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A three-year-long public inquiry in British Columbia delivered a sweeping rebuke of Ottawa’s anti-money-laundering regime, finding billions of dollars of criminal funds flowed annually through casinos, real estate and luxury goods in the absence of effective federal law enforcement.

The final report of the Cullen Commission, released on Wednesday, called on the provincial government to create its own intelligence and investigation police unit to tackle large-scale money laundering, with an independent officer of the legislature to provide oversight.

“The RCMP’s lack of attention to money laundering has allowed for the unchecked growth of money laundering since at least 2012,” states the 1,800-page report of former B.C. Supreme Court justice Austin Cullen. The commission found there was no sustained effort to investigate money-laundering activity, with just a handful of major money-laundering investigations that progressed to the charge-approval stage.

The report noted that B.C.’s real estate sector is highly vulnerable to money laundering and that realtors are frustrated by the lack of guidance on how to comply with federal anti-money-laundering obligations.JENNIFER GAUTHIER/Reuters

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U.S. Federal Reserve hikes interest rate by largest amount since 1994

The U.S. Federal Reserve has announced its largest interest-rate increase since 1994, and said that it would continue pushing borrowing costs higher in an effort to restrain the highest inflation in four decades.

Officials announced a 0.75-percentage-point increase on Wednesday, lifting the benchmark federal funds rate to between 1.5 per cent and 1.75 per cent.

The move marks an abrupt shift at the world’s largest central bank, and suggests a willingness by the central bankers to squeeze the U.S. economy to prevent prices from spiralling further out of control.

Toronto police data finds officers use more force against Black residents than any other racialized group

Toronto Police data show that officers routinely use more force including pointing their firearms on Black residents than on any other racial group in the city, leading the interim chief of Canada’s largest police service to pledge to reduce systemic racism in his force.

The findings are part of a report on data that the Toronto Police Service (TPS) collected in 2020 on use of force and strip searches and, for the first time, is broken down by race. Black people made up nearly 40 per cent of incidents in which police used force against civilians despite only representing about 10 per cent of the Toronto population.

The Toronto police force has long faced criticism for the way it interacts with racialized communities in the city, and there have been calls to reduce the service’s budget and delegate some tasks to other organizations. The service’s sharpest critics say this new data show that systemic racism still persists, despite years of efforts to reform.

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Also on our radar

Five things health experts say we must do to end the pandemic: It may be tempting to put the pandemic in the past, now that governments have eased public-health restrictions, but the struggle against COVID-19 isn’t over, says Dr. Gerald Evans, a member of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. Here, he and other health experts share the top five issues that need to be addressed now.

Canadian home sales, prices fall for second consecutive month in May: Canadian home prices and sales dropped in May in a second straight month, as a sharp jump in borrowing costs rattled the market and made it harder for homebuyers to get a mortgage. The Canadian Real Estate Association said it had predicted that the housing market would eventually slow when interest rates started to rise, but it did not expect rates and mortgage costs to climb so quickly.

Watchdog flooded with complaints about access to information: The federal information watchdog fielded a record number of complaints last year about the way government institutions handled requests for documents despite years of promises from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reform the system.

People increasingly distrust media, report finds: A study on public perception of the news industry found that more people are avoiding the news and that fewer Canadians have trust in the media. The report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that only 42 per cent of Canadians surveyed trusted the news, compared with 58 per cent in 2018.

Xi tells Putin all sides should work to resolve Ukraine crisis: Chinese President Xi Jinping told Russian leader Vladimir Putin Wednesday that all sides should work toward resolving the crisis in Ukraine “in a responsible manner.” However, despite intense international pressure, Beijing has refused to condemn Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and has repeatedly called for a negotiated settlement.

Morning markets

World shares fall: World stocks fell on Thursday and the U.S. dollar regained its footing on concerns over the impact of surging inflation and an aggressive policy tightening outlook from global central banks. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.96 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were down 2.59 per cent and 2.17 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.40 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 2.17 per cent. New York futures were down. The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.27 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Campbell Clark: “What we need to know is whether there was really nothing else that could have been done other than imposing the Emergencies Act. And instead of providing details of what was considered, or notes from briefings, or even a minister telling us in detail how they arrived at the conclusion that there was no other option, we heard vague assurances.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

Living better

Go glamping and never fight with tent poles or sleep on hard ground again

It’s a relaxing getaway in the great outdoors, without the laws-of-physics-defying feat of erecting a tent, the swarms of biting bugs, or the back-breaking sleep on the cold, hard ground. Glamping is the Instagram-worthy, glamorous version of camping, with the fine linens and niceties of a luxury hotel in the tranquil setting of a remote campsite.

Moment in time: June 16, 1978

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in Grease.Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection/CP

Grease, the movie, is released

Greased lightning, summer nights and a car race on Thunder Road. The teenage romance between a T-bird and a Pink Lady was set in 1958, but graced the big screen in 1978. Grease, the movie musical, was an adaptation of the 1971 stage production based in Chicago of the same name. The musical was quickly picked up by New York producers and premiered on Broadway in June, 1972. The original musical was raunchy, and later productions toned the story down, especially for the movie adaptation starring John Travolta as Danny Zuko and Olivia Newton-John as Sandy Olsson. The film ranked second at the box office in its opening weekend. However, Grease would be No. 1 the next week, and after 66 days, it became one of the highest-grossing movies for Paramount Pictures, second only to The Godfather. The movie’s soundtrack also became a bestselling album in 1978 and earned an Oscar nomination for the song Hopelessly Devoted to You. The songs and characters from Grease continue to inspire new work and a variety of fifties-themed Halloween costumes 44 years after its release. Emily McPhail

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