The Tuesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories - 1310 NEWS
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The Tuesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories

Last Updated Jan 23, 2018 at 6:00 pm EDT

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is seen during a news conference in Ottawa, Wednesday January 17, 2018. The economy's impressive run prompted the Bank of Canada to raise its trend-setting interest rate Wednesday for the third time since last summer and to send a signal that more increases are likely on the horizon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Highlights from the news file for Tuesday, Jan. 23

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CANADA AGREES TO REVISED TPP TREATY: Canada and the remaining members of the old Trans-Pacific Partnership agreed Tuesday to a revised trade agreement that will forge ahead without the United States. The deal comes exactly one year after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the agreement, leaving Japan as the largest player in a new 11-nation pact. The agreement follows two days of high-level talks in Tokyo. The partners are now expected to work toward signing the agreement by early March. The Canadian government was pushing for more progress on negotiations surrounding the automotive and cultural sectors. A government official said International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne pressed his counterparts for an exemption on culture-related elements that had been part of the original TPP deal. The official said Canada will protect its cultural sector in the updated deal through legally binding side letters with each partner. The autos component risks being more controversial. In a sector considered key to the deal, Canada managed to get a bilateral arrangement with Japan to resolve non-tariff barriers, including a binding dispute settlement mechanism, according to an official. The official said the side agreement brings into force key commitments made by Japan to Canada and the U.S. in the original deal, but which were lost when the U.S. pulled out.

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RCMP INVESTIGATING DATA BREACH AT BELL CANADA: The RCMP has launched an investigation into a data breach at Bell Canada that appears to have compromised customer names and email addresses, but no credit card or banking information. Media reports put the number at about 100,000 but RCMP spokeswoman Stephanie Dumoulin, at the police force’s national division in Ottawa, and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner said that they couldn’t disclose details. Bell Canada’s representatives have alerted customers who were affected, but didn’t answer questions about how many customers were impacted, when the breach occurred, or if the data release was related to an earlier breach last year. Bell also told customers that additional security, authentication and identification requirements have been implemented. Bell Canada revealed in May that an anonymous hacker had obtained access to about 1.9 million active email addresses and about 1,700 customer names and active phone numbers.

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TSUNAMI FEARS SEND PEOPLE IN B.C. TO HIGHER GROUND: Sirens and officials banging on doors roused people from their sleep in the middle of the night Tuesday in British Columbia as a tsunami warning was issued along a large swath of the province’s coastline after a powerful earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska. The warning was lifted about three hours later, ending a tense period for some as they made their way to safety on higher ground. The quake with a magnitude of 7.9 struck at about 1:30 a.m. Pacific time. It was centred 278 kilometres southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, at a depth of about 10 kilometres. Earth sciences Prof. Brent Ward of Simon Fraser University said it didn’t produce a tsunami because it was a strike-slip earthquake, where the plates slip sideways past each other. Emergency Preparedness BC said there was a three centimetre wave and a 15 centimetre rise in sea level hours after the quake at Tofino.

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CARA’S KEG BUY SIGNALS MORE EXPANSION TO COME: Cara Operations Ltd. is beefing up its already large presence in the Canadian restaurant business with a $200-million acquisition of Keg Restaurants Ltd., a move that could help take a bigger bite out of the U.S market. The acquisition announced Tuesday adds 106 steakhouses to the Vaughan, Ont., company’s empire of 1,259 restaurants, which are mostly in Canada. Cara’s brands include Swiss Chalet and St-Hubert chicken restaurants, the Harvey’s, Burger’s Priest and New York Fries quick service chains, Milestones, Montana’s, Kelsey’s, and East Side Mario’s casual dining restaurants, as well as Prime Pubs, Elephant & Castle and Bier Markt. Only a small fraction of those restaurants have seeped across the border to the U.S. and other countries, but Cara and KRL’s CEOs said at a press conference Tuesday that they see potential for international growth. “At some point, we will run out of room in Canada and The Keg already has a foothold in the U.S.,” Cara CEO Bill Gregson said. He thinks more of Cara’s brands will cross the border and the 10 American Keg steakhouses and handful of U.S. Elephant and Castle pubs will act as “a beachhead for expansion” without “risking the farm” as it grows.

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PELADEAU REMAINS EVASIVE ON POSSIBLE COMEBACK: Quebec telecom and media magnate Pierre Karl Peladeau is remaining coy about a potential return to politics. The ex-leader of the Parti Quebecois tells Radio-Canada he remains ready to help out but has not made any decisions. Peladeau said in an interview Tuesday he stepped down as party leader against his will in May 2016 because of family reasons and while he was separating from his partner. The head of Quebecor Inc. said things have changed since his resignation and that his nine-year-old daughter has urged him to make a return to politics. Peladeau notes, however, the PQ already has a leader and that he would let his former colleagues continue their projects with the party. Jean-Francois Lisee’s PQ has fallen to third place in public opinion polls, significantly behind the Liberals and the Coalition Avenir Quebec. Quebec’s provincial election is scheduled for Oct. 1.

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POLICE INVESTIGATE RCMP SEX ASSAULT CLAIMS: Halifax police are investigating allegations from dozens of female RCMP officers and recruits who say they were sexually assaulted by a doctor at the Mounties’ health clinic in Nova Scotia over two decades. The force’s commanding officer in Nova Scotia, Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan, said Tuesday “a multiple of dozens” of women have brought forward allegations of incidents between October 1981 and July 2003 at the RCMP health services office in the Halifax suburb of Bedford. In a note to officers, he said he expects “many more” women to come forward in the months ahead. Lawyer David Klein, whose firm is one of two that represented female RCMP employees in a sexual harassment class action, said several of his clients had informed him the physician was nicknamed “Dr. Fingers.” Klein said in an interview from his Vancouver office that eight clients told him that the doctor gave them unneeded rectal exams, inserted his fingers into their vaginas without good reason and spent unusually long periods rubbing their breasts with his hands. The lawyer said more women were contacting his office to tell their stories on Tuesday, but they were not necessarily bringing their reports forward to police.

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OTTAWA CONFIRMS MONEY FOR LAC-MEGANTIC BYPASS: The federal government is confirming it will play a major role in financing the long-sought bypass rail line around Lac-Megantic. Transport Minister Marc Garneau said today Ottawa will contribute what he called a “substantial sum” for the bypass track. Residents of the Quebec town have been calling for the new track, which would steer trains away from the downtown core, ever since the July 2013 tragedy in which 47 people were killed. A runaway train derailed and exploded after it was improperly parked and destroyed part of Lac-Megantic’s downtown. Garneau says Ottawa will not be releasing the amount of its investment because many cost-sharing details have yet to be negotiated with the provincial government. He says he is aiming to release the federal government’s financial plan for the bypass track by this July, the five-year anniversary of the tragedy.

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NEW MEASURES TO HELP PROTECT RIGHT WHALES: The federal fisheries minister has imposed new measures aimed at protecting North Atlantic right whales from entanglement with fishing gear. Some of the 17 confirmed right whale deaths in Canada and the United States last year were the result of fishing gear entanglements. There are roughly 450 right whales left in the world, and that number is declining. Dominic LeBlanc said new rules for the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery will greatly reduce the amount of rope that can be left floating on the surface when crab pots are set — to no more than 3.7 metres. Other new rules will require rope and gear to be colour-coded, based on the area where they are used, and each piece of equipment must have serial numbers to identify the owner. Any lost gear must be reported, along with its last GPS location. The minister said he’ll soon be announcing further measures, including the number of traps to be allowed this season, and efforts to clear ice from ports so boats are able to begin their season sooner.

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POLICE LINK HAMILTON MOB DEATH TO VAUGHAN SHOOTING: Police say they believe the person responsible for the death of a member of an Ontario crime family was also behind the murder of a woman north of Toronto two months earlier. Hamilton and York region police say they think the man who fatally shot 39-year-old Angelo Musitano in his Hamilton driveway in May also shot 28-year-old Mila Barberi and her boyfriend in an industrial complex in Vaughan, Ont., in March. Barberi was killed in the shooting but her 40-year-old boyfriend survived. Hamilton police Det.-Sgt. Peter Thom says surveillance footage appears to show the same gunman at both crimes, and investigators have linked a black Honda to the sites of both shootings. Detectives say both shootings were targeted. But they say they do not believe the suspect intended to kill Barberi.

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SLEW OF CANADIANS GET OSCAR NODS FOR ‘SHAPE OF WATER’: A slew of Canadians shared in “The Shape of Water”‘s leading 13 Oscar nominations announced Tuesday, including a best picture nod for a Toronto producer who called the film’s recognition an “unprecedented” win for homegrown talent. J. Miles Dale, who shares the best picture nomination with director Guillermo del Toro, noted the film was shot in Toronto and Hamilton and is a Canadian production almost top to bottom. “Other than Guillermo and the cinematographer and some of the actors, every single person on this film was Canadian and really kind of from Toronto — so it absolutely is I think unprecedented, frankly, in terms of the type of recognition” for local talent, Dale said in a phone interview after the nominations were revealed in Los Angeles. “We were the nomination leader by a wide margin, so I think there’s something for Toronto and Canada to be very proud of today.” The Cold War-era merman drama, starring Sally Hawkins as a mute janitor and Doug Jones as a captive amphibian creature she falls in love with, got its awe-inspiring visual effects from Toronto digital studio Mr. X. “The Shape of Water” came just shy of tying the record of 14 Oscar nominations.

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