Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

In Canada, Trudeau's son talks of Quebec independence

Canadians are bristling after the son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau suggested he might someday support separatism for Quebec.

Justin Trudeau, 40-year-old Liberal Member of Parliament from Montreal, was commenting on the "values" of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an interview.

"I always say that if I ever believed Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper . . . maybe I'd think of wanting to make Quebec a country," he said.

In explaining his remarks later, Trudeau said it is "ridiculous" to question his devotion to a united Canada.

It was merely the "tone and the values" of the Conservative government that pushed him to say what he did, he said.

Independence-seeking Bloc Québécois politicians were pleased by Trudeau's "realization" that Quebec's values are not shared by the federal government or the rest of Canada.

Other federalist party members recalled that his father had been an archenemy of Quebec separatists.

Government puts end to long-gun registry

The Canadian government has finally killed off the controversial long-gun registry.

Prime Minister Harper's government used its majority to pass the bill 159-130 with the support of maverick New Democrats John Rafferty and Bruce Hyer.

The Conservatives have opposed the registry created by the former Liberal government after the massacre of 14 women at Montreal's École Polytechnique university in 1989.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said it was a "billion-dollar boondoggle" that is ineffective and penalizes law-abiding hunters and farmers.

News in brief

• Cuts in health care spending, freezing doctors' payments and ending full-day kindergarten are among 362 recommendations to eliminate Ontario's escalating budget deficit. In a report, former TD Bank economist Don Drummond also said class sizes should be increased and teachers should work longer than the average 59 years of age before retirement, warning the deficit could reach $30 billion within five years. Also suggested are higher electricity and water charges and closing one of the two Niagara Falls casinos.

• A British Columbia man was sentenced to 17 months in jail for taking part in Vancouver's Stanley Cup street riot in June. Ryan Dickinson, 20, of Coquitlam was part of a mob that caused $1.2 million in damage. There are 46 others awaiting trial from among 125 rioters police have identified so far.

• An agreement reached during Prime Minister Harper's recent trip to China was a 10-year loan of pandas Er Shun and Ji Li. The giant pandas will move into the Toronto and Calgary zoos next year. There is a hope that the male-female pair might mate while living in Canada.

Facts and figures

A jump in gasoline and food prices pushed Canada's annual inflation rate up to 2.5 percent last month from 2.3 percent.

Canada's dollar is worth $1.0032 in U.S. funds while the U.S. greenback returns 99.67 cents Canadian before bank exchange fees.

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

Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 12,445 points and the TSX Venture Exchange index 1,649 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 3, 19, 21, 41, 43 and 47; bonus 9. (Feb. 11) 6, 13, 19, 32, 43 and 44; bonus 9. Lotto Max: (Feb. 10) 1, 5, 25, 35, 38, 44 and 47; bonus 39.

Regional briefs

• Several people were arrested in Montreal when hundreds protested against proposed university tuition fee increases. Strikes are also planned by students as Quebec's Liberal government moves to raise fees by $325 annually over five years. The fees are the lowest in Canada at $2,168 a year for full-time students.

• Someone in Alberta is holding an uncashed lottery ticket worth $1 million tax free. There is just one week left before the expiration date for the holder to cash the Lotto Max ticket bought in Calgary for the draw on Feb. 25 of last year. The winning numbers were 2, 12, 31, 34, 45, 48 and 49. In 2006, a $14.9 million ticket sold in Alberta also went unclaimed.

• Daredevil Nik Wallenda has been given permission to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope next summer. The Niagara Parks Commission reluctantly approved the stunt request from the descendant of the famous circus performers, the Flying Wallendas. He wants to "fulfill a dream" of walking along a cable stretched across the Niagara River between the United States and Canada.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

Deputies seek hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bicyclist in Plant City

Deputies seek hit-and-run driver who seriously injured bicyclist in Plant City

Hillsborough County deputies are searching for the driver who seriously injured a bicyclist in a hit-and-run crash in Dover on Monday morning.Deputies say the suspect was driving a Toyota Camry that is now missing part of its right front air dam afte...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Lessons of another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl

Lessons of another Belichick-Brady Super Bowl

TAMPA — Next victim, please.Shouldn't we just start penciling the Patriots into the Super Bowl before every season?It would save us a lot of time.Mind you, the rest of the NFL is fighting Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and this foregone conclus...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater police investigate taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

Clearwater police investigate taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

CLEARWATER — Investigators are searching for a suspect in a taxi carjacking Monday morning near Crest Lake Park.Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw said the taxi was taken about 7:40 a.m. and abandoned a few blocks away. No one was injured, Shaw sai...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Woman, 35, struck and killed while walking across SR 60 in Valrico

VALRICO — A 35-year-old Thonotosassa woman was struck and killed by a car while walking across State Road 60 west of Mount Carmel Road on Sunday night, the Florida Highway Patrol said.Brandi Eckelstafer was walking south across SR 60 just after 8 p....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

PHILADELPHIA — Not even a coat of Crisco on light poles across the city could keep Philadelphia Eagles fans from scaling new heights in celebrating their team’s first Super Bowl appearance in 13 years and setting up a rematch with the AFC champion N...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Hooper: Deal with sea-level rise or prepare to be inundated

When fans again flock to Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard for the annual Gasparilla Festival on Saturday, I hope they ask a question: Will the floats need flotation devices in 2035?Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Astrid Caldas and Kate Cell, members of the Union ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Forecast: Warm weather remains, but cold front will bring rain to Tampa Bay

Forecast: Warm weather remains, but cold front will bring rain to Tampa Bay

A warm weekend across Tampa Bay will carry over into the start of the workweek, after some morning fog burns off and before a front results in clouds and increased rain chances later this afternoon.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa...
Updated: 4 hours ago

The Daystarter: PolitiFact Florida analyzes prison costs; breaking down the Super Bowl matchup; free dental clinic services in high demand; Arrrrr you ready for Gasparilla?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• We’ll have a mild and sunny start to the week, with highs in the upper 70s, according to 10Weather WTSP. A weak cold front brings a chance of rain on Tuesday and slightly coo...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Police: 2 IEDs detonated at a Florida mall, no injuries

LAKE WALES — Police say two improvised explosive devices ignited inside a mall in central Florida on Sunday do not appear to be an act of terrorism.Lake Wales police Deputy Chief Troy Schulze tells news outlets that at 5:22 p.m., the Lake Wales Fire ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
St. Pete spilled 266,000 gallons of waste into Smacks Bayou

St. Pete spilled 266,000 gallons of waste into Smacks Bayou

ST. PETERSBURG — It may be a new year but the city finds itself still dealing with an old problem: spilled sewage.The city announced Thursday that two spills at its Northeast sewage plant at 1160 62nd Ave. NE had been contained.But the release — with...
Updated: 9 hours ago