WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to try to manage the fallout after Jane Philpott abruptly resigned as Treasury Board president yesterday, citing “serious concerns” about alleged political pressure exerted on former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould by the Prime Minister and other high-ranking officials to abandon prosecution of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (Read Ms. Philpott’s resignation letter).
The Prime Minister cancelled a trip to Regina and returned to Ottawa for private meetings today. He had been scheduled to attend an afternoon event to promote his government’s plan to battle climate change and a Liberal fundraiser in the evening. Mr. Trudeau did take part in a Toronto event before returning to Ottawa for what his office says are “private meetings,” reports The Canadian Press.
Public Affairs columnist Lawrence Martin points out there’s rarely been a government meltdown like this in Canadian history. We’ve had the occasional crisis of confidence, he writes, for example during the Bomarc Missile Crisis where John Diefenbaker lost three senior ministers, but the SNC-Lavalin affair and the ongoing fallout is is the result of a scandalous abuse of power.
Gary Mason has some advice for Mr. Trudeau: Wake up to what’s happening. “Jane Philpott’s resignation should have sent an unmistakable message to the Prime Minister: that his handling of this matter has fallen far short of what is necessary to quell the storm. But he really hasn’t grasped the seriousness of it at all. Instead, he’s tried to smile his way through it, as if pretending everything is okay will make it so.”
John Ibbitson says Trudeau is facing a civil war: “Yes, this is about the alleged interference by the Prime Minister and his advisers in the prosecution for corruption of the Quebec engineering company SNC-Lavalin. But even more, now, it’s about his character, his commitment, his ability to lead – in the eyes of some of those who were closest to him.” (for subscribers)
Lastly, as always, if you need to catch up on all of the context and background of this growing political crisis, we have several articles that go a long way to explaining what has happened so far:
- SNC-Lavalin, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Trudeau’s PMO: The story so far
- What are the PMO and PCO, and what do they do? A guide for the SNC-Lavalin affair
- Wilson-Raybould on SNC-Lavalin and Trudeau: What you missed from her bombshell testimony, and what it means
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Long-time OPP veteran Brad Blair says he was fired because of his Taverner lawsuit
Brad Blair, a former deputy commissioner with the Ontario Provincial Police, says his termination this week is reprisal for his ongoing legal battle over the hiring of Premier Doug Ford’s friend, Toronto Police Superintendent Ron Taverner, as the next provincial police commissioner. “It is patently clear to me that this is reprisal and an attempt to muzzle me,” Mr. Blair writes in an affidavit.
Mr. Blair was fired yesterday after 32 years on the job. He has asked the courts to force the provincial ombudsman to investigate the hiring of Superintendent Taverner and filed multiple internal e-mails he alleges show political interference in police operations by the Ford government.
As Laura Stone and Coline Freeze report, the government has denied allegations of political interference, and said Mr. Blair breached his oath of office by releasing internal OPP documents. In a letter added to the court file, the Premier again said he was not involved in the hiring of Supt. Taverner.
British man becomes second adult cleared of HIV of virus
An HIV-positive man in Britain has become the second known adult worldwide to be cleared of the AIDS virus after he received a bone-marrow transplant from an HIV-resistant donor. As Reuters reports, almost three years after he received bone marrow stem cells from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that resists HIV infection, highly sensitive tests still show no trace of the man’s previous HIV infection. AIDS experts said the case is a proof of the concept that scientists will one day be able to end AIDS, and marks a “critical moment” in the search for an HIV cure. Some 37 million people worldwide are currently infected with HIV and the AIDS pandemic has killed about 35 million people worldwide since it began in the 1980s.
Toronto Public Health confirms measles case in Toronto, warns others may have been exposed
Toronto Public Health is investigating a confirmed case of measles and warning that some people may have been exposed to the highly contagious virus, reports The Canadian Press. The case involves an unvaccinated infant who recently returned to Canada with its family from a trip abroad, associate medical officer of health Dr. Vinita Dubey said. The parents sought medical care for the baby at two doctor’s offices and a Toronto hospital’s emergency department, potentially exposing staff and patients in those locations to the disease.
Google Maps rolls out feature warning drivers of speed cameras (and police think that’s great)
Drivers using Google Maps are getting a last-minute warning as they approach some photo radar camera locations. The feature allows users to see speed limits, speed cameras and mobile speed cameras when a user enters a destination. But it also can give a verbal warning saying “speed camera ahead.”
Police like the idea because cameras are generally set up in high-accident areas. “If it slows people down and they know it’s there, that’s good,” he said. “It’s fine. It does the trick,” said Sergeant Kerry Bates with the Edmonton Police traffic division.
Jump in marijuana stocks pushes TSX higher
Canada’s main stock index rose today, helped by gains in marijuana stocks. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was unofficially up 48.41 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 16,086.54. Six of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher. The health care sector rose 4.4 per cent as Aurora Cannabis Inc. jumped 12.5 per cent and Cronos Group Inc. sat 11.1 per cent higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13.02 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 25,806.63, the S&P 500 lost 3.16 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 2,789.65 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.21 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 7,576.36.
WHAT’S POPULAR WITH READERS
What can Canada accomplish in the next century? A birthday wish list for The Globe and Mail
It’s been 175 years since George Brown created a newspaper to chronicle the country he would help create. What should we expect for Canada’s future? We asked 12 eminent Canadians, including Senator Murray Sinclair, historian and professor Margaret MacMillan and scientist and broadcaster David Suzuki: What’s one thing you would like to see Canada accomplish in the next century?
Publisher’s note: The Globe’s promise remains the same – to provide journalism that matters
Publisher Phillip Crawley pens a message of thanks to readers, subscribers, advertisers and business partners for their support as The Globe marks 175 years.
“Our promise remains the same – to provide Canadians everywhere with journalism that matters. We aim to repay your trust by upholding editorial independence and integrity. The evolution of our technology will continue, with even faster and easier access to our websites, based on the knowledge we gain from our world-leading data science capability,” Mr. Crawley writes.
The stakes just went up in our conflict with China - so what is the end game?
David Mulroney: “...Time is not necessarily on the side of Xi Jinping. Canada’s efforts at building support are contributing to an important if long-overdue international discussion about China’s assertiveness. This has not escaped the attention of some high-placed observers in Beijing, who are voicing, albeit quietly and discreetly, discontent about a growing array of problems, including China’s slowing economy.” David Mulroney is a fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and was Canada’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012.
How do we care for mentally-ill criminals?
André Picard: “As anyone who has cared for a loved one with dementia knows (and there are more than 500,000 people with dementia in Canada), the behaviours that can result – urinating in public, groping, shoplifting, traffic violations, lashing out verbally or physically – can bring people with dementia into contact with police and the justice system. Fining and jailing people for these non-deliberate actions is not useful. Rather, we need to invest in prevention. That includes training police how to interact with people with dementia, giving prosecutors leeway to not lay charges, providing respite programs for caregivers, and appropriate housing for people with dementia.”
Has The Donald lost his USMCA trump cards?
Globe editorial: “The idea of Mexico and Canada kicking sand in the bully’s face is laughable to some. Mr. Trump could easily respond by saying, okay, fine, go ahead and don’t ratify the USMCA – but if you do, I’m pulling the United States out of NAFTA, which remains in force pending ratification of the USMCA. It is easy to imagine Ottawa and Mexico quickly backing down and signing the deal while the tariffs continue. On the other hand, the Canadian-Mexican threat could be a wily move. Mr. Trump wants the USMCA to go through, and the looming 2020 presidential election is only going to make him more desperate. As much as he might like to, he cannot hide the fact that his negotiating position, at least on this issue, has weakened considerably.”
Pairing wine with food? This Master of Wine says don’t do it
Master of Wine Tim Hanni says wine should be matched ‘to the diner, not the dinner.’ Mr. Hanni caused a stir in January when he declared at a wine conference that food-and-wine pairing – the sommelier’s central mission – to be a bunch of “B.S.” The Globe’s spirits and wine columnist Beppi Crosariol speaks with the noted wine-business educator and author of Why You Like the Wines You Like and asked him to elaborate.
An example of the conversation: Beppi writes: While it’s well-known that sweet foods cause dry wines to fall apart, many a sommelier will instinctively choose pinot noir when presented with duck breast served with cherry sauce. Why? According to Hanni, it’s “because the wine smells like cherry. It’s all B.S. – if the chef doesn’t adjust the salt and the acidity, it’s just going to suck.”
Five ways to make any ski trip better
Guides, carry-on boots and and a change purse can make hitting the slopes easy and comfortable. The Globe’s Catherine Dawson March provides a quick digestible list of tips for the family that shuns the beaches in favour of a March break on the mountain.
LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE
‘Snow-washing’: What leaked banking records show about Canada’s role in money laundering
Every year, billions of dollars obtained through corruption spin through the global economy – and Canadian-registered shell companies are a favoured mechanism for making that money clean. The Globe pored through documents obtained by a journalism non-profit to see how it works