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Politics This Morning: Fisheries minister to address mysterious whale deaths

By Kristen Shane      
A massive dead right whale is towed near Norway, P.E.I., on June 28. Necropsies, animal autopsies, have been performed on several of the dead endangered whales to understand how they died. Photograph courtesy of Fisheries & Oceans Canada
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Good Thursday morning,

It looks like it might be a bit of a quiet day today—unless all hell breaks loose in the White House again with another firing or resignation. It’s becoming an almost weekly occurrence.

On the radar today:

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc is set to speak to reporters at noon (Atlantic time) in Moncton, N.B. about the recent spate of deaths of North Atlantic right whales.

The federal fisheries department confirmed this week another dead whale was found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It’s the 10th of those endangered species to be found in those waters since June 7. There are only around 500 of the North Atlantic right whales in total in the world.

The department has put in place measures to try to prevent more deaths by, for instance, closing a snow-crab fishing area where the whales are known to frequent. It’s also done examinations of some of the dead whales to determine how they died.

Ottawa media can call into the briefing via teleconference.

Money, money, money

Ministers are on the move today, handing out cheques.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains is set to make an announcement about “investing in regional innovation and development” in Burnaby, B.C. at the head office of Loop Energy Inc., which last year won a $7.5-million grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada to help boost deployment of its zero-emission powertrain for heavy-duty trucks.

Still in B.C., Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi is planning to tour the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre with a local MLA and regional district chair at 10:15 a.m. (PDT).

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu will be in Geraldton, Ont. at the Greenstone Economic Development Corporation to announce funding from FedNor, the federal economic development organization for Northern Ontario.

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay will be at a soccer complex in Montague, P.E.I., with officials from six community groups to announce funding as part of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.

David Lametti, parliamentary secretary to the innovation minister, is set to make an announcement about communities in the Lac-Saint-Jean-Est area in Hébertville, Que.

Lastly, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada is planning a news conference at 10 a.m. (EST) in Sudbury, Ont., broadcast live online, about what happened March 7, 2015 when a Canadian National Railway crude oil train derailed and caused a fire near Gogama, Ont., which is between Sudbury and Timmins. TSB chair Kathy Fox and other officials from the transportation watchdog will release their investigation report.

Though his daily itinerary was sent to reporters later than usual, we know now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Ottawa today having private meetings.

That’s it for now. Have a great day, and—if you’re in Ottawa, a.k.a. rain central—stay dry!

The Hill Times

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