Significant amount of livestock feared dead in barn fire near Mount Forest

Wellington County OPP say a significant amount of livestock are feared dead in a large barn fire near Mount Forest, Ont. on Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to the blaze in the area of Sideroad 2, east of Highway 6, which is southeast of Mount Forest.

There were no reports of any injuries to humans but police are concerned about livestock that were in the barn, including goats and horses.

Officials said heavy wind conditions were causing problems for firefighters battling the blaze.

Damage estimates are unknown yet and the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

— More to follow.

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Jury selection underway for Adele Sorella, the Laval woman accused of killing her children

On Tuesday, jury selection continued for a trial that will decide the fate of Laval woman Adele Sorella.

Sorella is accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of her daughters, aged eight and nine, after their bodies were found inside their family home in March 2009.

After almost a decade, her case has made its way back to the courts.

During this time, Sorella has been free on bail.

She is being represented by Yves Poupart and Pierre Poupart, the same legal team that represented Guy Turcotte,  the cardiologist who was accused of killing his children.

Potential jurors pack the Laval courthouse on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Lawyers say they expect to call 49 witnesses to the stand throughout a trial that they expect will last around three months.

The trial is expected to be bilingual and witnesses will testify in both French and English.

On Wednesday, jurors who asked for exemptions based on their French and English skills, or because of their neutrality, were asked to return on Wednesday to be further evaluated.

Jury selection is expected to last until the end of the week.

The first witnesses are expected to be called to the stand on Monday.

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Midterm election results could put the USMCA in jeopardy: experts

The results of the U.S. Midterm elections on Nov. 6 could threaten trade between Canada and the United States, experts suggest.

The outcome could affect “everything from our agricultural products to the USMCA, the new trade agreement that replaced NAFTA, to issues like steel and aluminum tariffs,” University of Saskatchewan political science professor Greg Poelzer told Global News.

When it comes to trade, “the shape of the Congress, both the Senate and the House of Representatives, matter a lot,” he said.

Recent polls suggest Democrats are likely to take the House of Representatives while Republicans are projected to hang on to the Senate.

In this outcome, the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that was finalized last month, could fall victim to partisan politics.

“The real issue will be whether or not they’ll be in refusal mode and will just want to stick it to Trump in every possible way they can, or if this is actually something that a few Democrats may actually want to get behind,” said Greg Anderson, an associate professor of political science at the University of Ottawa.

He said Congress needs to pass legislation to implement a new trade deal, a process which may be delayed or halted, depending on the extent of Democratic resolve.

“It just depends on how ugly the Democrats want to be about saying no to almost everything that Trump does.”

This legislation is slated to be passed in the new year, under the new Congressional makeup.

Robert Wolfe, a former professor at Queen’s University and expert on trade policy, agrees that a Democratic House introduces the possibility of newly powerful Democratic representatives voting against ratifying the USMCA due to their resentment of the current president.

“The fact that the deal was signed by Trump means they’re really going to be reluctant to agree to the deal. So it’s just going to be that much harder to get this new agreement through Congress,” he said.

According to Bloomberg, Democrats are already making demands to secure their support for the deal. On Monday, Michigan Rep. Sander Levin said that Mexico would need to update its labour laws to increase wages before Congress votes on the new trade deal.

Rep. Richard Neal, the top Democrat on the house Ways and Means committee who’s in line to become the next chairman if his party takes control, has also expressed concerns to the press.

He told reporters Sunday night that “the bar for supporting the new NAFTA will be high.” Neal, who represents New Jersey, has also said that he’d be looking at “the enforcement and enforceability of the agreement’s provisions.”

In addition, Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon has stated that changes may be needed to the dispute settlement procedures in Chapter 11 to serve as an enforcement mechanism in the deal before it can be approved. Wyden is the top ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee and is set to take over leadership of the panel should his party claim the Senate on Nov. 6.

“The last thing that is needed right now, at a time of great public frustration with what’s going on with Washington, is ramming this through,” Wyden said.

Even forcing the deal back to the negotiating table would further delay its implementation because of the recent election of a new administration in Mexico — a delay which Wolfe maintains is not in Canada’s best interests.

“That’s a problem because Mexico has a new government. Their small trade team was paying attention very closely to the final aspects of the negotiations, but it is not their deal,” Wolfe said.

To renegotiate the USMCA, Mexico’s new leadership would have to “get up to speed and then start renegotiating. That would be a very long process.”

Mexico’s new government is headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has been known to argue against free-market policies. While he’s expressed his support for the USMCA, he held deep misgivings about NAFTA.

Wolfe notes, however, the trade deal may be impacted by the election even if the GOP hangs on to a House majority on Tuesday because of the over 40 Republicans not seeking re-election.

“I think it’s probably safer to say that the election will have an impact on the trade deal, anyway. There are 43 Republicans who aren’t running again. Even if the Republicans maintain the majority, it will be a different Republican group,” he adds.

Despite having made some concessions in the deal in areas such as dairy and intellectual property, Wolfe said Canada stands to lose a lot if the USMCA is eventually abandoned because contention between the U.S. House and Senate prevents the deal from being ratified by Congress.

“From Canada’s standpoint, it’s all messy, none of it’s good, but the best option would be to get this deal through Congress.”

James Brander, a Canadian economist and professor at the University of British Columbia, notes that there may be a benefit to a Democratic House majority, particularly if the president unilaterally decides to withdraw from the USMCA.

“The House of Representatives does have some input. There are a lot of legal grey areas. If Trump had wanted to withdraw from NAFTA, there is a question as to whether he could legally do so without agreement from both the House and the Senate,” Brander said.

“It will certainly help Canada to have a Democratic House, if that’s what happens.”

Rep. Wyden has suggested that any attempt by Trump to pull out of the USMCA could be met with a hard stop in Democratic House.

“The president needs to take a look at the Constitution — it gives Congress authority over trade,” he said in a statement to Politico after the deal was agreed upon last month. “The president cannot pull America out of NAFTA without Congress’ permission.”

Final polls from Politico and FiveThirtyEight indicate that the Democrats maintain an advantage in the House while the GOP will likely hang on to the Senate.

In most states, polls opened at 7 a.m. local time and close at around 8 p.m. local time.

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John McCrae honoured on Guelph Storm Veterans’ Week jerseys

The Guelph Storm have unveiled a special commemorative jersey that honours Lt.-Col. John McCrae and features the words of his iconic war poem In Flanders Fields.

The jerseys will be worn during their game against the Barrie Colts on Friday at Sleeman Centre, which will also feature a special pre-game ceremony.

McCrae was born in Guelph on Nov. 30, 1872, and attended Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute.

The Guelph Storm will wear these commemorative jerseys during their game against the Barrie Colts on Friday.

He wrote the famous First World War poem during the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium in 1915.

“Always remembered in his hometown of Guelph with the conversion of his family into the McCrae House Museum, the Guelph Storm are honoured to recognize the local, national and worldwide legacy of Lt.-Col. John McCrae,” the team said in a news release.

BELOW: Listen to the late Leonard Cohen recite In Flanders Fields for Remembrance Day

McCrae died of pneumonia on Jan. 28, 1918, and was buried in France, not far from the fields he immortalized.

The jersey features an image of McCrae, the words of In Flanders Fields, poppies blowing in a field of crosses, and a statue of McCrae erected at the Guelph Civic Museum.

Following the game, the jerseys will be auctioned off online and every dollar raised will be donated to local Royal Canadian Legions, including the John McCrae Memorial Branch 234 on Watson Parkway.

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Suspect being sought after vehicle reported stolen recovered in Hamilton

A vehicle that had been reported stolen has been recovered in Hamilton, but police are still searching for the person who took it.

Police say a Kia Sportage was reported stolen from a home on Garth Street on Friday afternoon and, four days later, the owner located it sitting in a parking lot on Upper James, with an unknown man inside.

The owner followed his car when it started to travel, but the suspect driver lost control and ended up driving into a dental office on Mohawk Road at Hayden Street early Tuesday morning.

No one was injured, but the suspect fled the scene before police arrived.

He is described as six feet tall and approximately 175 pounds, with a medium build.

Police say he was wearing a red toque, red Adidas jacket with white stripes, blue jeans and white shoes.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact police.

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Archaeologists find one of Quebec City’s first fortresses

Part of one of Quebec’s first fortresses, erected in the 1690s, has been found in the heritage site of Old Quebec.

Officials are calling the discovery of the 325-year-old Palisade of Beaucours a major archaeological find for the province’s history.

“This is our cultural heritage, something to be proud of,” said Quebec Premier François Legault.

“The finding of this military vestige has enriched our knowledge of Quebec’s history, just days before Remembrance Day.”

The remnant, found in Old Quebec’s heritage site, is about 20 metres long. Archaeologists say it has been well preserved.

It is part of the original plans by French military engineer Josué Dubois Berthelot de Beaucours in 1693-1694 — and signifies one of the first discoveries of his work.

The wall was built by 500 troops to replace the first, temporary outer fortification system, which was installed in 1690 near the Plains of Abraham to prevent an invasion from the British.

“It is important to preserve our cultural heritage, which is why we are doing everything we can to protect these remains,” said Minister of Culture and Communications Nathalie Roy.

Archaeologists say they hope to study the fortification. “To ensure its integrity and preservation, the vestige will be removed from the soil and transported to a storage location where it will be treated by controlled drying” before making it accessible to the public’s viewing.

A close-up of the historic fortification system in Quebec City.

“This discovery reminds us of the efforts of Governor [Louis de Buade de] Frontenac to equip New France with proper defences,” said Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume.

“Studying this relic will allow us to better understand our defence systems.”

Quebec City is considered to have one of the first urban colonies in North America, from the founding of Quebec by Samuel de Champlain to the departure of the British garrison — 1608 to 1871.

The city’s fortification units have been considered a huge element of Quebec and Canada’s heritage since 1872.

Old Quebec has been inscribed on UNESCO‘s world heritage list since 1985.

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Extending the yellow line on Montreal’s Metro?

The Montreal Metro may soon see an extension of its yellow line — but will that affect the creation of the pink line?

Longueuil Mayor Sylvie Parent met with Transport Minister François Bonnardel Monday for one hour to discuss the idea.

The south shore city said it has been waiting for this project for 50 years, noting there have not been major investments in the agglomeration for the last 30 years.

“I’m confident. Five weeks after the election and the minister comes to Longueuil? That’s a good sign,” Parent said.

During the last municipal election, Parent campaigned on an ambitious transport plan for the agglomeration of Longueuil, including a Metro extension, a tramway and reserved lanes.

Related

Montreal says goodbye to the original 1966 Metro car

Montreal public transit authority pulls etiquette announcements from Metro cars

Montreal Metro blue line to be extended by five stations

Her two priorities right now include extending the yellow line by six stations and improving access to downtown via the construction of a Lafayette viaduct near the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.

Parent insisted the extension of the yellow line is not in competition with Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante‘s proposed pink line.

“We need it,” she argued.

Quebec Premier François Legault said he hasn’t ruled out either project, but acknowledged that the pink line is much more expensive.

“Some work will have to be done to see how many people are planning to use the yellow line, if we extend the line,” he said.

“[We] will do the same for the pink line. As for the preliminary studies that we have, the pink line is expensive when you take into consideration the additional people that will use it, but we’re open.”

Legault pointed out there is a limited budget so the government will consult with the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), the umbrella organization that manages and integrates road and public transportation in Greater Montreal.

“We said before that we’re open to the yellow line like we are to the orange line in Laval,” he said.

“Of course, the REM will have to be taken into consideration and [that project is] a lot cheaper than the Metro.”

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CSIS says federal Trans Mountain pipeline purchase seen as ‘betrayal’ by many opponents

Canada’s spy agency says many members of the environmental and Indigenous communities see the federal purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline as a betrayal, and suggests that could intensify opposition to expanding the project.

A Canadian Security Intelligence Service assessment highlights a renewed sense of indignation among protesters and clearly indicates the spy service’s ongoing interest in anti-petroleum activism.

The Canadian Press used the Access to Information Act to obtain a heavily censored copy of the June CSIS brief, originally classified top secret.

Civil liberties and environmental activists questioned the rationale for CSIS’s interest, given that opposition to the pipeline project has been peaceful.

CSIS spokeswoman Tahera Mufti stressed the spy service is committed to following the governing legislation that forbids it to probe lawful protest and dissent.

“While we cannot publicly disclose our investigative interests, we can say that it is important for the service to pose important analytical questions on these types of issues, such as the question of whether developments such as the purchase of a pipeline could give rise to a national-security threat to Canada’s critical infrastructure.”

Earlier this year, Kinder Morgan dropped plans to twin an existing pipeline that carries about 300,000 barrels of bitumen daily from Alberta to British Columbia. The federal government announced in late May it would buy the pipeline and related components for $4.5 billion.

The government intends to finance and manage construction of the second pipeline — which would increase the overall flow of bitumen to 890,000 barrels a day — and ultimately try to find a buyer.

The CSIS brief characterizes resistance to the pipeline project as a “developing intelligence issue.”

“Indigenous and non-Indigenous opponents of the project continue to highlight the increasing threats to the planet as a result of climate change and the incompatibility of new pipeline and oil sands projects with Canada’s 2015 commitment under the Paris Climate Accord,” the brief says.

“At the same time, many within the broader Indigenous community view the federal government’s purchase and possible financing, construction and operation of an expanded bitumen pipeline as wholly incompatible with its attempts at Crown-Indigenous reconciliation.”

The pipeline acquisition and commitment to complete the project is therefore “viewed as a betrayal” by many within both the environmental and Indigenous communities, CSIS says.

“Indigenous opposition at the grassroots level remains strong. In response to the federal purchase, numerous Indigenous and environmental organizations have restated their commitment to prevent construction.”

The brief singles out the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, noting it has signatories from over 50 North American First Nations in its bid to halt the project. It also features a May quote from Canadian environmental organization Stand.earth that the decision “will haunt the Trudeau government.”

The intelligence brief was completed a little more than two months before the Federal Court of Appeal quashed government approval of the pipeline project due to inadequate consultation with Indigenous groups and failure to properly assess the effect of increased tanker traffic in the waters off British Columbia.

In the wake of the court ruling, the federal government ordered the National Energy Board to reassess the tanker issue and asked a former Supreme Court justice to oversee fresh consultations with Indigenous communities.

The CSIS brief notes there had been “no acts of serious violence” stemming from peaceful demonstrations and blockades at Trans Mountain facilities in British Columbia that resulted in the arrest of more than 200 people, or at smaller protests across the country.

However, the document includes a section titled “Violent Confrontations and Resource Development” that mentions past conflicts over shale-gas development in New Brunswick and a high-profile pipeline in North Dakota.

It is unclear, because of the redactions to the document, exactly what CSIS was looking at, said Josh Paterson, executive director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, which has expressed strong concern about the spy service’s monitoring of activists.

In the information that has been released, there is no suggestion of a threat to national security or critical infrastructure, of clandestine activities or of violence in relation to the Trans Mountain project, Paterson said.

“While some opponents of the pipeline were arrested during protest for breaching a court order, that was a matter for police and the courts, and was done out in the open — it should not be a matter for our spy agency.”

Given past interest on the part of security and police officials, the CSIS brief is not surprising, said Tegan Hansen, a spokeswoman for Protect the Inlet, an Indigenous-led effort against the pipeline and tanker project.

But she is curious as to why the spy service document makes reference to sabotage and violent physical confrontations.

“I’m not sure why they’re trying to draw that connection with violence,” Hansen said. “I’d be interested to know. But it’s certainly not our intention to ever pursue violence.”

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Surprising Support for the Term ‘Feminist’ on the Campaign Trail

Asked whether she was a feminist, Amy McGrath, the former Marine fighter pilot running for Congress in Kentucky, was emphatic: “Hell yeah, I’m a feminist.” Her opponent, Representative Andy Barr, turned her words into an attack ad.

Many politicians have considered the word “feminist” toxic. But that might be changing. In 11 battleground districts nationwide, including Kentucky’s Sixth, about half of voters said they supported electing feminists, compared with roughly a third who opposed it, according to Upshot/Siena House polls this fall. About a fifth said they didn’t know.

We don’t have past surveys asking the same question to compare with these results, and support of feminist candidates is still not a majority opinion — more Republicans opposed electing them than supported it. But the overall support our polls found would have been unthinkable in even recent elections, scholars say. Some compare this moment to the feminist political movements of the 1920s and 1970s.

The spark, people across the political spectrum said, was the MeToo movement, after the misogyny seen in the 2016 presidential campaign.

“An embrace of the term in political candidates? That’s news,” said Estelle Freedman, a professor at Stanford who specializes in women’s history. “We know that women have been really politicized by the perceived assault on women’s rights writ large. The kindling was there, and it got ignited by the misogyny.”

One reason that voters’ support for feminist candidates is surprising is that in a variety of surveys, only a fifth or fewer identify as feminists themselves. (The share goes up when the word is defined as equal rights for men and women, or when specific feminist policies are mentioned.) Our polling question, asked in 14 districts, was whether respondents supported or opposed electing more people who describe themselves as feminists. It did not define the term.

Supporting feminist candidates is tricky, said Phillip Farmer, 38, a web developer in Perryville, Ky., because it has become “a very divisive word.” But he is voting for Ms. McGrath, and said her feminism was one reason. “If I hear that word, I hear equal rights, equal pay, equal opportunity,” he said. “It seems so basic.”

Beth Ann Haydon, 60, a small-business owner in Midway, Ky., said she does not support electing feminists, and is voting for Mr. Barr. “Fairness is all I ask for,” she said. “We’re strong-willed women, we’re smart and savvy and entrepreneurs. I don’t want to be boxed in as a feminist.”

In Kentucky’s Sixth, 47 percent of voters said they supported electing more feminist candidates, and 34 percent opposed it. Nineteen percent said they didn’t know. In four districts we polled in Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona and Minnesota, more than 50 percent of voters supported electing feminists. We found just around 41 percent support for feminist candidates in three other districts we polled, two in North Carolina and one in Virginia, but even that was slightly larger than the share opposing.

Democrats and young people are driving the support. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats, both men and women, said they supported electing a feminist, and 15 percent or fewer opposed it. Among Republicans, about a quarter of men and women supported electing feminists, and more than half opposed it.

Over all, 55 percent of black women, 53 percent of Hispanic women and 50 percent of white women supported electing feminists. Among Democratic women, 78 percent of white voters, 64 percent of Hispanics and 58 percent of black voters supported it.

Three-quarters of women 18 to 34 supported electing more feminists, compared with 43 percent of women 65 and older.

“There’s a strong segment of conservative, Fox News-watching, Donald Trump-supporting women who are likely to support him no matter what, and likely to see the word feminism as toxic to them,” said Mindy Finn, the independent vice-presidential candidate in the 2016 election and a co-founder of Stand Up Republic. “But there’s a whole other set of conservative women, particularly younger women, who want to see strong role models in positions of power dominated by men, including running for office.”

Issues like sexual harassment, she said, “are what weds conservatives to the word ‘feminism.’”

For many people, the decision on voting for feminists had come down to abortion rights. But the definition has recently broadened, analysts said.

“There had been a simple equation: Feminist equals abortion equals Democratic Party,” said Catherine Rymph, chairwoman of the history department at the University of Missouri, who has studied feminism and conservatism. “Maybe because of the issues that are on the table this election cycle, there’s space for people to see feminism as standing for different things.”

Amanda Arjona, 39, a human resources specialist in McHenry, Ill., says she’s “a pro-life feminist” and moderate, but is voting for the Democratic House candidate in her district, Lauren Underwood. “I’m a Christian, but I still think having rights for all people is important,” she said.

Politically, MeToo has helped make feminism about the right of women to participate in the economy, said Heather Boushey, executive director of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, who was an economic adviser to Hillary Clinton.

“It’s about the ability to just get a job and to be free of harassment,” Ms. Boushey said, adding, “Both men and women have a deep, vested interest in women’s economic success.”

But MeToo has turned some voters against feminism, who say it casts women as victims and entitled to special treatment.

In a previous interview about Ms. McGrath’s feminism, Mr. Barr said he believed in equal opportunity. “What people around here understand, though,” he said, “is that feminism used the way my opponent uses it is the politics of entitlement based on an immutable characteristic.”

Danny Stidham, a 63-year-old computer technologist in Lawrenceburg, Ky., said his support for feminist candidates depends on what they think the word means. “If by feminist they mean a firm believer in the MeToo movement, I have a problem with that,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe women should be mistreated, but from what I’ve seen, the MeToo movement appears to be: Believe women no matter what.” He is voting for Mr. Barr.

The word feminist was not always affiliated with political liberals. Shortly after the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote in 1920, a split emerged among suffragists. On one side, women who called themselves feminists backed the Equal Rights Amendment, which would erase legal distinctions between the sexes. They tended to be elite, educated and professional. On the other side, a much bigger group, which included working-class women and labor unions, supported laws that limited women’s work hours. This group rejected the “feminist” label.

The word burst into the mainstream again in the 1970s. The new movement wasn’t initially partisan — feminists were anyone fighting for women’s rights, whether they were reproductive rights or those related to workplaces and marriages. But as the Republican Party embraced the family values platform and rejected abortion, feminism became associated with the Democratic Party.

Younger feminists, who came of age in the wake of Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas and the surge of women who ran for office in 1992, have tried to make the word less polarizing.

They have said, “Let’s get on with it, we’re feminists and also other things, anti-racist, gender-nonconforming, let’s not fall into name-calling,” Ms. Freedman said.

Claire Cain Miller writes about gender, families and the future of work for The Upshot. She joined The Times in 2008 and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues. @clairecm Facebook

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