In the news today: Total solar eclipse set to fall over Canada

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today…

Total solar eclipse set to bring darkness and celestial awe to Canadian crowds

A total solar eclipse is set to fall over parts of eastern and central Canada today, prompting massive crowds to gather in its path for a chance to catch a glimpse of the rare celestial event. The path of totality, where the sun goes directly behind the moon, will first cross through southwestern Ontario around 3:15 p.m. and move east through Quebec and Atlantic Canada before exiting Newfoundland around 3:45 p.m. Eastern time. Experts say it’s important to don special eye protection for eclipse watching as regular sunglasses will not do the trick.

Defence Minister Bill Blair to release Canada’s long-awaited defence policy update

Defence Minister Bill Blair is set to release the long-awaited update to Canada’s defence policy this morning in Trenton, Ont. The policy has been in the works since shortly after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. It replaces the current policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged,” which came out in 2017 and sets out the military’s priorities for 20 years. Blair has said the plan will be aimed at giving Canada’s defence industry the stability and predictability it needs to plan for the future.

PM’s national security adviser, PMO staff to testify at foreign interference inquiry

The public inquiry studying alleged meddling in Canada’s most recent elections will hear from the prime minister’s national security adviser today. Nathalie Drouin was named to the post in January. Vincent Rigby, who was national security adviser from 2020 to 2021, will also answer questions at the inquiry in Ottawa later in the day. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to testify on Wednesday.

As Sudan crisis rages, resettlement stalled; groups urge Ottawa to do more to help

The civil war in Sudan will reach one year next week, but not a single person has arrived through Canada’s program to bring relatives of Canadians to safety. The Sudanese Canadian Communities Association is urging Ottawa to do more to get relatives out of the conflict zone, and to help stop the conflict. The United Nations says the country is on the brink of famine, and at least 8.5 million people have been forced from their homes.

Spring housing market surge unlikely as affordability, cost of living weigh on buyers

This week’s interest rate decision from the Bank of Canada is unlikely to jump-start the national housing market, but economists say it may be just a matter of months until homebuyers come crawling back from the sidelines. The central bank is expected to hold its key rate steady for the sixth straight time Wednesday. In its latest report on national home sales and pricing data, the Canadian Real Estate Association says that February could mark “the last relatively uneventful month of the year.”

Some Canadians’ debt worries ease but many still feeling squeezed, insolvency firm says

MNP Ltd. says some Canadians are feeling a little more optimistic about their debt with the prospect of interest rate cuts on the horizon. The insolvency firm says its Consumer Debt Index showed a significant rebound in the first quarter of 2024 after twelve months of low scores. More than a quarter of Canadians say they perceive their current debt situation as better than it was a year ago.

Here’s what else we’re watching …

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Month Date, 20XX.

The Canadian Press

<!– Photo: 20240407230436-661366d858c94b43e237cb4ajpeg.jpg, Caption:

A blue sky shines below the sun as a person walks with an infant along the shores of Lake Ontario, a day before a total solar eclipse will be visible in Kingston, Ont., Sunday, April 7, 2024. Total solar eclipse set to bring darkness and celestial awe to Canadian crowds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang