Subscribe to The Bullet to get a quick shot of daily news to your inbox.
✨ Good morning! Today is Wednesday, April 3, 2019 and we’re not crying, you’re crying. 😭
BULLETIN: ON THE OUTS
• The Background
Jody Wilson-Raybould is officially out of the Liberal caucus. The former justice minister — who’s been at the centre of the SNC-Lavalin scandal — was expelled yesterday, along with fellow MP Jane Philpott. Both had voiced concerns about Trudeau’s leadership, which obviously he saw as a dealbreaker. Addressing the national Liberal caucus in Ottawa last night, the prime minister said, “our political opponents win when Liberals are divided” admitting that the “trust that previously existed between these two individuals and [his] team has been broken.” CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
The decision comes after a ridiculously eventful day in the capital. First, Wilson-Raybould wrote a letter to her fellow MPs asking that they let her remain in caucus. (They didn’t.) She shared the decision on Twitter, saying she was reflecting on “what the PM had done” and that despite the end result, she’s holding her head high and has no regrets. She also said she’ll continue to speak the truth. Philpott shared many of Wilson-Raybould’s sentiments, saying she was “profoundly disheartened” that the caucus had made the decision without allowing her a chance to speak. The decision came just hours after Trudeau’s former aide, Gerald Butts, submitted text conversations he had with Wilson-Raybould to the House Justice Committee, which apparently contradict some of the statements and accusations she made last week.
• What’s Next?
With the expulsion, neither Philpott nor Wilson-Raybould will be running under the Liberal banner in the upcoming election.
• Criminal Activity
Canadians are known for being nice AF, but according to the U.S., our cops are way too nice — so nice, that Canada’s turned into a “major money laundering country.” (Oops?) According to the U.S. State Department, foreign drug-trafficking gangs are taking advantage of our “weak law enforcement and soft laws.” Canada joins a short list of countries that have been flagged by the U.S., including Afghanistan, the British Virgin Islands, China, Colombia and Macau. The report also notes that Canada is specifically vulnerable to money laundering through casinos, real estate, money services businesses, currency exchanges, wire exchanges, offshore corporations, legal “funnel accounts” and bulk cash and hawala transactions (a.k.a. international exchanges of credit and debt between criminal bankers without money actually crossing borders). If the money laundering wasn’t bad enough, the U.S. has also flagged us as a “major precursor country” for both illicit narcotics and fentanyl. (Guess we’re not so nice after all.) Global News
• Canada: How to Save a Life
Nova Scotia knows the importance of organ donation — and it’s doing its best to make sure everyone else knows it, too. Provincial lawmakers (including Premier Stephen McNeil) introduced a bill yesterday that (if passed) will make Nova Scotia the very first region in North America to adopt presumed organ donation. The measure means that most residents would have to opt-out of organ donation rather than opting in as it is in every other province and state. However, there are exemptions. Those under the age of 19 and people without decision-making capacity wouldn’t be considered organ donors unless a parent, guardian or alternate decision-maker opts them in. The legislation would take at least 12 months to 18 months to come into effect, giving officials time to plan and educate the public. CTV News
• U.S.: Another First
Lori Lightfoot is the new mayor of Chicago. The former federal prosecutor — who made history with yesterday’s win, becoming the first African-American female mayor of the city — took an early lead over Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, which just grew as the night went on. In the end, Lightfoot won 74% of the votes compared to Preckwinkle’s 25%. Both candidates touted the importance of the election, with Preckwinkle pointing out that “Not long ago, the idea that two African-American women would be vying for this spot would have been considered impossible.” The win also makes Chicago the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor. 👏🏼 Chicago Tribune
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Shell’s investors, and more broadly civil society, must be confident that we engage constructively with others on climate change.”
– In a shockingly progressive move for an oil company, Royal Dutch Shellannounced it’s breaking up with the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers because the association’s climate policies don’t align with Shell’s. Shell also threatened to leave nine other trade groups, including the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, if they won’t enact policies that support the goal of the Paris Agreement. (#ItsNotMeItsYou.) CBC News
• Supermarket Sweep
Being a nut-milk loving, hemp grocery bag-toting yuppy just got a bit more affordable. Starting today, Whole Foods is dropping prices on produce and other fresh items by as much as 20%. As a bonus, Amazon Prime members (yep, Canadians too!) will get “an additional 10% off hundreds of sale items throughout the store.” Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey, who stayed on as CEO when the grocery chain was bought by Amazon in 2017, said shoppers can expect even more price cuts in the future, “building on the positive momentum from previous price investments,” while maintaining the “quality” and “innovative assortment [customers] expect from our brand.” (Hopefully “innovative” doesn’t mean more of this.) CBC News
• Digital Darlings
What do Oprah, the Washington Post and Spotify all have in common? All three have been nominated this year for a Webby Award. Presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the Webbys honour the best of the internet and this year, there’s some serious star power on the nominee list. Along with the Big O, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Smith, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper have all been nominated for addressing social issues online, including gun control, women’s rights, addiction and bullying. Other well-known nominees include Sports Illustrated (best sports website), CNN Travel (best travel website), True North: Inside the Rise of Toronto Basketball (best branded entertainment video), and Serial (best podcast series). Voting’s open until April 23, and awards will be presented May 13 in NYC. USA Today
• Hockey: Solidarity On Ice
All is not lost for women’s hockey in Canada. (Hooray!) The U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League is moving in to pick up (some of) the pieces after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League unceremoniously announced its demise on Sunday. NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan announced yesterday that her league’s board has given its stamp of approval to build teams in Toronto and Montreal. The two salvaged teams are a far cry from the six lost to the CWHL’s closure but, hey, it’s better than nothing. Rylan said that when news of the CWHL closure broke, “it was obvious that we needed to do what we could to provide for those players to have a place to play this fall.” The NWHL has also secured a commitment for increased financial investment from the NHL, making it one of the women’s league’s biggest backers. (Score!) CBS Sports
• Drama, Drama, Drama
In a plot twist straight out of, well, Hollywood, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has found itself under the watchful eye of the U.S. Department of Justice over potential plans to block films produced by streaming services from Oscars eligibility. In a letter recently sent to the Academy, the chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, warned that establishing “certain eligibility requirements for the Oscars that eliminate competition…may raise antitrust concerns.” Presumably, the warning was sent in response to a crusade led by Academy board member, Oscar statue hoarder and resident sh*t disturber Steven Spielberg, seeking to blackball Netflix and Amazon from awards eligibility. Spielberg has reportedly been pushing for new rules that would bar films that debut on streaming services at the same time as they’re released in theatres from consideration for the Awards. Variety
• King’s Ransom
Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito will take the throne from his father next month and naturally, citizens are really excited about the crowning of their new emperor. The Oak Door steakhouse is inviting diners to go especially overboard in celebrating the occasion with the introduction of a truly OTT burger fit for royalty. The commemorative Golden Giant Burger is made up of a 1kg ground beef patty, Wagyu beef slices, foie gras and shaved black truffles topped with melted cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions and lettuce. As if that’s not indulgent enough, the six-inch diameter bun is finished with a dusting of gold. The regal whopper will be priced at ¥100,000 (just under $1,200), but don’t worry — that also includes a bottle of wine to wash it down. (Sounds rich.) Japan Today
• Go, Go Gadget
On April 3, 1981, the laptop was born. The Osborne Computer Corporation unveiled the Osborne 1, the first commercially successful portable microcomputer at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco. It weight 24.5 pounds and cost a whopping US $1,795.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• The Saudi government is shelling out a fair chunk of change for its role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It’s reported his kids could get as much as $70 million.
• Cyclone Idai continues to wreak havoc on Mozambique. The number of cholera cases has now surpassed 1,400 — though luckily vaccines have arrived.
• After a seven-hour cabinet meeting, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced she’s going to seek another Brexit delay. (Shocker.)
• Forty-eight hours after rapper Nipsey Hussle was gunned down, the man suspected of pulling the trigger has been arrested.
• Modern Monarchs
Royal watchers rejoice — Harry and Meghan are cutting out the middleman.