The Tuesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories


Highlights from the news file for Tuesday, Feb. 13


JUSTICE MINISTER DEFENDS BOUSHIE TWEET: Jody Wilson-Raybould doubled down Tuesday on her controversial reaction to the Colten Boushie verdict, saying a federal justice minister should be responsive to Canadians who speak out and protest perceived injustices in the legal system. Wilson-Raybould defended last week’s comments on Twitter, which came after Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley, 56, was acquitted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Boushie, 22, a member of Red Pheasant First Nation. Earlier in the day, Wilson-Raybould met with the Boushie family and discussed various areas of improvement for the justice system, including jury selection, an ombudsman for victims of crime and the need for compassion and support for victims. She has said the government is considering changes to the way juries are selected after concerns were raised about the apparent all-white makeup of the jury in Stanley’s trial. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down with the Boushie family in the afternoon for what he described as a very good, very emotional meeting. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who also met with Boushie’s relatives, said the civilian-led RCMP watchdog has launched an investigation after the family filed a complaint over the police’s handling of the case.


WHITE HOUSE DOWNPLAYS TRUMP TAX THREAT: The White House is downplaying a threat from U.S. President Donald Trump to impose a new import tax, following hard-to-follow comments that had some trade-watchers befuddled about what he might be planning. “There is nothing formal in the works right now,” a senior administration official said Tuesday. “He was simply reiterating the same sentiments he’s been saying about reciprocal trade for years.” The president confused many trade analysts Monday with remarks about a new tax. Trump said there would be details in the coming days about something he called a “reciprocal tax” on imports — and he complained about the trade practices of Canada, China and other countries in making the threat. The comments were confusing for several reasons: Congress sets taxes, not the president; Congress rejected the idea of an import tax in its recent fiscal reform; the president’s newly released budget proposal doesn’t even mention the idea.


PHILIPPINES FORMALLY KILLS HELICOPTER DEAL: The Trudeau government has appointed a new chair of the Crown corporation that facilitated a controversial helicopter deal with the Philippines, and ordered the organization to become less reliant on selling arms. The shake-up at Canadian Commercial Corp. was announced Tuesday by International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne as he confirmed the Philippines had formally cancelled the helicopter deal. The Philippines originally planned to buy 16 aircraft from Montreal-based Bell Helicopters for an estimated $300 million. But that was before concerns were raised that the Philippine military could use the helicopters to commit human-rights violations. The Liberals initially defended the contract, saying the aircraft would only be used for search-and-rescue and disaster relief, but ordered a review. In response to the review, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at what he described as restrictions on the use …read more

Source:: Nationalpost


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