In the news today, Dec. 11 - 660 NEWS
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In the news today, Dec. 11

Last Updated Dec 11, 2017 at 6:20 am MST

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, left, talks to reporters as Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao looks on before they join their federal, provincial and territorial counterparts for dinner in Ottawa, Sunday, December 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Seven stories in the news for Monday, Dec. 11

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VOTERS IN FOUR FEDERAL RIDINGS CHOOSE NEW MPS TODAY

The Trudeau government will get to test its popularity today in four federal byelections. The most heated race is the B.C. riding of South Surrey-White Rock where the Liberals are hoping to steal the seat from the Conservatives. The Conservatives have tried to stir up voter anger there over the Liberal’s tax reforms. The Tories are favoured in the Saskatchewan riding of Battlefords-Lloydminister, which has voted for right-wing parties since the 1990s. The other two ridings, in Newfoundland and Labrador and Toronto, are considered safe Liberal seats.

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MORNEAU TO MEET WITH PROVINCIAL COUNTERPARTS

Finance Minister Bill Morneau can expect a lot of provincial hands to reach for the federal purse strings when he meets with his counterparts in Ottawa today. The issue of who should get the lion’s share of revenue from legalized cannabis is likely to be a major bone of contention. The provinces and territories say they’ll be covering most of the costs of legalization, and so should get most of the revenue. Among the expenses the provinces are likely to face are beefed up policing, increased road safety efforts, busier court systems and public awareness campaigns.

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CANADIAN COMPANIES FUNDING GLOBAL COAL PLANTS

Environmentalists say Canada’s national pension fund manager is one of six Canadian companies that are undermining Ottawa’s anti-coal efforts by investing in new coal power plants. Friends of the Earth Canada joined with Germany’s Urgewald in releasing a report today that lists the six companies among the top 100 investors in new coal plants in the world. Together, Sun Life, Power Corporation, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Royal Bank of Canada, Manulife Financial and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have pledged $2.9 billion towards building new coal plants overseas.

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B.C. PREMIER TO ANNOUNCE DECISION ON SITE C DAM

B.C. Premier John Horgan will give his government’s decision on the future of the controversial Site C hydroelectric dam this morning. The New Democrat government has been debating whether to continue construction of the $8.3-billion dam or cancel the work midway through the job. The dam has been marked by deeply divisive approaches to environmental, economic, technological and Indigenous concerns that have become the front lines of political battles in British Columbia.

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COMPANIES MUST SEE CYBER-ATTACKS AS INEVITABLE

Companies facing the growing threat of cyberattacks need to know one basic fact — there is no foolproof way of stopping criminals bent on breaching their systems. Benoit Dupont, professor of criminology at the University of Montreal and the Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity, says “everyone is hacking into everything” — even the world’s top intelligence agencies. Benoit says systems need to undergo a radical overhaul to deal with the role human error plays in breaches.

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CRYPTOCURRENCY SCAMS SOAR TO $1.7 MILLION

Canadians have been swindled out of than $1.7 million via scams involving cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin so far this year — more than double the amount during all of 2016. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says that’s more than five times the amount people lost to these types of scams in 2015. As bitcoin becomes more popular with investors, sending the price above US$17,000 mark last week, criminals are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies to extort payment from their victims.

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TORONTO FC HOLDING DOWNTOWN VICTORY PARADE

Toronto FC will hold its victory parade through the downtown core of the city today, two days after winning its first MLS Cup. Toronto beat the Seattle Sounders 2-0 in the championship game at BMO Field Saturday night, becoming the first Canadian team to win the MLS Cup. The parade is scheduled to start outside the Air Canada Centre around noon ET and wrap up with a fan rally at Nathan Phillips Square. TFC was the best team during the regular season, setting an MLS record with 69 points.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:

— Initial meeting for the project team that will build the proposed Maritime Launch Services’ Spaceport development in Canso.

— Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil hosts a meeting of the Council of Atlantic Premiers.

— Trial of Christopher Calvin Garnier, charged with second-degree murder in the death of off duty Truro police officer Catherine Campbell.

— Former Amaya CEO David Baazov and others face trial in Montreal related to insider trading charges.

— Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor makes an announcement in Montreal on research related to opioids.

— Commons international trade committee gets an update from Global Affairs Canada on certain international trade agreement negotiations.

— Winnipeg trial for Guido Amsel on murder and explosives charges in connection with three explosive packages mailed in July 2015.