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Conservative members of Parliament ousted leader Erin O’Toole from his job on Wednesday, delivering a stinging rebuke of his brief tenure and triggering the party’s third leadership race in seven years.

The push to remove him began with a core group of MPs unhappy with the party’s changing positions on everything from a carbon tax to gun control, and criticism of his lack of consultation with caucus members.

Mr. O’Toole’s swift removal leaves unanswered whether the leadership campaign will provoke an internal civil war between social conservatives and progressive party members that could undermine the Conservatives’ electoral appeal in vote-rich urban Canada.

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Screen capture of address by Erin O’Toole, the outgoing leader of the Conservative party of Canada, on Facebook Live.Handout

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Impasse remains in Ottawa as police chief says all options on the table, but Alberta trucker blockade eases

Ottawa’s police chief warned that demonstrations in the country’s capital demanding an end to pandemic restrictions remain volatile and that all options are being considered, including military involvement. However, there was a negotiated breakthrough at a southern Alberta border blockade where protesters have issued similar ultimatums.

Peter Sloly said the Ottawa police force is considering options ranging from a negotiated resolution to enforcement. But he warned that any option carries risks. Chief Sloly said there are only two occasions that he is aware of in the past 100 years – the Oka and FLQ crises – when the military was mixed in with police.

“It is not a decision to be taken lightly,” he said. “I’ll say it again as I said before, every option is being looked at. None of the options create a beautiful, elegant, simple safe solution. They all come with massive risks.”

Washington State’s plans along flood-prone river near B.C. border causes cross-border anxieties

Months after floodwaters from a Washington State river destroyed property in British Columbia, U.S. authorities are proposing measures that would protect their urban areas from future disasters but could send additional water north to Canada.

In Washington’s Whatcom County, officials are discussing plans to clear houses from a floodway that carries water to Canada and build a ring dyke around Everson, the community on a bend in the Nooksack River where it has repeatedly breached its banks. Water that spills there flows downhill toward a drained lake in B.C., known as Sumas Prairie, that forms some of the most prime agricultural land in the province.

It’s a proposal that has renewed attention to long-standing failures by Canada and the U.S. to co-operate on management of a flood-prone waterway.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Canada’s women’s hockey team wins first game in Beijing: Blayre Turnbull scored a hat trick and had two assists to pace Canada to a 12-1 win over Switzerland to open the Olympic women’s hockey tournament Thursday in Beijing. Globe sports columnist Cathal Kelly says Canada plays so well, it can be hard to watch the other team lose.

Canada inches closer to World Cup berth: After 36 long years, the wait is almost over for the Canadian men’s national soccer team. Following a 2-0 win in El Salvador on Wednesday, the team is now just a win away from advancing to a first World Cup since 1986. It wasn’t easy, but Canada earned a sixth straight victory and remained unbeaten through all 11 games of this final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Latvia asks Canada to extend NATO mission: Defence Minister Anita Anand said she’s taking the question of whether to bolster and extend Canada’s 600-troop deployment in the Baltics to the federal cabinet. She said this is part of a discussion about increasing Canada’s military commitment to Eastern Europe.

Uptake of COVID-19 vaccine boosters slows: Canada’s COVID-19 booster drive is slowing despite mounting evidence that an additional vaccine dose is needed to maintain strong protection from severe illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, according to a Globe and Mail analysis of uptake across the country.

Rogers plans $2-billion bond issue: Rogers Communications Inc. is continuing to overhaul its senior leadership team as it looks to raise another $2-billion of debt ahead of its planned takeover of Shaw Communications Inc.

Consumers dictate pace of rate hikes, BoC governor says: Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said the pace of interest rate increases this year will depend to a significant extent on how quickly consumers run down excess savings they have built up over the course of the pandemic.

Ontario looking at health benefits for gig workers: The Ontario government is looking at ways to implement a benefits program for workers whose jobs do not provide them with benefits like a drug plan or dental and vision care. The Labour Ministry will appoint a five-person expert panel this spring to research the design of the program, which it is calling a portable benefits strategy.

Canada’s Olympic moose is loose in Beijing: The first member of Team Canada to arrive at the Beijing Olympics was a big-antlered lucky charm, which is now standing outside Team Canada’s accommodations in the athletes village. The photogenic fibreglass moose measures about two metres in length and weighs some 225 kilograms. The Canadians have had a moose statue along on Olympic trips since the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.


MORNING MARKETS

Markets await central bank decisions: The euro and sterling edged lower as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England prepared to face their growing inflation challenges later on Thursday while stock markets turned red again after a disappointing status update from the firm formally known as Facebook. Just ahead of 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.07 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were off 0.52 per cent and 0.34 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.06 per cent. New York futures were down. The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.69 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Konrad Yakabuski: “With four opposition parties splitting the non-CAQ vote, Mr. Legault’s government remains overwhelmingly favoured to win re-election in October. But his honeymoon with Quebec voters is finally over. He is increasingly seen as a typical politician – and a highly manipulative one at that – rather than the transcendent figure of 2018 who would move Quebec beyond the sterile federalist-sovereigntist politics of the past.”

David Parkinson: “More than six years into this government’s time in office, it’s time for something more ambitious. If the Liberals have a vision for the country’s economic future – and it’s not clear they do – they’re running out of time to act on it.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

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Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Move over, meditation – breathwork has become the newest wellness trick

Breathwork is a new trendy wellness practice with deep roots in traditional Eastern methods such as yoga and tai chi. Also known as diaphragmatic, or deep, breathing, it involves changing how quickly and deeply you inhale and exhale to alter your state, explains Amanda Laine, co-founder of Othership, a Toronto company that launched a breathwork app. “You can use breathwork to give yourself energy in the morning,” Laine says. “Or, you can use breath to shift yourself down into a more relaxed, calm state.”


MOMENT IN TIME: FEBRUARY 3, 1950

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German born British physicist and spy, Dr. Klaus Fuchs, c. March 1950.Keystone/Getty Images

German physicist Klaus Fuchs arrested

Among Second World War spies, German physicist Klaus Fuchs was in a class of his own. Fleeing Nazi persecution in the early 1930s, Fuchs settled in Britain, where he picked up his PhD and communist sympathies. But with the outbreak of war, he was interned in Britain – and later Sherbrooke – as an enemy alien. It was after a fellow physicist secured his release to work on Britain’s atomic bomb program that Soviet agents enlisted Fuchs to pass secrets. The physicist continued after being tapped to work on the Manhattan Project, which developed the first nuclear weapons. Five years after the war, the FBI discovered he was a spy. On this day in 1950, British authorities arrested him and he served nine years in prison. Nobel-winning nuclear physicist Hans Bethe said:, “Klaus Fuchs is the only physicist I know who really changed history.” Particle physicist Frank Close added, “It was primarily Fuchs who enabled the Soviets to catch up with Americans” in the nuclear bomb race. His jail time didn’t end his career, however. Fuchs migrated to what was then East Germany and became a decorated researcher, finishing his working life with the Institute for Nuclear Research in Rossendorf. Ian Morfitt


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