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The Liberal government has reached an informal deal with the NDP to stay in power until 2025, in exchange for a pledge to act on dental care, pharmacare and other key issues advocated by New Democrats, sources say.

The deal, which is tentative and still requires the approval of the NDP caucus, would not give the New Democrats any cabinet seats, according to two sources.

The sources said the agreement-in-principle would require NDP support for the minority government on key confidence matters, including budgets, in exchange for increased parliamentary collaboration on major NDP policy issues. The government is also expected to forge ahead with NDP-supported plans to impose a special tax on Canadian banks and financial institutions, a Liberal promise during the 2021 election campaign.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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RCMP forms task force to create national hate crimes policing standards

The RCMP will announce today a task force that will work to create Canada’s first official standards for investigating hate crimes, an area of policing the Mounties acknowledge needs much improvement.

A Globe and Mail analysis of the performance of Canada’s 13 largest municipal and regional police forces over eight years found the average rates at which individual forces solved hate crimes by charging perpetrators varied from a low of 6 per cent to a high of 28 per cent.

Policing experts say that the number of hate-crime cases reported to the federal government vastly underrepresents the scope and scale of the country’s growing problem with hate-motivated offences. There is a dramatic gulf between the hate people say they experience across the country and what police end up investigating.

Georgia fears becoming the next victim of Putin’s apparent effort to recreate the Soviet empire

Three weeks after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, Georgian MP Alexander Elisashvili, a member of the small opposition Citizens Party, found himself overcome with rage and made his way into Ukraine – to fight the invaders.

The politician-soldier became an instant hero among many – perhaps most – Georgians, who generally view Russian aggression in Ukraine with trepidation verging on outright fear. They ask: Are we next?

The Georgian government itself does not share Elisashvili’s enthusiasm for fighting Russians. It fears provoking Putin, knowing full well that Russia could crush Georgia militarily and hobble its economy.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Xplornet in talks to acquire Freedom Mobile: Rural internet provider Xplornet Communications is in talks with Rogers Communications about a possible bid to acquire Freedom Mobile, according to sources. The deal would make Xplornet Canada’s fourth-largest cellphone company. Rogers must sell Freedom Mobile to win regulatory approval for its planned $26-billion takeover of its rival Shaw Communications.

CP Rail’s work stoppage ends with arbitration agreement: Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and its union have agreed to a binding arbitration over a labour dispute, allowing for operations to resume from Tuesday. The work stoppage had left large swaths of Canada’s manufacturing and mining sectors without viable ways to reach customers at a time when supply chains are already being strained by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Sale of Ontario startup underscores challenge for domestic innovators: Intellijoint Surgical, one of Canada’s leading medical device startups, has finally made a sale in its home country to Toronto’s Humber River Hospital. But circumstances behind the sale speak to a chronic problem facing domestic medical technology innovators: a lack of demand for new medical technologies from publicly funded hospitals and health authorities in Canada.

Search continues after China Eastern Airlines crash: Hundreds of emergency workers and soldiers scoured a charred mountainside in China’s eastern Guangxi province on Tuesday, looking for any sign of survivors from the country’s worst air disaster in over 10 years.

Hong Kong to relax restrictions on overseas travellers: For two years now, Hong Kong has been largely closed off to the outside world, with visitors subject to as much as three weeks of mandatory quarantine in a hotel or government-run camp as part of the city’s “zero COVID” approach. Starting April 1, this will be reduced to seven days, and a ban on travel from nine countries – including Canada – will be lifted, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said yesterday.


MORNING MARKETS

European stock indexes opened slightly higher on Tuesday, while U.S. and European government bond yields rose to new multiyear highs as investors adjusted their expectations for rate hikes following hawkish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank could move “more aggressively” to raise rates to fight inflation, possibly by more than 25 basis points at once. The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, was up 0.2% on the day. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.30 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Editorial: “No one likes expensive gasoline. But the knee-jerk response that high gas prices mean drivers need a tax break at the pump is antediluvian thinking. The future is less gasoline. This winter’s shock is jarring, but it focuses the mind. To see gas near $2 a litre is new to Canadians. By the end of the decade, it will be normal, and by design.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian GableBrian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Winter surfing in the frigid waters of Canada’s lakes and oceans

For most Canadians, the prospect of surfing in the winter likely suggests a beach vacation to Hawaii, Central America or Southern California. But for dedicated aficionados across this country, surfing in Canada is a year-round labour of love. While winter surfing occurs at various Canadian coastal spots, rivers and lakes, these locations are among the most established.


MOMENT IN TIME: MARCH 22, 2016

The casket carrying former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives at St James Cathedral for funeral services in Toronto, March 30, 2016.FRED THORNHILL/Reuters

Rob Ford dies

By early 2016, Toronto’s collective fever dream of mayoral crack use, alcohol abuse, rehab stints, cellphone videos, police investigations, late-night talk show punchlines and all-round erratic behaviour had long since faded. An increasingly ill Rob Ford wasn’t seen often at city council, where he retained an Etobicoke seat after a cancer diagnosis derailed his bid for a second term as mayor. Three weeks after his brother Doug said Rob, 46, was facing a “real fight,” his office confirmed he had died. His casket arrived at City Hall on a dark rainy morning six days afterward. Thousands later stood in lines that snaked around the building to pay their respects to a politician many felt was one of them, flaws and all. At his funeral at St. James Cathedral, only the Very Rev. Andrew Asbil made reference to Ford’s personal demons, saying few will know “what it’s like to carry the burden of our failings and our weaknesses in such a public way.” Doug, then a one-term city councillor few imagined would become Ontario’s premier, vowed to pick up Rob’s populist political brand: “Don’t worry, Ford Nation will continue.” Jeff Gray


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