In-The-News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Dec. 6.
What we are watching in Canada ...
Several events are planned across the country today to mark the grim 30th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.
On the evening of Dec. 6, 1989, a gunman entered Montreal's Ecole polytechnique, killing 14 women in an anti-feminist mass slaying before taking his own life.
Later this morning, students and staff at the school's campus will place a wreath of white roses at a commemorative plaque.
Also today, a book about the events and the stories behind the 14 victims written by former Le Devoir journalist Josee Boileau will be released.
In the evening, the public will gather on Mount Royal at 5:10 p.m. — when the first shots were fired — and 14 beams of light will shine over the Montreal skyline as the names of the 14 women are read aloud.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette and Quebec Premier Francois Legault are among the dignitaries expected at the event.
Also this ...
Justin Trudeau ushered in a new era of minority Liberal rule Thursday with a throne speech brimming with humility, goodwill and promises of collaboration with opposition parties whose support he needs to ensure his government's survival.
The effort worked, at least insofar as guaranteeing the government will win a vote on the throne speech. Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said his party's 32 MPs will support it, despite serious reservations about its content.
The eight-page speech from the throne, is mostly penned by the Prime Minister's Office but read by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, who inserted a bit of flavour from her days as an astronaut.
"And we share the same planet," she said in a passage emphasizing co-operation.
"We know that we are inextricably bound to the same space-time continuum and on board the same planetary space ship."
The speech overall offered few details of Trudeau's agenda for his second mandate, beyond reiterating Liberal campaign promises: stronger action to fight climate change, lower taxes for middle-class Canadians, beefed-up gun control, steps towards national pharmacare and investments in infrastructure, public transit, affordable housing and health care.
ICYMI (In case you missed it) ...
OTTAWA — A federal court has ruled that the so-called Church of Atheism is not a church at all, and can't be treated like one for tax purposes.
The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld the minister of national revenue's refusal to register the Church of Atheism of Central Canada as a charity, saying the not-for-profit corporation fails to meet a set of common-law guidelines for what constitutes a religion.
Justice Marianne Rivoalensays the group's stated belief in "mainstream science" is "neither particularly specific nor precise.".
"It did not demonstrate that its belief system is based on a particular and comprehensive system of doctrine and observances," Rivoalen writes.
Rivoalen also shoots down the group's argument that refusing its charitable status is a violation of members' charter right to practice their religious beliefs.
"The appellant can continue to carry out its purpose and its activities without charitable registration," she says.
What we are watching in the U.S. ...
The Pentagon is considering sending several thousand additional troops to the Middle East to help deter Iranian aggression, amid reports of escalating violence in Iran and continued meddling by Tehran in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the region.
John Rood, defence undersecretary for policy, told senators Thursday that Defence Secretary Mark Esper “intends to make changes” to the number of troops deployed in the region. Other officials said options under consideration could send between 5,000 and 7,000 troops to the Middle East, but they all stressed that there have been no final decisions yet. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
The troop deliberations follow several decisions since spring to beef up the U.S. presence in the Middle East because of a series of maritime attacks and bombings in Saudi Arabia that the U.S. and others have blamed on Iran.
President Donald Trump has approved those increases, even though he also routinely insists that he is pulling U.S. troops out of the Middle East and withdrawing from what he calls “endless wars” against extremists. In October, Trump told his supporters that despite the sacrificing of U.S. lives in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, the region is less safe and stable today. “The single greatest mistake our country made in its history,” he said, “was going into the quicksand of the Middle East.”
Asked about a possible troop increase, Trump told reporters Thursday: ”We'll announce whether we will or not. Certainly there might be a threat. And if there is a threat, it will be met very strongly. But we will be announcing what we may be doing — may or may not be doing.”
What we are watching in the rest of the world ...
Paris police fired tear gas at demonstrators as the Eiffel Tower shut down, France’s high-speed trains came to a standstill and hundreds of thousands marched nationwide in a strike over the government’s plan to overhaul the retirement system.
At least 90 people were arrested in Paris by Thursday evening as the protests wound down.
Police said 65,000 people took to the streets of the French capital, and over 800,000 nationwide in often-tense demonstrations aimed at forcing President Emmanuel Macron to abandon pension reform.
The open-ended walkout by the country’s unions represents the biggest challenge to Macron since the yellow vest movement against economic inequality erupted a year ago.
Opponents fear the changes to how and when workers can retire will threaten the hard-fought French way of life. Macron himself remained “calm and determined” to push it through, according to a top presidential official.
In Paris, small groups of masked activists smashed store windows, set fires and hurled flares on the sidelines of a march that was otherwise peaceful. Demonstrators also shot firecrackers at police in body armour . Some journalists were mugged in the street.
Know your news ...
MONTREAL — A potential return of Major League Baseball to Montreal is on hold after negotiations to see the Tampa Bay Rays play half of their season in Canada fell apart. Before the Expos left Montreal for good after the 2004 season, the franchise spent two seasons splitting home games in what Puerto Rican city?
(Scroll down to find the answer)
On this day in 1990 ...
The Supreme Court of Canada upheld mandatory retirement in a landmark decision. Although the court found that forced retirement violates the principle of equality, it said the practice is justified under a section of the Constitution that permits limits on individual rights for the sake of a greater benefit to society at large.
Celebrity news ...
NEW YORK — Justin Timberlake has publicly apologized to his actress-wife Jessica Biel days after he was seen holding hands with Alisha Wainwright, the co-star of his upcoming movie.
The pop star and actor wrote Wednesday on Instagram that he prefers to "stay away from gossip as much as I can, but for my family I feel it is important to address recent rumours that are hurting the people I love."
He the photos and video from a New Orleans bar "displayed a strong lapse in judgment — but let me be clear — nothing happened between me and my co-star."
Timberlake says he "drank way too much that night and I regret my behaviour . I should have known better. This is not the example I want to set for my son."
The 38-year-old Timberlake is filming the movie "Palmer" with Wainwright in New Orleans. He married Biel in 2012 and they have a son, four-year-old Silas.
The games we play ...
TORONTO — When Jeremy Rupke put a microphone on his four-year-old son Mason for hockey practice and posted the video on YouTube, he thought he might have a hit video within the hockey community.
Instead, the adorable six-minute clip became a sensation.
It ended up as YouTube's second highest trending video in Canada in 2019 and the most watched viral video created by a Canadian in the past year.
Only superstar chef Gordon Ramsay's appearance on the chicken-wing talk show "Hot Ones" could top the more than 12 million Canadian viewers that watched Coach Jeremy's video titled "4 Year Old Mic'd up at Hockey."
Canadians simply could not get enough of Mason rolling around the ice, looking for his friends, or wishing his dad a happy Halloween — in mid-February.
"I have a few videos on my channel that have gotten a million views or more but they always take a few months or even a year to get up there, it's sort of a slow burn." Rupke says. "I thought this video had potential, that hockey players would love it and over time it would get to a million but I didn't think it would ever get to a million in a few days."
Know your news answer ...
San Juan. The Expos played 22 home games in Hiram Bithorn Stadium in 2003 and 2004 before moving to Washington. The Washington Nationals won the World Series this year — the first title in franchise history.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2019.
The Canadian Press