Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
While Ukraine says its troops are still fighting against the attempted encirclement of Bakhmut, the Russian army is no longer sticking to the Soviet playbook that led it to a series of defeats early in the war.
They now appear to be mimicking tactics that Ukrainian troops learned over years of training by NATO. The key difference between the two styles of warfare is that NATO encourages local commanders to make snap decisions on the ground rather than constantly waiting for orders from above.
Last fall, Ukraine Captain Andriy Malakhov and his men were the ones probing the enemy lines. He commands a special forces battalion, which has been stationed in Lyman. “They’ve learned a lot from us, and now they’re using our tactics against us. They’re more dangerous now,” he said.
Read more from Mark MacKinnon, The Globe and Mail’s international correspondent, as he explains what happens now as Kyiv debates its next moves.
Ontario Court of Appeal strikes down Ford government’s election ad rules
The court sided with a coalition of unions that challenged a move to extend a $600,000 limit on spending by groups other than political parties to apply for 12 months before a provincial vote.
A year before last year’s provincial election, Premier Doug Ford invoked the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to override a previous court ruling that had scrapped his recently passed election-ad legislation for violating the free expression rights in the Charter of Right of Freedoms.
The next election is not until 2026, and the now-invalidated legislation’s 12-month restricted advertising period would not kick in until 2025.
Globe analysis finds that an average of 25 senators skip each legislative vote
The Senate has sat for 104 days since November, 2021, but about 25 senators on average have missed each of the 37 legislative votes over that time, according to an analysis by The Globe and Mail. And several members have cast fewer than four of the 19 votes since Parliament resumed sitting in the fall of last year. The data show the number of senators missing votes has increased since hybrid voting ended and senators were required to be in the chamber when legislation is about to be passed or referred to committee for study.
Many of those skipping votes since late 2021 were named to the Red Chamber by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He promised to reform the Senate by selecting non-partisans to the legislative body. The job pays a basic $164,500 annual salary and tax-free housing allowance of up to $26,850.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Banking: The country’s anti-money laundering watchdog has fined Wealth One Bank of Canada – a bank established to cater to Chinese-Canadians – for failing to comply with a federal law designed to stop terrorist financing and the illegal concealment of the origins of funding.
Mining: Ontario and two First Nations have agreed on terms of reference on an environmental assessment for the last of the three proposed roads into the Ring of Fire, but Neskantaga First Nations community says it wasn’t adequately consulted.
Climate: Conservation groups hail historic deal to protect ocean life. More than 190 countries were involved in negotiating the pivotal agreement, which represents the culmination of nearly 20 years of multilateral efforts
The Globe in Africa: African migrants evacuated from Tunisia after surge of racial violence stoked by president
Ahead of International Women’s Day: B.C. promises to tackle gender pay gap through proposed transparency legislation
Central bank: Bank of Canada expected to hold rates steady in face of conflicting economic signals
Iran: Supreme leader says suspected poisonings at girls’ schools are an ‘unforgivable crime’
S&P 500 slightly higher ahead of Powell testimony, upcoming data
Canada’s main stock index edged lower Monday, softening as the afternoon progressed with weakness in energy stocks, while U.S. markets were mixed but didn’t make big moves in either direction.
The S&P/TSX composite index was down 66.78 points at 20,514.80. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 40.47 points at 33,431.44. The S&P 500 index was up 2.78 points at 4,048.42, while the Nasdaq composite was down 13.27 points at 11,675.74.
Hats off to B.C.: Universal access to contraception is good social policy
“One study estimated that for every $1 the state invests in providing no-cost contraception, it will get back $90. Individuals benefit financially, too: Women can spend up to $10,000 on birth control during their reproductive years. So, let’s applaud British Columbia vigorously for announcing universal contraception coverage in its recent budget. But, at the same time, we have to wonder: What are the other provinces and territories waiting for?” – André Picard
The other side of the GST divide: When will big-government Liberals clean up their waste?
“But if public policy makers are ever going to broach the sensitive topic of a GST increase, they’ll need to recognize that the bar is, reasonably, set very high to convince a deeply skeptical public. They’ll have to be clear on the rationale, and the payoff. And even the most open-minded voter will want to see that government is doing its share, by tightening its belt and containing its spending.” – David Parkinson
As a gerontologist, I’m deeply worried about advance consent for MAID
“But the studies I’ve carried out, and the cases in which I’ve been engaged, demonstrate that cognitive, physical and sensory limits can be surmounted when we accept that total autonomy is a myth. And in fragility, that fact becomes more evident once we learn to accept help from another – help that loved ones are often more than willing to provide.” –Tom Koch
How fitness can be a form of self-care and self-compassion
As someone who struggles with depression and anxiety, Paul Landini doesn’t say these things flippantly. He knows how hard it can be to prioritize physical activity when it feels like your whole world is on fire, but in situations like this, movement really is the best medicine.
Resilience is one of the most rare and valuable qualities. It’s the ability to withstand hardship, to maintain composure under duress, to bounce back from adversity and ask for more, please. What we’re talking about here is mental toughness, and according to Landini, there is no better arena for developing this quality than the gym.
Also read: Zero-calorie sweetener erythritol may elevate cardiovascular risk, study suggests
TODAY’S LONG READ
“He’s here!” says Zellers creative lead Henrietta Poon, her face brightening. “He” is an inanimate bear costume: Zeddy the mascot
Just how and when Zeddy will come back has, like the company’s plans for the store itself, been largely under wraps since Hudson’s Bay Co. announced last August that it would resurrect Zellers as “shop in shops” inside its department stores. For now, this location in a Bay store in Mississauga is hidden from shoppers behind a long row of thick black curtains.
HBC is hoping the Zellers reboot will draw in curious customers who might not otherwise visit Bay stores, not to mention price-sensitive Canadians looking for relief amid inflation. The nearly 8,000-square-foot space will be one of the first Zellers to open this month, with 25 shops initially planned across the country – and possibly more, if the strategy proves successful.