NEWS
11/09/2016 12:11 EST | Updated 11/10/2017 00:12 EST

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

Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Nov. 9

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CANADA TO TRUMP: SURE, LET'S TALK NAFTA: If U.S. president-elect Donald Trump wants to sit down and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada says it's ready to talk. David MacNaughton, the country's ambassador to Washington, says Canada would be ready to come to the table. Upgrading the 1993 agreement was a major promise in Trump's successful election campaign. Trump says if the U.S.'s neighbours don't agree to renegotiate it, he'd move to scrap the deal — a move trade observers say could be quite complicated. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also offered his congratulations to U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, saying he will work with the new administration.

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MARKETS BOUNCE BACK AFTER TRUMP VICTORY: The markets have not been reacting the way many were expecting in the wake of Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. election. Kathyrn Del Greco, a vice-president and investment adviser at TD Wealth, says the shock started to be felt in the markets initially — but says the softer tone of Trump's acceptance speech seemed to calm the waters. Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets Canada, says investors seem to no longer believe in the gloom and doom scenarios of a Trump presidency.

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TRUMP PRESIDENCY ROILS TORY LEADERSHIP RACE: Conservative party leadership candidate Kellie Leitch jumped on Donald Trump's surprise U.S. victory to fan the fires of her own campaign, which is premised on enforcing as-yet undefined "Canadian values." On Facebook and in emails to supporters overnight, Leitch hailed Trump's election as an "exciting message that needs to be delivered in Canada as well." The posting drew immediate reactions from fellow MPs and Conservative leadership hopefuls Deepak Obhrai and Michael Chong, who flatly rejected the racial undertone of Leitch's appeal — even before a leadership debate Wednesday evening in Saskatoon. 

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ACCUSED IN 'KNEES TOGETHER' CASE CROSS-EXAMINED: A man being retried after a judge's controversial remarks in a sexual assault case says he really liked the woman who has accused him of rape and would never have forced himself on her. Alexander Scott Wagar testified under cross-examination that he was a Christian and "would swear on a Bible" that the sex with the young woman, who was 19 at the time, was consensual. Wagar was acquitted of sexual assault in 2014 by Robin Camp, a provincial court judge at the time, who suggested the complainant should have just kept her knees together. The verdict was overturned on appeal and this week's new trial was ordered.

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VANCOUVER PROPOSES TAX ON EMPTY HOMES: Vancouver city staff have unveiled a proposal for a one-per-cent tax on empty homes that would become the first of its kind in Canada, if approved by city council. The proposal would require all homeowners in the city to self-declare whether a property is their principal residence, meaning the usual place they call home, where they receive mail and file their taxes.

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KINDER MORGAN HEAD BACKS OFF CLIMATE REMARKS: The president of the company behind the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proposal is backing off earlier remarks suggesting he's unsure humans are contributing to climate change. Ian Anderson told the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce that he and his company, Kinder Morgan, accept the science showing that burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change. Last week, he told reporters that he listens to arguments on both sides and that he wasn't qualified to judge which is correct. He told his Edmonton audience that his previous comments "didn't come out right."

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ACCUSED KILLER REFUSES TO SPEAK TO LAWYER: The man accused of stabbing two girls at an Abbotsford, B.C., high school last week has apparently refused to speak with counsel, and repeatedly ignored questions from the judge during a brief court appearance Wednesday. However, the case against 21-year-old Gabriel Klein will go forward despite his silence. Klein faces a charge of 2nd-degree murder and a charge of aggravated assault. The charges are in connection with what police have said was a random attack that killed 13-year-old Letisha Reimer and injured another female student.

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CONCERNS RAISED ABOUT YORK U. GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO SEXUAL VIOLENCE: A PhD student who filed a human rights complaint against York University after being sexually assaulted by another student says York's new guidelines for responding to sexual violence don't go far enough. Twenty-eight-year-old Mandi Gray was attacked in January of 2015. Mustafa Ururyar was found guilty of sexual assault in the case earlier this year, but is appealing his conviction. In addition to the criminal proceedings, Gray filed a complaint against York at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, claiming the school lacked clear procedures for reporting assaults. York released interim guidelines in September but Gray says they are only symbolic and she plans to air her concerns at a mediation session with the university organized by the human rights tribunal. 

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SURVEY SHOWS SUPPORT FOR PRISON FARMS: The federal government says public consultations suggest there is "strong support" for reopening prison farms that were shut down in several provinces six years ago. The Correctional Service of Canada says the results of the survey — released Wednesday — suggest widespread recognition of the perceived value of institutional agribusiness, and consequently strong support for re-establishing the farms. The 2010 closure of the country's prison farms — six in total operating at institutions in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta — was controversial.