These are the top stories:
B.C.'s NDP budget takes aim at real estate market
British Columbia's NDP government will introduce tax measures aimed at pushing down the price of housing by targeting homes owned by out-of-province investors. Finance Minister Carole James said she hopes the measures will cool real estate costs, but would not predict how much, or what will happen if they take a bigger bite out of housing values than intended. The $54-billion balanced budget also promises historic investments in child care to create new spaces and train more caregivers, while giving tens of thousands of families access to two new programs to subsidize daycare costs. Here's a handy explainer to get you caught up on what you need to know.
As Gary Mason writes, while nothing in this budget is going to immediately solve the problem of unaffordable housing for first-time buyers in the province's major urban centres, the B.C. government has made positive moves when it comes to preventing foreign buyers from parking money in the local housing market and driving up prices.
Olympics 2018: Brady Leman wins gold medal in men's ski cross
Brady Leman has had his fair share of setbacks. He broke his leg the day before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and finished fourth after a crash in the 2014 finals in Sochi. But on Day 12, there were no crashes or injuries. Instead, Leman crossed the finish line first in men's ski cross to claim the gold medal, Canada's ninth of these Games. The skier from Calgary finished in front of Switzerland's Marc Bischofberger and Sergey Rudzik from the Olympic Athletes from Russia. Fellow Canadian Kevin Drury finished fourth after crashing with Ridzik. Montreal's Chris Del Bosco suffered a horrific crash earlier and was taken to the hospital with a suspected pelvic injury.
Elsewhere on the Olympics front:
After the short program of the ladies figure skating event, Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond sits third with a score of 78.87, behind Russia's Alina Zagitova (82.92) and Evgenia Medvedeva (81.61). She'll look to claim the bronze or better in the free skate later this week. Canada's Gabrielle Daleman currently is seventh, with a score of 68.90, and Larkyn Austman, making her Olympic debut, is 25th.
Canada's women's curling rink has been eliminated from medal contention after a disappointing loss to Great Britain. Rachel Homan and company dropped the decision 6-5, and are the first Canadian curling team to not medal at the Olympics. As Cathal Kelly writes, the team will remembered for one thing: dropping the curling ball.
Canadians Mark McMorris, Max Parrot and Sebastien Toutant qualified for the men's big air final Tuesday night. Parrot was the top qualifier in his heat, scoring 92.50 on his run. McMorris finished with a score of 95.75, good enough for third, and Toutant advanced off his 91.00-point performance. Parrot and McMorris, who claimed the silver and bronze respectively in slopestyle, will look to add to their silverware.
Medal count (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Total)
Norway: 11, 11, 8, 30
Germany: 11, 7, 5, 23
Canada: 9, 5, 6, 20
Netherlands: 6, 5, 3, 14
France: 5, 4, 4, 13
Want to get caught up further? Our daily Olympics guide gives you everything you need to know about the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
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Tory MPP Randy Hillier calls on Ontario ethics watchdog to probe Patrick Brown's finances
An Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP has called on the province's Integrity Commissioner to launch an investigation into the financial affairs of former Tory leader Patrick Brown. Randy Hillier, the Tory MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, says in a complaint filed on Tuesday that "disconcerting patterns" related to Mr. Brown's finances require explanation, including whether he has failed to disclose gifts, "lavish" travel and other sources of income in addition to his salary. Mr. Hillier is backing former Tory MPP Christine Elliott, one of four other contenders. "In recent weeks, much information has been publicized by the media that calls into question the ethics, behaviour, and integrity of the Member of Provincial Parliament for Simcoe-North, Mr. Patrick Brown," the affidavit says. It cites, among other issues, a Globe and Mail report on Tuesday that documented a proposed $375,000 transaction between Mr. Brown and a future PC candidate.
Trump vows progress will be made on regulatory ban of bump stocks
Amid mounting pressure to tackle the epidemic of mass shootings in the United States after the deaths of 17 people at a Florida high school last week, President Donald Trump is vowing to move forward on a long-delayed ban on bump stocks. Mr. Trump announced that Attorney-General Jeff Sessions would draft a law to prohibit devices that, when attached to semi-automatic weapons, can make the guns fire a continuous stream of bullets like an automatic. Survivors of last Wednesday's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., have reinvigorated the movement for gun control in the United States. The country has both a high rate of gun-related homicides for a developed country – nearly six times that of Canada – and a disproportionate number of mass shootings.
Commonwealth to keep LGBTQ rights on back burner
LGBTQ activists hoping to advance the rights of sexual minorities at this April's Commonwealth summit in London are expected to face disappointment because government leaders have decided to punt the issue, in part to avoid having the last Commonwealth gathering that the Queen is likely to attend end in discord.
First responders more likely to have suicidal thoughts, study finds
Paramedics, emergency dispatchers and jail guards in Canada deal with suicidal thoughts far more frequently than police and firefighters do, a new study suggests. These findings, which suggest that all of these public-safety professionals are above national averages in terms of suicidal behaviours, are based on a self-reported sampling of more than 5,000 professionals. The results are surprising some seasoned researchers who've spent years mapping out mental-health disorders in this realm.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Judge strikes down mandatory minimum sentence for Indigenous woman in drug trafficking case
Justice Casey Hill of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the two-year mandatory minimum sentence would be cruel and unusual punishment in a case involving an Indigenous woman who brought $128,000 in cocaine to Canada. Canadians aware of the "unique history of aboriginal peoples," he wrote in his judgment, would "conclude that such a sentence would outrage standards of decency." Cheyenne Sharma, who is in her early twenties and from a background of extreme poverty, faced a minimum sentence of two years under federal legislation for importing more than one kilogram of cocaine, according to federal prosecutors, and was not eligible to receive a conditional sentence such as house arrest. (She pleaded guilty two years ago to the offence.) Ms. Sharma's lawyers used the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to challenge the legality of the minimum sentences.
The U.S. dollar rose to its highest level in a week against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, as investor focus shifted to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting. Global stocks looked set to fall for a third day. Tokyo's Nikkei gained 0.2 per cent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng 1.8 per cent. But stocks are suffering in Europe, with New York poised for a weaker open. London's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were down by between 0.3 and 0.8 per cent by about 6 a.m. ET. New York futures were also down, and the Canadian dollar was down to about 79 US cents. Oil prices fell, weighed down by the U.S. dollar rebound and by an expected rise in U.S. crude production.
FYI: The Globe now provides all users access to real-time stock quotes for both Canadian and U.S. markets. Go here to find out about the major changes to our Globe Investor site.
WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT
The Trans Mountain pipeline will never be built
"Despite the approval of the National Energy Board 15 months ago, opposition to the pipeline has only grown. That opposition comes not just from environmentalists and First Nations, but also from the new provincial government in British Columbia. Most of B.C.'s Lower Mainland population oppose it fiercely. Many people are willing to break the law to block it. In other words, Justin Trudeau's calculation has blown up in his face. He thought he could square the climate circle by persuading Canadians to build a pipeline now in exchange for cutting emissions later. The two, he assures us, are inextricably linked. Just trust him, and everyone will be a winner!" – Margaret Wente
Crazy but true: Donald Trump can win in 2020
"Impossible, you may say. Beyond comprehension that a president who shatters ethical, political and constitutional norms, who is beset by scandals, resignations, illicit affairs, lies and chaos is not collapsing in popularity. Far from it, Donald Trump has been on the rise of late. In a clutch of polls heading into this week, he was averaging a 41-per-cent approval rating, which is his best showing in a long time." – Lawrence Martin
The PC Party should kick Patrick Brown out of its leadership race
"Patrick Brown, the ousted leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, loves to say that the effort to end the Liberal Party's stranglehold on Queen's Park is 'bigger than one individual' – the very words he used in a Facebook post on Tuesday. And yet, everything Mr. Brown has done since he resigned as leader on Jan. 25 has been a singular effort to make the PC Party and its leadership race precisely about himself." – Globe Editorial
How do I feel better about my body?
Quit punishing yourself at the gym. Stop starving yourself with the latest diet. If you really want to improve your health, treat your body with love. After all, says Dr. Pamela Keel, professor of psychology at Florida State University, "if you treat your body like you hate it, you're not going to take as good care of it." Here are some ways to feel more comfortable in your own skin.
MOMENT IN TIME
Canada's first occupational therapy program
Feb. 21, 1918: As the First World War raged, the injured needed a way to rehabilitate and return to regular society. War aides would help soldiers regain strength in body, mind and spirit by teaching them new skills and ease them into regular, daily activities. But as the war came to an end and the number of injured soldiers increased, the Military Hospitals Commission knew it needed help. The University of Toronto stepped in and began running courses to train aides on this day 100 years ago. It was the catalyst into developing the first occupational therapy program in Canada. The program started as a six-week course with 21 women. In a year and a half, the classes expanded to a six-month course with more than 300 women who worked across the country. The Department of Soldier's Civil Re-establishment ran these courses until just after the war, until graduates of the U of T program went on to help establish the first occupational therapy program, which was the only one of its kind until 1950. The program is still at the university today and occupational therapy education now includes 14 graduate programs in universities across Canada. – Shelby Blackley