The House of Commons overwhelmingly endorsed a motion to recognize that China is committing genocide against its Muslim minority, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet abstaining from the vote amid a nearly frozen relationship with Beijing.
The parliamentary declaration is certain to anger Beijing, whose relations with Ottawa were already strained over the arrest of a Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. executive in British Columbia and China’s retaliatory detention of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, among other matters. China’s ambassador warned just days ago that the declaration would constitute interference in his country’s domestic affairs.
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Ontario tables legislation aimed at ending human trafficking
In an attempt to fight human trafficking, the Ontario government has introduced expansive legislative changes that will give police quicker access to information and impose requirements on businesses that come into contact with suspected victims.
A Globe and Mail report yesterday described how women and girls across Canada have been sex trafficked for decades and the crime has continued as perpetrators move victims frequently between cities to isolate them and evade police.
Vaccine developers say lack of federal funding hurt domestic capabilities
Canada is behind the developed world in COVID-19 vaccinations because the federal government provided insufficient funding early on in the pandemic to smaller companies that could have developed a potential inoculation at home, vaccine developers told a federal parliamentary committee yesterday.
Ottawa should have taken the same approach as the United States and Britain, which provided hundreds of millions of dollars to companies with potential candidates early in the pandemic, John Lewis, an Edmonton-based biotechnology executive, told MPs. If it had done so, the country would be on the verge of making homegrown COVID-19 vaccines.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ottawa says it didn’t know of Chinese police link to Beijing visa centre: The federal government says it did not know the Beijing police own a company subcontracted to manage its visa application centre in Beijing, adding that Ottawa does not usually scrutinize such information in awarding contracts.
Statscan revises core inflation upward, backtracks on new methods: Several key measures of inflation were higher in January than previously reported, Statistics Canada said yesterday, after backtracking on a methodological change that had painted a more mild picture of inflation only five days ago. The sudden revision surprised economists, causing some to question whether Statscan had an accurate picture of inflation.
Women landing more leadership jobs, but racialized, Indigenous and disabled women lag, study says: The share of women in senior leadership positions at Canadian companies is on the rise despite the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. But the number of racialized, Indigenous and disabled women in top roles remains small, and many companies don’t disclose any leadership diversity data, according to a new report.
London, Ont., food startup bets on insect protein: Aspire Food is part of a small but innovative coterie of companies that believes insect protein can help make North America’s food system more sustainable. The company is building a highly automated processing plant in London, Ont., which is expected to produce 10,000 tonnes of beige cricket protein powder annually.
Commodities rally: Optimism about the economic outlook pushed commodity prices higher on Tuesday, helping stocks steady as expectations of a dovish testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell calmed bond yields. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.45 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 slid 1.67 per cent and 0.61 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.03 per cent. Markets in Japan were closed. New York futures were weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.23 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Editorial Board: “No Canadian government can ever expect its American counterpart to sacrifice more than minor domestic interests for the sake of our own priorities. But the Trudeau government can, at the very least, look forward to an end to the chaos and sabotage of the late, unlamented Trump years.”
David Shribman: “Joe Biden’s term has almost exactly 47 months to go, but his homily marking the 500,000th American death from the coronavirus will almost certainly be remembered as a defining moment in his White House passage – and the moment when he assumed the pastoral role that has been a part of the American presidency for nearly a century.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
The benefits of ‘green exercise’ go far beyond physical fitness
There is a growing body of evidence about the positive effects of “green exercise,” a catch-all term for workouts undertaken with a soothing backdrop of rustling leaves and flowing water (or, these days, big piles of snow). Here’s what you need to know about this emerging field of research.
MOMENT IN TIME: FEB. 23, 1896
Tootsie Roll inventor opens his candy shop
Cheap and plentiful – that’s how Americans like things. Austrian immigrant Leo Hirschfeld understood that when he opened his candy shop in New York. (Walmart founder Sam Walton applied the same thinking more than half a century later.) So he set about creating a sweet that was both inexpensive – just a hint of chocolate – and easy to produce on a massive scale: the Tootsie Roll. Individually wrapped in wax paper, the pulled candy was baked for two hours at an unusually low temperature, giving it “a peculiar mellow consistency,” according to its patent filing, and would not melt in summer heat. At some point – the chronology is highly disputed in confectionery circles – Hirschfeld (spelled Hirshfield in some corporate histories) merged with or went to work for the Stern & Saalberg Co., a larger, more established candy maker. The business would go on to become hugely successful, changing its name along the way to the Sweets Company of America and then Tootsie Roll Industries. Unfortunately, in failing health, Hirschfeld took his own life in a hotel room in January, 1922, a bitter ending for the creator of one of America’s favourite sweets. Massimo Commanducci