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Wildrose migration a month in making: Prentice

Mass Wildrose migration to PCs a month in the making: Premier Jim Prentice
Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

EDMONTON - Quiet talks to unite the Opposition caucus with Alberta's governing Progressive Conservatives were already underway when Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith denounced two of her colleagues who had crossed the floor.

Premier Jim Prentice says an emissary from the Wildrose caucus approached his team a month ago with a pitch to bring together Alberta conservatives.

Ghiz not running for federal Liberals in 2015

Ghiz reiterates he won't run for the federal Liberals in 2015
The Canadian Press

QUEBEC - Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz is again ruling out running for the federal Liberals in next year's election.

Ghiz says he has three young children and needs a break from politics after 12 years as either premier or Liberal leader.

He told reporters in Quebec City today he could reconsider his position in four or eight years.

Ghiz was speaking at a news conference after meeting with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

Accused cop shooter now faces six charges

Man accused of shooting Mountie in Kamloops, B.C., now faces six charges
The Canadian Press

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Two new charges have been laid against a man accused of shooting a Mountie in Kamloops, B.C., during a traffic stop.

When 36-year-old Kenneth Knutson appeared in court for a bail hearing on Thursday he learned he now faces six charges.

The new counts are for aggravated assault and possession of a firearm contrary to order in the Dec. 3 shooting of Cpl. Jean Michaud, who is still in hospital recovering from critical injuries.

Animal abuser to get psychiatric assessment

Calgary man who taped dog, cat to receive psych assessment before sentencing
Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

CALGARY - A man who used Kijiji to find pets he methodically abused, starved and killed is to undergo a psychiatric assessment before he is sentenced on animal cruelty charges.

Nicolino Camardi, 19, has been in custody since he was arrested in May. He entered guilty pleas last week to two charges of wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal.

Police lay charges in unruly passenger case

Police lay assault charges against South African woman after flight diverted
The Canadian Press

HALIFAX - The Mounties have charged a 30-year-old South African woman with assault after an international flight was diverted to Halifax on Wednesday.

Investigators said the Air Canada flight was travelling from London to Toronto with 239 passengers on board.

They allege flight attendants were assaulted.

Police say nobody was hurt in the incident.

Law society defends decision to bar students

Nova Scotia law society defends decision to bar students from proposed school
Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society has the authority to deny accreditation to graduates from a Christian university in British Columbia that requires students to abstain from sex outside heterosexual marriage, a lawyer for the self-regulating body told a court hearing Thursday.

Marjorie Hickey told the Nova Scotia Supreme Court that the law society draws its authority from a section in the Legal Profession Act that says the purpose of the society is to "uphold and protect the public interest in the practice of law."

New details for next wireless auction

Ottawa promises new wireless spectrum measures to attract new carriers
The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The federal government has announced new details about its plans to auction off wireless spectrum as it attempts to entice new mobile carriers to enter the market and bring down prices for cellular phone users.

Industry Canada plans to auction off AWS-3 spectrum in March, and the government has previously announced that more than half the spectrum will be set aside for smaller companies.

Fire commissioner calls for band home inspections

Band homes can be inspected without mass evictions: Manitoba fire commissioner
Chinta Puxley, The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG - Manitoba's fire commissioner says some fatal fires in aboriginal communities could be prevented by regular informal inspections that wouldn't risk a large number of homes being condemned.

David Schafer told an inquest examining two fires on northern reserves that such inspections could look for fire hazards that could be "easy fixes" such as ensuring people have working smoke alarms and multiple escape exits.

TransCanada CEO unfazed by crude slide

TransCanada CEO says industry has lived through worse than latest crude downturn
Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

CALGARY - The CEO of TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) says he doesn't see the oil industry's appetite for new pipelines faltering even though crude prices have skidded to the lowest point in more than five-years.

In an interview in his downtown Calgary office, Russ Girling said he's seen ups and downs far more drastic over his career and expects the oilpatch will come out of the latest downturn in reasonably good shape.

National average price dips below a dollar

Average pump price goes below $1 for first time since summer of 2010
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The average cost of a litre of gasoline in Canada has dropped below $1 for the first time in nearly four and a half years, according to price monitoring website GasBuddy.com.

While many locations across the country have seen prices below that mark for a couple of weeks, Thursday was the first time since Aug. 30, 2010, that the average dipped to 99.9 cents.

In a statement, the website operator says Thursday also marked the 77th consecutive day that the national average has declined.

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