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Opponents of Vancouver Winter Olympics try to disrupt torch run in Ontario

A woman carrying the Olympic torch was knocked down as protesters opposed to the Vancouver Games continue to dog the ceremonies across the country.

Cortney Hansen, 28, of Milton, Ontario, was confronted by demonstrators as she ran the flame into downtown Guelph.

The flame kept burning during the incident as about 1,000 people watched and Hansen continued the run. She was later treated by medical staff for minor injuries.

Brittney Simpson, 19, of Kitchener, Ontario, was arrested for assaulting Hansen.

Protesters say the Vancouver Winter Olympics are being held on "stolen" Native land and are a huge cost to taxpayers.

"It is unfortunate that this torchbearer's once-in-a-lifetime experience with the Olympic flame was disrupted in this manner," said relay director Jim Richards.

He said Canadians have the "right to express their opinions" but should do so "peacefully and respectfully."

Demonstrators have disrupted the flame procession or caused its route to be changed in Montreal, as well as Toronto and other Ontario cities.

The flame is passing through more than 1,000 communities on a 106-day journey before arriving for the Games on Feb. 12.

Northwest flight was targeted over Sarnia

Authorities say a suspected terrorist was trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight when it was over southwestern Ontario near Sarnia.

Calculations show the Detroit-bound plane was likely above Oil Springs and Watford at the time.

As a result, long lines formed at Canadian airports as U.S.-bound travelers were delayed by new, stricter security measures imposed after the failed attack on Christmas Day.

Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are helping with heightened security at airports in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton along with city police at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

News in brief

• Most Canadians will see little change in their taxes this year while New Brunswickers will realize noticeable savings. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says residents of Ontario and British Columbia will have only modest changes to tax brackets and basic personal deductions but will get "slammed" by the combined Harmonized Sales Tax starting in July. The New Brunswick government is cutting tax brackets, providing some savings.

• Kevin Gregson, 43, a suspended Mountie, is accused of killing Ottawa police officer Eric Czapnik, 51, in an unprovoked knife attack. Czapnik, a married father of four, was attacked outside the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital. Gregson was a Saskatchewan-based Mountie who received a conditional discharge for pulling a knife and threatening a church official in Regina in 2006.

• Four workers fell to their deaths when a scaffold collapsed as they made repairs to 13th floor apartment balcony railings in Toronto. Investigators said a large four-piece section of scaffolding, known as a swing stage, broke in half.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar has advanced to 95.57 cents U.S., a sharp rise from 82.1 cents at the start of 2009. The U.S. dollar returns $1.0464 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

It's predicted the dollar will climb to parity again with the U.S. dollar over the next year.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate remains unchanged at 0.25 percent while the prime lending rate is 2.25 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange composite index is slightly off its best level of the year at 11,732 points. A rally that started in March took the index up about 30 percent for the year. The TSX Venture index is up at 1,504 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 5, 9, 23, 30, 34 and 36; bonus 24. (Dec. 26) 5, 14, 34, 38, 40 and 43; bonus 36. Lotto Max: (Dec. 25) 8, 9, 12, 13, 29, 30 and 31; bonus 47.

Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com.

Opponents of Vancouver Winter Olympics try to disrupt torch run in Ontario 01/02/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 2, 2010 8:10pm]

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