Five stories in the news for Friday, Oct. 12
LA FRANCOPHONIE MEMBERS TO CHOOSE NEXT SECRETARY GENERAL
Michaelle Jean made a public plea to hold on to her post as secretary general of la Francophonie, urging member nations not to allow the defence of rights and democracy to take a back seat to partisan ambitions. For Jean, the address to the opening session of the summit of la Francophonie was a final stand ahead of a closed-door meeting of members today to choose the next secretary general. The former Canadian governor general, who has held the top job at the organization of French-speaking nations since 2014, is facing an uphill battle as she seeks a second term. After months of supporting her, the Canadian and Quebec governments announced this week that they would rally around the “consensus” candidate, Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.
CANADA SENDING MILITARY PLANE TO INDONESIA
Canada is deploying a military transport plane to ferry relief supplies to Indonesia, where there are reports the government is restricting the activities of foreign aid workers in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake and tsunami. The Department of National Defence says the Hercules plane loaded with shelter kits, tarps and other equipment and carrying 20 Canadian military members left Trenton, Ont., on Monday and is scheduled to arrive in Indonesia today. It will help move supplies and other aid around the region, which continues to experience tremors nearly two weeks after a massive earthquake and tsunami killed at least 2,000 people on the island of Sulawesi.
CANADA MOVES TO BLOCK FOREIGN STEEL
The Canadian government says it will impose a 25 per cent surtax on some foreign steel products in a bid to head off dumping. The Finance Department said “excessive imports” are harming the steel industry, prompting it to impose a surtax on seven products that range from rebar to wire rods. The surtax, which begins Oct. 25, will be in place for 200 days, pending an inquiry by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal into whether longer-lasting safeguards are necessary, the government said. The announcement comes more than three months after Canada imposed tariffs on $16.6 billion worth of American goods in retaliation for hefty U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.
VANCOUVER MAYOR STEPPING DOWN AFTER 10 YEARS IN OFFICE
After 10 years leading British Columbia’s largest city, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says he’s ready to take a break from politics. Reflecting on his tenure, Robertson says he believes he’s leaving the city in good shape with greener transportation options, balanced books, low unemployment and a large number of rental housing developments approved. As for what’s next, Robertson says he’s planning to take his first extended vacation in about 20 years to figure that out.
LANDSLIDE PROMPTS EVACUATION ALERT IN B.C.
A slumping hillside that is threatening dozens of homes in northeastern British Columbia has prompted a further evacuation order just days after residents in the community of Old Fort were ordered to leave. The latest order issued Thursday was for residents living on two islands in the Peace River just west of Old Fort. A slowly moving landslide began more than 10 days ago and has gradually torn up the only road down to Old Fort, toppled power lines and forced the Peace River Regional District to order the evacuation of all 54 homes in the community. A statement from the district says anyone who enters or refuses to leave the area under evacuation after 6 a.m. today could face imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to $10,000.
The Canadian Press