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 Nov. 26…
What we are watching in Canada …
VICTORIA — Rainstorms of increasing intensity are forecast to hit British Columbia over the coming days, prompting warnings for people to be prepared to evacuate floodwaters if necessary.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the biggest rainstorm is expected to arrive on Tuesday and people living in areas prone to flooding should be on alert.
He urges people to have food, water, blankets, and flashlights ready in case of rising waters in their communities.
Floods and mudslides last week damaged and closed some major provincial highways, forced the evacuation of the City of Merritt and caused historic flood damage in the Abbotsford-Chilliwack area of the Fraser Valley, devastating homes, farms and livestock.
Six people have been confirmed killed or missing in the floods and slides.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to be in B.C. today to visit areas affected by the flooding and meet with provincial, municipal, and First Nation leaders.
Trudeau’s schedule says he will be in the Abbotsford area and will also meet with members of the military, first responders and volunteers.
He is to be in Victoria later in the day to meet with Premier John Horgan.
Farnworth says officials will be closely watching the coming storms for increasing flood and slide threats.
But despite the weather warnings, the government says progress is being made in re-establishing vital highway links and interrupted supply chains.
Also this …
UNDATED — Black Friday has arrived with less fanfare than usual as retailers spread out sales and consumers scoop up deals early amid ongoing supply chain concerns.
Stores have been rolling out discounts for weeks, encouraging consumers to buy early to avoid potential product shortages.
The situation has cast a pall over Black Friday itself, originally a one-day event that signalled the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.
Anwar White with McGill University’s Bensadoun School of Retail Management says Black Friday has been expanding for years as retailers try to maximize sales by pushing discounts earlier into the fall.
But he says the pandemic has accelerated that trend as uncertainty and supply chain problems have pushed deals even earlier.
Yet while Black Friday won’t be as big as it was before the pandemic, White says Canadians will be heading to malls and big box stores today in search of both discounts and holiday spirit.
“There is still something special about Black Friday and there are still people that are going to be actually going out,” he said. “But it won’t be hugely driven by the sales. When you shop on Black Friday there is an energy that is unmatched and it really does and say ‘OK, now it’s Christmastime.’”
And this …
OTTAWA — Members of Parliament are able to work from home again after passing a motion Thursday to resume hybrid sittings of the House of Commons.
Liberals and New Democrats joined forces to pass the motion over the objections of Conservative and Bloc Quebecois MPs who had wanted to fully return to normal, in-person operations.
The motion gives MPs the option of participating virtually in proceedings, including votes and debates in the Commons and its committees, starting Friday and continuing until the House breaks for the summer in June.
It passed late Thursday by a vote of 180-140 after the NDP supported the Liberals in putting an end to two days of debate on the matter.
MPs first adopted the hybrid format a year ago, aimed at limiting the number of members in the Commons to avoid spreading COVID-19. But the all-party agreement to allow that format expired last June.
Since Parliament resumed Monday after a five-month hiatus, all but one of the country’s 338 MPs have been in the Commons because there was no unanimous agreement to return to hybrid sittings.
The missing MP — Conservative Richard Lehoux — tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, two days after attending an in-person Tory caucus retreat.
What we are watching in the U.S. …
NANTUCKET — U.S. President Joe Biden is wishing Americans a happy and closer-to-normal Thanksgiving.
It was the second Thanksgiving celebrated in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.
The president and first lady Jill Biden visited a Coast Guard station on Nantucket Island to extend Thanksgiving greetings virtually to service members around the world and chat with Coast Guard personnel.
They also released a holiday greeting to Americans in a video recorded before their trip to Nantucket for the holiday.
The Bidens also called in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which resumed in fu—ll.
What we are watching in the rest of the world …
BRUSSELS — The European Union’s executive says it wants to stop air travel from southern Africa to counter the spread of a new COVID-19 variant.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement that she “proposes, in close coordination with the member states, to activate the emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region.”
A new coronavirus variant has been detected in South Africa that scientists say is a concern because of its high number of mutations and rapid spread among young people in Gauteng, the country’s most populous province.
Also this …
MOSCOW — Russian officials say 52 miners and rescuers have died after a devastating blast in a Siberian coal mine about 250 meters underground.
Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were forced to halt the search for 38 others because of a buildup of methane and a high concentration of carbon monoxide gas.
The state Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies cited emergency officials as saying that there was no chance of finding any more survivors.
The Interfax news agency cited a representative of the regional administration who also put the death toll from Thursday’s fire at 52, while 239 were rescued.
On this day in 1917 …
The National Hockey League was founded in Montreal with Frank Calder as president. The NHL replaced the National Hockey Association. Its first teams were the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Toronto Arenas, Ottawa Senators and Quebec Bulldogs.
In entertainment …
MILAN — Bryan Adams tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival at Milan’s Malpensa Airport on Thursday, ahead of the unveiling of the 2022 Pirelli calendar that he photographed.
The Canadian rocker disclosed the positive test in an Instagram post that included a photograph of him in a room after being tested and then sitting in an ambulance, being taken for a more reliable PCR test. He was seated normally, wearing a surgical mask.
“Here I am, just arrived in Milano, and I’ve tested positive for the second time in a month for COVID,’’ Adams said in the post. “So it’s off to the hospital for me.” He thanked fans for his support.
Adams, who also enjoys a career as a photographer, has shot the 2022 Pirelli calendar, after initially being engaged to shoot the 2021 version that was canceled due to the pandemic. Adams was expected to appear at in-person press events promoting the calendar Sunday and Monday, but that was now uncertain.
Normally the unveiling of the Pirelli calendar is a gala event attended by those who appear and other VIPS, but this year was already a scaled-back affair due to the ongoing pandemic, with a tight guest list for an evening cocktail.
Adams chose as his subjects for the calendar called “On the road,” other musical talents, including Iggy Pop, Cher, Jennifer Hudson, Saweetie and St. Vincent.
UNDATED — Environmentalist David Suzuki has apologized for comments he made about pipelines being blown up if government leaders don’t urgently address climate change.
In a statement on Thursday, Suzuki says his comments to CHEK News on Saturday were a result of his frustration at government inaction as climate change gets worse.
Suzuki was asked in a media interview what he thinks may happen if government leaders don’t urgently address climate change after a protest was held in Victoria on Saturday.
He says the suggestion about violence was wrong.
Suzuki says a way must be found to stop the environmental damage that is being done to the planet and “we must do so in a non-violent manner.”
The apology was issued on the David Suzuki Foundation website.
“The remarks I made were poorly chosen and I should not have said them,” it says. “Any suggestion that violence is inevitable is wrong and will not lead us to a desperately needed solution to the climate crisis. My words were spoken out of extreme frustration and I apologize.”
On Saturday, the statement says he told the TV station in response to the question: “We’re in deep, deep doo doo. And the leading experts have been telling us for over 40 years. This is what we’ve come to. The next stage after this, there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.”
Also this …
TORONTO — Canadian author Margaret Atwood says becoming the face of a new stamp has made her the envy of all of her friends, even though some may be dismayed that she’s alive to accept the honour.
Canada Post launched a commemorative stamp celebrating the literary legend at a Toronto event on Thursday, which included speeches by filmmaker Sarah Polley and activist Ceta Ramkhalawansingh.
The stamp features a black-and-white photo of Atwood resting a hand on her face, with her famous line “a word after a word after a word is power” repeated in the background.
Canada Post’s “Official First Day Cover” for the stamp is emblazoned with a 1975 sketch by Atwood titled “Neither fish nor flesh,” as well as the silhouette of a raven in a nod to her passion for birds.
“Being on a stamp is an unexpected honour, so unexpected that it has already caused a rash of stamp envy in my peer group,” Atwood, 82, told the crowd at the Toronto Reference Library.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2021
The Canadian Press