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Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne said “it’s unacceptable” that Canadian universities have been collaborating with Chinese military scientists and vowed to bring in new national-security guidelines to better protect cutting-edge science and technology from ending up in China’s hands.

He noted, however, that because universities fall under provincial jurisdiction, he can’t simply ban all university research with China’s National University of Defence Technology and other Chinese military institutions.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping talks with scientific research staff members during his inspection tour at the National University of Defence Technology in Changsha, China, on Nov. 5, 2013.Li Gang/Newscom

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Charges in police-involved deaths are a rarity in B.C., data show

Manslaughter charges laid this week against police officers in British Columbia are an extreme rarity, a fact the head of the independent agency responsible for investigating police-involved deaths in the province attributes to systemic inertia, conflicts of interest among prosecutors and underfunding.

Since its 2012 launch, that agency, B.C.’s Independent Investigations Office, has investigated 220 deaths and recommended that charges be laid in 14 cases. The Crown, which in B.C. is responsible for laying charges, took only one of those to trial, the data show. That officer, who was accused of manslaughter, was found not guilty in 2020.

Bloc Leader calls on Ottawa to remove new anti-Islamophobia adviser, scrap position

Despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Amira Elghawaby’s efforts to quiet the uproar in Quebec over her appointment as the government’s adviser on combating Islamophobia, Premier François Legault and federal Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet are urging for her to be replaced, and, in Blanchet’s case, for the position to be scrapped altogether.

Blanchet initially called for Elghawaby to replaced by someone with a neutral position on the province’s controversial secularism law, saying it would be a “very serious improvement.” But now he says the position itself has been tainted by a partisan process and can’t be rehabilitated in the eyes of Quebeckers.

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Also on our radar

Ottawa introduces legislation to delay changes to the MAID law: The federal government is seeking to delay until next year an expansion of Canada’s medical assistance in dying law to allow mental illness as a sole condition. Justice Minister David Lametti said “it is clear more time is needed to get this right.”

Wagner defector’s asylum plea raises thorny questions for Norway: Andrej Medvedev insists he’s ready to tell the world about the war crimes committed in Ukraine by the mercenary group that he quit. Norwegians are ambivalent about his plea for asylum: while many sympathize with his plight, they also feel uncomfortable about harbouring someone who willingly joined the Wagner army.

Nova Scotia regulator defies province with large hike to utility rates: Nova Scotia Power, the province’s monopoly power company, struck a deal with parties representing residential consumers, small businesses and industry that allowed rate increases averaging 6.9 per cent in each of 2023 and 2024 across those customer groups. The provincial government stood alone in its opposition to the agreement.

FBI to search Mike Pence’s home, office: The U.S. Justice Department is in talks with the former vice-president’s legal team about scheduling the search of his Indiana home for classified documents, according to media reports.

BMO’s U.S. expansion begins: After overcoming some setbacks, including regulatory hurdles, chief executive Darryl White is focusing on rejigging San Francisco-based Bank of the West now that the deal has closed.

Morning markets

Tech shares under pressure: A global stock rally, powered by hopes of central banks ending aggressive rate rises, ran into roadblocks on Friday following weak earnings from U.S. tech giants. Traders were also awaiting key U.S. jobs numbers ahead of the North American opening bell. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.20 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.61 per cent and 0.31 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished up 0.39 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 1.36 per cent. New York futures were negative. The Canadian dollar was weaker at 74.89 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

A year ago, there was a divide between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Today, there are no vaccine teams

“Where you could once split Canadians into two opposing teams based on vaccination status, that cleavage has dissolved into shades of grey in the real world. But the political and culture boxes live on, as glaring as ever. If someone lined up as soon as they could to get doses one and two, but they’ve slacked off since, do they belong on Team Willing or Team Refusal? These distinctions don’t make sense anymore, and to continue underlining them gets us nowhere good, fast.” - Editorial

Loblaw’s lifting of No Name price freeze shows discount grocery in Canada is an illusion

“In recent years, what few discounted groceries we do get have grown scarce since No Frills and other ‘value’ grocers, such as Empire’s FreshCo and Metro’s Food Basics, took a noticeable step back from their continuing fight with Walmart. The Quebec market is even worse, as shoppers can find only Metro’s Super C or Maxi, which is owned and operated by Loblaw; Empire doesn’t even operate a discount chain in the province. Which brings us to the wider, underlying problem: All these discount stores are connected to just a handful of grocers controlling the Canadian market – they are essentially co-operative arms of the mainstream supermarkets, rather than competitors.” - Sylvain Charlebois

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

Living better

Five things to stream this weekend: Citytv+ bets on Rian Johnson’s Poker Face, plus M3GAN comes home

There’s at least one advantage to opting to watch Black Panther: Wakanda Forever from the comfort of your couch: you can feel free to dip in and out of its second hour’s more leisurely plotted moments, now that it’s streaming on Disney+. But if you’re not in the mood for Marvel, Canadian fans of Rian Johnson, king of the whodunnit revival, can look forward to Poker Face, a weekly detective series starring Natasha Lyonne.

Moment in time: Feb. 3, 1998

U.S. fighter jet cuts ski cable in Italy, kills 20

Open this photo in gallery:Rescuers inspect the smashed car of the Mt. Cermis cable car line Tuesday, February 3, 1998, whose cables were severed by a EA-6B Prowler U.S. Marine jet. According to officials, at least 20 people plunged to their death in the accident which occurred at a ski resort in the Dolomites mountains near Cavalese, in northern Italy. (AP Photo/Felice Calabro')

Rescuers inspect the smashed car of the Mt. Cermis cable car line Feb. 3, 1998.The Associated Press

U.S. Marines pilot Richard Ashby steered his jet low and fast through the valley in the Dolomites of northern Italy when he sliced a cable suspending a gondola full of alpine sightseers. The bright-yellow ski tram plunged 76 metres to the ground and killed all 20 European tourists. The tragedy, known as the Cermis massacre, enraged European governments and touched off a years-long search for accountability. Italy’s prime minister at the time, Romano Prodi, called the crash “a terrible act: a flight practically scraping the ground.” Mr. Ashby, then a captain, and his EA-6B Prowler were based at nearby Aviano Air Base for flights over Bosnia and were on a training flight. Locals long complained about U.S. fighter jets roaring over towns and farmland, spooking livestock and disturbing the peace. Their anger intensified when the U.S. military claimed jurisdiction over the collision and tried Mr. Ashby and navigator Joseph Schweitzer, also a captain, for involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. The men were acquitted but later court-martialled for destroying a video of the tragedy. Families of the victims received US$2-million each, split between the governments of the U.S. and Italy at 75 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively. Eric Atkins

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