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Former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley is calling for an independent inquiry into China’s sophisticated strategy to interfere in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

Mr. Kingsley, who served in the post from 1990 to 2007, said it is disturbing that Chinese diplomats and their proxies used disinformation campaigns and illegal methods to help favoured candidates in the two most recent campaigns.

He said an independent inquiry would also determine whether the Canadian Security Intelligence Service turned over its intelligence on China’s illegal interference to the the Commissioner of Canada Elections Carol Simard to investigate. Her office said it is not allowed to reveal if anyone brought forward allegations to investigate. CSIS does not discuss its investigations.

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Apart but alive, this Ukrainian family recounts a year divided by war

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Ludmila Klymenko lives in Poland with her children, Valeria and Daniel. Her husband, Lieutenant-Colonel Dmytro Klymenko, is serving with the Ukrainian army near Kharkiv.Anna Liminowicz /Anton Skyba/The Globe and Mail

When Russia launched its full-scale invasion, Dmytro Klymenko re-enlisted in the military, where he is now serving as a lieutenant-colonel near Kharkiv. His wife, Ludmila, and their children escaped to Western Ukraine, before eventually settling in Warsaw, Poland. Like millions of Ukrainian families, the Klymenkos have been forced to live apart, not knowing whether they’ll be reunited for good. While both parents have tried to offer reassurances and hope to their children, the stress, the worry and the longing never go away. “Each morning, I check for a message to know if he is alive or dead,” she said. “Every mother, every wife dreams that their family will be together again.”

Meanwhile, at a sprawling trade centre in Warsaw, what was once seen as a temporary refugee shelter has become home to more than 800 displaced Ukrainians. As Poland, which has welcomed 1.5 million Ukrainians, begins to cut back its financial aid, those living in shelters for more than 120 days will be asked next month to cover half of their accommodation costs, or 40 zloty a day, which is roughly $12. That will jump to 75 per cent, or 60 zloty a day, for those who stay for 180 days or longer. Many people in the Expo shelter will have a hard time covering the costs. Language barriers and a lack of child care make finding a decent-paying job and a place to live almost impossible.

Join Globe correspondents Mark MacKinnon and Paul Waldie in conversation with The Decibel’s Menaka Raman-Wilms, as they reflect on on how the first year of Russia’s war has unfolded. Follow along at noon ET on

Read more:

Federal outsourcing on pace to reach record $21.4-billion this year

Federal outsourcing is on pace to set another record this year – $21.4-billion – and the growing expense faces increasing public scrutiny over whether the billions spent each year on outside help is providing good value for taxpayers.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux highlighted the increase in a report Thursday, noting that spending on outsourcing has increased by more than a third since the 2017-18 fiscal year. Meanwhile, the size of the public service climbed to 335,957 employees in 2022, up from 262,696 in 2017, a 28-per-cent increase.

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Also on our radar

Ottawa reaches deals on health care funding: Five provinces – Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island – have agreed in principle to the 10-year spending plan Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced. Deals with the eight other provinces and territories remain outstanding.

Board member of drug-pricing agency resigns over concerns about independence: Matthew Herder, who was part of the federal agency tasked with creating new rules to rein in high drug prices until his resignation Thursday, said Ottawa has undermined the process and appears to be caving to pharmaceutical industry interests.

Loblaw says grocery prices to keep rising: Inflation-weary consumers should brace for further price hikes through the first half of the year, as Loblaw executives say cost pressures remain throughout the sector.

Political violence in Nigeria threatens to hurt voter turnout: The deadly ambush of a Nigerian opposition candidate, along with a spate of other attacks on candidates and campaigners, has stoked fears that Saturday’s election will be tainted by political violence, which could discourage Nigerians from voting.

Toronto by-election set: The city’s residents will elect a new mayor on June 26 to replace John Tory, who resigned months into his third term after admitting to an affair with a former staffer, the city clerk announced. Advance voting runs from June 8-13.

Morning markets

Global shares head for weekly decline: World shares limped toward their biggest weekly fall of the year on Friday, though investors took heart from a dip in government bond yields as the incoming Bank of Japan chief ruled out an early end to its super-easy monetary policy. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.29 per cent. Germany’s DAX slid 0.15 per cent while France’s CAC 40 added 0.11 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended up 1.29 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.68 per cent. New York futures were down modestly. The Canadian dollar was lower at 73.70 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Let’s get politicians to tell us how they would close Roxham Road, not why

“And there is palpable frustration when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau essentially says he’s got nothing other than time to wait for U.S. President Joe Biden to solve the problem by changing a border agreement. And that’s essentially what Mr. Trudeau was saying Wednesday when he said that if Roxham Road was closed, asylum-seekers would just cross at other places. It’s probably true, but not a solution.” - Campbell Clark

More offensive than Roald Dahl’s works is the cleansing of them by his estate

“... A story is also a history, a glimpse at when it was created, by a certain mind at a time, embodying norms or subverting them. The past is rotten with awful acts, from the wounding to the criminal to the genocidal. We do not eradicate that by removing references to it. We can, and should, explain that then is not now, and say why.” - Tom Rachman

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable published Feb. 24, 2023. AH, THE EXHILARATION AND ENCHANTMENT OF A FRESH NEW WORK DAY! ETHICAL LAPSE DU JOURIllustration by Brian Gable

Living better

Five things to stream this weekend: Party Down finally celebrates Season 3, plus Plane lands at home

From the revival of Party Down, which follows the struggles of a group of Hollywood hopefuls working the catering circuit, to All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Laura Poitras’s Oscar-nominated documentary on the life of photographer Nan Goldin, here are Barry Hertz’s five picks to spend the weekend with.

Moment in time: Feb. 24, 1932

Canadian actor John Vernon is born

Open this photo in gallery:Canadian actor as John Vernon as Dr. Steve Wojeck in 'Wojeck", c. 1966. Wojeck was a CBC television series which followed the career of Steve Wojeck, a crusading big city coroner who regularly fought moral injustices raised by the deaths he investigated. He often tackled tough and controversial issues. Photo by Robert C. Ragsdale.

Canadian actor as John Vernon as Dr. Steve Wojeck in 'Wojeck,' circa 1966.Robert C. Ragsdale/Courtesy of CBC

His birth name was Adolphus Raimundus Vernon Agopsowicz. Born this day in 1932 in Zehner, Sask., a village northeast of Regina, he was the son of immigrant parents from the Duchy of Bukovina, part of the old Austrian empire in Eastern Europe. His interest in acting was nurtured at Regina’s Campion College and the Regina Little Theatre. He had already settled on a new name: John Vernon. After formal training at the Banff School of Arts and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Mr. Vernon appeared on stage in London and then the Stratford Festival in Ontario. By the mid-1960s, he was the star of the CBC television series Wojeck, about a principled coroner on a crusade to right society’s wrongs. Hollywood beckoned, though, and Mr. Vernon used his formidable on-screen abilities to carve out a highly versatile career as a character actor in movies and on television. Perhaps his most popular role was the hapless Dean Wormer in the satirical cult movie Animal House (1978). Mr. Vernon also did regular voice work, lending his authoritative tone in his later years to video games. His 2005 death in Los Angeles was light years from his beginnings in rural Saskatchewan. Bill Waiser

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