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Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:

Wildfire activity this spring ‘unprecedented,’ federal officials say

Projections show higher-than-normal wildfire activity – already at an unprecedented size – will continue through the summer.

Natural Resources Canada released updated data and forecasts today showing that as of June 4, Canada has faced 2,214 fires this year and about 3.3 million hectares have been burned. At this rate, Canada could exceed the largest total of area burned ever recorded.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is currently assessing whether to adjust spending plans – including funding for the Canadian Forces – should the projections of a difficult summer materialize.

There are currently 413 wildfires burning and 249 of those are deemed out of control. There are 18 active wildfires affecting First Nations, including six in Alberta, five in Saskatchewan, one in the Northwest Territories, four in Quebec and two in Nova Scotia. About 26,000 people have been evacuated from their homes across the country.

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Russia says Ukraine is launching major attacks; Kyiv accuses Moscow of misinformation

Ukrainian forces were trying to end months of stalemate and punch through Russian defensive lines in southeast Ukraine for a second day, with Russian officials saying that Moscow’s forces have foiled at least one assault.

Kyiv authorities acknowledged that their forces were stepping up offensive operations and making gains, but suggested some of the Russian announcements were misinformation as speculation grows about a widely anticipated counteroffensive after more than 15 months of war.

Meanwhile, recent drone attacks on Moscow, cross-border raids into Russia and sabotage and drone attacks on infrastructure behind Russian lines, has unnerved Russians. As well, TV and radio broadcasts in several regions of Russia were hacked today as a fake broadcast featured a voice impersonating Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that Ukrainian forces had invaded the Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk regions of Russia.

Republican White House hopeful Nikki Haley attacks Trump, DeSantis over Ukraine

Nikki Haley, former U.N. ambassador under Donald Trump, and the only woman in the race for the Republican nomination, went after her chief rivals over their position on the war in Ukraine. She lambasted Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over their refusal to say whether they want Ukraine to win its war against Russia.

Ukraine is a divisive issue among Republican voters, because of an isolationist streak among many of the party’s primary voters.

Scientists discover trove of wildlife DNA in air pollution sensors

Stations which monitor air quality and feed information about pollutants to government agencies would appear to have a second, previously unrecognized function: collecting fragments of DNA to help identify wildlife.

Ivan Semeniuk reports on this ready-made genetic sample – an asset that should not be squandered when improved biological monitoring is seen as a central requirement for countries trying to meet international goals for conserving species and habitats.


China irresponsible over Taiwan Strait collision risk with Canada, U.S. ships, Anand says

Defence Minister Anita Anand took Beijing to task today, saying China acted irresponsibly on the weekend in the Taiwan Strait, where Washington says a Chinese warship forced a U.S. vessel to avoid a collision near a Canadian frigate. A video released today shows the Chinese ship cutting across the course of the American one, then straightening out to start sailing in a parallel direction.

China claims Taiwan as part of its own territory, and maintains the strait is part of its exclusive economic zone, while the U.S. and its allies regularly sail through and fly over the passage to emphasize their contention that the waters are international.

Prison service to review decision to transfer Paul Bernardo to medium security

Correctional Service of Canada will have a second look at its decision to move convicted killer Paul Bernardo to a medium-security facility. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that he understands how “shocked and appalled” Canadians are at the decision and that Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino will be raising the matter with the commissioner of the correctional service this week.

Rogers proposes wireless access framework for Bell, Telus, Quebecor customers on TTC subways

Rogers Communications has proposed a framework aimed at reaching agreements with other carriers regarding the terms under which its competitors will be able to access its wireless network on Toronto’s subway system. The company did not divulge the details of the framework, which was shared with federal Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne last month.

What’s the right number of immigrants for Canada?

Canada’s population soared by over a million people last year – a surge, the largest in Canada’s history, driven by immigration. This has only exacerbated our country’s housing supply.

Ottawa, for now, is holding fast to the immigration policy that it introduced back in 2015. But critics are beginning to challenge the logic in this. Ian McGugan investigates.


Canada’s main stock index was down almost 100 points today with broad-based losses led by base metals, health care and financials, while U.S. markets were also down.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 93.01 points at 19,931.62. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 199.90 points at 33,562.86. The S&P 500 index was down 8.58 points at 4,273.79, while the Nasdaq composite was down 11.34 points at 13,229.43.

The loonie was trading at 74.42 cents (U.S.), off 0.09 cents.

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Poilievre’s Conservatives hope Manitoba by-election will rid them of Bernier

Campbell Clark: “Mr. Bernier runs a culture-war campaign that feeds on alienation and protest, and the once-uncompromising Conservative now tailors his issues to stoke the anger.”

This pride month, companies are shunning LGBTQ – they need to reconsider

Rob Csernyik: “This year, companies should turn what have been comparatively empty statements into something more meaningful. That requires making a critical decision that embracing the true values of Pride is more important than avoiding the insults hurled from the peanut gallery. It also calls for exhibiting some backbone.”

Will AI really change everything? Not likely

Joseph Wilson: “In the near term, this new crop of AI tools will probably give us slightly better-written spam in our inboxes and reams of crappy, machine-generated websites. Real, life-saving applications are indeed possible in fields such as health care and agriculture, but they’ll be hard to spot amidst all the junk.”


At the Venice Architecture Biennale, architects tackle the housing crisis

Canada’s entry in this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale is a call to action. Not for Sale! addresses the housing crisis head-on and consists of 10 “demands” that combine architectural, political and economic goals. Alex Bozikovic reports on the exhibit and tries to separate the rhetoric from the realistic solutions.


No longer silent, more victims of sexual violence fight publication bans imposed in their names

Though court orders of sexual-assault complainants were often well-intentioned, meant to protect victims of sexual offences from being identified by the press, these days the bans can restrict survivors from sharing their own experiences publicly. Many cases received publication bans without the complainant even being aware of it. And victims who break their bans risk stiff penalties.

New legislation is in the pipe which rethinks how such court orders are imposed on victims of sexual offences. The bill proposes that Crown attorneys must ask victims whether they want a publication ban before ordering one. And victims who decide to change or revoke their bans must be given a hearing to do so. Zosia Bielski and Molly Hayes investigate.

Evening Update is written 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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