National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and market jitters : In The News for Oct. 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 Oct. 1 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

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On the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, dozens of hand drummers formed a circle around a powwow arbour at Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation in British Columbia and they sang loud and proud.

When the clock struck 2:14 p.m. Thursday, people in the crowd bowed their heads for one minute of silence — punctuated briefly by the sounds of children — as a way to honour residential school survivors, their families and those who never returned home.

The time was chosen because of what are believed to be 215 unmarked graves detected earlier this year at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School near the First Nation.

An honour song, which included drumming and singing, was then played.

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir told reporters that steps toward reconciliation demand "honesty and transparency." She repeated calls for full disclosure of church and government records and information related to residential institutions.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald was also at the ceremony.

"This is a day to honour the survivors, the intergenerational survivors and the victims of these institutions of assimilation and genocide," said Archibald.

The federal government announced in June the new statutory holiday would take place every Sept. 30. It built on the momentum of the grassroots-led Orange Shirt Dayto commemorate the history and ongoing impacts of the church-run institutions where Indigenous children were torn from their families and abused.

The day is a direct response to a call to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Elsewhere across the country, communities and cities recognized the day with events and ceremonies.

On Parliament Hill, there was a sea of orange as thousands gathered on the lawn in front of the Peace Tower for a morning ceremony under a bright, blue sky.

Algonquin Anishinabe elder Claudette Commanda said it was a day to reflect and honour those who never came home.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the day is to reflect on the painful and lasting impacts of residential schools and to honour survivors, their families and their communities.

It is estimated more than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were forced to attend roughly 140 schools that operated across the country beginning in 1831. The last residential school in Canada closed in 1996.

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has documented more approximately 4,200 children who died at residential schools, but estimates there could be thousands more.

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Also this ...

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under fire Thursday for spending part of Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation flying to Tofino, B.C., to join his family.

But his office denied Trudeau was taking a vacation on a day meant to commemorate the estimated 150,000 Indigenous children who were taken from their families and forced to attend residential schools.

Spokesman Alex Wellstead said Trudeau spent "hours" on the phone Thursday speaking to survivors of the schools, "to hear their stories of trauma and healing, to hear their advice on the path forward."

Trudeau's itinerary for the day initially said he was in "private meetings" in Ottawa.

That was later updated on the Prime Minister's Office website to say he was in private meetings in Tofino. His office confirmed Trudeau went to Tofino to spend a few days with this family.

While he will be taking some downtime with his family, Wellstead said Trudeau will continue working while in Tofino on other government business, including presumably putting together his new post-election cabinet.

However, a spokeswoman for Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole slammed Trudeau for using the day to travel to B.C.

"Truth and Reconciliation Day shouldn’t be treated like a holiday but that’s what Justin Trudeau did," said Chelsea Tucker.

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And this ...

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada will say this morning how the Canadian economy fared in July.

At the end of August, the agency said its initial estimate for July showed a contraction of 0.4 per cent in real gross domestic product, despite an easing of public health restrictions.

The initial estimate put total economic activity in July about two per cent below pre-pandemic levels recorded in February 2020.

CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes writes that the final figure for July is likely to be better than the initial estimate as a rebound in service-sector activity likely offset weakness in other areas of the economy.

The statistics agency is also expected to provide a first glance at the GDP figure for August.

Royal Bank senior economist Nathan Janzen writes that the August estimate should look better than July's figure, pointing to a further recovery in spending for the month on high-contact services like restaurants and hotels.

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

Stocks are closing out September with their worst monthly loss since the beginning of the pandemic.

The S&P 500 ended the month down 4.8 per cent, its first monthly drop since January and the biggest since March 2020.

After climbing steadily for much of the year, the stock market became unsettled in recent weeks with the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, a sudden spike in long-term bond yields and word that the Federal Reserve may start to unwind its support for the economy.

The S&P 500 fell 1.2 per cent Thursday. It's still up 14.7 per cent for the year.

"It’s not really surprising that we’re seeing a weaker September because historically it's the worst month on average," said Jay Pestrichelli, CEO, of investment firm ZEGA Financial. "Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of information to glean for October from it."

Inflation concerns that had been weighing on the market earlier in the year returned in September as a wide range of companies issued more warnings about the impact of rising prices on their finances. Sherwin-Williams and Nike are among the many companies that have warned investors about supply chain problems, higher raw material costs and labor issues.

Inflation will likely remain the key worry hanging over the markets for the rest of the year, Pestrichelli said, and it could put the Federal Reserve in the tough position of having to raise rates earlier than anticipated.

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

KABUL, Afghanistan — The regional director of the International Federation of the Red Cross says if money isn’t restored to pay for wages and services the coming of winter could spell a "major humanitarian crisis" for Afghanistan.

Alexander Matheou says Afghanistan is set to enter an "extremely difficult few months" as temperatures drop, compounding food shortages resulting from drought and poverty.

Speaking at a news conference in Kabul on Thursday, he said that cuts to health services put many vulnerable Afghans, particularly in rural areas, at risk.

Meanwhile, a women’s protest was swiftly dispersed with gunfire by Taliban authorities in a Kabul neighborhood where they demanded equal rights to education in the city. Posters held by a small group of women saying "Do not burn our books!" were confiscated and scrapped by armed men, on the grounds that the women had not asked for permission to rally.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society is appealing for US$38 million to continue funding health clinics, emergency relief, and other services across 16 provinces.

"There needs to be some solution to the financial flows into Afghanistan to ensure that at least salaries can be paid, and that essential supplies, power and water being two of them, can be procured," Matheou said.

Since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have paused disbursements to the government, while the U.S. froze billons of dollars in assets held in American accounts by the Afghan Central Bank.

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On this day in 1951 ...

Charlotte Whitton became mayor of Ottawa, the first woman in Canada to hold the post in a major city.

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In entertainment ...

LOS ANGELES — Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will perform for the first time together on stage at the 2022 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show.

The NFL, Pepsi and Roc Nation announced Thursday that the five music icons will perform on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Lamar are Southern California natives.

It’s the third year of collaboration between the NFL, Pepsi and Roc Nation.

Roc Nation founder Jay-Z said in a statement that their show will be "history in the making."

The 2022 game will be the first time the Super Bowl has been played in the Los Angeles area since 1993.

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ICYMI ...

LOS ANGELES — An attorney for Britney Spears' father says his removal from control of her court conservatorship is "a loss for Britney."

Attorney Vivian Thoreen said Thursday in a statement to The Associated Press that James Spears loves his daughter unconditionally and has tried to act in her best interests "whether as a conservator or her father."

The statement comes a day after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge suspended the elder Spears from the legal arrangement that has had vast power over the pop star’s life and money. Both Britney Spears' attorney and the judge cited the "toxic" circumstances his presence caused.

The suspension is technically temporary but practically permanent, as the entire conservatorship appears likely to end in the coming months.

"The current situation is untenable," Judge Brenda Penny said at Wednesday's hearing.

Thoreen called the move "disappointing, and frankly, a loss for Britney."

Britney Spears' attorney, Mathew Rosengart, delivered a long and scathing attack on her father at the hearing, continuing a campaign to have him removed that included a pair of dramatic court speeches from the singer in June and July.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2021

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