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A tentative agreement with Wet’suwet’en Nation: What we know and don’t know so far

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, Wet'suwet'en hereditary leader Frank Alec and B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser address the media in Smithers, B.C., on Sunday. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

The federal and B.C. governments have reached a proposed deal with the Wet’suwet’en Nation to recognize its hereditary governance system, a breakthrough that came after three days of talks in Northern British Columbia.

What it could mean: Hereditary leader Frank Alec called the proposal “a milestone.” In a joint statement with Ottawa and B.C., Alec said a commitment was made to “an expedited process to implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title.”

What we don’t know: Details of the arrangement haven’t been released, as they first require approval from Wet’suwet’en members. And it’s unclear what this will mean in the immediate term for the Coastal GasLink project as workers prepare to resume construction today.

On the ground: Amid a push for a resolution, Globe reporter Nancy MacDonald travelled across the contested stretch of the proposed pipeline, speaking to First Nations people who live there. The conflict has “brought out the worst in people,” says Caryssa Nikal. Her father is a prominent proponent of the project, while her mother is staunchly opposed. Many also say that the dispute has reignited racism against Indigenous peoples.

Finding solutions: House chief Ron Mitchell says “we need the two governments to come back together.” He’s referring to the dual governance structures of hereditary chiefs and band councils. One idea being proposed to determine support or opposition to resource projects is a referendum process.

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New coronavirus cases in Canada and the U.S. as the outbreak spreads

Ontario reported seven new cases over the weekend, with another in B.C., bringing the total diagnoses in Canada to 24. Ontario’s Health Ministry said it “is actively working with city and health partners to plan for the potential of local spread.”

In the U.S., the country announced its first two deaths from the virus, both in the state of Washington. That came as new research there pointed to the possibility of hundreds of undiagnosed cases in the state.

In China, the focus on combating the spread of the virus has come at the expense of treating those with other illnesses, including cancer and leukemia.

In Paris, the Louvre was closed amid worker concerns about the stream of visitors from around the world.

New assault-style rifles are coming to market as Ottawa irons out details of its proposed ban

Manitoba-based gun retailer Wolverine Supplies recently unveiled its latest offering, the WS-MCR. A semi-automatic rifle with a pistol grip and AR-15-type magazine, it’s nearly identical to a past Wolverine model that became one of Canada’s best-selling guns.

But as Patrick White reports, the WS-MCR is exactly the kind of weapon the Liberal government pledged to ban in last year’s election campaign. Ottawa plans to launch a buyback program, but the drawn-out process has gun-control advocates calling for an immediate suspension on sales of new weapons.

There are an estimated 250,000 assault-style rifles in Canada, though an exact figure is impossible to pinpoint because the previous Conservative government scrapped the long-gun registry in 2012.

Pete Buttigieg has dropped out as Joe Biden looks to carry momentum into Super Tuesday

It’s now Biden versus Michael Bloomberg in the fight for the Democratic establishment vote. And it all comes to a head tomorrow, on Super Tuesday – Bloomberg’s first time on primary ballots after hundreds of millions in advertising spending.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., exited the race after flagging in recent state races, including the South Carolina primary, which Biden won handily.

Key questions on Super Tuesday include whether Sanders is able to secure big wins in the populous states of California and Texas, and whether Biden’s recent bump will translate into victories in states with large black populations.

As David Shribman writes, “the significance of the Saturday results in South Carolina cannot be ignored.”

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Fighting between Turkish, Syrian forces escalates: Turkey shot down two Syrian warplanes in response to a Russian-backed offensive in northern Syria that has led to dozens of Turkish soldier deaths. Thousands of Syrian asylum-seekers have amassed at Turkey’s border with Greece after Istanbul said it was lifting travel restrictions.

Canadian humanitarian volunteers arrested in Ethiopia: Ottawa says the Ethiopian government is co-operating by allowing consular access to the 13 Canadians arrested over allegations that they were practising medicine without permission and dispensing expired medication.

Israel heads to the polls: The country’s third election in one year is taking place today, just two weeks before long-time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a trial on corruption charges. Polls have shown Netanyahu’s Likud party once again in a tight race with Benny Gantz’s Blue and White.


World stocks bounce on stimulus hopes, Treasuries slide: World stocks markets regained a measure of calm on Monday as hopes for a raft of global interest rate cuts to soften the economic blow of the coronavirus steadied nerves and drove U.S. Treasury yields close to 1 per cent. Just after 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.74 per cent. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.33 per cent. France’s CAC 40 slid 0.13 per cent. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 3.15 per cent. Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.95 per cent. New York futures were firmer. The Canadian dollar was trading around 74.84 US cents.

Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes coronavirus-fueled selloffs, Bank of Canada’s rate call and RRSP contribution deadline.


The horrifying reality in Syria: Even the rules of war are ignored

Joe Belliveau: “The attacks in Idlib, launched in densely populated civilian areas among already displaced and vulnerable people and in the middle of winter, violate the most basic principles of humanity and blatantly flout the framework that we as members of the international community have built to prevent the worst atrocities of conflict.” Belliveau is the executive director of Doctors Without Borders/MSF Canada.


(David Parkins/The Globe and Mail)


Examining CBC TV and the Polaris Music Prize

“CBC TV is at its weakest point in a generation," writes John Doyle. But as for one idea to get rid of sports, cancel drama and scrap advertising, he says: “No, no and no.”

In a column on the Polaris Music Prize, Brad Wheeler argues that it has drifted from its mission. “Admit Polaris is no longer about the 'best’ album, but the most important album.”


For more than 100 years, photographers have preserved an extraordinary collection of 20th-century news photography for The Globe and Mail. Each week, The Globe features one of these images on a particular theme. Since St. Patrick’s Day falls in March, we’re looking at Irish culture in Canada this month.

Irish emigrants come to Canada in ‘coffin ships’

(Parks Canada)

Grosse Île, Quebec, is the largest of a small archipelago of islands in the St. Lawrence that served as a quarantine depot for the port of Quebec between 1832 and 1937. Initially established to contain a cholera epidemic, it is now the largest resting place in Canada for those who died as a result of disease during the great migration forced by the Irish Potato Famine: More than 8,072 Irish emigrants are buried in its cemetery, shown above. Countless more died on the voyage from Ireland in unsanitary vessels known as “coffin ships." Approximately 100,000 emigrants made it to Canada in 1847 alone. Another 6,000 of those who died after arrival are buried at a secondary site at Pointe-Saint-Charles in Montreal. More than four million migrants came through Grosse Île in its century of operation. The site is now managed by Parks Canada and, in 1996, it was designated the Irish Memorial National Historic Site. As of the 2016 census, 4.6 million Canadians claim Irish ancestry, the fourth-largest ethnic identity behind English, Scottish and French. In 1909, the a fraternal Irish group, the Ancient Order of Hibernians erected 14-metre granite Celtic cross on the west of the island. It reads: “Sacred to the memory of thousands of Irish Emigrants who, to persevere the faith, suffered hunger and exile in 1847-1848, and stricken with fever, ended here their sorrowful pilgrimage.” – Shane Dingman

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