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As wildfires rage through Alberta, forcing 29,000 people from their homes and burning dozens of homes and buildings, Premier Danielle Smith has a call scheduled with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday and plans to ask Ottawa for help.

Alberta counted 108 active wildfires, including 31 that were out-of-control, as of Sunday afternoon, and declared a state of emergency one day earlier. Fires in Saskatchewan and British Columbia, fuelled by the same hot, dry conditions as those in Alberta, recently prompted smaller evacuation efforts in those provinces, too.

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Wildfire GWF018 burns a section of forest in the Grande Prairie district of Alberta on May 6, 2023.HO/The Canadian Press

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Canada seeks entry into AUKUS alliance to help keep China in check

The Canadian government is seeking to join the non-nuclear component of AUKUS, a security pact between Australia, Britain and the United States that was struck to counter China’s rising military might in the Indo-Pacific region, according to two government sources.

Ottawa’s interest is not to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, like Australia, but rather to participate in the second pillar of the AUKUS agreement which includes close co-operation on seven-cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum mechanics, hypersonic warfare and counter-warfare – as well as information sharing.

AUKUS, which was established in September, 2021, was framed as an effort to deepen diplomatic, security and defence co-operation in the Indo-Pacific region. Under the partnership, the U.S. is sharing nuclear-propulsion technology with Australia as it has with Britain for more than 50 years, and the new SSN-AUKUS submarines will be built for the British and Australians using a combination of British submarine design and U.S. technology.

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Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, right, U.S. President Joe Biden, centre, and Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese, left, are seen at Point Loma naval base in San Diego, Calif., March 13, 2023, as part of AUKUS, a trilateral security pact between Australia, the U.K., and the U.S.Stefan Rousseau/The Associated Press

Britain in celebratory mood after King Charles’ coronation, but concerns grow over treatment of protesters

Neighbourhoods around Britain are still celebrating the coronation of King Charles with surprising enthusiasm, more than 67,000 street parties to-date and a star-studded concert broadcast around the world, but there are concerns about the heavy-handed practices police used to arrest protesters.

Police used new powers under a recently adopted Public Order Act to detain dozens of protesters. A total of 52 people were arrested for “offences including affray, public order offences, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance,” the Met said.

Many of those targeted said they were engaging in peaceful demonstrations and they accused the police of overreacting. An anti-monarchy group called Republic said six members of the organization were arrested while handing out signs in Trafalgar Square.

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A general view of Metropolitan Police officers arriving on The Mall ahead of the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Consort, May 6, 2023 in London, England.Charles McQuillan/The Associated Press

Crossing the street at Portage and Main is still verboten

Pedestrians in Winnipeg have been discouraged from crossing the intersection of Portage Ave. and Main St. since 1979, when concrete barricades went up and forced people to cross through an underground concourse, another intersection a distance away, or to jaywalk.

The barricades are now set to come down and the intersection will be dug up because the waterproofing layer that protects the underground concourse and mall needs repair, the city announced last month.

But a chance to open the intersection to foot traffic is being turned down by city council. The city says the intersection will not be opening to pedestrian crossing at street level, and the barricades will be replaced.

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Gail Asper often avoids the underground passages connecting the four corners of Winnipeg’s Portage and Main intersection, opting to cross at street level, just past the concrete barriers that ensconce the iconic and windy crossroads.Shannon VanRaes/The Globe and Mail

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Also on our radar

Canadian airlines gear up for summer travel, but labour shortages pose a risk for passengers: Airlines are rolling out bigger flight schedules this summer, trying to capitalize on pent-up demand and higher prices, but labour shortages are threatening to spoil the party.

Ottawa clamps down on China’s critical-minerals foray, but not prospecting: While there is now a virtual ban on acquisitions of Canadian critical minerals producers by state-owned Chinese companies, at the prospecting stage there are almost no restrictions at all.

How Biden and congressional leaders got to a crisis point with debt ceiling – again: At the end of the month, the U.S. could default on its debt for the first time in history, with economists warning it would upend markets and plunge the economy into recession. Here’s how it happened.

Investors criticize popular sustainability-linked bonds over false environmental claims: Sustainability-linked bonds are rapidly becoming unsustainable. The bonds have only been around since 2019, but investors are already beginning to sour on a product once heralded as the first green financial instrument with teeth.

Morning markets

Markets await U.S. inflation data: Global shares edged up in light trading on Monday, ahead of U.S. inflation data this week that could prove instrumental in setting expectations for the outlook for monetary policy. Just before 5:30 a.m. ET, Germany’s DAX was up 0.02 per cent while France’s CAC 40 added 0.09 per cent. Markets in Britain were closed for a public holiday. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.71 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.24 per cent. New York futures were steady. The Canadian dollar was higher at 74.90 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

In a cloudy time, Liberals hold a self-esteem seminar

“The partisan delegates didn’t just want to hear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau smack down Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre – they craved it. A young Liberal said, straight-faced, that his party was too defensive and didn’t do enough partisan slanging. A veteran said he wanted Mr. Trudeau to look in the camera and call Mr. Poilievre a clown. The Prime Minister came pretty close in his Thursday night speech.” – Campbell Clark

Talking amongst themselves: Liberal convention offers a glimpse of how Trudeau’s party sees itself

“The Liberals built themselves a happy little terrarium in which to dwell for a few days in that Ottawa conference centre, basking in the sun-lamp glow of their own enthusiasm, undimmed by crass or mean outside forces. That’s what a political convention always is, even when you’re the party that’s been running the country for the past eight years.” – Shannon Proudfoot

To get critical minerals mines built, auto makers and Big Tech need to enter the fray

“Investors from the automotive sector, new to mining, have strong motivation and deep pockets, but their help improving perceptions of mining and fast-tracking projects may be their biggest value-add. Big Tech companies, which also need critical minerals for their products, need to join the party soon, as the latecomers may not have a chair when the music stops. Meanwhile, miners should welcome them all.” – Candace MacGibbon

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

Five affordable travel destinations for summer 2023

With the summer quickly approaching, now is the time to plan your travels. That’s because the longer you wait, the more you’ll usually pay. Admittedly, what counts as an “affordable” summer vacation is up for debate since July and August are the peak travel season, which means flights and hotel prices are typically expensive. That said, the cost of renting a cottage for a week can climb quickly: At press time, Ontario lakefront cottage rentals that can sleep a family of four on Airbnb averaged $669 a night, plus taxes, gas, food, cleaning fees, activities and more.

So why not think outside the box? You may be surprised to learn that there are popular destinations near and far that you can visit for a similar – or even lower – price. While they all come with downsides given the time of year, the trade-offs can be worth it. You just need to be realistic about your expectations, and know where to cut costs and when to splurge on things that matter the most to you.

Moment in time: May 8, 1972

Canada’s iconic Mounties

Open this photo in gallery:Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride go through their intricate manoeuvres at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, November 12, 1972. Photo by John McNeill / The Globe and Mail

Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride go through their intricate maneuvers at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, Nov. 12, 1972.JOHN McNEILL/The Globe and Mail

For more than 100 years, photographers and photo editors working for The Globe and Mail have preserved an extraordinary collection of news photography. Every Monday, The Globe features one of these images. This month, we’re looking at the RCMP, on the occasion of its 150th anniversary.

After the Maple Leaf, there is probably no more iconic Canadian symbol than the Mountie in full dress uniform. With the Red Serge tunic and the brown Stetson, the RCMP is recognized around the world. Sometimes, it’s in terrible stereotypes, such as in the 1930s, when Hollywood showed a Mountie as a chivalrous, lantern-jawed crooner (actor Nelson Eddy, an American). By the 1960s, he had devolved to a dim-witted cartoon character named Dudley Do-Right, who hopped on his steed backward. There is, however, an RCMP symbol that all Canadians admire – the Musical Ride. As shown in Globe and Mail photographer John McNeill’s photo from Toronto’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in 1972, the Musical Ride dazzles audiences with intricate formations, precision and ridership. The show, which can trace its roots to 1873, travels extensively as a way to promote the police force. However, the RCMP stopped using horses for law enforcement by the late 1930s. Philip King.

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