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In the news today, Dec. 5


Seven stories in the news for Tuesday, Dec. 5

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PM TRUDEAU: FREE TRADE MEANT TO COMBAT POPULISM

Pursuing free trade with China and preserving NAFTA are part of Canada's international mission to combat the rising tide of populism, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday during his visit to China. Trudeau characterized his trade ambitions with China, NAFTA and the pursuit of other deals as part of Canada's fight against the protectionist tide most closely linked to U.S. President Donald Trump.

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MILLARD TO GIVE CLOSING ADDRESS AT MURDER TRIAL

A murder trial in the presumed death of a young Toronto woman is nearing the end as one of the accused is expected to make his closing arguments today. Jurors will hear from Dellen Millard, who is representing himself in the first-degree murder trial in Toronto. The Crown alleges Millard and his co-accused, Mark Smich, killed Laura Babcock in 2012 because she was the odd woman out in a love triangle. Millard and Smich have pleaded not guilty.

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TOP COURT TO HEAR HYDRO-DEAL BATTLE

The Supreme Court of Canada will be asked today to reopen a notoriously lopsided 1969 deal that has so far generated more than $27.5 billion for Hydro-Quebec, versus about $2 billion for Newfoundland and Labrador. Lawyer Doug Mitchell says shifting markets has allowed Hydro-Quebec to buy power at cheap fixed prices and sell it for huge profits. The disparity has fuelled a bitter feud between the two provinces.

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SCOTIABANK OFFER TO BUY SHARE OF CHILEAN BANK OK'D

Scotiabank says its offer to buy a stake in a Chilean bank for $2.9 billion has been accepted. The Canadian bank says Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) agreed today to sell its 69.19 per cent stake in BBVA Chile. Scotiabank says it intends to merge BBVA Chile with its existing operations in Chile. The acquisition will double Scotiabank's market share in Chile to approximately 14 per cent.

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SOFTWOOD EXPORTS FALL BUT VALUE IS UP

Canada's softwood lumber exports to the U.S. have fallen since the Americans imposed new duties earlier this year, but thanks to near-record wood prices, the industry isn't suffering much from the political trade fight. As the end of 2017 draws closer, it seems unlikely a new softwood agreement will be inked between Canada and the U.S. this year, but even the industry association representing most softwood producers in Canada isn't that concerned.

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RIDE-HAILING WON'T DENT DRUNK DRIVING: CRITICS 

Some people on the front lines of Saskatchewan's drunk-driving battle aren't convinced that changes meant to allow Uber or Lyft to operate in the province will do much to keep impaired drivers off the roads. Joe Hargrave, minister for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, introduced a bill last week that would allow companies to provide a vehicle and driver. He said this would give impaired drivers another option for getting home.

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SUSPECT IN COURT TODAY IN IMMIGRATION FRAUD CASE

A businessman charged with not paying Filipino temporary workers their required wages is expected to be back in Nova Scotia Supreme Court today. Hector Mantolino, owner and operator of Mantolino Property Services Ltd., was charged in June 2013 with 56 counts of immigration fraud. The 55-year-old is accused of advising foreign workers to provide misleading and untruthful statements on their work permit applications.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:

— BMO will release its fourth-quarter and year-end results.

— Statistics Canada will release Canadian international merchandise trade figures for October.

— Supreme Court of Canada nominee Justice Sheilah Martin will take part in a question-and-answer session with MPs and the Senate.

— B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth will release more details on B.C.'s plans for regulating non-medical cannabis.

— Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne continues a trade mission in Vietnam.

— Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil will make an announcement regarding the future of Volta Labs.

 

The Canadian Press

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