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Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:

Cross-country snapshot: What the 2021 census tells us

More than one in five Canadians of working age are close to retirement, an all-time high that will have major ripple effects on the country’s economy, labour market and health care system, according to 2021 census details released by Statistics Canada today.

Canada’s working-age population – those aged 15 to 64 – has never been older in the country’s history, according to the census. About 22 per cent of the working-age population is 55 to 64, nearing retirement.

The census also included new questions on gender and about sex at birth. It found that one in 300 people in Canada aged 15 and older are transgender or non-binary.

Opinion: he 2021 census tells us Canada’s population isn’t aging - it’s aged. Here are six ways we can adapt - John Ibbitson

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Poland, Bulgaria cut off from Russian natural gas in escalation of war on Ukraine

Russia cut off natural gas to NATO members Poland and Bulgaria today and threatened to do the same to other countries, dramatically escalating its standoff with the West over the war in Ukraine. European leaders decried the move as “blackmail.”

A day after the U.S. and other Western allies vowed to speed more and heavier weapons to Ukraine, the Kremlin used its most essential export as leverage against two of Kyiv’s staunch backers. Gas prices in Europe shot up on the news.

Meanwhile, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 200 people who are loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

Explainer: What’s behind Putin’s decision to cut off natural gas to some European countries?

Secret documents on fired Winnipeg scientists to be seen by Liberal and NDP committee after deal is struck

The Liberal government and the NDP have struck a deal to set up an ad hoc committee - without the Official Opposition - that will gain access to secret documents on the firings of two infectious-disease scientists at Canada’s high-security microbiology laboratory.

It will not be a committee of Parliament, meaning it will not carry the delegated authority and investigative powers of the House of Commons.

It will go ahead even if the Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois refuse to join, Government House Leader Mark Holland told The Globe and Mail today.

The Conservatives are adamant that they will not participate while the Bloc did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Bullying found at CRA division: A team of psychological consultants hired by the Canada Revenue Agency found that a division responsible for working with multinational firms on global tax enforcement is rife with bullying and harassment and most of the staff feel their unit is ineffective.

Ottawa preps for motorcycle convoy protest: Ottawa police promise a heavy presence in the capital and zero tolerance for hate as a second convoy prepares to descend on the city this weekend, this time involving hundreds of motorcycles instead of trucks.

VanVleet doubtful for Game 6: Toronto Raptors all-star guard Fred VanVleet is doubtful for tomorrow’s playoff game against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers with a strained left hip flexor.

MARKET WATCH

The S&P 500 ended higher today following a steep drop the day before, with strong revenue forecasts from Microsoft and Visa helping to alleviate worries about slowing global economic growth and rising interest rates. Canada’s main stock index rebounded from its lowest level in three months as strong quarterly results powered the energy and materials sectors higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61.75 points or 0.19 per cent to 33,301.93, the S&P 500 gained 8.76 points or 0.21 per cent to 4,183.96 and the the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.81 points or 0.01 per cent to 12,488.93.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 53.42 points or 0.26 per cent to 20,744.23. The loonie traded at 78 U.S. cents.

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TALKING POINTS

Twitter is a financial mess. Here’s why Elon Musk and Silicon Valley do not care

“What [Elon] Musk is doing follows a pattern. A smart, but brash, technology obsessive dreams of disrupting an industry, and to do it, cares little about profit. The goal is power and market share..” - Tim Kiladze

The left is losing the language war

“It also used to be that the wealthy elites were primarily conservative. But the right smartly politicized the term, slotting elites on the left side of the spectrum – part and parcel of the woke crowd.” - Lawrence Martin

Raptors playing with freedom as Sixers tighten up down the stretch

“Philadelphia no longer has home-court advantage. It has a home-court boulder. The closer it gets back to home, the more the boulder will crush it.” - Cathal Kelly

LIVING BETTER

Your boss wants you back in the office, but after two years of working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not sure you want to go. Whether you measure the cost in time or money, going back can be pricey. Many Canadians have grown to love their work-from-home lifestyle, and they’re eager to keep it. This episode of the Stress Test podcast includes The Globe’s future of work reporter Vanmala Subramaniam, who speaks with personal finance editor Roma Luciw about changes in the workplace and what to expect going forward.

TODAY’S LONG READ

‘Freedom had no greater champion’: Former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright honoured at Washington funeral

U.S. President Joe Biden, former president Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama and former president Bill Clinton attend the funeral service for former secretary of state Madeleine Albright at the Washington National Cathedral on April 27, 2022, in Washington.Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press

Like almost everything about Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright – the daughter of a professor and ambassador, the scion of a family whose many members perished in the Holocaust, an 11-year-old refugee-turned-immigrant to the United States, a scholar of international relations, a classic Washington insider, above all a pioneer for women in the closed world of American diplomacy – her funeral Wednesday struck universal themes.

In the pews of the soaring cathedral that was her house of worship were presidents she counseled, vice-presidents she advised, prime ministers she supported, envoys she engaged, chargés d’affaires she guided, government ministers she mentored, cabinet members she tutored, lawmakers she enlightened, Washington worthies she interrupted – and international figures she conspired with, lectured, cajoled, co-opted, and, with logic and charm, conquered.

“Just sit on our shoulders,” former president Bill Clinton, who in 1997 appointed her to the highest post in American diplomacy, amid the dignitaries she danced with in banquet halls and the diplomats she tangoed with at negotiating tables, said at her funeral, “and nag us to death until we do the right thing.” Read David Shribman’s full story here.

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