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Supreme Court upholds law in cross-border alcohol case

The Supreme Court of Canada decided in a unanimous ruling to uphold a restriction on possessing alcoholic beverages that are purchased from out of province. The case, which was brought to light when New Brunswick resident Gérard Comeau was stopped and fined by the RCMP after returning from Quebec with alcohol, has major implications for interprovincial trade. The ruling can impact sectors ranging from cannabis and milk to poultry and energy. Canada’s top court was tasked with interpeting the British North America Act, Canada’s founding constitution. In a 9-0 ruling signed by “the Court,” a designation that gives extra weight to a ruling, justices said the system of federalism between Ottawa and the provinces requires a delicate balance. “The federalism principle reminds us of the careful and complex balance of interests captured in constitutional texts,” the court said. “An interpretation that disregards regional autonomy is as problematic as an interpretation that underestimates the scope of the federal government’s jurisdiction.”

John Ibbitson writes in a column that he feels a sigh of regret, and relief: “So, a sigh of regret for the internal economic union that might have been. But perhaps also a sigh of relief, for the unintended consequences that did not follow. Which, when you think about it, is very Canadian.”

Jan De Silva and Patrick Sullivan write in a column that the government should look to Australia to solve its interprovincial trade woes: “The Comeau case and Trans Mountain pipeline are drawing attention to the significant barriers that exist between our provinces. Now is the time to act quickly to bring true free trade to Canada. The federal government should bring together the provinces to reach a national agreement that provides for mutual recognition of provincial regulations for goods and occupations. This would mean a product or worker that is legally regulated in one province could be sold or work in any other, without the need for more red tape. Australia did this 25 years ago in a 17-page agreement.”

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Male CBC/Radio Canada hosts earn almost 9.5 per cent more on average than their female counterparts, data show

A gender pay gap exists for hosts at CBC/Radio Canada and male hosts make an average of almost 9.5 per cent more than female hosts, according to newly released figures. The data were shared after University of Ottawa professor Patrick McCurdy requested the information from Canada’s public broadcaster in the wake of revelations that the BBC, Britain’s public broadcaster, had a substantial pay gap. Male hosts at CBC/Radio-Canada have been at the broadcaster an average 8.08 years compared to an average tenure of 6.6 years for female hosts, entitling them to a higher unionized salary category. Additionally, certain employees negotiate for additional remuneration or “addrem,” which also increases the pay disparity. Sixty-four per cent of all male hosts earn on average an additional $32,600 from addrem, whereas 59 per cent of female hosts earn addrem for an extra $23,700 on average. Female reporters with addrem on average earn around $3,000 more than male reporters with addrem. In a statement to the Globe, CBC declared it had “a good record on pay equity,” and that addrem is awarded based on “individual situations.”

Facebook executive and ex-Liberal adviser defends his access to Trudeau cabinet

Kevin Chan, the head of Public Policy for Facebook in Canada, appeared before lawmakers on Parliament Hill and was grilled about his ties to the Liberal Party. Mr. Chan was asked why he hasn’t registered as a lobbyist despite meeting with cabinet members, including Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Mr. Chan says he hasn’t registered because the proportion of his time that he spends lobbying is short of the 20 per cent threshold outlined in the Lobbying Act. Mr. Chan was at one time the policy director for former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. He appeared before the parliamentary committee as Facebook comes under fire for how its user data was misused by a political consulting company with ties to U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Personal information from 87 million Facebook users, including more than 620,000 Canadians, was allegedly improperly accessed.

More and more often, as political campaigns become more sophisticated at using digital technology, Facebook is being used as a tool for political advertising. If you live in Ontario, you may have already been targeted. The Globe is covering how Facebook ads are being used ahead of June’s election and we have nine early takeaways. One, for example, is that Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford may be pushing back against comparisons between him and Mr. Trump, but he has been using Facebook advertising to target Ontarians who are “interested” in the U.S. president.

If you want to help The Globe monitor political ads on Facebook and help with our reporting on the subject as elections take place across the country this year, you can do so by following this link.


Canada’s main stock index fell today, pulling back from a four-week high yesterday. The declines were powered by falling shares of consumer cyclical and materials companies. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed down 75.55 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 15,454.42. Nine of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower. Stock prices on Wall Street also fell as technology and consumer staples stocks tumbled. T he Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 83.4 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 24,664.67, the S&P 500 lost 15.51 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 2,693.13 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 57.18 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 7,238.06.

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Joey Bats may have just found a new home. Six-time all-star and former Toronto Blue Jay Jose Bautista has agreed to a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves after impressing team officials at a workout. Bautista, 37, would receive a US$1-million, one-year deal if added to the 40-man major league roster. He will report to the Braves extended spring training complex in Kissimmee, Fla., to work himself into game condition while playing third base.


Ottawa should decriminalize all drugs – it’s effective policy

“For those who fear the impact of decriminalization, we ask that they study the evidence. Portugal, which has decriminalized possession of all drugs for personal consumption and invested funds instead in health and social services, has not seen a notable increase in consumption or an upward swing in problematic drug use. What it has seen is a drastic drop in overdoses, prison populations, HIV transmission rates and petty crime associated with drug use. By calling for the decriminalization of possession of drugs for personal use, we are not encouraging drug use. Rather, we wish to end the stigmatization of members of our communities, promote public safety and health, and save lives.” — Ruth Dreifuss and Richard Elliott

On foreign policy, Trump’s bark is worse than his bite

“Truth be told, no one knows what camp Mr. Trump is in. It depends what day of the week it is. And yet for all the mayhem and ad hocery, and despite his knowledge deficit on the issues, he’s less a threat to the international order than we imagined and feared. On several foreign-policy fronts, his administration is making headway.” — Lawrence Martin

Why co-working spaces are flourishing

“As we hurtle towards the gig economy, we will have to constantly revisit the physical and social structures that go along with it. Co-working spaces, although still in their infancy, may end up being at least a partial solution to a set of new problems that threaten to rise alongside the new efficiencies.” — Linda Nazareth


Going on a family vacation sometime soon? The best parts of your holiday can be the ones you would least expect. Catalina Margulis, who recently went to California with her family, writes “ it’s not so much those postcard-worthy final destinations that I first recall, but the moments in between: Waiting in line – for rides, at the airport or for our food. En route to the next attraction, or simply hanging out in our hotel room at the end of a long, fun-filled day.”


Victoria police officer Ian Jordan was in a vegetative state for 30 years

Constable Ian Jordan was working a night shift when a burglar alarm sounded at a stereo shop in downtown Victoria. The officer jumped into a squad car alone and sped toward the break-in only to be T-boned at the first intersection by another patrol car answering the same call. The 35-year-old officer suffered a traumatic brain injury when his head struck the car’s interior roll bar. He was knocked unconscious and rendered comatose at 2:48 a.m. on Sept. 22, 1987, when Nelson Mandela remained jailed and the Berlin Wall still stood. He never regained consciousness and died in hospital on April 11. He spent more than 30 years in a vegetative state. His family visited daily. It became a ritual for each new police chief to make a pilgrimage to Mr. Jordan’s bedside. Fellow officers stopped by regularly even as the passing years brought citations, promotions and, eventually, retirement.


In the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs are hosting the Boston Bruins and hoping to tie their first round Stanley Cup series up in Game 4. The Leafs lost both games in Boston but won Game 3 at home. The puck drops at 7 p.m. ET.

Evening Update was written by Mayaz Alam and S.R. Slobodian. 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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