Canada briefs – January 19

A psychiatrist who interviewed a man who admitted to killing his three children in Merritt, B.C., has told the court he saw no signs of menºtal illness.

Schoenborn not mentally ill: doctor

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A psychiatrist who interviewed a man who admitted to killing his three children in Merritt, B.C., has told the court he saw no signs of mental illness.

Dr. Ron Chale was called by the Crown to testify at the first-degree murder trial of Allan Schoenborn in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday. Chale was one of the first experts to examine Schoenborn after he was arrested for the April 2008 killings.

Chale said he was asked to determine if Schoenborn could be transferred from a hospital to a correctional centre, and if he was mentally ill or suicidal. Schoenborn was emaciated and frostbitten after his arrest and had suffered severe self-inflicted lacerations to his forearms.

Chale said he spoke with Schoenborn once, as well as the doctors and nurses who cared for him.

He described Schoenborn as lucid and aware of his situation and legal predicament. Chale said Schoenborn told him he had talked to a lawyer and had been warned not to discuss the killings.

Tories win election court fight

The federal Conservatives have won a court victory over Elections Canada in a case that saw Mounties raid Tory party headquarters over $1.2 million in contested advertising expenses during the 2006 federal election.

But the opposition says the court ruling won’t end the controversy.

Federal Court Judge Luc Martineau on Monday rejected claims by Elections Canada that advertising expenses attributed to Tory candidates should have been reported as expenses for the national Conservative campaign.

The ruling means Elections Canada will have to reimburse 67 candidates for thousands of dollars each in campaign expenses.

It also means the Conservative party has dodged the prospect of having illegally exceeded its campaign spending limit by more than $1 million.

Still, Martineau questioned the “legitimacy” of the so-called “in and out” advertising scheme because of the effect it could have on the fairness of electoral spending law.

Green jobs key to recovery: envoy

OTTAWA — President Barack Obama’s envoy to Ottawa says “green jobs” are the key to long term economic recovery in the U.S. and Canada.

Ambassador David Jacobson said he expects eventual progress towards harmonized environmental and energy policy between Canada and the U.S., but hurdles still remain to getting climate legislation through Congress.

“As the president has said, that is a jobs bill,” Jacobson said. “One of the reasons he wants to focus on climate change is because the green jobs that are created in that process are going to be critical to the long-term strength of our economy, and I think the same applies in Canada.”

Jacobson flagged climate and energy issues, balancing trade and stopping terrorism on the border and the need to make progress in Afghanistan before 2011 as key issues facing Canada and the United States.