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In the news today: Canadians still waiting to leave the Gaza Strip

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...
A member of the Canadian Armed Forces, left, looks on as evacuated Palestinians with Canadian passports from Gaza cross to Rafah, Egypt, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Amr Nabil

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...

No word on Canadians cleared to leave Gaza Strip

Canadians with loved ones trapped in the embattled Gaza Strip are still waiting to learn whether the 135 people cleared to leave the territory on Sunday were able to make the journey.

A daily list from Gaza's General Authority for Crossings and Borders, which contains the names of foreign passport holders cleared to cross into Egypt via the Rafah land crossing, expanded to include 135 people with ties to Canada on Sunday.

But Global Affairs Canada did not provide any details on Sunday as to how many of those people were able to leave the war-torn enclave.

Questions swirl ahead of federal fiscal update

Questions are swirling on Parliament Hill ahead of a fiscal update that's widely expected to focus on addressing Canada's housing crisis and cost-of-living concerns.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to table the fall economic statement on Tuesday, and she has already signalled that both issues will be front and centre.

On housing, Freeland has previously indicated the government is looking at making more public land available and trying to address the strain short-term rentals are putting on supply.

Here's what else we're watching ...

CRA claws back $458 million in wage subsidies

The Canada Revenue Agency has denied or adjusted more than $450 million in funds disbursed to employers through a pandemic wage subsidy program as a result of an auditing process it is undertaking.

The agency released a report today that offers preliminary results of audits it is conducting of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program.

A report from auditor general Karen Hogan last year warned that thousands of businesses that received wage subsidies during the pandemic may not have been eligible.

Economists expect inflation slowed in October

Forecasters anticipate Canada's inflation rate took another dip in October as gasoline prices fell from the previous month and grocery prices rise more slowly.

Statistics Canada is set to release its consumer price index report tomorrow, coinciding with the federal government's fall economic statement.

BMO expects the annual rate to come in at 3.2 per cent for October, while RBC is forecasting the rate fell to 3.1 per cent.

Canada's inflation rate came in at 3.8 per cent in September.

Inquest into death of Soleiman Faqiri begins today

A coroner's inquest examining the death of a mentally ill man who died in an Ontario jail cell in 2016 is set to begin today.

The inquest into the death of Soleiman Faqiri will be conducted virtually over 15 days and is expected to hear from roughly 20 witnesses.

Faqiri's relatives have previously said they hope the inquest will provide answers about his death and the 11 days he spent in jail leading up to it.

Some nurses in Canada not getting paid for MAID

For the past year, Ellen Gretsinger, a nurse practitioner in Ontario's Niagara region, has been providing patients with medically assisted deaths — and not getting paid for it.

She has a full-time nursing job and a side gig offering virtual care, and in the evenings and on weekends, assesses patients for medical assistance in dying — known as MAID — and delivers the procedure. Like many provinces, Ontario does not have a mechanism for nurse practitioners to take on independent work and be paid for it, like a fee-for-service structure often in place for doctors.

The number of doctors and nurse practitioners available to administer MAID in Canada has not kept up with increasing demand. A report last month from Health Canada shows the number of MAID providers has grown by an average of 18 per cent each year, but the number of medically assisted deaths — often referred to as provisions — has grown by nearly 33 per cent each year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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