Wet’suwet’en complaints about pipeline builder to be probed by government, police

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The British Columbia government says it will inspect the site of a planned natural gas pipeline southwest of Houston following allegations that the company building the project is violating its permits.

Members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and supporters have alleged that Coastal GasLink is engaging in construction activity without an archeological impact assessment and also destroyed traplines and tents unnecessarily.

The Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources says in a statement that joint site inspection will be conducted by the province’s Environmental Assessment Office and the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission next week.

« We anticipate that it will take some time subsequently to determine whether any non-compliances are evident and, if so, the appropriate enforcement action, » the ministry said.

The RCMP also said it has received complaints from both the Office of the Wet’suwet’en and Coastal GasLink regarding traplines and the removal of personal property items.

« We are following up on all complaints and continue to facilitate ongoing and direct dialogue between all parties regarding various issues, » the RCMP said.

Gidimt’en say 3 tents bulldozed

Trans Canada-owned Coastal GasLink is working to build a natural gas pipeline from northeastern British Columbia to LNG’s export facility on the coast as part of a $40-billion project.

Members of the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation issued a statement Monday saying the company « wilfully, illegally, and violently destroyed » its property this weekend, while the company said its actions have been permitted and lawful.

Jen Wickham, a member of the Gidimt’en clan, said Coastal GasLink bulldozed three tents constructed with timber and canvas in an area along a logging road not included in the company’s plans.

« CGL workers just tore down all our stuff, threw them in [shipping containers] and said we had until the end of the day to pick them up or they would be thrown in the dump, » she said.

The tents were constructed when members erected a barrier at the same location, where RCMP enforced a court injunction on Jan. 7 and arrested 14 people in a move that sparked protests across Canada and internationally.

Wickham said Wet’suwet’en members told RCMP they wanted the tents to remain to host cultural workshops.

Following the enforcement of the court injunction, a road was plowed around the tents allowing free movement of vehicles.

President of Coastal GasLink pipeline Rick Gateman leaves the Office of the Wet’suwet’en after meeting with RCMP members and hereditary chiefs in Smithers, B.C., on Jan. 10. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

Coastal GasLink said in a statement that all work it’s doing is « approved and permitted and in full compliance » with its environmental assessment certificate issued by the province and the company has met all required pre-construction conditions.

« These areas are active work zones that are lawful and permitted. Any obstruction impeding our crews from safely accessing these work zones is in contravention of a court order, » Coastal GasLink said.

Traplines in dispute

On Friday, Coastal GasLink said it stopped work in an area closer to its planned work site because traplines had been placed inside construction boundaries and people were entering the site, raising safety concerns.

Jason Slade, a supporter with the nearby Unist’ot’en camp run by Wet’suwet’en members, said Monday that work only halted temporarily and the traplines had been destroyed. He said excavation had begun at the site of a planned « man camp. »

The Unist’ot’en allege the actions violate the Wildlife Act by interfering with lawful trapping, as well as an agreement that the Wet’suwet’en hereditary clan chiefs had reached with RCMP allowing the company access to the area and ensuring traditional practices like trapping could continue.

The clan also alleges it is violating its permits with the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission and Environmental Assessment Office by beginning construction work before an archeological impact assessment has been complete.

In a letter to the commission on Friday, Chief Knedebeas of the Unist’ot’en Clan points to an affidavit filed by a company official in November as part of its court injunction application, saying the assessment is scheduled for May.

Knedebeas asks in the letter that a stop-work order be issued immediately while the allegations are investigated.

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Judge who questioned lawyer about pregnancy among recent judicial council complaints

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A judge who questioned a lawyer in court about her pregnancy and a judge who was alleged to have “inappropriately touched” another judge are among the complaints closed by the Ontario Judicial Council that were not sent to a public discipline hearing, according to the council’s most recent annual report.

The report, which covers the period from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017, says the council received 110 complaints about provincially appointed judges during the reporting period, and also dealt with an additional 18 complaints from the previous period.

Twenty-eight of the complaints were closed, nineteen were carried forward, and the remaining 81 complaints dealt with Hamilton judge Bernd Zabel, who faced a public discipline hearing last year for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat to court the day after the U.S. presidential election. He was suspended without pay for 30 days.

The annual report provides insight into how the council deals with the majority of the complaints it receives about provincial court judges, as only a select few ever make it to a public discipline hearing. The rest are handled behind closed doors by committees generally made up of judges and members of the public. Only a summary of each of those cases is published in the annual report, with no identifying information.

A few of those complaints result in written advice to the judge, or a meeting with the chief justice, while the bulk of the cases result in no action being taken at all. In some instances it’s because the case deals with matters outside the judicial council’s jurisdiction. For example, the council cannot deal with complaints about a particular decision rendered by a judge; it can only deal with complaints about his or her conduct.

In another case, a female lawyer alleged she was subjected to “pregnancy discrimination,” according to the annual report, alleging that in open court she was “made to discuss her pregnancy and state of mind at different points in her pregnancy. She alleged that the questioning by the judge was unnecessary and unfair and that his tone was flippant and callous.”

A review panel at the council, having listened to audio recordings of the court appearance, said it was “concerned by the tone and manner of the judge’s interactions with the lawyer.” In a response to the panel, the judge said he had reflected on the interaction and apologized.

“The panel noted that it was important to ensure that the judge was fully aware of the importance of judges being sensitive to and respectful of the personal circumstances of persons appearing before him, particularly pregnancy and gender,” according to the case summary in the report.

The report said the judge met with the chief justice and “showed remorse” for his comments. The file was closed.

Ontario Court judges, who earned a base salary of $291,241 in 2017, deal with the majority of adult and youth criminal charges, but not jury trials or certain serious crimes.

Over at the Justices of the Peace Review Council, 47 new complaints were received in 2016 and an additional 22 complaints were carried forward from previous years. The council managed to close 40 files by the end of 2016.

The majority of the complaints were dismissed either because they were outside the council’s jurisdiction, or a review panel found the allegations did not amount to judicial misconduct. Four complaints resulted in written advice to a justice of the peace, and two were referred to the chief justice.

The bulk of the complaints stemmed from provincial offences court, which the review council noted is the only court that most members of the public will ever face, as it deals with traffic and bylaw offences, among other things.

Several of the complaints that led to JPs getting written advice dealt with their tone and level of patience in court, as some had been accused of being brusque and cutting off self-represented defendants.

In one notable case, a JP questioned a woman, who was in court to deal with a speeding ticket, on her choice of clothing. The complaints committee said it was “concerned by the abrupt, inappropriate nature of His Worship’s conduct and comments towards the complainant.”

As soon as the woman said good afternoon, the JP responded: “Do you promise me that this is the last time you’re going to ever come to a court dressed like that?” according to an excerpt of a transcript included in the annual report.

The woman said she promised. The JP responded by saying that it wasn’t funny, and added, “You lose respect for the last bastion of justice. You don’t do that. If you have no justice you have nothing in any country.”

According to the complainant, she had arrived from work on her lunch break, wearing a sleeveless top, a skirt and dress shoes. She also said that before hearing her case, the JP dealt with a man wearing shorts and flip-flops but did not comment on the man’s attire.

There is in fact no dress code for court, except a prohibition on sunglasses and hats, unless needed for religious or medical reasons, the committee said. While the committee found the JP’s comments did not amount to judicial misconduct, it remained “concerned” that he “did not appear to understand why there was some merit to the complaint, nor why his course of conduct was not appropriate.”

The JP reflected on his conduct and met with the chief justice, the committee said.

“He regretted that the complainant left the courtroom feeling that she had not been heard,” the committee said. “His Worship now understands that there is no specific legal requirement for the dress code in the courtroom, and he must be mindful that he does not make remarks that could be seen to be discriminatory.”

The file was closed.

Jacques Gallant is a Toronto-based reporter covering legal affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @JacquesGallant

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Ken Thomas calls for meeting with Provincial Complaints Commission – Saskatoon

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The lawyer for Ken Thomas is calling for an urgent meeting with the chair of Saskatchewan’s Provincial Complaints Commission (PCC) after it found allegations by Thomas of a starlight tour were unfounded.

Thomas claimed two Saskatoon police officers picked him up and drove him out of the city on April 21.


READ MORE:
Man files complaint against police, says officers left him outside Saskatoon

The PCC dismissed the allegation on Dec. 18 following an investigation, including a review of GPS logs provided by the force, and video and audio recordings.

The commission found there had been no contact between Thomas and police on the night in question.

WATCH BELOW: Starlight tour allegation against Saskatoon police unfounded






Donald Worme, who is representing Thomas, wants the meeting with the PCC to discuss its findings.

Worme has also not ruled out filing a civil suit against the Saskatoon Police Service, but said more questions need to be answered before they explore their options.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Telecom mediator sees 57% spike in complaints in 2017-18, mainly about wireless

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The federal watchdog that handles customer complaints about telecommunications and television services in Canada saw a 57 per cent spike in complaints in 2017-2018, most of them involving wireless providers.

The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services said Tuesday that it also expects to see complaints rise this year. For the first time, the federal watchdog is also investigating complaints about television.

But most of what it heard in the year to September 2018 were the same issues that the CCTS has been dealing with for the past 10 years — non-disclosure of information and bill surprises by wireless operators.

« Customers will communicate with their service provider and then find out that the reality of what they get is not what they expected to get. This results in billing issues, in charges people don’t expect, on limitation on bandwidth or data, » said CCTS Commissioner Howard Maker.

« It’s a mismatch of customer expectations and what their service provider delivers. »

Maker said the complaints come despite a revised Wireless Code, which is meant to protect consumers. It came into effect in December 2017.

Howard Maker, commissioner of the CCTS, says there is lots of opportunity for the telecom providers to do better, including solving complaints before they reach the telecom watchdog. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

The CCTS handled 14,272 complaints from consumers in 2017-2018. Of that, 41.5 per cent of them were about wireless service and 29.2 per cent were about internet service. Complaints about television made up only 10.6 per cent of the total.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission held hearings into the telcos’ sales practices earlier this year and is due to present the findings in February.

Consumer advocates speaking at the hearings complained that the telcos are misleading seniors and low-income people with high-pressure sales tactics. They called for a sales code of conduct and a « cooling off » period to allow consumers to back out of contracts that are not suitable to their needs.

John Lawford of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre said it’s a positive sign that consumers are complaining more because it means government might listen.

« It’s about time we started increasing complaints in Canada. I’m glad to see people are starting to complain actively now, » he said.

He called for policies that would promote more competition in the telecom industry and « maybe bust out the major players’ stranglehold on the market. »

Lawford suggested rules on wholesale pricing that will encourage competition from smaller players.

« There needs to be some threat to the big guys, so they can’t just do what they want, » he said.

(CBC)

Maker says there is lots of opportunity for the telecom providers to do better.

« We see a lot of complaints that customers bring to us that have no business getting as far as the CCTS. Small complaints where the provider’s own evidence indicates that the customer has merit, that the story the customer is telling is true, and yet they’re not resolved at the frontline, presumably because nobody looked at the records, » he said.

Maker said media coverage of the CRTC hearing with its focus on sales practices may have made more consumers aware of the CCTS and its complaints process.

Telcos need to step up

But he also called on the telcos — especially Bell, Rogers and Telus, the biggest players who account for half of all complaints — to improve their practices.

« Where there’s opportunity for improvement is around the disclosure factor — making sure all the necessary information that customers need to really understand what they’re getting is complete, » Maker said.

Documents should be clear, complete and written in accessible language. Consumers should be educated about « all the ins and outs they need to know to make sure they’re getting what they think they’re getting, » he said.

Internet service complaints climb

The CCTS noted an increase of complaints about internet service, which have grown by 170 per cent in the last five years to 8,987 complaints.

Among the issues  are billing and disclosure issues, but also quality of service such as internet speeds, internet outages and bandwidth overuse surcharges. Consumers also complained about installations — especially technicians who don’t show up on time.

« Consumer protections are in place to TV and wireless, where there are codes. But in the internet business there is no code, so it looks like the CRTC wants to plug that gap, » Maker said.

« This would level the playing field in terms of everyone understanding the rights of the consumers and the providers. »

When the CCTS steps in

The CCTS says it resolved 92 per cent of the consumer complaints it handled.

Among them were:

  • A customer from Laval, Que., agreed to obtain a bundle of home phone, internet and TV services for $111 per month, but was then was billed $131 per month. The provider told her that she was not eligible for the offer priced at $111 per month. CCTS was able to secure the lower price for her for a 12-month period.
  • A customer from Langley, B.C. received an offer from her service provider of a new mobile device, which included a device protection plan. The customer paid $280 for the device and believed she was on a month-to-month agreement. The device broke and she received a refurbished replacement. When she reported her dissatisfaction, she ws told she was locked into a 24-month plan with a $500 cancellation fee. CCTS found the provider had failed to inform the customer that by accepting the new device, she was consenting to a 24-month contract and that it had not sent her a copy of the contract as mandated by the Wireless Code.
  • A customer from Saskatchewan subscribed to internet service delivered through a satellite system. The service functioned properly for a few days until the internet speed decreased, particularly when used for gaming or watching Netflix. The provider said a new plan would be necessary to get those speeds. When the CCTS became involved, the provider offered an upgrade to new infrastructure without an installation fee and with a credit for the customer.

​The telcos’ record in 2017-18

The provider most cited was Bell, the biggest telecom provider in Canada, with 4,734 or a 45.8 per cent increase in complaints.There was a sharp increase in complaints about incorrect monthly pricing and non-disclosure issues.

The CCTS started taking complaints about television service in September 2017. It recorded 3,248 complaints in the first year. (Deyan Georgiev/Shutterstock)

Bell pointed to the increase in complaints for nearly all providers.

« Overall complaints about communications providers have increased each year as both the CCTS’s mandate and consumer awareness of its services continue to grow, » the company said in a statement.

It said its investments in front-line service teams and support systems are having a « positive impact on our customer service performance. »

Rogers, which had 1,449 complaints, sent an email statement from spokesperson Eric Agius: « One complaint is one too many and we always take customer feedback to continuously improve. » 

Telus issued a press statement saying it received the fewest complaints of any national provider, accounting for only 6.6 per cent of complaints.

« Of Telus’s 901 complaints that were concluded prior to the 2017-18 report cut-off date, 757, or 84 per cent, were resolved at the pre-investigation stage, » the statement said.

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Law society program sees spike in harassment complaints in wake of #MeToo movement

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A Law Society of Ontario service that deals with harassment and discrimination by lawyers and paralegals saw a 50 per cent increase in complaints in the first half of 2018 compared to the last six months of 2017.

“I believe we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg,” said lawyer Lai-King Hum, one of the individuals who serve as discrimination and harassment counsel (DHC). The free service is funded by the legal regulator but operates independently of it.

“I believe there’s now probably going to be a consistent level (of complaints.)”

The service’s mandate is to deal with allegations, both from the public and from members of the legal profession, that are based on the prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Ontario Human Rights Code, including sex, race and sexual orientation.

The service says in its latest report that 125 individuals reached out with a new issue between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2018, averaging about 21 “new contacts” per month.

Of those 125 individuals, 46 complaints fell within the program’s mandate: 45 related to lawyers’ conduct and one related to the conduct of an articling student.

The remaining 79 complaints dealt with matters outside the program’s mandate, such as complaints about individuals other than lawyers and paralegals. A portion of these complaints were related to members of the legal profession but dealt with matters other than human rights code grounds, such as complaints about abusive work environments, many of which were made by articling students.

“The behaviours they reported included not being given legal work; being forced to run personal errands for their articling principal and/or their principal’s family; being subjected to verbal abuse and threats; not being paid; being paid less than minimum wage; verbally abusing and/or humiliating students in front of other lawyers/clients; and bullying,” the report states.

“A disproportionate number of the students reporting abusive employment relationships are students who received their training outside Canada … or racialized students. While these matters fall outside the mandate of the DHC, they are significant enough a trend that they warrant being brought to the law society’s attention.”

The report points to a number of possible reasons for the spike in complaints this year.

“The number of contacts to the DHC office increased noticeably beginning in the fall of 2017 as the #MeToo movement emerged,” the report states. “That higher level of contact has been sustained, with a number of callers citing the #MeToo movement as giving them confidence to come forward to report.”

The report also points to a November 2017 story in the Globe and Mail by Hadiya Roderique, about her experiences as a Black female lawyer, that was widely read in the legal community.

Of the 45 complaints about lawyers that fell within the program’s mandate, 34 were made by members of the legal profession:

Twenty-eight of those 34 complaints, representing 80 per cent, were made by women, more than half of whom identified as racialized and/or a person with a disability.

Six of the 34 complaints were made by men, all but one of whom identified as “being racialized, and/or of a minority religion, gay or a man with a disability,” according to the report.

The remaining 11 complaints about lawyers were made by members of the public.

“I think it’s a very important role that we play,” Hum said. “Even if people are not prepared to take any actual action about harassment or discrimination that they’ve faced, the fact that they provide us with the information will help us to determine how much of a problem there is in the profession. Without the data, it’s hard to say.”

Services provided by the discrimination and harassment counsel program include coaching for individuals who want to handle a harassment situation by themselves, facilitating mediation and advising complainants of other avenues of recourse, including filing a formal complaint of misconduct with the law society against a lawyer or paralegal.

The complaints about lawyers that fell within the program’s mandate include sexual harassment, such as “predatory texting, persistent unwanted contact outside of work, including late night phone calls; sexual advances and persistent pressuring of complainant(s) for sexual relationships; disparaging women in front of colleagues.”

There were also complaints from female members of the profession about being pressured to return early from maternity leave, as well as reprisals for having taken it in the first place.

Others complained of racial harassment, including verbal and physical threats, and systemic racism “in which racialized lawyers and students were denied opportunities for mentorship; denied access to desirable work, and assigned work that was non-legal work or work below their level.”

Hum said the program is reviewing its mandate to become more proactive, “such as providing education to law firms, going in and explaining what discrimination and harassment is, and what steps they can take.”

Jacques Gallant is a Toronto-based reporter covering legal affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @JacquesGallant

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Sask. confident private buses will fill Greyhound gap despite accessibility complaints

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The last Greyhound bus in the west has passed through Regina for a final time.

Wednesday was the final day Greyhound buses ran west of Sudbury, ON, leaving rural residents across the province and western Canada in limbo.

“To me, it’s not right,” said Charlene Egar, a member of the Regina-based advocacy group Transportation For All.

Egar is confined to a wheelchair and relied on public and private transportation to travel across Saskatchewan.

“I went home for Thanksgiving weekend. My father had to come to Regina to pick me up. Their vehicle is not wheelchair accessible so he had to literally pick me up, out of my chair, and transfer me into the van,” she said.

Wednesday morning, federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau told provinces that the federal government would be willing to undergo a cost-sharing exercise to subsidize some bus routes.

“We will be there with you to finance the running of bus services on these non-viable routes,” Garneau said.


READ MORE:
Rider Express bus service to start in Western Canada on Monday

Since July, when Greyhound announced it would be stepping out of the Western Canadian market, 87 per cent of the routes greyhound serviced have been taken over by private companies – but that means 13 per cent are still missing, and those tend to be the routes in the most remote locations.

“I have a brother-in-law that lives in Canoe Narrows that needs to go to Saskatoon for kidney dialysis. He would rely on Greyhound to get to Saskatoon for his appointments. Now, he’s relying on taxis and he can’t afford a taxi each time,” said Tina Millar, another advocate with Transportation For All.

Despite the possibility of financial assistance, Saskatchewan had no desire to create a new bussing subsidy.

“With STC being closed for two years, the private sector has stepped up. They’re covering off most of the routes that Greyhound had [and] we’re pretty pleased about that. Really, the Saskatchewan government has no interest in doing a heavy subsidy on [a] public bus service,” said Joe Hargrave, the minister formerly responsible for STC.

The private model has accommodated the most common routes, but Egar said it doesn’t have all the answers, particularly when it comes to accessible transportation.

Regina-based Rider Express only has two buses that are wheelchair accessible. They run from Winnipeg to Vancouver including stops in Regina, Moose Jaw and Swift Current and from Winnipeg to Edmonton, including a stop in Saskatoon.

That means, technically, those confined to wheelchairs could travel from Regina to Saskatoon, but it would take nearly a full day of travel.


READ MORE:
Amid Greyhound service cuts, majority backs government-run rural bus service: poll

“Going from here to Winnipeg and then to Saskatoon, that’s not an option for me,” Egar said, explaining the duration of the trip, as well as bathroom and food breaks,  makes the journey difficult for disabled passengers.

“[The province] needs to step up and fill the gap. There are thousands of us that need to get to different locations that are confined to a wheelchair, that can’t do vehicle transfers,” she said.

Hargrave said he wasn’t worried about accessible transport, noting that they’re expanding all the time. They’re looking at putting on more accessible [buses], they’re starting to move there. They just didn’t have the finances to do everything at one time.”

Rider Express mentioned earlier in the month that they planned to have wheelchair accessible buses. Two buses have been purchased, Rider Express did not say whether or not they were looking to add more to the fleet.

They did say that if the province was interested in the federal subsidy, they would look at expanding their services to more remote locations in the province.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Ottawa slaps down complaints from Queen’s Park over the USMCA

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Ottawa has slapped down complaints from Queen’s Park about Canada’s new trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico in a politically charged exchange.

Ontario continued its push Wednesday for the federal government to detail compensation arrangements for dairy farmers when the Canadian market is opened to more American milk products under USMCA, the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement. In a letter sent Wednesday, Ontario Trade Minister Jim Wilson also raised a number of other concerns including about U.S. tariffs and Canada’s ability to control its future trade deals.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was signed Sunday night after 13 months of tense, high-stakes negotiations punctuated by threats from U.S. President Donald Trump, who claimed Canada enjoyed unfair advantages under NAFTA. The deal must still be ratified by the three nations.

In his Wednesday morning letter to federal Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Wilson flatly stated “a number of questions remain unanswered by your government.”

“Our government remains concerned about the impacts of increasing access to Ontario’s dairy market, the remaining steel and aluminum tariffs, and Clause 32 which permits the U.S. to veto future Canadian trade deals with other nations,” the Progressive Conservative wrote.

Freeland’s response said opening the dairy sector to more U.S. goods through the USMCA is in line with what the previous Stephen Harper government agreed to in the original Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal with Asian countries.

“Changes to the dairy sector are comparable to changes negotiated by the Conservatives in the original TPP,” she wrote of new provisions that will open up just over 3 per cent of the market to American products.

“We will fully and fairly compensate the supply management sector and dairy farmers. The government is establishing a working group, in partnership with the dairy industry, to ensure its vitality long into the future. We will be in contact with Ontario about this process.”

Freeland suggested Ontario and other provinces had already been given this information.

“The prime minister updated Premier (Doug) Ford on Monday, and Canada’s negotiating team has briefed Ontario officials,” she wrote, pledging to have Ottawa’s chief negotiator Steve Verheul “continue to ensure Ontario has full information about the agreement.”

“I was pleased to meet you and Premier Ford on Sept. 19 in Washington where we discussed many of the issues in your letter,” she added.

Freeland’s mid-afternoon reply defended the deal more broadly, saying it “safeguards more than $2 billion a day in cross-border trade and tariff-free access for more than 70 per cent of Canadian exports,” particularly the auto industry that is crucial to Ontario’s economic health.

She also addressed Wilson’s claim the USMCA could impact future trade agreements.

“Nothing in this agreement infringes on Canada’s sovereign right to develop commercial relations with any country of its choosing,” Freeland noted in the three-page reply.

“NAFTA, and the USMCA, have a provision by which any country can exit the agreement for any reason, on six months’ notice. That withdrawal provision is unchanged.”

On tariffs, Freeland said the federal government remains in “direct contact” with the Trump administration “to seek the removal of illegal steel and aluminum tariffs. There is no justification for these measures. We will continue to seek a resolution.”

The tariffs imposed earlier this year under U.S. “national security” grounds make Canadian steel and aluminum more expensive to customers south of the border, hurting the industry and jobs here.

Freeland thanked Wilson for Ontario’s “full support” during difficult negotiations — Ford frequently said he stood “shoulder-to-shoulder” with federal negotiators — and said it helped shape the final deal.

Wilson said Ontario is “optimistic” the USMCA will create “continued opportunities for trade between our three nations” but is worried the Americans could impose further tariffs.

Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robferguson1

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