Canada briefs – October 1

Hundreds of students are under lockdown at their Toronto high school after gunshots rang out in a stairwell, but police say it appears no one was injured.

Gunshots reported at high school

TORONTO — Hundreds of students are under lockdown at their Toronto high school after gunshots rang out in a stairwell, but police say it appears no one was injured.

Central Technical School is surrounded by police and emergency vehicles, and heavily armed Emergency Task Force officers are on the scene.

Police are speaking to two possible suspects and are seeking a third.

It is unclear if the third person is still in the school, and police have reportedly not recovered any weapons.


Verdict in hunting trial soon

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, N.L. — A Pennsylvania woman who says she fatally shot her husband because she mistook him for a bear on a hunting trip four years ago was scheduled to learn her fate on Friday in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mary Beth Harshbarger was tried by judge alone in Grand Falls-Windsor on a single count of criminal negligence causing death.

Crown lawyer Karen O’Reilly argued that Harshbarger, an experienced hunter, showed disregard for safety when she fired her rifle at her 42-year-old husband, Mark. The defence portrayed the killing as an accident.

Harshbarger has always said she thought she was shooting at a bear when she pulled the trigger on Sept. 14, 2006, near Buchans Junction, as her husband emerged from the bush.

Justice Richard LeBlanc heard nine days of testimony before he reserved his judgment.


Dziekanski inquiry lawyer named to Pickton hearings

VANCOUVER — A lawyer experienced at getting answers to potentially explosive questions about police conduct has been named the lead counsel at the public inquiry into the investigation of serial killer Robert Pickton.

Art Vertlieb was one of two commission lawyers at last year’s public inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski, sharing the task of questioning dozens of witnesses including the officers involved in Dziekanski’s fatal confrontation at Vancouver’s airport.

He will perform the same duties at the inquiry into the missing and murdered women.

It’s not clear when the hearings will begin, but current Attorney General Mike de Jong wants the final report by the end of next year.


Company that owns ‘Maclean’s’ regrets cover

MONTREAL — The company that owns Maclean’s magazine has expressed regret over an issue that has caused an uproar in Quebec.

Federal and provincial politicians have lambasted the magazine for this week’s issue that tagged Quebec with the unflattering label of Canada’s most corrupt province.

“The cover of this issue and the feature story clearly offended some readers, and this has been the subject of much debate,” Brian Segal, president of Rogers Publishing (TSX:RCI), said in a statement Thursday.

“On behalf of the company, we sincerely regret any offence that the cover may have caused.”

The magazine has steadfastly refused to apologize — and says it’s Quebec’s politicians who should be sorry.