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


Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Oct. 4

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TRUDEAU SAYS FEDS REVIEWING REFUGEE PROCESS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is reviewing its handling of refugee claims following revelations that a Somali man accused in attacks in Edmonton had been ordered deported from the United States. Trudeau says the government is trying to find out what happened with the case of Abdulahi Hasan Sharif. The Canadian government has said that Sharif presented himself at a regular port of entry in 2012 and was cleared as a refugee in Canada. Trudeau says Canada is looking into what happened and whether things need to be done differently than they were in 2012.

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NEW CITIZENSHIP RULES TO TAKE EFFECT: Important changes to Canadian citizenship rules, including how long a newcomer has to be in the country to be eligible, will take effect next week. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced Wednesday that the changes undo barriers the former Conservative government put in place. Under the changes that take effect Oct. 11, which Hussen called long-awaited, would-be citizens will have to have been in Canada for three of the last five years before they apply. The Harper government had tightened the eligibility rules to require permanent residents to have been physically present in Canada for four years out of the last six immediately before applying for citizenship.

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BUSINESS APPLAUDS ALBERTA POT SALE POSSIBILITIES: Business leaders are welcoming Alberta's decision to not decide yet whether recreational cannabis will be sold through private or government owned retail shops when it becomes legal next year. Richard Truscott, B.C. and Alberta vice-president for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says he's pleased that Alberta hasn't followed Ontario in excluding the private sector from retail sales. He says selling cannabis only in government-run shops would be "going back in time" to the way alcohol was sold before Alberta privatized its liquor retailing system in 1993.

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TRUDEAU FACES ANGER OVER MMIW INQUIRY: An annual gathering on Parliament Hill to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women focused complaints on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trudeau listened Wednesday as family members expressed extreme frustration with the commission appointed by the Liberal government to examine root causes of violence against Indigenous women. The prime minister thanked family members for sharing their frustration and for challenging him and his government to do better.

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TRUCKERS CHARGED IN HUMAN SMUGGLING CASE: Two truck drivers from Quebec are facing multiple charges after allegedly trying to smuggle 11 people over the United States border into Canada. Canada Border Services Agency says the truckers were stopped at the Ambassador Bridge crossing into Ontario while carrying a load of produce last month. The agency says the men aroused suspicion after failing to declare anything other than the produce shipment despite being away for a week. It says agents searched the truck and found 11 foreign nationals hidden in the sleeper area of the vehicle.

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TORIES SAY IT'S TIME TO JOIN MISSILE DEFENCE: Federal Conservatives called Wednesday for the Trudeau government to start talks with the U.S. about joining its ballistic-missile shield, after their own party refused to do that during its decade in power. The Tories explained their change of heart by pointing to North Korea's recent sabre-rattling as well as revelations last month that official U.S. policy is to not defend Canada from a ballistic missile attack. North Korea has conducted several provocative nuclear and ballistic missile tests in recent months and some fear Canada could be caught in the middle of a conflict between that country and the U.S.

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PUNDIT SUSPENDED OVER 'SEPARATIST HUNT' REMARK: A political commentator who joked that he'd rather hunt Quebec separatists than squirrels has been taken off the air after police received a complaint against him. Groupe TVA said Wednesday it was suspending Luc Lavoie from its programs while Quebec provincial police look into the matter. A provincial police spokesman confirmed that several citizens had contacted police following the broadcast.

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PROGRESS ENERGY SELLING ALBERTA ASSETS: Petronas has put a massive package of oil and gas assets in Alberta on the sales block. But a spokeswoman said Wednesday it has no intention of abandoning the country despite the recent cancellation of its plan to build a West Coast LNG terminal. According to a posting on the BMO Capital Markets website, the Malaysian state-owned energy company's subsidiary, Calgary-based Progress Energy Canada Ltd., has hired the bank to sell oil and gas drilling rights, wells, pipelines and three gas processing plants mainly located in northwestern Alberta.

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QUEBEC COP SHOT DURING DOMESTIC DISPUTE CALL: A woman was killed and a Quebec provincial police officer was in hospital after being shot while responding to a conjugal violence call on Tuesday night southwest of Montreal. As police arrived at a home in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield for an apparent domestic dispute, a male suspect allegedly opened fire, hitting the officer at least once, Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau said Wednesday. The officer was taken to hospital with serious injuries, but was reportedly doing better.

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TRUMP CALLS VEGAS VICTIMS, DOCTORS, POLICE 'AMAZING PEOPLE': President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump met privately with victims of the Las Vegas shooting at a hospital Wednesday, praising them and the doctors who treated them as he visited a city still reeling from the worst gun massacre in modern U.S. history. He also met with first responders who'd been on duty Sunday night, telling them: "The world is watching, and you showed what professionalism is all about." A gunman on the 32nd floor of a hotel and casino opened fire on people at an outdoor country music festival on Sunday night, killing at least 59 people.

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The Canadian Press

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