In The News for Jan. 25: Will the Bank of Canada raise its key interest rate again?

By Canadian Press

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 Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023 …

What we are watching in Canada …

The Bank of Canada is set to announce its latest interest rate decision this morning as markets widely expect the central bank to hike its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point. 

That would bring its key interest rate to 4.5 per cent, the highest it’s been since 2007.

The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates seven consecutive times since March in the face of decades-high inflation. 

Economists expect today’s rate hike to be the last of the cycle.

Given there is a delay between hikes and their effects on spending, the Bank of Canada is expected to monitor how the economy evolves in the coming months. 

Also this …

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s premiers will meet in Ottawa next month in a bid to find a new funding deal for health care.

Two federal sources granted anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter say Trudeau will announce the meeting this morning.

The prime minister and his cabinet are on the third and final day of a retreat in Hamilton, Ont. ahead of the return of Parliament next week.

Ongoing negotiations towards a new health-care funding pact have been front and centre throughout the retreat.

The sources say the meeting is not intended to finalize a new pact but rather to solidify the steps needed to reach such a deal.

A spokesman for British Columbia Premier David Eby tells The Canadian Press the premiers will be in Ottawa Feb. 12 and 13 for a meeting and Trudeau is welcome to join them.

The premiers and the federal government have been jockeying around a new deal for months.

Canada’s health care system is strained to the breaking point following three years of COVID-19 and a growing shortage of health-care workers.

And this …

The House of Commons industry and technology committee is set to meet today to look at Rogers Communications Inc.’s proposed takeover of Shaw Communications Inc.

The committee previously reviewed the merger in March and recommended against the transaction.

This latest meeting will examine a revised proposal that includes the sale of Shaw-owned Freedom Mobile to Quebecor-owned Videotron Ltd.

Speakers at the meeting include members of the Competition Bureau, outside competition experts and company representatives including Rogers chief executive Tony Staffieri.

The meeting comes a day after the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the Competition Bureau to overturn the Competition Tribunal’s approval of the deal. 

What we are watching in the U.S. …

Officials say an agricultural worker killed seven people in back-to-back shootings at two mushroom farms that employed him in Northern California, and the massacre is believed to be a “workplace violence incident.” 

The state is mourning its third mass killing in eight days. Officers arrested a suspect in the latest shootings on Monday, 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, after they found him in his car in the parking lot of a sheriff’s substation. 

The Sheriff’s Office says seven people were found dead, and an eighth was wounded, at the farms on the outskirts of the coastal community of Half Moon Bay.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

The parents of a New Zealand scientist who was killed in Ukraine said Wednesday he helped save hundreds of people while volunteering in the dangerous Donbas region.

Andrew Bagshaw, 47, a dual New Zealand and British citizen, was killed along with British colleague Chris Parry, 28, while attempting to rescue an elderly woman from the town of Soledar when their car was hit by an artillery shell, according to Bagshaw’s parents, Dame Sue and Phil Bagshaw.

The Bagshaws said the deaths, which occurred some time this month, had only just been confirmed to them.

They said their son worked independently and wasn’t affiliated with an aid agency, They said he helped evacuate people from dangerous areas and bring food, water and medicine to others in need. They said he even fed abandoned pets.

Soledar has seen intense military action and Russia this month claimed it had retaken the salt-mining town in a rare recent victory in the 11-month conflict.

And This …

Pope Francis has criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are. 

He called on those Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church. Speaking in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Francis acknowledged Catholic bishops in some parts of the world, including Africa and the Middle East, support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community. 

He attributed their attitudes to cultural influences and said they need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone.

On this day in 1978 …

Four women in Dubuque, Iowa — bucking mind-boggling odds — were dealt perfect bridge hands in the same game, allowing that spades is the true perfect hand.

In entertainment …

An Australian government minister says rapper Ye could be refused a visa due to antisemitic comments if he attempts to visit Australia.

Education Minister Jason Clare was responding to reports that the U.S. celebrity formerly known as Kanye West intends to visit his partner’s family in Australia next week. Clare says he doesn’t know if Ye has applied for a visa but Australia has previously refused them to people with antisemitic views. 

Ye recently praised Hitler in an interview and was suspended from Twitter after he tweeted a picture of a swastika merged with the Star of David. 

Ye’s representative has not responded to AP’s questions over whether he has married Australian Bianca Censori.

Did you see this?

Halifax regional council voted today to register as a heritage property the former home of Clement Ligoure, the first Black doctor in Nova Scotia and an unsung hero of the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

Originally from Trinidad, Ligoure graduated in 1916 with a medical degree from Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ont., and he would later become editor of Nova Scotia’s first Black newspaper, the Atlantic Advocate.

Ligoure established a private clinic inside his home in the north end of Halifax after he was denied hospital privileges.

On Dec. 6, 1917,  a collision in Halifax harbour between two wartime ships caused a massive blast that killed almost 2,000 people and injured another 9,000.

In the following weeks, Ligoure worked night and day at the clinic and in the city’s devastated streets, treating hundreds of blast victims.

Community activists were worried his former home would be demolished to make way for a new development, but the heritage designation should protect it for years to come.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2023

The Canadian Press

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