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Oops, he did it again and tragic legacy: In The News for May 28

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 May 28 ... 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 May 28 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

OTTAWA — Liberal MP William Amos has once again been caught unawares on webcam.

"Last night, while attending House of Commons proceedings virtually, in a non-public setting, I urinated without realizing I was on camera," the Quebec MP wrote in a statement posted to Twitter late Thursday night.

"I am deeply embarrassed by my actions and the distress they may have caused anybody who witnessed them," wrote Amos. "While accidental and not visible to the public, this was completely unacceptable, and I apologize unreservedly."

He added that he is temporarily stepping away from his role as parliamentary secretary to Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne and from his work as a member of the House of Commons veterans' affairs committee so that he can get help.

Last month, Amos made headlines around the world after he appeared naked on an internal parliamentary feed of virtual question period, without his image being broadcast on the public feed.

He said he was changing his clothes after a jog and didn't realize his laptop camera was turned on.


Also this ...

QUEBEC — Quebec's curfew — in place since Jan. 9 — will be lifted this evening as the province begins relaxing measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The curfew was originally set at 8 p.m. and more recently had been moved to 9:30 p.m..

Restaurant patios across the province will also be permitted to reopen today, though some restrictions will remain.

Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people will be allowed on private property, and large venues will be able to host up to 2,500 people.

The new measures come as COVID-19 hospitalizations in Quebec have declined to their lowest level in more than six months.

Meanwhile, officials in Ontario will provide an update on the province's COVID-19 vaccine rollout today.

Task force member Dirk Huyer says the group has been carefully working on its plan for second doses.

Ontario is currently administering COVID-19 shots four months apart with some exceptions.

Huyer says the second-dose plan will consider clinical and other reasons for shortening the interval between doses. 


And this ... 

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The remains of 215 children have been found buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. 

Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation said in a news release Thursday that the remains were confirmed last weekend with the help of a ground-penetrating radar specialist. 

Casimir called the discovery an "unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented at the Kamloops Indian Residential School." 

She said it’s believed the deaths are undocumented, although a local museum archivist is working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to see if any records of the deaths can be found.

Some of the children were as young as three, she said. 

The school was once the largest in Canada’s residential school system.

The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was issued more than five years ago detailed the harsh mistreatment inflicted on Indigenous children at the institutions, where at least 3,200 children died amid abuse and neglect.


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

LOS ANGELES — California is giving away the largest pot of vaccine prize money in the United States, making $116.5 million available in a bid to boost inoculation numbers before the state fully reopens next month.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced the prizes, which include $1.5 million each for 10 Californians, the largest single award offered in any state.

The goal is to motivate roughly 12 million people who are eligible but not yet vaccinated, though the more than 20 million Californians already partially or fully vaccinated also are in the running for the most valuable prizes.

The state will give $50 gift cards either for general use or for specific grocery stores to the next two million people who get shots, including those at the school where Newsom spoke.

Newsom defended the spending as smart policy aimed at ensuring more than 70 per cent of eligible people are inoculated before the state fully reopens businesses and relaxes physical distancing and masking rules on June 15.

On that day, a drawing will be held to award 10 vaccinated people the top prize. Another 30 people will win $50,000 each, with those drawings starting June 4.

Anyone 12 and older who has received at least one shot will be eligible.


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

OTTAWA — A United Nations agency is investigating Belarus's arrest of a dissident journalist after his flight was diverted on dubious pretenses as the G7 plans to ramp up its efforts to hold the country accountable.

The governing body of the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization said Thursday it will open a fact-finding probe into "the apparent forced diversion" of the airliner, which saw Belarusian authorities detain journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.

The investigation will seek to determine whether there was a breach of international aviation law.

Earlier in the day, G7 foreign ministers, along with a European Union representative, said they will impose "further sanctions as appropriate," condemning the act as an attack on press freedom and civil aviation rules.

The EU has already moved to ban Belarusian airlines from its skies, advised EU carriers to steer clear of flights over the country and pledged further economic sanctions.

Transport Canada urged Belarus to release all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained and called on it to co-operate with a council investigation.

Meanwhile, Belarus' authoritarian leader, President Alexander Lukashenko, heads to Russia today to seek help amid his bruising showdown with the European Union.

Lukashenko is set to meet with Russia's Vladimir Putin at his Black Sea residence in Sochi for talks on closer economic ties, according to the Kremlin.


On this day in 1934 ...

The Dionne quintuplets were born in Callander, Ont. Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile and Marie were the first quints to survive more than a few days. The Ontario government placed them in a specially-built hospital, where the children were put on public display. More than three million people came to watch them play behind a one-way screen. Their mother fought for nine years to regain custody, but the family reunion in 1943 was not successful. In 1998, the three surviving sisters and their families received $4 million compensation from the Ontario government for their childhood mistreatment.


In entertainment ...

TORONTO — The Blues-rock classic song "Black Velvet" is getting a place in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame next month.

Alannah Myles's sultry radio staple was co-written by David Tyson and Christopher Ward and will be celebrated June 10 in a virtual presentation.

Hall of Fame organizers say Tyson and Ward will be inducted on Global’s "The Morning Show."

The event will include a video recording of the song, featuring Serena Ryder and Damhnait Doyle, along with Ward. 

Hall of Fame executive director Vanessa Thomas hailed "Black Velvet" as "an incredible hit that has transcended time and genre."

Ward and Tyson co-wrote the song for Myles's eponymous debut album after Ward was inspired by a trip to Memphis for the 10th anniversary of Elvis's death. It was released as a single in 1989, hitting mainstream rock charts by early 1990. 

The track went on to become a global smash, picking up single of the year at the Juno Awards and earning a Grammy for best female rock vocal performance. 



DALLAS — A Wayne Gretzky rookie card has sold for US$3.75 million, shattering an American auction company's previous record for the sale of his cards.

Heritage Auctions says it sold the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Gretzky rookie card to an anonymous buyer.

The previous record for a hockey card was set Dec. 11, 2020, when Heritage sold the only other one of two Gretzky rookie cards to receive a perfect "gem mint" score from Professional Sports Authenticator for $1.29 million.

That marked the first hockey card to go for more than $1 million.

The known record for a sports card sale came earlier this year when a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball rookie card sold for $5.2 million through PWCC Marketplace.

The card features Gretzky in his Edmonton Oilers uniform during the team's final World Hockey Association season before the franchise joined the NHL.

A four-time Stanley Cup winner, Gretzky retired from the NHL in 1999 with a record 894 goals, 1,963 assists and 2,857 points.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press