These are the top stories:
SNC affair began in 2016 meeting between PM, company
The seeds for the SNC-Lavalin affair were sown more than three years ago. In early 2016 − long before the resignations and caucus ejections of this year − Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a senior adviser met with the Quebec engineering giant’s then-CEO. They discussed the company’s legal woes and the potential fallout should it be convicted of fraud and bribery.
The meeting, which has not been publicly disclosed until now, is among a series of startling revelations contained in the report released Wednesday by federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion. Many of the actors in the SNC-Lavalin controversy have given a public account of events as they saw them, whether through press conferences, written statements or testimony before the House of Commons justice committee that probed the matter earlier this year. And yet, much is revelatory in the report, based on the testimony of 14 witnesses − including, for the first time, Mr. Trudeau − and the examination of hundreds of pages of evidence.
Read more: Check out our explainer to understand what has happened in the story so far
Opinion: The Bank of Montreal connection in the SNC affair
“Bank of Montreal is never specifically mentioned in the federal Ethics Commissioner’s damning report on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s crusade for SNC-Lavalin, but the institution is now caught up in a scandal that will haunt the federal Liberals in the fall election campaign. Mario Dion, the federal ethics watchdog, laid bare the all-too-cozy underside of Corporate Canada in finding the Prime Minister and his team violated the Conflict of Interest Act by relentlessly pushing former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould to drop a criminal case against SNC-Lavalin.”
Read more to keep your opinions sharp:
- Globe Editorial: Justin Trudeau should have kept his hands off SNC-Lavalin
- John Ibbitson: Final verdict on Trudeau’s actions will be up to voters
- Konrad Yakabuski: Trudeau threw caution to the wind, played with fire on SNC-Lavalin
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EDC admits mistake in supporting Bombardier deal with Guptas
Export Development Canada has admitted it made a mistake when it lent US$41-million to help Bombardier Inc. sell a luxury aircraft to South Africa’s notorious Gupta family. The export agency, a Crown corporation, issued a statement of regret Wednesday for the transaction, more than two years after The Globe and Mail first revealed the loan to the Guptas, the family at the heart of South Africa’s biggest post-apartheid corruption scandal. In a separate statement on Wednesday, a spokesman for Bombardier said the company “would not proceed with such a transaction” if it knew what it knows today.
Pediatricians highlight risks tied to climate change
Infants and children are particularly vulnerable to heat sickness, reduced air quality due to pollution and wildfires, infection from insects, ticks and rodents, and other hazards that are expected to pose greater risks as a result of climate change, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society’s document, published Wednesday. Climate change is the biggest health risk of the 21st century, and many physicians may not be able to recognize certain conditions that are becoming more common as a result of climate change, such as Lyme disease. “Health professionals, they really need to focus on broadening their training and broadening their education,” said Irena Buka, lead author of the guidance and clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Canadians advised to exercise high degree of caution in Hong Kong as critics urge Ottawa to dispatch more resources: Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says she is closely watching the “turbulent” situation in Hong Kong as critics urge the federal government to take a more assertive role, calling on Ottawa to dispatch political leaders and more diplomats to the city as months of protests continue.
Defence minister asks military watchdog to investigate racism in the ranks: The unprecedented request also comes on the eve of a fall federal election in which racism and identity politics are expected to figure prominently, though Harjit Sajjan says his request is “absolutely not” motivated by politics.
Prosecutors says suspect in Capital One data breach may have hacked more than 30 companies: Prosecutors said much of that data did not appear to contain personal identifying information. Investigators are still working to identify the affected organizations.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders announces details of $4.5-million operation to curb gun violence in the city: Bill Anderson, senior director and chief special constable of TCHC’s community safety unit, said the violence has undoubtedly affected residents and their ability to feel safe in their communities.
Canopy Growth quarterly revenue falls to $90.5-million, short of analyst expectations: The company also reported a quarterly net loss of $1.28-billion, or $3.70 per share, on Wednesday evening.
U.S. stock futures gave up early gains Thursday, signalling more steep losses for Wall Street following the previous session’s massive rout after China warned it could take counter measures to the latest U.S. tariffs on US$300-billion of Chinese goods. European markets, which has started in positive territory, turned sour on the news. Tokyo’s Nikkei followed U.S. stocks lower, sinking 1.2 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.8 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were down by between 1 and 1.1 per cent by about 6:15 a.m. New York futures were down. The Canadian dollar was at about 75 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
What’s in a name? A potential forecast of Canada’s coming election
Andrew Steele: “There’s plenty of time before election day for polling gaps to widen and shrink. But with 51 seats won by a margin of less than 5 per cent in 2015, incumbency and star recruitment might well determine who becomes prime minister in what looks to be a close election.” Steele is a consultant at Strategy Corp. in Toronto who has worked in war rooms for the Liberal Party of Canada.
Canada needs to get serious about tax reform
Mostafa Askari, Kevin Page and Nishant Singh: We owe it to the current generation to address problems people would say are six inches in front of our nose (e.g. a tax system that is among the worst in terms of cost of collection in developed countries). Askari, Page and Singh are part of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa.
Germany’s economy is in trouble. That’s bad news for everyone
David Parkinson: “While the Canadian economy isn’t as tilted toward exports as Germany’s is (exports are equivalent to 32 per cent of Canadian GDP, versus 47 per cent for Germany), the global export market is nevertheless a critical contributor to Canada’s economic growth outlook.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Introverts make up one-third to half of the population, according to studies. And despite misconceptions, many introverts have a sense of adventure and a strong desire to see the world. When John Beranek discovered IntroverTravels, a travel agency for introverts, it seemed like a good way for him to take on exploration. Though he doesn’t enjoy dealing with large groups, the alone time that was part of the plan for his trip to Australia was exactly what he was looking for. But for travellers who need even more alone time, Jacob Marek, the man who launched the travel agency, can arrange more exclusive experiences.
MOMENT IN TIME
Aug. 15, 1969
There was the myth, and there was the reality. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, the most famous rock concert in history and the spiritual touchstone of a generation of boomers, wasn’t actually staged in Woodstock, N.Y., but two hours away, on lifelong Republican Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y. Nearly 400,000 fans turned up (not quite “half a million strong,” as Joni Mitchell sang, even though she wasn’t there) expecting to pay $18 for a three-day pass. But the crowd was so huge that everyone was let in for free. A memorably calm chaos ensued, as people scrambled for parking (Traffic Uptight at Hippie Fest was the Daily News’s headline), food (a local commune stepped in), medical help (volunteer docs and nurses tended to 4,000 injuries and overdoses) and somewhere to poop. By 9 a.m. on Monday, when Jimi Hendrix (who was paid $18,000, more than anyone else) performed his beautifully corrupted Star Spangled Banner, the crowd had thinned to a mere 20,000. Woodstock wasn’t the first outdoor rock concert. But it was arguably the last one not to be overwhelmed by the commercialism that helped turn the optimistic sixties into the incessantly monetized world we know today. — Ian Brown