POLITICS

Seven stories in the news today, July 15

07/15/2015 04:15 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 05:59 EDT
Seven stories in the news today, July 15 from The Canadian Press:

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ECONOMISTS EXPECT CENTRAL BANK TO TRIM INTEREST RATE

The Bank of Canada is set to make its latest rate announcement this morning and update its outlook for the economy. Several economists from Canada's big banks expect the central bank to cut its key rate, but a drop from the current 0.75 per cent is far from a sure bet.

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B.C. MAY BOOST PENALTIES FOR WILDLIFE STARTERS

Fines and penalties currently in place for people who spark wildfires in British Columbia are coming under review as the provincial government looks for ways to cut down the number of fires it has to fight. Forests Minister Steve Thomson said Tuesday that humans have caused 375 of the 1,086 wildfires that have been reported since April 1 and those flames have burned 440 square kilometres.

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THOUSANDS OF SASK. EVACUEES ANXIOUS TO RETURN HOME

Thousands of fire evacuees in Saskatchewan are anxious to return home, but officials are urging them to be patient and ignore rumours. Information circulating on social media has been a challenge over the past two weeks, as wildfires and smoke forced about 13,000 people from their homes in the north, said Karri Kempf with the province's social services ministry. At last count, there were 125 fires burning in the province.

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AMBROSE WANTS FEDS INCLUDED IN PROVINCIAL DRUG ALLIANCE

Health Minister Rona Ambrose has penned a sharply-worded letter calling for the provinces and territories to co-operate with the feds to help slash the cost of prescription drugs. In a note to provincial and territorial health ministers obtained by The Canadian Press, Ambrose says the federal government has "repeatedly expressed interest" in participating in the Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance.

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VICTORIA BEST CDN. CITY FOR WOMAN, SAYS STUDY

A new study says life is better for women who live in cities such as Victoria, Gatineau, Que., and Montreal compared to Edmonton, Calgary and Ontario's Waterloo Region. Victoria leads a list of 25 Canadian cities in a study done by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. It says there is a strong gap between the sexes in five areas examined: economic security, education, health, leadership and personal security.

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UKRAINE SCRAMBLES FOR DEBT RESTRUCTURING DEAL

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on international creditors to accept his government's debt restructuring plan while touting a new free trade deal with Canada as a boost to business investment and confidence in his embattled country. His appeal followed a visit to Ottawa and ahead of a meeting today between Ukraine's finance minister and private creditors.

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B.C. LAW PROHIBITING CRYONICS' SALES CHALLENGED

A law prohibiting the sale of a service in British Columbia that preserves human bodies at ultra-low temperatures after clinical death is being challenged in the province's courts. The Lifespan Society of British Columbia and Keegan Macintosh filed a notice of civil claim Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court, arguing sections of the province's Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act are unconstitutional because they prohibit the sale of cryonics.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS ...

— National aboriginal leaders meet today with provincial and territorial premiers in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador.

— Statistics Canada releases the monthly survey of manufacturing for May.

— Pan Am Games officials will announce the headline talent for the closing ceremony.

— The Rolling Stones perform at Festival d'ete de Quebec on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City.