Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Trudeau violated ethics law by pressing Wilson-Raybould over SNC-Lavalin deal, commissioner rules
Canada’s Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau contravened a section of the Conflict of Interest Act by using his position of authority over then-justice-minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to get her to overrule the director of public prosecution’s decision to not negotiate a deal with SNC-Lavalin that would avoid criminal prosecution.
Trudeau “directed his staff to find a solution that would safeguard SNC-Lavalin’s business interests in Canada,” says the report released today.
SNC-Lavalin is facing charges of fraud and bribery related to alleged payments of millions of dollars made to public officials in Libya between 2001 and 2011 to secure government contracts.
Dion also criticized the government for failing to waive the principle of cabinet confidence for the investigation, which limited the information that witnesses could provide as well as documents.
Also today: Anne McLellan, former Liberal minister charged with making recommendations on whether the roles of justice minister and attorney-general should be separated, is recommending no structural changes should be made.
Trudeau had asked her to examine the possibility of splitting the two roles in the federal cabinet in light of concerns raised by Wilson-Raybould as part of the SNC-Lavalin affair.
Separately, the Liberals have revealed that 42-year-old tech entrepreneur Taleeb Noormohamed will vie against Wilson-Raybould, who is running as an independent, for the Vancouver Granville riding in the October federal election.
This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Evening Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.
EDC admits it made a mistake in supporting the Bombardier deal with the Guptas
Export Development Canada has admitted it made a mistake when it lent US$41-million to help Bombardier sell a luxury aircraft to South Africa’s notorious Gupta family.
There have been extensive media reports of corruption allegations against the Guptas since 2011, and an inquiry in 2013 found illegalities when South Africa allowed Gupta wedding guests to bypass normal immigration procedures by using a military base for their private plane.
But EDC still went ahead with its loan for the Bombardier deal, which was negotiated throughout 2014.
An investigation by The Globe over the past two years has disclosed a host of shortcomings in EDC’s handling of the deal. Today’s statement confirmed many of those issues.
In a separate statement, a spokesman for Bombardier said the company “would not proceed with such a transaction” if it knew what it knows today.
Canadians are advised to exercise a “high degree of caution” in Hong Kong amid unrest
Ottawa is warning Canadians about travelling to Hong Kong amid massive protests and the Chinese military amassing on the border.
This morning’s travel advisory tells Canadians to “exercise a high degree of caution in Hong Kong due to ongoing large-scale demonstrations.”
“Our government is very aware that there are 300,000 Canadians in Hong Kong,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said at a news conference today, adding they should contact the Canadian consulate there if they need help.
While flights resumed at the airport after two days of disruptions, by nightfall, police and protesters were again clashing on the streets.
Opinion: “A ‘surrounded and threatened’ China feeling under siege does not bode well for making a rational conciliatory response to Hong Kong’s unrest. It also does not bode well for the future of Canada-China relations or for global peace.” - Charles Burton, associate professor of political science at Brock University
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
CPPIB tops $400-billion: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board eked out a 1.1-per-cent return in the quarter ended June 30, but it was enough for the country’s pension fund to report for the first time that it had more than $400-billion in assets.
Oland murder case no longer active: The Saint John Police Force says it is not actively investigating the 2011 killing of multimillionaire businessman Richard Oland despite last month’s acquittal of Oland’s son on a charge of second-degree murder. Yesterday, the New Brunswick Crown said it will not appeal Dennis Oland’s acquittal.
Jail guards where Jeffrey Epstein died slept through checks: The two staff members who were guarding the jail unit where Jeffrey Epstein apparently killed himself fell asleep and failed to check on him for about three hours, then falsified records to cover up their mistake, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.
Separately, a New York woman who said she was sexually assaulted by Epstein at the age of 14 has sued the disgraced financier’s estate and a former associate, in the start of an expected wave of lawsuits. It’s among a flurry of sex abuse lawsuits filed today in New York, which in addition target the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts. The state has begun accepting cases that had been blocked by an old statute of limitations.
Equity markets tanked and oil prices fell sharply today after a closely watched bond indicator pointed to the growing risk of a U.S. recession that was heightened by data showing Germany’s economy in contraction and China’s worsening.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 800.49 points to 25,479.42, the S&P 500 lost 85.72 points to close at 2,840.60 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 242.42 points to 7,773.94.
Canada’s main stock index also fell, mirroring a global slump in equities. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 304.90 points at 16,045.94.
The scary truth behind Quebec’s rosy jobs numbers
“The province’s labour force is shrinking everywhere outside the Montreal area and the Coalition Avenir Québec’s government’s move to cut immigration levels will only exacerbate the trend in coming years. And that is making Quebec a less attractive place to invest.” - Konrad Yakabuski
Blinded by the Light is not the Boss of Bruce Springsteen movies, though it is solid middle-management
"Part Billy Elliot and part Chadha’s own underdog hit Bend It Like Beckham, Blinded by the Light is a feel-good coming-of-age movie that often feels way too good about itself. "- Barry Hertz
Canadians travelling to the United States are getting two new non-stop routes - between Montreal and Seattle and from Toronto to San Jose, Calif. - as Air Canada boosts its presence in the U.S. with a pair of A220 jetliners. The narrow-body 137-seat aircraft, which are set to take off on May 4, are the first two of 10 that Air Canada expects to receive by the summer of 2020.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
In Nova Scotia, an economic boom brings all the boats to the yard
A newly finished lobster fishing boat waits on a trailer in a yard at Wedgeport Boats, like a displaced sea creature ready to return. The Porsche-red hull gleams in the Nova Scotia sun. Standing on the ground in its shadow, the vessel’s owner, Mark Rogers, watches with satisfaction as the vinyl sticker – the kind used for race cars – is applied to the bow, revealing a muscled, smiling cartoon lobster.
It’s the afternoon before the official launch of the Katie Anne – named, according to custom, for Rogers’s now-grown daughter. The launch has been planned for a Friday, which, as grizzled fishermen will say, is traditionally a day best avoided for a new voyage. But Mr. figures he’s balanced those odds: A priest is coming to deliver a blessing with holy water and, although he isn’t Roman Catholic, he’s accepted a rosary – once owned by a nun – to hang in the cockpit of the boat, just for luck.
“I would rather have God with me than against me,” he quips. “I can get in enough trouble on my own.” But fortune is already smiling on East Coast lobster fishermen and boat builders alike, thanks to a thriving lobster fishery, fuelled by a strong global market, abundant catch and a low dollar. Read Erin Anderssen’s full story here.