Canada in Brief, Sept 13-19

September 12, 2018 Updated: September 12, 2018

Council-cutting plan ‘is about preserving democracy,’ Ford says

Protesters heckled Ontario Premier Doug Ford in the legislature on Sept. 12 as he defended his decision to push through a bill slashing Toronto city council nearly in half just days after a judge found the legislation unconstitutional.

Shouts erupted from the public gallery as Ford argued he was protecting democracy by invoking a constitutional provision to override the court decision, which found his plan to cut the size of the city’s council in the middle of an election violated candidates’ and voters’ freedom of expression rights.

“This is about preserving the will of the people, this is about preserving democracy,” he said during question period.

The premier maintains cutting Toronto city council to 25 seats from 47 is necessary to streamline decision-making and save taxpayer money.

The government is also seeking a stay of the court’s ruling as it appeals the judge’s decision.

Brian Mulroney urges Ottawa to make a deal on NAFTA

Brian Mulroney says Canada needs to put a little more water in its milk if it expects to make a new NAFTA deal with a hard-bargaining U.S. president.

Mulroney, the former prime minister widely considered the father of NAFTA, held court Sept. 11 in Ottawa on the fate of the intercontinental trade pact as talks to modernize the deal resumed in Washington.

Overall, he said, he believes Canada is handling the talks well. But he said if the federal government wants to make a deal, it better start dealing—particularly on the issue of access to Canadian markets for U.S. dairy producers, a critical issue for President Donald Trump.

Trans Mountain a frustrating process for Alberta: Notley

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the challenges facing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion shows her province can do everything by the book and still get shortchanged.

At the opening of Suncor’s new Fort Hills oilsands extraction site on Sept. 10, Notley said the recent Federal Court of Appeal decision quashing the expansion project has provoked frustration and anger in Alberta, but her government will continue to fight to get it built.

She said without it, the ongoing pipeline bottlenecks will continue to cost Canada $40 million a day in a discounted price for oil.

Last man to emerge from NS mine disaster dies at 95

The last man to emerge from a shattered Nova Scotia mine 60 years ago has died. Herb Pepperdine was 95 years old when he passed away Friday in Springhill, N.S.

His obituary says Pepperdine mined coal all his life and spent eight days trapped in the Springhill mine after an underground convulsion on Oct. 23, 1958.

Pepperdine was among 174 men underground when North America’s deepest coal mine was jolted by a resounding boom, trapping them and killing 75. He and his group of 12 were rescued after six days.

With files from The Canadian Press