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Alberta's labour shortage and Deputy PM's friend-shoring: In The News for Oct. 12

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 12 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 12 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

With labour shortages prevalent across the country, Alberta is targeting residents of Canada’s most expensive cities in a campaign to attract workers, making an affordability pitch it’s hoping will be too hard to resist.  

"What did the Albertan say to the Torontonian? You’re hired," reads one of Alberta's ads in a downtown Toronto subway station.  

"Find things you’d never expect. Like an affordable house," reads another. 

The second phase of the Alberta is Calling campaign is making the case for why Torontonians and Vancouverites might want to relocate to the oil-rich province: cheaper housing, good pay and shorter commutes. 

At a campaign launch event in Toronto last month, now-former Alberta premier Jason Kenney spoke directly to the city’s young people.  

"I want to make a special shout-out to younger folks in the GTA and the greater Vancouver region, because they all have a dream, quite rightly, of home ownership," said Kenney.

“That dream is alive and well in Alberta.” 

Mike Moffatt, an assistant professor at Western University's Ivey Business School, said with young people increasingly concerned about housing affordability, “it's really smart for Alberta to sort of tout the benefits of living there.”

Moffatt says although Alberta's latest campaign might be more aggressive in its tone, other regions in Ontario have made similar pitches to Toronto residents.


Also this ...

Canada's deputy prime minister urged the world's democracies Tuesday to confront the hard economic truths of a perilous new world order and seek common cause in the shared values of prosperity, energy security, protecting the planet and free and fair trade.

Chrystia Freeland delivered an eloquent obituary for the relative peace and stability of the 33 years between the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and Russia's "barbaric violation" of Ukrainian sovereignty in late February of this year. 

The end has been hard to process, especially after the sacrifices of the Second World War and the superpowered nuclear brinksmanship that followed it, Freeland told Canada-U.S. scholars and stakeholders at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington, D.C. 

And she issued a clarion call to the countries that stand in opposition to Vladimir Putin: the dangers faced by the western world are not limited to the Russian president, nor will they vanish in the event of Ukraine's triumph.

Freeland also preached the virtues of "friend-shoring" — a term coined this past summer by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to describe fortified, climate-friendly, shock-resistant supply chains that rely mainly on like-minded neighbours and allies.


What we are watching in the U.S. ...

U.S. President Joe Biden says there will be "consequences" for Saudi Arabia as his administration begins reevaluating the relationship with the kingdom.

That's after the Riyadh-led OPEC+ alliance of oil-producing nations announced it would cut oil production. Biden said in a CNN interview Tuesday that he was weighing action against the Saudis but declined to detail potential next steps. The OPEC+ production cut is expected to help Russia pad its coffers as it continues its nearly eight-month war in Ukraine.

But it remains to be seen how far Biden is willing to go in showing his displeasure with the Saudis, a vital but complicated ally in the Middle East. Biden added that he would look to consult with Congress on the way forward, but stopped short of endorsing the Democratic lawmakers' call to halt weapons sales.

John Kirby, a White House National Security Council spokesman, said Biden believes "it's time to take another look at this relationship and make sure that it's serving our national security interests." Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday the White House has no timeline for its review nor has the president appointed an adviser to serve as point person.


What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

A court in military-ruled Myanmar has convicted the country's ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on two more corruption charges. 

The two three-year sentences handed down Wednesday, to be served concurrently, add to previous convictions that now leave her with a 26-year total prison term. 

Suu Kyi was detained in February 2021 when the military seized power from her elected government. She has denied the allegations against her in this case, in which she was accused of receiving 550-thousand-dollars in bribes from a tycoon once convicted of drug trafficking. 

She had already been sentenced to 23 years' imprisonment after being convicted of several charges including illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, violating coronavirus restrictions, and sedition. 


On this day in 1917 ...

Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden announced the formation of a Unionist government, made up of 12 Conservatives, nine Liberals and one Labor representative. Borden formed the government in order to stand by the conscription bill his Conservative government had passed. In the subsequent election, the Unionist government won a large majority.


In entertainment ...

Harvey Weinstein's attorney has told the judge at his trial that conditions in the holding cell where he's being kept after court are "unhygienic" and "almost medieval." 

Attorney Mark Werksman asked Los Angeles Judge Lisa Lench for help with the issue Tuesday at the beginning of the second day of jury selection in the former movie mogul's trial on 11 counts of rape and sexual assault. Werksman says he fears the 70-year-old Weinstein may not survive the ordeal of the eight-week trial in such conditions.

Weinstein was hospitalized and had a heart procedure after his 2020 conviction in New York, and his attorneys say he's had many other health issues.


Did you see this?

Some 477 pilot whales have died after stranding themselves on two remote New Zealand beaches over recent days, officials say. 

None of the stranded whales could be refloated and all either died naturally or were euthanized in a "heartbreaking" loss. That's according to Daren Grover, the general manager of Project Jonah, a nonprofit group that helps rescue whales

The whales beached themselves on the Chatham Islands, which are home to about 600 people and located about 800 Kilometres miles east of New Zealand's main islands.

Scientists don't know exactly what causes the whales to beach, although it appears their location systems can get confused by gently sloping sandy beaches.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 12, 2022

The Canadian Press