Canada Morning Brief: What You Need To Know For June 21

Featuring an honest review of a gross new Timmies menu item.

Newsletter Editor
​Canada Morning Brief logo. Right: People walking while carrying multiple single-use plastic bags.

Canada Morning Brief logo. Right: People walking while carrying multiple single-use plastic bags.

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Good morning — Andrew from Narcity here!

I've been trying to wrap my head around this story about a man who had to buy his wife a handbag after he recognized former adult film star Mia Khalifa while they were honeymooning in Paris. If anything, the poor chap should be celebrated for being a champion of independent cinema.

Psst... You can now sign up for the soon-to-launch email version of the Canada Morning Brief right here.

5 Things You Need To Know Today

It's the first day of summer and the longest day of the year today. As Sarah Rohoman writes, the weather across Canada is going to be all over the place today.

The first day of summer also marks National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, a day of recognition and celebration of all of the contributions and cultural practices of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Beyoncé dropped a new track called Break My Soul. It's got a real funky dance beat and there are parts with a man kind of shout-singing that's giving me the same energy of '90s club classics like Mr. Vain or Rhythm Is a Dancer.

It may not be "Friday (Friday)" but Rebecca Black will be getting down as she celebrates her 25th trip around the sun. Also born on this day are melancholic songstress Lana Del Rey (37), "Mr. Brightside" himself Brandon Flowers (41) and velociraptor sign language specialist Chris Pratt (43).

It was on this day in 1940 that the first successful west-to-east trip through the Northwest Passage began — which is all the excuse you need to revisit one of Canada's great unofficial anthems.

In Case You Missed It

1. Breaking Down Canada's New Single-Use Plastics Rules

Beginning as early as December 2022, Canada will start to phase out "harmful" single-use plastics as part of a comprehensive plan to reduce environmental impact, Helena Hanson reports. There will be some exceptions (think: accessibility purposes) and leeway as companies use up their existing stock of straws, cutlery, bags and the like — but the end result could see Canada eliminate 1.3 million tonnes of waste.

2. Unvaxxed Feds Can Begin Returning From Unpaid Leave

The Government of Canada halted its vaccine mandate for federal employees as of yesterday, opening a path for those who have been on unpaid leave due to their vaccination status to begin confirming return-to-work plans, Tristan Wheeler reports. The timing of the change mirrors similar restriction rollbacks for the domestic travel industry. Here's what you need to know about the changes.

3. A Scary Reminder Of How Not To Cross Train Tracks

Ontario transit agency Metrolinx released a pretty startling PSA yesterday. In a short clip, the driver of an SUV comes to a stop in front of an active railway crossing, then begins to slowly manoeuvre around the lowered barriers anyway despite an oncoming GO Train... and you can probably guess what happened next. Alex Arsenych details the fallout from the surprisingly non-fatal incident.

4. The Canada Workers Benefit Is Getting A Big Boost

As many as three million Canadians could have access to a newly expanded Canada Workers Benefit, a refundable tax credit aimed at helping the country's lower-income workers make it through our countrywide affordability issues. Some individuals will now be entitled to an additional $1,200 credit on top of the existing $1,395. Once again, here's Helena with the details on the program's changes.

5. Review: Tim Hortons' New 'Loaded Bowl' Is A Load Of Mush

Canada's favourite global-fast-food-conglomerate-backed restaurant chain is at it again with yet another menu item outside its usual purview of coffee and donuts. Our Tristan Wheeler gave an honest review of Timmies' new "Loaded Bowl" and it sounds like would-be consumers might have to be a little loaded themselves before tucking into this saucy mess of rice, vegetables, and chicken.

Thanks for reading Narcity's Canada Morning Brief — the only newsletter abashedly unafraid of the cynical R&D team at Restaurant Brands International.

Soon, you will be able to get our newsletter straight to your inbox. Until then, I'd love to know what you liked (and disliked) about today's edition — or the new "Loaded Bowl" — at

Have a great day and see you back here tomorrow!

Andrew Joe Potter
Newsletter Editor
Andrew Joe Potter is a Newsletter Editor for Narcity Media Group and is based in Toronto, Ontario.