Canada opens the energy tap and Ukrainians removed to Russia: In The News for Mar. 25

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 Mar. 25 … What we are watching in Canada …

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 Mar. 25 …

What we are watching in Canada …

OTTAWA — Canada’s oil and gas producers can hike output by the equivalent of 300,000 barrels a day by the end of the year to help displace Russian fossil fuels, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Thursday.

Wilkinson, speaking at the end of an International Energy Agency meeting in Paris, said two-thirds of that is oil and the rest natural gas.

“Canada’s European friends and allies are experiencing an energy security crisis, a crisis that could impact industry, mobility, and even the heating of homes,” Wilkinson said. “This crisis must be addressed.”

As part of economic sanctions intended to punish Russia for its invasion in Ukraine, western allies are also trying to cut off any dependence on Russia for oil and gas.

Canada and the United States could do that without much difficulty because they already import very little. Europe, however, relies on Russia for about one-quarter of its oil supply and 40 per cent of its gas.

The IEA said the European Union imported about 380 million cubic metres of natural gas and 2.3 million barrels of oil from Russia every day in 2021.

What Canada can offer would replace less than five per cent of Europe’s gas imports from Russia and less than 10 per cent of its Russian oil imports.

Wilkinson said the added Canadian production would replace Russian fuels so it should not lead to an overall increase in greenhouse gas emissions. He said it’s being done with a careful eye on Canada’s climate change commitments, but Canada cannot turn a blind eye to Europe’s plight.

Also this …

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has approved Rogers Communications Inc.’s acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc.’s broadcasting services, but will force the company to meet a series of conditions it laid out Thursday.

The approval from the broadcasting regulator is one of several hurdles Rogers must clear as it tries to close the $26-billion deal it signed in March 2021 that will see it acquire 16 cable services based in Western Canada, a national satellite television service and other broadcast and television services.

The Competition Bureau and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada are also reviewing the deal.

“The commission is of the view that the application, subject to the modifications … is the best possible proposal given the circumstances and that this transaction would not diminish the diversity of voices in Canada,” the report reads.

It also says the CRTC found that the competitive landscape would not be unduly affected and that the transaction would be in the public interest.

Among the CRTC’s conditions are a requirement forcing Rogers to contribute $27.2 million to various initiatives and funds, which is five times what the company had originally proposed.

And this …

Métis leaders and residential school survivors say a trip to the Vatican to meet the Pope is as complicated as the history between their communities and the Roman Catholic Church itself.

“We’ve always had faith,” Angelina Crerar, 85, said in Edmonton in December.

“We’ve never ever given up and we never ever will.”

The residential school survivor became emotional explaining how her faith continues to give her strength. It also pushed her to join the Indigenous group heading to the Vatican.

Métis, First Nation and Inuit delegates are flying to Rome this weekend ahead of meetings with Pope Francis next week.

Crerar struggled to find words to express how she feels both empowered and torn. During a news conference announcing delegates from Alberta, she explained the church played a role in tearing apart her family and damaging her community.

When Crerar was in a residential school, she knew what was happening wasn’t right. She wanted to tell the person in charge — the one at the top. Now, almost 80 years later, she finally can.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

WASHINGTON — Empathy is not a quality many Republican senators want to see in the next Supreme Courtjustice.

Traditionally considered an admirable attribute, the ability to empathize with another’s plight has become a touchstone for GOP opposition to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

The first Black woman nominated to become a justice, Jackson brings a lifetime of experience never seen before on the high court, which has been filled almost exclusively by white men for most of its 233-year history.

Democrats praise President Joe Biden’s choice of the Harvard-educated lawyer and appellate court judge as long overdue, making the judicial branch begin to look more like America.

Perhaps nothing more dramatically captured Jackson’s landmark moment than the image of the 51-year-old Black judge, tears streaming down her cheek, as the only Black member of the Senate Judiciary Committee spoke of the “joy” her nomination brings to him and so many others.

But on the other side of the Senate, Republicans lining up to oppose the historic nomination are warning that Jackson carries too much empathy to the job.

Jackson, Republicans have argued, shows compassion for criminal defendants she represented as a lawyer, and they have questioned whether that compassion extends to victims.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine accused Moscow of forcibly removing hundreds of thousands of civilians from shattered Ukrainian cities to Russia to pressure Kyiv to give up, while President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged his country to keep up its military defense and not stop “even for a minute.”

Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine’s ombudsperson, said 402,000 people, including 84,000 children, had been taken against their will into Russia, where some may be used as “hostages” to pressure Kyiv to surrender.

The Kremlin gave nearly identical numbers for those who have been relocated, but said they wanted to go to Russia. Ukraine’s rebel-controlled eastern regions are predominantly Russian-speaking, and many people there have supported close ties to Moscow.

With the war headed into a second month, the two sides traded heavy blows in what has become a devastating war of attrition. Ukraine’s navy said it sank a large Russian landing ship near the port city of Berdyansk that had been used to bring in armored vehicles. Russia claimed to have taken the eastern town of Izyum after fierce fighting.

Zelenskyy used his nightly video address to rally Ukrainians to “move toward peace, move forward.”

“With every day of our defense, we are getting closer to the peace that we need so much. … We can’t stop even for a minute, for every minute determines our fate, our future, whether we will live.”

He said thousands of people, including 128 children, have died in the first month of the war. Across the country, 230 schools and 155 kindergartens have been destroyed. Cities and villages “lie in ashes,” he said.

At an emergency NATO summit in Brussels Thursday, Zelenskyy pleaded with the Western allies via video for planes, tanks, rockets, air defense systems and other weapons, saying his country is “defending our common values.”

On this day in 1958 …

The first test flight of the Canadian Avro Arrow fighter plane was carried out. But the Arrow program was cancelled by the federal government nearly a year later.

In sports …

SAN JOSÉ — Canada’s bid to seal World Cup qualification was put on hold Thursday after a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica that saw the Canadians play a man down for almost two-thirds of the match.

But the future remains bright, with Canada now looking to seal the deal Sunday in Toronto against No. 62 Jamaica at a sold-out BMO Field where a draw would send them to Qatar 2022. They wrap up qualifying next Wednesday on the road against No. 63 Panama.

“We’re not looking over our shoulder. (Our) destiny’s in our hands,” said Canada coach John Herdman. “We’ve got the quality here, we’ve got the spirit to go and win this outright. We can take control of our destiny. … We’ll take care of business this weekend. And if doesn’t get taken care of there, we’ll take care of it in Panama. We’ll get to Qatar.”

It was 33rd-ranked Canada’s first defeat in 18 qualifying matches over three rounds, snapping a six-game win streak. The Canadians remain atop the eight-country final round-robin with a three-point edge over Mexico and the U.S.

In entertainment …

TORONTO — Catherine O’Hara, Sidney Crosby and Tatiana Maslany are among the stars set to appear at the Canadian Screen Awards.

Organizers revealed the lineup of guests at next month’s televised celebration of homegrown film, television and digital media on Thursday.

O’Hara is expected to return to the awards show after the final season of “Schitt’s Creek” swept last year’s CSAs.

Also among homegrown stars celebrating their peers are “Orphan Black” actress Maslany, “Property Brothers” Jonathan and Drew Scott and “Kim’s Convenience” actor-comedian Andrew Phung.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Crosby and “Hockey Night in Canada” host Ron MacLean will represent the sports world, while “Big Brother Canada” host Arisa Cox and “Canada’s Drag Race” winner Priyanka will bring their reality TV charisma.

The hour-long pre-taped awards bash will air on CBC and CBC Gem on April 10.

Did you see this?

OTTAWA — A national LGBTQ2+ monument — inspired by a dramatic thundercloud — is to be built in Ottawa by 2025.

The winning design, featuring a silver mirrored mosaic interior influenced by a thunderhead cloud and disco balls, was unveiled today at an event attended by Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez.

The $8-million monument, designed by a team including Winnipeg landscape architects Public City, will include a viewing platform, stage, herb garden, healing circle and seating areas.

Visual artist Shawna Dempsey, one of the design team members, said the “110-per-cent queer” monument was meant to be used by everyone.

Rodriguez said the design was “inclusive, innovative and thoughtful” adding that it is vital to remember Canada’s history of institutionalized homophobia and transphobia.

“The concept truly expresses the monument’s objectives to educate, memorialize, celebrate and inspire and provides a safe space for both celebration and reflection,” he said. “It will forever serve as a testament to the strength, courage and determination of the LGBTQ2+ community in Canada.”

The monument, which will give visitors views of Ottawa and its namesake river, is expected to be completed by 2025. It was designed following consultation with members of the LGBTQ community, including two-spirit Indigenous people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 25, 2022

The Canadian Press

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