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News from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan

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Candidates for Religious Freedoms Panel Drawn Largely from Western Religions

Panelists invited to closed-door consultations on a new Office of Religious Freedom were drawn almost exclusively from western religions, primarily Christianity, according to documents obtained by CBC News.

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Canada Accepts Japan’s Apology for Hong Kong POWs

Canada has accepted the Japanese government’s apology for the treatment of prisoners held during the Second World War for five years after the Battle of Hong Kong. Pictured: Canadian soldiers are inspected at Hong Kong, soon after their arrival, in November 1941. Archives Canada

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What the New Canada-U.S. Border Crossing Deal Means for You

For many Canadians, border crossings have been a constant source of headaches for several years now. The new border security and trade agreement between Canada and the United States, being called the Beyond the Border plan, should come as a relief to businesspeople and regular travellers alike. Pictured: Border guards at the Douglas border crossing…

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Energy Sector Fuels Alberta’s Economic Growth

Alberta’s economy is significantly outperforming the national average in 2011, with real GDP on track to grow 3.3 per cent, says a report released Wednesday by BMO Capital Markets.

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Religious Groups Oppose Required Alliances with Homosexuals in Schools

The religious right in Ontario is taking exception to an Ontario law that will force schools to allow gay-straight student alliances. Several representatives from Catholic, Evangelical Christian and Orthodox Jewish communities said they cannot accept legislated sexual tolerance laid out in the province’s new anti-bullying law.

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John Baird Treads Carefully at Religious Freedom Meetings

Federal bureaucrats told Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to tread carefully in a meeting last month at the Vatican about his plan to set up an office of religious freedom within his department.

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Conservative Majority Gives Crime Bill the Green Light

The opposition has called it misguided and at least two provinces have vowed not to pay for it. Still, the omnibus crime bill cleared the Commons on Mon-day evening, just 45 sitting days after it was tabled.

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Montreal Police Make 14 Arrests in Drug Raids

Police have arrested 11 men and three women following a series of drug raids in Montreal, Charlemagne, L’Assomption and St-Hubert Tuesday morning.

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Bank of Canada Holds Rates, Cites Deeper Euro Crisis

The Bank of Canada kept its overnight interest rate at 1 percent on Tuesday, as expected, and gave no suggestion of an impending rate cut even though its view of the European debt crisis has clearly darkened.

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Black Friday Sales Entice U.S., Canadian Shoppers

Black Friday, the biggest U.S. shopping day, got underway officially at midnight ET, as stores such as Best Buy, Target, and Abercrombie & Fitch opened their doors to shoppers at the end of the American Thanksgiving. Pictured: People shop for electronics during Black Friday sales at the Best Buy store in Westbury, N. Y. on…

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Canadian Judge Upholds Ban on Polygamy

Polygamy is so harmful to women, children, society and the “institution of monogamous marriage” that it can be outlawed, even though it offends certain religious beliefs, a Canadian judge said in an unprecedented ruling Wednesday.

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Tony Clement Under Fire for Hiring $90,000-a-day Consultant to Suggest Savings

Treasury Board president Tony Clement came under fire Thursday for the government’s plans to find billions of dollars in cuts – including from the auditor-general’s office – but still spend millions on external consultants.

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