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Ottawa unveiled its new plan to cut greenhouse-gas emissions – a sector-by-sector blueprint that dramatically increases the pressure on the oil-and-gas industry, and forces a faster change in the driving habits of Canadians.

The federal government said yesterday that it’s going to spend an additional $9.1-billion as it promises to achieve what Canada has failed to do over three decades of climate policies: meet the goals that it sets.

The major focus is on Canada’s oil-and-gas sector, its largest emitter, which until now has left the heavy lifting on emissions cuts to other parts of the economy. The sector will have to go from decades of emissions growth to a 42-per-cent reduction from 2019 levels by the end of the decade.

The government set the new goal at a tricky time. Canada just pledged to increase its oil-and-gas exports to Europe amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, and Canadian consumers are already facing high prices at the pump and rapidly rising costs for daily life stemming from inflation being at a three-decade high.

The Syncrude oil sands extraction facility is reflected in a tailings pond near the city of Fort McMurray, Alta., on June 1, 2014.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

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Delegates view Indigenous artifacts at Vatican with mix of awe and anger

As they walked through a private display that had been prepared for them in the Vatican Museums on Tuesday, dozens of Indigenous delegates from Canada saw beautiful pieces of history from their home territories: Inuit carvings, a Haudenosaunee pipe given to Pope John Paul II in 1980, an 1831 wampum belt, Cree embroidered gloves and a Gwich’in beaded tunic.

The group’s members, who are in Rome this week for a historic series of talks with Pope Francis about the legacy of Canada’s church-run residential school system, experienced mixed emotions. For Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier, a retired chief of the Okanese First Nation in Saskatchewan and a residential school survivor, seeing the artifacts brought back painful memories.

The delegates are seeking an apology for the devastating harms children experienced at residential schools, along with reparations and access to the church’s historical records. And some are also requesting that the Pope return Indigenous artifacts, many of which are stored in the Vatican’s vaults and museums.

‘They come with nothing’: Ukrainian-Canadians hosting families fleeing Russia’s war call for federal support

Ukrainian-Canadians hosting family members and friends who have fled Russia’s invasion say they are worried about trying to support loved ones with little material support from the federal government, and that Ukrainians without contacts in Canada would have difficulty settling here.

Last week, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which brings together national, provincial and local Ukrainian-Canadian organizations, called for more federal support. It is urging Ottawa to provide funding for settlement agencies, which could help Ukrainians co-ordinate transport, housing and health care.

In a tweet Monday, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said Ottawa will expand the federal settlement program to offer services such as language training, orientation and employment assistance. He said the government will also start providing support services for Ukrainians at major airports starting Friday.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Gymnastics Canada says it is troubled by allegations of abuse: Gymnastics Canada said it is troubled by an open letter issued this week by dozens of athletes who said the organization has failed to properly confront cases of alleged abuse and maltreatment within its ranks. On Monday, a group of gymnasts, including 10 Olympians, sent a letter to Sport Canada, calling for an independent investigation into what they alleged were abusive practices and a toxic culture at Gymnastics Canada that has put athletes at risk.

Naval facility in Canada’s High Arctic postponed again: Repeatedly delayed plans to establish a military refuelling facility in Canada’s High Arctic have once again fallen behind schedule. The Department of National Defence said it will now be 2023 before the Nanisivik Naval Facility is operational. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military assault on Ukraine has renewed calls for Canada to build up its permanent footprint in the Arctic, where Russia is this country’s neighbour.

Judge approves plan to wind down Bridging Finance: An Ontario court has authorized Bridging Finance Inc.’s receiver to reject the two final bids it received during an unsuccessful, five-month effort to sell the private lender. Instead, the court-appointed receiver, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, will oversee Bridging’s remaining loans and wind down the lender’s operations. Under the approved wind-down, Bridging Finance’s investors will lose an estimated $1.3-billion, or roughly 62 per cent of their assets.

Ontario raises foreign-buyers tax: The Ontario government has increased the tax for foreign homebuyers to 20 per cent from 15 per cent and has closed a loophole that allowed foreign students and workers to get a tax rebate on real-estate purchases, in an attempt to crack down on speculation in the housing market.


MORNING MARKETS

European markets opened lower while Asian stocks advanced Wednesday as investors saw signs of possible progress in talks on ending Russia’s war on Ukraine. Oil rose more than $2 per barrel. Wall Street futures were lower after U.S. stocks gained Wednesday following Russia’s announcement it would scale back military operations near Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and a northern city. The Canadian dollar was trading at 80.14 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Editorial: “If that’s all there was to it, there would be unicorns dancing on rainbows over Parliament Hill. But as everyone knows, Monday’s announcement was just the latest development in Ottawa’s decade-plus F-35 procurement fiasco. With luck, it will end here, but there is no way to guarantee it and very little reason to hope for it.”

Roy MacGregor: “When you own the Ottawa Senators, they pay a lot of attention to you – not all of it good. Eugene Melnyk, the billionaire who died Monday at the age of 62, pulled the Senators out of bankruptcy in 2003, saw his team reach the Stanley Cup final and received so much attention from fans that his name would eventually appear on billboards around the national capital. Unfortunately, the message was far from love.”

Brad Wheeler: “I have a sense that the fascination with the great sexy flame-outs doesn’t hold sway as it once did. Rock ‘n’ roll as a genre doesn’t hold sway as it once did either. Maybe those two trends are not unrelated. Rock stars live dangerously so that we don’t have to. And die young too.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian GableBrian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Don’t like exercise? Your brain can change, study suggests

Exercise seems a bit like cilantro: some people love it, others hate it. But what accounts for the chasm between those who dread the gym, and those who dread missing even a single session there? A new study of the brain’s signalling networks in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise offers an optimistic perspective on the prospects for bridging this gap. Stick with your exercise routine through those initially unpleasant weeks, the results suggest, and you too can learn to love the gym, thanks to long-term adaptations in how your brain processes mood-altering chemicals.


MOMENT IN TIME: MARCH 30, 1885

Chief Poundmaker, 1881.The Globe [London]

Cree go to Fort Battleford to declare loyalty to the Crown

In late March 1885, upon hearing of the outbreak of the North-West Rebellion at Duck Lake, Cree Chiefs Little Pine and Poundmaker led a delegation to Battleford, at the junction of the Battle and North Saskatchewan rivers, to affirm their allegiance to the Crown and secure rations for their hungry bands. But when they reached Battleford on this day in 1885, the town’s 500 residents had taken refuge in a small police stockade in the mistaken belief that the bands had warlike intentions. Even the local Indian agent, fearing for his life, refused to meet the Cree. Only when it became apparent that their mission to Battleford had been in vain did some of the Cree take provisions from abandoned stores and homes before withdrawing to camp at Cut Knife Creek. From the vantage of the stockade, it appeared to the townspeople that they were under siege – how would one explain the looting if Cree intentions were peaceful? The First Nations people, though, had done nothing to harass the townspeople. The telegraph line, for example, was not cut. Yet this same telegraph line would be used by beleaguered residents to plead for their rescue. Bill Waiser


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