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Transformation in Winnipeg and slaughter in Mariupol: In The News for Apr. 22

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 Apr. 22 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
A Southern Chiefs Organization banner is installed on The Hudsons Bay Company heritage building in Winnipeg Thursday, April 21, 2022. One of the landmark stores formerly run by the Hudson's Bay Co. is about to undergo a major transformation in the name of reconciliation with Indigenous people.THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

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 Apr. 22 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

WINNIPEG — One of the landmark stores formerly run by the Hudson's Bay Co. is about to undergo a major transformation in the name of reconciliation with Indigenous people.

The company's six-storey, 655,000-square-foot building in downtown Winnipeg is being given to the Southern Chiefs Organization, which represents 34 First Nations communities in Manitoba.

The site will be transformed to include almost 300 affordable housing units, a museum, an art gallery and restaurants.

There are also plans for a health centre that will embrace both western and traditional medical practices.

The official announcement is expected Friday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on hand.

A source with the Manitoba government, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record, says the province will contribute $10 million to the initiative, with the federal government and Winnipeg city hall also pitching in.

"Today can be another step forward to a brighter future, one that reflects what our ancestors dreamed of," Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs Organization said in a press release Thursday.

"This project is an act of reconciliation and is our vision to revitalize the heart of Winnipeg's downtown, for the benefit of all."

The Winnipeg store was closed in November 2020, and the municipal and provincial governments have been working to help find a new use for the site.


Also this ...

A nursing union boss wants Canada's auditor general to find out how many privately contracted nurses are working for health authorities across the country, doing the same work as staff counterparts while being paid far more.

Linda Silas of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has asked Karen Hogan to conduct the review with auditors in every province to determine if recruitment and retention of staff nurses are being undermined by the higher wages that contractors get.

Contract nurses are ultimately paid with public funds, even though they work for private agencies.

"The astronomical increase in the use of nurses employed by private agencies in the past few years represents a significant and potentially dangerous challenge to the sustainability of our public health-care system," she said in a letter to Hogan, who has the power to audit the territories, which do not have their own auditors general.

Silas wants to know the average pay rates for agency nurses in every jurisdiction.

"It's about following the money," she said in an interview.

"Right now, we have thousands and thousands of vacancies, and provinces and territories are scrambling to find appropriate retention and recruitment strategies."

British Columbia announced plans this week to fast-track the accreditation of foreign-educated nurses, who would also be eligible for various financial assistance, such a bursaries to improve their English-language skills.

Ontario and Manitoba, for example, have also introduced measures to attract nurses trained outside the country.

Yan Michaud, a spokesman for Hogan's office, said the letter was received on Thursday, but it was too early to respond.

The federation was expecting to also ask nurses this week to complete a survey on why they work for agencies or would consider doing so, Silas said.

Advantages may include higher pay, flexible schedules and greater mobility, she said, while disadvantages might be a lack of benefits or job security.


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

WASHINGTON — House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy told fellow GOP lawmakers shortly after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection that he would urge then-President Donald Trump to resign, according to audio posted by The New York Times and aired on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show .

In the recording of a Jan. 10 House Republican Leadership call posted by the Times Thursday night, McCarthy is heard discussing the Democratic effort to remove Trump from office and saying he would tell Trump, “I think it will pass and it would be my recommendation he should resign."

It’s unclear whether McCarthy, who is in line to become House speaker if Republicans gain control during the fall midterm elections, followed through on his thinking or was merely spit-balling ideas shared privately with his colleagues in the aftermath of the deadly Capitol assault.

In the same conversation, McCarthy told his colleagues he doubted Trump would take the advice to step aside.

“That would be my recommendation,” McCarthy is heard saying in response to question from Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who would emerge as a staunch Trump critic. “I don’t think he will take it, but I don’t know.””

Earlier Thursday, after the Times published its initial story describing the conversation, McCarthy released a statement calling it “totally false and wrong.” His spokesman, Mark Bednar, had told the paper, “McCarthy never said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.”

Bednar did not immediately respond to questions late Thursday night after the audio's release. Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the tape.

The audio threatens to badly damage the relationship between McCarthy and Trump, who remains the most popular figure in the Republican Party, despite his role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection and his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election. And it could threaten McCarthy's standing with House Republicans aligned with Trump, whose support he will need for votes to become House speaker next year.


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

ZAPORIZHZHIA,Ukraine — New satellite images show what appear to be mass graves near Mariupol, and local officials accused Russia of burying up to 9,000 Ukrainian civilians there in an effort to conceal the slaughter taking place in the siege of the port city.

The images emerged Thursday, just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in the battle for Mariupol, despite the presence of an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters who were still holed up at a giant steel mill. Putin ordered his troops to seal off the stronghold “so that not even a fly comes through” instead of storming it.

Satellite image provider Maxar Technologies released the photos, which it said showed more than 200 mass graves in a town where Ukrainian officials say the Russians have been burying Mariupol residents killed in the fighting. The imagery showed long rows of graves stretching away from an existing cemetery in the town of Manhush, outside Mariupol.

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko accused the Russians of “hiding their military crimes” by taking the bodies of civilians from the city and burying them in Manhush.

The graves could hold as many as 9,000 dead, the Mariupol City Council said Thursday in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

Boychenko labeled Russian actions in the city as “the new Babi Yar,” a reference to the site of multiple Nazi massacres in which nearly 34,000 Ukrainian Jews were killed in 1941.

“The bodies of the dead were being brought by the truckload and actually simply being dumped in mounds,” an aide to Boychenko, Piotr Andryushchenko, said on Telegram.

There was no immediate reaction from the Kremlin. When mass graves and hundreds of dead civilians were discovered in Bucha and other towns around Kyiv after Russian troops retreated three weeks ago, Russian officials denied that their soldiers killed any civilians there and accused Ukraine of staging the atrocities.

In a statement, Maxar said a review of previous images indicates that the graves in Manhush were dug in late March and expanded in recent weeks.


On this day in 2001 ...

Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian to walk in space. Hadfield and an American colleague on the space shuttle "Endeavour" crew unfolded and installed an updated model of the Canadian-built robotic arm that would help build and maintain the International Space Station.


In entertainment ...

"Jeopardy!" champion Mattea Roach, the 23-year-old patron saint of Canadian nerds, has another notch in her belt.

The law school tutor won her 13th consecutive game on Thursday night's episode of the TV quiz show.

She's now firmly entrenched in the Hall of Fame, with the eighth-longest streak in the show's regular-season history.

"Jeopardy!" champion-turned-host Ken Jennings, who won 74 games in 2004, tops the list, while Amy Schneider ranks second after a 40-game streak earlier this year.

Roach has so far won $286,081 on the show.

She lives in Toronto and hails from Halifax — a distinction she has said her parents urged her to make.

Roach has said on the show that she spent her childhood and part of her adolescence in Halifax, but has also lived in Calgary and Moncton, N.B.


Did you see this?

SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities on Thursday were investigating an incident in which former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson was recorded on video punching a fellow first-class passenger aboard a plane at San Francisco International Airport.

The video shows Tyson leaning over the back of his seat repeatedly striking the unidentified man in the head, drawing blood. The footage was first shared by TMZ, which said it was recorded on a Jet Blue plane bound for Florida.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Tyson had an incident on a flight with an aggressive passenger who began harassing him and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat,” representatives for Tyson said in an email to The Associated Press.

Prior to the physical altercation, the man is seen on the video standing over Tyson's seat, waving his arms and talking animatedly while the former boxer sits quietly.

San Francisco police responded Wednesday around 10 p.m. to a “physical altercation” on a plane at the airport's domestic terminal, officials said.

“Officers arrived and detained two subjects that were believed to be involved in the incident. One subject was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries. That subject provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation,” police said in a statement Thursday.

Both were released pending further investigation, the statement said.

Another passenger on the flight, Sarah Burchfield, said she saw the man who Tyson punched at an airport bar earlier appearing loud and quarrelsome.

“When I boarded the flight, I thought, ‘Oh, no, that drunk guy is on our flight,’” Burchfield told SFGate.

JetBlue didn't immediately respond to an email seeking additional details.

Since Tyson, 55, retired from boxing, he has worked as an actor, podcaster and cannabis entrepreneur. He was in San Francisco for the annual 420 cannabis festival in Golden Gate Park, where he was promoting his cannabis brand Tyson 2.0, SFGate reported.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Apr 22, 2022

The Canadian Press