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Experts are raising concerns about the public inquiry into foreign interference, saying the time allotted is not enough, the mandate is too broad and the judge appointed to lead it has no apparent experience in national security.

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc confirmed yesterday that Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Marie-Josée Hogue has agreed to head the inquiry into foreign interference by China and other hostile states. LeBlanc defended Hogue’s qualifications even though her main areas of practice as a lawyer were corporate commercial litigation, civil litigation and professional liability, according to her Court of Appeal biography.

Also, Stephanie Carvin, a former national-security analyst, said the February deadline for the first report does not give Justice Hogue much opportunity to delve deeply into the matter – given that it will take weeks to set up a commission office and staff.

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Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Marie-Josée Hogue has agreed to head a public inquiry into foreign interference by China and other hostile states after months of negotiations with the opposition parties.Université de Sherbrooke/Handout

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Ford government’s appointee to Greenbelt Foundation had family ties to developer

The former vice-chair of a foundation set up to safeguard the Greenbelt, who was appointed to its board by Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government, has close family ties to one of the select group of developers whose land was opened up for housing construction in the environmentally protected region.

The government appointed Susan McGovern in 2019 to the board of the Greenbelt Foundation, which describes itself on its website as “the only organization solely dedicated to ensuring the Greenbelt remains permanent, protected and prosperous.” Her three-year term ended on Nov. 20.

McGovern’s brother and husband operate The Rice Group, one of the handful of developers whose land Ford’s government removed from the Greenbelt last year, making the property no longer subject to the protected zone’s restrictions on building.

Macklem says inflation target ‘now in sight,’ but doesn’t rule out more rate hikes

A day after the Bank of Canada held interest rates steady, Governor Tiff Macklem said the 2-per-cent inflation target “is now in sight,” but warned that the central bank could raise rates again if consumer price growth remains stubborn.

A contraction in the economy, along with a slowdown in consumer spending and a rising unemployment rate forced the bank to hit pause after hiking rates 10 times since March, 2022, the most aggressive monetary policy tightening campaign in decades.

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Also on our radar

TikTok videos the focus in convoy trial: The prosecution focused yesterday on Tiktok videos posted by convoy protest organizer Chris Barber, including one video in which he suggests demonstrators should blare their truck horns after a civil court had already barred them from doing so. Barber and Tamara Lich are facing charges of intimidation, obstruction of police and mischief for their involvement in the convoy protests that blockaded downtown Ottawa streets.

Renewable energy pause leaves companies angry: Alberta’s renewable energy industry is frustrated with the provincial government’s pause on development approvals, saying the delay could threaten thousands of jobs and stifle billions of dollars in investment in the province, according to hundreds of letters from individuals, companies, municipalities, Indigenous communities and industry groups.

Africa’s military rulers have poor records: Military coups have taken place in Gabon and Niger in recent weeks, and in Burkina Faso and Mali in the past couple of years, leading to jubilant crowds filling the streets celebrating the changes after decades of inequality, powerlessness and poverty. But a closer look at Africa’s coup history suggests military takeovers have failed to provide any quick-fix solutions to the chronic problems of their countries.

TIFF like a homecoming for Viggo Mortensen: Even though he’s not Canadian, actor Viggo Mortensen has a certain Canadian air about him. Maybe it’s the fact that he has spent a large part of the past decade either shooting in Canada, working with Canadians or hiring them. Whatever it is, Mortensen’s participation at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival feels like a homecoming.

Morning markets

Markets await central bank meetings: Global shares struggled on Friday as the U.S. dollar headed for its longest winning streak since 2014 on the back of a buoyant U.S. economy, with investors expecting central banks to stand pat on rates over the coming two weeks. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.44 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.74 per cent and 0.68 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 1.16 per cent. Markets in Hong Kong were closed. New York futures were modestly lower. The Canadian dollar was firmer at 73.14 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Sheila Copps and Ken Grafton: “Any decision as to the future of Canada’s prime ministerial residence should be based on real security concerns and sound financial information. The future of 24 Sussex Drive should be based on facts, not fiction.”

Frank Ching: “There are dozens of countries reportedly clamouring to join BRICS. If the West doesn’t co-operate, other players may simply take action to bring this about.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

Healthy meals for kids all year long

British chef Jamie Oliver is known for campaigning for healthier diets for schoolchildren. As a contributing writer for The Globe and Mail, he shared tips on how to get your kids to eat healthy and like it. As a new school year begins, we compiled some of his best advice for busy parents.

Moment in time: Sept. 8, 1974

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President Gerald Ford announces he has granted amnesty to Richard M. Nixon.Bettmann/Getty Images

U.S. President Gerald Ford pardons Nixon

Imagine, if you will, a time when just the threat of impeachment was enough to chase a U.S. president from office; a time when misdeeds and actual crimes in an administration were viewed as such by the public and governing party. It was against this backdrop that U.S. President Gerald Ford pardoned former president Richard Nixon, absolving him of any crimes committed in the Watergate break-in and cover-up. For Mr. Ford, letting Mr. Nixon off the hook was an attempt to put what he called “an American tragedy” in the past. Mr. Nixon, who had quit in August and left his vice-president in charge, accepted the pardon in what was seen as an admission of guilt. However, some Americans believed Mr. Ford pardoned his former boss in return for the chance to become the 38th president. Critics said the pardon prolonged the cover-up of the crimes committed in the 1972 election campaign, and failed to hold Mr. Nixon responsible. Mr. Ford’s approval rating plummeted and he would go on to lose the 1976 election to Jimmy Carter. Eric Atkins

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