The United Conservative Party (UCP) trounced the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) government in Tuesday's provincial election by tapping into frustration over the economy and a struggling oil and gas industry. "Alberta is open for business!" UCP leader Jason Kenney said in a victory speech in Calgary on Tuesday. Kenney's supporters, many wearing cowboy hats, roared when he drove directly into the venue in his blue campaign pickup truck emblazoned with the slogan, "Alberta Strong & Free." Kenney, who had dominated in opinion polls ahead of the vote, promised to defend Albertans against Trudeau and the federal government who, he said, were taking advantage of the province and its oil and gas.
OTTAWA — Vice-Admiral Mark Norman's lawyers are using the words of the country's top bureaucrat at the height of the SNC-Lavalin affair as they press for access to secret government documents about their client's case.Norman's legal team argued during a pre-trial hearing Wednesday that testimony Michael Wernick, the outgoing clerk of the Privy Council, gave to a parliamentary committee earlier this year opens the door for them to see the documents, which the government has labelled as solicitor-client privilege.Wernick told the Commons' justice committee that he made the decision last October not to prevent the release of thousands of other secret cabinet documents requested by Norman's lawyers."I made the decision, of my own volition, with my own authority, that the easiest way to deal with the Norman matter was to let the judge decide what was relevant," Wernick said on Feb. 21.Norman's lawyers say Wernick's comment amount to a waiver of solicitor-client privilege, meaning emails, memos and other documents related to Wernick's decision should be released despite the government's argument that they contain legal advice.Norman's team believes those documents will prove Norman's case has been tainted by political interference and boost their efforts to get the breach-of-trust charge tossed out.But in a written submission to the court, Justice Department lawyer Robert MacKinnon insisted that Wernick's comment did not amount to a waiver of solicitor-client privilege."It would be absurd if a decision taken based on legal advice, and stated in open court, resulted in the legal advice underpinning that decision being subject to waiver," MacKinnon wrote."This would mean that when an accused decides to plead guilty or not guilty, the legal advice he or she received on the question would be subject to waiver."In court on Wednesday, Norman's lawyer Christine Mainville said Wernick's testimony indicated there was no legal advice that led to his decision on how to deal with the cabinet documents."He takes ownership," Mainville said. "He says: 'It was me, it was all me.'"She also flagged his comment, specifically his reference to the "easiest way," as suggesting strategic considerations were at play rather than legal matters, and that he voluntarily referenced the Norman case during his testimony.Justice Heather Perkins-McVey nonetheless raised the spectre of Wernick overstating his own role, noting it is common in government for many people to be consulted or involved in discussions before a decision is made.She also asked whether the comment would be covered by parliamentary privilege, which would prevent Norman's lawyers from using it in his court proceedings. MacKinnon argued parliamentary privilege would apply.Norman served as the military's second-in-command before being suspended and charged with breach of trust for allegedly leaking government secrets to influence cabinet's decision-making on a $700-million shipbuilding contract.He has denied any wrongdoing.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — Taylor Swift, TV journalist Gayle King and soccer star Mohamed Salah are among the six famous faces featured on the covers of Time's annual "100 Most Influential People in the World" issue.The other cover stars also included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and actors Sandra Oh and Dwayne Johnson.Fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton wrote Pelosi "is living proof that when it comes to getting the job done, more often than not, it takes a woman."Johnson was praised for establishing a positive work environment, while Oh is cited for her creative life.Musician Shawn Mendes wrote Swift "makes anyone older feel young again."The issue is comprised of short tributes written by fellow global luminaries throughout all industries.Beyoncé penned an essay on former first lady Michelle Obama. President Donald Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller were also on this year's list.___This story has been corrected to show the singer's last name is Mendes, not Mendez, and the soccer star's last name is Salah, not Saleh.The Associated Press
Over the next five years, Invest Ottawa will be using $16.9 million in federal funding to develop and grow eastern Ontario tech firms, with the goal of helping at least 10 of them achieve revenues of $100 million or more. It's called the "Scale-up Platform" for tech companies. To make it happen, three Ontario development firms are formalizing their relationships with each other to better share information and resources: Communitech in Kitchener, the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and Invest Ottawa.
Like many marijuana entrepreneurs across the province, John Thomas's biggest concern when he opened his first store was supply. Thomas is the co-founder of Jimmy's Cannabis Shop, which has locations in Battleford, Estevan and Martensville with another opening in Moosomin this Saturday. He said the stores initially struggled to get enough marijuana to reliably operate.
This is the opening weekend for the travelling exhibit which features close to 700 artifacts from exotic jewels to a Viking warship. La Cité Francophone hosts until Sunday a blend of circus and magical cabaret in the Firefly Theatre production of Superstition which pokes fun at prophecy, fortune and luck. A different kind of show is on until Sunday at the Citadel Theatre as cast members of The Candidate/The Party race between two plays in different theatres.
"We don't know where government is," he said. "We don't know if they're interested in the idea of residential hospice as part of end-of-life care — even though every other province in the country has them.
TORONTO — In the weeks before cannabis became legal across Canada, Toronto's once booming network of weed retailers all but disappeared.Nearly 80 pot shops advertising themselves as dispensaries had shut their doors en masse, urged on by warnings that anyone caught contravening Ontario's new sales laws would be barred from receiving a legitimate retail licence in the future.Mark Sraga, the city's director of investigation services for the department of Municipal Licensing and Standards, said only about a dozen dispensaries remained open in the days immediately before Oct. 17 — the day recreational marijuana was legalized nationwide.But when word came that cannabis supply shortages were prompting the government to cap the number of licences at just 25 provincewide and dole them out via lottery, Sraga said pot shops began cropping up again.Today Sraga said a team of nine city staff close dispensaries every week, only to see new operations spring up in their place. He said at least 21 illegal storefronts are in business today, citing their persistent presence as evidence that legalization has not yet come close to fulfilling one of the federal government's primary goals."The national strategy was to eliminate the legal market in cannabis," Sraga said in a telephone interview. "To me it's been a failure on that policy issue because the illegal market is thriving."The faces of Canada's illegal cannabis market are as varied as the legal regulatory schemes currently unfolding across the country, experts said, noting unlicensed dispensaries are not prevalent in every province.But preliminary numbers support critics' assertions that removing penalties for recreational cannabis use is not enough to stamp out black market activity.Data prepared by Statistics Canada indicates consumers spent $1.48 billion on cannabis products during the last three months of 2018. The agency reports, however, that 79 per cent of that money was spent on the illegal market.Michael Armstrong, a Brock University associate professor who has been studying the business side of legalization, said the numbers paint a more nuanced picture when broken down by province.Working from StatCan and Health Canada data, Armstrong said he's observed that legal market share is highest in provinces that have opened more physical storefronts per capita than in those that have limited legal sales to online outlets or put a tight cap on the number of brick-and-mortar retailers.In provinces that have made legal purchasing more feasible, such as Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Alberta, legal cannabis sales made up between 29 and 39 per cent of market activity, Armstrong said. But in Ontario, where pot could only be purchased legally online until April 1, legal market share was just 13 per cent during the quarter.The situation was worse in British Columbia, he said, noting the province's one legal storefront and online sales operation took in just four per cent of the cash consumers spent on cannabis during the quarter.There, as in Ontario, dispensaries that figured largely in the black-market landscape prior to legalization are once again doing brisk business.Last week the province's public safety minister announced a provincewide enforcement team put in place last fall would start to ramp up its efforts to make the dispensaries close their doors.Mike Farnworth said the 44-member team wouldn't immediately be shutting down unlicensed pot stores but would instead inform operators about new licensing regulations governing marijuana sales in the province."I think, right now, what they have been doing is what you could call education, visiting illegal operations and letting them know (the team) is up and running," Farnworth said.Police in Ontario have taken a more aggressive approach, with 10 forces across the province banding together to shutter dispensaries.Ontario Provincial Police Det. Insp. Jim Walker said the various police services have formed a joint task force that's made at least 44 arrests since its activities kicked into high gear in January.Led by the OPP, the joint task force has been acting on intelligence the provincial government gathered about the cannabis black market in the year before legalization, he said.Walker, who is deputy director of the force's Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, said that while illegal online operations and pop-up shops are surfacing with increasing frequency, dispensaries still make up the bulk of the team's work.Illegal storefronts are still highly lucrative, Walker said, adding officers with the task force have dismantled businesses bringing in daily totals of as much as $20,000."There's a reason individuals are doing it and it's not for the betterment of the community," he said. "It's because of the significant amount of money to be made."Armstrong, however, questioned the effectiveness of the police strategy, noting that closing a dispensary is more likely to force the proprietor to conduct business underground rather than cease operations altogether."If you shut them down, you don't shut down demand, you're shutting down that one supplier," he said. "Shutting down dispensaries is an important step once there's a legal alternative. Until there's a legal alternative, I see it as largely a waste of police resources."Demand on local police was one of the factors that resulted in Sraga's team taking over storefront enforcement in Toronto.The task remains daunting, he said, with the number of dispensaries staying stubbornly above the 20 mark as the province's handful of legal operations open their doors and stock their shelves.Emboldened by the shift in Canada's legal landscape, Sraga said some operators have become especially brazen in their fight to stay open, citing an example of a store that cut through a steal door and dismantled the city's locks before reinstalling a replacement and opening for business again.Sraga views his team's efforts as crucial work, but agrees with Armstrong that enforcers face an uphill battle until supply shortfalls are addressed and legal retailers are in a position to give customers what they want."There's clearly a supply-and-demand issue, and these illegal storefronts are capitalizing on that," Sraga said in a telephone interview. "It's unfortunate that we entered into a legalized environment without ensuring that there was an adequate supply to satisfy that demand." Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A NASA astronaut will spend nearly a year at the International Space Station, setting a record for women.Station astronaut Christina Koch will remain on board for about 11 months, until February — approaching but not quite breaking Scott Kelly's 340-day U.S. record."One month down. Ten to go," she tweeted Wednesday. She said it feels awesome having so much extra time in space and "a true honour and a dream come true."Koch knew before launching last month that her flight might stretch into 2020 and sought advice from Kelly as well as retired astronaut Peggy Whitson, the current record-holder for female space fliers.Koch will break Whitson's 288-day record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman at the end of December."I hope that me being up here and giving my best every day is a way for me to say thank you to people like her," Koch said in a NASA interview broadcast Wednesday.Koch said before launching, she and her husband listened to an audio recording of Kelly's 2017 autobiography, "Endurance." She said there was a lot of helpful advice.An electrical engineer who's worked in Antarctica, Koch will undergo medical tests during her stay. More subjects and more diversity are needed, she noted, to better understand the effects of long-term spaceflight as NASA aims to return astronauts to the moon within five years."It's almost turning into not that big of a deal to have somebody on board station for 10, 11 months because we've done it before, we're good at it and we're going to keep doing it," she said.Koch was supposed to become part of the first all-female spacewalking team, but instead ventured out a few weeks ago with a male crewmate. Only one usable medium spacesuit was available, and the two women on board both needed mediums.Another NASA astronaut also will have an extended stay. Dr. Andrew Morgan will launch to the space station this summer for a nine-month mission — also considerably longer than the usual six months. The physician and Army officer will lift off from Kazakhstan with an Italian and a Russian on July 20, the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.Both Koch and Morgan are part of NASA's Astronaut Class of 2013, the first to have a 50-50 split between women and men.NASA announced the extended assignments this week. The primary reason for the schedule shuffling is to free up a seat on a pair of Russian Soyuz spacecraft for the United Arab Emirates' first astronaut, Hazza al-Mansoori. He will spend just over a week in orbit this fall.Russia still holds the world's space endurance record. A Russian cosmonaut-physician spent nearly 15 months on a single mission aboard the former Mir space station in the mid-1990s.Kelly returned to Earth in 2016 and Whitson in 2017. Both are now retired from NASA.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced Nova Scotia's new chief justice. Michael J. Wood, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge, replaces former Chief Justice Michael MacDonald, who retired in February.
PARIS — Notre Dame Cathedral would have burned to the ground in a "chain-reaction collapse" had firefighters not moved as rapidly as they did to battle the blaze racing through the beloved landmark building, a French government official said Wednesday.The firefighters acted aggressively to protect wooden supports in the twin medieval bell towers from the flames, averting a bigger catastrophe, said José Vaz de Matos, a fire expert with France's Culture Ministry."If the fire reached this wooden structure, the bell tower would have been lost," de Matos said at a news conference. "From the moment we lose the war of the bell towers, we lose the cathedral, because it's a chain-reaction collapse."Monday's fire destroyed most of the lead roof of the 950-year-old architectural treasure and caused its spire, which was added in the 19th century, to collapse.An initial fire alert was sounded at 6:20 p.m., as a Mass was underway in the cathedral, but no fire was found. The second alert was sounded at 6:43 p.m., and the blaze was discovered on the roof. No one was killed in the fire, after firefighters and church officials speedily evacuated those inside.Firefighters acted bravely and as fast as they could to save the cathedral, said senior fire official Philippe Demay, denying that there was any delay in their response.Despite extensive damage, many of the cathedral's treasures were saved, including Notre Dame's famous rose windows, although they are not out of danger.Paris Firefighters' spokesman Lt.-Col. Gabriel Plus said that even though they are "in good condition ... there is a risk for the gables that are no longer supported by the frame."Firefighters removed statues inside the gables, or support walls, above the rose windows to protect them, and took care not to spray water too hard on the delicate stained glass, Plus said.Scaffolding erected for a renovation of the spire and roof that was already underway must be properly removed because of its weight and because it is now "crucially deformed," he added.The cathedral is still being monitored closely by firefighters and experts to determine how much damage the structure suffered and what needs to be dismantled to avoid collapse."The experts are scrutinizing the whole of the cathedral, part by part, to identify what is weakened, what will need to be dismantled or consolidated," Plus said.Nearly $1 billion has pledged for the restoration, while a vow by French President Emmanuel Macron to finish it in five years has been challenged as being wildly off track.He said the renovations would be completed in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris."We will rebuild the cathedral to be even more beautiful, and I want it to be finished within five years," Macron said.Experts have said, however, that Macron's ambitious goal appears insufficient for such a massive operation. Even Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, while supporting the government timeline, acknowledged Wednesday that it would be difficult."This is obviously an immense challenge, a historic responsibility," Philippe said in an address.Prominent French conservation architect Pierluigi Pericolo told Inrocks magazine it could take triple that time."No less than 15 years ... it's a colossal task," said Pericolo, who worked on the restoration of the 19th century St.-Donatien Basilica, which was badly damaged in a 2015 blaze in the French city of Nantes. He said it could take between two to five years just to check the stability of the cathedral that dominates the Paris skyline."It's a fundamental step, and very complex, because it's difficult to send workers into a monument whose vaulted ceilings are swollen with water," Pericolo told France-Info. "The end of the fire doesn't mean the edifice is totally saved. The stone can deteriorate when it is exposed to high temperatures and change its mineral composition and fracture inside."Notre Dame's rector said he would close the cathedral for up to "five to six years," acknowledging that "a segment" of the structure may be gravely weakened.Pledges of nearly $1 billion have been made by ordinary worshippers and wealthy magnates, including those who own L'Oreal, Chanel and Dior. Presidential cultural heritage envoy Stephane Bern told broadcaster France-Info that 880 million euros ($995 million) has been raised since the fire.The government was gathering donations and setting up a special office to deal with big-ticket offers.Criticism already has surfaced in France from those who say the money could be better spent elsewhere, on smaller, struggling churches or on workers.Philippe also said an international competition will be held to see if the spire should be rebuilt."Should we rebuild the spire envisaged and built by Viollet-le-Duc under the same conditions ... (or) give Notre Dame a new spire adapted to the technologies and the challenges of our times?" he said.Teams brought in a huge crane and delivered planks of wood to the site Wednesday morning. Firefighters were still examining the damage and shoring up the structure.Macron called a special Cabinet meeting Wednesday on the fire, which investigators believe was an accident possibly linked to renovation that was already underway on the cathedral.The Paris prosecutor's office said investigators have still not been able to look inside the cathedral, because it remains dangerous.About 30 people have already been questioned in the investigation. Among them are workers at the five construction companies who were involved in renovating the church spire and roof.Neighbourhood merchants who depend on tourism to Notre Dame expressed worry about their future. Since the fire, the island that houses the cathedral has been closed to the public and its residents evacuated."No one is talking about us," said Patrick Lejeune, president of an association that represents about 150 employees.Bustling streets are now "totally closed. I don't have access to my office," he said.The island is considered the heart of Paris, with all distances in France measured from the esplanade in front of Notre Dame.Later Wednesday evening, bells will toll at cathedrals around France in honour of Notre Dame.___Associated Press writers Angela Charlton and Sylvie Corbet contributed.Thomas Adamson And Nicolas Vaux-Montagny, The Associated Press
The Medical Council of Canada has expanded the list of items that can be taken into its qualifying professional exam without advance permission to include menstrual products, among other belongings.Last fall, the MCC faced criticism for prohibiting women from bringing tampons or menstrual pads into exam rooms while writing multi-hour tests.Dr. Michelle Cohen, advocacy chairwoman with Canadian Women in Medicine, launched a petition to end the practice in October.She told The Canadian Press it was "sexist and unfair" to confiscate feminine hygiene products from exam takers, or to require them to ask exam supervisors for access to them in the middle of a test.At the time, the MCC said it didn't have a policy specifically on the use of, and access to, menstrual products during exams. But personal items such as purses, bags and backpacks were not permitted in the test area.After forming a group to review such practices, the MCC recently announced it has expanded the list of items that can be taken into Part 2 of its qualifying exam without advance permission.Those items include menstrual products, medication, the EpiPen, Nitro spray, and an inhaler.Certain items still require advance written permission, and some aren't permitted at all.The list of items that can and cannot be taken into the exam is available on the council's website.The council says all items being taken into the exam must be disclosed at the registration desk or a more private, secondary location.The new practices for accessing personal items during the exam took effect with the spring 2019 session.In a statement, Canadian Women in Medicine praised the new policy, noting it is "more in line with those of other examination protocols and less discriminatory towards menstruating exam writers."The Canadian Press
The fund will invest in blockchain projects. Blockchain, which first emerged as the system powering bitcoin, is a shared database maintained by a network of computers connected to the internet. Its backers include HTC Exodus, a Taiwanese maker of smartphones and other consumer electronics, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, and Taiwanese company Formosa Plastics.
The complaint filed on Tuesday seeks damages for investors who bought Apple stock in the two months before Chief Executive Tim Cook on Jan. 2 unexpectedly reduced Apple's quarterly revenue forecast as much as $9 billion, in part because of the intensifying U.S. trade war with China. It was the first time since the iPhone's 2007 launch that Apple had cut its revenue forecast. Apple's share price fell 10 percent the next day, leaving the Cupertino, California-based company's market value roughly 40 percent below its $1.1 trillion peak three months earlier.
Montreal is asking the province for permission to force restaurants and other food-service providers to display inspection ratings, but not everybody is on side. City council unanimously approved a motion put forward by opposition Ensemble Montréal Tuesday that calls on the provincial Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) to require restaurants to display the results of MAPAQ's inspections.
High rise dwellers might get a door knock tonight, as a massive door-to-door food drive celebrates its 20th year in Ontario. Volunteers in around 35 communities will make their way through more than 1,500 properties — mainly multi-unit apartments — asking for donations, said Spring H.O.P.E. Food Drive founder Bonnie Hoy.
The EU executive wants to set benchmarks for internet connected cars, a market that could generate billions of euros in revenues for carmakers, telecoms operators and equipment makers, according to analysts. Wifi technology supporters include Renault, Toyota, NXP, Autotalks and Kapsch TrafficCom. The technology primarily connects cars to other cars.
ASML last week disclosed that former employees took company secrets to U.S. software maker Xtal Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in December after losing a $223 million judgment to ASML over the matter. "Those products were used to provide services to our largest Korean customer." Samsung is ASML's largest South Korean customer and its largest customer overall. China is a key growth market, and the cause of a bullish 2019 forecast from ASML on Wednesday, along with better-than-expected first-quarter earnings.
The federal government is providing almost $3 million over the next five years to help individual communities on P.E.I. take a lead in reducing homelessness. The initiative, called Reaching Home, is part of the national housing strategy that aims to reduce chronic homelessness across the country by 50 per cent by 2028. Reaching Home will be co-ordinated locally by the John Howard Society.
Stanford University has cleared three faculty members of any wrongdoing in dealings with a Chinese scientist who claims to have helped make the world's first gene-edited babies.In a statement Tuesday, Stanford said the faculty members did not participate in or have financial or other ties to the work by the scientist, He Jiankui, (JEEN'-qway) and had discouraged him from pursuing it.The Chinese scientist has said he altered the genes of twin girls when they were embryos to try to give them protection against possible future infection with the AIDS virus. Scientists worldwide have condemned the work as unethical and medically unnecessary.A spokesman for Rice University in Houston says that school is continuing to investigate the possible role of one of its faculty members.Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press
Aeva said on Wednesday that Audi's AID-Autonomous Intelligent Driving unit, a “center of excellence” for Volkswagen autonomous driving efforts, will be using its lidar sensor on its so-called "e-tron" development fleet vehicles in Munich, Germany. Audi's AID said it will use the sensors to help develop its so-called robo-taxis, which aim to autonomously ferry passengers around urban areas in the next few years. Aeva last year raised $45 million in venture funding led by Lux Capital and Canaan.
Eleanor Thomas, the first woman to cross the finish line at the inaugural Ottawa Marathon 45 years ago, keeps the shield and medal she won that day tucked away in her attic. On Wednesday, the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame will put the history of the marathon in the spotlight with its newest exhibition.
SASKATOON — Before he died, Chris Wenzel always talked about travelling across Canada with his wife.Cheryl Wenzel of Saskatoon is now planning that trip from Vancouver to St. John's, N.L., to show off frames of her late husband's preserved tattooed skin.It was a wish the heavily inked, tattoo artist left for her to fulfil before he died of an illness last October. A U.S. company that preserves tattoos removed the completed designs from the 41-year-old's body and, after months of waiting, Wenzel recently received four frames showcasing the colourful designs on her husband's body.The artwork was unveiled at a tattoo expo in Saskatoon and will next be displayed at a conference in Vancouver. The plan is to take the designs on tour to the east coast."It's giving myself and my children strength and courage to keep on moving on," Wenzel said this week."Through honouring Dad's wishes and to see the pride that he would have with us doing this for him."Reflecting on her late husband's unusual request, Wenzel, who comes from a family of fur trappers, said at first they joked about it."I said, 'Oh yeah, I'll skin your ass. Don't step out of line.'" The whole idea was mind-boggling, she said.Her family's story has garnered widespread attention and a range of reactions from inspiration to disgust, Wenzel said.She said she has always been someone to push the limits and hopes that her family's story can encourage people to be respectful."I always say to each their own," she said."Keep an open mind when you're listening to other people's stories."— By Stephanie Taylor in ReginaThe Canadian Press
A total of nine officers from Toronto's Municipal Standards and Licensing department are assigned to probe individual locations, issue closure orders and seize cannabis products and money, the city said in a news release.