Five stories in the news for Tuesday, July 9
P.E.I., QUEBEC INTERVENE IN CARBON-TAX CASE
Prince Edward Island and Quebec have joined as interveners in Saskatchewan's legal challenge of the federal carbon tax. P.E.I. Premier Dennis King said in Ottawa Monday that he does not want to be seen as a Progressive Conservative premier just joining the "resistance" of other conservative provincial leaders across the country fighting the Trudeau government's carbon tax. Rather, P.E.I. is joining the court challenge simply because the province wants to have the chance to speak up in court, if necessary — possibly even to support the tax, King says. "Our position could be that perhaps this goes through and they try to kill the (carbon pricing) program, for example, in court, so maybe we would be in a position to work with our other partners to say we don't want the program killed because we believe in a carbon-reduction plan," King said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
PROTESTERS TARGET KENNEY AT STAMPEDE OVER GSAS
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was met at his Calgary Stampede pancake breakfast by a handful of people voicing opposition to an education law that they say puts gay and transgender students at risk. Kenney was shaking hands and taking photos in a mostly friendly crowd when two women wearing T-shirts reading "outing kids is not in my job description" tried unsuccessfully to have their pictures taken with the premier. The United Conservative government passed legislation last week that erases measures brought in by the previous NDP government to strengthen protections for gay-straight alliances. The clubs are meant to prevent bullying and foster acceptance of LGBTQ kids in schools.
NO WOMEN AT THE TABLE FOR PREMIERS MEETING
Canada's 13 provincial and territorial leaders are in Saskatchewan this week, but for the first time in years, the annual gathering won't have women at the table. Politicial scientist Sylvia Bashevkin of the University of Toronto says women were making breakthroughs in Canadian politics, and now it's back to zero. She said the last time Canada was without any woman as premier was between November 2002, when Pat Duncan left her post in the Yukon, and in November 2008, when Eva Aariak was sworn in as premier of Nunavut. By early 2014, more than half of Canadians lived in a jurisdiction governed by a woman. Rachel Notley was the last one standing until her government was defeated in Alberta three months ago. Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have never had a woman as premier.
HALF OF INDIGENOUS CHILDREN IN POVERTY: STUDY
Indigenous children face the highest rates of poverty in the country, with almost one in every two living in households with low incomes, says a new study that shows little improvement in the situation over the last decade. The study published by the Upstream Institute, written by researchers at the Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, finds that 47 per cent of First Nations children on- and off-reserve live in poverty. That figure rises to 53 per cent when looking at First Nations children living on reserves — the highest rate of child poverty anywhere in Canada.
NEW MEASURES ANNOUNCED TO PROTECT RIGHT WHALES
The federal government has announced new measures to protect North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence that have been dying from ship strikes and getting caught in fishing gear. The well-being of the endangered species is of great concern to Canadians, Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Monday. There are believed to be only about 400 right whales left in the world. The new protections will include increased aerial surveillance to try to spot the whales in the gulf and extending speed limits for ships east of the current speed-restriction zone, where vessels will have to reduce speed to 10 knots when a right whale is spotted in the area. Ships travelling in a buffer zone of up to five nautical miles around these areas will also have to slow down if a whale is seen — a doubling of the previous buffer zone of 2.5 nautical miles. Smaller ships — those longer than 13 metres — will now also be subject to the speed restrictions, where previously only ships over 20 metres were affected.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— Tourism Minister Melanie Joly announces funding to support Canada's tourism sector in Nova Scotia.
— Media are invited to attend the departure parade of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members participating in the 2019 Nijmegen International Four Days Marches on July 9, 2019, at the Canadian War Museum. Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander of the Canadian Army, will be the reviewing officer.
— Sean Fraser, parliamentary secretary to the environment minister, provides an update on our fight against climate change and the challenges raised by Conservative politicians working against climate action.
— Speakers from the Toronto Wildlife Centre and Coyote Watch Canada will discuss coyote behaviour in the urban environment, and how to co-exist with coyotes in Toronto.
— International scientific conference explores ideas and opportunities for sustainable plant production and food and water security at the University of Saskatchewan.