StatCan Job Numbers and Drug Decriminalization in Toronto: In the News for August 5

In The News is a collection of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here’s what’s on our editors’ radar for the morning of Friday, August 5, 2022…What are we looking at in Canada…

In The News is a collection of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here’s what’s on our editorial radar for the morning of Friday, August 5, 2022…

What we’re looking at in Canada…

Statistics Canada expects to release its July labor force survey this morning.

The federal agency previously reported that the unemployment rate hit a record low of 4.9 percent in June.

Canada currently has more than a million job openings and struggles with a persistent labor shortage, largely caused by demographic changes in its population.

Wages have also risen, at 5.2 percent year-on-year in June, but still below inflation.

For July, RBC economists predict the economy will add 15,000 jobs and the unemployment rate hovers around five percent.

This too…

While Toronto waits to hear whether the federal government will grant its request to decriminalize possession of illegal drugs for personal use, harm reduction advocates say approval is urgently needed as governments fail to match the severity of the opioid crisis.

This week marks seven months since the city sent its decriminalization request to Ottawa, the same amount of time it took the federal government to approve a similar request from British Columbia.

Health Canada says the application is under investigation, noting that such requests “will be carefully and thoroughly assessed on a case-by-case basis”.

But according to harm reduction experts, an increase in opioid deaths has highlighted the need for action.

“I see no urgency. I see complacency,” said Dan Werb, director of the Center on Drug Policy Evaluation in Toronto, which was contracted by the city to assist with the decriminalization request.

What are we looking at in the US…

Senate Democrats have approved 11th-hour changes to their economic legislation, they announced late Thursday, removing the major impediment to passing one of the top priorities for President Joe Biden’s election year through the chamber in the coming days. to push.

sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., a centrist seen as the pivotal voice in the 50-50 chamber, said in a statement she had agreed to revamp some of the measure’s tax and energy provisions and was done. to “move forward” on the account.

The announcement came as a surprise, with some expecting talks between Schumer and the mercurial Sinema to drag on for days with no guarantee of success. Schumer has said he wants the Senate to begin voting on the legislation on Saturday, after which it begins its summer recess.

Passage through the House, which Democrats closely monitor, could come when that chamber briefly returns to Washington next week.

What we’re looking at in the rest of the world…

Beijing says it has called on European diplomats in the country to protest statements by the Group of Seven Nations and the European Union criticizing impending Chinese military exercises around Taiwan.

China has sent naval ships and warplanes and fired missiles into the Taiwan Strait in response to a visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week.

China considers Taiwan to be its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. Five of the missiles fired by China landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone near Hateruma, an island far south of Japan’s main islands.

The Japanese prime minister said Friday that China’s military exercises targeting Taiwan pose a “serious problem” threatening regional peace and security.

On this day in 1928…

Ethel Catherwood from Saskatoon won the women’s high jump at the Amsterdam Olympics. She remains Canada’s only Olympic women’s track and field gold medalist.

In entertainment…

A long-lost painting by British graffiti artist Banksy has surfaced in a posh art gallery in central Tel Aviv, an hour away and a world away from the concrete wall in the occupied West Bank where it was initially spray-painted.

The painting’s relocation — which depicts a catapult with a slingshot and was probably intended to protest the Israeli occupation — raises ethical questions about removing artworks from occupied territory and displaying such politically charged pieces in radically different environments than where they were used. were created.

The painting initially appeared near Israel’s separation wall in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem and was one of several works secretly created around 2007.

They used Banksy’s signature absurdist and dystopian imagery to protest Israel’s decades-long occupation of areas Palestinians want for a future state.

Have you seen this?

Lower-than-expected US sanctions on softwood exports from Canada are doing little to assuage the federal government’s dismay in Ottawa.

Secretary of International Trade Mary Ng calls the latest duties “unfounded”, “unjustified” and “unfair”.

The key final rate of 8.59 percent is significantly lower than the current rate of 17.91 percent, as well as the 11.64 percent proposed in a preliminary decision issued earlier this year.

But Ng says the tariffs are unjustified, regardless of the level, and will cause unnecessary hardship for both the Canadian forest industry and US consumers.

She says Ottawa will contest the latest finding under the dispute settlement system of the US-Mexico-Canada agreement.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 5, 2022

The Canadian Press

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