The war on women continues as rogue courts go berserk

What Just Happened? | Stephen Whitworth | June 30, 2022

It’s “What Just Happened?”, everyone’s favourite news-aggregation column! This installment has been rated PG-13 for horrifying political and sexual violence as well as descriptions of war crimes and childish insults.

MONDAY, JUNE 20: SHINY NEW BUTTONS Canada’s Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino announced MPs will receive panic buttons in response to increasing of threats against Canadian politicians. The rise in threats follows this past winter’s convoy protests and the recent introduction of legislation to further restrict gun ownership. Along with popular classics like (murder and violence), one federal NDP politician said someone threatened to kill her dog—which I hope we can all agree is going too far. Anyway the devices, when activated, alert the Parliamentary Protective Service or local police.

CONTENT WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT Still on June 20, Hockey Canada officials Tom Renney (outgoing CEO), Scott Smith (president) and Dave Andrews (board of governors chair) testified on Parliament Hill before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage about a shocking sexual assault lawsuit their organization recently settled. First reported on May 26 by TSN’s Rick Westhead and then by multiple media outlets, the lawsuit claimed eight Canadian Hockey League players — including members of Canada’s 2017–18 World Junior Championship team — terrorized and gang-raped a woman they had met at a bar. They allegedly fed her drinks, separated her from friends and lured her back to a hotel suite in the early morning of June 19, 2018.

The alleged attack happened in London, Ontario during the Hockey Canada Foundation’s annual fundraising golf and gala event. The Athletic, a subscriber-only online magazine, reported that players, who outnumbered the intoxicated woman and had ominously brought golf clubs into the room, allegedly forced the victim to say, on camera, that she consented to the sex acts. They made her shower after the assault. Allegedly.

During testimony, the executives said that despite an independent investigation they still don’t know which of the 19 CHL players in London for the fundraiser were involved in the alleged assault that got their organization sued for $3.55 million (the settlement amount has not been disclosed). They also said, stunningly, that players were NOT required to speak to the law firm Hockey Canada hired to investigate the incident.

Members of Parliament from all parties as well as the prime minister condemned Hockey Canada’s handling of the situation. On June 22, Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge froze the organization’s federal funding, pending it meet conditions including signing on to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner. And on June 28, Scotiabank announced it will suspend its Hockey Canada sponsorship. Will more corporate sanctions follow?

The National Hockey League is also investigating. Many of the players on that 2018 WJC team are now in the NHL. One of them, Colorado’s Norris and Conn-Smythe-trophy-winning defenceman Cale Makar, just won the Stanley Cup. (Makar, who did not play in the CHL, said on June 14 that he was not part of the alleged group and will cooperate with investigators.)

TUESDAY 21: BABY MUMMIPHANT In pleasing National Indigenous Peoples Day news, a miner working in Eureka Creek, Yukon discovered an intact, mummified baby woolly mammoth. The discovery, reported Friday, was on Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in land, and the mammoth was named Nun cho ga which means “big baby animal” in the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in’s Hän language. Nun cho ga is estimated to be 35,000–40,000 years old. It’s only the second woolly mammoth baby to be discovered. Wooly mammoths appeared around 800,000 years ago, and lived in the Yukon as recently as 5,700 years ago (good ol’ Wikipedia, eh?)

FRIDAY 24: ABORT THE COURT The U.S. Supreme Court finally released its shocking but expected ruling overturning Roe v Wade, the 1973 SCOTUS decision that legalized abortion in the United States. Awful impacts include the guarantee that desperate women will die from unsafe abortions, while others will be jailed for having abortions, providing abortions or aiding and abetting abortions (there have already been arrests, but it’s going to get much worse).

It really stinks that the U.S. Republican Party has successfully pulled off its multi-decade plot to hijack what is arguably the world’s most powerful national legal institution by stacking the court with its preferred judges. But you can see why they did it: Republicans know they can’t win popular majorities in fair elections anymore because their only demographic is white male gun owners with sister-wives. Their judges know it and are going for the (pot of) gold: stopping a democracy heading in a direction they don’t like — away from them.

SUNDAY 26: THE “NEW” IN NDP Saskatchewan’s Official Opposition has a new leader: Carla Beck. The Regina Lakeview MLA won the party’s leadership contest, defeating Saskatoon’s Kaitlyn Harvey to replace outgoing leader Ryan Meili and become the first woman to lead the party. The following day, Beck announced the Building To Win tour, a three-week Saskatchewan road trip to meet people and listen to their perspectives. It’s probably overdue: with party membership hovering around an embarrassing 7,300, making friends new and old has never been more important for the Saskatchewan NDP.

MONDAY 27: WHAT’S NOT TO LICH? Canadian anti-mandate activist Tamara Lich was arrested in Medicine Hat for violating terms of her parole on charges including obstructing police, mischief, and intimidation by blocking and obstructing one or more highways. She was taken into custody ahead of planned Canada Day protests in Ottawa by “freedom” activists. “Tamara Lich has just been arrested in Medicine Hat, Alberta because Trudeau is a dictator and he takes political prisoners,” tweeted respected pundit and legal expert Joe Blo (@normalguy223), a convoy supporter. “That’s why Justin Trudeau hates her so much.”

WAR CRIME Also today: Russia used a missile to destroy a busy mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine. Civilian casualties are high and include children. This is an important reminder for anyone forgetting that a failed state run by a deranged and homicidal oligarch has been killing Europeans since February.