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Good morning, Canadians can buy bath towels, quilts and clothes made of Xinjiang cotton despite Ottawa’s vow to stop forced-labour imports.

Online retailers advertise products to Canadians as made with cotton from the Chinese region, a crop that human-rights activists and academics say is almost certainly the product of forced labour.

Canada signed a treaty in 2018 to stop the importation of products made from coerced labour, and in 2020 announced that it would be cracking down on such goods from China. But critics say the ease with which consumers can purchase Xinjiang cotton products calls into question the commitment countries such as Canada have made to stop it from being possible.

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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 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.


Expert behind critical Auditor-General report says Tam must not defend failed risk assessments

Wesley Wark, an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa who analyzed the government’s risk assessments during the onset of the outbreak, said Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam’s remarks defending the assessments are inaccurate and are “defending the indefensible.”

Wark worked on the Auditor-General’s report that criticized Canada’s lack of preparation for COVID-19. Last week, Dr. Tam asserted that the risk assessments weren’t incorrect since they assessed the immediate presence of the virus in Canada – even though the Auditor-General found that the methodology used to reach that conclusion was flawed.

In response to the findings, Public Health has pledged to review the methodology by the end of next year.

Other COVID reading:


How the Bank of Canada doused a financial fire last spring

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During an intense few weeks last year when the pandemic first hit, the central bank was thrust into new territory.

The Globe and Mail interviewed the key architects of the response to the crisis: Stephen Poloz, who was the bank’s governor until last June; Carolyn Wilkins, who was senior deputy governor, the No. 2 official at the bank; and Bill Morneau, who was finance minister until August.

Together with accounts from chief executives at the country’s major commercial banks, they paint a portrait of precarious policy-making and peril, as the financial system teetered on the brink. Now, the bank faces the delicate task of unwinding monetary support where a wrong move could trigger new economic storms.

The Globe and Mail

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


ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Man charged in B.C. stabbing spree: A 28-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder and police are looking for a motive after a stabbing attack at a public library in North Vancouver left one woman dead and six others injured.

RCMP to review record retention policy: Commissioner Brenda Lucki ordered the review after a watchdog report found that police destroyed recordings and transcripts of their communications from the night Colten Boushie died.

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Jurors face heavy burden in trial of Derek Chauvin: Bystander video of the confrontation is expected to be a key exhibit at the trial that will decide the fate of a white former police officer charged with killing George Floyd.

Suez Canal traffic jam felt all the way to Montreal: An immense container ship has been wedged in the crucial shipping channel for days, leaving more than 320 ships stuck behind it on both sides awaiting passage, and will inevitably cause delays in commercial activities, according to Montreal’s port.


MORNING MARKETS

World stocks steady: World shares started the week on cautious ground as uncertainty over the fallout of the default of a U.S. hedge fund tempered relief from the partial refloating of the ship blocking the Suez Canal. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 0.29 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 each gained 0.17 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.71 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.01 per cent. New York futures were lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.40 US cents.

Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes soaring global ETFs, regulatory nightmare and “the worst kind” of market selloff.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Sorry I can’t talk, boss. It’s the weekend

Elizabeth Renzetti: “But the idea of a mandated right to ignore your gung-ho boss and your needy colleagues is a tricky one. France has had such a law since 2016, and there have been criticisms that it is too vague and unworkable to be truly effective.”

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When I provide assisted dying, it is about grace and choice – and that must remain the case

Konia Trouton: “Things are becoming more complex, but a simple truth is that decisions around death cannot be delegated. Consent and planning should be in the hands of individuals themselves.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

David Parkins/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

The impossible task of booking a camping spot in Ontario

If you’re hoping to reserve a camp site at one of Ontario’s Provincial Parks this summer, the first thing you’ll need is an alarm clock. A good deal of patience helps, and persistence. Pandemic-imposed travel restrictions caused the park system to play host to a record number of visitors and the difficulty may be exacerbated by people taking advantage of a loophole in the system that allows them to overbook by a number of days and then cancel some.

From January 1, when reservations opened, to March 12, Ontario Parks processed 222,681 reservations, an increase of 110 per cent over the same time period last year.

Also: After a travel-less year, interactive online experiences help sate your wanderlust

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MOMENT IN TIME: Photo archive

Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, various views of the village, July 24, 1963.

Bruce West [staff reporter]/The Globe and Mail

Bluenose II is born

For more than 100 years, photographers and photo librarians have preserved an extraordinary collection of 20th-century news photography for The Globe and Mail. Every Monday The Globe features one of these images. This month marks the centenary of the launch of the Bluenose, so we’re exploring shipbuilding in Canada.

The original Bluenose ended in ignominy when it hit a reef off Haiti in 1946, broke apart and sank. Nova Scotians, especially, missed the legendary vessel, and in 1963, Oland Brewery paid $300,000 to build a full-size replica, the Bluenose II, to use as a marketing tool for its Schooner brand of beer. The new ship followed William Roué's design and was even built at the Smith & Rhuland shipyard in Lunenburg, N.S., which crafted the original. In 1971, the brewery sold the replica – for 10 dimes – to the government of Nova Scotia, which used it for tourism promotion. But by 2009 the schooner was leaking, rotting, sagging and in need of an overhaul. About $24-million and six years later, the restored Bluenose II was back, this time with tough water-resistant woods from South America and Africa. Philip King

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