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Good morning,

Climate-change policies developed by the federal government have largely ignored the effects of global warming on Indigenous people’s access to traditional food, leaving them increasingly vulnerable to food shortages and related health problems, according to a study by Human Rights Watch.

The report outlines a number of challenges faced by First Nations people when trying to acquire healthy food – from thin ice cover on traditional hunting routes to biodiversity loss, unpredictable winter roads, shorter hunting seasons and lower yields of fish.

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Ottawa has made a number of promises regarding climate change and food scarcity, but it’s on track to substantially miss its emissions targets. The report notes that Canada is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with the country’s North warming even more quickly, at almost three times the global rate.

More climate coverage:

This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.

Universities, school boards defend partnership with Confucius Institute

Canadian schools and universities that have ties with China’s Confucius Institute are defending the educational organization as new questions emerge over its role in Mandarin language courses in some Vancouver-area schools.

Several institutions contacted by The Globe and Mail said their partnerships with the Chinese-government-backed program provide valuable cultural and language training, and the institute has no role in core school programs. “We are committed to advancing the free exchange of ideas among academics, irrespective of governmental polices and practices,” Victoria Dinh, spokeswoman for the University of Saskatchewan, said.

A Globe report last week found that the institute was pushing a favourable view of China and asking local officials to report back on political developments in Canada.

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More coverage:

Beijing used influence over B.C. schools to push its agenda and keep tabs on Canadian politics, documents show

Gary Mason: It’s time to kick the Confucius Institute out of Canada

NASA mission aided by Canadian tech grabs a sample of asteroid

A long-anticipated NASA mission to grab a handful of the asteroid Bennu was successful, but scientists do not yet know how much of the precious material the spacecraft collected.

Mission controllers confirmed yesterday that the robotic probe OSIRIS-REx briefly made contact with Bennu, a 500-metre-wide ball of rubble that could hold clues to the origins of the planets and the chemical ingredients that allowed life to emerge on Earth.

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Canada, a partner in the international mission, provided a laser altimeter, which was developed in Toronto and built by MDA Corp. The country will receive a 4-per-cent share of whatever OSIRIS-REx manages to bring back during a scheduled return in 2023.

A mosaic image provided by NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona, of asteroid Bennu composed of 12 PolyCam images, by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles.


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


Liberals double down on election threat over Conservative bid for new ethics probe: The Liberals say they are ready to send Canadians back to the polls to stop a move by the Conservatives to put the government’s ethical controversies under further scrutiny. In a rare move, the minority government turned what would usually be an inconsequential vote on an opposition day motion into a matter of confidence. MPs are set to debate and vote on the motion today.

Long-term plan needed to recognize treaty rights of the Mi’kmaq, Wilson-Raybould says: Former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says Ottawa must develop a much-needed framework to recognize Indigenous rights instead of addressing them whenever a crisis emerges. “It is incumbent upon them, as it was with all governments before them, to do something about it,” she said. Her comments were made after a lobster fishing dispute in Nova Scotia led to violence against the Mi’kmaq last week.

Small business owners call for delay as CRA launches wage subsidy audits: A group representing independent businesses is urging the Canada Revenue Agency to postpone audits of some small businesses that received the federal wage subsidy until the pandemic eases. The CRA said it would make the required documentation of the audits less onerous, but it would not delay them.

Narwhal tusk dropped in Calgary donation bin: For staff at a Goodwill thrift store in Calgary, the donation was an unusual find: A narwhal tusk, complete with hunting permit from 1978, filled out in blue ink. Its next destination: the University of Calgary’s Arctic Institute.

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Markets watch U.S. stimulus talks: Global stocks and bond yields rose on early Wednesday as Washington moved closer to agreeing on a coronavirus stimulus package. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.31 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.75 per cent. In Europe, markets struggled to follow suit. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 1.1 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.69 per cent and 0.97 per cent, respectively. Wall Street futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.28 US cents.


Andrew Coyne: “But then, logic has nothing to do with any of this. The Liberals are ahead in the polls; the Conservatives are behind. Blocking any further inquiry into the WE affair might hurt them in the polls, but not as much, they have evidently calculated, as allowing it to proceed. Ergo, the Liberals are more willing to risk an election than the Conservatives. That is the only logic, or principle, underpinning either party’s position.”

Robyn Urback: “This is, of course, par for the course for a government whose approach to gun control is invariably more about perception than reality. Having already banned an invented category of deadly weapons, Ottawa will now allow cities to create invisible borders for prohibited weapons, mostly to render already illegal activities ... extra-illegal. Do you feel safer yet?”

Rita Trichur: “Companies often complain they don’t know where to find women and BIPOC candidates. It’s curious because there’s no shortage of qualified contenders. The problem isn’t that diverse aspirants lack credentials or relevant experience, it’s that they’re excluded because of nebulous notions of who fits, and who doesn’t, in the boardroom.”


Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


Progress on COVID-19 vaccines: what we do – and don’t – know

This Thursday, join the Globe’s science reporter Ivan Semeniuk on Facebook for a live Q&A on the status of COVID-19 vaccines. How soon will it be here? How might it work? And how will we know if it’s effective? He will answer your questions at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

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Aberfan, South Wales, circa October 1966: Picture shows the mud and devastation caused when mining spoil from the hillside high above the town behind came down and engulfed The Pantglas Junior School on 21st October 1966.

Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

The Aberfan disaster

At 9:15 a.m., a mining waste tip in south Wales collapsed, sending an avalanche of liquefied coal waste into the village of Aberfan. In its path was Pantglas Junior School, where students had just taken their seats for the last day of class before a holiday break. A loud rumbling filled the air – and then the building was destroyed, along with several others. Local coal miners dug through the slurry and the rubble for their children, but it was mostly in vain. The disaster killed 116 children and 28 adults, including five teachers. The Queen visited eight days later, a moment recreated on Netflix’s The Crown; her delayed response is reported to be one of her biggest regrets. A tribunal determined the disaster could have been prevented and blamed the National Coal Board for “ignorance, ineptitude and a failure in communications.” Still, the board itself was never prosecuted, and no employees or officials lost their jobs. Domini Clark

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