Bill Graham, a former defence and foreign affairs minister, passes away
Former cabinet minister Bill Graham has died.
Graham served as minister of foreign affairs under prime minister Jean Chrétien in 2002 and was later appointed minister of national defence under prime minister Paul Martin in 2004.
Graham acted as foreign affairs minister when Canada decided against joining the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and helped guide the nation through the post-9/11 era.
He also served as leader of the opposition in and interim leader of the Liberal Party in 2006.
He was the member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, known as Toronto Centre—Rosedale during much of his time in politics.
He was first elected to Parliament in 1993 before stepping away from public service in 2007.
He was 83.
Hospital closures are not considered unusual by the minister
Ontario’s health minister says the closure of departments at six Ontario hospitals last weekend is not unprecedented.
Sylvia Jones says it’s part of the “ebb and flow” of staffing during the summer when many people take a vacation.
Jones says hospitals work with Ontario Health to try to alleviate such staff shortages but they do happen occasionally.
Nursing unions say blaming the closures on holidays is insulting.
As many as 25 hospitals had to temporarily shut down some departments last week due to a lack of staff.
Speech from the Throne today
The Ford government offers its Speech from the Throne today, outlining its plans for the future and the pressure is growing to do something about inflation.
The speech will be followed by the budget, first introduced by the Conservatives during the election campaign.
The only change Premier Doug Ford has promised is a five-per-cent hike in Ontario Disability Support Program payments, promised during the election campaign.
The opposition says this first increase in four years isn’t enough and they want rates doubled.
They’re also pushing for a repeal of Bill 124, passed in 2019, limiting public service wage increases, including those of medical workers, to one percent annually.
Sabre rattling between Taiwan and China
Taiwan’s foreign minister says China is using its military exercises to prepare for an invasion and the visit of U-S House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was just an excuse.
The drills continue to surround the island, which China claims as its own.
Taiwan is launching live-fire military exercises of its own today, designed to simulate defence against an invasion.
Russia and Ukraine reach a port deal
Russia and Ukraine have agreed to create a ten-kilometre-wide buffer zone from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
The goal is to convince shipping companies that it’s safe enough to resume grain shipments, which have been blocked since the Russian invasion began on February 24th.
So far, ten vessels have made it out of Ukrainian ports, a test of the procedures agreed to by the two countries.
Trump’s home raided by FBI
FBI agents have raided the Florida home of former U-S President Donald Trump.
Reports say the raid, at the Mar-A-Lago resort, was in connection with Trump’s removal of several boxes of classified documents when he left the White House in January of 2021, following his electoral defeat.
Those official records are supposed to remain the property of the country.
Trump wasn’t in Florida when the raid was conducted.