1. THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS The latest mass murderer, who ambushed five RCMP officers, killing three and wounding two others with some pretty serious firepower, was captured last night in Moncton.
2. SONA ON TRIAL Friends and colleagues of former Conservative staffer Michael Sona have been lining up to testify that there was no conspiracy to defraud voters in Guelph in the last election. Instead, they assert that Sona alone was responsible for the robocalls scheme. But deputy campaign manager Andrew Prescott, who was granted immunity from prosecution for “singing”, has apparently expressed the belief that Sona didn’t act alone and that Guelph wasn’t the only riding where shenanigans occurred.
3. DO THE WALL CABINET SHUFFLE Following a swack of retirements in the Sask. Party ranks, Premier Brad Wall moved some people around in cabinet yesterday. Two notable additions are Mark Docherty (Parks, Culture & Sport) and Jennifer Campeau (Central Services) who are regarded as being on the liberal side of the conservative spectrum.
4. JAYS ON A ROLL After failing to meet expectations last year, the Jays have been playing pretty decent baseball so far in 2014. With the warmer weather, their offence in particular has heated up, and they’ve won 19 of their last 23 games to open up a 5.5 game lead in the so-so American League East. Will they keep it up?
5. CFL TALKS AT STANDSTILL The CFL and its Players Association are at loggerheads in negotiations to arrive at a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expired last week. Money is the main stumbling block — specifically, how much should the salary cap increase. With league revenues rising, the players say they deserve a significant raise. The owners and league administration, though, insist finances are still tight. Seven of nine teams have apparently voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike. Training camps are still running, but the odds of the season starting on time are getting longer each day.
6. D-DAY REVISITED Ceremonies are underway in Europe to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied assault on German defence positions in Normandy that turned the tide in World War II and led to the defeat of Axis forces.
7. MEANWHILE BACK AT HOME An email leaked to the Ottawa Citizen reveals that the Harper government’s Government Operations Centre has requested the assistance of all federal departments in compiling lists of “all known demonstrations which will occur either in your geographical area or that may touch on your mandate”. Critics have slammed the government for what amounts to a gross violation of civil rights as no distinction is made between demonstrations that pose a threat to public safety and those that are simply an expression, in the words of Liberal MP Wayne Easter, of “a healthy democracy.”
8. OTHER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GOINGS ON After the Supreme Court poo-poohed the Harper government’s first candidate to replace retired justice Morris Fish as a Quebec representative on the court, Justice Minister Peter McKay has announced that Quebec Court of Appeal judge Clement Gascon will get the nod. As well, McKay also unveiled the Harper government’s new legal framework to regulate prostitution after the previous laws were struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last winter on the grounds that they endangered the lives and security of those working in the sex trade. The new law is said to be modeled after the Nordic approach to prostitution, where instead of targeting sex trade workers, it will become an offence for anyone to purchase sexual services, communicate anywhere for those purposes, or receive material benefits from those services. Critics say that targeting johns and pimps like that will ensure that the sex trade remains in the shadows and do nothing to assure the safety of sex trade workers so it will likely be struck down as unconstitutional as well.