Four stories in the news for Wednesday, Feb. 20
MEMORIAL HELD FOR SYRIAN CHILDREN KILLED IN FIRE
Dozens of people gathered outside the charred remnants of a suburban Halifax home Tuesday night to mourn the loss of seven children killed in a fast-moving fire. The crowd of about 100 also wanted to show support for the injured, grieving parents left behind. They carried flowers and wept openly in the frigid darkness looking for solace in the company of neighbours. The parents have been identified as Ebraheim and Kawthar Barho, who came to Canada from Syria to start a new life. Ebraheim Barho, who was badly burned while trying to rescue his kids, was fighting for his life in hospital. Kawthar Barho is expected to survive.
HEARINGS INTO SNC-LAVALIN AFFAIR START TODAY
The House of Commons justice committee will begin hearings today into the allegation that the Prime Minister's Office improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution. Wilson-Raybould has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment on the affair. The Liberal-dominated committee wants to hear first from academics about the legal principles underpinning the affair, which prompted Wilson-Raybould's resignation from cabinet last week and the departure this week of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's most trusted aide, principal secretary Gerald Butts.
MOTHER OF SLAIN 11-YEAR-OLD GIRL HEARTBROKEN
The mother of an 11-year-old girl allegedly killed by her father last week says she is heartbroken that she will never see her daughter again. Priya Ramdin says in a statement at a vigil for Riya Rajkumar in Brampton, Ont., that her daughter always looked at the positives in life. Ramdin says Riya was a dreamer and wanted to become a doctor, drive a Lamborghini and own a mansion. Riya became the subject of an Amber Alert late Thursday night after police say her mother allegedly received information that her father planned to hurt both the child and himself. Riya was later found dead in her father's home in Brampton.
NDP CANDIDATES STRONGER ON CLIMATE THAN SINGH
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is facing calls from within his party for a stronger stance on climate change as he defends his support of the $40-billion LNG Canada project in northern B.C. Svend Robinson, the New Democrat candidate in Burnaby North-Seymour in the general election, opposes any new oil and gas infrastructure. Julia Sanchez, who running for the party in a byelection in Outremont in Montreal, disapproves of the use of public funds for such projects. Singh is seeking his first seat in Parliament in a byelection in Burnaby South and he opposes the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but approves of LNG Canada, saying the proponent conducted an exhaustive and thorough consultation process with elected Indigenous bands and chiefs.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces his plan to make home ownership more accessible for young Canadians.
— CN Rail CFO and CP Rail CEO will address the Citi 2019 Global Industrials Conference today in Miami.
— The CRTC will provide a briefing on the findings of an inquiry into misleading, aggressive sales tactics.
— The sentencing decision is expected today for Johnathan Ryann Gunville, who faces charges stemming from an Amber Alert in Saskatchewan involving a six-year-old girl.
The Canadian Press