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Kenney calls for calm at Alberta border blockade after some protesters breach police barriers –



Officials are calling for cooler heads to prevail after a trucker blockade — which began Saturday at the Canada-U.S. border in southern Alberta — grew violent Tuesday.

Premier Jason Kenney has called on protesters to end their demonstration after police said some protesters breached police barriers to join the demonstration. Later, a head-on collision occurred, resulting in an assault, police said. 

“This kind of conduct is totally unacceptable,” Kenney said during a news conference in Edmonton. “Without hesitation, I condemn those actions and I call for calm.”

The protest of trucks lined up in front of the border checkpoint, the primary conduit for the approximately $6 billion in trade between Alberta and the United States, has halted all traffic at this point of Highway 4 since Saturday.

The demonstration is tied to an ongoing, nationwide protest over federal rules for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated truckers entering Canada from the U.S. The rules took effect last month.

The latest events occurred after Mounties announced earlier Tuesday that they would be clearing the roadblock outside the border crossing in Coutts, Alta., a village about 300 kilometres southeast of Calgary.

Police then set up a checkpoint about 20 kilometres to the north of Coutts, in the town of Milk River, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Curtis Peters told reporters Tuesday evening.

As teams of officers approached truck cabs, a handful of drivers began slowly peeling off and driving away, Peters said.

Law enforcement, centre, prepares to approach a line of vehicles blocking a Canada-U.S. border crossing in Alberta on Tuesday afternoon. (David Rae/CBC)

At the same time, north of Coutts, other protesters breached an RCMP roadblock on Highway 4 and joined the blockade, driving through the ditch and south toward the border in the northbound lane at high speed, Peters said.

Meanwhile, several trucks driving north, away from the border, were also driving in the same lane in the opposite direction. A head-on crash happened at that time, which resulted in an assault, police said.

At that point, RCMP said they decided to pull back.

No arrests were made but the RCMP say they intend to “restore the movement of goods and vehicles on the road, but not at the risk of public safety,” Peters said.

Police say the details of the collision and the assault are still under investigation.

Enforcement delayed

Kenney called for people to stay away from the area while the RCMP carry out their action against the blockade.

He said the about 100 individuals are preventing thousands of truckers from doing their job of delivering food, goods and medicine to Albertans and Canadians, emphasizing that blocking a key piece of infrastructure is against the law.

Although it is unclear what that enforcement will entail, RCMP said in a press release that it is unlawful to wilfully obstruct the highway citing Alberta’s Critical Infrastructure Defence Act.

Three protest trucks approach Alberta Sherriff vehicles Sunday at a police checkpoint in Milk River, Alta., 20 kilometres north of the blocked Coutts border crossing into Montana. (Evelyne Asselin / CBC)

“Those participating in a blockade can also expect enforcement of any contraventions of the Criminal Code of Canada, the Traffic Safety Act and Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulations at this location and area roadways.”

The RCMP said the blockade has impeded the ability for emergency agencies to provide full services to Coutts residents.

Peters told the Calgary Eyeopener on Tuesday morning that the force had brought in additional resources in case arrests or the towing of vehicles became necessary.

“We’ll use them if we need to,” Peters said.

It has clogged the border crossing that is an entry point for a wide variety of goods, from foodstuffs to animal feed to farm equipment, and left some truckers stranded in the traffic gridlock.

On Monday, RCMP were able to free 40 or 50 vehicles that Peters described as “victims kind of caught in the mix of this.”

“That was one of the objectives for yesterday, to get them freed,” Peters said.

WATCH | Police move in clear Alberta border blockade: 

RCMP move in on Alberta blockade

10 hours ago

Duration 0:36

RCMP officers approached the blockade in Coutts, Alta., to clear the border between Canada and the U.S. 0:36

As the situation drags on, and at a standstill, Peters said that safety of persons — including police, those living in the community of Coutts and the media — is the first priority for RCMP.

Rebecca Purdy with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said in an emailed statement that travellers are being advised to use other crossings into the United States.

She said that no traffic is being blocked from coming into Canada at other ports of entry — and the CBSA “is ready to respond, with police of local jurisdiction if necessary, to any events impeding operations at ports of entry.”

“It is an offence under the Customs Act to hinder the ability of a border services officer to conduct their work,” Purdy said.

The blockade violates the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, Kenney said, and he also cited the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act as being among the tools available to the police and prosecutors.

But Kenney has said it’s up to local authorities to enforce provincial legislation, which allows for additional penalties against protesters blockading highways and other infrastructure.

In a statement posted to social media on Monday, the UCP’s acting justice minister Sonya Savage wrote that questions about the Coutts border blockade are best answered by RCMP and local law enforcement.

“Operational enforcement decisions are the responsibility of police services, and enforcement at the border crossing itself is in part a federal responsibility,” Savage’s tweets read in part.

At a press conference Tuesday, the province’s Official Opposition, the NDP, also called on the UCP to act.

The NDP asked that the government seek an immediate court injunction to clear the blockade.

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‘McGregor-Mayweather rematch in the making’



Los Angeles, United States of America (USA)- 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



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



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'

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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