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Racism in Canada's military and a deal with Mexico; In The News for June 22


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 22 ...

What we are watching in Canada ... 

OTTAWA — Canada's top military and civilian defence officials have apologized for not responding sooner to questions about systemic racism in the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces.

The apology is in a letter written by Defence Department deputy minister Jody Thomas and chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance and distributed to troops and Defence Department employees on Friday.

The letter coincides with a wave of anti-racism demonstrations and sentiment in the U.S. and Canada following the killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, in the U.S. by white police officers last month.

Thomas and Vance go on to reveal that military police are investigating reports of a service member spreading anti-Black pictures in Quebec.

They also acknowledge that racism is a real problem many Defence Department and military members experience on a daily basis — and that past efforts to curb it have been unsuccessful.


Also this ...

OTTAWA — The Mexican government says it will resume sending farm workers to Canada after securing promises for more inspections and oversight to curb outbreaks of COVID-19.

At least two Mexican men have died and hundreds more have fallen ill with COVID-19 in recent weeks on farms across the country.

The situation led Mexico to temporarily stop allowing workers to leave for Canada, sending shock waves through the agricultural sector, which is highly dependent on foreign labour.

But the Mexican government says it has now struck a deal with the federal Liberal government that will lead to improvements in the temporary foreign worker program.

In a press release late Sunday, Mexico says Canada has committed to increased inspections, as well as more support for Mexican officials and workers to identify and report unsafe working conditions.

A working group will also be set up with Mexican and Canadian government officials to deal with the issue.


And this ...

Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are all easing more of the restrictions they implemented to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restaurants can open again in the greater Montreal and Joliette areas while indoor gatherings of up to 10 people from three households are now permitted in these regions, as they have been elsewhere in Quebec since last week.

Day camps, along with gyms, arenas, cinemas, concert venues and places of worship can reopen across the province with a maximum capacity of 50 people for indoor gatherings.

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan moves to Phase 4.1 of its reopening strategy today, which allows camping in national parks to resume, but by reservation only.

Youth camps can reopen, but for day use only, while outdoor sports like soccer, softball and flag football can resume, though full-contact sports remain prohibited.

Saskatchewan's outdoor swimming pools and spray parks can also reopen and the province is doubling the allowable size of indoor public and private gatherings to 30 people.

Manitoba moved to relax more of its restrictions yesterday, allowing restaurants, bars, child care centres and retail stores to operate at full capacity.


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

SEATTLE — Police in Seattle say one person has been wounded in the second shooting in Seattle's protest zone in less than 48 hours.

The shooting happened late Sunday night in the area near Seattle's downtown known as CHOP, for "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest." 

A pre-dawn shooting Saturday had left a 19-year-old man dead and another person critically injured.

Meanwhile, two people have been killed and seven others wounded in a shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte police initially tweeted early today that one person had died at the scene and several others had gunshot wounds, but they later said that two people were confirmed dead.

They also said that five other people were hit by vehicles after the shooting.


What we are watching in elsewhere in the world ...

NEW DELHI — The world is recording the largest daily increases yet in coronavirus cases, with infections soaring in India's rural villages after migrant workers fled major cities.

Infections slowed in China and South Korea, suggesting progress in stemming their newest outbreaks.

South Korea reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 today, the first time its daily jump came down to the teens in nearly a month, but the mayor of Seoul, the capital, warned new restrictions might be imposed.

The nine new cases in Beijing was the least recorded in over a week.

Tallies by the World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University show the number of coronavirus infections worldwide approaching 9 million, with more than 468,000 deaths.


And in sports ...

TALLADEGA, Ala. — NASCAR is investigating after a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace at the race in Talladega, Alabama.

Wallace is the only full-time Black driver in NASCAR's top Cup Series.

Two weeks ago, he successfully pushed for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its tracks and properties.

NASCAR says it is "outraged" and said there is no place for racism in NASCAR.

Wallace says he was saddened but undeterred.

The series races at Talladega on today after a one-day rain delay.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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