Canada in Brief, Nov. 29 – Dec. 5

November 29, 2018 Updated: November 29, 2018

Scheer, O’Leary join forces, hold campaign-style event

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s campaign for prime minister next year will get some star power from businessman Kevin O’Leary.

O’Leary ran against Scheer for the Conservative party leadership before dropping out and backing Scheer’s main rival Maxime Bernier. But now O’Leary and Scheer have joined forces in hopes of defeating the Liberals in 2019.

During a question-and answer session at Ryerson University on Nov. 26, O’Leary said the country needs saving from “weak, weak managers. … The whole cabinet is weak,” he said.

For his part, Scheer told the audience that he likes to talk about bringing a “positive Conservative vision” to Canadians.

Hajdu defends Canada Post back-to-work bill

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu is defending the constitutionality of the government’s back-to-work bill for Canada Post workers, saying it will ultimately be up to the courts to weigh in should the legislation be legally challenged by the union.

Speaking on Parliament Hill, Hajdu defended her government’s decision to bring forward legislation to respond to a “significant, growing economic harm” to Canada.

In response, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said in a statement it is exploring all options to fight the legislation, which it calls unconstitutional.

Mail service resumed across the country on Nov. 27.

Quebec declares Arvida neighbourhood a heritage site

The Quebec government has recognized the Arvida neighbourhood in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region as a heritage site.

The former industrial city was founded by Arthur Vining Davis, who developed the area in the 1920s to welcome employees of the first Alcoa aluminum plant, later known as Alcan.

Its distinctive architecture and urbanism as well as its historical character led the federal government to declare Arvida a national historic site in 2012. The City of Saguenay had also hoped the neighbourhood would be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it was not chosen from the list of proposals made to the federal government in 2017.

Food agency aims to prevent entry of E. coli-suspected lettuce

The federal government is advising the food industry not to import romaine lettuce from areas in the United States suspected of producing lettuce contaminated with E. coli.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it will also take steps to make sure products from areas identified by the American Food and Drug Administration are not being allowed into Canada.

The measures come after the FDA said it suspects romaine lettuce harvested in parts of California this month is the source of an outbreak of E. coli O157 that has made people sick in both Canada and the United States.

With files from The Canadian Press