Canada briefs – January 22

The defence lawyer for a B.C. man who has admitted killing his three children says Allan Schoenborn was living a psychotic reality in which he believed it morally right to take their lives in order to save them from a “fate worse than death.”

Dad living ‘psychotic reality’: defence

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The defence lawyer for a B.C. man who has admitted killing his three children says Allan Schoenborn was living a psychotic reality in which he believed it morally right to take their lives in order to save them from a “fate worse than death.”

Schoenborn is on trial for first-degree murder in the deaths of 10-year-old Kaitlynne, eight-year-old Max and five-year-old Cordon, who were found dead in their Merritt, B.C., home in April 2008.

In his final arguments, his lawyer urged a B.C. Supreme Court judge to find him not criminally responsible because of mental disorder.

Peter Wilson says that at the time of the killings, Schoenborn was suffering paranoia and delusions.

Crown prosecutors contend the killings were an act of revenge against the children’s mother, who had severed her 15-year relationship with the accused.

The judge has heard from a raft of witnesses, including haunting testimony from the mother, Darcie Clarke, and a graphic account from Schoenborn about the killings.

Adviser denied bail in Ponzi case

TORONTO — A Toronto financial adviser charged with defrauding investors of some $30 million has been denied bail.

Weizhen Tang is accused of bilking about 100 investors in Canada, the United States and China through a Ponzi scheme.

Tang, who is charged with fraud over $5,000, voluntarily returned to Canada last week from China.

Toronto police say victims have been located in the United States and China as well as Canada.

The 51-year-old, who called himself the Chinese Warren Buffet, is also slated to stand trial on 12 counts of breaching the Ontario Securities Act.

That trial begins April 19.

Mayors urge feds to keep spending

OTTAWA — Canada’s big city mayors are urging the federal government to keep billions of dollars in infrastructure money flowing as the country enters a new era of restraint.

They want Ottawa to extend the $4-billion federal infrastructure stimulus fund for at least six months past the current March 2011 deadline — and consider more funding even as it looks to save money elsewhere.

They’re also urging the government to resist the urge to cut other programs — including the gas tax fund and GST rebates — that help municipalities build and repair roads, bridges, sewer systems and other infrastructure.

The mayors argue that spending on infrastructure will actually help the government erase the $56-billion deficit racked up since last year’s recession, creating jobs, spurring economic growth and generating revenue to fill depleted federal coffers.

“The best way to fight federal deficits is to have people working and paying income and sales taxes,” said Toronto Mayor David Miller.