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In The News for Dec.12: What will the Feds have to say on critical minerals at COP15?

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 Dec. 12, 2022 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

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 Dec. 12, 2022 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says Canada is looking to commit to only bringing critical minerals into the country if they were mined in a way that is both environmentally sensitive and respectful of human rights.

Wilkinson will be at the COP15 nature talks in Montreal today where he will make an announcement on critical minerals, just three days after finally publishing the Liberals' long-promised critical minerals strategy.

The strategy is focused only on domestic mining, and Wilkinson acknowledges it is silent on the sustainability of any raw materials mined elsewhere and brought to Canada for further processing or used in the manufacturing of batteries.

But he says he will have more to say about that issue in Montreal today.


Also this ...

At first glance, Monday's federal byelection in a coveted Greater Toronto Area riding might seem like a nail-biter.

It's the first contest under the Conservative leadership of Pierre Poilievre, in an area of the country crucial to his party's chances of success in future federal elections.

And the contest, in a district the Tories won when Stephen Harper earned a majority mandate, comes seven years into the tenure of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose government is on its second minority stint in Parliament.

But the Liberals recruited a well-known former Ontario cabinet minister as their candidate for Mississauga-Lakeshore, and Poilievre has been scarcely visible as parties test their ground game a year after the last general election. 

Charles Sousa, Ontario's finance minister under former premier Kathleen Wynne, lost his seat in the 2018 provincial election that saw the Liberals fall from the governing party to one without official status in the legislature.

Ron Chhinzer, the Conservative candidate in the race, is a gang prevention expert and member of the Peel Regional Police Service serving in Mississauga. He did not respond to multiple requests for an interview.


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

The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare for the District of Columbia and other major cities that public transit was a lifeline for essential workers and that even modest fares could be a burden to them. So the nation's capital is introducing a groundbreaking plan: It will begin offering free bus fares to residents next summer.

Other cities, including Los Angeles and Kansas City, Missouri, suspended fare collection during the height of the pandemic to minimize human contact and ensure that residents with no other travel options could reach jobs and services at hospitals, grocery stores and offices. But D.C.'s permanent free fare plan will be by far the biggest. It will also be coming at a time when major cities including Boston and Denver and states such as Connecticut are considering broader zero-fare policies to improve equity and help regain ridership that was lost with the rise of remote and hybrid work. 

The $2 fares will be waived for riders boarding Metrobuses within the city limits beginning around July 1. In unanimously approving the plan last week, the D.C. Council also agreed to expand bus service to 24 hours on 12 major routes downtown, benefiting nightlife and service workers who typically had to rely on costly ride-share to get home after the Metro subway and bus system closed at night.

Analysts say D.C.'s free fare system offers a good test case on how public transit can be reshaped for a post-pandemic future.


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

Peru's newest president, Dina Boluarte gave in to protesters' demands early Monday announcing in a nationally televised address that she will send Congress a proposal to move up elections.

Boluarte's decision came after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets around Peru for another day on Sunday to demand that she resign and schedule elections to replace her and Congress. 

The protests turned deadly, with at least two reported deaths in a remote community in the Andes, according to officials. Many of those demonstrating in the ongoing political crisis are demanding the release from custody of Pedro Castillo, the center-left president ousted Wednesday by lawmakers after he sought to dissolve Congress ahead of an impeachment vote.

Boluarte said she will propose the scheduling of general elections for April 2024.


On this day in 1894 ...

Canada's fourth prime minister, Sir John Thompson, died in England of a heart attack at age 49. He had just been made a member of the Imperial Privy Council by Queen Victoria. Thompson, a former Nova Scotia premier, was prime minister for only two years.


In entertainment ...

After scandal and boycott plunged the Hollywood Foreign Press Association into disarray and knocked the Golden Globes broadcast off television for a year, the annual film and

 television awards are set to announce nominations Monday.

Nominations to the 80th Golden Globe Awards will be announced 8:35 a.m. EST Monday by George and Mayan Lopez, who will read the nominees on NBC's "Today" show. The Globes will be telecast Jan. 10, with stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael hosting.

This year's show could be make-or-break for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that puts on the Globes. A Los Angeles Times investigation in early 2021 found that the group then had no Black members, a revelation compounded by other allegations of ethical improprieties. Many stars and studios said they would boycott the show. Tom Cruise returned his three Globes.

 With Hollywood spurning the Globes, NBC last year cancelled the telecast that would have taken place in January. Instead, the Golden Globes were quietly held in a Beverly Hilton ballroom without any stars in attendance. Winners were announced on Twitter.


Did you see this?

NASA's Orion capsule is back from the moon. 

The capsule made a blisteringly fast return Sunday, parachuting into the Pacific off Mexico to conclude a dramatic 25-day test flight. 

The mission should clear the way for astronauts on the program's next lunar flyby, set for 2024. NASA says it will announce the crew early next year. 

Orion launched last month on NASA's new mega moon rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the first flight of the new Artemis moon program. 

Astronauts last landed on the moon 50 years ago Sunday.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 12, 2022

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