Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
David Johnston does not recommend public inquiry into China’s interference in Canadian politics
While acknowledging the threat to Canada’s democratic system posed by China’s interference in our nation’s political affairs, former governor-general David Johnston has advised against a public inquiry on the matter, citing the existence of classified intelligence which could never be discussed openly.
The 55-page report tabled earlier today found no proof that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ignored intelligence briefings on Chinese influence operations in the 2019 and 2021 elections. Nor was there evidence that Trudeau ignored warnings of Beijing’s attempts to intimidate Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong.
Johnston did identify a major communication breakdown. In 2021, CSIS sent a note to then-minister of public safety Bill Blair, the minister’s chief of staff and his deputy minister alerting them that China intended to target Chong, another MP and their family in China, but neither the minister nor his chief of staff received this note and neither have access to the top secret e-mail network on which this message was sent.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre criticized Johnston’s recommendation against holding a public inquiry, alleging this serves the Prime Minister by avoiding an open probe of foreign interference.
And while all three opposition leaders voiced strong disapproval of Johnston’s findings, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will not overrule the former governor general.
Johnston will report again in October, and will hold his own public hearings, particularly with Canadians in communities targeted by China, such as Hong Kong pro-democracy dissidents, Uyghurs and Canadians who support Taiwan and Tibet.
- Erin O’Toole: I met with David Johnston for his report – here’s what happened
- Andrew Coyne: How we got here: China’s unrelenting influence campaign, the Liberals’ mishandling and the questions that remain
- Read also: A guide to foreign interference and China’s suspected influence in Canada
- Opinion: Why I blew the whistle on Chinese interference in Canada’s elections
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Methamphetamine use is on the rise, worsening Canada’s already complex opioid crisis
Doctors on the front lines of Canada’s drug crisis are seeing the use of methamphetamine skyrocket. Complicating matters, many who wind up in hospital emergency departments are there with a combination of unregulated amphetamines, including methamphetamine, and opioids in their system, and deaths often involve more than one drug. And a recent study shows the rate of amphetamine-related emergency department visits in Ontario increased nearly 15-fold between 2003 and 2020.
This all underscores the need to address the complex and worsening economic and social issues, including homelessness and untreated mental-health problems, that contribute to the problem. Wency Leung investigates.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ottawa rejigs trusted-traveller program in bid to avoid last summer’s airport chaos
The federal government is revamping its trusted-traveller program to clear clogged airports ahead of the summer travel season. A tweaked “verified-traveller program” will launch dedicated security screening lines at six of the country’s biggest airports between June 7 and June 21. Passengers eligible for the program include Nexus members, military personnel, aviation workers and RCMP officers, who will be able to pass through security more quickly – and keep their shoes and belt on throughout.
Trusted travellers will be allowed to keep laptops and liquids stowed in their luggage instead of placing them separately onto the X-ray conveyor belt. Children under 18 and adults 75 or older can also now accompany program members through the expedited queues. And those eligible – including the roughly 1.7 million Nexus members – can access the lines without applying beforehand.
Maritime farmers holding breath as record-dry spring wrings region
Farmers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island who plant everything from potatoes to wheat are experiencing one of the driest springs in recent memory and have little surface water to work with, which is vital for new seeds.
Agriculture comprises a significant portion of Maritime provincial economies. PEI and New Brunswick are two of the country’s leading potato producers and have bustling grain industries. Among other crops, Nova Scotia has an established and growing fruit industry.
Russia claims it defeated incursion from Ukraine in 24-hour battle
Russia’s military claims to have quashed one of the most serious cross-border attacks from Ukraine since the war began, and said it killed more than 70 attackers in a battle that lasted around 24 hours. Moscow blamed the raid – which began yesterday in southwest Russia’s Belgorod region – on Ukrainian military saboteurs. Kyiv portrayed it as an uprising against the Kremlin by Russian partisans.
Trump criminal trial over hush money payment to start next March
Former U.S. President Donald Trump will face a criminal trial on March 25, 2024, over charges he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
Trump is also set be instructed on new rules barring him from using evidence in the hush-money case to attack witnesses who could testify against him. The hearing comes a day after E. Jean Carroll, the plaintiff in the defamation case in which she was awarded $5-million (U.S.), filed a new claim seeking an additional $10-million or more to hold Trump liable for remarks he made bashing her on CNN the day after the May 9 verdict.
In the defamation case, a jury found that Trump sexually abused Carroll at a Manhattan department store in early spring 1996 and that he made false statements that damaged her reputation.
U.S. and Canadian stocks finished sharply lower today, and short-term government bond yields shot up, as investor jitters grew over a lack of progress in U.S. debt limit talks. Debt limit worries pushed yields on one-month U.S. Treasury bills to record highs at 5.888%.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 205.05 points, or 1%, at 20,146.01, its lowest closing level since March 31. The S&P 500 benchmark index declined 1.12% to end at 4,145.58 points. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.26% to 12,560.25 points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.69% to 33,055.51 points.
The loonie was trading at 74.07 cents (U.S.), up 0.01 cents.
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How to get tougher on bail without violating the Charter of Rights
Editorial: “Bail needs to be decided by judges or justices of the peace who are in a position to look at all the facts of a case, and who must not be straitjacketed by legislation.”
The 10 best international police series you need to stream now
Do you like your crime dramas with a side of psychology or pathology? Do you want to feel the grit of the streets of London, or the foreboding landscape of points north, or do you favour a more continental setting? Do you want your police detectives brooding or conflicted? Here are a few hidden gems and popular offerings available to stream in Canada now.
What makes summer nights in Canada so sweet? Is it the outdoor concerts, fireflies by the lake, late nights under the bright lights of the skate park? Whatever moment speaks to your soul when the sky is dark and the night is hot, The Globe and Mail would love to see your photo of it and learn why it makes your heart skip a beat. Email your photograph to email@example.com to be considered with your name, age, location, and a paragraph about the image and why it represents summer nights in Canada to you. Find more information on how to share your photo here.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Why CEOs and boards should be terrified by activist investors and their new tactics
As we head into the series finale of Succession, bound to be a feature-length boardroom blowout, Tim Kiladze looks at the return of the activist investor, that high flier who makes his name by muscling in on struggling companies and then threatening to throw out board directors—and sometimes even CEOs.
Activists usually lob their grenades during the first half of the calendar year, to propose new directors just a few months before a target company’s annual general meeting. The first quarter of 2023 was the busiest three months ever for new activist campaigns, and these are just the campaigns we know about. Most activist battles take place behind the scenes.
Evening Update is written by Andrew Saikali. 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.