Seven stories in the news for Wednesday, Feb. 7
ALBERTA TO STOP IMPORTING B.C. WINE IN OIL FLAP
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her province is banning wine from British Columbia wineries effective immediately. This, after B-C said last week that it plans to limit how much diluted bitumen can be shipped from the coast. Notley says B.C.’s wine industry sent about 17 million bottles to Alberta last year worth about $70 million. B.C. Premier John Horgan says if Alberta has a problem with the proposed pipeline regulations, they should take the matter to court, not hit back at B.C. businesses.
ONTARIO PLANS TO CONFRONT ‘BUY AMERICAN’ PROVISIONS
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says her government will soon introduce a bill to retaliate against any state that adopts Buy American provisions. Wynne says each punishment will be proportional to the size of the Buy American exclusion because she doesn’t want to start a trade war. The premier says she also plans to discuss the move with fellow premiers at an upcoming conference.
FEDS EARMARK CASH FOR ONLINE CHILD PROTECTION
The Liberal government will spend millions in new money for a national centre to protect children from online sexual exploitation. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection will receive $4.1 million over five years, and $857,000 a year ongoing. The registered charity says victims of childhood sexual abuse often suffer great distress over the fact video or pictures of the crimes are circulating in cyberspace — adding to the pain they already experience.
RESEARCHERS HOPE FOR EUREKA MOMENT IN FEDERAL BUDGET
The federal budget, now believed to be only a few weeks away, is expected to contain a major financial lift for basic scientific research across the country. The spending will address some concerns laid out last year in a review of fundamental science which recommended the government end a long stretch of underfunding with phased-in investments over four years.
ALBERTA STILL NATURAL, BUT SHRINKING FAST
Alberta’s natural beauty is still largely intact but parts of it are disappearing faster than the Amazon rain forest. The most complete study yet from a group that monitors the human footprint in Alberta has found that 70 per cent of the province is still untouched, mostly in the North. But the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute concludes that since the year 2000, Albertans have disturbed an area equal to three-and-a-half times the size of Banff National Park.
LEGAL MARIJUANA STILL ON TRACK FOR JULY
The Trudeau government insists it’s on track to legalize recreational pot in July — but whether that means it will actually be on sale by then is uncertain. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor told senators Tuesday that provinces and territories have indicated once a bill setting up a legal cannabis regime is given royal assent, they’ll need another eight to 12 weeks to prepare for retail sales.
TVO HOST RESPONDS TO ALLEGATION
Steve Paikin, the host of “The Agenda” on Ontario public broadcaster TVO has denied a sexual harassment allegation made by a Toronto woman, calling the claim “complete fiction.” Paikin wrote on Facebook that he was “gobsmacked” by the allegation outlined in an email he received last weekend. TVO has said an independent third party will investigate the allegations, while Paikin continued to host “The Agenda.”
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:
— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau begins a visit to the U.S. today, to Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
— Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will hold several meetings in New York.
— Gov. Gen. Julie Payette visits South Korea and meets President Moon Jae-in and later attend the Olympic Winter Games.
— Statistics Canada will release building permits for December.
— CMHC will release a study into house prices in large Canadian cities.
— The French ambassador in Canada, Kareen Rispal, visits Vancouver to deliver keynote speeches and visit companies.