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The GLOBAL REPORT – joining NATO, improving ODSP, and holidays …

Ukraine’s breadbasket

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is urging the world to end Russia’s blockade of the southern port city of Odesa to prevent a global food shortage. Ukraine is a major supplier of wheat and corn to many countries, and the cutoff of supplies is already causing an increase in prices for the commodities.

Odesa has become a major target for Russian missile attacks in the past week.

Meantime, the Ukrainian military is warning that Russia could launch attacks on the country’s chemical industries, then blame Ukraine for the spread of the toxins.

NATO membership

Sweden’s defence minister says the Nordic region would see increased security if Sweden and Finland join NATO.

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The two countries are to decide within the next week whether to join the alliance after decades of neutrality.

Citizens in both countries have long supported their neutral stance, but that changed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th.

Promises for ODSP increases

The Ontario Conservatives have finally joined the other parties in promising to increase Ontario Disability Support Program payments.

The party is pledging to boost rates by five per cent, and introduce legislation that would see annual increases.

ODSP payments have been frozen since 2018, with the maximum available to a single person of just under 12-hundred dollars a month, well below the poverty line.

The Liberals have pledged a ten per cent increase a year over the next two years.

The New Democrats have promised an immediate 20 per cent hike, with legislation to tie future years to the cost of living.

Shorter holidays likely

The surging price of gas is causing many Canadians to re-think their summer holiday plans.

A survey done for the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada finds two-thirds of us will be cancelling, or shortening, our summertime road trips this year.

For young drivers, that level rises to 75 per cent.

The Association’s survey also finds that eight out of ten people believe higher gas prices are here to stay.

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