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RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki told an inquiry into the deadliest gun rampage in Canadian history that concerns over political interference in the police investigation have been overblown, and said she is growing frustrated with questions on the subject.

The country’s top Mountie was grilled during hours-long testimony in Halifax on Tuesday at the Mass Casualty Commission (MCC), a public inquiry into the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting, during which a gunman rampaged through rural parts of the province for 13 hours, killing 22 people. The RCMP have been under intense scrutiny for their stumbling response, including their failure to properly notify the public of the danger.

The suggestion that Commissioner Lucki had attempted to influence a police investigation specifically to aid the government’s effort to promote its gun-control legislation has embroiled her in a political storm that reaches all the way to the Prime Minister’s Office. And it has made her one of the inquiry’s most anticipated witnesses.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki testifies at the Mass Casualty Commission inquiry into the mass murders in rural Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19, 2020, in Halifax on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

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Canada signs hydrogen deal with Germany, sets ambitious 2025 target

The Canadian and German governments have signed a deal to co-operate on exporting hydrogen fuel to Europe, setting an ambitious target of 2025 to begin shipments from Eastern Canada – where a single hydrogen production plant has yet to be built.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signed the agreement in the western Newfoundland town of Stephenville, near the site of a proposed wind farm project that would power the production of hydrogen from electrolysis.

The agreement is part of the German government’s effort to become less dependent on Russian fuel supplies by deepening energy partnerships with Canada and other countries. In recent months, as tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have mounted, Moscow has reduced flows of natural gas to Europe, forcing Germany to brace for gas rationing.

Donald Sobey’s sexual assault of a young man was an open secret. Now his victim is finally telling his story

One afternoon before an August long weekend in 1991, a criminal lawyer appeared in a Halifax courtroom on behalf of his client, grocery magnate Donald Sobey. A few months prior, Sobey had been charged with sexually assaulting a young man in a downtown hotel room. Sobey was a prominent figure in Atlantic Canada by then, serving as chairman of Empire Co. Ltd., his family’s sprawling holding company that included the Sobeys grocery chain. He was also a member of the board of governors at Dalhousie University, where the victim was a student.

Sobey did not appear in court that day when his lawyer entered a plea: guilty to a summary offence of sexual assault. The judge issued a $750 fine, according to a local news report that ran about 400 words. Afterward, his lawyer dismissed the charge as a minor matter that had been “handled appropriately and expeditiously.”

With that, the story ended.

By the time Sobey died in March, 2021, at the age of 86, it was not even a footnote in his biography. He was remembered as a brilliant businessman who helped expand the Sobeys grocery chain, and a philanthropist whose generosity would span generations.

Derek Power, however, remembered Donald Sobey differently. He remembered Sobey as the man who unzipped his pants and touched him in a hotel room when he was 20 years old, and as the man who never apologized to him for it.

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Also on our radar

Ottawa appoints chief nursing officer: Ottawa has appointed a Chief Nursing Officer for Canada to help inform its health policies, as the federal government is under pressure from premiers to increase transfers to the provinces so they can shore up health systems that are under heavy strain.

Russia’s war on Ukraine dashed Putin’s hopes: The six months since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his war of aggression have been marked by deprivation and destruction, in Russia as well as Ukraine. While the damage done to Ukraine since Feb. 24 – the cities reduced to rubble, the thousands of lost lives, the millions of refugees – is easier to see, Russia’s losses have also been significant.

Airport disruptions unlikely to extend into the new year, Air Canada’s CFO says: The flood of delayed and cancelled flights and lost luggage that has marred the resumption of air travel will continue to recede through the rest of the year as hiring and training programs gear up, says Amos Kazzaz, Air Canada’s chief financial officer.

Brookfield, Intel partner on US$30-billion chip factory: Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s infrastructure company will partner with Intel Corp. on a US$30-billion semiconductor project in Arizona, a venture that underscores Brookfield’s interest in real estate linked to the tech economy – and its ability to spend big on it.

Morning markets

World stocks skid: Stock markets slid on Wednesday and the U.S. dollar held firmly to its recent gains as investor sentiment was hurt by poor economic data from around the world and fading hopes for a less aggressive pace of central bank interest rate hikes. Just before 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.25 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.05 per cent and 0.18 per cent, respectively. Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.49 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.20 per cent. New York futures were flat. The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.09 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Robyn Urback: “For a government that has made self-flagellation a matter of routine – that declared itself complicit in Indigenous genocide and rarely shies away from an opportunity to apologize for a past injustice – its cabinet ministers seem awfully shy to take responsibility now. Perhaps that’s because this is not something that can be blamed on Canada generally, but on this government specifically – a government that accidentally gave an apparent frothing antisemite permission to lecture Canadian broadcasters on racism.”

Andrew Coyne: “Add it up – the original decision to fire a popular female anchor, the ham-handed way it was done, the obtuse efforts to explain it, and the even more obtuse attempts to make their inability to explain themselves into the story – and the program may never recover.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

David ParkinsDavid Parkins/The Globe and Mail

Living better

How to keep your hips, spine and shoulders in shape

Mobility work should be a focus unto itself, an essential part of one’s training program that gets progressively more challenging as our abilities grow. But this doesn’t mean having to learn a whole new set of skills, and it doesn’t have to take up a ton of time. By zoning in on three general areas, and choosing the right movements for each, you can unlock a world of physical autonomy that carries over into every aspect of life.

Moment in time: Aug. 24, 1919

Ray Caldwell pitching for the New York Yankees, 1918.Library of Congress

Pitcher hit by lightning, finishes inning

Ray Caldwell was down on his luck. The pitcher had long had a drinking problem. After he disappeared without notice during the 1918 season, he was traded away by the Yankees and quickly dropped by the Red Sox. The last gasp for the once-promising 31-year-old came the summer of 1919, when Cleveland was desperate for pitching talent. In his first game with his new team, Caldwell sailed through eight innings, giving up only one run on four hits. At the top of the ninth inning it started to pour, though, and the players, with Caldwell on the mound, rushed to finish the game. Accounts vary as to what happened next, but two facts are sure: lightning struck the playing field and Caldwell took the brunt of it, knocked out cold on his back. After a harrowing five minutes in which some of his new teammates thought he was dead, Caldwell came to. He fought off offers to be taken to hospital, telling his team, “I have one more out to get.” And one more out he got, throwing a ground ball to third base and finishing with a complete-game win. Hope Mahood

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