Six stories in the news for Friday, Feb. 2———PM TRUDEAU FACES MORE QUESTIONS AT TOWN HALLA disabled veteran, an Indigenous woman angry about racism and people worried about stalled oil pipelines hurled questions at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his latest town hall meeting in Edmonton Thursday night. Trudeau’s answers were periodically interrupted by angry shouts, but he never lost his composure. The prime minister holds another town hall tonight in Nanaimo, B.C.———ALBERTA TO HALT ELECTRICITY TALKS WITH B.C.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her government is suspending talks with British Columbia on the purchase of electricity from the western province. It’s the first step in Alberta’s fight against the B.C. government’s proposal to obstruct the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion project by banning increased shipments of diluted bitumen to the province’s coast. Up to $500 million annually for B.C.’s coffers hangs in the balance, Notley said.———CHRISTINE ELLIOTT JOINS ONTARIO PC RACEFormer Ontario legislator Christine Elliott has joined the race to replace Patrick Brown as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party. The widow of late federal finance minister Jim Flaherty has run twice unsuccessfully for the Tory leadership, in 2009 and again in 2015. The only other declared candidate so far is Toronto politician Doug Ford.———REPORT: MILITARY PROCUREMENT ISSUES THREATEN POLICYLong-standing problems with Canada’s military procurement system are threatening to undermine the Trudeau government’s vaunted defence policy, warns a new report. The study, published by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute this week, says the government is on track to spend billions less on new equipment this year than was promised. The main reason, says the report’s author, are bottle necks in the procurement system have slowed progress on a variety of projects.———MONTREAL PORT EXPANSION UNDERWAYThe Montreal Port Authority says it has crossed a key milestone in its plans to grow its container-handling capacity in order to stay competitive with large U.S. ports. The authority — which has submitted its plans for an environmental assessment — has long been planning a container terminal on its land in Contrecoeur on Montreal’s South Shore, a land reserve it acquired between 1988 and 1992.———GROUNDHOGS SET TO ISSUE SPRING FORECASTWeather watchers will look to the groundhogs this morning for their annual predictions about spring. Nova Scotia’s famed Shubenacadie Sam will be let out of his pen at about 8 a.m. local time followed about an hour later by Ontario’s Wiarton Willie. According to folklore, if a groundhog sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. If not, spring is around the corner.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— The Ontario Liberal Party begins a three-day annual general meeting in Toronto.— Online and telephone voting continues to elect a new leader of the B.C. Liberal Party.— Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland participates in a NAFTA meeting with her counterparts in Mexico City.
In the news today Feb 2