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Choosing a new AFN national chief, Habs force Game 4 : In The News for July 6

Last Updated Jul 6, 2021 at 1:17 am PDT

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 July 6 …

What we are watching in Canada …

The Assembly of First Nations will gather virtually for its general assembly today, where chiefs and delegates will talk about their goals and plans for moving forward after recent discoveries of unmarked burial sites near former residential schools.

This week the A-F-N will also elect a new national chief to represent its 634 First Nations.

Outgoing National Chief Perry Bellegarde said last December he would not seek re-election, saying he has spent his six years in the role helping to bring Indigenous issues to the forefront of Canadian public life.

Bellegarde says he is proud of his success in advocating for Canada’s First Nations, but the location of what is believed to be the remains of hundreds of children buried near former residential schools shows the road to reconciliation goes on.

Seven candidates, including three women and four men, are vying to replace Bellegarde as the next national chief.

Several ballots are expected before a winner is declared on Wednesday, as a candidate must secure 60 per cent of votes cast to win.

A number of First Nations organizations and individuals sent letters of concern to A-F-N leadership this spring asking to put off the vote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also this …

New research suggests taxpayer dollars are heavily distorting Canada’s financial marketplace in favour of fossil fuel pipelines.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development says spending by provincial and federal governments combined with the value of loan guarantees and other fiscal instruments intended to help get the lines built is worth a total of $23 billion.

That figure includes support for the now-defunct Keystone XL project, the federally owned Trans Mountain Pipeline and Coastal GasLink. 

More than $20 billion of that isn’t in direct subsidies, but comes from governments backing loans or otherwise reducing risk for pipeline companies.

But Vanessa Corkal, who wrote the report for the Winnipeg-based institute, says those financial resources still encourage pipeline companies to make decisions they might not otherwise take if they had to assume the risks themselves. 

She says they may also be diverting resources from efforts to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

Corkal says governments should also release more information about their dealings with pipeline companies to allow Canadians to more easily assess them.

And this …

The Montreal Canadiens are still alive in the Stanley Cup final.

Josh Anderson scored his second goal of the game at 3:57 of overtime as the Canadiens defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Monday to stave off elimination and cut their deficit in the NHL’s title series to 3-1.

After Montreal survived a Tampa power play in the extra period, Anderson banged home a loose puck at the side of Tampa’s net to keep his team alive.

Alexander Romanov also scored for Montreal, which got 32 saves from Carey Price. Cole Caufield added two assists.

Barclay Goodrow and Pat Maroon replied for Tampa. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 18 shots.

Game 5 of the best-of-seven matchup is set for Wednesday in Tampa. Game 6, if necessary, would be back in Montreal on Friday.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

SURFSIDE, Fla. — Rescuers searched through fresh rubble Monday after the last of the collapsed Florida condo building was demolished, which allowed crews into previously inaccessible places, including bedrooms where people were believed to be sleeping at the time of the disaster, officials said.

But they faced a new challenge from thunderstorms that hit the area as Tropical Storm Elsa approached the state.

Four more victims were discovered in the new pile, Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told family members, raising the death toll to 28 people. Another 117 people remain unaccounted for.

The demolition late Sunday was crucial to the search-and-rescue effort, officials said, and raised the prospect that crews could increase both the pace of their work and the number of searchers at the site, although the chance of finding survivors 12 days after the June 24 collapse has diminished.

Teams had been unable to access areas closest to the remaining structure because of its instability, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.

The latest forecasts showed the storm moving westward, mostly sparing South Florida, but the area near the collapsed building experienced thunderstorms, and the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Miami Beach, which is just south of Surfside.

Lightning caused temporary stops to the search, frustrating rescue crews, Levine Cava said. “Truly they live to save lives, and they’ve pushed ahead no matter what is thrown in their way.”

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s state-owned oil company said Monday that a bizarre chain of events, including a lightning storm and a simultaneous gas pipeline leak, set off a strange subaquatic fireball seen last week in the Gulf of Mexico.

Petroleos Mexicanos said an intense storm of rain and lightning on July 2 forced the company to shut off pumping stations serving the offshore rig near where the fire occurred.

Simultaneously, the leak in an underwater pipeline allowed natural gas to build up on the ocean floor and once it rose to the surface, it was probably ignited by a lightning bolt, the company said.

Pemex sent fire control boats to pump more water over the flames and no one was injured in the incident in the offshore Ku-Maloob-Zaap field. It said no crude oil was spilled. Pemex said it was repairing the pumps and investigating the cause of the gas leak.

The accident unleashed a subaquatic fireball that appeared to boil the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and drew a hail of criticism from environmentalists.

Greenpeace Mexico said the fire, which took five hours to extinguish, “demonstrates the serious risks that Mexico’s fossil fuel model poses for the environment and people’s safety.”

On this day in 1906 …

Parliament passed the “Lord’s Day Observance Act” to prohibit work, entertainment, sport and almost all commerce on Sundays. The law remained on the books until the Supreme Court of Canada struck it down in 1985.

In entertainment …

TORONTO — Wendy Mesley, a longtime CBC television news anchor and journalist, has retired from the public broadcaster.

Chuck Thompson, CBC’s head of public affairs, says Mesley retired from the CBC in late June after working there for 38 years.

Mesley could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Montreal-born reporter covered various posts throughout her career with the corporation, including as a host of the consumer watchdog series “Marketplace” and the technology show “Undercurrents,” and as a back-up anchor for “The National.”

Last year, she became embroiled in a controversy surrounding her use of the N-word on two separate occasions during editorial meetings in 2019 and again in 2020 while preparing for a segment of her program “The Weekly” that focused on anti-racism.

The allegations sparked an internal investigation that led CBC News to take disciplinary action against her.

ICYMI …

PARIS – Press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders has put Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on its list of “predators.”

He is the first Western European leader named in the group’s lineup of heads of state or government who “crack down massively” on press freedom. 

The list published Monday includes 37 leaders. Its new additions include Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the prime minister of Bangladesh and Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam. 

The group’s leader says the world should recognize the positive contributions of an independent media and should not allow the practices of the “predators” on its list to become normalized.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2021.

The Canadian Press