Five stories in the news for Thursday, Sept. 20
FREELAND NOT CLOCK-WATCHING ON NAFTA
Chrystia Freeland and her U.S. trade counterpart are back at the NAFTA negotiating table today as time marches on towards a congressional deadline for a three-way deal before the end of the month. But the foreign affairs minister insists she's not watching the clock. Rather, she says Canada's negotiating team is focused on finding a compromise that meets the needs of all three countries as they work to modernize an agreement that governs $2-billion worth of trade every day. It's been 13 months since the effort began — a time frame Freeland says is "absolutely normal," given the complex and multifaceted nature of North American trade.
MCKENNA 'NO QUITTER' ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Canada's environment minister said she's no "quitter" despite calls Wednesday from David Suzuki for her to resign and a G7 meeting that didn't shift her American counterpart's firm opposition to the Paris climate agreement. Catherine McKenna started off the three-day Halifax gathering by telling a personal story of encountering young people in the Arctic who are worried local hunters are falling through the ice due to rising temperatures. The minister also spoke of translating the targets of the Paris climate agreement into action and said countries need to firm up rules around how the carbon emission targets will be enforceable. But by day's end, she'd faced calls from Canada's most prominent environmentalist to leave her job due to the prime minister's support of the fossil fuel industry.
SEARCH ENDS FOR MISSING FISHERMEN OFF P.E.I.
A search off Prince Edward Island's north shore has ended without finding any trace of two fishermen who disappeared after their boat capsized in heavy seas and rain. Maj. Mark Gough of Maritime Forces Atlantic says the 12-metre fishing boat, the Kyla Anne, got into trouble at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. One man on board managed to swim ashore and call for help, prompting a sea, air and ground search. Gough says the search was ended Wednesday evening after more than 33 hours of searching by four vessels and three aircraft. He says the incident has been handed over to the RCMP as a missing persons case.
FEDS SEEK DOPE ON POT'S 'CRYPTOMARKET'
The federal government insists pot legalization will help the country snuff out crime — but internally it's wondering what will become of the fuzzy world of illegal online weed transactions. The federal Public Safety Department is seeking outside help to learn more about the prominence of Canadian weed on the so-called "dark web." A new tendering notice posted by the department says Ottawa is looking to commission a study that will estimate Canadians' online cannabis transactions.
ALBERTA TO RETURN REHABILITATED BEARS TO THE WILD
Alberta Environment says two black bear cubs being rehabilitated will be returned to the wild by mid-October despite concerns that it is too early. The Cochrane Ecological Institute, a non-profit wildlife facility, took in two cubs after the province lifted a ban in the spring that had been in place since 2010. The new policy allows wildlife staff to work with private facilities on the rehabilitation of cubs that are less than a year old. It recommends the cubs be released back into the wild by Oct. 15.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:
— New Brunswick party leaders take part in a 90-minute debate at St. Thomas University in Fredericton.
— Quebec's political leaders take part in their third and final televised debate in Montreal.
— Officials in Oxford, N.S., hold an information session on the Oxford sinkhole.
— Governor General Julie Payette begins a two-day official visit to Newfoundland and Labrador.
— The University of B.C. unveils a 13-metre long elasmosaurus skeleton — an ancient (late Cretaceous) marine reptile with a neck so long and heavy it would barely have been able to raise its head above water.
The Canadian Press