Five stories in the news for Tuesday, July 16
IRREGULAR MIGRANT NUMBERS DOWN THIS YEAR: DATA
Newly published government figures show fewer asylum-seekers crossing "irregularly" into Canada than last year, although June did see a small increase over other months this year. Last month, RCMP officers intercepted 371 more migrants trying to cross into Canada from the United States between official border checkpoints compared to May. June of this year also saw a small increase of over 300 irregular crossings compared to the same month of last year. Conservative border critics Michelle Rempel and Pierre Paul-Hus say they believe this shows the numbers of irregular migrants arriving in Canada are "on the rise." But the overall totals show a downward trend this year versus last.
FIREARMS ADVISER QUITS IN FRUSTRATION
Mass-shooting survivor Nathalie Provost has quit the federal firearms advisory committee in frustration, saying she is "extremely disappointed" with the Liberal government's failure to crack down on assault-style rifles. Provost, who was shot four times during the 1989 spree by a gunman at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, says she feels used by a government unwilling to take the steps needed to make Canadians safer. The Canadian Press obtained a copy of Provost's resignation letter sent Monday to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the cabinet members responsible for firearms issues — Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair. Provost, who served for more than two years on the advisory committee, says the government repeatedly ignored her calls for an overhaul of the firearms-classification system — a move that could tighten restrictions on some semi-automatic rifles.
PUBLIC HEALTH PROBES MATTER AT NATIONAL LAB
The Public Health Agency of Canada said Monday it is taking steps to expeditiously address an "administrative matter" at the National Microbiology Laboratory after it advised the Mounties of possible policy breaches. The laboratory in Winnipeg is Canada's highest-security such facility, designed to deal safely with deadly contagious germs such as Ebola. The agency said in a statement that it alerted the RCMP of the possible breach on May 24, adding that no employee of the lab is "under arrest or confined to their home." "For privacy reasons, we will not comment further," it said.
NAVY ANNOUNCEMENTS AT TWO SHIPYARDS TODAY
The federal government is promising major announcements today at shipyards in Quebec and Victoria. Cabinet minister Jean-Yves Duclos is to be at Davie Shipyard outside Quebec City and Carla Qualtrough is to be at Seaspan on the west coast. The government says the announcements are about the Halifax-class frigates, a dozen ships considered the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy.
ALERT, NUNAVUT, BREAKS ALL-TIME HEAT RECORD
Weather watchers are focused on the world's most northerly community which has been experiencing some record-breaking heat. Canadian Forces Station Alert recorded a temperature of 20 C on Sunday — meaning the military listening outpost at the top of Ellesmere Island was warmer than Victoria. Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips says today's temperature is likely to get even warmer. Phillips says the "heat wave" is the equivalent of Toronto reaching a daytime high of 42 C — something that's never happened. It's the latest in a series of what are considered in the Arctic to be sweltering temperatures.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh makes an announcement on the environment and transit.
— The Bank of Canada is expected to release an update on work related to the Canadian Overnight Repo Rate Average, a benchmark for Canadian dollar financial markets.
— Arguments are made in a Federal Court of Canada case brought by federal Conservative candidate Chani Aryeh-Bain and voter Ira Walfish against Elections Canada to move voting day because it lands on a Jewish holiday.
— Trial for teenager charged with aggravated assault in the shooting of a German tourist west of Calgary in August, 2018, at Calgary Court Centre.
— Inquest into the Sept. 14, 2014 death of John Robert Buehler following a police-involved incident at a cabin south of Valemount.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the teen on trial in the shooting of a German tourist is charged with attempted murder.