Saskatoon police want citizens to vote on traffic enforcement targets

Written by admin on 15/01/2019 Categories: 长沙夜网

SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) is unveiling a new social media initiative Tuesday that will impact where they conduct speed enforcement by allowing residents to vote on potential locations.

“It’s a traffic initiative that will use 桑拿会所’s new polling feature to give the community a chance to voice their input into where we conduct some of our traffic enforcement,” said Kelsie Fraser, a spokesperson for the SPS.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve our service to the community,” she added.

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    The SPS plans to highlight three locations on 桑拿会所 and allow users a 24-hour window to vote on where the enforcement should occur. The next day, officers will set up in the area and report the results. The initiative can be found using #SlowDownYXE.

    “We need safe streets and to have safe streets you have to have people paying attention, you have to slow down the speeds,” said Staff Sgt. Judy McHarg of the SPS traffic unit.

    READ MORE: Sask. police unit hands out over 12,400 traffic tickets in 2015

    In 2014, Saskatoon police issued 11,330 municipal speeding by-law tickets, according to a year-end report. Officials say the number hasn’t changed much over the years.

    “We’re seeing the same, we hold our own all things traffic tickets,” said McHarg.

    Even with the new effort, McHarg said she didn’t expect the number of speed violations to go down. Instead, the move will help the SPS better engage with the public on the issue of dangerous driving.

    “Truly with this new initiative that we’re planning with the twitter account, I still think that we’re still going to get our same number of tickets that we do on a daily basis,” said McHarg.

    However, enforcement penalty may be the most effective way to curb speeding, according to Carl Kuhnke a transportation infrastructure expert who applauded the SPS move.

    “There’s only so much that design can do to fix that and after that it’s enforcement,” said Kuhnke.

    “They are now going to the citizens and saying, you people are out there driving every day, you know the intersections where everyone’s going 100 instead of 60.”

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Cathy Overton-Clapham returns to provincial Scotties after almost quitting curling

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WINNIPEG —; Cathy Overton-Clapham is back and ready to rock.

“For the first time in a long time I’m really excited to play in the provincials,” said the 2008 world champion.

Overton-Clapham is returning to the Manitoba Scotties following a two-year hiatus. A curling comeback for the 46-year-old Winnipegger after almost calling it quits last season.

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“I’ve been doing it for so long, practicing every day,” said Overton-Clapham. “My kids are busy in their sports. My son is a competitive curler too and I was missing out on his wins so I wanted to be more a part of that.”

But a phone call from Briane Meilleur in the summer peeled that plan. The third and her teammates, Katherine Doerksen and Krysten Karwacki, were stuck after their skip split. So Overton-Clapham decided to slide in and help.

“I knew there was a lot of potential with the girls,” said Overton-Clapham. “I know they’re very tough competitors as well. The fire wasn’t there anymore. I still love to play the game. Playing with the girls has brought that back.”

The Fort Rouge rink competed in four events this year, qualifying for the quarterfinals in the DEKALB Superspiel in Morris back in November. Last month, the team captured a provincials berth in the Winnipeg playdown.

“(The girls) are really excited to play,” said Overton-Clapham. “It’s Katherine’s first time in a Scotties. Her energy and excitement is rubbing off on me.”

In exchange, Overton-Clapham is providing experience to girls nearly half her age.

“I do feel like a mom a lot of the time,” said Overton-Clapham. “There’s been a couple of moments where they’ve mentioned some things and I’ve gone ‘Really? I guess I am that old.’,”

Overton-Clapham plays her first match at the 2016 Manitoba Scotties at 12:15pm Wednesday against the Burntwood Curling Club’s Jennifer Rolles.

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B.C. wrestles with ways to cool housing market

Written by admin on 16/12/2018 Categories: 长沙夜网

VICTORIA – Real estate economists want British Columbia’s government to tax foreign property owners and speculators despite Finance Ministry forecasts that the province could lose $1 billion in sales and up to 4,000 construction jobs.

Premier Christy Clark has said housing relief for first-time home buyers is a concern as the government prepares to deliver its budget next month, but she has shot down previous requests for speculation and luxury taxes on foreign investors to cool rising prices.

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Thomas Davidoff, a housing economist at the Sauder School of Business, said Monday real estate experts from B.C. universities and business schools have proposed a 1.5-per-cent tax on vacant residential properties to create more rental properties and increase affordability.

The Housing Affordability Fund plan comes as rental-vacancy rates in Vancouver slipped below one per cent last year and the average selling price for a single-family home on the city’s west side is above $2.5 million.

READ MORE: B.C. real estate developer proposes ‘no down payment’ on Port Moody condos

“Housing affordability is unquestionably an issue,” said Davidoff. “The premier has said it’s front and centre and she’s asked for a policy that doesn’t whack housing demand.”

He said the affordability fund could generate up to $90 million in surcharges from vacant homeowners in Vancouver. Homeowners who rent or live in their homes and pay income tax will be able to write off the surcharge, Davidoff said.

“If you are an investor you don’t have to pay the tax. All you have to do is turn your vacant unit into a rental unit, and voila, you get to claim the rental income as a credit against this surcharge. That’s a pretty strong incentive for people who want to invest here to turn vacant units into rental units.”

WATCH: UBC professor Tom Davidoff explains how the surcharge could benefit local residents.

Last June, the government rejected calls from Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to levy speculation and luxury taxes on foreign owners and speculators as a way to keep prices from rising. But Clark turned down the plan, saying using taxes to drive down prices could hurt current homeowners by reducing their equity.

READ MORE: Mayor asks for bold action to make Vancouver housing more affordable

A six-page Finance Ministry analysis concluded moves to cut foreign investment in B.C.’s housing market would have little impact on house prices because foreign home buyers comprise less than five per cent of the sales market in the Vancouver area.

The analysis also concluded if home prices fell by 10 per cent due to policy measures, Greater Vancouver homeowners would lose about $60 billion in home equity, about $85,000 each.

Last fall, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said the government was reviewing current thresholds for property-purchase tax levels and adjusting the $475,000 property-purchase tax exemption for first-time home buyers as potential housing-relief measures.

B.C.’s current property-purchase tax is charged at a rate of one per cent for the first $200,000 of the sale price and two per cent for the remainder of the market value. The property-purchase tax on a property valued at $250,000 is $3,000.

READ MORE: B.C. couple says home warranty insurance offers little protection

First-time B.C. home buyers are currently exempt from the property-purchase tax on homes valued up to $475,000.

Davidoff said the transfer-tax plans do little to help people who can’t afford to buy and will likely push prices upwards.

“What they are proposing is adding fuel to the fire,” he said. “They are adding demand for a fixed stock of housing. That raises the cost of housing.”

Urban Development Institute president Anne McMullin said Vancouver needs to look at zoning and development-approval changes to ensure more duplexes and condominiums are built in urban areas.

Davidoff called on Clark to convene a summit that brings together developers, politicians, academics and real estate officials to address housing affordability problems in B.C.

Opposition New Democrat Leader John Horgan said Davidoff’s plan is fresh thinking the Clark government must consider.

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Glenn Frey Twitter tributes come from wide spectrum of entertainers

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From comedians to singers, and even from pro wrestlers, celebrities from across the entertainment spectrum tweeted tributes to deceased Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey moments after his passing was announced Monday.

The man who co-wrote Hotel California had several stars thanking him for helping to create the soundtracks of their lives.

Other celebrities remembered spending time with the talented singer:

Some celebs sent out messages quoting Frey’s lyrics:

From country stars to pop icons, the tributes came from far and wide: (mentioned comics in lede)

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‘I went head first into a lightpost’: Calgary teen paralyzed after tobogganing

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A Calgary teenager is facing life in a wheelchair after a night of tobogganing with friends went tragically wrong.

Alex was celebrating his fifteenth birthday at around 8 p.m. Dec. 21, sledding down a snowy hill hill just off Silver Springs Road N.W.

“We knew the light posts were there. We just lined up in between them and hoped that we wouldn’t hit anything,” Alex said.

“I went down the hill, my toboggan turned on me, and I went head first into a light post–breaking my spine.”

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It was Alex’s friend who called Stella, Alex’s mom.

“His friend had called to say, ‘hey, Alex had fallen tobogganing…and he can’t feel his legs,’” Stella, who declined to provide the family’s last name, said.

She said her son will probably never walk again.

Calgary’s children’s hospital sees as many as two dozen serious injuries on toboggan hills every winter–head and spinal cord injuries, femur fractures, abdominal and lung injuries. Health officials say these injuries are very preventable and can be avoided in many cases by choosing the right place to sled.

“Things like helmets always will prevent those major mishaps that we see,” Alberta Children’s Hospital trauma coordinator Sherry MacGillivray said.

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In addition to wearing helmets, health officials recommend children and their parents check hills very carefully for hazards before they start sledding: look for things like power poles and fences; make sure you’re not sliding out into roadways or over frozen ponds.

And they say children under five years old should always slide with an adult.

The City of Calgary has a list of 22 hills for safe sledding (scroll down to read the full list). Parks department manager Todd Reichardt said they’re evaluated based on slope and grade, to determine how fast a sled will travel, and to make sure there are no obstacles or jumps created.

“We really try to promote being safe, being aware, and going to those locations where we can achieve that,” Reichardt said. “As far as I’m aware, since the inception of the bylaw, there has been nary a single bylaw ticket issued for somebody tobogganing outside one of these 22 locations.”

Alex wasn’t sledding in a city-sanctioned area. His mom hopes her story will make others think twice before sliding down snowy hills.

“Maybe not an appropriate decision – he’s 15. When do 15-year-olds make appropriate decisions?” Stella said. “But how does this – equal that?

“I know that if my son would hear a story like this a week or two before he went [sledding] that his decision would have been different and that’s our hope.”

HillLocationBig Marlborough Park  – dry pond755 Madeira Dr. N.E.​Bridlewood​20 Bridleglen Park S.W.Confederation Park2807 10 St. N.W.Deerfoot Athletic Park1503 16 Ave. N.E.Glendale Park2225 45 St. S.W.​Hidden Valley​10504 Hidden Valley Dr. N.W.Kingsland – dry pond505 78 Ave. S.W. – behind the Rose Kohn/Jimmie Condon ArenasMaple Ridge – dry pond1127 Mapleglade Dr. S.E.Marlborough Community Association636 Marlborough Way N.E.McKenzie Towne​​160 McKenzie Towne Dr. S.E.Monterey Park2707 Catalina Blvd. N.E.​New Brighton​1750 New Brighton Dr. S.E.Prairie Winds Park223 Castleridge Blvd. N.E.Richmond Green2539 33 Ave. S.W.Royal Oak9100 Royal Birch Blvd. N.W.Rundle – dry pond4120 Rundlethorn Dr. N.E.Sacramento – dry pond10404 Sacramento Dr. S.W.Scarboro1737 14 Ave. S.W.Signal Hill2063 Sirocco Dr. S.W.St. Andrew’s Heights2504 13 Ave. N.W.Stanley Park330 42 Ave. S.W.​Thorncliffe/Greenview​5600 Centre St. N.E.

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Coalition calls for more diverse Montreal City Hall

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MONTREAL – A group of city councillors, community organizations and former candidates said its time to have a council that represents the population.

As it stands, only six out of 208 councillors on the island of Montreal are visible minorities.

“We are in a society that’s evolving, but there’s still obstacles,” Valerie Gafoor from the West Island Black Community Association told Global News at a press conference Monday.

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    Longtime city councillor Marvin Rotrand said the issue is two fold: the first is getting minorities to feel they’re welcome to run for office and the second is getting political parties in Montreal to make a commitment to recruit and support minority candidates ahead of the 2017 elections.

    “We know that many visible minorities are named at the last minute in districts where the parties are weak and don’t have a chance to win, just so they can say they ran a minority candidate,” Rotrand explained.

    “This time we’re asking all the party leaders to reflect on what they can do.”

    The group said this isn’t about being politically correct.

    Those already in the halls of power are convinced that it will actually make council more efficient.

    “The diversity that we’re missing at city council is a huge opportunity lost because we have a homogeneous background, we’ll have homogeneous answers,” said councillor Steve Shanahan.

    One of the only minorities on council, Frantz Benjamin, said his new role as chairman of city council means he has to stay neutral.

    Nevertheless, he told Global News in an email: “I strongly believe that the issue of diversity at the city council is an important matter for all Montreal city councillors, and therefore, for all Montrealers.”

    A motion supporting a diverse council will be presented at the next Montreal city council meeting Jan. 25.

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Kathleen Wynne says pledge to cut auto insurance 15 per cent was a ‘stretch goal’

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TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne says her government’s target to cut auto insurance rates by 15 per cent by last year was a “stretch goal.”

The Liberals promised to reduce car insurance premiums an average of 15 per cent by August 2015 as part of a deal to get NDP support for the 2013 budget when they were still a minority government.

But August came and went with the government’s target not even halfway met.

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READ MORE: Sousa predicts car insurance rates will drop after mandating winter tire discount

The latest numbers from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, for the fourth quarter of 2015, show that approved rates decreased on average by 0.15 per cent, putting the decrease at an average of roughly seven per cent from 2013.

“We always knew it was a stretch goal,” Wynne said Monday.

“We always knew it was going to be a challenge and the good news is that insurance rates continue to come down.”

READ MORE: Ontario won’t meet goal of 15% cut in auto insurance premiums by August

NDP critic Jagmeet Singh said the target has never before been held out as anything other than achievable.

“This is the first time in over 2 1/2 years we’ve ever heard the term stretch goal,” he said.

“It’s something that the government clearly stated was possible and made the promise knowingly when we asked for the commitment in 2013.”

Progressive Conservative critic Tim Hudak said the “stretch goal” is a brand new category of politician promises.

“It was to buy the NDP support to extend the government for another year,” he said. “At least there would be some honesty in that answer.”

The government has since introduced legislation that it says will lower costs for insurance companies and will lead to reduced rates for drivers.

Wynne said there are “many” companies whose rates have come down by 15 per cent since 2013, but quarterly figures appear to show it is no more than a handful, at most.

The government will keep 15 per cent as a target, Wynne said, though she would not put a new date on that pledge.

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RCMP found Travis Vader’s fingerprint and DNA on beer can found in missing couple’s SUV

Written by admin on 15/11/2018 Categories: 长沙夜网

EDMONTON — Accused killer Travis Vader’s fingerprint and DNA were on a beer can found in Lyle and Marie McCann’s SUV, RCMP say in newly released court documents.

Two dozen RCMP officers posed as criminals to build the case against Vader, who’s accused of the murders of the St. Albert couple, missing since 2010.

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    Three played major roles in the fabricated plot designed to draw in the prime suspect and coax damning evidence from him; 20 more made cameo appearances. All pretended to be part of a criminal organization looking to recruit Vader, according to documents that became public Monday when a judge granted a request from several local news organizations, including Global Edmonton, to lift a publication ban. The documents have not been presented or proven in court.

    In part, the documents read like a sort of laundry list of leads and theories to tie Vader to the 2010 crime.

    A paralegal working with the lead prosecutor even made a “things to do” list. On it was a note about Sheri Lynn Campbell, who used to share a home with Vader and whom he described to RCMP as his alibi.

    Text messages between the pair indicate that Campbell told police Vader was at the home from 2 a.m. on July 2, 2010, to 2 a.m. July 3, the day the McCanns were last seen as they gassed up their motorhome in preparation for a trip to B.C.

    READ MORE: The disappearance of Lyle and Marie McCann

    Two days later, the burned-out motorhome was found at a campground near Edson. Then, on July 16, the Hyundai Tucson SUV the couple had been pulling was found concealed about 25 kilometres east of the town. Inside, RCMP found the beer can, Marie McCann’s blood and Lyle McCann’s hat with a bullet hole in it. They say Vader used the couple’s cellphone at about 2 p.m. that day.

    READ MORE: Evidence ties Travis Vader to missing St. Albert couple’s SUV: Crown summary

    Vader was arrested on July 19, but he wasn’t charged with the murders until April 2012. The bodies of the McCanns have never been found.

    In March 2014, a month before his trial was to begin, Crown prosecutor Michelle Doyle stayed the charges, citing a huge gap in disclosure provided by the RCMP to the defence. Doyle said she was confident Vader would be convicted, but was concerned he may not receive a fair trial. Nine months later, the stay was lifted and the first-degree murder charges applied again.

    Vader is fighting to have the case thrown out, accusing the Crown of trying to buy more time to collect evidence. A judge is expected to rule on the abuse-of-process claim at the end of the month. If Vader’s trial goes ahead, it is scheduled to start March 7.

    READ MORE: ‘It appears that the police rushed to a judgement’: Vader’s lawyer 

    The paralegal jotted notes about the disclosure set-back, writing “2 years fought to keep in Vader. MD feels betrayed.”

    The documents released Monday also recount evidence from a man who said Vader gave him a “gold ruby ring” that belonged to the McCanns. The man said Vader took it from the motorhome and kept it at a cabin near his father’s place, along with “a lot more stuff.”

    The documents reveal that, as well as mounting the sizable undercover case, RCMP paid a jailhouse informant for information against Vader.

    In a sworn affidavit among the documents, an RCMP sergeant said as many as 10 undercover operations are going on in Alberta at any given time, lasting from several weeks to several years, with some remaining open indefinitely.

    It’s a dangerous job, said the sergeant, who coordinates undercover operations in Alberta.

    “I am aware of situations where suspects or targets have clearly indicated the intention to kill an officer upon discovery of an undercover operator’s true identity.”

    In one case, an operation was terminated because the suspect became suspicious, the sergeant said. RCMP intercepted audio of the suspect’s girlfriend reading newspaper coverage of the Jason Dix murder trial, when he realized he was the target of the same strategy used against Dix.

    RCMP spent months on an elaborate, undercover “Mr. Big” operation to gather evidence against Dix for the 1994 deaths of Tim Ordzyk, 33, and James Deiter, 24, whose bodies were discovered at a paper recycling plant in Sherwood Park. RCMP first thought they had been electrocuted, but both had been shot in the head three times.

    Dix spent nearly two years in jail and the case was eventually thrown out because of lack of evidence. He sued the Crown and RCMP for malicious prosecution and was awarded $765,000 in 2002. The case remains unsolved.

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Manitoba Ombudsman report leaves questions unanswered in dam purchase

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WINNIPEG —; The Manitoba government was not justified in an initial attempt to buy $5 million in flood-fighting equipment from a specific contractor without bids from others, the province’s ombudsman said Thursday.

But the 35-page report from Charlene Paquin also says that, in the end, the NDP government followed the rules.

The report neither completely clears nor condemns the government in a controversy it has faced since 2014.

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RELATED: Report raises questions over provincial spending on flood fighting equipment

The issue flared when Infrastructure Minister Steve Ashton tried to get approval for water-filled barrier tubes called Tiger Dams for flood-prone First Nations communities in the Interlake region north of Winnipeg.

An anonymous whistleblower complained to the ombudsman that Ashton pushed to have the contract awarded to a company run by a friend, who has contributed money to both Ashton’s and the NDP’s election campaigns.

In the end, the contract was put up for open bidding, but was never awarded. The First Nations communities went to the federal government to get the equipment.

RELATED: Manitoba premier welcomes probe into contract

The ombudsman’s report says senior public servants were concerned with Ashton’s attempt to sole-source the contract and pushed to have other equipment considered.

“Individuals we spoke with … indicated that departmental staff did not agree with waiving a competitive procurement process,” the report reads.

“However, as noted previously, the department was directed by the minister … to draft a submission that proposed an untendered contract for Tiger Dams.”

Government rules allow for contracts to be awarded without open bidding in sudden emergencies or when a specific product is needed and there is only one supplier.

“In this case, we did not review any evidence that the … requirements for ‘sole-source’ procurement were met,” Paquin wrote.

The report leaves questions about the actions of Ashton and other politicians largely unanswered, because the ombudsman does not have the power to investigate members of the legislature.

RELATED: Manitoba ombudsman to look at First Nations flood-fight purchasing

A government source, with first-hand knowledge of the discussions, told last year that Ashton made the request to the provincial Treasury Board, which insisted on open bidding.

The matter went to cabinet and Premier Greg Selinger initially backed Ashton’s request, said the source, who would only speak on condition of anonymity.

Selinger said last year he insisted on a full discussion by cabinet and Treasury Board, and then directed the contract be put up for bidding.

Ashton said First Nations communities asked specifically for Tiger Dams, which are distributed by only one company in Manitoba.

“They put forward what they wanted and needed,” Ashton said Thursday.

The ombudsman’s report does not delve into cabinet discussions at the time, but notes that some five weeks passed between when Treasury Board called for open contract bidding and when Ashton’s deputy minister agreed.

“We’ve all learned … we probably should have gone to tender right away. But I want to stress that our government makes no apologies for the intent of what we were doing,” Ashton said, referring to the need to help flood-prone communities.

Kelvin Goertzen, house leader for the Opposition Progressive Conservatives, said the premier should remove Ashton from cabinet.

“The NDP tried to override the civil service,” he said.

“The premier has to decide whether or not this is the kind of direction he wants within his government.”

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Iran sanctions and others a burden for Canada

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OTTAWA – Canada’s pending decision to lift sanctions on Iran will likely spark cheers at the country’s foreign ministry because the ever-expanding program has posed legal and staffing burdens.

A briefing note prepared for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau describes internal problems associated with one of Canada’s few foreign policy sticks — the sanctions imposed on nine countries, including Iran, North Korea and Russia.

The note was obtained by under the Access to Information Act.

Canada is expected to follow the world in lifting sanctions on Iran because it has complied with a landmark deal with six leading world powers that is aimed at preventing it from developing a nuclear bomb.

WATCH: Trudeau says he’s ‘pleased’ with Iran nuclear deal

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Canadian sanctions are imposed under two separate regimes: the United Nations and its own Special Economic Measures Act, or SEMA.

SEMA has proven problematic for officials at Global Affairs Canada because the number of countries facing sanctions under it has jumped to nine from two since 2010, the memo says, creating a heavy workload and legal headaches.

This has resulted in “greatly increasing the compliance burden for the private sector and creating resource and potential litigation challenges” for the department.

“As these procedural regimes have started to mature, foreign courts have begun to demand that increased procedural fairness be present in the listing and delisting of persons under such sanctions,” it says.

“It is likely that Canadian courts will demand the same procedural fairness in the event that any of Canada’s sanctions are challenged in court.”

A separate briefing note, also written for Trudeau last fall, says it is likely that Canada will be in a position to lift its Iranian sanctions “as early as winter 2016 and as late as summer 2016.”

READ MORE: U.S. imposing new sanctions on Iran for ballistic missile test: Obama

With Iran found to be in compliance with the nuclear deal as of last weekend, it would appear that the lifting of sanctions is imminent.

Trudeau has said Canada will also restore diplomatic relations with Iran, but the prime minister indicated Monday his cabinet will set the timing of that decision during an upcoming meeting.

Trudeau said he was pleased that “quiet diplomacy” led to successful negotiation of the Iran deal and would move it “towards respecting international expectations.”

Speaking to reporters at a cabinet retreat in New Brunswick, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said his fellow ministers would soon decide whether and how to lift the economic sanctions still in place.

Canadian companies won’t be able to compete for Iranian contracts until the sanctions are lifted, giving a leg up to their American counterparts. Dion suggested cabinet would make a decision quickly so as not to disadvantage Canadian companies.

WATCH: Lifting of Iran sanctions could further fuel oil’s slide, loonie drop

It may take longer, he said, to reopen the embassy in Iran.

“That’s something also that we’ll have to do step by step, how to re-engage with Iran when all the links have been cut,” Dion said.

“It cannot be done overnight, but the prime minister said very clearly during the campaign that this is something that we want to do properly in a timely fashion.”

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose said the government should be wary about lifting sanctions on Iran, because it has not been trustworthy in the past.

“Let’s remember that once those sanctions are removed that Iran is going to flood the market with cheap oil, which has a huge effect on the Canadian economy as well,” she said.

The deal that Iran forged with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany, is expected to provide it an estimated $100 billion in sanctions relief.

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