WE Charity told the House of Commons finance committee on Thursday that it has registered with the federal lobbying registry, months after receiving the now-cancelled contract to run the federal student grant program. Executive director Dalal Al-Waheidi said the charity didn’t think registration was necessary under lobbying rules.
WE Charity disclosed 65 communications dating back to early 2019 with federal officials or ministers in 19 different departments or institutions. Among the 18 individuals listed as the charity’s in-house lobbyists, Craig and Marc Kielburger are not included even though they have talked to ministers.
Ms. Al-Waheidi also testified that WE is laying off 67 full-time and contract staff in Toronto, while closing its office in London and putting another 19 employees out of work. She attributed the scaled-back operation to fallout from the pandemic and the controversy around the federal student volunteer program.
This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.
Israel, UAE reach landmark diplomatic deal
In a landmark deal that the United States helped broker, Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced on Thursday that they will normalize diplomatic ties, forge a broad new relationship and firm up opposition to Iran.
The UAE did not recognize Israel and had no formal diplomatic or economic relations with the Jewish state until now, making it the first Gulf Arab country to reach such a deal. Palestinian leaders have denounced the deal as a “stab in the back.”
TDSB can’t ensure smaller class sizes, warns Toronto schools may not be ready in time
A few weeks away from the fall school term, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Ontario is “unlocking” $500-million from school boards’ reserves to improve physical-distancing measures. But the Toronto District School Board said it would “not be prudent or good financial management” to dip into its $131-million reserve, which is saved for benefits and long-term disability insurance. The board added that it may not be ready for a Sept. 8 start date.
Ontario’s four major teachers’ unions also threatened to go to the labour-relations board over what they say are unsafe conditions.
DISPATCH FROM GLOBE CLIMATE
This week’s Globe Climate newsletter is spotlighting Manvi Bhalla, a community organizer, activist and a graduate student in Public Health & Health Systems.
“I believe the biggest action we can take to address the climate crisis is to remain engaged in discussing systems-based reforms. Topics such as electoral reform, defunding the police, reformative justice, and supporting ‘land back’ campaigns, are not radical and unattainable ideals, but rather the minimum we can do to support underserved communities.” — Manvi Bhalla
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
Frank and Belinda Stronach cut a deal: Frank Stronach and his daughter, Belinda, have settled their three-year battle to control the family’s $1-billion fortune and agreed to split their real estate, horse racing and farming businesses.
Warning for Canadians in Hong Kong: Witnesses at Thursday’s parliamentary hearing on Canada-China relations said under China’s national security law, Canadians in Hong Kong – who number around 300,000 – are at risk of arrest. In fact, the law could apply to any Canadian because of its universal scope.
Alberta pulls funding from busy supervised-consumption site: Alberta will pull funding from North America’s busiest supervised drug-consumption site, which is in Lethbridge, at the end of August in response to a financial audit. The province is opening a mobile site on Monday to fill the gap.
Visible minority communities hard hit by COVID-19 economic fallout: A recent survey by B.C.‘s provincial health office indicates that the pandemic’s economic fallout has hit racialized communities the hardest. More than 20 per cent of Latin American, West Asian or Arabic, and Black respondents reported losing their jobs because of the pandemic, while the provincial average rate was 15.5 per cent.
Exhibit highlights achievements of Chinese-Canadians: In Vancouver’s Chinatown, the Chinese Canadian Museum – which has yet to find a permanent location – is putting up its first exhibit, A Seat at the Table. The B.C. government has said it will invest $10-million to build the museum.
World shares sink after China data misses forecasts: Global shares dipped on Friday after lackluster Chinese economic data and worries about a delay in U.S. fiscal stimulus discouraged some investors from taking on risk. Just after 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 2.27%. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were down 1.33% and 2.18%, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.17%. New York futures were mostly weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.50.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Expansion of employment benefits likely to be a big part of postpandemic politics
Campbell Clark: “This crisis has pushed Canada deeper into debt, running deficits not seen since the Second World War. Mr. Trudeau will almost dare his Conservative opponents to start talking about fiscal restraint, while he proposes to expand government supports permanently.”
Too often, even on the sacred hajj, Muslim women must fear the sad and sordid
Ferrukh Faruqui: “Let’s cleanse our hearts and remember the Koran’s forgotten message of radical equality. Maybe then we can halt the exodus of women from the sacred spaces that belong to us all, so that images of women touching the Kaaba become the new normal.”
What’s at stake in the U.S.-China rivalry? The very future of the internet
Robert Muggah and Rafal Rohozinski: “The next chapter of the internet will be written in 2020. As the U.S. and China battle over internet supremacy, middle powers risk being roadkill along the information superhighway.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
TIFF 2020: All the films premiering at this year’s festival
Amid a reduced lineup for this year’s film festival, the buzz is growing around Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland and Michelle Latimer’s Trickster and Inconvenient Indian. Here is a list of all the films premiering at TIFF 2020, with links to the festival’s website where screening dates and times will be announced on Aug. 25.
MOMENT IN TIME: AUGUST 14, 2003
The Great Northeast Blackout
17 years ago, just after 4:10 p.m., Ontario and eight U.S. states went dark in North America’s most extensive blackout. Tree branches had brushed a high-voltage power line in Ohio and a combination of human error, equipment failure and operational hurdles cut off power for around 50 million people in North America. In Toronto, subway trains stopped running and traffic lights malfunctioned; those who worked near home walked or biked and long-haul commuters struggled to hail cabs or carpool. The massive blackout revealed major holes in the electrical grid as systems and protocols put in place to avoid such a monstrous power failure malfunctioned. By the following morning, most of Ontario had regained power and within two days, all affected areas in Canada were restored. For days afterward, Ontarians were told to reduce energy consumption as generators returned to full service. When asked in 2017 if such a blackout could occur again, Bruce Campbell, then-CEO and a senior executive at Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator during the outage, told The Toronto Star, “Never say never.” Campbell added, though, that changes have been made since 2003 that make such events less likely to happen. Yeji Lee