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Queen Elizabeth II tours Canada with best wishes all around

Canada's royal anthem God Save the Queen was heard on Parliament Hill on Thursday as thousands turned out to see Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The queen last presided over Canada Day activities in 1997. This year, she marked the country's 147th birthday and attracted a crowd of about 100,000 people to Ottawa.

After Canadian actor Christopher Plummer introduced her, the 84-year-old monarch said she has been around long enough to have witnessed more than half of Canada's history.

"This nation has dedicated itself to being a caring home for its own, a sanctuary for others and an example to the world," she said.

Referring to a Canadian moment of pride, the gold medal win for the Canadian men's Olympic hockey team, the crowd roared in approval. She also praised the commitment of the Canadian Forces, saying Canada has reason for optimism, even in trying times.

The nine-day tour is the 22nd Canadian visit and started in Halifax, where she reviewed a flotilla of Coast Guard vessels and international warships as part of the Canadian Navy's centennial.

She also will be visiting Toronto, Waterloo and Winnipeg.

Toronto police plan review after summit

The Toronto police force has launched an internal review of the law-enforcement tactics used during last weekend's violent G20 economic summit protests.

Police Chief Bill Blair announced the probe after about 1,000 people were detained and more than 300 face trial for violence that included setting several police cruisers on fire and smashing store windows.

A group of several hundred protesters known as the Black Bloc broke away from the peaceful protest groups to create the mayhem, police said.

Blair called them "terrorists" who conducted a well-coordinated campaign to "attack the city." He displayed weapons seized during the weekend.

Many of the protesters and others who were detained or arrested have called for a public inquiry into police actions.

News in brief

• Confidence in the Canadian economy's rebound has increased to 67 percent of those polled by the Royal Bank. The survey found job anxiety is highest in British Columbia while people in Atlantic Canada have become more optimistic. The bank noted increases in consumer, housing and government spending have put the economy "on track" for solid growth this year.

• The sale of Canwest's newspaper assets to a group of investors has been approved by the courts. The $1.1-billion sale is to a group of Canwest debt holders led by National Post publisher Paul Godfrey. Along with the National Post, the dailies include the Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette. Canwest put its newspaper and television businesses up for sale while under bankruptcy protection with $4 billion in debts.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar has advanced to 97.52 cents U.S. while the U.S. greenback returns $1.0255 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate remains at 0.5 percent while the prime lending rate is 2.5 percent.

Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 11,907 points and the TSX Venture Exchange 1,461 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 4, 14, 24, 26, 34, 43; bonus 1. (June 26) 1, 10, 16, 25, 36, 38; bonus 29. Lotto Max: (June 25) 5, 22, 28, 31, 39, 46, 48; bonus 4.

Regional briefs

• Canada will invest more than $1 million to help increase sales of salmon, mussels, cod and shellfish. The money will be used for marketing efforts to promote the diversity and quality of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance's products worldwide. The promotional activities will focus on the superior quality and health benefits of Canadian seafood.

• A Toronto woman is suing Rogers Wireless seeking $600,000 for exposing her affair that led to her marriage breaking up. Gabriela Nagy, 37, said her husband found out about her affair when the company sent him a copy of her phone bill. She said Rogers combined the bills without her approval when her husband added an Internet plan at the same address and he saw the calls with the other man's phone number. The action by Rogers was a "major leak in privacy," she said.

Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

Queen Elizabeth II tours Canada with best wishes all around 07/03/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 3, 2010 6:46pm]
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