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Federal Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne is planning to approve the transfer of Shaw Communications Inc.’s Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc. with conditions on Friday morning. That paves the way for Rogers Communications Inc. to complete its $20-billion takeover of Shaw.

The minister is expected to approve the transfer of Shaw’s wireless licences to Quebecor’s Videotron Ltd. with a number of conditions attached, as well as financial penalties associated with breaking those conditions, according to a source with knowledge of the announcement.

The takeover of Shaw by Rogers, which would combine Canada’s two largest cable networks, was first announced two years ago. In order to prevent the deal from eliminating Canada’s fourth-largest wireless carrier, Rogers and Shaw have agreed to sell Freedom Mobile to Quebecor for $2.85-billion.

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Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne is expected to approve the transfer of Shaw’s wireless licences to Quebecor’s Videotron Ltd. with a number of conditions attached.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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New York grand jury votes to indict Donald Trump

Donald Trump has become the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges, after a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict him Thursday over payments to porn star Stormy Daniels to cover up an alleged extramarital affair before the 2016 election.

The specific charges against Trump, who is campaigning to return to the White House, are expected to be made public in coming days, as prosecutors seek the former president’s arraignment.

N.S. mass shooting report condemns RCMP failures

The public inquiry into the worst civilian mass shooting in Canadian history says in a report that a series of disastrous RCMP failures in the Nova Scotia attack three years ago has shown that Ottawa must overhaul the national force and its role in community policing or find alternatives to the Mounties in much of the country.

In its response to the Mass Casualty Commission (MCC) report, the federal government did not commit to any such sweeping reorganization and the RCMP did not admit to any mistakes in its response to the rampage. The report calls for an overhaul within the RCMP to improve accountability, oversight and training. It also says the future of the national force’s role in policing needs to be re-examined and reimagined.

For the victims’ families, the report was met with mixed feelings. Michael Scott, a lawyer representing the majority of the victims’ families, was disappointed in parts of the inquiry process but said it was refreshing to see the RCMP shortcomings highlighted.

Vatican formally rejects Doctrine of Discovery that allowed colonial-era seizure of Indigenous lands

The Vatican formally repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery and the associated papal decrees that had been used to legitimize the colonial-era seizure of Indigenous lands, meeting one of the long-standing demands of First Nations, Inuit and Métis groups in Canada.

During his visit to Canada last July, Pope Francis came under pressure from Indigenous groups for a formal rejection of the 15th-century decrees. He never spoke directly about repudiating the bulls even if he apologized profusely for past abuses, including the establishment of the largely Catholic residential school system that forcibly removed Indigenous children from their homes.

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Also on our radar

Police say six bodies recovered from St. Lawrence River: The Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service says they are investigating after the bodies of six people were found late Thursday afternoon by a marsh area.

Justice Russell Brown complaint sent for review: A disciplinary complaint against the Supreme Court justice has been ruled serious enough to warrant his possible dismissal, and sent on to a five-member panel for review to determine whether he will have to face a public trial.

Ottawa stands by its pick for interim ethics commissioner: Opposition parties argue that the Liberals’ decision to appoint the sister-in-law of Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc to the role will create the type of ethical bind the office exists to combat. Government House Leader Mark Holland rejected the notion that Martine Richard can’t do the job.

Turkey’s parliament ratifies Finland’s NATO membership: The ratification clears the last hurdle in the way of the Nordic country’s long-delayed accession into the Western military alliance. Sweden’s bid, meanwhile, has been left hanging.

Did dinosaurs have lips? Even the most fearsome carnivore of all, the Tyrannosaurus rex, kept its scimitar-like dentition well hidden behind a fleshy kisser, according to a Canadian-led team of paleontologists. If their conclusion is correct, it brings new insight to an aspect of dinosaur anatomy that has been a matter of scientific debate.

Morning markets

Global stocks gain: Global stocks rose Friday ahead of a U.S. inflation update that traders hope might prompt the Federal Reserve to ease plans for more interest rate hikes. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.21 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.33 per cent and 0.45 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished up 0.93 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.45 per cent. New York futures were modestly positive. The Canadian dollar was lower at 73.79 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

I followed a Venezuelan family across the Americas. Then a cartel seized them

“Their decision to enter Mexico had been made with great trepidation, since they knew of the many risks involved. But they saw no other good option: They had tried to apply for asylum in a safe country, but across Central America they had found either rejection or processes that would drag out for at least a year while waiting in countries that didn’t want them.” - Doug Saunders

The French spring of discontent pits Macron against the street

“Almost anywhere else, pension reform would not be this controversial. But for the French, who work to live rather than the other way around, what Mr. Macron is doing amounts to sacrilege. The protesters depict this reform as an assault on workers by capitalist elites. Do not try to tell them that France’s retirement age would still be the lowest in Europe and its public pensions among the most generous even after the reforms are fully implemented; that only gets them angrier.” - Konrad Yakabuski

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Illustration by Brian Gable

Living better

Rabbit Hole with Kiefer Sutherland and Disney+ rom-com Rye Lane: What to watch this weekend

From Rabbit Hole, a new thriller series that has Kiefer Sutherland basically playing another version of his classic cutthroat hero from 24, to Family First, a French-language drama set in the Montreal borough of Verdun, here are Barry Hertz’s best bets for weekend streaming.

Moment in time: March 31, 1927

Canada passes old age pension legislation

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Old age pensioner scrubbing floors to supplement her allowance, June 1947. Credit: Canadian Tribune / Library and Archives Canada

Old age pensioner scrubbing floors to supplement her allowance June, 1947.Canadian Tribune / Library and Archives Canada

In the 1925 federal election, the governing Liberals won fewer seats than the Conservatives and needed other party support to remain in power. Two Labour members, J.S. Woodsworth and A.A. Heaps, were willing to back Liberal Leader William Lyon Mackenzie King – for a price. The pair wanted an old-age pension plan and insisted that King put it in writing so they could enter the letter into the parliamentary record. It was not until March, 1927, when King headed a majority government, that the prime minister made good on the deal and the Old Age Pensions Act was given royal assent. A monthly $20 pension was to be paid to British subjects who were over the age of 70 and resident in Canada for at least 20 years. Recipients also had to meet a means test: less than $125 in total annual income. At best, the plan was a hesitant first step toward the creation of a social welfare system for an increasingly urban Canada. Many seniors at the time would never benefit from the pension plan: The life expectancy for Canadian men and women in the 1920s was about 61. Bill Waiser

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