Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Trudeau, Biden pledge to create alliance to tackle climate change
Developing story: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden vowed to form a North American alliance to battle climate change at their first summit today, as they sought to reset the relationship between the countries in the wake of former president Donald Trump’s belligerence and isolationism.
At the meeting, held through video link, Biden told Trudeau that the United States “has no closer friend than Canada.”
The pair are unveiling a U.S.-Canada Partnership Roadmap, which contains marching orders for key cabinet ministers to start working together on six areas: the pandemic, climate change, the economy, diversity, security and international alliances.
Trudeau is also expected to push for U.S. leadership on China’s detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, a senior official told The Globe.
Opinion: Canada and the U.S. may be friends again – but even friends don’t always give you what you want - Globe editorial
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Canadian school offering Nova Scotia diplomas operating in China’s fraught Xinjiang region
A Canadian school program has kept its doors open in China’s Xinjiang region for nearly a decade, collecting tuition and issuing Nova Scotia diplomas to students in the area where large numbers of local Uyghur Muslims were forced into political indoctrination during that time, Asia correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe reports.
Since 2012, the Nova Scotia program at Karamay Senior High School has offered a small number of students a ticket out of Xinjiang, where the government is accused of committing crimes against humanity. Yesterday, Parliament declared the oppression of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang a genocide.
But today, China’s foreign ministry said it knows of no attempt to investigate allegations of systemic abuses in Xinjiang.
Opinion: Parliament’s genocide declaration puts Trudeau in tough spot on China - John Ibbitson
COVID-19 vaccinations could allow toughest restrictions to lift before September, Tam says
Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam says results from COVID-19 vaccinations are so encouraging that she thinks the need for massive lockdowns could be over before the end of the summer.
Personal protective measures such as wearing masks and limiting in-person contacts could be with us longer, she said, but those will depend on how well vaccines prevent not just serious illness and death, but also the spread of the coronavirus.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand said today that most of this week’s vaccine deliveries – 643,000 doses from both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – are already on the ground. Also today, Premier François Legault said Quebec will begin vaccinating the general population next week, beginning with Montreal-area seniors aged 85 and up.
- Canada’s hotel quarantine program is leaky and half-baked - Robyn Urback
- Churches cannot be exempt from earthly matters, such as public-health orders - Gary Mason
Central bankers Macklem and Powell address economic recovery
The Bank of Canada is expecting “a solid rebound in the immediate months ahead,” Governor Tiff Macklem said today in a speech, although the longer-term recovery in employment will be complicated by “structural” changes in the Canadian economy.
“With a complete recovery still a long way off, monetary policy will need to provide stimulus for a considerable period,” he added.
Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is pushing back on suggestions that loose monetary policy risked unleashing inflation and financial risks in what may be an emerging economic boom. Testifying before the Senate banking committee, he said the central bank would keep its attention focused on getting Americans back to work as a vaccine-related recovery proceeds.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Scotiabank, BMO report first-quarter earnings: First-quarter profits at Bank of Nova Scotia and Bank of Montreal climbed back above prepandemic levels as concerns about rising loan losses eased, and senior bankers are voicing growing optimism about the potential for an economic rebound this year. Both banks set aside less money to cover potential writeoffs than in any period since the pandemic began.
Tiger Woods in hospital after crash: Golf star Tiger Woods suffered leg injuries and is undergoing surgery after a car crash in California this morning, authorities and his manager say.
Rankin sworn in: Iain Rankin has been sworn in as Nova Scotia’s new Liberal premier along with a 17-member cabinet that includes his rivals from the leadership race.
Prince Philip treated for infection: Prince Philip, husband to the Queen, is “comfortable” in a London hospital where he is being treated for an infection, “but is not expected to leave hospital for several days,” Buckingham Palace says.
Obama-Springsteen podcast: Former U.S. president Barack Obama and rocker Bruce Springsteen have teamed up for an eight-episode Spotify podcast series, Renegades: Born in the USA, swapping stories about their upbringings. The first two episodes were released yesterday.
Clinton-Penny mystery novel: Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is collaborating with Canadian author Louise Penny on State of Terror, a novel involving a “novice” secretary of state, working in the administration of a rival politician, trying to solve a wave of terrorist attacks. It’s set to be published Oct. 12.
Depardieu investigated for sexual assault: Veteran French actor Gérard Depardieu was placed under formal investigation on charges of rape and sexual violence in last December last year, a judicial source has told Reuters.
Wall Street reversed course late today, with the S&P 500 and the Dow whipsawing to positive territory by the closing bell in a tug-of-war between stocks that thrived amid lockdowns and those that stand to benefit most from a reopening economy. Both the Nasdaq and Canada’s TSX ended lower, as tech stocks remained under pressure.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15.66 points or 0.05 per cent to 31,537.35, the S&P 500 gained 4.87 points or 0.13 per cent to 3,881.37 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 67.85 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 13,465.20.
The S&P/TSX composite index slid 86.65 points or 0.47 per cent to 18,330.09.
Looking for an activity that can be meditative, calming and relaxing? Then it’s time to try your hand at embroidery with the latest Globe’s Craft Club event. Join Jana G. Pruden and writer Neda Toloui-Semnani, who will demonstrate basic stitches and teach her style of embroidery next Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET live on Facebook and at tgam.ca/craftclub. You can get an idea of what materials you might need here, and catch up on other activities with our Facebook group.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Oil change: How the collapse in crude demand during the pandemic could be a blessing for Canadian producers
For years now, energy companies have served as the unintentional ballast in most investors’ portfolios. While virtually every other asset class has risen – and in some cases, like technology stocks, soared – energy stocks have taken beating after beating. That’s been particularly true here in Canada, where the combination of collapsing commodity prices and continuing frustrations around pipelines and market access have made them more appropriate for masochists than mainstream investors.
Despite the Biden administration’s decision to revoke the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, Canada’s oil sands producers may be about to stage a dramatic turnaround. If they do, they’ll have COVID-19 to thank for the opportunity.
It might seem strange to think a global pandemic that triggered an unprecedented collapse in demand for crude oil would be good for the companies producing it, but that’s exactly what happened for those in Canada’s oil sands sector. Read Max Fawcett’s full story here.