Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Mounties investigating Canadian senator's 'questionable' travel expense claims

The Mounties are now investigating Sen. Pamela Wallin's "questionable" travel expense claims amounting to more than $140,000.

Wallin, a former TV broadcaster named to the Senate in 2009 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said it was a "fundamentally flawed and unfair" audit of her claims.

A former Canadian consul general to New York, Wallin has been told to pay back tens of thousands of dollars plus interest from among $321,000 in expenses under review.

The audit, which cost taxpayers $126,998, flagged $121,348 in inappropriate expenses and called for further review of nearly $21,000 in additional claims.

"I never intended to seek, nor sought, reimbursement for travel expenses in any situation where I did not believe such a claim was proper," she said.

"Where I made mistakes, I have already paid money back (amounting to $38,000)," said Wallin, a former Conservative senator who is now an Independent.

Sen. Mike Duffy, who also left the Conservative caucus and became an Independent, has repaid $90,000 in disallowed claims through a "loan" from former Harper chief of staff Nigel Wright.

The Mounties are also looking into the claims by Duffy, a former TV news broadcaster. In addition, audits have reported improper housing claims by Sens. Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb.

Black looks to end long legal battle

Former media baron Conrad Black is attempting to stay, or put an end to, a long-standing legal battle with the Ontario Securities Commission.

Black, who returned to Toronto last year after serving 37 months in a Florida prison and paying a $125,000 fine for fraud, had his case adjourned to Oct. 21.

The commission alleges Black and directors of Hollinger Inc. and Hollinger International engaged in "a scheme" to receive money from the company through a complicated system of "non-competition" payments.

The case deals with many of the issues covered by U.S. court and regulatory decisions for which Black recently agreed to pay $4.1 million in restitution.

News in brief

• Canadian Pacific Railway is appealing a Quebec government legal order that it help pay for the cleanup after an oil-tanker train derailment killed 47 people and devastated Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last month. CP said it was not involved as the train was handed over in Montreal to the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd. to continue to New Brunswick's Irving refinery. The cleanup of millions of gallons of crude oil could top $200 million, authorities estimated.

• The impact of technology on young people and their interaction with the justice system will be reviewed in the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, a victim of cyberbullying in Nova Scotia. The provincial government named Murray Segal, a former Ontario chief prosecutor, to conduct the review of the initial investigation by police and judicial officials. Her family said a digital photo of the girl being sexually assaulted was sent to her classmates. Two 18-year-olds were recently arrested after the case was reopened.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar is lower at 96.79 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar is valued at $1.0330 in Canadian funds, 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 advanced Friday, with the Toronto exchange index at 12,754 points and the TSX Venture index 935 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Aug. 14) 14, 20, 28, 31, 44 and 49; bonus 34. (Aug. 10) 8, 23, 25, 32, 33 and 48; bonus 28. Lotto Max: (Aug. 9) 6, 15, 19, 26, 43, 44 and 49; bonus 30.

Regional briefs

• Retired judge Dennis O'Connor will lead the review into the fatal shooting by police of Sammy Yatim, 18, on a Toronto streetcar. Police Chief Bill Blair said O'Connor will review "concerns about our policies and our procedures, the training of our officers and the equipment that they use." Videos showed nine shots were fired at Yatim, who refused to drop a knife.

• Police are re-examining a 53-year-old "cold case" involving a missing 21-month-old girl in the Red Lake area, west of Kamloops, British Columbia. Edna Bette-Jean Masters disappeared without a trace on July 3, 1960, from a friend's house. Investigators plan to use new technology in an effort to generate leads or prompt the missing girl, if she is still alive, to come forward, said Mountie Corporal Cheryl Bush.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

BALTIMORE — First, think of what you were doing on Oct. 5, 2012, and how much has happened in your own world since then.That will give you a time frame.Next, think of the challenge of rehabbing from two Tommy John surgeries and a third procedur...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

The Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 7-4 in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday night and will face the Lightning in the Eastern Conference semifinals beginning Saturday at Amalie Arena.Here is the semifinal schedule:Saturday: at Tampa, 3...
Updated: 1 hour ago

High school scoreboard for April 25

Wednesday’s scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 5, Shorecrest 4SoftballClass 6A, District 6 Semifinal: Springstead 10, Citrus 0
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Softball: Boca Ciega edges Tarpon Springs for 6A-9 title

Softball: Boca Ciega edges Tarpon Springs for 6A-9 title

DUNEDIN — It's hard to believe that we'll see a more emotional, more exciting game than this one throughout the rest of the postseason.Top seed Tarpon Springs and No. 2 Boca Ciega were fearless with the Class 6A-9 title on the line Wednesd...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Rays Journal: A win over ex-mate Cobb, and in a record way

BALTIMORE – The Rays knew there would be all kinds of mixed feeling seeing longtime former teammate Alex Cobb pitching against them in Orioles orange.And they made sure he didn't enjoy it.The Rays knocked Cobb out in the fifth inning, and rolle...
Updated: 3 hours ago
VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

WASHINGTON — White House physician Ronny Jackson has grown frustrated with the nomination process to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs and has told colleagues he may remove his name from consideration, two White House officials with knowledge o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors aren’t happy.

A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors aren’t happy.

CLEARWATER — The first thing John Trevena noticed about his new neighbors was the color of their house: Pepto-Bismol pink.It didn’t worry Trevena, a criminal defense lawyer who moved into the three-bedroom rental home next door in 2015."I knew it was...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Pasco corporal who took down student on video now cleared (w/video)

Pasco corporal who took down student on video now cleared (w/video)

LAND O’LAKES — Kayla Peña filled up her water bottle then returned to her lunch table at Sunlake High School when she heard a commotion in the cafeteria on Tuesday afternoon.A female student was riled up, walking back and forth, Peña said, screaming ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Updated: 6 hours ago