July 08, 2022 – 1:15 AM
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 July 8 …
What we are watching in Canada …
Statistics Canada is set to release its latest reading on the job market this morning as the country continues to face a significant labour shortage.
The agency will release its labour force survey for June.
The unemployment rate hit a record low at 5.1 per cent in May, with the economy adding 40,000 jobs.
The job gains came from an increase in full-time jobs, while part-time jobs declined.
CIBC is predicting the unemployment rate will hold steady, with an estimated 25,000 jobs added in June.
The jobs report comes ahead of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate announcement next week when it is expected to raise its key policy rate for a fourth time this year.
Also this …
Canada is imposing a new round of sanctions, this time on Russia’s media machine in a bid to puncture disinformation campaigns about the war in Ukraine.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says the new list of sanctions is designed to tackle lies being peddled by Russia and its state-sponsored media about the invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions target Russian news agencies, TV stations and journalists, including Petr Akopov, who has written approvingly about President Vladimir Putin’s rationale for the invasion of Ukraine, and Tigran Keosayan, a pro-Kremlin television presenter.
The sanctions come as Ottawa launched a web page correcting disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine and “countering it with facts.”
Global Affairs Canada said in a statement that the site will be continually updated to “shed light on how the Russian regime is using lies to justify its illegal, unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine.”
Among the 29 people on the latest sanctions list is Vladimir Sungorkin, editor-in-chief of Komsomolskaya Pravda, described by Putin as his favourite newspaper.
Russian broadcaster RT has already been banned from Canada’s airwaves after ministers accused it of spreading Kremlin-inspired propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine.
But the latest round of sanctions hits RT directly as well as Russian broadcasters Sputnik, Channel One Russia and the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), whose chief executive, Oleg Dobrodeev, is also sanctioned.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 1,150 people and organizations in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
And this too …
“Freedom Convoy” organizer Tamara Lich is expected to learn today whether she’ll remain in jail after the Crown accused her of breaching one of her bail conditions.
Lich was charged in February with mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation for her role in the massive protest that gridlocked downtown Ottawa for weeks.
She was released the next month with a long list of conditions, including not to communicate with key convoy organizers except through a lawyer or in the presence of a lawyer.
Lich was arrested last week after she appeared in a recent photograph with fellow protest leader Tom Marazzo, and the Crown argued at her bail hearing Tuesday that she should stay detained.
But her lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, argued that Lich and Marazzo only had a brief interaction and her lawyers were just off-camera and approved the photo.
Justice of the peace Paul Harris reserved his decision until this afternoon.
What we are watching in the U.S. …
WASHINGTON _ U.S. President Joe Biden will take executive action Friday to protect access to abortion, according to three people familiar with the matter, as he faces mounting pressure from Democrats to be more forceful on the subject after the Supreme Court ended a constitutional right to the procedure two weeks ago.
Biden will speak Friday morning “on protecting access to reproductive health care services,” the sources said. The actions he was expected to outline are intended to try to mitigate some potential penalties women seeking abortion may face after the ruling, but are limited in their ability to safeguard access to abortion nationwide. Biden is expected to formalize instructions to the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to push back on efforts to limit the ability of women to access federally approved abortion medication or to travel across state lines to access clinical abortion services. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Biden’s actions before they were officially announced.
Biden’s executive order will also direct agencies to work to educate medical providers and insurers about how and when they are required to share privileged patient information with authorities _ an effort to protect women who seek or utilize abortion services. He will also ask the Federal Trade Commission to take steps to protect the privacy of those seeking information about reproductive care online.
The order, coming two weeks after the high court’s June 24 ruling that ended the nationwide right to abortion and left it to states to determine whether or how to allow the procedure, comes as Biden has faced criticism from some in his own party for not acting with more urgency to protect women’s access to abortion. The decision in the case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned the court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
Since the ruling, Biden has stressed that his ability to protect abortion rights by executive action is limited without congressional action.
“Ultimately, Congress is going to have to act to codify Roe into federal law,” Biden said last week during a virtual meeting with Democratic governors.
The tasking to the Justice Department and HHS is expected to push the agencies to fight in court to protect women, but it conveys no guarantees that the judicial system will take their side against potential prosecution by states that have moved to outlaw abortion.
What we are watching in the rest of the world …
TOKYO _ Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an arch-conservative and one of the country’s most divisive figures, was shot and critically wounded during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan. He was airlifted to a hospital but officials said he was not breathing and his heart had stopped.
Police arrested the suspected gunman at the scene of the shocking attack in a country that’s one of the world’s safest and has some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Abe was in “severe condition” and he hoped Abe will survive. Abe is 67 and was Japan’s longest-serving leader before stepping down in 2020 due to a chronic stomach condition.
Kishida called the attack “dastardly and barbaric” and added that the crime occurring during the election campaign, which is the foundation of democracy, was absolutely unforgivable.
Kishida and his Cabinet ministers hastily returned to Tokyo from other campaign events around the country. “I’m praying for former prime minister Abe’s survival from the bottom of my heart,” Kishida said at the prime minister’s office after he arrived on a defence helicopter from Yamagata.
Abe was taken to Nara Prefectural University Hospital, and Kishida said he was receiving the utmost medical treatment. He was in cardio and pulmonary arrest as he was being airlifted to the hospital, local fire department official Makoto Morimoto said.
NHK public broadcaster aired dramatic footage of Abe giving a speech outside of a main train station in Nara. He is standing, dressed in a navy blue suit, raising his fist, when a gunshot is heard. Footage then shows Abe collapsed on the street, with several security guards running toward him. He is holding his chest, his shirt smeared with blood.
In the next moment, security guards leap on top of a man in grey shirt, who lies face down on the pavement. A double-barrelled device which appeared to be a handmade gun, can be seen on the ground.
Nara prefectural police confirmed the arrest of Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, on suspicion of attempted murder. NHK reported that the suspect served in the Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years in the 2000s.
On this day in 1917 …
Artist Tom Thomson drowned during a canoe trip in Ontario’s Algonquin Park. Born in 1877, Thomson was one of the most brilliant painters in Canadian history. His oils and scenes of desolate northern landscape are among the country’s best-known works. Thomson worked closely with most of the future Group of Seven members including A.Y. Jackson, Fred Varley and Arthur Lismer.
In entertainment …
Mustafa Ahmed has emerged the winner of this year’s Prism Prize for his deeply personal and self-directed music video “Ali.”
The poet and musician, who performs under the name Mustafa, hails from Toronto’s Regent Park community. He received the $20,000 grand prize during a 10th-anniversary Prism Prize event on Thursday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
“Ali” is a powerful tribute to Ahmed’s friend Ali Rizeig, an 18-year-old Black Toronto resident who was shot and killed in 2017 as he stood at his doorstep.
The music video for the song, which appears on Mustafa’s 2021 album “When Smoke Rises,” was filmed inside homes and around the Regent Park neighbourhood as the singer walks among his young male friends who seem to fade away without warning.
“Ali” was chosen as the Prism winner by a jury of more than 130 professionals from the music and visual arts industries who weighed 10 finalists for the music video prize.
All other production teams on the short list receive $1,000 apiece.
Ahmed is also the recipient of this year’s Willie Dunn Award, given to a trailblazer in the Canadian music community. The $2,500 honour was announced before the Prism ceremony giving him an opportunity to select an emerging Canadian creative to receive an additional $2,500.
He chose Toronto-based Somali rapper Puffy L’z, born Habib Mohamed.
Meanwhile, this year’s audience award went to Surrey, B.C.-based DJ and producer born Asad Khan, who performs as Khanvict and director Anjali Nayar for their music video “Closer.” The win comes with a $5,000 cash prize.
Did you see this?
OTTAWA – A longtime Conservative party organizer says Patrick Brown was involved in seeing her be paid by a private corporation for work she did on his leadership campaign.
Debra Jodoin released a statement through her lawyer, coming forward as the whistleblower who raised concerns about Brown’s campaign to the party that led to him being disqualified from the race.
Jodoin says she worked as a regional organizer for Brown from May to June.
She says Brown connected her to a company where he says she was allowed to work as a consultant and then volunteer on his campaign.
Jodoin says she felt uncomfortable and asked Brown if she could be paid by the campaign — but shortly after she was paid by a corporation.
In a statement, Brown’s campaign says the party never provided it with enough detail to properly respond to the situation.
Brown has hired high-profile lawyer Marie Henein to assist him with a possible appeal and legal action.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2022.