Opposition budget musings and Ukrainian horrors: In the news from April 8

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He said the government should spend more on clean energy instead of giving subsidies to fossil fuel companies.

The leaders of the Green Party and the Bloc Québécois have echoed this.

Amita Kuttner said the plan to get to net zero is not enough to meet Canada’s emissions reduction targets and the Greens wanted the budget to focus on climate change across all policy areas.

Yves-Francois Blanchet, for his part, said he thinks the Liberals intend to be the “instrument” of the oil and gas industry.

Three of the four opposition parties praise the Liberals’ focus on housing.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said the commitment to double the number of homes built each year over the next decade is the “historic ambition” of this budget.

The $14 billion in new housing spending also includes a two-year ban on foreign buyers, targeted funding for municipalities to build affordable housing and money to double the tax credit for home buyers. of a first home.

Singh said his party has forced the Liberals to reconsider what the government considers affordable housing. It is now calculated at 80% of the average market rate rather than 80% of the median income, a definition which “would have resulted in unaffordable housing”.

Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen said the Official Opposition had not found what they were looking for in the housing plan.

“This is a typical, classic NDP spending and tax budget,” she told a news conference.

Also this…

Businesses across Canada are struggling to cope with an apparent sixth wave of COVID-19 as staffing shortages hamper sectors from healthcare to hospitality and retail⁠ – although the disruption remains more manageable than last winter’s Omicron variant push.

Dr. Kevin Smith, chief executive of the University Health Network in Toronto, said Thursday that cases have increased over the past few days, “so much so that staffing is again difficult.”

Rachel Reinders, who runs the administration of the Lieutenant’s Pump pub in Ottawa, says he closed his lunch kitchen for a week in March because four cooks were on sick leave simultaneously.

In Montreal, parka maker Quartz Co. has seen about 10 of its roughly 100 employees stay home with symptoms of COVID-19 over the past two weeks, although co-founder François-Xavier Robert says the absences were shorter than those of January.

Ryan Mallough, senior director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says retailers, gyms and event spaces are taking another hit as workers fall ill or avoid these areas altogether, fearing further closures.

Several Canadian provinces are beefing up their defenses against the virus amid signs of a sixth wave, with Quebec and Prince Edward Island extending their provincial mask mandates until later this month and Ontario , with Quebec and British Columbia planning to expand access to fourth doses of the vaccine.

And that …

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada is due to release this morning how the labor market fared in March, a month after a strong report that saw the unemployment rate fall to pre-pandemic levels.

The Canadian economy added 337,000 jobs in February as the labor market weathered the shock of COVID-19 two years ago.

This more than offset the loss of 200,000 jobs as the unemployment rate fell to 5.5%, below the level of 5.7% in February 2020.

National Bank of Canada economist Jocelyn Paquet said she expects flat numbers for the month after February’s “stunning” figure, although labor market conditions likely continued to weaken. improve, supported by the improvement of the pandemic.

Assuming the participation rate remains unchanged at 65.4%, the bank expects the unemployment rate to be stable at 5.5%.

However, Derek Holt, head of capital markets economics, predicts a gain of 125,000 jobs and a drop in the unemployment rate to 5.2%.

What we’re watching in the US…

WASHINGTON — It’s a 46-day — and more than 46-year — moment in the making.

US President Joe Biden will celebrate the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court on Friday, marking the pinnacle of her legal career and completing her political history.

As longtime chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden had a front row seat to some of the most contentious confirmation battles in the court’s history.

He also presided over hearings for Judge Stephen Breyer, whose retirement this summer paves the way for Jackson to join the bench.

What we watch in the rest of the world…

CHERNIHIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian leaders predicted there would be more gruesome discoveries in the days to come after Russian forces retreated, leaving behind crushed buildings, streets littered with destroyed cars and mounting civilian casualties which drew worldwide condemnation.

Kremlin forces devastated the northern city of Chernihiv as part of their attempt to sweep south towards the capital before retreating. In the aftermath, dozens of people lined up to receive bread, nappies and medicine from vans parked outside a destroyed school now serving as an aid distribution point.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned on Thursday that despite a recent Russian withdrawal the country remains vulnerable, and he pleaded for weapons from NATO and other sympathetic countries to help deal with an offensive expected in the east. Alliance nations have agreed to increase their arms supply, spurred by reports that Russian forces have committed atrocities in areas surrounding the capital.

The mayor of Bucha, near kyiv, said investigators had discovered at least three sites of mass shootings of civilians during the Russian occupation. Most of the victims died from gunfire, not shelling, he said, and some corpses with their hands tied were “thrown like firewood” into newly discovered mass graves, including one in a children’s camp.

Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said the civilian death toll stood at 320 on Wednesday, but he expects the number to rise as more bodies are found in his city, which once had a population of 50,000. Only 3,700 remain, he said.

In his overnight address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested Bucha’s horrors may just be the beginning. In the northern town of Borodianka, just 30 kilometers northwest of Bucha, Zelenskyy warned of even more casualties, saying “it’s much more horrible there”.

In the port city of Mariupol, the Ukrainian authorities expected to find the same thing. “The same cruelty. The same terrible crimes,” Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine and several Western leaders blamed the massacres on Moscow troops, and the weekly Der Spiegel reported that the German foreign intelligence agency had intercepted radio messages between Russian soldiers discussing the killings of civilians. Russia falsely claimed that Bucha’s scenes were staged.

On this day in 1969…

The Montreal Expos played their first regular season game at Shea Stadium in New York. Home runs from relief pitcher Dan McGinn and third baseman Jose “Coco” Laboy helped the Expos edge the New York Mets 11-10. The Expos finished the season with a record 52 and 110. The Mets overcame that first loss to surprise the baseball world by winning the World Series.

In entertainment…

TORONTO — The medical drama “Transplant” and the supernatural western “Wynonna Earp” are among the big winners of the Canadian Screen Awards.

Trophies were handed out Thursday night in virtual ceremonies celebrating the best in dramatic and comedic craftsmanship, as well as scripted programs and performances. A week of presentations will lead up to the marquee party on Sunday, airing on CBC and its streamer, Gem.

CTV’s hospital series “Transplant” snagged five awards, including Best Supporting Actress Dramatic for Ayisha Issa. It also beat the drama categories for editing, writing, and photography, and won best casting for a fictional program.

CTV Sci Fi’s “Wynonna Earp” took home five trophies, including Best Supporting Actor, Music, Costume Design, Hairstyle, and Production Design or Art Direction.

Other big winners include four awards for CTV Drama’s “I Was Lorena Bobbitt,” including Best TV Movie, and four awards for CBC’s “TallBoyz,” including Best Comedy Program or Series.

CTV’s “Letterkenny” won three awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Kaniehtiio Horn, Best Editing and Best Cinematography, while CBC’s comedy-drama “Sort Of” picked up two awards, including those for Best Comedy and Best Makeup.

A virtual presentation on Friday will celebrate the best in cinema, with Indigenous thriller “Night Raiders” among the main contenders.

Previous events this week have graced children’s, animation, reality and lifestyle shows on Wednesday; sports, digital and immersive programs on Tuesdays; and airing news, documentaries and facts on Mondays.

Have you seen this?

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Of the 6,576 shots that were officially hit at Augusta National on day one of the Masters, only one really counted.

He didn’t go down the hole. It was not in the center of the fairway. Nothing special about it, really.

Except for the fact that it was a club swung by Tiger Woods.

With its first tee shot at 11:04 a.m. Thursday, the Masters was truly back to normal. The full batch of patrons were crammed into Augusta National to watch a tournament for the first time since the pre-pandemic days of 2019, the year Woods won the most recent of his five green jackets. They saw a man who could have lost a leg – or his life – in a car accident 15 months ago return to the place of his former glory, and although perhaps moving a little slower than before, pursue glory again.

“If you had seen how my leg looked like where it is now…to get from there to here was not an easy task,” Woods said.

The scoreboard shows Woods shot a 1-under 71 on Thursday. It’s basically average for Woods at Augusta National; literally, his career average in 91 tournament rounds on location is 70.9. It’s easy for no one, not even champions, not even five-time champions, especially five-time champions who needed rods, screws and pins a little over a year ago to put a straight leg up and a mutilated right foot in a car accident. Still, Woods answered the bell, then on a Thursday, likely surprising some by playing at all, surprising even more by looking like someone who might struggle.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 8, 2022

The Canadian Press

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