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Bruce McArthur sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 25 years

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Santhanaladchumy Kanagaratnam, mother of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam who was one of eight men murdered by Canadian serial killer Bruce McArthur, reacts after McArthur was sentenced to life imprisonment, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 8, 2019. REUTERS/Chris HelgrenCHRIS HELGREN/Reuters

The serial killer who preyed on Toronto’s Gay Village and took the lives of eight men has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance at parole for 25 years. By imposing the eight sentences concurrently, Justice John McMahon’s sentencing was the lightest possible for this case.

“The outrage and upset, the fear caused by the accused, has been felt by all,” the judge said. But sentencing Mr. McArthur until 116 years of age would be symbolic, he told the court. “There is a fine line between retribution, which is an appropriate sentencing principle, and vengeance.”

As Justice reporter Sean Fine writes, the cases of Mr. McArthur and that of Alexandre Bissonnette, who shot six people dead in a Quebec mosque, are putting life sentences for mass killers in the spotlight. The cases are primal tests of the justice system’s values in the postcapital-punishment era – and of a punishment some label “Canada’s new death penalty.” Canadian judges have been able to stack sentences since 2011 making sure mass killers have no chance of parole. But some judges are publicly speaking out and these cases could mark a turning point.

Quebec City mosque killer Bissonnette sentenced to life, no parole for 40 years

Mr. McArthur wasn’t the only mass killer sentenced in Canada today. Mr. Bissonnette, who murdered six worshippers, was sentenced to life in prison for 40 years before he is eligible for parole. Mr. Bissonnette, 29, pleaded guilty last March to six-counts of murder and six of attempted murder. The Crown recommended the sentences be served consecutively for a total of 150 years. The defence argued the sentences should be served concurrently. The judge called the shooting a gratuitous act of fanaticism and said its date – Jan. 29, 2017 – would “forever be written in blood in the history of this city, this province, this country."

Conservatives, NDP seek to launch investigation into allegations of interference by PMO: Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Friday that opposition MPs will attempt to launch a committee investigation into allegations that former justice minister and attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould had resisted pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office to issue a directive to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to shelve court proceedings against SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. in favour of a negotiated settlement without trial.

He said Conservative and NDP MPs on the Commons justice committee will try to set up hearings on the matter and request nine high-ranking government officials appear before members of Parliament to answer questions.

Jennifer Quaid and Emilie Taman argue that the revelations show we are not a country bound by the rule of law: “There is often a perception in Canada that corporations receive preferential treatment. This suggestion is usually quickly brushed aside by those in power. This was true under Stephen Harper and it is true under the Trudeau government.”

The brawl that never was: How an argument among parents at an Ontario hockey game went viral

At the end of a hockey game, parents of 11- to 13-year-olds filed out of the stands and into the lobby cheering and grousing over penalties. Some people were hot under the collar, a few insults were thrown around and one person made a frantic call to police saying a massive brawl was under way. Police responded only to find not much had happened. A few parents argued for about 30 seconds, but law and order was unconvinced enough to post a Crime Stoppers notice seeking information.

A local radio station published a short report on its website with the headline “30 parents break out into a brawl over a minor hockey game.” And the internet took it from there.

Five-time Oscar nominee Albert Finney dies at 82

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Actor Albert Finney during interview in Toronto, September 12, 1987. Photo by Fred Lum / The Globe and Mail. Originally published Sept. 14, 1987.FRED LUM/The Globe and Mail

Albert Finney, the British stage and film actor who defined an era’s rage and frustration in dramas of blue-collar realism and social revolt and who went on to find stardom in Hollywood, died Thursday in London. A law firm that represents the family said the cause was a chest infection. Finney became one of his generation’s finest and most honoured actors over six decades, a frequent Oscar nominee and Britain’s equivalent of one, the BAFTA; a star as comfortable in movies such as Tom Jones, Network, Under the Volcano and Erin Brockovich as he was on the classical British stage. He was 82.

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Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday as fears of a broadening global economic slowdown and data that showed a rise in unemployment rate kept investors away from riskier bets. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was unofficially down 70.03 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 15,633.33.

U.S. stocks ended near flat on Friday as skepticism over the United States and China reaching a trade deal before a looming deadline added to concerns over slowing global growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 63.27 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 25,106.26, the S&P 500 gained 1.83 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 2,707.88 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.85 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 7,298.20.

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B.C.'s public auto insurance provider ICBC posts $860-million net loss

British Columbia Attorney-General David Eby described the public auto insurance provider last year as “a financial dumpster fire” and announced changes to rein in costs. Now, for claims filed after April 1, settlements for pain and suffering claims for minor injuries will be capped at $5,500. Mr. Eby said that as the deadline approaches, there is a push for settlements by claimants. The province is the last in Canada to abandon a system in which victims can sue for any type of injury.


Can Canada avoid a populist revolt?

“Mr. Trudeau speaks for millions of Canadians. But he doesn’t speak for millions more – people who aren’t sure they’re comfortable with the rate of change, folks who think globalism has gone too far, and others who say they don’t recognize the place where they grew up any more. Those people aren’t going to go away. And sooner or later, they will find a voice.” – Margaret Wente

Fish are not office decorations

“Our own false sense of superiority allows us to devalue these animals who seem so foreign to us. Having evolved in a fundamentally different environment to the air-breathing vertebrates, fish look and function differently than us, at least superficially. They cannot breathe air, and we cannot breathe water. It is as if we hailed from different planets.” - Johathan Blackombe, biologist and author of What a Fish Knows

The secret danger of everyday things

“The game of toxic Whac-A-Mole continues. Consumers demanded – and won – the removal of BPA from baby bottles to make our kids safer. It’s now popped up in unanticipated places, such as cash register receipts, that threaten us all. Time to change how the game is played once and for all.” Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, experts on health effects of toxic chemicals


Why is it so easy to fall in love while travelling?

Many travelers have a story to tell about striking up a relationship on the road. Some last forever, most do not, but have this in common: It’s efficient, effortless and, thanks to biology, might be unavoidable. The nitty-gritty of travelling, like navigating a new city, flood your brain with adrenaline. This is a good stress and while psychological arousal isn’t necessarily sexual, your brain can’t tell the difference. The heart beats faster and blood flows more quickly and then, according to a study, higher adrenaline makes you more likely to find people attractive. There is also the ample free time and not having to do dishes or laundry. (for subscribers)


Our next frontier: Exploring alien life

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Is anyone out there?ISTOCK

We are in the midst of a profound shift in our thinking about intelligent beings elsewhere in the galaxy, Adam Frank writes. The search for aliens is no longer science fiction – it’s science.

“From little green men in flying saucers, with their triangular heads, to Klingons and their eyebrow ridges, we’ve learned as a culture to associate aliens with crazy conspiracy theories or deep nerdology. It’s time to move past those associations because they’re beside the point now. From the newest science of other planets to our own experience with climate change on this one, our thinking about life, civilizations and the universe is in the midst of a profound transformation. Culturally and scientifically, we’re no longer giggling about alien life.”

What to do about the Irish border? Canada-U.S. border technology examined as U.K. seeks solution to Brexit impasse

British Prime Minister Theresa May met with European Union leaders this week in a desperate bid to salvage her Brexit deal, but the main obstacle continues to be the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The border has been free of all restrictions since 1998 and no one wants to return to a hard border, but keeping a link defeats the purpose of Brexit. As Europe Correspondent Paul Waldie reports, one proposal is following Canada’s lead and adopting technology currently in place between Windsor, Ont., and Detroit.

Evening Update is written by Jordan Chittley. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

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