Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Trudeau challenges China to probe its mistreatment of Uyghurs as Beijing attacks Canada’s Indigenous record
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau challenged China to publicly probe its mistreatment of Muslim minorities as Beijing and its allies call for an independent investigation into the remains of Indigenous children buried at residential schools in Canada.
“In Canada, we had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Where is China’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission?” Trudeau said at a press conference today.
The commission ran for more than seven years until 2015, documented the history and impact of the residential school system on Indigenous students and their families, and made its findings public. By comparison, China has refused to allow observers into the Xinjiang region, where Beijing is accused of conducting crimes against humanity.
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Former CannTrust executives, director charged in 2019 cannabis growing scheme
Three former executives of cannabis company CannTrust Holdings Inc., including former CEO Peter Aceto and former chairman Eric Paul, have been charged with fraud related to the illegal growing of cannabis at a CannTrust facility in 2019.
The charges follow a joint, two-year investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission and the RCMP’s Integrated Market Enforcement Team after The Globe and Mail first reported in 2019 that CannTrust had been cultivating cannabis behind fake walls of its Pelham, Ont., facility, with the apparent knowledge of senior executives in the company.
Former CannTrust director Mark Litwin was also charged with fraud and insider trading. The quasi-criminal charges were laid in court under the Ontario Securities Act, which allows for jail terms to be imposed.
MPs pass Bill C-10, sending controversial Broadcasting Act legislation to Senate
Early this morning, members of Parliament passed Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act, handing the controversial legislation to the Senate just ahead of the summer recess.
The Conservatives have been staunchly opposed to the legislation, arguing that the removal of a clause that protected the rights of individuals to upload content such as videos to social media sites means Canadian citizens could fall under the new regulations. The government has said that other amendments ensure that people’s rights will not be threatened.
Senator Dennis Dawson, who is sponsoring the bill in the Senate, said this morning that he stands by his assertion that the Senate will not pass the bill into law before the summer recess. Both the House of Commons and Senate are set to break for the summer on Wednesday.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ombudsman critical of Forces’ sexual misconduct response: In the midst of a sexual misconduct crisis rattling the Armed Forces, Military Ombudsman Gregory Lick has identified a culture of protecting wrongdoers and silencing victims – claiming that support mechanisms for those who have suffered from sexual misconduct in the military have failed.
Police, protesters clash at Toronto park: Police and city workers attempting to clear a sprawling homeless encampment in Trinity Bellwoods Park were met by a large group of protestors who surrounded the makeshift dwellings. Those not wanting to leave cite threats of violence and spread of COVID-19 as reasons for rejecting city shelters.
Three new senators appointed: Bernadette Clement, the first Black woman to hold a mayoralty in Ontario, Hassan Yussuff, a high-profile labour leader, and Jim Quinn, chief executive of the Saint John Port Authority, were appointed to the Senate earlier today.
Bernardo denied parole again: Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo failed in his second parole bid today. The Parole Board of Canada officers heard victim-impact statements from the parents of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy and were not persuaded that he no longer posed a substantive risk of reoffending.
Systems delay results in CPP shortfall for recent retirees: Doug Runchey of DR Pensions Consulting discovered that some retirees are receiving a little less than they are entitled to from the Canada Pension Plan. The government has not been paying out increased premiums that were promised from a 2019 CPP enhancement project.
CRA audits of ultra-wealthy Canadians yield zero prosecutions: The Canada Revenue Agency has referred 44 individuals whose net worth topped $50-million to its criminal investigations program since 2015. Only two of those cases proceeded to federal prosecutors but no charges were ever laid.
First active NFL player comes out as gay: Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib said in a video message yesterday that he was spurred to make his announcement because “representation and visibility are so important.”
Today’s episode of The Decibel podcast: Nearly 20 per cent of people in Canada have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, making almost all of them immune to the virus. But how long will that immunity last? Globe and Mail science reporter Ivan Semeniuk discussed what scientists have learned about the way our bodies develop immunity to the coronavirus.
The Nasdaq ended at a record high today, lifted by Amazon, Microsoft and other top-shelf tech companies as investors shifted their focus to growth stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 68.61 points or 0.2 per cent to 33,945.58, the S&P 500 climbed 24.67 points or 0.51 per cent to 4,246.46, and the Nasdaq Composite added 111.79 points or 0.79 per cent to close at 14,253.27.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 44.29 points or 0.22 per cent to end at 20,200.65.
Choosing one vaccine over another is bad news for Canada’s fight against COVID-19
“This is behaviour specific to COVID-19 vaccines. Last year, thousands of Canadian parents took their children to get their measles, mumps and rubella vaccines, and none of them asked, ‘Is that the Merck, because I don’t want the Merck, I want the GlaxoSmithKline.’ ” - Globe Editorial
QAnon’s future is firmly rooted in QAnon’s past
“Whatever future Q has, and to be clear, it is far too popular and durable to fade away for good, depends on the false hope that [Donald] Trump will come back to the Oval Office before 2024. It doesn’t actually have to happen, of course. But Q believers have to continue to think that it’s just about to happen.” - Mike Rothschild
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TODAY’S LONG READ
Investors account for a fifth of home purchases in Canada. Are they driving up housing prices in a booming market?
The Canadian Real Estate Association has reported that the national average home price is 38 per cent higher than a year ago – and real estate investors, who now make up one-fifth of home purchases in Canada, are being accused of driving up prices.
Experts have not been able to quantify the effect that investors have had on housing prices, though such a large volume of investor buying is bound to make waves. Whether that impact is cause for concern requires more research, says Bank of Canada spokesman Alex Paterson.
Investors have been encouraged to buy rental properties recently as a result of a 3-per-cent rental vacancy rate and a shortage of affordable housing. Some formerly affordable cities have seen housing prices rise near the $1-million mark.
“The business model is really about trying to drive more value for investors and that comes from tenants,” said Martine August, assistant professor at University of Waterloo’s school of planning, who researches the process of turning housing into financial products.