National news briefs

Liberal leadership campaign in final stage

The race for a new Liberal Party of Canada leader will come to an end on Apr. 14.

Voters, who do not have to be party members but rather “supporters,” have from Apr. 7 to 14 to cast their ballot. Those signed up to vote are only half of those who initially registered as supporters.

The six candidates took part in a “national showcase” on Apr. 6 in Toronto.

Justin Trudeau, who many view as the frontrunner of the race, took the opportunity during his showcase speech to rebut critics.

“They say it’s about my father. To them, I say this: It is… It’s about all our parents and the legacy they left us, the country they built for us.”

Environmental group urges for warning labels on gas nozzles

Our Horizon, a Canadian environmental group, is lobbying for municipalities to enforce warnings on gas nozzles that inform people of the impacts of fossil fuels.

Lawyer Robert Shirkey said that the ads would be of minimal cost and would be similar to ads featured on tobacco packages.

“A lot of people won’t like seeing them but the placement is important because it speaks to diffusion of responsibility. Collectively, we’re endangering the planet.”

Charges laid in Stanley Cup riot case

The first individual to go to court over the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot was handed a guilty sentence on three charges on Apr. 4, 2013.

Spencer Kirkwood was convicted of breaching a non-alcohol court order and two riot charges after pleading not guilty.

Kirkwood claimed that he was too drunk to remember his actions at the riot, which included breaking a window with a barricade.

According to the judge, his alcohol-induced state did not prevent him from understanding the severity of his actions.

Gunman enters Quebec daycare

Two men are dead after a gunman opened fire at a Gatineau, Quebec daycare on Apr. 5. Police arrived to find one of the daycare employees and the suspect dead.

The childcare establishment is located in two side-by-side homes. The two deceased were discovered in the separate homes.

According to police, one of the deceased, who was found lying near the gun, was Robert Charron, who was married to the daycare director.

The remaining deceased individual was identified as the daycare custodian, hailing from France.

The police evacuated 53 children from the daycare and brought them to safety at a home nearby.

“It’s a small area, it’s a close space. For sure, they should have been witness [to] the event,” said Gatineau Police Chief Mario Harel.

One young boy recounted the events when in the nearby house, explained the house’s owner, Louise Robitaille to the CBC.

“He said, ‘You know the chase man, he didn’t find us.’”

Non-Christian prison chaplains hired in B.C. after federal cuts

After federal cuts to prison chaplains in October, 2012, the federal government is rehiring non-Christian staff in British Columbia.

The cuts of 49 part-time chaplains were reported to save the government $1.3 million. The void was to be filled by volunteers. Two full-time Christian employees and two full-time Muslim employees were also hired at the time.

Charmain Mak, a Buddhist chaplain who was recently re-offered her position, spoke to the CBC about the federal decision.

“They’ve been cut off from spiritual development and education, so I think that’s a really good step for them.”

The Correctional Service of Canada said that they are not reversing the 2012 cuts but rehiring as a provisional measure to fill certain inmates needs.

A revised spiritual service program is expected.