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On the BIGGER FRONT – provincial and federal news …

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Russian bombs and artillery shells continue to rain down on Ukraine’s cities today……but intelligence sources say a massive convoy of Russian reinforcements is making little progress as it heads for the capital of Kiev.

The Russians have made some progress in the south of the country, occupying the port city of Kherson along the Black Sea coast.

Ukrainian officials say more than two-thousand civilians have been killed since the invasion began last Thursday.

The United Nations says more than one million people have fled the country, about two percent of Ukraine’s population.

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The U-S Justice Department has launched a special task force designed to track down Russia’s super-rich.

The task force will arrest and charge those who can be found and if not, their assets will be seized.

It will be working in conjunction with other western nations.

Germany has already seized a 600-million-dollar luxury yacht owned by one Russian billionaire.

Conservatives seeking a new leader

The federal Conservative party will choose a new leader on September 10th.

Potential candidates have until April 19th to decide and they’ll have to put up a 200-thousand dollar fee, plus a 100-thousand-dollar security deposit to ensure they follow the rules.

Candidates will have until June 3rd to sign up new party members.

So far, there’s only one declared candidate, Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre.

However, former Quebec Premier Jean Charest is also considering a run.

Charest, who was a former cabinet minister under Brian Mulroney, was in Ottawa last night to meet with Conservative MP’s.

Ontario spending in good shape

Our province’s finances are in better shape than expected.

Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says the Ford government spent 5.5-billion dollars less than expected during the first nine months of this fiscal year, which wraps up at the end of this month.

The Financial Accountability Office says that includes health care spending, which was about 1.3-billion dollars lower than forecast.

However, it adds spending is expected to have risen during the first three months of 2022, as the impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 began to take hold.

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