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In the news today: India tensions rise, PM at UN and Unifor strikes deal with Ford

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...
A photograph of late temple president Hardeep Singh Nijjar is seen on a banner outside the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, September 18, 2023. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadian intelligence services are investigating "credible" information about "a potential link" between the government of India and the murder of B.C. Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...

Diplomatic tension with India could last months

One expert thinks Canada may be just at the beginning of a months-long diplomatic spat with India, as allies await more information on accusations New Delhi played a role in the death of a Canadian citizen.

Roland Paris, who leads the University of Ottawa graduate school of international affairs, says the countries have issued contradicting statements, making it difficult to find common ground.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canadian intelligence services are investigating "a potential link" between India's government and the death of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in B.C.

India calls those claims "absurd and motivated," leading Trudeau to urge India to take the allegations seriously and co-operate with a police investigation.

Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat Monday.

Then India expelled a Canadian envoy, arguing it was because of concerns Canada is harbouring extremists who want a separate country for Sikhs.

Busy day for Trudeau at UN General Assembly

If you think your Wednesday is going to be busy, pour one out for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canada's to-do list at the United Nations? Confronting the climate crisis, helping Ukraine defeat Russia and eradicating global poverty, among other things.

Trudeau will take in a UN Security Council debate on the way forward in Ukraine, where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to speak.

At a climate ambition summit, Secretary-General António Guterres is expected to hold leaders to account on what they're doing to confront the emergency.

Trudeau will also take part in high-level meetings on creating new finance models to help the developing world find sustainable solutions.

And he'll join Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault at an event aimed at helping developing countries deal with their carbon emissions.


Unifor reaches tentative deal with Ford

Unifor says it has reached a tentative deal with Ford Motor Co. that could avoid workers going on strike.

The union says the proposed contract will be brought to members shortly for a vote.

Negotiations with Ford are expected to set expectations for what workers will get in contracts from General Motors and Stellantis.

The tentative deal with Ford comes as U.S. autoworkers continue to strike against Ford as well as at General Motors and Stellantis plants.

U.S. autoworkers are pushing for upwards of 40 per cent wage gains, while Unifor has not put out a number, saying only that it wants to see significant increases.

Along with higher wages, Unifor says its other key priorities are pensions and issues around job security and the transition to electric vehicles.

The union says details of the agreement will first be presented to members at Ford Motor Company in ratification meetings to be held in the near future.

Emergency manager to testify at convoy trial

The testimony of Ottawa's emergency services manager is expected to continue today in the criminal trial of two "Freedom Convoy" organizers.

Tamara Lich and Chris Barber are on trial for alleged mischief and counselling others to commit mischief, intimidation and other offences during the protest.

Kim Ayotte oversaw the city's bylaw enforcement, fire and paramedic services during last year's demonstration, as well as the department that oversees special events.

He stepped into the witness box Tuesday afternoon, but his testimony was stalled as he struggled to answer specific questions without access to his text messages and other communications with his staff.

Ayotte also provided daily situation updates to then-mayor Jim Watson and the rest of city council during the demonstration.

Nygard sex-assault case to appear in Toronto court

The sexual-assault case against Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard is expected to be back in a Toronto courtroom today after jury selection in his trial was delayed last week.

The charges in the case were reduced from 11 to six, after a court heard three of the eight original complainants in the case are not expected to testify.

Court documents show Nygard is now facing five counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement, down from eight sexual assault and three forcible confinement charges.

Nygard, who appeared in court in a wheelchair on Sept. 11, faces charges in three jurisdictions in Canada and one in the U.S. after authorities alleged he used his position in the fashion industry to lure women and girls.

He faces two sex charges in Quebec and is also charged with sexual assault and unlawful confinement in Manitoba after a person came forward with allegations from the early '90s.

GardaWorld workers held in Libya for two months

Seven employees of Montreal-based security giant GardaWorld languished in detention for nearly two months after their arrest earlier this year by a powerful Libyan militia.

The workers’ ordeal underscores the ongoing risks of operating in a volatile region as well as the financial toll on foreign companies exacted by armed groups and state actors amid a fluid power struggle in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

GardaWorld, one of the largest foreign security firms operating in Libya, offers services ranging from armoured cars to security reports for diplomats and multinational corporations. But its role there came to a jarring halt on April 11, when the Rada militia at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport seized GardaWorld's contractors, who were providing security for the EU Border Assistance Mission in the country.

N.L. university opened doors to OceanGate: emails

A research institute at Newfoundland and Labrador's Memorial University threw open its "proverbial doors" last year to the company that owned the doomed Titan submersible, less than a year before the vessel suffered a catastrophic implosion while diving to the Titanic shipwreck.

Emails obtained by The Canadian Press show officials with Memorial's Fisheries and Marine Institute signed an agreement with OceanGate in December allowing the company to store equipment with the university and promising that students and faculty would have opportunities "to join OceanGate expeditions to support research endeavours."

The memorandum of understanding also says the marine institute would show OceanGate's submersible to visitors in an effort to promote ocean literacy and the "blue economy."

The Titan submersible was last heard from on June 18, after it dropped into the North Atlantic on its way to the Titanic wreck site. Officials say its mother ship, the Canadian-flagged Polar Prince, lost contact with the small sub about an hour and 45 minutes into its dive. The descent typically takes about two hours.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2023

The Canadian Press

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