Six stories in the news for Friday, Feb. 8
SINGH WANTS INVESTIGATION INTO SNC-LAVALIN CASE
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling for an ethics investigation into allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution. If, as Justin Trudeau insists, the allegations are not true, Singh said the prime minister should have nothing to fear from an independent investigation by the federal ethics commissioner. Singh’s call comes in the wake of a report Thursday in The Globe and Mail alleging Wilson-Raybould was demoted in a cabinet shuffle early last month because she refused to succumb to pressure from prime ministerial aides to intervene in the case of SNC-Lavalin.
QUEBEC MOSQUE SHOOTER TO BE SENTENCED TODAY
The man who murdered six worshippers in a Quebec City mosque in January 2017 will learn today whether he’ll spend the rest of his life behind bars. Quebec Superior Court Justice Francois Huot is set to decide how long Alexandre Bissonnette will spend in custody before he is eligible for parole. Bissonnette, 29, pleaded guilty last March to six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder after he walked into the mosque during evening prayers on Jan. 29, 2017, and opened fire. The Crown has recommended that Bissonnette serve six consecutive sentences totalling 150 years, while the defence has argued he should be eligible for parole after 25 years.
BRUCE McARTHUR TO BE SENTENCED TODAY
Serial killer Bruce McArthur is set to be sentenced today. The 67-year-old self-employed landscaper pleaded guilty last week to murdering eight men with ties to Toronto’s gay village. The Crown is seeking a life sentence with no chance of parole for 50 years. The defence has asked that sentences for all eight first-degree murder counts be served concurrently, which would make McArthur eligible for parole in 25 years. First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, but when there are several convictions, the court can impose consecutive periods of parole ineligibility.
NIGHTMARE STILL NOT OVER, BOUSHIE’S MOTHER SAYS
The mother of an Indigenous man who was shot and killed on a Saskatchewan farm says her nightmare is not over. Debbie Baptiste says she has lost hope in finding justice for her son Colten Boushie, who was killed in August 2016. Farmer Gerald Stanley admitted that he fired the gun on the day Boushie died, but he was found not guilty of second-degree murder. He testified his gun went off accidentally and that he was firing his gun to scare off some young people he thought were stealing from him after they drove onto his property. Members of Boushie’s family will spend the anniversary of the not-guilty verdict on Saturday participating in a candlelight vigil and pipe ceremony.
COUPLE GUILTY IN BABY’S DEATH FACE SENTENCING
A sentencing hearing is to begin today for a Calgary couple who delayed taking their gravely ill son to hospital until it was too late. A jury found Jennifer and Jeromie Clark guilty last fall of criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life. The trial heard 14-month-old John didn’t see a doctor until the day before he died of a staph infection in November 2013. Jurors were shown photos of the child after he died and he had blackened toes and a red rash covering three quarters of his body. The couple’s lawyers suggested doctors at the Alberta Children’s Hospital were to blame because they raised the boy’s sodium and fluid levels too aggressively.
WINTER A ‘MAJOR CHALLENGE’ FOR RAILROADS
The Calgary-based railway involved in this week’s deadly train derailment in B.C. says frigid temperatures have a big impact on operations. Canadian Pacific Railway detailed the challenges of harsh weather in a white paper last year. It says cold can cause air to leak from a train’s brake system, causing it to run shorter trains than usual. It also says trains must travel at slower speeds when it gets colder than -25 C. The train that derailed was carrying 112 grain hoppers and three locomotives. An engineer, a conductor and a trainee died.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— Matthew Vincent Raymond, accused of killing four people including two city police officers, is due back in court. The court is expected to get the results of an assessment to determine criminal responsibility.
— Statistics Canada will release its labour force survey for January.
— Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau will be in conversation with Catherine Holt, CEO Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.
The Canadian Press