Eight stories in the news for Thursday, Aug. 16
BERNIER DOESN'T SPEAK FOR PARTY: SCHEER
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is under pressure to kick Maxime Bernier out of caucus after the maverick MP used his Twitter feed to renew an attack on "extreme Liberal multiculturalism." Bernier tweeted last Sunday that promoting too much diversity could have the effect of dividing Canada into "little tribes." On Wednesday night, Scheer said he doesn't engage in identity politics and that Bernier doesn't speak for the party "on any issue."
WILDFIRES PROMPT PROVINCEWIDE EMERGENCY IN B.C.
British Columbia has declared a provincewide state of emergency in response to hundreds of wildfires in the province. The BC Wildfire Service said 559 fires were burning as of Wednesday in all corners of the province. Just over 1,800 blazes have been recorded since the wildfire season began on April 1. The state of emergency will remain in effect for 14 days but can be extended or rescinded as necessary.
B.C. WILDFIRE SMOKE DRIFTS OVER PRAIRIES
Air quality warnings are in effect across the Prairies due to smoke from B.C. forest fires drifting across most of Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba. Environment Canada says conditions are not expected to change for the rest of the week. The smoke is particularly dense in Alberta where visibility in Edmonton was limited as the sky turned a dark and dirty-brown colour from smoke and particulates.
THOUSANDS EXPECTED AT REGIMENTAL FUNERAL
Thousands of police officers and first responders from across Canada will be in Fredericton for Saturday's regimental funeral to honour two officers killed in the line of duty. Constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns were fatally shot last Friday while responding to a shooting at a Fredericton apartment complex where a man and a woman were also killed. A public visitation for Burns and Costello will be held today at the Fredericton Convention Centre.
CANADA WEIGHING RESPONSES TO POTENTIAL AUTO TARIFFS
With threats of U.S. tariffs hanging over the auto sector, Canada's economic development minister says Ottawa is considering how to respond if the tariffs come into force. Navdeep Bains says Plan A is to continue encouraging the U.S. to back away from the tariff threat, which the industry has warned would inflict significant damage on both countries' economies. But just in case the tariffs are applied, Bains says Ottawa is considering all option.
QUEBEC PLEDGES MILLIONS FOR TARIFF RELIEF
The Quebec government is setting aside almost $900 million for companies affected by tariffs recently imposed on Canada by the United States. Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years in direct investments, tax subsidies and training. "We are living an exceptional experience that demands an exceptional response," he said.
LIBERAL MP CRITICIZED FOR AWARD
A Liberal MP is under fire for presenting a "certificate of appreciation" to a man one Jewish advocacy group labels a purveyor of anti-Semitism. B'nai Brith Canada has started a petition demanding that Ontario MP Iqra Khalid apologize and rescind the federal certificate she presented last week to Amin El-Maoued, the public relations chief of Palestine House.
EFFORTS TO RAISE B.C. TUG TO RESUME THIS MORNING
Salvage crews partially raised a sunken tug in the Fraser River off Vancouver before the salvage operation was paused for the evening. The tug, operated by Ledcor, was hauling a loaded gravel barge when it went down on Monday night. The vessel can carry 22,000 litres of diesel fuel, but it was unclear how much was in its fuel tank. Ledcor spokesman David Hoff says divers have sealed off the fuel tanks and as much as 600 litres of fuel has been recovered from the site so far.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:
— International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr will meet with Pennsylvania’s governor in Philadelphia.
— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will discuss the Canada Child Benefit during a visit to Saint-Eustache, Que.
— Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard will announce the party's candidate in the Montreal riding of Marquette.
— Statistics Canada will release the monthly survey of manufacturing for June.
— Police in Airdrie, Alta., will update the investigation into the Aug. 2 shooting of a German tourist.
The Canadian Press