These are the top stories:
Bombardier is cutting 550 jobs in Thunder Bay, where unemployment is chronic
Bombardier said that 550 jobs would be cut from its railcar plant in Thunder Bay beginning in November – that’s half of the plant’s work force. The announcement comes as the company raises concerns over the facility’s “commercial viability” should it not secure new work; big contracts with Ontario’s Metrolinx and the Toronto Transit Commission come to an end this year.
Thunder Bay’s labour market has struggled to create jobs and opportunities over several decades and total employment in the city has essentially flatlined since at least 2001. Major industries like grain transportation and forest products have been decimated, erasing thousands of well-paid, blue-collar jobs.
In a column, Lakehead University professor Livio Di Matteo writes: “Not only are the layoffs a blow to the cultural psyche of a city that’s still reeling from a previous economic crisis, they’re also a blow in terms of loss of employment and income – and they undermine Thunder Bay’s urgent and necessary efforts to diversify its economy.”
The Ontario and federal governments took turns yesterday blaming each other for the impending job losses. Here’s Campbell Clark’s view: “Blame Mr. Ford’s government for his unplanned transit plans, and blame the Liberals for being so quick to drop all the blame at the feet of their favourite political adversary. Blame both for spending the day finger-pointing.”
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Conservatives are calling to replace Canadian military chief Jonathan Vance
Following turmoil in the very top ranks of the Canadian military, the Conservatives are urging Ottawa to begin searching for a new chief to replace General Jonathan Vance.
Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, the fifth vice-chief of the defence staff to serve under Vance, abruptly stepped down this week, citing aborted plans to replace him with now-retired Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. This is an unusual amount of turnover for such a crucial position in the military.
Conservative defence critic James Bezan said Vance, appointed by his party in 2015, needs to be replaced, but that the Liberals should not pick his successor because the country is now too close to an election.
The chair of a justice committee resigned after his ties to Doug Ford’s ex-chief of staff were revealed
Andrew Suboch, the chair of an Ontario committee that helps choose justices of the peace, has resigned from his paid post after The Globe and Mail revealed his ties to Ford’s former chief of staff Dean French.
His resignation comes after a two-week review into his appointment. Suboch said that no one from the government asked him to resign.
Suboch, a personal injury and insurance lawyer, is a long-time friend of French, who resigned last month amid a patronage scandal. Their sons played lacrosse together.
Forest fires are threatening First Nations communities in Ontario
Residents of the Pikangikum First Nation in Northern Ontario are fleeing their second forest fire in weeks. About 20 other Northern Ontario communities are keeping watch as 25 forest fires rage through the region.
Pikangikum has a registered on-reserve population of nearly 3,000 people. More than 2,000 people fled their homes in early June due to another fire, and had only just returned home when on July 1 the community was put on alert again.
Another First Nations community, Keewaywin, which has 477 on-reserve registered members, were relocated to Sioux Lookout and Timmins.
The province continues to look for municipalities to shelter people. Premier Doug Ford announced late yesterday that Saskatchewan would take up to 2,000 evacuees.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Bank of Canada holds rates: Yesterday, the central bank announced it would keep interest rates unchanged and did not signal any future plans. Meanwhile, south of the border, the U.S. Federal Reserve has set the stage for a rate cut as soon as this month.
Quebec town paves way for free-play: Forty-eight residential streets in a suburb east of Montreal have earned designations as free-play zones, complete with lower speed limits, hours of play and high-visibility signage. It’s allowed kids to do something that has become a rarity: play out in the street.
Winnipeg carbon-monoxide leak: All 46 people who were taken into hospital after a buildup of carbon monoxide in a Winnipeg hotel were discharged within 24 hours of the evacuation. Although more than a dozen were initially listed in critical condition, no one required intensive care or intubation, and most were either quickly released or kept briefly for monitoring, health officials said.
Saving B.C. salmon: A life and death campaign is under way to help wild salmon in B.C.’s Fraser River get past a landslide, with officials considering moving fish by helicopter or shifting boulders to create rest pools for exhausted swimmers. The effort by government agencies and First Nations underscores the devastating impact the landslide could have on salmon species.
Global stocks rose, global bond yields fell and the dollar weakened after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell bolstered expectations the Fed would cut U.S. interest rates soon. Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.8 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite 0.1 per cent. In Europe, Germany’s DAX was flat by about 6:15 a.m. ET, with London’s FTSE 100 and the Paris CAC 40 each up 0.1 per cent. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was above 76.5 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Did Canada just have its ‘deplorables’ moment?
Konrad Yakabuski: “It would be a tragedy if Canadian politics was to go the way of our neighbour to the south. And yet, we may be witnessing the emergence of our very own diploma divide. University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran set off a Twitter storm this week by calling the Conservatives ‘the party of the uneducated,’ based on Abacus Data poll showing the Tories with a 12-percentage-point lead over the Liberals among Canadians with a high-school education or less.”
Donald Trump’s all-out assault on the environment
Gary Mason: “Mr. Trump’s speech this week boasting about his administration’s environmental bona fides left many in disbelief … In speaking about the environment for almost an hour, Mr. Trump did not once mention the words ‘climate change,’ which he has denounced as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. In all, his administration has repealed more than 80 environmental regulations, including the groundbreaking Clean Power Plan, designed to transition the country off coal to cleaner forms of energy.”
Today’s editorial cartoon
Six great cities where you can enjoy the world’s best stopovers
“ ‘Stopover’ used to be a dirty word in air travel. It meant you were, gasp … connecting,” Jennifer Weatherhead Harrington writes. “Not so today, when people are purposely breaking up their flight plans.”
Istanbul, Auckland, Vienna, Zurich, the Azores and Houston are six awesome stopover cities located close to other destinations.
MOMENT IN TIME
Alexander Hamilton and rival Aaron Burr duel
July 11, 1804: A long-simmering personal and political battle between two American political enemies – Alexander Hamilton, a leading Federalist, and Aaron Burr, a Republican and vice-president – came to a violent end in the early morning hours of July 11, 1804 in Weehawken, N.J. The bitter rivalry dated back to 1791 when Hamilton’s father-in-law was defeated in a Senate seat race by Burr. In Burr’s first, unsuccessful run for the vice-presidency, Hamilton said, “I feel it is a religious duty to oppose his career.” Hamilton actively campaigned against Burr’s bid for governor of New York. After an electoral defeat, Burr challenged Hamilton to a pistol duel, an “affair of honour,” on the grounds that his reputation had been maligned by Hamilton. And so, near the Hudson River, the two fired at each other. Burr’s shot, from a .56-calibre duelling pistol, hit Hamilton in the abdomen, pierced his liver and came to rest in his spine. Hamilton’s bullet missed. It is speculated that Hamilton intended to throw away his shot. Hamilton died the next day. Burr was charged with murder, but returned to D.C. to finish his term as vice-president, immune from prosecution. The public outrage at Hamilton’s death was profound. Burr later left for Europe, returning years later, but his reputation and career could not recover. Jessie Willms