Skip to main content
morning update newsletter

Good morning,

Canada’s spy service sought an electronic and entry warrant to monitor former Ontario cabinet minister Michael Chan in the lead-up to the 2021 federal election, but it took several months for then-public safety minister Bill Blair to sign off on the clandestine surveillance of the influential Liberal Party powerbroker, according to a national-security source.

CSIS regarded Mr. Chan as a national-security target and sought a section 21 warrant under the CSIS Act in early 2021, the source said. The spy agency wanted to intercept Mr. Chan’s electronic communications and gain entry to his home and offices in what was expected to be a federal election year. Mr. Chan had already been under physical surveillance for years, the source said.

The Globe is not identifying the source because they risk prosecution under the Security of Information Act.

Open this photo in gallery:

Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair speaks during a news conference on May 11: Some within the spy agency suspected that the then-public safety minister was hesitant to approve surveillance because of Michael Chan’s role as a major organizer and fundraiser for the Liberal Party, according to a national-security source.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 other Globe newsletters on our newsletter sign-up page.

Danielle Smith, Rachel Notley spar over each other’s past records during debate

The leaders of Alberta’s two dominant political parties faced off in a televised debate Thursday evening.

Although both Danielle Smith and Rachel Notley tried to make the debate about trust as they delved into topics such as health care, affordability, the economy and education. Smith, the leader of the United Conservative Party, argued her opponent can’t be trusted to keep taxes low and support the oil and gas industry. Notley reminded voters of Smith’s shifting statements on policies like health care and the Ethics Commissioner’s ruling that the UCP Leader tried to influence the justice system.

Just hours before the debate began, Alberta’s ethics commissioner ruled that Smith had interfered in justice system in a way that is a “threat to democracy,” adding another layer of controversy to the already troubled United Conservative Party election campaign.

The Ethics Commissioner found that Ms. Smith contravened Section 3 of the Conflicts of Interest Act, which a member breaches by using their power to influence or seek to influence a decision to be made by or on behalf of the Crown.

Open this photo in gallery:

Leader of the NDP Rachel Notley, left, and Leader of the United Conservative Party Danielle Smith prepare for a debate in Edmonton on May 18, 2023.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

E-mails show McKinsey involvement in call with Barton while he was Canada’s ambassador to China

Newly released documents show a McKinsey partner organized a workshop for the Canada Infrastructure Bank involving Dominic Barton while he was Canada’s ambassador to China, even though Mr. Barton told Parliament in February he had no contact with his former company during his brief time in government.

An e-mail dated June 17, 2020, from McKinsey & Co. partner Zak Cutler to Annie Ropar, who was a CIB executive at the time, discusses setting up a June 23 call with Mr. Barton, who was in China, and the bank, a Crown corporation created in 2017 aimed at attracting private capital to invest in Canada.

Open this photo in gallery:

Former McKinsey & Company executive Dominic Barton prepares to testify at a committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Feb. 1, 2023.BLAIR GABLE/Reuters

U.S. tribal nation seeks right to be consulted on Canadian projects

A U.S. tribal nation in Washington State is preparing to file for a judicial review of the Canadian West Coast port expansion Roberts Bank Terminal 2 approval. It argues that a recent Canadian Supreme Court decision means that U.S. indigenous groups should have the right to be consulted on developments on their traditional land – if that traditional land is in areas that are now part of Canada.

It is a novel, if unproven, attempt to extend the boundaries of Canadian law. If the Lummi Nation in Washington State succeeds, however, it will clear a path for others south of the border to seek financial compensation from industrial projects on Canadian soil, such as the Massey Tunnel, the Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion Project and the Deltaport Four project.

Open this photo in gallery:

An artist's rendition of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's plans for its Roberts Bank Terminal 2 in the foreground. The Lummi plan to file an application this week for judicial review of the terminal.Handout

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop

Also on our radar

WestJet, pilots reach last-minute deal, averting strike: A statement from the Air Line Pilots Association says union leaders voted to approve an agreement-in-principle, with a membership vote to begin in the coming days.

Canada announces new Russia sanctions as G7 leaders discuss Ukraine war: At the G7 summit in Japan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced more than 70 new Canadian sanctions that focus on people who are supporting Russia’s illegal military action and complicit in human rights violations.

Chinese comedian’s crack about the military results in $2.6-million fine: Every comedian has had a joke bomb or fail to connect with an audience. But perhaps no one has done so quite as spectacularly as Li Haoshi.

Canadians should not expect BoC to return to low rates, Macklem says: Speaking at a news conference, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem warned that the era of historically low borrowing costs that followed the 2008-09 financial crisis is a thing of the past.

Bank of Canada says mortgage payments could spike as much as 40 per cent: The Bank of Canada estimates that mortgage borrowers who renew their loans over the next few years will see a spike of 20 per cent to 40 per cent in their monthly payments.

Ottawa’s new clean fuel policy will add up to 17 cents to gas prices in 2030, watchdog reports: One of the federal government’s policies aimed at slashing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions is regressive and will hurt poor and middle-income households more than the rich, according to a new Parliamentary Budget Office report.

Morning markets

World shares gain: Global shares rose to a one-month high on Friday as markets reflected increased hopes for a deal over the U.S. debt ceiling that could avoid a default. Just after 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.43 per cent. Germany’s DAX added 0.59 per cent while France’s CAC 40 gained 0.59 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished up 0.77 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.4 per cent. New York futures were positive. The Canadian dollar was higher at 74.18 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

It’s time for David Johnston to provide answers on interference in Canada’s elections

“Mr. Johnston may recommend some forum other than a public inquiry. This desk trusts him to make the right call. But we need action. Reasonable people are asking to what extent China has interfered in Canadian politics and to what extent federal governments past and present let them get away with it. We need answers. We will soon find out how David Johnston thinks we should get them.” – John Ibbitson

Rafael Nadal announces a permanent state of retirement

“Nadal has become the last man standing at your dinner party. You’ve managed to get him as far as the front hallway, but he’s planted himself there. He’s got his coat in his hands, and just remembered that he wanted to tell you one more story. Is he ever going? Theoretically. But we have yet to see that theory in practice.” – Cathal Kelly

Soon, artificial intelligence will be running companies – rise of the robo-director

“Some may be surprised to learn the use of “artificial governance intelligence” is already actively applied in boardrooms and corporate decision-making processes, such as due diligence of mergers and acquisitions, profiling investors, auditing annual reports, validating new business opportunities, analyzing and optimizing procurement, sales, marketing, and other corporate matters.” – Ian Robertson

Alberta had one of the best wildfire programs in the world. Budget cuts have left the province at risk

“In the world of wildfire management, experience matters. Experience is what keeps communities safe from wildfires and firefighters safe on the fire line. Experience results in a faster, more efficient delivery of wildfire detection, assessment and management. Experience can only be achieved in a system where people feel valued, fairly compensated, and have the opportunity to learn and grow within the organization.” – Trina Moyles

Today’s editorial cartoon

Open this photo in gallery:

Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

Finding a long weekend of wellness in Las Vegas

If your image of Nevada’s largest city is stuck in the Sin City days – as the place to be for guilty pleasures and uncensored excess – you may have underestimated Las Vegas, which is always looking for ways to reinvent itself. Its latest rebranding effort? Turning the headquarters for hedonism into a wellness destination that won’t bust your budget, especially between June to August, the cheapest but hottest time to visit the desert oasis. Here are Gayle MacDonald’s top choices for a healthy and rejuvenating long weekend.

Moment in time: May 19, 1845

Open this photo in gallery:The ship's bell from the recently discovered Franklin Expedition shipwreck HMS Erebus sits in pure water after being recovered in Ottawa on November 6, 2014. Parks Canada and the Inuit Heritage Trust have come to an agreement on how the artifacts from the ill-fated Franklin expedition will be preserved and studied. The agreement requires that artifacts from the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror will be protected based on traditional Inuit knowledge, or Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, and presented publicly from an Inuit perspective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The ship's bell from the Franklin Expedition shipwreck HMS Erebus is shown, displayed in water after being recovered in 2014.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Franklin expedition begins

British author Charles Dickens called the expedition the “flower of the trained British Navy.” Indeed, success was theirs for the taking. On this day in 1845, the Sir John Franklin expedition sailed down the Thames River on its way to Arctic British North America. Its mission was to sail through the Northwest Passage, from east to west, and thereby complete a 300-year quest. The expedition was painstakingly planned, all on a grand scale. Several of the 129 officers and crew, including the 59-year-old Franklin, had Arctic experience. The expedition’s two ships, the Erebus and Terror, meanwhile, were specially fitted for ice conditions and carried three years’ worth of supplies – including thousands of tin cans of preserved food. The expedition was to be completely self-reliant, without need for land or coastal assistance. The two ships were last seen on the west side of Greenland as they were about to enter Lancaster Sound. Then, they vanished. Inuit oral accounts suggested that the men had perished after they abandoned the two ships caught in the ice off King William Island. But it wasn’t until 2014 that the Erebus was found; the Terror two years later. There are still questions today about what exactly happened. Bill Waiser

Read today's horoscopes. Enjoy today's puzzles.

If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday morning, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

Check Following for new articles