In the news today, July 23

Five stories in the news for Tuesday, July 23

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FOOD GUIDE, BUTTS IN PRE-CAMPAIGN FIGHT

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre took aim at the Liberals Monday morning for bringing back former prime ministerial aide Gerald Butts to work on their election campaign. An hour later, from the same dais in the national press building, Liberal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor accused Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer of spewing untrue statements on Canada's new food guide. With three months to go before the federal election and public opinion polls indicating the two are in a neck-and-neck fight for power, the Liberals and Conservatives are drawing clear battle lines: Liberals say they're the party of science and the Tories are the party of pandering. Conservatives say they're the party of honour while the Liberals are the party of self-interest.

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CRIME RATE UP IN 2018: STATCAN

The rate and severity of crime both ticked up in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, according to Statistics Canada. The national statistics agency said Monday the overall crime rate was up two per cent over last year, with over two million incidents reported by police in 2018. That works out to a rate of 5,488 incidents per 100,000 people. The severity of crime also rose by two per cent, according to a Statistics Canada calculation called the crime-severity index. But Statistics Canada noted both the rate and severity of crime were still substantially lower than they were a decade ago, both down 17 per cent compared with 2008.

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COP DAD SAYS 2 MURDERS DEVASTATING FOR FAMILIES

The father of an Australian man who was gunned down with his girlfriend while travelling on a remote British Columbia highway says the deaths are a tragic end to a love story between the inseparable couple. Chief Insp. Stephen Fowler of the New South Wales Police Force said he spoke with his globe-trotting 23-year-old son Lucas Fowler within hours of his leaving on a road trip from northern B.C. with his 24-year-old American girlfriend Chynna Deese. Fowler said his son was having the time of his life travelling the world. He said he had met a beautiful young lady and they teamed up, were a great pair and they fell in love.

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EXPERT WARNS OF HUAWEI MONOPOLY IN FAR NORTH

Ottawa is creating conditions for the telecom giant Huawei to create a monopoly on high-speed internet in Canada's Far North, leaving its residents vulnerable to Beijing's will, says a leading analyst. Michael Byers, an Arctic-affairs expert at the University of British Columbia, said there's no immediate security threat to Huawei Canada's Monday announcement that it will partner with a northern telecom company and an Inuit development corporation to extend high-speed 4G wireless services to 70 communities in the Arctic and northern Quebec. That technology is already common in more populous southern Canada, especially in cities.

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MORE HELP NEEDED FOR RIGHT WHALES: MINISTER

Canada's fisheries minister says many of the people working to save the dwindling population of North Atlantic right whales are feeling drained by the ongoing ordeal, but he says more needs to be done to protect the critically endangered species. "This work has been labour intensive and ... emotionally and physically exhausting for many of those involved," Jonathan Wilkinson told a news conference Monday at an airport in eastern New Brunswick. Flanked by two red aircraft, Wilkinson said Ottawa recently committed to closing more fisheries, reducing speed limits for ships and increasing aerial surveillance in an attempt to prevent the lumbering whales from being hit by boats or becoming entangled in fishing gear.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS:

— Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde delivers opening remarks at the AFN Annual General Assembly. New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is also scheduled to speak.

— Justice Minister David Lametti makes a funding announcement on addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.

— Young Albertans will receive the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Awards in recognition of their outstanding citizenship and artistic merit.

— Shayla Orthner, 27, of North Battleford, has been charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, improperly interfering with a human body; and theft of a motor vehicle in the death of Tiki Brook-Lyn Laverdiere. The Edmonton woman went missing in mid-May and her remains were discovered by a police dog in a rural area in mid-July.

— The first-degree murder trial before a jury of Oscar Ferdinand Arfmann. He is charged in the November 2017 death of Abbotsford police Const. John Davidson.

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