Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Mark Arcand was at home with his family on Sunday morning, when emergency alerts and numerous messages from his family began appearing on his phone. He spoke to a relative, then drove immediately to the unfolding crime scene at the James Smith Cree Nation, to the home of his sister and her family.
“To touch her, hold her, I couldn’t do that. None of our family could do that,” said Arcand, speaking at an emotional news conference in Saskatoon on Wednesday morning. “Right outside of her home, she was killed by senseless acts. She was protecting her son. She was protecting these three little boys. This is why she’s a hero. She’s a true matriarch in the First Nations way of living.”
Arcand’s sister, 48-year-old Bonnie Goodvoice Burns, and her son, Gregory Burns, 28, were killed in the attack on Sunday. As was Gloria Burns, 61, a community support worker who had come to the house to help after receiving a crisis call.
On Wednesday, the RCMP identified the other victims of the attack as Thomas Burns, 23; Carol Burns, 46; Lana Head, 49; Robert Sanderson, 49; Christian Head, 54; Earl Burns, 66 – all from the James Smith Cree Nation – and Wesley Petterson, 78, of Weldon, Sask.
Myles Sanderson, a resident of the James Smith Cree Nation, remains wanted by the RCMP and is the subject of emergency alerts in Saskatchewan and across the Prairies. He is currently charged with three counts of first-degree murder, and the RCMP have said more charges are expected.
- Manhunt continues for mass stabbing suspect after RCMP say he’s not in the James Smith Cree Nation community
- Public Safety Minister promises Parole Board review after Saskatchewan stabbings
- Saskatchewan stabbings: Updates on RCMP manhunt, suspects and victims
Bank of Canada delivers 0.75-percentage-point rate hike, pushing policy into restrictive territory
The Bank of Canada increased its policy interest rate by 0.75 percentage points and signalled that its aggressive campaign against inflation isn’t over despite signs that consumer price growth has peaked and the Canadian economy is starting to lose steam.
The central bank raised its benchmark rate to 3.25 per cent on Wednesday, the highest level since 2008, and said interest rates need to rise further to get surging consumer prices under control.
“As the effects of tighter monetary policy work through the economy, we will be assessing how much higher interest rates need to go to return inflation to target,” the bank said in its rate-decision statement.
The widely anticipated move pushes Canadian monetary policy into “restrictive territory,” where borrowing costs weigh on economic growth, for the first time in about 20 years. It’s another major step in the fastest rate hike cycle in decades, which has seen the bank shift from near-zero interest rates to restrictive monetary policy in a little more than six months.
RCMP used undercover operatives, emergency wiretaps to target border blockade in Coutts, Alta.: court docs
The RCMP used undercover operatives and emergency wiretaps to collect information on protesters who blocked a border crossing in southern Alberta for weeks this past winter as part of a protest against COVID-19 public health measures, according to court documents.
A provincial court judge unsealed four documents that were used to obtain warrants before and after a raid that uncovered a cache of weapons and prompted RCMP to charge four people with conspiracy to commit murder. Investigators alleged the accused were plotting to kill police officers. News outlets including The Globe and Mail applied to the court for the documents’ release; some parts are redacted.
The documents indicate the RCMP used wiretaps without judicial authorization – a rare tool that is legal and reserved for urgent circumstances, such as when lives are at risk.
During the protests, demonstrators gathered near Coutts, a village of about 250 people, in solidarity with the larger convoy that took over downtown Ottawa. Participants in both protests were angry over COVID-19 restrictions – particularly vaccination requirements – and demanded governments roll back all public-health measures related to the pandemic.
Shelling continues in area near nuclear power plant in Ukraine despite risks
Russia resumed shelling near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, a local official said Wednesday, a day after the U.N. atomic watchdog agency pressed for the warring sides to carve out a safe zone there to prevent a catastrophe.
The city of Nikopol, on the opposite bank of the Dnieper River from Europe’s largest nuclear plant, was fired on with rockets and heavy artillery, regional Gov. Valentyn Reznichenko said. The report could not be independently verified.
“There are fires, blackouts and other things at the (plant) that force us to prepare the local population for the consequences of the nuclear danger,” Reznichenko said. Officials in recent days have distributed iodine pills to residents to help protect them in the event of a radiation leak.
The fighting going on around the plant has caused international alarm. The head of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, warned the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that “something very, very catastrophic could take place” at Zaporizhzhia. The IAEA urged Russia and Ukraine to establish a “nuclear safety and security protection zone” around the plant.
- Russia has gained, not lost, from the conflict in Ukraine, Putin says
- EU plans to cap Russian gas price as Putin warns West of winter freeze
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Canadian Blood Services signs deal with private, for-profit company to collect blood plasma from domestic donors: Canadian Blood Services has for the first time signed a deal with a private, for-profit company to collect blood plasma from Canadian donors. CBS announced the deal Wednesday with Grifols, an international pharmaceutical headquartered in Spain, which began to purchase facilities in Canada in 2020.
Cabinet to debate whether new cost-of-living support is needed, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says: The federal cabinet will discuss this week whether new measures are needed to help Canadians with the cost of living, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said after the Bank of Canada announced a 0.75-percentage-point rate hike aimed at dampening inflation.
Is Donald Trump special? A question at the heart of prosecution of a former president: Beneath the furious disputes that emerge each time the U.S. judicial system advances toward Donald Trump lies a question with important implications for the country’s future: How should the law treat a former president?
Canada’s main stock index closed up along with U.S. markets despite a drop in the price of oil that pushed energy stocks down.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 153.29 points at 19,241.44 as the Bank of Canada’s three-quarters of a percentage point rate increase came in line with expectations.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average ended up 435.98 points at 31,581.28. The S&P 500 index was up 71.68 points at 3,979.87, while the Nasdaq composite was up 246.99 points at 11,791.90.
The Canadian dollar traded for 75.96 cents US compared with 76.11 cents US on Tuesday.
The October crude contract ended down US$4.94 at US$81.94 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was down 30 cents at US$7.84 per mmBTU.
The December gold contract was up US$14.90 at US$1,727.80 an ounce and the December copper contract was down three cents at US$3.43 a pound.
The risk of political violence in Canada has never been higher
“What we can do is reduce the overall likelihood of an attack of some kind occurring. Individual behaviour does not happen in a vacuum: It is shaped by our environment, including the cues we receive from others – particularly those in positions of prominence or authority.” – Andrew Coyne
It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the media
“Bill Clinton’s campaign strategist, James Carville, may have had it right back in the 1990s when he famously declared why voters had soured on then-president George H.W. Bush: “It’s the economy, stupid.” But not today. Now it’s the media, stupid. It’s the upheaval in the communications system. A media landscape gone rogue.” – Lawrence Martin
In Quebec, immigration takes centre stage again on the campaign trail
“Elsewhere in the country, elections come and go without much talk about immigration. A broad consensus exists on the topic across the political spectrum and political parties rarely, if ever, seek to differentiate themselves on the issue. That, it seems, is the Canadian way. In Quebec, however, immigration has become a hot-button issue that features prominently in party platforms.” – Konrad Yakabuski
Five activities to extend your summer fun
Though more of the season is behind us than ahead, there is still roughly a month of summer weather left to enjoy. The best way to spend it is up for debate – city lovers may vie for reservations on a coveted patio, while those who prefer a remote getaway look for one last chance to escape without a coat or a thick sweater.
In a country that offers the best of both worlds, there’s no shortage of opportunities to turn the final days of summer into an enviable grand finale.
Nicole Edwards writes about five ideas to get you started.
TODAY’S LONG READ
‘We had to find a way back’: How the Toronto Film Festival survived to celebrate its comeback year
In September, 2020, when the world was depressing (um …) and the foreseeable future grim (yeah, about that …), The Globe’s Barry Hertz made a bold prediction: When we finally emerged from the Bad Time, the Toronto International Film Festival would host the biggest bash that the movie world has ever seen. Whether we’re out of the woods or not today seems to be a matter of perspective – I’ll place myself firmly in the “post-pandemic” camp – but it is safe to say that TIFF is preparing an 11-day celebration that screams, with mask-free vigour, “comeback.”
“I always believed that, no matter what happened between pandemic restrictions and new audience behaviour, there is still something irreplaceable when it comes to watching movies in a theatre,” says Cameron Bailey, who led TIFF through two supremely strange hybrid editions as co-head alongside Joana Vicente, but since last fall has led the organization solo.
“I thought that we had to keep doing this. We have the best cinemas in the country, and we can’t waste them. We had to find a way back. But it took a lot.”
To operate in the film industry, especially the Canadian sector, is to live in eternal, stubborn hope. Which is just how TIFF survived its darkest days, when 31 full-time staff positions were cut, revenue projections were slashed in half, and the doors to cinemas were shuttered for longer than any other region in North America.