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Pipeline and politics: Notley used Trans Mountain mess to attack Jason Kenney

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The Alberta NDP government used the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion mess as an opportunity to try and score political points against United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney.

Internal documents detailing the NDP government’s talking points on the pipeline this spring demonstrate the government’s dogged attempts to paint Kenney as slick and capricious, said Calgary-based pollster Janet Brown.

« They’ve been trying really hard to back Jason Kenney into a corner, they’ve been trying really hard to vilify him, » Brown said in an interview with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.

« They’re attacking him for things that people admire about him — his tenacity, his long history in politics, his slickness and determination as a politician. »

Through a freedom of information request, CBC News obtained 28 pages of internal documents — mostly emails, speech notes and talking points for media scrums.

The Opposition Leader has no strategy — only temper tantrums.– NDP talking points

The documents account for all communications between Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd and her chief of staff from April 8, when Kinder Morgan issued an ultimatum on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, to May 29, the day the federal government announced it would buy the embattled pipeline.

Pages of the talking points are dedicated to lambasting Kenney’s policies and political chops. One section of the suggested talking points is titled « Kenney’s Energy Flip flops.’

The documents describe Kenney as « just another Ottawa politician » who « can’t keep his story straight » and who « has no strategy — only temper tantrums. »

« The Opposition Leader sat on his hands for a decade in Ottawa … He failed to do his job so we’ll do it for him, » reads the document.

But Brown said the strategy might backfire against Notley in the next election, which must be held on or before May 31, 2019.

« All they’re doing is reminding people about the things they begrudgingly respect about Jason Kenney, » Brown said.

A series of focus groups conducted by CBC in May suggested that Notley is more popular than her party, while Kenney is not as popular as the UCP.

I feel sorry for this government.– Warren  Kinsella

« The more they (the NDP) harp on Kenney on a personal level, it will leave Albertans wondering whether they are really focused on the key issues. »

Alberta political strategist Warren Kinsella agrees that keeping Kenney in the crosshairs is not the strategy to keep Notley from failure in the next election.

Long before the Trans Mountain controversy erupted this spring, plummeting oil prices had already played havoc with the NDP government’s re-election efforts, he said.

« They’re nervous, they’re concerned, » Kinsella said, who noted that the reigning NDP is acting like they’re in opposition. « The polls have been showing for months that Kenney is the one to beat.

« I feel sorry for this government because I think Notley is a decent and effective leader. But just the bottom line is, she’s likely to lose because of something completely beyond her control. »

With files from Clare Bonnyman, producer with CBC Edmonton AM



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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