Year in review: A look at news events in June 2021

·12 min read

A look at news events in June 2021:

1 - The Edmonton CFL franchise changed its team name to Elks. The club dropped its longtime name, Eskimos, last year following a similar decision by the NFL's Washington team amid pressure on franchises to eliminate racist or stereotypical names. It had been called the Edmonton Football Team until the announcement.

1 - Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization said people who got the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for the first dose could be offered something else for the second. The advice from NACI affected more than two million Canadians who received the AstraZeneca vaccine before provinces stopped using it for first doses last month.

2 - Israel's lawmakers elected a new president. Isaac Herzog, a veteran politician from a prominent Israeli family, was elected among the 120 members of Israel's parliament to be president. It's a largely ceremonial role that is meant to serve as the nation's moral compass and promote unity.

3 - Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom delivered a notice of claim against Iran over its downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. Foreign ministers from those countries, who lost citizens and residents when the jetliner was shot down shortly after taking off from Tehran in January 2020, said in a statement that Iran's actions amount to breaches of international law.

4 - Newfoundland and Labrador moved ahead with plans to drop references to Indigenous people as "savages" from its 400-year-old coat of arms. Premier Andrew Furey said a formal notice was submitted to the legislature. It had been almost three years since the province's governing Liberals said they would drop the archaic description and redesign the coat of arms.

4 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on the Catholic Church to take responsibility for its role in Canada's residential school system. Trudeau said as a Catholic, he was deeply disappointed by the position that the church had taken. The government-sponsored, church-run schools for Indigenous children operated in Canada for more than 120 years.

6 - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed the birth of their second child. Meghan gave birth to a healthy girl. A spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan said the couple welcomed their child Lilibet (Lili) Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. The baby is eighth in line to the British throne.

6 - Calgary's Stephen Ames won the Champions Tour's Principal Charity Classic. Mike Weir of Bright's Grove, Ont., finished second.

6 - Canada won the gold medal at the world hockey championship with a 3-2 overtime victory over Finland. Ottawa Senators forward Nick Paul scored the game-winning goal.

6 - The 50th Juno Awards were handed out in Toronto. Canada's biggest night in music also saw Jann Arden ushered into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in a belated induction that was supposed to happen last year.

6 - A much-maligned statue on the campus of Toronto's Ryerson University was splattered with red pain and toppled. Ryerson is credited as one of the architects of Canada's residential school system.

7 - Police in London, Ont., said four people were killed after several pedestrians were struck by a car. Police said one woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Two adults and one teenaged child died later in hospital. The other child was in serious but non-life-threatening condition. Police say a 20-year-old London, Ont., man was arrested shortly after the incident.

9 - Canadian rapper Powfu's massive popularity on TikTok translated into a streaming milestone. The Vancouver-born musician's "Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head)'' crossed one billion plays on Spotify. It's a feat that put Powfu, born Isaiah Faber, among an exclusive group of Canadians with billion-play tracks on Spotify, including Drake, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber and the Weeknd.

9 - Federal officials announced that Canadians returning from abroad will not need to spend two weeks in isolation if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said they would also not need to stay in a government-approved hotel for three days. However, returning Canadians would have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and isolate until it came back negative.

9 - A settlement was reached in a class-action lawsuit against the federal government involving hundreds of First Nations people left out of residential-school compensation. The lawsuit was brought by Indigenous students known as "day scholars,'' who attended the notorious residential schools but returned to their homes at night. Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett said the settlement will see survivors receive compensation of $10,000.

9 - TC Energy Corporation cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline project after a comprehensive review of its options. Construction on the pipeline was suspended earlier this year after U.S. President Joe Biden revoked its presidential permit. It would have run from Hardisty, Alta., through Montana and South Dakota to Steele City, Neb.

10 - A Canadian neo-Nazi group member who talked of planning an attack at a Virginia gun rights rally pleaded guilty to gun charges and obstruction of justice. Patrik Jordan Mathews, a 28-year-old former Canadian Armed Forces reservist, and two other members of The Base were arrested on federal charges in Maryland. Mathews pleaded guilty to illegally possessing and transporting a firearm, and obstruction of justice.

10 - New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin shocked the Green Party when she announced that she was defecting to the Liberals. Green Leader Annamie Paul had said she was disappointed but took Atwin at her word that the decision was not a result of her leadership.

10 - A parliamentary committee issued a scathing report on the Trudeau government's deal with WE Charity. The report included calls for stronger measures to protect against inappropriate lobbying and conflicts of interest.

11 - Canada was the latest -- and the last of the G7 countries -- to pledge COVID vaccine doses for lower-income nations. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who promised that the United Kingdom would offer at least 100 million vaccine doses to other countries within the next year. Ralph Goodale, Canada's high commissioner to the U.K., said Canada would also offer about 100 million doses.

13 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced millions of doses of COVID vaccines plus millions of dollars for poorer nations. He said Canada would donate 13 million vaccine doses to a global shot-sharing initiative and $87 million to buy vaccines. That came as the World Health Organization and humanitarian groups called for vaccine financing and donations of surplus supply from Canada.

13 - Benjamin Netanyahu became Israel's opposition leader after the country's parliament approved a new government formed by his opponents. The new government is based on a coalition of eight very different political entities. It includes a small Arab faction for the first time in Israel's history. Netanyahu served as prime minister for 12 years.

14 - Prosecutors upgraded the charges against the 20-year-old man accused of killing four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont., because of their faith. Nathaniel Veltman had been facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, and was now facing terrorism charges.

14 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other NATO leaders agreed to expand the use of their mutual defence clause to include attacks in space. Until now, Article 5 of NATO's founding treaty only applied to more traditional military attacks on land, sea, in the air, and more recently in cyberspace.

14 - The Liberal government challenged the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's decision to award $40,000 to Indigenous children removed from their parents. The federal government called the decision flawed reasoning, based on a systemically underfunded child-welfare system. The federal government's lawyer, Robert Frater, argued the tribunal did not have the authority to award individual damages.

14 - The senior military officer who drew sharp criticism for going golfing with former defence chief Jonathan Vance while he's under investigation for sexual misconduct stepped aside as vice-chief. Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau said he gets how the golf game at a private club in Ottawa could lead some to perceive a potential conflict of interest, adding ''nothing can be further from the truth.''

15 - More than 600,000 Americans had died of COVID-19. That's more than the population of Baltimore or Milwaukee. The global death toll stood at 3.8 million, but the real total was thought to be much higher.

16 - Three-quarters of eligible Canadians were now partly vaccinated against COVID-19. Canada had administered more than 24.75 million first doses. Close to 5.5 million people now had their second dose, or almost 17 per cent.

16 - Annamie Paul fired back against critics of her leadership of the Green Party of Canada. At a news conference, Paul called out party executives who sought to oust her. She said they made allegations she called racist and sexist. Paul also blamed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for creating turmoil in the Green Party.

17 - A Conservative motion to censure Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan passed in the House of Commons. The motion was symbolic. Sajjan had been under heavy criticism since former military ombudsman Gary Walbourne's disclosure. He revealed that he first flagged an allegation of sexual misconduct involving then-defence chief Jonathan Vance to the minister in 2018.

18 - Antonio Guterres was given a second term as UN secretary-general.

19 - Canada's chief public health officer said the Delta variant was now in all provinces and at least one of the territories.

20 - Laurel Hubbard, a weightlifter from New Zealand, was among five athletes confirmed on New Zealand's weightlifting team for the Tokyo Games, paving the way for her to become the first transgender Olympian. Since transitioning eight years ago at the age of 35, Hubbard has met all of the requirements of the International Olympic Committee's regulations for trans athletes and fair competition.

22 - Killer rapist Paul Bernardo was denied parole. Two officers with the Parole Board of Canada took about an hour to reject his release application. Their decision came after Bernardo said he was a changed person who now had his sexual deviancy under control. Bernardo is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and other offences.

22 - More than half of Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole's caucus voted against a bill banning the coercive practice of conversion therapy. The bill passed the House of Commons in a 263-63 split. The proposed law aims to criminalize the act of having people undergo so-called therapies meant to change their LGBTQ identity to heterosexual.

23 - The Trans-Canada Highway was shut down in both directions at the New Brunswick boundary, with cars, trucks and transports backed up for kilometres. A blockade went up to protest Nova Scotia's decision to impose modified rules for New Brunswick residents as it reopened to travellers from the Atlantic provinces.

23 - Canadian Derrick Rossi was one of seven researchers who won Spain's prestigious Princess of Asturias award for scientific research. The founder of Moderna and researchers from Hungary, the U.S., Germany and Britain were being recognized for their work that contributed to creating COVID-19 vaccines.

23 - Canisia Lubrin of Whitby, Ont., won the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize for her work "The Dyzgraphxst." Jurors hailed Lubrin's sophomore collection as a spectacular feat of architecture called a poem. The Griffin is billed as the world's largest prize for a first-edition single collection of poetry written in or translated into English.

24 - The chief of Saskatchewan's Cowessess First Nation said the community found 751 unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school. Chief Cadmus Delorme said there may have been markers on some at one point.

24 - Authorities said 160 people were still unaccounted for after part of a 12-storey beachfront condo building collapsed in a town outside Miami. Rescuers pulled dozens of survivors from the tower. It's not clear what caused the structure to fail.

25 - Ex-Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years for killing George Floyd, whose death sparked a reckoning on race in America. Chauvin had been convicted of second-degree murder. The judge did not impose a sentence for convictions of third-degree murder and manslaughter. The punishment fell short of the 30 years that prosecutors had requested.

26 - The New York attorney general said Johnson & Johnson had agreed to pay US$230 million to settle claims that the pharmaceutical giant helped fuel the opioid crisis. The deal required Johnson & Johnson to make a series of payments over nine years to cover the total. Attorney General Letitia James said the drugmaker also agreed to end the manufacturing and distribution of opioids across New York and the rest of the U.S.

27 - Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna decided to leave politics. McKenna had held Ottawa Centre since 2015, when she wrestled it away from the New Democrats.

28 - The people of Lytton in southern British Columbia were sizzling under a new Canadian all-time temperature high. It hit 46.1 C in the village. The reading by Environment Canada in Lytton surpassed the previous national high of 45 C. It was set in Saskatchewan back in 1937.

28 - Canada crossed a major milestone in the mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19. More than 30 per cent of eligible Canadians 12 and older were fully vaccinated. That's more than 10.14 million people.

29 - Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid won the Hart Trophy for the 2020-21 season. It's the second time the 24-year-old had won the annual award given to the NHL's most valuable player. Toronto centre Auston Matthews and Colorado forward Nathan MacKinnon were the other finalists for the award.

30 - B.C.'s Lower Kootenay Band said ground-penetrating radar found 182 human remains in unmarked graves close to a former residential school site. The Lower Kootenay Band said the community of aqam began using the technology last year and that some of the unmarked graves were as shallow as 90 centimetres. It was believed the remains are those of people from the Ktunaxa Nation, which includes the Lower Kootenay Band, aqam and other neighbouring Indigenous communities.

30 - Bill Cosby was freed from prison after Pennsylvania's highest court overturned his sexual assault conviction. The court decided they found an agreement with a previous prosecutor prevented Cosby from being charged in the case of Canadian Andrea Constand. The 83-year-old one-time mega-star served more than two years of a 10-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia.

The Canadian Press

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