WATCH: Morning CHEK with Andy Neal
Allegations of flagrant overspending and questionable expenses in Speaker’s report on suspended officials’ actions, advanced polls open today in key Nanaimo byelection and Canada’s new food guide recommends eating more plant-based protein. Those stories and more on Morning CHEK.
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Suspended legislature officials confident allegations of financial misconduct will be proven untrue: Two top officials at the B-C legislature, suspended since last November, have expressed shock the Speaker has released a report on the allegations against them without contacting them first for a response. Speaker Darryl Plecas allowed the legislature’s management committee to review his report yesterday, which was released. It alleges gross financial misconduct involving millions of dollars in overspending and questionable expenses by sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz and clerk Craig James. In a statement Monday night, both men expressed confidence the allegations will be proven untrue.
China calls on the U.S. to end extradition request of Huawei CEO: China’s foreign ministry is demanding the U-S withdraw an arrest warrant for Huawei Technologies’ executive Meng Wanzhou and the extradition request it made to Canada. But it appears the U-S is going to proceed. Monday, 140 international China experts urged the country’s president to free Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were detained in apparent retaliation for Meng’s arrest.
Advanced polling starts today in crucial provincial byelection in Nanaimo: Advanced voting starts today in the Nanaimo byelection, where the stakes are high for the NDP government. Residents will be able to vote in the advanced polls until January 27 if they can’t vote on byelection day, January 30th. Six parties are in the race to replace former New Democrat Leonard Krog. While the NDP is governing with the help of the three Green members, the balance of power in the legislature is tenuous with 40 New Democrats, 42 Liberals, one Independent and the lone vacancy.
Victoria police ask Esquimalt council for a budget increase: Victoria’ s chief of police presented a budget increase proposal of 5.74 per cent to Esquimalt council Monday night. VicPD is looking to hire more officers. Esquimalt turned down a request for an increased budget last year.
New food guide calls for Canadians to eat more vegetables, concerns of livelihood for dairy and beef farmers: Canada’s new food guide does away with food groups and portion sizes, focusing instead on broader guidelines that include eating more plant-based protein and drinking more water. It no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group but does include examples of low-fat, low-sodium and unsweetened dairy products. Early indications the new guide would promote more plant-based protein have already sparked concern among dairy and beef farmers, who are worried about the long-term impacts the change could have on their livelihoods.
Suspected plane hijacking in Russia, forced landing: A passenger plane bound on a domestic flight from a Siberian city to Moscow was forced to land shortly after takeoff in a suspected hijacking. Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee says a man ordered the crew to divert the plane to Afghanistan. It’s not clear if the man is armed.
Poll finds disasters and local weather has changed view of climate change for three-quarters of Americans: A poll finds 74 per cent of Americans say natural disasters and their local weather have influenced their views on climate change in the last five years. The poll was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. It finds about 70 per cent of Americans believe the climate is changing, with most saying humans bear some responsibility. Nine per cent say climate change is not happening and 19 per cent weren’t sure.
Oscar nominations announced Tuesday morning: The black and white Spanish language movie “Roma” and the period drama “The Favourite” lead the pack for the Oscars with 10 nominations each. Spike Lee picked up his first nomination in the best director category for “BlackKklansman.” One of this morning’s big surprises was that Bradley Cooper didn’t get a nomination for best director for “A Star is Born.” The film did pick up eight nominations, including best actress for Lady Gaga.
Chris Brown arrested in France, accused of rape: U.S. singer Chris Brown and two other people are in custody in Paris after a woman filed a rape complaint, French officials said Tuesday. Brown was detained Monday on potential charges of aggravated rape and drug infractions and remained in custody Tuesday. Investigators have another two days to decide whether to let him go or file preliminary charges. Brown’s publicists at Sony Music would not immediately comment on the complaint or say what Brown was doing in Paris.
Royals face WHL’s top team Tuesday night: A big test for the Victoria Royals Tuesday night when they host the Prince Albert Raiders, the WHL’s top team. The Raiders have won 39 of 46 games this season.
Raonic plays for semi-final berth Tuesday night in Melbourne: Milos Raonic is looking to make his way back to the semifinals of the Australia Open. The 16th-seeded Canadian is slated to face Lucas Pouille of France tonight. The Number 28 seed has dropped all eight sets over three career meetings against Raonic.