Asleep at the wheel

A U.S. company gets a hefty fine for a West Coast oil spill, Canada gets a new Uber-type service for boats and this year's Emmy nominees.

Asleep at the wheel

A U.S. company gets a hefty fine for a West Coast oil spill, Canada gets a new Uber-type service for boats and this year's Emmy nominees.
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✨  Good morning! Today is Wednesday, July 17, 2019, and forget turbulence, this will make you way more nauseous.


• The Background

They say things are always bigger in Texas — and that also applies to the fines. Yesterday, a court in Bella Bella, B.C., handed Houston-based Kirby Offshore Marine Corp. a $3-million fine for a 2016 fuel spill. The spill, which happened in a First Nation’s fishing territory on B.C.’s Central Coast, happened when a tugboat missed its course change and ran aground after its crew member fell asleep at the helm. The result was a 110,000-litre diesel and heavy oil spill. (That’s one helluva bad dream.) CBC News

• What Else You Need to Know

While Kirby’s CEO was likely relieved with the fine, Heitsuk Nation Chief Marilyn Slett was not. She called the fines a “drop in the bucket for a multi-billion dollar company,” and said that true justice would only be served if Kirby was forced into “paying for an environmental impact assessment, admitting civil liability and working openly and honestly to address compensation and remediation for the harm caused by the spill.” The Heitsuk Nation said the area hasn’t been used for marine harvesting since the spill. 

• What’s Next?

While this portion of the case seems to be closed (Kirby pleaded guilty to three of nine charges in the criminal case), it’s far from over for the Heiltsuk Nation. It’s filed a civil case for damages which is still ongoing. 


• Building Breakdown

A four-storey, 100-year-old building in Mumbai, which was home to 15 families, came crumbling down yesterday, leaving at least 10 dead and several others trapped. The cause of the crash has not yet been established, but recent monsoon flooding in the region was likely a factor. Roughly 2,000 people are killed by collapsed buildings per year in India, mostly due to tumbledown structures and inadequate construction standards. BBC News


• U.S.: Potus is Probably Pissed

Yesterday was a pretty rough day for President Trump. Firstly, the issue of whether or not to incorporate a citizenship question in the 2020 Census was finally resolved (for now). A New York federal judge issued an order to definitively block Trump from including a citizenship question of any form in the census. And another big loss for POTUS: the House voted to formally condemn Trump’s racist language in a tirade of tweets directed toward Democratic congresswomen of colour (for which he received tremendous backlash, even from Republicans). The vote, which finished 240–187, got so heated that Nancy Pelosi was barred from speaking in the chamber. Naturally, Trump was outraged by the fallout, claiming he doesn’t have “a racist bone in [his] body.”


“I was so livid when I came out of there because, you know, my grandfather taught me to revere these people that take tickets, that pour your soda.”

Abigail Disney, documentary filmmaker and activist, and the granddaughter of Walt Disney Company co-founder, Roy O. Disney, after her undercover visit to Disneyland. Disney was appalled by the poor working conditions at the theme park. Yahoo!


• Borrow a Boat

Cottagers and water sports enthusiasts, this one’s for you. In what’s being dubbed the “Uber of Boats,” a new app called Get My Boat has officially expanded to Canada. The company launched in San Francisco in 2013 and offers users a bevy of boats (from canoes to party yachts) at varying prices depending on the calibre of the craft. The app works similarly to Airbnb and Uber, wherein boat-owners can rent out their boats, and boat-seekers can take one for a spin whenever they wish. Global News


• Small Screen Honours

The verdict is in, and we now know who’s been nominated for an award at the 71st Emmys. As expected, Game of Thrones dominated, scoring a leading 32 nominations. Not far behind in the comedy realm, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel wracked up 20 nominations. And special Canadian shoutouts to Schitt’s Creek for bringing home a nod for best comedy, best contemporary costume design, best comedic actor and actress, and Sandra Oh, who picked up three nominations for her performance in Killing Eve. The awards air on September 22. Variety


• No Lifeguard on Dooty

We’ve all been guilty of peeing in a pool (c’mon, don’t kid yourself). While it’s never acceptable to do it, at least it’s relatively discreet. On the other hand, making a No. 2 is not. A community pool is closing down, thanks to a committed pooper who just won’t stop using the water as their personal toilet. Despite a public plea urging pool-goers to stop pooping in the pool, the culprit continued to pollute the water. The pool has closed down while the recreational facility’s management investigates surveillance footage and attendance logs. (Pun very much intended.) Fox News


• Emoji Overload

Today is World Emoji Day (yes, such a day exists), a worldwide celebration of the tiny animations we have all come to use on a daily basis. In honour of the holiday, Apple has previewed 20 new emojis which will be released along with dozens more in September. Who knows, maybe one day words will be replaced entirely 🤷‍♀️.


• A float plane crashed in Newfoundland and Labrador, leaving three dead and four missing.

• Close confidante to President Trump, Roger Stone has been barred from social media by a federal judge, after being found guilty of using social platforms repeatedly to downplay the Russia investigation. 

• Amidst a war on abortion in the U.S., Planned Parenthood has ousted its president after just eight months on the job. 

• Bad news for R&B singer R. Kelly (but good news for the rest of the world): he’s been ordered to stay in jail without bond while he waits to stand trial on child pornography charges. 

• The finalists for the 2019 Polaris Music Prize are here — and Quebecois artists are ruling the roost.


• Lucky Ducks Moose

It doesn’t get any more Canadian than this

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