NDP campaign to save ERs hits snag after someone hijacks site

A campaign to save Winnipeg ERs spearheaded by Manitoba New Democrats has left the party name off signs and social media pages.

But it hit a snare Saturday after someone took over a campaign website, which now links to a story about a government scandal the NDP had while in power. 

For weeks, party members have been spearheading efforts against the Pallister government’s sweeping changes that will shut down three of Winnipeg’s six ERs.

Party members and former NDP staffers have held rallies and made at least two Facebook pages to save emergency rooms, but have left out mentioning any affiliations to the NDP.

On Saturday, Elmwood MLA Jim Maloway and four party members rallied outside the Victoria General Hospital holding bright yellow signs directing drivers to keepvictoriaeropen.com

But the website wasn’t about ER closures — it relinks to a 2016 CBC article relating to the NDP Tiger Dam scandal.

“It seems a little bit amateurish to be advertising a website that you actually haven’t bought the domain name for,” said Royce Koop, a political studies professor at the University of Manitoba.

Maloway said he had no idea about the website. Instead, the NDP MLA said he’s only involved in a campaign to save the Concordia ER and simply stopped by to support the rally.

The ER at Concordia is closing completely while the Victoria emergency room is being converted to an urgent care centre that will only handle patients with non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. 

Arthur Schafer, an ethics professor at the University of Manitoba, said whoever took over the site made a “shady” and “ethically dubious” move. 

“It’s the sort of politics of Richard Nixon,” he said. 

Screen grab on Manitoba Tiger Dam story

keepvictoriaeropen.com redirects to this CBC story about a Manitoba Ombudsman’s report on a controversial Tiger Dam contract. (CBC)

Maloway said he’s disappointed about recent headlines that have highlighted small turnouts at NDP rallies. “You have to understand that this is a long campaign,” he said.

“When you’re out there for an hour, an hour and a half, there’s a lot of prep work.”

Maloway said signs he has made for protesters who want to save the Concordia emergency room in his riding won’t have any NDP affiliation listed.

Instead, the signs will have neutral colours so members of all political parties can weigh in.

“That’s the beauty of having colours that don’t alienate people,” he said.

“Everyone’s seen my signs and they’re very attractive, so it makes sense to duplicate them.”

Save the Victoria ER flyer

Protesters put flyers on cars parked in the parking lot at Victoria General Hospital.  (Austin Grabish/CBC)

Maloway and a party spokesperson said more rallies are planned in the coming weeks.

The MLA was back protesting in front of a Kildonan seniors’ complex Sunday afternoon.

NDP campaign to save ERs hits snare after someone hijacks site

A campaign to save Winnipeg ERs spearheaded by Manitoba New Democrats has left the party name off signs and social media pages.

But it hit a snare Saturday after someone took over a campaign website, which now links to a story about a government scandal the NDP had while in power. 

For weeks, party members have been spearheading efforts against the Pallister government’s sweeping changes that will shut down three of Winnipeg’s six ERs.

Party members and former NDP staffers have held rallies and made at least two Facebook pages to save emergency rooms, but have left out mentioning any affiliations to the NDP.

On Saturday, Elmwood MLA Jim Maloway and four party members rallied outside the Victoria General Hospital holding bright yellow signs directing drivers to keepvictoriaeropen.com

But the website wasn’t about ER closures — it relinks to a 2016 CBC article relating to the NDP Tiger Dam scandal.

“It seems a little bit amateurish to be advertising a website that you actually haven’t bought the domain name for,” said Royce Koop, a political studies professor at the University of Manitoba.

Maloway said he had no idea about the website. Instead, the NDP MLA said he’s only involved in a campaign to save the Concordia ER and simply stopped by to support the rally.

The ER at Concordia is closing completely while the Victoria emergency room is being converted to an urgent care centre that will only handle patients with non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. 

Arthur Schafer, an ethics professor at the University of Manitoba, said whoever took over the site made a “shady” and “ethically dubious” move. 

“It’s the sort of politics of Richard Nixon,” he said. 

Screen grab on Manitoba Tiger Dam story

keepvictoriaeropen.com redirects to this CBC story about a Manitoba Ombudsman’s report on a controversial Tiger Dam contract. (CBC)

Maloway said he’s disappointed about recent headlines that have highlighted small turnouts at NDP rallies. “You have to understand that this is a long campaign,” he said.

“When you’re out there for an hour, an hour and a half, there’s a lot of prep work.”

Maloway said signs he has made for protesters who want to save the Concordia emergency room in his riding won’t have any NDP affiliation listed.

Instead, the signs will have neutral colours so members of all political parties can weigh in.

“That’s the beauty of having colours that don’t alienate people,” he said.

“Everyone’s seen my signs and they’re very attractive, so it makes sense to duplicate them.”

Save the Victoria ER flyer

Protesters put flyers on cars parked in the parking lot at Victoria General Hospital.  (Austin Grabish/CBC)

Maloway and a party spokesperson said more rallies are planned in the coming weeks.

The MLA was back protesting in front of a Kildonan seniors’ complex Sunday afternoon.

Federal court dismisses VIA Rail appeal on couples with mobility scooters travelling together

The Federal Court has dismissed an appeal by VIA Rail of a decision that would make it possible for a Toronto couple who rely on wheelchairs and scooters to travel together on a single train. 

In March, CBC Toronto reported that VIA Rail was appealing a decision by the Canadian Transport Agency calling on it to revise its policies to either allow for the storage of two mobility devices in a single tie-down area or provide two tie-down areas on each train by May 15, 2017. The alternative involves providing evidence that neither option would be possible without “undue hardship.” 

The decision wasn’t expected in July, but as a result of the April 25th order, the transport agency’s decision will stand.

“We acknowledge the court’s decision and we are working on the next steps,” VIA Rail spokesperson Mariam Diaby said Sunday.

That comes as good news to Toronto couple Martin Anderson and Marie Murphy, who both rely on scooters to get around.

“This was much earlier than we expected,” the couple wrote in an email to CBC Toronto. “This means that the CTA’s order stands. VIA either has to allow Martin and I to travel together with both our scooters more easily or satisfy the CTA that having to do so causes VIA undue hardship.”

‘This is 2017,’ frustrated mobility user said

At the moment, all VIA Rail trains are equipped to tie down just one scooter. The railway previously told CBC Toronto that in cases where a person can transfer to a car seat, there is no limit to the number of passengers travelling with a mobility device. In both cases, it said it provides free passage for a travel companion. 

“The Federal Court of Appeal’s decision ruling against VIA Rail is a much-needed step forward for Canadians with disabilities.” – David Lepofsky, disability advocate

Anderson and Murphy argued the railway lacked accommodation for scooters and put a strain on riders like themselves. They say they have been fighting for more accessibility spaces on VIA Rail since 2005. 

The couple approached VIA Rail last July with the idea of tying down two scooters in one space and said they were given the chance to test it out in the presence of a consultant.

They thought it went well. But despite repeated requests for copies of the consultant’s report, they say they heard virtually nothing back. 

“This is 2017,” Anderson said in March. “We should expect more than just one seat per train.”

New fleet to feature multiple accessibility spots, railway argued 

In March, Diaby said the company was phasing out older trains and replacing them with newer ones with more accessibility spaces. 

“The current QC-Windsor fleet is coming to the end of its useful life. Accordingly, VIA Rail was provided funding in budget 2016 to conduct pre-procurement analysis for a new fleet,” the statement from Diaby said. 

li-via-rail620-cp9604870

VIA Rail had appealed the decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency that would make it possible for a Toronto couple who rely on scooters and wheelchairs to travel together on a single train. (Peter McCabe/Canadian Press)

“Accessibility to each train for multiple travellers with wheelchairs is one of the key requirements of the new fleet. It reflects VIA Rail’s commitment to remain the most accessible national and inter-city mode of transportation in Canada.”

This week’s dismissal is also welcome news to disability advocate David Lepofsky, a visiting professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School who is also chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance.

“The Federal Court of Appeal’s decision ruling against VIA Rail is a much-needed step forward for Canadians with disabilities,” Lepofsky wrote in an email Sunday.

“ViaRail needs to stop spending money on lawyers to fight against accessibility, and instead get on with providing true accessibility to passengers with disability,” he said adding that Murphy and Anderson’s underscores why Canada needs to enact a strong Canadians with Disabilities Act.

“That law should ensure that these kinds of accessibility barriers are torn down, without passengers with disabilities having to fight them one at a time.”

‘We want to bring them home’: Fort Chipewyan continues search for missing hunters

Hunters from Fort Chipewyan, Alta., usually start their spring hunt each April. South winds warm the air, the ice on Lake Athabasca melts, the rivers begin to flow and hunters head to their trap lines.

But no one is hunting this year.  Instead, they’re searching for four men from the community of about 1,300 who went missing last week. For them, nothing is more important than bringing their friends home.

Four missing Fort Chipewyan men

Clockwise from top left, Andrew Ladouceur, Walter Ladouceur, Keanan Cardinal and Keith Marten. Hundreds have shared and commented on this Facebook photo of the four missing hunters in Fort Chipewyan. (Facebook)

Walter Ladouceur, Andrew Ladouceur, Keith Marten and Keanan Cardinal set off from Fort Chipewyan last Sunday. They were headed to a nearby area known as Devil’s Gate, but did not come home that night.

The search began Monday with officers of the RCMP and Parks Canada and at least 70 volunteers taking part.

Searchers found the party’s boat early on in the week, and later a boot that belonged to one of the men.  

By Wednesday, RCMP ruled the search a recovery operation, with their families expressing dwindling hope the four could have survived without leaving any signs of their presence. 

“It’s hard to look in the faces of the families when you keep coming back with nothing,” said Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “It’s frustrating.”

‘It’s a heart-wrenching feeling’ 

Walter and Andrew Ladouceur worked for the First Nation. Cardinal played on the ball team. Marten’s daughter called him “the hunter, the provider.”

Adam said he knew them from the time they were young. They’re all experienced hunters known as bushmen and they’re dads with young children.

“It’s a heart-wrenching feeling,” Adam said. “How can you explain it when you find a boat that’s all damaged? You look around, there’s no trace of them other than they were hunting.”

North-Fort-Chipewyan-Missing-Hunters-Boat

This boat was found early on in the search, there have been few signs of the missing hunters since then. (Mitch Wiles/CBC)

Adam spent two days on a boat in the Rocher River and another on one of two helicopters searching from the air.

The river is treacherous, Adam explained. The water is deep and chunks of ice compound the danger. But the people in the boats go out, determined to find their friends and let the men’s families know what has happened. 

“We’re a family,” Adam said. “We want to bring them home. That’s the way we are. Hopefully Mother Nature will give them back to us.”

Search area

Searchers are working in a remote area near Fort Chipewyan as they try to find four missing hunters. (RCMP)

Retiring general warns against skimping on support for future military missions

A retiring Canadian general who served a number of international tours in his almost 40-year career says there should be more resources for and less government control over future military missions.

“I came back from Afghanistan and my biggest observation was what we have to stop is allowing capitals to run individual parts of the campaign,” said Maj.-Gen. Denis Thompson, who was attending an event in Calgary last week.

Thompson, who recently ended a three-year tour as head of the Multinational Force and Observers in Egypt, also had postings in Germany and Bosnia.

In 2008, he was commander of Task Force Kandahar in Afghanistan, where he saw different countries overseeing different regions with little co-ordination.

“Ottawa tried to run Kandahar. The British tried to run Helmand. The Dutch tried to run North Urozgan and the Americans ran several provinces, and it wasn’t really joined up,” said Thompson.

“So what happened is we had 2,750 Canadian soldiers in Kandahar, the home of the Taliban. Next door in Helmand, which was a sideshow, there were 8,000 to 10,000 Brits, and when the American marines arrived … where did the marines go? To Helmand.

“So we were left holding the bag and … running around playing whack-a-mole because we didn’t have enough troops. We didn’t even have half the number of troops we needed and [additional soldiers] didn’t arrive until 2010-2011, and by then you’re 10 years into the war.”

Lessons to be learned

Canada sent its first soldiers to Afghanistan in October 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Canada’s role initially was to help stabilize the Middle Eastern region and provide peace support operations.

But the assignment expanded into a full combat mission which continued until 2011. Some troops remained in a training and mentoring capacity until March 2014.

Military Lessons Learned 20170430

Maj.-Gen. Denis Thompson, seen here in Kandahar province on Dec. 11, 2008, served a number of international tours in his 40-year military career. (Bill Graveland/Canadian Press)

Thompson, who also served as Commander of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command in Ottawa, said there are lessons to be learned for future international missions.

“You have to apply enough resources, and the problem in a lot of these campaigns — whether it’s UN, NATO, a ‘Coalition of the Willing’ — is there has to be one central commander who has all the authorities,” Thompson suggested.

“He can apply all the pressures he needs to solve all of the problems and not allow people to tinker with a 10,000-kilometre screwdriver from a great distance and mess with your campaign plan.”

‘We need to invest in civilians’

Thompson favours leaving commanders in place for longer periods, so that they are familiar with all the nuances of a mission. He added more focus should also be placed on providing non-military personnel to help influence policy at local levels with aid organizations such as the Red Cross or the UN Refugee Agency.

“We need to invest civilians, send them to those organizations from our Foreign Affairs Department … and send them straight to those organizations … so they can influence the direction of the campaign.”

Thompson said the Canadian military is as well prepared as it’s ever been and will respond to whatever the government decides Canada should be doing. And as far as resolving problems in war-torn areas such as Iraq and Syria, he suggested there is a common denominator.

“It has more to do with fixing the economic imbalances and the widespread poverty, the destitution that’s been brought about by this conflict. Until you really get to the root problem, you can’t solve the overall security problem.”

Nova Scotians to go to the polls on May 30

Nova Scotians are heading to the polls on Tuesday, May 30.

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil Met with Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant at about 1 p.m. and requested he dissolve the current House of Assembly. He left the lieutenant-governnor’s residence in downtown Halifax about 20 minutes later, without speaking to media who were gathered outside, except to say “he [Grant] said yes.”

The 30-day campaign that will result is the minimum allowed under Nova Scotia’s election laws.

All three political parties had campaign rallies scheduled for Sunday afternoon. 

The election announcement comes just three days after the McNeil government introduced a balanced budget that included:

  • A $25.9-million surplus. 
  • An increase in the basic personal income amount. 
  • $13 million more for hospital infrastructure.
  • $14.5 million to improve rural high-speed internet service.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil’s tenure as premier was marked with many clashes with organized labour, such as teachers and health-care workers. (Canadian Press)

The Liberals entered the election with 34 seats, while the Progressive Conservatives had 10 and the NDP had five. MLA Andrew Younger sat as an independent, and there was one vacancy created by former NDP MLA Marian Mancini opting not to run.

Leading up to the election call, a flurry of spending announcements across the province fuelled speculation an election was coming. A CBC News analysis of 41 recent commitments showed 70 per cent of those good-news announcements took place in Liberal-held constituencies or were primarily to the benefit of those ridings. Liberals held 67 per cent of the seats in Nova Scotia prior to the election being called.

Union clashes dominated McNeil’s tenure as premier

The Liberals’ time in office was marked with a number of clashes with organized labour.

In February, the province imposed a contract on teachers after the Nova Scotia Teachers Union rejected three previous tentative agreements. Teachers then staged a one-day strike, the first in the union’s 122-year history.

The Liberals also encountered a bumpy ride when they merged nine district health authorities into one, while allowing the IWK Health Centre in Halifax to continue to operate as a separate health entity. The Liberals also consolidated 50 different health union contracts into just four in a sometimes messy and controversial process.

Nova Scotia teachers legislature

The McNeil government’s efforts to impose a contract on teachers was one of the government’s most notable clashes with public-sector unions. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

Under McNeil, the province formally apologized in 2014 to former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children, an orphanage where residents were subjected to abuse over a 50-year period, until the 1980s. The province later reached settlements worth $34 million with former residents.

Changes made to Nova Scotia’s film tax credit program in 2015 were widely criticized for gutting the province’s film industry, resulting in fewer productions being filmed here and forcing people to move away to find work.

NDP launched platform 1 week ago

The NDP was ready for today’s election announcement — it launched its platform last Sunday, in which it promised to introduce a $15 per hour minimum wage, free tuition at community college and class-size caps for grades primary to 12.

Leader Gary Burrill criticized the McNeil government’s recent willingness to open its pocketbook.

Gary Burrill

Under NDP Leader Gary Burrill, the NDP’s platform ideas have shifted to its party’s left-wing roots. (CBC)

“The McNeil Liberals for over a month have been in full rum and nylons mode, running around the province giving out a half a million dollars every 20 minutes,” he said.

This is the first election for Burrill as leader. While he previously served as an MLA for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley beginning in 2009, he lost his seat in the 2013 election. He was elected party leader in 2016 and will be running in Halifax Chebucto.

Tory campaign launch focuses on McNeil

The Progressive Conservatives launched their campaign yesterday. Leader Jamie Baillie focused his efforts on painting himself as different from McNeil.

“[McNeil’s] been pulling this province apart and we have the scars to show for it…. This election is about healing the wounds,” Baillie said. “You don’t turn to the person who made the mess to clean up the mess.”

Baillie, a seven-year MLA who is entering his second election campaign as leader, said the PCs would repeal the controversial piece of legislation that imposed a contract on teachers. He also said he would restore vocational training in schools and would ban the use of the phrase “have-not province.”

In the coming days, the Tories will make several announcements regarding the economy, said Baillie.

PC Leader Jamie Baillie

This election campaign will mark Jamie Baillie’s second campaign as PC leader. (Paul Poirier/CBC)

Recent poll suggests Liberal support has slipped

Corporate Research Associates released poll results in mid-March that suggested a significant drop in popular support for the Nova Scotia Liberal Party among decided voters.

According to the poll, conducted between Feb. 2 and March 1, 44 per cent of those asked said they would vote for the Liberals. That was down from 56 per cent in November.

Support for opposition parties came in at:

  • Progressive Conservatives: 28 per cent, up from 20 per cent.
  • New Democratic Party: 23 per cent, up from 19 per cent.
  • Green Party: Five per cent, up from four per cent.

Nova Scotia election to be held Tuesday, May 30

Nova Scotians are heading to the polls on Tuesday, May 30.

The election call came Sunday after Premier Stephen McNeil visited Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant and requested he dissolve the current House of Assembly.

The 30-day campaign is the minimum allowed under Nova Scotia’s election laws.

The announcement comes just three days after the McNeil government introduced a balanced budget that included:

  • A $25.9-million surplus. 
  • An increase in the basic personal income amount, which would result in lower taxes for more than 500,000 people. 
  • $13 million more for hospital infrastructure.
  • $14.5 million to improve rural high-speed internet service.

The Liberals entered the election with 34 seats, while the Progressive Conservatives had 10, the NDP had five, MLA Andrew Younger sat as an independent MLA and there was one vacancy created by former NDP MLA Marian Mancini opting not to run.

Leading up to the election announcement, a flurry of spending announcements across the province fuelled speculation an election was coming. A CBC News analysis of 41 recent commitments showed 70 per cent of those good-news announcements took place in Liberal-held constituencies or were primarily to the benefit of those ridings. Liberals held 67 per cent of the seats in Nova Scotia prior to the election being called.

Union clashes dominated McNeil’s tenure as premier

The Liberals’ time in office was marked with a number of clashes with organized labour.

In February, the province imposed a contract on teachers after the teachers rejected three previous tentative agreements between the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and government. Teachers then staged a one-day strike, the first in the union’s 122-year history.

The Liberals also encountered a bumpy ride when they merged nine district health authorities into one, while allowing the IWK Health Centre to continue to operate as a separate health entity. The Liberals also consolidated 50 different health union contracts into just four in a sometimes messy and controversial process.

Nova Scotia teachers legislature

The McNeil government’s efforts to impose a contract on teachers was one of the government’s most notable clashes with public-sector unions. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

Under McNeil, the province formally apologized in 2014 to former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, an orphanage where residents were subjected to abuse over a 50-year period, until the 1980s. The province later reached settlements worth $34 million with former residents.

Changes made to Nova Scotia’s film tax credit program in 2015 were widely criticized for gutting the province’s film industry, resulting in fewer productions being filmed here and forcing people to move away to find work.

NDP launched platform 1 week ago

The NDP was ready for today’s election announcement — it launched its platform last Sunday, in which it promised to introduce a $15 per hour minimum wage, free tuition at community college and class-size caps for grades primary to 12.

Leader Gary Burrill criticized the McNeil government’s recent willingness to open its pocketbook.

Gary Burrill

Under NDP Leader Gary Burrill, the NDP’s platform ideas have shifted to its party’s left-wing roots. (CBC)

“The McNeil Liberals for over a month have been in full rum and nylons mode, running around the province giving out a half a million dollars every 20 minutes,” he said.

This is the first election for Burrill as leader. While he previously served as an MLA for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley beginning in 2009, he lost his seat in the 2013 election. He was elected party leader in 2016 and will be running in Halifax Chebucto.

Tory campaign launch focuses on McNeil

The Progressive Conservatives launched their campaign yesterday. Leader Jamie Baillie focused his efforts on painting himself as different than McNeil.

“[McNeil’s] been pulling this province apart and we have the scars to show for it…. This election is about healing the wounds,” Baillie said. “You don’t turn to the person who made the mess to clean up the mess.”

Baillie, a seven-year MLA who is entering his second election campaign as leader, said the PCs would repeal the controversial piece of legislation that imposed a contract on teachers. He also said he would restore vocational training in schools and would ban the use of the phrase “have-not province.”

In the coming days, the Tories will make several announcements regarding the economy, said Baillie.

PC Leader Jamie Baillie

This election campaign will mark Jamie Baillie’s second campaign as PC leader. (Paul Poirier/CBC)

Recent poll suggests Liberal support has slipped

Corporate Research Associates released poll results in mid-March that suggested a significant drop in popular support for the Nova Scotia Liberal Party among decided voters.

According to the poll, conducted between Feb. 2 and March 1, 44 per cent of those asked said they would vote for the Liberals. That was down from 56 per cent in November.

Support for opposition parties came in at:

  • Progressive Conservatives: 28 per cent, up from 20 per cent.
  • New Democratic Party: 23 per cent, up from 19 per cent.
  • Green Party: Five per cent, up from four per cent.

1 man under arrest after taxi driver killed in London, Ont.

A 23-year-old London man is facing a second-degree murder charge after the body of a taxi driver was found early yesterday in a convenience store parking lot.

Police say officers responding to an assault call found 64-year-old Vijay Bhatia of London without vital signs and he was pronounced dead in hospital.

Investigators say Bhatia had picked up two passengers and allege he was assaulted by one of them after driving the pair to the Mac’s Milk parking lot at 925 Wonderland Rd.S.

Police were able to locate the passengers after the assault and took them into custody. One of them has since been released from custody without charges.

Police say the accused is also charged with assault and uttering threats in relation to a separate alleged victim, who sustained minor injuries.

Pipeline politics: How an NDP victory in B.C. could divide Canada’s left

An NDP victory in the B.C. provincial election on May 9 — a distinct possibility, if you believe the current polls —  would put progressive parties in charge of Canada’s two westernmost provinces.

But it could also spark a conflict with electoral ramifications in Alberta and beyond.

“It’s really important for Rachel Notley that the B.C. NDP do not win,” said Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Calgary’s Mount Royal University.

“It is clear, although Notley is staying officially neutral … she wants the Liberals to win the next election.” 

Why is B.C.’s election causing such intrigue across the Rockies? After all, blood is usually thicker than water. 

But oil tends to overwhelm both. 

No Kinder surprise

At issue is the $6.8-billion expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to a terminal on the B.C. coast less than 10 kilometres from Vancouver.

It was approved by the federal government in January and is supported by both provinces. 

But not by B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan, who strongly condemned the approval that day, and has said the NDP will “use every tool in our toolbox to stop the project from going ahead.”

Trans Mountain Pipeline: what you need to know0:48

In April, Notley barred her staff and caucus from helping the B.C. NDP in its election, directly tying the decision to the Kinder Morgan schism.  

“It’s difficult for them to be working for our government, and then also supporting candidates who would be opposed to the successful construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline,” she said to an Alberta columnist.    

It was particularly noteworthy given that Notley and Horgan worked together as NDP staffers in B.C. in the 1990s and the number of people with B.C. NDP ties in Notley’s government. NDP veterans traditionally support provincial campaigns across the country. 

More that unites than divides

Moe Sihota, a former NDP environment minister in B.C., and current counsel for Alberta lobbying firm Canadian Strategy Group, argued that interest in the topic was confined to political prognosticators.

“The Alberta government … are elected within their jurisdiction, and they have to act in what they perceive to be in the best interests of their jurisdiction,” he said.  

“The context is that there’s far more that is common within the NDP, far more that unites the NDP, than divides it. This happens to be one of those issues where there are sharp differences of opinion because of the comparison and demographic within each province.”

Trans Mountain pipeline

The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton runs to a terminal on the B.C. coast less than 10 kilometres from Vancouver. (Kinder Morgan)

And there are many potential issues of common ground with the Notley government should the NDP be elected in B.C.: on climate change and carbon taxes, health-care funding, pension reform and raising the minimum wage. 

But when the B.C. NDP was asked if it would like to name areas of agreement with Alberta, it declined, issuing a terse one-sentence statement: “John Horgan has great respect for Premier Notley, and while he does not agree with her position on the Trans Mountain pipeline, he will work with her, and all other provincial leaders, on the issues that matter to people in B.C.”

Campaigning vs. governing

Kinder Morgan is not the only energy issue that could pit progressives on either side of the Rockies against each other in the coming months.

If elected, Horgan would also have a decision to make on the $8.5-billion Site C hydroelectric dam. It’s been heavily criticized by environmentalists and aboriginal groups, and because it’s in the opening stages of construction, could still be halted by the NDP — but the party hasn’t committed to anything beyond a review.

Site C Dam

By the end of June, BC Hydro will have spent just over $1.8 billion on the Site C dam project. (Christer Waara/CBC)

Even if the B.C. NDP went ahead with it, there’s no guarantee Alberta would buy the electricity (an important part of the project’s projections) if B.C. spurned it on pipelines. 

This all becomes a moot point if the NDP recedes in the polls and the B.C. Liberals win a fifth straight majority government. 

But if it prevails, the party’s perennial debates over the environment and economy will resonate with a much larger audience. 

“It’s easy for the NDP to be cohesive when they’re out of power,” said Bratt. 

“But when some are in power, you see those breakdowns occur.”

Good news about butter: CBC’s Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

Miss something this week? Here’s the consumer news you need to know from CBC’s Marketplace.

Get this in your inbox every Friday. Sign up here.

Very un-hip

MUSIC Tragically Hip 20160722

Tragically Hip fans are being warned about counterfeit merchandise claiming to help charity. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

If you bought Tragically Hip merchandise online to show support of the band and raise cash to help fight brain cancer, we may have some bad news. It may not be legit.

Hip guitarist Rob Baker tweeted about the fakes this week, and urged fans to we wary of fraudsters. 

What insurance doesn’t cover

Soczek

Wendy Soczek’s husband sprayed her with gasoline and lit her on fire. Her insurance company initially refused to cover the damage to her home. (Rachel Houlihan/CBC)

Wendy Soczek survived after her husband set her on fire. But then insurance wouldn’t cover damage to the home.

It’s not the first story about how insurance rules can mean a real disadvantage to people in situations of domestic violence.

After Soczek’s story was published, the insurance company offered to settle

Good news about butter …

Cardiologists want to make something clear: Saturated fat does not clog your arteries, cause heart disease or give you Type 2 diabetes. Cheese. Steak. Butter. It’s all OK.

Docs say your best bet for heart health is laying off refined carbs, going for walks and checking your stress level. But eating butter is OK. The doctors said so.

… but bad news about your sushi

Sushi, ceviche, tartare: Delicious, right? Except there’s a catch: parasitic worms. Reported cases in B.C. are at an all-time high, and many cases go unreported because worms can incubate in your gut for up to six months.

If this isn’t traumatizing enough, there’s some video of all of this.

Wave hello! This anasakis or herring worm emerged from a piece of poached cod.0:45

This week in flight woes

One woman was barred from boarding an Air Canada flight after her family were already in their seats. And then her family got kicked off too. Also, a giant rabbit died on a United flight.

After weeks of criticism, United upped its compensation limit for bumped passengers to $10,000 U.S. and said it would overbook less frequently. But we’ll just wait quietly for a passenger bill of rights. 

What else is going on?

Bad news, Toronto commuters: The air in the subway is bad.

Your kitchen cupboard may be getting more Canadian: Billy Bee honey and French’s ketchup both announced that the products they sell in Canada will be made here, too.

Energy drinks are generally full of caffeine, but even the other, non-caffeine ingredients may affect your heart.

And this week in recalls: these pie shells, these dressers and night tables, and these baby carriers

The celebrity sell

There are thousands of celeb selfies on social media, just loving life and enjoying their favourite brands. But are those pics paid endorsements? It’s not always clear.

Last week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission smacked a bunch of celebrities with letters warning about the practice. Watch our investigation on the new world of social ads online now

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