Trudeau defends anti-pipeline Liberal candidate - Canadanewsmedia
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Trudeau defends anti-pipeline Liberal candidate



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today defended recruiting a known anti-pipeline campaigner to run for the Liberal Party in Quebec, saying there’s room for ideological diversity in the party’s ranks.

Liberals in the Montreal-area riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie nominated Steven Guilbeault — a household name in Quebec, where he is known for his environmental work and ardent opposition to pipelines — to carry the party’s banner in the NDP-held seat in the fall election campaign. Trudeau gave him a hero’s welcome with a high-profile campaign launch event in Montreal on Wednesday.

The federal Conservatives have said Guilbeault’s candidacy reveals Trudeau’s “true colours” with respect to the country’s natural resources sector.

“Canadians have a broad range of views on a lot of different issues and one of the important things for us is to make sure that we’re listening to the voices of Canadians, to the preoccupations of Canadians,” the prime minister said today. “We need to make sure we’re gathering together voices from all different perspectives right across the country.”

Trudeau said Guilbeault will not dictate the environmental policies of the federal Liberal Party, and Guilbeault’s opposition to the Trans Mountain expansion will not deter a Liberal government from moving ahead with the $7.4 billion project that will move oil from Alberta to a terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

Rather than abandon the project after a stunning court loss, Trudeau said his government redoubled its consultation efforts with Indigenous peoples and added new conditions for protecting marine life to ensure the pipeline is actually built.

“We’ve been very, very clear as a government, in buying the pipeline and moving forward with the pipeline in a right way, that we believe in getting our resources to new markets and investing those profits in a cleaner future,” Trudeau said. “And that is something that all Canadians can understand and all Canadians can get behind,”

Justin Trudeau officially introduced Steven Guilbeault as the Liberal Party of Canada’s candidate in the Montreal riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

In approving the project for a second time last month, the prime minister promised any profits generated by Trans Mountain will be invested in clean energy projects.

Trudeau toured the Edmonton terminal of the Trans Mountain pipeline Friday and championed his government’s approval of the expansion line, saying Liberals are prepared to support natural resources projects while also taking action on climate change. He said he understands Alberta needs new customers for its product, as the U.S. — basically Canada’s only existing customer — is in the midst of its own oil boom.

Trudeau has faced much criticism in the western provinces over his perceived disdain for the energy sector and his government’s controversial overhaul of the environmental assessment process through C-69 — legislation critics maintain will make building new projects much more of a challenge. C-48, legislation that bans oil tankers from the northern B.C. coast, also has been a source of much frustration for oilpatch boosters.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Canadians shouldn’t be fooled by the prime minister’s “phoney photo-op” with workers at the Trans Mountain plant.

“Wednesday he celebrated the nomination of a well-known anti-energy activist as his star candidate. Trudeau has shown his true colours and wants to ‘phase out’ (his words!) Canada’s energy industry as fast as he can,” the leader tweeted, citing a remark Trudeau made at a 2017 town hall, when he suggested Alberta’s oilsands will have to be “phased out” over time as the country transitions to a cleaner energy mix.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with workers at the Trans Mountain Terminal in Edmonton on Friday, July 12, 2019. (Terry Reith/CBC)

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said federal oil and gas policies threaten the very foundations of the federation because they’ve stirred up separatist sentiment in his province.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of Canada’s premiers in Saskatoon Thursday, Kenney said the feeling of alienation is real.

“This is not just some random political opinion,” Kenney said. “We had at least two credible pollsters in the past three months indicate between 50 and 60 per cent support for the principle of a potential secession from the federation.

“I don’t think Albertans are actually ready to do that, I think they believe in this country, but that’s a way that they are expressing a truly profound sense of alienation. And all they ask for is fairness within the federation.”

Trudeau said Friday it’s Kenney and other conservative-minded premiers who are fuelling national disunity.

“We do not have to pit one concern of the country against another,” Trudeau said. “Unfortunately, conservative politicians are choosing to play a high degree of politics, including bringing up threats to national unity, which we categorically reject. All Canadians right across the country want to see us move forward with a growing economy that also protects the future of our kids and grandkids.”

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Alberta in for frigid winter, says Weather Network




Nicole Estabrooks pedals down a snowy Calgary street on Nov. 5, 2019. Calgary has already seen several snowstorms since September.

Expect temperatures in Calgary to swing back-and-forth throughout a winter that’s slightly colder than average, the Weather Network warns.

According to the network’s seasonal forecast released Monday, it’ll be chillier than normal throughout southern Alberta over the coming months, but with periods of reprieve mixed in.

“We expect a colder-than-normal winter, but the pattern will break down at times,” said meteorologist Doug Gillham. “We have above normal temperatures forecast for the B.C. coast and at times that milder Pacific air will spread into Alberta.”

The same goes for precipitation this winter, when much of the province’s southern portion can expect above-average snowfall, especially in the Rocky Mountains, he said.

“It’s overall good news for skiers,” Gillham noted.

Average levels of snowfall are in the longterm forecast for Calgary, but that could mean more flakes than usual after it’s all said and done when factoring in storms that already hit throughout the fall.

Gillham said Calgarians are used to drastic weather shifts, with November proving to be no exception.

“Those back-and-forth swings are typical so you’ll see that this winter to some extent, but you’ll be frozen more often than you’re thawed and I think the temperatures will tip more to the cold side of normal,” he said.

“It’s a little bit more of a harsh winter than the average without being, likely, one of your more memorable and more severe winters.”

The Weather Network’s winter forecast predicts it will be a long, cold winter across much of Canada, especially in the southern parts of the Prairies. The trend of a deep freeze will be felt through Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where meteorologists expect cold air to anchor down for the season.

But things are looking a little better in B.C., where temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal.

However, there may still be a two-week period where winter shows up out of the blue on the Pacific coast. Conditions will also likely be favourable in B.C.’s ski areas, despite the slightly higher temperatures.

From southern Ontario to southern Quebec, people can prepare for a winter that’s colder than usual and has much more precipitation than normal.

In Atlantic Canada, the Weather Network predicted it won’t be bitterly cold, but it will be a very stormy season.

Nunavut and the Northwest Territories will likely experience average winter conditions, which bucks a recent trend of warmer-than-usual winters in the Far North. In Yukon, a warmer winter is still expected.

Yukon and B.C. are the only parts of the country where spring could show up early in 2020, as the rest of the country should get ready for a harsh and prolonged season, according to the forecast.

Gillham said the seasonal prediction tries to answer questions of “how will the season be remembered?”

He compared the Weather Network’s forecast to pre-season hockey predictions, noting day-to-day weather is anyone’s guess beyond the seven-day forecast.

“It would be foolish to sit down and predict which games the Calgary Flames will win or lose through the course of a season, but often you have a good handle based on who’s coming back, maybe who you traded for,” Gillham said.

“Is this the year that you contend for the Stanley Cup, is this the year where you’re just fighting for the playoffs, or is this the year where you think you’re going to get a really good draft pick because you’re contending for the basement?”

—With files from the Canadian Press

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Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais leaves Conservative caucus




Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais has left the Conservative caucus citing frustrations with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s views on abortion and same-sex marriage and the “low importance” attached to Quebec voters by party leadership.

In a release issued Monday morning, Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais, who represents Quebec, said he would be joining the newly formed Canadian Senators Group.

Andrew Scheer‘s beliefs about abortion and same-sex marriages led to a mass exodus of the Quebec vote that the party hoped to win with the excellent candidates who had been recruited for the election of 21 October,” read the release.

Dagenais said the Conservatives “wasted a unique opportunity” in the federal election – a result he said would only be repeated “if the current leader and those who advise him remain in office as is the case at this time.”

Because of this opinion, Dagenais said it would be “inappropriate” for him to remain in the Senate’s Conservative caucus. He said the recent announcement of the breakaway Senate group presented him with a “logical choice” to express his views “unreservedly.”

Dagenais said he would, however, maintain his membership of the Conservative Party of Canada as it’s “the only political party in the country that conveys his economic and national security values.”

Dagenais’ criticism isn’t the first that’s been issued about Scheer’s social conservatism. Scheer came under fire throughout the campaign for failing to clarify his personal beliefs on issues including same-sex marriage and abortion.

One week after the election, former Conservative cabinet minister Peter MacKay said the social conservatism question hung around Scheer’s neck “like stinking albatross” during the campaign. MacKay also compared Scheer’s election result to having a breakaway on an open net and missing the shot. He has since spoken in support of Scheer’s leadership.

Newly-elected Conservative MP Eric Duncan, who is openly gay, told CTV’s Your Morning earlier this month that the Conservative Party needs to rethink its approach to LGBTQ issues.

“I think we need to work on how we make ourselves a modern Conservative party, and that includes being more inclusive on that issue,” Duncan said.

Scheer has declined to take part in Pride parades and has yet to apologize for comments he made in 2005 comparing same-sex couples to dogs. However, in 2016, Scheer voted in favour of removing the Conservative Party’s definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. He has also said he would not reopen the issue of same-sex marriage.

Dagenais said in his release that he “disagrees with certain social values” of the current Conservative Party leadership, which prompted his plan to jump ship.

The Canadian Senators Group (CSG) was created in early November with more than 10 senators flocking to the group from various caucuses. At the time, freshly-anointed CSG Leader Scott Tannas said the group is united by their approach to work and regional representation.

“Our group is about funding an independent research bureau that will serve our group, provide us with facts,” Tannas said at the time.

“We’re not going to try to sell each other behind closed doors and come to a group position. We will be debating each other in many instances.”

The newly formed Canadian Senators Group said it was “happy to welcome” the “like-minded senator.”

The release also welcomed Senator Percy Downe, who has previously served under a Liberal banner, to the burgeoning Senate group.

This caused other Senate dominoes to fall, as Downe had joined the newly formed Progressive Senate Group Nov. 14. His departure cause the Progressive group to fold just days after members of the now-defunct Senate Liberal Caucus had created it.

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Ontario high school teachers vote in favour of a strike




TORONTO – The union representing Ontario’s high school teachers says its members have voted 95 per cent in favour of a strike.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation says the result gives it an “overwhelming” mandate to take job action if necessary.

The union also represents education workers who voted 92 per cent in favour of taking strike action.

The OSSTF is already in a legal strike position as of today, though it’s also required to give five days’ notice before a strike and has not yet done so.

Three of Ontario’s four major teachers’ unions are taking steps toward potential strikes as they negotiate with the government for new contracts.

Elementary teachers are set to start a work-to-rule campaign on Nov. 26 that they say will target ministry and school board administrative tasks but won’t affect student learning.

Catholic teachers voted 97 per cent in favour of a strike if necessary, although they are not yet in a legal strike position, while negotiations between the province and French teachers continue.

The Canadian Press

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