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Canada Morning Update: Disaster is far from over for Quebec flood victims; patchy vaccination rates raise measles outbreak concerns

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

For Quebec flood victims, the disaster is far from over

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On Monday afternoon, less than 48 hours after the catastrophic flooding in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Lorraine Nadon stood in bright yellow coveralls amid army vehicles and flashing police sirens and questioned what was next. She and Maurice Labelle were fleeing their home, and had just been allowed by authorities to pick up some documents, only to find the basement waist-deep in water. The freezer, her winter clothes and about $15,000 worth of his machinist tools were covered in water.

“It’s a total loss,” Mr. Labelle said of his basement.

The town west of Montreal has produced some of the most dramatic flooding that has swept across Quebec, New Brunswick and part of Ontario. Flood waters across eastern Canada are expected to crest mid-week, but authorities in Quebec warn it could be weeks before lakes and rivers return to their normal levels.

Ingrid Peritz reports from Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Que., while the Quebec government warns flood-stricken residents that lakes and rivers may take weeks to return to usual water levels.

Les Stanfield: “The root of Canada’s flooding issue is that there is no comprehensive strategy to manage these small waterbodies, which we’ve been altering for a long time. Generally, landowners can alter the waterbodies with impunity, and while there are a few programs that use private funds to reward landowners for altering them responsibly, there are few disincentives for land uses that increase flood risk downstream.”

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Patchy vaccination rates raise measles outbreak concerns in Ontario as U.S. battles measles emergency

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Many children and teenagers in pockets of Ontario haven’t been vaccinated, according to a new analysis conducted by Public Health Ontario, creating the threat of a measles outbreak similar to the ones health officials are battling in the United States. The study, published last week in the journal Vaccine, looked at children aged seven to 17 and was based on the 2016-17 school year. The findings show that the percentage of students in the province with no record of receiving any vaccinations is as much as 2.9. Nearly one per cent of the students with no vaccinations on record also had a non-medical exemption on file. Non-medical exemptions for reasons of conscience or religion can be granted to students whose parents object to vaccination in Ontario, where vaccinations are required for school attendance.

PMO vets prospective judges with data looking back a decade

The Prime Minister’s Office’s background checks of prospective judges cover more than a decade of their partisan past, revealing their history with the Liberal Party of Canada – including details as specific as whether they took lawn signs during election campaigns, records show. The “due diligence” on candidates for judicial appointments conducted in the PMO relies in part on the information contained in a private party database called Liberalist. The database was created a decade ago to help Liberal candidates track and reach their supporters during election campaigns. The Globe and Mail first reported last week that Liberalist is also used in the judicial vetting process, revealing, for instance, if and when candidates were a member and supporter of the Liberal Party and whether they voted in the last leadership race.

Families of Canadians killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash sue Boeing

Two Ontario men who each lost several family members in the Ethiopia Airlines disaster have filed wrongful-death lawsuits against Boeing, alleging the U.S. plane manufacturer rushed its Max jet program in a race against long-time European competitor Airbus SE. A Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed on March 10 shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board. In October, 189 people died when a Max 8 flown by Lion Air of Indonesia also crashed shortly after taking off from Jakarta. A group of American lawyers said Monday they represent the families of 10 of the 18 Canadians killed on Ethiopian Flight ET302. The complaints were filed on behalf of Manant Vaidya and Paul Njoroge. The two men are seeking compensation for general and exemplary damages to be determined by the court.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Tim Hortons is revamping its annual Roll Up the Rim giveaway after the chain had tried to boost its business by increasing the number of giveaways, but the company still experienced disappointing first-quarter results. Next year, Tim Hortons will reboot the program, looking for “a modern and fresh approach” to draw customers, including a digital tie-in, according to Jose Cil, chief executive officer of parent Restaurant Brands International Inc.

The Ontario government has appointed an all-male panel to investigate workplace culture within the Ontario Provincial Police service, raising concerns about whether the review will adequately address gender discrimination and harassment issues facing female employees. The province will spend up to $500,000 for an independent review after recent suicides, as well as complaints by current and former OPP staff. The three-member panel will consist of former Superior Court associate chief justice Douglas Cunningham, former deputy attorney-general Murray Segal and former NDP cabinet minister David Cooke.

MORNING MARKETS

Markets mixed

Global stock markets were flat to lower Tuesday following Wall Street’s new high after Chinese factory activity was weaker than expected. Tokyo’s Nikkei was closed, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.7 per cent while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.5 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 and the Paris CAC 40 were each down 0.2 per cent by about 6:50 a.m. ET, with Germany’s DAX flat. New York futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar was below 74.5 US cents.

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WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

From Trudeau to hockey, The Simpsons’ Canada episode was all crude clichés

John Doyle: “The Simpsons is a tired old comedy, but on the evidence of Sunday’s episode it’s worse than you thought. If you haven’t seen it for years, know that it’s a creaky, wheezing vehicle, sputtering along. You look on it and pity its occupants.”

Why the #$@! is the West so angry?

Mark Kingwell: “Emotions are obviously very subjective. But rage, especially the political variety, has become a species of Western luxury good, an envy-driven indulgence of the birth-based lucky. When a middle-aged white man declares that his hate-speech newspaper is based on the needs of “angry men,” that’s luxury. When a spluttering white, male U.S. Supreme Court nominee whines that he’s been targeted for criticism, that’s luxury. When people complain that universities don’t respect what they personally consider free speech, that’s luxury.” Mark Kingwell is the author of 17 books, including Wish I Were Here: Boredom and the Interface

TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

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cartoon

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

LIVING BETTER

I want to lose weight. Should I focus on diet or exercise?

You want to lose 15 pounds by the summer months, and you’ve already begun exercising. So far, you’ve only lost two pounds. Is that goal unreasonable, or are there other factors at play? Leslie Beck answers a reader’s question about the importance of diet and exercise, and what to focus on. When the goal is losing weight, a combination of diet and exercise is the best regime. To maintain weight loss, it may take a bit more.

If you want to lose weight – and keep it off for good – here’s what you need to know about diet versus exercise.

MOMENT IN TIME

The Land Rover debuts, 1948

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King George VI of England inspects some of his troops from an English Land rover in Hyde Park, London, October 31, 1948.

CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

British manufacturing struggled through severe deprivation after the Second World War. Bombs had obliterated many factories and what meagre raw materials existed were subject to strict government rationing. Under such austere conditions, the development of the Land Rover might be considered a minor miracle. The Rover company, until then a maker of luxury automobiles, spied a gap in the market for a vehicle with the manoeuvrability of a Jeep but the power of a tractor – suitable for agricultural, off-road work and also for proper road use, if necessary. Constructed out of aluminum (because steel was strictly rationed) and painted lime-green (using a surplus supply purchased from the air force), the Land Rover debuted at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show. It was an immediate hit, and within a few years the company was spinning out models featuring luxuries such as a heater, seat cushions and full-size doors. Before long, it became the Rover company’s entire identity. Despite bouncing from owner to owner over the years, its innovative spirit persists. Last year, the company announced plans for a self-driving, off-road vehicle. – Ken Carriere

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