In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of June 21 ...
What we are watching in Canada ...
OTTAWA — Parliamentarians are entering what could be their final stretch in the House of Commons before summer break as the Liberal government sharpens its focus on two key pieces of legislation.
On the agenda are the Liberals' proposed ban on conversion therapy and a law that would track Canada's progress on reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Given the minority government, the possibility of a general election at any time hangs over the House of Commons -- autumn marks two years since the Liberals eked out their win.
Members of Parliament not seeking re-election recently delivered farewell speeches as the parties brace for a potential fall vote, which may also be driving some partisan finger-pointing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his government's latest briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic to blame the Opposition Conservatives for blocking passage of its conversion therapy and net-zero bills.
Some Conservative MPs have raised concerns about the Liberals' definition of conversion therapy, which aims to change someone's LGBTQ identity.
They say they don't support the coercive practice, but worry the government's definition is too broad and could threaten individual conversations about sex and gender issues, particularly between adults and children.
Also this ...
OTTAWA — Canada is set to detail what quarantine rules citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will soon have to follow when entering the country.
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said last week that "measures" would be announced today that will apply to immunized Canadians, as well as foreign nationals who are permitted entry.
Currently, those without citizenship or resident status can enter the country only if their travel is related to work, school or other essential business, but not for leisure.
As more Canadians get inoculated against COVID-19 and summer weather has people itching to take some long-awaited trips, pressure is building for the Liberal government to begin relaxing some of its border and quarantine rules.
Over the weekend the country hit an important target of having 75 per cent of its eligible population receive one dose and 20 per cent get two, providing the latter group with full protection against COVID-19.
These were benchmarks Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and top health officials said needed to be met to safely relax pandemic-related health measures.
And this ...
OTTAWA — A retired Supreme Court judge is calling for urgent reforms to Canada's military justice system to prevent victims of misconduct from continuing to suffer.
Justice Morris Fish says the current system is rife with areas where the chain of command could interfere in police investigations and courts martial.
Fish’s comments follow the release of his explosive report earlier this month on the system, which the Canadian Armed Forces uses to investigate and try everything from minor disciplinary infractions to heinous criminal acts.
Fish spent six months starting last November quietly studying the system with his final report tabled in Parliament on June 1st.
Much of Fish’s review coincided with the military’s latest reckoning with sexual misconduct as several senior commanders have been accused of improper and even criminal behaviour.
The military has faced questions about fairness and accountability, with concerns that those higher up in the ranks are treated less severely than those near the bottom.
What we are watching in the U.S. ...
ATLANTA — Claudette was regaining strength early today and expected to return to tropical storm status as it neared the coast of the Carolinas just days after 13 people died — including eight children in a multi-vehicle crash — due to the effects of the storm in Alabama.
Additionally, a 24-year-old man and a three-year-old boy were also killed Saturday when a tree fell on their house just outside the Tuscaloosa city limits.
Early this morning, Claudette had maximum sustained winds of 55 kph, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. The depression was located 90 kilometers south-southwest of Raleigh, North Carolina, and moving east-northeast at 31 kph.
The depression was forecast to become a tropical storm sometime this morning over eastern North Carolina. Claudette is then on track to move into the Atlantic Ocean, then travel near or south of Nova Scotia on Tuesday.
Rainfall totals around three to eight centimeters are forecast for parts of Georgia and the Carolinas. Tornadoes were also possible today morning across the coastal Carolinas.
What we are watching in the rest of the world ...
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s sole nuclear power plant has undergone an unexplained temporary emergency shutdown.
An official from the state electric company Tavanir, Gholamali Rakhshanimehr, said on a talk show that aired on Sunday that the Bushehr plant shutdown began on Saturday and would last "for three to four days.” Without elaborating, he said that power outages could result.
This is the first time Iran has reported an emergency shutdown of the plant in the southern port city of Bushehr. It went online in 2011 with help from Russia. Iran is required to send spent fuel rods from the reactor back to Russia as a nuclear nonproliferation measure.
The report came as top diplomats said that further progress had been made at talks Sunday between Iran and global powers to try to restore a landmark 2015 agreement to contain Iranian nuclear development that was abandoned by the Trump administration. They said it was now up to the governments involved in the negotiations to make political decisions.
In March, nuclear official Mahmoud Jafari said the Bushehr plant could stop working since Iran cannot procure parts and equipment for it from Russia due to banking sanctions imposed by the U.S. in 2018.
In Sports ...
MONTREAL — The Canadiens were pleased with how a lot things went Sunday.
They were shot out of a cannon early, dominated much of the play and carried a 1-0 lead midway through the third period. Montreal also could look back at an inability to bury a heavily favoured opponent teetering on the ropes as a huge missed opportunity.
Nicolas Roy scored at 1:18 of overtime and Robin Lehner made 27 saves — including a massive stop on Canadiens rookie sniper Cole Caufield with 13 minutes left in regulation and Vegas down a goal — in the Golden Knights' 2-1 victory that evened their Stanley Cup semifinal 2-2.
Vegas will host Game 5 on Tuesday. Game 6 goes Thursday back in Montreal, while Game 7, if necessary, will be played Saturday in Sin City.
The winner of Montreal-Vegas will meet either the Tampa Bay Lightning or the New York Islanders in the Cup final. That series is also tied 2-2.
UNDATED — Canadians fully immunized with two shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine may now attend a highly anticipated Broadway production featuring Bruce Springsteen, but at least one Canadian hoping to take in the show still has questions about whether or not he can attend.
David Screech said Saturday he was pleased to hear that the theatre staging "Springsteen on Broadway" had amended rules that previously barred AstraZeneca recipients from attending the production featuring The Boss in an acoustic performance.
Jujamcyn Theaters had previously said audience members wishing to attend the show needed to be immunized with vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, leaving those who received AstraZeneca on the sidelines. The theatre amended those rules on Friday, citing adjusted guidance from New York State, and now says it will accept audience members vaccinated with shots approved by either the FDA or the World Health Organization.
The move means people like Screech, who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, are now theoretically cleared to attend the performance.
But Screech, the mayor of View Royal, B.C., said he's still hoping to resolve some questions before booking his ticket.
"The next concern now is what will be an acceptable form of proof when you get to the theatre door," he said in a telephone interview. "I have emailed the theatre this morning to ask them that. Provided I can have something that will work, I think I'll definitely still go in late August."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2021
The Canadian Press