Andrew Scheer on revamped NAFTA deal I would have signed a better

first_imgOTTAWA – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is opening a new front in his party’s fight against the revamped NAFTA deal, saying he would have done better than Justin Trudeau.The United States is measuring its success in the newly revised North American Free Trade Agreement by what it gained, Scheer tweeted Sunday. The Liberal government, on the other hand, is defining its achievement by what it didn’t give up.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland swiftly fired back, accusing the Opposition leader of showing “a lot of Monday morning courage.”Scheer’s broadside comes as Parliament prepares to resume sitting after the Thanksgiving break, offering a glimpse of how the Conservatives will try to persuade the public they could have wrested a superior deal from the Trump administration.Scheer argues his party would not have had to sign the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement because it would have negotiated a more attractive one for Canadians.“Would I have signed this deal?” Scheer asked in his tweet. “I would have signed a better one.”He offered no details about those improvements, and his spokesman indicated he was not immediately available for an interview, having just returned from a trip to India to promote trade with Canada.However, Scheer has accused the Liberals of gaining no new ground in the USMCA deal and making concessions in the auto, dairy and pharmaceutical sectors.The pact’s ink was barely dry when the Conservatives began portraying the Liberal performance at the negotiating table as a fumbling misplay that will cost Canadian businesses, consumers and workers.“The Liberals would like Canadians to believe that this is somehow NAFTA 2.0,” Scheer told the House of Commons earlier this month. “In reality, this is NAFTA 0.5.”The Tories have also pointedly reminded the Liberals that punishing U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs remain in place.The Liberals say the new agreement, which still faces implementation hurdles, will protect billions of dollars of daily trade, supporting millions of Canadian jobs.Freeland has touted several provisions as Canadian wins, including removal of a clause that undermined energy sovereignty and the scrapping of a dispute-settlement mechanism that allowed companies to sue Canada for millions.“Andrew Scheer is showing a lot of Monday morning courage,” she said Sunday in a statement to The Canadian Press. “He and Stephen Harper argued repeatedly that Canada should drop our demands and rush into a bad deal. We refused to capitulate, we held out, and we got a good deal for Canadians.”The NDP has echoed many of the Conservative criticisms of the deal, saying it will hurt dairy, poultry and egg farmers and producers.As part of the implementation process, the new deal is likely to be presented to the House of Commons for discussion.The New Democrats say the Liberals owe it to Canadians to explain the pact and how it will affect their livelihoods.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Celebrities Support Bullhook Ban In Oakland

first_imgWith Oakland poised to join Los Angeles in banning bullhooks — weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end that circuses and other animal exhibitors use to beat and threaten elephants — a bevy of celebrity PETA supporters are speaking out to encourage the City Council to approve the ban during tomorrow’s meeting.Davey Havok, the lead singer of the über-popular band AFI and an Oakland native, says, “The use of a bullhook is cruel and unjust. We need only imagine being held captive and beaten for the sake of another’s entertainment to know that this tool of torture and slavery should be banned.”Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, who has long been vocal against circus bullhook abuse, says, “I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to observe elephants in their natural habitat in South Africa. The magnificent animals I encountered weren’t performing headstands or standing on tubs like they do at the circus, where they’re routinely beaten with bullhooks. Instead, they were tending to their young, running free, and living in peace. I urge the Oakland City Council to ban this weapon that causes elephants such immense suffering.”Adds the NFL’s David Carter, “As a former player for the Raiders who loves the great city of Oakland, I hope the City Council will follow in the compassionate footsteps of Los Angeles — where I played college football — and take a stand for elephants by banning bullhooks.”Television icon Bob Barker’s opposition to the use of bullhooks on elephants is also clear: “Nothing — and certainly not a few minutes of entertainment — justifies abusing these extremely sensitive, intelligent, and majestic animals with painful bullhooks, which leave puncture wounds and scarring.”PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” — has been a longtime proponent of bullhook bans.Source:PETAlast_img read more