April 25th, 2024

In the news today: Suspect in Ottawa killings being held in protective custody

By The Canadian Press on March 15, 2024.

An Ottawa Police officer enters a home, the scene of a homicide where six people were found dead, in Ottawa, Thursday, March 7, 2024. The 19-year-old charged with killing six people in an
Ottawa suburb last week is being held in protective custody, his lawyer said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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

Suspect in Ottawa killings in protective custody

The 19-year-old charged with killing six people in an Ottawa suburb last week is being held in protective custody, his lawyer said Thursday.

Febrio De-Zoysa was arrested March 6 and is charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Police say De-Zoysa, who came to Canada as an international student, had been living with the victims, who were also newcomers from Sri Lanka.

They included 35-year-old Darshani Ekanayake, her husband Dhanushka Wickramasinghe and their four children.

International students struggle to find footing

Jatinder Singh says he hears from parents almost every week whose children – international students in Canada – have gone missing.

The national director of Khalsa Aid Canada says humanitarian workers try to help by finding the student’s friends and informing local police.

He says students are often found without proper housing, sleeping in malls during the day or struggling with drug addiction.

Singh says they’re finding themselves under increasing strain as the cost of living skyrockets and it gets harder to find work.

Here’s what else we’re watching …

Expiry looms for funds helping some ERs stay open

A program that helps rural and northern Ontario hospitals avoid temporary ER closures is set to expire at the end of the month, with no signal from the government as to whether it will be extended, made permanent or simply end.

Many of the province’s more isolated hospitals rely on doctors from urban areas filling shifts on what is known as a locum basis.

The Temporary Locum Program pays them a premium as an incentive.

Rural and northern hospitals have said the program has helped them keep their emergency department doors open as they struggle with shortages of local doctors, but its future is uncertain after the current expiry date of March 31st.

Astronomical demand for eclipse glasses in Canada

The Royal Astonomical Society of Canada is suggesting that people plan in advance if they want to watch the April 8 solar eclipse, the path of which will cover much of Eastern Canada.

Executive Director Jenna Hinds says interest in the eclipse has been “astronomical,” leading to some retailers running out of the special glasses that are needed to view the event safely.

Hinds says her organization ordered about 75,000 pairs but hasn’t had any left to sell online since mid-February because of high demand.

Math, drag about shattering stereotypes, says Kyne

A drag queen known for her TikTok videos about mathematics – and for appearing on the first season of Canada’s Drag Race – has published a book called “Math in Drag.”

Kyne Santos says the book shows people that mathematics is a creative, mind-bending universe that pushes the limits of our imagination – just like drag.

Released on March 5th, “Math in Drag” blends Kyne’s personal history with explorations of higher-level mathematical concepts.

A St. Patrick’s Day with fewer raised glasses

Restaurants and bars are expanding their non-alcoholic menus this St. Patrick’s Day as younger Canadians move away from drinking.

Food service industry expert Robert Carter says Gen-Z is more health conscious and doesn’t want to splurge on drinks when going out – which makes it harder for restaurants to make money.

Carter, who is a managing partner at StratonHunter Group, says this is an opportunity for bars to be more creative with their menus and add zero-alcohol beers and mocktails.

Creative festive drinks could be anything from non-carbonated drinks, juice and soft drinks to specialty coffees.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 15, 2024.

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