Morning Brief: Protests against Teck Frontier project wage on

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The Lead

Protests in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation hereditary chiefs continued in full force on Wednesday. Protestors staged sit-ins at federal ministers’ offices, blocked traffic in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto; clogged the entrances to the B.C. legislature; and blocked railway lines across the country – all to show opposition to the construction of the Coastal Gaslink project that the 20 band councils along the line have reached benefit agreements over, and that the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs reject.

Toronto Star reporters visited Tyendinaga Mohawk territory, one location of the demonstrations, to speak with those gathering about why they’re protesting.

The Globe and Mail also wrote this piece about the Wet’suwet’en hereditary system and the chiefs’ rights to the land they claim.

Here’s more on the latest on the pipeline and the protests:

In Canada

NATO defence ministers agreed on Wednesday that the Canadian-led military training mission in Iraq would be expanded to take over some of the activities being carried out by the anti-Islamic State coalition. The decision – which still needs to be approved by the Iraq government – was announced by NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg midway through a two-day conference of defence leaders in Brussel. CBC News has more details.

A new poll by Nanos Research suggests that Canadians think the ideal Conservative Party leader would not be socially conservative. Only 15 per cent of respondents to the poll reported on by the Globe and Mail said they think the next leader of the party should be “very socially conservative,” compared to 37 per cent who think the leader should be neutral on social issues, and 14 per cent who said they’re not sure. As well, respondents who said they regularly vote for the Conservative Party were more likely to favour a potential leader that is economically conservative than socially conservative.

Nearly 200,000 teachers and education workers at close to 5,000 schools in Ontario will go on strike for a full day next week. Union representatives made that announcement yesterday outside of a hotel where Education Minister Stephen Lecce gave a fireside chat. Ontario’s education unions have been negotiating a collection bargaining agreement with the province’s Progressive Conservative government, in which neither side has budged from their position. Victoria Gibson reports the latest.

What do U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, Alibaba founder Jack Ma and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft have in common? If you said its that they’ve all given Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gifts within the last year then ding, ding, ding! Jolson Lim can be credited for this find.

And, the latest annual report from the watchdog that oversees Veterans Affairs Canada shows it investigated more cases about how veterans may have been mistreated by the federal government than they did the year before. Charlie Pinkerton has more details.

Around the World

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday congratulated his Attorney General William Barr for stepping in to lower the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, the president’s longtime friend. Trump called his prosecution “a disgrace” and something her deserves an apology for.

Stone was convicted in November for obstructing the House Intelligence Committee’s examination on Russian interference in the 2016 election by lying to investigators under oath and trying to block a witness who would have exposed his lies from testifying.

Less than 24 hours before Trump’s defence to reporters and online, four career prosecutors withdrew from the Stone case – in which senior department officials overruled what they had recommended be a seven-to-nine-year sentence. (The New York Times)

Also in the U.S. – the Education Department is investigating Ivy League universities Harvard and Yale for allegedly failing to report billions of dollars in funding from foreign countries including China and Saudi Arabia. That revelation came from internal documents obtained from the department. (Wall Street Journal)

More than 240 people died yesterday from the new coronavirus in the Chinese province of Hubei, where the epidemic began. There was also a huge jump in the number of cases, with 14,840 people diagnosed within the province, which is largely because of a broadened view of diagnoses. (BBC News)

In Italy, the Senate has voted to allow prosecutors to put leader Matteo Salvini on trial for holding migrants out of Sicily at sea. More than 100 migrants were kept aboard a boat for nearly a week last summer. Salvini has defended his decision, saying that he believes he saved “tens of thousands of lives” and that he would do it again. (BBC News)

Cartoon of the Day

Theo Moudakis cartoon


The Royal Canadian Mounted Police needs help naming police puppies. It’s accepting suggestions from kids aged four to 14. Enter the “Name the Puppy Contest” here. Credit to the Canada Police Report for the find.

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