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RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki pressed the Mounties to disclose the weapons used in the Nova Scotia mass shooting to help advance the Liberal government’s gun-control legislation, the public inquiry into the April, 2020, killings was told.

The Mass Casualty Commission released supporting documents and notes Tuesday involving a conversation between Commissioner Lucki and RCMP officers overseeing the Nova Scotia investigation into the murder of 22 people by a lone gunman.

In an April 28 conference call that took place 10 days after the worst mass shooting in Canadian history, Commissioner Lucki chastised senior commanders for withholding information about the guns used in the attack – allegedly telling them those details could be leveraged for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s gun-control agenda.

The revelations prompted opposition MPs to accuse the federal government of interfering in a criminal investigation for political purposes.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki is seen during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, April 20, 2020.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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Higher rates but less inflation panic: What CIBC’s Benjamin Tal is predicting for stocks, home prices and the economy

As fears of a looming recession grip equity markets, deputy chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets Benjamin Tal shared his perspective on the risk of an economic contraction, monetary policy and implications for the housing market.

The key to understanding this moment in our economy, he says, comes down to the four sources of inflation, what the Bank of Canada can control and what it may cost the country to bring down inflation. Typically, there is a 10 per cent probability of a recession – but according to Tal, the chances are currently three times higher.

RCMP lay fraud charges against co-founders of Fortress Real Developments

More than four years after the RCMP’s Integrated Market Enforcement Team executed a search warrant on Fortress’s head office, co-founders Jawad Rathore and Vince Petrozza have been charged with fraud. Both Rathore, the company’s former chief executive officer, and Petrozza, former chief operating officer, were each charged with one count of fraud and one count of accepting secret commissions.

Founded in 2008, Fortress was one of the first Canadian companies to offer higher risk, syndicated mortgage products to retail investors. Many investors have alleged that although they were promised high rates of return, they suffered heavy losses and say that the risks involved in their investments were not fully explained.

The RCMP news release did not detail the allegations, which have not been proven in court. Both men say they will fight the charges.

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Also on our radar

Afghanistan earthquake kills at least 920 people: A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday near the Pakistani border, killing at least 920 people and injuring 600 others. Authorities said it is the deadliest temblor in two decades and warned the death toll would likely rise. Rescue efforts are likely to be complicated since many international aid agencies left Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover of the country last year.

At least 15 Ukrainian civilians killed as Russia resumes bombing Kharkiv: Russia launched rockets through Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv and its surrounding countryside killing at least 15 people early Wednesday morning. Inside Russia, a fire blazed through an oil refinery 8 km from the Ukrainian border. Russia’s TASS news agency quoted a local official as saying it had been struck by a drone.

CEO and COO of MindGeek, parent company of Pornhub, have resigned: CEO Feras Antoon and COO David Tassillo stepped down from MindGeek on Tuesday. They are co-owners of the company, alongside Austrian businessman Bernd Bergmair. Two sources with close links to the company say all three retain majority ownership and that they intend to maintain majority shareholder control.

MPs adjust to idea of carrying panic buttons amid rising threats: The process is already under way to distribute panic buttons, which can alert the Parliamentary Protective Service or local police, to MPs. There have been rising threats to parliamentarians’ safety. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, for example, said this week that he’s received death threats over the government’s gun-control legislation.


Morning markets

Global markets stumble: World stock markets and oil prices fell on Wednesday after yesterday’s bump, as all eyes remain on rising interest rates. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.39 per cent. France’s CAC 40 dipped 1.79 per cent, and Germany’s DAX fell 2.11 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.37 per cent and 2.56 per cent, respectively. U.S. futures were lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.00 U.S. cents.


What everyone’s talking about

André Picard: “If the system is collapsing, it is largely because the people who have been holding the system together are on the verge of collapse themselves. There are those who worry that all this gloom-and-doom talk does no good, that saying things like “the system is collapsing around us” will only accelerate the exodus … but it’s clear that a turnaround won’t happen without dealing with the ever-worsening health human resources problem.”

Clint Davis: “In both military and civilian spheres, Inuit Nunangat faces a significant infrastructure deficit that possibly leaves Canadians vulnerable while also failing to maximize the economic potential of the North. Russia’s current aggression in Europe should serve as a catalyst for Canada to commit itself to a long-needed program of Arctic investment that enhances the country’s security while simultaneously advancing reconciliation with the Arctic’s Indigenous people.”


Today’s editorial cartoon

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


Living better

Leave the city behind for a sailing adventure on the open water

Looking for a boost of serotonin? Sailing just a kilometre or two out on the open waters can provide a much-needed mood boost, according to long-time sailors and tour operators who regularly witness this transformation firsthand. People use these getaways for everything from bachelorette parties to scattering the ashes of lost loved ones. Here’s what commercial captains say are the best ways to take advantage of a maritime escape, as well as opportunities to set sail on tours across Canada.


Moment in time: June 22, 1633

The 1635 portrait of astronomer Galileo Galilei by Dutch painter Justus Sustermans hangs in the Palazzo Pitti art gallery in Florence January 22, 2009.Marco Bucco/Reuters

Galileo accused of heresy by Catholic Church

Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei is a central figure to our understanding of the solar system, but in 1633, one of his core beliefs saw him accused of heresy. The Catholic Church put Galileo on trial for his championing of heliocentrism – a model first established in the 1500s by fellow famed astrologer Copernicus – which says the Earth revolves around the sun. Galileo found himself in the hot seat after the publication of his book Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Pope Urban VIII had earlier asked that Galileo explore arguments both for and against the theory that the Earth revolves around the sun, and not the other way around. The papal request became the basis for the book, but its positioning of those who believe that the sun revolves around the Earth as simpletons angered the church. During his trial, the astronomer denied being a supporter of heliocentrism, claiming he did not defend the belief in Dialogue, but merely discussed it. Regardless, on this day, Galileo was sentenced to house arrest and remained imprisoned in his home until his death in 1642. In 1992, 350 years later, Pope John Paul II officially declared that Galileo had been correct. Rebecca Tucker


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