Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Freeland replaces Morneau as Finance Minister; Parliament prorogued ahead of Sept. 23 Throne Speech
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has taken over the finance portfolio from Bill Morneau, who resigned from cabinet and as an MP yesterday. Prime Minister Trudeau later told a press conference he asked the Governor-General to prorogue Parliament to allow for a Speech from the Throne on Sept. 23, to be followed by a confidence vote.
Morneau’s departure follows reports of a rift between him and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding the Finance Department’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and the fallout of the WE Charity controversy. Morneau says he wasn’t pushed out by the PM.
Freeland becomes the first female Finance Minister in Canadian history and remains Deputy Prime Minister.
In the other cabinet change today, Dominic LeBlanc takes Intergovernmental Affairs off her hands.
Read more: Ahead of the federal election last fall, Globe correspondents from around the world profiled Chrystia Freeland and found that for her, the political is personal.
Opinion: “Over five years as Finance Minister, Bill Morneau never stopped sounding like the business executive he used to be. Losing that voice in the federal cabinet during an economic meltdown bodes poorly for Canadians.” - Andrew Willis
“Morneau’s exit was of the same tenor of his role in cabinet over the past five years: enduringly in service to the Trudeau machine, selling a line one gets the sense he doesn’t really believe.” - Robyn Urback
- Freeland just inherited the hardest job in Canada. How long can she keep it?
- The Trudeau government faces a crisis of confidence
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One Hezbollah suspect found guilty, three acquitted in death of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri
A member of Hezbollah has been found guilty by an international court of the 2005 car bombing that killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others. But it acquitted three other suspects, and ruled there was not enough evidence to link Hezbollah leadership or the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the assassination.
Hariri, who was backed by Saudi Arabia, France and the United States, was killed as he was lobbying for an end to Syria’s 29-year military presence in Lebanon.
The verdict is likely to add to the tensions in the country, which had already been in deep political and economic crisis prior to the devastating explosion this month in Beirut that killed more than 180 people.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
U.S. mail service changes suspended: U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has suspended all mail service changes until after the November election, bowing to an outcry by Democrats that the moves appeared to be an attempt to boost President Donald Trump’s re-election chances. Read more: In attacking the post office, Trump targets a cherished piece of American history and culture - David Shribman
Democratic convention rolls on: In the United States, the virtual Democratic National Election resumes with addresses scheduled for tonight from Bill Clinton, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter and Jill Biden, wife of the presumptive presidential candidate Joe Biden. Catch up here with with six highlights from the first night, including former first lady Michelle Obama’s speech.
Ford criticizes teachers’ unions: Premier Doug Ford says Ontario teachers’ unions are “playing politics” by opposing his government’s back-to-school plan. His comments come as officials with the Toronto District School Board meet to redraw its reopening plan after the province rejected its proposal to cut class sizes by shortening the school day. Read more: Parents weighing school options could be locked into those choices for months.
Jets star Hawerchuk dies: Dale Hawerchuk, a hockey phenom who became the face of the Winnipeg Jets en route to the Hall of Fame, has died at 57 after a battle with cancer.
Trump to pardon Susan B. Anthony: Looking to win over female voters, U.S. President Donald Trump says he will pardon Susan B. Anthony, a women’s suffrage leader arrested for voting in 1872, when only men were allowed to vote.
Producers exit DeGeneres show: Three producers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show have “parted ways” with the show amid allegations of a dysfunctional workplace that harboured misbehaviour including sexual misconduct and racially insensitive remarks.
The S&P 500 closed at a record high today, rebounding from huge losses triggered by the coronavirus. The record confirms, according to a widely accepted definition, the Wall Street index has entered a bull market after hitting its pandemic low on March 23. It has surged about 55 per cent since then.
The S&P 500 gained 7.79 points on the day or 0.23 per cent to 3,389.78, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 66.84 points or 0.24 per cent to 27,778.07, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 81.11 points or 0.73 per cent to 11,210.84.
Canada’s main stock index closed slightly lower, with the S&P/TSX slipping 30.06 points or 0.18 per cent to 16,626.06.
Justin Trudeau put Parliament into lockdown. The BQ is reminding us that it still matters
“In a likely unintended way, the leader of a party dedicated to Quebec independence has done a favour to Canadian democracy, by reminding voters that Trudeau leads a minority government, and that Parliament isn’t some vestigial memory of the Before Times.” - Globe editorial
This year’s Raptors are not just good. They are imperious
“After it was over, the Raptors dealt the cruellest blow of all – they were nice about it.” - Cathal Kelly
With the start of the new school year right around the corner, many parents are grappling with whether to send their kids back for in-class learning. Get the information you need to make an informed decision with our explainer here, which includes key dates, provincial rules and more. Plus health columnist André Picard will be doing a Q&A session with deputy national editor Nicole MacIntyre on Facebook live tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. EDT - you can submit your questions now.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Calgary’s Attabotics gets $50-million from Teachers, Honeywell to expand its ant-inspired warehouse technology
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is leading a $50-million (U.S.) investment into warehouse robotics company Attabotics Inc. to help the Calgary firm build out its client roster and technology – vertical storage structures inspired by ant colonies that it says can reduce warehouse footprints by as much as 85 per cent.
Attabotics has redesigned the traditional warehouse from horizontal to vertical and works with a growing number of brands, including the department store chain Nordstrom. Rather than running around endless aisles, Attabotics’s robots scour a single vertical structure to store and move goods to workers who handle packing and shipping.
Scott Gravelle and several partners launched Attabotics in 2015, naming it after Atta, one of the groups of species of leafcutter ants. After watching a documentary in which a scientist poured molten aluminum into an ant habitat, Mr. Gravelle realized that ants’ networks of tunnels and chambers took advantage of vertical pathways and storage. Read Josh O’Kane’s full story here.