PM TRUDEAU AND HIS CABINET PLOT COURSE FOR FALL SESSION
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have gathered in St. John’s, N.L., to spend today and Wednesday preparing for the second half of their mandate. Canada’s relationship with the Trump administration figures to be high on the agenda, especially as Ottawa prepare to host the next round of NAFTA negotiations later this month. The cabinet will also look at a busy agenda this fall, which includes some massive bills such as the proposed legalization of cannabis for recreational use.
WILDFIRE PROMPTS EVACUTION ORDERS IN ALBERTA
Authorities in western Alberta have issued a pair of evacuation orders due to approaching wildfires. One order covers residents in several areas of the Municipal District of Pincher Creek due to the Kenow Mountain wildfire. Parks Canada said the fire had entered Waterton Lakes National Park by last evening. The second evacuation was ordered for sections of nearby Cardston County because of the same fire.
WILDFIRE THREAT EASING IN B.C., RECOVERY BEGINS
Evacuation orders are being lifted and highways reopened as the recovery phase begins following the most destructive wildfire season in British Columbia’s recorded history. But B.C.’s agriculture minister warns that the fire season is not yet over, despite the progress being made on existing blazes and rain forecast to arrive later this week in the parched southeastern region. More than 12,000 wildfires have consumed nearly 11,700 square kilometres of land since April 1, forcing almost 50,000 people out of their homes at the peak of the disaster.
B.C. BUDGET HIKES TAXES FOR RICH, FUNDS TEACHERS
British Columbia’s minority New Democrat government says it is starting to build the province all residents want, tabling a budget update that promises to hire 3,500 teachers and build thousands of rental units and homes for the homeless. Finance Minister Carole James’ spending plan also lowers the corporate income tax rate for small business to two per cent from 2.5 per cent, but increases the general corporate tax rate from 11 per cent to 12 per cent. The personal income tax rate will jump from 14.7 per cent to 16.8 per cent for those earning $150,000 and over.
ONTARIO LEGISLATURE RESUMES AMID TRIALS
Ontario politicians are back at the legislature after a three-month break, but they returned under the shadow of two Liberal trials happening simultaneously in Toronto and Sudbury. The Toronto trial began yesterday, with two former staffers to ex-premier Dalton McGuinty facing breach of trust and mischief charges. In Sudbury, two other Liberals have pleaded not guilty to offering a would-be candidate a job or appointment to get him to step aside for a preferred candidate in a 2015 byelection.
SEARS CANADA TO SEEK PENSION PLAN TERMINATION
Sears Canada will file a petition in Toronto today to terminate its pension plan. The retailer said in June that it would close 59 stores and cut approximately 2,900 jobs under a court-supervised restructuring. The announcement followed years of dwindling sales and a revolving door of top executives. Sears said it planned to emerge from the restructuring as a leaner operation better able to compete in the hyper-competitive retail industry.