OTTAWA/WINNIPEG, Manitoba, March 26 (Reuters) – The Canadian
government introduced legislation on Wednesday that will allow
it to set minimum levels of grain that railways must ship each
year to avoid the huge crop backlogs that have hurt farmers’
cash flow this winter.
The Conservative government earlier this month ordered the
country’s two dominant railroads, Canadian National Railway Co
and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, to double
their weekly grain volumes to 1 million tonnes combined over a
four-week period to clear the massive crop logjam.
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Retired federal workers will pay more of their supplemental health costs under an agreement with the Canadian government intended to align the public sector with the private sector, Treasury Board President Tony Clement said on Wednesday.
Retirees’ contributions will rise to 50 percent of the cost of their health plan from 25 percent now. The supplement plan pays for drugs, eye-glasses and other items not covered by the general medical care plan that is free for all Canadians. Low-income pensioners will not be affected.
OTTAWA (Reuters) – The governing separatist Parti Quebecois would lose next month’s Quebec provincial election if it were held now, a poll released on Tuesday showed, a casualty of renewed concentration during the campaign on the issue of independence from Canada.
The Leger poll, taken after last Thursday’s televised leaders’ debate, extended a trend that began after powerful Quebec businessman Pierre Karl Peladeau said he would run for election for the Parti Quebecois, and stated baldly that he was joining the race because he wanted the Canadian province to become a country.
OTTAWA, March 24 (Reuters) – Quebec police have concluded
their investigation into last July’s oil-by-rail disaster in the
Quebec town of Lac-Megantic in which 47 people were killed, and
have turned the file over to the public prosecutor’s office, a
police spokesman said Monday.
“The investigators of the Surete du Quebec (police) have
sent the investigation report to the director of criminal and
penal prosecutions,” spokesman Claude Denis said.
OTTAWA, March 19 (Reuters) – When Greg Rickford, Canada’s
new natural resources minister, became the first Conservative
ever to be elected to Parliament from northern Ontario’s Kenora
district, reports said he began his victory speech: “Mission
impossible – accomplished.”
Rickford now faces another daunting challenge: winning
support for the controversial Keystone XL and Northern Gateway
oil pipelines that have galvanized the environmental movement in
OTTAWA/TORONTO, March 19 (Reuters) – Joe Oliver brings a
sense of gravitas to his new job as Canada’s finance minister,
an asset the governing Conservatives will want to emphasize as
they prepare to fight an election against young but popular
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
Oliver is 73 and spent decades working on Toronto’s Bay
Street, the heart of Canada’s financial industry, before
becoming natural resources minister after his election to
Parliament in 2011. He was named finance minister on Wednesday,
replacing Jim Flaherty, who resigned the day before.
OTTAWA, March 18 (Reuters) – Canada’s Jim Flaherty, the
long-serving Conservative finance minister who helped steer the
economy through the global financial crisis, resigned from
politics on Tuesday, leaving the country on track to balance its
books by 2015.
Flaherty, 64, ends the third-longest stint as finance
minister in the country’s history. He has been suffering acutely
from a rare skin disease, though he denied his resignation had
anything to do with health.
OTTAWA, March 10 (Reuters) – The separatist Parti Quebecois
is no longer in the lead in Quebec’s provincial election
campaign, though it would likely win the most seats in the April
7 vote if current support holds, according to a recent poll.
An Internet survey by the polling firm CROP released on
Sunday night puts support for the ruling Parti Quebecois (PQ),
which wants Quebec to separate from Canada, at 36 percent. This
is the same level as the pro-Canada Liberal Party of Quebec,
with the smaller Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) at 17 percent.
OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday upheld the sexual assault conviction of a Nova Scotia man for poking holes in his condoms before having consensual sex with his girlfriend in order to try to make her pregnant.
Craig Jaret Hutchinson’s girlfriend, whose name the court has protected, said she had agreed to sex as long as it was with a condom so that she would not get pregnant.
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Quebec’s separatist government moved to capitalise on a lead in the polls on Wednesday, launching a provincial election it hopes will result in a majority government that could eventually lead to a third referendum on independence from Canada.
“It is necessary to put an end to the obstruction of our opponents,” Premier Pauline Marois of the Parti Quebecois (PQ), who has headed a minority government for the past 18 months, said in triggering the April 7 election.