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BoC interest rate, privacy ruling on Tim Hortons app : In The News for June 1

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 June 1 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
People pass the Bank of Canada building on Wellington Street in Ottawa, on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

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 June 1 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

The Bank of Canada will make its latest interest rate decision this morning as it tries to put the brakes on runaway inflation.

The central bank raised its key interest rate half a percentage point in April to one per cent — the biggest hike in 22 years, and one that followed a quarter-percentage-point bump in March.

Economists are expecting the Bank of Canada to hike its key interest rate by another half-percentage point to 1.5 per cent today. 

The Bank of Canada makes changes to its trendsetting interest rate in an effort to control inflation with a target of two per cent.

According to Statistics Canada, the annual pace of inflation rose to 6.8 per cent in April, the fastest year-over-year rise in more than three decades.

The soaring cost of consumer goods from gasoline to groceries has experts speculating that further interest rate hikes are on the horizon this year.


Also this ...

Canada's privacy commissioner will report today on the results of an investigation into whether the Tim Hortons mobile ordering app was improperly tracking users' whereabouts without their explicit consent.

The 23-month-long investigation came after National Post reporter James McLeod obtained data showing the Tim Hortons app on his phone had tracked his location more than 2,700 times in less than five months.

The tracking occurred even when he wasn't using the app, despite the company's website stipulating tracking would only occur while the app was open.

Federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien did the investigation jointly with privacy commissioners from British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta.

The investigation is expected to determine if Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Tim Hortons, was complying with Canada's national privacy law and getting "meaningful consent" from users to collect and use their location data.

When the investigation was launched, a company statement expressed confidence the matter would be resolved and that the app had already been updated to ensure location data was only tracked while the app was in use regardless of the phone settings selected.


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

SANTA MONICA, Calif. _ Bill Cosby will again be facing sex abuse allegations Wednesday as attorneys give opening statements in a civil trial that's one of the last remaining legal claims against the comedian.

Lawyers for 64-year-old Judy Huth will outline the evidence they plan to present that Cosby forced her to perform a sex act at the Playboy Mansion in 1975 when she was 16 years old. The case will hinge on the testimony of Huth, bolstered by photos and other archival exhibits to place the incident in time.

Cosby's attorneys, who say no sexual abuse happened, are likely to emphasize that the burden of proving the nearly 50-year-old case lies entirely with the plaintiffs. They have acknowledged that Cosby took Huth to the Playboy Mansion, as a photo from the visit shows, but say they believe she was not a minor when it happened.

The trial is one of the last cases Cosby, 85, faces after a Pennsylvania appeals court threw out his criminal sexual assault conviction and freed him from prison 11 months ago. Several other lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct were settled by his insurer against his will.

Cosby will not testify after the judge ruled that he could assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. And he has no plans to leave his Pennsylvania home to attend the trial, which is taking place at a small courthouse in Santa Monica. Cosby's representatives say glaucoma has left him blind and made travel too difficult.


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

BEIJING _ China has barred Russia's airlines from flying foreign-owned jetliners into its airspace, the Russian news outlet RBK reported, after President Vladimir Putin threw the aircrafts' ownership into doubt by allowing them to be re-registered in Russia to avoid seizure under sanctions over Moscow's attack on Ukraine.

The European Union, home to major aircraft leasing companies, banned the sale or lease of aircraft to Russian carriers in February. Putin responded by approving the re-registration measure in March, which prompted suggestions foreign owners may never recover planes worth billions of dollars.

China's air regulator asked all foreign carriers last month to update ownership information and other details, RBK said, citing two unidentified sources. It said Russian airlines that couldn't provide documents showing their aircraft were "de-registered abroad'' were barred from Chinese airspace.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China didn't immediately respond to a request for confirmation and details of the decision.

President Xi Jinping's government said in February it has a "no limits'' friendship with Moscow but has tried to distance itself from Putin's war. Beijing has criticized Western sanctions but appears to be avoiding steps that might be seen as helping Moscow for fear of possible penalties against Chinese companies.


On this day in 2009 ...

A new era at the Canada-U.S. border, the world's longest undefended border, formally kicked in as those entering the U.S., including American citizens, were required to show a passport before making the crossing.


In entertainment ...

TORONTO _ Munk School professor Dan Breznitz has won this year's Donner Prize for the best public policy book.

He collected the $50,000 award for "Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World'' at a gala dinner in Toronto on Tuesday.

The jury says the book, published by Oxford University Press, eschews the "fetish'' of focusing on high-tech solutions and instead urges communities to think innovatively so they can "realize their own advantages.''

Breznitz is the chair of innovation studies at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and co-director of its innovation policy lab.

The Donner Prize was established in 1998 and the winner is selected by a six-member jury.

The runners up each receive $7,500 and they are:

     - "Value(s): Building a Better World for All'' by Mark Carney, published by Signal

     - "Stand On Guard: Reassessing Threats to Canada's National Security'' by Stephanie Carvin, published by University of Toronto Press

     - "Indigenomics: Taking a Seat at the Economic Table'' by Carol Anne Hilton, published by New Society Publishers

     - "Neglected No More: The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Canada's Elders in the Wake of a Pandemic'' by Andre Picard, published by Random House of Canada


Did you see this?

Jurors are to continue their deliberations today in the sexual assault trial of Jacob Hoggard, the lead singer of the Canadian band Hedley.

Deliberations began Tuesday afternoon and jurors returned later with questions, including several related to what constitutes a position of authority for the purpose of establishing consent to sexual activity.

Hoggard, who is 37, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one of sexual interference, a charge that refers to the sexual touching of someone under 16.

Prosecutors allege the singer violently and repeatedly raped a teenage fan and a young Ottawa woman in Toronto-area hotels in the fall of 2016.

They also allege he groped the teen backstage after a Hedley show in Toronto in the spring of 2016 when she was 15.

The defence says the groping never happened and Hoggard had consensual sexual encounters with both complainants. 


This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press