A quick round-up of the news for the week of July 1- 8, 2016.

  1. International:

a) Brexit: This week United Kingdom Independence Party (U.K.I.P) Leader, and Leave side booster Nigel Farage announced his resignation.  He will remain a member of the European Parliament.  The Conservatives began the process of choosing a replacement for David Cameron who will likely be a woman.  Bank of England Governor Mark Carney begins efforts to insulate the U.K. from the worst effects of their E.U. departure.

b) Shootings & Chaos: A black Louisiana father of 5 Alton Sterling was shot by two white police officers Wednesday after being tasered. Thursday a Facebook Live video surfaced of Philando Castile being shot after being pulled over for a broken tail light.   His girlfriend/fiancée, and 4-year old daughter were in the car.  The fiancée shot the video. Peaceful protests erupted across America in response to the shootings Thursday night.  In Dallas they turned violent as 14 police officers were shot by a sniper.  Five are dead, a handful remain in critical condition. The suspect was killed by a bomb.

c) ISIS bombings: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) struck at the heart of Islam with attacks on the “Prophet’s Mosque” in Medina, and targets in Jeddah, and Qatir.  All are in Saudi Arabia.

2. National:

Jason Kenney

a) Kenney says “No” to Conservative leadership: Jason Kenney officially announced he would not be seeking the Conservative Party of Canada (C.P.C.) leadership.  He will make a bid for Progressive Conservative leadership in Alberta, and try and unite the right there.  He’s the first of the “big names” to declare their intentions.  Others rumoured to be in the race include Lisa Raitt, and Peter MacKay.

b) Manitoba signs on: Manitoba became the last province to sign on to the deal to reform the Canada Pension Plan (C.P.P.)  The agreement would see the pension steadily increase over time, and new rules put in play for self-employed.  Self-employed would have to contribute if their income reaches $3500/year beginning in 2019.

c) Fort McMurray Wildfires: The  Insurance Bureau of Canada (I.B.C.) considers it to be the costliest disaster in the country’s history.  The final cost: $3.58 billion.  The fires have been declared under control.

3. Provincial:

a) Black Lives Matter Toronto Protest: Sunday they were invited to participate in Toronto’s Pride Parade, and interrupted it for 25 minutes with a sit-in.  They issued demands including that police would no longer be allowed to participate with a float.  Pride Toronto agreed on site, and have since retracted their agreement saying they’ll need time to discuss it.  Toronto Mayor John Tory sent a letter to Union Head Mike McCormack supporting their officers causing further conflict with Black Lives Matter.

b) Ontario changes ride-sharing insurance regulations: Ontario has approved a change that would see insurance protection granted to ride-sharing services.  The regulation would allow commercial fleet insurance granted to vehicles using a ride-sharing app.

4. Local:

a) Milton Council votes to cut itself: In a tight 6-5 decision Milton Ontario Council has voted to cut council from the current 11 councillors down to 9.  Some call it a cost-cutting move, others wonder if it cuts down the diversity in voices.  More here

5. For the Fun of it:


a) Michael Saunders: The Toronto Blue Jays have 2 players in the all-star game.  First baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson.  They have a chance to get a third into the game in Canadian-born outfielder Michael Saunders.  Fans have until 4pm today to vote online, by texting  A4 to 101010, or tweeting with the hashtag #VoteCaptainCanada.

b) Sajjan gives toddler a memorable tour: 2-year old Sophia Popalyar memorized all the names of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.  She was at Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill and missed Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan because he was in his British Columbia riding.  She threw a tantrum.  On Thursday she was given a tour of Parliament Hill by Sajjan himself.  Watch the video.