Canada in Brief, Jan. 21-27

January 27, 2016 Updated: January 27, 2016
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Maintaining Iran sanctions not good for Bombardier, says Dion

OTTAWA—Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion says maintaining sanctions on Iran will only hurt Canadian companies such as Montreal-based airplane manufacturer Bombardier.

Dion says Canada will lift a series of sanctions on Iran following its historic nuclear deal with six major western powers earlier this month.

Iran is anxious to do business with the West, including buying aircraft, and says it has reached a deal with the French consortium Airbus to buy jets.

The opposition Conservatives continue to push the Liberals to maintain a hardline policy toward Iran. Dion also says it is time to start talking to Russia, sparking more criticism from Tory MPs.

New resource reviews to look at upstream greenhouse gas emissions

OTTAWA—The federal government says it will include a look at upstream greenhouse gas emissions in the new criteria for all new resource projects.

The new policy, which the government calls a transition step while it hammers out new permanent rules, will apply to the proposed TransMountain oil pipeline in B.C. and the Energy East pipeline proposal. But they’ll also apply to all resource projects, including LNG and mining proposals.

The new assessment rules also stress the requirement for input from indigenous communities and the government says it will provide funding to assist these deliberations.

Tribunal rules federal government discriminated against First Nations children

OTTAWA—The federal government discriminated against children on reserves in its funding of child welfare services, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal said in a landmark ruling Jan. 26.

The quasi-judicial body published its findings nine years after a complaint from the Assembly of First Nations and The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, which argued the federal government failed to provide First Nations children with the same level of services that exist elsewhere.

In the decision, which is considered legally binding, the tribunal found First Nations are adversely impacted by the services provided by the government and, in some cases, denied services as a result of the government’s involvement.

Terry Fox’s dad approaches cancer diagnosis with ‘never give up’ attitude of son

VANCOUVER—Terry Fox devoted his life to raising money for cancer research and now his father has been diagnosed with the disease. The family announced on the Terry Fox Foundation website that Rolland Fox, known as Rolly, was recently diagnosed with lung cancer.

The statement says he remains in good spirits and hasn’t lost his sense of humour, which the family jokingly calls “dated and overused.”

It says though troubled at first by the news, Rolly Fox, 80, is committed to approaching the challenge by adhering to the traits he likely passed on to his son—optimism and a never-give-up attitude.

Ambitious bids for prime piece of national capital include NHL arena, museums

OTTAWA—Imagine downtown Ottawa with an NHL arena, a museum about beer, European-style plazas—even a rooftop holographic forest experience.

Those are just some of the amenities included in two ambitious bids for a massive, derelict tract of land within a short walk of Parliament Hill called LeBreton Flats, overlooking the Ottawa River.

Both proposals, led by powerful corporate joint ventures, propose a new NHL arena right in the core of the national capital. They also both promise large outdoor public spaces for festivals and other activities.

LeBreton Flats was once home to a working-class neighbourhood and light industry, but was bought and torn down by the federal government in the 1960s.

Air India perjurer Inderjit Singh Reyat granted release to halfway house

VANCOUVER—The only person convicted in the 1985 Air India bombings has been granted a statutory release from prison to a halfway house.

Inderjit Singh Reyat was charged with perjury in 2006 for repeatedly lying during his testimony at a trial into the bombing deaths of 331 people, mostly Canadians. He was found guilty in 2010 and sentenced to a record nine years in prison, or seven years and seven months after accounting for time served.

Bal Gupta, whose wife Ramwati died aboard Air India Flight 182, says Reyat’s release is a difficult reality of the justice system for families who lost loved ones so long ago.

Police bust pedophile ring in Quebec in raids that extend to Toronto

MONTREAL— Police in Quebec say they have arrested 13 people who allegedly exchanged advice on ways to sexually abuse children without raising suspicion.

Quebec provincial police say the investigation with the RCMP began three years ago after tips were received from the public. About 150 police officers took part in raids in various Quebec cities and in Toronto.

Those arrested are aged between 27 and 74 and allegedly used online discussion forums to trade information about their sexual experiences with children.

Canadian troops more likely to have experienced childhood abuse, violence

OTTAWA—A new study says approximately half of military personnel in Canada begin their service with a history of child abuse, including corporal punishment, or have witnessed domestic violence as children.

The research, conducted by the Department of National Defence and the University of Manitoba, also found that exposure to child abuse and trauma among soldiers is proportionally higher than in the civilian population.

Health specialists were looking to understand the factors driving a series of suicides that has gripped the military.

With files from The Canadian Press