July 21st, 2024

In the news today: Is it climate change? A new heat wave tool answers

By The Canadian Press on June 28, 2024.

A woman soaks in the sun in the Montreal borough of LaSalle on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. The heat wave that gripped Eastern Canada last week brought stifling conditions, put pressure on the electricity grid and broke several temperature records as residents sweltered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christinne Muschi

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed…

When heat waves strike, Environment Canada can link it to climate change – fast

After last week’s heat wave brought stifling conditions, climate scientists are trying to figure out just how much climate change was to blame. Within a few days, researchers at Environment and Climate Change Canada are expected to have the answers. The results will mark the public debut of Canada’s new rapid extreme weather event attribution pilot program. Environment Canada says scientists will be able to say, within about a week of the end of a major heat wave, whether and to what extent climate change made it more likely or intense.

Here’s what else we’re watching…

Different schools of thought on why Canada drapes itself with red and white

Canada’s unofficial national colours will be on full display on Monday as Canadians don patriotic T-shirts, wave hand-held flags and hang bunting to celebrate their country. But while the red-and-white flag, for the most part, unites Canadians, the colours’ meaning is open to interpretation. Xavier Gélinas, a curator at the Canadian Museum of History, says most people believe that red and white were designated as the official colours of Canada by King George the Fifth in 1921. For about a century, one school of thought has said red represents Britishness, and energy, life, blood, vigour and splendour of Canadian autumns while white represents the Canadian hardy, snowy winters.

Canadian fire chiefs encourage safe firework use

With Canada Day fast approaching, Canadian fire chiefs are reminding the public about the safe use of fireworks. Chief of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs Ken McMullen says people should remember that fireworks are still explosives and are dangerous when the conditions are hot and dry. McMullen also says in a statement more than 700 fire departments nationwide respond to at least one call due to mishandling publicly available fireworks. This from McMullen comes after wildfires sparked in several provinces this year, including Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia.

U-S presidential debate receives mixed response

The first debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump may not have brought the surge of excitement among voters that both leaders were looking for ahead of the November election. The matchup saw the current president and his political rival exchange personal barbs as well as criticism over their legacies in the Oval Office. Experts have said that many Americans aren’t engaging with either the Democratic or Republican campaigns and a lot of would-be voters aren’t supportive of either candidate.

After quietly closing stores, Rooms + Spaces merchandise creeping into Toys “R” Us

Toys “R” Us Canada has begun selling some merchandise from Rooms and Spaces. Some of the toy retailer’s locations are now stocked with household goods like towels, beauty products and kitchen items in sections labelled with Rooms and Spaces logos. Many of those stores appear to have opened, but in the months since, Rooms and Spaces has shrunk down to just two stores listed on its website and customers report frequent emails offering significant markdowns.

Telling kids the truth about a parent’s illness can help ease worry, grief: experts

A London, Ontario, man diagnosed with a terminal disease says he had to think hard about how to deliver that news to his kids. Experts on children’s grief say that while some parents try to protect their kids and keep their illness a secret, it’s best to share the truth even with really young children who may already be aware that something isn’t right. Superstar Céline Dion has said in recent interviews that “panic buttons” are installed in her home in case of an emergency related to her stiff person syndrome and that her 13-year-old twins practice what to do if she needs help.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2024.

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