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Now, for the news

The federal government says it will take part in international talks at the World Trade Organization over whether to waive COVID-19 vaccine patents but chose to stay mum as to which side of the debate the country will be arguing. In a surprise reversal, the U.S. announced that it will support the bid from poorer countries to lift the patents.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under increased pressure yesterday, with more than 30 Liberal MPs signing a multiparty letter urging him to support the waiver. Canada finds itself in a complicated position, experts said, in part because the federal government continues to negotiate vaccine contracts and delivery schedules

People register for their COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic for company employees and their families at the Bell Centre on Thursday, May 6, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan RemiorzRyan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

More COVID readings:

Meanwhile, in India amid the tragic fallout of a severe second wave that is claiming nearly 4,000 lives a day, young children who have lost one or both parents to the disease in the past few weeks face an uncertain future. The issue is pervasive enough that there is now a term for it: “COVID orphans.”


Getting Newfoundland and Labrador out of its fiscal crisis

A major report intended to guide Newfoundland and Labrador out of its fiscal crisis is offering remedies for a province the report says has been living beyond its means.

Moya Greene, chairperson of the Premier’s Economic Recovery Team, said “The Big Reset” plan needs sweeping changes to government culture if Newfoundland is to avoid bankruptcy.

The report recommends steep cuts to government spending, increasing taxes and privatizing public assets. With more than $47-billion in net debt, the plan could return the province – with the oldest population, highest unemployment, highest per capita expenditures, deficit and net debt in Canada – to a surplus by 2025-26.


Statscan to improve how it captures data on race, gender, sexual orientation

Canada’s national statistics agency will spend $172-million over five years improving the way that it captures data on race, gender and sexual orientation – a move aimed at filling long-standing gaps that have historically left the experiences of millions of Canadians invisible. The plan is to expand existing research surveys with questions designed to paint a fuller picture of the population.


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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

BoC to become new regulator of fintech companies: The Retail Payments Activities Act will put the Bank of Canada in charge of regulating payment services providers in Canada that aren’t governed by another regulator, as well as foreign companies facilitating payments for Canadian customers.

Legal battle against Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline: The Michigan governor’s legal battle to shut down Enbridge pipeline Line 5, a vital petroleum conduit for Central Canada, is attracting public support from leading Democratic allies in more than a dozen states.

PM’s chief of staff to testify Friday: Katie Telford is prepared to speak before the House of Commons defence committee on the issue of sexual-misconduct allegations against former chief of the defence staff Jonathan Vance.


MORNING MARKETS

World stocks head for weekly gain: Global stocks headed for their first weekly gain in three weeks amid a surge in commodity prices, while traders braced for a U.S. jobs report later on Friday that could provide clues on when the Federal Reserve will ease back on monetary stimulus. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.51 per cent. Germany’s DAX gained 1.01 per cent. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.08 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei advanced 0.09 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.09 per cent. New York futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 82.04 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Canada’s next challenge: Let’s outvaccinate the Americans

Editorial Board: “If we do everything right, we’ll beat the Americans – unless they up their game. May the least hesitant win.”

How Canada can lead amid the global energy transition

Heather Chalmers: “By thinking strategically and creatively, Canada can harness its innovative spirit, diversity of natural resources and human capital to decarbonize the future and ensure a just transition for affected communities.”

Trump has become the Don of the Republican Party

Gary Mason: “From his Mar-a-Lago headquarters, he has effectively become the Don of this mafioso version of the Republican Party – a puppet master who anoints his preferred candidates for the 2022 midterm elections and puts political hits out on those who fail to show enough loyalty to him.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Collage Art by Author Camilla Gibb.Camilla Gibb/Handout

Books to read this Mother’s Day

For a long time, Canadian novelist Camilla Gibb worried she would never be able to write fiction again. The emotional collapse she experienced after being left by her wife weeks into Gibb’s pregnancy was profound and all-encompassing. Writing the memoir was one thing, but creating new fiction was a different story. With a child at home, writing fiction became impossible once again. Read about Gibb’s most recent novel, and other Mother’s Day reading recommendations:

My Mother’s Daughter: A Memoir of Struggle and Triumph, Perdita Felicien

This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Wilderness Memoir, By Angie Abdou

Catalogue Baby: A Memoir of Infertility, Myriam Steinberg, with illustrations by Christache


MOMENT IN TIME: May 7, 1867

Alfred Nobel (1833-96) Swedish chemist and inventor of Dynamite. Endowed Nobel Prizes.Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Alfred Nobel obtains a patent for dynamite in England

Before he was best known for establishing the Nobel Prizes, Swedish chemist, inventor and engineer Alfred Nobel was famed for inventing one of the most transformative – and explosive – materials of the Industrial Age. In the 1860s, Mr. Nobel began experimenting with methods of blasting rock to improve the construction of buildings and cities. Eventually, he landed on the powerful chemical nitroglycerin, invented by Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero in 1846. While highly effective as an explosive, nitroglycerin was dangerously volatile, and on Sept. 3, 1864, Mr. Nobel’s brother Emil was killed in a factory explosion after experimenting with it. This prompted Mr. Nobel to find a way to stabilize the chemical. By mixing it with absorbent materials such as diatomaceous earth, a type of fossilized algae, he was able to make nitroglycerin safer to handle. Originally sold under the moniker “Nobel’s Blasting Powder,” the invention became known as dynamite, and on this day in 1867 he officially obtained a patent for it in England. A patent in the United States soon followed – one of 355 patents he registered in different countries during his lifetime. Dynamite quickly became the preferred explosive substance of the construction and demolition industries. Madalyn Howitt


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