July 20th, 2024

In the news today: Six people dead in Ottawa, Israeli real estate controversy

By The Canadian Press on March 7, 2024.

Investigators look over a small plane crash alongside eastbound Interstate 40 at mile marker 202 on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. An Ontario town is mourning a family of five who died in a Nashville plane crash earlier this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, George Walker IV

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

Ottawa police say six found dead in home

Ottawa police are investigating the deaths of six people including four children and two adults found in a home in the city’s Barrhaven area.

Police said Thursday one person has been arrested and there is no ongoing threat to public safety.

The investigation comes after police responded to 911 calls late Wednesday night.

Police said officers found the six people dead inside the home located in a suburb south of the city.

Nashville plane crash victims from Ontario

An Ontario town is mourning a family of five who died in a Nashville plane crash earlier this week.

The 43-year-old pilot, Victor Dotsenko, his 39-year-old wife Rimma Dotsenko and their three children, 12-year-old David, 10-year-old Adam and seven-year-old Emma, were killed Monday as a single-engine plane crashed alongside a highway.

The family, who were the only people aboard the plane, lived in King Township, located about 50 km north of Toronto.

The town’s mayor, Steve Pellegrini, expressed condolences to the friends and relatives of the family Wednesday night, calling it a “heartbreaking and devastating loss” for the “tight-knit community.”

Israeli real estate event promotes West Bank land

A touring Israeli real estate exhibition promoting land in the occupied West Bank is making stops in Canada, with an event set to take place north of Toronto today.

An online brochure for the event being held at a synagogue in the community of Thornhill says speakers will address questions about purchasing real estate in several locations.

The list includes Israeli cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa, as well as Neve Daniel, Efrat and Ma’ale Adumim, which are all communities in the West Bank, a territory Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War and has occupied since.

The international community, including Canada, overwhelmingly considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal.

Ex-minister quits B.C. NDP, cites antisemitism

A former British Columbia cabinet minister quit the New Democrat government Wednesday, citing antisemitism in the party caucus and indifference towards the problem.

Selina Robinson, who is Jewish, said she could no longer remain in the government because it was not properly addressing antisemitism in the province or among some of her former colleagues.

She said she would sit as an Independent. She had previously announced her retirement, saying she won’t be running in the provincial election this October.

Asked if there were antisemitic voices in the caucus, Robinson said: “That’s been my experience. There’s been history of that. I’m aware of people who have said or done antisemitic things over time. They’ve apologized or not.”

How to avoid the pink tax in day-to-day life

The pink tax, or the extra cost on items targeted at women, might still be chipping away at many people’s savings.

Products marketed toward women and girls such as razors, shampoo and even children’s clothes can cost more than their equivalent for men or boys, a phenomenon that’s been dubbed the “pink tax.”

Janine Rogan, a Calgary-based chartered professional accountant says “Pink tax was a term coined in the ’70s to describe the difference in pricing between men’s and women’s products.”

Some of that discrepancy has improved in recent years. Along with companies adjusting their prices to become more equal, some jurisdictions around the world have eliminated actual taxes on necessary health products such as menstrual pads and tampons in a bid to level the playing field for those who use them.

However, Rogan says corporations and marketers still find ways to raise prices for products aimed at women and girls such as shampoos and lotions.

Calgary Stampede banned from 2024 Pride parade

The Calgary Stampede has been banned from participating in this year’s Pride parade because of the decades of abuse some of its members experienced at the hands of a former performance school staffer.

Philip Heerema pleaded guilty partway through his trial in 2018 to eight charges, including sexual assault, sexual exploitation, luring and making child pornography while he was at the Young Canadians School of Performing Arts.

The six victims were male students, ages 15 to 17, who were at the school between 1992 and 2013. Heerema admitted to using his position to lure and groom the boys into sexual relationships.

The school, operated by the Calgary Stampede Foundation, puts on nightly grandstand shows during the Stampede.

B.C. gardeners lament loss of plants in cold snap

Warm winter weather followed by a cold snap on B.C.’s south coast has been hard on plants, with gardeners saying the buds are not blooming and the evergreen shrubs are brown.

Andrew Fleming, the superintendent at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, says the die-off is a result of a few stressful years for plants, and the bitter cold in January was just the tipping point.

Fleming says some plants have been pushed to the brink by year-on-year drought and then cold, wet winters before the cold snap that finished them off.

He also notes that some evergreens have dropped their leaves as a result of a combination of stresses rather than a single event.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2024

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