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

Canada said it will donate four battle tanks to Ukraine’s war effort – less than 5 per cent of its inventory of Leopard 2 machines – in an announcement that experts said reflects the relatively small capacity of Canadian armed forces today.

Defence Minister Anita Anand said the size of Ottawa’s donation takes into consideration the need to maintain Canada’s readiness: leaving enough tanks for Canadian troops to train at home and to meet NATO commitments for deployments.

Meanwhile, Moscow reacted with fury to the German and American tank announcements, firing a barrage of missiles and drones, sending Ukrainian civilians racing for cover, killing at least 11 people according to officials. Ukraine said it had shot down all 24 drones sent overnight by Russia, including 15 around the capital, and 47 of 55 Russian missiles.

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Two-thirds of research-grant requests sent to Canadian security agencies rejected

Roughly two-thirds of the research-grant applications sent to Canada’s national-security agencies for assessment were deemed to pose an unacceptable risk and denied funding, under tightened rules to safeguard intellectual property from authoritarian governments.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) said it sought advice from federal security agencies on 48 applications for funding under the country’s research partnership framework, about 4 per cent of all applications. Of the applications sent for review, 32 were deemed to pose an unacceptable risk or a risk that couldn’t be appropriately mediated, NSERC said. Two applicants withdrew before receiving a decision and only 14 proposals were approved for funding after being referred to the security agencies.

The reviews stem from guidelines introduced by the federal government in July, 2021, at a time of heightened concern around the protection of Canadian research interests. The rules for research partnerships were created partly to respond to a changing global security environment marked by the rise of China and other increasingly assertive authoritarian regimes.

What remains of the convoy protest one year later

It was exactly a year ago that the first trucks rolled into Ottawa to set up shop downtown.

What ensued was a protest so large and intractable that it surprised even its most enthusiastic participants, many of whom have come to view it as a transformative life experience, writes Shannon Proudfoot. The protest was ostensibly a backlash against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers, along with other pandemic restrictions.

Three weeks after it all started, the protest was shut down by the federal government’s unprecedented invocation of the Emergencies Act and, next month, a public inquiry will table its final report examining whether that call was justified. This will help to answer what happened then, but what remains now of the convoy and the political, social and economic currents that fed it are what everyone has to live with.

Most COVID-19 measures have since fallen by the wayside, but because they were never really the point of the unrest, everything else remains a live issue. A year after the protests, a look at the problems that have been left unresolved.

Wellington Street in Ottawa, as it looked on Jan. 28, 2022 – the first week of last year’s convoy protests – and this past Jan. 24.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press; Blair Gable/The Globe and Mail


Fentanyl’s rise in rural Oregon puts decriminalization efforts to the test: In Oregon, the rise of fentanyl has coincided with Measure 110, which in 2021 made the state the first to decriminalize simple possession of illegal narcotics. Some say the new drug regime is “disastrous.”

More police officers to be in place on Toronto transit to boost safety: More than 80 officers are expected to be in place daily throughout the Toronto Transit Commission to reduce victimization, prevent crimes of opportunity and enhance public safety. The announcement comes after a recent slew of violence incidents on the transit system.

Supreme Court ruling Friday could change how mandatory minimum sentences are handled: The use of imaginary people committing made-up crimes will be at the heart of a Supreme Court ruling this week on the constitutionality of mandatory minimum sentences in certain gun crimes.

Teaching kids about the Holocaust earlier can help combat antisemitism, educators say: In Ontario, the provincial government recently announced that Holocaust learning will be a mandatory part of the Grade 6 social studies curriculum, starting in the fall.

Rent prices grew at record pace in 2022 as Canada saw lowest vacancy rate in decades: In a report released Thursday, the CMHC said the average rent for a two-bedroom purpose-built apartment, which it uses as its representative sample, grew 5.6 per cent compared with the previous 12-month period.


Wall Street ended a choppy session higher on Thursday as investors grappled with an onslaught of economic data and a string of mixed corporate earnings, all while eyeing the clock as it ticks down toward next week’s Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 205.57 points or 0.61 per cent at 33,949.41. The S&P 500 index was up 44.21 points or 1.1 per cent at 4,060.43, while the Nasdaq composite was up 199.06 points or 1.76 per cent at 11,512.41.

The S&P/TSX composite index ended up 100.90 points or 0.49 per cent at 20,700.50.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.91 cents US compared with 74.67 cents US on Wednesday

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Don’t underestimate Trudeau’s toughness. It could make him stay

“His pride level runs high. The more the haters come at Justin Trudeau, the more he will be determined to hold on to power.” – Lawrence Martin

There are children’s medicines on shelves but shortage persists

“Even in super-politicized Alberta, the news that a shipment of children’s medication landed earlier this month was received as good news by nearly everyone – no matter their political stripe.” – Kelly Cryderman

Our expanding gratuity culture is just the tip of the iceberg

“I understand the outrage: Why are customers now expected to add 20 per cent in more and more places, while our monthly bills get even more out of control? But there are even worse outrages behind tip creep...” – Corey Mintz


Five things to stream this weekend

Shotgun Wedding, starring Jennifer Lopez, is by no means a good movie, writes Barry Hertz. But it is a highly watchable one, in that lazy Saturday-night-at-home kind of way. You can watch it on Amazon Prime. For Yellowstone fans looking for more Kevin Costner content, a 2020 thriller on Netflix might be the perfect movie night option. See the full round-up of Hertz’s weekend streaming picks.


Thousands of artifacts to be returned to First Nations after years boxed away in an Ottawa building

Ian Badgley, the Manager of the Archaeology program at the National Capital Commission (NCC) Capital Planning Division, holds a pair of Meadowood cache blades, made of Onondaga chert, which are estimated to be between 2,500 to 3,000 years old, in Ottawa, Jan. 23, 2023.Spencer Colby/The Globe and Mail

Hundreds of thousands of precontact Indigenous artifacts found near Ottawa are only now being sorted and catalogued. The aim is to return many of them to the Algonquin First Nations whose ancestors made them, or acquired them through trade.

For years, around 300,000 finds – ranging from arrow heads to pots, pipe bowls and tools to make canoes – have been stashed in boxes in an office suite in a National Capital Commission building steps from Parliament.

Word of the cache’s existence had circulated among Indigenous people, including Algonquin and Mohawk living in Ottawa. But few, except a coterie of archeologists and representatives of Algonquin First Nations agitating for access to their ancestors’ artifacts, have actually seen them.

That is about to change, thanks to a small team of archeologists and a group of Indigenous young people from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation located north of Gatineau and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, about 150 kilometres southwest of Ottawa, who have been resolutely cleaning, sorting and cataloguing the ancient finds.

Today’s Evening Update is written by Prajakta Dhopade. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.