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Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he met Monday with his cabinet to discuss next steps on “concrete action” to support survivors, families and Indigenous peoples. Speaking Tuesday to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Trudeau said, “Our country failed them.” He added that repairing the “terrible wrongs” of residential schools can only occur if every order of government takes action alongside Indigenous peoples.

As the discovery last week of the remains of 215 children at one of Canada’s largest residential schools continues to reverberate around the country, Indigenous leaders and community members say it is only the beginning of an important national reckoning.

Meanwhile, a survivor of the largest residential school in the Maritimes says the search will continue for unmarked graves at the site north of Halifax. Mi’kmaq elder Dorene Bernard said ground-penetrating radar was used at the former Shubenacadie Indian Residential school in April and December of last year, but no graves or human remains were found. She says there is an official list of 16 students who died while attending the school, but she says survivors have come forward in the past three years to provide names of more missing children.

In Saskatchewan, elders and members of Muskowekwan First Nation will place 35 children’s moccasins and shoes to honour those who disappeared from the Muscowequan Indian Residential School. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says unmarked, unidentified graves were discovered on the site of the Muscowequan Indian Residential School in the early 1990s. In 2018 and 2019, with the use of ground-penetration radar, the First Nation found at least 35 unmarked graves on the site. Officials say that with further research they expect to find more.

And, Quebec’s Indigenous Affairs Minister says the province is open to searching the grounds of former residential schools for graves if survivors and their families are in favour. Ian Lafreniere says Quebec must confront its own role in that history. He says he has seen no evidence that there are unmarked graves on the grounds of the six former residential schools that operated in the province, but he cannot exclude the possibility.



Canadian military must change how it handles sexual misconduct allegations, retired judge’s report says

A report issued Tuesday by retired Supreme Court justice Morris Fish says the civilian justice system should take primary responsibility over the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences in the armed forces until the military justice system establishes certain protections for complainants.

The federal government passed a Declaration of Victim Rights (DVR) for the military justice system two years ago that provides similar rights to those available since 2015 in the civilian system, but the 2019 declaration has yet to take effect. The military has been prosecuting sexual offences since 1998, but expert reports, news-media investigations and data from Statistics Canada show a deep-seated problem of sexual misconduct in the military, with at least 1,500 incidents a year.

Mr. Fish said the military justice system should have the same victims-rights protections – rights to information, protection, participation and restitution – that are available in the civilian system.

AstraZeneca recipients can get Moderna or Pfizer for second COVID-19 shot: NACI

Canadians vaccinated with a first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can receive a second shot from either Pfizer or Moderna, the federal vaccine advisory panel says. Viral vector vaccines, like those from AstraZeneca, Covishield, and Johnson & Johnson, are linked to a rare blood-clot condition that mRNA vaccines, like those from Pfizer and Moderna, are not connected to.

The changing advice is also being made because Canada has the luxury of relying on mRNA shots for its mass vaccination campaign and because emerging data shows the body still mounts a robust immune response when vaccines are mixed.

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Almost six people died every day of drug overdoses in B.C. in April: The BC Coroners Service says the overdose death rate in British Columbia has nearly doubled since 2016, the year a state of emergency was declared in the crisis. The service says 176 people died because of toxic illicit drugs in April, a 43 per cent increase from the same month last year, which means almost six British Columbians died of overdose every day.

Netanyahu legal challenge to rival’s PM bid spurned: Benjamin Netanyahu’s party on Tuesday challenged the legality of a bid by a rival rightist to head a new Israeli government, but the last-gasp attempt at extending his leadership was rejected by President Reuven Rivlin. Naftali Bennett, Netanyahu’s former defence minister, announced on Sunday he would join a proposed alliance with centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid, serving as its premier first under a rotation deal.

Naomi Osaka receives support from Japan, athletes after withdrawing from French Open: World number two received support from her country, her sponsors, leading sporting figures and tennis fans on Tuesday after her withdrawal from the French Open in a row about media duties, saying she had been suffering from depression and anxiety.

Pembina emerges as Inter Pipeline’s white knight with an $8.3-billion all-share takeover that tops Brookfield’s hostile bid: Inter Pipeline Ltd.’s board is recommending a sale of the company to Pembina Pipelines Corp., putting pressure on Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP’s’ to substantially increase its hostile takeover bid.


The S&P/TSX composite index briefly cracked the 20,000-point level for the first time on a surge in the key energy sector after OPEC gave an optimistic outlook for global demand.

Canada’s main stock index closed up 245.02 points to 19,976.01 after trading as high as 20,022.13 before the close.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 45.86 points at 34,575.31. The S&P 500 index was down 2.07 points at 4,202.04, while the Nasdaq composite was down 12.26 points at 13,736.48.

The Canadian dollar traded for 83.06 cents US compared with 82.84 cents on Monday.

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Canada’s Supreme Court already requires diversity. Why not racial diversity, too?

“The appointment of a racialized judge won’t just be a token gesture, or diversity for diversity’s sake. And it won’t mean that some more “qualified” white person is passed over just because they’re white. Qualified racialized candidates exist, and diversity on the bench will simply make the court better.” - Janani Shanmuganathan, Richa Sandill and Annie Tayyab

Get set for a fresh round of confrontations over mask-wearing

“Just as there was confusion and unrest over mask-wearing policies at the outset of the pandemic, it would appear we are going to end this health crisis on the same note. We seem destined for more ugly confrontations, once again.” - Gary Mason


How the massive increase in online shopping has changed customer service

Revel Cafe delivery driver Jason Sermonia passes an order to a customer at the end of his route before returning to downtown Stratford on May 22, 2021.

Before COVID-19 struck in early 2020, Anne Campion of Stratford, Ont., was determined to keep bringing her products to the community she loves. The former opera singer is the owner of Revel Coffee Inc., which was popular in the theatre town for its easygoing atmosphere and big communal table.

For Campion, good customer service still requires personal connections, whether it’s handwritten notes with special-occasion deliveries, staff chatting with regulars behind masks and Plexiglas, or attention-grabbing photos and video updates on social media. “It’s not just about me and not just about the customer – it’s about us collectively,” Ms. Campion says. “There’s a commitment to growing this community to be reflective of and welcoming for everyone. That’s why we’re in business.”

Grace Ayoub of consulting firm Accenture Canada, says personal service has changed during the pandemic. For businesses, it’s more about the values people associate with a company and less about the transactions. “More and more what we’ve seen during the pandemic is that people are looking to shop with a more human side, something the pandemic has taught us,” Ayoub says. “There’s a rise in sympathy for local companies as people have been spending more with them and those companies have been providing good service. That’s a trend that really changed with the pandemic and will likely stick around.”


Vicious Sicilian Mafia mass murderer freed from prison to the anger of Italians

He dissolved a teenager in acid, and murdered one of Italy’s leading anti-mafia prosecutors. And, on Monday, Giovanni Brusca, 64, was released from Rome’s high-security Rebibbia penitentiary after serving 25 years.

Although his release was expected, his release was repellent to many Italians, all the more so since he never showed any remorse for his notorious atrocities.

“It is a punch in the stomach that leaves you breathless,” Enrico Letta, the leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, told an Italian radio station on Tuesday.

Brusca was serving a reduced sentence for having become a police informant after his arrest in 1996. At the time, he told prosecutors “I’m an animal. I worked all my life for the Cosa Nostra [the Sicilian Mafia]. I have killed more than 150 people. I can’t even remember their names.”

Read Eric Reguly’s full story here.

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