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✨ Good morning! Today is Monday, April 29, 2019, and yet another scientific study has confirmed something we already suspected (assuming the researchers aren’t a bunch of rich guys — then we’re really in trouble).
BULLETIN: IN DEEP WATER
• The Background
While many Canadians have been excited to see the rising temperatures and officially bid adieu to winter, the spring thaw has created a dire situation in parts of the country. On Friday, Montreal declared a state of emergency (which was extended yesterday for an additional five days), due to severe flooding in several areas. By declaring a state of emergency, the municipal government is able to seize land, enforce mandatory evacuations, and put in place other flood prevention measures, while the fire department has extended power to spend money, requisition private property and take other measures to protect homes. And it’s not just Montreal that’s in hot (or maybe that should be cold) water: the Ottawa River has already set an all-time record water high, and it hasn’t even peaked, while several neighbourhoods in northern Ontario (Bracebridge, Huntsville, and Renfrew County) have been hit so hard that the Canadian Armed Forces were called in.
• What Else You Need to Know
ith an expected increase in water levels through today in Montreal, Pierrefonds Mayor Jim Beis said officials’ primary concern is whether or not the dikes hold. Several dikes that were built during a similar flood in the ’70s are already showing signs of weakness, and residents have been racing to build secondary dikes in case the originals give out. Many of Pierrefonds’ sewers are also backed up, which is contributing to the rising waters. South of Ottawa, in Kingston and Brockville, the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority has warned residents of rapidly rising water levels later this week in both the St. Lawrence River and in Lake Ontario.
• What’s Next?
Once this particular threat is over, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante vowed to do more to prevent similar situations from happening in the future. Premier Francois Legault already brought up creating incentives for residents in flood zones to move, and Plante vowed to enforce strict zoning laws moving forward: “Not only do we need to protect more but we cannot let people and municipalities build houses in places where it will have not only an impact on their lives but an entire territory. For the future that needs to stop.”
• (Another) Hate Crime
At least one woman was killed and three more injured on Saturday when a 19-year-old gunman stormed a California synagogue. The attack took place at Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego during a service celebrating the last day of Passover. An off-duty border patrol agent happened to be in attendance, and returned fire, missing the gunman but hitting his vehicle. The gunman was later identified as John Earnest and was quickly taken into custody. The deceased was later identified as 60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye, who was killed shielding Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein from gunfire. Fox News
U.S.: Do As I Say, Not As I Do
President Trump has announced (at an NRA convention, no less) that he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the UN Arms Trade Treaty. The agreement helps to prevent humanitarian crimes by regulating the buying and selling of weapons on the global stage. Washington voted in
• World: Vote for Pedro
For the third time in four years, Spanish residents voted in a new government yesterday — sort of. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialist Party is likely to find itself back in power, after taking home 29% of the vote (and 122 seats in the 350-seat parliament). Since 29% isn’t enough to form a majority government, the Socialists will be forced to work with the left-wing Podemos (who picked up 14% of the vote or 42 parliamentary seats) and possibly Catalan nationalists to form government. Though most of the results were expected, the election marks the first time a far-right group got enough votes to enter parliament. Vox (a party that opposes multiculturalism, feminism and unrestricted migration) picked up more than 10% of the vote, giving the party 24 seats in parliament. BBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“As we head into election season, I leave you with one last gem from [Mark] Twain: ‘Politicians and diapers must be changed often and for the same reason.'”
– Biographer and host of Saturday evening’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Ron Chernow delivers some poignant second-hand advice with his final words of the event. The Hill
• Unsavory Characters
Praise be! Oliver North has released a statement saying that he will not be serving as the National Rifle Association’s president for a second term. The announcement was made at the organization’s annual convention, which he didn’t attend. (With news like that, we wouldn’t show up either.) North was reportedly forced out over disagreements with the NRA’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre. One big issue? The NRA has an ongoing lawsuit against a PR firm for refusing to produce financial records for work completed — a firm that North does big-time business with, leading to concerns about a potential conflict of interest. ICYMI, back in the ’80s, North was convicted of obstructing Congress, destroying government records and accepting an illegal payment. (Just the kind of stand-up guy you want as a leader, right?) CTV News
• Tell All Your Friends
In the online world, sharing is caring, and two platforms are making it even easier to spread the love. Vimeo has introduced a new feature called Showcase that allows users to build a customized video portfolio site or embed a video collection into an existing site elsewhere on the web, or create self-branded smart TV channels to bring their videos to Roku or Amazon Fire. On the flip side, podcast player app Overcast has developed a tool that lets listeners share short audio or video clips from podcast episodes to their social account — something that hasn’t been easily done before now. The app’s developer, Marco Arment, is especially stoked about the video clips, as “today’s social networks are more reliant on images and video, especially Instagram,” he says. “Podcasts need video clips to be shared more easily.” Tap on the “Share Clip” link in the Overcast app while listening, and you’ll be able to trim a clip up to one minute long to be exported either as audio-only or as a video featuring the show’s cover art (so you can annoy your Instagram followers with Game of Thrones spoilers from the new season of Binge Mode).
• Curling: Canadian World Domination
Need some help getting over your hockey heartbreak? The Canadians had a pretty good showing at the 2019 World Senior Curling Championships, held in Stavanger, Norway. While it wasn’t a complete clean sweep for the Canuck teams, the men’s team won gold with a score of 7–5 against Scotland and the women’s team notched a blowout score of 10–1 against Denmark. The mixed doubles team nabbed a still not-too-shabby silver medal after losing to the Swedes 6–5. (New national sport, anyone?) CBC Sports
• Playoffs update 🇨🇦
↳ The Toronto Raptors won the first game of their second-round series on Saturday, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 108–95. (Kawhi Leonard set a new playoff career-best with 45 points.) Game two is tonight at 8pm.
• Making Bank
A lesser artist might be concerned about having to share the hype, but Taylor Swift’s got no issues with double-booking. She dropped her new single “Me!” last Friday, on the same day Avengers: Endgame opened in theatres. But everyone’s a winner in this scenario. Swift broke the YouTube record for the most plays of a video by a solo artist within the first 24 hours of upload (impressive, but what a mouthful), along with the most plays on Vevo in 24 hours, the most first-day streams on Amazon Music, and the most on-demand voice requests with Alexa. But no need to shed a tear for your favourite superheroes: Endgame is the first movie ever to make over $1 billion on its opening weekend. (And this is just the beginning.) CNET
• Butt-Dialing Burglars
Rule No.1 of a successful robbery? Don’t call 911 when fleeing the scene. A band of burglars attempted to make off with their haul of laptops and electronics from a Texas Best Buy when they — get this — accidentally called the police from their getaway car. An alarm was triggered at the store, and police were on their way to investigate when they were notified of a 911 call in the area. After tracking down the source of the call, the authorities were able to put two and two together and went after the car in a high-speed chase. Two suspects were arrested, while the third managed to evade capture. (For his sake, let’s hope he doesn’t own a cell phone.) ABC News
• A Duchess is Born
On April 29, 2011, Prince William married longtime love Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. After the union, the couple was given the royal titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• Wondering how the Liberal government expects to pay for its pricey new budget additions? Apparently it’s got lots of money to spare: The feds have posted a surplus of $3.1 billion for the first 11 months of the fiscal year.
• Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc has announced he’s taking a leave from his role to receive treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
• Uber may be known for its cheap(ish) fares, but it’s got expensive ambitions when it comes to its IPO — it’s seeking a whopping $91.5 billion in share value (nevermind that it’s losing money in the meantime).
• MVPs Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Nikita Kucherov are going head to head to head as the finalists for this year’s Hart Memorial Trophy.
• Idris Elba has solidified his Canadian connection: the actor and Vancourite model Sabrina Dhowre were married this weekend in Morocco.
• Bad Timing
This has got to be the saddest marathon finish we’ve ever witnessed.