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The wildfire that destroyed the small British Columbia village of Lytton and killed two people is believed to be human-caused, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. The agency is still investigating what exactly sparked the wildfire but said it appears that it started in the community and spread from there. After an investigation in Lytton this weekend, the B.C. Coroners Service confirmed two deaths.

The Lytton wildfire followed an intense heat wave that shattered temperature records across Western Canada. There were more than 170 fires burning across B.C. as of Sunday. Residents of about 700 properties have been forced to flee their homes, while those at another 1,300 properties were on alert to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Evacuees and First Nations leaders have criticized the response effort for its lack of co-ordination.

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The heat wave in Western Canada has been linked to hundreds of unexpected and sudden deaths across the province. The scorching heat has also amplified warnings about an increase of extreme weather because of the climate crisis.

Read more: ‘We have to restore faith in humanity’: Community members rally to help B.C. wildfire evacuees, firefighters

Opinion: Enough with the cognitive dissonance. The wildfire that destroyed Lytton, B.C., could happen anywhere

Carol Deneault and Darcy Deneault evacuated from Skeetchestn Indian Band and are seen at the reception centre in Kamloops, B.C. July 3, 2021.

Jackie Dives/The Globe and Mail

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Taxpayers paid $1-million to U.S. company that runs Liberal Party’s digital voter outreach

NGP VAN, a U.S. data software company that runs Liberal digital voter outreach, has been paid $1-million from parliamentary funds since 2016 to exclusively handle constituency case work for party MPs. This raises more questions about whether taxpayer dollars are being used for election-related activities, which would not accord with House of Commons rules.

The Globe and Mail reported last month that the political-campaign software company used by the U.S. Democratic Party, had received payments from the Liberal Research Bureau (LRB) and separately from the office budgets of Liberal MPs, which the party says are strictly for constituency business. Payments have also been received by Data Sciences, a Montreal-based company that oversees the Liberal Party’s digital election operations and collaborates with NGP VAN during campaigns.

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A contract between the LRB and NGP VAN shows that the company is being paid US$13,500 per month from the LRB. The contract places more scrutiny on whether voter identification and outreach is also being conducted and what role Data Sciences plays in helping Liberal MPs manage NGP VAN software.

Catch the latest Decibel: Soaring house prices have made it harder to afford a house in Canada than it’s been in three decades. So how do you cool the housing market? Real estate reporter Rachelle Younglai explains how we got here, why the measures taken by governments so far haven’t helped, and what else could be done to get prices under control.

Subscribe to our Olympics newsletter: Going for gold under the cloud of COVID-19 makes the Tokyo Summer Games an Olympics like no other. Tokyo Olympics Update is here to help you make sense of it all, with original stories from Globe reporters in Canada and Tokyo, tracking Team Canada’s medal wins, and past Olympic moments from iconic performances.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.


ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Arab world’s best tennis player looks to advance to the Wimbledon quarter-finals

Ons Jabeur, who’s from Tunisia, is one of the few top tennis players from Africa and she’s become a trailblazer for Arab women. Her young career – she’s 26-years old – has already been filled with firsts. She’s the first Arab woman to make it to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, the first to reach the top 50 and the first to win a Women’s Tennis Association title. If she wins her match today at Wimbledon, she will jump into the world top-20 ranking and advance to the quarter-finals.

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Tonight: Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final

The Montreal Canadiens are set to face the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final tonight. After losing in Game 3, the Habs are 3-0 down in the series and one game away from elimination. Montreal is looking to reverse course while the Bolts look to complete a sweep.

Read more: After a tough year, are the Canadiens up for another challenge?

Senators discussing summer sittings to deal with Bill C-6 on conversion therapy

Leaders of the various groups in the Senate are discussing a government request to recall the chamber. This follows after senators faced criticism for recessing for summer without passing a bill that would effectively ban the widely criticized practice of conversion therapy, which aims to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision to recall the Senate will ultimately be in the hands of Speaker George Furey, who could announce a recall as soon as this week.

Vatican says Pope Francis doing well after intestinal surgery

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Pope Francis is doing well after undergoing intestinal surgery, the Vatican said on Sunday. The 84-year-old pontiff was admitted to hospital for the first time since his election in 2013. The Vatican had said earlier that the surgery had been scheduled and not prompted by an emergency.

Demolition crews bring down the rest of the collapsed Florida building

Demolition crews have brought down the still-standing portion of the collapsed building in Florida and rescuers have been given the all-clear to resume their work looking for victims. No one has been rescued alive since the first hours after the June 24 collapse, while 24 people have been found dead and 121 are still missing, including four Canadians.

Read more: Trump rally proceeds despite Florida building disaster

50 dead in Philippines military plane crash

A Philippine Air Force plane carrying 96 soldiers and crew members crashed on Sunday, killing 50 and injuring 49. The aircraft, carrying troops bound for counterinsurgency operations, overshot a runway while attempting to land at Jolo airport, leading to the crash. A full investigation has been ordered into the incident.

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MORNING MARKETS

Global shares near record highs: World stocks clung close to record highs on Monday as worries about the Delta variant of COVID-19 offset positive sentiment from surging euro zone business activity and a welcome U.S. jobs report. Just before 6 a.m., Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.18 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.32 per cent and 0.10 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.64 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.59 per cent. U.S. markets are closed for the day. The Canadian dollar was trading around 81 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Doug Saunders: “Canada needs a big, detailed plan, and big investments shared with other countries, to allow us to act fast next time a microscopic threat emerges – not just to minimize harm, but to prevent it from becoming a pandemic at all.”

Eric Reguly: “The government’s announcement made it clear that widespread EV use – more cars – is central to its climate policy. Why not fewer cars and more public transportation? Cities don’t need more cars, no matter the propulsion system. They need electrified buses, subways and trains powered by renewable energy. But the idea of making cities more livable while reducing emissions is apparently an alien concept to this government.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable /The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

How much water should you really be drinking?

The #HydrationChallenge is a social-media campaign that encourages you to drink 2.5 litres of water a day and post about it, and thousands of people are participating. There’s just one problem: it’s based on a myth. In truth, the rules around drinking water are extremely straightforward: if you’re thirsty, drink. If your pee is a pale yellow colour, you’re not dehydrated.


MOMENT IN TIME: 2008

Patios then and now

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HALIFAX HARBOUR, NOVA SCOTIA: People dine at the waterfront restaurants along the waterfront in Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 21, 2008.

Paul Darrow/The Globe and Mail

Food just tastes better eaten outdoors. The flavours seem fresher, the drinks are more refreshing, and laughter floating away on a warm breeze is a sure sign that summer has arrived. While dining al fresco has long been a rite of the season in Canada, the pandemic has made it all the more essential, transforming patios into vital social spaces where people can congregate in relative safety. This year has seen a slew of new patios opening in unexpected places: in alleys and laneways, on sidewalks and busy thoroughfares that normally cater to cars, not people. As vaccines ramp up and we slowly return to a new normal, we can only hope the municipal powers-that-be will let us keep some of these new patios – one of the few good things to come out of a profoundly challenging time. Gayle MacDonald


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