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In the news today: Fundraiser launched to honour firefighter who died in B.C.

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today... Fundraiser honours firefighter who died in B.C.
FILE - Smoke billows from the Donnie Creek wildfire burning north of Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

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

Fundraiser honours firefighter who died in B.C.

A fundraiser has been launched to honour the memory of a firefighter killed while fighting British Columbia's largest wildfire last week.

The 25-year-old firefighter who died Friday has been identified as Zak Muise in an online obituary and tribute by the firefighting contractor he worked for.

Money is being raised in honour of Muise for the Canadian Critical Incident Stress Foundation which provides support, education and training for first responders, veterans and their families and runs a camp for families and children coping with loss.

Vulnerable residents evacuate from Saskatchewan First Nation due to wildfire smoke

A First Nation in northern Saskatchewan says it has moved about 300 members out of the community to safety in response to health threats arising from forest fire smoke.

The Fond du Lac Denesuline Nation, which is on Lake Athabasca and about 60 kilometres from the Northwest Territories boundary, says the evacuation focused on people with compromised cardiorespiratory conditions and other health issues.

Indigenous Services Canada says 253 vulnerable members were sent by air last Friday to Saskatoon, due to the poor air quality caused by heavy smoke.

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

Rejected agreements show workers are fighting to catch up: experts

Experts say a recent string of rejected tentative agreements across the country is a sign that workers are expecting more from both their employers and their unions.

This was on display in the Greater Toronto Area over the weekend as employees at 27 Metro grocery stores rejected a tentative agreement and went on strike.

Port workers in B.C. also recently rejected a mediated tentative agreement, only for their union to quickly reach another one that will again be voted on by Friday.

Alberta no longer pursuing plan to dump RCMP for provincial police force

Alberta's government is no longer formally pursuing its plan to dump the RCMP in favour of a new provincial police force.

However, Justice Minister Mickey Amery says the idea is not dead, and his department will continue to consult with Albertans on where they want to go with policing.

The Alberta police force option has been studied and touted by the United Conservative Party government for years, but it has faced opposition -- including from municipalities -- over concerns on cost, implementation and staffing.

Toronto's alcohol in parks pilot launches today

Starting today, Toronto residents are allowed to consume alcohol in some parks, as the city kicks off a time-limited pilot project.

The pilot project runs until Oct. 9 and allows those 19 and older to drink alcohol at 27 selected parks across Toronto, including Queen's Park, Corktown Common and Earlscourt Park, where officials will formally launch the initiative later this morning.

City officials have said drinking in parks is not a major issue, most residents do so respectfully and responsibly, and no tickets have been issued for it in 2023.

Feds say 6.6 million 'unsafe vehicles' on the road

The federal government says some 6.6 million unsafe vehicles are likely on the road despite having unresolved safety recalls.

Transport Canada estimated in an analysis from June that one in five of the 33.3 million vehicles registered as of 2019 have outstanding recalls but continue to ply the streets and highways, potentially endangering occupants and other road users.

The department is proposing new rules that would require companies that issue a safety recall to quickly post related information on their website in order to boost awareness and fix the defect.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press