Canada has had the worst record among the G7 countries for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases since 2015, the year the Liberals took office, the federal environment commissioner says.
Commissioner Jerry DeMarco released a report Thursday that chronicles the federal government’s failure over three decades to translate talk into action on cutting emissions linked to global warming. His report warns of deaths linked to extreme heat and wildfire smoke, and says the frequency of natural disasters is increasing, along with the costs of responding to them.
DeMarco said he’s optimistic Canada can break its streak of “unfulfilled promises,” but said the Trudeau government has shown a lack of urgency and sluggish leadership.
- Canada talks climate, COVID-19, Indigenous relations in meetings with New Zealand Foreign Minister
- David Suzuki apologizes for remark on pipelines being ‘blown up’ over climate change
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New COVID-19 variant alarms global leaders
Global authorities reacted with alarm on Friday to a new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa, with the EU, Britain and India among those announcing stricter border controls as scientists sought to determine if the mutation was vaccine-resistant.
Britain banned flights from South Africa and neighbouring countries and asked British travelers returning from there to quarantine, while European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the EU also aimed to halt air travel from the region.
Scientists are still learning about the variant, identified this week, but the news pummeled global and oil amid fears what new travel bans would do to already shaky economies across southern Africa.
The variant has a spike protein that is dramatically different to the one in the original coronavirus that COVID-19 vaccines are based on, the U.K. Health Security Agency said, raising fears about how current vaccines, successful against the more familiar delta variant, will fare.
Read more: In the genetic arms race with COVID-19 variants, Canada’s labs are fighting for better ways to share their findings
General Wayne Eyre named permanent head of military as it grapples with sexual-misconduct crisis
General Wayne Eyre has been named head of the Canadian military, taking command as the Forces struggle with a sexual misconduct crisis that has rattled the top ranks.
Defence Minister Anita Anand said Thursday that Admiral Art McDonald had been fired from the top job as Chief of the Defence Staff and remained on administrative leave. McDonald stepped aside in February as he faced a sexual misconduct allegation, and Eyre has served in the interim since then.
Rory Fowler, a lawyer acting for McDonald, said his client was told of his termination after the Prime Minister’s Office released a statement announcing Eyre’s appointment.
France, Britain spar over migrant crisis after boat capsizes in English Channel
The growing row between France and Britain over how to stop migrants from crossing the English Channel escalated on Friday after French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin abruptly called off a meeting with his British counterpart, Home Secretary Priti Patel. The ministers were supposed to meet on Sunday to co-ordinate efforts to tackle the crossings in the wake of the deaths of at least 27 migrants who drowned on Wednesday.
Thursday evening, mourners gathered in a park in Calais, France, offering prayers and observing a moment of silence for those who died trying to cross the English Channel in a dinghy. At least 27 drowned in what police said was the worst migrant disaster to date on the Channel.
Wednesday’s drownings have shaken people in both Britain and France and sent officials scrambling to find a solution to the growing crisis. In 2021 alone, more than 25,700 people have made the treacherous crossing through one of the world’s busiest seaways, according to figures from Britain’s Home Office.
Long road ahead for B.C. as repairs to Coquihalla Highway get under way
British Columbians got a sobering assessment of the immensity of the repairs needed to the Coquihalla Highway as the province’s Transportation Minister explained it will be two months before the crucially important artery allows a slow stream of trucks to return.
Transportation Minister Rob Fleming told reporters Thursday that the Coquihalla, a popular shortcut connecting Vancouver with Kamloops, suffered heavy damage when last week’s atmospheric river delivered a month’s worth of rain onto southern B.C. over two days.
Roughly 20 sites along 130 kilometres of the highway were damaged or washed away, he said, including five bridges where spans completely collapsed or were almost demolished.
More coverage: Farmers devastated by B.C. floods return to gut-wrenching scenes
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
AFN announces delegation headed to Vatican to meet Pope Francis: The Assembly of First Nations delegation’s meeting with Pope Francis next month in Rome will ask him to apologize on Indigenous land when he visits Canada, just one of several topics the group intends to raise. It is one of three Indigenous groups travelling to the Vatican for a private audience with the Pope next month. Each group will meet with the Pope privately for an hour.
Mayors call for another round of emergency federal funding to help cover transit shortfalls: Canada’s mayors are urging Ottawa to send another round of emergency funding for local transit systems, as ridership levels have yet to rebound to pre-pandemic levels. They’re looking for some form of a repeat of what occurred in 2020, when the federal government announced a $19-billion Safe Restart Agreement transfer to the provinces. Some of that money was then used to cover budget shortfalls in areas like public transit.
Job vacancies soar beyond one million in tightening labour market: In the latest sign that employers are struggling to find workers, Canada’s job vacancies in September jumped 16.4 per cent – about 143,000 – from August. Employers have never before recruited for so many jobs, according to Statscan figures going back to 2015. Nearly a fifth of those vacancies were in hospitality.
The Massey Hall renovations are finally done. See the new changes to the iconic Toronto music hall: After a decade-long renovation and expansion, the storied hall finally reopened on Thursday night, with a string of concerts and Gordon Lightfoot as the headliner, writes The Globe’s architecture critic Alex Bozikovic. Lightfoot is Massey Hall’s unofficial mayor, and when media toured the building on the eve of its reopening, his Fender amp was spotted resting on the stage’s worn floorboards.
Listen to The Decibel: The unsolved streak of vandalism plaguing movie screenings in Ontario: Last week, two Cineplex movie theatres screening a South Indian film, Kurup, in Richmond Hill and Oakville were vandalized, with multiple screens slashed. The incidents are not the first time screenings for South Indian movies have been targeted. It’s been happening since 2015. The Globe’s Joe Castaldo joins the podcast to explain what exactly has been going on and what some people in the industry think might be behind the incidents.
World stocks tumble: Global stocks tumbled on Friday and oil fell after news of a new coronavirus variant sent investors scurrying to the safety of bonds, the yen and the Swiss franc. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 2.65 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were down 2.58 per cent and 3.44 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 2.53 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 2.67 per cent. New York futures were sharply lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.42 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Jason Kenney is far from a dead Premier walking
“I’m under no misapprehension of how long and difficult a climb Mr. Kenney has. His approval numbers are at levels generally considered impossible from which to come back. But with an economy that is heating up, Mr. Kenney may just have the fuel he needs to emerge from the paralyzing grip of unpopularity that has ensnared him and his government.” – Gary Mason
Peng Shuai showed how to speak truth to power, not side with it. Time’s Up should learn the lesson
“On one side of the world, you have the bravery of activists – and even those who wouldn’t brand themselves as activists – trying to expose the corruption of power. Meanwhile, in the United States, we’re seeing what happens when proximity to power triumphs over ideals, corroding even the most well-meaning organization.” – Elizabeth Renzetti
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Seniors have a lot of stuff: Here’s how to downsize instead of dumping it all on heirs
Carolann Harding has been helping her mother, Gloria Harding, move from her condo into an assisted living apartment in St. John’s. The process of going through each piece has shown just how much stuff a person can accumulate over a lifetime.
Fortunately, Harding and her mother were able to winnow down the items together, deciding what to keep and what to let go of. Some are forced to do that difficult task alone in the throes of grief.
MOMENT IN TIME: Nov. 26, 1966
Saskatchewan Roughriders win their first Grey Cup
The Saskatchewan Roughriders, founded in 1910 as the Regina Rugby Club, were one of the dominant teams in Western Canada. They regularly appeared in the Grey Cup championship game – but they always lost. That drought ended on this day in 1966, when they faced their nemesis, the Ottawa Rough Riders, at Vancouver’s Empire Stadium. With the game deadlocked at 14-14 going into the second half, Ottawa still seemed to have the edge. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Russ Jackson had scorched the Saskatchewan defence twice in the first half with 61-yard and 85-yard touchdown passes to Whit Tucker. The green-and-white Roughriders, though, made adjustments at halftime and never looked back. Behind the inspired playmaking of the little field general, quarterback Ronnie Lancaster, and the punishing running game of the tireless George Reed, Saskatchewan scored two unanswered touchdowns en route to a 29-14 victory. Ironically, the postgame interviews had to be held in the Ottawa dressing room. Convinced that Saskatchewan would lose yet again, the CBC had set up its cameras there before the final whistle. The Roughriders ignored the slight and basked in their first Grey Cup victory while the shell-shocked runners-up from Ottawa glumly looked on. Bill Waiser