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Two children are dead and a 51-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder after he allegedly drove a city bus into a Laval, Que., daycare yesterday, a tragedy that has left many across the country shaken.

Six more children were sent to hospital with injuries that are not considered life-threatening and one adult was admitted to hospital with shock, according to police in Laval, a city just outside Montreal. The young victims of the crash were aged four and five.

The suspect, Pierre Ny St-Amand, has also been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, and four counts of assault causing bodily harm, along with attempted murder.

Witnesses said the suspect was subdued by several bystanders after emerging from the bus yelling incoherently and removing his clothes, before being arrested by police, while multiple children remained trapped by the vehicle.

A city bus is shown next to a daycare centre in Laval, Que, Wednesday, February 8, 2023, where the driver crashed it into the building leaving two children dead.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

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Poilievre fires back at CBC head over ‘partisan attack’

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has accused CBC president Catherine Tait of launching a partisan attack on him, saying she is “not even pretending to be unbiased” based on her remarks in a Globe and Mail interview this week.

Tait also came under fire from CBC viewers and supporters yesterday over her disclosure in that same interview that the CBC is preparing to end traditional TV and radio broadcasts and go completely digital, as audiences shift to streaming.

In the Globe interview, Tait criticized the Tory Leader’s call to defund the CBC, calling it a “slogan” and a tactic to solicit donations. She also accused Poilievre of inciting attacks on the broadcaster saying: “There’s a lot of CBC bashing going on – somewhat stoked by the Leader of the Opposition.”

Ottawa on collision course with public-sector workers over double-digit wage demands

The federal government and unionized workers are preparing to lock horns over double-digit wage hikes to account for higher inflation and rules for remote work in what is shaping up to be a heated series of contract negotiations.

This year’s negotiations are particularly unusual and intense not only because of inflation, but because of the size and scope of public-service departments that are at the bargaining table, and the number of workers gearing up for strike votes.

The federal government is about to begin bargaining for new collective agreements for, or is already negotiating with, nearly all the unions representing more than 300,000 federal public servants.

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Also on our radar

Poilievre commits to honour Trudeau’s health care plan: Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre pledged that if he became prime minister, he would maintain the 10-year spending plan on health transfers announced this week by the Liberal government but said he can’t immediately commit to adding more funding.

Britain may send fighter jets to Ukraine: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has signalled that his government is prepared to send fighter jets to Ukraine, telling a news conference with visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Britain has agreed to start training Ukrainian pilots on NATO-standard aircraft.

Turkey and Syria earthquake deaths near 16,000: The death toll from earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria this week neared 16,000 on Thursday as hopes faded of many people being found alive 72 hours since the disaster and frustration simmered over the slow delivery of aid.

Skilled labour missing from Canada’s EV sector: Windsor’s success in landing major new investments – highlighted by the decision from the auto giant Stellantis NV and LG Energy Solution to partner on Canada’s first EV battery factory here – has created a relative boom. And employees to staff that plant, and offshoots along the supply chain, are in very high demand, which the city and region are struggling to meet.

Church of England considers new terms for God: The Church of England will look into the use of gender neutral terms to refer to God in prayers, but the centuries-old institution said yesterday there were no plans to abolish current services.

Morning markets

World stocks gain: Stocks, crude oil and gold rose while the U.S. dollar eased on Thursday as investors sifted through earnings reports, German inflation data and Federal Reserve policymaker speeches for clues on how many interest rate hikes lie ahead. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.63 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 1.48 per cent and 1.42 per cent, respectively. Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.08 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.6 per cent. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was higher at 74.61 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Steve Lafleur: “Canada’s housing affordability challenges are well-known. But while it’s usually seen as a household-level problem, it’s also a broader economic problem that could become a headwind for Canada’s economy.”

Cathal Kelly: “There are no more firsts in sports, but there are still ways in which the most familiar tropes can be honed. Lebron James wasn’t the first prodigy, but no one before or since has delivered so fully on so unreasonable an amount of promise.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

Illustration by Brian Gable

Living better

Canada’s first Club Med ski resort is worth a visit

There’s bottomless poutine, a fantastic ski room and lessons are included for all guests. Club Med’s first foray into the Canadian ski-vacation scene has one unbeatable thing going for it – an irresistible, non-stop sense of fun.

Moment in time: Feb. 9, 1936

Stompin' Tom Connors performs at Massey Hall in Toronto, Feb. 3, 1972.Erik Christensen/The Globe and Mail

Stompin’ Tom is born

In retrospect, the Maple Leaf Hotel was the perfect place for country crooner Stompin’ Tom Connors to launch his career. The troubadour, famous for stomping on a piece of plywood while performing, was born Charles Thomas Connors in Saint John to a teen mother. Mr. Connors, who wrote his first song at 11, ran away from his adoptive parents at 13, hitchhiking across Canada and getting to know his country, and its people, up close. At 28, he stopped at the hotel in Timmins, Ont., for a beer, but was a nickel short. Seeing Mr. Connors’s guitar, the bartender offered him the bottle in exchange for a few tunes. His performance lasted 14 months. He went on to write more than 300 songs and release four dozen albums. In 1978, he sent back his Juno awards to protest the organization nominating musicians who seemed to value international success more than recognition at home. He sang in Believe in Your Country: “If you don’t believe your country, should come before yourself/ You can better serve your country, by living somewhere else.” As The Globe noted when he died from kidney failure in 2013, Mr. Connors spent “his life celebrating and defending his home with unfailing humour and uncompromising pride. Thank you, Stompin’ Tom Connors. We needed you.” Rasha Mourtada

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