Convoy of hundreds of trucks nears Ottawa to protest federal oil policies – National

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Hundreds of trucks are expected to roll into Ottawa Tuesday to protest the federal government’s policies on the oil industry.

The main portion of the United We Roll Convoy set out from Red Deer, Alta., last Thursday and made stops in Regina, Dryden, Thunder Bay, and Sault Ste. Marie before mustering at Arnprior, Ont., just outside the capital.

WATCH: Truck convoy rolls through Calgary on the way to Ottawa






The rally is expected to occupy almost a kilometre of Wellington Street, in front of Parliament.

Lead organizer Glen Carritt says the display is about showing support for new oil pipelines and opposition to the federal carbon tax and new rules on oil transportation.

The convoy includes members of the Yellow Vest Movement, whose demonstrations across the country have had widely varying agendas, from supporting pipelines to denouncing a United Nations compact on global migration.

WATCH: Alberta’s plan to ship oil by rail backfires






Demonstrators from eastern Canada are also expected to link up with the convoy.

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Time to ‘push back’ against federal government, Conservative leaders say at Sask. pro-pipeline rally

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The battleground for pipelines and the oil and gas industry was set in Moosomin, Sask., on Saturday, as the federal  Conservative Leader blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his handling of the energy file.

« His attack on Canada’s energy sector is by design. It’s on purpose, » Andrew Scheer told the audience gathered for the pro-pipeline rally, also attended by Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs and Conservative Senator Denise Batters.

« This is the one area where he’s doing exactly what he said would do. »

Trudeau has spoken about transitioning Canada away from fossil fuels. Scheer says, if he becomes prime minister, he would  promote Canadian oil and gas. 

« I will travel around the world promoting Canadians’ energy sector, as a source of ethical and responsible and sustainable energy around the world, » he promised, to cheers from the audience.

The federal government had bought the Trans Mountain pipeline in order to make progress on a stalled project, but a Supreme Court blocked further progress, ruling that Canada’s efforts to meaningfully consult with Indigenous people, as required by law, fell short.

Scheer criticized Trudeau for overpaying for the pipeline by $1 billion.  

« Justin Trudeau paid more than the sticker price for a pipeline that he can’t even build, » he charged.

Crowds gathered in Moosomin, Sask. to hear from various politicians and other pipeline advocates. (Trevor Botherel / CBC)

Scheer had set the stage for Saturday’s pro-pipeline appearance with an appearance in Saskatoon on Friday night, talking about the need to build pipelines.  

« We know that the best way to transport that energy, the most environmentally friendly way, taking oil and gas off of rail cars, is to build pipelines, » Scheer said, while speaking in Saskatoon on Friday, one day before news of a derailment of a train carrying crude oil in Manitoba.

« We need a government that has a plan to get them built through the private sector by providing certainty and clarity in approvals process and that’s what my plan will do. »

Scheer said his plan, if he is to become prime minister in this year’s election, would be to repeal a carbon tax and repeal Bill C-69, which he argues muddies the approval process for pipelines. Bill C-69 provides a process for assessing the environmental, health, social and economic effects of pipeline and other projects.

Instead, these pipelines need to be declared in the national interest, because of the benefits they confer to every single region, said Scheer.

« And come October, after forming government, we will start to clean up the mess that [Trudeau’s] left us, » he promised the crowd.

Moe also took to the stage, saying the strength of the audience on a frigid February day spoke volumes about their frustration with the downtrodden oil and gas sector.  

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe walks through the crowd before speaking at a pro-pipeline rally. He said ‘It’s time for us to begin to push back and we need to push back pretty hard’ against the federal government. (MIchael Bell/Canadian Press)

« For far too long, this conversation has been dominated by those who disapprove of how you and myself and and our neighbours in this province make a living in our communities, » he said, adding the federal government was simply not listening to people whose livelihoods depended on sectors like oil and gas and mining.  

« The moment has come in the nation of Canada. It’s time for us to begin to push back and we need to push back pretty hard. »

Speakers were scheduled to address the crowd on issues affecting the oil and gas sector. (Trevor Botherel / CBC)

Moosomin economy driven by energy 

The rally was organized by Moosomin Economic Development, with Moe saying that the southern Saskatchewan town of about 2,500 people was among the communities that depended on a thriving oil and gas industry. 

A news release indicates « Moosomin would have played a part in the cancelled Energy East project with a 1,050,000 barrel tank farm planned for the Moosomin Compressor Station and a feeder pipeline from Cromer, Man.,  to the Moosomin Compressor Station, both part of the Energy East plan. »

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SNC-Lavalin signed at least $68M in federal contracts last year

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OTTAWA—SNC-Lavalin was awarded at least $68 million in new federal work last year, a Star analysis shows.

The figure provides a glimpse into what is at stake for the Quebec-based company if it is convicted of fraud and corruption charges that lie at the heart of a political storm swamping the Trudeau government.

The tally excludes the value of multi-year contracts and major infrastructure projects, and likely represents a fraction of what the construction and engineering giant stands to lose in the high-profile case. It also excludes work SNC-Lavalin is involved in as part of a consortium of companies, such as Ottawa’s new $2.1-billion light rail line and the $2.8-billion contract to upgrade Montreal’s regional transit system.

The charges against the company are at the centre of a political controversy for the Liberal government. Last week, the Globe and Mail reported officials in the Prime Minister’s Office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to halt criminal proceedings against SNC-Lavalin and settle the case through mediation. Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion said Monday that he will investigate the affair.

The company, meanwhile, has argued a criminal conviction would unjustly punish its thousands of employees, pensioners, shareholders and subcontractors because it would bar SNC-Lavalin from bidding on Canadian federal contracts for 10 years.

Charlie Angus, an NDP MP from northern Ontario, asked the federal government to release the total value of more than 140 active contracts with SNC-Lavalin, as well as details of departments’ contingency plans if the company is suddenly ineligible to perform federal work. In a response last month, most government departments refused to provide those details. Angus was directed to the federal government’s procurement website for the value of contracts, and was only told the government is monitoring SNC-Lavalin’s legal situation very closely.

According to 2018 procurement records, SNC-Lavalin inked 176 new contracts with federal departments and agencies that are worth a total of more than $67.9 million. Because of the way procurement records are published, it’s difficult to calculate how much federal money was awarded to the company.

SNC-Lavalin employs more than 8,700 people in Canada, according to its website, and has 86 offices across the country.

In an interview Sunday, Angus said he doesn’t buy the argument that SNC-Lavalin is vital to the Canadian economy—that it is, in essence, “too big to fail.”

“The reality is SNC is continuing bidding on federal contracts,” he said. “This is work that can be done either by public service workers or can be done by companies without a long history of corruption.”

SNC-Lavalin has not responded to requests for comment from the Star in recent days.

Will Mitchell, the Anthony S. Fell chair in new technologies and commercialization at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, said there is no doubt SNC-Lavalin is a significant presence in the Canadian corporate landscape. From September 2017 to September 2018, the company reaped more than $8 billion in global revenue. It has also been involved in signature Canadian infrastructure projects in recent years, such as construction of Vancouver’s Canada Line train and the multibillion-dollar refurbishments of the Darlington and Bruce Power nuclear plants.

Mitchell said projects like this can have a “multiplier” effect for job growth, with SNC-Lavalin as a Canadian company being more likely to hire subcontractors for work in this country. But at the same time, he said, lingering criminal allegations can cast a cloud over Canada’s international reputation, which has the potential to drag down other corporate activity by Canadian firms around the world.

“There are lots of jobs and economic activity at stake, but nobody’s too big to fail, and if they’re damaging the reputation of the country—and in turn, damaging the ability of other Canadian firms to operate—they’re definitely not too big to fail,” he said.

Neil Bruce, SNC-Lavalin’s president and chief executive, has argued the criminal proceedings should be dropped in favour of mediation because of harm to the company’s operations. Last year, he told Bloomberg that the company has already lost out on about $5 billion in contracts because of the charges.

With files from Tonda MacCharles

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Immigration: François Legault proteste contre le refus du fédéral

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Le premier ministre François Legault proteste contre le refus d’Ottawa de permettre au Québec de fixer ses propres critères de sélection des résidents permanents.

« Si M. Trudeau nous empêche d’arriver à cet objectif [de mieux répondre aux besoins de main-d’oeuvre et de créer des tests de connaissance du français et des valeurs québécoises], il va payer un prix politique », a averti M. Legault à quelque huit mois des prochaines élections fédérales.

Par médias interposés, il a pris soin de rappeler à son homologue fédéral, Justin Trudeau, le « mandat fort » de revoir le système d’immigration que lui a confié la population québécoise le 1er octobre dernier. « On a l’appui des Québécois », a-t-il insisté en marge d’une annonce à Beauceville, vendredi. « [M. Trudeau] ne devrait pas être surpris de la demande qui a été faite hier. […] C’était dans notre programme électoral et on a eu une belle victoire, solide », a-t-il ajouté.

Le projet de loi 9 accorde de nouveaux pouvoirs au ministre québécois de l’Immigration, notamment celui de déterminer les « conditions qui affectent la résidence permanente », qui est octroyée par Ottawa aux ressortissants étrangers établis au Québec, et ce, pour assurer « la satisfaction des besoins régionaux ou sectoriels de main-d’oeuvre » ou encore « l’intégration linguistique, sociale ou économique » du nouvel arrivant.

À Ottawa, le ministre des Affaires intergouvernementales, Dominic Leblanc, a balayé du revers de la main la demande du gouvernement québécois de fixer ses propres conditions à la délivrance, au maintien ou au retrait du statut de résident permanent canadien de tout nouvel arrivant sur le territoire québécois. « Plus d’analyses sur le projet de loi 9 sont nécessaires, mais de prime abord, nous ne sommes pas favorables à la réintroduction de la résidence permanente conditionnelle », a-t-il indiqué moins de 24 heures après le dépôt du projet de loi 9 à l’Assemblée nationale. « Ce n’est pas un non. Ici, c’est une invitation à discuter, puis travailler ensemble », a dit de son côté le ministre fédéral de la Famille, Jean-Yves Duclos.

Le chef parlementaire du Parti québécois, Pascal Bérubé se désole de cette deuxième rebuffade infligée par Ottawa au Québec en une semaine : non à une déclaration de revenus unique traitée par le Québec, non à davantage de pouvoir en matière d’immigration. « On propose au gouvernement de la CAQ un projet emballant qui mettra fin à ces refus : l’indépendance du Québec », a lancé la députée de Joliette, Véronique Hivon.

L’élection d’un gouvernement « nationaliste », « autonomiste » se traduira nécessairement par des « gains » pour le Québec face à Ottawa, a réitéré M. Legault vendredi. Quels sont les gains réalisés depuis la prise de pouvoir de la CAQ ? lui a-t-on demandé. « Je viens d’arriver », a rétorqué le premier ministre, avant d’ajouter : « Je pense qu’on a obtenu de l’argent sur un certain nombre de dossiers du gouvernement fédéral… »

Consensus québécois ?

M. Legault a demandé vendredi à tous les partis politiques de serrer les coudes afin de « protéger l’autonomie du Québec ». À ses yeux, la demande faite à Ottawa de « ravoir le pouvoir de fixer des conditions dans le choix des nouveaux arrivants, ce qui avait été obtenu par Robert Bourrassa en 1993, [mais] laissé par [Philippe] Couillard et Kathleen Weil il y a quelques années » devrait faire l’objet d’« un consensus » à l’Assemblée nationale.

Même s’il n’appuie pas la réforme du système d’immigration proposée par le gouvernement caquiste, l’élu de Québec solidaire Andrés Fontecilla revendique « tous les pouvoirs au Québec en immigration comme dans tous les domaines ». « Le projet de loi de la CAQ semble traiter les humains comme de la marchandise et jette à la poubelle 18 000 dossiers, qui représentent 60 000 personnes, 60 000 projets de vie ruinés, dont un certain nombre vivant déjà au Québec depuis quelques années », a-t-il déploré.

Contestation judiciaire ?

M. Legault a soutenu vendredi que l’annulation des 18 000 demandes en attente au ministère de l’Immigration, qui est prévue dans le projet de loi 9, est légale. L’auteur du projet de loi, « Simon Jolin-Barrette est lui même un avocat », a-t-il fait remarquer. « Je n’ai pas d’inquiétudes. »

De leur côté, des avocats spécialisés en immigration « évalu[ent] les recours » juridiques des quelque 50 000 personnes dont la demande d’immigration serait annulée au lendemain d’une éventuelle adoption du projet de loi 9.

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Achat de Trans Mountain par le fédéral: un peu cher, mais peut-être bénéfique, selon le DPB

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Le gouvernement de Justin Trudeau a peut-être payé trop cher en versant 4,5 milliards de dollars pour acquérir l’oléoduc Trans Mountain afin d’en faciliter l’agrandissement, estime le directeur parlementaire du budget (DPB). Mais du même souffle, il indique que ce projet pourrait ajouter au moins 6 milliards de dollars au produit intérieur brut annuel du Canada.

Dans une analyse dévoilée jeudi, le DPB indique que « la valeur du pipeline Trans Mountain et du projet d’agrandissement du réseau de Trans Mountain se situe entre 3,6 milliards et 4,6 milliards de dollars. Le gouvernement a négocié un prix d’achat dans le haut de la fourchette d’évaluation », est-il écrit.

Le gouvernement a donc peut-être déjà perdu 1 milliard (la confirmation viendra dans le futur, quand on saura à quel prix Ottawa aura réussi à revendre l’infrastructure).

Si c’était une voiture, on dirait qu’ils ont payé le prix affiché sans négocier ou demander de rabais.

 

La valeur attribuée à l’agrandissement du pipeline seulement est de 1,58 milliard de dollars. Toutefois, ce montant est appelé à diminuer (ou à augmenter) considérablement en fonction de l’échéancier du projet : la valeur de l’agrandissement ne serait plus que de 888 millions si le projet se terminait un an plus tard, en décembre 2022, ou au contraire passerait à 2,3 milliards si on accélérait la cadence et terminait le tout un an plus tôt.

De même, si les coûts de construction, estimés à 9,3 milliards de dollars, augmentaient à 10,4 milliards, la valeur de l’agrandissement perdrait près de 500 millions. Il en gagnerait autant si au contraire les coûts de construction étaient inférieurs. Le DPB juge très improbable que les coûts de construction n’augmentent pas.

« Si c’était une voiture, on dirait qu’ils ont payé le prix affiché sans négocier ou demander de rabais », a illustré le DPB, Yves Giroux. S’il devait y avoir à la fois un retard dans la construction et une augmentation des coûts de construction, « c’est certain que le gouvernement aura payé trop cher », continue M. Giroux. « Le gouvernement perdrait au moins 1 milliard de plus dans l’aventure. »

Dans le pire des scénarios, c’est-à-dire si l’agrandissement n’était jamais construit, Ottawa perdra 2,4 milliards de dollars. M. Giroux relativise cette somme. « Un gouvernement qui génère à peu près 300 milliards de dollars de revenus par année peut se permettre de prendre un risque de 2,5 milliards. C’est clair. La question c’est : est-ce la meilleure utilisation des fonds publics ? Et ça, c’est une question à laquelle les Canadiens et les parlementaires doivent répondre. »

 

Les bénéfices du projet

Parce que le projet Trans Mountain ne comprend pas que des coûts. Il engendrera aussi des richesses dont seuls les gouvernements peuvent profiter.

La création de milliers d’emplois, l’accroissement de l’activité économique en Alberta et l’obtention d’un meilleur prix pour la ressource gonfleront en effet le PIB canadien — ce qui représente des revenus gouvernementaux supplémentaires sous forme de taxes et d’impôts.

À l’heure actuelle, les États-Unis, sachant que l’Alberta n’a pas d’autres débouchés pour sa ressource, achètent le pétrole canadien au rabais. L’écart entre le prix potentiel et le prix obtenu a oscillé au cours des dernières années entre 15 $US et 50 $US le baril. Le DPB ne veut pas présumer à combien s’élèvera l’écart — qui sera alors comblé — lorsque l’agrandissement de Trans Mountain sera terminé. Mais il calcule qu’à 5 $US le baril, cela gonflera le PIB canadien annuel de 6 milliards de dollars. « Ça pourrait fort probablement être plus que ça », admet M. Giroux.

Une telle augmentation du PIB entraînera des revenus annuels pour le gouvernement de 800 à 900 millions de dollars, estime M. Giroux.

« C’est clair que le gouvernement n’est pas comme une compagnie privée, conclut-il. Une compagnie privée est intéressée uniquement par le profit, alors que le gouvernement a un intérêt plus grand que le profit parce qu’il peut générer une activité économique et veut aussi trouver des débouchés pour les produits canadiens, dans ce cas-ci le pétrole de l’Alberta, et pour cela, le gouvernement a intérêt à ce que la construction ait lieu en dépit des risques. »

Si c’était une voiture, on dirait qu’ils ont payé le prix affiché sans négocier ou demander de rabais

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Big city mayors call for emergency federal funding to deal with housing crunch

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The mayors of Canada’s largest cities are ramping up pressure on the Trudeau government to deliver a major cash infusion to cope with a housing shortage they say has been driven in part by refugees.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities ‘Big City Mayors’ caucus was to gather in Ottawa today before meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and delivering its election year wish list for the 2019 federal budget — the last of the Liberal government’s current mandate.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said his city had to absorb roughly $5.7 million in additional housing costs in 2017 related to a spike in asylum seekers crossing the border from the United States. He said he expects the city took a similar hit in 2018.

« What often happens is a government will make a decision at a senior level and the consequences trickle down to us, » Watson said.

« Toronto received $11 million in July to deal with refugee claimants. Our city has received nothing. »

Share the burden, mayors say

The mayors don’t appear to have a specific sum in mind for emergency federal housing money. In late 2017, the Trudeau government rolled out a 10-year, $40-billion national housing strategy meant in part to address a severe shortage of affordable housing units in major cities, but the mayors appear to be looking for more near-term funding.

The RCMP intercepted 19,411 asylum seekers outside official border points in 2018, down from 20,593 in 2017.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he agrees with Watson that the federal government ought to do more to share the burden of settling refugees outside of Toronto.

« [The federal government] makes the decisions about what happens at the border and Toronto is very supportive, for example, of admitting refugees, » he said. « We’ve had a historically compassionate approach in this country which we support. But the federal government, who admits refugees to the country, also has to take a hand in helping to house and settle them. »

Watson also said the federal government’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana use is ramping up the cost of police drug enforcement in his city.

« In our case we’re going to receive about $2 million for all enforcement inspections … and our staff estimate it’s more of a cost of $8 million so we’re going to have to absorb $6 million in costs, » he said.

« It’s almost like, you know, when the federal and provincial governments sneeze, we end up getting a cold. »

But the major ask from Canada’s largest cities is likely to be for federal transit funding. The mayors are looking for $34 billion over 10 years starting in 2028 for public transit services. Under their proposal, $30 billion of that would be distributed to cities based on ridership — $29 billion going to transit systems with a ridership over a certain threshold and the remaining $1 billion to smaller transit systems.

The other $4 billion would go to boosting ridership and to rural transit systems. The mayors also want the funding made permanent.

Political clout

« That allows Toronto to think about its next major subway expansion, it allows Halifax to start thinking about bus rapid transit and allows Edmonton to think about where light rail will go next, » said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson​, chairman of the big city mayors’ caucus.

Iveson said he and his other large city mayors swing considerable political clout in a federal election year.

« These 22 mayors represent more than half the country’s population and two-thirds of its economy. So you know we have an opportunity to influence the course of the country. »

Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne said his government has already invested billions in transit.

« There have been repairs and upgrades of more than 2,000 kilometres of roads and highways, more than 170 kilometres of new highway, and more than 70 new bridges, » he said in an email. « Public transit across the country has seen improvements, including more than 3,000 new buses purchased, 3,700 buses repaired and refurbished, nearly 15,000 bus stops and shelters been upgraded, and more than 200 transit stations built or upgraded. »

Along with Trudeau, the mayors are expected to meet today with Champagne, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc and Bill Blair, the minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction.

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‘Dark chapter in our history’: federal gov’t apologizes to Ahiarmiut for forced relocations

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Seventy years after the federal government forcibly relocated Ahiarmuit away from their homeland, it’s apologizing to 21 survivors and their families in Arviat, Nunavut, Tuesday.

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett delivered the apology in the community, saying the forced relocations were because of a « colonial mindset » and caused « indignity, starvation and death. »

« I would also like to acknowledge those Ahiarmiut who lost their lives as a result of the relocations and who have passed away in the years since, » she said.

« This apology is a tribute to their spirits and their memories. It is also an opportunity for all Canadians to learn about and reflect upon a dark chapter in our history.

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett delivered the apology Tuesday in Arviat, saying the forced relocations were because of a ‘colonial mindset’ and caused ‘indignity, starvation and death.’ (Jordan Konek/CBC)

« I humbly and sincerely offer these words to all Ahiarmiut past and present, » said Bennett. « We are sorry. »

The day’s commemorative activities include a speech by David Serkoak who’s spent 20 years working to get the apology and settlement, a plaque unveiling and a community feast. It also included speeches from several prominent Inuit, including Nunavut premier Joe Savikataaq, Nunavut Tunngavik president Aluki Kotierk, and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed.

The Ahiarmiut lived inland from Hudson’s Bay in 1950, when the government decided to move them the first time. Several other relocations occurred in the 10 year period that followed. 

Bennett also apologized for the amount of time it took to get an apology — when the legal claim was first filed, 27 relocated Ahiarmiut were still alive, today there are only 21.

The Ahiarmiut reached a $5 million settlement with the government this past summer, $100,000 for each of the survivors and $3,000 each for the 164 children of the relocated.

A large crowd, including the 21 survivors of forced relocations, gathered in Arviat Tuesday to hear the federal government’s official apology to Ahiarmiut. (Jordan Konek/CBC)

Relocated from Ennadai Lake

Approximately 80 families were packed on airplanes and taken from their home near Ennadai Lake, according to Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

« Elders speak about having their tents destroyed in front of their eyes before getting on the airplane, » Bennett said.

The first move took Ahiarmiut to an island in Nueltin Lake in May 1950. They did not get to bring basic tools, like axes, caribou hides to make new shelters or other necessities for survival.

Serkoak says the Ahiarmiut were moved from Ennadai Lake to Nueltin Lake. His family eventually ended up in Whale Cove. (CBC)

They were not consulted beforehand, they did not get an explanation and they never gave their permission to be moved.

« The Ahiarmiut were moved in a matter of hours, but the effects of the Government of Canada’s actions continue to be felt to this day, » Bennett said.

The only help the Ahiarmuit got was from Dene hunters, but still food was scarce and several people fell ill and died. As fall approached, knowing they could not survive the winter, the group began a three-month, 100 kilometre walk back to Ennadai Lake through the snow.

They knew the migration routes of caribou and where to find smaller game around Ennadai, but still, years later, the government moved them again.

In 1957, despite being told by Ahiarmiut that the place they were moving to did not have plentiful hunting, the Canadian government thought it knew better and left Ahiarmiut near with only six dogs and short term provisions at North Henik and Oftedal Lakes.

Seven Ahiarmiut died after this move, including one who was murdered and another killed in self-defence, so the government moved them again — this time to Arviat.

Arviat was not a comfortable place for the Ahiarmuit. They were held in police custody, their caribou skin clothing was destroyed and they were discouraged from engaging in traditional activities like drum dancing.

Some were moved again to Rankin Inlet and then to Whale Cove, where elders speak of being treated like outsiders, losing their dialect and having to adapt to new foods and cultural practices.

Bennett closed out the apology by saying that no apology can make up for the terrible memories and lost loved ones, but said she is hopeful the milestone can be a foundation for healing and reconciliation.

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Olympian Adam van Koeverden wins federal Liberal nomination amid controversy

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Former Olympic flag-bearer Adam van Koeverden will be carrying the Liberal banner into the coming federal election, after securing the nomination in the southern Ontario riding of Milton on Sunday.

The 36-year-old kayaker, whose four Olympic medals are the most by any Canadian paddler, will be looking to defeat deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt, who has held the riding since its creation in 2015.

The decorated athlete, who carried the Canadian flag in both Athens and Beijing, declared his intention to try for the Milton nomination in October.

A website laying out the details of van Koeverden’s candidacy says his campaign will focus on traditional Liberal values with an emphasis on youth, sport, physical education and healthy communities.

The party says in a statement that the « long-time Liberal … received early support from a broad spectrum of community and business leaders in Milton and spent several weeks knocking on doors and meeting with the families within the riding. »

His nomination was not without controversy, as the party’s 2015 candidate, Azim Rizvee, claimed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed him to resign.

« Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally told me and my wife very aggressively that Adam van Koeverden is his preferred candidate for the Milton riding, » Rizvee said in a statement Saturday.

« The Liberal party leadership did not allow me to contest the nomination so that [the] prime minister’s preferred candidate, Adam van Koeverden, can be nominated. »

A spokesman for the Liberals said the Milton nomination was held in accordance with the party’s nomination rules, and more than 800 Liberal members turned out to vote.

Braeden Caley declined to provide a breakdown of the results, but said the other nomination candidate was Mian Abubaqr, the president of the Milton riding association.

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Former Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden wins federal Liberal nomination in Milton – National

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Former Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden has won the federal Liberal nomination in Milton Sunday.

The Liberal Party made the announcement Sunday evening on Twitter.

The party said in a statement that the “long-time Liberal … received early support from a broad spectrum of community and business leaders in Milton and spent several weeks knocking on doors and meeting with the families within the riding.”

Van Koeverden has won four medals at the Olympics, including gold – the most by any Canadian paddler – as well as two world championships. He was Canada’s flagbearer at the Olympic games in Athens and Beijing.

He will be running against veteran Conservative MP Lisa Raitt in Milton.


READ MORE:
Adam van Koeverden, 4-time Olympic medallist, to run for Liberals in next federal election

Raitt has held the riding since it was first created in 2015 and has been a high profile member of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet. She was appointed the Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

Van Koeverden, 36, announced his intention to run as a Liberal candidate last October.

According to a website outlining his candidacy, van Koeverden’s campaign will put an emphasis on youth, sport, physical education and healthy communities.

WATCH: Olympic gold medallist Adam van Koeverden ends his career with donation to Right To Play






The riding has not been without controversy. The party’s 2015 candidate, Azim Rizvee, said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed him to resign.

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told me and my wife very aggressively that Adam van Koeverden is his preferred candidate for the Milton riding,” Rizvee said in a statement Saturday. “The Liberal party leadership did not allow me to contest the nomination so that [the] prime minister’s preferred candidate, Adan van Koeverden, can be nominated.”

A Liberal spokesperson said the Milton nomination followed the party’s nomination rules and more than 800 Liberal members voted.

Braeden Caley did not provide a breakdown of the results but said the other nomination candidate was Mian Abubaqr, the president of the Milton riding association.

-With files from The Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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