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Cabinet shuffle and Ontario's possible new COVID measures: In The News for Jan. 12

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 Jan. 12 ... 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 Jan. 12 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will conduct a small shuffle of his ministers today before holing up later in the day for a cabinet retreat to plot strategy for the resumption of Parliament.

The shuffle is due to the departure of Navdeep Bains, who is not intending to run again in the next election, which could come as early as this spring.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is expected to replace Bains while Transport Minister Marc Garneau moves into Champagne's old job.

Toronto-area backbencher Omar Alghabra is expected to take over the Tranpsort portfolio.

Trudeau has been clear that he wants departments crucial to the country's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to be overseen by ministers who will be around to help sell the government's agenda during the next election campaign.

The cabinet retreat — four one-day sessions to take place over the next two weeks — is to focus on what more the government needs to do to manage the pandemic, which continues to rage across the country, including ways to accelerate the rollout of vaccines.


Also this ...

TORONTO — New restrictions to fight skyrocketing rates of COVID-19 were being considered by Ontario's cabinet Monday night, although a curfew was not one of them.

The discussion took place as the province hit the grim milestone of recording more than 5,000 deaths from the virus since the start of the pandemic.

Premier Doug Ford said residents can expect an announcement on new measures today when the province will also make new COVID-19 projections public.

He has said the current provincial lockdown may need to be extended and stricter measures could be imposed if cases continue to soar.

Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate medical officer of health, said a curfew was not among the recommendations going before cabinet, adding that she had seen no evidence one would be effective.

She noted, however, that current trends in the province were "scary" and said as many as a third of residents surveyed reported they are not following public health guidelines.


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

WASHINGTON — American President Donald Trump will travel to Texas to trumpet one of the pillars of his presidency: his campaign against illegal immigration. 

Today's trip is part of an effort by aides to try to salvage a Trump legacy that will forever be stained by the siege he incited on the U.S. Capitol last week. 

Trump has spent the final days of his presidency isolated, aggrieved and staring down the prospect of a second impeachment. 

But he and Vice-President Mike Pence appear to have come to a detente after nearly a week of silence, anger and finger-pointing. 

A senior administration official says the two met Monday evening in the Oval Office and had a "good conversation."

It was their first time speaking since the raid on the Capitol last Wednesday.

The official says that during their conversation, Trump and Pence pledged to continue to work for “the remainder of their term.”


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

New Zealand will soon require that travellers from most countries show negative coronavirus tests before they leave for New Zealand. 

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says New Zealand is in a fortunate position to have stamped out community spread of the virus, but takes nothing for granted. 

The new rules will require travellers to have a negative test within 72 hours of departure. 

The rules will be imposed on travellers from the U.S. and the U.K. beginning Friday and most other countries soon after. 

Travellers from Australia and some Pacific nations will be exempted. 

Until now, New Zealand has relied on placing new arrivals into a mandatory two-week quarantine.


On this day in 1951 ...

Albert Guay of Quebec City was hanged in Montreal for murder. Guay planted a time bomb aboard a Canadian Pacific Airways plane that killed 23 people, including his wife. Two accomplices were also eventually hanged.


In entertainment ...

"Sex and the City" fans are buzzing on social media about Canadian-raised actress Kim Cattrall after she was noticeably absent from a new trailer for an upcoming revival of the series.

Cattrall, who co-starred as public relations veteran Samantha Jones on the original show and in two films, is also absent from a press release for the show's "new chapter."

However, original stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis are all set to be in the HBO Max original series "And Just Like That …" from executive producer Michael Patrick King.

Parker, Davis and Nixon — who play Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda, respectively — will also executive produce the show, which will be available on Crave in Canada.

Cattrall, who was born in Liverpool, England and grew up in British Columbia, has repeatedly said that she is done with the show, which is set in New York and ran for six seasons starting in 1998.

And in an Instagram post about the revival, Parker says Samantha "isn't part of this story."

There have also been long-reported tensions between Cattrall and Parker.

Both have downplayed those rumours over the years but in 2018, Cattrall lashed out at Parker on Instagram. 



An Edmonton police officer won't face criminal charges for firing a loaded Glock service pistol after a training exercise in June 2019.

The shot, which didn't cause any injuries, happened as members of the Edmonton Police Service tactics and firearms training units were finishing their day at a centre in the city.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says an investigation determined about 10 officers were sitting in a bullpen area doing a debrief of the day and making plans for an evening graduation ceremony.

It found officers were relaxing, throwing around a tennis ball and using laser training pistols to bounce lasers off mirrors and onto each other.

A training officer told investigators that he lasered the involved officer, then popped down behind some desks.

That officer responded by raising his Glock and pulling the trigger. A shot was fired but no one was hurt.

The investigation determined that he either mistakenly raised the Glock believing it to be a training pistol or knowingly raised and fired the Glock believing it to be unloaded 

The Crown determined there was a reasonable likelihood of getting a conviction, but that it wasn't in the public interest to proceed with criminal prosecution.

The Edmonton Police Service said Monday in an email that its professional standards branch has started its own investigation.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2021

The Canadian Press

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