June 15th, 2024

In the news today: Coutts murder-conspiracy trial set to resume

By The Canadian Press on June 11, 2024.

A jury is set to return today to hear evidence at the trial of two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at the 2022 border blockade at Coutts, Alta. Weapons and ammunition seized by the RCMP are shown in a 2022 handout photo. Anthony Olienick and Chris Carbert were charged in February 2022 after RCMP found a cache of guns, body armour and ammunition in trailers at the protest near Coutts, Alta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed…

Coutts murder-conspiracy trial set to resume

A jury is set to return today to hear evidence at the trial of two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at the 2022 border blockade at Coutts, Alta.

The jury heard opening arguments and testimony from an RCMP witness on Thursday.

The trial was tied up over the following days with arguments that are under a publication ban.

Anthony Olienick and Chris Carbert were arrested after RCMP found a cache of guns, body armour and ammunition in trailers.

They are also charged with mischief and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and Olienick faces a further charge of being in possession of a pipe bomb.

Here’s what else we’re watching…

Nine children injured in Sask. school bus crash

RCMP in southern Saskatchewan say nine children are being treated for “various injuries” after the school bus they were in collided with an SUV at a rural intersection and rolled into a ditch.

Police say in a news release they don’t have information on how many of the children required hospital treatment or any word on their conditions.

They say the adult driver of the school bus had minor injuries, while the two men who were in the SUV did not report any serious injuries to officers.

The news release says the collision happened around 3:45 p.m. Monday at an intersection of two gravel roads approximately 6.5 kilometres south of Rockglen, Sask., and that the bus was transporting nine children from Rockglen School at the time.

Police say they don’t have details on the cause of the crash but stress alcohol was not a factor.

Calgary mayor applauds water use cutbacks

As crews work to fix a massive pipeline break, Calgary’s mayor says citizens are stepping up to draw down on water use to prevent city taps from running dry.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek had asked Calgarians to reduce water use by 25 per cent to keep the reservoirs from running dry, and on Monday said residents went even further and saved 30 per cent.

Calgary was put under a water emergency after the major feeder main in the city’s northwest — one of two main lines servicing the city — fractured Wednesday night.

The situation has been more serious in Bowness, the Calgary neighbourhood of about 10,000 where the pipeline fracture occurred.

Residents there were told to boil their water before drinking since the pipe fracture occurred, but there was good news late Monday, with Alberta Health Services announcing the water quality was satisfactory and the order was lifted effective immediately.

Contractors play growing role in military: CAE CEO

CAE Inc. chief executive Marc Parent says a growing reliance on private contractors by Western armed forces – including Canada’s – bodes well for his company and global security.

This as questions still linger around spending and accountability.

In an interview, Parent said rising geopolitical tensions are prompting a military build-up that means governments contending with personnel shortfalls depend increasingly on private sector firms for everything from catering and construction to hired guns.

Last month, a joint venture between Montreal-based CAE and B.C.-based KF Aerospace secured an $11.2-billion contract to train aircrews and provide simulators for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The 25-year deal represents a vast expansion of CAE’s previous role in Air Force training, as the partnership aims to take responsibility for more areas, such as training support crews and procuring trainer aircraft.

Younger people with mortgages more stressed: poll

Roughly six in 10 Canadians with a mortgage are financially stressed, with younger homeowners more likely to be under pressure.

In a new Leger survey, 68 per cent of respondents between 18 and 34 years of age with a mortgage say they are very or somewhat financially stressed about their mortgages, compared with 62 per cent across all homeowners.

Last week, the Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate, offering some relief to borrowers after the central bank’s fight against inflation saw its key lending rate rise to a peak of five per cent.

Four out of 10 Canadians surveyed by Leger said they think the Bank of Canada should be cautious as it lowers interest rates, but another third think it’s not going fast enough.

Respondents in households making more than $100,000 a year were more likely to say they support the central bank’s caution.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2024

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