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Enterprise Canada pushes back against Nazi flag claim made by convoy lawyer

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The strategic communications firm Enterprise Canada is pushing back against what it says are “irresponsible and reckless” statements made by Brendan Miller — a lawyer representing convoy protest organizers at the Emergencies Act inquiry — about one of the firm’s employees.

On Monday, Miller suggested — citing no evidence — that Brian Fox, a partner at Enterprise, carried a Nazi flag in the thick of the protest crowd in Ottawa last winter so that photos would be taken and the protesters would be discredited.

Enterprise President Jason Lietaer told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics that Fox is getting death threats due to Miller’s “unhinged allegation.”

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Lietaer told guest host David Cochrane. “It’s having real impacts, I mean the threats … it’s got to stop.”

 

Enterprise Canada says convoy lawyer’s allegations are ‘highly defamatory’

 

Jason Lietaer, president at Enterprise Canada, said lawyer Brendan Miller’s comments are “false, they’re defamatory and they’ve got to stop.”

In a letter addressed to Miller Tuesday, Enterprise’s counsel Jeff Galway said Fox was not in Ottawa during the protests earlier this year, and that he recalled last visiting the city in 2019.

The letter also notes that Fox is a longstanding member of the Conservative Party. Miller’s line of questioning at the inquiry attempted to tie Enterprise to the Liberal Party.

Galway then demands Miller cease and desist and correct the record.

“A formal libel notice is forthcoming,” the letter reads.

On Tuesday, Miller doubled down, saying he isn’t worried about any legal action Enterprise might take.

“Guess what? Truth is a full defence,” Miller told reporters. Miller claimed that he has a witness who can identify Fox as the man with the Nazi flag.

But Lietaer said the firm has proof — in the form of receipts and eyewitnesses — that Fox was in Toronto during the protests.

“You can’t fall for this kind of a hoax. It is patently false and we’ve got to fight back on this kind of stuff,” Lieater said.

Miller temporarily kicked out of inquiry

On Monday, Commissioner Paul Rouleau chided Miller for suggesting that CSIS Director David Vigneault knew Fox was the man with the Nazi flag. Rouleau said the comment was “not a fair statement.”

Following another tense exchange Tuesday morning, Rouleau had Miller ejected from the hearing room.

The Public Order Emergency Commission was hearing testimony Tuesday from Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino. As Rouleau was about to announce the usual mid-morning break, Miller interrupted to say he’d been speaking with Alexander Cohen, Mendicino’s director of communications, who Miller said was in the hearing room.

“He has very relevant evidence with respect to the inquiry, as to the circumstances, as to the invocation of the Emergencies Act,” Miller said.

Miller claimed Cohen has unheard evidence regarding “misinformation” about a text message exchange that was key “in building the narrative with respect to the protesters in Ottawa being extremists,” including some having “Nazi symbolism.”

Commissioner Paul Rouleau speaks with Freedom Corp. counsel Brendan Miller before asking security to remove the lawyer on Tuesday. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Rouleau calls security

Miller then asked Rouleau to allow Cohen, who is not on the commission’s list of witnesses, to testify after Mendicino.

“I’m not going to do this orally right now,” Rouleau replied

“Well sir, we’re given 15 minutes to cross-examine, to elicit relative material evidence, and we have relevant and material witnesses here. The Government of Canada has redacted without lawful authority all of these statements from these staffers, and has suppressed records,” a visibly frustrated Miller argued.

Rouleau replied that the commission had a schedule to stick to, and asked Miller to come to an agreement with commission counsel during the break

“Sir, the schedule’s not as important as getting at the truth,” Miller shot back.

“There’s no question we want to get at the truth, but you know what, it’s a very complex issue and it’s not all about what you want,” Rouleau said.

After the break, Rouleau advised Miller that any application to add a witness must be done in writing. The two had a brief exchange before Rouleau called for another pause.

“I will return in five minutes, if security could deal with counsel,” he said.

Redacted documents

Miller then left the hearing room. Outside, he stopped to speak with reporters, where he again complained about some of the redacted documents presented as evidence before the commission.

“They have redacted these docs claiming they are irrelevant, or they are in fact subject to a cabinet confidence, despite the fact that the law is abundantly clear and undeniably clear that cabinet confidence does not apply to political staffers,” he said.

“The Government of Canada has continuously, and every day, dropped hundreds of docs on the parties, and the parties are frustrated. It is not just myself. They have tried to turn this entire proceeding into an inquiry about the failures of [former Ottawa police] chief Sloly as opposed to actually about the invocation of the Emergencies Act.”

Miller then walked away with convoy organizer Tamara Lich.

When hearings resumed, Rouleau told lawyer Keith Wilson, who also appeared as a witness before the commission, that counsel for the convoy organizers would have a chance to cross-examine Mendicino after the lunch break.

Miller was later allowed to return to the hearing room, and just before 4 p.m. began cross-examining Mendicino. Before he began, he offered Rouleau a brief apology.

“Just before I start, I apologize for talking over you earlier today,” Miller said.

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LCBO has bright future, Premier Ford says as two-week-long strike comes to an end

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TORONTO – Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he believes the province’s main liquor retailer has a bright future as thousands of workers returned to work Monday after a two-week strike.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario says stores will be open for business on Tuesday.

Ford says he has great confidence in the LCBO’s future, despite concerns raised by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union during the strike.

The union representing the LCBO workers had said it believed Ford’s plan to expand alcohol sales to convenience and grocery stores would threaten union jobs and the public revenue the LCBO provides to the province.

Ford sped up those plans after the strike began on July 5, allowing grocery stores already licensed to sell beer and wine to also sell ready-to-drink cocktail beverages as of Thursday last week.

The union ratified the proposed deal over the weekend.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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Tesla Increases Model S and Model X Prices Amid Slumping Sales

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Luxury goods tax on super-rich could hit green cars: experts

PALO ALTO, California — In a surprising move, Tesla has increased the prices of its Model S and Model X vehicles by $2,000, despite a significant decline in sales.

The price hike comes at a time when Tesla’s Model S and Model X sales are estimated to have dropped by 31-37% year-over-year. The electric car manufacturer does not disclose individual sales figures for its models, instead bundling all Model S, Model X, Cybertruck, and Tesla Semi deliveries together, making it challenging to assess the performance of each model. Based on delivery estimates for the Cybertruck and Tesla Semi, analysts place the sales of the Model S and Model X at around 12,000-13,000 units for the last quarter.

New Pricing Structure

The updated prices for Tesla’s premium electric vehicles are as follows:

  • Model S Long Range: $74,990
  • Model S Plaid: $89,990
  • Model X Long Range: $79,990
  • Model X Plaid: $94,990

Despite the overall price increase, Tesla has strategically kept the Model X Long Range price under the $80,000 threshold, ensuring it remains eligible for the federal tax credit. This move appears aimed at maintaining the model’s competitiveness by leveraging the federal incentive.

The price increase could be interpreted as a response to rising production costs or an attempt to maintain premium brand positioning amidst declining sales figures. However, this strategy carries risks, particularly if potential buyers are sensitive to price changes.

Industry observers are divided on the potential impact of this pricing strategy. Some believe the increase could alienate price-sensitive customers, further exacerbating the sales decline. Others argue that the price adjustment might be offset by improvements in production efficiency or upcoming enhancements to the models.

Tesla’s decision not to break down sales by individual models has drawn criticism, as it obscures the performance of each vehicle line. This lack of transparency makes it difficult for investors and industry analysts to gauge the health of Tesla’s product lineup accurately.

As Tesla navigates these turbulent times, the recent price increase of its Model S and Model X vehicles raises questions about the company’s broader strategy and market positioning. While the long-term effects of this decision remain to be seen, it is clear that Tesla is taking bold steps in response to the evolving automotive market landscape.

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S&P/TSX composite index up over 100 points Monday morning, U.S. markets also rise

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TORONTO – Gains in the financial and industrial sectors led Canada’s main stock index higher in late-morning trading on Monday, while U.S. stock markets also rose.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 126.25 points at 22,816.64.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 88.24 points at 40,375.77. The S&P 500 index was up 39.17 points at 5,544.17, while the Nasdaq composite was up 168.11 points at 17,895.05.

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.70 cents US compared with 72.85 cents US on Friday.

The September crude oil contract was down 24 cents at US$78.40 per barrel and the August natural gas contract was up 10 cents at US$2.26 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract was down US$8.70 at US$2,390.40an ounce and the September copper contract was down six cents at US$4.18 a pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD)

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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