Canada to map defense spending, verdict expected on Winnipeg murderer

Canada to map defense spending, verdict expected on Winnipeg murderer

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press, intended to keep you informed…

Canada to provide details on defence funding

Canada is expected to provide more details on its plan to meet defence spending targets in an effort to assuage concerns that plagued the prime minister at this week’s NATO summit in Washington, DC.

NATO allies have agreed to spend at least the equivalent of two percent of their gross domestic product on defense, but Canada has fallen far short of this target.

A senior government official said Canada will provide a timetable for reaching the funding goal and provide more details about the plan on Thursday.

Trudeau is expected to continue to urge allies to support Ukraine, as the war-torn country, facing increasing aggression from Russia, has become a rallying point for NATO support.

Judge to rule in serial killer case

Today a judge will deliver his verdict in the first-degree murder trial of a man who confessed to killing four women in Winnipeg.

Attorneys for Jeremy Skibicki argue that he is not criminally liable, saying he was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the 2022 killings.

However, prosecutors say he had the mental capacity and consciousness to commit and cover up the murders.

They characterize the killings as racially motivated and say the 37-year-old targeted Indigenous women in homeless shelters.

The case led to calls for governments and organizations to address the ongoing problem of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

New evacuation order for central British Columbia district

A new wildfire in central British Columbia has prompted an evacuation order for the northeastern corner of Wells County.

County officials say the Cornish Mountain Wildfire poses a threat to life and safety and affected residents should evacuate immediately.

Affected areas include the Eight- and Nine-Mile Lake Areas, Cornish Lake, and mining sites.

An evacuation warning remains in effect for the remainder of the district.

The province is currently dealing with 146 forest fires, two of which are considered ‘notable’.

Home prices hit $824,300 last quarter: report

Despite expectations that lower interest rates would discourage homebuyers, a new report shows the Bank of Canada’s quarter-percentage-point cut in its key interest rate last month failed to boost demand.

The latest Royal LePage home price survey, released Thursday, which details market trends in Canada in the second quarter, shows demand still outpacing supply in the Prairies and Quebec. But Toronto and Vancouver saw slower-than-normal activity this spring.

Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, said prices in Canada’s largest markets remain stable.

A Royal LePage survey conducted by Leger earlier this year found that 51 percent of potential homebuyers would resume their search if interest rates fell, but only 10 percent said a 25 basis point cut would prompt them to get back into the market.

UofT camp order could impact future protests

A pro-Palestinian protest camp that stood for weeks at the University of Toronto may be gone, but experts say the court ruling that led to its eviction could loom large over future protests at Canadian universities.

Last week, a judge authorized police to take action if protesters did not leave the camp by a certain deadline. The protesters complied with the request, but vowed to continue to pressure the university in other ways to enforce their demands, including disclosing and divesting from companies that profit from Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

Several similar camps at other Ontario universities have since been dismantled, some under threat of legal action.

While every case is different, experts say the court’s ruling at the University of Toronto raises questions about how academic institutions balance free speech and property rights, and potentially sets a precedent for how future campus protests are handled.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2024

The Canadian Press

President Joe Biden, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, right, greet Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, as they arrive for a welcome ceremony at the NATO summit in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Schiefelbein