Canada finds itself peerless among its G7 counterparts over a lack of firm commitment to share excess COVID-19 vaccines with low-income countries ahead of today’s summit in Cornwall. Britain and the United States unveiled a joint pledge yesterday, committing to donate 600 million doses in total to countries whose inoculation campaigns are in need of a boost.
Like Canada, Britain initially resisted calls to send extra supplies abroad, saying it wasn’t quite ready to make a commitment. But on the eve of the three-day summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his country will be sending more than five million doses to the poorest countries by the end of September. The remaining 95 million doses will be sent over the coming months and into 2022.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left Canada without offering an indication as to whether the government would make its own pledge. The government has insisted it wants to have a better grasp on how many extra doses it will have beforehand. Johnson said G7 leaders were expected to announce a pledge to provide one billion doses, including by giving financial support to COVAX.
The pace of global vaccinations won’t be the only preoccupation at the summit. Member countries are also expected to discuss the post-pandemic recovery, climate-change commitments ahead of the Glasgow summit in November, and efforts to shore up democracy in the face of heightened tensions with Russia and China.
On the sidelines: Joe Biden and Boris Johnson meet ahead of G7 summit, reaffirm trans-Atlantic alliance
Opinion: Global vaccination must be the top priority at the G7 meeting
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Canada should overhaul approval process for planes, committee report says
Transport Canada needs to enhance procedures for vetting the safety of new aircraft following the disasters involving the Boeing 737 Max, according to a new report from the parliamentary transport committee. The report called for a review of the regulator’s policies, including its reliance on the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure standards and safeguards for new designs are met. Investigations in the United States found that Boeing didn’t disclose crucial information to the FAA about the plane’s design, such as the faulty software. The withholding of that information meant other regulators reliant on the FAA were also misled.
It’s one of a slew of Commons committee reports that were recently released, along with one from the foreign affairs committee urging the government to “pursue all options possible” to repatriate Canadian children detained in northern Syria. Another report found that WE Charity – despite the government’s insistence that it was the best organization for the job – was ill-equipped to run the since-cancelled student-grant program.
Going for gold under the cloud of COVID-19 makes the Tokyo Summer Games an Olympics like no other. Tokyo Olympics Update is here to help you make sense of it all, with original stories from Globe reporters in Canada and Tokyo, tracking Team Canada’s medal wins, and past Olympic moments from iconic performances.
Alberta mulls NAFTA action over nixing of Keystone XL pipeline
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said his government is devising a legal strategy in hopes of recovering some of the financing it put up to push the Keystone XL pipeline project forward. It estimates losses to be about $1.3-billion. The provincial government could file a lawsuit under the North American free-trade agreement as early as next month against the United States, which, under the Biden administration, rescinded the project’s permit. However, it is likely going to need the support of TC Energy Corp., which decided Wednesday to scrap the project after conducting a “comprehensive review of its options.” The company has not said whether it is open to Alberta’s plan.
Still, some experts are not so sure the province’s strategy can pass muster. Kristen van de Biezenbos, an associate professor at the University of Calgary’s law school, said for the complaint under the trilateral trade rules to work, TC Energy would need to demonstrate it was treated differently because it was a Canadian company.
Opinion: The end of Keystone can be the beginning of renewal for Alberta
In big loss for the Greens, New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin crosses the floor to join Liberals
Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin, first elected in 2019, has defected to the Liberals, leaving the Greens with two representatives in the House of Commons. The former Green MP told reporters she left the party in part because of an internal dispute over the Israel-Palestine conflict, saying it was a distraction. “Sometimes, there are issues where it is difficult to be on the same page,” she said, speaking in French on her switch to the Liberals. She had tweeted on May 11 that Green Party Leader Annamie Paul’s statement calling for a de-escalation and dialogue was “totally inadequate” and said she stands with Palestinians in demanding an end to “apartheid.” Days later, in a social-media post, Paul’s senior adviser, Noah Zatzman, expressed solidarity with Israel, while accusing unidentified Green MPs of anti-Semitism and vowing to defeat them.
The announcement of her departure gives the Liberals the New Brunswick seat back, after Atwin defeated incumbent Liberal Matt DeCourcey, making her the first Green MP in Atlantic Canada. It comes several days before the House is expected to rise for the summer and amid widespread speculation that a fall election will be called.
More on election speculation: Liberals push to pass key bills amid talk of fall election
Liberals to get help from NDP to get net-zero bill to Senate faster
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ontario, Alberta move up second-dose bookings
Ontario said residents who received a first shot on or before May 9 in certain regions, such as Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Toronto, Waterloo and York, can get their second shot, starting June 14, more than a month ahead of schedule. The 12-week interval stands for those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine. In Alberta, the province said those who received their first in April or earlier can now book their second shot.
Ford calls for emergency midnight sitting to push through election-finance bill
Ontario Premier Doug Ford reconvened the province’s legislature yesterday to introduce a new bill that would allow his government to override a Superior Court ruling on election finance, using the rarely invoked notwithstanding clause. The plan is to hold midnight sittings over the weekend to push the legislation through.
Federal privacy watchdog says RCMP broke rule in using facial-recognition tech
Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien found that the RCMP neglected to adequately ensure compliance with the Privacy Act before deciding to use Clearview AI’s facial-recognition technology to inform their work. The U.S.-based company’s tool, which collects images from across the internet, has been used by police forces, financial institutions and other clients to help them identify people.
Squamish Nation urges B.C. to halt old-growth logging in traditional territories
The Squamish Nation served notice that it plans to oppose 20 proposed forestry cutblocks around Howe Sound, north of Vancouver, over concerns of their risk to the ancient forests. It comes on the heels of Premier John Horgan’s announcement the other day approving deferrals to suspend old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek watershed, in response to local Indigenous communities’ calls.
In the latest Decibel: Tension in East Jerusalem as coalition attempts to form government
The Globe’s bureau chief in Europe reports from East Jerusalem ahead of the Israeli parliament’s vote on Sunday that could spell the end of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule. Though last month’s ceasefire hasn’t crumbled, tensions are high, both in the city’s Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods and in the Knesset, where eight parties are vying to oust Netanyahu.
Bankruptcies looming for pandemic-battered industries, says Chamber of Commerce
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce warned that the country may see a wave of bankruptcies among heavily leveraged companies in industries hit hard by the pandemic such as tourism, travel and hospitality. To prevent that scenario, it’s asking Ottawa to extend pandemic benefits, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until next spring for those sectors.
World stocks rise: World shares gained on Friday and bond yields fell from the United States to Europe as investors shrugged off rising U.S. consumer prices. Just after 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.56 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.12 per cent and 0.44 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.03 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.36 per cent. New York futures were steady. The Canadian dollar was trading at 82.63 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Leenat Jilani, lawyer and Londoner: “If Canada calls itself a mosaic, then that mosaic is under attack by those who want to destroy it with our blood.”
Jessica Davis, former analyst with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service: “Canadians should not consider charges the only arbiter of what constitutes terrorism in this country – to do so unnecessarily limits the conversation around hate-motivated acts of violence and our application of counter-terrorism tools.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Canadian destinations rolling out the welcome mat for LGBTQ community
With pandemic restrictions easing just in time for Pride celebrations, Canada’s tourism industry is anticipating members of the LGBTQ and gender-diverse community will be among the first people venturing outside their hometown. Some locales are even working to tailor their offerings in an effort aimed at inclusivity. Kelowna, B.C., for example, is highlighting feature pieces on its tourism website written by LGBTQ business owners who are thriving in the community, reports writer Loren Christie.
MOMENT IN TIME: June 11, 2008
Prime minister Stephen Harper apologizes for residential schools
On behalf of the Government of Canada, then-prime minister Stephen Harper said the treatment of children at Indian residential schools was a “sad chapter in our history,” during an apology in the House of Commons. In the address, Harper said that for more than a century, residential schools separated at least 150,000 Indigenous children from their families and communities. He also said the objectives of the residential-school system included removing and isolating children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures to assimilate them into the dominant culture. The objectives, he said, were based on an assumption that Indigenous cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal. He said some sought to “kill the Indian in the child.” Harper added that the legacy of residential schools has contributed to social problems that continue to exist in communities. Seven years after that apology, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which examined the impact of Canada’s residential-school system, released its final report. It included 94 calls to action. The legacy of residential schools has also been the subject of a national discussion after Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced that it had discovered the remains of 215 children on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Kristy Kirkup