Ontario opens borders, StatsCan releases May inflation rate : In The News for June 16

·6 min read

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 June 16 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Ontario's land and water borders with Quebec and Manitoba are now fully reopened.

A provincial order restricting interprovincial travel between those provinces expired at midnight.

The regulation was introduced in April as Ontario battled a third wave of COVID-19.

Travel between the regions was limited to essential reasons such as health care, custody or compassionate grounds like attending a funeral.

It also allowed law enforcement to stop and question people about their reasons for entering Ontario.

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Also this ...

Statistics Canada will say this morning how fast prices rose in May compared with the same month a year earlier amid expectations of a hot inflation figure for the second month in a row.

Last month, the data agency reported that prices increased in April at the fastest annual rate in nearly a decade, fuelled by a record year-over-year rise in gasoline prices and a rebound from rock-bottom prices at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual pace of inflation rose to 3.4 per cent in April, up from a 2.2 per cent increase in March.

RBC and CIBC economists each said last week that they expect the headline inflation rate to match the rise seen in April.

The Bank of Canada expects inflation to hover around three per cent over the summer before easing later this year, then returning toward the bank's two-per-cent target once prices are no longer being compared with their early-pandemic plunge.

The central bank plans to keep its key policy rate at 0.25 per cent until the economy has recovered and inflation is sustainably back on target.

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What we are watching in the U.S. ...

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 600,000, even as the vaccination drive has slashed daily cases and deaths and allowed the country to emerge from the gloom.

The number of lives lost has been recorded by Johns Hopkins University. The number of lives lost is greater than the population of Baltimore or Milwaukee. It is about equal to the number of Americans who died of cancer in 2019.

The milestone came the same day that California and New York lifted most of their remaining restrictions, joining other states in opening the way, step by step, for what could be a fun and close to normal summer for many Americans.

“Deep down I want to rejoice,” said Rita Torres, a retired university administrator in Oakland, Calif.. But she plans to take it slow: “Because it’s kind of like, is it too soon? Will we be sorry?”

With the arrival of the vaccine in mid-December, COVID-19 deaths per day in the U.S. have plummeted to an average of around 340, from a high of over 3,400 in mid-January. Cases are running at about 14,000 a day on average, down from a quarter-million per day over the winter.

The real death tolls in the U.S. and around the globe are thought to be significantly higher.

More than 50 per cent of Americans have had at least one dose of vaccine, while over 40 per cent are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But demand for shots in the U.S. has dropped off dramatically, leaving many places with a surplus of doses and casting doubt on whether the country will meet Biden's target of having 70 per cent of American adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4. The figure stands at just under 65 per cent.

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What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungarian lawmakers have approved legislation that prohibits sharing with minors any content that portrays or promotes homosexuality or sex reassignment.

The National Assembly passed the bill Tuesday on a 157-1 vote. Most opposition parties boycotted the voting session to protest what they denounced as discrimination against LGBT people.

Fidesz, the conservative ruling party of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, introduced the legislation, which is the latest effort to curtail the rights of gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in the European Union nation located in central Europe.

Csaba Domotor, the Fidesz state secretary, described the goal as “the protection of children,” noting that the changes include the introduction of a searchable registry of convicted pedophiles.

All other opposition parties boycotted the voting session in protest. Human rights groups had denounced the measure strongly, saying it was wrong to conflate LGBT people with pedophilia. They argued that the law could be used to stigmatize and harass residents because of their sexual orientations and gender identities.

“On this shameful day, the opposition’s place is not in the parliament but on the streets,” Budapest Mayor Karacsony wrote on Facebook.

Lawmaker Gergely Arato, of the Democratic Coalition parliamentary grouping, said the changes violate the standards of parliamentary democracy, rule of law and human rights.

The legislation included amendments that ban the representation of any sexual orientation besides heterosexual as well as sex reassignment information in school sex education programs, or in films and advertisements aimed at anyone under 18.

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On this day in 1993 ...

Canada's peacekeeping mission in Cyprus ended. The soldiers had handed over control of the Canadian sector on the Mediterranean island to British and Australian troops the previous day. Canada's 29-year mission had seen 35,000 soldiers serve in Cyprus.

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In entertainment ...

TORONTO — Canadian entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson's rags-to-riches memoir is being developed into a one-hour TV drama.

Toronto-based Marblemedia says it's optioned the rights to adapt Dickinson's 2011 book "Persuasion" into scripted TV.

The former "Dragons' Den" star will be an executive producer on the show, alongside Marblemedia's Matthew Hornburg, Mark Bishop and Carrie Paupst Shaughnessy. Alexandra Zarowny of "Wynonna Earp" and "Private Eyes" is set to write and executive produce.

Producers say the project will be powered by a creative team of women both behind and in front of the camera. They say the show will offer a different take on the dog-eat-dog business dramas that dominate the small screen.

Marblemedia says the show will draw from Dickinson's rise in the world of marketing to dramatize the battle to do business "ethically and honestly."

"The world needs a show that demonstrates a different approach to doing business successfully and that inspires women to break barriers to reach their dreams," Dickinson said in a statement Tuesday.

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ICYMI ...

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Helped by an own goal and strikes by Cyle Larin and Junior Hoilett, Canada dispatched Haiti 3-0 on the night and 4-0 on aggregate to advance to the final round of World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF.

The Canadian men, who last reached the final qualifying round in 1996-97 in the lead-up to France '98, now join the heavyweights in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. The eight-country final round includes Mexico (ranked No. 11) the U.S. (No. 20), Jamaica (No. 45), Costa Rica (No. 50) and Honduras (No. 67), who received byes as the top five teams in the region.

The 70th-ranked Canadians joined them the hard way, slogging through two rounds and six games in qualifying. They have earned themselves at least 14 more qualifying matches.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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