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A group of senior bureaucrats responsible for detecting threats to the 2021 federal election failed to share explicit intelligence about Chinese state interference in the election. The meddling was aimed at electing sympathetic MPs and targeting Conservative candidates, the public inquiry heard yesterday.

Documents tabled at the commission on foreign interference show that the Security and Intelligence Threat to Elections Task Force had classified intelligence that outlined sophisticated Chinese state influence operations in Canadian democracy.

This information was never shared with the senior representatives of the Liberal, Conservative and New Democratic parties who received national-security clearances to be briefed on foreign interference in the 2021 election.

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Han Dong appears as a witness at the Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions, Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Ottawa.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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Trudeau announces housing fund, setting up potential standoff with provinces

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday that the federal government is launching a multibillion-dollar fund to pay for infrastructure needed to build housing and will bypass any provinces that object to the requirements to deal directly with municipalities.

The announcement prompted provinces, notably Quebec and Ontario, to quickly reject the program as an intrusion into their jurisdiction. Ottawa has previously faced pushback on other housing-related policies.

The potential standoff over housing money looms as the Prime Minister is also fighting with the majority of premiers over their objections to the consumer carbon tax.

Canadian killed in Israeli air strike identified as Ottawa condemns attack

Canada joined multiple allies yesterday in demanding a full investigation after an Israeli air strike killed seven aid workers, including a dual Canadian-American citizen, trying to deliver desperately needed food in the Gaza Strip.

World Central Kitchen identified the Canadian-U.S. citizen as 33-year-old Jacob Flickinger. The attack also killed three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national and a Palestinian.

The strike took place despite extensive efforts to co-ordinate the movements of World Central Kitchen workers with the Israel Defence Forces, the aid group said in a statement.

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Also on our radar

Strong 7.2 magnitude quake rocks Taiwan: A 7.2 magnitude earthquake off the shore of Taiwan rocked the capital Taipei yesterday, knocking out power in several parts of the city and sparking a tsunami warning for the islands of southern Japan and the Philippines.

Apotex buys specialty pharma company in $500-million move: Apotex Inc. has bought fast-growing specialty pharmaceutical supplier Searchlight Pharma Inc., a significant shift by the generic drug powerhouse to diversify its business ahead of an expected initial public offering.

First Nations leaders protest treatment of elver fishermen: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is investigating a report of fisheries officers leaving two Mi’kmaq men at a gas station in the middle of the night without their shoes or cellphones, after they were arrested for allegedly fishing illegally in southwestern Nova Scotia last week.

CashMoney, LendDirect parent company, files for creditor protection: CashMoney’s parent company is strapped for cash. CURO Group Holdings Corp. has filed in U.S. bankruptcy court to restructure its finances, saying economic uncertainty and a series of business deals fell short of expectations.

Quebec wildfires photo wins award: Canadian photojournalist Charles-Frédérick Ouellet has won a World Press Photo award for a picture documenting firefighters’ gruelling work in Quebec during the record-breaking 2023 wildfire season.

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A Day in the Life of a Quebec Fire Crew by Charles-Frederick Ouellet.Charles-Frederick Ouellet/Handout

Morning markets

Global stocks eased in the face of rising bond yields, as investors assessed how much U.S. rates might fall this year, while a powerful earthquake in Taiwan raised concerns about possible disruptions to the vital chip-making industry.

Japan’s Nikkei dropped almost 1 per cent to close at 39,451.85, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended at 16,725.10, down 1.22 per cent.

Early trading was mixed in Europe, with Britain’s FTSE 100 sliding 0.38 per cent, Germany’s DAX advancing 0.33 per cent and France’s CAC 40 up 0.29 per cent.

The dollar traded at 73.68 U.S. cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Naomi Buck: “There’s no question that social media and cellphones have messed kids up; as the mother of teens, I have seen it with my own eyes. But school boards also need to reflect on the role they have played in all this. About a decade ago, classrooms began filling with laptops and iPads as educational leaders claimed that students needed to get on screens early to compete in the digitally connected future. Technology companies licked their chops as governments sang the praises of e-learning (and its cost-saving potential). Soon, the education system was hooked.”

John Lester: “Even without considering pandemic-related initiatives, growth in program spending under the Liberals has been reckless. A revamped expenditure management system would inject some needed discipline into the process.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

Are your investment returns good enough to fund your retirement?

It’s not easy to tell whether you have achieved acceptable investment returns for your retirement savings. Fred Vettese looks at how you can tell whether your investment adviser is getting you solid returns.

Moment in time: April 3, 1981

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Canada's Arnold Boldt, whose right leg is missing, clearing the bar in the high jump event at the Nordic Handicapped Children Athletics Championships in Copenhagen.PA/Reuters

Arnie Boldt makes a world-record high jump

With his oversized glasses and big mop of hair, the teenaged high jumper made quite an impression as he soared over the bar. But there was something special about the young man as he hopped away after another successful jump: He had only one leg. Arnold Boldt was almost three years old when he lost his right leg above the knee in a grain auger accident on the family farm near Osler, Sask., in 1960. Mr. Boldt’s disability did not deter him from playing sports at school or in the community – from softball and soccer to volleyball and swimming. He dreamed, though, of being a track-and-field athlete. Mr. Boldt built his own high jump in the family yard and practised jumping on his bare foot; he had to learn to keep his balance and maintain his momentum as he hopped toward the bar. By the early 1970s, Mr. Boldt was competing against athletes without disabilities at meets across the Prairies. Then, in 1976, he stormed onto the international scene at the Paralympics in Toronto, winning both the high jump and long jump. Five years later, on this day at an unsanctioned event in Rome, the one-legged high jumper had a world-record leap of 2.04 metres. Bill Waiser

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