Manchester: Former captain Waqar Younis believes the current Indian team intimidates Pakistan, who are always under pressure ahead of big-ticket clashes against the arch-rivals. Pakistan suffered their seventh defeat to India in the World Cup, going down by 89 runs via D/L method here on Sunday and Younis said the defeat exposed the “massive difference” between the two sides. “In the last few years, there’s been a massive difference between India and Pakistan – and again it showed at Old Trafford on Sunday,” Younis wrote in a column for the ICC. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ Medvedev”Pakistan are still trying to rely on talent alone, while with India it’s all about teamwork. They all know their roles, and they execute them superbly. “We had good sides in the 1990s, but now I think this India team intimidates Pakistan. When Pakistan teams head into these games, they are always under pressure and feel like they’re the weaker team,” former Pakistan captain added. Younis said Pakistan have to improve their fitness to challenge India. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’ships”Culture needs to change first, and then the fitness level needs to match the Indian players,” he said. Sarfaraz has drawn flak for electing to bowl after winning the toss and Younis too slammed the Pakistan skipper and said it is their bowling which let the team down at Old Trafford. “Of course, Sarfaraz got it wrong at the toss; especially when you’re playing two spinners and you decide to bowl first,” he wrote. “More than that though, I feel that they got it wrong with the ball in hand. They struggled to put the ball in good areas on a regular basis, and it was easy pickings for the Indian batsmen. “India have very classy batsmen, let’s not forget. They wait for the bad ball, and didn’t have to do much against the Pakistan attack given the inconsistency in the length. Mohammad Amir was the only one who created a bit of pressure by bowling a good length.” Younis, a pace legend himself, however, pointed out the lack of genuine fast bowlers in the Pakistan bowling unit and called for the inclusion of young pacer Mohammad Hasnain in the playing XI.
Panaji: The four new ministers inducted into the Goa cabinet would be allotted portfolios on Monday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said.Chandrakant Kavlekar, who was earlier leader of the opposition, would be designated as deputy chief minister, Sawant told reporters here on Sunday, but refused to divulge any further details. Days after 10 Congress MLAs in Goa joined the BJP, Sawant on Saturday reshuffled his cabinet, dropping three members of the ally Goa Forward Party (GFP) and an Independent legislator as ministers. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!Michael Lobo, who resigned as deputy speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly, and three of the 10 MLAs who joined the BJP — Chandrakant Kavlekar, Jeniffer Monserratte, Philip Neri Rodrigues — were sworn in as new ministers. The monsoon session of the state Assembly begins on Monday. Asked how the new ministers would handle questions in the House, Sawant said, “I will be there to help them.” Ten Congress MLAs last Wednesday joined the BJP, increasing the saffron party’s strength to 27 in the 40-member House. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedPrior to the swearing-in on Saturday, Sawant issued a notification, dropping all three GFP leaders — Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar, Rural Development Minister Jayesh Salgaonkar — and Independent MLA and Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte from the cabinet to accommodate the new members. Sardesai said the induction of 10 Congress MLAs into the BJP was the “death of the legacy” of late chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who was a towering figure in politics of the coastal state.
Hockenheim (Germany): Max Verstappen took full advantage of his rivals’ calamities on Sunday to win an epic, rain-lashed and wildly-spectacular German Grand Prix for Red Bull ahead of Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. The 21-year-old Dutchman secured his second win of the season and seventh of his career, finishing ahead of four-time world champion Vettel, who had started 20th and last on the grid. New dad Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso was third as he secured only his third Formula One podium. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe race was a disaster for champions Mercedes who were celebrating their 200th Formula One start of the modern era and 125 years of motorsport, both defending five-time champion Lewis Hamilton and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas crashed and failed to score any points. Hamilton eventually finished 11th after making six pit-stops as he missed out on a points finish for the first time in 23 races while Verstappen continued his rich streak of consistency. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterLance Stroll of Racing Point came home fourth to deliver his team’s best finish ahead of Carlos Sainz of McLaren, Alex Albon of Toro Rosso and Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo. Romain Grosjean was eighth for Haas ahead of Antionio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo and Kevin Magnussen who was 10th for Haas. “It was amazing, but really tricky out there,” said Verstappen, who made four pit-stops and survived a complete 360-degrees spin. “To make the right calls, you had to be focussed. We put on the slick tyres and we had a 360! But it was alright.” Vettel, for whom the result brought redemption after he had crashed out while leading in heavy rain last year, said: “It was a long race and at some stages if felt like it was never-ending. I am just very happy.” Kvyat confirmed that he became a father on Saturday night when his partner Kelly gave birth to a daughter. He said: “It is amazing to be back on the podium and incredible for Toro Rosso, after so many years.” After the record-breaking heat, the race began in steady rain with the field on full wet tyres behind a Safety Car through four formation laps before a standing start. The conditions did nothing to deter Hamilton who made a near-perfect start from his 87th pole position. The race distance was reduced to 64 laps as the spray rose high in plumes throughout the pack, Vettel romping forward from 20th to pass six cars in the first five corners. Leclerc, in the other Ferrari, rose to sixth from 10th on the opening lap. Hamilton led by two seconds from Bottas after lap one, Verstappen having made a poor start, as the field jostled for space and grip, Sergio Perez spinning backwards into the stadium entry wall and damaging his Racing Force. That required a Safety Car intervention for three laps, during which the leaders pitted for intermediates, before racing resumed. After 25, Verstappen pitted for medium compound slicks, a gamble by Red Bull. The Dutchman complained vigorously about his tyres before spinning at the final corner and recovering. Another Virtual Safety Car was then deployed briefly, as Hamilton pitted for softs from the lead, before Leclerc went off at Sachs Curve. The Monegasque screamed aloud as Vettel pitted, returning to ‘inters’, before Hamilton went off, snapping his front wing. The Englishman recovered, cutting across the circuit into the pit lane. He was repaired and fitted with ‘inters’ before re-joining fifth behind Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Bottas and Albon. Hamilton was given a five-second penalty for missing a bollard at the pits entry, but he was soon back to third behind the Dutchman and Bottas. Hulkenberg slid off at the final corner to instigate another Safety Car outing that heralded Verstappen, and Vettel, in 10th, pitting for fresh inters. Racing resumed on lap 46, Verstappen pulling clear before pitting for slicks, followed by Bottas, Sainz, Gasly and Albon. Hamilton led before he pitted on lap 47, leaving Stroll, who pitted for slicks under the Safety Car, to lead before Verstappen passed him. Hamilton fell to 12th, having taken his penalty. “How’s this gone so bad?” asked Hamilton. Mercedes’ nightmare was not over and their anniversary weekend ended with Bottas spinning at Turn One. Out came the Safety Car for a fourth time as Hamilton pitted again — leaving him to make a failed bid for a top ten finish.
TORONTO – Canada and its G7 partners are saying “enough is enough” to attacks by Russia and other authoritarian countries in their democratic institutions, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday.Freeland concluded talks with her G7 counterparts by affirming an organized effort to respond to foreign meddling and the spreading of false information — mainly by Russia. Exactly what that means is a work in progress, but Freeland said the ministers will give their leaders recommendations on how to respond in a forceful, co-ordinated manner when they meet in Charlevoix, Que. in June.There is a concern in the G7 countries that “authoritarian states are actively working to undermine the democratic systems in our countries and elsewhere,” she said.“Today we said, ‘Enough is enough.’”Freeland said there was unanimity among G7 ministers for a concerted effort to tackle Russian disinformation and meddling in the world’s democracies.While she and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson displayed enthusiasm for the G7 effort to take Russia to task for what they are calling a broad range of “malign” behaviour, their American counterpart sounded a less effusive note.U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan didn’t bother mentioning the initiative in his closing public remarks.Sullivan was pinch-hitting for U.S. President Donald Trump’s new pick for secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who faces strong opposition to his confirmation, and could not represent his country during the overlapping meeting of G7 foreign and interior ministers, which continues Tuesday.Sullivan opted instead to highlight the North Korea nuclear crisis in his closing summit remarks, following Pompeo’s secret mission to the Hermit Kingdom two weeks ago to pave the way for a Trump meeting with its leader, Kim Jong Un.Freeland pushed Russia to the top of a packed agenda that included North Korea, Iran, the ongoing Syrian crisis, and the Venezuela and Rohingya Muslim unrest.Russia is, of course, a politically charged issue for Trump, with special counsel Robert Mueller investigating allegations of possible collusion between Russia and the campaign that brought the president to power in 2016.The G7 ministers agreed in their Sunday discussion about the need to address the disruptive influence of Russia, including its interference in foreign elections and its dissemination of fake news.“What we decided … was that we were going to set up a G7 group that would look at Russian malign behaviour in all its manifestations, whether it’s cyberwar, whether it’s disinformation, assassination attempts, whatever it happens to be and collectively try and call it out,” Johnson said.“Russia is so unbelievably clever at kind of sowing doubt and confusion and spreading all this fake news and trying to muddy the waters. We think there’s a role for the G7 in just trying to provide some clarity.”Freeland said she and her fellow ministers talked about “democracy being under attack, and in particular about Russian efforts to destabilize some democracies.”Sullivan didn’t mention the Russia initiative in his summary of the talks or single out the Kremlin’s use disinformation, but he said the U.S. remains committed to the G7’s endeavour.He called on Russia to be a “constructive partner” in Syria, where it continues to back the regime of Bashar Assad. He blasted it for the chemical weapon attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in the British town of Salisbury. And he called on the Kremlin to give Crimea back to Ukraine and get out of its eastern region.Sullivan also said co-operation with Russia on a variety of topics is necessary, including fighting terrorism “but that will not prevent us from standing up and confronting and taking action against Russian behaviour that’s contrary to international norms and all that we stand for in the G7.”Afterwards, a senior State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, added additional comment: “The U.S. will support its allies to combat state sponsored disinformation from Russia and other countries. This remains a priority.”Freeland has framed the clash between democracy and authoritarianism as a defining theme of our time, with Russia as the West’s main foe on that front.She said all citizens in democratic countries, as well as their governments have a duty to be vigilant against the disruption. She said one of her fellow ministers “pointed out that making the case for democracy can be hard sometimes … because facts can be very boring” and don’t always lead to an interesting narrative.“Lurid conspiracy theories, on the other hand, are lurid, and exciting. Part of our job, I think, is a collective one of being aware of that fact.”
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t seem inclined to accept an NDP proposal aimed at ensuring only non-partisan individuals are appointed to be independent federal watchdogs — even though his first such appointment blew up in his face.The NDP is proposing to change parliamentary rules to require that a special multi-party committee — on which no single party has a majority — would have to give its stamp of approval to anyone nominated by the government to be an officer of Parliament.The proposal comes on the heels of controversy over Trudeau’s first pick to fill one of the watchdog roles — Madeleine Meilleur as official languages commissioner.Meilleur, a former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister who donated to both the federal Liberal party and Trudeau’s leadership campaign in the past, withdrew her candidacy last week after weeks of fierce criticism about her partisan allegiance to the government she was supposed to hold to account.Despite the furor, Trudeau is defending his new “merit-based” appointment process and is refusing to endorse the NDP proposal.At the same time, his government House leader, Bardish Chagger, is raising objections to the NDP plan.
MONTREAL – Nicole Gladu wants to die at home, surrounded by friends, with a glass of rose champagne in one hand and a canape of foie gras in the other.And now the former journalist and trade unionist, who is slowly being robbed of her ability to function because of complications from childhood polio, is fighting the Quebec and Canadian governments for that chance.“At age 71, I am concerned far more by the quality of my life than by its extension,” she told a news conference Wednesday.“What I am asking is respect for all those like me, who have been watching death in the face for a long time in a progressive, rather than spectacular fashion.”Gladu is one of two incurably ill Montrealers who are taking legal action to challenge the constitutionality of the Canadian and Quebec laws on assisted dying.She and Jean Truchon filed an action in Quebec Superior Court on Tuesday, arguing the eligibility requirements for physician-assisted death are too restrictive and violate their rights to the procedure.At the news conference alongside their lawyer, Jean-Pierre Menard, they explained they suffer from degenerative diseases but are not eligible for medical aid in dying because their deaths are not reasonably foreseeable and they are not at the end of their lives.They want the court to allow doctors to provide them with medical aid in dying and to invalidate the articles of the laws setting the criteria.Truchon, who was born with cerebral palsy, said he managed to live a fulfilling and independent life until 2012, when he lost the use of his one remaining limb, his left arm.In a statement read aloud by an assistant, the 49-year-old said he would like to end his suffering and can’t face the prospect of life confined to an institution.“Life in an institution until the end of my days is not made for me,” he said. “I have enjoyed another side of life before and I can no longer endure my misery.”Gladu said that for the last 30 years, post-polio syndrome has led to an ever-growing list of health problems and a deteriorating quality of life.“Each breath has become for me a conscious effort which consumes three-quarters of my waning energy,” she said.“I’d like to die at home… in the company of my friends and with a glass of rose champagne in one hand and a canape of foie gras in the other.”She said that while cancer patients are allowed to refuse treatment, those who suffer from degenerative diseases have no options, because there is no treatment.Menard said Ottawa’s decision to limit medical aid in dying to patients whose death is “reasonably foreseeable” goes against the landmark Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for the legislation.Menard said the ruling, known as the Carter decision, requested the legislation cover competent, consenting adults who had an incurable illness that caused intolerable suffering.“The federal government has decided, against a large part of legal advice, to go against the Supreme Court ruling and against the Charter rights the Supreme Court has recognized to citizens,” he said.He said Gladu and Truchon meet all the other criteria for assisted death and should be allowed to end their suffering.Speaking in Quebec City, the province’s health minister said he welcomed the plaintiffs’ action.“I’m to some extent happy that someone is asking the courts the question, because unfortunately it’s the courts who will decide this,” Gaetan Barrette told reporters at the legislature.In Ottawa, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott said the existing legislation was drafted to strike a balance between respecting the rights of those who want assisted dying and the need to protect vulnerable Canadians.But she said the issue is still under review and the government isn’t ruling out future changes.“We are always open to hearing the views of the court and we are open to hearing the views of Canadians,” she said.— With files from Pierre Saint-Arnaud
CALGARY – Canada’s veterans affairs minister is urging patience from injured ex-soldiers growing frustrated waiting for a government plan that would give them pensions for life.The Liberal government promised in the budget it would announce plans by the end of this year for the option of life-long pensions for those injured in uniform.The Liberals were the only party to promise to re-introduce the pensions, which were replaced by a lump-sum payment, career training and targeted income-replacement programs in 2006.“We’re committed to a pension-for-life option for our veterans,” Kent Hehr, minister of veterans affairs and associate minister of national defence, said in an interview with the Canadian Press Monday. “They’ve asked for this. We’ve committed to this.”Hehr declined to discuss what progress has been made so far but said he understands why many injured Canadian Armed Forces members are frustrated by the delay.“They really deserve our support,” Hehr said. “When they leave the military as the result of illness or injury, that is tremendously hard and they’ve had to take off that jersey for the last time.“I understand their frustration and that’s why we want to work with them to better outcomes for them and their families … My goodness, it’s going to be done.”There have been complaints from some ill and injured military personnel who say they were forced out of the Armed Forces too fast and left to fend for themselves.That includes having to wait months for their first pension cheques to arrive, and struggling to get the benefits and services owed them by Veterans Affairs.Approximately 1,800 service members are forced out of the military every year because of medical conditions that have made them unable to fulfil their duties.Many are struggling with psychological injuries sustained while in uniform. Documents obtained by The Canadian Press last year showed post-traumatic stress disorder was the top diagnosis for those at risk of being forced out.Veterans’ advocates say the challenges many of those men and women have faced getting benefits, services and even their pension after leaving the military have made their move to civilian life even harder.Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is floating a unique two-step move on gun control. It involves both more guns and more controls.The additional guns would be inside schools.The president made clear Thursday that he believes additional security in schools is a key to halting America’s mass-shooting scourge. In his view, the solution includes pay bonuses for teachers willing to pack weapons.“We have to harden our schools, not soften them. A gun-free zone to a killer or somebody who wants to be a killer, that’s like going in for the ice cream. That’s like, ‘Here I am, take me.’ We have to get smart on gun-free zones,” the president said.“They’re not going to walk into a school if 20 per cent of the teachers have guns. It may be 10 per cent, it may be 40 per cent. Now what I’d recommend doing is the people that do carry … we give them a bonus.”That’s consistent with the view of the National Rifle Association — the gun lobby has a program that funds schools willing to add security, including more firearms.The idea faces potentially insurmountable resistance. Members of Trump’s own party have said they’re not interested in taking this up legislatively — Sen. Marco Rubio brushed it off during a heated town-hall debate on CNN.Some teachers have expressed mortification over the idea and questioned how it might work in practice. The questions included training, and liability issues in the event a student were killed by friendly crossfire.When Trump first raised the idea this week at a meeting with shooting survivors, one parent criticized it and drew applause from others in the room.But that’s only half of his proposed solution.The other half involves more controls — with four new proposals: additional background checks, mental-health screening, a ban on so-called bump stocks and raising the age limit on certain purchases to 21 from 18.These ideas face challenges from the right.The NRA, for example, is dead-set against raising the age limit. In a statement, it questioned why a single mother aged 20 should be deprived of the same constitutional right to bear arms as everyone else.The conservative Breitbart website also ran a story expressing concern about the background checks, saying they would lead to a national gun registry.Trump sounded confident of his ability to get the NRA onside.“I don’t think I’ll be going up against them. … I mean, they’re very close to me, I’m very close to them, they’re very, very great people. They love this country. They’re patriots,” Trump said.A number of Republicans are interested in the other proposals — background checks, mental-health screening, and banning bump stocks. Rubio expressed support for all three on live TV as survivors of the Florida school shooting grilled him.Polls suggest widespread support for such limited measures — over 80 per cent, and in some cases over 95 per cent, far higher than the roughly two-thirds of Americans who favour a broader gun ban.But those more modest measures have been thwarted in the past by opposition on the right.That opposition was evident just outside Washington on Thursday. Supporters of the president’s party gathered for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Two speakers from the NRA railed against gun control and against the news media for allegedly creating a phoney debate in the wake of last week’s massacre.Spokeswoman Dana Loesch pointed to the journalists in back of the room.“Many in the legacy media love mass-shootings. You guys love it,” she said.“I’m not saying you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold… Where’s the CNN town hall for (black mothers in) Chicago?”The organization’s Wayne LaPierre also emphasized the organization’s project called National School Shield. Created in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, the program provides advice and funding for schools to beef up security measures.“It should not be easier for a madman to shoot up a school than a bank, or a jewelry store, or some Hollywood gala… Evil must be confronted immediately with all necessary force to protect our kids.”A top Democrat tweeted about his fear that, under heat from the gun lobby, the president will melt. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer noted that the president had supported gun measures in the past and dropped them.“(He’s) pushing for action on things … the NRA opposes,” Schumer wrote. “Last time he showed support for sensible gun reform … he quickly dropped his support once the NRA opposed it.“I hope this time will be different.”
TORONTO – A new report is urging the Ontario government to better support francophones in the province as statistics indicate the demographic is shrinking at an alarming rate.French Language Services Commissioner Francois Boileau said if nothing is done to address the issue, Ontario’s francophone demographic may decrease to the point where it becomes insignificant and public services for the population are hard to come by.“These findings are alarming,” Boileau said in an interview. “I think we need to have a serious debate on the place of francophones and francophiles in Ontario.”According to Statistics Canada, the proportion of francophones in Ontario went from 5.2 per cent of the population in 1996, to 4.7 per cent in 2016 — a decrease Boileau said was troubling.“It’s disturbing because it is one thing to be a little under five per cent, but if in 20 years we are under two per cent, then it really starts to have an impact on public policies,” he said.The latest census figures show there were 622,415 francophones in Ontario.In the report, seven experts studied several issues that affect or will affect the delivery of French language services. Boileau found that despite foreseeable growth of the francophone population’s actual numbers, francophones will continue to decline in proportion to the rest of the province’s population.A larger proportion of new immigrants choosing English as their official language and a lower rate of transmission of the French language to children who come from families where at least one parent is francophone are factors, the report found.Boileau made 14 recommendations, including suggesting the province adopt an action plan on the development of francophone communities and the promotion of the French language in Ontario.Several recommendations related to immigration, which he said will be key to boosting the francophone demographic. One of them suggests providing a welcome kit to francophone immigrants who come to Ontario with instructions on where they can access services in French.“By doing so we are telling them that we won’t let them down and that there are services they can access and schools where there children can go,” he said.The new Progressive Conservative government said it was reviewing the report and working on identifying “new and effective” ways to support the province’s francophone community.The Opposition NDP said the report emphasizes the need to take action.“If there was ever an alarming report, it is this one,” said NDP legislator France Gelinas. “No matter which scenario you are looking at, if there are no concrete actions taken by the government, the percentage of francophones in Ontario will be so low that it will be impossible to access services and programs needed to live in French in Ontario.”Gelinas said she welcomed Boileau’s recommendations, particularly the idea of having a welcome kit provided to newcomers.“Providing newcomers with a welcome kit changes everything for them because they are new, so they don’t know about the health services or the francophone schools they can access,” she said. “Most of the recommendations in his report do not cost a lot of money, have been tested in the past, so all we need is a political will.”
TORONTO – Police are investigating after a man allegedly threatened a family in an incident caught on video at a Toronto ferry terminal.A video posted to Facebook shows a heated argument between a blond man and a family that includes women wearing head scarves.The blond man can be heard on several occasions demanding to know where the family is from, and telling them they can’t “ask me a question in my (expletive) province.”He is heard threatening to kill one of the men, and to “smash his head in.”The blond man exchanges shoves with at least two men in the family, and at one point tries to slap one man’s hand.Police say they were called to the scene on Monday evening, but are still gathering information and cannot confirm the religion of the family, or whether officers are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump is taking a victory lap at the White House, cheering Sunday’s last-minute free trade deal, pronouncing the death of the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement — and playing down “tensions” with Justin Trudeau.Trump acknowledged he and the prime minister have been at odds in recent weeks — but said it was all because of NAFTA, and is over now that the two countries have agreed to a new continental trade pact, christened the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.“There was a lot of tension between he and I … but it all ended around 12 o’clock last night” when the new deal was reached, Trump told a news conference in the White House Rose Garden.“The only problem with Justin is he loves his people, and he’s fighting hard for his people. I think Justin’s a good person who’s doing a good job.”Trump also refused to be pinned down on whether he intends to ease Section 232 tariffs on Canadian exports of steel and aluminum, saying at once that the tariffs remain in place, but they won’t be necessary as long as Canada and Mexico honour the terms of the new agreement.The tariff measure “is still staying where it is,” he said, adding, “but I don’t think you will need to use the tariffs.”Trump, flanked by trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer, adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and a who’s who of his inner circle, called the new agreement the most important trade deal the U.S. has ever made.The deal, reached late Sunday, will govern $1.2 trillion US in trade, making it the biggest agreement in the country’s history, and marks the end of an era during which the U.S. has been “treated so badly” on trade by other countries around the world, the president said.He said the new deal treats American workers with “fairness and reciprocity,” unlike NAFTA, which he again described as the worst deal ever agreed to by the United States.And he cheered the fact it will give American farmers and dairy producers greater access to markets in Canada and Mexico, protect auto manufacturing jobs and encourage innovation on U.S. soil.Trump said he spoke earlier today with Trudeau and outgoing Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto, and also extended thanks to Pena Nieto’s replacement, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.Like all negotiations, there was horse trading, but for the Canada there were elements of the new pact that could be viewed as victories.Canada, along with Mexico, took a “do no harm” approach to the talks, and there were early indications the Trudeau government succeeded in preserving the status quo in key areas, even though it faced criticism for giving the U.S. concessions on dairy.The deal preserved the key dispute-resolution provisions — Chapter 19 — which allow for independent panels to resolve disputes involving companies and governments, as well as Chapter 20, the government-to-government dispute-settlement mechanism.For Canada, this was a hill to die on — as it was for former prime minister Brian Mulroney during the original 1988 Canada-U.S. free trade deal — because, Trudeau argued, there needs to be some rules for settling disputes when dealing with the current U.S. president.Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau spoke this morning with President @realDonaldTrump about the new USMCA (new name of NAFTA) #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/rDHsrKXymC— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) October 1, 2018Other contentious, so-called U.S. poison pills — which would have limited Canada and Mexico’s ability to bid on lucrative U.S. procurement projects — are gone.The United States “finally came to their senses” and created an environment conducive to reaching an agreement with Canada, said Jerry Dias, head of the major Canadian union Unifor, a key player in the negotiation drama.“Things started to change when the United States understood that we weren’t moving on the dispute mechanism, Canada’s cultural exemption needed to be in place, we weren’t going to bend on the auto industry,” he said today on Parliament Hill.Dias said he is not thrilled by what Canada conceded in the dairy sector, but he believes there will be a solution out of discussions between the government and the dairy lobby.Canadian dairy farmers immediately panned the renegotiated deal, saying it will undercut the industry by limiting exports and opening up the market to more American products.Dairy Farmers of Canada issued a terse statement saying the deal would grant an expanded 3.6-per-cent market access to the domestic dairy market and eliminate competitive dairy classes, which the group says will shrink the Canadian industry.It said the measures will have “a dramatic impact not only for dairy farmers but for the whole sector.”RELATED: Canadian dairy farmers’ group pans new trade pact with U.S., Mexico “This has happened, despite assurances that our government would not sign a bad deal for Canadians,” Pierre Lampron, the organization’s president, said in the statement. “We fail to see how this deal can be good for the 220,000 Canadian families that depend on dairy for their livelihood.”Canada had previously offered the U.S. a 3.25-per-cent market share under the old Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which Trump also derided — and pulled the U.S. from — after he took office in 2017.Canada also agreed to get rid of its two-year-old Class 7 pricing agreement that has restricted U.S. exports of ultra-filtered milk used to make dairy products. Dairy Farmers objected to this, too, but the once-obscure dairy classification had become a lightning rod of discontent for Trump.Trump said it was unfair and economically crippling to dairy farmers. U.S. administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Sunday night that this was a win for farmers in Wisconsin, New York and elsewhere.Trudeau would only say it was a “good day for Canada” as he left a late-night cabinet meeting in Ottawa that capped several days of frenetic long-distance talks.Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau says it’s a “good day for Canada” and he will talk tomorrow. This follows a cabinet meeting on news of a NAFTA deal. #cdnpoli #sorryforthebadvideo pic.twitter.com/rjQgy1dAav— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) October 1, 2018A side letter published along with the main text of the agreement exempts a percentage of eligible auto exports from tariffs. A similar agreement between Mexico and the U.S. preserves duty-free access to the U.S. market for vehicles that comply with the agreement’s rules of origin.Canada fought hard to retain Chapter 19, a holdover from NAFTA that U.S. trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer worked tooth-and-nail to eliminate.“USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region,” Lighthizer and Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, said in a joint statement.On the matter of Section 232 tariffs, Trump’s trade weapon of choice, U.S. officials told a late-night conference call with reporters that the two sides had “reached an accommodation” on the issue.The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said it was relieved that an agreement in principle had been reached. But chamber president Perrin Beatty said the details of the text needed a closer look before a final verdict could be rendered.– With files from Mike Blanchfield, James McCarten and Kristy Kirkup
IQALUIT, Nunavut – The federal Liberal government is turning its face to the North with changes in a major ministry and at the Canadian Coast Guard.“It is definitely a step toward a northern strategy,” Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Wednesday in Iqaluit, Nunavut. “This is a pretty significant step forward.”Together with the president of Canada’s national Inuit organization, Wilkinson announced his department and the coast guard will have divisions solely devoted to Arctic affairs.Responsibility for the North has been divvied up between west, east and central divisions. Having the entire region under one administration will make a big difference, said Natan Obed of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.“This (division) will need to make very clear decisions around ensuring that Inuit communities are supported through the coast guard in a more comprehensive way, whether that’s search and rescue or breaking ice for (community) resupply,” he said.Wilkinson said there will be consultations across the North on the department and the coast guard.“It’ll mean northern employment. It’ll mean building out capacity in the North. It’ll mean investments in the North.“Part of the announcement today is saying to northerners, ‘Made-in-Ottawa solutions for the North really haven’t been that effective.’ We want to develop made-in-the-North solutions.”Inuit leaders have already told Wilkinson about increased vessel traffic necessitating better search-and-rescue and spill response. Discussions on the department’s northern science capacity will also be held, he said.One critic suggested the reorganization will be ineffective without more money and a real commitment to the North.“The coast guard is so chronically underfunded,” said Rob Huebert, a political science professor and Arctic expert at the University of Calgary.“It’s always about the shell game — let’s reorganize it in some way that will solve the real problem, which is underfunding.”Huebert said the Arctic has not been a priority for the Liberals. He noted that the government still hasn’t developed an overall policy for the region despite election promises to create one early in its mandate. The value of Wednesday’s announcement is still unknown, he said.“Is this about saying, ‘Yes, we’re doing something different and creating a new zone just prior to the election to cover up the fact that so little has been done on the Arctic file’ or is it the precursor of something more meaningful?’”Huebert said the purchase in August of three used icebreakers as a 20-year stopgap before a new one is built is an example.“We’re just back to replacements, with something that hasn’t been planned for.”Wilkinson said an Arctic policy is forthcoming.“There is a northern strategy that is under development.”Obed praised the federal government for working with the Inuit. His group was consulted on who was hired to lead the Arctic divisions — both of which will be headquartered in the North.“The ongoing relationship continues a true partnership in trying to understand how to create a space that has an Inuit-centred policy and ensure that the region functions as well as it possibly can,” he said.— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow @row1960 on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the announcement was made by Dominic LeBlanc.
OTTAWA – The federal government has been closely monitoring public reaction to the influx of asylum seekers in Canada — regularly conducting national surveys and measuring discussions on social media.Documents released to The Canadian Press under access-to-information law show department officials receive weekly internal updates on media coverage and public response to issues related to asylum seekers coming irregularly into the country across the Canada-U.S. border.This monitoring includes internal polling conducted by the Immigration Department to track public opinion about asylum seekers.Two mid-year surveys of 2,000 Canadians, conducted by the department in March, suggested Canadians were not overly confident about Canada’s ability to manage the border at unguarded points-of-entry and had little sense of obligation about accepting asylum seekers from the United States.Fewer than half of respondents — 43 per cent in a telephone survey and 35 per cent in an online survey — agreed that Canada is taking appropriate steps to manage irregular border crossings.Forty-two per cent of telephone respondents and just 18 per cent of those online indicated they felt the number of people coming to Canada and claiming asylum was at an appropriate level.“Canadians are more receptive to refugees who have been selected by the government of Canada compared to those who come to Canada and claim asylum,” the internal document notes as one of its key takeaways from the public survey.The documents also show the Immigration Department closely measures public comment about asylum seekers on social media. This includes a weekly average of how many times the issue is mentioned every day.The government also measures the number of times media stories published about asylum seekers include “myths countering messaging.”It also uses social media as a tool to disseminate information as part of its outreach efforts to discourage irregular migrants from coming to Canada.A targeted advertising campaign using search engine marketing to reach key populations in the U.S. was launched on Dec. 18, 2017 and continued until March 17, 2018, which included “targeted messaging based on users’ search terms to users in select U.S. cities where larger temporary protected status populations are found,” the internal document states.Canada first began experiencing an influx of “irregular” border crossers in early 2017, shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he would end a program that offered temporary protected status to immigrants from several countries in the United States.Over 36,000 asylum seekers have since arrived in Canada from the U.S., avoiding official border checkpoints where they would have been turned back to the U.S. under the Safe Third Country agreement between the two countries. Instead, they have been crossing the border along forest paths and fields, declaring their intent to seek refugee status once on Canadian soil.The issue has sparked calls for Canada to suspend or amend the Safe Third Country Agreement as a way to stop the flow of irregular migrants.Border Security Minister Bill Blair points to the fact that there was not a major surge in the number of irregular border crossers apprehended by RCMP this summer compared to last summer.“Our senior officials are working hard, they are working hard and they are managing the situation quite ably,” Blair said Thursday.However, year-over-year numbers show that overall, more people have crossed irregularly into Canada so far this year compared to the number of individuals who crossed from January to September of 2017.—Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.
MILTON, Ont. — Former Olympic flag-bearer Adam van Koeverden will be carrying the Liberal banner into the coming federal election, after securing the nomination in the southern Ontario riding of Milton on Sunday.The 36-year-old kayaker, whose four Olympic medals are the most by any Canadian paddler, will be looking to defeat deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt, who has held the riding since its creation in 2015.The decorated athlete, who carried the Canadian flag in both Athens and Beijing, declared his intention to try for the Milton nomination in October.A website laying out the details of van Koeverden’s candidacy says his campaign will focus on traditional Liberal values with an emphasis on youth, sport, physical education and healthy communities.The party says in a statement that the “long-time Liberal … received early support from a broad spectrum of community and business leaders in Milton and spent several weeks knocking on doors and meeting with the families within the riding.”His nomination was not without controversy, as the party’s 2015 candidate, Azim Rizvee, claimed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed him to resign.“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally told me and my wife very aggressively that Adam van Koeverden is his preferred candidate for the Milton riding,” Rizvee said in a statement Saturday.“The Liberal party leadership did not allow me to contest the nomination so that (the) prime minister’s preferred candidate, Adam van Koeverden, can be nominated.”A spokesman for the Liberals said the Milton nomination was held in accordance with the party’s nomination rules, and more than 800 Liberal members turned out to vote.Braeden Caley declined to provide a breakdown of the results, but said the other nomination candidate was Mian Abubaqr, the president of the Milton riding association.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – Canada’s parliamentary budget watchdog has said the Liberal government paid the “sticker price” when it bought the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion.Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux estimates the Trans Mountain pipeline and planned expansion project is worth between $3.6 billion and $4.6 billion.This means the government’s purchase price of $4.5 billion was on the high end of the project’s total calculated value.Giroux also estimates expanding the pipeline’s capacity will cost $9.3 billion if the project is completed by Dec. 31, 2021.He warns any construction delays or increases in costs would reduce the value of the project and its resale value, meaning the government could have overpaid for the pipeline.The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said it was never on board with the purchase.Aaron Wudrick with the CTF certainly isn’t surprised that the feds paid a premium for this pipeline project.“I don’t think that the Trudeau Government is to blame for all of the reasons why this pipeline was running into trouble, but they are to blame for some of them.”Including what Wudrick describes as desperation from the federal government heading into the negotiations with Kinder Morgan.He identifies the cancellation of the Northern Gateway Project and the abandonment of the Energy East pipeline as factors in forcing the government to fight tooth and nail for the Trans Mountain project.“I think anybody knows that if you go into a negotiation signalling you are desperate to buy, the party you’re negotiating with is going to be able to name their price. I think that’s what happened here.”He argues the next step for Ottawa should be to build the pipeline expansion as quickly as possible and try to get something back for it.“Seven hundred million dollars per year of delay is very significant for a project that is measured in billions (of dollars). A 10 per cent rise in construction cost and a $450 million reduction in value, these are not small numbers.”The federal government bought the pipeline from Kinder Morgan in August after political opposition to expanding the pipeline between Alberta and the B.C. coast gave the company and its investors cold feet.
OTTAWA — The Liberal government is giving $40 million in federal money to BlackBerry to help the company develop self-driving car technologies.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata on Friday to announce the support for BlackBerry, the one-time smartphone leader that is now working on advanced software for autonomous vehicles.BlackBerry says its QNX software is already in tens of millions of cars, guiding systems related to driver assistance, hands-free features and entertainment consoles.A government official says the federal money, to come from the Strategic Innovation Fund, will go toward software development and skills training for workers.The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the coming announcement publicly.The company is putting $300 million of its own money into the initiative, expected to create 800 jobs over the next decade at BlackBerry’s Kanata campus as well as support 300 existing jobs there.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Border Security Minister Bill Blair says he is talking to lawmakers in the United States about closing a loophole in Canada’s border agreement with the U.S. — one seen as giving asylum-seekers reason to cross into Canada through fields and forests.The Safe Third Country Agreement says asylum seekers cannot claim refugee protection in Canada if they arrive at an official border checkpoint from a country that is considered safe, like the United States.But they can claim refugee status from inside Canada.That’s why tens of thousands of asylum seekers have been crossing into Canada on foot through fields and forests.One idea is to apply the agreement to those who cross irregularly when it is clear they have crossed into Canada from the U.S., or vice-versa.Blair says extending the agreement to include irregular border-crossers could help eliminate the incentive that has led to over 40,000 irregular border crossers coming into Canada since 2017.The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Quebec’s Court of Appeal has ruled that the sentence handed down to 2012 Quebec election night shooter Richard Henry Bain will remain unchanged.Bain was convicted of attacking a Parti Quebecois rally on Sept. 4, 2012, killing lighting technician Denis Blanchette outside the Metropolis nightclub as premier-designate Pauline Marois was inside delivering a victory speech.In November 2016, Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer sentenced Bain to life in prison without possibility for parole for 20 years after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder. He was also found guilty of three counts of attempted murder.Bain’s defence had argued unsuccessfully that he should be found not criminally responsible for the killing.After hearing arguments last October, a five-judge Court of Appeal panel today dismissed the appeals of both the Crown and the defence.Bain’s lawyer had sought a reduction that would have allowed Bain to apply for parole after serving 10 years. The Crown countered that parole eligibility should be increased to 25 years.The Canadian Press
The federal government has proposed accepting British Columbia’s rules to cut methane emissions that cause climate change despite an independent report that says the regulations would be weaker than Ottawa’s.Some environmental groups fear the same could happen in Alberta and Saskatchewan, which they say would make it harder for Canada to meet its greenhouse gas commitments.“It’s a weak first step,” said Jan Gorski of the Pembina Institute, a clean energy think-tank. “If they’re willing to approve regulations that are subpar in B.C., then it really puts the opportunity to meet the climate goals at risk.”Methane is a greenhouse gas between 30 and 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Almost half of Canada’s methane emissions leak from oil and gas facilities and the governing Liberals have announced targets to reduce them by 45 per cent.On the weekend, the federal government announced the start of a consultation period for accepting B.C.’s proposed regulations instead of those developed in Ottawa.“(The B.C. proposal) will result in methane emission reductions that meet the expected impact,” says a government document.But in February, an independent scientific review of fracking commissioned by the B.C. government concluded the province’s proposed rules weren’t as stringent as the federal ones.Under B.C.’s proposals, a leaking well could emit more than twice the amount of methane than Ottawa will allow when its rules come into effect next year.“Potentially, a leaking well can exceed the federal limit,” the review says.The review also points out that the province would reduce the amount of inspection and leak detection that federal rules require.Federal rules will require inspections at least three times a year. British Columbia would require them once yearly.The energy industry supports methane reduction goals. But it has said the best way to achieve them is to let producers focus on an overall target instead of requiring standard testing for all facilities. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers argues that focusing on the largest emitters instead of imposing across-the-board inspections would give the biggest bang for the buck. “The incremental volume of leaks detected and repaired with a survey frequency of three times per year … has not been high and,consequently, may result in much higher abatement costs,” the association said in a letter to B.C.’s regulator. The problem, said Gorksi, is that it’s tough to measure how much methane escapes from large emitters.“What they’re proposing is an outcome-based regulation. For that kind of regulation to work, you need really good data.”Alberta and Saskatchewan have proposed similar outcome-based approaches for methane reduction. Gorski said rules drafted by both provinces would fall short of Ottawa’s reduction costs. Previous studies suggest industry estimates of methane emissions from oil and gas fields — especially heavy oil fields — are far low of the mark. The B.C.-commissioned review quotes similar evidence.“Leakage incident rates are strongly influenced by reporting standards rather than actual well failure rate,” it says. Gorski said requiring producers to use best practices everywhere is the surest way to meet the reduction targets.— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960 Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
WWE has announced a partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure featuring WWE Superstar John Cena co-branded, pink and black ring gear, which will be debuted at this week’s Night of Champions pay-per-view event in Boston.WWE Superstar John Cena Supports Susan G. Komen for the CureCredit/Copyright: Business WireCena will wear the Special Edition gear through October in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Fans can purchase the merchandise, including co-branded hats, t-shirts, headbands and wristbands, at live events and online at WWEShop.com, and WWE will donate 100 percent of its profits (at least 30 percent of the retail purchase price) to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research and community outreach programs. To support Susan G. Komen’s mission, WWE will utilize all its assets, including TV broadcasts, live events, digital and social media to generate awareness and encourage fans to get involved by signing up for “Race for the Cure” events in their local communities.Approximately five million women — more female viewers than the top rated shows on women’s networks – watch WWE’s weekly programming.“This partnership will reach millions of women and families with breast cancer education and awareness messages, while raising funds for Komen research and health outreach programs in the communities we serve,” said Dorothy Jones, Vice President of Marketing for Susan G. Komen. “We’re ready to cheer on John Cena and the WWE Superstars and thank them for helping Komen fulfill our promise to end breast cancer.”“Breast cancer is a devastating disease, and we’re committed to using WWE’s global resources to support Komen’s fight to end breast cancer forever,” said WWE Superstar John Cena. “I’ll be proud to wear pink in the ring to support this great cause.”Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. There are 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit komen.org/wwe or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.Source:Komen.org