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Peace talks resume today

Talks resume in Turkey today, as the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia try to bring an end to the month-long war between their two countries.

Ukraine’s foreign minister says the best he can expect from the discussions is a ceasefire, with negotiations on a peace agreement to follow.

Ukrainian President Volodomir Zelensky says he’s willing to make his country a neutral, non-nuclear nation, but he won’t discuss ceding any territory.

Ukrainian forces have claimed several victories around the capital of Kyiv and along the southern coast on the approaches to the port city of Odesa.

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Hillier facing charges re. trucker’s protest

Eastern Ontario MPP Randy Hillier has been released on 35-thousand dollars bail, after being charged with nine criminal counts in connection with the truckers’ protest in Ottawa last month.

The charges include counselling to commit an indictable offence and assaulting a peace officer.

His bail conditions include a prohibition on posting to social media anything about the so-called “Freedom Convoy,” and COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates.

Hillier, who was booted from the Conservative caucus three years ago, says he won’t be running in June’s election.

Meantime, Ottawa’s interim police chief, Steve Bell, says the city can expect to see further truckers’ protests during the summer.

Doctors reach deal

Ontario’s doctors have voted in favour of a new agreement with the provincial government.

The three-year deal, retroactive to last April 1st, contains new provisions that allow doctors to continue with the hybrid model of consultations holding appointments with some patients over the phone or the internet.

The Ontario Medical Association says it also contains better provisions for parental leave, and steps to reach gender pay equity.

Fighter jets

The federal government has opened final negotiations towards purchasing 88 F-35 fighter jets to replace the RCAF’s aging CF-18 Hornets.

It doesn’t mean the ultra-modern aircraft will actually see service in Canada.

If negotiations with manufacturer Lockheed Martin break down, Defence Minister Anita Anand (ah-NAND) says they’ll turn to the jet being proposed by Sweden’s Saab Industries.

Ottawa plans to spend 19-billion dollars on new fighter jets, with the first to arrive in 2025.

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