Sunday, May 27, 2018
News Roundup

Government will announce cuts

Canadians will learn on March 29 how the federal government plans to cut spending by about $5 billion a year within three years.

The much-awaited, no-frills federal budget will outline "what we're doing in terms of the deficit-reduction action plan and much more than that; this is a jobs and growth budget," Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said.

There are concerns the Conservative government will cut programs and jobs and announce a plan to start scaling back pensions, including making Canadians wait beyond age 65 to receive the monthly "Old Age Security" payments.

Government workers are bracing for cutbacks and plan to protest next Thursday on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

They have been "protected" during the recession and it is "realistic that we ask the public service to participate in the belt-tightening," Flaherty said.

Overall, the government is "talking about relatively small spending reductions," he said, with cuts being "modest" in a budget of $265 million.

Government revenues are expected to be more than predicted with the continued strength of commodity prices, particularly for oil, a major Canadian export.

Investigators: Train was speeding before crash

A Via Rail passenger train was speeding when it crashed off the tracks west of Toronto killing three crew members and injuring 46 passengers, investigators said.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is trying to determine why the train didn't slow to the posted 15 mph as it approached a rarely used switch leading to another track.

The train was travelling at 67 mph near Burlington, causing the locomotive to tip over and crash into an industrial building last Sunday afternoon.

Lack of an onboard voice recorder in the cab, as required in U.S. trains, makes the investigation more difficult, said the board's Tom Griffith.

Killed were engineers Ken Simmonds, 56, and Peter Snarr, 52, both of Toronto, and engineer trainee Patrick Robinson, 40, of Cornwall.

Facts and figures

The Canadian dollar has gained to $1.0155 in U.S. funds while the U.S. greenback is worth 98.85 cents Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

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

Canadian stock exchanges are lower, with the Toronto index at 12,631 points and the TSX Venture Exchange index 1,675 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 40; bonus 28. (Feb. 25) 2, 22, 30, 33, 35 and 42; bonus 14. Lotto Max: (Feb. 24) 6, 17, 23, 24, 25, 31 and 38; bonus 7.

News in brief

• Elections Canada is investigating more than 31,000 reports about fraudulent automated phone calls during last May's federal election campaign. No political party has taken responsibility for the "robocalls" that in some cases redirected voters to nonexistent polling places. Complaints also included calls at inconvenient hours and harassment by people purportedly calling on behalf of political parties.

• British Columbia teachers plan to start a three-day strike on Monday to back demands for more money and better treatment. The provincial government is moving to pass a bill to outlaw any further strikes by the 41,000 teachers and to appoint a mediator. New Democratic politicians say they will stall that action in the legislature.

• Ontario teachers are being asked to take a two-year pay freeze to help with budget restraints. Premier Dalton McGuinty also wants an end to a plan that pays teachers up to 200 days for unused sick leave when they retire. Starting pay in elementary schools up to Grade 8 is $41,766 to $44,292 a year. Top pay is $92,813 and $94,942 for high-school teachers.

• Sears Canada plans to close three major downtown stores in Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa to raise money to revamp other stores. To be closed are stores at the Vancouver Pacific Center, the Calgary Chinook Center and the Ottawa Rideau Center by Oct. 31. There are 301 Sears stores across Canada.

• The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended a search for a 47-year-old Canadian woman thought to have fallen overboard from the Bahamas Celebration between the Bahamas and Palm Beach, Fla. The unidentified woman was last seen as the ship left Grand Bahama Island. As well, 13 Canadians are returning home from the Costa Allegra that lost power after an engine room fire in the Indian Ocean. A sister ship, the Costa Concordia ran into rocks and nearly capsized in January with the loss of 32 lives.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

THE BASEBALL LABORATORY IN ST. PETERSBURG — Up is down. Down is up. Hello is goodbye. Goodbye is hello. A reliever is a starter. A starter is a reliever.These are your 2018 Tampa Bay Rays.You never know what's going to happen. And just when you...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who was trying to resurrect his career with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, said Saturday that he is retiring from football.Freeman, 30, was a first-round draft pick of the Bucs in 2009 and was their starting ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

RIVERVIEW — A Riverview woman shot and killed her husband Saturday because he punched her father and wouldn’t say sorry, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said. Sabrina Michelle Hendley, 40, faces a first-degree murder charge in th...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Interesting decision by the Rays to start RH reliever Ryne Stanek on Saturday. The Orioles' Nos. 1 through 5 hitters were righties, and Stanek came in allowing a 1.228 OPS against righties and a .592 OPS against lefties. It ended up working.How ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

WEEKI WACHEE — A woman who runs an animal sanctuary will face dozens of animal cruelty charges after Hernando County animal enforcement officers said they found dogs, equine, pigs, cats and chickens housed in poor conditions on her property.Animal of...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Police investigating shooting outside nightclub

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred outside a south St. Petersburg nightclub early Saturday morning.Brennan-Aire D. Williams, 28, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving by cab at Bayfront Health. Police invest...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Woman dies in Plant City after SUV flips off road

PLANT CITY — A Seffner woman died Saturday from injuries sustained when her sports utility vehicle flipped off the road and crashed into a fence near the intersection of Tanner Road and State Road 574.Amanda K. Cepeda-Duque, 21, was traveling west on...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Updated: 11 hours ago