Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Alberta, Saskatchewan support Canadian Senate reform

The Canadian government's bid to reform — or even abolish — the non-elected Senate is being supported by two western provinces.

Alberta and Saskatchewan have agreed at a hearing before the Supreme Court with the federal government's position that senators should be elected.

Both provinces also support that outright abolition of the scandal-plagued upper chamber would require the approval of seven provinces with 50 percent of the population.

And, Saskatchewan agrees the federal government could unilaterally impose a term limit of least 10 years instead of senators serving now until age 75.

The historic ruling into how much or little approval by the provincial governments is needed to make changes is expected to take up to a year.

There are concerns by the provinces that the prime minister would not be bound to appoint the winners of Senate elections and that views of smaller provinces would be overlooked in considering abolition.

Ontario government may help Toronto

The Ontario government will consider assisting Toronto's city council if it can't function because of the scandal involving Mayor Rob Ford.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said the revelations about Ford's admissions that he smoked crack cocaine and drove while drunk are "truly disturbing."

Council overwhelmingly approved a motion Friday to strip Ford of his powers after he refused to take a leave of absence or quit.

News in brief

• A worldwide child porn ring, alleged to be headquartered in Toronto, has been broken up with the arrests of 348 people, 108 from Canada. Those arrested include school teachers, doctors, nurses, pastors and foster parents, said police inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins. She said that at least 386 children have been rescued from sexual exploitation.

• Police have visited Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's office investigating the destruction of documents involving the canceled gas plant controversy. Wynne said her Liberals will "co-operate completely" with the investigation. Opposition politicians accuse the Liberals of destroying emails to hide the estimated $1.1 billion cost of stopping construction of two unpopular gas plants to help win the last provincial election.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar has advanced to 95.64 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar is worth $1.0454 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3 percent.

Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index higher at 13,478 points and the TSX Venture index lower at 931 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Nov. 13) 3, 8, 15, 17, 29 and 33; bonus 10. (Nov. 9) 4, 8, 30, 43, 46 and 48; bonus 44. Lotto Max: (Nov. 8) 7, 8, 10, 15, 24, 26 and 41; bonus 12.

Regional briefs

• Heinz Canada will close its century-old ketchup-making plant in Leamington, Ontario, with the loss of 740 jobs within eight months. The company is "consolidating manufacturing across North America," Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen said. The company is also closing facilities in Florence, S.C. and Pocatello, Idaho, affecting 610 jobs.

• Quebec's Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial for former Quebec doctor Guy Turcotte accused of murdering his 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. The court ruled that legal errors were committed when he was found not criminally responsible due to his mental condition. The court was told Turcotte stabbed his children as his marriage was falling apart in February 2009.

• Dennis Oland, 45, has been arrested for the murder of his father, Richard, who was 69 and an Atlantic Canada business leader. The elder Oland was found beaten in his St. John, New Brunswick office in 2011. He was a member of the family that owns Moosehead Breweries and worked in the trucking and shipbuilding businesses.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

Alberta, Saskatchewan support Canadian Senate reform 11/15/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 15, 2013 4:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Some teachers allege 'hostile and racially charged' workplace at Pinellas Park Middle


    PINELLAS PARK — Two black teachers at Pinellas Park Middle have requested transfers out of the school, alleging the work environment there has become "hostile and racially charged."

    Pinellas Park Middle School at 6940 70th Ave N, where some black teachers have alleged they were treated with hostility by colleagues after starting a tutoring program for black students. Just 22 percent of black students were proficient in English language arts in last spring's state tests. Two black teachers have asked to be transfered, according to a letter from two local chapters of the NAACP. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  2. Editorial: The unknown price tags in the mayor's race


    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has been busy promoting all sorts initiatives in the months leading up to the Nov. 7 election, doubling down on his progressive agenda without spending much money or generating much controversy. But make no mistake, the cost will come due after the election. Without a change in …

    The mayor is determined to get artist Janet Echelman to create a sculpture for the new Pier. But the cost would be much higher than what is allocated. Above is Echelman’s As If It Were Already Here in Boston.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. Judge won't cut prison term of man who pleads obesity


    TAMPA — A claim of obesity won't shave time off a Tampa man's prison sentence.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.
  5. Advocates for charter, public schools argue their cases at education forum


    TAMPA — Advocates of charter schools argued for diversity in education while supporters of traditional public schools charged that state funding is stacked against them during a forum Friday titled "Choices in Education."

    Schools such as Winthrop Charter School deserve greater public support, their operators say, because they offer a choice in education that is popular among parents. Public school advocates say charter and voucher schools represent a double standard in accountability and enrollment. [WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times]