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Morning Brew: January 29, 2008

Posted by Sisi / January 29, 2008

Photo: "Aux Vivre," by Midnight Poutine Flickr pooler midnightpoutine.

Your morning news roundup for Tuesday, January 29th, 2008:

Insurance broker André Charbonneau has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for defrauding hundreds of customers of more than $10 million. Quebec Court Judge Jean-Pierre Bonin gave out the sentence yesterday morning at the Montreal courthouse. Charbonneau, 52, was found guilty in September of 119 fraud charges resulting from an insurance scam that cost 440 people their retirement savings. Many of the investors were elderly and near retirement. Charbonneau represented himself during the trial and insisted that he was the only one involved who tried to help investors after they lost their money.

The Quebec Minister of Revenue, Jean-Marc Fournier, has announced a pilot project to prevent fraud in restaurants. The project aims to counter "zappers," software that enables restaurants to hide part of their sales in order to pay fewer taxes. Revenu Québec estimates that the restaurant industry posted losses of $425 million from 2007-2008. The project, beginning in November 2009, will work with volunteer restaurateurs in different regions to test a module that logs sales. After the test period is over, implementation of the module will take place from September 2010 to November 2011. Eventually, the module will become mandatory in all restaurants.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has accepted the recommendations made by last week's Manley report to extend the mission in Afghanistan. The report said that the mission in Afghanistan should not end in February 2009, but insisted that NATO provide allies to aid the Canadian effort. It argued for an indefinite extension that would focus the Canadian Forces on reconstruction and withdraw them as Afghans are able to take over their jobs. Harper said that the Conservative government will launch a “diplomatic effort before the April NATO meeting in Bucharest to meet those conditions.”


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