first_imgHighlights from the news file for Monday, Nov. 27———POSTMEDIA AND TORSTAR CLOSING PAPERS: The federal government is coming under fresh pressure to find solutions for Canada’s ailing newspaper industry amid word that dozens of community and daily newspapers across the country will soon close their doors. Torstar Corp. and Postmedia Network Inc. announced Monday they will cut nearly 300 jobs when they shutter more than 30 newspapers, most of them in Ontario. Postmedia announced it will cut 244 jobs as it plans to shutter 21 of the 22 community newspaper properties it is acquiring from Torstar as well as the Metro Winnipeg and Metro Ottawa free dailies. Torstar’s Metroland Media Group Ltd., meanwhile, said it will close three of the seven daily newspapers in Ontario it’s buying from Postmedia as well as all eight community newspapers it’s purchased, resulting in the loss of 46 jobs. Torstar said one job will disappear as it buys and closes the free dailies 24Hours Toronto and 24Hours Vancouver. Canadian union leader Jerry Dias called the closures “devastating” and urged federal Heritage Minister Melanie Joly to take action to protect print journalism. Joly unveiled a cultural strategy in September that was criticized by industry experts for lacking expected measures that could have given a boost to Canada’s struggling newspapers.———PRINCE HARRY, MEGHAN MARKLE’S ENGAGEMENT HAS SPECIAL RESONANCE FOR TORONTO: Her future home is on the grounds of Kensington Palace, but Meghan Markle’s recent years have reportedly been spent living on a quiet, tree-lined street in Toronto with her two rescue dogs, Bogart and Guy. Markle, whose engagement to Prince Harry was announced Monday, is best known for her role as paralegal Rachel Zane on the hit TV show “Suits,” which is filmed in Toronto. The 36-year-old TV star’s relocation north to Canada was a bit of an adjustment for the California native, who grew up around L.A. with her mother and father, a successful lighting director in Hollywood. “Seven Canadian winters!” she told Vanity Fair about her time filming in Toronto. “A long time for someone who grew up in Southern California.” Excitement over the much-anticipated announcement had a special resonance in Toronto, where the celebrity couple officially unveiled their romance this spring. The couple — rumoured to be dating for months and stalked by paparazzi on both sides of the ocean — appeared at the Invictus Games in the Canadian city in late September, as Harry presided over the multi-sport event for wounded military personnel and veterans.———$100 MILLION TO GO TO FEDERAL ‘GAY PURGE’ VICTIMS: The Trudeau government has earmarked more than $100 million to compensate members of the military and other federal agencies whose careers were sidelined or ended due to their sexual orientation, The Canadian Press has learned. The money will be paid out as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement to employees who were investigated, sanctioned and sometimes fired as part of the so-called gay purge. An agreement in principle in the court action emerged Friday, just days before the government delivers a sweeping apology for discrimination over several decades against members of the LGBTQ community. Details of the agreement must still be worked out by the parties and approved by the Federal Court, but it’s expected that several thousand people will be eligible for the financial compensation. As part of the apology, the federal government is also putting $250,000 toward LGBTQ community projects to combat homophobia and provide support for people in crisis.———WOMAN VICIOUSLY ATTACK IN 2014 DIES: A woman who lost both her legs and much of her eyesight after she was viciously attacked and set on fire in a back alley more than three years ago has died. Linda Lavallee, a friend of Marlene Bird, said the 50-year-old Indigenous woman died Monday at a hospital in Prince Albert, Sask. Lavallee said Bird entered hospital on Nov. 20, went into a coma on Wednesday and never regained consciousness after suffering heart, liver and kidney failure. Lavallee said Bird had forgiven Leslie Black, the man who attacked and sexually assaulted her. But she was upset over the 16-year prison term he received in September, and the stress of the case and its outcome affected her health. Friends saw what was happening to her and convinced her to go to hospital. “It was very hard on her, even though she forgave (Black),” said Lavallee, a resident of Chilliwack, B.C. “She thought the amount of time that guy was going to get was never enough for the amount of pain she went through. She was really hurt and couldn’t accept it.”———QUEBEC DAD’S IMPASSIONED PLEA AGAINST BULLYING: The father of a Quebec teen who took his own life last week after years of alleged incessant bullying wants stricter measures for how schools deal with intimidation. Martin Dufour said his 15-year-old son Simon was bullied in primary school, with the taunting extending into his time in secondary school. Dufour said he spoke with administrators over the years but that nothing ultimately helped his son. “What I would like to see is a provincial guideline for every school that they should, that they could, that they would apply for everyone who’s a victim or is bullied,” he told The Canadian Press in an interview Monday. He believes such a plan already existed at his son’s school in Longueuil, south of Montreal, but is unclear whether it was actually implemented. Described by family as someone who loved listening to music, playing video games and cracking jokes, Simon had faced relentless bullying but his father noted there was an uptick in recent months and that there were no direct signs things were going badly. According to him, it’s time for bullies to be held accountable for their actions, with harsher punishment for those who bully on a regular basis.———COST OF ENDING NAFTA MINOR, STUDIES FIND: Canada’s economy would lose less than one percentage point if U.S. President Donald Trump makes good on his threat to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement, say two new studies that suggest ending the trade treaty would do minor damage. The total impact of ending NAFTA and reinstating tariffs would trim 0.7 to one per cent off Canada’s GDP, according to a Bank of Montreal study, while another study by the former head of computer modeling for Canada’s foreign-affairs ministry puts the damage at 0.55 per cent. Both studies’ authors agree these findings carry a lesson for Canadian negotiators: they can bargain with confidence and not feel pressured to sign a bad deal, because the end of NAFTA is far from a total scare scenario. The damage would be much smaller than the financial crisis of 2008; smaller even than the impact of the soaring loonie of the late 2000s; and would be roughly comparable to the national effect of the 2015 oil-price plunge, says BMO’s chief economist.———OTTAWA ASKED TO REVIEW P.E.I. BUSINESS IMMIGRATION PROGRAM: P.E.I. opposition leaders are calling for Ottawa to investigate the operations of a provincial business immigration program that faces allegations of abuse and poor oversight. James Aylward, the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, said in an interview Friday that the province has shown an unwillingness to review or reform the program due to millions of dollars in forfeited deposits it currently receives from immigrants who don’t ultimately open a business. Immigration lawyers have criticized the ownership stream of the provincial nominee program as a side door to entering the country, with over half of last year’s participants losing their $150,000 deposit to the province after they didn’t open a business. The Island Investment Development Inc., which holds the deposits for the newcomers’ businesses, indicates $18 million in net revenues over the past year came from immigrant companies that defaulted on their obligation to create a business. The figure is roughly equivalent to half of the province’s additional budget for infrastructure this year.———GAP LOOMS IN IRVING SHIPBUILDING SCHEDULE: The federal government is scrambling to close a looming gap in the construction of two new fleets of naval vessels in Halifax, which Irving Shipbuilding has previously warned could result in layoffs if left unaddressed. Officials say they are facing the likelihood of a break between when construction ends on the last of the navy’s new Arctic patrol ships and when work begins on its new fleet of much larger warships. The exact size of the gap still isn’t known, and will depend on whether the government ends up with five or six Arctic ships and how much extra work must be done on whatever design is chosen for the navy’s new warships. Irving won’t know until at least next year whether it will be able to build six Arctic patrol vessels within the government’s $3.5-billion budget, or only five. And the government doesn’t know when a design for the new warships — which will replace the navy’s 12 frigates and three recently retired destroyers — will finally be selected.———TV REPORTER SPEAKING OUT ABOUT DEROGATORY COMMENTS: A southwestern Ontario television reporter is speaking out about the stream of harassment she faces at work after misogynistic comments were hurled her way three times last week. CHCH reporter Britt Dixon says female reporters deal with harassment regularly while on the job, highlighted by three incidents over four days last week where men yelled a vulgar phrase at her. The latest incident occurred as Dixon interviewed a Hamilton police officer in uniform in front of a police station. The officer stopped the interview and arrested the man, charging a 23-year-old American with causing a disturbance. Dixon says the other two incidents occurred while she was at Mohawk College talking to students about returning to school after the five-week faculty strike. The college has apologized to Dixon and is conducting an investigation. In August, police charged a Newfoundland man with causing a disturbance after he yelled the phrase at a reporter. Police laid a mischief charge against another Newfoundland man who yelled the same thing toward a journalist in April.———ARGOS RETURN TO TORONTO HOISTING GREY CUP: The Toronto Argonauts started the season with new management, a new coach and low expectations after a last-place finish. They somehow managed to end the season as Grey Cup champions. The Argonauts completed a remarkable worst-to-first turnaround with a 27-24 comeback victory over the Calgary Stampeders in Ottawa on Sunday night, capping a wild Grey Cup game with a late touchdown on a 109-yard fumble return and go-ahead field goal in the final minute. After a celebration that lasted into the wee hours in the nation’s capital, a group of bleary-eyed Argonauts arrived home Monday morning with the championship trophy in tow. “The story they have is more important than anything they’ll get out of it,” Toronto head coach Marc Trestman said of the win. “They’ve got an opportunity and a platform to really tell a great story about how people can come together and become something bigger than themselves.”———last_img

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