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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police conducted a search warrant on the Ottawa-area home of one of the central figures in the ArriveCan scandal Tuesday, one day before he was to appear before the House of Commons for a rare admonishment from the Speaker.

The home in Woodlawn, Ont. belongs to Kristian Firth, managing partner of two-person IT staffing company GCStrategies. The company received more funding than any other contractor to work on ArriveCan, the mobile app for cross-border travellers that the government launched early in the pandemic. The app ballooned in price and ultimately cost taxpayers $59.5-million, according to an investigation by the Auditor-General.

In a statement, the RCMP said they conducted a search of the residence on Tuesday, but police say the search is not related to their ongoing ArriveCan investigation. The RCMP did not elaborate about what it sought from the home. The police declined to provide the name or the business subject of the search, and said no charges have been laid.

Seven ways the 2024 federal budget affects your finances, from selling your cottage to RESPs

Open this photo in gallery:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and cabinet ministers pose for a photo before the tabling of the federal budget on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on April 16, 2024.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

While most major affordability initiatives were announced by the Trudeau government ahead of the release of its 2024 federal budget, there were also a number of pocketbook measures in the spending plan that Ottawa had mostly kept under wraps.

Arguably the biggest surprise was a proposed increase in the capital gain inclusion rate, a change the government says will boost revenues by raising taxes on the wealthy but experts warn could also hit some middle-class taxpayers. Ottawa also provided a target start date for the much-anticipated Canada Disability Benefit for low-income, working-age Canadians.

Aside from the well-telegraphed array of new housing policies, the budget outlined a smattering of small tax benefits and consumer-protection measures, from tweaks to the alternative minimum tax to changes to registered education savings plans (RESPs). Here are some of the highlights on the key measures that affect Canadians’ bottom lines.

Read more:

Israel will defend itself, Netanyahu says, as West calls for restraint

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will make its own decisions about how to defend itself, as Western countries plead for restraint in responding to a volley of attacks from Iran.

The United States, European Union and G7 group of industrialized nations all announced plans to consider tighter sanctions on Iran, seen as aimed at mollifying Israel and persuading it to rein in its retaliation for the first ever direct Iranian strikes after decades of confrontation by proxy.

Iran attacked with at least 300 missiles and drones in retaliation for a suspected Israeli air strike on its embassy compound in Damascus on April 1. Israel and its allies mostly shot down all missiles and drones and there were no deaths, but Israel says it must retaliate to preserve the credibility of its deterrents. Iran says it views the matter as closed but will retaliate again if Israel does.

Read more:

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Darfur villages torched in echo of earlier genocide, report says: At least nine communities in Darfur have been torched and destroyed since late March in a co-ordinated campaign of ethnically targeted violence by Sudan’s main paramilitary force and its allied militias, according to a new report based on satellite imagery.

Six arrested in gold and cash heist at Toronto’s Pearson Airport: Police say they have solved the largest gold heist in Canadian history, arresting six people and seizing 65 guns in a multi-jurisdictional investigation into the theft at Toronto Pearson International Airport a year ago.

Pressure mounts on Parkland to consider sale: New York-based hedge fund Engine Capital LP sent a letter to Parkland Corp.’s board of directors on Wednesday “to express our support for Simpson Oil Limited’s recent public request for a strategic review at Parkland.”

NBA bans Raptors’ Jontay Porter after gambling probe found he shared information, bet on games: Toronto Raptors two-way player Jontay Porter was banned for life from the NBA on Wednesday after a league probe found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and wagered on games, even betting on the Raptors to lose.


Canada’s main stock index was flat on Wednesday, helped by strength in battery metal and technology stocks, while U.S. stock markets moved lower.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 13.18 points at 21,656.05.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 45.66 points at 37,753.31. The S&P 500 index was down 29.20 points at 5,022.21, while the Nasdaq composite was down 181.88 points at 15,683.37.

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.50 cents US compared with 72.35 cents US on Tuesday.

The May crude oil contract was down US$2.67 at US$82.69 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was down two cents at US$$1.71 per mmBTU.

The June gold contract was down US19.40 at US$2,388.40 an ounce and the May copper contract was up four cents at US$4.34 a pound.

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Justin Trudeau’s close friend Dominic LeBlanc wants his job

“Mr. Trudeau insists he will run again and many Liberals I talked to believe him. The PM hopes the many policy measures he has rolled out recently in tandem with Tuesday’s budget will help improve his dismal standing in opinion polls. But if his numbers don’t improve substantially in the next few months, the pressure for him to leave will sharpen.” – Lawrence Martin

Sudan’s forgotten conflict is the worst in the world. Canada is uniquely placed to help end it

“More so than other wars today, the one in Sudan is utterly avoidable and unnecessary, involving two militias created by the former dictator Mr. al-Bashir, neither of which should have a role in governing Sudan: the Sudanese Armed Forces, with Islamic-extremist ties, and the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary formerly known as the Janjaweed, that was responsible for the 2004 mass ethnic slaughter in Darfur. Both forces control major sectors of the economy, including much of Sudan’s gold-mining exports.” – Doug Saunders

At 40 years old, it’s time for the Canada Health Act to have a makeover

“To modernize the CHA, it is vital not to prescribe rigid standards that will soon be outmoded by changing needs, technologies or expectations. In other words, you don’t want to modernize the CHA only to find it not fit-for-purpose in a few short years. Moreover, it is important to recognize the challenges of having a system that can meet the very different needs of Canadians from coast to coast.” – Colleen Flood


Thermal cookers are the next Instant pot. Plus: a recipe for veggie chili

How we prepare our food can also have an impact on the environment – and on our utility bills. Fortunately, there are easy ways to reduce energy use on that front. You can tuck whole potatoes or winter squash into the oven to cook alongside your banana bread or lasagna as it bakes, for example. And slow cookers typically use less energy than an oven or stovetop, as do air fryers (really just small convection ovens), which are ideal for baking smaller quantities.

Or try thermal cooking, which works by holding on to residual heat to slow-cook dishes such as soups, stews and curries. You can buy thermal cookers, which are essentially pot-shaped vacuum flasks. Food is boiled on the stovetop in a removable insert that is then returned to its insulating shell to slow-cook over several hours without the need for power. Commercial versions, which tend to cost $100 or more, typically have basket-style handles and are ideal for day trips and camping: Bring your meal to a boil at home, pack it to go and open a hot, perfectly cooked lunch wherever you wind up.


At Alberta’s all-female ranch bronc school, the buck starts here

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Emma Fenton, 20, from Fort St. John B.C. rides during the Women's Only Ranch Bronc School at the Bearspaw Arena, an hour west of Calgary, Alta., on March 24, 2024.LEAH HENNEL/The Globe and Mail

Learning from a veteran rider, newcomers at an all-female ranch bronc school grasp the basics of a time-tested (but often male-only) cowboy tradition.

Evening Update is written by Emerald Bensadoun. 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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