June 20th, 2024

In the news today: Oilers beat Stars to advance to Stanley Cup final

By The Canadian Press on June 3, 2024.

A pro-Palestinian encampment set up at the University of Toronto is photographed in Toronto, on Thursday, May 23, 2024. Graduation ceremonies for University of Toronto students are set to begin today as a pro-Palestinian encampment remains on campus despite looming legal action. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

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

Oilers advance to Stanley Cup final

The Edmonton Oilers are headed to their eighth Stanley Cup final in franchise history.

Captain Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist as the Oilers punched their ticket to the championship series with a somewhat shaky 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday, winning the best-of-seven Western Conference final in six games.

Zach Hyman also scored and Evan Bouchard had a pair of assists for the Oilers, who will face the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup series – marking Edmonton’s first appearance in a Cup final since 2006, when it fell in Game 7 to the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Oilers were ousted by the eventual Stanley Cup champion the last two years – in six games in the second round by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2023, and in a 2022 Western Conference final sweep by the Colorado Avalanche.

The Oilers open the best-of-seven NHL championship Saturday night at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Fla.

Here’s what else we’re watching…

U of T convocations to begin amid campus protest

Graduation ceremonies for University of Toronto students are set to begin today as a pro-Palestinian encampment remains on campus despite looming legal action.

More than 30 ceremonies are scheduled to take place through June 21, and the university says all events will proceed as planned with extra precautions in place.

The university sought to clear the encampment before convocation began through an urgent court injunction, but the presiding judge said the earliest a hearing could be held is June 19 to give protesters a fair opportunity to respond.

The delay means most of the graduates and their family members attending ceremonies at the downtown campus will likely pass by the fenced-in camp, and the university has expressed concern about potential disruptions.

Admitted serial killer trial to resume in Winnipeg

An admitted serial killer’s mental state is expected to be the focus of a murder trial that resumes in Winnipeg.

Jeremy Skibicki, who is 37, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the deaths of four Indigenous women in Winnipeg in 2022.

Crown prosecutors have said the killings were racially motivated and Skibicki preyed on the vulnerable victims at homeless shelters.

Skibicki’s lawyers admit he killed the women but argue he should be found not criminally responsible due to mental illness.

They are expected to start calling evidence, including their own expert, about Skibicki’s state of mind at the time of the slayings.

Manitoba Court of King’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal also ordered Skibicki undergo a mental health assessment last month with a Crown-appointed expert.

Municipality appeals decision on coal exploration

A ranching community is fighting a planned hearing on proposed coal exploration in the Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

The Municipal District of Ranchland wants to reverse the Alberta Energy Regulator’s ruling that Northback Holding’s plans for Grassy Mountain are exempt from a government order blocking such development.

The district says Alberta’s arm’s-length energy regulator shouldn’t have heeded a letter from Energy Minister Brian Jean suggesting the company’s exploration applications be accepted.

It argues the minister overstepped his authority and the regulator wrongly allowed him to influence its decision.

Northback has applied for three licences on Grassy Mountain near the community of Crowsnest Pass in southwest Alberta.

It wants approval for exploratory drilling and water diversion as part of the Australian company’s plans for an open-pit steelmaking coal mine.

The project, under the name Benga Mining, has previously been denied by federal and provincial environmental reviews.

Royal Regina Rifles statue unveiling at Juno Beach

A statue depicting Canadians who fought Nazi Germany 80 years ago is to have a permanent home near the beaches they stormed on D-Day.

The Royal Regina Rifles statue is to be unveiled Wednesday at Juno Beach in France, a day ahead of the milestone anniversary of the invasion that marked the beginning of the end of the Second World War.

The names of 458 soldiers from the infantry unit who died during that conflict are etched in the statue’s base.

The Regina Rifles were among the first Canadians to storm Juno Beach on June 6th, 1944.

Alberta artist Don Begg created the two-metre bronze statue of a soldier.

McDonald pays visit to cop who saved his life

Former Calgary Flames co-captain and Hockey Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald surprised a city police officer who helped save his life earlier this year by paying him a visit with the Stanley Cup in tow.

Const. Jose Cives performed chest compressions on McDonald at Calgary’s airport in early February after the 71-year-old collapsed while returning from the NHL’s all-star game in Toronto.

Cives had no idea that McDonald, who played with the team during its 1989 Stanley Cup win, was coming to a fundraising event on Friday put on by the Calgary Police Rodeo Association, nor did he know that McDonald would also be accompanied by his former teammates Tim Hunter, Colin Patterson and Rick Wamsley.

In a video posted online by the Calgary Flames, Cives says he got a call over his radio in February saying a man had collapsed, prompting him to race to the scene. He performed chest compressions and used an automated external defribrilator on McDonald until EMS arrived.

Cives and McDonald now go for coffee and share laughs these days, with Cives saying they get along “brilliantly.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2024

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