Hey Passengers, 

It’s me, Nour (once again). The suspiciously atypical mid-November heat has broken, and my fingers are frigid as I type this. What are your go-to techniques for making it through the winter with your spirit intact? Let me know on Twitter @nour_regrets

What’s going on today? Well: updated pandemic projections show that Ontario has a dire winter in store; Canada’s methane emissions are much higher than previously thought; the hearings for the Toronto van attack perpetrator have begun; Trudeau still declines to release the promised anti-gun violence funds while another child dies

Let’s begin. 

Ford Continues Insisting Everything Is Normal As Ontario Enters The Hell Zone 

Things are really bad in Ontario, with new forecasts somberly estimating that by mid-December, Ontario could see 6,500 new daily cases of COVID-19

This forecast accounts for if cases rise to a 5 per cent growth rate of new cases. This seems disturbingly likely, as over the last three days, the growth rate has settled into a whopping 6 per cent, pushing up the daily average to 4 per cent. Even if we manage to beat down the growth rate to 3 per cent, we’ll see around 2,500 new daily cases by mid-December. 

This is a striking jump from previous forecasts, which expected 1,200 new daily cases in mid-November — yesterday saw 1,575 new cases. 

What’s our courageous leader, Premier Doug Ford saying? The buffoon scratches his chin and tells us that it is “concerning,” but that he can’t be bothered to do anything about it. Why not? A widespread shutdown would be “the easiest thing to do,” he says, but he worries about “the mental health of people.” Which is, I suppose, more important than physical health? Very cool, Doug! 

The Methane Problem Is Much Worse Than We Previously Thought 

  • Methane emissions from the oil and gas sector in Alberta and Saskatchewan are nearly twice as high as previously reported according to a new report published by federal scientists. 
  • The report measured the atmosphere in four spots between 2010 and 2017, and found that methane emissions amounted to three megatonnes each year. Previous reports by the government’s tally of national greenhouse gas emissions placed methane emissions at 1.6 megatonnes a year. 
  • Context: Just last week, the federal government decided not to apply federal methane regulations to Alberta and Saskatchewan, claiming that the province’s regulations were good enough. This decision was sharply criticized by the professionals in charge of the Environmental Defence program.  

The Incel Who Deliberately Slaughtered Pedestrians Is Pleading Not Guilty

  • Alek Minassian’s trial began on Tuesday, and has continued throughout the week. Minassian has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. Minassian is the perpetrator in Toronto’s April 2018 Yonge Street van attack, when a vehicle was used to ram through crowds of people on sidewalks. 
  • Minassian has admitted he killed or intended to kill all 26 people, and that his actions were planned and deliberate. However, the defence is arguing that he’s not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder, which hasn’t yet been presented, though he’s reportedly been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. 
  • The defence presented a report by a forensic psychiatrist that argues Minnassian’s “autistic way of thinking” distorted his thoughts in a way similar to psychosis. 
  • Context: Minassian’s act of violence grew infamous due to his admission that he plotted the attacks as a way to facilitate an “incel uprising,” in which women would be forced to have sex with men self-decribed as “involuntarily celibate.” The misogynistic “incel” community gained a large presence on internet forums such as 4chan and Reddit (which has now banned them), and are associated with acts of violence and domestic terrorism. 

ICYMI: A Toronto Child Is Killed By Gun Violence — And Federal Inaction  

A 12-year-old boy in Toronto recently died after being struck by a stray bullet while crossing the street with his mother. 

Two suspects, who accidentally shot the boy while aiming at a vehicle in a parking lot, have been arrested and face charges of first-degree murder. The Jane Finch Action Against Poverty activist organization has released a statement, rightfully claiming that the boy’s death should be understood as a collective failure of our society. They are demanding social and economic justice to build a healthier society in which young people don’t pick up firearms to solve disputes. 

So where is this justice? During his 2019 campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised $250 million in funding for community programs that tackle gun violence. Money that’s still sitting in Ottawa, we can only suppose, being that no city has seen any of those funds to date. We eagerly await the inevitable and empty “thoughts and prayers” from Trudeau on the killing. 

That’s it for today. Hope you have a relaxing weekend, and we’ll see you here next week — or at least my friends here at Passage will. This is my last newsletter for the time being. Follow me on Twitter @nour_regrets if you’d like to see what other shenanigans I get up to! 

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