These are the top stories:
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s first budget even tougher than the one he campaigned on
- The cuts: The Premier’s first budget outlines $1.3-billion in cuts and the elimination of 2,100 public-sector jobs and will see the province reduce its operating spending by 2.8 per cent over the coming years.
- The goal: The province says it can eliminate the province’s $8.7-billion deficit by 2022-2023. Alberta’s Finance Minister warned Thursday that “boom times” are not coming back to the province any time soon and says he’s ready to cut further if needed.
- The oil patch: The Alberta government is projecting a modest recovery for its oil sector in the coming years, as increased production and a steady rise in oil prices continue to bring the province back from the depths of a recession that began five years ago. As Albertans grapple with the impact of the cuts, they’ll also fork out an estimated $1.5-billion to cover the crude-by-rail program cancelled by the Kenney government.
Sharpen your opinions:
- Gary Mason: Get set for Alberta’s separatist road show
- Eric Reguly: How Alberta will pay the price for its vote
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Syrian Kurdish refugees forced to turn to smugglers after closing of border crossing to Iraq
Aid workers in Northern Iraq say the closing of the Syrian side of Faysh Khabur is an apparent attempt to stem the tide of Kurds fleeing the region amid accusations that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking to change the demographics of the region by replacing Kurds with Arabs. Refugees have been forced to either seek refuge elsewhere in Syria or turn to smugglers to get them out of the country. Another 1,700 Syrian Kurdish refugees arrived Thursday in the Bardarash refugee camp in Northern Iraq, about 140 kilometres east of the border, and a similar number was expected to reach the camp by Friday morning. Aid workers said the closing of the Syrian side of Faysh Khabur has meant that only those with enough money to pay the smugglers are able to escape, The Globe’s Mark Mackinnon reports from Faysh Khabur, Iraq.
B.C. introduces legislation to align its laws, policies with United Nations’ Indigenous rights declaration
The province introduced legislation to ensure that all provincial laws and policies align with internationally recognized human rights of Indigenous people, the start of a process that is expected to take decades. The proposed law, Bill 41, was drafted in consultation with Indigenous leaders, and commits the province to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – which states that resource developments require the “free, prior and informed consent” of affected Indigenous peoples. The bill would not grant First Nations veto power over resource development, but does promise redress and restitution when consent is not granted.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ontario Education Minister softens high school class-size hike in negotiations with teachers’ union: His offer would still increase class sizes, but not by as much as the government first announced in March, in an effort to head off potential labour disruptions as teachers’ unions hold a series of strike votes.
All 39 people found dead in truck were Chinese nationals, British police confirm: It’s not clear when the people were loaded inside, and the trailer is owned by a company in Ireland, which had rented it out for a week.
NDP looks to make progress with fewer seats in minority Parliament: Former B.C. veteran MP Nathan Cullen said that the NDP caucus may be smaller at 24 members of Parliament, but that it will ultimately be “more influential," owing to the composition of the House of Commons.
Mike Pence states support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protests: “To the millions in Hong Kong who have been peacefully demonstrating to protect your rights these past months: We stand with you. We are inspired by you. We urge you to stay on the path of non-violent protest,” the Vice-President said.
Muted data and Brexit woes douse stocks rally: Geopolitical tensions, muted economic data and mixed earnings stymied global stocks and weighed on crude oil prices on Friday, with sterling hovering just above one week lows amid a new bout of Brexit anxiety. European stock markets opened broadly softer with the pan regional STOXX 600 slipping 0.3 per cent. Germany’s DAX eased 0.1 per cent while Britain’s FTSE fell 0.4 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei edged up 0.22 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index clawed back early losses to end up 0.48 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished down 0.49 per cent. New York futures were mixed. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.56 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Best of luck to Canada’s kids: Fossil-fuel court cases have yet to pay off
Denise Balkissoon: “It will all be expensive and likely disheartening. In Canada and elsewhere, young people will grow up watching adults debate just how frightened about the future they have the right to be.”
Greenland creates opportunities for Canada
Michael Byers: “The upcoming tourism boom will create opportunities for Canada. The Inuit of Greenland and Canada already share a language, history and living culture.” Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Sounds trigger memories, evoke emotions and cue other physiological reactions that affect us mentally. The human auditory system is one of the first fully formed systems in the human body, making it primal and complex. The feeling of exhaustion that hits at the end of a workday might even be the result of the barrage of sounds we’re exposed to. Sounds that induce stress include noise pollution caused by airplanes or traffic or even a constantly running TV. But low-frequency noise – such as in an open-concept office without much notice – can also quietly grind down our energy stores.
MOMENT IN TIME
Oct. 25, 1854
“Into the valley of Death / Rode the six hundred," reads the refrain of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s famous poem The Charge of the Light Brigade. Written in December, 1854, Tennyson’s lyric perfectly captures the disastrous military conflict that had taken place in Balaclava, Crimea, just weeks earlier. In the heat of the Crimean War, 670 British soldiers known as the Light Brigade charged a Russian position defended by a force of unknown size with heavy artillery – 110 British soldiers died and another 161 were wounded. The Heavy Brigade, who were supposed to back up their Light Brigade comrades, witnessed the massacre and thought it best to remain at the mouth of the valley where the battle was taking place. The poor performance of the British forces at Balaclava came to symbolize the many tactical failures that characterized the Crimean War. The conflict, with its astronomical number of wounded soldiers, did come with a silver lining – it was in the midst of the Crimean War that Florence Nightingale revolutionized the practice of nursing. — KC Hoard