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Politics Politics Briefing: Concession reached to end B.C. pipeline blockade

Good morning, I’m Shannon Busta, filling in for Chris Hannay today.

After days of rising tensions and demonstrations across the country, protesters say they will end their blockade of proposed natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia. The concession, announced in a news conference Wednesday evening, came following talks with the RCMP and a demand that police not interfere with residents of a healing lodge on the site and that members of the Wet’suwet’en clans continue to have access to the backcountry for trapping. RCMP and Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders are expected to meet Thursday morning to determine when workers will be able to gain access to the site.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

The federal government has announced it will open the door to new requests from Canadians who believe they are victims of thalidomide but lack sufficient documents to prove it. The move expands on a landmark program that compensates survivors of one of this country’s worst drug scandals.

A group is pushing for the shut down of Ontario’s new sex-education curriculum, arguing Doug Ford’s government is discriminating against same-sex parents and their children by “erasing” them from a curriculum put in place last summer.

Donald Trump walked out on shutdown negotiations Wednesday, calling the meeting a ‘total waste of time’ after Democrats rejected his demand for border-wall funding.

After months of waiting, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is hoping to gain a seat in the House of Commons by winning in Burnaby South, one of three federal by-elections called by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The election will be held at the end of February.

China’s ambassador is accusing Canada of “Western egotism and white supremacy” for demanding the release of two jailed Canadians while continuing to detain Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Facebook isn’t paying its bills -- yet. The social media giant has asked the Quebec government for an extension in response to new provincial rules requiring they collect sales tax from customers.

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It appears President Donald Trump’s views on walls and whether they should be obeyed have evolved overtime.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on Trudeau not picking up the phone to call China: “The trick isn’t in letting the Chinese know that Canada’s Prime Minister cares. Beijing already knows that the detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is high on Mr. Trudeau’s radar. What matters is making Beijing understand that its own tactics are self-defeating.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on What the new Canada Food Guide means for meat and milk lobbies: “For decades, the dairy and meat industries have masterfully shaped public policy and eating habits alike with a combination of slick marketing and political arm-twisting. Thankfully, someone at Health Canada has woken up.”

Andrew Coyne (The National Post) on Trudeau’s exquisitely timed by-election and what it means for the NDP: Jagmeet Singh’s “decision not to seek a seat in the House until now has robbed him of what visibility the leader of a third party can expect, though his manifest weakness as a communicator makes it debatable whether this is a plus or a minus. Fundraising has dried up. Party morale is in freefall. Caucus members speak openly, if not on the record, of their desire to be rid of him.”

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