police at the picket line in front of the refinery on Jan. 20, 2020. (Jessie Anton/980 CJME) “I want to express … the outrage on behalf of our union, 315,000 members, that they would dare arrest our national president here,” said Lana Payne. Payne said it shows there’s something wrong in Regina and Saskatchewan when police would think it’s OK to arrest Dias like that. She said she doesn’t believe he was breaking the law and repeated Dias’ reasoning from earlier in the day — that a court injunction was ordered against Unifor Local 594, not the national union. “I want to be really clear here tonight, as clear as I possibly can be. We are holding this line, we are not going anywhere,” said Payne. The refinery locked out unionized employees on Dec. 5 after the sides couldn’t reach a new collective bargaining agreement. Pensions are the main sticking point in the negotiations.

Ottawa Redblacks re-sign veteran defensive linemen Mason, Ellis and Wakefield

10 hours 24 min ago
OTTAWA - The Ottawa Reblacks re-signed defensive linemen Danny Mason, Avery Ellis and Michael Wakefield on Monday. All three players were scheduled to become free agents next month. Mason has spent the last two seasons in Ottawa. He had 33 tackles and eight special-teams tackles in 17 regular-season contests in 2019. Ellis completed his third season with Ottawa, establishing career highs in tackles (54) and sacks (seven) while adding a forced fumble. Ellis has accumulated 97 defensive tackles and 16 sacks in 43 regular-season contests with the Redblacks. Wakefield had 32 tackles and four sacks in 16 games last season with Ottawa, Wakefield has appeared in 39 regular-season contests as a Redblack, accumulating 54 tackles, seven sacks and an interception.   This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020. The Canadian Press

Winnipeg mayor talks meth crisis, safety during meeting with prime minister

10 hours 35 min ago
WINNIPEG - The mayor of Winnipeg came out of a sit-down meeting with the prime minister on Monday saying that all levels of government need to work together to tackle a methamphetamine crisis plaguing the city. Brian Bowman said he asked Justin Trudeau to take stock of the federal government's efforts to make sure that they align with those of the city and the province. "We have to work together with our provincial and our federal partners to better address the root causes of crime, but also deal with the meth crisis that we are particularly affected with here in the Prairies and in the city of Winnipeg," Bowman said. Bowman's closed-door meeting with Trudeau came on the second day of a three-day federal cabinet retreat in the city. Winnipeg was chosen as somewhat of an olive branch to areas of the country that turned from the Liberals in the Oct. 21 election. The party lost three of seven seats in Manitoba and was shut out of Saskatchewan and Alberta. Manitoba's premier also had a meeting with Trudeau on Monday. Brian Pallister said it's important to continue a tripartite approach to public safety. Bowman had called for a face-to-face meeting with Pallister and Trudeau in November after a rise in violence in Winnipeg and a record-breaking number of homicides, including the killing of a three-year-old boy. Bowman said he's spoken with both leaders separately about the issue and is happy with progress, despite all three having not sat down together. Winnipeg's police chief has said much of the city's violent crime is linked to addictions and methamphetamine. There were 44 homicide victims in the city last year, up from 22 in 2018. The Addictions Foundation of Manitoba says meth use has increased by more than 100 per cent in adults and nearly 50 per cent in youth since 2014. Bowman said results won't only come from policing. There must also be strategies for mental health, addictions and families in crisis - which often fall out of the city's jurisdiction. He said Winnipeg has created a first-of-its-kind illicit drug strategy task force and all levels of government have been taking steps to implement its recommendations. "We know a lot more work needs to be done." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020 Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

Unifor completely blocks off refinery in dispute escalation

10 hours 37 min ago
Nearly a dozen Co-op-branded semis lined up on Fleet Street illustrated the Unifor point Monday morning, when the national president stood in front of a crowd of picketers to announce they were blocking off all the Co-op refinery gates. Jerry Dias said the workers had been locked out of the refinery, so now the Co-op would be locked out too. “As of now, the scabs that are in the facilities can leave, the management that are in the facilities can leave, but no one will be going in,” said Dias. Dias said it’s all in a bid to get the Co-op executives back to the bargaining table, because the dispute will only be settled there. In an email statement, the refinery said the union “continues to use illegal blockades as a bullying tactic.” The company said the actions Monday “represent yet another violation of the court injunction” the company got in December. Dias maintains that the latest actions don’t violate that injunction, which gave the picketers only 10 minutes, at most, to hold up vehicles heading into the refinery. Dias said it was Unifor Local 594 against which the injunction was ordered, but the local is no longer the group at the head of things. “The national union is now the group, legally, that is doing the major blockade. So, we’ll deal with that in court, because our argument today is that we’re not violating any injunction at all,” said Dias. According to Dias, the refinery has been trying to use the police and the courts to break the union and get people back to work, but he said that won’t happen. “The Co-op makes $3 million a day in profits. They’re not going to make $3 million today (and) tomorrow doesn’t look very good either,” Dias said to a chorus of cheers behind him. When asked whether he’s concerned about the effect a blockade like this might have on communities which rely completely on the refinery for gas and oil, Dias put the responsibility on the refinery’s management. “They can fix this immediately and they are choosing not to, so they should be ashamed of themselves for putting these small communities in such peril,” said Dias. The refinery has said before that it will go back to the bargaining table, but said the union needs to drop its demand that nothing about the pension plan can be touched. In another move, Unifor released a new video showing replacement workers at the refinery. It’s the second time the union has issued a video in which it attempts to identify those workers. Truckers feel like ‘pawns’ stuck in middle Trent Pregizer was one of several truck drivers blockaded from getting into the refinery. He said he showed up at about 5:30 Monday morning, and there were two trucks ahead of him not moving. By 8 a.m., they were all still waiting to get in. “I’d taken extra time off at home to deal with some things, and then came in to work thinking it would be the regular 10-minute wait it was the last time I was at work. And instead I find out that this is going on,” he said. Had it been a regular day without the prolonged blockade, Pregizer said he would have been going through Swift Current on his way to Fort Macleod, Alta., to drop off the fuel he was set to haul. “For sure it’s frustrating,” he said. “We’re definitely caught in the middle and we’re being used as pawns to control Co-op, whether it’s at the refinery or at the retail (locations). We’re the guys that supply their products, right?” Pregizer said he and other contract truck drivers he has talked to just want to do their work, without impediment. “If we’re not moving any of (Co-op’s products), then everyone is suffering on both ends,” he said, “and it’s definitely a pressure tactic by Unifor, I’m pretty sure.” Regina police monitoring the situation In a statement Monday after the Unifor blockade was set up, the Regina Police Service said its role in a labour dispute is to keep the peace and ensure everyone’s rights are upheld. In this case, police said, union members have a right to picket and the Co-op has a right to conduct business. As a result, the police are monitoring the situation to make sure those things happen. "Avoiding escalation and working out disagreements peacefully is the responsibility of both sides involved in this matter, and police involvement should be a last resort,” the police statement read. “In immediate matters of public safety and emergency, we encourage anyone involved to call police and the Regina Police Service will investigate further." The Regina Police Service has been closely monitoring the situation at the Co-op Refinery. A statement about our role in the dispute is included below. #YQR — Regina Police (@reginapolice) January 20, 2020 — With files from 980 CJME’s Evan Radford

Trump’s lawyers urge dismissal of ‘flimsy’ impeachment case

11 hours 8 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's legal team asserted Monday that he did "absolutely nothing wrong," urging the Senate to swiftly reject an impeachment case that it called "flimsy" and a "dangerous perversion of the Constitution." The lawyers decried the impeachment process as rigged and insisted that abuse of power was not a crime. The brief from Trump's lawyers, filed before arguments expected this week in the Senate impeachment trial, offered the most detailed glimpse of the lines of defence they intend to use against Democratic efforts to convict the president and oust him from office over his dealings with Ukraine. It is meant as a counter to a filing two days ago from House Democrats that summarized weeks of testimony from more than a dozen witnesses in laying out the impeachment case. The 110-page filing from the White House shifted the tone toward a more legal response. It still hinged on Trump's assertion he did nothing wrong and did not commit a crime - even though impeachment does not depend on a material violation of law but rather on the more vague definition of "other high crimes and misdemeanors" as established in the Constitution. "It is a constitutional travesty," the lawyers wrote. The document says the two articles of impeachment brought against the president - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - don't amount to impeachment offences. It asserts that the impeachment inquiry, centered on Trump's request that Ukraine's president open an investigation into Democratic rival Joe Biden, was never about finding the truth. "Instead, House Democrats were determined from the outset to find some way - any way - to corrupt the extraordinary power of impeachment for use as a political tool to overturn the result of the 2016 election and to interfere in the 2020 election," Trump's legal team wrote. "All of that is a dangerous perversion of the Constitution that the Senate should swiftly and roundly condemn." The prosecution team of House managers was expected to spend another day on Capitol Hill preparing for the trial, which will be under heavy security. Before the filing, House prosecutors arrived on Capitol Hill to tour the Senate chamber. The impeachment case accuses Trump of abusing power by withholding military aid from Ukraine at the same time that the president was seeking an investigation into Biden, and of obstructing Congress by instructing administration officials not to appear for testimony or provide documents, defying congressional subpoenas. In a brief filed Saturday, House Democrats called Trump's conduct the "worst nightmare" of the framers of the Constitution. "President Donald J. Trump used his official powers to pressure a foreign government to interfere in a United States election for his personal political gain," the House prosecutors wrote, "and then attempted to cover up his scheme by obstructing Congress's investigation into his misconduct." But Trump's team contended Monday that even if Trump were to have abused his power in withholding the Ukraine military assistance, it would not be impeachable, because it did not violate a specific criminal statute. And it said that the White House was within its legal right to shield close advisers of the president from having to appear before Congress, saying that position has been taken by administrations of both parties. Opening arguments are expected within days following a debate Tuesday over rules, including about whether witnesses are to be called in the trial. Trump signalled his opposition to witnesses, tweeting Monday: "They didn't want John Bolton and others in the House. They were in too much of a rush. Now they want them all in the Senate. Not supposed to be that way!" That's a reference to former national security adviser John Bolton, who was not subpoenaed by the House in its impeachment inquiry but has said he is willing to testify in the Senate if he is subpoenaed. The White House brief argues that the articles of impeachment passed by the House are "structurally deficient" because they charge multiple acts, creating "a menu of options" as possible grounds for conviction. The Trump team claims that the Constitution requires that senators agree "on the specific basis for conviction" and that there is no way to ensure that the senators agree on which acts are worthy of removal. As part of their defence, Trump's attorneys also mounted a broad defence of presidential power, arguing that the two other impeachment trials in the nation's history were similarly defective. The White House brief argues that the articles of impeachment passed by the House are "structurally deficient" because they charge multiple acts, creating "a menu of options" as possible grounds for conviction. The Trump team claims that the Constitution requires that senators agree "on the specific basis for conviction" and that there is no way to ensure that the senators agree on which acts are worthy of removal, because a single count contains multiple allegations. Administration officials have argued that similar imprecision applied to the perjury case in the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, who was acquitted by the Senate. The Trump lawyers accused Democrats of diluting the standards for impeachment, an argument that echoed the case made Sunday by one of Trump's attorneys, Alan Dershowitz, who contended in talk shows that impeachable offences must be "criminal-like conduct." That assertion has been rejected by scholars, and Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called it an "absurdist position." Zeke Miller, Eric Tucker and Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press