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Former Roughrider charged

Former Saskatchewan Roughrider Justin Cox faces a new assault charge.

Regina police issued a warrant for Cox’s arrest on Oct. 5.

Police say officers were sent to a home on Sept. 25 after reports of a domestic assault.

They say there was an injured woman at the home.

Cox, who is 25, is charged with assault, breach of an undertaking and breach of recognizance.

The former defensive back pleaded guilty last month to assault causing bodily harm in a different case but has not yet been sentenced.

He was let go from the CFL Roughriders in April 2017 after he was arrested for assault related to an alleged domestic dispute, but he was found not guilty.



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Natural gas limited in winter

A British Columbia natural gas supplier is warning its one million customers to expect reduced supplies and "challenges in times of high demand" as winter looms.

FortisBC says in a statement that the Oct. 9 rupture and explosion of the Enbridge natural gas pipeline northeast of Prince George will mean a reduced supply for months.

Although Enbridge says it expects to have the ruptured pipeline in service by mid-November, it also advises that the pressure in that line, and in a smaller natural gas pipeline nearby, will remain below maximum levels until spring.

FortisBC says that means natural gas supplies provincewide will be limited to 50 to 80 per cent of normal levels during the coldest months of the year.

Company vice-president Doug Stout says more gas is being routed through a pipeline across southern B.C., which feeds the Interior from Alberta, and Fortis is working to provide enough fuel to keep logging, mining and other industries operating.

Fortis says it is also seeking additional natural gas in the open marketplace, but urges all customers to turn down thermostats, cut back on hot water and conserve wherever possible.

"We will have a shortage of gas compared to what we would normally have to operate with during the cold periods," says Stout in a video statement.

He says conservation will ensure all British Columbians are able to access natural gas for essential uses, and he thanks those whose efforts had reduced natural gas consumption by about 20 per cent within a week of the fiery blast on the Enbridge pipeline.

There were no injuries when the pipeline exploded earlier this month and the RCMP says it does not suspect criminal activity, but the cause of the blast has yet to be determined.

Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board and the National Energy Board continue to investigate a cause.



Rotating strike in Toronto

Canada Post says a second day of rotating strikes by its workers could cause delays in mail and parcel deliveries across the country.

The series of walkouts began yesterday, involving work stoppages in four cities — Victoria, Edmonton, Windsor, Ont., and Halifax — to back postal employees' contract demands.

But the Canadian Union of Postal Workers turned up the heat today, moving the job action to Toronto, where nearly 9,000 of its members walked off the job a minute after midnight.

In a statement, Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton said the Crown corporation would make every effort to minimize the impact on its customers.

But he warned the Toronto walkout will have a significant impact on operations which could result in nationwide delivery delays because the city is a key processing hub.

CUPW, which represents 50,000 postal employees, says it needs Canada Post to address issues that have stemmed from the explosive growth of parcel deliveries, including health and safety concerns and precarious work.



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PM's carbon rebate plan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his new carbon tax rebate system puts a price on pollution without breaking the bank for families.

Trudeau is set to unveil the details of the rebates in Toronto later this morning. He gave a preview in two separate radio interviews earlier today.

"The vast majority of families are receiving more money back from this incentive than they pay in extra costs for the price we're putting on pollution," the prime minister told the radio station 1310 News.

He told CBC that "every resident" will be compensated "for the extra costs."

A senior source tells The Canadian Press the federal rebates will not be income tested, meaning all families will be eligible for the rebates in any province where the federal carbon price applies.

Four provinces won't have their own carbon tax. That means Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will have the federal version imposed on them and residents in those provinces will receive the federal rebates.

All other provinces and territories are either using their own system or the federal one.

Trudeau has promised many times every penny collected from the carbon price will be returned to families and businesses and other organizations in the province where the money is raised.

The carbon tax is set to be a critical element for debate in the next federal election with the Conservatives promising to scrap it if they are elected and growing push back from premiers. Trudeau believes Canadians will be on the side of pricing pollution in order to ensure emissions are cut and climate change is kept in check.

"We know putting a price on pollution is a fundamentally essential tools to actually fighting climate change," he told 1310.

"But we also know we need to make sure that families are ok and that's why we're going to be compensating families and Canadians in the provinces in which we're bringing in a price on pollution."

Trudeau, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Finance Minister Bill Morneau are in the heart of Ontario Premier Doug Ford's support base in Toronto to make the announcement. Ford has been among the most critical of the carbon tax and immediately cancelled Ontario's cap and trade system when he was elected earlier this year.

Trudeau applauded the provinces that have a carbon plan, and said the others "have not gotten to the place where they're actually putting a price on pollution so they continue to want to make pollution free."

"We think that shouldn't happen," he said.

Ottawa announced two years ago it would require every province to have a price on emissions, and that it would impose one on those who refused. The current requirement is for it to be $20 a tonne by Jan. 1, rising $10 each year until it hits $50 a tonne in 2022.



Tory re-elected mayor

Toronto Mayor John Tory easily won re-election on Monday, beating back a challenge from the city's former planner after a campaign marked by unprecedented interference from the provincial government.

Tory, 64, took about 63 per cent of the vote while his main rival, Jennifer Keesmaat, took about 23 per cent.

In all, voters in more than 400 communities cast ballots for their next municipal government after campaigns that had seen everything from legal battles to electoral reform. Candidates in 26 of the province's municipalities ran unopposed and were acclaimed.

In Toronto, Keesmaat and other critics had tried to paint Tory as weak and unwilling to stand up for the city after Premier Doug Ford slashed the number of council seats from 47 to 25 mid-race.

Tory countered by arguing he prefers a low-key approach that allows him to get on with upper levels of government and get things done. A total of 242 candidates vied for a spot on the city's shrunken council.

Tory said on Monday he expected business to carry on as usual when the smaller council reconvenes.

"Really, what people want to see is that we work together ... to get things done," he said earlier on voting day. "That's why they sent us there."

Four years ago, Tory took only 40 per cent of the popular vote to edge Ford, who finished in second place, with 33 per cent.

In Brampton just northwest of Toronto, ousted Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown was running neck-and-neck in his bid to re-enter politics against incumbent Mayor Linda Jeffrey.

Brown was forced to step down from his post as leader of the provincial party amid sexual misconduct allegations he denies.

Elsewhere in Ontario, technical issues with online voting systems prompted a number of municipalities to extend their voting hours, some by as much as a day.

The municipality of Greater Sudbury said residents would be able to cast ballots until 8 p.m. on Tuesday due to what it described as a server problem.

Peterborough, Cambridge, Prince Edward County, Pickering and Kingston were among the other municipalities extending voting hours, though most were only for an additional hour.

Results were also slow in coming from London, Ont., which became the first Canadian municipality to use ranked ballots in a local election — an option no other municipality opted to try. The system allows voters to choose three candidates in order of preference.

Two other cities, Cambridge and Kingston, saw votes on whether to adopt the system for the municipal election in 2022.

According to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, there were 6,645 candidates running in local council races across the province and 9.2 million eligible voters.

In spite of various municipalities' different circumstances, many campaigns were connected by common threads.

Hot button issues such as housing and accessible public transit were campaign issues in Toronto and smaller municipalities alike.



Our forests under threat

New online maps lets viewers zero in on how climate change will affect the part of Canada's boreal forest where they live.

The maps are part of an ongoing effort at the University of Winnipeg to help Canadians understand how global warming will change their part of the country.

Climatologist Danny Blair says there's little doubt that climate change is already affecting the vast ribbon of green that stretches across the northern reaches of most provinces.

He says scientists are confident that warmer temperatures have already led to larger and more damaging fires, as well as insect infestations.

He says data suggests Canada's forests are already being squeezed between too much heat in the south and poor soil in the north.

Click on the map to go to the interactive site, which features videos like the one below.



Crash cop will likely get jail

The provincial police officer who crashed into a car at high speed and killed a five-year-old boy during a surveillance operation will likely be sentenced to jail time.

The Crown and the defence submitted a joint proposal to the court today in Longueuil, Que. recommending that Patrick Ouellet be given an eight-month sentence.

The judge will render his decision at a later date.

Ouellet was convicted in July of dangerous driving causing the 2014 death of Nicolas Thorne-Belance.

The maximum sentence for the offence is 14 years in prison.

The police officer addressed the court today, expressing his sympathy to family members of Nicolas, who were in the courtroom.

Ouellet's trial heard he was travelling at more than 120 km/h in a 50 km/h zone when he hit the vehicle carrying the boy.



Liberals write off $6.3B

The federal government is writing off more than $6.3 billion in loans to businesses and students — money it never expects to get back.

The figure, contained within annual public accounts documents, marks a new high for the Trudeau government.

It has already written off some $3 billion in loans in each of the past two years.

Part of the total for 2017 to 2018 includes a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada.

Separate from the writeoffs, the government is also forgiving other debts and loans to the tune of about $1.1 billion.

The amount includes nearly $344 million that officials don't expect to recover from student loan recipients.



Arrest in 25-year-old murder

Toronto police have made an arrest in the death of a woman whose body was found by her six-year-old son 25 years ago.

Det. Sgt. Stacy Gallant says 63-year-old Charles Mustard of Toronto was charged Friday with first-degree murder in the death of Barbara Brodkin, who died in March of 1993 when she was 41.

Police say Brodkin's son called 911 when he found her, stabbed in the chest, early on a Friday morning.

Brodkin worked various jobs as a secretary and typist while raising her son as a single parent.

Gallant noted that Brodkin and Mustard, who was 37 in 1993, were not strangers.

He says DNA evidence led to a break in the case, and Mustard was identified and investigated.

"Now, 25 years later, the boy who found his mother murdered in their apartment can have some answers," Gallant told a news conference. "Although there will be a process for this case to work its way through the justice system, at the very least he can know that we never gave up."

Gallant also noted that the first officer to respond to the 911 call, "a young constable named Rob Thomas," is still involved in the case.

"Twenty-five years later, this same officer, now Det. Rob Thomas, the lead polygraph officer in Toronto, once again became part of this investigative team," Gallant said. "He prepared for and became the lead interview officer on the team responsible for conducting the interview of the now-accused."

"Det. Thomas continued to feel a connection to this case over the years, and he never forgot it."

Gallant says police are still hoping to speak to people who knew both Mustard and Brodkin at the time of the alleged murder — particularly someone named Dirk and another person named Linda.

Brodkin's cousin, Herb Brodkin, attended the news conference and thanked Gallant and his team.

"Up until recently, I thought cold cases were just something that happened in a TV series in the States," he said.



'Temporary insanity' plea

The man charged with murder in a Fredericton shooting spree that left four people dead says he should be "exonerated" immediately because of temporary insanity.

"This has to be settled now, so I will be exonerated today," Matthew Raymond told the judge during what was supposed to be a brief appearance Monday in provincial court.

"I should not have been in prison at all. I am not guilty due to at least temporary insanity. The evidence is all right there, he has every bit of evidence, it shows exactly what has happened. I am not guilty."

The lean, bearded 48-year-old is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Fredericton police constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello, and civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright.

The four were gunned down Aug. 10 outside a Fredericton apartment complex in a siege that ended when police shot the gunman.

The case returned to court Monday to set a date for a preliminary hearing, but Raymond interrupted as his lawyer addressed Judge Julian Dickson.

"Your honour, may I interrupt? I have something really important to say, I have a statement to make," Raymond said.

"I am not guilty by, at least, temporary insanity."

Dickson told Raymond he would have an opportunity "to purse every possible defence available to you," but Monday's hearing was not the time.

"This is a violation of my rights," said Raymond, who ignored defence lawyer Nathan Gorham's plea to sit down.

Gorham said the Crown has revealed most of the evidence against his client, including witness accounts and Raymond's own statements. He said he was trying to help the court move things along quickly.

Raymond, wearing an orange jumpsuit and a grey sweatshirt, told the judge his life has been threatened while in jail, including someone who threatened to cut his head off. And he objected to the clothing he had been given to wear.

"The clothes I have on, I have on every time I come in here. I do not have the proper clothing at all, it's a violation of my rights," he said.

"I should not even be in these clothes. I have never been given the proper clothes."

Raymond has not yet made a formal plea. The case will return to court Oct. 29 to set a date for a preliminary hearing on the first-degree murder charges.

Raymond is alleged to have fired upon four people from his apartment window with a long gun, killing two civilians as they loaded a car for a trip, and two police officers who responded to the scene.

Costello, 45, was a 20-year police veteran with four children, while Burns, 43, had been an officer for two years and was married with three children.

Robichaud, 42, had three children and had recently entered into a relationship with 32-year-old Wright when they were killed.

Former friends and acquaintances of Raymond have offered varying memories of the accused murderer, ranging from a boy who retreated into video games, a pleasant supermarket co-worker and an increasingly isolated loner in recent years.

Some business owners have described Raymond as becoming reclusive and occasionally unpleasant in the year before the alleged shootings.



Alleged serial killer to trial

An alleged serial killer who is facing trial in the deaths of eight men with ties to Toronto's gay village has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Bruce McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper, has been ordered to stand trial on eight counts of first-degree murder.

McArthur, wearing a black sweater over a blue shirt with blue jeans, made no eye contact with the alleged victims' families that packed the small courtroom this morning.

He'll return to court on Nov. 5 when a trial date will be set.

McArthur was arrested in January and police eventually found the remains of seven men in large planters at a property where he had worked.

Investigators found the eighth set of remains in a ravine behind the same property in midtown Toronto.

Lead detective Insp. Hank Idsinga has said the probe is the largest forensic investigation in the force's history.

Idsinga has said he doesn't believe there are any more alleged victims.



Canada Post strikes

The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees has begun rotating strikes in four cities across the country.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the 24-hour strikes began Monday at 12:01 a.m. local time in Victoria, Edmonton and Windsor, Ont., and at 1:01 a.m. in Halifax.

The union says mail will still be delivered in those cities, but will be delayed.

Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton said on Sunday that in the event of rotating strikes normal mail delivery would be maintained in all other locations across the country.

The job action began after negotiators failed to reach a new contract agreement before the union's Monday strike deadline.

Hamilton said Canada Post was committed to reaching a deal, and had an offer on the table that included wage hikes, job security, improved benefits and no concessions.

But CUPW President Mike Palecek said the key issues of job security, an end to forced overtime, better health and safety measures and gender equality remained unresolved.



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