The president of the Public Health Agency of Canada defied an order of the House of Commons yesterday and refused to provide unredacted documents about the dismissal of two scientists from Canada’s high-security infectious disease laboratory.
An Opposition motion last Thursday censured PHAC for failing to produce the records and ordered Iain Stewart to appear before the Commons on Monday to be admonished and to produce the documents that explain why Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng, were removed and fired from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
Stewart did not provide the documents, including information on the transfer of two dangerous viruses from the Winnipeg lab to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.
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Fully vaccinated Canadians to be exempt from travel quarantine
Canadians returning to the country who are fully vaccinated will have restrictions eased in two weeks, but the federal government is still refraining from laying out a road map for a broader lifting of COVID-19 border measures.
Beginning at 11:59 p.m. ET on July 5, fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be spared from all post-travel quarantine, the federal government announced Monday.
This first stage of relaxation of travel restrictions does not apply to fully vaccinated foreigners, save for a few exceptions, including international students. The government did not release a plan for a full easing of restrictions.
Are real estate investors adding to housing unaffordability?
Investors account for one-fifth of all home purchases in Canada, adding more fuel to the debate about their influence on the country’s soaring real estate prices and demand for housing.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, investor buying has rebounded to 20.1 per cent of all purchases in the country, with a slightly higher share in Toronto and Hamilton, according to data published in the Bank of Canada’s financial system review. That is lower than during the tail end of the previous real estate boom, but higher than in pre-pandemic days.
With the Canadian Real Estate Association reporting the national average home price is 38 per cent higher than a year ago, real estate investors are being accused of driving up prices. However, housing experts and economists have not been able to quantify the investor effect on pricing, even though such a large volume of investor buying is bound to have an impact.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Canada’s tick seasons are getting worse, and they’re no longer just a rural menace: Researchers are seeing an explosion of ticks that could spell big trouble as Canadians, fed up after months of lockdowns and restrictions, plunge into the great outdoors. Climate moderation, coupled with changes in land use, have fuelled the tick’s rise.
Two Catholic churches on Indigenous land destroyed in fires: Two Catholic churches built more than a century ago on First Nations land in British Columbia’s southern Okanagan region were destroyed early yesterday morning by fires that authorities are investigating as suspicious.
Ex-deputy governor warns Bank of Canada against ‘mission creep’: Former Bank of Canada deputy governor John Murray said the central bank should focus on maintaining or adjusting its core inflation targeting mandate, and avoid adding policy goals explicitly tied to unemployment, inequality or climate change, in a report for the C.D. Howe Institute.
The Canadiens’ playoff run has the makings of movie magic: Hollywood has never shown much interest in hockey. Still, you can’t help but wonder what MGM or Universal Studios would think if someone pitched them on a film feature about the 2021 Montreal Canadiens.
Global markets subdued: World shares were struggling to extend a bounce off four week lows on Tuesday, oil prices were at their highest in well over two years, while indecisive bond markets were stuck flip-flopping on inflation and interest rate moves. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.26 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.19 per cent and 0.04 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei jumped 3.12 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.63 per cent. New York futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar was trading at 80.71 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Joe Martin, Kealy Wilkinson and Susan Reisler: “CBC/Radio-Canada was created in the 1930s as a public electronic railway to carry Canadian voices across the country: One that would tell our stories, both the good and the bad. Over the years, it has done this. But few today recognize this achievement because so much of what CBC/Radio-Canada has produced is dead to the world, locked up in its huge black-hole archives.”
Bessma Momani: “Iranians are fed up. Those who can are leaving Iran; they have given up on working within the system to try and achieve inside-out reform. The prospect of continued protests against the incoming president and his repressive regime are high. The body politic is just too ill, and Iranians rightly feel that the palliative approach has failed. The diagnosis is grim.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Globe Craft Club: Make a tie-dyed T-shirt with Will and Sana Saleh of TikTok’s @salehfamily and Lala Hijabs
There’s something wonderful about tie dye. It’s so joyous and unbounded, so colourful and free. Join us for the next Craft Club, which will be livestreamed on June 22 at 7 p.m. ET, where Will and Sana Saleh will teach us to tie dye a T-shirt or other item. You can buy something new to dye, or transform something you already own.
MOMENT IN TIME: JUNE 22, 1986
Burning Man festival begins
In the post-Christian West, people are starved for ritual – specifically, the sense of community it engenders. So on the summer solstice of 1986, friends Larry Harvey and Jerry James decided to add a twist to the annual bonfire gatherings once organized by sculptor Mary Grauberger on San Francisco’s Baker Beach. The two collected some scrap pieces of wood and erected an eight-foot man before setting it ablaze in front of the small crowd. The following year, both the crowd and the ephemeral sculpture doubled in size, then doubled again in 1988, when Harvey dubbed the event Burning Man. By 1990, the flames were getting too high for park officials, so the figure was taken down and reconstructed at an art and performance event being held that year in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Since then, the annual gathering (cancelled last year and this year) has become a week-long event that attracts tens of thousands, with everyone expected to contribute in order to keep their fellow Burners entertained and safe on an otherwise lifeless, dry lake. At the heart of it remains the ritual burning of the Man, decorated for years now with neon, a beacon in the void. Massimo Commanducci