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Global National: May 31, 2022 | BC to decriminalize possession of some hard drugs amid opioid crisis

The federal government is taking action to address Canada’s opioid crisis in one of its worst-hit provinces, allowing British Columbia to decriminalize possession of up to 2.5 grams of illicit drugs for personal use, beginning in early 2023. Keith Baldrey explains why officials believe the move could help curb skyrocketing overdose deaths, and how it represents a dramatic shift for Canada’s drug policy.

Ottawa’s new firearm legislation, which includes a complete freeze on handgun sales and purchases across Canada, is already drawing swift reaction. Abigail Bimman reports on how gun owners feel targeted, who’s advocating for the proposed bill’s tighter controls, and why experts are divided over its potential impact on this country’s rising gun violence.

In Nova Scotia, Retired RCMP Sgt. Andy O’Brien was one of two decision-makers granted permission to testify via pre-recorded video interviews at the public inquiry into the 2020 mass shooting that killed 22 people. Ross Lord reports on how his testimony sheds more light on the failures, despite being exempt from cross-examination by lawyers of the victims’ families.

In the U.S., the first funerals for the victims of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting have been held, with friends and family saying painful goodbyes to two 10-year-old girls among the 19 children killed in the tragedy. As Jennifer Johnson reports, there are now calls to tear down the school where the massacre took place, as Democrats and Republicans continue the battle over tighter gun laws.

As the war in Ukraine rages, the European Union has agreed to reduce imports of Russian oil by up to 90 per cent by the end of the year. The plan is expected to cut tens of billions of dollars from the Kremlin’s coffers. Though, as Redmond Shannon reports, there are still frustrations over a few member nations that remain exempt from the agreement.

Back in Canada, Marylou Cyr is part of a cohort of people who retired early during the pandemic. But as stock markets remain turbulent, interest rates climb and inflation soars, it’s a challenging time to be living on a fixed income. Anne Gaviola has more.

Canada’s 100 best restaurants have finally been revealed. Mike Drolet takes a closer look at the place that takes the cake, and how the prestige could help similar businesses bounce back from the pandemic.

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