Five stories in the news for Friday, Jan. 4
LAWMAKERS TO RAISE IMPRISONED CANADIANS IN CHINA
While it was not the initial reason for the trip, a group of six MPs and Senators heading to China say they will be bringing up the detention of two Canadians. Diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor were arrested last month in China in a move that has been described as retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese telecom executive at Vancouver's airport. Conservative MP Michael Cooper will be on the trip and he says they are planning to engage with Chinese officials in as constructive way as possible, with the obvious objective of seeing these two Canadians returned safely and as soon as possible.
ONTARIO JUDGE TO DISCUSS CARDING REPORT
An Ontario judge who issued a report on the police practice of street checks, widely known as carding, is set to discuss his findings today. Justice Michael Tulloch issued a report earlier this week saying carding has little to no value as a law enforcement tool and should be significantly limited in the province. The report does allow that police may have legitimate grounds to conduct street checks in certain circumstances, but notes those are very specific and the practice as a whole should be sharply curtailed. Tulloch is set to speak about his conclusions and recommendations in a news conference in Toronto at 11 a.m.
TV SKIT ON TRUDEAU'S INDIA TRIP CALLED RACIST
A scene mocking the prime minister's ill-fated trip to India last February was must-see TV on New Year's Eve in Quebec. But the character playing a pot-smoking Justin Trudeau is not what has Radio-Canada on the defensive. Instead, the French arm of the CBC has been under a barrage of online criticism from people claiming a part of the sketch involving a gorilla — with Donald Trump's signature hair and red tie — knocking over talking cows was racist and made a mockery of Indian culture. Critics of the show, known as "Bye bye," also bristled at a scene in which the Trudeau character is seated and plays a flute as gasoline-pump hoses rise from baskets on either side of him.
ACCEPT CONFESSION OF GIRL'S MURDER: CROWN TO JURY
The Crown is urging jurors to find no reasonable doubt when they decide the fate of a man who confessed to killing a 12-year-old girl in British Columbia in 1978. In closing arguments at the B.C. Supreme Court murder trial of Garry Handlen, Crown counsel Gordon Matei told the jury that an undercover officer did not coerce the man to admit he abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered Monica Jack. Handlen has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder but confessed in 2014 in a videotaped recording heard in court that he grabbed the girl while she was riding her bike near Merritt.
KEVIN VICKERS CONSIDERED A POLITICAL OUTSIDER
Kevin Vickers has been described as a national hero for his role in stopping a gunman's attack on Parliament Hill in 2014, but New Brunswick pundits say he's largely seen as an outsider as he considers a political bid in his home province. Vickers, who has served as Canada's ambassador to Ireland for the past four years, announced this week he may be interested in seeking the leadership of New Brunswick's Liberal party. The out-of-the-blue statement came days after former premier Brian Gallant confirmed he would be stepping down as Liberal leader sooner than expected.