WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Wilson-Raybould plans to provide further evidence to House justice committee
Former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould sent a letter to the chair of the House of Commons justice committee, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, yesterday saying she has “relevant facts and evidence” that back up her previous testimony on high-level political interference in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.
In her letter, Ms. Wilson-Raybould said she intends to submit evidence that had been asked of her when she testified before the justice committee on Feb. 27, including copies of text messages and e-mails that she referred to in her testimony. “I also have relevant facts and evidence in my possession that further clarify statements I made and elucidate the accuracy and nature of statements by witnesses in testimony that came after my committee appearance,” she wrote.
On Tuesday, Liberal MPs on the justice committee shut down hearings on the matter, preventing Ms. Wilson-Raybould from returning to testify. Mr. Housefather said he will accept whatever evidence the former minister submits to the committee.
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Mueller concludes Russia probe, delivers report to Attorney General William Barr
Special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into Russian election interference and possible co-ordination with associates of President Donald Trump, reports The Associated Press. The Justice Department says Mr. Mueller delivered his final report today to Attorney-General William Barr, who is reviewing it. The next steps are up to Trump’s attorney-general, Congress and, in all likelihood, federal courts. It’s not clear how much of the report will become public or provided to Congress. Mr. Barr has said he will write his own report summarizing Mr. Mueller’s findings.
Also on the Mueller report: Who’s who in the Trump-Russia affair: Names to watch for. The Globe’s Washington-based correspondent Adrian Morrow’s guide to who’s who.
Truck driver in fatal Humboldt Broncos crash sentenced to eight years in prison
Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary, who had pleaded guilty earlier this year to 29 counts of dangerous driving, stood quietly and looked ahead at the judge as he was sentenced to eight years in prison today for causing the deadly Humboldt Broncos crash.
Judge Inez Cardinal told the court in Melfort, Sask., that she approached the sentence noting Mr. Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea, but added that she had to consider the number of people who died or were severely injured and face life-long challenges. Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured.
New survey shows rising political alienation in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada
According to a massive new survey from the Environics Institute, which asked more than 5,000 people in December and January about their attitudes toward the country, there is a widespread impression that Western alienation has gotten worse since Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister. Add a persistent malaise in Atlantic Canada, and the survey depicts a federation that feels more provincial. The proportion of Canadians who said their province or region is important to their sense of self rose from 69 per cent to 77 per cent in the past decade and a half, even as talk of Quebec separatism has cooled.
Montreal priest stabbed while celebrating morning mass
A Catholic priest at one of Canada’s most high-profile churches was stabbed while celebrating morning mass today that was being livestreamed on Salt + Light Television. A video bearing the channel’s logo shows a tall man in a dark coat and white baseball cap walking calmly between the pews and up the steps into the church sanctuary, then rushing toward Rev. Claude Grou as the priest stands behind the altar. Father Grou, who is rector of St. Joseph Oratory, a domed landmark towering over Montreal, is seen stepping back to try to avoid the assault, then falling to the ground on his back as he is attacked. He was taken to hospital by ambulance. Police say he sustained minor injuries to his upper body. The Catholic Diocese of Montreal described his condition as stable. The suspected assailant is in police custody.
China halts new purchases of all Canadian canola, imposes strict inspections of other agriculture goods
China has put a stop to all new purchases of Canadian canola in an escalation of what executives and analysts believe is retaliation over the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou last December. And Chinese importers say strict customs inspections have disrupted shipments of a broad range of Canadian agricultural products, an indication of a wider-reaching effort by Beijing to place economic pressure on Ottawa after it authorized extradition proceedings against Ms. Meng. “We are victims of deteriorating China-Canada relations," said Gao Huazhi, chief executive of Jiangsu Tongliang International, which imports Canadian agricultural products. "All agricultural products from all Canadian companies − once they arrive at Chinese customs, they will face very strict inspection.”
The Chinese government has denied that it is taking aim at Canadian goods, but said it had no new information Friday.
With his Golan Heights tweet, Trump emboldens the annexation agendas of the world’s strongmen
By moving toward recognizing Israel’s claim to the strategic piece of land that it captured from Syria in a 1967 war, and annexed in 1982, Mr. Trump was ensuring that every mention of his name will draw wild applause at next week’s meeting of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, writes Mark MacKinnon, The Globe and Mail’s senior international correspondent. Mr. Trump also gave Benjamin Netanyahu a key boost ahead of an April 9 election in Israel. But most of all, Mackinnon writes, the guardrail provided by international law, a concept Mr. Trump’s administration seems uninterested in, has been removed.
“This is a catastrophic departure from the very basis of international law. Kremlin will applaud and apply the same principle to Crimea. Beijing will applaud and apply to South China Sea. And...,” writes former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt. Anyone with the military strength to change borders can now do so, while pointing to Mr. Trump’s Golan declaration as proof that might once again makes right.
WHAT ELSE IS ON OUR RADAR
- Indonesian airline Garuda plans to cancel a $6-billion order for Boeing 737 Max jets because some passengers say they would be frightened to board the plane after two fatal crashes, although industry analysts said the deal had long been in doubt. (Reuters)
- Beleaguered Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has once again incurred the wrath of some of his team’s fans after making contentious comments on an Ottawa radio show. He accused Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson of “mouthing off” and implied that the team is better off without traded fan favourites Matt Duchene, Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel. (The Canadian Press)
- A trio of Toronto city councillors are floating the idea of a new and higher tax bracket on sales of the most expensive homes, a move they say could raise millions for people struggling for housing. (The Globe)
- Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu was nearly out in the first round of the Miami Open at the hands of Irina-Camelia Begu on Thursday night when she was down a set, and down 5-1 in the second set. She rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 comeback victory that puts her in the second round against No. 32 seed Sofia Kenin of the United States. (The Canadian Press)
- In a day without precedent, people across New Zealand observed the Muslim call to prayer today as the nation reflected on the moment one week ago when 50 people were slaughtered at two mosques. (The Associated Press)
Canada’s main stock index pulled back from six-month highs on Friday after the country’s overall inflation missed the central bank’s target for the second straight month, while energy stocks came under pressure from a drop in oil prices. The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 155.26 points, or 0.96 per cent, to 16,089.33.
Wall Street’s main indexes also declined on Friday after a raft of weak manufacturing data from the United States and Europe led to a yield-curve inversion, stoking fears of an economic slowdown. The spread between three-month Treasury bills and 10-year note yields inverted for the first time since 2007. An inverted yield curve is widely understood to be a leading indicator of recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 305.59 points, or 1.18 per cent, to 25,656.92, the S&P 500 lost 37.91 points, or 1.33 per cent, to 2,816.97 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 147.57 points, or 1.88 per cent, to 7,691.39.
WHAT’S POPULAR WITH READERS
The Michelle Obama tour lands in Vancouver – and stays (mostly) on script
B.C.-based Globe reporter Marsha Lederman reports on last night’s Michelle Obama book event at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena and shares one of the few moments where Ms. Obama strayed from talking about her life – the subject of her bestselling memoir, Becoming – and dipped a very cautious toe into turbulent current events. Ms. Obama was discussing an anecdote about her attendance at Princeton and alluded to the recent college admissions scandal.
“There is a lot of unfairness in the world. The world doesn’t operate as a complete meritocracy. You know, there are people who get where they [are] not because they’ve earned it or they deserved it, they get it because they’re rich or they have prestige,” she said.
Kiss are saying goodbye, but the fans still want to party every day
Music critic Brad Wheeler is a lifelong Kiss fan and isn’t ashamed to share that. His review of Wednesday’s performance and his argument that the current cast of Kiss have no right to retire the band is a joy to read.
“Given that the personas of former Kiss members Criss and Frehley live on without them, the precedent for eternalness has been set. Besides, did the New York Yankees fold when Babe Ruth was no longer with the franchise? Did we stop eating Cobb salads after the namesake restaurateur Robert Howard Cobb died? How many Bozo the Clowns have there been, anyway?” he writes.
Newsflash: Trudeau’s budget is aimed at Canadians who don’t consume the news
“If you are reading this, you are probably not the intended audience of Tuesday’s federal budget. In fact, the primary focus was on demographic groups united by one thing: They don’t read political news.” — Andrew Steele is a vice-president at StrategyCorp and worked in election war rooms for the Liberal Party of Canada and the Ontario Liberal Party.
Democratic Party needs to be wary of anti-Semitism creeping into political discourse
“Along with the “soak-the-rich” tax policies and “socialized medicine” that progressive Democrats are pushing, the intraparty spat over Israel is a gift to Republicans, who seek to brand [Ilhan ] Omar and her ilk as radicals unfit to govern. U.S. President Donald Trump now claims Jewish voters are fleeing the Democratic Party as anti-Semitism is allowed to creep into its ranks.” — Konrad Yakabuski
After New Zealand massacre, we must stop ignoring the idea that leads to terrorist murder
“The idea was presented to me in its fullest form as I arrived in Norway in 2011, the morning after 69 young people had been chased to their death on the island of Utoya and another eight people blown up with a truck bomb in Oslo. I was e-mailed a copy of the 1,518-page manifesto the terrorist had written to justify his act. The Templar cross on its cover at first pointed to fringe movements. But reading the document over the next weeks, I found that his inspirations were far more mainstream and familiar – a set of authors and voices, some widely known, that had crept into the mainstream of publishing and online conversation.” — Doug Saunders
Review: The Highwaymen is Netflix’s bland answer to Bonnie and Clyde
The Highwaymen is a retelling of Arthur Penn’s 1967 classic film Bonnie and Clyde from the point of view of the lawmen who shot the pair to death. And The Globe’s deputy Arts editor and movie critic Barry Hertz is not impressed. “Perhaps The Highwaymen is just an excuse for Netflix to stick it to Penn and the other mavericks who changed cinema, instead of just streaming it,” he writes.
Barry suggests there are many missteps in The Highwaymen, starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, beginning with the fact both characters are cardboard archetypes with one character trait each (Gault (Harrelson) is a drunk, Hamer (Costner) is a jerk) and the film’s politics read as MAGA-esque vigilante evangelicalism. Barry describes the main audience for the movie as dads in their 50s who have conservative sensibilities, whose favourite show is season one of True Detective and whose favourite filmmaker is Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water and Wind River).
How your office job is affecting your metabolism
A new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology adds to evidence to the theory that long bouts of uninterrupted sitting might be bad for your health. More directly, those who sit the most benefit the least from a given amount of exercise. In fact, researchers show that four days of prolonged sitting induces a state they call “exercise resistance.” In the study, a vigorous one-hour treadmill workout reduced the metabolic benefits for those who spent the week sitting.
LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE
Shot in the dark: On vaccinations for measles and other diseases, data gaps leave Canadians guessing
Vancouver-based Globe reporter Wendy Stueck looks at how the province is responding to the recent outbreak of measles and more broadly how immunization data gaps are affecting Canada as a whole. She finds that as preventable illnesses make a comeback, a patchwork of electronic records hides the scope of the problem – and health agencies are missing key tools for strengthening the immunity of Canadians.