stories in the news for Tuesday, March 6
TRUMP, TRUDEAU TALK TARIFFS
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told U.S. President Donald Trump that his threatened tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will not make a new NAFTA deal happen sooner. The two leaders spoke by phone last night, after Trump explicitly linked the tariffs to the ongoing re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The president tweeted yesterday morning that the levies would only “come off” for Mexico and Canada if a new deal is signed. According to sources, last night’s phone call between Trump and Trudeau was cordial, but the prime minister described the tariff threat as unhelpful.
SCHEER HEADS TO LONDON
Andrew Scheer is off to London to start laying the groundwork for his pledge to negotiate a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom should he become prime minister. The Conservative leader will use his four-day trip to begin “relationship building” with the U.K.’s Conservative government and promote the idea of a free trade deal between Canada and Britain. Canada has struck a free trade pact with the European Union but that deal will no longer apply to the U.K. once it completes the process of extricating itself from the EU. Scheer starts his trip to the U.K. today with a meeting with Boris Johnson, secretary of state for foreign affairs.
CRITICS LINE UP TO SLAM N.S. EDUCATION BILL
Proposed legislation that would radically change the administration of Nova Scotia’s school system was derided as “undemocratic” and “unneeded” as critics lined up to condemn the bill before a legislature committee. More than 60 speakers were scheduled to make presentations before the law amendments committee on Bill 72 yesterday. Among other things, the legislation would eliminate the province’s seven English language school boards while revamping the membership of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union to remove about one-thousand principals, vice-principals and senior supervisors. It could pass final reading as early as tomorrow.
ONTARIO TO BRING IN ‘PAY TRANSPARENCY’ LEGISLATION
Ontario plans to introduce legislation today that aims to close the wage gap between women and men in the province. If passed, the “pay transparency” bill would require all publicly advertised job postings to include a salary rate or range, bar employers from asking about past compensation and prohibit reprisal against employees who do discuss or disclose compensation. It would also create a framework that would require large employers to track and report compensation gaps based on gender and other diversity characteristics, and disclose the information to the province.
CANADA WILL MEET CLIMATE TARGETS: ENVIRONMENT MINISTER
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada is committed to meeting its climate change targets despite a widening gap between its promises and emissions projections. Federal documents show a growing difference between how much Canada has promised to reduce greenhouse gases and projections of actual emissions. The gap has grown from 44 megatonnes to 66 — a 50 per cent increase — in the last 18 months. McKenna says that gap will disappear by the 2030 target date.
MONARCH BUTTERFLY POPULATION PLUMMETS
Right about now, the kings and queens of the butterfly world are emerging from hibernation in Mexico, looking for love and ready to make more butterflies. But scientists say the number of monarch butterflies that will start their annual, 5,000-kilometre migration north to Canadian gardens and wildflower patches this summer is down sharply, thanks to extreme weather last fall. A survey released Monday by the World Wildlife Fund and the Mexican National Commission for Protected Areas showed a 15 per cent drop in the forest area occupied by hibernating monarchs in the fir forests of central Mexico this winter.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:
— Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard visits an Airbus factory in Toulouse, France, and meets with company management.
— Dangerous offender hearing in Edmonton for Lance Blanchard, who was convicted of sexually assaulting an Indigenous woman who was jailed to ensure her testimony.
— The Royal Canadian Navy welcomes MV Asterix, a refitted commercial freighter, to its fleet.
— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in an armchair discussion with Bill Nye on Budget 2018 investments in Canadian innovation.