Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden by phone Friday — the first opportunity for the two leaders to chart a fresh course for the Canada-U.S. relationship after four tumultuous years with Donald Trump.
The 30-minute phone call — Biden’s first with a foreign leader as president — was warm, friendly and collegial, according to a senior government official who spoke confidentially to CBC News because they were not authorized to speak in public about the matter.
“Many of the priorities are aligned. He’s got a good rapport with us and wants to work with us, as we do with him,” the official said.
The relationship between the two countries is widely expected to improve with Biden in the Oval Office as he and the Democratic Party share a number of political values with Trudeau and the Liberals.
According to a readout of the call from the Prime Minister’s Office, the two leaders found common ground on such issues as the COVID-19 response, economic recovery, climate change, continental security, working with Indigenous peoples and international relations. The two leaders agreed to meet again next month, the readout said, although it didn’t specify whether that meant in-person or virtually.
Trudeau expressed his disappointment with Biden’s early move to effectively cancel the Keystone XL pipeline by revoking its permit. The official said Biden acknowledged the hardship the decision would create in Canada — but defended his decision by saying he was making good on a campaign promise and restoring a decision made by the former Obama administration.
The idea of retaliatory sanctions against the U.S. — something Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has been calling for — didn’t come up during the conversation, said the official.
In a sign that Biden intends to restore close relations between the three North American economies, Biden spoke to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday in his second call with a foreign leader. Those relationships were strained under Trump, who forced a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and imposed tariffs on both Canada and Mexico at various points.
Trudeau and Biden also discussed another potential area of conflict between the two countries: Biden’s commitment to including ‘Buy American’ provisions that privilege U.S. companies in future infrastructure spending plans.
The official said Biden acknowledged the deep supply chain connections between the Canadian and the U.S. economies and assured Trudeau that Canadian officials would be consulted as the policy is developed — but not that Canada would necessarily be happy with the outcome.
“Reflecting on the extraordinary and deeply interconnected economic relationship between the two countries, and with a view to promoting and protecting it, the Prime Minister and President agreed to consult closely to avoid measures that may constrain bilateral trade, supply chains, and economic growth,’ the PMO readout said.
WATCH | Can Trudeau convince Biden to reverse course on Keystone XL?
Pipeline decisions sets dangerous precedent, premiers say
The phone call came a day after Trudeau held a call with provincial and territorial premiers, several of whom pressured the PM to push back against what they called a dangerous precedent on the Keystone decision. Kenney, Ontario’s Doug Ford, Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe and Quebec’s François Legault all pressed the prime minister to take action to save Keystone.
The details of that meeting were first reported by Global News and confirmed by CBC News.
In a letter sent to Trudeau today, Kenney called for economic retaliation against the U.S. or compensation for TC Energy and the province for the loss of billions of dollars.
“By retroactively revoking the presidential permit for this project without taking the time to discuss it with their longest standing ally, the United States is setting a deeply disturbing precedent for any future projects and collaboration between our two nations,” the letter reads.
“The fact that it was a campaign promise makes it no less offensive. Our country has never surrendered our vital economic interests because a foreign government campaigned against them.”
Moe said cancelling the project would endanger North American energy security, kill jobs on both sides of the border and scare investors away from energy projects.
“It is an important piece of infrastructure and cancelling it retroactively … does have implications on the investment environment as we move forward,” Moe told CBC’s Power and Politics.
WATCH |’Sanctions are always on the table’: Premier Scott Moe
Canadian proponents of the project have argued that Canada has strong environmental regulations governing the extraction of crude oil, and that the project is much more environmentally-friendly today than it was five years ago when Obama blocked it.
On Monday, after news emerged of Biden’s plans to scuttle the pipeline, Keystone XL owner TC Energy announced it would ensure the project achieved net zero emissions upon its launch in 2023. The company added it would be fully powered by renewable energy sources no later than 2030.
In an interview airing on CBC Radio’s The House on Saturday, Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman said she did everything she could to make the case for the pipeline to Biden’s team.
“I personally worked hard over the last several months with Alberta, with the industry, with colleagues and in Ottawa to make the case for the Keystone XL project with the incoming Biden team, the transition team and their advisers,” Hillman told host Chris Hall.
“My view is that the decision of the Biden team is a final decision.”
WATCH |Trade war with the U.S. not in the interest of Alberta and Saskatchewan, says parliamentary secretary
Trudeau could try to extract concessions from Biden on other Canadian priorities in compensation for the domestic political punishment he’ll endure if the pipeline isn’t built, said former Liberal cabinet minister John Manley.
“If I were in his shoes, I would say, ‘Joe, I really need your help to get those two Canadians out of China,'” Manley told CBC’s Power & Politics. He was referring to Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the Canadians imprisoned by China in December 2019 following Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on U.S. extradition charges.
Manley said another potential concession could come in the form of an exemption for Canada from any ‘Buy America’ legislation passed by Congress.
While you were sleeping: How Canada performed at Tokyo Olympics Friday, Saturday – Global News
Canada won its latest swimming medal at the Tokyo Olympics Saturday, while athletes managed to advance to future rounds in multiple track and field events.
Here’s what you may have missed from the day’s events.
Kylie Masse won her second silver medal of the Tokyo Games in the women’s 200-metre backstroke, adding to her medal in the 100-metre backstroke.
Taylor Ruck, also swimming for Canada in the backstroke, managed a sixth-place finish.
On the men’s side, Brent Hayden tied for fourth in the 50-metre freestyle semifinal with Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov — and tied his personal best time — but it wasn’t enough to the final.
Sage Watson made it through to Monday’s semifinal of the women’s 400-metre hurdles after finishing fourth in her heat. Noelle Montcalm wasn’t so lucky, placing sixth, although she managed a new season best performance.
Marco Arop won his heat in the men’s 800-metres, sending him to the semifinals on Sunday. Brandon McBride won’t join him after finishing sixth in his heat.
Defending bronze medal winner Andre De Grasse finished first in his 100-metre heat, clocking a season best time of 9.91 to qualify for the semifinals.
Fellow Canadians Gavin Smellie and Bismark Boateng failed to qualify for the semifinal, however, after both finishing eighth in their respective heats.
Meanwhile, sprinters Crystal Emmanuel and Khamica Bingham were unable to qualify for the women’s 100-metre final. Bingham finished fifth with a time of 11.22 in the first semi-final, while Emmanuel came in sixth place in the second semi-final, with a time of 11.21.
Jennifer Abel finished third in the women’s three-metre springboard semifinal, guaranteeing her a spot in the final on Sunday. Abel will be seeking her first medal in the event after finishing fourth at the 2016 Games in Rio.
Pamela Ware, who had been ranking just behind Abel in the first four rounds of the semifinal, fell to 18th place after failing her fifth dive and did not qualify for the final.
The women’s team defeated Kenya 24-10 in its final match of the Games, securing a ninth-place finish in the overall rankings.
Women leading Team Canada at Tokyo Olympics
The team of Amelie Kretz, Matthew Sharpe, Joanna Brown and Alexis Lepage managed a 15th-place finish in the mixed triathlon, nearly three-and-a-half minutes behind gold medallists Great Britain.
Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Conners both bumped themselves up to a tied 17th-place finish after the third round of play, which started for both men at the 10th hole.
Hughes finished with a score of 65, while Conners scored 66.
Tom Ramshaw managed a second-place finish in the day’s first race of the men’s one-person heavyweight finn dinghy event, later placing ninth in the second race. He’ll sail his final two races on Sunday.
The men’s 49er skiff team of William Jones and Evan DePaul placed 13th in their first race of the day, 18th in the second and PLACE in the third, ending their run at the Games.
Alexandra Ten Hove and Mariah Millen’s final three races in the women’s 49er FX skiff event saw the team place 13h in the first and 17th in the second and third.
Tammara Thibeault lost all five of her rounds in the women’s middleweight quarterfinal to Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands, ending her run at the Games.
Crispin Duenas was defeated by Germany’s Florian Unruh 6-2 in the men’s individual elimination round — the last round of play before the quarterfinal.
Colleen Loach and her horse Qorry Blue D’Argouges finished 42nd in third session of the team and individual dressage event.
Broady Robert Santavy finished fourth in the men’s 96-kilogram weight class, narrowly missing out on Canada’s second weightlifting medal after Maude Charron took home gold in the women’s 64-kilogram competition Tuesday.
— with files from Global News’ Saba Aziz
Tokyo Olympics: Canada wins gold medal in women’s eight rowing
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
How can Canada avoid a fourth wave of COVID-19? Doctors weigh in – CTV News
After federal COVID-19 modelling showed that the fall could bring about yet another surge in COVID-19 cases with the Delta variant spreading rapidly, doctors say that the best way to avoid a fourth wave is to vaccinate, test, trace and isolate.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, released modelling on Friday that indicates cases are beginning to rise as a result of the more contagious Delta variant, but there is still time to flatten the curve.
“There’s no summer vacation for getting second doses and first doses, because we don’t have that leeway,” Dr. Lisa Barrett told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
She added that people who are delayed in getting their shots, first or second, need to make an effort to get it as soon as possible.
“Before we get into all of these back to school and other situations in a respiratory virus season like the fall, we’ve got to keep going,” she said.
While breakthrough cases have happened among vaccinated people, they remain rare and vaccines remain the best defense against COVID-19.
”It very much is that these vaccines are amazing, and the cornerstone of our prevention toolbox, and our control,” said Barrett. “The limiting of virus really, really depends on people getting two doses of this vaccine.”
There are other steps Canadians can take to continue protecting themselves, vaccinated or not, and they’re no different than what’s been urged since early on in the pandemic: masking and testing.
“There’s some simple tools out there, in addition to vaccines, like masking and testing, that would reduce the risk of this being a disease of the unvaccinated,” Barrett said.
While the modelling shows the potential for a fourth wave in the fall, an infectious disease specialist said that models are only as good as the variables put into them, but that the possibility of another surge is possible.
“It’s possible that we could have a sort of fourth wave. I would guess that it could be a muted fourth wave, because unlike previous waves, we do have vaccinated people,” Dr. Ronald St. John, former director-general of the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
While provinces begin to loosen restrictions, or in some cases do away with them altogether, one doctor says that it’s the unvaccinated population who will be hit hardest by a fourth wave.
“The fourth wave is certainly going to affect those who are unvaccinated, but I think what we really need to start looking at are, who are these unvaccinated populations?” Dr. Veronica McKinney, director of Northern Medical Services at the University of Saskatchewan, told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
She said that unvaccinated populations need to be identified in order for doctors and experts can work with them, so that they can be comfortable getting vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
“The way that it’s been portrayed is that it’s an individual choice and that people are just being resistant but I really believe that now is the time to look at what are the pieces that have led to this in the system?” she said.
Policies need to change to encourage people to get vaccinated, but also to take time off in the event they do get sick, added McKinney.
“We need to look at those policies that are making it difficult, those people who don’t get sick time, who don’t want to be tested because they don’t want to be off work but also not necessarily trusting what is being presented,” she added.
Even with getting more shots in arms, McKinney said that provinces such as Saskatchewan and Alberta have lifted public health measures necessary to test, trace and isolate in a way to prevent a fourth wave.
“Part of the challenges that our communities are now dealing with is the fact that there are no longer public health orders that we can use to try to help in terms of keeping people isolated if they need be, testing, all of those pieces that were very helpful, but are no longer existent [Saskatchewan],” she said.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday – CBC.ca
- 2 travellers arriving in Toronto from U.S. fined $20K each for fake vaccination documents.
- Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email: COVID@cbc.ca
In Europe, thousands of people protested France’s special virus pass by marching through Paris and other cities on Saturday. Most demonstrations were peaceful, but some protesters in Paris clashed with riot police, who fired tear gas.
Some 3,000 security forces deployed around the French capital for a third weekend of protests against the pass, which will be needed soon to enter restaurants and other places. Police took up posts along the city’s Champs-Élysées to guard against an invasion of the famed avenue.
With virus infections spiking and hospitalizations rising, French lawmakers have passed a bill requiring the pass in most places as of Aug. 9. Polls show a majority of French support the pass, but some are adamantly opposed. The pass requires a vaccination or a quick negative test or proof of a recent recovery from COVID-19 and mandates vaccine shots for all health-care workers by mid-September.
Tensions flared in front of the famed Moulin Rouge nightclub in northern Paris during what appeared to be the largest demonstration. Lines of police faced down protesters in up-close confrontations during the march. Police used their fists on several occasions.
As marchers headed eastward and some pelted officers with objects, police fired tear gas into the crowds, plumes of smoke filling the sky. A male protester was seen with a bleeding head, and a police officer was carried away by colleagues. Three officers were injured, the French media quoted police as saying. Police, again responding to rowdy crowds, also turned a water cannon on protesters as the march ended at the Bastille.
A calmer march was led by the former top lieutenant of far-right leader Marine Le Pen who left to form his own small anti-European Union party. But Florian Philippot’s new cause, against the virus pass, seems far more popular. His contingent of hundreds marched on Saturday to the Health Ministry.
Among those not present this week was François Asselineau, leader of another tiny anti-EU party, the Popular Republican Union, and an ardent campaigner against the health pass, who came down with COVID-19. In a video on his party’s website, Asselineau, who was not hospitalized, called on people to denounce the “absurd, unjust and totally liberty-killing” health pass.
French authorities are implementing the health pass because the highly contagious delta variant is making strong inroads. More than 24,000 new daily cases were confirmed Friday night — compared with just a few thousand cases a day at the start of the month.
The government announcement that the health pass would take effect on Aug. 9 has driven many unvaccinated French to sign up for inoculations so their social lives won’t get shut down during the summer holiday season. Vaccinations are now available at a wide variety of places, including some beaches. More than 52 per cent of the French population has been vaccinated.
About 112,000 people have died of the virus in France since the start of the pandemic.
What’s happening in Canada
- COVID-19 modelling group sounds alarm over Alberta’s case trajectory.
- The end of an order: A timeline from N.B.’s first COVID case to life in green.
What’s happening around the world
As of Saturday, more than 197.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 4.2 million deaths had been reported.
In Asia, the number of COVID-19 cases reported in Tokyo reached a daily record 4,058 at the mid-point of the Olympics, according to city hall on Saturday.
In Africa, health officials say cases have risen sharply in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and elsewhere in the continent’s West amid low vaccination rates and delta variant spread.
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