In The News is a roundup of articles from The Canadian Press designed to start your day. Here’s what’s on our editors’ radar for the morning of June 24…
What we’re watching in Canada…
The CRTC chair says he could ask platforms such as YouTube to “manipulate” their algorithms to make Canadian content easier to find, under the bill’s powers over online streaming.
Ian Scott told a Senate committee examining the bill on Wednesday evening that the CRTC would not want to manipulate the algorithms itself, but that it could ask the platforms to produce particular results.
This is what some critics of the bill have warned against. They say this kind of algorithm manipulation could actually harm Canadian content producers internationally, leading to lower exposure and revenue.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said that wouldn’t happen – and his spokesman said a clause in the bill would prevent the CRTC from asking for the algorithms to change.
The bill passed the House of Commons and is currently being considered by the Senate.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today begins a series of closed-door meetings in Rwanda to try to rally Commonwealth countries behind Canada’s climate goals and vision for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Trudeau arrived in the capital, Kigali, for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on Wednesday, but the summit officially begins today.
On the prime minister’s agenda is a meeting with the chairman of the African Union Commission, who has been at the center of a showdown for support between Ukraine and Russia.
The two countries have been squabbling over Africa’s friendship as violent conflict continues, leading to a global spike in fuel costs and grain shortages.
Trudeau also plans to sit down with the leaders of Antigua and Barbuda, Ghana and Zambia.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister was due to meet one-on-one with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, but that meeting was delayed.
What we’re watching in the US…
WASHINGTON _ A bipartisan gun violence bill that seemed unimaginable a month ago is poised to win final congressional approval, a vote that will produce the most sweeping response from lawmakers in decades to mass shootings brutal events that shocked but not surprised Americans.
The House is due to vote on the $13 billion package on Friday, exactly one month after a gunman massacred 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. A few days earlier, a racially motivated white man allegedly killed 10 black grocers in Buffalo, New York.
The two massacres — days apart and victimizing helpless people for whom the public felt immediate empathy — prompted both parties to conclude that Congress needed to act, especially in an election year. After weeks of closed-door talks, Senate negotiators from both sides have produced a compromise that takes soft but hard-hitting steps to make such chaos less likely.
“Families in Uvalde and Buffalo, and too many tragic shootings before, demanded action. And tonight we acted,” US President Joe Biden said after his visit. He said the House should get it to him quickly, adding, “Children in schools and communities will be safer because of this.”
The legislation would strengthen background checks on younger gun buyers, further prevent perpetrators of domestic violence from using firearms, and help states put in place red flag laws that allow authorities to take weapons more easily from people deemed dangerous. It would also fund local programs for school safety, mental health and violence prevention.
The Senate approved the measure Thursday by 65-33. Fifteen Republicans — a remarkably high number for a party that has derailed gun curbs for years — joined 50 Democrats, including their two independent allies, in endorsing the bill.
Still, that meant less than a third of GOP senators backed the measure. And with Republicans in the House expected to strongly oppose it, the fate of future congressional action on guns looks uncertain, even if the GOP is expected to win control of the House and possibly the Senate in the November elections.
Top House Republicans urged voting “no” in an email from GOP No. 2 leader Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana. He called the bill “an effort to slowly curtail the rights of law-abiding citizens to the 2nd Amendment.” ‘
What we’re looking at in the rest of the world…
LONDON _ British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a double whammy as voters rejected his Conservative party in two special elections dominated by questions about his leadership and ethics.
The party chairman resigned after the results early on Friday, saying the party “cannot carry on business as usual”.
The centrist Liberal Democrats overthrew a large Tory majority to win the rural South West England seat of Tiverton and Honiton, while the main opposition Labor snatched Wakefield in northern England from the Tories of Johnson.
The contests, sparked by the resignations of Tory lawmakers hit by sex scandals, offered voters the chance to deliver their verdict on the prime minister just weeks after 41% of his own MPs voted against him.
“The people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken on behalf of Britain,” said the region’s newly elected Liberal Democrat lawmaker Richard Foord. “They sent a loud and clear message: it’s time for Boris Johnson to go, and to go now.”
A defeat in either district would have been a setback for the Prime Minister’s party. Losing both increases nervousness among restive Tories who already worry Johnson, exuberant but erratic and divisive, is no longer an electoral asset.
Party chairman Oliver Dowden resigned, saying: “Our supporters are saddened and disappointed by recent events, and I share their sentiments.”
The Prime Minister was 6,400 kilometers away at a Commonwealth summit in Rwanda when the results were announced. He told reporters on Thursday he would not resign if the Tories lost both elections, responding to the suggestion with: ‘Are you crazy?’
The election tests come as Britain faces the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation, with Russia’s war in Ukraine squeezing supplies of energy and basic foodstuffs at a time when demand of consumers increases as the coronavirus pandemic recedes.
On this day in 2019…
Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques has returned to Earth, setting the record for the longest space flight by a Canadian. Saint-Jacques spent 204 days in orbit, beginning its mission on December 3. He said it was a bit emotional to leave the International Space Station even though he was looking forward to reuniting with family and friends.
TORONTO _ Canadian rockers Arkells have major local collaborations in sight for their next album.
The Hamilton band offered a preview of what’s to come on their seventh studio effort “Blink Twice,” and it includes songs with Calgary pop twins Tegan and Sara, Joel Plaskett from Halifax and Timmins, Ont. Native Lights.
Arkells revealed the details alongside new single ‘Dance With You’, a peppy electro-disco track featuring American pop singers Aly & AJ and Montrealer Beatrice Martin, known as Coeur de Pirate.
On the song, lead singer Max Kerman performs in French and English with Martin, who wrote the French verse.
“Blink Twice,” which is slated for release on September 23, is a companion piece to last year’s “Blink Once.” They were both recorded amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other artists to appear on the album include Cold War Kids and Wesley Schultz of the Lumineers.
Arkells will perform at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton on Saturday.
The band will then embark on a Canadian tour that will stop in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec throughout July and return west to play cities in Manitoba, Alberta and beyond. at the end of October.
Have you seen this?
A former Canadian Football League wide receiver convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend is set to be sentenced today by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Joshua Boden was convicted last fall of second-degree murder in the 2009 death of 33-year-old Kimberly Hallgarth in Burnaby, British Columbia, a home she shared with her three-year-old daughter.
Crown prosecutor Brendan McCabe told the court during a sentencing hearing last week that Boden, who is now 35, savagely beat Hallgarth, strangled her to death and then put stage the scene to make it look like an accident.
McCabe called the murder “brutal, brutal and gruesome”, saying the photos of Hallgarth’s injuries were the most shocking he had seen in his career.
The sentence is a life sentence, but the judge must set the length of parole, which the Crown says should be 15 years, while Boden’s lawyer has asked for 12 years.
Boden played for the BC Lions in 2007 before being released from the team in 2008 and signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, although he never played a regular season game with this team before being cut off.
McCabe told the court that Hallgarth sent photos of his injuries in a previous assault by Boden to then-Lions coach Wally Buono and that Boden blamed him for ending his career of footballer.
He maintained his innocence in his death.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 24, 2022.
The Canadian Press