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Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim expressed outrage after the disclosure of Canadian intelligence reports that revealed China’s consul-general worked to interfere in the election Sim won last year.

The Canadian-born Sim made no comment on the seriousness of foreign-interference threats to the city. Instead, he lashed out in the wake of a Globe and Mail report on Canadian Security Intelligence Service documents that cited Chinese consul-general Tong Xiaoling’s efforts “to get all eligible voters to come out and elect a specific Chinese-Canadian candidate.” The documents do not name any candidate.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet, meanwhile, cast doubt on former governor-general David Johnston’s ability to be an impartial adjudicator in his new role as special rapporteur into Chinese election interference. They cited his decades-long connections to Justin Trudeau’s family.

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Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim responds to questions on March 16 regarding CSIS reports revealing China’s Vancouver consulate worked to interfere in the 2022 municipal election.Kayla Isomura/The Globe and Mail

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U.S. banking giants rescue First Republic with $30-billion infusion

The United States’ largest financial institutions have agreed to deposit US$30-billion in First Republic Bank, an unconventional private-sector rescue designed to shore up confidence in the financial system and contain an emerging crisis.

The agreement was brokered by the U.S. government, but is funded by 11 of the country’s largest lenders and investment banks. Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, known as the Big Four U.S. banks, are leading the effort with US$5-billion each.

With First Republic looking like the next domino to fall in a cascade of bank failures that started with Silicon Valley Bank, the larger lenders and investment banks are hoping their deposits will keep it standing, and prevent the situation from spiralling out of control.

Supreme Court must decide how many judges will sit for pivotal federalism case

Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Wagner has a choice to make heading into a major federalism case on environmental law next week: sit with eight judges and risk a tie, or designate a judge to sit out, which could influence the result.

The Chief Justice faces this quandary because the nine-member court is short one judge, following a physical altercation in an Arizona hotel involving Justice Russell Brown, who has been placed on paid leave.

The case, which will be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday, focuses on a 2019 law that gives Ottawa the authority to regulate industrial projects with effects that go beyond provincial borders, such as the production of greenhouse gases that warm the planet, reports Sean Fine.

Two Edmonton police officers fatally shot after responding to domestic dispute call

Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee was grim as he announced what he described as an unthinkable and horrific tragedy on Thursday, after the death of two city officers in an early morning shooting.

Chief McFee identified the two constables as Travis Jordan, 35, and Brett Ryan, 30. Constable Jordan had been with the service for more than eight years, and Constable Ryan for over five. Chief McFee said the shooter died from what is believed to be self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

A police source said Thursday evening that the suspect was 16 years old, and also shot and wounded his mother.

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Also on our radar

China’s Xi Jinping to visit Russia next week: China confirmed this morning the President will visit Russia from March 20 to 22, in an apparent show of support for Russian leader Vladimir Putin even as Beijing continues to tout its plan for ending the war in Ukraine.

Former executives took kickbacks, new OPSEU lawsuit alleges: The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is seeking $24-million in damages for the alleged wrongdoing committed by the three executives and numerous entities tied to them.

MPs move to summon Mark Zuckerberg: Heritage committee members want the chairman of Meta to testify before them over the tech giant’s plans to block Canadians’ ability to view and share news on Facebook if Ottawa’s online news bill becomes law.

As Japan invests in defence, Canada is becoming more important than ever to Tokyo: The East Asian country’s national-security strategy has identified Canada as a key partner in building a network of countries to strengthen deterrence and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

France pushes through controversial pension reform: French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne used a special procedure to push an unpopular bill through the National Assembly without a vote on Thursday, triggering boos and shouts of “Resign!” in rare chaotic scenes in the country’s parliament.

Pornhub owner MindGeek acquired by Ottawa-based equity firm: Ethical Capital Partners’ deal will see the complete exit of the pornography company’s controversial long-time owners and majority shareholders.

Morning markets

European, Asian markets gain: Markets advanced Friday in Europe and Asia, tracking a rally on Wall Street after a group of big banks offered a lifeline to First Republic Bank, the latest U.S. lender in the spotlight for troubles in the banking industry. Just after 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.81 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were up 0.60 per cent and 0.52 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished 1.2-per-cent higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.64 per cent. New York futures were modestly positive. The Canadian dollar was up at 73.02 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

The Leafs have a sleeping-giant feel heading into the post-season. Cue the Jaws theme

If Toronto gets past Tampa to face Boston, the excuse – ‘It was the Bruins. What did you expect? Miracles?’ – is built in and pre-accepted. In their current iteration, the Leafs have never looked better than they do right now. Settled. Confident. Ready to go. Their opposition has never looked more the opposite of those things.” - Cathal Kelly

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable published March 17, 2023. CANADA ... WHERE ANYONE CAN GROW UP TO BE RAPPORTEUR.Illustration by Brian Gable

Living better

Five things to stream this weekend: Netflix’s Money Shot: The Pornhub Story offers skin-deep look at internet’s dirtiest little secret

From Living, starring Oscar-nominated Bill Nighy as a widowed bureaucrat, who becomes a changed man after learning he is not long for this world, to Barbarian, a sleeper hit from writer-director Zach Cregger about an Airbnb booking gone very wrong, Barry Hertz shares his picks for weekend streaming.

Moment in time: March 17, 1973

Pulitzer Prize-winning photo Burst of Joy is taken

Open this photo in gallery:Released prisoner of war, Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm is greeted by his family at Travis Air Force Base in Foster City, Calif., as he returns home from the Vietnam War, March 17, 1973.  In the lead is Stirm's daughter Lori, 15, followed by son Robert, 14; daughter Cynthia, 11; wife Loretta and son Roger, 12.  (AP Photo/Sal Veder)

Released prisoner of war, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert L. Stirm is greeted by his family at Travis Air Force Base in Foster City, Calif., as he returns home from the Vietnam War, March 17, 1973.SAL VEDER/The Associated Press

Lorrie Stirm, 15, spread her arms wide and smiled as she leapt toward her father on the tarmac of Travis Air Force Base in California. From a distance, Associated Press photographer Slava (Sal) Veder watched Lorrie, her siblings and mother, Loretta, rush to embrace Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Stirm. Since Lt.-Col. Stirm’s plane was shot down over Hanoi six years earlier, he had endured captivity and torture in North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camps. In early 1973, peace talks in Paris secured the release of 591 American POWs, and Lt.-Col. Stirm was on the first planeload to land in the United States. Lorrie’s elation on that day gave Mr. Veder the title – Burst of Joy – for his image, which won 1974′s Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. But for Lt.-Col. Stirm, the reunion was not as joyous as it seemed: Three days before the photo was taken, a chaplain handed him a letter from Loretta saying their relationship was over. She filed for divorce two months later. Each would go on to marry other people. The soldier would never display Burst of Joy in his home, though his children did as they grew up and started families of their own. Evan Annett

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