Canada column for Sunday, July 7/13
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
A Canadian man and woman are behind held in jail after an attempted terrorist attack in Victoria that was eerily similar to that in Boston.
The Mounties said they foiled the attack motivated by an "al-Qaida ideology" that involved three pressure-cooker bombs set to blow up outside the British Columbia legislature during Canada Day celebrations last Monday.
After arresting John Nuttall, 38, and Amanda Korody, 30, police showed photos of what they said were homemade bombs in pressure cookers similar to those that killed three people and injured more than 260 during the Boston Marathon two months ago.
"This self-radicalized behavior was intended to cause maximum impact and harm to Canadian citizens at the B.C. legislature on a national holiday," said Assistant Mountie Commissioner Wayne Rideout.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service informed the force of the plot five months ago that resulted in the arrests of the two suspects in Abbotsford.
Investigators said the police ensured the bombs posed no public threat as they contained only “inert” explosives that couldn’t be detonated.
The pressure cookers had been filled with rusty nails, screws and washers designed to kill and maim bystanders.
Two weeks after massive flooding forced more than 100,000 people from their homes in Alberta, Calgary has lifted its state of emergency.
The province’s largest city with 1.1-million residents continues with recovery and relief efforts as flood damage estimates in Alberta head toward $1 billion.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city is again welcoming tourists and the famous Calgary Stampede is now on although some events have had to be canceled due to flood damage.
Days of heavy rain caused the Elbow and Bow rivers to overflow their banks, causing flooding across southern part of the province.
Rebuilding is just beginning but some 900 Calgarians might be forced to live in temporary homes for at least a year, Nenshi said.
News in brief:
- Two children have died in separate incidents after being trapped inside overheated vehicles for hours. Maximus Huyskens, 2, of Milton, Ontario, died being found inside the family car outside his home while in the care of his grandmother, police said. It was believed that Tsitsi Chitekedza, 3, of Edmonton died after getting into her family’s unlocked van on her own that was parked in the driveway.
- As Prime Minister Stephen Harper prepares to shuffle his cabinet, two Alberta Conservative Members of Parliament have said they won’t be running in the 2015 election. Diane Ablonczy, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, from Calgary and Ted Menzies, the Minister of State for Finance, from Macleod said they will be leaving politics.
- Sen. Marjory LeBreton has said she will leave her job as Government Leader in the Senate. LeBreton, who will be required to retire in two years at age 75, said she will remain as a Conservative senator for Ontario. Former prime minister Brian Mulroney named her to the Senate in 1993.
Facts and figures:
Canada’s dollar is lower at 94.39 cents U.S. while the U.S. greenback is valued at $1.0593 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3 percent.
Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index lower on Friday at 12,115 points and the TSX Venture index up at 881 points.
Lotto 6-49: (July 3) 16, 17, 19, 22, 40 and 43; bonus 10. (June 29) 4, 11, 12, 14, 25 and 37; bonus 36. Lotto Max: (June 28) 2, 7, 15, 38, 43, 44 and 47; bonus 1.
- Toronto Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said he will run for the Conservatives in one of five by-elections on Aug. 1 to fill vacancies in the Ontario Legislature. Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne has set the unusual summer election date ahead of a long weekend. They will be held in two Toronto districts as well as in London, Ottawa and Windsor to replace five Liberals who resigned since Wynne became premier in February.
- The Quebec government is forcing striking construction workers back to their jobs on Tuesday, ending a two-week conflict. After 15 hours of debate, a bill was passed by the minority government to impose a contract on 77,000 workers in Quebec's industrial, institutional and commercial construction sectors. Workers in other sectors, including residential construction and road work, reached deals earlier.
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org