Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

Canada Report: Loblaw grocery chain, Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. join forces

Canada's evolving retail industry — increasingly threatened by U.S. competitors — has led to two of the country's largest retailers opting to combine their operations.

Grocery chain Loblaw Companies is buying Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. for $12.4 billion in cash and stock.

"With today's transformational partnership between Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart, we are changing the retail landscape in Canada," said Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw.

The Shoppers' name and stores will remain as a separate division of Loblaw.

Competition is heating up as new arrival Target expands its store network across Canada and a price-war with established Walmart is expected. Both sell food and pharmacy items.

Last month, Atlantic-based grocer Sobeys bought the Canadian Safeway stores for $5.8 billion in a deal that included 199 in-store pharmacies.

Quebec-based supermarket chain Metro Inc. has expressed an interest in pharmacy retailer Jean Coutu and recently sold its stake in convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard.

Transport board seeks change after explosion

Canada's Transportation Safety Board wants immediate changes in procedures after a runaway oil tanker train killed at least 50 people in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.

The board wants Transport Canada to order that dangerous goods not be left unattended and that equipment be properly secured.

An investigation continues into why a parked Montreal, Maine & Atlantic railway train with 72 cars of crude oil rolled into the downtown and exploded.

U.S. President Barack Obama, in a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, expressed his condolences and offered whatever help was needed.

Obama called it a "devastating loss of life" and said he was heartened to learn that firefighters from Maine rushed across the border to help control the fire.

News in brief

• Prime Minister Stephen Harper made his biggest cabinet overhaul since first elected in 2006 as he heads into the second half of his current term. He didn't appoint anyone from the scandal-plagued Senate for virtually the first time in Canadian history. The biggest moves were promotions for eight "backbench" Conservatives with three — Chris Alexander, Shelly Glover and Kellie Leitch — given senior portfolios.

• A gigantic blow-up doll of Sen. Mike Duffy was unveiled in Ottawa by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, seeking a referendum on whether to abolish or reform the Senate. Duffy is one of four senators being investigated for fraud over his expense claims for which he has repaid $90,172.

• The Fraser Institute says Canadians "face some of the longest waits for health care in the developed world." A study found long waits for surgery and medical treatment cost Canadians $982 million in lost time last year. They waited 9.3 weeks, on average, between an appointment with a specialist and treatment.

Facts and figures

Canada's cost of living rose by a half a point to 1.2 percent last month, largely due to rising gasoline and car prices.

The dollar moved higher to 96.51 cents U.S. while the U.S. greenback is worth $1.0360 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

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

Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 12,685 points and the TSX Venture index 920 points.

Lotto 6-49: (July 17) 11, 12, 16, 29, 38 and 43; bonus 25. (July 13) 2, 11, 14, 22, 41 and 42; bonus 13. Lotto Max: (July 12) 14, 16, 17, 36, 45, 46 and 48; bonus 7.

Regional briefs

• The $200,000 raised by U.S. gossip website Gawker to buy a video that allegedly showed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine will be donated to four charity groups. Editor John Cook said he is "disappointed" he couldn't obtain the video drug dealers offered at that price and that the Toronto Star says its reporters had viewed.

• Painter Alex Colville, one of Canada's most well-known modern artists, died Tuesday at his home in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He was 92. As a painter, engraver, sketch artist and muralist, Colville earned a reputation for art that focused on routine moments of family life and featured landscapes, animals and the sea.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Updated: 6 hours ago

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Updated: 7 hours ago

‘Up to States’ to armteachers, Trump tweets

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to S...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded. U.N. humanitarian ch...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Updated: 8 hours ago
Call her more than just a survivor

Call her more than just a survivor

TAMPA — On the quiet morning of Oct. 8, 2011, a 30-ton freight truck ran a stop sign in the small town of Clinton, Conn.It ran over Colleen Kelly Alexander, who was riding a bicycle.The truck's front wheels crushed her, then spit her to the bac...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Published: 02/24/18