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Ottawa could restore Canadians’ lost faith in its handling of Chinese state interference if it appointed a judge – with full subpoena powers – rather than relying on the advice of former governor-general David Johnston, according to former lead counsel of two major public inquiries.

Paul Cavalluzzo, who was lead commission counsel for the Maher Arar inquiry, and Mark Freiman, who was lead counsel for the Air India inquiry, say a full-scale public inquiry into China’s meddling in Canadian politics would demonstrate that the federal government is taking the matter seriously.

Cavalluzzo also questioned Johnston’s argument that a public inquiry would not work because top-secret, sensitive information could not be aired publicly. He said the 2004-2005 inquiry into the U.S. rendition of Canadian Maher Arar to Syria heard from 83 witnesses over 75 days of top-secret hearings and 45 days of public hearings.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds an open house at the University of Winnipeg, May 24, 2023.SHANNON VANRAES/Reuters

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Voter turnout will play important role in Alberta election

As Alberta gears up for the May 29 provincial election, eligible electors are already showing enthusiasm with more than 300,000 people casting ballots in advance polling in just two days.

At this pace, Alberta is on track to set a new record for voter turnout. The previous record was set in 2019, with 67.5 per cent of voters showing up to the polls, the highest in the province since the 1971 general election.

With the current race shaping up to be a close call, voter turnout is crucial and will dramatically shape the outcome of the election.

‘You can’t stay outside. You’ll vomit’: New Brunswick town battles an unbearable stench

The people who live in Richibucto, N.B., are used to bad smells. But the stench coming out of a crustacean-waste drying plant is something else and is ruining the lives of residents in this Acadian town.

The company Coastal Shell trucks in the waste of lobster, crab and shrimp shells to its facility at the end of a residential street, which is burned and exported to Asia to be used as fertilizer and pet food, and to make chitosan, a compound studied for use in medications and tissue engineering.

The company sold its business plan to local politicians as one that would bring prosperity to Richibucto, where the unemployment rate is more than double the provincial average. But the bad odour is just too much, and has led to a provincial public-safety investigation, seven lawsuits and a petition to “Stop the stink” tabled at the legislature.

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Also on our radar

Sabia set to be named Hydro-Québec CEO: Michael Sabia is expected to leave his position as deputy minister of finance to take on the role of chief executive of Hydro-Québec. The appointment comes at a critical time for the Crown corporation as it is dealing with dwindling power surpluses.

How ERs are handling staffing shortages: Health care systems across the country are in a state of crisis as a critical shortage of health care workers, lack of access to primary care, overcrowded hospitals and lengthy emergency room waits have become the norm, according to medical workers and hospital administrators.

New survey offers insights into global perceptions in China: A new survey conducted by the University of Alberta’s China Institute is offering a rare look into how people in China view the rest of the world. Even as perceptions of the U.S. have dimmed, Canada remains a place where many Chinese would like to attend university and a popular destination for emigration.

DeSantis announces presidential bid: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launched his long-awaited presidential campaign yesterday, setting himself up as the best challenger to Donald Trump for the Republican nomination. DeSantis’s announcement came in a glitch-plagued Twitter broadcast that repeatedly crashed and started more than 20 minutes late.

Music world remembers Tina Turner: From Mick Jagger to Bryan Adams, musicians from around the world paid tribute to Tina Turner, who died yesterday at age 83. The musical icon was remembered as “a real powerhouse,” “monumental figure” and as “simply the best,” a reference to a line from her 1989 hit single, The Best.

Morning markets

Markets in limbo: Markets were stuck in U.S. debt ceiling limbo on Thursday, while Europe largely shrugged off news that its biggest economy, Germany, had sagged into recession. Just before 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.22 per cent. Germany’s DAX fell 0.19 per cent. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.12 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei added 0.39 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.93 per cent. New York futures were mixed. The Canadian dollar was weaker at 73.54 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Todd Hirsch: “But something happened toward the end of the 20th century: We started telling our millennial and Generation Z children that they could be anything they wanted. We told them to follow their passions. We promised them that if they dreamed hard enough, they could do anything in the world. It was a lie. And our ongoing labour crunch can be directly traced back to that lie.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Editorial cartoon by David Parkins, May 25, 2023.Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

Do you need to buy a home charger if you get an electric vehicle?

For Canadians looking to buy an electric vehicle, one question that keeps popping up is whether to buy a charger for home. Globe Drive columnist Jason Tchir has some advice on whether a home charger is worth it, how much it will cost and how to install it.

Moment in time: May 25, 1963

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Toronto-born actor Mike Myers is presented with the key to the City of Toronto and a street named in his honour in Scarborough, Ont., on June 25, 2003.Louie Palu/The Globe and Mail

Mike Myers is born

On this day in 1963, Michael John Myers was born in suburban Scarborough, Ont., the third of three boys to a data-processor mother and an insurance salesman father. Both parents were immigrants from Liverpool, and if their occupations were staid, their youngest son would grow up to be an absolutely bananas funny man and a superstar comedic actor. A fan of zany but witty British comedies, dad Eric Myers would rouse his sons from bed at night to watch shows such as Monty Python. The family home was a sort of Merseyside outpost in Canada, where Beatles accents were the norm. With Alice (Bunny) Myers as a typical stage mother, a 10-year-old Myers made a television commercial with Gilda Radner for British Columbia Hydro. He went on to join the Second City comedy troupe in Toronto and, in 1989, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, where he became a factory of pop-culture catchphrases. The 1997 spy comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and its two sequels (all of which he wrote and starred in) were in tribute to the humour his father adored. Brad Wheeler

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