Canada gun ban to target AR-15 and the weapon used during Polytechnique massacre
Less than two weeks after the deadliest shooting in Canadian history in Nova Scotia, Ottawa is expected to announce a ban on a number of assault-style firearms and weapons that have been used in mass shootings in Canada and abroad.
Among the models to be banned are the CZ Scorpion and the Ruger Mini-14, which was used during the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre. Also on the list is the the AR-15 and similar types of firearms, which have been used in a number of mass shootings in the United States.
Officials have so far declined to comment on the exact model of gun used by the Nova Scotia gunman, only noting that he had been carrying two semi-automatic rifles and several semi-automatic pistols.
The formal announcement of the gun ban is expected by the end of the week, but the key measures have already been approved by cabinet, officials said.
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Canadian military helicopter crashes off the coast of Greece
One person is reportedly dead after the Canadian military lost contact with one of its helicopters on Wednesday during a NATO exercise. According to Greek state broadcaster ERT, the aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. One body has reportedly been found and five others on board are missing.
“Search and rescue efforts are currently under way,” the military said in a statement. “As this is evolving, we have no further information to provide at this time.”
The Royal Canadian Air Force’s Cyclone helicopters carry a crew of four, including two pilots, a tactical operator and a sensor operator with space for several passengers. They are primarily based on naval vessels and used for hunting submarines, surveillance and search and rescue.
House of Commons approves $9-billion student aid package after Liberals agree to opposition suggestions
Wednesday’s approval means the financial aid package will now move to the Senate, which will need to give final approval on Bill C-15. It includes a new Canada Emergency Student Benefit that will provide $1,250 a month for eligible students from May to August. Students with dependent children or disabilities will receive $1,750.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh had previously said his party would not support the bill unless student parents and people with disabilities could receive the same amount as those on CERB. The Conservative Party and the Bloc Québécois had also both pushed for changes so that the programs included incentives for students to take available jobs, particularly in the agriculture sector.
Doctors fret over surgery backlog after immediate COVID-19 crisis wanes
Doctors say they’re becoming increasingly concerned about how they will handle the swelling backlog of elective surgeries once the immediate COVID-19 threat has ebbed.
Hospitals have put off non-urgent surgeries to focus on the viral outbreak, but the worry is that elective procedures will become urgent by the time operating rooms are available.
While the need for a hip replacement isn’t life-threatening, waiting an extended period could have a serious effect on a patient’s quality of life, according to experts. Some relatively benign conditions, such as gallstones, can also develop into more dangerous conditions if left too long.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Global energy demand sinks through the floor as the world stays home
The fall in global energy demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is “without precedent,” according to the International Energy Agency. Countries in full lockdown have seen their weekly energy demand fall by about a quarter, and those in partial lockdown by an average of 18 per cent.
First Nations ramp up efforts to address food security concerns
Food insecurity in First Nations is about four times higher than the national average across Canada, with many communities relying on the transport of goods from urban centres. In response to travel disruptions from COVID-19, many communities have increased hunting and gathering traditional foods.
Second wave of locusts causing havoc in East Africa
A second generation of desert locusts is threatening a region already suffering from widespread hunger and the COVID-19 pandemic. The first generation of locusts invaded East Africa at the end of 2019, causing devastation across several countries in January and February. They bred, and a second generation has now hatched and begun aggressively spreading, while a third wave is expected in June and July.
World stocks head for best month on record ahead of ECB: World stocks headed for their best month on record on Thursday, as encouraging early results from a COVID-19 treatment trial and expectations of more European Central Bank (ECB) stimulus later in the day helped ease the pain of February and March. Britain’s FTSE 100 was off 0.28 per cent just before 6 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX slid 0.05 per cent. France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.01 per cent. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.33 per cent. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was trading around 72 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Lessons are learned from every pandemic. And every time, we forget them
Robyn Urback: “We knew of all of these issues long before COVID-19 was first reported in China. But in the years since SARS, we’ve lost the impetus for actually putting these measures into practice.”
Crisis in long-term care homes exposes the need for a new federal-provincial health accord
Konrad Yakabuski: “Despite the tragedies unfolding at seniors’ facilities in Quebec and Ontario, where soldiers are being deployed to replace burned-out employees who have quit in recent weeks, Mr. Trudeau got out over his skis by raising the prospect of federal regulation of long-term care homes.”
As meat plants shut down, COVID-19 reveals the extreme concentration of our food supply
Ian Mosby and Sarah Rotz: “Over the past month, anyone following the news might have noticed images of seemingly endless food bank lineups juxtaposed against footage of milk being dumped down the drain by the truckload and literal mountains of potatoes, onions and other crops left outside to rot.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Get acquainted with two classics from this Golden Age of TV
Before the before-time and in the long-ago, the world woke up to a radical new idea: long-form television storytelling was a force in the arts.
Here are two of the great series – both available on streaming now – that helped define that shift. One is a character study of exquisite, unsettling depth and the other is both a spectacle and penetrating political case study.
MOMENT IN TIME: APRIL 30, 1945
When it became clear to Adolf Hitler that Berlin was going to fall, he fled to his 18-room bunker located 55 feet under the chancellery where he continued to give orders for four months. On April 29, terrified at the prospect of a humiliating death (the body of his Italian fascist ally Benito Mussolini was dumped like garbage in a public square in Milan), Hitler finalized his will and married his long-time partner Eva Braun. The next day, after saying goodbyes to his staff, he and Braun retreated to his private quarters. Braun swallowed cyanide and Hitler took the poison and shot himself in the head. Their bodies were hastily cremated and Germany surrendered seven days later. For years, conspiracy theorists insisted Hitler was still alive, having escaped to Spain, Antarctica or Argentina. Finally, in 2018, a group of French researchers, with access to fragments of Hitler’s teeth, proved he had definitively died. Evil personified was finally dead beyond a shadow of doubt. - Gayle MacDonald