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Border agents see discrimination, LaFlamme ousted: In The News for Aug. 16

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kick-start your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Tuesday, August 16, 2022. What we are watching in Canada ...
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Cars pass a monument marking the border between the United States and Canada on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, at Highgate Springs, Vt. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Wilson Ring

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kick-start your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Tuesday, August 16, 2022.

What we are watching in Canada ...

Results of an internal survey at Canada's border agency show one-quarter of front-line employees said they had directly witnessed a colleague discriminate against a traveller in the previous two years.

Just over two in five said they also did not report what they observed.

The figures are drawn from a survey of over 900 border services officers and superintendents conducted in March 2020 as part of an internal Canada Border Services Agency evaluation that looked at how the agency processed travellers, primarily those flying into Canada.

The evaluation used a lens of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability, and the interaction between these factors.

Of those who saw a colleague engage in discrimination, 71 per cent suggested the discrimination was based, in full or in part, on the travellers' race. Just over three-quarters cited national or ethnic origin.

The evaluation report says some of those who reported the discrimination said they faced challenges in doing so or felt their reports were not taken seriously or acted on.

The agency recently posted the results of the evaluation on its website. In a response included with the evaluation report, the agency agreed to devise a plan and put changes in place this year to improve awareness and reporting of mistreatment and discrimination of travellers, without fear or reprisal.

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Also this ...

Lisa LaFlamme said she was "blindsided" by the move to oust her as chief anchor with CTV National News after more than 30 years with the company.

Leadership at Bell Media said the decision to end the contract with LaFlamme was based on "changing viewer habits."

But critics suggested the unceremonious ouster of the veteran journalist is another example of the sexism and ageism women face in the broadcast industry.

CTV did not explain how it intends to evolve the broadcast with her newly announced replacement, Omar Sachedina, currently the CTV News national affairs correspondent. He assumes the role on Sept. 5.

LaFlamme took over the top news anchor role in 2011 after nearly a decade as CTV's national affairs correspondent.

She has received numerous honours, including being named to the Order of Canada in 2019 and winning several Canadian Screen Awards.

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

President Joe Biden is preparing to sign Democrats’ landmark climate change and health care bill.

It's the “final piece” of the president's pared-down domestic agenda as he aims to boost his party’s standing with voters ahead of midterm elections.

The legislation includes the biggest federal investment ever to fight climate change — some $375 billion over a decade.

It also caps prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket annually for Medicare recipients and helps an estimated 13 million Americans pay for health care insurance by extending subsidies provided during the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure is paid for in part by new taxes on large companies.

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What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

Iran says it has submitted a “written response” to what has been described as a final roadmap to restore its tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency offered no details Tuesday on the substance of its response, but suggested that Tehran still wouldn’t take the European Union-mediated proposal, despite warnings there would be no more negotiations.

Tehran under hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi has repeatedly tried to blame Washington for the delay in reaching an accord. Monday was reported to have been a deadline for their response.

There was no immediate acknowledgment from the EU that Iran submitted its response.

The EU has been the go-between in the indirect talks.

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On this day in 1977, Elvis Presley died at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 42.

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In entertainment ...

Nicholas Evans, the British author of the bestselling novel “The Horse Whisperer," has died at 72, his representatives said Monday.

United Agents said Evans died “suddenly” on Aug. 9 following a heart attack.

Published in 1995, “The Horse Whisperer” was Evans' debut novel and sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

The story of a trainer hired to help an injured teenager and her horse back to health was adapted into a Hollywood movie starring Robert Redford as the title character and Scarlett Johansson playing young rider Grace MacLean in her breakout role.

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Did you see this?

Organ players with a love for hockey may have just found their dream job posting.

The Calgary Flames are looking for a new organist for the first time in more than three decades.

The Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation says it's looking to hire someone to hype up the crowd at the NHL games and those of its American Hockey League affiliate — the newly named Calgary Wranglers — at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The organist will be responsible for playing popular music, crowd chants and national anthems.

The posting for the part-time job says the ideal candidate will have a professional level of talent and a working knowledge of hockey and hockey music, as well as experience performing in front of a large crowd.

Willy Joosen, who died earlier this year, played at NHL games for 34 years.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022

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