The Thursday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories

By The Canadian Press
April 13, 2017 - 2:30pm

Highlights from the news file for Thursday, April 13

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FEDS BRING IN LONG-AWAITED POT BILL:  The federal government's proposed new legalized marijuana regime would let adults buy and cultivate small amounts for personal use. But the legislation introduced today also sets out a serious new criminal offence for selling pot to a minor. It will also be against the law to sell cannabis in a package or with a label that could be construed as appealing to young people. The government says it intends to bring other products, including pot-infused edibles, into the legalized sphere once federal regulations for production and sale are developed and brought into force. 

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DEVIL IN DETAILS ON FEDERAL POT BILL, PRODUCERS SAY:  Marijuana producers say the federal government's proposed legal-pot regime leaves some unanswered issues such as advertising and distribution. Aphria Inc. CEO Vic Neufeld says the legislation introduced today is a good beginning, but leaves a lot of blanks to be filled, like more explanation as to allowed marketing and related practices.

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OTTAWA WON'T TOLERATE PASSENGERS BEING YANKED OFF PLANES:  Transport Minister Marc Garneau says forcibly removing passengers from overbooked airplanes will not be tolerated. Garneau sent a warning to the heads of Canada's airlines to express his dismay at the saga of United Airlines passenger David Dao. Dao was dragged off a United flight in Chicago on Sunday after he refused to leave his seat to accommodate airline crew members. Garneau says forcibly removing people from aircraft because the flight is overbooked should never happen in Canada.

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NANCY GREENE RAINE SUFFERS FROM CANCER:  Canada's most decorated ski racer is suffering from thyroid cancer. Sen. Nancy Greene Raine was scheduled to have her thyroid removed Thursday in Kelowna, B.C.  A news release from the resort where Raine works said she'll undergo additional treatment within the next month. Greene Raine dominated women's skiing for two years in the late 1960s.

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COMPENSATION BEING PROVIDED TO SASKATCHEWAN RESIDENTS WHO DRANK TAINTED WATER: People who were children and got sick from a parasite in a Saskatchewan city's drinking water 16 years ago are getting compensation. A judge has approved a $3.3-million settlement for anyone who was younger than 18 during the tainted water scandal in North Battleford. An estimated 7,000 people suffered from vomiting, diarrhea and high fever when the cryptosporidium parasite got into North Battleford's drinking water after maintenance work on a filter at the treatment plant.

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ECONOMIC GROWTH COULD BE A WINDFALL FOR FEDS:  The federal government may be in for a spike in its balance sheet if the Bank of Canada's latest economic growth projections come true.  The central bank boosted its 2017 growth projection this week to 2.6 per cent, up from its January call of 2.1 per cent. Last month's federal budget based its fiscal numbers on a growth forecast for this year of 1.9 per cent. An economist says a rough estimate suggests the difference would add between $1.5 billion and $2 billion to the federal bottom line over each of the next three years, starting in 2017.

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U.S. TO ANNOUNCE THIS MONTH IF IT WILL IMPOSE SOFTWOOD DUTIES:  The U.S. government says it will announce on April 25 whether it will impose duties on Canadian softwood. Softwood lumber prices have been rising sharply in anticipation of hefty duties. RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn said he expects the prices will offset the combined duties as demand picks up during the peak home construction season. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday she has discussed the issue with American Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and vowed that Canada won't let the threat of countervailing duties weaken its negotiating position.

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TRUDEAU URGED TO PUT GIRLS EDUCATION ON G7 AGENDA: Opposition leader Rona Ambrose is calling for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take up Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai's call to put girls' education at the heart of Canada's turn at the helm of the G7. Ambrose met with the Nobel Peace Prize winner and now honorary Canadian citizen after the 19-year-old's poised and poignant speech on Wednesday to Parliament. Canada will host the summit next year.

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CAUSE OF DEADLY NEW BRUNSWICK FIRE REMAINS A MYSTERY: New Brunswick's fire marshal says the exact cause of a fire that killed four people this week remains undetermined. Fire officials say the fire at a home in St. George is not considered suspicious. The four family members died of smoke inhalation.

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U.S. DROPS LARGEST NON-NUCLEAR BOMB IN AFGHANISTAN: The Pentagon says U.S. forces in Afghanistan dropped the military's largest non-nuclear bomb on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan. Adam Stump is a Pentagon spokesman. Stump says it was the first-ever combat use of the bomb, known as the GBU-43, which he said contains 11 tons of explosives. The Air Force calls it the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. Based on the acronym, it has been nicknamed the "Mother Of All Bombs." Stump says the bomb was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by IS fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, very close to the border with Pakistan.

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The Canadian Press

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