Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The regulator that oversees the country’s banks wants to make it harder for borrowers to qualify for a mortgage, as low interest rates on mortgages s continue to drive a super-hot housing market.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) says its proposed changes to the mortgage stress test for uninsured mortgages would effectively raise the minimum qualifying rate to 5.25 per cent. Currently, rules require banks to qualify borrowers at a rate two percentage points higher than the market rate or the Bank of Canada’s conventional five-year rate of 4.79 per cent, whichever is higher.
But OSFI says the stress test will not rely on the Bank of Canada’s five-year rate. Instead, the regulator proposed to set the minimum qualifying rate at 5.25 per cent or two percentage points higher than the market rate, whichever is higher.
Policymakers are facing increased pressure to slow the real estate market. Many parts of Ontario, the Maritimes, British Columbia and Quebec have seen price increases between 20 per cent to 35 per cent during the pandemic.
Northern Ireland gripped by some of its worst violence in years as tensions rise over Brexit, policing
The Globe’s Paul Waldie in the U.K. says scenes of burning cars, petrol bombs and teenagers throwing bricks were supposed to be part of Northern Ireland’s dark past, but rising tensions over Brexit and policing have unleashed some of the worst violence in years.
After eight nights of rioting, 55 police officers have been injured and a dozen people have been arrested. On Wednesday, around 600 people clashed at the Lanark Way interface, a gateway in Belfast that separates nationalist and loyalist neighbourhoods. And, on Thursday, there were few signs that things were returning to normal.
Leaders from both communities blamed each other for the violence, and representatives from the two main political parties – the Democratic Unionist Party and the nationalist Sinn Fein – traded accusations during an emergency debate in the legislature.
Doctors group says constant changes to COVID-19 restrictions have caused frustration and confusion
As Ontario brings back stay-at-home orders to deal with surging cases of COVID-19, the Canadian Medical Association says continually changing rules have contributed to confusion and relaxed adherence. The group that represents Canada’s doctors says constant changes to restrictions have left people frustrated and are detrimental to its purpose.
“It’s time to apply what we know and address these new variants with the same aggressiveness they are displaying,” Dr. Ann Collins, the group’s president, said in a news release Thursday. “Facing the new variants requires a new and co-ordinated approach to regain control.”
- Priority COVID-19 vaccines roll out in B.C. for some frontline workers, but approval is unclear
- Alberta will vaccinate 2,000 employees at Cargill meat packing plant
This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was sent to you as a forward, you can sign up for Evening Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters here. If you like what you see, please share it with your friends.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Canadian Museum of History CEO resigns: Mark O’Neill has quit the Gatineau, Que.-based museum following reported allegations of workplace harassment at the national institution. O’Neill has been on a medical leave since last summer, when an independent investigation was launched into harassment allegations.
Victims, families affected by Toronto shooting criticize Ottawa over gun-control reform: The group of victims and families affected by Toronto’s Greektown mass shooting that left two dead and 13 hurt say the government’s plan to allow municipalities to ban handguns should be scrapped. Danforth Families for Safe Communities has written a letter to Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair saying the bills are toothless.
Technology drove Canada’s main stock index and U.S. markets higher on a levelling of bond yields.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 99.80 points for a record close of 19,228.87.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 57.31 points at 33,503.57. The S&P 500 index was up 17.22 points at 4,097.17, while the Nasdaq composite was up 140.47 points at 13,829.31.
When health messages sound like Klingon, people tune out
“Lessons from previous public-health crises reveal that the best communications strategies are clear, flexible, honest about the state of science and data, targeted at the most vulnerable communities, tied to good policy, and (crucially) untainted by political concerns.” - Elizabeth Renzetti
How Ottawa’s program for retrofitting homes showed what’s missing from Canadian climate policy
“Recognizing that the climate is already changing doesn’t lessen the need to avert greater disaster, and to ensure Canada can compete in a cleaner global economy. But the necessity of adaptation can’t be treated as a dirty secret. Not when Canadian families and businesses will increasingly have to grapple with it as well.” - Adam Radwanski
Style Advisor April 2021 edition: Get your home ready for warmer weather
This month’s edition looks at Quonset houses that offer loft-like airiness with more affordable construction, plus summer design trends, men’s spring fashion and the playful world of dollhouse design.
Eight gardening books to inspire you to get growing
Any gardener will appreciate these reference books, whether their growing space is a window sill or a large estate.
TODAY’S LONG READ
COVID-19 killed the people they loved. How could they grieve and persevere?
More than 22,000 Canadians have died during the pandemic, leaving friends, partners, children and other family members in mourning – but without the usual rituals of grief. Globe and Mail reporters share six of their stories.