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3 seniors dead after van drives off southern Alberta highway



Three seniors are dead after a highway collision in southern Alberta Wednesday.

Coaldale RCMP said that at approximately 6:30 p.m., they responded to a single-vehicle collision on Highway 845, just south of Highway 4, approximately a 25-minute drive southeast of Lethbridge.

A grey Ford Freestar minivan headed north on Highway 845 had driven off the highway on a curve before the CP Rail tracks, entering a deep ditch that it struck with a "significant impact" and coming to a rest on the tracks.

The speed limit transitioned from 100 km/h to 65 km/h shortly before the location of the collision, RCMP said. 

Police said all three elderly occupants of the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene from impact-related injuries. The occupants are believed to be from Raymond, Alta.

Police said their names will not be released and that next-of-kin notifications are ongoing.

Highway 845 was closed for emergency response, but has since been reopened. 

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Maxime Bernier's tweets boost Liberal coffers and trigger 1000 new memberships, party says




Maxime Bernier may be causing headaches for his fellow Conservative MPs, but his latest musings on “extreme multiculturalism” have been a boon for the federal Liberal party.

The Liberals say a fundraising campaign based on Bernier’s controversial comments has raised 77 per cent more money than any of their previous issue-based efforts.

Coverage of Maxime Bernier on Globalnews.ca:

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations have doubled and social media engagement has quadrupled since Monday.

And he says the Bernier controversy has also helped boost the rolls of registered Liberal supporters, with 1,000 new sign-ups this week.

READ MORE: Here’s why Andrew Scheer isn’t kicking Maxime Bernier out of caucus

Bernier, who came within a whisker of winning the federal Conservative leadership last year, has been making life difficult for the winner, Andrew Scheer. He’s suggested that “fake Conservatives” propelled Scheer to victory, and he’s repeatedly contradicted the leader on the issue of supply management.

Since last Sunday, Bernier has also posted a series of tweets criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promotion of ever more diversity, which the Quebec MP warns will eventually segment the country into tribes, erode Canada’s identity and “destroy what has made us such a great country.”

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Evening Brief: Manafort anticipation and more Bernier burns




Tonight’s Evening Brief is brought to you by Equal Voice. Equal Voice is a national multi-partisan organization whose mandate is to promote the election of more women to every level of government.

The Lead

As the jury was weighing a verdict on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump is weighing in by calling it a sad day for the country. He also attacked special council Robert Mueller again, saying he has conflicts on the file. If convicted on all counts, Manafort faces a life behind bars. Trump would, though, have the power to pardon but he’s refused to say today whether he would.

Jurors in the Manafort’s trial are not expected to reach a verdict today. The judge overseeing the trial says he’s received threats and fears for the jury’s safety. He said Friday that’s why he won’t reveal their names. A coalition of media organizations have tried to obtain the names of the jurors.

In Canada

A third party study done for the feds suggests Canadians are supportive of current immigration levels, but worried about asylum seekers. Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel took a break today from railing against perceived bias at (probably Canada’s most neutral news service) Canadian Press and decided to call the pollster biased. She said it’s an expensive exercise in government spin.

Still on government polls and tilt, a new government poll of CRA auditors says most think Canada’s tax system favours the wealthy. The NDP sent out a petition to supporters on its fundraising list today citing the poll, saying that “for too long, Liberal and Conservative governments have failed to act to close tax loopholes that benefit their wealthy friends.”

Tony Clement is basically calling Maxime Bernier the political equivalent of Grandpa Simpson. In an interview with Canadian Press, he said:

“The Max Bernier that I supported during the leadership race wouldn’t have taken the position he’s taking now…I think that Max may soon find that he’s a guy raging at the sky rather than being taken seriously on some of these things.”

Still on the Bern, Éric Grenier has this analysis on whether Maxime Bernier’s base is big enough to insulate him from caucus pressure.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is trying to bump funding to fight guns and gangs onto the Toronto city council agenda.

He wrote to Mayor John Tory asking that city council matches provincial funding on the issue and deal with it during a special council meeting Monday. Toronto Star reporter Jennifer Pagliaro tweeted it’s a move to “distract council from debating fighting his legislation to cut council.”

Hundreds of claims have been deluging the federal court, alleging lengthy delays in processing permits to grow medical pot. Kyle Duggan has more on the activists at the centre of the pot storm that was kicked up against Health Canada.

Canada is expected to feel effects from losing so many Saudi resident physicians. CP reports that HealthcareCan says it will “likely cause delays, but ultimately won’t impact the quality of care.”

Quebec is compensating its taxi industry because its lunch is being eaten by Uber drivers. The provincial government made the announcement this afternoon.

The UN hired a civilian helicopter company that flies Russian choppers while Canada’s helicopters were being prepped to take over the role. Our resident military gearhead Charlie Pinkerton has more on that.

StatsCan has released an infographic stating that there has been no impact on consumer prices so far from the Canada-U.S. trade war.

The Sprout: NAFTA talks and some sandwich love

The Drilldown: NEB approves construction for most of Trans Mountain

In Other News


Trump is raining on his own parade. Plans for a $92-million military parade in Washington have been scrapped. Trump is now locked in a fight with D.C.’s mayor after blaming local politicians for scrubbing the parade, accusing them of price gouging. Politico has more on that. This of course all happened because Trump got into a pissing match with France after seeing its parade, which turned out to be a lot of trouble to put together.

Trump is meanwhile grabbing the attention of the entire business world – and freaking out business reporters – after he floated getting rid of quarterly financial reporting. Trump tweeted this morning he’s asked the SEC to study whether to letting public companies file reports every six months instead of doing it quarterly. Some people think it’s not such a crazy idea.

A Turkish court is rejecting the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson – the detention that’s caused the trade spat with Turkey. Trump said that Turkey has “been a problem for a long time.” Brunson has been connected in Turkey with the 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but the pastor has denied the terror charges and Trump called them phoney.

The leader of the Osama bin Laden raid tells Trump to revoke his security clearance, in response to Trump yanking former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance earlier this week. “I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency,” wrote Retired Navy Admiral William H. McRaven in a Washington Post op-ed.

A New York Times interview with Elon Musk has led to a drop in Tesla stocks. Musk said the past year has been the “most difficult and painful” of his career, and detailed some of those struggles. He also told the Times that his tweet last week – the one about taking the company private – wasn’t reviewed by anybody before it went out.


Multiculturalism is here to stay… but what about Maxime Bernier?

Deciding on a Canadian approach to missile defence

The Rebel to Rabble Review: Mad Max and questioning facts

The Weekender Quiz: Bernier, Burnaby and Baloney

Featured Opinion

From Riana Topan: When our food system fails, who pays the price?

Andrew Futter: Deciding on a Canadian approach to missile defence

And from our friends at the Conversation: How Canadian technology could protect Space Force troops


Trump apparently tried to book the late Aretha Franklin for his inauguration, but was rejected. She hated his rise to power and even was in talks to do songs for the Clinton camp. Franklin performed at the inauguration for President Barack Obama in 2009.


A Dutch court has ruled that “Pastafarianism” – followers of the church of the flying spaghetti monster, a religion created by atheists to flout the idea of intelligent design – is not actually a religion.

The effect of that has hit the woman at the centre of the case hard: she can no longer wear a colander on her head in photos for her passport and other government issued ID. But it’s not yet pasta point of no return. Now she’s considering taking the case to the European court of human rights.

Have a great al dente weekend.

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Council can't grant Ford's request to put anti-gangs and guns funding on special meeting agenda, Tory says




In an open letter to Toronto's mayor, Premier Doug Ford asked city council to discuss increasing funding to address guns and gangs at its special meeting next Monday. The special meeting was scheduled to discuss legal options for challenging Ford's recently-passed Bill 5, which slashes the number of city councillors from 47 to 25.

Ford's open letter comes after his government committed an extra $25 million to fight gun violence in Toronto last week, and asked the city and federal government to match its spending. 

Tory responded with his own open letter Friday afternoon, saying he's committed to matching the funding but also reminding the premier that changing the special meeting agenda is not possible.

"As you would remember from your time on City Council, Special meetings are confined to the issue for which they were called, so as to ensure their efficiency, accountability and transparency on behalf of the people of Toronto," Tory wrote.

Tory welcomed the funding announcement last week, and said he's committed to matching the province's spending in 2018. If re-elected as mayor, Tory said he will continue to match the funding in future years. Tory said he also told this to Ford in person Friday morning.

Ford government passes bill to cut councillors

On Tuesday, the new Progressive Conservative government passed the Better Local Governments Act, or Bill 5, receiving no support from the opposition parties. 

Tory said council has a report from the city solicitor and hopes to have a constructive discussion at Monday's meeting about legal responses to the plan.

Mayor John Tory says he's already committed to matching the province's additional spending to combat gun violence in 2018. (CBC)

Ford's open letter, dated Aug. 16, said the citizens of Toronto "cannot wait for funding to help fight guns and gangs."

"Already in 2018, Toronto is on pace to have the deadliest gun-related homicide rate in years. This is unacceptable, and requires immediate action from all levels of government without reservation," Ford wrote.

"I implore you, along with Toronto City Council to address this critical issue at your meeting on August 20th and add funding for guns and gangs to the City Council agenda."

Council has already responded, Tory says

Tory said city council has already taken "all necessary and responsible steps to ensure that our government can respond appropriately and expediently to the needs of our citizens during this election period, and so no additional Council action is required."

In the letter, Tory said city officials were given delegated authority during the July council meeting, allowing them to "receive and flow funding from other levels of government throughout the remainder of 2018 to combat gun violence.

"At this meeting, Council also directed the Toronto Police Services to immediately hire 100 new police officers, funding which had been previously contemplated by the TPSB and which matches the provincial commitment," the mayor wrote.

In the open letter, Tory also outlined other efforts to combat gun violence, including deploying more police officers, applying for $32.6-million in federal funding for community-based prevention initiatives, and asking the federal government to ban the sale of handguns in Toronto.

Ford said last week the $25 million will be distributed in two phases over four years.

About $7.6 million of the provincial spending will go toward creating so-called "legal SWAT teams" focused on stopping people charged with firearms offences from getting bail.

Tory has also advocated for bail reforms, asking the prime minister to revoke bail opportunities for repeat gun offenders in an August 3 letter.

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