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Summit of the Americas, Shipbuilding trial begin this week: In The News for June 6


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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 June 6, 2022 …

What we are watching in Canada …

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to California this week for the Summit of the Americas — and experts say Canada won’t be just a bystander when migration tops the agenda.

The idea behind the summit is to find a way to address some of the underlying political, economic and social causes of northward migration in the first place. Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington D.C., said “Canada has an enormous amount to contribute, because Canada is the country in the Americas that has come closest to getting immigration right.”

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As a cornerstone of Canada’s economic growth, federal immigration policy strikes a delicate balance between economic, humanitarian and labour-policy priorities, all the while preserving public buy-in to keep the ever-present political dangers at bay, Selee said. Those dangers, weaponized to great effect by Donald Trump, now loom larger than ever in North America, where the former president’s isolationist, build-the-wall rhetoric has proven so potent that it’s become standard Republican doctrine.

And while the migration challenges at Canada’s southern border pale in comparison to those that confront the U.S. along the Rio Grande Valley, they are there — and they share a connection.

Also this …

The trial of a federal public servant accused of leaking cabinet secrets about a shipbuilding project is set to begin this morning.

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Matthew Matchett was charged with one count of breach of trust in February 2019 for allegedly leaking secret cabinet documents about a contract between the federal government and Chantier Davie shipyard in Quebec in November 2015.

Matchett was suspended from his job in the federal procurement department in 2018. His lawyer has previously said his client intends to plead not guilty, and his trial by judge and jury is expected to run for several weeks.

In 2017, retired vice-admiral Mark Norman was suspended as the military’s second-in-command and later charged with breach of trust in 2018 over allegations he leaked cabinet secrets about the shipbuilding project. He pleaded not guilty.

In May 2019, Crown prosecutors stayed the charge, citing new evidence that led them to conclude there was no reasonable chance of a conviction.

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What we are watching in the U.S. …

When leaders gather at the Summit of the Americas this week, the focus is likely to veer from policy issues, migration, climate change and galloping inflation, and instead shift to something Hollywood thrives on — the drama of the red carpet.

With Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador topping a list of leaders threatening to stay home to protest the exclusion by the host United States of authoritarian leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, experts say the event could turn into an embarrassment for U.S. President Joe Biden. Even some progressive Democrats have criticized the

administration for bowing to pressure from exiles in the swing state of Florida and barring communist Cuba, which attended the last two summits.

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While the Biden administration insists the president in Los Angeles will outline his vision for a “sustainable, resilient, and equitable future” for the hemisphere, Jorge Castaneda, a former Mexican foreign minister who now teaches at New York University says it’s clear from the last-minute wrangling over the guest list that Latin America is not a priority for the U.S. president.

The U.S. is hosting the summit for the first time since its launch in 1994, in Miami, as part of an effort to galvanize support for a free trade agreement stretching from Alaska to Patagonia.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

Is a shake-up in British politics in the offing?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is about to face a no-confidence vote by his governing Conservative party. Graham Brady, a Tory party official, says he has received enough letters from lawmakers demanding a vote on Johnson’s leadership to trigger one; that happens if 54 Tory lawmakers write to Brady.

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If Johnson loses the vote among the 359 Conservative lawmakers, he will be replaced as Conservative leader and prime minister. If he wins, he will be safe from another challenge for a year.

Johnson has been struggling to turn a page on months of ethics scandals, most notably over rule-breaking parties in government buildings during COVID-19 lockdowns.

On this day in 1944 …

The greatest combined military force ever assembled launched the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy, France, during the Second World War.

Allied soldiers scrambled ashore as planes attacked German positions, and paratroopers secured a hold further inland.

Total casualties of the D-Day invasion have been estimated at 10,000 dead or wounded.

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In entertainment …

The trial that found Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm against one woman yesterday turned on one central issue: consent.

The Hedley frontman was also acquitted of the same charge plus one count of sexual interference involving a teenage fan.

Despite the mixed verdicts, lawyers and advocates say high-profile cases like Hoggard’s have the power to shape our understanding of consent and expose harmful misconceptions at play in the courts and society at large.

The Criminal Code says consent must be affirmatively communicated through a person’s words or conduct, and can be withdrawn at any point in a sexual encounter.

Did you see this?

The price at the pumps continued its upward trend across much of Canada over the weekend and experts warn more increases are coming this week.

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The Canadian Automobile Association says national average gas prices rose to nearly $2.06 on Sunday, up almost three cents from the day before and 11 cents higher compared with a week ago. Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, says fuel prices will continue to surge in the coming days. In a forecast shared on Twitter, he says the average price of gasoline could reach $2.12 a litre by Monday afternoon.

Gas prices have risen rapidly over the last year as a tight global supply is worsened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 6, 2022

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