First Nations leaders in interior British Columbia are preparing for a train blockade to protest the provincial government and railway companies’ handling of the fire that destroyed 90 per cent of the town of Lytton. Anger has been building among First Nations in the region who saw rescue efforts as being slow and chaotic in the early hours of the fire.
Unless there is a better response to concerns regarding the community’s recovery and the handling of future rail operation, “We will likely be refusing any railway traffic,” said Matt Pasco, chair of the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council. Pasco has already seen workers repairing the destroyed railways while many of his fellow community members are struggling with little provincial support.
Locals have suggested that the fire, which left two dead and numerous others unaccounted for, was sparked by a passing train. While the official cause of the blaze remains under investigation, the B.C. Wildfire Service said it was likely the result of human activity – not lightning.
The fire, which broke out last Wednesday, burned out of control during a heat wave that shattered temperature records across Western Canada. Lytton, in particular, saw successive records for the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada. The B.C. Coroners Service has yet to determine how many people died as a result of the heat but confirmed that 777 people died between June 25 and July 1 – nearly four times the average for the same time period in the previous five years.
Police shot and killed Chantel Moore more than a year ago. What has changed for Indigenous people and the law since then?
On June 4, 2020, Chantel Moore was shot and killed by Edmundston Police Force Constable Jeremy Son conducting a wellness check. She was jarred awake at 2:30 a.m. by someone banging on her window. She picked up a small steak knife before slowly opening the door to the stranger on her narrow, unlit balcony. Within moments, she would be dead.
In the year since her death, prosecutors, Indigenous leaders and investigators have analyzed the constable’s decision to pull the trigger that day. He said he fatally shot Moore when she didn’t respond to his orders to drop the knife. Ultimately, no criminal charges were laid. New Brunswick prosecutors were convinced that Constable Son was justified in fearing for his life, despite standing more than a foot taller than Moore and outweighing her by more than 100 pounds.
The killing of Moore has led to some changes in policing. The Edmundston Police Force will begin equipping all officers with tasers and body cameras in the coming months. The case has also increased political calls for the creation of a police oversight body serving the three Maritime provinces – one that First Nations leaders say should have Indigenous representation.
These measures fall short of what Indigenous leaders are calling for. The Wolastogey Nation, which represents six First Nations in New Brunswick, demanded a public inquiry into systemic racism in the province’s justice system. Chief Patricia Bernard of Madawaska Maliseet First Nation, a community just outside of Edmundston, echoed those sentiments, saying ”If this government was serious about tackling this issue they would have agreed to a proper public inquiry on systemic racism in the system.”
Canadiens win Game 4 in overtime to keep Stanley Cup hopes alive
The Canadiens are still alive in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They beat the Lightning 3-2 in overtime at a delirious Bell Centre on Monday to send their series in the final round back to Tampa for Game 5 on Wednesday. Josh Anderson fired a puck past Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy 3 minutes, 53 seconds into sudden death, scoring his second goal of the night to win the game.
Catch the latest Decibel: The village of Lytton, B.C., burned to the ground a day after hitting the hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada, forcing residents to evacuate in as little as a few minutes. Investigators now believe the fire was caused by human activity. On today’s show, Globe environment reporter Kathryn Blaze Baum joins Tamara to share a conversation she’s had with one Lytton resident about the human toll of the heat dome that enveloped Western Canada.
Subscribe to our Olympics newsletter: Going for gold under the cloud of COVID-19 makes the Tokyo Summer Games an Olympics like no other. Tokyo Olympics Update is here to help you make sense of it all, with original stories from Globe reporters in Canada and Tokyo, tracking Team Canada’s medal wins, and past Olympic moments from iconic performances.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime advance to Wimbledon quarter-finals: In a first for Canadian tennis, two of our players have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. Both Denis Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime had to defeat top 10 players to advance this far at Wimbledon. If the two keep winning, we could be on a path to an all-Canadian final on Sunday.
Death toll for Miami condo building collapse rises to 28: Four more victims of the Miami condo collapse were found Monday as rescuers were able to access previously blocked off areas after the controlled demolition of the remainder of the building. There are 117 who still remain unaccounted for. “We know that with every day that goes by, it is harder to see a miracle happening,” said Maggie Castro, a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue emergency worker.
Canada ships vaccines to overseas staff working at diplomatic missions: Global Affairs Canada announced it has shipped vaccines to 75 per cent of its embassies and other overseas missions in order to vaccinate Canada’s foreign-based staff and their families. The federal government made use of its military aircraft and couriers to deliver the doses, prioritizing countries lacking Canadian-approved vaccines and where vaccine rollouts have been slower than at home.
Ottawa spent nearly $20-million on COVID-19 tracking app: Ottawa’s COVID-19 Alert app reportedly cost taxpayers $20-million, with disappointing results. Of 30 million cellphone users in the country, only 6.6 million downloaded the app – one in five Canadians. Esli Osmanlliu of the McGill University Health Centre said that this low rate of participation has called the app’s effectiveness into question.
Canadian rights activist received death threat for support of Hong Kongers: Paul Cheng, a co-founder of the New Hong Kong Cultural Club, which works to support pro-democracy efforts in the region, received a death threat in late June. Cheng believes the threat is an effort to dissuade the Hong Kong diaspora’s endeavours to support fleeing activists. His advocacy group has been labelled by Chinese media as a band of “asylum gangsters.”
Can Canada emerge as a leader in soybean exports? Canadian soybean production may pale in comparison to the United States and South America, but we remain a top supplier of high-quality, non-GMO soybeans. With no clear end in sight to supply-chain bottlenecks caused by COVID-19, some soybean producers think we should start processing more beans at home. It may open up avenues to boost the economy, create jobs and limit trade risk.
Crude prices gain: Oil prices advanced on Tuesday, towing petrocurrencies and bond yields with them, after the world’s main oil producers failed to agree on production plans. Europe’s stocks spluttered at the prospect of faster inflation. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.21 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.55 per cent and 0.47 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.16 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.25 per cent. New York futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar was trading at 80.94 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
COVID-19 cases are down, but variants are still a concern. Is it time to drop the mask?
“As we ease out of the pandemic, masking is also becoming another uncomfortable reminder of inequality, with essential workers (many of them racialized) such as store clerks, restaurant staff and cleaners having to be masked while many clients are not, regardless of vaccine status.” – André Picard
Red tape – not greedy companies – is the real cause of Canada’s housing crisis
“The problem is that red tape is strangling housing development in much of Canada and the U.S. That’s not only true in Toronto and Vancouver, where the Greenbelt and Agricultural Land Reserve, respectively, limit sprawl, and where restrictive zoning and arbitrary-seeming building codes limit density. In other metropolitan areas, large and small, minimum lot sizes reduce the number of houses that can be built, minimum parking requirements add tens of thousands of dollars to construction costs, and zoning regulations prohibit anything other than single detached homes.” – Steve Lafleur
Goodbye, Apple Daily. Goodbye, Hong Kong
“Hong Kong has long been a vibrant media market, and there are still many newspapers and other news outlets operating there. But after what happened to Apple Daily, every journalist and every publisher, or anyone else thinking of saying anything that might displease Beijing, is on notice.” – The Globe and Mail Editorial Board
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
I had to figure out new dating strategies in the pandemic
First Person writer Colleen Stewart encourages us to get creative with how to meet new people if feeling romantically unfulfilled. Our normal methods for picking up dates remain closed off to many of us in areas where pandemic restrictions are still tight. Stewart’s advice for finding single men? Hit up your local grocery store’s processed food aisle. The piece also gives insights into how Stewart deals with scoping out dates while living with an autoimmune disease.
MOMENT IN TIME: July 6, 1907
Frida Kahlo is born
Born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon, Frida Kahlo learned to paint using a mirror while in a body cast at La Casa Azul, the family home in Mexico City. She contracted polio at 6 and was in a bus accident at 18, breaking her spine, pelvis, right leg and foot, collarbone and ribs. Immobile, she painted. Her mother affixed an easel by her bed and a mirror over it, giving Kahlo her subject matter: herself. Once able to walk again, Kahlo sought the opinion of the great Mexican artist Diego Rivera. They fell in love, marrying in 1929. It was a passionate but tempestuous marriage that ended in divorce a decade later – followed by remarriage the next year. Because so many of Kahlo’s colourful, vibrant paintings were self-portraits, her image became as famous as her work. She and her trademark unibrow even graced the pages of Vogue as she captivated America. Her long Tehuana skirts and loose blouses were a fashion and political statement, and also a convenience, covering her spine-straightening orthopedic corsets and her damaged right leg, which was eventually amputated. In great pain, she died at 47 at the home where she was born – now the Frida Kahlo Museum. – Marsha Lederman
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