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The federal government introduced legislation yesterday to make it harder for repeat violent offenders to be released on bail as premiers raised concerns after the killing of an Ontario police officer and a number of other attacks.

The change in Bill C-48 would put the responsibility on certain accused people to show why they should be granted bail, rather than require the prosecution to argue why they shouldn’t.

The question now will be how independent judges and justices of the peace will respond to the proposed new law as reasonable bail is a constitutional right.

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David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, makes an announcement regarding bail reform in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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Chong says he met with CSIS about suspected China threats three times

In testimony before a Commons committee yesterday, Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong said he approached Canada’s spy agency on three occasions to outline threats that he believes were made against him by the Chinese government.

Chong said that in the three times he spoke with CSIS, the agency never told him of the activities of Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei, who tried to intimidate the MP and his family in Hong Kong over his stand on Beijing’s human-rights record. Chong added that the information he brought to CSIS had nothing to do with Zhao.

Ottawa at stalemate over Stellantis battery factory, calls on Ontario to pay its ‘fair share’

The federal government is calling on Ontario to contribute its “fair share” to help end a dispute that has halted construction of a Windsor electric-battery plant.

Automaker Stellantis and battery maker LG Energy Solution are demanding public funding comparable to what was given to Volkswagen by the government earlier this year, or, they said, they will relocate the Windsor plant.

Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne yesterday struck an optimistic tone about resolving the dispute, but the industry group that represents Stellantis in Canada warned Ottawa against taking the threat lightly, particularly with the auto maker needing to make quick decisions to be able to meet its target of starting to produce batteries in 2024.

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Also on our radar

Inflation ticks higher in April: Canada’s annual inflation rate rose in April, a surprise development that shows reaching the Bank of Canada’s goal of 2-per-cent inflation is unlikely to be a smooth process. While the central bank projects inflation will fall to around 3 per cent this summer, it has also warned that price increases in the services sector could stick around for a while.

Toronto’s downtown faces an existential crisis: With remote work increasingly becoming part of policy for many companies, Toronto’s downtown core appears to be stuck in a partial recovery. City officials and business leaders are raising concerns about the future of the financial district that powers the core of the city. And the risks go far beyond downtown as transit agencies need bailouts, the municipal tax base is threatened and retail employees face job losses.

Montreal mayor asks for probe after fire: Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has requested the city’s comptroller-general investigate the enforcement of fire safety regulations after a March 16 blaze in an Old Montreal apartment building killed seven people and injured nine others. The request comes a day after The Globe and Mail reported that the fire department had a moratorium on investigations of buildings’ evacuation routes.

Wildfire smoke descends on Calgary: As wildfires ravage northern Alberta, strong winds have pushed smoke to Calgary, leading to air-quality warnings from Environment Canada deeming it “very high risk” to residents.

Ukraine’s chief justice detained in anti-corruption drive: Vsevolod Kniaziev, the Chief Justice of Ukraine’s Supreme Court, was arrested for allegedly taking a US$2.7-million bribe from a billionaire businessman in return for a favourable ruling, officials from the country’s anti-corruption agencies said yesterday. Kyiv is trying to root out corruption in the government and judiciary as the European Union has made it a key condition for membership in the bloc.

Morning markets

U.S. debt talks dominate markets: Global shares wavered on Wednesday, while the U.S. dollar traded at six-week highs, as efforts to reach a deal on lifting the U.S. debt ceiling continue. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.06 per cent. Germany’s DAX added 0.25 per cent. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.12 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.84 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished down 2.09 per cent. New York futures were modestly positive. The Canadian dollar was lower at 74.07 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Editorial: “Canada needs a sophisticated rental sector, one in which being a lifelong tenant is a viable option for anyone who can’t afford to get into the housing market, or chooses to stay out of it. Getting there will require long-term fixes that work for both sides of the rental market equation.”

Andrew Coyne: “A lot of conservatives have made the same strange journey as Ms. Smith in recent years, and have arrived at much the same set of crackpot beliefs. Canadian conservatives may not be as far gone as their counterparts in the United States – though distressing numbers of both think Donald Trump won the 2020 election – but it is a difference of degree, rather than kind.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Editorial cartoon by David Parkins, May 17, 2023.Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

Beyoncé, Boygenius and, maybe, Neil Young: 2023′s summer of concerts and festivals

Amid a class-action lawsuit from Taylor Swift fans and an antitrust hearing on Capitol Hill, the concert business keeps rolling on. Here are the top 13 summer music events across Canada.

Moment in time: May 17, 2008

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Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly leave St George's Chapel in Windsor on May 17, 2008 after their marriage vows.IAN MCILGORM/AFP/Getty Images

Montrealer Autumn Kelly marries Queen’s grandson

Autumn Kelly and Peter Phillips’s love story began with a chance meeting at the BMW hospitality suite during the 2003 Montreal Grand Prix. The pair hit it off and dated for six weeks before she learned he was Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and Princess Anne’s son. Before they met, she had found a job in England, which allowed her to work there and spend time with him. When they wed on this day in 2008, at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the Montrealer became the first Canadian to marry into the immediate Royal Family. Her Roman Catholic faith would have cost her husband his place in the line of succession to the British throne, but she joined the Church of England before the wedding. They went on to have two daughters, Savannah and Isla, who hold dual citizenship and occupy the 19th and 20th positions in the line of succession, respectively. However, the couple announced their separation in February, 2020, adding to the list of Royal Family members who have divorced, including King Charles and two of his three siblings. — Giuliana Grillo de Lambarri

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