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Alberta's vaccine passport gone, but border protesters plan to stay for long haul – CTV News

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COUTTS, ALTA. —
Alberta’s vaccine passport is gone but protesters are promising to hunker down for the long term on the highway leading to the province’s main U.S. border crossing.

Any thought that the announcement Tuesday by Premier Jason Kenney to scrap the public health measure at midnight and to remove most other rules in Alberta by March 1 would end the protest near Coutts, Alta., was quickly put to bed.

“We’re here for the big picture. It started with the border thing, it started with Trudeau and until Trudeau moves, we don’t move,” said John Vanreeuwyk, a feedlot operator from Coaldale, Alta.

Vanreeuwyk said he’s grateful for the steps that Kenney has taken but is angry that people still have to wear a mask.

“Overall it’s disappointing. Yeah, there was some good that come out of it but not even a 10 per cent.”

The protesters have closed and opened the lanes of Highway 4 on and off. RCMP said late Tuesday night the lanes were again closed due to the protest.

Those involved in the protest stood around burning barrels for warmth. Dozens of trucks, trailers and cars lined both sides of the highway. A generator provided electricity and spirits were high.

“We’ve got guys here — they’ve lost everything due to these mandates and they’re not giving up and they’re willing to stand their ground and keep going until this is done,” Vanreeuwyk said.

“The harder the politicians push the larger this is going to get.”

Demonstrators started a blockade at Coutts late last month in solidarity with similar events in Ottawa and countrywide to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates and broader public health measures.

The impasse has stranded travellers and cross-border truckers, compromised millions of dollars in trade and impeded access to basic goods and medical services for area residents.

A growing number of people continued to gather at a police checkpoint north of the village.

Garrett Buchanan drove 10 hours from High Prairie in northern Alberta to join the protest.

“It’s a good cause, everybody just wants to help. People are bringing fuel, food, free everything, anything to help the cause. It’s a really good movement,” Buchanan said.

He said he’s staying put until their demands are met.

“Yeah — until the mandates get dropped and if they can work on getting (Trudeau) out I’d stay longer for that too.”

About 50 trucks remain at the Coutts border crossing.

Coutts Mayor Jim Willett had hoped the provincial government would go further in its announcement and isn’t expecting things to return to normal in the near future.

“I’m a little anxious over what the reaction is going to be,” said Willett.

“Leaving masking until March 1 is not going to make anybody happy either — anybody in the protest group or in rural Alberta is probably not going to be happy about that.”

Willett said he will continue meeting with the truckers and hopes things remain civil.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2022

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‘McGregor-Mayweather rematch in the making’

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Los Angeles, United States of America (USA)- Fighthype.com has reported that Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are in discussions over holding a second bout.

Mayweather beat McGregor in their huge clash back in June 2017 but McGregor has hinted at a possible rematch in a post on his Instagram account.

The UFC superstar posted a cryptic post hinting at a second bout by sharing a picture of their 2017 clash and writing, “I accept.”

However, it’s uncertain as to whether a rematch between the pair would be another exhibition bout, or whether Mayweather would make it one more professional fight.

Meanwhile, YouTuber, Jake Paul, has repeatedly claimed that Mayweather still hasn’t paid him following last year’s exhibition bout. Their eight-round exhibition bout went to a draw as Mayweather was unable to knockout Paul, “Floyd Mayweather is broke. I have been saying it all the time. I think he probably spent it on the girls he pays to be around him. He’s hard to hit, but even harder to collect money from. Who should I fight next?”

However, Mayweather has since dismissed the accusations claiming that Paul has suggested that the pair should have a second exhibition bout.

“This is the guy who said he didn’t get paid, which we know is truly false, which is why I don’t entertain the bull*** a lot of the time. We know he got paid and if he didn’t get paid he wouldn’t be trying to get another payday. It is so crazy that Logan Paul wants to do an exhibition again but it is the same guy that said he didn’t get paid. It is what it is,” said Mayweather.

Mayweather was expected to earn US$64 million from the fight, with Logan receiving US$18.5 million of the purse.

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G7: Canada to elevate small Commonwealth nations' concerns – CTV News

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KIGALI, Rwanda –

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday without a consensus from the Commonwealth to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but with a chorus of countries calling for help to overcome the fallout of the war.

Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly arrived in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, on Wednesday for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, which has been dominated by the concerns of nations that are suffering from food scarcity. Trudeau departed for the G7 talk slater in the day.

In the final communique from the Commonwealth summit, the 54 participating countries said they discussed the conflict in Ukraine, ” underscored the need to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states,” and ” emphasized that all countries must seek peaceful resolution to all disputes in accordance with international law.”

The countries stopped short of condemning Russia, as Trudeau and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson have done throughout the summit.

“I can assure you that the topic of standing up for Ukraine was much discussed,” Trudeau said at a press conference following the conclusion of the summit, referencing “strong language” in the communique.

Most Commonwealth Nations condemned Russia’s actions at a United Nations vote in March, but 10 abstained. Among them was India, whose Prime Minister Narendra Modi opted not to attend the Commonwealth summit and instead spoke virtually with the leaders of Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa.

Trudeau said Russian President Vladimir Putin has run a disinformation campaign and has even been “telling outright lies,” including blaming the food security crisis on Western sanctions against Russia.

He said food shortage stems from Russia’s illegal actions, including blockade at key ports, as well as the deliberate targeting of Ukrainian grain storage facilities through cruise missile strikes.

“I was very clear with our friends and partners around the table, and not just clear on Russia’s responsibility, but on how Canada and the West are stepping up,” Trudeau said.

Canada will be raising the growing threat of famine at the G7 in Schloss Elmau Germany, Joly said.

She said Canada was in “listening mode” at the Commonwealth meetings, where leaders of smaller nations were able to speak without the dominating presence of the United States, Russia and China.

“What is clear to us is that Russia is weaponizing food and putting a toll on many countries around the world, and putting 50 million lives at risk,” Joly told reporters Friday in Rwanda.

Trudeau had attempted to meet with the chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, for several days during the Commonwealth summit but the sit-down was repeatedly postponed and eventually cancelled.

Shortly after Trudeau arrived in Rwanda, the government announced Canada would dedicate a new ambassador to the African Union, which has suffered from the food shortages inflicted on the continent as a result of the warin Ukraine.

Both Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Putin have met with representatives of the African Union, with Russia blaming sanctions against its government for stopping the flow of grain.

At the conclusion of the Commonwealth summit, Trudeau announced $94 million in funding for various education initiatives and $120 million to support gender equality and women’s rights in Commonwealth countries.

Some of the other voices the prime minister has promised to centre at his international meetings, including the G7 summit,

belong to youth leaders who spoke at a Saturday-morning event focused on issues facing young people around the world.

Some of the delegates spoke about the devastating effects of climate change, particularly around remote island nations where infrastructure cannot withstand natural disasters and rebuilding efforts take years. The onslaught takes a toll on education and health services, one delegate told the forum.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2022.

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New federal task force to review Canada’s immigration, passport delays – Global News

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The federal government has created a special task force to help tackle the major delays with immigration applications and passport processing that have left Canadians frustrated.

In a statement announcing the new task force, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government knows the delays are unacceptable, and will continue to do everything it can to improve the delivery of the services in an efficient and timely manner.

Read more:

Passport renewal wait times now online as Ottawa looks to address long lineups

Trudeau said the new task force will help guide the government to better meet the changing needs of Canadians, and continue to provide them with the high-quality services they need and deserve.

Ten cabinet members will spearhead the new committee, which will review how services are delivered, and identify gaps and areas for improvement.


Click to play video: 'New passport wait-time estimator shows system backlog'



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New passport wait-time estimator shows system backlog


New passport wait-time estimator shows system backlog – Jun 15, 2022

The committee will be expected to make recommendations outlining short- and longer-term solutions that would reduce wait times, clear out backlogs, and improve the overall quality of services provided.

Read more:

Canadian passport delays are frustrating travellers. What’s the fix?

In addition, the task force will monitor external issues, such as labour shortages around the world, which contribute to travel delays at home and abroad.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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