Extreme weather conditions, fight against anti-Semitism in Canada: in the July 21 news

In The News is a summary of articles from The Canadian Press designed to start your day off right. Here’s what’s on our editors’ radar for the morning of July 21 …

What we watch in Canada …

Canada’s Environment Minister says he understands why some people are still fighting against taking action on climate change, but it is true that extreme weather events will be more frequent and intense in the future

Forest fires are raging uncontrollably in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, where a state of emergency goes into effect Wednesday to prepare for possible mass evacuations. Almost 300 fires have burned in this province and threatened communities. Two people died in the village of Lytton, British Columbia, earlier this month after much of the community was destroyed by fire.

Prairie farmers are also suffering from severe droughts, while weather warnings are in effect across Western Canada due to a thick cloud of smoke.

“I think the events we’re seeing this summer probably underlie it even more for Canadians,” Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in an interview with The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

“The tragic event in Lytton, I think, was quite shocking to a lot of people… certainly the wildfires, but also the flooding that we’ve seen over the last few years. “

Wilkinson was in Calgary to announce a mitigation plan related to the 2013 flooding in southern Alberta that left five people dead and billions of dollars in damage.

He said all data suggests extreme weather conditions will not improve in the future.

“I think people are starting to understand that it’s even closer to them, that the impacts of climate change are already with us,” he said.

“We have to take steps to make sure that we don’t make the problem worse, but, of course, we will also have to learn to adapt to the changes that are already with us.”

Wilkinson, who grew up in Saskatchewan and is now the MP for North Vancouver, said it was time to act.

Also this …

Diversity Minister Bardish Chagger said today’s federal anti-Semitism national summit will allow community members to speak directly with politicians in an environment that ensures their safety.

Chagger says the government will listen and engage with community members with the goal of turning their ideas into action to implement policies that reflect Canada’s diversity.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal ministers, opposition spokespersons, prime ministers and mayors will attend the summit along with members of the Jewish community from across the country.

Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Anti-Semitism, said he would speak about the rise of anti-Semitism not only in Canada, but also in the internationally, which he compares to almost an “explosion”.

He says Jews are being targeted and threatened in their neighborhoods and that their synagogues, memorials and institutions have also been attacked and vandalized.

B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish human rights organization, says it recorded 2,610 anti-Semitic incidents last year, which was the fifth consecutive year of anti-Semitism in Canada.

The organization says 44% of violent anti-Semitic incidents in 2020 were linked to COVID-19, with Jews being spat out and otherwise assaulted, motivated in part by anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

The federal government will also be holding a summit on Islamophobia this week.

What we are watching in the United States …

PORTLAND, Oregon – The country’s largest wildfire provided Oregon wildlife researchers with an unexpected experience.

Conservationists in a vast region of wetlands and forests have spent the last decade thinning saplings and using planned fires to try and restore thick stands of beetle to a less fire-prone state.

As the huge blaze known as the Bootleg Fire roared through the Sycan Marsh reserve, firefighters said the flames leapt less from treetops to treetops and instead returned to the ground, where they were more. easy to fight, moved slower, and did less damage to the set. forest.

The firefighters’ initial assessment suggests that the many years of logging treatments worked, said Pete Caligiuri, director of the Oregon forestry program for The Nature Conservancy, who leads research in the reserve.

“Generally speaking, what the firefighters reported on the ground was that when the fire entered the areas that had been cleared… it had a lot less impact.”

The reports were bittersweet to the researchers, who still saw about 50 square kilometers of the reserve burn down, but the findings add to a growing body of research on how to make wildfires less explosive by clearing up sub- wood and allowing forests to burn periodically – as they would naturally. do – instead of extinguishing every flame.

What we watch in the rest of the world …

JERUSALEM – The Israeli Prime Minister pledges to “act aggressively” against Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling its ice cream in the territories occupied by Israel.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made the comments on Tuesday as the country’s ambassador to the United States urged dozens of state governors to punish the company under anti-boycott laws.

The strong backlash reflects concerns in Israel that the ice cream maker’s move could lead other companies to follow suit. It also seemed to set the stage for a long legal and public relations battle.

Ben & Jerry’s announced Monday it would stop selling ice cream in the occupied West Bank and challenged East Jerusalem. He says such sales are incompatible with his values.

Bennett’s office said he spoke to Alan Jope, managing director of parent company Ben & Jerry’s Unilever, and expressed concerns over what he called a “clearly anti-Israel measure. “. He said the move would have “serious consequences, legal and otherwise,” and Israel “will act aggressively against all boycott actions directed against its citizens.”

In Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price declined to comment directly on the company’s decision. But he said the United States rejected the boycott movement against Israel, saying it was “unfairly singling out” the country.

On this day in 1961 …

The government-built town of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, was officially opened. The city, the largest Canadian community north of the Arctic Circle, was built to replace the former settlement of Aklavik, which was threatened by flooding and erosion. Located on the Mackenzie River Delta, the city’s economy is centered on nearby oil and gas exploration.

In entertainment …

TORONTO – Organizers of this year’s Toronto International Hybrid Film Festival are touting a scaled-down storefront expansion from a year ago with a return of red carpets as well as in-person glitter as pandemic frontier measures collapse. relax.

The festival opens with Stephen Chbosky’s musical feature “Dear Evan Hansen” as organizers on Tuesday unveiled the first selections of gala slots and high-profile special presentations for the 46th edition, which runs from 9 to September 18.

Recent feature films announced for world premieres include Michael Showalter’s “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”, Barry Levinson’s boxer biographical drama “The Survivor” and Michael McGowan’s Canadian adaptation “All My Puny Sorrows”. They are part of more than 100 films that will be shown digitally and in person at open-air and open-air cinemas downtown, as well as select in-person venues including the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Roy Thomson Hall.

TIFF Co-Director and Artistic Director Cameron Bailey said the festival wants to run this year’s galas and special presentations in the safest way possible while rekindling pre-pandemic excitement.

Still, the red carpets will likely be smaller than usual and stand indoors – a departure from the usual outdoor media shows that draw hordes of fans looking for celebrity hugs, photos and autographs. .

Tuesday’s announcement came a day after the federal government said fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents would be allowed to enter Canada on August 9. Visitors from the rest of the world will be allowed to enter Canada starting September 7.


NEW YORK – The richest man in the world wanted to thank the people who made his brief trip to space possible on Tuesday, but for some, the expression of gratitude from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has passed like a lead rocket.

Bezos made Amazon a shopping and entertainment giant, but faced growing activism within his own workforce and stepped up pressure from critics to improve working conditions.

After his trip to space, he thanked Amazon employees and customers for their support.

“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you paid for it all,” Bezos, 57, said at a press conference on Tuesday after becoming the second billionaire in just a bit. more than a week of driving alone. spatialship.

Critics countered that he should show his thanks by supporting Amazon warehouse organizing efforts and paying more taxes.

Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary to President Bill Clinton and professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote on Twitter that Bezos had crushed union organizing attempts for decades.

“Amazon employees don’t need Bezos to thank them. They need him to stop breaking the unions – and paying them what they deserve, ”Reich wrote.

Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon in July, giving him more time for side projects, including his space exploration company Blue Origin. He said he funds the rocket company by selling $ 1 billion in Amazon stock each year.

After the space flight, Bezos made $ 100 million in donations to DC chief Jose Andres and CNN contributor Van Jones to donate to any charity or nonprofit they choose.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 21, 2021

The Canadian Press

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