These are the top stories:
Trudeau promises firearms plan for election campaign
Although Mr. Trudeau did not reveal the exact measures to be proposed, he said at a joint news conference with Toronto Mayor John Tory on Tuesday that the Liberals intend to go further in “strengthening gun control.” The lead federal minister on the file, Bill Blair, has raised the possibility of prohibiting some assault weapons that are currently legal, albeit highly restricted.
On another matter, Mr. Trudeau refused to immediately release a report by former cabinet minister Anne McLellan in the aftermath of the SNC-Lavalin affair, saying he will wait for the Ethics Commissioner to conclude a separate investigation. Ms. McLellan was asked last March whether the roles of the attorney-general and the minister of justice should be separated to prevent political interference in federal prosecutions.
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Hong Kong airport reopens amid warnings over more protests
Hong Kong’s international airport resumed operations on Wednesday while China warned that extremely violent crimes by anti-government protesters must be severely punished by the law. The statement by China’s central government followed two days of violent clashes between protesters and police at the airport, which saw hundreds of flights halted in one of the world’s busiest transit hubs. A few dozen protesters remained at the airport on Wednesday while workers scrubbed it clean of blood and debris. Protesters are only allowed to demonstrate in designated areas.
Alberta Crown stays charges in death of four-year-old Indigenous girl
Relatives of the girl known as Serenity were each charged in 2017 for failing to provide the necessaries of life. The Crown says it decided to stay the charges after reassessing evidence and determining there was no reasonable likelihood of convictions. Serenity had a severe brain injury when she was taken to hospital in September 2014 where doctors noticed she was underweight and had multiple bruises. She remained on life support for about a week before she died. The RCMP noted in 2017 the charges were related to the circumstances in which the child lived, noting that the specific injury that caused her death was not criminal in nature.
In Nova Scotia, an economic boom brings all the boats to the yard
When you live off the ocean, you learn fast that what the tides brings in, it also takes out. But fortune is already smiling on East Coast lobster fishermen and boat builders alike, thanks to a thriving lobster fishery, fuelled by a strong global market, abundant catch and a low dollar.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Russian military orders evacuation of village near site of mysterious nuclear accident: The possibility of an evacuation raised the question of whether authorities see a continuing threat from Thursday’s explosion or may be preparing to retrieve the radioactive source, potentially posing new dangers.
Global Affairs says at least 12 Canadians are in Jammu and Kashmir: “Global Affairs Canada advises Canadians to avoid all travel to the states of Jammu and Kashmir, due to sporadic terrorist activity and violent demonstrations,” Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Barbara Harvey said in an e-mail.
Judge greenlights class-action against Air Canada over fuel surcharges: The lawsuit argues the country’s largest airline “illegally overcharged its customers” by more than 200 per cent — and more than the fuel cost itself — on some flights.
Freshii bolsters its executive suite and board: Freshii Inc. is adding new members to its board of directors and senior leadership team as it attempts to improve disappointing same-store sales and reverse a falling stock price.
Anti-poverty group calls for cheaper internet access for low- and moderate-income Canadians: More than 35 per cent of respondents, who hailed from 21 cities across five provinces, said paying for an internet connection came at the expense of basic necessities such as food, clothing or transit.
RCMP say investigation into teen’s overdose death will take time: The RCMP say they have taken almost 40 statements in their investigation of the apparent overdose death of a boy in Langley, B.C, that prompted them to open a tip line for information on the youth’s final hours.
European stocks fell on Wednesday as Germany’s economy went into reverse, reviving fears of global recession and tempering a rally for equities after Washington delayed tariffs on some Chinese imports. Tokyo’s Nikkei picked up where North America left off, climbing 1 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai composite 0.4 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.6 and 1.1 per cent by about 6 a.m. ET. New York futures were down. The Canadian dollar was at about 75.5 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
On gun control, will Trump surprise us?
Lawrence Martin: “Some even see the Trump opportunity as tantamount to that of Nixon going to China; the notion that, as with the anti-Communist hardliner making peace with that arch enemy, a staunch defender of gun rights such as Mr. Trump could sell Americans on the idea that it’s time for a new approach.”
Xi Jinping may want to rule the world, but he has problems at home, too
Charles Burton: “But now China’s geostrategic boldness has started to backfire, with a kick back from the United States unifying Republicans and Democrats alike against ‘the China threat.’” Burton is associate professor of political science at Brock University at St. Catharines and former counsellor at the Canadian embassy in Beijing.
Hong Kong must not take a Tiananmen turn
Minxin Pei: “Hong Kong’s economy – a critical bridge between China and the rest of the world – would almost instantly collapse.” Pei is a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, the author of China’s Crony Capitalism, and the inaugural Library of Congress Chair in U.S.-China Relations.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
If you are a “helicopter” or “lawn mower” parent, it means that you own a hyper-involved parenting style, but it might be time to reconsider your approach. After observing 83 low socioeconomic-status mothers and their infants to assess attachment, a new study out of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., found that ‘good enough’ parenting is much closer to ‘perfect’ parenting. “I think this study allows parents to trust their kids a little bit, or to give them that opportunity to explore and test boundaries – to try things out on their own,” says Toronto-based child development and parenting expert Caron Irwin.
MOMENT IN TIME
Aug. 14, 1975
The theatrical production – a musical tribute to sci-fi and B movies – became an instant hit in the summer of 1973. Librettist and lyricist Richard O’Brien had taken the Frankenstein story, about an unorthodox scientist who rejects his monstrous creation, and flipped it on its sloppily sewn-on head: O’Brien’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter – who describes himself as “a sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania” – alternately pines for and lusts after his homemade muscle man, only to be spurned. The genius of the stage show was casting Tim Curry as the corset-clad creator. As an actor and singer, Curry proved to be one of those rare performers who can transition (turn to camera and wink) seamlessly from stage to screen. He and several members of the original cast reprised their roles for the film version – and that’s when things really got weird and fun. As a movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show became an interactive event, with hardcore fans showing up dressed as their favourite characters week after week, singing and dancing The Time Warp along with the film and occasionally throwing toast at the screen. It still screens regularly around the world; a silly, raunchy, campy party that never ends. — Massimo Commanducci