Skip to content

In The News for Dec. 29: In 2023, Albertans to choose status quo or look to the past?

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 Dec. 29 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
The view of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on Friday, March 28, 2014. Alberta's Opposition NDP tried and failed Thursday to censure the deputy speaker for evicting one of their members from the house in a day that saw both sides accuse each other of belittling and marginalizing women in politics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

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 Dec. 29 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s wood-panelled third-floor legislature office is bereft of bric-a-brac.

There are no pictures, mementoes or books — only a small stack of Alberta sovereignty act bills perched on her desk.

The décor is less by design and more by default.

“If I was spending a lot of time in the office, I wouldn’t be doing my job. I’ve got to meet a lot of people offsite and do a lot of work out there,” Smith said in a year-end interview.

She laughed when recalling her attempts at personal touches.

“I sometimes try to move the furniture around so that I can put my tea somewhere, and every time I come back, they’ve moved things back to where they were," Smith said. "I think that’s sort of the indication that you’re not supposed to touch anything.”

But if she longs for some artistic indulgence, she can leave her office, turn left down the marble walkway toward the legislature chamber past portraits of premiers past, which now includes the recent addition of Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley.

It illustrates what will be the defining Alberta political story in 2023. A tale of two premiers: one who just got the job, the other who wants it back.

Smith has promised to honour the scheduled May 29 voting day, which is to come seven months after she won the United Conservative leadership contest.

Across the snow-covered legislature plaza is the Queen Elizabeth II Building, home to Opposition NDP caucus members, complete with south-facing views of the sandstone dome they hope to re-inhabit at election time.

Notley was Alberta’s 17th premier and now seeks to also be the 20th.

She stuck around after losing to Kenney and the UCP in 2019. And now she says there's unfinished business.


Also this ...

From legislative chambers to classrooms, and on the radio and TV, Indigenous languages are spoken and heard every day across the North thanks to dedicated elders, teachers, translators and broadcasters.

Jeela Palluq-Cloutier, who has long worked as an Inuktitut teacher and translator in Nunavut, said she learned the language from her unilingual parents while growing up in Igloolik.

"My dad's passed now, but when I was translating I always had him at the back of my mind thinking: 'He needs to be able to understand this,'" she said.

"Unilingual Inuit have a right to information and the information that's being translated needs to be the best quality."

Palluq-Cloutier took part in efforts to make Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun available on Microsoft Translator and has translated more than 11,000 words into Inuktitut for Facebook.

While residential school and colonization robbed some Inuit of their languages, Palluq-Cloutier said those tongues are still thriving.

"We have upwards of 90 to 95 per cent speakers in some communities," she said. "That's something that I'm very proud of, that our language is still here, given the history where our government tried to erase it from us."

More than 21,000 people speak Inuktitut, the 2021 census, indicates, and Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun are official languages in Nunavut.

In the Northwest Territories, Tlicho is the most common Indigenous mother tongue with 1,700 speakers.

The federal government announced late last month it was spending $39.4 million to support Indigenous languages in the territories. It said it has spent a total of $77.2 million to support Indigenous languages in the North since 2019.


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

U.S. Rep.-elect George Santos of New York is now under investigation by the Nassau County District attorney's office.

The development adds to a loudening uproar over revelations that the Republican lied about his heritage, education and professional life when he campaigned successfully for U.S. Congress.

The New York attorney general's office has already said it's looking into issues that have come to light.

A spokesperson for the Nassau County DA's office, Brendan Brosh, said Wednesday: "We are looking into the matter." The scope of the investigation was not immediately clear.

Despite intensifying doubt about his fitness to hold federal office, Santos has thus far shown no signs of stepping aside; even as he has publicly admitted to a long list of fabrications.

He is scheduled to be sworn in Tuesday. If he assumes office, he could face investigations by the House Committee on Ethics and the Justice Department.


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

Authorities in Ukraine say several regions of the country, including its capital, are facing a Russian missile attack.

Air raid sirens rang out across the country early Thursday. In Kyiv, the regional administration said air defence systems have been activated to fend off the missiles. Sounds of explosions were heard in Kyiv. Ukrainian authorities in several regions said some Russian missiles have been downed.

Thursday's attack is the latest in a series of Russian strikes targeting vital infrastructure across Ukraine. Moscow has launched such attacks on a weekly basis since October.

In Dnipro, Odesa and Kryvyi Rih regions, electricity was switched off to minimize potential damage.


On this day in 1916 ...

Grigory Rasputin, the so-called "Mad Monk" who'd wielded great influence with Czar Nicholas II, was murdered by a group of Russian noblemen in St. Petersburg.


In entertainment ...

The family of rapper Theophilus London has filed a missing persons report with Los Angeles police this week and are asking for the public's help to find him.

London's family and friends believe someone last spoke to him in July in Los Angeles. That's according to a family statement released Wednesday by Secretly, a music label group that has worked with the rapper.

London's relatives have been trying to determine his whereabouts over the last few weeks and filed a police report earlier this week.

An LAPD spokesperson confirmed that a report for London was taken.


Did you see this?

It's been a chaotic Christmas for many travellers across the country, including one fluffy passenger who was separated from their family and stranded at Vancouver's airport.

But a spokesperson for Vancouver International Airport says the saga of Bunbun the stuffed rabbit has a happy ending, with the toy now on its way back to its young owner.

Bunbun's tale went viral after Alberta Senator Paula Simons tweeted a photo of the rabbit which she said had been found by her daughter at YVR on Dec. 20.

Simons' daughter Celia Taylor says she dropped the bunny off at guest services.

Three days later a woman responded to Simons on Twitter to declare that Bunbun belonged to her toddler son, sharing photos of the pair together and a boarding pass as proof.

YVR's spokesperson says the airport reached out to the woman, and on Tuesday Bunbun was sent to the family in Edmonton, where they are visiting from New Zealand.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Thursday. Dec. 29, 2022

The Canadian Press