Four stories in the news for Monday, Dec. 17
CANADA GETS ACCESS TO SECOND CHINA DETAINEE
China has now granted Canada access to both of its recently arrested citizens. Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with entrepreneur Michael Spavor on Sunday. On Friday, McCallum saw detainee Michael Kovrig, who’s on a leave of absence from Global Affairs. Both men are accused of endangering China’s national security. They were detained just days after Meng Wanzhou, a top executive with Chinese firm Huawei Technologies, was arrested in Vancouver so she can be extradited to the U.S. to face fraud charges.
PRO-OIL RALLY IN ALBERTA CITY DRAWS HUNDREDS
Hundreds of people gathered in Grande Prairie Sunday for rally in support of Alberta’s struggling oil industry. There were enthusiastic cheers as speakers declared that the rest of Canada needs to be thankful for the prosperity the province provides. Many held signs denouncing the federal government’s Bill C-69 to revamp the National Energy Board, which opponents say will make it impossible to build new pipelines. Alberta has been dealt an economic body blow by a price differential that’s in part due to a lack of capacity to transport its oil to markets.
LIBRARIES STRETCHED BY EBOOKS, AUDIOBOOKS
If your holiday plans include downloading an audiobook of Margaret Atwood’s “A Handmaid’s Tale” from a public library, or unwinding with an electronic copy of Justin Trudeau’s “Common Ground,” you could be out of luck. Libraries across Canada are running into barriers in accessing both ebooks and digital audiobooks for their patrons. The Canadian Urban Library Council says major ebook publishers are charging unfair prices and Audible — the company that owns the rights to many digital audiobooks — is declining to share them at all.
FOUR YEAR OLD PORTER STANLEY HAS SOME NEW PALS AT PRESCHOOL
An Alberta boy with a rare illness is making friends, and amazing his doctors. Four-year-old Porter Stanley is one of about only 30 people in the world to ever have a reported diagnosis of Beare-Stevenson syndrome. It caused the bone plates in his skull to fuse together before he was born. Doctors in Edmonton told his parents he’d likely only live a few months. But after 10 surgeries and two years of medical ups and downs, Porter is doing well. He’s a big brother and an Edmonton Oilers fan — and now he’s going to preschool in his hometown of Onoway.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— Kenneth Harrison expected to take the stand in St. John’s where he’s charged with trying to smuggle a child sex doll into the province.
— Montreal sentencing of Yanai Elbaz for receiving a $10-million bribe to ensure a contract was awarded to an SNC-Lavalin-led consortium.
— Transport Minister Marc Garneau makes an announcement on the next step in establishing new air passenger protection regulations.
— Back-to-work legislation expected to be introduced for power workers during an emergency session of the Ontario legislature.
— Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in Toronto to announce support for climate action and energy efficiency in Ontario.
— Edward Downey stands trial in Calgary on first-degree murder charges in the deaths of Sara Baillie and her daughter Taliyah Marsman.
— Celebration in Vancouver of upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship.
The Canadian Press