Wednesday, January 13



MPs reviewing virtual voting options to bolster COVID-19 Parliament – CityNews Toronto

OTTAWA — Virtual voting options are under review by the committee of MPs tasked with figuring out how to run Parliament in the COVID-19 era. Speaker Anthony Rota told MPs today that virtual voting could be done using a special mobile app that would give MPs the option of voting from nearly anywhere. MPs have been grappling since March with how they can fulfil their obligations when COVID-19 restrictions have largely precluded business as usual in the House of Commons. Several compromises have been reached along the way, including a hybrid model that allows MPs to participate in person or virtually in debates or committee meetings. But those debates and meetings have been limited in scope and the Opposition Conservatives have pressed for a full return to business. The Liberals...

Planned class-action lawsuit alleges illegal strip searches of federal prisoners – CityNews Toronto

OTTAWA — A proposed class-action lawsuit alleges authorities illegally strip searched Canadian federal prison inmates hundreds of thousands of times over almost three decades. A statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court says the federal Corrections and Conditional Release Act limits suspicionless strip searches to instances when an inmate might have had access to drugs or other contraband. It accuses federal authorities of conducting such searches when inmates leave a prison or a secure area, enter a family visitation area or undergo a transfer to another prison. The statement says inmates were forced to remove all clothing, bend over, spread their buttocks, manipulate their genitalia, remove soiled tampons and squat naked while their bodily orifices were inspected. ...
NAFTA, National, Trudeau

Trudeau takes a pass on meeting this week with Trump, Lopez Obrador – CityNews Toronto

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking a pass on a meeting this week with U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Trudeau’s office says he wishes the two countries and their leaders well but Trudeau will remain in Ottawa for a cabinet retreat and a scheduled sitting of Parliament. Lopez Obrador is travelling to D.C. in part to celebrate the entry-into-force of the new North American free-trade deal and had expressed hope Trudeau would join as well. Trudeau’s office says the prime minister will continue to work with both countries to ensure the agreement becomes a success and helps ensure North America emerges stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. Trudeau had been asked last week whether he’d attend the meeting, and had not menti...
National, The Big Story Podcast

Inside the month Canada lost to COVID-19 – CityNews Toronto

In today’s Big Story podcast, warning bells were sounding. Some of the country’s leading scientists were writing urgent emails to politicians and public health units. There was an emergency coming. It was going to get bad. We should take action now. Still, Canada waited to take steps such as closing borders, securing PPE and planning for a massive wave of COVID-19. Compared to our neighbours to the south, we’ve handled the crisis fairly well—but what could we have done with an extra month to plan? How many lives and millions of dollars could we have saved? Who sounded the warnings, and who listened? And who didn’t? GUEST: Robyn Doolittle, The Globe and MailYou can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify You can also find it at thebigstorypo...

Lac-Megantic to mark seventh anniversary of 2013 rail disaster with memorial site – CityNews Toronto

Lac-Megantic will mark the seventh anniversary of a tragic rail disaster that claimed 47 lives by inaugurating a long-planned memorial space. On July 6, 2013, a runaway train hauling tanker cars loaded with volatile crude oil barrelled into the town of 6,000, derailed and exploded, destroying a large part of the Quebec town’s downtown area. The memorial — which has taken three years to construct — will be set up at the site of the former Musi-Cafe in the heart of the city, where staff and patrons made up many of the victims. The project, designed by architects Pierre Thibault and Jerome Lapierre, was created with the objective of everyone being able to remember, in their own way, the community-changing event, the city said in a statement. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and physi...