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In the news today: New federal cabinet role, Pat Carney dead at 88

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...
Minister of Citizens’ Services Terry Beech takes the oath during a cabinet swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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

Specifics of citizens' services cabinet job murky

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet shuffle created a new citizens' services job for rookie minister Terry Beech, but it still appears unclear exactly what that job will entail.

When asked what "citizens' services" is after he was sworn in, Beech said it will include some elements of Employment and Social Development Canada. 

But he admitted he hadn't been fully briefed. 

The Prime Minister's Office says the new minister will work across the government to focus on anything that touches Canadians directly, including passport applications. 

Former senator Pat Carney dead at age 88

Former senator, MP and journalist Pat Carney has died at the age of 88.

She was first elected to the House of Commons in February 1980 in the riding of Vancouver Centre.

Her website says Carney was the first woman in every government portfolio she held, serving as the minister of energy, minister of international trade and president of the Treasury Board in Brian Mulroney's cabinet.

Here's what else we're watching ... 

Ontario provincial byelections set for today

Residents of two Ontario ridings head to the polls today to elect new provincial representatives, after a pair of resignations left those seats vacant.

Merrilee Fullerton abruptly resigned her cabinet post and her Kanata-Carleton seat in the Ottawa area in March.

Mitzie Hunter stepped down this spring as the member of provincial parliament for Scarborough-Guildwood in Toronto – a seat she held for the Liberals since 2013 – to run in Toronto's mayoral byelection.

Turnout was low in advance polls, with just 7.3 of registered voters casting their ballots over three days in Kanata-Carleton, while only 3.6 per cent of registered voters cast their ballot in advance in Scarborough-Guildwood.

Protesters paint Winnipeg police headquarters after man arrested and charged

Protesters have doused the Winnipeg police headquarters partially with red paint.

The protest occurred after police arrested a man connected to ongoing encampments that are pushing governments to search landfills for the remains of Indigenous women.

Police allege the man threatened two private security guards, and have charged him with uttering threats, mischief and possessing body armour without a permit.

Public health agency ends probe after Air France passenger sat in blood-soaked area

Canada's public health agency has ended an investigation opened after an Air France passenger says he sat amid the uncleaned remnants of a previous passenger having soiled his seat, concluding nothing was found on board that could spread communicable diseases.

The Public Health Agency of Canada had opened the probe citing its mandate to ensure anything brought into the country on a conveyance does not threaten public health.

Passenger Habib Battah told The Canadian Press after boarding a June 30th flight from Paris to Toronto, he noticed a strong manure-like odour and noticed a large stain on the floor in front of his seat.

Battah says he alerted cabin crew about the stain and was then given cleaning supplies in response -- after wiping the floor beneath his seat, the cloth came out "blood red.''  

Canada Goose brings second-hand program to Canada

Canada Goose is bringing its second-hand apparel business to Canada.

The Toronto-based luxury brand says it will allow customers in the country to trade in pre-loved Canada Goose wear for gift cards.

Everything from popular parkas and outdoor vests to snowsuits, snow pants, trench coats and even fleece and knitwear will be available through the trade-in program called Generations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2023.

The Canadian Press