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

If the U.S. government has its way, tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber could rise dramatically in the coming months, in some cases doubling.

Amid a meteoric rise in lumber prices this year due to high, pandemic-induced demand, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a decision today that proposes combined duties for most Canadian lumber producers jumping from 8.99 per cent to 18.32 per cent.

Final duties won’t be set for six months, but the president of the BC Lumber Trade Council warns that the move, combined with supply problems in the industry, threatens to “further hurt American consumers.”

PHAC officials expect half of Canadians to receive second COVID-19 vaccine shot by mid-summer

The sprint to immunize Canadians against COVID-19 and lift restrictions on people and the economy is continuing apace, with officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada telling a parliamentary committee today that half of Canadians can expect to be fully vaccinated by late July or early August.

While questions remain about the exact quantity set to be delivered over the summer, the confirmed number coming by the end of June is 40 million. Also today, officials in Ontario said remaining doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be used to administer second shots before some batches are set to expire. And isolated seniors and their loved ones in Ontario were notified today that outdoor visits at long-term care homes will be permitted starting this weekend.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

CN succeeds with KCS bid: Canadian National emerged as the winning bidder for Kansas City Southern railway today after rival CP declined to counter CN’s US$29.8-billion bid. If the deal is approved by regulators and shareholders, CN will control the first rail network to span all three North American countries.

Police return to First Nation: Ontario’s Pikangikum First Nation, which hopes to have its own police force in time, has allowed council-vetted Ontario Provincial Police officers to return after expelling them in March over allegations of sexual misconduct against multiple officers.

Maple Leafs captain down: The Leafs not only lost the first game of their playoff series on Thursday night, but they may have lost their captain John Tavares for an extended stretch after he fell and was clipped on the head by Canadiens’ Corey Perry’s leg and knee.

Porter’s postpandemic plans: Porter Airlines has approached Toronto’s Pearson and other southern Ontario airports about establishing a passenger jet service, sources say, a shift in strategy for the carrier that is blocked from flying jets at its Toronto Islands base.

MARKET WATCH

Investors were eyeing signals of coming inflation, aircraft manufacturing output and global oil supplies today, with most major indexes showing mixed results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 124.75 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 34,208.9, the S&P 500 lost 3.04 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 4,156.08 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 64.75 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 13,470.99. In Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 4.09 points, or 0.02 per cent, to close at 19,538.86.

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TALKING POINTS

Mere symbolism? Simple statements of fact? In a constitution, there’s no such thing

“We are accustomed to Quebec governments ignoring the Constitution, on everything from language rights to secession. But this is the first time I can recall one attempting to rewrite it – unilaterally, that is, without so much as a heads-up to its constitutional partners.” Andrew Coyne

To avoid another Tokyo-sized disaster, give the Olympics a permanent home

“In 2004, Athens built two dozen lavish marble stadiums and a rapid-transit line connecting them for more than US$18-billion, in the vain hope that it’d become the permanent home of the Games. In 2005, I wandered those sites, which had been transformed into pig farms and slum encampments and forests. But they, and the idea behind them, could easily be revived.” Doug Saunders

LIVING BETTER

The summer of few movies: Canada’s summer movie season will be great for streamers, writes Film Editor Barry Hertz, with the Jason Momoa thriller Sweet Girl and the Fear Street trilogy on Netflix, the Chris Pratt sci-fi adventure The Tomorrow War on Amazon Prime Video and Cruella, Black Widow and Jungle Cruise on Disney+. But for provinces where theatres have not been open for more than half a year, this will be an especially cruel summer as we’re forced to watch our fully vaccinated American neighbours flock to the cinema.

Get gardening: One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, gardening remains a bright spot for many, with seed companies never busier and people inspired to start growing. Our spring gardening guide has everything you need to know about weeding and watering, choosing plants and growing vegetables.

TODAY’S LONG READ

ariann bt/Handout

The pandemic forced a wedding reckoning. Many couples have responded by simplifying

Robyn Obermeyer and Kyle Birch have planned three weddings in the past year. The first was for 85 people, the second for 25 close friends and family, but the third – as the saying goes – was the charm. Tired of delays caused by on-again, off-again lockdowns, the couple eloped last October at a simple ceremony in the woods an hour’s drive from Montreal. “When the day arrived, it was stunningly beautiful and so incredibly special, because for all the heartbreak we went through, we were so relieved to finally be getting married,” Obermeyer says .

The pandemic has forced engaged couples to reconsider what is truly important about their big day. Rather than the grand, lavish affairs typical of Canada’s $5-billion-a-year wedding industry, talk is turning to micro-weddings, elopements and whether it’s really worth registering for fancy cutlery. Read the full story by Gayle MacDonald.


Evening Update is compiled and written weekdays by an editor in The Globe’s live news department. 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.