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Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran’s embassy in Syria yesterday in a strike that marked a major escalation in Israel’s war with its regional adversaries. Iran said seven of its military advisers, including three senior commanders, were killed.

Israel has long targeted Iran’s military installations in Syria and those of its proxies, but yesterday’s attack was the first time Israel hit the vast embassy compound itself.

Also yesterday, an Israeli strike hit an aid convoy, killing six international workers from the World Central Kitchen and their Palestinian driver, in a potentially major setback to efforts to deliver aid by sea to Gaza. The food charity, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, said it was immediately suspending operations in the region.

Open this photo in gallery:

People gather near a damaged site, hauling a destroyed vehicle away, after what Syrian and Iranian media described as an Israeli air strike on Iran's consulate in Damascus, April 1, 2024.Firas Makdesi/Reuters

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New law on reporting forced labour sows confusion

Some companies are struggling to understand their reporting obligations under Canada’s new modern slavery in supply chains legislation with the filing deadline just two months away.

The new law requires many businesses and government institutions to publicly report on the risk of forced labour and child labour within their supply chains. The legislation came into effect Jan. 1, and entities have until May 31 to produce their reports. But there is still significant confusion about who is captured by the legislation.

The confusion arises from the reference to “entities” in the legislation. This could be corporations, trusts, partnerships or other types of unincorporated organizations that meet certain criteria such as being listed on a Canadian stock exchange. Also, the law targets entities that are producing, selling, distributing or importing goods, but according to Kari MacKay, the head of the mining group at Goodmans LLP, the government recently dropped the “selling and distributing” component, adding to even more confusion.

Open letter calls on political leaders to tackle rise in incivility

Dozens of former politicians, academics, artists, religious leaders and human-rights advocates are calling on Canada’s political leaders to improve civility in public discourse and mend divisions that they say are undermining peace and security in this country.

In an open letter published yesterday, they argue that the phenomenon is part of a worrisome trend in which Canadians are “unwilling, unable or ill-equipped” to interact with people who have divergent views. The letter urges political leaders to put aside their differences to research the cause, scale and impact of various tensions across Canada and take action through law enforcement, education and personal accountability to foster a safer country.

The list of signatories to the letter includes former Quebec premier Jean Charest, former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, former federal finance minister Bill Morneau and film director Deepa Mehta.

  • Letter: An open letter to Canada’s political leaders – for the sake of the country’s future
  • Editorial: The defence of civility rests on all of us

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Also on our radar

Two major accounting firms did not meet quality standards last year, regulator says: Two of Canada’s Big Four accounting firms failed to meet regulators’ standards for quality audits last year, part of an increase in questionable work, according to the Canadian Public Accountability Board. The regulator did not disclose the firms’ names. The Big Four accounting firms are Deloitte LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Companies struggling to find buyers for gas stations: The move to electric vehicles is threatening gas stations. While individual stations are still attractive to entrepreneurs looking to be sole proprietors, companies, such as Suncor, Irving and Parkland, hoping to sell large retail gas networks are struggling to find buyers.

Cleantech startups waiting for SDTC funding facing delays: Cleantech companies approved for funding by Sustainable Development Technology Canada are seeing payments delayed after the government increased reporting requirements, including ensuring that there are no conflicts of interest involving the federal agency.

Canada’s science facilities look for new deal with Ottawa: With a federal budget looming, scientists who operate major facilities in Canada are asking the federal government to come up with a better way to keep those sites funded and operating, adding that if the government fails to act, it will be hard for Canada to make the most of the billions it has invested in its research resources or to plan for the future.

Morning markets

European stocks rose to a new all-time high and the U.S. dollar held firm, as traders reduced their expectations for Federal Reserve rate cuts following a strong manufacturing report.

In early trading, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.2 per cent, reaching the new high previously in the session. London’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 per cent and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.2 per cent while Germany’s DAX was flat.

Asian stocks rose, with Japan’s Nikkei closing at 39,838.91 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ending at 16,931.52, up 2.36 per cent.

The dollar traded at 73.73 U.S. cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Campbell Clark: “If only there was a way to roll out Young Age Security cheques, Mr. Trudeau’s team might be itching to do it. But there just isn’t as much room to spend as there was in 2021. There will have to be cheaper ways.”

Cathal Kelly: “This is how everyone who has an Olympic opinion, including Canada, has handled Russia for years: ‘I don’t like these people. Why won’t anyone do something?’ At best, it’s disingenuous. At worst, it’s cowardly. If the guest list offends you so much, why do you keep showing up? If you are so determined to let everyone know about your stand, why don’t you take one?”

Living better

Building muscle? Here’s how to get the protein you need without meat

If you’re looking to build muscle from resistance exercise, eating meat or other animal protein is usually what most people do. But what if you’re a vegetarian? Here’s a primer for how to get protein from a variety of plant sources, and how much you really need.

Moment in time: April 2, 2019

Open this photo in gallery:

Independent MPs and former cabinet ministers Jane Philpott, left, and Jody Wilson-Raybould speak to reporters before Question Period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, a day after being removed from the Liberal caucus on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott are expelled from Liberal caucus

In early January of 2019, perhaps the most complicated political file on the four-year-old Liberal government’s plate was sorting out a cabinet shuffle. Just three frenzied months later, a top adviser of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Clerk of the Privy Council were out, and two caucus members, once high-profile ministers, were expelled. After The Globe and Mail reported that Mr. Trudeau had improperly pressed his attorney-general to order a deferred prosecution agreement in the Montreal-based firm SNC-Lavalin’s fraud and corruption case, Jody Wilson-Raybould – shuffled, by then, to veterans’ affairs – and Treasury Board president Jane Philpott resigned from cabinet in protest. When Ms. Wilson-Raybould released a secret recording of a conversation with the country’s top civil servant, alleging he had made “veiled threats,” Mr. Trudeau booted the two women from the Liberal caucus, five years ago today. Both went on to run as independents in the 2019 election, and Ms. Wilson-Raybould eked out a win. In 2021, she chose to leave federal politics and has authored three books. Dr. Philpott returned to her work in health care and academia, and has written a book too, which is due to come out next week. Adrian Lee

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