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Federal public servants across the country will go on strike starting today after the union representing them and the federal government failed to reach a deal last night.

In a news conference late last night, Chris Aylward, president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said that the union and the government were still “a ways apart” on a deal, but added that the union would stay at the bargaining table if the government was prepared to stay at the table, too.

With more than 150,000 workers walking off the job, it will be one of the largest national strikes in Canadian history, and Canadians trying to access public services will face backlogs and delays.

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Preparations are seen near Parliament Hill ahead of a Public Service Alliance of Canada strike action in Ottawa, on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press

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Fox settles Dominion lawsuit for $787.5-million, avoids trial

Fox News has agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems, a Canadian voting machine company, $787.5-million for spreading false information about the company’s role in the 2020 election.

The deal was announced minutes before a defamation trial was about to begin, and will allow the U.S. network to avoid having its executives and anchors questioned over their role in promoting Donald Trump’s claims about election fraud.

After Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, Fox News promoted stories that claimed Dominion rigged elections for Venezuelan autocrat Hugo Chavez, was tied to left-wing billionaire George Soros and that it changed votes for Trump to votes for Biden.

Afghans stuck in Albania say Canada has deemed travel papers invalid

In October 2021, FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, celebrated a huge victory off the pitch – it helped more than 150 Afghan athletes and human rights advocates escape Afghanistan.

The organization expected the group to be resettled in Canada because they had what appeared to be Canadian travel documents from the office of Senator Marilou McPhedran.

Instead, the group of Afghans has been stranded in Albania for the past year and a half because the Canadian government says the documents are inauthentic and invalid.

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Also on our radar

Canadian inflation cools: Canada’s inflation rate fell to 4.3 per cent in March down from 5.2 per cent the previous month, a welcome sign for the Bank of Canada as it keeps interest rates steady at their highest levels in more than 15 years in an effort to restore price stability.

OSFI mulls changes to guard against risks: Canada’s banking regulator is looking at whether banks should hold more capital against mortgage loans as rising monthly payments could pose problems for some borrowers with variable-rate mortgages.

Experts criticize involuntary treatment: Legal and addictions experts are denouncing Alberta over potential legislation that would force people into drug treatment against their will, saying it would threaten people’s Charter-protected rights and could lead to relapse and overdose.

Science Centre to move to Ontario Place: The Ford government’s plans to revamp Ontario Place include a relocation of the Ontario Science Centre. The move has become an early point of contention ahead of the June 26 mayoral by-election, but Premier Doug Ford has said they will go ahead regardless of who becomes Toronto’s next mayor.

Ceasefire fails in Sudan: Diplomats in Sudan are working to prevent fighting between the military and militia groups from expanding into a regional conflict as a ceasefire agreement between the two sides has failed and civilians continue to be killed and injured.

Leafs lose, Jets win: The Toronto Maple Leafs turned in an embarrassing effort in Game 1 of their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Leafs were outplayed for much of the game, going down 0-3 after the first period and getting booed off the ice by their own fans. The game ended 7-3 for Tampa. Meanwhile in Vegas, the Winnipeg Jets roared to a 5-1 victory against the Golden Knights, shocking the top seed in the Western Conference in their home arena.

Morning markets

World stocks ease: Global stocks eased on Wednesday, while the U.S. dollar pulled further above last week’s one-year lows, as investor focus honed in on what the Federal Reserve may have to do to tame inflation. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.42 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were down 0.20 per cent and 0.18 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished down 0.18 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.37 per cent. New York futures were lower. The Canadian dollar was down at 74.41 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Andrew Coyne: “Putting the CBC on pay could be the best thing that ever happened to the corporation and its employees. No longer obliged to please either the government or advertisers, they would at last be free to focus on pleasing their audience. That’s the case for defunding, or rather re-funding, the CBC. That’s the sort of ‘adult conversation’ we might have about the public broadcaster, if we did not have adolescents for party leaders.”

Marsha Lederman: “I worked for the CBC from 2000 to 2007, mostly in radio news .... So I feel compelled to disclose the number of times, during my (admittedly low-level) tenure and to my knowledge, that management got involved or in any way influenced our coverage of government, federal or otherwise. The number is zero.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable, April 18, 2023.Illustration by Brian Gable

Living better

Ten often-forgotten tax filing tips

As the deadline nears, there are many Canadians who still haven’t filed their tax returns. Tax columnist Tim Cestnick offers 10 helpful tips that are often forgotten when doing taxes.

Moment in time: April 19, 1884

Open this photo in gallery:
Willie Nahanee, 79, of the Squamish Nation, who attended the former St. Paul Indian Residential School for 10 years and the Kamloops Indian Residential School for one year, holds a photograph of the 1932 St. Paul girls class, in North Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. Catholic bishops in Canada are apologizing to survivors of residential schools and their families ahead of a planned meeting between Pope Francis and Indigenous leaders later this fall. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Willie Nahanee, 79, of the Squamish Nation, who attended the former St. Paul Indian Residential School for 10 years and the Kamloops Indian Residential School for one year, holds a photograph of the 1932 St. Paul girls class, in North Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Amendment to Indian Act creates residential schools

Another tragic chapter in Canada’s mistreatment of Indigenous people began on this day in 1884 with an amendment to the Indian Act that created residential schools. The change cemented in law the existing boarding schools run by religious groups. The residential schools’ intent was to end the “Indian problem” by separating children from their parents, and erasing native cultures to assimilate them into Canada. An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were taken from their families and sent to the schools funded by the federal government and the churches. Physical and sexual abuse, hunger, forced labour, neglect and illness were all parts of the system, victims told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which began in 2008. “We got taken away by a big truck. I can still remember my mom and dad looking at us, and they were really, really sad-looking,” said Alma Scott, taken to a school in Manitoba at the age of 5. “They were there to discipline you, teach you, beat you, rape you, molest you, but I never got an education,” Elaine Durocher said of the Roman Catholics who ran the school she was sent to in Saskatchewan. The last residential school closed in 1996. Eric Atkins

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