By The Canadian Press on December 31, 2023.
A look at news events in February 2023:
4 ““ The U.S. military shoots down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast on orders from President Joe Biden. U.S. defence officials had been tracking it for about a week as it travelled over sensitive military sites across North America. They say the large balloon went into Canadian airspace before crossing back into U.S. territory over northern Idaho. China says it was a weather research “airship” that had been blown off course and denied any claims of spying.
6 ““ A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake hits southern Turkey and northern Syria, with the death toll eventually reaching well over 50,000.
7 ““ The pro basketball world has a new all-time scoring leader. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA career scoring record during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. With a step back jumper with 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter, James busts a record that had lasted nearly four decades. James finishes with 38 points in the Lakers’ loss and his career points now total 38,390.
8 ““ A transit driver is charged with two counts of first-degree murder after a city bus crashed into a daycare north of Montreal. Two children were killed and six others were seriously injured. Pierre Ny St-Amand appears in court by video from a hospital room. Witnesses who arrived at the daycare in Laval soon after the crash said several people had to restrain the driver after he got off the bus, as he seemed delirious.
8 ““ Legendary composer Burt Bacharach, who crafted a bevy of hit pop songs, dies at the age of 94. Working with lyricist Hal David, Bacharach penned a long run of hit songs, including “Walk On By” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.”
10 ““ A U.S. White House official says an American fighter jet shot an unknown object out of the sky off the coast of Alaska near the Canadian border. National Security Council coordinator John Kirby describes the object as “the size of a small car,” but has few other details, such as where it might have come from or its capabilities. Defence Minister Anita Anand says it didn’t pose an imminent risk to Canadians.
10 ““ Toronto Mayor John Tory resigns after revealing he had an inappropriate relationship with a staff member. Tory says the relationship with the employee in his office developed during the COVID-19 pandemic when he was spending long periods of time away from his wife, Barbara, whom he has been married to for over 40 years. Tory was first elected mayor in 2014, partially on a promise to restore respectability to the office after the turbulent term of his predecessor Rob Ford.
11 ““ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he ordered a U.S. fighter jet to shoot down an “unidentified object” flying high over Yukon, acting a day after the U.S. took similar action over Alaska. National Defence Minister Anita Anand says that this was, to the best of their knowledge, the first time that a Norad operation had downed an aerial object. Anand says the object was flying at an altitude of 12,000 metres and was downed about 160 kilometres from the Canadian-U.S. border in central Yukon.
12 ““ The U.S. military shoots down a fourth high-altitude object in just over a week — this time closer to heavily populated areas in southern Ontario and the U.S. East Coast. Defence Minister Anita Anand says a “high-altitude object” was detected in U.S. airspace over Lake Huron. Anand says Norad launched Canadian and U.S. aircraft to investigate and the object was taken down in U.S. airspace by U.S. aircraft.
12 ““ Billy Two Rivers, a retired Mohawk wrestler, politician and activist, dies at the age of 87. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake announces his death. Two Rivers rose to fame as a wrestler in the 1950s, and spent nearly a quarter of a century in the ring before he turned to politics. He also served 10 consecutive terms on the Kahnawake council. The council said Two Rivers stayed active in his later years, acting in several movies and TV shows and remaining a prominent advocate for the promotion of the Mohawk language.
14 ““ The body of a 33-year-old Canadian woman is found in a collapsed building in Turkey. Saad Zora says his twin sister Samar was visiting Antakya when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Turkey last week. Saad says Samar’s body was discovered in the rubble of a five-storey building. He and his brother had flown to Turkey last week to search for their sister.
15 ““ Actress Raquel Welch dies at the age of 82. She achieved international sex symbol status in the ’60s after e1merging from the sea in a skimpy, furry bikini in the movie “One Million Years B.C.” She captured pop culture attention for decades, with Playboy crowning her the most desired woman of the ’70s. Men’s Health magazine ranked her number 2 on its list of “Hottest Women of All Time.”
15 ““ RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki announces her retirement, saying her last day on the job will be March 17.
17 ““ The Public Order Emergency Commission releases its report examining the Liberal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act during the weeks-long “Freedom Convoy” protests last winter. The report calls the protests a “singular moment in history,” and Justice Paul Rouleau says the government was justified in its decision. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government will release a comprehensive response to the report’s 56 recommendations within a year. Throughout seven weeks of public hearings in Ottawa, the commission heard from more than 100 witnesses and released thousands of pages of documents.
19 ““ Richard Belzer, who played one of TV’s most indelible detectives in “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order: SVU,” dies. The longtime standup comic was 78.
21 ““ A Vancouver Island First Nation says ground-penetrating radar detected 17 suspected grave sites around the property of a former residential school. The Tseshaht First Nation says its interviews with survivors, historical records and other documents show that 67 students died at the Alberni Indian Residential School. Children from at least 70 Indigenous communities around B.C. attended the school while it operated from 1900 to 1973.
23 ““ The federal government reaches a health-care deal with Ontario. Provincial Health Minister Sylvia Jones says the agreement in principle will allow Ontario to begin further discussions on how new federal health-care money will be spent. Ottawa had set out to reach separate deals with the provinces and territories after the premiers agreed to accept its offer to boost the Canada Health Transfer by more than $46 billion. Ontario says the priority areas for the increased funding are mental health, primary care, data sharing and increasing the number of health-care workers.
24 ““ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces additional military aid for Ukraine on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion. Trudeau says Canada will deliver four additional Leopard 2 tanks and an armoured recovery vehicle, along with more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition. Trudeau says the military aid is in addition to the four Leopard tanks already in the region, which Ukrainian armed forces members are being trained to use.
25 ““ Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent dies. The Newfoundland native had been a household name in Canada for decades, known for his many appearances on stage and screen. Pinsent was 92.
27 ““ The federal government bans TikTok from government-issued mobile devices days after federal and provincial privacy commissioners began investigating the social media platform. Treasury Board president Mona Fortier releases a statement saying the app presents an unacceptable level of risk to security and privacy.