Today’s Evening Brief is brought to you by News Media Canada. It’s time to level the digital playing field. Google and Facebook are using their monopoly to threaten and undermine local news. Other countries are taking action. It’s time for Canada to stand up to the web giants – and step up for local news. Learn more.
Good evening to you.
We begin with a calling out of the church: Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “As a Catholic, I am deeply disappointed by the decision that the Catholic Church has taken now and over the past many years.” He called on fellow Catholic’s across the country to demand action and a response to the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a residential school it ran in Kamloops from 1890 to 1969.
As CBC News reports, the church has failed to make records related to the school public, which is hampering the efforts to identify the little ones who may be buried there. Trudeau’s request for a formal apology from the Pope, as well as the publication of records associated with Canada’s residential school system, have so far gone unheeded.
“We’re still seeing resistance from the church,” Trudeau said. “I think it’s going to be a really important moment for all of us, particularly Catholics across the country, to reach out in our local parishes, to reach out to bishops, cardinals, and make it clear we expect the Church to step up and take responsibility for its role in this.” If the records don’t come willingly, he said legal action to obtain them is an option.
The United Nations’ human-rights special rapporteurs are also calling on the church to disclose its residential school records.
In related news, in Nova Scotia this weekend, the Sipekne’katik First Nation says it will begin an investigation at the site of the former Shubenacadie Indian Residential School. CP reports.
Turning to COVID-19, Trudeau said today that with Canada set to see 2 million Pfizer shots arrive weekly come August, in addition to shipments from other vaccine makers, there is “reason to be hopeful.” In all, nine million doses are set to arrive in July and more than nine million come August. There is a contract for Pfizer to deliver another three million doses in September. That keeps things on track for anyone who wants a jab to get one by the end of September. “65 per cent of eligible Canadians have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine,” he said. “That makes Canada the…G20 country with the highest percentage of the population with a first shot.”
Meanwhile, word is that Trudeau will hole up in a hotel to quarantine when he returns from the G7 Leaders’ Summit in the U.K. next week.
While he’s there, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole wants Trudeau to take a stand against China and call for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be moved from Beijing. He made that request in a letter sent to the prime minister today.
Still with travel, ahead of a meeting between provincial and territorial health ministers and their federal counterpart today, Ontario’s government asked Ottawa to implement a “single national approach” to international travel and Canada’s borders. In a letter sent to Hajdu and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair this morning, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones recommend that Ottawa facilitate “safe international arrivals” for fully vaccinated travellers, and implement a quarantine approach for unvaccinated travellers that is “enforced and effective.” They also asked that Canada’s approach be consistent between land, air and water arrivals. “While we have yet to see effective measures at Canada’s borders, it is never too late to do the right thing,” the letter reads. That story from Iain Sherriff-Scott.
Canadian Heritage Minister Stephen Guilbeault has introduced a motion to limit debate of Bill C-10, government legislation to modernize the Broadcasting Act. He introduced the motion in the House of Commons today, as the Canadian Heritage committee undergoes clause-by-clause consideration of the controversial legislation. The time allocation would limit debate of C-10 to make it easier for the government to pass the bill before the session ends later this month, and before a possible fall election. Rachel Emmanuel reports.
The U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber are a “top priority for me,” International Trade Minister Mary Ng told the standing committee on International Trade on Friday. Since the 1980s, the two countries have been embroiled in a trade dispute over softwood lumber, with the U.S. claiming the Canadian industry is unfairly subsidized. The most recent agreement between Canada and the U.S. expired in 2015. Ng told the committee on Friday that she’s working with members of industry — along with provincial and territorial governments and embassy officials in Washington, D.C. — on lumber tariffs, and her government has made it clear to the Biden administration that “we are ready for discussion at any time.” Janet Silver has that story.
For the second straight month, the Canadian economy lost jobs, as pandemic restrictions continued to cool the country’s labour market. Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, a monthly report on employment gains and losses, showed the economy shed 68,000 jobs in May, slightly increasing the unemployment rate to 8.2 per cent from 8.1 per cent in April, when the economy lost 207,000 jobs. The news came as no surprise to economic experts. Aidan Chamandy has the details.
In Alberta, a member of Jason Kenney’s caucus says if the premier is allowed to break COVID-19 rules by having dinner and drinks on a patio, restaurant owners should be allowed more leeway. Angela Pitt says it’s clear to her that Kenney and members of his inner circle were breaking restrictions when they were caught socializing on a rooftop patio near the provincial legislature earlier this week. Do as I say, not as I do doesn’t go over so well these days. That story from the Canadian Press.
The Rebel to Rabble Review: ‘Freedom-fighting’ lawyers wanted!
In Other Headlines:
Another senior soldier has been removed from the vaccine rollout project (CBC)
Feds invoked cabinet secrecy on COVID quarantine hotel decision, shielding it even from court (Postmedia)
N.L. premier vows change: coat of arms description calls Indigenous people ‘savages’ (CP)
Injunction granted against 2nd rodeo protesting Alberta’s COVID-19 restrictions (CBC)
Liberals tap text messaging platform to directly connect with Canadians (CP)
Wealthy KPMG clients continued to dodge taxes for years after CRA detected offshore ‘sham’ (CBC)
Premier rejects calls to apologize to N.B. doctor after COVID-19-related charge withdrawn (CBC)
There will be no friending for former president Donald Trump on Facebook until at least January 7th, 2023. The social media platform announced today that he is suspended until then, which marks two years from the day he was first suspended. That came after his supporters stormed the Capitol building. In a post, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice-president for global affairs, said the time in Facebook jail is “long enough to allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement, to be significant enough to be a deterrent to Mr. Trump and others from committing such severe violations in future, and to be proportionate to the gravity of the violation itself.” More from CNN.
In what will come as a surprise to no one, Trump wasted no time lashing out at the company, calling it an “insult” in a statement released by his Save America PAC. “They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our country can’t take this abuse anymore!” Thoughts and prayers, Donnie.
Still with the Jan. 6 insurrection, former vice president Mike Pence said yesterday that he and Trump might never “see eye to eye” on what happened. In his second public address since leaving office, he called the storming of the Capitol a “dark day in the history of the United States.” He added: “And that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.” As one CNN analyst notes, Pence putting that kind of distance between himself and Trump “may well have doomed (or at the very least hamstrung) his chances of emerging as the Republican presidential nominee in 2024.”
Here’s a progressive position to take during Pride month. In a statement today, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the Department of Defense will “maintain existing policy for the display of unofficial flags” and “not grant an exception to display the Pride flag” at military bases. But he added that does not “in any way reflect on the respect and admiration we feel for all our LGBTQ+ personnel in and out of uniform.” As CNN reports, the refusal puts the Pentagon at odds with the State Department where Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a blanket authorization for diplomatic outposts to fly the rainbow flag on the same flagpole as the American flag in April.
In Other International Headlines:
Attacks on Fauci grow more intense, personal and conspiratorial (Politico)
CDC director urges parents to vaccinate adolescents (The Hill)
U.S. job growth picks up, desperate employers boost wages to attract workers (Reuters)
Detained Belarus blogger was forced to give live TV confession, opposition says (AP)
Denmark parliament approves giant artificial island off Copenhagen (BBC)
Bargain hunters pounce as Trump condo prices hit decade lows (AP)
In Featured Opinion:
Finally, what would we call this — the gift that keeps on giving? The worst money you’ll ever spend? Downright embarrassing? SAD!!
While daddy may be banned from Twitter and Facebook, Donnie Jr. is hawling videos of himself to fans on Cameo.
For just $500, you too can have incoherent ramblings delivered right to your phone.
“Don’t worry about it if your wife’s mad at you for saying that election night 2016 was the happiest night of your life … there’s millions of people just like you, you can tell her I said that,” he says in one video for a supporter in Australia. “Thanks for helping us out and support us in going after the liberals and the crazies on CNN.”
Yeah, because that’s obviously where the ‘crazies’ hang out.
As a palate cleanser, we leave you with Magawa, the famous African giant pouched rat, who is retiring after a glittering career. As the BBC reports, in his five years of detecting landmines, the little rodent has sniffed out 71 landmines and dozens more unexploded items in Cambodia.
Have a great weekend.