Greta Thunberg's Alberta visit and leaders in Quebec; In-The-News for Oct. 16

In-The-News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 16.

What we are watching in Canada ...

Montreal is the centre of attention today.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is campaigning hard in Quebec, making numerous stops to try to personally shore up his party's standing in his home province.

He begins with a morning appearance with numerous Liberals at Montreal's botanical garden and then makes his way east to Sherbrooke, pausing in a Legion hall, cafes and pubs with local candidates along the way.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is just wrapping up a spring through Quebec of his own, starting out in one of Montreal's northern suburbs with Tory candidate and former Olympian Sylvie Frechette before taking off for southwestern Ontario.

And the NDP's Jagmeet Singh is making a pilgrimage to Hudson, Que., where his venerated predecessor Jack Layton was raised, before heading for a walkabout in Montreal's working-class Hochelaga neighbourhood and a rally just blocks from the botanical garden.

Green Leader Elizabeth May is promising an announcement in Victoria, near her home riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands in B.C., and People's Party Leader Maxime Bernier is focused on preserving his own seat in Beauce.

With polls suggesting the vote on Oct. 21 could be extremely tight and some seats likely to be decided in three-, four- or even five-way vote splits, all the parties are trying to figure out how to deploy their leaders for maximum benefit.

---

Also this ...

Canadians wanting to cross the U.S. border are being asked different marijuana questions than they were before cannabis was legal, says an American immigration lawyer who represents numerous aging baby boomers denied entry to America for past pot use.

Recreational marijuana will have been legal for a year on Thursday, but any celebrating still stops at the U.S. border, said Len Saunders, a Canadian-born lawyer based in Blaine, Wash.

"They are not asking questions of recent use because they know they can't deny the person because it's legal in Canada," he said. Instead, he said they're asking Canadians if they have ever smoked marijuana and that's what's been keeping him busy.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office was not available for comment, but an official emailed a statement dated September 2018 that said U.S. laws will not change after Canada's legalization of marijuana.

The statement said even though medical and recreational marijuana is legal in some U.S. states and Canada, marijuana is not legal under U.S. federal law which supersedes those laws.

"Consequently, crossing the border or arriving at a U.S. port of entry in violation of this law may result in denied admission, seizure, fines, and apprehension," said the statement.

---

ICYMI (In case you missed it) ...

EDMONTON — The Alberta government won't seek out a meeting with teen climate activist Greta Thunberg.

But Environment Minister Jason Nixon says he hopes the Swedish girl takes time to learn about the province's oil and gas industry.

"I think when you look at some of Miss. Thunberg's comments, she doesn't understand our province, that she doesn't understand the reality that to accomplish climate change goals worldwide, we need Alberta as part of that solution," Nixon says.

"We have the most environmentally friendly place in the world to produce oil and gas products."

The 16-year-old Stockholm student is currently touring North America and took to social media on the weekend to say she will be visiting Alberta in the coming days. She didn't say when or what she will be doing.

Her media co-ordinator, Connor Turner, said in an email that he could not provide details of her itinerary.

---

What we are watching in the U.S. ...

Elizabeth Warren repeatedly came under attack during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate as rivals accused the Massachusetts senator of ducking questions about the cost of Medicare for All and her signature "wealth tax" plan in an attempt to derail her rising campaign.

The pile-on reinforced her new status as a front-runner in the contest to take on President Donald Trump next year. With first state primaries rapidly approaching, her many challengers have dwindling opportunities to emerge as powerful alternatives to the progressive agenda she's championing.

The night's confrontations were mostly fought on familiar terrain for the Democrats, who have spent months sparring over the future of health care with former Vice-President Joe Biden and other moderates pressing for a measured approach while Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders call for a dramatic, government-funded overhaul of the insurance market. Still, unlike Sanders, Warren refused to say whether she would raise taxes on the middle class to pay for a Medicare for All universal health insurance plan — a stance that's increasingly difficult to maintain given her more prominent status.

Her rivals seized on the opportunity to pounce.

"I appreciate Elizabeth's work but, again, the difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something you can actually get done," said Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

---

What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

Russia moved to fill the void left by the United States in northern Syria, deploying troops to keep apart advancing Syrian government forces and Turkish troops. At the same time, tensions grew within NATO as Turkey defied growing condemnation of its invasion from its Western allies.

Now in its seventh day, Turkey's offensive against Kurdish fighters has caused tens of thousands to flee their homes, has upended alliances and is re-drawing the map of northern Syria for yet another time in the 8-year-old war.

Russia moved quickly to further entrench its role as a power broker after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the pullout of American forces in northeastern Syria. The American move effectively abandoned the Kurdish fighters who were allied with the U.S. and cleared the way for Turkey's invasion aimed at crushing them.

Desperate for a new protector, the Kurdish administration struck a deal with the Russia-backed government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose forces on Sunday began moving into Kurdish-administered areas to shield them against Turkey.

Syrian troops waved flags after they rolled into Manbij, a flashpoint town west of the Euphrates River that Turkey had been aiming to capture and wrest from Kurdish control. Video by Russian journalists with the troops showed what appeared to be an abandoned outpost where U.S. forces had been stationed.

---

On this day in 1944 …

The RCMP patrol vessel "St. Roch" reached Vancouver after an 86-day voyage from Halifax through the Northwest Passage becoming the only ship to have made the northern crossing of the continent in both directions.

---

Weird and wild ...

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The national animal is causing problems in one western Newfoundland town. 

Deer Lake has called in a trapper to deal with a group of pesky beavers that has been taking down trees on private property — in some cases onto power lines.

Beavers are common in the Humber River, which runs through the town.  But in recent years, the rodents have developed an affinity for trees in residential areas, clearcutting as many as 14 on one property in a single night.

"You'll see them sometimes, swimming along the river bank — I guess they're kind of scoping out where their next venture is," says Keith Park, a municipal enforcement officer with the town.

Last year, Newfoundland Power had to be called in to repair power lines damaged by beaver-toppled trees.

Park said the town will avoid disturbing beavers that haven't been approaching private properties.

As of Tuesday, the trapper reported six beavers have been caught.

---

Celebrity news ...

NEW YORK — Tiger Woods is writing what he describes as his definitive story.

HarperCollins Publishers announced Tuesday it has acquired rights to the first memoir written by Woods, titled "Back."

The memoir will cover Woods from his youth as a golf prodigy to his rise as the youngest Masters champion and the only player to hold all four major championships at the same time.

It will also delve into his slide from injuries and his high-profile personal issues that led to divorce, along with his comeback from four back surgeries to win the Masters at age 43 for his 15th career major.

The release date is still to be determined.

---

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2019.

 

The Canadian Press