POLITICS

Five stories in the news today, March 25

03/25/2015 04:09 EDT | Updated 05/24/2015 05:59 EDT
Five stories in the news today, March 25, from The Canadian Press:

MISSION EXPANSON DOESN'T MEAN MORE AID, YET

Despite Prime Minister Stephen Harper's claims that humanitarian help goes hand in hand with military action in Iraq and Syria, his plan to expand its Middle East mission has yet to be linked with more financial aid. So along with voting against a broader, longer mission, opposition parties will push the government to help stop ISIL through developmental and diplomatic means.

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TIME TO CLEAR UP CHARITABLE TAX RULES: STUDY

A new report says it's time for Canada to catch up with Europe, Australia, New Zealand and even the United States when it comes to unshackling public policy advocacy by charities. The study by the University of Victoria's environmental law centre finds that current federal tax rules governing political activity in the charitable sector are confusing and open to interpretation.

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ALBERTA TO BRING IN HEALTH-CARE LEVY

Premier Jim Prentice says Albertans will face a new health-care levy to help fill a multibillion-dollar revenue hole in the provincial budget. But in a provincewide TV address ahead of Thursday's budget, Prentice did not elaborate on the cost or what form the levy will take, leaving it to Finance Minister Robin Campbell to address in the budget.

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DAY TWO OF BAIL HEARING FOR OMAR KHADR

A bail hearing for former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr continues today in Edmonton. Khadr pleaded guilty in 2010 to five war-crimes charges, including murder, for killing an American soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15. Now 28, Khadr is more than halfway through his sentence at Bowden Institution in central Alberta.

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DRUG TRIAL FOR ROB FORD PAL EXPECTED TO BEGIN AFTER FALSE START

The drug trial for a friend of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford is expected to get underway today after a false start. Tuesday's hearing was aborted when Alexander (Sandro) Lisi didn't show up — apparently because he was feeling ill.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY ...

— Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson and Defence Minister Jason Kenney to discuss the decision to extend and expand the military mission against ISIL.

— The trial of suspended senator Patrick Brazeau on charges of charges of sexual assault and assault continues in a Gatineau, Que., courtoom.

— The lawyer for Christopher Phillips, who is accused of threatening police with a dangerous chemical, seeks court permission to convert a preliminary inquiry set for May 26 into a provincial court trial on that date.

— Judge Tim Hironaka rules on a media request for search warrant information in the case of Matthew de Grood, who faces five murder charges in Calgary.

— Nova Scotia Finance Minister Diana Whalen to give pre-budget speech before a Halifax Chamber of Commerce luncheon.