In the news today, July 11

Five stories in the news for Thursday, July 11

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LIBERALS NOMINATE QUEBEC ACTIVIST FOR FALL VOTE

Within a few minutes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's speech Wednesday night introducing his newest candidate for the fall election, a protester lifted up a sign and began screaming anti-pipeline slogans. The crowd of roughly 150 people went silent. The female protester demanded Trudeau respect Indigenous sovereignty and stop the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, which the federal government bought for $4.5 billion. "There are Indigenous communities who want to see this move forward," Trudeau replied. "Why are you de-legitimizing the Indigenous communities who support the energy industry?" The crowd roared in approval but Trudeau's new recruit, well-known and respected environmental activist, Steven Guilbeault, did not clap. He stared into the audience with a stern look on his face.

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CDN SIKH GROUP SUES INDIA FOR DEFAMATION

Canadian Sikh organizations fear the Indian government is trying to interfere in the upcoming federal election after a flurry of Indian media articles accusing Canadian Sikhs of inciting violence and militancy in Punjab and the Canadian government of supporting them. Balpreet Singh, the lawyer for the World Sikh Organization in Canada, said a number of stories in Indian media in June and July have cited Indian government sources that Canadian Sikhs are behind terrorist activities targeting India. He believes the looming federal election is driving the stories because the Indian government wants to quiet the politically influential Sikh community in Canada. "There are going to be a lot of Sikhs running for political office and it's to ensure the Sikh community is seen through a paradigm of extremism, of suspicion, essentially to marginalize Sikhs in Canada," he said. There were 19 Sikh MPs elected in 2015, most of whom are seeking re-election. Singh said these articles undermine Sikhs within Canada.

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PREMIERS CALL FOR BUY AMERICA EXEMPTION

Canada's premiers want the federal government to seek an exemption from the United States' Buy American measures. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said trade was a big topic Wednesday on the first day of the annual premiers' conference. "We will be calling on our federal government to provide a stronger leadership role ... in asking for an exemption with respect to the Buy American policy that is damaging many of our industries here in Canada," Moe said at a news conference in Saskatoon. The Buy American measures require 65 per cent local content on public transportation projects in the U.S. and that assembly be done south of the border. Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the recent announcement by Bombardier of layoffs at its Thunder Bay, Ont., plant are a direct result.

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18 CHARGES LAID IN WILDLIFE-ENFORCEMENT BLITZ

Canadian wildlife enforcement officers have seized dozens of black-bear parts, diet pills made from endangered African plants and the bodies of two scaly anteaters as part of an international blitz targeting smugglers and poachers, Environment and Climate Change Canada says. The seizures took place in June when Canada, for the third time, took part in Interpol's Operation Thunderball with 108 other countries to go after global smugglers, poachers and traffickers of endangered and exotic species. Sheldon Jordan, director general for wildlife enforcement at Environment and Climate Change Canada, said Canadians may not realize the extent of the smuggling issue in this country. He noted that about one-third of shark meat used in restaurants is illegally imported from endangered shark species. One-third of eel in Canada is from Europe, where it isn't allowed to be exported, Jordan said. Last year, 15 tonnes of European eel was seized in Canada during Operation Thunderball, but none was found this year, said Jordan.

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STAMPEDE TRYING TO REDUCE LANDFILL WASTE

More than 20,000 people chowed down on pancakes last weekend during a family breakfast on the Calgary Stampede grounds. That's an awful lot of disposable forks, knives and plates — not to mention cups for water and coffee. But a single garbage bag weighing about 13 kilograms was all that went to the landfill, said Xaviere Schneider, the Stampede's environmental co-ordinator. It's all about trying to maintain the diversion rate and making sure that people are composting and recycling as much as possible, she says. The Stampede is a 10-day celebration of western culture that infuses Calgary with a party atmosphere. More than a million people head to the Stampede grounds every year to take in shows, rides, midway games, sugar- and grease-filled concessions and rodeo events.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS:

— Vice Admiral Art McDonald, commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, and senior military officials provide a media briefing concerning the results of HMCS Chicoutimi Health Surveillance Study, which examined the possible long-term health effects to those involved in the 2004 fire onboard HMCS Chicoutimi.

— NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh gives a speech at the Canadian Teachers Federation AGM.

— Border Security Minister Bill Blair visit with Reservists from The Queen’s York Rangers to highlight new equipment and initiatives that ensure the Canadian Army Reserves are well-equipped and well-supported.

— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joins local Liberals for a Team Trudeau 2019 campaign event with Amarjeet Sohi.

— Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan, announces investments in search and rescue (SAR) equipment. This will be followed by a Canadian Forces School of SAR graduation ceremony and the appointment of command for 418 search and rescue operational training squadron.

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