Good evening and happy Friday,
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Alberta’s election platforms compared: Where the NDP and UCP stand on everything from child care to carbon taxes
Albertans head to the polls in a few days and campaign promises and homophobic remarks by candidates have done little to shake the narrative of pipelines and a sputtering economy. Both parties have laid out extensive fiscal plans that chart different paths for Alberta’s future – neither calls for a dramatic break with the present, through a sales tax or a pivot away from oil and gas. However, both parties offer differing views on how to stoke economic growth and whether Canada’s unity question should migrate from Quebec to Alberta.
After a two-year recession, Alberta led the provinces in economic growth in 2017, as it so often did before the 2014-2015 oil crash. Hiring picked up and unemployment started to drift down. Then in late 2018 oil prices collapsed, major pipeline projects are still in limbo and hiring has been almost nonexistent. Here’s a deep dive into how Alberta’s economy was on track until it hit a major snag. (for subscribers)
Opinion: Political science professor Duane Bratt writes that Alberta’s nasty election is only a sign of things to come.
McGill drops Redmen as sports teams’ name after criticism from Indigenous community
McGill University announced in a note to students, faculty, staff and alumni Friday that it has dropped the use of the Redmen name after consulting with Indigenous people who asked that the name be retired.
“I have learned about the true depths of the pain caused by the Redmen name,” wrote Principal Suzanne Fortier in the note. “I have heard from Indigenous students at McGill who feel alienated by the name. They feel disrespected and unconsidered.”
The move comes months after students voted 79 per cent in favour of dropping the name in November.
Schools and sports teams across North America have long wrestled with the legacy of Indigenous team names that many in those communities find offensive. McGill was late among universities to resolving the debate because the name adopted in the 1920s was originally a reference to team-uniform colours. Indigenous connotations and racist symbolism were added starting in the 1940s and the university began trying to erase them in the 1990s.
Opinion: Back in November, alumni Konrad Yakabuski wrote that the school shouldn’t need a vote to do the right thing: “I never thought the name of the school’s football team referred to anything other than Indigenous peoples who inhabited the land centuries before it became a campus dominated by privileged white folks like me.” (for subscribers)
In rebuke of ICC, Sudan’s new military rulers have no plans to extradite al-Bashir
Sudan’s new military rulers are vowing that the deposed president Omar al-Bashir won’t be extradited to The Hague on a long-standing arrest warrant for crimes against humanity. Mr. al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan for 30 years before his arrest on Thursday during a military takeover, has become a crucial test case for the International Criminal Court. He is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the court, but has evaded arrest for a decade.
The military leaders denied their takeover was a coup and have promised a civilian government at some point, but didn’t specify a date.
Despite a curfew, protesters continued a mass street occupation at the army headquarters to denounce the military takeover. So far, the military has shown no signs of using violence to enforce the curfew.
The protests were originally sparked by soaring bread prices, cash shortages and a deepening economic crisis. But the demonstrations grew stronger last Saturday when thousands of protesters began a round-the-clock mass sit-in outside the arm headquarters and won protection from elements in the military.
Opinion: Doug Saunders writes that even as a second Arab Spring blooms in Sudan and Libya, the West’s myth of strongman stability refuses to die: “We need to get behind the people in the street, and the educated, hopeful next generation – even if it means a short-term risk of instability.”
As China and U.S. inch toward a trade deal, Canada gets a warning of potential harm
The prospect of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing has rallied markets and raised hopes that U.S. pressure can prise open greater foreign access to the world’s second-largest market for countries around the world.
But for Canada, which has already felt Chinese economic punishment in the midst of a dispute over the arrest of a Huawei executive, a U.S.-China trade deal also carries risk that Beijing will increase its orders for American goods and slash its demand for those sold by others. (for subscribers)
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WHAT ELSE IS ON OUR RADAR
Trump considering sending migrants to sanctuary cities: U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he may send “illegal immigrants” to Democratic strongholds – just hours after White House and Homeland Security officials said the idea had been discussed but quickly rejected.
“The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!” tweeted Trump. Critics branded the plan, supposedly rejected, as an effort to use migrants as pawns to go after political opponents.
Ottawa fire: Fire crews are attempting to contain a blaze at a restaurant in Ottawa’s historic Byward Market neighbourhood. The fire, which broke out Friday morning, forced the evacuation of an Italian eatery where the fire began.
School bus rollover: A school bus rolled over east of Toronto Friday morning sending two elementary school students and the driver to hospital with minor injuries. Police are still looking into the cause of the crash.
Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday, after a jump in oil prices lifted energy shares. Oil prices rose as involuntary supply cuts from Venezuela, Libya and Iran supported perceptions of a tightening market, already underpinned by an OPEC deal to cut production. Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index rose 81.06 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 16,480.53.
U.S. stocks closed near record highs on Friday after the largest U.S. bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., soothed worries that the first-quarter earnings season would curb Wall Street’s big rally back from last year’s slump. An 11.5-per-cent jump in Walt Disney Co. shares also gave big boosts to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 223.46 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 26,366.51. The S&P 500 gained 15.24 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 2,903.56 and the Nasdaq Composite added 29.90 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 7,977.26.
WHAT’S POPULAR WITH READERS
After the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Mr. Trump declared “I know nothing about WikiLeaks.” It is a far cry from when he used to say “I love WikiLeaks” and would shower praise on Mr. Assange’s hacking organization night after night during the final weeks of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
Banishing Faith Goldy from Facebook doesn’t make us safer
“Ms. Goldy is a YouTube broadcaster and political commentator who thinks that Canada has too much non-white immigration. You and I may think her views – which have been described as promoting white nationalism – are vile. But unlike some hard-core supremacists, she doesn’t blatantly preach violence or hate. In my opinion, she’s the kind of person free-speech laws are supposed to protect.” - Margaret Wente (for subscribers)
Red lipstick’s enduring appeal
"Millions of women like me are devoted to it as well, thanks to the salient blend of confidence, intensity, sexiness and style that comes with coating one’s lips in crimson. It’s transformative: In the few seconds it takes to put it on, red lipstick makes the women who love it feel stronger, more polished and, yes, more attractive, too. " - Rachel Felder, author of Red Lipstick: An Ode to a Beauty Icon
War of a word: How ‘ideology’ has been weaponized into a political slur
“What was once a word for someone devoted to the detached study of ideas has been perverted, if not totally inverted. After all, the claim that someone – typically a political enemy – is “an ideologue” is now meant to discredit their intellectual positions, because it presumes some alternate, ideal position that is unclouded by ideology; some purely rational, scientifically grounded terra firma from which one can snipe, ‘Oh, that’s just ideology.’ ”- John Semley
Planning on seeing a movie this weekend? Here’s The Globe and Mail’s guide to every feature film arriving, from would-be blockbusters to under-the-radar indies. Globe reviewers give praise to Aretha Franklin concert doc Amazing Grace and punishment to the unholy Hellboy. (for subscribers)
LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE
How a Canadian art mystery was discovered in Louisiana – and solved by Westworld star Louis Herthum
In the 1990s, Louis Herthum, who lives in California and is best known for his role on the HBO series Westworld, had travelled to his hometown in Louisiana for his 20th high-school reunion. At this point in his career, he could finally afford to satisfy his passion for art, thanks to a regular role on Murder, She Wrote. So, he visited an antique shop and found something way up in the ceiling that intrigued him: a series of paintings depicting lumber work in the forest. Some were signed ‘LSH’.
Buying those paintings for a few hundred dollars set Mr. Herthum on a long journey that ends with the Lawren Harris works finding their way back to Canada. Marsha Lederman sat down with Mr. Herthum and the Vancouver art gallery owner who reunited to tell The Globe the repatriation story. Today, those paintings may be worth as much as $1-million. (for subscribers)
Tropical luxe: Why Belize is set to be the next Costa Rica
The chic Gaia Riverlodge property is hidden in the lush nature of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in Belize. Today’s Belize has been shaped by waves of migration – from descendants of slaves brought from Africa in the 17th-century to Indian, Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants who began settling in Belize in the 1960s. But, these days the newcomers making a mark on the landscape are Canadian and American developers, turning the country from a backpacker haven to a luxury destination that will rival Costa Rica.
The Gaia Riverlodge, where Maryam Siddiqi recently visited, is one such property that shows this change and is owned by a Montrealer. It is a boutique hotel, perched on a riverside hill overlooking a waterfall. The resort beckons one to unplug. (for subscribers)