Canada

Get informed on the top stories of the day in one quick scan

In today's Morning Brief, the head of telecom and media firm Québecor is calling for the federal government to intervene over a deal between Loblaw and a company owned by Rogers and Bell that would see his company — and other telecom companies — pushed out of 180 Loblaw-owned stores.

Good morning! This is our daily news roundup with everything you need to know in one concise read. Sign up here to get this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Québecor says Loblaw deal with telecom is anti-competitive, calls on Ottawa to step in

The head of telecom and media firm Québecor is calling on the federal government to intervene in a deal between Loblaw and a company owned by Rogers and Bell that would see his company and others pushed out of 180 Loblaw-owned stores.

In a letter Pierre Karl Péladeau sent to Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne on May 9, the Québecor CEO says Loblaw decided to "prematurely end" Québecor's contract for wireless devices and services at the telecommunications kiosks inside Loblaw grocery stores — a move he calls anti-competitive and contrary to the interests of consumers.

The Loblaw-owned supermarket kiosks are branded as The Mobile Shop and there are 180 of them across the country. Right now, the kiosks sell cellphone plans from seven providers, including Telus and Québecor's Freedom Mobile. 

On the brand's "about us" page, The Mobile Shop says "we don't work for any one carrier, so we'll never play favourites."

In his letter, obtained by CBC News, Péladeau says The Mobile Shop will soon sell only Glentel products. Glentel is a retailer owned by Bell and Rogers.

"(Loblaw) presents this decision as a simple choice of supply for its stores, but in our view, this is an approach aimed at excluding certain other cellular telephone operators to benefit the company Glentel," Péladeau says in the letter, translated from French.

"If Glentel obtains such favour from Loblaw, it is because it's a joint venture made up of the giants Bell and Rogers who once again seek to lock out competition and take Canadians hostage in their consumer choice."

In his letter, Péladeau asks Champagne for "direct and firm" intervention against Loblaw, Rogers, Bell and Glentel.

In a statement, The Mobile Shop says its business represents "less than five per cent of sales in mobile phones and plans in Canada.

"Based on our limited market presence in mobile, our decision of which carrier to sell does absolutely nothing to competition," says the statement. "We are constantly reviewing our offering, and will continue to provide a range of choices, including strong, national low-cost options and full service plans."

In his letter, Péladeau also questions the existence of Glentel, a company co-owned by two of Canada's largest telecommunication companies. Read the full story here.

On arrival

A model wearing a red suit and circular red hat that covers her eyes.

(Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters)

Somalian-Norwegian model Rawdah Mohamed poses on the red carpet during arrivals for the screening of the film Marcello Mio in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, on Tuesday.

In brief

Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen is calling on the House of Commons to close a loophole that allowed MPs travelling to political party conventions to expense hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel costs in the past year. In a letter to Speaker Greg Fergus obtained by CBC News, Gerretsen said the loophole is allowing some MPs to bypass a House of Commons rule that bars MPs from claiming travel expenses linked to partisan political activity, "effectively making it hollow and meaningless." While MPs can't normally claim travel expenses for travel to partisan events, they can claim expenses for travel to a caucus meeting held at the same time and place as a party convention. MPs can claim expenses related to national caucus meetings because they're considered part of their parliamentary functions. That loophole has allowed MPs to charge $538,314 in travel, accommodation, meals and incidentals to Parliament since May 2023 to attend caucus meetings connected to party conventions, including more than $84,000 for "designated travellers." Read the full story here.

Claiming they destroyed his career to score political points after he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, Lt.-Gen. Steven Whelan is suing his accuser, the federal government, Canada's top soldier and other military officials for $10 million in damages. Military prosecutors withdrew the service offence charges against Whelan last year. He was accused by military prosecutors of giving a female military member a better score on her performance evaluation report in 2011 to stop her from reporting "flirtatious" emails he sent her. Whelan's lawyer last year said his client made "a mistake" by engaging in a "personal relationship" with a subordinate, but nothing sexual happened between them. Whelan pleaded not guilty to the charges. In a statement of claim processed Tuesday in Federal Court, Whelan's lawyer argues the defendants should pay $8 million in damages for his lost promotions and opportunities, another $1.5 million for damage to his reputation and $500,000 for violating his Charter rights. Read the full story here.

The British Columbia government is asking universities to implement more drug safety measures after a coroner's inquest was called into the overdose death of an 18-year-old University of Victoria (UVic) student, whose parents accused campus security and a 911 operator of failing to respond to help save her life. The death of Sidney McIntyre-Starko in January has also prompted a review of policies for accessing naloxone — a drug that can reverse overdose effects — on post-secondary campuses. B.C.'s minister of post-secondary education also said the province will be working with post-secondary institutions to roll out overdose prevention measures on campuses across B.C. this fall. McIntyre-Starko, a first-year science student, suffered a cardiac arrest due to fentanyl poisoning in a UVic dorm room in the early evening of Jan. 23 and died in hospital five days later, according to an open letter dated May 15 from her parents, Dr. Caroline McIntyre and Kenton Starko. Read the full story here.

Retailer London Drugs confirmed on Tuesday that cybercriminals have demanded a ransom for data that was taken in a cyberattack that caused stores to shut for a week. The retail and pharmacy chain had to shut down its nearly 80 stores across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for a week after the cyberattack was reported on April 28. While the retailer had confirmed on Saturday that some employee information was potentially compromised in the breach, it has said neither its primary employee database nor its customer and patient database appear compromised at this point. In a statement on Tuesday, the chain said it had been the victim of a ransomware attack, and that cybercriminals on the dark web were threatening to leak stolen files from its corporate head office if they were not paid. Read the full story here.

Most people who have flown have likely felt their stomach drop when the "fasten seat belt" sign switches on during a bumpy flight, but turbulence can be severe and experts warn it's becoming more common. "Turbulence fatalities on commercial flights are fortunately very rare, but have sadly increased by one today," Paul Williams, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Reading, U.K., told CBC News in an email interview. On Tuesday, one passenger was killed and 30 were injured after a Singapore Airlines flight from London hit severe turbulence en route, forcing it to make an emergency landing in Bangkok, officials and the airline said. A passenger on board the flight told Reuters the plane dropped dramatically, launching everyone not wearing a seatbelt into the ceiling. Turbulence — a sudden, violent shift in air flow — is the most common cause of airline accidents involving injuries, according to a 2021 study by the National Transportation Safety Board. And it's likely only going to get worse due to climate change, climate and aviation experts have noted. There is strong evidence that turbulence is increasing because of climate change, Williams said, citing his own research that severe clear-air turbulence in the North Atlantic has increased by 55 per cent since 1979. Read the full story here.

WATCH | What happens in extreme turbulence: 

Pilot breaks down what happens in extreme turbulence

23 days ago
Duration 5:20


Now here's some good news to start your Wednesday: Owners with their furry four-legged companions were shredding waves for the annual European Dog Surfing Championship, which hopes to discourage pet abandonment by showing off a fun way to bond with your pooch. Watch the video here.

First Person: Classmates tried to use my Asian identity against me, but kung fu anchored me

Kung fu not only gave Marvin Chan the means of surviving his childhood, but it also allowed him to embrace himself today as an artist, a martial artist and as an Asian Canadian. It continues to heal him today, as it lives through his other martial arts practices and art forms. Read his column here.

Front Burner: ICC prosecutor wants Netanyahu, Hamas leaders arrested

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court wants arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, angering both sides who are now being accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Today in history: May 22

1867: Queen Victoria appoints Canada's first 72 senators. She also proclaimed that the British North America Act – leading to the creation of the Dominion of Canada – would come into effect on July 1.

1906: Orville and Wilbur Wright receive a patent for their airplane.

1960: A magnitude-9.5 earthquake, the strongest on record, strikes southern Chile. The quake and resulting tsunami waves left about 5,700 people dead and caused widespread damage.

1987: In Vancouver, 29-year-old Rick Hansen completes his 26-month "Man in Motion" tour. Pumping his wheelchair for more than 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries, he raised millions of dollars for spinal cord research.

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

Start the day smarter. Get the CBC News Morning Brief, the essential news you need delivered to your inbox.

...

The next issue of CBC News Morning Brief will soon be in your inbox.

Discover all CBC newsletters in the Subscription Centre.opens new window

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Google Terms of Service apply.