Highlights from the national news file for Monday, September 18th…
TRUDEAU DELIVERS REBUKE TO BOEING: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is dropping the gloves in his fight with Boeing, saying his government won’t do business with a company that he’s accusing of attacking Canadian industry and trying to put aerospace employees out of work. The comments are the strongest since the U.S. aerospace giant launched a trade dispute with Montreal-based rival Bombardier earlier this year. And they leave little doubt Trudeau’s Liberal government is serious about walking away from a plan to purchase 18 Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing if the company doesn’t stand down.
TRUDEAU CALLS ON SUU KYI TO SPEAK OUT ON ROHINGYA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Aung San Suu Kyi must publicly condemn the atrocities being committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, or else her rhetoric and global reputation as a champion of human rights will mean nothing. “It is with profound surprise, disappointment and dismay that your fellow Canadians have witnessed your continuing silence in the face of the brutal oppression of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim people,” Trudeau wrote Monday in a letter to Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar who is also an honorary Canadian citizen. Myanmar’s military is accused of burning down the homes of Rohingya Muslims, forcing more than 400,000 to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.
CANADA, U.K. USING CETA AS NEW TRADE MODEL: The leaders of Canada and Britain say the two countries are working towards a new bilateral free trade deal to take effect after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May say the template for a deal would be the long-heralded Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, or CETA, that comes largely into effect this week between Canada and the EU. The Canada-EU trade deal eliminates well over 90 per cent of all barriers in trade between Canada and the European Union.
QUEBEC MAN IN AMBER ALERT CASE CHARGED: A 41-year-old man who was the subject of an Amber Alert involving his six-year-old son was charged on Monday in the slaying of the child’s mother. The single charge of second-degree murder was filed at the courthouse in Saint-Jerome, Que. It is unclear, however, when the suspect will appear in court as he is hospitalized in Ontario after an alleged suicide attempt. Police issued an Amber Alert on Thursday after the boy’s mother was found dead inside a home in Saint-Eustache, Que., north of Montreal. The child and his father were stopped by police in eastern Ontario nearly 24 hours later.
EQUIFAX TO UPDATE CANADIANS ON CYBERATTACK: Equifax Canada said Monday it plans to provide an update this week on the impact of its massive data breach, but would not say how many individuals north of the border may have had their personal information compromised. The credit data company told The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada’s privacy watchdog, which announced an investigation into the cyberattack on Friday. The privacy commissioner said Friday that Equifax has committed to contacting Canadians whose data may be at risk, in writing, as soon as possible, and to provide them with free credit monitoring.
REPORT CALLS CANADA’S NEW SECURITIES REGULATOR FLAWED: A forthcoming report says that Canada’s proposed national securities regulator has key flaws that need to be addressed before it’s launched prior to the end of next year. The new paper by the C.D. Howe Institute, available Tuesday, says the Capital Markets Regulatory Authority is a significantly compromised plan that will lack the ability to unilaterally impose its regulatory authority across the country. The think tank says there is no assurance or even likelihood that key provinces Quebec and Alberta will join the new regulator following its launch within about a year.
B.C. TEACHING MATERIAL PULLED OVER ALLEGED RACISM: A package of education materials used in B.C. secondary schools has been removed for review after a First Nations woman learned her 14-year-old daughter had been asked to define the word “squaw,” an offensive term for a First Nations woman. A woman took to social media to express her outrage over the weekend about exercises of “violent colonialism” that her daughter was being asked to complete at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver. The material centres around the book “Susanna Moodie: Roughing it in the Bush,” which was originally published in 1852.
ISLAMOPHOBIA STUDY BEGINS ON PARLIAMENT HILL: The House of Commons heritage committee began its study Monday of systemic racism and religious discrimination in Canada, part of a controversial motion condemning Islamophobia that passed last spring. The debate around the motion set off showdowns between right and left wing groups on Parliament Hill and beyond, and saw the Liberal MP who sponsored it receive thousands of hate-laced messages and death threats. Liberal MP Hedy Fry, who chairs the committee, said all parties worked together to draw up the witness list and are intent on learning and listening.
CANLIT COMMUNITY CELEBRATES ‘HANDMAID’S TALE’: The Canadian literary community is celebrating the success of the series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is based on Toronto author Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel. The show won eight trophies at Sunday’s Emmy Awards, including best drama series, and Atwood was onstage with the team to accept the honour. The Halifax store Bookmark II says “The Handmaid’s Tale” has been “phenomenal” for sales in recent months and it expects another spike after the Emmys.
TRIBUTE PLANNED FOR LEONARD COHEN: Sting, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, and Philip Glass are among the luminaries who will pay tribute to the late Leonard Cohen at a memorial concert marking the first anniversary of the singer’s death. The Cohen family said in a statement that Tower of Song: A memorial tribute to Leonard Cohen, will be held at Montreal’s Bell Centre on Nov. 6. Numerous musical acts are already on the bill to honour his legacy, in addition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.