Despite conveying suicidal thoughts to medical staff, people have been cleared from the QEII hospital’s emergency department and later committed suicide.

“That has happened, yes,” Dr. Curt Peters, an inpatient psychiatrist at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, said. He added that he didn’t have statistics for these kind of cases.

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Related

  • Questions follow death of mental health patient in Halifax

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    “People have come to the emergency department, expressed that type of concern and, as a result of the assessment, still sent home. Partly, it may be that they’ve chosen not to engage in the treatment that’s offered for whatever reason.”

    There is renewed interest in mental health care at the department after a woman went public on Tuesday with concerns about her friend’s suicide risk assessment.

    The friend, who doesn’t want to be identified, said she is suicidal but is not being admitted for treatment. She’s now staying with friends who are making sure she doesn’t harm herself.

    “We have a lot of patients that present to our emergency department expressing that type of hopelessness or even suicidality,” Peters said.

    Following a medical clearance, the emergency physician determines if the patient needs to be consulted by psychiatric emergency service staff.

    Each patient fills in an assessment form and the clinician determines suicide risk, which subsequently determines if admission or another plan is necessary.

    “The assessment itself is intended to be therapeutic and a lot of times that’s enough, together with a follow-up plan, to have a patient feel like they’re ready to go home,” Peters said.

    Decisions also factor in the patient’s history.

    “If a patient is well known, it might be a case where help has been offered, admission to hospital may not have been of benefit in the past,” Peters said.

    There are treatment options available, including through the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team, Urgent Care Centre, and Community Mental Health Services, he added.

EDMONTON – A man and a woman were taken to hospital suffering serious injuries after their vehicles collided Wednesday afternoon.

The crash happened just after 1 p.m. at 199 Street and Lessard Road NW.

The man driving the truck was trapped inside and had to be pulled out by firefighters.

The woman inside the Lexus SUV was rushed to hospital.

On Thursday, police said the man suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The woman remains in hospital in serious but stable condition.

Police said alcohol and drugs could be factors in the crash. Charges are pending against the female driver of the Lexus.

The EPS said the Lexus was seen speeding south near 178 Street and Callingwood before the crash. They are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call them.

Police closed down the road for several hours to investigate.

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Just when you thought Canada’s years-long legal battle over assisted death was finished, the federal government may find itself back in court, being sued again over allegedly unconstitutional laws.

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The target in this instance is Bill C-14, the law the Liberals unveiled last week as their response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark 2015 decision in Carter v. Canada, striking down Canada’s prohibition on physician-assisted death.

READ MORE: What if there is no assisted death law?

Health Minister Jane Philpott and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould characterized the bill as a principled compromise on a tight time frame.

WATCH: Wilson-Raybould outlines assisted death eligibility

But the people who spent years fighting for the right to get a doctor’s help dying are not impressed.

They say this bill doesn’t comply with the Supreme Court’s Carter ruling. And if C-14 passes as-is, they may take the feds to court over it.

“Absolutely. That will take hardly any time at all [for someone to file a challenge],” said Maureen Taylor, co-chair of a provincial-territorial panel that submitted recommendations on how to implement assisted death last year.

“In the end, we taxpayers will have to pay for that to go back to the Supreme Court again. That’s our tax money the government uses when it goes to defend legislation it should know right now cannot pass a challenge.”

Some of the key plaintiffs in the original case, including Kay Carter’s daughter Lee Carter, spoke out against C-14 alongside the B.C. Civil Liberties Association in Ottawa Thursday afternoon.

The Civil Liberties Association is considering legal action if the “reasonably foreseeable” part of the bill isn’t taken out, said executive director Josh Paterson.

“We’ve been fighting this for the last five or six years and thought we had a win, thought we were done. And now we as an organization are going to have to look, as this bill passes, at what we’re going to do. It’s not as easy as walking into court the next day and saying, ‘Well, we’re back,’” Paterson said.

“Definitely it’s something that we’ll be considering. And I’m sure individual patients who are exlcuded will be considering [legal action].”

READ MORE: What you need to know about feds’ assisted death law

Taylor argues that Kay Carter, who became the face (and the name) of assisted death in Canada, wouldn’t qualify for assisted death under the Liberals’ proposed bill: She wasn’t about to die from the condition causing her so much pain.

“That stuff about a ‘reasonably foreseeable’ death? Kay Carter herself wouldn’t meet that criteria,” Taylor said.

“It’s going to lose at the Supreme Court if it’s challenged. Why they would put us all through that, I don’t know.”

Liberal MP Rob Oliphant, who chaired the committee that made its own detailed recommendations to Parliament earlier this year, also has concerns the bill wouldn’t survive a Charter challenge.

“I’m not a lawyer; however, in my reading, and on advice I’ve received from a number of lawyers, I think it’s very doubtful the whole bill would be completely Charter-proof,” he said.

“I could imagine a number of instances where people say they feel left out of this bill and it could be challenged.”

But Oliphant would rather not see it come to that.

“You don’t want to put a person who is facing imminent death in any way, or has intolerable suffering, through the requirement of challenging a law in the court,” he said.

“It’s a long process: Both Gloria Taylor and Kay Carter died before that decision came about. And I always weigh towards never making people suffer longer than they have to suffer.”

If people do take the federal government to court over the assisted death law, it’ll be a long legal slog: They’d have to start back at square one in trial court, says University of Waterloo political science professor Emmett Macfarlane.

“The only way to challenge the new law once it passes would be from scratch, at a trial court,” he wrote in an email.

“That would take, at minimum, something like four years to complete, assuming it want all the way to the [Supreme Court].”

‘My wife went through hell’: husband of Alberta woman granted physician-assisted death

Chevrolet revamped the Malibu for 2016, making the family sedan look more modern and giving it more safety and technology features, including software that helps keep teen-agers safe and parents in the know.

The 2016 Malibu also ranks as the fifth-best mid-size sedan in fuel mileage in the U.S., tying the Honda Accord four-door and beating the Toyota Camry.

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While Consumer Reports gave the new Malibu an average reliability rating, the federal government said the 2016 Malibu earned five out of five stars in frontal and side crash tests.

All this comes in a roomy car whose starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is on the low end – just $22,500 for a five-seat model with the base, fuel-sipping engine and six-speed automatic transmission.

READ MORE: GM Canada gets mandate for driverless car technology

This 1.5-litre, double overhead cam, turbocharged four-cylinder generates only 163 horsepower, which is the lowest base horsepower in a Malibu since 2008. It’s also less than what most competitors offer in their base models.

But the Malibu with this engine is rated by the government at 27 mpg in city driving and 37 mpg on highways.

Note that the base price doesn’t include the rearview camera or power-adjustable driver’s seat that are standard on the base 178-horsepower 2016 Camry, which starts at $23,905. A rearview camera with moving guidelines that show where the car is headed as it backs up is also standard on the 185-horsepower 2016 Honda Accord, which has a starting retail price of $23,840.

The 2016 Malibu offers a second turbo four-cylinder – a larger, 2-litre unit that generates a V-6-like 250 horsepower. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, this higher output four-cylinder comes with a starting price of $29,495.

This was the engine in the test-driven Malibu Premier, and it did a good job of moving the 3,388-pound sedan in city and highway travel. There was especially good get up and go, as torque peaked at 258 foot-pounds at a low 1,700 rpm.

This engine doesn’t include the automatic stop/start system that helps save gas on the base model. And, aggressive driving of the test-driven model put the average combined city/highway mileage at 24 mpg, rather than the government’s estimate of 26 mpg.

More disconcerting was that the gas tank held only 13 gallons of fuel, which is far below the 17- or 18-gallon tanks that are typical of this class. So, the test-driven Malibu had to stop for gas after 300 miles, which isn’t a great travel range.

READ MORE: The best in home and auto technology

The Malibu drove easily, with steering that was comfortably responsive. And its 19-inch wheels and suspension provided a firm ride.

Some consumers might not recognize the new Malibu. It’s longer than its predecessor and has modern styling, and the back end reminds some of an Audi.

The Malibu’s interior is also bigger. Rear-seat legroom now measures 38.1 inches, which is an increase of 1.3 inches. This is still less than the 38.5 inches in the back seat of the Accord and the 38.9 inches in the Camry, though. The Accord’s 42.5 inches of front-seat legroom also is more than the Malibu’s 42 inches.

The Malibu also offers more safety features now, though many, such as the forward collision alert system, are optional and will cost extra.

The 2016 Malibu also is the first vehicle to have Teen Driver, which is software that lets parents review how a teenager drove, including the highest speed attained, distance driven and the number of times safety equipment was engaged.

Teen Driver also keeps the stereo and connected devices muted until front-seat passengers buckle up.

The 2016 Malibu has been the subject of three U.S. safety recalls. Two involved air bags that might deploy improperly. The third was for an intermittent defect that may not alert a driver when a seat belt is unfastened or a door is opened and the key is still in the ignition.

A labour dispute at the Ontario Food Terminal is causing significant delays on the eastbound lanes of The Queensway in Etobicoke Thursday morning.

More than a dozen workers are on the picket lines blocking the entrance to the produce distribution centre after contract negotiations broke down at midnight.

Union leaders say employees for Fresh Taste Produce received union certification last fall and are negotiating their first contract.

WATCH: Striking employees at the Ontario Food Terminal block vehicles from entering

They say wages, benefits and pension issues are still outstanding.

“I think both sides negotiated in good faith. We weren’t able to get an agreement,” said Teamsters Local 419 representative Ken Dean.

“It’s a first contract so everything is outstanding. Wages, benefits, pension, language.”

Striking employees tell Global News they have not received a pay increase for 14 years.

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“It’s the fundamentals, the grievance procedure. We do have a lot of that ironed out. It’s mostly, frankly, the monetary end of it that’s outstanding right now,” said Dean.

“We feel we have an industry standard down here and we’re trying to get as close to that as we can.”

Workers on the picket lines say they are getting paid $14 to $15 an hour, however unionized workers receive around $20.

The Ontario Food Terminal Board issued a notice for a ‘picket protocol‘ late Wednesday night warning of disruptions on Thursday.

Vehicles at the The Queensway and Parklawn Road exits and entrances will be allowed to enter and leave the terminal grounds but will be stopped periodically.

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Chyna, the WWE star who in the 1990s became one of the best-known and most-popular female professional wrestlers in history, has died, authorities said.

Police in Southern California said they were responding to a 911 call from a friend of former WWE wrestler Chyna when they found her dead in her Redondo Beach apartment.

A friend had gone Wednesday to check on Chyna, whose real name is Joan Marie Laurer, after she had failed to answer her phone for a few days, Redondo Beach police said in a statement. The friend told the 911 operator that Laurer wasn’t breathing.

The 46-year-old Laurer was dead when officers arrived, police said. Several media outlets report that she was 45.

Neither police nor coroner’s officials have released any cause of death.

A coroner’s investigator was still at the location with the body late Wednesday night, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz. He said he had no further information on the death.

The tall, muscle-bound, raven-haired Laurer billed herself as the “9th Wonder of the World” because her wrestling predecessor Andre the Giant had already called himself the eighth.

She was a member of the wrestling squad that dubbed itself “D-Generation X,” often wrestled against men and at one point was the WWE women’s champion.

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On her official website a statement posted Wednesday night reads, “Today we lost a true icon, a real life superhero. Joanie Laurer aka Chyna, the 9th Wonder of the World has passed away. She will live forever in the memories of her millions of fans and all of us that loved her.”

Laurer was a native of Rochester, New York and graduated from the University of Tampa in Florida before taking up wrestling.

She joins a long list of WWE professional wrestlers who have died relatively young, including Rick Rude, Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig, the Ultimate Warrior and Owen Hart.

After leaving the WWE in 2001, Laurer posed for Playboy and appeared in adult films and on reality TV, including the shows “The Surreal Life” and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”

—;

This story has been updated to reflect that Laurer was 46, according to a police statement.

WINDSOR, England – Queen Elizabeth II – Britain’s oldest and longest-serving monarch – was celebrating her 90th birthday Thursday with a day at home and a short walk.

Her government and subjects are having gun salutes, fireworks and tributes in Parliament in her honour, and televised retrospectives are being broadcast of a royal life that has stretched from the Roaring ’20s to the Internet age.

WATCH: Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday with fans and family. Jeff Semple reports.

The queen was born Princess Elizabeth on April 21, 1926, and became queen at 25 upon the death of her father, King George VI, in 1952. A majority of Britons have lived under no other monarch.

View this post on Instagram

Double tap to wish The Queen a happy 90th birthday! 🎂 #HappyBirthdayYourMajesty We’ll be posting live on instagram from the celebrations in Windsor today #Queenat90

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on Apr 21, 2016 at 12:22am PDT

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the queen “has lived through some extraordinary times,” from World War II to the moon landing, the end of the Cold War and the advent of peace in Northern Ireland.

WATCH: David Cameron leads British parliament in wishing Queen Elizabeth a happy birthday

Cameron led tributes Thursday in the House of Commons to the monarch and her “unshakable sense of duty,” pointing out that the queen had provided counsel to 12 British prime ministers and met a quarter of all the U.S. presidents in history.

READ MORE: Prince William recalls time Queen Elizabeth gave him ‘the most almighty bollocking’

“Her Majesty has been steadfast – a rock of strength for our nation, for our Commonwealth and on many occasions for the whole world,” he declared.

At dusk, the Parliament building will be lit up in the red, white and blue of the Union Jack.

The queen is spending the day at Windsor Castle and will greet well-wishers on a walk through the town west of London. Hundreds have lined up hours beforehand, carrying cakes, cards, balloons and Union Jack flags.

WATCH: Queen Elizabeth II was presented with a birthday cake on Thursday, made by the winner of the TV show the Great British Bake Off Nadiya Hussain

“She’s such an icon and a real role model for the children of today. And I think everybody should respect her for all the years that she’s given for her country,” said Donna Werner, an American tourist from New Fairfield, Connecticut. “I wanted to honour that by coming over here and being able to wave and show some love.”

Elsewhere, the day was being marked with an eruption of pomp. Artillery companies will fire gun salutes from Hyde Park and the Tower of London, while the bells of Westminster Abbey will ring out in celebration. Later, the queen will light the first in a chain of 1,000 beacons to blaze across Britain and around the world.

WATCH: Queen Elizabeth lights beacon in celebration of 90th birthday

Buckingham Palace has issued three portraits by photographer Annie Leibovitz to mark the day. One shows the queen surrounded by seven young grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The queen cradles 11-month-old Princess Charlotte in her lap, while Mia Tindall – 2-year-old daughter of the queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindal- stands clutching the monarch’s black handbag.

READ MORE: Slim majority of Canadians believe Queen Elizabeth II should abdicate: Ipsos poll

Another shows the queen with Princess Anne, her only daughter. The third shows her on the steps of Windsor Castle with four of her beloved dogs: corgis Willow and Holly and dorgis (corgi-dachshund crossbreeds) Vulcan and Candy.

VIDEO: Prince William recalls time Queen Elizabeth got very angry with him

The queen will receive more birthday greetings on Friday, when she hosts U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama for lunch at Windsor Castle.

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The Queen surrounded by her two youngest grandchildren and her five great-grandchildren #Queenat90 This is the first in a series of official photographs released today to mark The Queen’s 90th birthday. They were taken at Windsor Castle just after Easter by renowned portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. From left: James, Viscount Severn, Lady Louise, Mia Tindell, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Charlotte, Savannah Phillips, Prince George and Isla Phillips.

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on Apr 20, 2016 at 4:01pm PDT

READ MORE: Queen Elizabeth II at 90: Here are 9 things you need to know

But not everyone in Britain was succumbing to royal-mania. The anti-monarchist group Republic published a resolutely undeferential message headed “Happy Birthday Mrs. Windsor.”

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The Queen with her daughter, The Princess Royal, in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle #Queenat90

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on Apr 20, 2016 at 11:28pm PDT

“A long life is no reason for a long reign,” it said.

View this post on Instagram

The Queen is 90! #HappyBirthdayYourMajesty #Queenat90 The Queen with her beloved pets Willow, Vulcan, Candy and Holly at #WindsorCastle

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on Apr 20, 2016 at 6:39pm PDT

Associated Press writer Jill Lawless contributed from London.

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – President Barack Obama met Thursday with top officials from six Arab nations to discuss regional security issues in the Persian Gulf including the fight against the Islamic State militant group.

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The meetings in Riyadh are meant to build on a similar summit convened last year at Camp David, the American president’s Maryland retreat. They reflect an effort by the White House to reassure and co-ordinate with important but wary Mideast allies that harbour serious doubts about Obama’s outreach to Iran and U.S. policy toward the grinding civil war in Syria.

Obama and officials from the U.S.-allied countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council opened up talks Thursday morning by posing for a group photo. The leaders, meeting around a circular table in an ornate meeting room in the Diriyah Palace, made polite conversation and smiled for cameras, but offered no remarks.

Defence Secretary Ash Carter, Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and CIA Director John Brennan also attended the meeting.

READ MORE: United States frees 9 Guantanamo prisoners, sends them to Saudi Arabia

The summit follows bilateral talks that Obama held with Saudi King Salman on Wednesday shortly after arriving in the kingdom. Besides Saudi Arabia, the GCC includes the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

The White House has said the summit meeting will include three sessions. One is aimed at fostering regional stability and another at counterterrorism efforts including efforts to defeat al-Qaida and Islamic State militants. A third session will focus on Iran, which Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states see as a destabilizing rival in the region.

Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and other Gulf countries share the U.S. view that IS militants pose a threat, and have joined the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the group. But they want the U.S. to do more to attempt to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.

The Gulf states are also deeply skeptical of Obama’s willingness to negotiate with Shiite powerhouse Iran, and fear that last year’s nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic will lead to a rebalancing of regional stances at their expense.

READ MORE: Global military spending nears $1.7 trillion amid Mideast conflicts

Several of the Sunni-ruled Gulf states view Tehran’s backing of Shiite militias in Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq as the main driver of sectarianism and instability in the region.

Disputes over Iran were a major part of Obama’s talks with Saudi King Salman on Wednesday. The president spent two hours with the king and top Saudi officials amid strains in the relationship.

Obama also held direct talks Wednesday with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the powerful crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. U.S. military aircraft are based in the Emirates, the second largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia, and its Jebel Ali port in Dubai frequently hosts visiting Navy warships.

READ MORE: US, Russia agree on Syria cease-fire plan; questions remain

Thursday’s talks are likely to touch on fighting in neighbouring Yemen. A U.N.-brokered cease-fire that started earlier this month has been repeatedly breeched – by the Saudi-led coalition fighting on the side of Yemen’s internationally recognized government and by the Shiite rebels and their allies.

The Saudi effort has sought to drive the Shiite rebels from the capital and other parts of the deeply impoverished country. The U.S. is not carrying out airstrikes in that campaign but has provided refuelling and other logistical help.

Following his meetings with Gulf leaders, Obama planned to depart Saudi Arabia late Thursday for Britain and Germany, the final two stops on his trip.

—;

Schreck reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

SAN FRANCISCO – Time is up for Volkswagen to meet a federal judge’s deadline to detail how it will make nearly 600,000 diesel cars rigged to cheat on emissions tests comply with clean air laws.

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Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said he wanted to know the timing of the fix and any planned payments to vehicle owners by a court hearing set for Thursday. That is when a deal is expected to be announced between Volkswagen, the U.S. government and private lawyers for the automaker to buy back some of the vehicles and spend just over $1 billion to compensate owners, a person briefed on the matter said.

The agreement would give some owners the choice of having VW repair their cars or buy them back, but it does not include plans on how to repair the vehicles, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the deal hadn’t been made public.

Those plans, and the cost of the fixes, apparently are still under negotiation.

READ MORE: U.S. federal consumer watchdog sues Volkswagen over false ‘Clean Diesel’ advertising claims

Compensation for car owners was among the details Breyer was seeking, but the judge was more focused on ending the ongoing pollution by getting the vehicles to comply with clean air laws.

He said last month that issue at the very least “must be resolved” and threatened a trial this summer if Volkswagen didn’t meet his deadline. It was unclear whether the deal would satisfy Breyer.

The “deal in principle” includes a maximum amount of spending, but the final details, such as how much each owner would get, are still being worked out, according to the person briefed on the matter.

With $1 billion to spend, it works out to about $1,700 per car. But some owners of newer models who get just a software fix may receive little. About 325,000 owners of older cars that require more extensive repairs likely will get more, because the repairs could affect mileage and performance.

READ MORE: Ex-worker claims Volkswagen destroyed documents, obstructed justice

The owners and the U.S. Department of Justice sued the company after it acknowledged in September that it intentionally defeated emissions tests and put dirty vehicles on the road.

Volkswagen told its shareholders last year it had set aside $7.3 billion to help defray the potential costs of a recall or regulatory penalties. Most outside observers have said that figure is likely far too low. The company faces as much as $20 billion in fines for Clean Air Act violations alone, before paying to fix the cars or compensate their owners.

Representatives for Volkswagen, the lawyers, and the government all declined comment Wednesday. Wyn Hornbuckle, spokesman for the Justice Department said federal officials would wait until Thursday’s hearing before speaking. John Gersten, a spokesman for a law firm representing hundreds of Volkswagen owners, said a confidentiality order barred the firm from making any comment.

READ MORE: Fake service technician disrupts VW exec’s presentation at Swiss auto show

Breyer could order an early trial if he’s unhappy, but that would divert resources that should be committed to finding a solution, said Michael Steel, an attorney at Morrison & Foerster who has advised car manufacturers about air quality matters.

“If an early trial is scheduled, the parties will put all their energy into preparing for battle instead of negotiating to settle,” he said. “So the tool has to be used with great care. It is perhaps more effective as a threat than an actual order.”

Volkswagen says in court documents that it does not believe a trial is appropriate.

The first item on Thursday’s agenda is a report on the status of fixing the cars and “related discussions.” It also includes a request to add the Federal Trade Commission to the case. The FTC has sued VW alleging deceptive advertising. The owners’ lawyers also are seeking documents that Volkswagen provided to the law firm Jones Day, which the company has hired to investigate how the cheating happened.

—;

Associated Press auto writer Krisher reported from Detroit.

OTTAWA – A judge will issue a long-awaited ruling today on more than two dozen criminal charges against Sen. Mike Duffy.

The 31 counts of fraud, bribery and breach of trust were laid in July 2014.

The bribery charge stems from a decision by Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, to personally pay $90,000 in living expenses Duffy claimed by declaring his long-time home in an Ottawa suburb a secondary residence.

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  • Mike Duffy’s legal fate now in hands of judge as trial wraps

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    READ MORE: Mike Duffy trial: What to expect as verdict looms

    The 30 fraud and breach of trust charges relate to Senate money the Crown alleged Duffy either received for trips that had nothing to do with Senate work or that he funnelled through a friend’s company to cover costs the Senate wouldn’t pay for.

    Duffy has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges before Ontario Court Justice Charles Vaillancourt.

    READ MORE: Timeline: Key dates in the Mike Duffy trial and Senate expense scandal

    The saga began in 2012, when the auditor general issued a report that recommended taking steps to ensure members of the upper chamber were submitting enough proof their expense claims were for legitimate parliamentary business.

    Two other senators – former Liberal Mac Harb and former Conservative Patrick Brazeau – are currently awaiting trial for their own expenses – while Sen. Pamela Wallin is still waiting to learn whether she will face charges.

    READ MORE: Mike Duffy: A few familiar and not-so-familiar faces from his trial

    If Duffy is acquitted, he can return as soon as the upper chamber convenes again. If found guilty, he will remain on a leave of absence without pay until sentencing.

NEW YORK – Justin Trudeau went boxing in New York City on Thursday – metaphorically sparring with students before doing the real thing in a famous Brooklyn gym.

The prime minister held a question-and-answer session at New York University where some queries packed a punch. One student asked how he could justify backing new oil pipelines after campaigning on climate change.

The prime minister replied that he was very explicit before the election, noting he backed the now-cancelled Keystone XL project and didn’t actually campaign against the fossil-fuel industry.

WATCH: Trudeau talks tough on pipelines ahead of signing Paris Climate Change agreement

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  • Paris climate goals mean emissions need to drop below zero

  • BALDREY: Paris climate change goals a long way from reality

  • How will the Paris climate change deal affect you?

    Halting fossil fuel development is “a simplistic solution that can be very appealing,” Trudeau said.

    READ MORE: Trudeau takes ‘D’ grade to UN climate ceremony

    “If it does then involve everyone leaving their car at home, and everyone stopping to use fossil fuels tomorrow, our world would come to a crashing halt. So we have to be a lot more thoughtful and reasonable.”

    His political opponents were throwing their own jabs, using the daily question period in the Commons to dismiss the prime minister’s decision to “fly to New York and work out in front of TV cameras,” in the words of Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose.

    Nearly half the students at the forum were Canadian – including one young man in a red Maple Leaf-emblazoned hockey jersey who asked Trudeau about Lester Pearson’s peacekeeping legacy.

    Trudeau replied that one reason Canada had the international clout to shape the creation of the United Nations and the design of its peacekeeping system was that it had previously fought in conventional wars.

    READ MORE: Has Justin Trudeau kept his promises six months after election day?

    How did the students react? They applauded warmly – even if they found some of his answers a bit light on detail.

    “This was a good introduction,” said Sundus Nasir, a first-year dentistry student originally from Toronto.

    “There wasn’t a lot of specifics …. Just that he’s here, to engage in a dialogue, I think that’s an important step.”

    She said expectations for Trudeau are high. Nasir said he’s well-known abroad – her friends, for example, saw the recent video of him talking about quantum computing.

    WATCH: Justin Trudeau gives reporter quick lesson on quantum computing during visit to Waterloo 

    Trudeau slid on the boxing gloves later Thursday for another viral-video moment.

    He jabbed for the cameras at the legendary Gleason’s Gym, where champions Muhammad Ali, Jake (Raging Bull) LaMotta and Mike Tyson trained, albeit in the gym’s previous locations.

    The regulars all have their favourite stories about famous boxers who drop in to the gym near the Brooklyn Bridge. Tyson still swings by. Ali wandered in a few years ago.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spars with professional boxer Yuri Foreman at the Gleason’s Boxing Gym in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Trudeau was there to train with kids from the “Give A Kid A Dream” program that works to provide mentorship to disadvantaged youths through the sport of boxing.

    THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spars with Justin, 15, at the Gleason’s Boxing Gym as they are instructed by professional boxer Yuri Foreman, left, in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Trudeau was there to train with kids from the “Give A Kid A Dream” program that works to provide mentorship to disadvantaged youths through the sport of boxing.

    THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spars Gleason’s Boxing Gym in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Trudeau was there to train with kids from the “Give A Kid A Dream” program that works to provide mentorship to disadvantaged youths through the sport of boxing.

    THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

    The gym owner received a phone call last week asking if the prime minister could train there. He agreed – and contacted Frosso Adamakos, a Canadian-raised doctor he knows, to stand ringside lest the photo op go horribly wrong.

    Trudeau sparred with former WBA super welter weight champion Israeli Yuri Foreman. They also trained with some kids participating in a youth program.

    He arrived in New York a day early for Friday’s signing ceremony of the global Paris climate agreement at the United Nations.

    It’s the prime minister’s fourth trip to the U.S. since last month, including stops at a White House state dinner, a nuclear arms-control summit and meetings at the UN after announcing Canada’s bid for a seat on the security council. But a fifth U.S. visit this spring is not in the cards.

    On Thursday, Time magazine named him one its 100 most influential people for 2016, a media accolade that includes an invite to a gala. Trudeau’s not expected to attend that soiree.

VANCOUVER – When a town in British Columbia couldn’t get federal funding for bicycle lanes, Greg Moore says it fudged the paperwork.

Officials applied to pave the roads again instead, and when the cash flowed from Ottawa the town made over its streets with wider shoulders to circuitously achieve its goal, said the mayor of Port Coquitlam, who was told about the quandary in confidence.

ChangSha Night Net

The anecdote illustrates how cities are at the mercy of Canada’s higher-levels of government because of a lopsided fiscal and power dynamic, say some experts.

“You’re always chasing their programs, which might not be best for your community,” said Moore, who is also the chairman of Metro Vancouver, the regional government representing 23 local authorities.

“But there’s a strong argument that local governments should be funded appropriately and allowed to make the decisions that are right for their community.”

Providing infrastructure and services without adequate financial tools has been a major stress for municipalities of all sizes, and that’s not the only obstacle they face, said Moore.

Mayors have used the change in the federal government to call for more autonomy for cities, which are straining under the weight of downloaded responsibilities from rental housing to daycare. Earlier this year, big-city mayors met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and urged Ottawa to directly fund building projects, bypassing the provinces altogether.

International urbanism consultant Brent Toderian said consensus is growing that Canadian cities are the key to national success, but they are not positioned to succeed.

“Cities are the engines of our economy, the overwhelming home for our populations, the centres for creativity, the solutions to sustainability,” said Toderian, a former chief planner for Vancouver and president of the Council for Canadian Urbanism.

“Yet we treat them like a third-class citizen, at best.”

Cities face barriers when it comes to delivering public facilities and services that are structural, financial and political, the experts say.

Canadian cities are dubbed “creatures of the province,” referring to the 19th century constitutional legacy that granted their powers. The provinces dictate which tools they can use to generate revenue — in most cases only property taxes and user fees.

“It’s very difficult for municipalities — under the current fiscal regime, but also in terms of the kinds of legal powers they have — to do the things that are really necessary,” said Prof. Warren Magnusson, who specializes in urban government at the University of Victoria.

A prime example of obstructed municipal power is a failed transit plebiscite in the Vancouver area in 2015 that asked citizens to vote on a sales tax to fund rapid transit, more busses and a bridge replacement.

Toderian believes the “province threw the cities under the bus” by forcing the vote in a compressed time frame of 10 weeks. Voters snubbed the tax, despite numerous businesses, unions and environmental organizations advocating fiercely for its benefits.

Gordon Price, who directs The City Program at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., said cities in Canada should be reimagined, but he doesn’t have high expectations.

“Cities are cash cows for provinces, but they don’t need to be nice to the cow,” he said. “In fact, they can show contempt for the cow.”

Shifting power has its limits, he said, because cities tend to only manage their own interests. Provinces would argue the only way to build infrastructure like roads and bridges is to think provincially.

Another cautionary tale comes from the United States, where cities like Detroit were allowed run deficits and went bankrupt, Price said.

“That doesn’t tend to happen in Canada,” he said. “But that’s because of the discipline imposed by the senior government.”

There are examples across the globe where cities are gaining greater independence, said Price, citing Norway where an equal level of services is guaranteed in urban areas, and Denmark and Sweden “where cities really do have significant more power.”

The U.K. government has steadily devolved key powers to some cities in England, said Toderian.

He also highlighted the Ministry for Cities created in Australia by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who declared urban planning a matter of quality of life. The move at least recognizes the importance of urban regions, Price said.

In Canada, the Liberal party’s recent budget announced plans to boost a funding formula so that Ottawa covers up to half the cost of public transit projects, and water and wastewater systems. Before its share was one-third.

Magnusson said the Liberals’ promise to run deficits to fund new local infrastructure could signal that the government sees a need to shift the balance of power.

“Maybe things have gone too far in the direction we’ve been going in the last 30, 40 years,” he said. “Some kind of course correction is required.”

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SAN JOSE, Calif. – Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski scored power-play goals in the second period and the San Jose Sharks again moved to the brink of eliminating the Los Angeles Kings from the playoffs with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night in Game 4 of their first-round series.

Patrick Marleau added a power-play goal in the third period and Martin Jones made 26 saves against his former team to put San Jose up 3-1 in the series heading into Game 5 on Friday night in Los Angeles.

ChangSha Night Net

But knocking the Kings out is never easy. The Sharks blew a 3-0 series lead to Los Angeles in the first round two years ago, becoming the fourth NHL team ever to lose a best-of-seven series after winning the first three games.

Trevor Lewis and Luke Schenn scored and Jonathan Quick made 26 saves for the Kings. But Los Angeles was done in by San Jose’s potent power play after shutting that unit down in a Game 3 overtime win.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter described the first three games as a “power-play series” and was proved prophetic with the way Game 4 went. The Sharks converted on their first two chances with the man advantage and stopped Los Angeles to take control of the game.

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The bearded Burns got it started after Jeff Carter got sent to the box for roughing Marc-Edouard Vlasic after the whistle in a scrum near San Jose’s net. Joel Ward froze quick before sending a cross-ice pass to Burns, who launched a one-timer that beat Quick before he could slide across the crease for his second goal of the series.

Then, after the Sharks killed two penalties, they struck again when Rob Scuderi was called for tripping Tomas Hertl. Joe Thornton got the puck behind the net and put a centring pass right on Pavelski’s tape for the goal. Pavelski has four goals in the series.

Marleau added his first goal of the series just seconds into another power-play chance when he gathered in Logan Couture’s blocked shot and beat Quick with a backhander to make it 3-0.

Los Angeles got back in the game with two goals in less than five minutes thanks to point shots from Schenn. The first was deflected by Lewis for a goal and the second went through a screen to beat Jones.

But the Kings couldn’t get anything else by Jones and now must win three straight to win the series.

The game got off to a fast start as the teams went end to end in a first period that was played entirely at even strength. Both teams had good chances, with the Kings getting the better of the play in the opening half of the period and the Sharks answering after that.

But Drew Doughty made a diving stop in the crease to rob Thornton and Quick stymied Marleau on a 2-on-1 to keep San Jose off the board.

Anze Kopitar handcuffed Jones with a tricky shot just after that, but Jones managed to cover up the loose puck in the crease before a big scramble. The Kings then didn’t get another shot on goal in the final 6:56 of the period.

NOTES: Pavelski has 30 career playoff goals. … The win by the Sharks was the first by a home team this series. … Both teams kept the same lineup as in Game 3.