By Rosalind Russell-
Ford forming new cabinet
Doug Ford is to announce his new cabinet today and reports say it’ll likely be larger than the 26 members it had before the June 2nd election.
Several cabinet posts will likely be divided, giving him extra room to include more of his 83 MPPs.
Former Solicitor-General Sylvia Jones is said to be the front-runner for the position of health minister.
Jones played a key role in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peter Bethlenfalvy is likely to remain as finance minister, while Stephen Lecce will be back as education minister.
Ford is also expected to announce that the legislature will be recalled next month to pass the new budget.
Getting prepared for possible Ottawa protests
The city of Ottawa is setting up a motor vehicle control zone in the downtown area over the Canada Day long weekend, to prevent protesters from occupying the area.
The zone, surrounding Parliament Hill, will see traffic limited to local residents and businesses, with barricades and police checkpoints set up at its borders.
The move is an attempt to prevent a repeat of January’s “Freedom Convoy” protest, which saw demonstrators occupy downtown streets in the capital for almost four weeks.
Several groups connected to the convoy plan demonstrations in the capital over Canada Day, and say they’ll continue throughout the summer.
Ukraine and the E-U union
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his country’s future is with Europe.
Zelensky is hailing yesterday’s decision by the leaders of the European Union to allow his country to become a candidate for membership in the 27-nation economic bloc.
He says it’s one of the most important moments in Ukraine’s existence as an independent nation.
E-U leaders also approved Moldova as a candidate.
The small country, located on Ukraine’s southern border, has also had trouble with Russian-backed separatists on its territory.
The move will likely upset Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been battling for years to prevent Ukraine from developing closer ties with the West.
Earthquake in Afghanistan
The Afghan government says rescue operations have concluded in a remote eastern section of the country, following an earthquake earlier this week.
The death toll stands at more than one thousand, with hundreds of others injured.
Taliban officials are still having problems getting relief supplies into the remote mountainous region.
The area’s few roads have been heavily damaged by rock falls and landslides set off by heavy rain.