Canada’s Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge is reviewing how national sport organizations deal with abuse within their own ranks, following a Globe and Mail investigation that detailed a troubling number of Olympic athletes struggling with eating disorders and coaches driven by dubious sports science.
The revelations exposed flaws in the system Ottawa created to protect athletes at all levels of sport from maltreatment, including an oversight mechanism that lacks independence and is rife with conflicts of interest.
“It is clear from the research and recent reports in The Globe and Mail that we need to do more and to move quickly,” St-Onge said in a statement.
- Behind the story: How a Canadian Olympian’s admission sparked a closer look at the scope of eating disorders inside elite amateur sport
- The suspect science used to push aspiring Olympians to starve themselves
- ‘Awakening’ around Olympians and eating disorders prompts calls from experts to focus on younger athletes
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Watchdog asked to probe Dominic Barton’s appointment to the top job at Rio Tinto
The federal ethics commissioner has been formally asked to investigate whether Dominic Barton, Canada’s former ambassador to Beijing, violated ethics rules when he accepted a position as chair of Rio Tinto, a global mining company that does much of its business in China.
In a letter sent on Friday to the commissioner, Mario Dion, two NDP MPs say they believe Barton is in breach of the Conflict of Interest Act because he took the job 10 weeks after meeting with executives of Rio Tinto in his capacity as a diplomat. The company announced that it was hiring Barton in December, and he left his envoy post on Dec. 31.
The letter notes that federal conflict-of-interest guidelines restrict the ability of former senior officials, such as Barton, to take jobs with companies with which they had “direct and significant official dealings” during their final 12 months of government work.
As calls for better masking practices increase, provinces are divided over the use of N95s
Steve Rogak can’t help but notice the masks on his fellow straphangers’ faces during bus rides to his office at the University of British Columbia, or en route to the ferry he takes to visit his elderly parents on Vancouver Island.
The mechanical engineering professor swapped out his medical masks for heavier-duty N95 respirators in November, as news spread of the emerging Omicron variant of COVID-19 and its high rates of transmission. N95 masks, he estimates, provide 95 per cent protection or better than layering two of the omnipresent blue masks on top of the other because they’re specifically designed to form a good seal on a wearer’s face and filter mist-like particles.
As Omicron continues to spread too fast for provinces to track case counts, Dr. Rogak is among a growing chorus of experts, including infectious disease doctors around the continent, saying the respirators now need to be worn in public indoor spaces – especially in locations such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools.
Catch up with our COVID-19 coverage:
- When will COVID end? The pandemic might feel endless – but there are reasons to remain hopeful
- Hospitalizations in Ontario, Quebec rising as Omicron spreads
- Explainer: Is mandatory COVID-19 vaccination coming to Canada? A look at each province and territory’s restrictions and vaccine mandate policies
- Listen to The Decibel: Omicron’s toll on workers
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
After losing her son to opioids, this Alberta mom is on a mission to change how the crisis is handled: Lori Vrebosch doesn’t fit anyone’s image of an agitator. The 50-year-old drives a shiny black SUV, travelling around with her little dog Ike. But on Oct. 2, 2018, she got a call that changed her forever. Her son Mitchell had died of a drug overdose at the age of 25. Vrebosch is among a growing minority of parents who are throwing themselves into activism after the pain of losing a child to an overdose. Her work has turned her into a fierce critic of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s government, which cut off funding for an overdose-prevention site in Lethbridge, citing “gross misuse” of government money. Driven by her loss, she is waging an uphill battle to change the way southern Alberta handles its drug problem.
At least 164 people killed in Kazakhstan in week of protests, officials say: Kazakhstan authorities said Sunday that 164 people, including a four-year-old girl, were killed in the past week during the worst unrest since the former Soviet republic gained independence 30 years ago. The office of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said order has been restored in the Central Asian country and that the government has regained control of all buildings that were taken over by the protesters. Demonstrations began Jan. 2 in the western part of Kazakhstan over a sharp rise in fuel prices and have since spread throughout the country, apparently reflecting wider discontent with the authoritarian government.
Linamar’s Frank Hasenfratz dies at 86: Frank Hasenfratz, a Hungarian immigrant who built Linamar Corp. into a $5-billion auto-parts company from a startup venture in his garage, died from cancer on Saturday at the age of 86. Founded formally in 1966, it made its debut on the TSX in 1986 and began a global expansion in the 1990s. Today, the company’s reach extends to 17 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
BMO looks to major pension plans for help funding $21-billion takeover deal: Bank of Montreal is turning to Canada’s largest pension plans to help back its planned $21-billion takeover of Bank of the West. In late December, BMO revealed it planned to raise approximately $2.7-billion from a stock sale to help pay for its proposed acquisition of the San Francisco-based bank from BNP Paribas. It’s pitching deep-pocketed fund managers such as the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan as cornerstone investors in the potential stock sale, according to investment bankers at rival dealers.
Myanmar’s Suu Kyi sentenced to four more years in prison: A court in Myanmar sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four more years in prison on Monday after finding her guilty of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions, a legal official said. Suu Kyi was convicted last month on two other charges and given a four-year prison sentence, which was then halved by the head of the military-installed government.
Russia says no concessions ahead of vital talks with U.S. over Ukraine: Moscow vowed on Sunday it would not bow to pressure from the U.S. to make concessions, warning that this week’s talks on the Ukraine crisis might end early. Washington, meanwhile, said no breakthroughs were expected and progress depended on de-escalation from Moscow. Talks begin on Monday in Geneva before moving to Brussels and Vienna, but Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said it was possible the diplomacy could end after a single meeting.
Buckingham Palace unveils slate of events to mark Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: To celebrate the Queen’s 70 years as monarch, Buckingham Palace is inviting people in Britain, Canada and other Commonwealth countries to take part in a series of events, including a national dessert contest and more than 1,400 Big Jubilee Lunches. Most of the activity in the United Kingdom will occur during a four-day long weekend from June 2 to June 5. In Canada, Ottawa is is providing grants of up to $5,000 for communities to host Jubilee events such as concerts, tree planting and parades.
Stocks struggle: World stock markets struggled on Monday as U.S. Treasury yields reached a new two-year high and investors fretted about the prospect of rising interest rates and a surge in COVID-19 infections. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.07 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were down 0.08 per cent and 0.15 per cent, respectively. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended up 1.08 per cent. Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday. Wall Street futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.29 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
The global population is growing older, faster, than anyone expected. Canada must be ready
“Declining fertility and the greying of society will dominate our politics, our economics, our health care system, our neighbourhoods, our families. It’s time to face the future.” - John Ibbitson
The pandemic is changing the North American supermarket – a reinvention that’s long overdue
“My thesis – or my atonement, as some have pointed out – is that if we understand how stores work and what goes into package design and marketing, we can become smarter, heathier consumers. Especially as the pandemic lingers.” - Paco Underhill
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
To get out of a meal-planning funk, Anna Pippus has a food theme for each day of the week
Weekday meal-planning doesn’t have to be a chore. As someone who had always found joy in feeding her young family, Vancouver lawyer Anna Pippus says it bothered her that prepping meals had become drudgery. She came up with a simple strategy to take the guesswork out of meal planning – choosing themes for each day of the week.
“Our family is vegan so Mondays are pasta, Tuesdays are bowls, Wednesdays are one-pot meals, and Thursdays are stir-frys,” says Pippus.
MOMENT IN TIME: Seafaring saviours
For more than 100 years, photographers and photo editors working for The Globe and Mail have preserved an extraordinary collection of news photography. Every Monday, The Globe will feature one of these images. This month, they mark the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard.
While the Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for planning, conducting and controlling maritime search-and-rescue operations on federally regulated waters, it almost never acts alone. It regularly enlists help from other governments, agencies or volunteers. Which is good, because if you’re in a sinking boat, you don’t want to check for jurisdiction before a mayday call. In the above photo from 2008, a Coast Guard hovercraft conducts a search-and-rescue mission on English Bay in Vancouver with the help of a Canadian Forces Cormorant helicopter. (The Coast Guard has a dedicated hovercraft base in nearby Richmond, B.C.). Annually, the Coast Guard responds to more than 6,000 calls to assist people, vessels and aircraft in imminent danger. And despite the vastness of the country, during operational season it strives for a pizza-delivery-speed reaction time of 30 minutes or less. Philip King