Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Ottawa is committing almost $8-billion to settle two class-action lawsuits from multiple First Nations over unsafe drinking water, and to fix water-quality problems on dozens of reserve communities across the country.
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller announced the agreement in principle on Friday, along with the leaders of three plaintiff communities – Curve Lake First Nation, Neskantaga First Nation and Tataskweyak Cree Nation – who expressed cautious optimism for the deal’s potential to end decades of health and social issues on reserves.
“For hundreds of years now, Canada has enjoyed vast wealth while Indigenous people lack access to even the basic necessities of life like drinkable water,” said Curve Lake First Nation Chief Emily Whetung. “Today, we have come one step closer to reconciling this long history.”
David Parkinson: Past abuses of Indigenous peoples in Canada live on in deep economic wounds that persist today
Canada at risk of Delta-driven fourth wave if reopening too fast, federal officials say
New federal modelling forecasts Canada could be on the brink of a fourth wave fuelled by the highly contagious Delta variant, if the country loosens restrictions before enough people are vaccinated.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Theresa Tam, said the new data suggest that a premature reopening could result in a sharp resurgence of the virus by summer’s end. She noted that there are early signs of epidemic growth in some areas.
Young, unvaccinated people, she said, are particularly at risk of catching the Delta variant. Increasing the vaccination rate to 80 per cent among all age groups would establish better protection, she said.
Catch up on more pandemic-related news:
- U.S. CDC internal report says COVID-19 Delta variant as contagious as chickenpox
- Ottawa to extend pandemic aid by extra month, citing uneven rebound
- Masks will stay on after Step 3 of Ontario’s reopening as capacity limits are dropped
- Alberta’s plan to lift COVID-19 rules has many asking how to protect against the virus
- Canadian economy seen posting second-quarter growth as COVID-19 measures ease
U.S. Department of Justice says IRS must turn over Trump tax returns to Congress
The U.S. Justice Department reversed its stance, saying the Treasury Department must release former U.S. president Donald Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, a decision that appears to end a long legal standoff over the records.
Former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who served under the Trump administration, previously said he wouldn’t give the records to the committee because he concluded that the Democratic-controlled House was seeking them for partisan reasons. The committee filed a legal challenge, saying it needed the tax returns for an investigation into whether Trump was in compliance with tax law.
A memo dated Friday from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel said the committee chairman “has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting” the returns and that federal law requires Treasury to “furnish the information to the Committee.”
Opinion: Michael Andrew’s maskless display at the Tokyo Olympics isn’t about vaccine politics – it’s about bad manners
U.S. swimming star Michael Andrew began the Summer Games as the poster boy for vaccine hesitancy, columnist Cathal Kelly writes from Tokyo. Andrew is among roughly 100 American competitors – one in six U.S. athletes in Tokyo – who are unvaccinated.
Kelly writes that Andrew showed up Friday sans mask and made himself comfortable while he held court – not an unusual occurrence among athletes. But with Japan and Tokyo both hitting historic highs for daily COVID-19 infections on Friday, it’s not a great look, Kelly says.
“For me, it’s pretty hard to breathe in after kind of sacrificing my body in the water,” Andrew told reporters. “So, I feel like my health is a little more tied to being able to breathe than protecting what’s coming out of my mouth.”
“If ‘feel like’ is an acceptable basis for non-compliance with the rules, then we’re going to have to take murder off the books,” Kelly writes. “Because I feel like doing that every once in a while.”
Read more Tokyo Olympics coverage:
- Canada advances to Tokyo Olympic women’s soccer semi-final after beating Brazil on penalties
- Cathal Kelly: With gold in women’s eight rowing at the Tokyo Olympics, Canada’s days as a rowing power are no longer behind it
- Tokyo Olympics: Canadian swimmers Kylie Masse and Taylor Ruck aim for podium in 200-metre backstroke tonight
Subscribe to our Olympics newsletter: Tokyo Olympics Update features original stories from Globe reporters in Canada and Tokyo, will track Team Canada’s medal wins, and looks at past Olympic moments from iconic performances.
This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was sent to you as a forward, you can sign up for Evening Update and more than 20 other Globe newsletters here. If you like what you see, please share it with your friends.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Federal deficit hit nearly $24-billion over April, May: The federal Finance Department said the government ran a deficit that hovered close to $24-billion in the spring, a sharp drop from the $86.8-billion recorded over the same months in 2020.
Beaches, zip lines, concerts: Ford unveils Ontario Place plans, but cost and timeline unclear: The provincial government’s push to make Ontario Place a tourist destination again includes year-round music, aerial obstacle courses and new beaches. Still unclear is how much it will cost the government or visitors to bring this vision to fruition.
First U.S. evacuation flight brings 200 Afghans to new home: Friday’s flight carried former interpreters, their families and others fearful of retaliation from the Taliban for having worked with American service members and civilians. Congress on Thursday passed legislation that would allow an additional 8,000 visas to be issued under the Afghan visa program.
ICYMI: ‘Blind desperation’: Afghans rush to be included in Canadian resettlement program
Hong Kong protester sentenced to nine years in first security case: Tong Ying-kit, a 24-year-old pro-democracy activist, was convicted of inciting secession and terrorism for driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers at a rally last year. His sentence was lengthier than the three years pursued by the prosecution.
Four books on why protecting trees is a matter of survival – ours and the planet’s: As the world’s forests increasingly become front lines in battles over climate change, protecting trees has taken on global urgency, says writer Emily Donaldson, who spotlights four books – including Peter Wohlleben’s The Heartbeat of Trees – written by accidental activists.
Canada’s benchmark stock index ended off its lows of the day Friday, but still in negative territory, as losses in the heavyweight energy, financials and materials sectors weighed on market performance. For the month, the TSX posted a gain – albeit a modest one of just over half of one percentage point.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index ended at 20,287.80, a drop of 0.12 per cent for Friday’s session, or 23.98 points. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 149.06 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 34,935.47, the S&P 500 lost 23.89 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 4,395.26 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 105.59 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 14,672.68.
Millennial families can’t expect to live the way their parents did
“Our family presents an early picture of what many Canadian millennials will experience as they start finding long-term partners and having children, if they choose to do so. A non-exhaustive glimpse of our regular expenses includes our monthly mortgage and housing costs, ever-increasing grocery bills, daycare and summer camp fees, retirement savings and our eldest daughter’s expensive orthodontist bills.” - Brianna Bell, a Guelph-based freelance journalist.
Newfoundland’s power curse was born from a thirst for revenge
“Resentment among Newfoundlanders toward Quebec – which has reaped windfall profits from its 1969 contract to purchase power from the original 5,400-megawatt Churchill Falls project in Labrador, while leaving only crumbs for Newfoundland – enabled Mr. Williams to sell voters on Muskrat Falls more than a decade ago.” - Konrad Yakabuski
Plenty of East Coast delights beckon travellers as Newfoundland welcomes tourists back to its shores
Modernist meets nature at Fogo Island Inn, where guests can soak up floor-to-ceiling views of the Atlantic Ocean and devour freshly caught shrimp. The inn’s offerings are a few of the many things visitors can enjoy in Newfoundland and Labrador, as the province opens its doors after a deep, pandemic-induced slumber, reports Nancy Matsumoto.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Excerpt: In The Changing of the Guard, Simon Akam takes British Army to task for failing to learn from failure
In January this year, the British Army rolled out a series of new recruitment advertisements. One film showed a group of multiethnic and gender-mixed soldiers running through the woods. A young Black woman – in an institution that remains 90-per-cent male and 87-per-cent white – pulls up short under a heavy rucksack, panting as others rush off ahead. “What’s the first step towards victory?” a female voiceover asks. “Failure.” The lagging soldier collapses on her hands; a close-up shows a trembling bicep. An instructor appears, blurred in the background. “Come on, keep going,” she says. The voiceover returns. “You fail. You learn. So you can win – when it really matters.” The soldier ends the 30-second clip running back with the group.
The notion this campaign presents is that the British Army is now a learning institution, constantly assimilating lessons and using them to improve performance, both individual and collective. But is that really the case? This summer, the last Western troops are pulling out of Afghanistan after 20 years of war, despite a resurgent Taliban. Two decades of conflict there and in Iraq have definitely not gone as planned. Read more of the excerpt here.