Five stories in the news for Thursday, Sept. 6
NAFTA TALKS MARCH AHEAD
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to meet with her counterpart, U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer, in Washington today. Their meeting comes after what was expected to be a long night of work by their NAFTA negotiators. The two lead ministers on the North American Free Trade Agreement held their own lengthy meetings in Washington yesterday, which Freeland characterized as productive and constructive. The clock is ticking on NAFTA negotiations — Canada and the U.S. have until Oct. 1 to present an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress in order to join the deal the Trump administration has signed with Mexico.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE ANNOUNCEMENT COMING
Canada's health minister is expected to announce new measures to prevent substance abuse at an opioid symposium in Toronto today. Ginette Petitpas Taylor is set to make the announcement after participating in a panel discussion on measures the government has taken on the issue, and what its priorities will be going forward. This comes as Ontario is weighing whether to allow overdose prevention and supervised consumption sites to continue operating. Last month, the province made the controversial decision to halt the opening of new sites while it conducts a review of their efficacy.
STAR-STUDDED TIFF GETS UNDERWAY
The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off today with the world premiere of the Netflix historical drama "Outlaw King" — the first-ever movie from a streaming giant to open an international film festival. Netflix heads into TIFF with a heavy slate of movies that could bolster its reputation with cinephiles, appeal to mainstream audiences and even grab some Oscar buzz. Eight Netflix films will screen at TIFF in the coming days, marking the largest number of movies the company has ever brought to the festival.
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS LAUNCH KILLER WHALE LAWSUIT
A collection of conservation groups has teamed up to launch legal action aimed at protecting endangered southern resident killer whales. The groups say the federal government failed to recommend an emergency order to protect the whales under the Species at Risk Act, and they want a Federal Court to review that decision. There are just 75 southern resident killer whales remaining, and the animals' critical situation has been highlighted in the recent attempts by experts to save the life of a young, emaciated member of the population.
BACKPACKS EXPANDING BEYOND THE SCHOOLYARD
Canada's backpack makers are experiencing a boon beyond the traditionally busy back-to-school season as students and consumers with all types of carryall needs flock to their designs. That demand is pushing homegrown names like Herschel Supply Co. and Matt & Nat to scale up and open flagship stores, expand their bricks-and-mortar footprints and release products beyond just schoolbags. Backpacks have become more "like an every-day purchase" as people increasingly flock to urban centres, live in smaller spaces, rely on public transit and commute using methods other than cars, said Herschel co-founder Lyndon Cormack.
ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:
— Lt.-Gov. Arthur LeBlanc delivers the Throne Speech for the Liberal government of Nova Scotia, as the fall session opens.
— Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques takes part in news conference with crew members who will join him on his Dec. 20 launch to the International Space Station.
— Statistics Canada releases building permits data for July and stocks of principal field crops data for July.
— Governor General Julie Payette will invest eight Officers and 31 Members into the Order of Canada.
— The National Arts Centre will lift the curtain on the new orchestra shell in its Southam Hall and offer a peek at upgrades to its other performance halls.
— Federal Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott will attend the grand opening of the expanded campus of Southeast Collegiate in Winnipeg.
— The B.C. Review Board holds a hearing to determine whether Gabriel Klein, 22, is mentally fit to stand trial. Klein is charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a girl inside a high school.