Seven stories in the news for Tuesday, July 18
B.C. OFFICIALS PREPARE FOR SOME RESIDENTS TO RETURN HOME.
A British Columbia official says getting people to safety as fast-moving wildfires approached was only half the battle — the other half will be returning them home. Al Richmond, chairman of the Cariboo Regional District in B.C.'s central Interior, says it's no easy task, partly due to the health hazards of food that has rotted in homes where power was off. More than 40,000 people remain out of their homes as nearly 160 wildfires burn across B.C.
PREMIERS FORGE AHEAD WITH INDIGENOUS MEETING DESPITE BOYCOTT
The premiers met with a reduced group of Indigenous leaders in Edmonton on Monday even though three national bodies boycotted the event. The heads of the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Metis National Council said their boycott was to draw attention to their bid for "full and meaningful inclusion" in the larger annual gathering of provincial and territorial leaders known as the Council of the Federation.
NAFTA TO BE FOCUS OF PREMIERS' MEETING
The premiers meet today in Edmonton to discuss trade issues, particularly business with the United States and the looming NAFTA renegotiation. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the premiers need to work even closer together as they continue to make the case directly to individual states in the U.S. that rely on cross-border business. Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says Canada should start compiling a list of ways to retaliate if the NAFTA talks take an ugly turn.
NAFTA CONSULTATIONS EXTENDED
The Trudeau government is extending public consultations to find out what Canadians want to see in a new North American Free Trade Agreement. The consultations were to end today but officials say the government will continue indefinitely to accept responses to its online survey, which asks Canadians to identify their priorities for a renegotiated deal to modernize the 23-year-old agreement. The government will also be staging a number of townhall-style meetings on the subject.
B.C. NDP TAKE REINS FOR FIRST TIME IN 16 YEARS
British Columbia's New Democrats will get their first taste of power in 16 years at a swearing-in ceremony in Victoria this afternoon. The NDP won 41 of the legislature's 87 seats during May's election, two less than the governing Liberals. But NDP Leader and premier-designate John Horgan brokered a deal with the B.C. Greens, who won three seats, paving the way for him to form the narrowest of minority governments.
SEARS CANADA TO ASK COURT TO START LIQUIDATION
Lawyers for Sears Canada return to court today to ask a Toronto judge if the retailer can begin liquidation sales as early as Friday. The retail chain has been under creditor protection since June 22 after saying it was shuttering 59 stores and cutting approximately 2,900 jobs. In documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court, the chief financial officer for Sears Canada says it's "crucial'' that the company be able to begin liquidation sales no later than this Friday, with the sales to be completed by Oct. 12.
PM TRUDEAU TO MARCH IN HALIFAX PRIDE PARADE
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will take part in Saturday's Pride Parade in Halifax. Halifax Pride tweeted on Monday evening that a "special guest" would join the parade, to which Trudeau replied, "See you there!" Halifax Liberal MP Andy Fillmore also sent out a tweet saying Trudeau will march in this year's parade. Trudeau was the first sitting prime minister to march in a Pride parade when he did so in Toronto in 2016, then attended the same event last month.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:
— Gov. Gen. David Johnston will bid farewell to The Queen today during a private audience in London.
— Minister of Finance Bill Morneau will hold an Ottawa news conference regarding plans to improve tax fairness for the middle class.
— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Quebec's Gaspe region.
— Wildrose Leader Brian Jean will hold a rally for unity in Calgary.
— Annual general meeting of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. Grand chief to be elected on July 19.
— The Fraser Institute will release a study on household and government debt.