July 16th, 2024

In the news today: Canada to map out defence spending, Winnipeg killer verdict due


By The Canadian Press on July 11, 2024.

President Joe Biden, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, right, greet Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, as they arrive for a welcome ceremony at the NATO summit in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Schiefelbein

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

Canada set to provide details on defence funding

Canada is expected to provide more details about its plan to meet defence spending targets in an effort to quell concerns that have dogged the prime minister during this week’s NATO summit in Washington, D.C.

NATO allies have agreed to spend at least the equivalent of two per cent of their national gross domestic product on defence, but Canada has long fallen short.

A senior government official speaking on background says Canada will provide a timeline to reach the funding goal and more information on its plan Thursday.

Trudeau is expected to continue pushing for allies to provide support for Ukraine, as the war-ravaged country, which is facing escalating aggression from Russia, has been a rallying point for NATO support.

Judge to give verdict in serial killer trial

A judge is scheduled to give his decision today in the first-degree murder trial of a man who admitted to killing four women in Winnipeg.

Lawyers for Jeremy Skibicki argue he should be found not criminally responsible and say he was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the slayings in 2022.

But Crown prosecutors say he had the mental capacity and awareness to commit and cover up the killings.

They have characterized the killings as racially motivated and say the 37-year-old targeted the Indigenous women at homeless shelters.

The case sparked calls for governments and organizations to address the ongoing issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

New evacuation order for central B.C. district

A new wildfire in B.C.’s central region has triggered an evacuation order for the northeast corner of the District of Wells.

District officials say the Cornish Mountain Wildfire is a threat to life and safety, and impacted residents must leave immediately.

The affected areas include the Eight- and Nine-Mile Lake Areas, Cornish Lake, and Mine Sites.

An evacuation alert remains in effect for the rest of the district.

The province is currently dealing with 146 wildfires, with two considered “of note.”

Home prices reached $824,300 last quarter: report

Despite expectations of lower interest rates prompting homebuyers to leave the sidelines, a new report says the Bank of Canada’s quarter-point cut to its key interest rate last month did not lead to a rush in demand.

The latest Royal LePage house price survey released Thursday, detailing market trends across Canada during the second quarter, said demand continues to outpace supply in the Prairies and Quebec, but Toronto and Vancouver saw slower-than-usual activity this spring.

Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, said prices have remained sticky in Canada’s largest markets.

A Royal LePage survey conducted by Leger earlier this year suggested 51 per cent of would-be homebuyers would resume their search if interest rates decreased, but just 10 per cent said a 25-basis-point cut would prompt them to jump back into the market.

UofT encampment order could affect future protests

A pro-Palestinian protest encampment that stood for weeks at the heart of the University of Toronto may now be gone, but experts say the court ruling that led to its clearing could have lingering effects for future protests on post-secondary campuses in Canada.

Last week, a judge authorized police to take action if protesters didn’t leave the encampment site by a set deadline. The protesters complied but promised to keep putting pressure on the university in other ways to push their demands, which include disclosing and divesting from investments in companies profiting from Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

Several similar encampments at other Ontario universities have since been dismantled, some under threat of legal action.

While each case is different, experts say the U of T court ruling raises questions about balancing free expression and property rights at academic institutions while possibly setting a precedent for how future campus protests are handled.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2024

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