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Ontario moves to next phase and Jays given green light; In The News for July 17


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 July 17 ...

What we are watching in Canada ... 

TORONTO — A large swath of Ontario will be moving on to the next phase of the provincial government's COVID-19 recovery plan today.

Stage 3 of the reopening effort takes effect across 24 out of 34 public health units, though the jurisdictions that will keep operating under Stage 2 rules are among the busiest in the province.

Earlier this week, the government announced Stage 3 rules would allow restaurants to resume indoor service, as well as businesses such as bars, gyms and theatres to start welcoming patrons again.

The rules also raise the limits on the size of indoor gatherings to a maximum of 50 people, while as many as 100 people are allowed to congregate outdoors.

The new rules don't yet apply in the greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, the Niagara region and Windsor-Essex, all of which are still trying to reduce the numbers of local COVID-19 cases.

But Premier Doug Ford says the next phase of economic recovery suggests the province is turning a corner after feeling the ravages of the global pandemic.


Also this ...

OTTAWA — A man accused of threatening Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and carrying guns illegally on the grounds of Rideau Hall is expected to have his bail hearing postponed later today.

Corey Hurren's case is due in court this morning but it is now expected the hearing will be brief, just to set a new date.

Hurren has been in custody in Ottawa since July 2, when police say they arrested him after he crashed a truck through the gates of the property where Trudeau, his family and the Governor General live.

None of them was on the grounds at the time.

Hurren, a Manitoba reservist and sausage-maker, faces 21 charges related to the weapons he was allegedly carrying and one of uttering threats against Trudeau.

Before the incident, he had posted online about the financial and other stresses he was under because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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

A convicted killer from Iowa whose five victims included two young girls is scheduled Friday to become the third federal inmate to be executed this week, following a 17-year pause in federal executions.

Dustin Honken, 52, was sentenced to death for killing government informants and children in his effort to thwart his drug trafficking prosecution in 1993.

Honken is set to die by a lethal injection of the powerful sedative pentobarbital at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., where he's been on death row since 2005.

 His chances for a last-minute reprieve seem remote after the Supreme Court allowed the other two executions.


What we are watching elsewhere in the world ...

Fresh coronavirus outbreaks, even in places as far flung as China's western Xinjiang region, are prompting moves to guard against the pandemic, as the number of cases approaches 14 million.

India surpassed one million cases, third only to the United States and Brazil.

That followed Brazil passing two million cases and 76,000 deaths. It has had 1,000 fatalities a day, on average, since late May.

After the new case was reported in Xinjiang, health officials were monitoring three other people and flights to and from the regional capital reportedly were being restricted.

Indonesia is set to extend restrictions in its capital due to a continued rise in cases.---

Today in 1976 ...

Canada's first Olympic Games opened in Montreal. Canada won five silver and six bronze medals, becoming the first host country of the Summer Games not to win a gold medal.


In sports news ...

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he's looking forward to the Toronto Blue Jays playing at Rogers Centre this season after a member of his government said the Major League Baseball team has been given the green light to play games at home.

The federal government, however, has not yet said whether it has approved of the plan.

Ontario's Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod told Ottawa's TSN Radio 1200 on Thursday that the Blue Jays have clearance to play in Toronto and travel to the United States for road games during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said teams visiting Toronto will stay inside a quarantine bubble, which would include Rogers Centre and a hotel. MacLeod said the agreement will be rescinded if the protocols put in place are broken.

Because the plan would involve multiple crossings of the Canada-U.S. border both by the Blue Jays and by visiting teams, the final say on whether the plan can go ahead rests with the federal government. Canada currently requires individuals to quarantine for 14 days after crossing the international border.

The federal government did not immediately respond for comment.


Arts and entertainment ...

MONTREAL — Cirque du Soleil's creditors are in a position to take control of the insolvent entertainment business after their purchase offer that precludes any contribution from Quebec taxpayers has been accepted.

The agreement will be presented Friday to the Superior Court of Quebec for approval to become the new so-called stalking horse bid for any rival offers that may be presented next month.

A lawyer representing Quebecor suggested last week that the media conglomerate intended to make a bid.

The managing director of Cirque's largest creditor, Catalyst Capital Group, says the co-operation from creditors has been extraordinary to achieve the goal of recapitalizing the acrobatic company.

The lenders, who hold Cirque's about $1 billion of secured debt, would inject up to $375 million, create a fund to retain employees and pay ex-workers and artisans, and maintain the company's head office in Montreal, according to a source familiar with the matter, but who is not allowed to speak publicly.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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