Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The Globe and Mail is continuing its examination of a Brampton, Ont., neighbourhood that is one of the most impacted by COVID-19.
As an emergency physician, Raj Grewal, understands how language barriers make it difficult for some people to seek medical help. Grewal sees it all the time – the relief on patients’ faces when he switches from English to Punjabi and they can finally speak to someone in a language they understand.
In Brampton’s L6P neighbourhood, where Dr. Grewal grew up, that language barrier was having dire consequences during the pandemic. In November, he teamed up with his respirologist wife, Dr. Anju Anand, and his mom, Paramjit Kaur Grewal – who still lives in L6P – to create a short video in Punjabi instructing residents how to get tested for COVID.
Since then, the 46-year-old physician has become a key figure fighting the pandemic in L6P.
Ontario to speed up second-dose eligibility, starting with those 80 and older next week
Ontario said Friday it is speeding up second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with those 80 and over eligible to book next week. The province now expects that most Ontarians will be fully vaccinated by the end of summer.
Premier Doug Ford said Ontario is now ahead of schedule in its vaccine rollout, with 65 per cent of adults having received a first dose.
Meanwhile, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, or NACI, issued new guidance Friday that said with increased vaccine supply in Canada, second doses should be offered as soon as possible, with priority given to those at highest risk of illness and death.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
‘No need for this right now’: Quebec’s Bill 96 weighs heavily on corporate landscape: The province’s ambitious overhaul of its language law has many business leaders express support for reinforcing French even as they warn the proposed legislation could saddle companies with new costs and complicate their hiring efforts at a pivotal time.
Nationwide strike planned in Belarus: Belarus’s opposition said a nationwide strike was being planned to protest against the arrest of dissident journalist Roman Protasevich by President Alexander Lukashenko’s government. Belarus has been subject to EU and U.S. sanctions since a disputed election last year. The decision to intercept an international airliner in Belarusian airspace on Sunday has brought restrictions on air travel and vows of much more serious action.
Canada’s main stock index ended a record week by moving to within 100 points of a new milestone on a broad-based rally led by health care and technology.
The S&P/TSX composite index set another record close by gaining 77.77 points to 19,852.18.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 64.81 points at 34,529.45. The S&P 500 index was up 3.23 points at 4,204.11, while the Nasdaq composite was up 12.46 points at 13,748.74.
The Canadian dollar traded for 82.74 cents US compared with 82.83 cents US on Thursday.
Think recognizing the ‘Quebec nation’ is harmless? In fact, the implications for unity are profound
“Not content with demanding the federal government cede more powers to the province, Quebec has lately taken to asserting power over federal institutions: to decide which judges are named to the Supreme Court, to apply provincial language legislation to federally regulated businesses, even to collect federal taxes. Federal leaders have generally complied.” - Andrew Coyne
Will inflation ruin our postpandemic economic party?
Central bankers are smarter than the rest of us. They deserve a large degree of deference from those on sidelines. Still, history shows they are not infallible and that when they err, everyone suffers. The poor pay the heaviest price of all. Inflation erodes their already limited purchasing power and the restrictive monetary policies required to tame runaway prices inevitably lead to recession and high unemployment. - Konrad Yakabuski
Shuttered museums languish while Ontario golfs
“Closures have dragged on so long an exhibition has opened and closed at the AGO without the public ever seeing it. Meanwhile, Rembrandt at the National Gallery and a show about great whales of the North Atlantic at the ROM are ready to go and waiting …. and waiting. Culture? No, what Ontario really values is golf.” - Kate Taylor
Six riveting thriller novels to start summer off with a bang
Lost Immunity, Find You First, A Lethal Lesson and other thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
TODAY’S LONG READ
La ball province: Quebec basketball’s new generation of NBA stars inspires more to follow
When Karim Mané was growing up in Montreal, he had a picture of NBA superstar James Harden hanging on his bedroom wall. Early in this year’s NBA season, Mané found himself defending the then Houston Rockets’ point guard.
Mané's ascent – from the suburban South Shore to his sport’s biggest stage, in a matter of months – is not a one-time fluke. He is part of a wave of Montreal basketball players that is reflecting the sport’s rapid growth in Quebec, where soccer and basketball have begun to chip away at hockey’s supremacy.
Read Eric-Andrew Gee’s feature on how a new batch of Quebec NBA players is starting to inspire its own generation of local talent.