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Seven stories in the news for today, Oct. 19

Last Updated Oct 19, 2017 at 5:00 am EST

Seven stories in the news for Thursday, Oct. 19

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FANS CELEBRATE LIFE OF GORD DOWNIE

Fans of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie gathered yesterday to celebrate the life of the Tragically Hip frontman, who died on Tuesday at the age of 53. In his hometown of Kingston, Ont., last night, a city-run tribute morphed into a candlelight vigil as fans staged sing-alongs, breakout dance parties and, in one case, broadcasting classic Hip concerts from a flatscreen TV in the back of a van.

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BILL MORNEAU SEEKS TO EASE TAX FEARS OF FARMERS, FISHERS

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to announce changes today to his controversial tax proposals to address the concerns of farmers and fishers. He will make an announcement at a farm about halfway between Toronto and Ottawa. The Trudeau government’s proposed tax changes have raised fears that they could add significant costs for some business owners who hope to keep certain types of businesses — like farms — in the family.

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FERNIE, B.C., SHAKEN BY DEATHS AT LOCAL ARENA

A lifelong resident of Fernie, B.C., says the picturesque Rocky Mountain community has been shaken by the deaths of three workers following an ammonia leak at the local ice rink. Twyla Sevinski says she hopes residents “can get through this.” RCMP confirmed Wednesday that three men died in what they are calling a “fatal workplace incident” at the arena, which remains an active police investigation.

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CANADIAN EXPORTS UP SHARPLY, SAYS EDC

Export Development Canada says exports are growing significantly as both the U.S. and the global economy as a whole continue to improve. The crown corporation says overall exports are expected to grow eight per cent this year , led by “massive gains” in commodities, and by four per cent next year. At $77 billion, EDC says oil and gas exports are forecast to have grown by 31 per cent, after production was hit last year by the Fort McMurray wildfire.

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IT’S DEADLINE DAY FOR AMAZON PITCH

Today is the deadline for cities to submit proposals in hopes of becoming home to Amazon’s Canadian headquarters. Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary have all promised to submit their pitches by today. Many Canadian cities consider Amazon a catch since the tech titan is promising up to 50,000 high paying jobs and a US$5-billion investment.

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JUST FOR LAUGHS PRESIDENT RESIGNS

Gilbert Rozon, a giant in the Quebec entertainment industry, is stepping down from various positions amid what he calls “allegations involving him.” Rozon said on his Facebook page Wednesday he is no longer president of the Just For Laughs comedy festival, vice-president of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce or involved with the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations. Rozon said he is “shaken” by the unspecified allegations against him.

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IF NAFTA DIES, DOES OLD CANADA-U.S. TRADE PACT RETURN?

It’s a refrain frequently heard in Canada: That ending NAFTA wouldn’t change much in economic relations with the United States, because the countries could simply pull their older agreement off the shelf, dust it off, and persist in trade without tariffs. But a few people interviewed this week disputed the idea that the original Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement of 1987 would automatically snap back into place if NAFTA disappears, an increasingly relevant topic as hostilities mount in the trilateral trade talks.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:

— Provincial and territorial health ministers begin a two-day annual conference in Calgary.

— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will campaign with the Liberal candidate for the Lac-Saint-Jean, Que., byelection.

— Denis Coderre and Valerie Plante, the two main candidates vying for mayor of Montreal, face off in a debate.

— Statistics Canada will release the monthly survey of manufacturing for August and travel stats for August.

— Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer will give a speech in Stratford, Ont.

— Media giants Rogers Communications and Postmedia will release their third-quarter results.

— Sheldon Kennedy will announce a new initiative in Calgary to keep children safe from child abuse.