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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Quebec tables legislation on religious-symbols ban, includes provisions for notwithstanding clause

The Quebec government introduced a proposed law to ban people in positions of authority from wearing religiously symbolic articles such as Muslim hijabs and Sikh turbans.

The list of positions includes judges, prosecutors, police officers, court security, jail guards and schoolteachers.

The bill includes provisions to invoke the notwithstanding clause of the Constitution that would protect the law from challenges under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec bill of rights. But at least one school board vows to disregard the law.

In a surprise move, the government proposed a separate motion to remove a crucifix from the main chamber of the National Assembly. Montreal City Hall made a similar move last week.

Opinion: "Those outside the province should refrain from making blanket statements or condemnations. The debate within Quebec is far more nuanced than the rest of Canada seems to understand. - Konrad Yakabuski (for subscribers)

Solitary confinement for more than 15 days constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, Ontario appeals court rules

An Ontario appeals court ruling has imposed a hard cap of 15 days for solitary confinement, saying that any more constitutes cruel and and unusual punishment. It’s the first time a Canadian court has placed specific limits on solitary placements, and those limits will come into force within 15 days.

Trudeau’s comments to Grassy Narrows protesters ‘unacceptable and offensive,’ AFN National Chief says

Perry Bellegarde, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, says Justin Trudeau’s comments to Indigenous rights protesters “are completely unacceptable and offensive” and wants the Prime Minister to visit Grassy Narrows and apologize directly to the protesters.

Mr. Trudeau was confronted by protesters at a Liberal Party fundraising event in Toronto last night. He responded: “Thank you very much for your donation tonight, I really appreciate the donation to the Liberal Party of Canada.”

This morning in Halifax, the Prime Minister apologized and said the Liberal Party will return the donations the protesters made to attend the event.

Wow Air shutdown leaves passengers stranded

Iceland’s Wow Air is latest budget airline to stop flying, grounding planes last night and stranding thousands of passengers in Toronto, Montreal and other cities (for subscribers).

The airline had been scrambling for money, and shut down operations after talks over financing fell apart this week.

Count Globe travel editor Domini Clark among those who will miss the cheap purple seats: “Wow made spontaneous trips possible. The low airfares allowed me to make a new long-distance friendship stronger; they led me to discover Wales, a country that ended up changing my life; they turned me into an expert packer.”

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ALSO IN THE NEWS

British singer Ranking Roger dies: Ranking Roger, a vocalist for the popular ska band the English Beat in the late 1970s and early ’80s who carried on that group’s infectious sound in subsequent bands and solo projects, died Tuesday at 56.

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Ranking Roger was a vocalist for the popular ska band the English Beat.Yad Jaura/Supplied

B.C. mayor charged with sexual assault: Port Moody Mayor Robert Vagramov has been charged with sexual assault stemming from an incident alleged to have occurred in Coquitlam in 2015.

Ontario expanding beer and wine sales: Ontario will move ahead with an expansion of beer and wine sales into corner stores, big-box stores, and more grocery stores, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli says.

B.C. launches human remains map: The BC Coroners Service is hoping its new interactive website displaying key information on cases of unidentified human remains in the province will be the start of a national effort to unravel such mysteries.

Play ball! It’s opening day of the new Major League Baseball season, with the Toronto Blue Jays taking on the Detroit Tigers at home this afternoon. Go to tgam.ca/sports later this evening for the final score.

MARKET WATCH

Wall Street stocks climbed today as U.S. Treasury yields rose off 15-year lows and as investors were optimistic about the latest meetings on U.S.-China trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 91.87 points to 25,717.46, the S&P 500 gained 10.07 points to 2,815.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.79 points to end at 7,669.17.

Canada’s main stock index also bounced higher. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 22.96 points to 16,155.49.

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TALKING POINTS

A First Nations-led majority stake in Trans Mountain would be a brave, new kind of reconciliation

“It is likely that only a few years ago, Indigenous stakeholders announcing a majority bid would not have been possible or even imagined. This is the future, and it gives me hope for our younger generations’ futures.” - Naomi Sayers, Indigenous feminist and lawyer in the energy sector

We need stricter regulation of so-called ‘alcoholic energy drinks’

“Let’s dispense with moralism and victim blaming. Teens do stupid things sometimes, but they shouldn’t pay with their lives.” - André Picard (for subscribers)

The young will save us from the votes of the old – and not a moment too soon

“Younger people are voting more wisely not because their generation is more liberal, but just because they’re young. And like the aging hippies before them, they’ll soon stop being young, and stop being liberal, and we’re back in the soup.” - Doug Saunders (for subscribers)

Are screening biases costing your company top talent?

“Changing the way résumés are screened can be a simple way to ensure your company gets access to the best talent and remains competitive. If you haven’t changed screening practices at your company, ask yourself why.” - Hadiya Roderique

LIVING BETTER

The personal debt levels of Canadians are higher than ever. If you have an overwhelming amount of debt and are unable to pay, there are two regulated, last-resort options: bankruptcy, and the less drastic consumer proposal. Both put a freeze on creditors and allow you to eventually get out of debt while only paying part of what you owe. Under a consumer proposal, the amount paid back is negotiated with creditors, while bankruptcy payments are set by laws that also require you to sell assets. But don’t rush into either option, experts say. First, get free advice from non-profit credit counsellors to look at your full financial picture, and explore other options such as an interest freeze to help pay off debt.

LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE

‘Write me soon. Stay safe’: A story of Canada’s opioid crisis, told in letters from prison

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Photo by Tijana Martin for The Globe and MailTijana Martin/The Globe and Mail

When Spencer Kell got out of jail last spring, leaving his cellmate Manie Daniels behind, the two friends started exchanging letters.

Mr. Daniels’s, written in flowing cursive script, came to Mr. Kell in Ottawa, where he was trying to stay clean and build a new life. Mr. Kell’s, in bold block letters, arrived at Maplehurst prison in Milton, Ont., where Mr. Daniels was serving out the final months of his latest stretch behind bars. Their brief correspondence shines a light on the dangers that former prisoners face in the midst of Canada’s opioids crisis.

Mr. Kell and Mr. Daniels forged their friendship during two stints sharing a cell at Maplehurst. On the range at “the Hurst,” they won respect for their experience and toughness. Mr. Daniels had an ugly temper. He could flip on you in a second, Mr. Kell says. But he stuck up for the underdogs, especially the new guys. Mr. Kell looked up to Mr. Daniels, who, at close to 50, was a decade older.

Then one of their lives took a tragic turn. Read Marcus Gee’s full story here.

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In Spencer Kell's dining room, angel and devil portraits drawn by Mr. Daniels hang behind him. (Photo by Blair Gable for The Globe and Mail)Blair Gable

Canadians Mfiondu Kabengele, Brandon Clarke ready to battle in Sweet 16 at NCAA March Madness tournament

Many of the top Canadians in the NCAA basketball ranks are former teammates or rivals from high school or club competition. Not Mfiondu Kabengele and Brandon Clarke.

Fresh off big performances during the first two rounds of March Madness, Florida State’s Mr. Kabengele, of Burlington, Ont., squares off with Mr. Clarke, who was born in Vancouver and raised in Arizona, and his Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Sweet 16 opener tonight.

At the pregame news conference yesterday, Mr. Kabengele was asked if he had any connection to Mr. Clarke. He proceeded to offer a little Canadian geography lesson to reporters.

“I’m from Ontario, Canada, which is east and he was on the West Coast and I never had an opportunity to see him and when I came through college he came out of nowhere,” the 6-foot-10 forward said. “I’m proud he’s a fellow Canadian and he’s playing really well.” Read the full story here.

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Mfiondu Kabengele dunks during a second round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament. (Photo by Elise Amendola/The Canadian Press)Elise Amendola/The Associated Press

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