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The cost of climate complacency and Ontario inquest: In The News for Sept. 28, 2022

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 Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. What we are watching in Canada ...

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 Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. 

What we are watching in Canada ...

As parts of the country recover from historic storms, a new report is warning Canadians will see lower incomes and choices between higher taxes or reduced services if there isn't more effort to adapt to a changing climate. 

But according to The Canadian Climate Institute's report, if governments and the private sector start investing now to make Canada more resilient to the effect of extreme weather, the economic impact of climate change can be cut by 75 per cent. 

In every scenario, Canada's climate is already changing and more severe weather — drought, forest fires, flooding, and damaging storms — is upon us, according to the report released today.

The analysis estimates, regardless of how well Canada and the rest of the world do at cutting emissions, annual disaster recovery bills could hit $17 billion by 2050, up from $2.1 billion in uninsured damages in 2021. 

It says that to prevent a loss in government services, including to health care or education, income taxes would have to increase by 0.35 per cent in 2025, compared to now, and get one per cent higher by 2050.

In the last week, Atlantic Canada was hit by a devastating hurricane, and Canadians in parts of Ontario and western Quebec are still recovering after a derecho pummelled the region with multiple tornadoes and downbursts bringing winds up to 190 km/h in May.

But if every effort is made to limit global warming by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the report says, and Canada makes the needed investments to add resilience to public and private infrastructure, things will look better.

The report suggests that for every $1 invested in adaptation, governments and businesses can save $5 to $6 in direct damage costs, and another $6 to $10 in economic benefits, such as avoiding work stoppages or productivity slowdowns.


Also this ...

A coroner's inquest into the death of an Indigenous teen whose body was found near a group home is set to continue today in Hamilton.

It is also expected to look into systemic issues that played a role in the teen's death, including public policy and legal issues related to Indigenous children and youth in the child-welfare system.

The inquest examining the death of Devon Freeman began Monday in the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, of which he was a member.

Jurors have heard Freeman was reported missing from the Lynwood Charlton Centre group home in the Flamborough area of Hamilton in the fall of 2017.

He was found dead near the home in April of 2018.

On Monday, jurors heard from two experts on child welfare on some of the social and historical factors that contribute to the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in the system.


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

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida residents rushed to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and flee from oncoming Hurricane Ian, fearing the monstrous storm that knocked out power to all of Cuba and left 11 million people without power would slam into their state's west coast with catastrophic winds and flooding on Wednesday.

At least 2.5 million Florida residents were ordered to evacuate in anticipation of a powerful storm surge, high winds and flooding rains. 

Fueled by warm offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Ian was gaining strength after plowing over western Cuba's prized tobacco-growing region as a Category 3 storm on Tuesday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicted Ian could become a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 209 km/h before roaring ashore on Florida's southwest coast on Wednesday afternoon. 

Hurricane-force winds were expected in Florida well in advance of the storm's eyewall moving inland.


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

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union suspects that damage to two underwater natural gas pipelines was sabotage and is warning of retaliation for any attack on Europe’s energy networks, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Wednesday.

“All available information indicates those leaks are the result of a deliberate act,” Borrell said in a statement on behalf of the 27 EU member countries. “Any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and will be met with a robust and united response.”

Seismologists reported Tuesday that explosions rattled the Baltic Sea before unusual leaks were discovered on two underwater natural gas pipelines running from Russia to Germany.

Some European leaders and experts pointed to possible sabotage given the energy standoff with Russia provoked by the war in Ukraine. The three leaks were reported on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which are filled with natural gas but are not delivering the fuel to Europe.

The damage means that the pipelines are unlikely to be able to carry any gas to Europe this winter even if the political will to bring them online emerged, according to analysts.


On this day in 2003, hurricane Juan slammed into southeastern Nova Scotia, bringing winds of 180 km/h and torrential rains, leaving at least two people dead and two missing and causing extensive property damage. Halifax was hardest hit; hundreds of trees were uprooted and tangled with downed power lines leaving 150,000 people without electricity.


In entertainment ...

The Toronto Blue Jays' magic number for clinching an M-L-B playoff berth is two. Aaron Judge's magic number for tying Roger Maris's American League home run record is one. 

Both numbers are in play tonight when the New York Yankees and Blue Jays wind up a three-game series in Toronto. 

Judge has gone seven games without a homer coming into tonight's matchup, the last between the two teams before the end of the regular season.

That means it's the last chance for a Jays fan to catch the piece of history at the Rogers Centre.

The home run ball that ties Maris's record is expected to be worth a hefty sum. 

The Jays won Monday's opener 3-2 in 10 innings and the Yankees won 5-2 last night and clinched the A-L East title in the process. 


Did you see this?

The Royal Canadian Navy has started deploying less-experienced sailors on operations and eliminating certain positions altogether as it struggles with an unprecedented personnel shortage.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, navy commander Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee said about 17 per cent of navy positions are vacant. That equals about 1,400 sailors that the navy needs to reach its full complement.

The shortfall comes amid a recruiting crisis across the Canadian Armed Forces, with officials recently admitting that the number of applicants coming forward each month is about half what the military needs to meet its targets this year.

That is expected to compound the military’s current personnel shortage, with thousands of unfilled positions across the whole of the Armed Forces at a time when it is supposed to be growing to meet increased demands at home and abroad.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press