Twelve stories in the news for Monday, June 3
CANADA SUSPENDS OPERATIONS AT EMBASSY IN VENEZUELA
Canada suspended operations at its embassy in Venezuela on Sunday, saying President Nicolas Maduro's regime is increasingly clamping down on diplomats who oppose his rule. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement that the diplomats' visas are set to expire at the end of June, and Maduro's regime — which Canada has denounced as illegitimate and characterized as a dictatorship — has made it so they cannot be renewed. Freeland said the operations are being suspended temporarily, effective immediately. She said Ottawa is also evaluating the status of Venezuelan diplomats in Canada.
'IMPORTANT TRUTHS' EXPECTED FROM MMIWG REPORT
The final report from the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls calls on police services to do a better job dealing with human trafficking cases. In the report, to be released in Gatineau, Que. today, chief commissioner Marion Buller says survivors provided "important truths" during months of testimony, and Indigenous women and girls have been targeted for violence in what was nothing short of a genocide. Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says the federal government will now have to focus on eliminating racism and sexism in policing and other institutions, as well as accelerating progress on child-welfare reforms.
FIRST NATION SAYS ROAD IS A STEP TO RECONCILIATION
A First Nation left isolated more than a century ago has officially opened its all-season road to the mainland. Shoal Lake 40, on the Manitoba-Ontario boundary, is having a four-day celebration this week for the opening of Freedom Road. Chief Erwin Redsky says the community was an example of broken relationships with Canada, but it can now show a path forward to reconciliation. Shoal Lake was cut off from the mainland in 1915 during construction of an aqueduct that supplies Winnipeg with drinking water. Community members had to use ice roads and an unreliable ferry to get in and out of the reserve — and any people lost their lives falling through the ice.
CANADA ANNOUNCES $300 MILLION FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS
Canada's minister of gender equality has announced a new initiative aimed at creating a sustainable model to fund women's rights organizations in developing countries and at home. Maryam Monsef says the Equality Fund brings together 11 organizations from the philanthropic, non-profit and financial sectors, including the Canada-based Match International Women’s Fund, the African Women’s Development Fund and Oxfam Canada. Monsef says the Trudeau government has invested $300 million through the fund specifically for women in the developing world.
CANADA'S DIFFICULT DAYS AFTER D-DAY
D-Day: the letter stands for nothing, but the term conjures indelible images of landing craft speeding towards the beaches of Normandy, of troops pressing forward in the face of certain death and driving the Nazis from the beaches. Millions of Canadians will stop on June 6 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of that pivotal event that marked the beginning of the end of the Second World War. Yet as dramatic and harrowing as D-Day was for the 14,000 Canadian soldiers who landed on Juno Beach, over the next three months they would also suffer defeats — some of which would tarnish Canada's reputation for decades.
SECOND TRIAL BEGINS IN TODDLER MENINGITIS DEATH
A new trial is to start today in Lethbridge, Alberta for a couple who used homemade remedies instead of seeking medical attention for their son who died of bacterial meningitis. A jury in 2016 found David and Collet Stephan guilty of failing to provide the necessaries of life to 19-month-old Ezekiel. The Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the decision. But the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the convictions last year, and ordered a new trial. Court heard that the parents treated the boy with a tincture of garlic, onion and horseradish added to a smoothie.
TRIAL BEGINS FOR GRANDFATHER IN DEATH OF 5 YEAR OLD
A trial is set to begin for a Calgary man accused of killing of his five-year-old grandson. Allan Perdomo, who's 59, faces a charge of manslaughter in the 2015 death of Eneas Emilio Perdomo. Police have said Eneas was taken to hospital with swelling and bruising all over his body. He died five days later. An autopsy determined multiple blunt-force trauma injuries were the cause of death. Perdomo's wife, Carolina Perdomo, was originally charged in the case but the Crown stayed the manslaughter charge against her in February.
CANADA NEEDS TO PROTECT MORE OCEAN: REPORT
An environmental group says Canada needs to up its game on protecting its oceans. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society says there's been progress in recent years, but recommendations from international scientific bodies suggest there's still more work to do. Report author Sabine Jessen says Canada is likely to exceed its target of protecting 10 per cent of its seas by next year. The report also notes that saving Canada's seas is good business. It quotes Statistics Canada figures that indicate more than 100-thousand Canadian jobs are directly tied to fisheries and nearly 60-thousand to ocean ecotourism.
CANADIAN EDIBLES, TOPICALS MARKET WORTH$2.7B: DELOITTE
A new report estimates the Canadian market for edibles and next-generation cannabis products is worth roughly $2.7 billion. Consultancy Deloitte says annual spending in Canada on edible pot products, such as cannabis-infused beverages and confectionery goods, is estimated to hit $1.6 billion of that total once legal. And this spending is on top of the roughly $6-billion estimated domestic market for existing recreational and medical cannabis products. Deloitte's survey suggests consumers plan to shop for edible forms of pot products in addition to, rather than replacing, the dried flower and oils they've been buying from legal retailers since last fall.
AMAZON PRIME VIDEO CHANNELS PLANS CANADIAN LAUNCH
Canadian TV viewers will soon have another streaming option. Amazon says it plans to make its Amazon Prime Video Channels platform available "soon" in Canada as an add-on to its existing Prime Video subscription. The service will offer 13 channels of on-demand and live television that customers will be able to purchase on an a-la-carte basis. Many of them, including Nickelodeon and Super Channel, haven't been available to stream in the past. The selection also features channels such as Starz and OutTV, but it's missing some other popular pay-TV networks, including HBO Canada and Showtime.
GOLDEN STATE TIES UP SERIES WITH 109-104 WIN
The Toronto Raptors unravelled in the time it took many stunned fans to file back into their seats with their halftime beers. Eight straight missed shots and five turnovers, and just six minutes into the third quarter, the Raptors' double-digit lead had morphed into a 13-point hole too deep to dig out of. The visiting Golden State Warriors beat Toronto 109-104 with a superb third quarter on Sunday, sending the best-of-seven NBA Finals to Oakland, Calif., tied up at 1-1, with Game 3 set for Wednesday night.
OBAMA ADDS STAR POWER TO NBA FINALS
Barack Obama added some star power to last night's Game 2 of the NBA Finals. The former U.S. president was accompanied by Raptors president Masai Ujiri as he walked past the Toronto dressing room prior to the game at Scotiabank Arena. He was seated next to NBA commissioner Adam Silver near the floor of the lower bowl. Obama and Drake also exchanged a hug and a handshake before taking their separate seats. And Obama later got a standing ovation when he was introduced and shown on the video screen. He stood and waved back, mouthing "Thank You."
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— Delegates from 160 countries attend the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver
— The 20th annual Memorial Service on Parliament Hill to honour former parliamentarians will be held.
— Labour Minister Patty Hajdu in Toronto to launch a new strategy to help young Canadians find and keep good-quality jobs.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version misidentified the formal name of the Amazon Prime Video Channels service and wrongly stated the number of channels being offered.