Five stories in the news for Friday, June 7
TRUDEAU CONCLUDING HIS TRIP TO FRANCE TODAY
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is concluding his trip to France today, where he took part in marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Thousands of Canadians joined him Thursday on Juno Beach to commemorate one of the most pivotal days of the Second World War. Two ceremonies were held, the first of which was an entirely Canadian production while the second included representatives from more than a dozen countries that played parts on D-Day. Trudeau will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron this morning before he participates in a roundtable discussion with business leaders. The prime minister will depart for Ottawa in the evening.
DOCS DETAIL FEDS PUSH FOR CASH TO VIA RAIL PROJECT
Federal officials are pushing the Canadian Infrastructure Bank to back Via Rail’s high-frequency rail project. The government’s response to a written question from New Democrat Robert Aubin details the eight times between October and December 2018 that officials from the Finance Department met with the federal agency to make the business case on Via’s behalf. The rail company wants to build a multibillion-dollar new network of dedicated passenger-rail lines in Ontario and Quebec, so its trains would no longer have to yield to freight trains on borrowed tracks. The Finance Department told Aubin that a range of public-private models are still being assessed “with varying degrees of private sector investment.”
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT BILL PASSES SENATE
Legislation overhauling Canada’s assessment of major energy projects is back in the hands of Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, albeit looking a lot different than when she introduced it. The Senate passed the Impact Assessment Act late Thursday with more than 180 amendments. The changes take power away from the environment minister to intervene in or slow the assessment process, reduces the ability for legal challenges of project approvals and adds more emphasis on economic considerations when deciding whether to go ahead with a particular project. The government now has to decide which of those amendments it will accept as it tries to fulfil a 2015 campaign promise to fix Conservative-era assessment legislation the Liberals say created a broken system that blocked public participation and negated environmental concerns.
INUIT RELEASE CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION PLAN
The group that represents Canada’s Inuit says climate change can’t be considered separately from other problems northerners face. In a climate plan to be released today, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami says adaptations have to address everything from housing to diesel-powered generators to food insecurity. The group’s president, Natan Obed says Inuit are living in the world’s most rapidly warming region and need a plan developed in the North. Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is expected to join Obed for the plan’s release in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. She agrees climate adaptation in the North has to address a lot more than melting sea ice.
KAYAKERS EXPLORE B.C.’S SPANISH ROUTES
A B.C. couple is setting off on a month-long West Coast hiking and kayaking expedition that retraces the passage Spanish explorers took in the late 1700s. Jacqueline Windh, a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, says the journey will take her and her husband to what are now virtually uninhabited outer coastal areas of Vancouver Island. She says most Canadians know about Canada’s British and French colonial history, but the Spanish connections aren’t as well-known even though many West Coast islands, communities and waterways bear Spanish names. Windh says Spanish ships arrived on Vancouver Island’s outer coastal areas before the British.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— SNC-Lavalin chooses whether it wants a jury or a judge alone at the company’s criminal trial.
— Statistics Canada releases its labour force survey for May.
— Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will hold a news conference today in Toronto with her Cuban counterpart Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla.
— Premier Jason Kenney will provide an update today in Calgary on Alberta’s Energy War Room and discusses his recent meeting with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.
— Winnipeg city Coun. Russ Wyatt, who is charged sexual assault, is expected to appear in court.
The Canadian Press