Sound bites: The B.C. teens died by apparent suicide • the Canadian government is investing $27 million in legal aid for refugee and immigration cases • President Trump's government is tightening the rules on who qualifies for legal immigration status • the Hong Kong protests shut down the city's international airport.
Police said Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, the two fugitive teens who were wanted for a triple murder, died by suicide. Their deaths were confirmed last week after a 15-day Canada-wide search took police and military across 11,000 sq. km of land.
Why were they on the run again?
The teens became murder suspects after 64-year-old Leonard Dyck of Vancouver was found dead near the Dease Lake, B.C. area. A few days before Dyck was found, a young couple on a road trip to Alaska was found shot dead on the highway. After searching for the teens for two weeks, on July 31st, police said they were scaling back. A few days later, a tour guide’s sharp eye led police to a wrecked boat and eventually the discovery of the bodies. Autopsies suggest the teens were dead a few days before they were found. The big mystery now is motive. Police said they’re doing their best to figure out as much as they can, but that “we may never have a full understanding with regard to motive.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is investing $27 million in legal aid for refugee and immigration cases. The funding will be split between Ontario - $25.7 million, British Columbia - $1.16 million, and Manitoba - $20,000.
Why is Ontario getting so much more?
Because Premier Doug Ford recently slashed funding for Legal Aid Ontario by 30%, preventing the organization from using provincial funds for immigration and refugee cases. Ford’s government argued that the costs associated with resettling refugees should fall under the federal government, not provincial. In response, PM Trudeau stepped up and assigned funding to Ontario, but not before taking a swipe at Ford’s conservative government, saying there are "conservative politicians [who] keep trying to move us back and make the most vulnerable hurt for the decisions that they make.” Reminder: the federal election is just 10 weeks away.
MEANWHILE, SOUTH OF THE BORDER
U.S. President Donald Trump announced that a major change is in the works re: who qualifies for legal immigration in the States. Trump's administration plans on tightening the rules and basing entry on things like personal income and education level. Simply put, the less education and money a person has, and the more reliant they are on the government (i.e. food stamps), the less likely they are to be approved for a visa or green card. But Trump may have to slow his roll – legal challenges are guaranteed.
Trump is planning to roll back protections for endangered animals from groups like mining, logging, and oil companies. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the changes will “ease the regulatory burden” on American companies without “sacrificing our species’ protection and recovery goals.” But critics say the changes will do anything but, allowing easier access to important conservation areas and federal lands.
FROM LAND TO SEA TO SKY
The Hong Kong protests have extended to the skies. Yesterday, thousands of demonstrators took over the city’s international airport and forced the cancellation of over 160 flights, including one Air Canada flight that was scheduled to fly into Vancouver from Hong Kong. Officials said flights would resume today, but not before China called the protests in the airport “sprouts of terrorism.” Reminder: protests started in Hong Kong two months ago after an extradition bill threatened to send suspected criminals to China for trial. The bill has since been scrapped, but protests have continued with no end in sight.
Rome, Italy has come up with a nifty idea to get people to recycle pesky plastic bottles – just trade them in for transit credits! Citizens can now get €0.05 off the price of their next metro fair when they trade in used bottles. Specially made machines will take the bottles, compact them and then add money to a user’s metro app. Canada, we paying attention?
WATCH LISTEN READ
• Missy Elliott will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2019 VMAs on Aug. 26. Elliott will return to the VMA stage for her first performance in 16 years.
• Watch Dreamville’s music video for Sacrifices.
• Drake’s album Care Package hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his ninth No. 1 album on the chart.
• Terry Fallis’ new book Albatross is about self-discovery and creating your own destiny.