Racism in the Canadian military and new U.S. aid for Ukraine: In The News for April 25 – North Shore News

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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 Apr. 25 …
What we are watching in Canada …
OTTAWA — Defence Minister Anita Anand will release a highly anticipated report this morning that is expected to take the military to task for not doing enough to address racism in the ranks over the past two decades.
The report is the result of a yearlong review by a panel of retired Canadian Armed Forces members tasked with identifying ways to address hate, racism and discrimination in the ranks.
The review was launched in December 2020 amid concerns about systemic racism in the military, as well as reported links between some members with hate groups, right-wing extremism and white supremacy.
An internal document summarizing the panel’s key findings obtained by The Canadian Press says the military will be criticized for failing to act on past reviews and recommendations to address the problem over the past 20 years.
“The report strongly reiterates that the Defence Team must place a greater emphasis on previous recommendations that were made as it believes the organization has the knowledge and expertise to implement them in order to ensure effective and meaningful culture change,” reads the summary dated April 14.
The panel also calls for the military to “elevate the voices of those with lived experiences,” and puts an emphasis on tracking the implementation of past recommendations to ensure real culture change in the ranks.

Also this …
OTTAWA — The federal government has until the end of the day to call an inquiry into its use of the Emergencies Act during the blockades at Canadian border crossings and in Ottawa earlier this year.
Millions of dollars in trade was halted for days at several border crossings and the streets of downtown Ottawa were flooded with demonstrators as part of a national convoy of big-rigs and trucks protesting COVID-19 restrictions.
In response, the Liberals invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 15, granting extraordinary powers to police to clear people out and to banks to freeze the accounts of those involved. It’s the first time the law has been used.
The temporary powers meant protesters and their supporters could face fines up to $5,000 or five years in prison during the emergency declaration.
At the time, Attorney General David Lametti said the government couldn’t “allow our democratic system to be hijacked by shows of force.”
While many people involved in the blockades said they were occupying Ottawa city streets and blocking border crossings to demand an end to all COVID-19 restrictions, some, including many of the most vocal organizers, said they wanted the Liberal government overthrown.
The Emergencies Act requires the government to call an inquiry into the use of the legislation within 60 days of revoking the declaration.

And this …
HALIFAX — A public inquiry investigating the mass shooting in Nova Scotia is scheduled to resume today in Halifax with a focus on the replica RCMP police car the killer drove and the police gear he acquired.
The perpetrator meticulously recreated a fully marked RCMP Ford Taurus —complete with a black push bar, flashing lights and a siren — before driving it during the April 18-19, 2020, rampage that resulted in 22 murders over 13 hours.
The inquiry is expected to hear summaries from the commission’s investigators about the efforts of police to determine what kind of car the killer was driving and the police paraphernalia he acquired.
It will also hear testimony from a witness about how the perpetrator acquired decals for the vehicle and various other police paraphernalia prior to his murders.
The inquiry has to date heard summaries of the perpetrator’s actions and the police response, from the first 911 call from Portapique, N.S., through to two RCMP members shooting and killing the perpetrator at a gas station in Enfield, N.S.
The hearings are shifting from the Halifax Convention Centre to the Prince George Hotel today.

This too …
OTTAWA — Canadians will soon learn how fast the country aged over the last five years.
Statistics Canada is scheduled to release on Wednesday the next set of findings from the 2021 census that will outline the country’s age pyramid.
By the time the 2016 census rolled around, the ranks of Canada’s seniors over age 65 had for the first time outnumbered the nation’s youth 14 years of age and younger.
Doug Norris, chief demographer at Environics Analytics, says the results from the 2021 census count will likely show an acceleration of that trend, with the proportion of seniors potentially edging close to accounting for one-fifth of the national population.
The pace of aging nationally is expected to jump through to 2031 when the youngest baby boomers turn 65 and Canada’s proportion of seniors rivals levels that peer nations like Japan encountered five years ago.
Norris says that leaves a few more years before Canada starts feeling the full weight of a greying population.

What we are watching in the U.S. …
WASHINGTON — More Americans approve than disapprove of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court as its first Black female justice, a new poll finds, but that support is politically lopsided.
And a majority of Black Americans — but fewer white and Hispanic Americans — approve of her confirmation.
Overall, 48 per cent of Americans say they approve and 19 per cent disapprove of Jackson’s confirmation to the high court according to the new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Jackson’s nomination fulfilled a campaign promise by President Joe Biden to name a Black woman to the court if given the opportunity.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …
After a secrecy-shrouded visit to Kyiv, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken said Russia is failing in its war aims and “Ukraine is succeeding.”
The trip by Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was the highest-level American visit to the capital since Russia invaded in late February.
They told Ukraine’s president, Volodomyr Zelenskyy, and his advisers that the U.S. would provide more than $300 million in foreign military financing and had approved a $165 million sale of ammunition.
Blinken told reporters Monday near the Polish-Ukrainian border, “We had an opportunity to demonstrate directly our strong ongoing support for the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people.”
Austin said Zelenskyy deeply appreciated the aid but had a mindset of wanting to win.
Meanwhile, a fire has erupted at a Russian oil depot near the border with Ukraine.
The Tass news agency reported the fire early Monday in Bryansk. The Russian report said oil storage tanks at the facility caught fire around 2 a.m. local time.
NASA satellites that track fires show a burning fire at coordinates that correspond to a Rosneft facility some 110 kilometers north of the Ukrainian border.
Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, was cited by the Ukrainian news agency Unian as saying that people who live near the burning oil depot were being evacuated.
Moscow previously has blamed Ukraine for attacks on the Russian region of Bryansk, which borders Ukraine.
Ukraine’s top security officials have denied that Kyiv was behind an earlier airstrike on an oil depot in the Russian city of Belgorod, about 60 kilometers from the border.

Also this …
PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron has comfortably won reelection to a second term.
His victory Sunday triggered waves of relief among allies that France won’t abruptly shift course in the midst of a war in Ukraine from European and NATO efforts to punish and contain Russia.
Macron’s far-right rival, Marine Le Pen, has conceded defeat but she raised her game in this runoff, with her best-ever showing.
The French presidential race has been overshadowed by the war in Ukraine and a surge in French support for extremist ideas.
Macron is the first French leader in 20 years to win reelection.
Macron still faces a battle to keep his parliamentary majority in France’s legislative election in June.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his best wishes to Macron, writing he looks forward to continuing to work together on issues including defending democracy, fighting climate change, and economic growth for the middle class.

In entertainment …
TORONTO — The Toronto tutor dominating “Jeopardy!” will vie for a 15th straight win on an episode airing tonight.
Mattea Roach, who grew up in Halifax, has the eighth longest streak in “Jeopardy!” history.
To move up the list, the 23-year-old will need 19 wins to tie with David Madden and Jason Zuffranieri.
As of Friday’s game, Roach has the 10th highest winnings of anyone in the show’s regular-season history, with US$320,081.
Roach has answered 93 per cent of clues correctly through her 14 games so far.
Her streak — the longest held by a Canadian contestant — has earned her a spot in the show’s Tournament of Champions, which is set to air in the fall.

In Sports …
MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur will have a national funeral to be held May 3, Quebec’s premier said Sunday.
Premier François Legault announced on Twitter that Lafleur’s family had agreed to national honours for the late hockey great, with the funeral to be held at 11 a.m. at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in downtown Montreal.
Ahead of the funeral, Lafleur will lie in state at Bell Centre on May 1 from noon to 8 p.m. and May 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Legault had made the offer to the family in the hours following Lafleur’s death Friday at age 70 following a battle with lung cancer.
The premier described Lafleur as someone who showed Quebecers how to be winners. He said the government was looking at other tributes including the possible renaming of a highway in the Outaouais region in western Quebec where Lafleur was raised.
“This national funeral in homage to the memory of Mr. Guy Lafleur testifies to all the admiration and all the love that Quebecers have for him,” Legault said in a statement on Sunday. “He will have marked our history and our national culture forever. We will therefore pay him a deserved tribute, for the great man he was.”
National honours were also granted to Canadiens stars Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau when they died.
The Montreal Canadiens organization released a statement announcing events leading up to the funeral.
Canadiens players will wear a ceremonial No. 10 patch on their jerseys in tribute to Lafleur, a Hall of Famer and five-time Stanley Cup champion.

Did you see this?
MONTREAL — While remaining unvaccinated against COVID-19 is often framed as a personal choice, those who spurn the vaccines raise the risk of infection for those around them, a new study suggests.
The research published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that vaccinated people who mix with those who are not vaccinated have a significantly greater chance of being infected than those who stick with people who have received the shot.
In contrast, unvaccinated people’s risk of contracting COVID-19 drops when they spend time with people who are vaccinated, because they serve as a buffer to transmission, according to the mathematical model used in the study.
Co-author David Fisman, of the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana school of public health, said the message of the study is that the choice to get vaccinated can’t be thought of as merely personal.
“You may like to drive your car 200 kilometres an hour and think that’s fun, but we don’t allow you to do that on a highway partly because you can kill and injure yourself, but also because you’re creating risk for those around you,” he said in a recent interview.
Fisman said the idea for study came a few months ago amid the debate around vaccine passports and vaccine mandates.
The conclusion, he said, is that “public health is something you actually have to do collectively.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Apr. 25, 2022
The Canadian Press
© 2022 North Shore News


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