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Total eclipse exits Canada after skies darken across North America

It’s over. The 2024 total solar eclipse has left Canada after passing through parts of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Thousands gathered to witness the celestial event, which won’t be seen in this country again until 2044.

Transfixed at the sky, watchers were cast into darkness as the moon moved directly between the sun and earth, giving them a rare chance to see solar flares burst into the cosmos.

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Defence policy update falls short of NATO 2-per-cent spending target

Canada will spend an additional $8.1-billion on defence over the next five years, but will not meet its NATO spending targets. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released the policy alongside Defence Minister Bill Blair earlier today. The policy, called Our North, Strong and Free: A Renewed Vision for Canada’s Defence, spans 20 years and will be reviewed and updated every four years. Ottawa says it will raise Canada’s defence spending from the current NATO estimate of 1.38 per cent of GDP to 1.76 per cent of GDP in 2029-30.

CSIS briefing for PMO in 2023 says China interfered in both 2019 and 2021 elections, inquiry told

A top secret CSIS briefing prepared for the PMO in February 2023, following leaks to the media about Chinese meddling, said Beijing “clandestinely and deceptively interfered in both the 2019 and 2021 general elections.

The classified document was tabled at the Commission of Inquiry into Foreign Interference in response to media stories including one in The Globe and Mail that outlined a sophisticated campaign by People’s Republic of China and its proxies to interfere in the 2021 election.

Meanwhile, lawyers for human-rights groups say that late filings of crucial evidence at the foreign interference inquiry are a violation of procedural fairness and impede their ability to question witnesses.

A complaint was lodged this morning with Commissioner Marie-Josée Hogue that evidence is being submitted at the last minute, giving lawyers little time to read the documents and question government witnesses.

Even though most of the in-camera interviews with witnesses were conducted between Feb. 28 and March 6, the summaries of those discussions are often uploaded late in the evening before government witnesses are scheduled to testify.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s national security adviser and PMO staff testified today. Trudeau is scheduled to testify on Wednesday.


Bank of Canada expected to hold rates, but could signal policy shift

The Bank of Canada is expected to keep interest rates steady this week for the sixth consecutive time. The central bank has held its policy rate at 5 per cent, a two-decade high, since July. Many Bay Street economists and traders expect monetary policy to pivot in the coming months, perhaps as early as June as the economy languishes and inflation is back inside the bank’s target range.

Canada’s housing crisis poised to worsen without major reforms, RBC report says

An RBC report outlines potential ways to mitigate Canada’s housing shortage – everything from speeding up project approvals to encouraging more people to enter the skilled trades.

The country needs to complete roughly 320,000 housing units annually from now until 2030, simply to meet the new demand that will arise over that period, according to RBC estimates. This would amount to an increase of nearly 50 per cent from recent completion levels – and it would require a record pace of construction.

Rampant pollution in Asia has left more than half the world’s population breathing unsafe air

Residents of Hanoi have spent much of the year choking on smog. The city often tops a table of the world’s most polluted cities. A recent report, shows that 12 of the top 25 most polluted countries are in Asia, more than in any other region. These countries account for some 4.3 billion people, more than half of the world’s population. James Griffiths reports.


U.S. and Canadian stocks were essentially unchanged at the close of a choppy session on Monday, with a solar eclipse offering distraction ahead of crucial U.S. inflation data and the kick-off of first-quarter earnings season.

The S&P 500, Dow and S&P/TSX Composite Index posted minimal losses while the Nasdaq ended nominally higher. They were held in check by the highest benchmark U.S. Treasury yields since November in the wake of Friday’s blowout American employment report.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 4.08 points at 22,260.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 11.24 points, or 0.03%, to 38,892.80. The S&P 500 lost 1.95 points, or 0.04%, at 5,202.39 and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.44 points, or 0.03%, at 16,253.96.

The loonie was trading at 73.61 cents (U.S.), up 0.06 cents from yesterday.

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Trudeau courageously sticks to the carbon tax

John Ibbitson: “Such courage and dedication to principle are qualities people say they want to see in political leaders. Unless, of course, they don’t like the principle to which the political leader is dedicated. That’s the situation right now.”

Let the foreign interference inquiry do its job, Prime Minister

Editorial: “Beyond Mr. Trudeau’s attempts at deflection, there is a more fundamental issue: What level of foreign interference is acceptable? The Liberals seem to imply that anything short of outright election-rigging doesn’t much matter.”


Five nutrition myths I wish would go away

With everyone acting like your personal nutrition expert, advising you what and when to neat and not eat, and advice being thrown at us from strangers and influencers, Leslie Beck is here to set the record straight.

Here are five persistent nutrition myths and what you should know about them.


The eclipse is not only a cosmic event – it’s a human one, too

“Today, we have something like a God’s-eye view available to us, and the harmonious rational lines of linear perspective may obscure more about our relationships with distant people and events than they reveal. What is far away does not feel small.” – Linda Besner

Though written ahead of today’s cosmic event, Montreal-based writer Linda Besner’s essay provides a lovely postscript.

Editor’s note: (April 10, 2024): This article has been updated to clarify that during Monday's total eclipse, the moon moved between the sun and earth.

Evening Update is written and compiled by Andrew Saikali. 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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