March 1st, 2024

In the news today: Liberal and NDP caucus on retreats, Oscar noms due this morning

By The Canadian Press on January 23, 2024.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne speaks to the media during the federal cabinet retreat in Montreal, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christinne Muschi

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today…

Canada-U.S. trade on tap at cabinet retreat today

Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne says the Canadian and American economies are more integrated than ever, which should act as a buffer against the threat of U.S. protectionism.

Champagne and his fellow Liberal ministers today will hold their third and final day of meetings at a winter cabinet retreat in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary sitting.

Economics and affordability dominated the first two days of talks but today things will shift to the international.

Specifically, cabinet will be discussing the upcoming United States presidential election and the very real prospect that former president Donald Trump will be returned to the White House.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says Canada is preparing for any potential outcome in the 2024 race for the White House, be it the re-election of President Joe Biden or a second chance for Trump.

NDP caucus in Edmonton for three-day retreat

The federal New Democrats are holding a three-day caucus retreat in Alberta’s capital, a place where the party would like to grow its support.

The NDP caucus is set to talk about health care, affordability and the party’s next national campaign as MPs get ready for Parliament to return next week.

Jennifer Howard, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s chief of staff, says the party will also discuss their confidence-and-supply agreement with the minority Liberal government.

That deal will see the NDP support the Liberals on confidence and budgetary matters until 2025 in return for movement on key priorities.

Beyond the long sought-after federal dental-care program and a temporary doubling of the GST rebate, Howard says New Democrats are looking to see what else they can get out of that agreement.

Sentencing hearing resumes for London attacker

A sentencing hearing is set to resume today for a man who killed four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont.

Nathaniel Veltman, 23, was found guilty in November of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for hitting the Afzaal family with his truck while they were out for a walk on June 6, 2021.

Justice Renee Pomerance, who oversaw the trial, is expected to hear arguments today from the Crown and Veltman’s defence on whether his attack amounted to an act of terrorism.

Veltman’s trial was the first where Canada’s terrorism laws were put before a jury in a first-degree murder trial.

Forty-six-year-old Salman Afzaal; his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman; their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna; and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed in the attack, while the couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously hurt but survived.

Forcillo back at Yatim coroner’s inquest

A former Toronto police officer who shot a teen on an empty streetcar more than a decade ago is taking the stand for a second day at a coroner’s inquest.

Cross-examination for James Forcillo is set to continue this morning at the inquest into the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.

On Monday, Forcillo told jurors that things would have gone differently that night if he’d had access to a stun gun.

Yatim, who was 18, was alone on a streetcar and holding a small knife when he was hit by two volleys of shots shortly after midnight on July 27, 2013.

Forcillo was found not guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the first volley of bullets, which the court heard was fatal, but was convicted of attempted murder for the second volley, fired when Yatim was already on the ground.

Israeli Defence Forces suffer loss in attack

The carnage continues in the Gaza Strip, where Israel’s army says 21 soldiers have been killed in the central part of the territory, making it the largest single loss of life for the military since the war began.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesperson, made the announcement Tuesday, updating an earlier toll.

He said the soldiers were preparing explosives to demolish two buildings on Monday when a militant fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a tank nearby, setting off the explosion prematurely.

The buildings collapsed on the soldiers.

The heavy death toll could add new momentum to calls for Israel to pause the offensive or even halt it altogether.

Oscar nominations are due today

The 96th Academy Awards will announce this year’s film and actor nominations this morning.

“Oppenheimer,” “Barbie” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” are expected to be the most dominant forces, with each poised to collect double-digit nominations.

“Poor Things” could also rack up ten or more nods.

Eligible voters from a record 93 countries submitted ballots to this year’s nominations, the academy said.

And several international films ““ including “Anatomy of a Fall” and “The Zone of Interest” – could make the best picture field of 10 movies, too.

The Oscars announcement gets underway at 8:30 a.m. EST from the academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles, hosted by Zazie Beetz and Jack Quaid.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2024

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