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

Convoy lawyer ejected from Emergencies Act inquiry over interruptions

Tensions boiled over at the public inquiry into the government’s use of the Emergencies Act during the testimony of the lead federal minister on the file, resulting in the lawyer representing organizers of the convoy protests being escorted out of the building.

Brendan Miller, whose clients include Tamara Lich, interrupted Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino to ask that the minister’s director of communications, Alex Cohen, be called to testify.

Earlier, Mendicino testified that he was concerned about the convoy protests breaking out in violence, even before demonstrators arrived in Ottawa.

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The latest in World Cup developments: Canada in action tomorrow, Saudi Arabia stuns Argentina, plus more

Ahead of Canada’s first match – against Belgium at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday – Cathal Kelly takes a look at this year’s team, what’s different from the 2015 edition and what’s eerily similar.

When the team does take to the pitch, they can count on support from the Canadian soccer superfans who trekked to Qatar for the World Cup. These are their stories.

Neil Brunton spent about $10,000 on flights, tickets and lodging to give him and his friends the full World Cup experience.Eduardo Lima/The Globe and Mail

In today’s actions: Low-ranked Saudi Arabia notched one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history today with a 2-1 win over Lionel Messi’s Argentina thanks to an exciting second-half comeback.

In other soccer news: Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United with immediate effect, the Premier League team said today, marking a bitter end to the Portugal captain’s second time there after he said he felt betrayed by the club.

Related: Ronaldo is picking a fight with world soccer and people are listening - Cathal Kelly

Former Harper adviser denounces Pierre Poilievre drug policy unveiled in video

Benjamin Perrin, a former public safety and justice adviser to Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, has condemned federal Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre’s new video on Vancouver’s toxic drug crisis, describing his opposition to safe supply as unsubstantiated.

Poilievre’s post, titled Everything feels broken, features him criticizing the status quo on dealing with overdose issues – particularly Vancouver’s approach of safe supply, or providing drugs that are not contaminated with toxic opioids, to those grappling with addiction.

“It was a five-minute long diatribe that’s not informed by any research evidence or expertise,” said Perrin, a law professor at the University of British Columbia.

Opinion:

  • Pierre Poilievre couldn’t be more wrong on drug policy - Gary Mason
  • Critics may scoff at Pierre Poilievre, but any politician opposing him should be concerned - John Ibbitson

Harsh winter looms as Russian attacks hobble Ukraine’s power capacity

Ukraine’s government is urging people to conserve energy amid relentless Russian strikes that have halved the country’s power capacity, as the United Nations health body warned of a humanitarian disaster in Ukraine this winter.

Authorities said millions of Ukrainians, including in the capital Kyiv, could face power cuts at least until the end of March due to the missile attacks, which Ukraine’s national grid operator Ukrenergo said had wreaked “colossal” damage.

Meanwhile, Canada is levelling new sanctions against Belarus over its abysmal human-rights record and support for Russia’s war in Ukraine. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced the sanctions against 22 Belarusian officials and 16 companies.

Opinion: A ceasefire in Ukraine today will mean more war tomorrow Justin Ling

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

FTX bankruptcy hearing under way: Crypto exchange FTX was run as a “personal fiefdom” of Sam Bankman-Fried, lawyers for the company said at the hearing today, describing how one of the company’s units spent $300-million on Bahamas real estate.

BoC talks variable rates: Recent homebuyers with variable-rate mortgages will find the adjustment to higher interest rates more painful, said Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Rogers in a speech today.

Canadian Tire complaint filed: The Canadian Labour Congress and the United Steelworkers union have filed a complaint with the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise alleging that workers at Bangladeshi factories supplying Canadian Tire receive “poverty-level wages.”

B.C. shooting suspect dies: RCMP in Prince Rupert, B.C., say a man has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, hours after allegedly shooting and killing a woman in the north coast city.

MARKET WATCH

U.S. stocks closed higher in light trading volume as a sales forecast by Best Buy dampened concerns high inflation would lead to a dismal holiday shopping season while a bounce in oil prices helped lift energy shares. Canada’s main stock index was also boosted by oil prices as well as broad-based gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 397.82 points or 1.18 per cent to 34,098.10, the S&P 500 gained 53.64 points or 1.36 per cent to 4,003.58, and the Nasdaq Composite added 149.90 points or 1.36 per cent to end at 11,174.41.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 242.88 points or 1.22 per cent to 20,220.01. The loonie traded at 74.79 U.S. cents.

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TALKING POINTS

Good science, bad politics: The mask mandate dilemma

“Most politicians and public-health officials would just as soon lay their heads on the tracks of an oncoming train before telling people that they can’t go to work, school, the shopping mall, or church without a face covering.” - André Picard

Trump’s prospects of repeating his win in the New Hampshire presidential primary have suffered a blow

“The Trump fade – a phase, perhaps, yet a discernible dissipation in his power not only to sway voters but also to monopolize the conversation – is especially acute, and especially significant, in the Granite State.” - David Shribman

LIVING BETTER

If you’re looking to reduce the amount of meat in your diet – or cut it out altogether – the good news is that there are many plant-based sources of protein beyond tofu and lentils. They include:

  • Whole grains: While not typically considered “plant protein foods,” certain whole grains such as quinoa and farro add a surprising amount of protein to meals.
  • Vegetables: Don’t discount vegetables - think green peas and cooked spinach.

TODAY’S LONG READ

Cities’ downtown cores are hollowing out, but small towns and suburbs tell a different story

People walk in Vancouver’s business district over the lunch hour on April 22, 2022.JENNIFER GAUTHIER/The Globe and Mail

The downtowns of most major Canadian cities continue to face a substantial dip in foot traffic compared with prepandemic norms – but the opposite is true of smaller towns and suburbs within commutable distance of those cities, data from a new study show.

The results of the study, produced by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Business Data Lab, suggest that almost three years into the pandemic, a new economic pattern is emerging in metropolitan areas across the country – a hollowing out of the central hubs of large cities owing largely to hybrid work, and growth in mobility in the outlying spokes of those cities.

Mobility, or worker foot traffic, in downtown Toronto was 46 per cent lower in September, 2022, compared with January, 2020. Vancouver experienced a 48-per-cent decline, while Calgary saw a 42-per-cent decrease. Meanwhile, the Ontario cities of Brampton, Barrie and Brantford – all within a two-hour commute from Toronto – saw a surge in mobility of roughly 30 per cent. Read Vanmala Subramaniam’s full story.

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