Eight stories in the news today, April 27
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Eight stories in the news today, April 27

Last Updated Apr 27, 2017 at 3:40 am MDT

Eight stories in the news for Thursday, April 27

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TRUMP WITHDRAWS THREAT OF NAFTA PULLOUT

U.S. President Donald Trump is backing off plans to cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement. His decision followed phone chats Wednesday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and broad speculation he might be ready to rip up the trade deal. The White House said the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly to renegoiate NAFTA to the benefit of all three countries.

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IT’S BUDGET DAY IN ONTARIO

Ontario’s first balanced budget in a decade is expected to contain new money to benefit seniors, students, parents, caregivers and patients when it’s released this afternoon. The deficit-free fiscal plan gives the province’s Liberal government some room to bring in new spending as it heads into an election year. In a speech this week, Premier Kathleen Wynne said her plan has fairness at its heart and her approach is not to cut services, taxes and regulations and hope the results will trickle down to Ontarians.

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IT’S ALSO BUDGET DAY IN NOVA SCOTIA

Nova Scotia’s Liberal government is expected to present a budget today that opposition parties say is the prelude to a snap election call. Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says he believes the budget won’t go to a vote in the legislature before Nova Scotians go to the polls. Finance Minister Randy Delorey has said the budget will be balanced. The Yukon government will also table its budget today.

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HOUSING, OPIOIDS AND LEADERSHIP HIGHLIGHT B.C. ELECTION DEBATE

British Columbia’s political leaders entered the home stretch of the campaign leading to the May 9 election with a lively debate last night that featured clashes over the economy, housing, the opioid crisis and leadership. Liberal Leader Christy Clark said she’s the only one who can lead the province in the face of a growing protectionist threat from the United States.

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COURT TODAY FOR WOMAN WHO SCALED TORONTO CRANE

A young woman who was rescued after scaling a crane in downtown Toronto yesterday is scheduled to appear in court today. The woman, who police identified as 23-year-old Marisa Lazo, faces six counts of mischief by interfering with property. The reason for the woman’s perilous climb remains a mystery. The woman had been perched on a gently swaying large pulley device for at least four hours before her dramatic rescue by a firefighter.

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JUSTICE MINISTERS AIM TO SPEED UP THE COURTS

The federal Liberals came to power promising sweeping reforms to the criminal justice system, but now the provinces are championing some ideas to reduce backlogs in the courts. Provincial and territorial justice ministers gather Friday in Gatineau, Que., for an emergency meeting with their federal counterpart, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to discuss how to tackle delays in the criminal courts.

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MINISTER SCOLDS UNIVERSITIES ON GENDER EQUITY

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan says universities aren’t doing enough to appoint more female research chairs, so she wants to force their hands. As of December 2016, there were 1,612 filled positions, among which 30 per cent were women. That fits with the fact between 2000 and 2015, 31 per cent of applicants for the jobs were from women.

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CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN TRIAL FOR MAN WHO STRANGLED WIFE

Closing arguments are scheduled today in the trial of a Calgary man who admitted to strangling his wife and burying her body in their home. Allan Shyback is charged with second-degree murder and causing an indignity to a body in the death of Lisa Mitchell. During testimony this week, Shyback said he’d been the victim of nearly a decade of domestic abuse and that his common-law attacked him with a knife the day of the fatal encounter.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:

— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Gray, Sask., and Regina.

— Domtar, Potash Corp., The Jean Coutu Group and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., are among the companies reporting quarterly results.

— Statistics Canada will release the payroll employment, earnings and hours for February.

— Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains and Transport Minister Marc Garneau will announce new funding for the Canadian Space Agency.

— Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc will announce a new investment in ocean and freshwater sciences.

— Canada Post will unveil the first of 10 stamps related to Canada’s 150th anniversary.

— The annual East Coast Music Awards gala will be held in Saint John, N.B.