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Good morning, and happy Star Wars Day.
— Rodriguez caught swearing on hot mic: Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez was caught cursing during question period yesterday, as opposition MPs questioned the Liberals over their handling of sexual misconduct allegations against Gen. Jonathan Vance. Rodriguez, who attended virtually, appears to have believed he was muted when he said, in reference to a question directed to the Defence Minister for response, rather than to MP Karen McCrimmon: “Oh f—, did you send that to Sajjan?”
Per the Canadian Press: “Commons Speaker Anthony Rota said the House deserved an apology by whomever uttered the remark; Rodriguez immediately owned up to being the source of the ‘unacceptable’ language and apologized.”
— Kady O’Malley writes in iPolitics AM that, “as the Conservatives get ready to kick off a full day of debate on whether he should fire his longtime chief of staff Katie Telford over her alleged role in the ongoing controversy over how his office handled a 2018 misconduct allegation against then-chief of defence staff Jonathan Vance, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to the Hill for a mid-morning appearance on the COVID-19 briefing circuit.”
— Feds will change broadcasting bill: Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said the government would bring forward an amendment to make it “crystal clear” that content uploaded to social media by individuals will not be regulated under Bill C-10. The announcement follows pushback by politicians and experts who’ve warned of potential infringements on freedom of speech under the proposed changes to the Broadcasting Act, which were intended to regulate content from platforms like Netflix and Spotify.
— Kenney to announce more restrictions today: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he was angered by a weekend rodeo that openly defied public health measures. He will announce new rules today for the province, which as the highest COVID-19 rates in the country.
— NACI advice sparks confusion and anger: The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has come under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks about the different types of COVID vaccines. It referred to the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines as “preferred” over Johnson & Johnson or Oxford/AstraZeneca. Prime Minister Trudeau has for weeks been saying the best vaccine is “the first one you are offered.” Doctors, experts, and confused citizens took to social media to express their frustration.
— Victims’ families demand Bill C-21 rewrite: Relatives and colleagues of those killed in shooting sprees at Montreal’s Dawson College and Concordia University sent a letter to Liberal MPs asking them to rewrite the “hollow” federal gun bill.
“Bill C-21 is an insult to all victims of gun violence,” they wrote, expressing concerns about the “tens of thousands of fully functional killing machines” that would be allowed “to remain in private hands” under the proposed legislation.
— Halifax Forum awards Taiwan’s president: Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, was given the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service by the Halifax International Security Forum last night, despite the federal government urging the group not to do so. The federal government is a sponsor of the annual event. Two U.S. senators last month wrote to Trudeau in support of giving the award to the Taiwanese president.
— The 2021 census has launched: Statistics Canada launched its first-ever pandemic census yesterday. Canada’s chief statistician said it’s an even more crucial moment to learn how people are living, learning, working, and commuting.
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AROUND THE WORLD
— India’s COVID crisis: Delhi has called in the army to help the city grapple with a deadly wave of the pandemic. Across the country, trainee doctors and nurses have been pulled from exams to help fight the surge. Heartbreaking photos are emerging from Delhi and around India.
Meanwhile, the country is set to receive 220 million vaccine doses over the next few months from its own Serum Institute, which would cover 8 per cent of the population. Pfizer is also hoping to receive expedited approval in India.
— Colombia braces for more unrest: At least 16 protesters and one police officer have died in clashes after five days of protests against a proposed tax reform in Colombia. President Iván Duque has scrapped the proposed reform which would have hiked taxes on individuals and businesses. Demonstrations are nonetheless expected to continue this week.
— Bill and Melinda Gates are getting a divorce. After 27 years of marriage, the ultra-wealthy couple said they no longer believe they can “grow together as a couple.” Bill Gates, the cofounder of Microsoft, is currently the fourth wealthiest person in the world, worth $124 billion. The two said they will continue to work together on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fight infectious diseases and climate change.
— Elsewhere: Verizon is selling AOL and Yahoo. Germany is cancelling Oktoberfest again. France registered its lowest daily COVID death count in over six months. India and the U.K. struck a £1 billion trade deal. The number of migrants crossing to Europe from Tunisia is rising, and the majority now come from sub-Saharan Africa. 30 people were killed in an attack in Burkina Faso. Humanitarian groups say thousands of children have been separated from their parents in Tigray. At least 23 people were killed after a metro overpass collapsed in Mexico City. And Mexico apologized to the Mayan people for historic abuses.
IN OTHER HEADLINES
WHAT WE’RE READING
ICYMI FROM IPOLITICS
CARTOON OF THE DAY
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service caught a 240-pound sturgeon that could be more than 100 years old. The nearly 7-foot-long fish, thought to be a female, was quickly released back into the Detroit River.