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Latest job numbers, Toronto's Pearson Airport delays : In The News for June 10

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 10 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
A help wanted sign hangs from a business Wednesday, November 17, 2021 in Montreal as employers deal with the labour shortage. Statistics Canada will release its latest reading on the job market this morning. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

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 10 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Statistics Canada will release its latest reading on the job market this morning.

The agency will release its labour force survey for May.

The report comes as businesses struggle to find workers for many jobs.

Economists at the Bank of Montreal say Canadian job gains are expected to return to a more normal pace for a second straight month following pandemic-driven volatility earlier this year.

They're expecting the numbers this morning to show a gain of 10,000 jobs for May and the unemployment rate to hold steady.

The unemployment rate in April fell to 5.2 per cent, as the economy added 15,300 jobs.


Also this ...

Nearly half a million passengers were held up after arriving aboard international flights at Toronto's Pearson airport last month.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority says 490,810 travellers in May, or about half of all arrivals from abroad, faced delays as they were held inside their planes on the tarmac or faced staggered off-loading to ease pressure on overflowing customs areas.

In total, some 2,700 flights arriving from outside the country were delayed at Pearson last month, versus four planes — and a few hundred passengers — in May 2019.

Scenes of endless security and customs queues at large Canadian airports have played out all spring, with peak travel season still weeks away.

Hurdles ranging from airport staffing shortages to COVID-19 health measures threaten to cascade into a problem that overmatches efforts to drain clogged terminals.

The federal government has pledged to hire hundreds more security screening officers, with Transport Canada also creating a committee made up of government agencies and industry stakeholders to address bottlenecks at security checkpoints.


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

AUSTIN, Texas _ The Texas school police chief criticized for his actions during one of the deadliest classroom shootings in U.S. history said in his first extensive comments, published Thursday, that he did not consider himself the person in charge as the massacre unfolded and assumed someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response.

Pete Arredondo, the police chief of the Uvalde school district, also told the Texas Tribune that he intentionally left behind both his police and campus radios before entering Robb Elementary School. An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers behind a locked classroom door that the chief said was reinforced with a steel jamb and could not be kicked in.

Poor radio communications is among the concerns raised about how police handled the May 24 shooting and why they didn't confront the gunman for more than an hour, even as anguished parents outside the school urged officers to go in.

Separately, The New York Times reported Thursday that documents show police waited for protective equipment as they delayed entering the campus, even as they became aware that some victims needed medical treatment.

Arredondo told the Tribune that from the hallway of the school he used his cellphone to call for tactical gear, a sniper and keys to get inside the classroom. He said he held back from the door for 40 minutes to avoid provoking gunfire and tried dozens of keys brought to him, but that, one-by-one, they failed to work.

"Each time I tried a key I was just praying,'' he told the Tribune.

In the more than two weeks since the shooting, Arredondo's actions have come under intensifying scrutiny from both state officials and experts trained in mass shooting responses. Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, has said the school police chief, who he described as the incident commander, made the "wrong decision'' to not order officers to breach the classroom more quickly to confront the gunman.

But Arredondo, who told the Tribune he believed that carrying radios would slow him down as he entered the school and that he knew that radios did not work in some school buildings, said he never considered himself the scene's incident commander and did not give any instruction that police should not attempt to breach the building.

Arredondo's account and records obtained by the Times were published Thursday as law enforcement and state officials have struggled to present an accurate timeline and details. They have also made frequent corrections to previous statements, and no information about the police response has been formally released by investigators since the days that followed the attack.


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

BAKHMUT, Ukraine _ Ukraine and the West denounced a pro-Moscow court that sentenced two British citizens and a Moroccan to death for fighting for Ukraine, calling the proceedings a sham and a violation of the rules of war.

Meanwhile, as the Kremlin's forces continued a grinding war of attrition in the east, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday appeared to liken his actions to those of Peter the Great in the 18th century and said the country needs to "take back'' historic Russian lands.

The court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Ukraine found the three fighters guilty of seeking the violent overthrow of power, an offence punishable by death in the unrecognized eastern republic. The men were also convicted of mercenary activities and terrorism.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported that the defendants _ identified as Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoun _ will face a firing squad. They have a month to appeal.

The separatist side argued that the three were "mercenaries'' not entitled to the usual protections accorded prisoners of war.

They are the first foreign fighters sentenced by Ukraine's Russian-backed rebels.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko condemned the proceedings as legally invalid, saying, "Such show trials put the interests of propaganda above the law and morality.'' He said that all foreign citizens fighting as part of Ukraine's armed forces should be considered Ukrainian military personnel and protected as such.

The Russian military has argued that foreign mercenaries fighting on Ukraine's side are not combatants and should expect long prison terms, at best, if captured.


On this day in 1935 ...

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron, Ohio, by William Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith.


In entertainment ...

LOS ANGELES _ Britney Spears' former husband crashed her wedding site in southern California, authorities say.

Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Cameron Henderson said officers responded to a trespassing call after 2 p.m. Thursday. He says the pop singer's first husband, Jason Alexander, was detained at the site of the ceremony.

Henderson says Alexander was arrested after officers noticed he had a warrant for his arrest in another county.

Alexander went on his Instagram live when he approached the event security. In what appeared to be a mostly empty but decorated room, he told them Spears invited him.

"She's my first wife, my only wife,'' said Alexander, who was briefly married to Spears _ his childhood friend _ in 2014. Their marriage lasted only 55 hours.

"I'm her first husband,'' he continued in the video. "I'm here to crash the wedding.''

Spears was previously married to Kevin Federline, with whom she shares two sons, ages 14 and 15.

Spears and her fiancé Sam Asghari were reportedly expected to marry on Thursday. The couple announced their engagement nearly nine months ago, after Asghari proposed with a four-carat diamond ring. The couple met on the set of the "Slumber Party'' music video in 2016.


Did you see this?

OTTAWA _ The Department of National Defence says Cmdr. Dale St. Croix has been temporarily removed from his position as commanding officer of HMCS Halifax and is under investigation.

In a statement released late Thursday, the department says the investigation "(does) not concern any sexual misconduct, harmful or inappropriate sexual behaviour.''

The frigate began a six-month deployment to northern European waters on March 17 as part of NATO's Operation Reassurance, a deterrence mission in central and eastern Europe.

The navy says it's investigating several incidents that happened on-board the ship during a port visit in Swinoujscie, Poland.

St. Croix took over command of HMCS Halifax in July 2021.

Cmdr. Paul Mountford is now interim commander of the ship until it returns to port in mid-July, and St. Croix will serve in other roles within Maritime Forces Atlantic Headquarters in Canada until the investigation is done.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press