Canada in Brief, Sept. 28-Oct. 4

September 28, 2017 Updated: September 28, 2017

Take Hard Line Against Boeing in Bombardier Spat, Couillard Urges Feds

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says he wants Ottawa to take a hard line against Boeing after the U.S. Department of Commerce proposed a hefty 219 percent duty on jets manufactured by Montreal rival Bombardier.

The department’s preliminary findings concluded that Bombardier benefited from improper government subsidies, giving it an unfair advantage when selling its CSeries jets south of the border.

Couillard says the $1 billion invested in the CSeries program is not a subsidy and no other investment in Bombardier is currently planned. He says Bombardier is being targeted even though Boeing has also benefited from decades of government assistance.

“Not a bolt, not a part, [and] of course not a plane from Boeing [should be] entering Canada until this conflict is resolved in a satisfactory way,” Couillard said.

Alberta Creates Advisory Team to Assist Cities Bidding for Amazon’s HQ2

The Alberta government is stepping in to help Edmonton and Calgary bid for retail giant Amazon’s second headquarters.

Premier Rachel Notley says the team will assist the cities to make the best bids while selling the assets the province has to offer, such as its low-tax regime, young workforce, and network of post-secondary institutions.

Notley would not say if Alberta would offer specific financial incentives or loan guarantees to convince the online retailer to set up in the province. She says the overriding goal of any proposition is value for Alberta and for the province’s economy.

Seattle-based Amazon is taking applications until Oct. 19 and will make a decision next year.

Canadian Sailors Find ‘Near-Total Devastation’ on Hurricane-Ravaged Island

HMCS St. John’s Commander Gord Noseworthy says the small Caribbean island of Dominica has suffered “near-total devastation,” and locals are growing increasingly desperate a week after hurricane Maria.

Noseworthy said the Halifax-based frigate arrived Sept. 24 in Dominica, where electricity has still been only partially restored in the capital of Roseau. He said much of the water supply has been contaminated from flooding after the catastrophic Category 5 storm pummelled the island.

The 230-member crew has been removing debris from streets, airlifting food and water to isolated areas, and delivering medical aid, Noseworthy said. The crew also located several Canadian citizens, who have been repatriated aboard a Hercules military aircraft.

Endangered Sage Grouse Found in Saskatchewan Conservation Area

Biologists have made a happy discovery on a swath of native grassland in southwest Saskatchewan.

Mike Burak, with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, says the group has found endangered greater sage grouse on a 1,222-hectare conservation area known as the Wideview Complex, next to Grasslands National Park.

“Because they are a critically endangered species, it is something to celebrate that we have found them and they are using the property as habitat,” Burak said.

Environmental groups have warned that the greater sage grouse is in danger of becoming extinct in Canada.

With files from The Canadian Press