5 Things You Need to Know About What Went Down This Week - June 16

We know you’re busy so we’re breaking down the what’s happenings in the world. Powered by Pressed News, here’s your round up of what you need to know about this past week.

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1. BOARD MAN GETS A PARADE

The Toronto Raptors Championship parade shut down Toronto on Monday. Fans camped out over the weekend to secure good spots on the parade route, which ran from Exhibition Place to Nathan Phillips Square.
 
How many people showed up?

The city said 2 million people showed up to celebrate this once in a lifetime event – check out this image and this video. Mayor John Tory, Prime Minister Trudeau, and several politicians joined the celebration. Premier Doug Ford was there too – he was greeted with boos every time his name was mentioned. Some of our favourite moments of the day include Kawhi Leonard mocking his own laugh, Kyle Lowry encouraging fans to chant “five more years” for Leonard, and drivers pulling over on the Gardiner (one of Toronto’s busiest highways) and getting out of their cars to snap pics of the parade.
 
Sounds like so much fun.
It wasn’t all fun and Kawactus plants. Among all the chants of “We The North,” multiple subway stations temporarily shut down, several people got dehydrated from standing in the sun, and the parade was majorly delayed – the team was expected to reach Nathan Phillips Square by noon but didn’t end up hitting the stage until around 3:30 pm. Then, just as things were getting started, a shooting at the back corner of the crowd caused waves of fans to run for their lives. We later found out that four people were injured and three suspects were taken into custody.

2. LIBRA

No, not the astrological sign. Libra is the name of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency.
 
Crypto-what?
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that exist exclusively online without the limits and boundaries of a centralized banking system, i.e. the Bank of Canada. Facebook said, “Libra’s mission is to be a simple, global currency” that will give people access to a stable currency no matter where they live. The company also built Calibra, a digital wallet for the cryptocurrency – it will be available on WhatsApp (owned by Facebook), Messenger, and as its own app, which means you won’t need a Facebook account to use Libra.
 
But is it safe?
That’s the million dollar Libra question. Right out of the gate, Facebook said it has been working with financial regulators and reassured users that their financial data will not be shared with the social network. Along with Libra and Calibra, Facebook also announced the creation of the Libra Association – a non-profit that will help fund, build, and govern Libra. There are currently 28 founder partners, including Facebook, MasterCard, and Uber, and Facebook said it will only have one equal vote. Still, many people are skeptical because of this and this. Libra is slated to launch in 2020.

3. BACK UP AND RUNNIN'

Despite the House of Commons declaring a national climate change emergency this week, PM Trudeau approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project (again). The expansion will triple the capacity of the existing pipeline, shipping 890,000 barrels of oil between Alberta and B.C., then out to Asia. It’s also the project that stirred up drama between the Alberta and B.C. governments. Alberta argued the pipeline boosts the economy, while B.C. fought to protect the environment.
 
Wait, so this again?
Yep. It was over two years ago that the controversial project was first approved. The Federal Court of Appeal later ruled to halt the project due to insufficient consultations with Indigenous communities and an incomplete environmental review. After completing more consultations, strengthening marine and emergency response plans, and adding new “accommodation measures” for specific Indigenous concerns, Trudeau’s Liberal government pressed restart on the project. Well, for now. While construction of the $7.4-billion pipeline is set to start sometime this year, its route still needs to be finalized – also, the pipeline could still face lawsuits from First Nations and environmentalists. Trudeau is hoping his promise to hand over all the profits of the pipeline to clean energy projects will make a difference.

4. PITCHIN' IN

The Feds released the details on their new CMHC program – a program starting in September that’s supposed to help first-time home buyers foot the bill in Canada’s overpriced housing market.
 
Finally, some relief!
Well, only if you meet the program’s requirements. Under the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, first-time home buyers who make less than $120,000 can qualify to receive up to 10% of their new home covered up-front.
 
That’s it?
Not quite. To qualify, the price of the home also can’t exceed more than $565,000 (which actually isn’t much in markets like Toronto and Vancouver). And while there’s no interest on the money, CMHC acts as an investor from here on out – i.e., when the homeowner is ready to sell the home, whatever percentage CMHC put in, is what they get back.

 

5. GOOD NEWS

633 divers set a world record for all the right reasons. This past weekend, hundreds of divers recovered at least 1,626 pounds of garbage and 60 pounds of fishing line from the ocean, making it the largest group to undertake an underwater cleanup. Ever. The two-hour event held in Florida saw divers from all over the world converge for a good cause – on land and under the sea.

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