March 4th, 2024

Year in review: A look at news events in December 2023

By The Canadian Press on December 31, 2023.

Incoming Ontario Liberal Party Leader Bonnie Crombie speaks after being declared the winner of the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race, in Toronto, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

A look at news events in December 2023:

1 ““ Israel’s war with Hamas resumes in full force with the renewed hostilities highlighting concerns for about 140 hostages still held captive by Hamas and other militants. More than 100 were freed during a seven-day truce.

2 ““ The Canadian Security Intelligence Service launches a workplace assessment of its B.C. office. It come after whistleblowers accused a senior officer of sexual assault and harassment in an investigation by The Canadian Press. CSIS Director David Vigneault says the officer in question had been removed from the workplace.

2 ““ Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie is declared the new leader of the Ontario Liberals after three rounds of voting.

3 ““ Myles Goodwyn, the award-winning Canadian singer and songwriter who shot to stardom as the former lead singer of April Wine, dies at 75 in Halifax.

4 ““ “Rizz” beats out “Swiftie” as the Oxford University Press word of the year. The Gen Z term is thought to come from the middle syllable of charisma and is used to describe someone’s ability to attract or seduce another person. It can also be used as a verb, as in to “rizz up,” or chat someone up.

4 ““ The CBC says budget pressures will lead to hundreds of layoffs and programming changes. It says CBC and Radio-Canada will cut about 600 jobs and an additional 200 vacancies will go unfilled.

5 ““ Hollywood’s actors vote to ratify a deal with studios to end their strike after nearly four months.

6 ““ Norman Lear, the writer, director and producer known for hit TV shows “All in the Family” and “Maude,” dies at 101. Lear brought political and social turmoil into the once-insulated world of sitcoms, introducing racism, feminism and the Vietnam War into his shows, which helped define prime-time comedy starting in the 1970s.

6 ““ Time magazine names Taylor Swift its person of the year from a group of nine finalists that also include Barbie, King Charles and Open AI chief executive Sam Altman.

7 ““ The federal government announces a new oil and gas cap policy that will force the industry to cut emissions by more than one-third by 2030. If companies don’t meet the requirement, they will have to buy offset credits or contribute to a decarbonization fund that would lower that amount to cutting just 20 to 23 per cent.

7 ““ Cindy Woodhouse, Assembly of First Nations regional chief for Manitoba, defeats David Pratt, vice-chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, to become the new national chief of the AFN. Pratt concedes to Woodhouse before the contest goes to a seventh ballot at a special assembly meeting in Ottawa.

7 ““ R.J. Simpson is elected the next premier of the Northwest Territories. He wins on the second round of voting by newly elected members of the territory’s legislature.

8 ““ Ibrahim Ali is found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a 13-year-old girl whose body was found in a Burnaby, B.C., park more than six years ago.

9 – Coveted free agent Shohei Ohtani agrees to a record US$700-million, 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers following six seasons with the Angels. Jays fans had been hopeful he would sign with Toronto

11 – Emmy-winning actor Andre Braugher, best known for his roles on the series “Homicide: Life on The Street” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” dies of lung cancer.

12 – The UN General Assembly votes overwhelmingly to demand a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. Canada votes in favour of the non-binding resolution.

13 – The United Nations climate summit of nearly 200 countries agrees for the first time to transition away from fossil fuels. The agreement calls on countries to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, “accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050.”

14 – Tim Hortons and Telus reinstate their support for Hockey Canada, after pulling their backing last year when the organization was accused of mishandling sexual assault complaints.

16 – RCMP in Ottawa say a youth has been arrested and charged with terrorism-related offences that allegedly targeted Jewish people.

16 – Police confirm that an 11-year-old boy died earlier in the week after getting a puck to the neck during a junior hockey league practice. They say the boy was wearing all the required protective equipment at the time.

18 – Canada joins 14 other countries in calling for Israel to do more to stop “extremist settler” violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, releasing a statement of “grave concern” on the matter. The countries condemn “violent acts committed by extremist settlers,” which they say are terrorizing Palestinian communities.

18 – Newfoundland and Labrador qualifies for an equalization payment from the federal government for the first time since 2008. Finance Minister Siobhan Coady says the province will receive $218 million in the 2024-25 fiscal year under the equalization program.

18 – Pope Francis formally approves allowing priests to bless same-sex couples. The Vatican issues a new document explaining a radical change in policy by insisting that people seeking God’s love and mercy shouldn’t be subject to “an exhaustive moral analysis” to receive it.

19 – Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault releases the finalized regulations for Canada’s new mandate on electric vehicles, guiding the transition away from gas-fired cars, trucks and SUVs. Automakers are being given 12 years to phase out combustion engines, with a requirement to gradually increase the proportion of electric models for sale each year.

19 – Tens of thousands of people are without power in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia after a wind storm batters the East Coast.

19 – The federal government says it plans to buy 11 drones for the Royal Canadian Air Force for $2.49 billion. Ottawa says the deal is with U.S.-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems with some components acquired from the U.S. government. The drones are to be used for long-distance surveillance.

19 – Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is named The Canadian Press 2023 Newsmaker of the Year in the annual poll of broadcast news directors and newspaper editors. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Manitoba’s newly elected Premier Wab Kinew tie for second.

20 – Editors in newsrooms across the country vote Canada’s record-setting wildfire season as The Canadian Press news story of the year. Inflation and the housing crisis round out the top three stories of the year.

21 – Aydin Coban has his sentence cut by an Amsterdam court to six years from 13. Coban was extradited from the Netherlands to Canada in 2020 to stand trial on charges linked to Amanda Todd, who took her own life in 2012 at the age of 15 after posting a video that described being tormented by an online harasser. He was sent to Canada on condition that his sentence would be served in a Dutch prison. Prison time imposed by the British Columbia Supreme Court last year had to be converted into a sentence in the Netherlands.

21 – Hockey NL says it is banning end-of-game handshakes in amateur leagues in Newfoundland and Labrador because of issues that had led to suspensions for players and coaches.

21 – A student at Charles University in Prague opens fire in the philosophy department, killing 14 people. Dozens more are injured in one of the Czech Republic’s worst mass shootings. The gunman kills himself.

22 – Health officials in Hamas-run Gaza say the Palestinian death toll in the latest Israel-Hamas war has surpassed 20,000, representing nearly one per cent of the territory’s population.

22 – By a vote of 13-0 with the U.S. and Russia abstaining, the UN Security Council adopts a watered-down resolution calling for immediately speeding up aid deliveries to Gaza. But after a week of negotiations, the resolution does not include a call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

22 – A 73-year-old man who was believed to have been taken hostage with his Canadian wife during Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack in Israel is declared dead. Kibbutz Nir Oz says it had been determined that 73-year-old Gadi Haggai was killed at the kibbutz on Oct. 7 and his body was taken to Gaza. His wife, Judih Weinstein Haggai, is still believed to be among the remaining hostages.

22 – The Public Health Agency of Canada reports another death from a salmonella outbreak involving Malichita and Rudy brand cantaloupes, bringing the death toll in the country to seven.

25 – Harry Rosen, the founder of the Canadian men’s clothing retailer that bears his name, dies at 92. Rosen opened his first made-to-measure menswear store on Parliament Street in Toronto in 1954 along with his brother Lou and ran the company for 51 years until his son Larry became chairman and CEO in 2005.

26 – RCMP say an Alberta family of three reported missing on Christmas has been found dead. Mounties say an underwater recovery team found the bodies of Kelly and Laura Pelsma and their eight-year-old son, Dylan. They hadn’t been heard from since Dec. 23 and were last seen in a community approximately 45 minutes northwest of Edmonton on a side-by-side vehicle.

27 – Sports editors and broadcasters across the country choose 17-year-old swimming sensation Summer McIntosh as The Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year. McIntosh was a double gold medallist at the world championships and also set two world records this year.

28 ““ Kibbutz Nir Oz announces the death of a 70-year-old Canadian-American-Israeli woman thought to be a hostage in Gaza. Confirmation of the death of Judih Weinstein Haggai, the only Canadian citizen who was still listed as missing, came just days after her husband, Gadi Haggai, was also declared dead.

28 – Sports editors and broadcasters select NBA star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as The Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year. The 25-year-old from Hamilton, Ont., had a breakout season for the Oklahoma City Thunder and was also a first-time all-star. He led Canada to the bronze medal at the FIBA World Cup in September.

28 – Police in Ottawa find the bodies of two teens, part of a group of four that fell through river ice the night before.

29 – Sports editors select the Canadian men’s basketball team as The Canadian Press sports team of the year. Led by NBA star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Canadians won their first-ever FIBA World Cup medal, defeating the United States for bronze in September, and qualified for next year’s Summer Olympics in the process.

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