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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he will step down as the leader of the United Conservative Party after he failed to secure substantial support from members in an internal review.

His downfall, which comes just five years after he co-founded the UCP, clears the way for a race to replace him as leader of the deeply fractured party. The UCP said last night Kenney received support from 51.4 per cent of party members who voted in his leadership review. The Premier, in a short concession speech, conceded such a slim victory was not enough to hold on to power.

“I’m sorry but, friends, I truly believe that we need to move forward united,” Kenney told a small crowd at the Spruce Meadows show-jumping venue on the southern edge of Calgary. “We need to put the past behind us. And our members – a large number of our members – have asked for an opportunity to clear the air through a leadership election.”

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Canadian inflation hits 31-year high in April as grocery prices soar

Canada’s inflation rate hit a 31-year high in April as prices surged for groceries and other everyday items, part of broad-based price hikes that are getting tougher for people to avoid.

The Consumer Price Index rose 6.8 per cent in April from a year earlier, Statistics Canada said Wednesday, edging up from 6.7 per cent in March. It was the latest in a string of troublesome reports: Also on Wednesday, Britain said its inflation rate hit a 40-year high of 9 per cent, while in the United States it recently came in at 8.3 per cent.

Inflation is surging for many reasons, including rising commodity prices, some of which are tied to the Russia-Ukraine war; the persistence of supply-chain disruptions, such as the recent idling of some Chinese factories because of COVID-19 policies; and rampant consumer demand for some products, particularly durable goods, many of which are produced overseas.

A resident of Okhtyrka cycles through the city heavily bombed since Russia invaded Ukraine, May 18, 2022.Anton Skyba/The Globe and Mail

Ukraine’s Sumy region is hundreds of kilometres from the war’s front lines, but the threat is still ‘constant’

The first round of rockets to strike the heart of Okhtyrka landed in the opening days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The bombardment went on for weeks, gouging metres-deep craters in the streets and laying waste to homes and industrial operations.

Then the Russian troops left and things went quiet, until a fusillade struck just before 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Explosions from five rockets lit the early dawn with fire, damaging buildings – including a kindergarten – and leaving people here wondering whether they will ever be safe.

Russian forces fled this area in the Sumy region at the end of March, as part of a broad retreat from Kyiv and northeastern Ukraine. More recently, Ukrainian soldiers have also pushed Russian troops away from Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.

But withdrawal has not brought peace.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Canadian sports system at pivotal moment, integrity commissioner says: Canada’s newly appointed Sport Integrity Commissioner believes the country’s sport system is at a crucial point as athletes from multiple disciplines speak out about abuse, maltreatment and culture problems within their ranks. In the past year, a number of Canadian athletes have brought forward numerous allegations of abuse by coaches and other officials, ranging from physical and psychological mistreatment to sexual offences.

Tk’emlúps chief disappointed in Pope, Royals: The Chief of the First Nation that touched off an international reckoning with Canada’s Indian Residential School system says she is disappointed neither the Pope nor the Royal Family plan to stop west of the Rockies to visit the unmarked burials at the site of what was once the country’s largest such school.

Regulator to tighten mortgage-HELOC rules: The trendiest type of home equity line of credit is in the crosshairs of Canada’s banking regulator, which is looking to curb risky borrowing as rising interest rates put added pressure on heavily indebted homeowners.

Vote counting drags on in Pennsylvania primary: Heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick went into Wednesday essentially tied in Pennsylvania’s hotly contested Republican nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat, expected to be among the country’s most competitive races in the fall.

New York court weighs case over zoo elephant: New York State’s highest court is debating in a closely watched case over whether a basic human right can be extended to an animal. Happy, an Asian elephant at the Bronx Zoo, is an autonomous, cognitively complex elephant worthy of the right reserved in law for “a person,” advocates at the Nonhuman Rights Project say. The zoo argues Happy is neither imprisoned nor a person, but a well-cared-for elephant “respected as the magnificent creature she is.”


MORNING MARKETS

World shares slump: Heavy falls in European and Asian stock markets followed Wall Street’s worst day since mid-2020 on Thursday, as stark warnings from some of the world’s biggest retailers underscored just how hard inflation is biting. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 2.39 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 2.03 per cent and 2.19 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.89 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.54 per cent. New York futures were negative. The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.92 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Lawrence Martin: “With all the disruptions on the right, the Liberals see a house divided. They like their chances with a house united. For the time being, they have one.”

Editorial: “All levels of government should be working together to prepare, and taking actions now to ensure that the worst predictions about the next wave of COVID-19 do not come to pass. Otherwise, that loud noise you hear in September might be the sound of millions of incredulous Canadians slapping their foreheads.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

How your garden can help fight climate change

With international climate scientists predicting weather will only become more severe as global temperatures rise, many traditional gardening practices no longer fit into our changing climate, says Mitchell McLarnon, an assistant professor of environmental education at Concordia University in Montreal. As dire as it all sounds, McLarnon says home gardeners can do their part to protect the delicate ecosystem by getting smarter about what they plant, how they plant and how they care for their gardens. Here’s how.


MOMENT IN TIME: MAY 19, 1911

Canada and the United States may boast the longest, undefended border in the world, but that doesn’t mean that the two countries didn’t wrangle over boundary issues.International Joint Commissio

Canada bridges troubled waters with U.S.

Canada and the United States may boast the longest undefended border in the world, but that doesn’t mean the two countries haven’t wrangled over boundary issues. In the late 19th century, diverting streams for irrigation, damming rivers for hydroelectric power, and polluting lakes with industrial waste and urban sewage led to complaints from neighbouring states and provinces. The two countries sought to defuse these divisive issues through the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty, formally approved in Canada on this day in 1911 as the Waterways Treaty Act. The agreement heralded the beginning of a bilateral approach to the regulation and management of shared water bodies. The key provision, though, was the establishment of an International Joint Commission. Still smarting from the bruising U.S. victory in the 1903 Alaska Boundary Dispute settlement, Canada had insisted that the adjudication of trans-boundary water questions be taken out of the hands of governments and politicians. For more than a century, the IJC has influenced a number of water matters, including the 1972 Great Lakes Quality Agreement to clean up the five large lakes, and a subsequent 1978 agreement to remove toxic substances. Today, the IJC is recognized as a model international dispute mechanism. Bill Waiser


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