Five stories in the news for Wednesday, June 19
FIRST NATION PLANS LEGAL CHALLENGE OF PIPELINE EXPANSION
A British Columbia First Nation is promising a legal challenge of the federal government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, while the premier says his government will continue to defend the province’s coast. Environment Minister George Heyman told a news conference Tuesday that tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity are at risk from a bitumen spill. Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation said it will appeal Ottawa’s decision to the Federal Court of Appeal. The First Nation was among those that won a legal challenge of the project last August. Later in the day, several hundred protesters gathered in downtown Vancouver carrying signs that read “Justin the hypocrite,” and “No jobs on a dead planet.” Many pledged further action to block the project from being built.
RCMP LOOKING FOR STERILIZATION VICTIMS
The RCMP is seeking the names of potential victims of coerced sterilization procedures and wants lawyers to help in the process, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said Tuesday. In testimony before the House of Commons health committee, Lucki said the RCMP is willing to meet with victims, adding it would be helpful if lawyers could talk to complainants about coming forward. MPs asked Lucki to testify as part of a study about ongoing concerns from predominantly Indigenous women who allege they were coerced or forced into tubal ligation procedures during childbirth. Her testimony also followed a letter sent this spring by NDP health critic Don Davies who asked the RCMP to conduct an investigation of allegations that have been brought forward.
DO MORE TO MITIGATE FLOOD RISK, REPORT URGES
The federal government could help mitigate the cost of flood damage by creating a “high-risk” insurance pool to help lift the burden off the public purse, says a report released Tuesday by the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The high-risk scheme is one of three options laid out in the report, a product of months of work by a national working group co-chaired by the bureau and Public Safety Canada. About one-fifth of homes in Canada are considered to be at risk of overland flooding, but many don’t have coverage for the damage. For those that do, insurance payouts have surged to about $1 billion per year over the past six years, based on estimates in the report. Meanwhile, federal payouts have quadrupled over the last four decades to about $3.7 billion during the first four years of this decade, compared with just $300 million during the 1970s.
ONTARIO CONSIDERS HIKING DRIVER, VEHICLE FEES
Less than a year after freezing driver and vehicle fees in Ontario, the Progressive Conservative government is considering raising them again. In a proposal quietly posted to a regulatory registry for public comment, the government says it is seeking to introduce annual fee increases of two per cent for various driver, vehicle and carrier products and services. The fee increases would start July 1 and continue for five years, under the proposal. The posting says it is anticipated there will be a neutral to negative reaction from drivers, vehicle owners and commercial carriers. The government froze some driver fees last August, cancelling increases that had been set for the following month, leaving the fee for a new driver’s licence, for example, at $90 instead of $97.
NATIONAL FILM BOARD REACHES ONE OF ITS 2020 INDIGENOUS TARGETS
The National Film Board of Canada says it has reached its commitment to spend at least 15 per cent of its production funds on Indigenous works — one year ahead of schedule. The commitment was part of the NFB’s three-year Indigenous Action Plan, which was announced in June 2017 in response to recommendations outlined in the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In sharing its second-year progress on the action plan, the NFB says production is under way or was recently completed on 40 works by Indigenous creators from across Canada. Those productions include Tasha Hubbard’s award-winning feature doc “nipawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up,” which is in theatres across Canada.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will deliver a speech tonight in Gatineau, Que., which lay out his plan for protecting the environment.
— The Canadian Nurses Association announces its platform recommendations for the 2019 federal election.
— Statistics Canada will release its consumer price index for May.
— B.C.’s Senior’s Advocate Isobel Mackenzie releases her latest report examining the province’s home support program.
The Canadian Press