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Clashes over a treaty dispute and a new name for Asbestos : In The News for Oct. 19

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. 19...

What we are watching in Canada ...

A group of four cabinet ministers -- and the NDP -- have requested an emergency debate in the House of Commons over the treaty dispute between commercial fishermen and Mi'kmaq fishers in Nova Scotia. 

Weeks of fierce clashes came to a head over the weekend when a lobster pound that stored Mi'kmaq fishers' catch was burned to the ground. A man described as a "person of interest" in the blaze is in hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

The ministers of fisheries, Indigenous services, Crown-Indigenous relations and public safety sought leave from House Speaker Anthony Rota to hold an emergency debate over the matter last night. 

Their official request came hours after a similar one from the NDP. 

It's now in Rota's hands to decide whether the issue merits an emergency debate. 


Also this ...

The Quebec town of Asbestos is about to learn its new name. 

Residents had until last night to cast their ballots, and the town is expected to unveil the big winner during a live-streamed municipal council meeting tonight. 

The potential new names are: L'Azur-des-Cantons, Jeffrey-sur-le-Lac, Larochelle, Phenix, Trois-Lacs and Val-des-Sources.

The spot in the Eastern Townships -- roughly 130 kilometres east of Montreal -- helped make Canada a leading exporter of asbestos. 

It's since sought to distance itself from the toxic mineral because of its dangerous health effects.  


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

With just over two weeks to go on the campaign trail, U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are on the offensive. 

Both spent the weekend trying to flip states. 

Trump was in Nevada -- which, once considered a battleground, has not gone for a Republican presidential contender since 2004. 

Biden, meanwhile, campaigned in North Carolina, where a Democrat has not won in a presidential race since Barack Obama in 2008.


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

Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are in jeopardy. 

This according to the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, who says "distressingly high" levels of violence could derail the discussions. 

Days of renewed fighting have plagued Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, a longtime Taliban stronghold. 

The Taliban agreed Friday to halt its attacks on condition of the U.S. stopping its airstrikes in the area.  But then came a suicide car bombing Sunday that killed at least 13 people and wounded around 120 others in Afghanistan's western Ghor province. 

Though no one claimed responsibility for the bombing, suspicion immediately fell on the Taliban.


In entertainment ...

The winner of this year's Polaris Prize will be named tonight. 

Ten Canadian acts are competing for the prestigious $50,000 award -- including three who have already won it: electronic composer Caribou, DJ and record producer Kaytranada, and singer-songwriter Lido Pimienta.

The winner is decided by an 11-member jury of music journalists and broadcasters who consider the album's artistic merit, regardless of sales or genre.



Locals only!

Some restaurants in southern Ontario have barred out-of-towners from indoor dining due to localized surges in COVID-19 cases. 

Ramshackle Industries, which owns four restaurants and bars in Stratford, Ont., first introduced the policy when restaurants reopened in June, slowly dialing it back as the pandemic waned this summer. 

Now that the province has reintroduced tighter restrictions in  Toronto, York and Peel regions and Ottawa due to the second wave of COVID-19, Ramshackle owner Jessie Votary said the rule is being enforced again. 

She said it's a hit to the pocketbook, but safety has to be the priority. 


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press