Canada's PPE supply and officer learns fate; In The News for June 26

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 26 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadian companies are now producing so much personal protective equipment needed in the fight against COVID-19 that Canada is almost at the point of being self-sufficient.

He'll underscore that contention today with a visit to a Kanata, Ont., brewery that has retooled to make hand sanitizer during the pandemic.

The visit to Big Rig Brewery, which has used the federal wage subsidy to rehire workers, is also intended to emphasize Trudeau's repeated plea to businesses to take advantage of the program to get back on their feet. It's his third visit in as many weeks to a company that's used the subsidy to hire back laid off employees.

Today's visit underlines comments Trudeau made during a pre-taped interview that aired Thursday evening at the online Collision tech conference.

He touted the various federal financial support programs aimed at helping businesses survive the pandemic-induced economic shutdown and to promote innovation to help fight the disease.

And he said many Canadian companies have taken advantage of those programs to retool and start producing masks, gowns, ventilators, sanitizer and other personal protective equipment.

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Also this ...

A Toronto police officer and his brother who are accused of brutally beating a young Black man more than three years ago are expected to learn their fate today.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Joseph Di Luca is set to deliver his ruling in the case of Const. Michael Theriault and his brother Christian by videoconference this morning.

The Theriaults have pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and obstruction of justice in relation to the Dec. 28, 2016, incident and its aftermath.

The judge-alone trial has heard Michael Theriault was off duty at the time.

Prosecutors allege the brothers chased Miller in the early hours of the morning, cornering the then-19-year-old between two homes in Whitby, Ont. and beating him so badly with a pipe that his left eye burst.

Defence lawyers have argued the brothers caught Miller and his friends breaking into a vehicle and acted out of self-defence, alleging Miller was the one wielding a pipe.

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ICYMI (In case you missed it) ...

TORONTO — CBC News has taken disciplinary action against journalist Wendy Mesley in light of her admission that she used a racist slur on two separate occasions during editorial meetings in the past year.

Chuck Thompson, CBC's head of public affairs, said an internal review confirmed Mesley "used offensive language" last fall and again recently, but a statement from Mesley has made it clear she used the N-word.

Thompson wouldn't specify what disciplinary action is being taken against Mesley, who has been off the air for about three weeks during the review.

On her Twitter account Thursday, Mesley said she "used a word, and yes, it's the word people think" during a call with colleagues while preparing for a segment of "The Weekly" about anti-racism earlier this month.

Mesley said she used it "not as a slur," but while quoting a word that a journalist had been called — a journalist they were considering as a panellist on the show.

She said she thought by saying the full word, she "was somehow exposing the truth," but now realizes her "abuse of the word was harmful" and she's "deeply sorry and ashamed."

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

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The administration's latest high court filing came the same day the government reported that close to half a million people who lost their health insurance amid the economic shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 have gotten coverage through HealthCare.gov.

The administration's legal brief makes no mention of the virus.

Some 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage and protections for people with pre-existing health conditions also would be put at risk if the court agrees with the administration.

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What we are watching elsewhere in the world ...

PARIS — In France, a reckoning is beginning for 14,000 deaths among care home residents, a cataclysm that scythed through the generation that endured the Second World War.

Families whose elders died behind the closed doors of homes in lockdown are filing wrongful death lawsuits, triggering police investigations.

They are hiring lawyers and banding together to bust through walls of silence erected by homes that failed to keep families updated about COVID-19 deaths and infections.

One suit focuses on the death of a severely disabled 85-year-old in a Paris home managed by a charitable foundation headed by Eric de Rothschild, scion of Europe’s most famous banking dynasty.

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Today in 1961 ...

The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto was opened by prime minister John Diefenbaker.

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Sports news ...

The Vancouver Canucks say the team is officially out of the running to act as a hub city as the NHL considers where to hold its playoffs.

Canucks Sports and Entertainment, the company that operates the hockey franchise, thanked British Columbia health officials for their support during the bid to host the NHL's summer Stanley Cup tournament.

The team says it will now look forward to welcoming its players back for a training camp at Rogers Arena in the city.

"From the beginning our goal was to help the NHL get hockey back on the ice if we could," said chief operating officer Trent Carroll in a statement. "Although Vancouver won't be a hub city, we are still exited to see hockey start up again."

The NHL is picking two cities for teams to resume hockey. The league announced earlier that Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis, Chicago, Columbus and Pittsburgh were all in the running as hub cities.

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In entertainment ...

Actress Olivia Munn is set to share her social media platforms with British Columbia's provincial health officer for a day to talk about COVID-19.

Dr. Bonnie Henry will be featured primarily on Munn's Instagram account on Tuesday as part of the ONE World Campaign's #PassTheMic initiative.

The campaign is from ONE, a global movement aimed at ending extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030.

The non-partisan ONE movement was co-founded by U2 lead vocalist Bono.

The ONE World Campaign is "demanding solidarity and collective action against COVID-19 from leaders across the planet."

The #PassTheMic initiative has seen various celebrities hand their social media channels over to medical experts and frontline workers to explain how we can beat the pandemic.

Munn is known for roles on "The Newsroom" and "X-Men: Apocalypse."

Other celebrity #PassTheMic participants include actors Julia Roberts, Danai Gurira, and Hugh Jackman.

Medical and policy experts who've signed on include top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Tsion Firew of Columbia University, and Nigeria's former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2020.

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