Five stories in the news for Tuesday, Nov. 20
ON POT, EXPERTS PREACH BORDER VIGILANCE
Marijuana has been legal in Canada for a month already, but immigration lawyers and cannabis executives say when it comes to getting into the United States, the worst may be yet to come. Some experts fear Canadians will forget the perils that past and present marijuana use still poses for those seeking to cross the Canada-U.S. border. Henry Chang, a Toronto-based immigration lawyer, says he's bracing for a spike in cases of people who end up being banned outright from entering the U.S. for owning up to using pot.
ACTION NEEDED ON CHILD POVERTY: REPORT CARD
Campaign 2000, a group formed to hold the government to its promise to end child poverty by 2000, is releasing its annual report card today. About 1.4 million children are now living in poverty in Canada, 29 years after the government made the promise. The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.
ESI EDUGYAN WINS $100,000 GILLER PRIZE
Victoria-based author Esi Edugyan has won the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for a second time with her latest novel "Washington Black." Published by Patrick Crean Editions, the novel follows the saga of an 11-year-old boy who escapes slavery at a Barbados sugar plantation with the help of the owner's kinder brother. Edugyan secured the top prize after a season flush with acclaim for "Washington Black," which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Writers' Trust fiction award. Edugyan's Giller win Monday night was her second, having previously received the honour for "Half-Blood Blues" in 2011.
ADVOCATES WANT LAW AGAINST 'PRIVATE TORTURE'
Two Nova Scotia nurses have told a UN body that Canada needs a special criminal charge to cover extended campaigns of physical and emotional abuse by ordinary civilians that amount to torture. Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarson are appearing before the United Nations Committee Against Torture this week to apply more pressure on the Canadian government to amend the Criminal Code to include "non-state torture" as a distinct crime. Many of the acts are already crimes in themselves, but MacDonald and Sarson argue that protracted abuse is a particular kind of crime that isn't captured by a charge of, for instance, aggravated assault.
MANITOBA GOVERNMENT LAYS OUT AGENDA IN THRONE SPEECH
Manitoba's Progressive Conservative government will lay out its agenda for the coming year in its speech from the throne at the legislature this afternoon. Premier Brian Pallister is past the halfway point in a mandate that has focused on fiscal restraint, including wage freezes for public-sector workers and job cuts in Crown corporations. The Tories have promised to balance the budget by 2024 and cut the provincial sales tax by one percentage point, but the deficit for the fiscal year that ended in March came in at $695 million.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— Auditor general Michael Ferguson releases his fall report today.
— The stalled retrial of Dennis Oland for the second-degree murder of his father, Richard Oland, is due to resume today in a Saint John courtroom.
— Progressive Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will outline the second of three policy pillars in his plan for dealing with gun laws and enforcement.
— Health groups and the NDP will call on Health Canada to crack down on the recent explosion of lifestyle advertising of e-cigarettes on television, social media and other settings.
The Canadian Press