Fiona storm cleanup and Alberta's firearms fight: In The News for Sept. 27

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 Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022.

What we are watching in Canada ...

Newfoundlanders continue to account for what remains and what was destroyed this weekend when post-tropical storm Fiona tore through the province, demolishing homes and claiming the life of a 73-year-old woman.

Displaced residents in Port aux Basques, N.L., face an uncertain future, as officials work on a relief fund to help them either rebuild or relocate.

Some of those residents returned to their homes Monday, flanked by emergency workers, to grab clothes or other essentials as they prepare for what could be an extended absence.

Premier Andrew Furey says the province is assessing exactly how many homes were damaged in the storm.

Shelters and hotels have been made available for those in immediate need, but Andrew Parsons, who represents the area in the provincial legislature, says finding long-term accommodations may require tapping into resources like cabins and homes owned by seasonal residents.

In Nova Scotia, RCMP say the search for missing 81-year-old man Larry Smith of Lower Prospect, last seen on Friday night, has concluded based on the belief he was swept out to sea during the storm.

Nova Scotia Power also said Monday there were no issues delaying American power crews from crossing the border to help repair the electrical grid, clarifying an earlier statement that claimed an issue with the controversial ArriveCan app had hampered crews.

The Canadian military is deploying troops and equipment to the region after the federal government approved requests for assistance from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador over the weekend.

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Also this ...

Alberta's Justice Minister is vowing the province will oppose federal efforts to seize thousands of assault-style weapons, calling Ottawa's plan "politically motivated confiscation."

Since May 2020, Ottawa has prohibited more than 1,500 different models of assault-style firearms from being used or sold in Canada.

It has committed to establishing a buyback program to remove those firearms from communities.

Alberta Justice Minister Tyler Shandro said he received a letter from the federal minister of public safety asking for police resources to begin confiscating firearms beginning this fall.

Shandro said the federal government is "fearmongering" by labelling the guns as "assault-style," which Shandro called a move to scare Canadians unfamiliar with firearms.

Shandro said at a news conference Monday that many of the weapons do not pose an unusual danger or possess any additional mechanical capability.

Alberta also plans to seek intervener status in six ongoing judicial review applications challenging the constitutionality of the legislation.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino's office said in an email that the federal buyback program will ensure deadly firearms are taken off the streets.

"It's very disappointing that Alberta has put out their statement before seeing the full plan," said press secretary Audrey Champoux.

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

Jury selection is expected to get underway Tuesday in one of the most serious cases to emerge from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The founder of the far-right Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates are charged with seditious conspiracy.

Stewart Rhodes and the others are the first Jan. 6 defendants charged with the rare Civil War-era offense to stand trial.

Authorities allege there was a serious, weekslong plot to violently stop the transfer of presidential power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

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

Strengthening Hurricane Ian’s rain and winds are lashing Cuba’s western tip as it roared on a path that could see it hit Florida’s west coast as a Category 4 hurricane.

Officials in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province have evacuated 50,000 people, set up 55 shelters and taken steps to protect crops in warehouses in Cuba’s main tobacco-growing region ahead of Ian’s expected landfall early Tuesday as a major hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center the island’s west coast could see as much as 14 feet of storm surge.

After passing over Cuba, Ian was forecast to strengthen further before reaching Florida as early as Wednesday.

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On this day in 1918, Canadian and British troops stormed the Canal du Nord, the last section of the Germans' defensive "Hindenburg Line," leading to the end of the First World War. The Canadians captured more than 7,000 prisoners and 205 heavy guns. Outflanked, the Germans abandoned the line and continued their retreat to the east. An armistice was signed on Nov. 11.

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In entertainment ...

Freshly anointed as a filmmaker to watch by the Toronto International Film Festival, Anthony Shim brings his celebrated mother-son drama “Riceboy Sleeps” to a hometown crowd at the Vancouver International Film Festival this week.

Shim’s portrait of a Korean family who face unresolved trauma and racism in Canada won TIFF’s prestigious $20,000 Platform Prize earlier this month, just as it launched a festival circuit run that also takes it to the Calgary International Film Festival on Tuesday and Friday.

While at TIFF, Shim noted that much of the film’s portrayal of coming-of-age and parental anguish is inspired by his own experiences growing up in British Columbia in the 1990s, but several plot turns have been invented for dramatic effect.

The Calgary International Film Festival is on now through Sunday. The Vancouver International Film Festival runs Thursday to Oct. 9.

“Riceboy Sleeps” is set for a theatrical release next year in Canada and the United States.

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Did you see this?

New research indicates Ontario family doctors left the profession at the start of the pandemic at double the rate of the years before COVID-19 hit.

A study led by Unity Health Tororonto says about three per cent of family doctors across the province -- or 385 doctors -- stopped practising between March and September 2020.

Lead author Doctor Tara Kiran says those doctors accounted for an estimated 170,000 patients losing access to primary care.

The research builds on figures released last week that showed as of March 2020, nearly 1.8 million Ontarians did not have a family doctor and another 1.7 million Ontarians have a family doctor older than 65 years old.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2022.

The Canadian Press