Six stories in the news for Friday, March 31:
CANADA PART OF U.S TRADE STUDY
Canada is going to be included in a U-S study of its major trading partners to determine if any use abusive trade practices to run export surpluses. U-S President Donald Trump will sign an executive order today demanding a study within in the next three months into such things as non-tariff barriers, lax legal enforcement, currency manipulation and other means that keep out American goods.
CANADA-BRITAIN HOLD INFORMAL TRADE TALKS
Canada and Britain are holding informal free trade talks, even though Britain is barred from such direct negotiations before it formalizes its Brexit divorce from the European Union. International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says Canada isn't breaking any EU rules by engaging in the talks since a continuing a trading relationship is in the best interest of both countries.
ONTARIO WARNS OF 'BUY AMERICAN' CONSEQUENCES
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she hopes New York State legislators will vote against Buy American provisions in their budget, and warns that if they don't, she'll consider "all options" in response. One such option would see the provincial government respond in kind and stop buying from New York companies. The Buy American policy is expected to come to a vote as early as Friday.
PM TRUDEAU IN TORONTO AREA TO TALK TRANSIT
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be selling his government's latest budget as it pertains to investments in transit infrastructure. He'll attend an event today in Toronto alongside Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and their transport ministers. On Thursday, Trudeau announced $100 million for a Ford plant in Windsor, Ont.
BLACKBERRY TO REPORT YEAR-END RESULTS
BlackBerry will report its fourth-quarter and year-end results today. The figures are expected to show whether the company's turnaround efforts have paid off. Last September, Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry said it would no longer make smartphones as its devices became swept aside by consumers in favour of Apple and Samsung phones. The company posted a US$117-million loss in its third quarter.
KILLER ROBOTS CAUSE STIR AT SENATORS MEETING
A federal drive to put Canada on the forefront of developing artificial intelligence is stirring warnings about the possible dangers of the technology. Among the concerns that surfaced this week: "killer robots." They're known more formally as lethal autonomous weapons systems. The matter was discussed at a meeting of Senate Liberals where some experts urged the government to proceed with caution.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:
— Statistics Canada will release the gross domestic product by industry for January and payroll data for January.
— Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will hold a teleconference after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
— Sentencing hearing in Edmonton for Jayme Pasieka, convicted of first-degree murder in Loblaws warehouse stabbings.
— Alberta Premier Rachel Notley will announce new regulations for service dog qualifications.
— The Toronto Blue Jays play the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first of two pre-season games in Montreal.
— Canadian musicians and NHL veterans hit the ice in Ottawa for the JUNO Cup celebrity hockey game.
The Canadian Press