Six stories in the news today, Oct. 8 from The Canadian Press:
PM HARPER ELEVATES NIQAB DEBATE
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has taken the politics of niqabs to a higher level by suggesting a re-elected Conservative government would consider legislation banning the Muslim face covering for anyone dealing with — or working for — the federal government. Such a ban in the federal civil service would affect very few bureaucrats — if any. Statistics from 2011 show only 1.8 per cent of 257,000 federal employees are Muslim women and only a small subset of them is likely to wear face coverings.
CP READY TO DROP APPEAL IN LAC-MEGANTIC CASE
A Quebec judge is scheduled to hear a motion today to change the conditions of a $450-million settlement fund for victims of the 2013 Lac-Megantic rail disaster. If the changes are approved, Canadian Pacific Railway says it will withdraw all of its objections to the fund in Canada and in the United States. CP has been the only company accused in the derailment to not participate in the settlement fund.
DELAY COULD KILL PROJECT, SAYS NORTHERN GATEWAY
A three-judge panel in Vancouver's Federal Court of Appeal is expected to hear a final day of arguments today in a legal challenge against the Northern Gateway pipeline project. First Nations, environmental groups and a union are in court, trying to overturn a decision by a federal review panel to approve the $7 billion project. Company lawyer Bernard Roth says the judges will kill the pipeline proposal if they overturn the environmental approval certificates.
ALBERTA REFINERY COSTS LEVEL OFF AT $8.5 BILLION
The costs of building Alberta's first new oil refinery in 30 years have stabilized and it's on track to be up and running by 2017, says the chairman of the company developing the government-backed Sturgeon project. Ian MacGregor, chairman and chief executive of North West Upgrading Inc., says with close to $5 billion already spent, he expects the total cost to fall within the company's $8.5 billion estimate.
HEARING TODAY FOR ACTOR RANDY QUAID IN MONTREAL
American actor Randy Quaid has been arrested again and is scheduled to appear before the Immigration and Refugee Board today in Montreal. The circumstances behind his second arrest in the city this year are unclear, but his Canadian wife, Evi, tweeted late Tuesday that her husband had been detained. Quaid told The Associated Press today's hearing is about whether he can remain in Canada.
OK BLUE JAYS' SONG STILL A HIT 30 YEARS LATER
It was written as an homage to baseball and an anthem of sorts for a team that was new and struggling. More than 30 years later the "OK Blue Jays" song is a rallying cry being sung from coast to coast as the team begins its playoff run today against the Texas Rangers in its quest for a third World Series title.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY ...
— A trial continues in Saint John, N.B., for Dennis Oland, accused of second-degree murder in the death of his father, Richard Oland.
— Dalhousie University medical student Stephen Tynes, 30, appears in court, accused of uttering threats to cause bodily harm and unauthorized possession of a prohibited device.
The Canadian Press