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In The News for Nov. 29: How much did Canada's economy grow in September?

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. 29 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
A sign outside a building at Statistics Canada in seen in Ottawa on Friday, March 12, 2021. The federal agency is scheduled to release gross domestic product figures for September and the third quarter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

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. 29 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Statistics Canada will release its latest reading on economic growth this morning.

The federal agency is scheduled to release gross domestic product figures for September and the third quarter.

Statistics Canada's preliminary estimate for the third quarter suggests the economy grew by 0.4 per cent.

That's in contrast to 0.8 per cent growth in the second quarter of this year. 

In a client note, RBC says residential investment likely fell in the third quarter, along with other business investment as the economic outlook weakens. 

Higher interest rates from the Bank of Canada are expected to further dampen economic growth in the fourth quarter and into 2023. 


Also this ...

A public inquiry is turning its attention to the role of online misinformation this morning as it continues probing Ottawa's use of emergency legislation to quell last winter's "Freedom Convoy" protests.

The Public Order Emergency Commission is slated to begin the day with a panel of policy experts on misinformation, disinformation and the role of social media. 

Another panel on the flow of essential goods and services, critical infrastructure and trade corridors is set to follow in the afternoon. 

The inquiry is seeking the expert input to bolster its analysis of whether the federal government was right to use the Emergencies Act in response to protests that took over downtown Ottawa and halted trade at several border crossings.

The policy phase this week follows six weeks of fact-finding hearings into the events leading up to that decision, which included testimony about online threats and U.S. officials' concerns about trade.

The commission is on a tight timeline to complete its work, with Commissioner Paul Rouleau expected to submit final recommendations to Parliament at the beginning of February.


And this too ...

Canadians appear to be slowly cutting back on their use of plastic straws and grocery bags ahead of a national ban on such items that will take effect next month, new statistics show.

The Canadian government is looking to curb domestic plastic pollution by the end of the decade as negotiations toward a formal plastics management treaty begin this week in Uruguay.

Canada is one of nearly three dozen countries lobbying heavily for an international agreement that would end global plastic pollution by 2040.

"Enough is enough," Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said in a tweet.

About 22 million tonnes of plastic ends up where it shouldn't every year, including in lakes, rivers and oceans worldwide, he said. In Canada, about 29,000 tonnes of plastic garbage, mainly packaging, ends up in the environment each year.

Another 3.3 million tonnes of plastic garbage ends up in landfills. Less than one-tenth of the plastic Canadians throw out is actually recycled.

In a bid to cut down on all plastic waste, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in 2019 that some single-use plastics would be banned by 2021. It took the government a year longer than it planned to figure out which items to ban and how to do it.

The final regulations were published in June, and as of Dec. 20, it will no longer be legal in Canada to manufacture or import most plastic shopping bags or straws, along with stir sticks, cutlery and takeout containers. One year later, the sale of those items will also be banned.

The manufacturing and importing of six-pack plastic rings for drink containers will be banned in June 2023, with their sale ending a year after that.


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

WASHINGTON _ The Supreme Court is taking up a dispute over a blocked Biden administration policy that would prioritize deportation of people in the country illegally who pose the greatest public safety risk.

Republican-led states sued and won a nationwide court order that is meant to limit immigration officers' discretion in deciding whom to deport. The justices are hearing arguments in the case Tuesday.

It's the latest example of a Republican litigation strategy that has succeeded in slowing Biden administration initiatives by going to GOP-friendly courts.

In a separate ongoing legal dispute, three judges chosen by President Donald Trump are among the four Republican-appointed judges who have so far prevented the administration's student loan cancellation program from taking effect.

At the centre of the immigration legal fight is a September 2021 directive from the Department of Homeland Security that paused deportations unless individuals had committed acts of terrorism, espionage or "egregious threats to public safety.''

The guidance, issued after Joe Biden became president, updated a Trump-era policy that removed people in the country illegally regardless of criminal history or community ties.

The administration said in a written high-court filing that the "decision to prioritize threats to national security, public safety, and border security was both reasonable and reasonably explained,'' especially since Congress has not given DHS enough money to vastly increase the number of people it holds and deports.

Texas and Louisiana, which sued over the directive, responded that the administration's guidance violates federal law that requires the detention of people who are in the U.S. illegally and who have been convicted of serious crimes.

The states said they would face added costs of having to detain people the federal government might allow to remain free inside the United States, despite their criminal records.


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

BEIJING _ Chinese universities are sending students home as the ruling Communist Party tightens anti-virus controls and tries to prevent more protests after crowds angered by its severe "zero COVID'' restrictions called for President Xi Jinping to resign in the biggest show of public dissent in decades.

With police out in force, there was no word of protests Tuesday in Beijing, Shanghai or other major cities.

Some anti-virus restrictions were eased Monday in a possible effort to defuse public anger following the weekend protests in at least eight cities. But the ruling party affirmed its "zero COVID'' strategy, which has confined millions of people to their homes in an attempt to isolate every infection.

Tsinghua University, Xi's alma mater, where students protested Sunday, and other schools in Beijing and the southern province of Guangdong said they were protecting students from COVID-19. But dispersing them to far-flung hometowns also reduces the likelihood of more activism following protests at campuses last weekend.

Some universities arranged buses to take students to train stations. They said classes and final exams would be conducted online.

"We will arrange for willing students to return to their hometowns,'' Beijing Forestry University said on its website. It said its faculty and students all tested negative for the virus.

Authorities have ordered mass testing and imposed other controls in areas across China following a spike in infections. But the move to disperse students was unusual at a time when many cities are telling the public to avoid travel and imposing controls on movement.


On this day in 1798 ...

The legislature of the Island of St. John voted to change its name to Prince Edward Island. The name was chosen in honour of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who was stationed with the army in Halifax at the time. It was felt that the change was necessary because the Island was being confused with Saint John, N.B. and St. John's, N.L.


In entertainment ...

NEW YORK _ "Everything Everywhere All at Once'' won best feature at the 32nd Gotham Awards on Monday, taking one of the first major prizes of Hollywood's awards season and boosting the Oscar hopes of the anarchic indie hit of the year.

Also taking an award for his work on the film was Ke Huy Quan, the "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'' child star who made a lauded comeback in "Everything Everywhere All at Once'' and won for best supporting actor.

"This time last year, all I was hoping for was a job,'' said an emotional Quan who had nearly given up acting before landing his role in the film. "For the first time in a very long time, I was given a second chance.''

The Gotham Awards, held annually at Cipriani Wall Street, serve as a downtown celebration of independent film and an unofficial kickoff of the long marathon of ceremonies, cocktail parties and campaigning that lead up to the Academy Awards in March. Presented by the Gotham Film & Media Institute, the Gothams last year heaped awards on Maggie Gyllenhaal's "The Lost Daughter'' while also, with an award for Troy Kotsur, starting "CODA'' on its way to best picture.

But aside from any possible influence, the Gothams are also just a star-studded party that gets the industry back into the awards-season swing. Last year's ceremony was the first fully in-person award show for many after a largely virtual 2020-2021 pandemic-marred season. This year, the Gothams were held amid mounting concern over the tepid box-office results for many of the top awards contenders. Though moviegoing has recovered much of the ground it lost during the pandemic, adult audiences have inconsistently materialized in theatres this fall.

But in feting "Everything Everywhere All at Once,'' the metaverse-skipping action adventure directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheiner, the filmmaking duo known as "the Daniels,'' the Gothams selected an unlikely runaway success. Released in March, "Everything Everywhere All at Once'' made more than $100 million worldwide against a $14 million budget, making it A24's highest grossing film. The warm affection for the absurdist film now has it poised to potentially play underdog at the Oscars. The film also recently led nominations to the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The Gothams give gender neutral acting awards, which meant that some awards favourites this year that wouldn't normally be head-to-head, like Brendan Fraser ("The Whale'') and Cate Blanchett ("Tar''), were up against each other. Todd Fields' "Tar,'' starring Blanchett as a renowned conductor, came into the Gothams with a leading five nominations and went home with an award for Fields' screenplay.

But "Till'' star Danielle Deadwyler ultimately prevailed in the crowded lead acting category. Deadwyler, who plays Mamie Till-Bradley in the piercing drama, wasn't able to attend the ceremony. "Till'' director Chinonye Chukwu accepted on her behalf.


Did you see this?

OTTAWA _ Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has had her department summon Russia's ambassador over social media postings against LGBTQ people.

In recent days, Russia's embassy in Ottawa posted on Twitter and Telegram that the West is imposing on Russia's family values, and that families can only include a man, a woman and children.

The embassy posted images of a crossed-out rainbow flag and Orthodox icons of Adam and Eve. It decried Canada for "conflating the concepts of individual sexual preferences and universal human rights'' and repeated old tropes about pedophilia.

The first post appeared Nov. 24, just days after five people were killed in a shooting at a gay bar in Colorado.

The tweets came as Russia expanded a ban on exposing children to so-called homosexual propaganda, meaning that authorities can now prosecute Russians for doing things they argue might entice adults to be gay or transgender.

Canada was among 33 countries that signed a joint statement condemning the legislation, prompting the embassy to push back.

"Our country is not interfering in the Canadian domestic affairs,'' the embassy claimed, seeking a "corresponding respectful attitude toward the legislative process in Russia.''

Despite ample documentation of persecution of LGBTQ people in Russia, including forced disappearances in Chechnya, the embassy asserted that "there is no discrimination in Russia with respect to the rights of sexual and other kind of minorities.''


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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