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Collective rights of Indigenous communities trump individual Charter rights in some cases, Supreme Court rules

Self-governing Indigenous communities have a constitutional right to protect their cultural differences, a collective right that surpasses individual rights protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Supreme Court ruled today.

The court was looking at whether a residency requirement to be an elected council member of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in Yukon discriminated against a member of the community who was not a resident. Cindy Dickson, who lives 800 kilometres to the south of the community in Whitehorse, brought a challenge under the Charter’s Section 15, which protects the right to equality.

The court was considering two issues: whether the Charter of Rights applies to self-governing Indigenous communities, and whether collective Indigenous rights protected by the Charter’s Section 25 have primacy over individual rights.

The majority upheld the residency requirement while also ruling that the Charter applies to self-governing Indigenous communities, but that where Section 25 is in an irreconcilable conflict with individual Charter rights, it trumps those rights.

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Chief Electoral Officer acknowledges he lacks authority to properly examine foreign interference allegations

Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer says he doesn’t have the authority to examine whether some donors were encouraged to provide campaign contributions in the 2021 election to candidates favoured by China – donations for which they allegedly received a tax credit from the federal government.

Lawyers for the public inquiry into foreign interference questioned Stéphane Perrault today on a report by The Globe and Mail in February, 2023, that outlined a funding scheme to help elect politicians who would be uncritical of China.

The chief electoral officer said his agency looked into the allegations but could not find enough evidence to forward the matter to the office of the Commissioner of Elections, which has the mandate to investigate and enforce election laws.

More on the inquiry into foreign interference:

Four Ontario school boards sue Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok owners over platforms’ alleged harm to students

Four of Canada’s largest school boards are suing the companies behind Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok. They’re accusing them of designing products that disrupt learning and changing student behaviour, leaving schools to deal with the consequences.

The Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Peel District School Board filed four different statements of claim against Meta Platforms Inc., Snap Inc., and ByteDance Ltd. The claims stated that the companies used “exploitative business practices” and chose to “maximize profits” at the expense of the well-being of students.

While similar lawsuits have cropped up in the United States, this marks the first time it’s being done by school boards in Canada. The school boards are advancing combined claims of around $4.5-billion. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Bare trusts exempt from new reporting rules for 2023, CRA says

The Canada Revenue Agency says it won’t require Canadians with bare trusts to adhere to complex new tax-reporting requirements for the year 2023. It made the announcement just days before the April 2 deadline for filing trust returns. One exception to this exemption is if the agency makes a direct request for the files.

Recent legal changes meant to increase transparency around trusts caused a furor among taxpayers and tax professionals. The new rules were criticized for including onerous requirements to disclose information to the CRA that critics say are especially hard to comply with in the case of bare trusts, as they’re often informal arrangements that aren’t documented in writing.

More on bare trusts and tax season:


Bankman-Fried sentenced: Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a judge today for stealing US$8-billion from customers of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange he founded, the last step in the former billionaire’s dramatic downfall.

World Court orders Israel to open more land crossings into Gaza: The top United Nations court today ordered Israel to take measures to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, including opening more land crossings to allow food, water, fuel and other supplies into the war-ravaged enclave.

Putin scoffs at notion of war with NATO: But the Russian President warned that any Western air base hosting U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets that are slated for deployment in Ukraine would be a “legitimate target” for the Kremlin’s forces.

An Alaska town prepares for the day cable TV goes dark: On Sept. 15, Ketchikan Public Utilities will shut down its cable television service, ending a seven-decade history in which this small outpost in southeastern Alaska once numbered among the first in the United States to deliver video through lines affixed to utility poles. Read the full story.

Best dressed in 2024: The Globe and Mail’s annual Canada’s Best Dressed List includes some of the country’s most expressive members of the artistic community, who eschew the art world’s uniform of head-to-toe black.

Ontario sunshine list released: The five top paid public employees in the province are all at Ontario Power Generation, with the chief executive officer earning $1.9 million last year.


The S&P 500 closed out the week with modest gains today, with the benchmark index notching its strongest first quarter in five years.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 59.95 points at 22,167.03. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 47.29 points at 39,807.37. The S&P 500 index was up 5.86 points at 5,254.35, while the Nasdaq composite was down 20.06 points at 16,379.46.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.80 cents US.

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Canada must empty its cupboards for Ukraine

“The difference between a degree of regular life – where Ukrainians can go about their days, where kids can attend school, where industry can continue working to produce the tools of its own defence – are these air defence systems, running on aid from Kyiv’s NATO allies.” – Justin Ling

They say baseball is boring. But that’s a gift, not a burden

“Baseball is full of drama but its sweep is elegant, punctuated by riveting bursts of action. Sure, it’s more like opera than a Michael Bay movie, but both have their place.” – Mark Kingwell


What to think about when borrowing to buy a car

There is a lot to consider before you take on a car loan. You can only afford so much credit based on your income level, so if you get a car loan, remember that it will eat away at other borrowing capacity such as a mortgage. If you do decide to take the plunge, experts say that borrowing from your bank instead of using the financing the dealership may be providing can also give you some additional bargaining power when shopping for a good deal on a loan. Read more tips here.


The Afghan refugee crisis is a migratory time bomb that may soon go off

Open this photo in gallery:

Maria Hamid, 26, was in the Afghan National Army when the Taliban seized control of her country in 2021. First she fled to Iran with baby son Orhan, hoping to reach Europe; after getting captured and sent back, she came to Pakistan, where she now lives in hiding with two sons, her sisters and mother, at constant risk of deportation and threats from the local Taliban.Saiyna Bashir/The Globe and Mail

“In the summer of 2021, the United States pulled its military out of Afghanistan and the Taliban abruptly swept into Kabul, seizing control of the government, imposing their strict religious restrictions on daily life and sending an estimated 1.6 million people fleeing in fear,” writes Doug Saunders.

It was the largest single exodus in 40 years of conflict in Afghanistan – 600,000 Afghans fled south into Pakistan and a million into Iran. Many of them have wound up effectively stateless, living for years without a home or a clear destination, not welcomed or accepted in any country. Read Saunders’ in-depth piece on this refugee crisis.

Evening Update is written by Prajakta Dhopade. 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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