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


Published on September 13, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads from a media availability after the Liberal cabinet meeting in St. John's, N.L. on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Sept. 13

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COURT UPHOLDS DEL MASTRO CONVICTIONS: A former federal politician has lost his bid to have his convictions for electoral offences overturned. The Ontario Court of Appeal said Wednesday it is upholding Dean Del Mastro's 2014 convictions on three violations of the Canada Elections Act. Del Mastro was convicted of overspending, failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 he made to his own campaign, and filing a false report during the 2008 election.

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PM TO LEAD DELEGATION TO UN: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will address the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York next week. It's part of a packed New York schedule for the prime minister. He will lead the Canadian delegation to the start of the assembly's 72nd session and give his speech on Thursday. Trudeau is also to be honoured with a Global Citizen Award at the Atlantic Council in recognition of his leadership on inclusiveness, diversity and economic growth that works for everyone.

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U.S. INVITES CANADA TO CLIMATE CHANGE MEETING: Environment Minister Catherine McKenna tells The Canadian Press there is still time to convince the United States not to withdraw from the Paris climate change accord and an unexpected meeting scheduled for New York next week might be the first step in that direction. McKenna is one of about 12 environment and climate ministers from the world's largest economies who were invited by the White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn to a breakfast meeting in New York during the United Nations General Assembly meeting week to discuss climate.

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CALGARY MAYOR SEEKS TO REVIVE ARENA TALKS: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city remains at the negotiating table for a new NHL arena even though the Flames have declared they've pulled out of talks. Flames president Ken King says the NHL team is frustrated with "spectacularly unproductive" negotiations. Nenshi said Wednesday the city remains "ready to negotiate in good faith" and that "council understands the importance of the Flames to this city.

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PM WRAPS UP CABINET RETREAT ON DEFENSIVE: Justin Trudeau has wrapped up a cabinet retreat on the defensive over a number of issues that are likely to plague his government when Parliament resumes next week. The prime minister was peppered with questions about the cost of his controversial Bahamas vacation last Christmas, which is under investigation by the federal ethics commissioner. He also faced questions about pot legalization, peacekeeping delays and his controversial tax changes.

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EQUIFAX HACK LIKELY AFFECTED FEW CANADIANS: Equifax Canada's customer service agents are telling callers that only Canadians who have had dealings in the United States are likely to be affected by the massive hack announced last week. The credit monitoring company's call centre staff say that Canadians who have an Equifax account in the U.S. could be at risk of having their data compromised, such as those who have lived, worked or applied for credit south of the border.

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ONTARIO PREMIER DEMANDS RETRACTION FROM OPPOSITION LEADER: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has asked the leader of the Opposition to retract comments he made about her or face legal action. The premier's lawyers wrote a letter to Patrick Brown on Wednesday, saying the Progressive Conservative leader had told reporters on Tuesday that Wynne was standing trial in a  Liberal bribery case. The letter said Wynne is not on trial or even under investigation, but is rather offering voluntary testimony and co-operating with the court process, therefore Brown should retract the comments and apologize.

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RCMP OFFICER KILLED IN N.B. CRASH: A Nova Scotia Mountie who worked to educate the public about the need to slow down when driving past emergency vehicles was killed Tuesday after being struck by a utility van while helping motorists change a flat tire. Const. Frank Deschenes, a 12-year veteran of the force who worked out of the Amherst detachment, died at the scene when the van collided with his police car and an SUV shortly after 6 p.m. on the Trans-Canada Highway near Memramcook, N.B. RCMP Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said the preliminary investigation has determined Deschenes stopped to assist two people change a tire.

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MONTREAL GIVING BRITISH GENERAL THE BOOT: Calling it a "stain on our history," Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said Wednesday a street that honours a British general who supported giving smallpox-laced blankets to Indigenous Peoples will be renamed. "Goodbye Jeffery Amherst," Coderre said at an event marking the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Amherst Street, located just east of downtown and in the city's gay village, is named after the general who wanted to "exterminate" native people during the 1700s, Coderre said.

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CANADA SHORT ON PEACEKEEPING PLEDGE: There are growing signs that Canada won't meet the criteria for attending a November peacekeeping summit in Vancouver, even though it is the host country. The price of admission is clear in leaked UN documents obtained by The Canadian Press: Defence ministers attending must be ready to pledge specific forces to the UN, if they haven't already done so. Canada has yet to make any definite pledge, despite being the host of this year's summit, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wouldn't commit Wednesday to a decision before mid-November.

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The Canadian Press