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Canada's Truscott case comes to an end

The question remains: Who killed schoolgirl Lynne Harper nearly 50 years ago and got away with it?

Steven Truscott, 63, who faced hanging as a teenager for the rape and murder of the 12-year-old Clinton, Ontario, girl in 1959, was awarded $6.45-million (U.S.) last week for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

Truscott said the award announced by the Ontario government was the final, long-awaited step in exonerating him.

Harper's family believes Truscott is guilty, and the family opposed compensation for him.

The Ontario Court of Appeal last year acquitted Truscott but stopped short of declaring him innocent because of the lack of any remaining physical evidence.

Truscott was sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life. He was paroled in 1969 after almost 10 years in prison.

Truscott and his wife said proving his innocence was why they went public to ask that the case be reopened.

"The long, sorry case still raises troubling questions about our legal system, but its outcome is the best rejoinder to those in Canada who still advocate for the death penalty," the Toronto Star said.

Jobless rate signals economic slowdown

Unemployment numbers suggest Canada's economy is showing signs of running out of gas.

Employment growth started the year with a strong 46,000 new jobs but has declined since.

Statistics Canada said there were 5,000 fewer net jobs in June as the jobless rate edged up one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.2 percent, the highest since January 2007. In Ontario, 45,500 full-time workers lost their jobs or switched to part-time work last month. Across Canada, there were 39,200 fewer full-time workers. Despite the monthly report, Canada has still produced 290,000 new jobs in the past year, up 1.7 percent.

News in brief

• A promising model from British Columbia was murdered on assignment in China. Diana O'Brien, 22, of Salt Spring Island, was stabbed in a robbery attempt outside her Shanghai apartment. Chen Jun, 18, of Anhui province, was arrested in her death.

• A road-rage incident left a Toronto-area driver dead after he was ejected from his overturned SUV on Highway 401. Tony Greco, 55, of Milton, was killed when the driver of a car pulled in front of him and slammed on his brakes, police said. Wayne Winsor, 39, also of Milton, was charged with criminal negligence, dangerous driving and leaving the scene.

• Air Canada's flight attendants say they are bearing a disproportionate burden as Canada's largest airline cuts hundreds of in-flight workers. The airline is cutting capacity by 7 percent and laying off up to 2,000 of its 28,000 employees because of soaring fuel costs.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar advanced to 99.04 cents U.S. on Friday, while the U.S. greenback returned $1.0097 Canadian, before bank exchanges fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate remains at 3 percent, while the prime lending rate is 4.75 percent.

Stock markets continue lower, with Toronto's composite index at 13,635 points and the TSX Venture Exchange at 2,377 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 2, 25, 28, 40, 45 and 46; bonus 34. (July 5) 2, 7, 8, 32, 43 and 49; bonus 48. Super 7: (July 4) 7, 16, 32, 39, 41, 44 and 45; bonus 28.

Regional briefs

• Pranksters caused a CN freight train derailment at an overpass along Highway 16 east of Edmonton. A paving machine from a construction site was moved onto the tracks early Thursday. Two engines and 13 of 85 railcars derailed, but no one was injured.

• Lisa Heughan, 38, a 1990s Playboy model and B-movie actor, was arrested in Toronto after she tried to steal an elderly woman's purse on a subway train and slashed a man who was taking a photo of the incident with his cellphone, authorities said.

• "Eco fees" will likely be passed on to Ontario consumers who buy TVs, computers and other electronics. The provincial government will start charging producers and importers $10 for TVs and up to $13 for computers April 1 and later for other electronics to pay for recycling costs.

• Newfoundland and Labrador politicians are calling on the Canadian government to take a stronger role in protecting the commercial sealing industry. Fisheries Minister Trevor Taylor wants Canada to prepare "trade action" should the European Union move to ban the import of products from seal kills.

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

Canada's Truscott case comes to an end 07/12/08 [Last modified: Sunday, July 13, 2008 7:40am]

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