July 14th, 2024

In the news today: Trudeau to attend NATO leaders’ summit

By The Canadian Press on July 9, 2024.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves as he arrives at Andrews Airforce Base ahead of the NATO Summit, on July 8, 2024 in Washington, D.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed…

Trudeau to attend NATO leaders’ summit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be gathering with NATO leaders today to mark the 75th anniversary of the defensive alliance as Russia escalates its aggression towards Ukraine.

The ongoing battle in Ukraine will top the agenda of the three-day summit following Russian missile attacks which left death and destruction, including at a large children’s hospital in Kyiv.

New robust measures to support Ukraine are set to be announced during the summit and officials say it will include information on the war-ravaged country’s efforts towards NATO membership.

Trudeau will be making forceful comments about the need to stay resolute in backing Ukraine, but Canadian officials will also be facing questions on this country’s record on defence spending.

Members of the alliance agreed to spend the equivalent of two per cent of their national gross domestic product on defence but Canada has long fallen short of the target.

Here’s what else we’re watching…

Judge weighs motivations of admitted serial killer

A judge is expected to decide this week whether a man who admitted to killing four Indigenous women in Winnipeg did so because he was in the throes of a psychotic episode or was driven by a rare form of perverse sexual interest.

The tragic case dating back to 2022 renewed calls for governments and organizations to address the ongoing issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Countrywide protests were also held demanding a search of a landfill for the remains of two of the victims. The search is set to start in the fall.

The judge is scheduled to give his verdict Thursday in the first-degree murder trial of Jeremy Skibicki.

Skibicki has admitted to killing Morgan Harris, 39; Marcedes Myran, 26; Rebecca Contois, 24; and an unidentified woman an Indigenous grassroots community has named Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman.

Canada to unveil results of rapid heat wave study

Federal officials are set to say how much more likely Eastern Canada’s heat wave was because of human-caused climate change.

Environment and Climate Change Canada is scheduled to unveil the results of its rapid analysis into last month’s heat wave that enveloped parts of Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

It will mark the public debut of Canada’s new rapid extreme weather event attribution pilot program, which officials say can determine whether and to what extent climate change made a specific heat wave more likely or intense.

Environment and Climate Change Canada is thought to be one of the first government offices in the world to publicly roll out a rapid attribution tool and automatically apply it to heat waves across the country, with results prepared within several days.

Scientists say attribution studies can inject climate science into public discussions of specific extreme weather events when it’s most relevant, while underlining the effects of planet-warming emissions.

AFN annual general assembly to start in Montreal

The Assembly of First Nations annual meeting begins in Montreal today where leaders are expected to provide an update on negotiations to reform Canada’s child welfare system and compensation for the systems’ past harms.

The meeting is the first AFN annual general assembly taking place since Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak was elected national chief in December.

Last month, three regional chiefs representing more than half of First Nations wrote to Woodhouse Nepinak outlining concerns that the AFN is not including First Nations’ leaders in negotiations with Ottawa about reforms being discussed as part of a $43-billion settlement reached with Canada in 2023.

More than half of that money is intended as compensation for about 300,000 children and their families harmed when chronic underfunding of child welfare on reserves meant children were more often placed in foster care than provided support to remain with their families.

The agreement includes $20 billion to help pay for reforms to child welfare including properly funding it.

Mayor would ‘consider’ amending Munro monument

The mayor of the municipality where Alice Munro lived for much of her adult life says he would “consider” amending the monument to the celebrated writer outside the public library in Clinton, Ont., although he does not personally support such a move.

Jim Ginn, the mayor of Central Huron, says he was shocked by the revelations that emerged Sunday regarding Munro’s second husband, Gerald Fremlin.

Andrea Robin Skinner, Munro’s daughter with her first husband, James Munro, wrote in an essay published in the Toronto Star that Fremlin sexually assaulted her in the mid-1970s – when she was 9 – and continued to harass and abuse her until she became a teenager.

Skinner wrote that in her 20s she told the author about Fremlin’s abuse but that it stayed a secret for decades, with Munro deciding to remain married to Fremlin until he died in 2013. The couple lived together in Clinton.

Ginn says Munro will ultimately be remembered for her unique gifts as a storyteller and that he does not currently foresee amending the monument in Clinton honouring her.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2024.

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