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Making people pay for jobs in Canada is illegal. It’s also a lucrative business for some recruiters and agents who offer hope, but deliver exploitation.

Iran Jasmine, one of thousands of victims, gave $2,000 to a recruiter in Mexico who promised her a $4,000-a-month job. Instead, she cleaned hotel rooms along with other undocumented workers who were crammed into filthy houses in Barrie, Ont. When she complained, she wasn’t paid for a week.

A four-month Globe and Mail investigation into labour trafficking in Canada probed dozens of agents facing scores of complaints, lawsuits and charges in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec.

Along with employers and career colleges who paid the agents to help fill their job openings and classrooms, they collectively stand accused of exploiting at least 2,300 people in recent years, from countries such as India, the Philippines, Mexico and Guatemala, for their money, their labour or both.

From coast to coast, the stories are the same: Newcomers paid thousands for the promise of a better life, and received nothing – or worse.

SNC-Lavalin sells stake in Ontario’s Highway 407, revives court bid for deferred prosecution agreement

It’s a busy end to the week for SNC-Lavalin. The Montreal-based engineering firm is planning to challenge the director of public prosecutions’s original decision regarding the company’s corruption charges related to its work in Libya in the hopes of securing a deferred prosecution agreement.

The firm has also clinched a deal to sell a portion of its minority stake in the Toronto area’s Highway 407 toll road for as much as $3.25-billion, an infusion of cash as the company deals with pressure on its investment grade credit rating and braces for more damage to its reputation from legal issues.

SNC-Lavalin said it agreed to sell 10 per cent of the shares in the profitable highway to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), with $3-billion payable when the deal closes and $250-million payable over 10 years under the condition that certain financial thresholds linked to the highway’s performance are met.

Boeing to reduce 737 Max production in wake of two deadly crashes

Boeing Co. plans to cut monthly production of its 737 aircraft by nearly 20 per cent as it works to manage the grounding of its Max aircraft in the wake of two deadly crashes, chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said on Friday.

Deliveries of Boeing’s bestselling aircraft were frozen after a global grounding after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet on March 10.

Gender pay gaps at several major Canadian firms grew larger in 2018

Median hourly earnings for women, as a percentage of men’s pay, declined at the British operations of Canadian companies such as SNC-Lavalin Inc. and Toronto-Dominion Bank. Lululemon Athletica UK, the one standout, has paid women slightly more than men, as measured by median hourly pay for at least two years running.

The British data is significant because it provides a rare glimpse into pay equity at major Canadian companies, including giants of banking, engineering and technology.

Saudi Arabia halted shipments, denied visas in retaliation for Canadian criticism

Newly released federal documents detail the full extent of Saudi Arabia’s retaliation in response to critical tweets made by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland last summer. The fallout was felt within a month of the countries’ sudden diplomatic feud, leading to visa rejections, a government ban on food from Canada and a blockage of shipments at the kingdom’s ports.

The kingdom also stopped future trade and investment deals and said it would shut down lucrative scholarships for its citizens to study in Canada.

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  • Foreign actors will likely try to meddle in Canada’s federal election in October, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday in France while attending a G7 ministers’ meeting. (The Canadian Press)
  • U.S. security concerns about 5G mobile networks built by Chinese telecoms giant Huawei appear to be driven by politics and trade rather than any evidence, the head of the UN internet and telecoms agency said today. (Reuters)


Major stock indexes in the U.S. and Canada closed higher Friday, with a rebound in U.S. job growth and strong showing from the energy sector. The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 84.54 points at 16,396.15.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 40.36 points at 26,424.99. The S&P 500 index was up 13.35 points at 2,892.74, while the Nasdaq composite was up 46.91 points at 7,938.69.

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Under the moniker 'KittyPlays,' Canadian Kristen Valnicek is one of the world's most popular players of the video game Fortnite. Here, she plays at the Electronic Arts office in Playa Vista, Calif.JENNIFER ROBERTS/The Globe and Mail

How women are breaking into (and cashing in on) the lucrative world of professional gaming

A rising group of talented, charismatic and business-savvy female gamers are gaining ground, but their optimism comes with some caveats, writes Erin Anderssen. She speaks with Vancouver-based gamer “KittyPlays” who quit university a few credits shy of a business degree, disappeared into her parents’ basement in Kelowna, B.C., and now makes her living streaming her Fortnight sessions to more than a million Twitch followers.


Our messed-up housing policy is killing the Canadian dream

“Canadian housing policy is, for the most part, a mess. Politicians talk endlessly about making housing more affordable. But most of their interventions in the housing market have had the opposite effect. At the very least, they’ve generated unintended consequences that have distorted the incentives faced by homebuyers, builders and lenders.” — Konrad Yakabuski

Jason Kenney survives his 'lake of fire’ moment

“NDP Leader Rachel Notley, Liberal Leader David Khan, who is gay, and Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel were able to go after [Jason] Kenney on one question related to social conservative policies. But it didn’t amount to much. In the end, Mr. Kenney and his party likely emerged from the 90-minute scrum with their lead in the polls fairly intact.” — Gary Mason

Raptors’ sleepy Sunday best won’t be good enough in an all-or-nothing spring

“It is rare in team sports that a club this good exists in a state so close to disaster. There are multiple scenarios, but only two possible outcomes, and of diametric extremity.” — Cathal Kelly


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Jack Dylan Grazer, left, as Freddy Freeman and Zachary Levi as Shazam in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “SHAZAM!”Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/Warner Bros.

Your weekend movie guide: The latest theatre openings, from Acquainted to Shazam!

Start your weekend planning early with The Globe and Mail’s guide to every feature film arriving this weekend, from would-be blockbusters to under-the-radar indies. We look at the captivating Edge of the Knife, which is the first feature in the Haida language, a compelling Holocaust film that’s part feature, part doc called The Invisibles and DC Comics’ Shazam!

Why I wanted to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days

The Globe’s popular First Person essay is written today by a 50-year-old Torontonian who recounts why he participated in the World Marathon Challenge. He approaches his essay in a unique way — presenting the obvious questions and answering them one at a time. And yeah, part of the why is he’s doing it for his kids.


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Cars line up to cross the border between Mexicali and Calexico in Mexicali, Mexico April 4, 2019.CARLOS JASSO/Reuters

At U.S.-Mexico border, federal policy changes create a local migrant crisis in Texas town

Nearly half of the U.S. inspection booths on the city’s bridges have closed as customs agents are being relocated to help process migrants, The Globe’s West Coast U.S. correspondent Tamsin McMahon reports. Waiting times for commercial vehicles have stretched to beyond three hours and in the Texas town of El Paso, local officials say their city has become collateral damage in the escalating tensions at the border.

Evening Update was produced by Shannon Busta. 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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