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Good morning, and happy April.
— Senior military commander under investigation for rape: Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson, the military commander in charge of human resources, is under investigation by military police over a rape allegation dating back to 1991. He is now on indefinite leave with pay, CBC News reports.
Shortly before that news broke, Women and Gender Equality Minister Maryam Monsef told Global News she is working with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to decide what steps the government will take to fix the sexual misconduct crisis. She said the military is facing a “reckoning.”
— Kady O’Malley looks ahead to the rest of the day in politics with iPolitics AM: “With a fresh wave of COVID-19 lockdowns looming in both Ontario and Quebec, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to end the first week of the extended House hiatus with a series of otherwise unspecified ‘private meetings,’ according to his official itinerary.
Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole will wrap up a three-day virtual speaking tour with a video town hall hosted by the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, during which, according to the programme, he’ll outline his plans for ‘securing our future’ and ‘getting Canadians back to work.’”
— Ontario lockdown: Premier Doug Ford is poised to move all of Ontario into “lockdown” measures. He will announce the plans today and they will go into effect on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam says the pandemic has reached one of its its “most challenging” stages. She urged Canadians to continue to follow public health measures and give the vaccines time to work.
For up-to-date COVID information, check out iPolitics’ COVID-19 Policy Portal, which is regularly updated with rolling analytics.
— Trudeau takes poke at Ford: The prime minister used a Liberal fundraiser held last night to push back against criticism from Doug Ford over vaccine procurement. Ford called Canada’s vaccine procurement a “joke” earlier this week. Trudeau, speaking virtually, reminded viewers that, while Ford had not believed him when he promised six million doses by the end of March, the federal government has now procured 9.5 million doses.
— Chrétien part of secretive nuclear storage project: It’s been revealed that former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was involved in plans in 2019 and 2020 to secretly store nuclear waste in Labrador. CBC/Radio-Canada has more.
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AROUND THE WORLD
— California shooting: Four people, including one child, have died in a mass shooting in Orange, south of Los Angeles, California.
— Biden’s next big proposal: Now that the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package has been signed into law, U.S. President Biden has a new proposal: a roughly $2 trillion infrastructure and green energy investing plan to revitalize the U.S. economy.
— Hong Kong activists found guilty: Seven prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, including Jimmy Lai and Martin Lee, have been found guilty of unauthorized assembly during a peaceful 2019 demonstration. They have not yet been sentenced.
— Racism in the U.K.: A British government commission found that “institutional racism does not exist” in the U.K. and it should be seen as an example to other “white majority” countries. Here’s an analysis of the landmark report — and everything it missed. People have also taken issue with the report’s section on the U.K.’s history of colonization and slave trade.
— The U.K. cut its human rights budget in half: The Foreign Office says the human rights budget was cut from £52 million to £28 million last year. As a reminder, the U.K. also cut its foreign aid commitment for this year from the United Nations-recommended 0.7 per cent of gross national income.
— Elsewhere: France is heading into its third nationwide COVID lockdown. Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to appear virtually in court today. H&M vowed to win back Chinese trust amid the Xinjiang backlash. Niger says it thwarted an attempted coup. A batch of Johnson & Johnson‘s vaccine failed a quality check in U.S. and can’t be used. Sarah Palin says she has COVID and urges people to wear masks.
IN OTHER HEADLINES
WHAT WE’RE READING
ICYMI FROM IPOLITICS
CARTOON OF THE DAY
We’re finishing today’s… brief… with some news from Switzerland, where female soldiers can finally stop wearing men’s underwear.
We’ll be back on Monday with a Holiday Brief. Have a good long weekend.
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