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Former Ottawa police chief at inquiry, latest GDP numbers : In The News for Oct. 28

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. Former Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly will testify today at the public inquiry into the federal government's use of the Emergencies Act to clear "Freedom Convoy" protesters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

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 Oct. 28 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Former Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly will testify today at the public inquiry into the federal government's use of the Emergencies Act to clear "Freedom Convoy" protesters. 

Sloly resigned the day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the legislation would be triggered in February. 

He resigned his post amid widespread criticism of the force's handling of the protests, which clogged streets around Parliament Hill for three weeks, and as pressure mounted to remove the heavy trucks. 

A summary of an interview Sloly did with the inquiry body ahead of his upcoming testimony shows he felt the force couldn't have done anything differently. 

Sloly told the Public Order Emergency Commission he was faced with turmoil within police ranks, the police services board and city council. 

The commission has spent the past week hearing from other senior police members, including the head of the Ontario Provincial Police, who says it was clear police in Ottawa were struggling with a plan to clear protesters. 


Also this ...

Statistics Canada will release its latest reading on economic growth this morning.

The agency is scheduled to release its figures for gross domestic product for August.

The figures come as worries about an economic slowdown grow. 

Real gross domestic product gained 0.1 per cent in July.

Statistics Canada's preliminary estimate for August released last month suggested real GDP was essentially unchanged for the month.

The flash estimate for August indicated increases in retail and wholesale trade, as well as in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting were offset by decreases in manufacturing and oil and gas extraction.


And this too ...

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to speak in Winnipeg today to a national group that represents Canadian Ukrainians.

He's also likely to hear a request from the Manitoba government for more money to help Ukrainians who are fleeing the war.

Premier Heather Stefanson says Manitoba is happy to have welcomed almost 12,000 Ukrainians since the Russian invasion began last February.

But she says the province needs federal money to help pay for housing, health care, education and other needs of the new arrivals.

Stefanson says Manitoba has welcomed more than 10 per cent of all Ukrainians who have entered Canada and has less than four per cent of the country's population.

Both Stefanson and Trudeau are scheduled to speak at the start of a three-day meeting of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

"They're not declaring them as refugees and giving them refugee status, and normally with that comes federal funding," Stefanson said of the federal government in an interview Thursday.

"They do have a role here. They should have a role. And we have been in discussions with them, but that's not going to stop us from doing what we're doing (in supporting Ukrainians)."


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

MIAMI _ Residents of a Miami Beach building on the same street where a condominium collapse killed nearly 100 people were forced to evacuate their homes on Thursday evening after officials determined the structure was unsafe and gave orders to leave.

Miami Beach spokesperson Melissa Berthier said around 4 p.m. Thursday that the city planned to post an unsafe structure notice and order residents of the 14-story Port Royale building to vacate immediately. Around 5 p.m., the condo board sent residents a mandatory notice to vacate by 7 p.m., the Miami Herald reported.

Residents of the Port Royale said city of Miami Beach officials informed them Wednesday that the building would need to be evacuated, but the notice to leave immediately was not delivered until Thursday, WPLG-TV reported.

A report from the building's structural engineer prompted the evacuation notice of the 164-unit structure at 6969 Collins Avenue, which is in the process of undergoing a 50-year recertification.

The site of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida, that collapsed in June 2021 and killed 98 people is also on Collins Avenue, about two kilometres from the Port Royale.

The disaster at the 12-story oceanfront condo building in Surfside drew the largest non-hurricane emergency response in Florida history, including rescue crews from across the U.S. and as far away as Israel to help local teams search for victims.

Engineers have recommended additional "shoring'' to reinforce areas needing repair be installed in the Port Royale's garage to support a damaged beam. Officials said they expected the reinforcement to be in place within 10 days, the Miami Herald reported.


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

SEOUL, South Korea _ North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward the sea on Friday in its first ballistic weapons launches in two weeks, as the U.S. military warned the North that the use of nuclear weapons "will result in the end of that regime.''

South Korea's military detected the two launches from the North's eastern coastal Tongchon area around midday on Friday, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. It said both missiles flew about 230 kilometres at a maximum altitude of 24 kilometres.

The statement said South Korea strongly condemns the launches, calling them "a grave provocation'' that undermines regional peace and violates U.N. Security Council resolutions banning any ballistic activities by North Korea.

The U.S. Indo Pacific Command said the launches highlighted the destabilizing impact'' of North Korea's illicit nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. The Japanese Defense Ministry said it also detected the launches and that the type of missiles used and their flight information were still being analyzed.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry said its top nuclear envoy held separate phone talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts soon after the launches. It said the three agreed to strengthen trilateral coordination on North Korea while repeating their calls for the North to stop weapons tests and return to talks.

The back-to-back launches, the North's first ballistic missile tests since Oct. 14, came on the final day of South Korea's annual 12-day "Hoguk'' field exercises, which also involved an unspecified number of U.S. troops this year. Next week, South Korean and U.S. air forces plan to conduct a large-scale training as well.

North Korea sees such regular drills by Seoul and Washington as practice for launching an attack on the North, though the allies say their exercises are defensive in nature.

Next week's "Vigilant Storm'' aerial drills are to run from Monday to Friday and involve about 140 South Korean warplanes and about 100 U.S. aircraft. The planes include sophisticated fighter jets like F-35 from both nations, South Korea's Defence Ministry said in a statement earlier Friday.


On this day in 1886 ...

The Statue of Liberty, a gift to the United States from the people of France, was unveiled. The imposing 46-metre figure of a woman holding a torch was designed by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, and cost $250,000.


In entertainment ...

VANCOUVER _ The Michelin Guide has deemed eight Vancouver restaurants each worthy of one of its prestigious culinary stars.

The Parisian ode to gastronomy revealed its second Canadian edition at a gala Thursday that touted foodie standouts including the Vancouver outpost of celebrated Beijing restaurant iDen & Quan Ju De and the Japanese-Italian fusion of Kissa Tanto.

"The very first selection is a good start. (It) really represents the high quality of the local culinary field and the great diversity and the great care around the incredible local products,'' the guide's international director Gwendal Poullennec said Thursday before the reveal.

The guide's anonymous inspectors praised the "crispy and juicy duck'' found at iDen & Quan Ju De Beijing Duck House, where the signature dish sells for $128 and comes with caviar for an additional $140.

Also earning praise were the contemporary eateries AnnaLena, Barbara, Burdock & Co and Published on Main, which each won a star that identifies them as very good in their category.

A single Michelin star also went to the sushi bar Masayoshi and the Quebecois bistro St. Lawrence.

No restaurants earned two stars, which go to establishments with "excellent'' cuisine, nor did any capture a rare three stars, which single out exceptional cooking that is worth a special trip.

However, Poullennec stressed the high standards necessary to achieve even a single star, which anonymous inspectors determine using a global methodology that Poullennec said is applied equally in every country the guide visits.

Factors include flavour, culinary technique, product quality, consistency and whether the chef's personality is reflected in the dishes.


Did you see this?

OTTAWA _ The Liberals dental-care benefit bill passed third reading Thursday in the House of Commons despite opposition from the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois.

The bill passed 172 to 138, with Conservatives and the Bloc voting against it.

It would give children with families who make less than $90,000 a year as much as $650 per child to care for their teeth.

To qualify, families will need to apply through the Canada Revenue Agency and attest that they have booked a dental visit for their kids, that they don't have private insurance and that they will have out-of-pocket expenses for the appointment.

Families will also have to keep their receipts in case they are audited.

Dental care is a pillar of the supply and confidence deal between the Liberals and the NDP. The Liberals promised to launch a federal dental care insurance program by the end of 2022, starting with coverage for children from low- and middle-income families.

When that couldn't be accomplished by the end of the year, the Liberals instead went ahead with a benefits program that would send the money directly to families.

The government has rebranded the plan as relief for the rising cost of living. Bill C-31 also includes a one-time subsidy of $500 for low-income renters to help people cope with the cost of inflation.

The bill must still make its way through the Senate and receive royal assent before families can apply.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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