May 17th, 2024

In the news today: Immigration ministers to talk temporary visa cap

By The Canadian Press on May 10, 2024.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marc Miller rises in the House of Commons during question period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, May 3, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today…

Immigration ministers to talk temporary visa cap

Federal and provincial ministers are meeting in Montreal Friday to hash out how to shrink the number of temporary residents in Canada.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller is expected to meet with his counterparts in person for the first time since he announced an unprecedented plan to set limits on the number of new temporary residents.

The aim is to rein in Canada’s runaway growth by decreasing the number of temporary residents, from 6.2 per cent of Canada’s population in 2023, to five per cent over the next three years.

The new targets will be developed over the summer, after provinces and territories have had a chance to weigh in.

Miller announced plans to scale back the number of international students by putting a two-year cap on new admissions in January.

Here’s what else we’re watching…

StatCan to release April jobs report today

Statistics Canada is set to release its April labour force survey this morning.

Canada’s labour market has cooled significantly over the past year as high interest rates have filtered through the economy.

That’s led to a steady rise in the unemployment rate, which reached 6.1 per cent in March.

The report will offer a final glimpse into labour market conditions ahead of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate decision next month.

The central bank will be looking to see whether wage growth, which has remained strong over the last year, has slowed down at all.

Uncertainty clouds Toronto’s decriminalization bid

Toronto’s bid to decriminalize the possession of illegal drugs for personal use has been plunged into uncertainty in recent days.

This come as drug policy experts suggest political debates over British Columbia’s backtracking on the issue have hurt the city’s application.

The prime minister and the federal minister for mental health and addictions have both separately said that the city doesn’t currently have an “active” application for the government to consider.

Toronto Public Health, meanwhile, has said its application remains with Health Canada amid ongoing discussions.

That move marks a major walk back after the province’s first-of-its-kind pilot program that decriminalized personal possession of a limited quantity of some drugs.

Murder trial to hear about landfill search

A judge is expected to hear from a police officer who led the search of a Winnipeg landfill for the partial remains of a victim of admitted serial killer Jeremy Skibicki.

Police cordoned off and looked through an area at the Brady Road landfill in the summer of 2022, after some remains of Rebecca Contois were found in dumpsters in Skibicki’s neighbourhood.

Skibicki has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder for the slayings that year of four Indigenous women, including Contois.

His lawyers have told court that he admits to the killings but is not criminally responsible due to mental illness.

Court has heard DNA from three of the victims as well as some of their belongings were found in Skibicki’s apartment.

Crown prosecutors say the killings were racially motivated, with Skibicki a self-proclaimed white supremacist who preyed on the vulnerable women at homeless shelters.

Rex Murphy dead at 77: National Post

The National Post is reporting that Rex Murphy, the pro-oil pundit who was at once the steady stickhandler of a national call-in radio show and a driver of divisive online discourse, has died.

The newspaper, where he worked as a columnist, said in an obituary on its website that Murphy died at age 77 following a battle with cancer.

Murphy hosted CBC Radio’s “Cross Country Checkup” for more than two decades, holding the mic while the radio station opened its phone lines to callers far and wide.

Among those offering condolences to Murphy are former prime minister Stephen Harper, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.

Born in Newfoundland, Murphy graduated from Memorial University before attending Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2024.

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