Six stories in the news for Monday, Dec. 4
TRUDEAU CONTINUES BUSY STATE VISIT TO CHINA
Justin Trudeau began his four day state visit to China by telling a panel discussion in Beijing that global warming has been a boon to Canada's wine industry. The prime minister visited the headquarters of China's most popular social media company, Sina Weibo where he promoted Canada as a terrific tourist destination. Meanwhile, trade was expected to be the hot topic today at a meeting between Trudeau and China's premier and also at a later meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
FEDS WILLING TO REDUCE SHARE OF POT REVENUE
Ottawa appears willing to give the provinces and territories a bigger cut of the money it will collect from a federal tax on cannabis. The feds have proposed handing over half of the estimated $1-billion annual excise tax take once recreational pot is legalized next July. But The Canadian Press has learned that federal finance officials signalled a conditional willingness to increase that share during talks with their provincial and territorial counterparts. The condition is that the extra money be used to help municipalities cope with the impact of legalizing marijuana.
CANNABIS BLACK MARKET LIKELY TO LINGER
From texting a local dealer to dropping into a neighbourhood dispensary or ordering online, Canada's black market for recreational pot has seen significant changes in recent years and, no doubt, will see more as the country hurtles toward a new world of legalization next summer. What does seem clear, however, is that the illegal market is unlikely to disappear in a puff of smoke come legalization day.
HIV-POSITIVE PEOPLE SAY ONTARIO GOVERNMENT RULING ONLY FIRST STEP
The Ontario government has announced that HIV-positive people with low viral loads who have little chance of transmitting the disease can no longer be charged with a crime for not disclosing their medical status to a sexual partner. The move has generally been hailed as a positive step, but some advocates fear decriminalizing only people with low viral loads will divide the community into those who are fortunate enough to get the treatments they need, and those who aren't.
TORONTO CONSIDERS NEW SHORT-TERM RENTAL RULES
Toronto politicians will be reviewing proposed rules for short-term rentals this week that could mean big changes for those who offer secondary residences for rent on home-sharing platforms like Airbnb. Among the regulations going before city council is one that would ban short-term rentals of homes that aren't the landlord's primary dwelling. Some tenants say the rule change is needed in a city grappling with high rents and low vacancy rates, while those who rent out secondary residences argue the new rules would mainly help hotel owners.
THE GROWING LEGEND OF VINCE COLEMAN
Exactly one century after he died, mustachioed train dispatcher Vince Coleman's status as the ultimate Halifax Explosion hero will be cemented Wednesday. Calgary lawyer Jim Coleman — Vince's grandson — will deliver brief remarks during the city's commemorative ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the blast that killed or wounded 11,000 people. The recognition of Vince Coleman is the culmination of his growing legend for his selfless act of saving a trainload of passengers at the cost of his own life.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:
— Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne leads a trade mission in Vietnam with stops in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi
— Ottawa press conference marking the 20th anniversary of the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines
— The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls holds community hearings in Thunder Bay
— The Canadian Tax Payers Federation launches a campaign opposing the federal government's automatic tax hikes on alcohol
— The National Energy Board hears oral submissions in Calgary on a motion from Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC regarding its expansion project
— Halifax trial of Christopher Calvin Garnier, charged with murder in the death of off-duty Truro police officer Catherine Campbell
The Canadian Press