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TODAY’S TOP STORIES

Trudeau slams proposed U.S. border tax

Justin Trudeau thinks the U.S. border tax being pitched by Republicans is a bad idea (for subscribers). A cross-border tariff would hurt both the Canadian and American economies, he told attendees at an energy conference in Houston.

Trudeau also stressed the importance of a “vibrant” Canadian energy industry, while pointing to the eventual transition off fossil fuels. That fits right into the Prime Minister’s strategy of playing the “political middle” on energy and climate, writes Campbell Clark (for subscribers). “Trudeau’s politics seem to be where the lion’s share of Canadians are: they want both oil pipelines and actions to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Both, together.”

‘Knees together’ judge Robin Camp resigns

Federal Court Justice Robin Camp resigned yesterday after the Canadian Judicial Council recommended his removal. In a 2014 rape trial, Camp asked the complainant why she didn’t keep her knees together. He also mocked the law of consent. Since then, Camp said his comment was “unforgivable,” went to counselling and fought to save his job. But in its ruling, the council said Camp’s conduct was “so manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality, integrity and independence of the judicial role that public confidence is sufficiently undermined to render the Judge incapable of executing the judicial office.” The Liberals indicated that they would support the council’s recommendation. Instead of waiting to be fired, Camp resigned.

It’s only the third time the Canadian Judicial Council has recommended a judge be dismissed. The first, Justice Jean Bienvenue, said a woman found guilty of second-degree murder killed her husband in a more painful way than how the Nazis acted, adding that Jews “died in the gas chambers without suffering.” He resigned in 1996. The other recommendation for removal happened in 2009. Justice Paul Cosgrove appeared to continually side with the defence during a murder trial. The council found that a slew of Cosgrove’s findings of misconduct by the Crown had no factual or legal basis. He was also found to have interfered with an RCMP investigation. Cosgrove also resigned.

‘Don’t let this be another Rwanda’

“Don’t let this be another Rwanda … Don’t let ISIS get away with genocide,” human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney said in a speech at the United Nations yesterday. She spoke along with Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman who was enslaved by the Islamic State in 2014. The UN hasn’t tried to track the crimes committed by the terrorist group, Clooney said. And if it keeps on waiting, it will be harder to gather evidence that could lead to convictions. She pointed to mass graves that the extremists are leaving out in the open because UN investigators aren’t trying to document them. Clooney is representing Yazidi victims of the Islamic State.

South Korea’s president impeached

South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye has been removed from office. The country’s constitutional court upheld her impeachment, saying, “her actions betrayed the people’s confidence.” Park has been accused of working with a friend to pressure businesses to give money to foundations that supported her, as well as seeking bribes from Samsung.

Ontario may get a foreign-buyer tax after all

Ontario is thinking about following in B.C.’s footsteps with a foreign-buyers tax of its own. Provincial Finance Minister Charles Sousa had originally rejected the idea and wanted to let the market take its course. But as home prices continue to skyrocket in the Toronto area, he’s reconsidering. B.C. introduced the 15-per-cent tax last summer.

MORNING MARKETS

Stocks rose, the greenback was on track for its fifth week of gains and crude oil rebounded from recent lows on Friday ahead of closely watched U.S. payrolls data, which is expected to give the Federal Reserve the green light to raise interest rates next week. Tokyo’s Nikkei climbed 1.5 per cent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.3 per cent, while the Shanghai composite slipped 0.1 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.4 and 0.5 per cent by about 5:15 a.m. ET. New York futures were also up. Oil prices inched up after dropping to their lowest in more than three months in the previous session on worries about a global supply glut.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

B.C.’s wild west financing laws need more than just a few tweaks

“[B.C. Premier Christy] Clark’s so-called reform is expected to include a new requirement for parties to disclose donations in ‘real time.’ ... Big deal. What will remain is a situation where companies seeking government contracts, approvals or tax breaks can give unlimited sums of money to the governing party. Lobbyists in the province have told The Globe and Mail they feel they need to donate, or their entreaties on behalf of their clients will be ignored. ... Monday’s announcement will be window dressing. For all it will likely do to clean up B.C. politics, Clark should just skip it.” – Globe editorial

Canadians should be more concerned about Ottawa’s deficits

“As Finance Minister Bill Morneau prepares to table his March 22 budget, the Liberal brain-trust is persuaded that Canadians don’t care enough about deficits to punish any government that runs them. Not even one whose fiscal projections have Ottawa seeing red through mid-century. ... There are more than a few problems with this attitude, starting with the idea that the government’s finances have no bearing on the financial well-being of individual Canadians. If you pay taxes or receive government benefits, Ottawa’s balance sheet has a direct impact on your own. Chronic deficits inevitably lead to higher taxes and fewer benefits. Ask Greece.” – Konrad Yakabuski (for subscribers)

HEALTH PRIMER

Muscle groups that are too often ignored

The back of your body is one area that often gets forgotten at the gym. Push-ups, pull-ups and squats are all good exercises to consider. Feet, wrist, multijoint and rotator cuff exercises also shouldn’t be ignored.

MOMENT IN TIME

First vote without losing Indian status

March 10, 1960: First Nations people could vote in federal elections from the time of Confederation but only if they agreed to give up their Indian status and the associated rights and privileges – something most were loath to do. At the same time, the racist attitudes of many Canadian politicians who served during the country’s first eight decades meant attempts to change the situation were quickly trampled. But John Diefenbaker was determined to rectify the unfairness. Three years after he became prime minister, all but one MP voted to allow the 60,000 residents of reserves to mark electoral ballots without losing their status. One Manitoba politician celebrated by saying first Canadians would become integrated into this country’s way of life for the first time. Perhaps for that reason, many First Nations people remained suspicious that their new franchise came with strings attached. – Gloria Galloway

Morning Update is written by Arik Ligeti.

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