2022 in review: Kenney resigns; Pope visits Canada

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Following a 51.4 per cent approval rating from the leadership review, Jason Kenney stepped down as leader of the United Conservative Party on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Following a 51.4 per cent approval rating from the leadership review, Jason Kenney stepped down as leader of the United Conservative Party on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Jim Wells/Postmedia

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Postmedia journalist Bill Kaufmann takes a look at social, political, cultural events and more that made news in the last 12 months. Today, he outlines events from the middle third of the year. Watch for the final part of this three-part series on Thursday.

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MAY

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2: In an unprecedented leak, it’s revealed in a draft decision that the U.S. Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion nationally in that country for nearly 50 years.

10: The Alberta Court of Appeal rules Ottawa’s Bill C-69 regulating industrial development is unconstitutional by infringing on provincial rights.

10: Innocent victim and mother of five Angela McKenzie is killed when the vehicle she’s driving is struck by another involved in a shooting in Calgary’s Forest Lawn area.

12: Telescope images of the Sagittarius A* black hole at the centre of the Milky Way are revealed for the first time.

12: Canada officially surpasses 40,000 COVID-19 deaths while in the same week the U.S. hits the one million fatality mark, though many health experts believe those are severe undercounts.

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13: After more than two months of heavy shelling, Ukraine says Russian forces are pulling back from Kharkiv, its second-largest city.

14: Police say a white gunman’s attack in a supermarket in a Black area of Buffalo, N.Y., that left 10 people dead, was racially motivated. Payton Gendron, 18, is accused of the crime.

15: David Milgaard — often the face of Canada’s wrongly convicted; he served 23 years in prison for a Saskatoon murder he didn’t commit — dies in Calgary. He was 69.

16: In a marquee example of the economic pressures squeezing Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine, fast-food behemoth McDonald’s says it’s selling its businesses there and pulling out of the country following a 30-year presence.

16: In historic shifts, traditionally neutral Sweden follows Finland in announcing it will seek NATO membership in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

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16: Isolated Ukrainian troops who defended Mariupol’s Azovstal steel factory begin surrendering to Russian forces after months of resistance.

17: An historic U.S. Congressional hearing is held on sightings of UFOs, though no definite source of the mysterious craft is revealed.

Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund (11) and Edmonton Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) face off for the puck during the first period in Game 1 of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on May 18, 2022. Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund (11) and Edmonton Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) face off for the puck during the first period in Game 1 of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on May 18, 2022. Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

18: Another so-called Battle of Alberta begins in Calgary between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, this time during the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s the first such matchup since 1991 and is eventually won by the Oilers in five games.

18: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announces his resignation after votes tallied in the Alberta UCP’s leadership review give him 51.4 per cent of party members’ support.

19: Ottawa says it will ban Huawei from developing 5G systems in Canada out of Chinese espionage concerns.

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19: Washington enacts the Defense Production Act to speed production of baby formula that’s been in short supply since safety concerns shut down the main U.S. factory producing it.

21: A violent thunderstorm sweeps across southern Ontario and into Quebec, leaving 11 people dead, considerable property damage and lengthy power outages in its wake.

22: American Justin Thomas takes the PGA Championship in Tulsa, Okla., at the Southern Hills GC.

People react outside the Sgt Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School after a mass shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022. People react outside the Sgt Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School after a mass shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022. Marco Bello/Reuters

24: Nineteen children and two teachers are shot to death at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The 18-year-old gunman armed with newly purchased AR-15 rifles is killed by officers at the scene but their waiting outside the classroom for more than an hour draws public wrath.

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27: Canada’s Supreme Court rules a consecutive sentence of life without parole is unconstitutional and cruel, citing the case of Alexandre Bissonnette who murdered six worshippers at a Quebec City mosque in 2017.

30: A scathing, much-anticipated report on the Canadian Armed Forces states it must ditch harmful structures and traditions to meaningfully address sexual misconduct in its ranks.

30: The EU agrees to cut imports of Russian oil by two-thirds immediately and by 90 per cent by the end of 2022 in an effort to hobble the country’s war machine.

30: The Trudeau government tables firearms control legislation that would freeze the purchase and transfer of handguns in Canada and the buyback of so-called assault-style weapons.

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31: In a Canadian first, the federal government grants an exemption decriminalizing small quantities of hard drugs in B.C. in a bid to reduce opioid poisonings.

JUNE

1: In an effort to rein in inflation, the Bank of Canada raises its key interest rates by another half of a percentage point to 1.5 per cent, the second such hike in two months.

1: A jury rules in favour of actor Johnny Depp in his $50-million defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard, awarding him $15 million in damages. She’d publicly accused him of domestic abuse.

2: Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives win their second straight majority in Ontario’s provincial election.

2: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signs a $1.3-billion land claims deal with Alberta’s Siksika First Nation as compensation for the theft of territory more than a century ago.

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5: Calgarian Betty Ann Williams, 86, is killed by three dogs, with the resulting 30-minute response time by an EMS unit sparking an outcry.

9: The house select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021, holds its first public hearing, presenting evidence of what its members insist are direct ties between then-president Donald Trump and the violent insurrection.

14: Ottawa announces it’s dropping vaccine requirements for domestic and outgoing flights.

14: After decades of squabbling, Canada and Denmark sign an agreement to share tiny Hans Island in the Arctic.

14: Climate change is cited for infrastructure damage caused by flooding from torrential rains and rapid snow melt that shuts down Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

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Calgary firefighters clear a tree that fell onto Edgemont Blvd. N.W. as strong winds and rain hit the city on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Calgary firefighters clear a tree that fell onto Edgemont Blvd. N.W. as strong winds and rain hit the city on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Gavin Young/Postmedia

14-15: Calgary avoids a repeat of the 2013 flood despite heavy rain and slashing winds, the latter felling trees and causing power outages across the city.

15: The last of Alberta’s COVID-19 public health measures expire as case numbers and hospitalizations drop.

19: English golfer Matt Fitzpatrick wins the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

20: Ottawa says it will spend $4.9 billion over six years to upgrade North American defences against air and sea attack.

21: Outrage over alleged government meddling in law enforcement erupts after a letter from a senior Mountie states the force had been instructed by the offices of the prime minister and public safety minister to divulge the type of firearms used in the April 2020 Nova Scotia massacre in order to boost the federal Liberals’ gun control initiatives.

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22: Canada’s inflation rate for May hits 7.7 per cent compared to a year ago — the highest it’s been since 1983.

22: Ottawa announces it’s freezing funding for Hockey Canada until it deals seriously with sexual abuse issues after the sports body admitted it handles two to three such complaints a year.

23: In a case focusing on New York State, the U.S. Supreme Court rules against states’ law curtailing the public carrying of handguns, with gun control advocates saying it is a blow to their cause.

Abortion rights demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision in Washington on Friday, June 24, 2022. Abortion rights demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision in Washington on Friday, June 24, 2022. Evelyn Hockstein / Reuters

24: Ending 49 years of national abortion rights, the U.S. Supreme court strikes down Roe v. Wade, handing reproductive rights decisions to the states.

24: Following a series of high-profile mass shootings, the U.S. Congress passes a modest but rare gun control bill that hikes background checks.

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25: Russian forces complete their capture of the Ukrainian Donbas city of Sievierodonetsk after weeks of heavy fighting.

26: The Colorado Avalanche put an end to Tampa Bay Lightning’s dominance to win the 2022 Stanley Cup in six games. It was the Avs’ third Stanley Cup win. Calgary’s Cale Makar was chosen Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP.

27: Amid a severe heat wave, more than 50 Central American migrants are found dead in a semi-truck trailer in San Antonio, Tex.

28: Ghislaine Maxwell, who helped financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse young girls, is sentenced to 20 years in prison.

28: Buoyed by skyrocketing energy prices and record-breaking revenue from them, Alberta’s UCP government announces a $3.9-billion budget surplus for 2021 after earlier forecasting an $18-billion deficit. It’s the greatest swing in financial fortunes in the province’s history.

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28: Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson tells the Jan. 6 investigative committee that then-president Donald Trump wanted to march with rioters and didn’t care that they were armed.

28: Twin brother bank robbers with apparent ties to far right-wing extremism wound six police officers in a shootout in Saanich, B.C., before being shot dead.

JULY

4: America’s mass shooting epidemic strikes the nation’s birthday celebrations when a July 4 parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park is attacked by a gunman who kills seven people and wounds nearly 40.

4: Following years of legal battles, Ottawa inks $20-billion compensation package for First Nations child welfare.

5: Calgary city council passes an updated climate change strategy that calls for $87 billion in investment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

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7: Following a massive caucus revolt over his promotion of an MP facing sexual misconduct charges, Boris Johnson resigns as Britain’s PM.

8: Japan’s longest-serving PM, former leader Shinzo Abe, is assassinated by a gunman in the city of Nara.

8: Rogers’ network crashes for a day, wreaking havoc on Canadians’ telecommunications and focusing questions on the company’s proposed merger with Shaw.

The first full-colour image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a revolutionary apparatus designed to peer through the cosmos to the dawn of the universe, shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, known as Webb’s First Deep Field, in a composite made from images at different wavelengths taken with a Near-Infrared Camera and released July 11, 2022. The first full-colour image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a revolutionary apparatus designed to peer through the cosmos to the dawn of the universe, shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, known as Webb’s First Deep Field, in a composite made from images at different wavelengths taken with a Near-Infrared Camera and released July 11, 2022. Photo by NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team/Handout via REUTERS

12: NASA releases the first images from its James Webb Space Telescope providing views of the cosmos of unprecedented depth and clarity.

12: Calgary Flames superstar left-winger Johnny Gaudreau bids goodbye to the Calgary Flames after eight seasons with the NHL franchise, opting for the free agent market. He signs with the Columbus Blue Jackets the following day.

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13: In a further attempt to tame inflation, the Bank of Canada hikes its key interest rate by a full percentage point, the biggest one-time increase since 1998.

15: The B.C. Court of Appeal upholds a ruling by the province’s supreme court that rules against a private medical provider while determining the country’s Medicare Protection Act is necessary to preserve a publicly-funded health-care system.

17: Aussie golfer Cam Smith claims the Claret Jug, winning the British Open at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.

19: The U.K. breaks its all-time high temperature with a reading of 40 C as an unprecedented, destructive heat wave supercharged by climate change roasts much of Europe, killing hundreds and fuelling massive wildfires.

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22: A strategist for then-U.S. president Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, is convicted of contempt for ignoring a subpoena from the Jan. 6 Congressional committee.

25: Just days after losing superstar Johnny Gaudreau to free agency, the Flames trade star Matthew Tkachuk, who was not willing to re-sign in Calgary, to Florida for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt and a first-round draft pick.

Pope Francis, the current head of the Catholic Church, made a penitential pilgrimage to Maskwacis, Alberta on Monday July 25, 2022, his first stop on his tour of Canada which will also include Quebec and Nunavut. The pontiff delivered an apology for the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools in Canada. Pope Francis, the current head of the Catholic Church, made a penitential pilgrimage to Maskwacis, Alberta on Monday July 25, 2022, his first stop on his tour of Canada which will also include Quebec and Nunavut. The pontiff delivered an apology for the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools in Canada. Photo by Larry Wong

25: Pope Francis issues an apology at Alberta’s Maskwacis First Nation for the actions of Catholics at abusive residential schools. The act of contrition is the highlight of the pontiff’s six-day Canadian tour.

AUGUST

1: A vicious electrical storm hits central Alberta leaving widespread damage sown mostly by hail whose size, reaching grapefruit dimensions, sets a Canadian record.

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1: In a move that heightens tensions between Washington and Beijing, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leads a congressional delegation in a visit to Taiwan, an island claimed by China.

The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship, Razoni carrying Ukrainian grain leaves the port, in Odesa, Ukraine, August 1, 2022, in this screen grab taken from a handout video. The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship, Razoni carrying Ukrainian grain leaves the port, in Odesa, Ukraine, August 1, 2022, in this screen grab taken from a handout video. Oleksandr Kubrakov/ Ukraine Ministry of Infrastructure/Handout via REUTERS

1: The first ship of Ukrainian grain to depart the country since the outbreak of war with Russia leaves the port of Odesa.

4: A court orders Infowars host Alex Jones to pay $4 million in damages to a family whose child died in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. Jones has told his viewers the shootings were a hoax to pass more stringent gun laws.

4: The U.S. says it will declare the monkeypox virus a health emergency.

8: The FBI searches Donald Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla., Mar-a-Lago resort, seizing confidential documents the former U.S. president spirited from the White House following his 2020 electoral defeat.

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12: Author Salman Rushdie, whose 1980s book The Satanic Verses enraged some Muslims who put a price on his head, is severely injured in a stabbing attack during an appearance in New York State.

18: A Michigan judge shoots down that state’s attempts to shut down Calgary-based Enbridge’s Line 5 bringing crude and natural gas through the Great Lakes in state court.

18: The Calgary Police Service admits it made errors in investigating 25-year-old sexual assault allegations against city Coun. Sean Chu, who was a constable at the time.

A man (L) along with a youth use a satellite dish to move children across a flooded area after heavy monsoon rainfalls in Jaffarabad district, Balochistan province, on August 26, 2022. A man (L) along with a youth use a satellite dish to move children across a flooded area after heavy monsoon rainfalls in Jaffarabad district, Balochistan province, on August 26, 2022. FIDA HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images

27: What’s described as a climate change-driven “monster monsoon” ravages a third of Pakistan with catastrophic flooding, displacing hundreds of thousands and killing over 1,000 people.

29: Ukrainian forces begin a long-awaited offensive to retake southern areas of their country occupied by Russian troops. It meets with quick success, liberating swaths of northeastern and southern Ukraine.

30: Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who was seen as a prime player in ending the Cold War and who presided over the end of the Soviet Union, dies in Moscow at age 91.

31: A fiscal update states the Alberta’s government’s 2022-2023 surplus is expected to hit $13.2 billion — a windfall driven by soaring global oil and gas prices.

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