NEWS
10/26/2016 13:43 EDT | Updated 10/27/2017 01:12 EDT

The Wednesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories

Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Oct. 26

HOSPITAL TIPPED POLICE IN SENIORS HOMICIDE CASE: A police source says the murder investigation into the deaths of eight long-term care home residents in southwestern Ontario was launched after a tip from a Toronto psychiatric hospital. The source familiar with the investigation says officials from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health alerted the Toronto force about Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a nurse from Woodstock, Ont. Wettlaufer, 49, was charged Tuesday with eight counts of first-degree murder. The alleged victims include five women and three men ranging in age from 75 to 96.

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EU-CANADA TRADE DEAL IN LIMBO: In a race against the clock, the European Union edged closer Wednesday to being able to sign a free trade deal with Canada after Belgium made progress in lifting the veto of one of its regions. But Wallonia leader Paul Magnette said late Wednesday that his region would not be able to back the deal in the coming hours, making it ever more unlikely the full signing ceremony with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could be held on Thursday. "No, tonight, no agreement! There are still a lot of legal and technical verifications to do," Magnette said as he entered late night talks. He said an EU-Canada summit would come "one day, but not tomorrow!"

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MULRONEY SAYS TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP DOOMED: Former prime minister Brian Mulroney says the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is doomed to fail because of hostility in the U.S. Congress. Mulroney says he believes Canada should shift its efforts toward making deals with countries like India and China. Mulroney made the comments in Nova Scotia where he was attending a ceremony to announce plans for the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish.

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TORIES DEMAND ANSWERS ABOUT CANADIAN ROLE IN IRAQ: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government's clampdown on information about Canada's mission in Iraq is necessary to protect Canadian soldiers on the ground. But interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose says the government is trying to hide the fact the troops are engaged in combat with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The heated exchange in the House of Commons came after military officers revealed recently that Canadian soldiers are spending more time on the front lines and engaging in more firefights with ISIL.

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CANADIANS USING INTERNET MORE THAN TV: A report by the CRTC says Canadians spent more on Internet access than television services for the first time last year. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said that in 2015 communications service industry revenues from Internet access were $9.8 billion, while subscription television services accounted for $8.9 billion. The shift also saw wireless data usage increase by 44 per cent from 2014 to 2015.

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FIRST NATIONS TO SUE OVER LNG PROJECT: First Nations groups are planning to file a lawsuit Thursday against the federal government and Malaysian state-owned oil firm Petronas in an attempt to stop a liquefied natural gas project on British Columbia's northern coast. The $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project received conditional approval from the federal government last month. First Nations claim the project — which includes a pipeline and terminal proposed for Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert — could have a severe impact on communities in the area by destroying habitat for local salmon stock.

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CMHC SAYS HOUSING PRICES OUTSTRIPPING ECONOMY: Canada's federal housing agency says there is rising evidence of risk in the country's real estate markets as home prices have climbed faster than income and population growth. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has increased its risk rating for the national housing market to strong, from the moderate rating that CMHC gave in July. It cites continued overvaluation, which means that home prices are not fully supported by economic fundamentals such as income, mortgage rates and population growth.

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NEB PREDICTS SLOWER GROWTH IN OIL PRICES: The National Energy Board has downgraded its long-term outlook for oil prices and Canadian production in the face of lower global industry costs and stricter environmental regulations. In an update released Wednesday, the regulator projects inflation-adjusted oil prices rising to US$68 a barrel by 2020 and US$90 by 2040, $12 and $17 a barrel lower, respectively, than in its January report. The lower prices are expected to translate to lower long-term production for Canada, where costs are comparatively high.

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POWERFUL AFTERSHOCKS HIT ITALY: A pair of powerful aftershocks shook central Italy on Wednesday, knocking out power, closing a major highway and sending panicked residents into the rain-drenched streets just two months after a powerful earthquake killed nearly 300 people. The first quake carried a magnitude of 5.4, but the second one was even stronger, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1. Two people were injured in the Visso area, but otherwise there were no other immediate reports of victims.

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CLINTON CELEBRATES 69TH BIRTHDAY IN FLORIDA: Hillary Clinton is praising celebrity chef Jose Andres for declining to open a restaurant inside rival Donald Trump's new Washington, D.C., hotel. Clinton told a rally in Tampa, Fla., that when Andres heard Trump's talk about immigrants, he refused to open a restaurant in that hotel. Clinton says it was a "really gutsy" decision. Clinton was greeted with chants of "Happy birthday" as she arrived at the rally on her 69th birthday.