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Two sides square off over gun control

Canada's Conservative government denies Liberal claims the U.S.-based National Rifle Association is using its influence to help kill the controversial gun registry.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government continues its quest to end the long-gun registry established 15 years ago because it is ineffective.

Accusing the Liberals of "arrogant intellectual contempt" over the NRA claims, Harper said the registry is "never going to be accepted by the people in our society it is targeted at."

The Conservatives choose to "listen to a powerful foreign influence over our own police, our victims groups, our medical experts, in fact the majority of Canadians when it comes to gun control in this country," said Liberal Member of Parliament David McGuinty.

Public opinion polls show most Canadians view the mandatory registering of the weapons to be unsuccessful or having had no effect in preventing crime. A poll last month found both urban and rural Canadians favor scrapping it.

NHL says arena is key for return to Quebec

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman said the league would be happy to return to Quebec City, but he won't enter a political debate about the building of a new arena.

He said it would be impossible to return without a new arena.

There is an ongoing debate about whether taxpayers' money should be used to help build a $400 million arena.

Quebec's Nordiques hockey team left in 1995 for Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche.

News in brief

• The alleged homegrown terrorist investigation in Ottawa has led to charges against Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, of possessing explosives. Also charged as co-conspirators were Khurram Syed Sher, 28, and Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30. Investigators say there were plans to detonate bombs in Canada and raise money to help the Taliban attack Canadian and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

• Restructuring and job losses at the newspaper chain Post Media are "appalling," says the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. A group headed by National Post publisher Paul Godfrey paid $1.1 billion for the near-bankrupt Canwest Global chain that includes the Post, Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette. There are reports the entire National Post newsroom staff has been offered buyouts.

Facts and figures:

Canada's dollar again moved closer to parity with the U.S. currency as it topped 97 cents U.S. but settled back to 96.82 cents on Friday. The U.S. dollar returns $1.0329 Canadian, 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 higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 12,184 points and the TSX Venture Exchange 1,660 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 6, 11, 21, 26, 34 and 41; bonus 24. (Sept. 11) 3, 9, 11, 13, 27 and 45; bonus 5. Lotto Max: (Sept. 10) 4, 17, 27, 32, 34, 39 and 47; bonus 13.

Regional briefs

• High inflation rates have pushed Toronto and Montreal to being among the most expensive cities in the world. A report from Switzerland's UBS Bank looked at the global purchasing power comparison of 73 cities worldwide, putting the top seven as Oslo, Zurich, Geneva, Tokyo, Copenhagen, New York and Stockholm. Toronto is in eighth place while Montreal is ninth just ahead of London at 10th.

• A 23-year-old man was killed and two others were injured after a truck plowed into cyclists on a New Brunswick highway. Police said 18 cyclists from Ottawa were riding on a four-lane stretch of Highway 7 near Petersville Hill. The man, who not immediately identified publicly, was with the group on a two-month trek from Fredericton to Halifax.

Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

Two sides square off over gun control 09/18/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 17, 2010 8:41pm]
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