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In the news today: Pro-Israel rally in Ottawa, Canadian confirmed dead in Lebanon

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...
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Snow covers a fence surrounding Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, January 20, 2023. Prominent Jewish groups are set to host a rally on Parliament Hill this afternoon in solidarity with Israel.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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

Pro-Israel rally planned for Parliament Hill

Prominent Jewish groups are set to host a rally on Parliament Hill this afternoon in solidarity with Israel.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs says the event is meant to be a show of collective strength in the face of what it calls staggering antisemitism.

Speakers will include people whose family members were killed by Hamas militants on Oct. 7 and a Canadian woman whose Israeli cousin is among the hostages held in the Gaza Strip.

Global Affairs confirms Canadian death in Lebanon, 8th since Israel-Hamas war began

A Canadian citizen has been confirmed dead in Lebanon, the eighth since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

In an update Sunday evening, Global Affairs Canada provided no further details but did confirm that 130 more Canadians left Gaza this weekend after the Rafah border crossing reopened to foreign nationals.

Israel has now expanded its ground offensive in Gaza to every part of the territory, ordering more areas in and around the region's second-largest city of Kahn Younis to evacuate.

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

Charges in Edmonton police shooting rare: experts

Legal experts say it might be tough to prove a manslaughter case against a man accused of selling a gun to a 16-year-old boy who took his own life after fatally shooting two Edmonton police officers.

Police arrested 19-year-old Dennis Okeymow (OH'-kee-moh) last month and charged him with three counts of manslaughter for the deaths of the officers and the young shooter.

He's also charged with criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Constables Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan were responding to a call about a family dispute at an apartment building on March 16th when the teen gunned them down and then turned the gun on himself.

Calls rise for overhaul of N.S. right to info law

A Canadian centre that promotes democracy around the world is calling for an overhaul of Nova Scotia's freedom of information law to reduce exemptions and give the appeal process more teeth.

The Centre for Law and Democracy is among the early submitters to an internal review committee created by the Progressive Conservative government, about two years after Premier Tim Houston promised reforms during the last election campaign.

The Halifax-based group says the vague wording of existing exemptions allows for wide interpretation that can lead to basic information remaining secret. It says a redraft is long overdue.

Telecom sector awaiting key regulatory decisions

Canada's telecom sector faced a significant shakeup in 2023 after Industry Minister Fran├žois-Philippe Champagne handed down a mandate requiring the CRTC to prioritize consumer rights, affordability, competition and universal access.

The directive, which rescinded a 2006 policy direction for the agency to rely on market forces when making decisions, has since guided the direction of a number of regulatory proceedings.

Headed into 2024, many of those remain ongoing, or have resulted in rulings being contested by parties involved.

Airbnb, VRBO limited housing supply: Desjardins

A Desjardins report suggests short-term rentals likely contributed to the housing affordability crisis in Canada and around the world.

The report says the proliferation of short-term rentals on platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo has had a significant effect on the affordability and availability of homes by reducing the number of units available for long-term rentals and resale markets.

The report, citing data from analytics firm AirDNA, says Canada has more than 235,800 unique active short-term rental listings on Airbnb and Vrbo, the two largest hosting platforms, amounting to about 1.4 per cent of the country's housing stock.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2023.

The Canadian Press