VANCOUVER - Decades have passed since Cecil Abrahams first met Nelson Mandela on a South African soccer pitch, but memories of the event still make the Vancouver resident smile.
Abrahams, who was one of many attending a Friday evening memorial to the anti-apartheid icon at the city's art gallery, said he was just 11-years-old when the historic encounter happened.
Abrahams said he and his teammates were playing soccer in a Johannesburg neighbourhood, but Mandela and members of the ANC wanted the pitch for a political rally.
Shell Canada's Jackpine oilsands mine expansion plan has received the go-ahead from Ottawa, despite the environment minister's view that it's "likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects."
In a statement late Friday, environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq concluded that the effects from the 100,000-barrel-per-day expansion are "justified in the circumstances."
The nearby Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has said the project will violate several federal laws covering fisheries and species at risk, as well as treaty rights.
TORONTO, Cananda - A judge upheld the federal government's branding of an Egyptian man as a threat to Canada after finding the evidence —including being "trusted" by Osama bin Laden — supported Ottawa's assertion he was involved with terrorist groups.
Federal Court Judge Edmond Blanchard determined the evidence constituted "reasonable grounds to believe" Mohamed Mahjoub was a member of two groups engaged in terrorism.
QUEBEC - Premier Pauline Marois says her government was more focused in the current session of the legislature than when it was first elected last year.
Marois says her team concentrated on employment and identity and she is pleased with the results.
She indicated some disappointment at being unable to balance the budget as planned but said delaying it until 2015-16 will allow her government to avoid tax hikes and deep spending cuts.
"We committed to controlling government spending and we have done that in an exemplary manner," she said.
OTTAWA - Some Conservative senators are fighting back, defending themselves and the reputation of their maligned institution after taking a year-long drubbing over the Senate expenses scandal.
Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais on Friday became the second senator this week to join the fray, directly challenging a New Democrat MP for advocating abolition of the upper house in a flyer sent to her constituents.
OTTAWA - They were a government in waiting — ready to follow their fearless, newly freed leader, Nelson Mandela — except for one major problem.
None of the heady, young members of the African National Congress had any idea how to actually govern a country. Within a few years in the early 1990s, all that would change, thanks to a major training effort by Canada's International Development Research Centre.
WINNIPEG - Canada's ambassador to the United States took aim at American politics Friday by saying the country has spent the last four years lurching from one budgetary crisis to the next and by criticizing the influence money has on politicians.
Gary Doer told a gathering in his Manitoba hometown that there have been five budgetary challenges since he was posted to Washington in 2009 and a sixth one is looming.
MONTREAL - Fourteen young women who were killed in Canada's worst mass shooting were remembered on Friday amid repeated calls for more to be done to eradicate violence against women.
Outside the Ecole polytechnique engineering school where the slayings occurred on Dec. 6, 1989, bouquets of white and red roses were placed at the foot of a wall plaque with the names of the victims.
A demonstration was also held on the steps of the Montreal courthouse where the names of the women were read aloud.
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Ottawa and Newfoundland and Labrador will spend almost $500,000 on a pilot project to offer seal meat at stores in Canada and overseas in the new year.
Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea visited a boutique Friday in St. John's, N.L., that sells seal skin coats and boots to announce Ottawa will contribute almost $292,000 to help expand markets for meat.
CAMROSE, Alta. - A judge has ruled there is enough evidence to send a man to trial on charges of attempting to kill two Mounties in rural Alberta.
Sawyer Robison, 28, remains out on bail and is to appear in Wetaskiwin court on Jan. 14 to set a trial date. He also faces several weapons charges.
His lawyer, Brian Beresh, expects it may take a year or longer for the case to get to trial. But he said his client is eager for it to start.
"He's looking forward to the day when he can establish his innocence," Beresh said Friday following the court decision in Camrose.