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

Canada’s former chief justice Beverley McLachlin says she will remain a judge on Hong Kong’s highest court, despite the resignation of two British judges who cited the erosion of freedoms since Beijing imposed a national security law on the city in 2020.

“The court is operating as an independent, judicial branch of government – perhaps the last surviving, strong institution of democracy,” said McLachlin, the Supreme Court of Canada’s longest-serving chief justice. “And it’s there for people to give them fair hearings and independent justice from the courts.”

Earlier in the day, Robert Reed, the president of the U.K. Supreme Court, expressed concern that he and deputy president Patrick Hodge were lending legitimacy to Hong Kong’s administration, whose independence has been compromised by the national security law and Beijing’s crackdown on political dissidents.

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Ex-chief of defence staff Jonathan Vance pleads guilty to obstruction of justice

Canada’s former top soldier Jonathan Vance pleaded guilty on Wednesday to obstruction of justice in connection to a sexual-misconduct investigation, and was granted a conditional discharge by the court.

Vance, the military’s former chief of the defence staff, entered the guilty plea in a virtual appearance. His defence lawyer, Rodney Sellar, and Crown attorney, Mark Holmes, made the joint recommendation for the conditional discharge.

In a joint statement of fact, Vance acknowledged that he last year called Kellie Brennan, a major in the Canadian Armed Forces, multiple times to try to convince her not to report the full extent of their relationship to the military police.

Attacks resume a day after Russia promises to pull back in Ukraine

Russia has promised to scale back its attacks on Kyiv in order to boost “mutual trust” for negotiations, but there were only minimal signs of a pullback Wednesday.

Russian forces bombarded areas around the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and another city overnight, regional leaders said Wednesday. The Ukrainian military, meanwhile, said Russian troops were intensifying their attacks around the eastern city of Izyum and the eastern Donetsk region, after redeploying some units from other areas.

At the start of peace talks in Istanbul on Tuesday, Russia’s deputy defence minister, Alexander Fomin, said Moscow would “radically reduce military activity in the direction of Kyiv and Chernihiv.” Fomin said the move was aimed at “increasing mutual trust, creating the right conditions for future negotiations and reaching the final aim of signing a peace deal with Ukraine.”

More on the war in Ukraine:


Nova Scotia mass-shooting inquiry reveals chilling new details about second day of killing rampage: The morning after a gunman killed 13 people in northern Nova Scotia, the RCMP were unaware he had resumed shooting people until frantic 911 calls started coming in shortly after 9:30 a.m. By that time, four more people had been shot dead.

Ontario introduces bill aimed at boosting housing supply as real estate prices continue to surge: The provincial government is introducing a series of changes, including reducing wait times for municipal approvals to build housing, aimed at increasing Ontario’s supply, as real-estate prices continue to surge to dizzying heights and a spring election looms.

HarperCollins, Rosemary Sullivan stand by book on Anne Frank after Dutch version pulled from shelves: Despite intense backlash and calls for a retraction, HarperCollins and Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan are standing by the publication of The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation, a new book about an investigation into who betrayed Anne Frank.

Hot Docs returns with premiere of Globe and Mail-produced film: Canada’s international documentary festival is returning to in-person screenings, with 226 films from 63 countries selected for this year’s event. Shooting War, a Globe and Mail-produced documentary about conflict photographers, will make its debut.

Listen to The Decibel: What’s next for making $10-a-day child care a reality in Canada?: Now that Ontario has signed on to the federal government’s plan, families across the country will eventually be paying only $10 a day for child care. But Ottawa’s $30-billion effort to open 146,000 new child-care spots by 2026 may be useless if Canada doesn’t have the early childhood educators to fill them.


U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 snapping four-session winning streaks, on waning signs of progress for peace talks between Ukraine and Russia against a backdrop of a hawkish Federal Reserve curbing economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 65.38 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 35,228.81, the S&P 500 lost 29.15 points, or 0.63 per cent, to 4,602.45 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 177.36 points, or 1.21 per cent, to 14,442.28.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 11.26 points from Tuesday’s record close to 22,0075.96. The Canadian dollar traded for 80.19 cents US compared with 79.94 cents US on Tuesday.

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With its ambitious new climate plan, Ottawa demands more of every economic sector - and itself

“... Getting money out the door is the relatively easy part, at least in terms of expedience. Where the rubber will really meet the road, in terms of making the sectoral targets real, is in quickly introducing the sticks to go with the carrots.” - Adam Radwanski

Volodymyr Zelensky’s media-savvy performances have won over the world

To Western audiences, Mr. Zelensky has the appeal of a youthful and intense 44-year-old. Mr. Putin, on the other hand, has grown jowly at the age of 69. His mature appearance is suited to the image of a grand ruler who knows best. This may be reassuring to Russian audiences, who are accustomed to and dependent on state media, but it is unappealing to non-Russian audiences.” - George Melnyk


New in music books: A candid Martha Wainwright, Leonard Cohen’s Sinai moment, and the birth of Canadian cool

From Michael Barclay’s account of five remarkable years in Canadian sounds to Martha Wainwright’s earthy but ultimately poignant memoir, The Globe’s Brad Wheeler recommends adding these fresh titles to your stack.


For Iranian journalist Mohammad Mosaed, exile was a last resort, but silence is not an option

Open this photo in gallery:

Mohammad Mosaed lives in Washington after being persecuted for his journalism in Iran. 'They cannot silence me,' he says, because doing so would mean the regime 'has broken you. After that you breathe and eat and sleep, but can do nothing more.'Louie Palu/.

“When you are born in a country like Iran, you can never be free.”

This is how journalist Mohammad Mosaed described his current plight to me. After his prolonged ordeal at the hands of the Iranian government, culminating in his desperate flight into exile, I could readily understand his grim, fatalistic outlook.

But listening to his story also made me think of another explanation that could account for the path his life had taken – one that did not negate his view, but rather offered a complementary understanding of how he came to find himself in Washington, looking over his shoulder anticipating fresh threats. Read the full story by Anthony Feinstein.

Evening Update is written by Beatrice Paez. 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.

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