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Canada’s embassy has been partly evacuated by helicopter as armed gangs continue their takeover of Port-au-Prince and doubts mount over plans for an interim government and international security force.

Canadian officials chartered a chopper to ferry diplomats from the compound in the Haitian capital to the Dominican Republic on Thursday morning, Global Affairs Canada said. Some essential staff, including ambassador André-Francois Giroux, will remain in Haiti while others will work from Santo Domingo.

For the past two weeks, gangsters have seized government buildings, blockaded Port-au-Prince’s port and airport, stormed prisons to free the inmates and fought gun battles with police in the streets. In the latest violence Thursday, they burned down both a prison and the home of the police chief.

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Demonstrators take part in a protest outside the Canadian Embassy, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Feb. 25 2024.RALPH TEDY EROL/Reuters

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GCStrategies co-owner says he hasn’t read Auditor-General’s report about his company’s ArriveCan work

Despite saying that he’s never read the report, GCStrategies co-owner Darren Anthony agreed with his business partner’s assessment that the Auditor-General got it wrong as to how much their company was paid to work on the ArriveCan app.

Anthony appeared Thursday before the government operations committee to answer questions about Auditor-General Karen Hogan’s findings regarding his company. The day before, the two-person company’s managing partner, Kristian Firth, appeared at the same committee.

In that hearing, Firth disputed Hogan’s recent finding that his company received $19.1-million to work on the app project, saying it was closer to $11-million. Firth said he did invoice the Canada Border Services Agency for about $22-million in work, but he disagrees with the Auditor-General as to how much of that should be attributed to ArriveCan versus other IT services.

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GC Strategies' Darren Anthony provides a virtual testimony at the House of Commons committee on March 14, 2024.House of Commons

Ottawa reveals it ordered national security review of TikTok in September

Canada ordered a national security review of popular video app TikTok in September 2023, but did not disclose it publicly. The revelation was made after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday to ban TikTok unless its China-based owner sells its stake in the business.

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People walk past an advertisement featuring the TikTok logo at a train station in Zhengzhou, in China's central Henan province on Jan. 21, 2024.GREG BAKER/Getty Images

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Also on our radar

Murderer’s understanding of risk he poses not necessary for parole, board finds: A double murderer does not need to develop insight into what makes him a risk to others to be released on full parole, the Parole Board of Canada says in its written explanation of its decision last Friday in the case of George Harding Lovie.

Young, skilled and ready to innovate, Black farmers are taking on Canada’s agricultural challenges: With Canada facing a looming disaster of having too few farmers as existing operators retire, some see young, racialized farmers as key to feeding Canadians into the future.

Gildan says allegations by key shareholder Browning West violated U.S. securities law: Gildan has accused Browning West of mischaracterizing the nature of a relationship between Vince Tyra and a female executive at Gildan, which occurred 20 years ago and at a different company.

Families of hostages held in Gaza despair as Ramadan ceasefire deadline passes: A brother contemplated suicide. A sister stopped going to school. A father barely speaks. With each passing day, the relatives of hostages held in Gaza since Oct. 7 face a deepening despair.

Nisga’a Nation and Western LNG buying TC Energy’s plans for natural gas pipeline in B.C.: The Nisga’a Nation and Western LNG are buying TC Energy Corp.’s plans for a pipeline across British Columbia in an effort to bolster a proposal for exporting liquefied natural gas.

Bitcoin’s rally resurrects absurd theories from the last bull run – like calling it ‘property’: Michael Saylor has been banging the drum for years: Bitcoin isn’t a currency. Instead, he says, the crypto asset is the “apex property of the human race.”

Morning markets

Global stocks set to end week with lacklustre performance after hot U.S. inflation

World stocks were set to end the week on a tepid note, following seven weeks of gains, after hotter-than-forecast U.S. inflation knocked back bets for how soon and often the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.3 per cent to 38,707.64. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid more than 2 per cent, and South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.9 per cent. Germany’s DAX was flat at 17,944.46 and the FTSE 100 in London was less than 0.1 per cent lower, at 7,739.48. In Paris, the CAC 40 edged 0.1 per cent higher, to 8,170.95. The Canadian dollar was trading around 73.80 U.S. cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Is our troubled genius, Elon Musk, still a force for good?

“Wild mood swings have led to rash outbursts, a prime example being his public endorsement, for which he later apologized, of an antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jewish communities harbour ‘hatred against whites.’ He proposed a peace plan that sounded Kremlin-hatched, advising Ukraine to surrender all territories occupied by Russia. He has taken harsh stands against immigration.” – Lawrence Martin

If the Trudeau Liberals are annihilated in an election, it will be over housing

“Premiers and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre are seizing on the carbon price. But this is a much easier political feat because many Canadians are so angry about all the mounting costs of everything, particularly the money needed for four walls and a roof.” – Kelly Cryderman

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

The best ways to renovate your home with a $10,000 budget

On the ever-popular topic of home renovations, Canadians are downsizing – at least, in terms of their budgets. The fifth annual HomeStars Reno Report revealed that homeowners spent an average of $12,300 in 2023 on renovations, and this number is expected to fall by more than $2,000 in 2024. The Globe asked five experts in home-related fields, from real estate to design and sustainability, how Canadians could maximize a $10,000 spend on their homes this year.

Moment in time: March 15, 1931

Explosion kills members of film crew making The Viking

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Scene from The Viking, a tale of seal hunters off the coast of Newfoundland, produced and directed by Varick Frissell.Supplied

A sign outside a small church in St. John’s proudly declares that it was featured in Canada’s first movie with sound. The pertinent detail omitted is that The Viking is also considered, to this day, the deadliest movie ever made, clocking 27 fatalities during production. On the Ides of March in 1931, members of the film crew, including producer/co-director Varick Frissell and cinematographer Alexander Penrod, perished in an explosion aboard the sealing ship SS Viking off the northern Newfoundland coast. The movie they were making centred on a love triangle among seal hunters. Whether this early talkie counts as Canadian is a matter of debate: The filmmakers were American and the setting hadn’t yet entered Confederation. But Frissell was fascinated by the North. When the docudrama first screened under the title White Thunder, the filmmaker was unhappy with the way the frippery of the romance took away from the authenticity of the ocean scenes. He decided the crew would go back to sea to shoot additional footage. Ultimately, the only change to the movie would be its renaming after the ill-fated ship, which had been carrying dynamite to break up ice. Frissell, whose body was never recovered, was 27. Joy Yokoyama

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