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Morning Brew: November 19, 2007

Posted by Sisi / November 19, 2007

Photo: "Montreal Skies," by Midnight Poutine Flickr pooler kimberley blue.

Your morning news roundup for Monday, November 19th, 2007:

The bodies of two Canadian soldiers who fell in Afghanistan on Saturday are on their way home. A ramp ceremony was held yesterday for Cpl. Nicolas Raymond Beauchamp, 28, of the 5th Field Ambulance in Valcartier, and Pte. Michel Lévesque, 25, of the 3rd battalion of the Royal 22e Régiment, also in Valcartier. The attack came in the Sangisar region, where Canadian troops entered heavy fighting with the Taliban on Friday and Saturday. The Canadian death toll in Afghanistan now stands at 73 soldiers and one diplomat since 2002.

300,000 people gathered along Sainte-Catherine St. on Saturday to watch the city's annual Santa Claus parade. Merchants recognize the parade as the kick off for holiday season shopping. Many retailers have already adjusted their prices to better reflect the strength of the Canadian dollar.

In health news: The Federal government is axing a popular, independent, and bilingual health advice website. Shutting down the website would allow the Public Health Agency of Canada to cut $7 million from the $16.7 million it was ordered to cut from grants to outside groups in the coming fiscal year. Medical professionals decry the decision because the website receives 380,000 hits per month, 40 percent of which are from non-professionals.

Make it in loonies: For the first time, Canadian athletes will be paid for winning medals at the Olympic Games. They will receive up to $20,000 per medal. A silver medal will garner $15,000 and a bronze medal is worth $10,000. The Canadian Olympic Committee said that the reward program is a way to support high-performance athletes, who often face heavy financial burdens during training.

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