Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

Canadian consumers feel ripped off

Tariffs on imports are cited as one reason Canadians are paying on average 13 percent more for goods than their American neighbors even as the dollar is about equal with the U.S. currency.

The Senate Finance Committee said while tariffs are just one factor in prices, they are something the government can do something about.

"Canadian consumers are feeling ripped off," said Sen. Joseph Day, who chaired the eight-month study.

Tariffs used to protect domestic businesses brought in $3.6 billion in revenue for the government in the past year and are being reviewed, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in calling for the Senate study.

Price differences drive thousands of Canadians to cross the border to shop for groceries, clothing, gas and car parts as well as seek out a larger selection of goods.

Also an issue is the economy of scale with Canada's smaller marketplace, vast distances and higher wages and benefits.

The report noted that a Lexus made in Cambridge, Ontario, sells for $44,950 in Canada but only $40,950 in the United States, including Hawaii. Books are routinely marked up, sometimes by up to 40 percent on some titles.

Travel firm suing over smoking-related delay

Sunwing Vacations plans to sue the David MacNeil family of Cape Breton to recoup up to $50,000 in costs after a disturbance over smoking caused an unscheduled overnight stopover in Bermuda.

When confronted by the crew of a plane en route to the Dominican Republic from Halifax about alleged smoking in the restroom, three family members became verbally abusive.

They were arrested on landing when the plane was diverted to Bermuda. The husband and wife were fined a total of $1,000 for disruptive behavior and failing to obey orders of the flight crew.

The incident caused the Sunwing to put up about 200 passengers in Bermuda hotels, cutting short their vacations. A similar number was forced to wait to return from Punta Canta, spokesman Daryl McWilliams said.

News in brief

• Many schools were closed, flights were canceled, numerous collisions occurred as a fierce winter storm walloped Ontario and Eastern Canada. Ten inches of snow fell in Toronto on Friday, the most since a storm in 2008. The worst of the weather moved into the Maritimes for the weekend, where residents braced for a powerful nor'easter with high winds and snow. It's still balmy out west, with highs in the mid 40s in Vancouver. The same is expected on Monday and Tuesday in Calgary.

• The 100 days of student protests in Quebec last year over proposed tuition fee increases cost taxpayers about $90 million, a report says. The money was for overtime pay for police and security measures as well as repairs to damaged buildings. More than 2,000 students were arrested in the protests that prompted Jean Charest to resign as premier, with his Liberal party losing the election in September.

• A marijuana possession conviction 32 years ago blocked Myles Wilkinson of Victoria from a fantasy football trip to the Super Bowl in New Orleans. He beat out 4 million competitors to win the trip, but immigration authorities stopped him from entering the United States. Instead of seeing the game and partying in person, the NFL invited him as a guest of honor at a Super Bowl party in Vancouver.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar dipped by a half-cent to 99.71 cents U.S. on Friday with weaker-than-expected job creation figures. The U.S. greenback returned $1.0029 in Canadian funds.

The economy lost 21,900 jobs last month, while the jobless rate dropped 0.1 percent to 7 percent as more people stopped seeking work, Statistics Canada said.

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

Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index up at 12,780 points and the TSX Venture index lower at 1,204 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Feb. 6) 4, 18, 23, 25, 39 and 43; bonus 7. (Feb. 2) 4, 15, 22, 27, 29 and 31; bonus 47. Lotto Max: (Feb. 1) 5, 9, 10, 32, 37, 44 and 46; bonus 38.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

Comments

One man stabbed to death during Saturday incident in Plant City

PLANT CITY — A man stabbed another man to death Saturday night, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The two men, neither of whom were identified, got into "an altercation," deputies said, about 10:15 p.m. at 4308 James L Redman Park...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Published: 02/24/18
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Published: 02/24/18

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Published: 02/24/18

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Published: 02/24/18

‘Up to States’ to armteachers, Trump tweets

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to S...
Published: 02/24/18
Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded. U.N. humanitarian ch...
Published: 02/24/18

Published: 02/24/18
Call her more than just a survivor

Call her more than just a survivor

TAMPA — On the quiet morning of Oct. 8, 2011, a 30-ton freight truck ran a stop sign in the small town of Clinton, Conn.It ran over Colleen Kelly Alexander, who was riding a bicycle.The truck's front wheels crushed her, then spit her to the bac...
Published: 02/24/18
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Published: 02/24/18