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In the news today: Thousands without power across Atlantic Canada due to strong winds

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...
People watch as waves crash near Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. Heavy rain and winds gusting over 100km/h are forecasted for Nova Scotia and other parts of the Maritimes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...

Heavy winds knock out power on East Coast

More than 100,000 people were without power in New Brunswick heading into today along with nearly 70,000 people in Nova Scotia as strong winds battered Canada's East Coast.

Environment Canada issued a wind warning for counties throughout Nova Scotia, with maximum expected wind gusts of nearly 100 kilometres an hour.

The intense winds are expected to diminish later into the morning.

Electric-vehicle sales mandate coming today

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault will outline today the details of his plan to eventually phase out the sale of gas-powered vehicles in Canada.

The electric-vehicle sales mandate regulations will be published later this week.

They will set a course to require auto manufacturers to ensure at least one-fifth of the vehicles they offer for sale in 2026 are fully electric or plug-in hybrids.

That will increase to three-fifths by 2030 and then by 2035, all of the vehicles offered for sale in Canada will need to be zero-emission vehicles.

Here's what else we're watching ...

StatCan to release November inflation report today

Statistics Canada is set to release its November consumer price index report this morning.

Economists at both TD and RBC are expecting Canada's inflation rate fell back to the one to three per cent target range.

RBC says it expects Canada's inflation rate eased to 2.9 per cent last month as gasoline prices fell and the pace of growth in food prices slowed.

The inflation rate was 3.1 per cent in October.

'Water apocalypse' needs return to nature: experts

An expert on water sustainability says a key solution to mitigating wildfires, flooding and drought in British Columbia is to keep natural infrastructure healthy.

Oliver Brandes leads the POLIS Water Sustainability Project at the University of Victoria and says getting the landscape working the way it used to means stopping development in those areas.

A heat dome in B-C brought record high temperatures in June of 2021, only to be followed that fall by flooding that killed five people and swamped homes, roads and farmland.

Celine doesn't have control of her muscles: sister

Celine Dion's sister says the Grammy Award-winning singer doesn't have control of her muscles in a new French-language interview.

Claudette Dion told "7Jours" that Celine is working hard to overcome her illness, a rare neurological disorder called "stiff person syndrome," which affects an estimated one in a million people.

Claudette says the illness is not yet well understood by current medical science, noting that vocal cords are muscles too.

How politicians got into the holiday spirit

Members of Parliament are back in their ridings this week as the holiday break begins, but before they left Ottawa, many shared season's greetings with their colleagues.

Several self-styled political poets poked partisan fun in the House of Commons with riffs on the classic 1823 poem "The Night Before Christmas."

Don Davies from the N-D-P offered his take: "Public dental for all is the N-P-D's dream / We'd have pharmacare, too, if the Grits weren't so mean."

And the carbon price was a common theme as Conservatives compared the Liberal government to holiday villains like the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge.

Leader Pierre Poilievre accused the prime minister of offering Canadians "a carbon tax lump of coal."

That prompted Justin Trudeau to respond that Conservative climate policies are "putting future white Christmases at risk."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2023.

The Canadian Press