Today is International Women’s Day.

A number of prominent women will take part in some of the many events planned across this country today.

Liberal MP Jane Philpott, who resigned her Trudeau cabinet post last week to protest her government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair, will speak at a women’s day event at Ottawa city hall hosted by Mayor Jim Watson.

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Ottawa police say a woman has been charged with making threats against provincial social services minister Lisa MacLeod.

The accused faces three counts of uttering threats and one count of criminal harassment.

The premier’s office says the woman sent threats to MacLeod via email and telephone calls over the last few weeks.

MacLeod has been under fire for changes to the province’s autism program that were announced in February and take effect on April 1st.

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Parents of autistic children attending a rally at the Ontario legislature today say the provincial government isn’t listening to the people.

Hundreds of family members and advocates of children with autism turned out to protest changes to the provincial autism program.

It aims to clear a backlog of 23-thousand children waiting for treatment but parents say they’ll only get up to 20-thousand dollars a year for children under six — when intensive therapy can cost up to 80-thousand dollars a year.

Tina Walker has two children on the autism spectrum and says she wanted to send a message to the province that it’s more important to help kids than to stick to a flawed policy.

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One man is facing charges of cruelty to animals, after Ottawa police received information through social media at the end of February.

Yesterday, police located the man and the dog from the postings, at a home near Walkley and Heron Roads.

The dog has been removed from home by the SPCA and was brought to a vet for an exam.

30 year old Aron Yardon has been charged with one count of cruelty to animals, and appeared in court yesterday.

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Montebello Rockfest may be bankrupt, but Montebello Rocks will take over the Quebec town in June.

According to the Citizen, Rockfest had just over 300,000 in assets but owed 6 million to bands, small businesses in the area, and overseas companies and individuals.

This June, organizer and founder Alex Martel tells the paper, they will avoid the monetary problems of the past with a scaled down version that avoids high profile bands.

Martel says pre-sale is going well for the 30, or so, acts ranging from punk to metal.

Montebello Rocks is scheduled for June 14th and 15th.

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Ontario’s Opposition leader says the process to appoint the next provincial police commissioner should be independent and free of Premier Doug Ford’s “fingerprints.”

N-D-P Leader Andrea Horwath says the selection process for the job of the province’s top police officer needs to be beyond reproach.

Her remarks come after Ron Taverner, a longtime Toronto police superintendent and friend of the Ford family, pulled out of the running.

Taverner announced late Wednesday he would not take the job given the controversy surrounding his appointment, which included lowering requirements for the job after it was posted.

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After his first testimony about the S-N-C Lavalin affair two weeks ago, the country’s top public servant says he was bombarded with several profanity-laced social-media messages.

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick presented the messages to the Commons justice committee when he appeared for a second time this past Wednesday.

He said he was concerned the messages were attempts to intimidate and influence his testimony — and after getting a lukewarm reaction to his concerns from committee members, his office has now released a number of the messages to the media.

His stout defence of the integrity of staff in the Prime Minister’s Office left opposition M-Ps accusing him of being partisan and calling for his firing.

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Premiers from two Prairie provinces are suggesting western issues have fallen by the wayside amid the S-N-C-Lavalin scandal.

Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe is urging Justin Trudeau to regain his focus as prime minister for all Canadians.

And while Alberta’s Rachel Notley understands the concern over potential job losses stemming from the political scandal swirling around the Quebec-based company, she says Alberta’s struggle to get its oil to market has a far greater impact on jobs than S-N-C-Lavalin does.

She adds farmers need Trudeau’s attention, too, especially since China has started blocking import shipments of Canadian canola.

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The Fredericton man accused of murdering two police officers and two civilians in an August shooting rampage from an apartment-building window is to return to court today.

Details are expected from a longer psychiatric assessment that was ordered to determine if Matthew Raymond can be found criminally responsible for his alleged crimes.

Raymond is charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

He is accused of fatally shooting Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright in the parking lot as they loaded a car for a trip, and then shooting Fredericton police constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello as they arrived on scene.

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Some 40-thousand Canadian veterans are still waiting for notice about whether or not they qualify for disability benefits.

New numbers from Veterans Affairs Canada also show more than one-third of the total had been in the queue longer than 16 weeks.

The rising statistics are seen as a sign that veterans are waiting ever longer to find out whether they are entitled to assistance, despite the Trudeau government’s hiring of more frontline staff and committing 42-million dollars over two years in last year’s budget to clear up the backlog.

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for tax and bank fraud related to his work advising Ukrainian politicians, much less than the 20 years called for under sentencing guidelines.

He still faces sentencing in D-C in a separate case connected to illegal lobbying.

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SpaceX’s swanky new crew capsule has undocked from the International Space Station and is headed toward an old-fashioned splashdown this morning.

The Dragon capsule pulled away from the orbiting lab overnight with a test dummy named Ripley its lone occupant.

It is aiming for a splashdown in the Atlantic off Florida’s coast at 8:45 a-m Eastern Time — the final hurdle of the six-day test flight of the capsule designed to carry astronauts to and from the space station hopefully later this year.

Canadian station astronaut David (dah-VIHD’) Saint-Jacques was the first to enter the Dragon when it arrived and was the last to leave.

He found the capsule “very slick” and called it business class.

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Much of Venezuela remains engulfed by darkness this morning amid one of the largest power outages in years, raising tensions in a country already on edge from ongoing political turmoil over its leadership.

The blackout hit 22 of 23 states by some accounts.

It struck the capital Caracas at the peak of rush hour yesterday, forcing thousands of commuters into the streets when subway service was stopped and traffic jams amid the blackened stoplights.

Others had to walk long distances to get home.

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