Five stories in the news for Thursday, March 23:
BUDGET 2017: ALCOHOL, TOBACCO TAXES RISING
Starting today, Canadians will be paying more for alcohol and tobacco. As part of the 2017 federal budget, taxes are going up on both products -- two per cent on alcohol, and the excise duty rate on cigarettes goes up to $21.56 per carton from $21.03. Both will be adjusted every April 1st starting next year, based on the consumer price index.
TOP COURT TO RULE ON BAIL ISSUE IN OLAND CASE
The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to rule today on whether New Brunswick's Court of Appeal was wrong in denying bail to Dennis Oland while he was awaiting an appeal of his second-degree murder conviction. The 49-year-old was denied bail by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal early last year following his conviction in the murder of his father, well-known businessman Richard Oland.
BC CORONER'S JURY BACKS MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
A coroner's jury is recommending that transit police in the Vancouver area work more closely with mental health providers, following the death of a man who repeatedly stabbed himself and was shot by an officer at a grocery store more than two years ago. Naverone Woods, 23, was shot by a transit police officer inside a Safeway store in Surrey, B.C., on the morning of Dec. 28, 2014.
FEDS BUMP UP 'CARDING' MONEY FOR ATHLETES
Canada's top athletes will be getting a bump in their monthly cheques. They receive money from Sport Canada via the Athletes Assistance Program to help pay for groceries, housing and utilities. Known as "carding" money, it's been at a maximum of $1,500 a month since 2004. But Wednesday's budget pumped more money into the program, which could translate into as much as $270 more per month.
GAMER HEADS TO FLORIDA TO PLAY FOR CHILDREN
A stay-at-home dad is scheduled to fly to Florida from his home in New Brunswick today in a bid to turn his lifelong passion for gaming into a charitable money-maker for sick children. Organizers at Halifax's IWK Health Centre gathered the names of fundraisers who'd donated to the hospital and picked Kris Jardine's name out of a hat for the trip to Florida, where he's scheduled to play other gamers for additional cash for the hospital.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:
— Statistics Canada releases employment insurance for January and Canada's population estimates for the fourth quarter.
— Latvia's minister of foreign affairs appears at Commons committee on the situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia 25 years after the end of the Cold War.
— Court appearance for Marineland, which faces 11 animal cruelty charges, in Niagara Falls.
— Cannabis Task Force Chair Anne McLellan gives a lecture in Vancouver on the legalization process and task force recommendations.
— Heritage Minister Melanie Joly attends the launch of the National Arts Centre Orchestra's Canada 150 Tour.
— The 2017 Calgary Stampede chuckwagon canvas auction.
— Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason and Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gale Katchur announce plans for bridge infrastructure.
— Organizers of the 420 Ottawa event hold a press conference to discuss details of the upcoming protest.
The Canadian Press