July 20th, 2024

In the news today: Former Trudeau cabinet minister slams PM as ill-prepared leader

By The Canadian Press on July 5, 2024.

A person walks past shelves of bottles of alcohol on display at an LCBO in Ottawa, Thursday March 19, 2020. The union representing workers at Ontario's main liquor retailer says they will be going on strike after talks broke down ahead of a deadline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed…

Former minister slams Trudeau’s foreign relations

Former foreign affairs minister Marc Garneau says Canada has lost its standing in the world under the tenure of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom he criticizes as an ill-prepared leader who prioritizes politics and makes big pronouncements without any follow-through.

“I believe Justin Trudeau has overestimated Canada’s impact abroad,” Garneau writes in his autobiography, “A Most Extraordinary Ride: Space, Politics and the Pursuit of a Canadian Dream,” which is scheduled to be released in October by Penguin Random House.

While much of the book is a trip down memory lane for Garneau’s pre-politics career in the military and as an astronaut, the final third is devoted to his time as a member of Parliament.

Garneau was first elected in 2008 as the Liberal MP for the Montreal riding of Westmount-Ville Marie, which later became Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Westmount after boundary changes in 2015.

He staged an unsuccessful run for the party leadership in 2013, ultimately withdrawing from the race and backing Trudeau, who would go on to win in a landslide victory.

After the Liberals came to power in 2015, Garneau served in Trudeau’s cabinet for six years, more than five of those as the minister of transport. He spent the final nine months as the minister of foreign affairs, until Trudeau dropped him from cabinet completely after the 2021 election.

Here’s what else we’re watching…

Calgarians ready for Stampede after water woes

Calgary residents are getting a happy diversion from their water woes, as its annual Stampede summer festival begins today with a downtown parade.

The parade comes a month to the day after a major water main broke in the city’s northwest, flooding streets and turning off the taps to 60 per cent of the drinking water for the city and surrounding communities.

Crews scrambled to repair the line and in the process found five more weak spots to fix.

A directive to have Calgarians cut their indoor water use by 25 per cent with fewer showers and toilet flushes was lifted earlier this week.

A ban on outdoor watering remains in place as the water system runs at reduced capacity to keep enough water in reserve to fight fires and the replacement line undergoes tests.

The Stampede ““ a combination midway fair, entertainment festival and rodeo competition – brings thousands of visitors to the city every July.

Break down in talks lead to LCBO workers strike

Thousands of workers are now on strike for the first time in the history of Ontario’s main liquor retailer.

A strike deadline had initially been set by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents thousands of Liquor Control Board of Ontario workers, of 12:01 a.m. Friday.

That deadline passed and it led to the strike officially taking place, which the LCBO says its disappointed the OPSEU leadership has initiated.

The LCBO says its locations will now be closed for 14 days with online ordering and free home delivery services still being available.

Should the strike last longer than 14 days, the LCBO says 32 of its locations will reopen for in-person shopping while operating three days a week on limited hours.

Shipping pollution enforcement probe requested

Investigators with an international environmental watchdog want to probe whether Canada is breaking its own laws by not stopping toxic wastewater from being dumped into its Pacific waters.

The body created by the U.S.-Canada-Mexico free trade agreement says there’s evidence Canada is failing to stop the release millions of tonnes of contaminated water from fuel scrubbers, despite laws to prevent it.

The concern stems from sea water used to wash scrubbers, devices that remove acids, heavy metals and carcinogens from engine exhaust.

Those chemicals end up in the wash water, which is then dumped into the ocean.

Environment Canada figures say 88 million tonnes of wash water went overboard along the British Columbia coast in 2022.

Orphan orca calf unseen since May 10: researchers

A whale research group that was involved in efforts to rescue an orphaned orca calf from a Vancouver Island lagoon says she has not been seen since May 10, despite multiple recent sightings of her family members.

A statement from Bay Cetology on Thursday said the two-year-old female killer whale known as kwiisahi?is or Brave Little Hunter could be travelling with an unsighted pod, moving between groups of orcas or “she is gone.”

The statement said there have been several documented sightings of the calf’s maternal family and related groups of Bigg’s killer whales since she swam free of the lagoon near the village of Zeballos on April 26.

But there have been no sightings of kwiisahi?is for almost eight weeks by Bay Cetology, Fisheries and Oceans Canada or other whale spotters.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2024.

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