Canada briefs – May 15

Taxpayers in B.C. will officially begin paying the old provincial sales tax in addition to the goods and services tax starting April 1 next year. Finance Minister Kevin Falcon introduced legislation today that replaces the harmonized sales tax which was rejected by residents in last summer’s referendum.

B.C. finance minister says new PST on April 1, 2013, same as the old PST

VICTORIA — Taxpayers in B.C. will officially begin paying the old provincial sales tax in addition to the goods and services tax starting April 1 next year.

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon introduced legislation today that replaces the harmonized sales tax which was rejected by residents in last summer’s referendum.

Falcon says the return to the PST brings back all the old exemptions, meaning consumers will no longer pay seven-per-cent tax on restaurant meals, gym memberships, bicycles, movie tickets and haircuts.

The minister says he still can’t stomach the PST — which he once called a stupid tax — but now he calls it a better stupid tax.

Falcon says the major improvement to the new PST is it provides online access for businesses, which makes it easier to register and update accounts.


Polish PM expresses commitment to battered euro

OTTAWA, Ont. — The battered euro received a rare boost Monday when Poland’s prime minister affirmed his country’s commitment to adopt the currency, despite the financial woes that threaten Europe.

Donald Tusk said Poland has coped well during the economic downturn and will continue to work with the European Union to strengthen the currency that 17 of its 27 members use.

Tusk said Europe’s future depends on a common currency. His vote of confidence on Monday came as the political stalemate in Greece entered its eighth day and raised the possibility of the country’s exit from the eurozone.

Poland committed to joining the eurozone when it became a EU member and “nothing has changed to this extent,” Tusk said Monday after a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Parliament Hill.

“What has changed is just the reputation of the eurozone.”

The ongoing economic turmoil in Europe formed the backdrop for Harper’s meeting with his Polish counterpart.

But Harper demurred on whether the continuing political and economic uncertainty currently facing Greece warrants its expulsion from the eurozone.

“It’s not my place to tell Europeans how to resolve problems within the European Union,” he said as he stood beside Tusk. “Obviously these problems remain serious. They’ve been with us since the financial crisis. And it is essential that they be addressed.”


RCMP didn’t see Pickton as serial killer, allowed file to lay dormant

VANCOUVER — An RCMP officer in charge investigating Robert Pickton told the missing women inquiry the case was dormant for months and she didn’t know they were dealing with a serial killer.

Mounties were investigating tips that Pickton killed a sex worker on his property in Port Coquitlam, B.C., at the same time that Vancouver police were investigating reports of missing women.

Ruth Chapman, a constable whose surname was Yurkiw at the time, took over the RCMP’s Pickton investigation in late August 1999.

Chapman told the inquiry police ran out of leads investigating a tip that Pickton may have killed a sex worker, and she acknowledged she went weeks and months at a time without touching the Pickton file.

When she took over from Cpl. Mike Connor, who was transferred because of a promotion, she wasn’t given a detailed briefing about the case and says she didn’t realize she was dealing with a potential serial killer.


‘Chaos’ erupted during botched siege in Newfoundland

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Mounties wrestled with a high-pressure water hose as they tried a last-ditch effort to flush Leo Crockwell from his Newfoundland home just before he slipped undetected from a weeklong standoff, court heard Monday.

RCMP Sgt. Dave Hains described a scene of “chaos” as officers first blasted water into the two-storey green home the night of Dec. 10, 2010 in Bay Bulls, N.L.

Hains told the jury trial in provincial Supreme Court that too much pressure snapped the nozzle off the hose, spraying water in all directions. He said the Mounties turned off the water and repositioned the hose before pumping thousands of litres into the house owned by Crockwell’s elderly mother.

“We were learning as we were going,” Hains said of the flush tactic.

Hains also said he was the only officer two days earlier to guard one side of the house as officers used a battering ram to try to enter the home.

That’s the same side of the house that Crockwell is alleged to have escaped from the night of Dec. 10.

He was arrested without incident on Dec. 11 after the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary was tipped by a couple who’d given him a ride to a home several kilometres away. The Mounties had continued to pump water into the home for hours after their suspect had fled.

Just Posted

Envisioned exterior of the future Red Deer Aquatic Centre, by GEC Architects. Council determined Monday that it will eventually be built on the Michener North site, off 30th Avenue. (Contributed image).
Red Deer’s aquatic centre will be built on Michener North site

Rotary Recreation Rark has too many space constraints, most councillors decided

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has advised that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be used interchangeably for second doses and Alberta is following that approach. (File photo by The Canadian Press)
Red Deer down to 66 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer has lowest number of active cases since last November

(Advocate file photo).
Red Deer drivers warned about temporary lane closure on 67th Street

Power line will be rebuilt in six-month project

Black Horse Singers performed for students at Ecole la Prairie on Monday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Students remind Red Deer that every child matters on National Indigenous Day

Heart-shaped messages to decorate trees at Ecole la Prairie through the summer

Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson, center, tries to get position for a shot against New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) during the second period in Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 21, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Stamkos, Vasilevskiy pace Lightning’s 8-0 rout of Islanders

Lightning 8 Islanders 0 (Tampa Bay leads series 3-2) TAMPA, Fla. —… Continue reading

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he’s ‘convinced’ the city will be able to get rid of the mandatory mask bylaw in July. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
‘Made in Calgary’ approach will keep mask requirements past Alberta’s total reopening

Calgary won’t be following provincial recommendations on the mandatory wearing of masks… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a debate in the House of Commons, in Ottawa, Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Parliamentarians are entering what could be their final stretch in the House of Commons before it breaks for summer as the Liberal government sharpens its focus around two key pieces of legislation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberals, opposition clash with days left to pass legislation before House rises

OTTAWA — Parliamentarians are in their final week before a summer break… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border measures start easing in July for fully vaccinated Canadians

OTTAWA — Fully vaccinated Canadians returning to Canada will soon be able… Continue reading

The home of Lionel and Shanna Desmond in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S., is shown in this undated police handout aerial photo. An inquiry investigating why a former Canadian soldier killed his family and himself in 2017 heard today from a relative who said Lionel Desmond's mental health appeared stable after he served in Afghanistan in 2007, but there was a dramatic decline over the next 10 years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Lionel Desmond Fatality Inquiry
Lionel Desmond inquiry: soldier’s sister-in-law testifies about his mental decline

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. — An inquiry investigating why a former Canadian soldier… Continue reading

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

MONTREAL — One person was killed after a tornado struck Mascouche, Que.,… Continue reading

President of the Public Health Agency of Canada Iain Stewart, right, approaches the bar in the House of Commons to be admonished by the Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, June 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
PHAC president rebuked, still doesn’t produce documents on fired scientists

OTTAWA — The Conservatives are asking that the Public Health Agency of… Continue reading

Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks (24) gestures to teammates during the first half of Game 5 of their NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Salt Lake City.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Rick Bowmer
After months of speculation, Canada’s men’s basketball roster set ahead of qualifier

With a tantalizingly deep pool of talent, Canada’s men’s basketball roster has… Continue reading

Most Read