POLITICS

Five stories in the news today, March 31

03/31/2015 04:20 EDT | Updated 05/30/2015 05:59 EDT
Five stories in the news today, March 31, from The Canadian Press:

MPs VOTE TO EXTEND, EXPAND ISIL MISSION

Canadian fighter jets will soon be launching airstrikes in Syria now that MPs have voted 142-130 to approve the government's plan to expand and extend its military mission to help defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Neither the NDP nor the Liberals supported the original mission, nor its extension, arguing the government has not adequately made the case for going to war.

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AMENDENTS TO ANTI-TERRORISM BILL TO BE PRESENTED TODAY

A handful of proposed amendments to the federal anti-terrorism bill are to be presented today to the House of Commons public safety committee. Among other things, the bill would give the Canadian Security Intelligence Service more power to thwart suspected terrorist plots — not just gather information about them. Sources have told The Canadian Press the government plans to introduce four changes to clarify or curtail elements of the bill.

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CANADA URGED TO JOIN SYRIAN AID DRIVE

Canada is being called upon to pledge nearly $180 million towards a record-breaking international aid appeal for Syria this year. With the Syrian civil war in its fifth year, the United Nations is making an $8.4-billion appeal for funds at a major international pledging conference in Kuwait.

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INVESTIGATION CONTINUES INTO HARD LANDING IN HALIFAX

Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board continue probing the hard landing of an Air Canada plane in Halifax on Sunday that sent 25 people to hospital. Mike Cunningham, the agency's regional manager of air investigations, said they have had preliminary discussions with the flight crew and started interviewing passengers. The flight data and cockpit voice recorders have been sent to Ottawa for analysis.

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IT'S BUDGET DAY IN NEW BRUNSWICK

New Brunswick's Liberal government brings down a budget today. Finance Minister Roger Melanson has said he's looking for a balance between getting spending under control and new revenue. The last fiscal update projected debt to grow by $377.1 million for 2014-15, bringing the total to $12 billion. The province also forecast a $255.4 million deficit for the same time period.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY ...

— Ontario's Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivers a pre-budget address to the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

— Canada's gross domestic product fell 0.1 per cent in January, reported Statistics Canada today.

— Richard Henry Bain, charged with first-degree murder in Quebec's 2012 election shooting, returns to court in Montreal.

— A time capsule will be buried at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal and will remain unopened until 2050.