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On the night before the federal government invoked the federal Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history, the Prime Minister’s national security and intelligence adviser, Jody Thomas, told Justin Trudeau and his cabinet that there was a potential for a breakthrough with the protesters in Ottawa.

The revelation is contained in a package of cabinet-level documents, previously marked secret, describing the discussions that took place in February as the cabinet weighed how to address a flurry of highly disruptive protests across the country that were primarily focused on opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

The documents are heavily redacted, and there is no detailed explanation in the non-redacted sections related to the reference of a potential breakthrough.

The records were released as part of two cases challenging the use of the Emergencies Act. The Canadian Constitution Foundation, a legal non-profit, filed an application in late February for judicial review of the government’s decision to invoke the act. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) has also brought an application for judicial review over the act’s invocation.

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Vehicles block a road in Ottawa during a protest by truck drivers against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and the Trudeau government on Feb. 15, 2022.ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images

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U.S. Attorney-General confirms search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, asks court to unseal warrant

The U.S. Justice Department asked a judge on Thursday to make public the warrant that authorized an FBI search of Donald Trump’s Florida home, after the former president attacked the search as an act of political retribution.

Attorney-General Merrick Garland confirmed for the first time that agents had searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. The search is part of an investigation into whether he illegally removed records from the White House as he was leaving office.

Garland, the nation’s top law enforcement official, said he had personally approved the decision to order the search – a highly unusual move when investigations are ongoing. But it came after Trump himself announced the search on Monday night, alleging it was politically motivated.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that U.S. federal agents were looking for documents relating to nuclear weapons. It was not clear if such documents were recovered, The Post said.

Read more:

  • Konrad Yakabuski: Would prosecuting Trump be worth the toll it would take on a fractured nation?
  • Stephen Marche: The Mar-a-Lago raid brings the United States a step closer to civil war

With California expected to lose 10% of its water by 2040, Governor Gavin Newsom outlines sweeping plan

As reservoirs go dry and soils grow parched across the southwestern United States, the state of California is promoting a sweeping drought response plan that it says will usher in a new era, mainly through trapping rainwater for later use.

With a population larger than Canada’s and an economy larger than all but the richest of the world’s countries, California occupies the continent’s most important position in the response to a decades-long regional drought – one that has created a deepening sense of alarm about the future availability of water, reports The Globe’s Nathan VanderKlippe. By the state’s own calculation, a hotter and drier climate could erase a tenth of its water supplies by 2040.

But on Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said it’s time to move “away from a scarcity mindset to one more of abundance,” which he said would mean directing resources and energies “to create more water, to capture more water.”

The state’s new plan predicts the disappearance of six to nine million acre-feet of water a year, between two and three times what the city of Los Angeles currently uses. To compensate, it delineates a strategy for securing an additional 6.9 million acre-feet by 2040 – but only 7 per cent through conservation measures.

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Also on our radar

Hockey Canada looks to hire director of sport safety: The sport’s national governing body released a job posting for a “director, sport safety - maltreatment, harassment and abuse” as it continues its attempt to restore its credibility following immense scrutiny over its handling of past sexual-assault allegations.

Pregnant women who received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines aren’t more at risk, study confirms: Compared with unvaccinated pregnant women, pregnant women who got the mRNA jab were not more likely to experience miscarriage, stillbirth or other severe health events, a Canadian study published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases found.

Russian reporter put under house arrest: A Russian court placed Marina Ovsyannikova, a former state TV journalist, under house arrest for nearly two months pending an investigation and potential trial on charges of spreading false information about the war on Ukraine.

Employers ramping up search for temporary foreign workers: Facing a sustained labour shortage and decades-low unemployment rate, Canadian employers, including those in the agriculture and restaurant industries, are moving to fill more jobs with temporary foreign workers.

Canadian home prices could see a 25-per-cent dip, report says: The average price for a home in Canada could fall by as much as 25 per cent from peak values in February by the end of 2023, with the Maritimes and most of Ontario shouldering greater declines owing to the sharp jump in borrowing costs, says a new private-sector forecast.

Morning markets

World stocks headed for a fourth straight week of gains on Friday as investors scaled back views on how far U.S. interest rates and inflation can climb, while oil recouped some of the previous week’s losses. Just before 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.58 per cent, Germany’s DAX gained 0.48 per cent and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.3 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.46 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei surged 2.62 per cent to its highest level since January as markets reopened following a national holiday. New York futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.35 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

The Great Resignation has arrived in Canada

“With the economy already feeling the weight of inflation and interest rates, a slowdown in labour-market growth could be one weight too many in the coming months.” - David Parkinson

The next Land Back battleground will be north of Lake Superior, as Chiefs say no to nuclear waste on their traditional lands

“The pillaging of the North, which has been a consistent feature of economic recovery plans since the inception of Canada, is a tiresome, unacceptable narrative. Northern communities already have their hands full in fighting for basic human rights – from health care to clean water to education – while governments continue to ignore their treaty obligations.” - Tanya Talaga

Today’s editorial cartoon

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David Parkins/The Globe and Mail

Living better

Running apps are great for motivation, but take note of privacy settings

Fitness apps such as Strava, Nike Run Club and Garmin Connect that allow users to track their workouts and share details about their routine and progress with friends are popular in running groups and other fitness circles. Users extol the benefits of being able to build community around a physical community and to challenge each other.

Despite the popularity of these apps, sharing location information and other sensitive details brings up privacy and security issues. Experts encourage users to practice caution.

Moment in time: Aug. 12, 30 BC

Cleopatra dies by suicide

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Marble portraits of Cleopatra at a British Museum exhibit in London April 10, 2001.ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

On a mid-August day almost 2,000 years ago, Egyptian empress Cleopatra VII locked herself in her Alexandrian tomb and sent for a poisonous serpent. Faced with the possibility of being paraded through Rome by Octavian after losing the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, Cleopatra died by snakebite – or did she? No traces of the cobra were found on the scene and, according to Roman scholars, Cleopatra likely poisoned herself using an ointment or through the insertion of the toxin into her skin with the likes of a hairpin. Although the jury is out on the logistics of how she died, there is no denying Cleopatra’s fierce rule that lasted 21 years. Born into a lineage of Macedonian rulers in Egypt, Cleopatra is remembered as a temptress who seduced powerful men such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. What the tale often glosses over is her charisma and intelligence, both of which she used to extend the political gains of one of the most powerful empires in the ancient Mediterranean. Cleopatra and her lover Mark Antony’s death ended both the Hellenistic period and the Ptolemaic rule of Egypt, which became a Roman province with Octavian as its first emperor. Zahra Khozema

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