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In the news today: CSIS whistleblower hoping for change in wake of rape allegations

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...
Lawsuits filed in British Columbia by two Canadian Security Intelligence Service surveillance officers are seen in this photograph. The anonymized lawsuits by officers identified as "Jane Doe" and "A.B." describe alleged sexual assaults, harassment and other wrongdoing in the B.C. office of Canada's spy agency. The women, who are on leave from the service, are forbidden by law from identifying themselves or other covert officers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

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

CSIS whistleblower hopes they 'lit a match' with allegations of rape and harassment

A CSIS officer who is among a group of whistleblowers raising allegations of sexual assault and harassment in the spy agency's British Columbia office says she hopes their actions have "lit a match" to change what she calls a "dark and disturbing place."

She says she and her colleagues want to "force change" at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, where they say they suffered abuse and ill-treatment at the hands of senior colleagues in the agency's physical surveillance unit in B.C.

Her comments come after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called their allegations "devastating," and said everyone should feel protected at work no matter how secretive their duties.

Israeli warplanes hit targets in Gaza as it resumes offensive

The war in Gaza is set to resume now that a truce between Israel and Hamas has expired.

Israel's military said it had resumed combat operations in the Gaza Strip minutes after a temporary truce expired, blaming the militant group for breaking the ceasefire.

During the weeklong truce, Hamas and other militants in Gaza released more than 100 hostages, most of them Israelis, in return for 240 Palestinians freed from prisons in Israel.

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

StatCan to release November job report today

Statistics Canada is set to release its November labour force survey this morning.

The report will shed light on the unemployment rate last month, as well as whether the economy added or lost jobs.

RBC says it expects employment rose by 15,000, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.8 per cent as the population rapidly grows.

Canada's unemployment rate was 5.7 per cent in October.

Ontario open bidding option comes into force

New rules for Ontario real estate are coming into force that are meant to provide more clarity and choice for buyers and sellers, though they don't go as far as some had hoped.

The rules, which took effect Friday, include the option for sellers to use an open bidding process, improvements to broker and brokerage disclosures, and ways to avoid conflicts on multiple representation.

The open bidding option gives the seller the choice to disclose submitted bid prices to potential buyers, something they were previously banned from doing.

Downtowns fight to survive in the post-office era

Canada's downtowns are struggling in the face of rising vacancy rates and property crimes, along with the prospect that office crowds won't fully return after the pandemic.

Kate Fenske, the chair of the International Downtown Association Canada, says weaker downtowns dent the country's overall economy and fiscal stability.

Fenske, who's also the CEO of the Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone, says a strong downtown makes for a strong economy, and while the city's core takes up one per cent of Winnipeg's land, it generates about 17 per cent of commercial taxes.

Strategy to handle ocean noise is delayed

A BC marine scientist from Simon Fraser University says the noise in Canadian oceans is probably the most pervasive, unregulated pollutant in the country.

Kieran Cox says noise under the water can affect everything from small invertebrates to big cetaceans.

Cox led a team of researchers who examined a report commissioned by the Defence Department on safeguarding whales from the sound of weapons during training exercises.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2023.

The Canadian Press