In his testimony to the House of Commons finance committee yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his family’s financial ties to WE Charity did not put him in a conflict of interest when he participated in the cabinet decision on the now-cancelled WE contract. But Trudeau said he should have recused himself.
He also said he had no role in recommending WE Charity administer the Canada Student Service Grant, adding that he asked for more due diligence so that the deal would stand up to scrutiny, given his connections to WE Charity. He noted that he had expected the grant would be run by the Canada Service Corps. The grant is “unlikely” to go ahead this summer.
Trudeau added that he did not know about many of WE’s issues, such as the resignation of the charity’s board chair and the layoff of hundreds of staff. The charity also breached the terms of its loans with its bank lender.
- Trudeau, Telford speak on WE Charity controversy: What you missed from Thursday’s hearings
- Campbell Clark: PM’s grilling helped him state his case on WE – that he erred, but didn’t sin
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Ontario students to return to school full time in the fall
In Ontario’s back-to-school plan, there will be no class-size limits for their youngest pupils, while secondary-level students will have a mix of in-class and remote learning. Grade 4-12 students will also have to wear masks, making Ontario the only province with this requirement.
The province added that it is providing $309-million for school boards to fund cleaning, public-health nurses and personal protective equipment. But teachers’ unions have criticized the plan as being unsafe for students and educators.
Kovrig, Spavor mark a ‘sobering’ milestone in detention
As of Saturday, Aug. 1, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor will have been held in detention for 600 days.
Canadian officials’ efforts to see them while they await trial have been rebuffed, with Chinese authorities citing pandemic rules that are in effect across the country’s detention system. There hasn’t been any permitted diplomatic access to the Canadian men since mid-January.
DISPATCH FROM GLOBE CLIMATE
Each week, the Globe Climate newsletter spotlights a youth who is making waves in Canada. This week, we’re highlighting Keerat Dhami, an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto who organizes local climate action with the Community Climate Council and Peel Climate Café.
“Though combatting climate change is a global issue that requires international agreements and accords, there is a lot that can be done at the local level and across our communities.” – Keerat Dhami
Do you know an engaged young person pursuing change in the country? E-mail us at GlobeClimate@globeandmail.com to tell us about them and sign up for our Globe Climate newsletter to see more profiles of youths making waves.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Marginalized people hard hit by COVID-19 in Toronto, data suggest: Toronto Public Health’s findings show that despite making up just over half the population, racialized people accounted for 83 per cent of COVID-19 cases between mid-May and mid-July. Having a low income and living in crowded spaces have also been found to be big risk factors.
Ontario’s long-term care needs immediate support, report says: An expert report details a staffing crisis in Ontario’s long-term care that has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and calls on the province to hire more care home staff.
CBSA cracking down on American travellers to Alaska: Canada is requiring Americans travelling to Alaska through B.C. to display signs in their vehicles identifying themselves as Americans and naming a date for their exit from Canada to reduce COVID-19 risks.
Trump walks back election ‘delay’ suggestion: U.S. President Donald Trump floated the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election while pushing unsubstantiated allegations of potentially increased fraud from mail-in voting. But top Republicans quickly rebuffed his suggestion.
Read more on the U.S. presidential election
- Lawrence Martin: There is method to Donald Trump’s mad election-day threat
- David Shribman: The astonishing thing about Biden’s campaign? He accomplishes so much by doing so little
European shares rebound, euro set for best month in a decade: European shares recovered from their lowest levels in a month on Friday, as investors looked past a severe economic contraction in Germany and on to company earnings, while the euro reached its highest in more than two years, set for its best month in a decade. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.25 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.78 per cent and 0.59 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended down 2.82 per cent. New York futures were mostly stronger. The Canadian dollar was trading at 74.48 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
As COVID-19 threatens Brazil, its leader threatens the country’s Indigenous people
Michael Orsini and Francisco Ortega: “Nothing less than the very existence of Indigenous people is at stake. The Yanomami people in the Amazon, for instance, who number about 26,000, cannot afford to lose members to the pandemic. The ‘brink of destruction’ is an apt term to describe what is unfolding.”
Troubled water: The slow drip of change in Attawapiskat is not and has never been enough
Adrian Sutherland: “New crises always come up. People start to forget about old emergencies. Issues fade away. Life returns back to ‘normal.’ And meanwhile, Indigenous people in Canada continue to struggle for basic human needs – until the next emergency and the next Band-Aid solution.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
TIFF 2020: With only 50 films premiering, the festival is looking beyond the Oscar bait that built its past
Organizers have announced the 50 films premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, a lineup that is noticeably smaller than that of last year. The Globe’s film editor Barry Hertz noted that the selection is also noticeably thin on the kind of star-laden, buzzy films that have helped solidify TIFF’s reputation as an Oscar bellwether.
MOMENT IN TIME: July 31, 1944
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry disappears
Aviator, aristocrat and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was one of France’s biggest heroes. His book, The Little Prince, with its themes of isolation and love, was published in 1943 in English – a language he refused to learn. It was one of several books Saint-Exupéry wrote, using his flying adventures as inspiration. In 1943, after a self-imposed exile in New York, he returned to fight in the Second World War with the Free French Air Forces. Once an accomplished pilot, the writer was now 44, overweight and riddled with injuries from numerous flying accidents. On this day in 1944, Saint-Exupéry set out in a Lockheed Lightning P-38 from Corsica for a mapping run east of Lyon. He was never heard from again. Over the years, a legion of “Saint-Ex” hunters was born. In 1998, French fishermen found a bracelet inscribed with his name. Then, in 2000, a former Luftwaffe pilot said he shot down Saint-Exupéry’s plane. Finally, in 2004, a French team discovered the remains of his P-38 off Marseille. It is still not known why he went down. As a family representative put it: “It’s such a beautiful myth, disappearing over the ocean the way the Little Prince disappeared from the earth.” Ryan MacDonald