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Ottawa blasted for lending to Volkswagen

Union condemns Crown agency for lending Volkswagen $526 million
The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Canada's largest private sector union is condemning a federal agency for lending roughly $526 million to Volkswagen to expand its operations in the U.S. and Mexico.

Unifor issued a statement Friday saying it's "absolutely incredible" that Export Development Canada is helping facilitate the migration of the auto industry to Mexico.

Unifor president Jerry Dias says there is no guarantee that the loan will benefit Canada.

Prime minister touts child protection laws

Prime Minister Stephen Harper talks child protection, terrorism in speech
The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG - Prime Minister Stephen Harper promoted his government's anti-crime agenda Friday night while speaking to a non-profit group that fights crimes against children.

But Harper also touched on international terrorism in his 20-minute speech, and said it would be impossible to talk about protecting children and all Canadians without also addressing terrorism.

Harper spent almost one-third of his speech on the subject, and said events such as last year's attack on Parliament cannot be dismissed as random deeds by a few disturbed individuals.

Ontario, Quebec chide PM over climate change

Ontario and Quebec premiers chide Harper over emission targets
The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The premiers of Ontario and Quebec are again taking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to task over his approach to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

Kathleen Wynne and Philippe Couillard issued a joint statement Friday saying Harper's latest comments on the issue don't reflect the consensus the premiers reached when most of them met in Quebec City this month.

Vancouver-area mayors grill National Energy Board

Vancouver-area mayors grill National Energy Board, Coast Guard on oil spills
The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - Vancouver-area mayors grilled federal officials in charge of pipeline regulation and oil-spill cleanup on Friday, with one saying the Canadian Coast Guard is "vastly underfunded."

National Energy Board chair Peter Watson and Canadian Coast Guard Assistant Commissioner Roger Girouard attended a meeting of the Metro Vancouver Mayors' Committee to discuss pipeline safety in the region.

Woman dumped boyfriend before murder-suicide: Friend

Friend says Saskatchewan woman broke up with boyfriend before murder-suicide
Chris Purdy, The Canadian Press

Online, she called herself "Prairie Girl" and "Canadiansweetie."

He was "redneckdriller."

Photographs posted on social media websites show a hugging couple along with three smiling children and a new baby. There's no hint of the horror that came this week when five of the six died in a murder-suicide in Tisdale, Sask.

But the family of Latasha Gosling say her boyfriend, oil rig worker Steve O'Shaughnessy, had been controlling and jealous.

And one friend says Gosling broke up with the man shortly before he turned deadly.

Arctic Council's focus shifts to climate change

New chairman John Kerry shifts Arctic Council toward climate change
Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

IQALUIT, Nunavut - The United States assumed leadership of the Arctic Council on Friday and made it clear that the attention of the eight countries that ring the North Pole will shift from economic development to climate change.

"This is not a future challenge," Secretary of State John Kerry told council members, who met in the chamber of the Nunavut legislature in Iqaluit.

"This is happening right now."

Kerry thanked Canada for its two-year term as council chair.

Alberta 'not an NDP province:' Prentice

Premier Jim Prentice says Alberta is 'not an NDP province'
Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

CALGARY - Premier Jim Prentice is dismissing the possibility of the political left surging to power in the May 5 election, saying Alberta is "not an NDP province."

The Progressive Conservative leader had his guns firmly trained on NDP Leader Rachel Notley on Friday, one day after a televised leaders debate that many political pundits say she won.

Prentice said he likes Notley and considers her a "skilled" debater, but there are questions about how her party could afford its election promises.

Hydro-Quebec to build 400-kilometre power line

Hydro-Quebec to proceed with construction of 400-kilometre transmission line
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Quebecers will welcome the construction of a new 400-kilometre Hydro-Quebec transmission line even though there's still some opposition to the project, Premier Philippe Couillard said Friday.

The new 735-kilovolt power line will go from the Lac-Saint-Jean region, about 200 kilometres north of Quebec City, to Montreal.

''It's been 20 years since the last time we built such a line," the premier told a news conference, adding it would create jobs in several regions.

Dad escalates citizenship fight for son

Canadian dad threatens to take Ottawa to court over son's citizenship
Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - An Ontario father fighting to get his youngest son recognized as a Canadian citizen is now prepared to take the federal government to court over the matter.

Paul Compton feels he's already done everything recommended by the government to deal with the impact of regulatory changes which resulted in one of his children being Canadian while the other is not.

Liberal ad lampoons Harper government ads

Liberal ad lampoons taxpayer-funded Harper government ad campaign
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Federal Liberals are dipping into their party war chest to advertise about government advertising.

The party has paid for prime-time NHL playoff real estate to lampoon the Conservative government's ubiquitous "economic action plan" promos that have been saturating the airwaves since 2009.

Opposition parties have long complained that the government ads are thinly disguised partisan propaganda — paid for by taxpayers.

The cheeky Liberal ad purports to be a message from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, thanking Canadians for footing the bill.

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