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Morning update: Top stories to start your day

Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O'Leary addresses a Conservative Party leadership debate Monday, February 13, 2017 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson


The fallout from the Oscars flub

All he had to do was hand over the Best Picture envelope. But PricewaterhouseCoopers representative Brian Cullinan accidentally pulled out the Best Actress card from his briefcase and the rest is Oscars history: Warren Beatty opened it with a puzzled look, Faye Dunaway proclaimed La La Land the winner, acceptance speeches began and then finally the Moonlight team was called up to claim the Academy Award trophy that was rightly theirs.

It was an epic mistake that could do serious harm to PwC, an accounting firm that stakes its reputation on accuracy. In the words of one communications executive: "If I'm paying PwC millions of dollars to do my accounting correctly, or give me business advice, or do my forensic work – if they can't get an envelope straight, how can I trust them with a multimillion-dollar account?"

Alberta makes its case in Washington

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is in Washington to push for her province's trade interests under a Donald Trump administration. Notley met with senators and the governors of Montana and Wyoming on the first day of her visit. Even though they're not part of Trump's team, those meetings may prove to be significant: Finding allies in Congress, for example, can be key when it comes time for legislation to be drafted. And Alberta has a lot at stake: U.S. protectionism could hurt the province's oil, grains and timber exports as it looks to bounce back from a recession.

Kevin O'Leary's fundraising game-plan

Despite saying he's not beholden to corporations because of his wealth, Kevin O'Leary isn't shying away from lucrative fundraisers. The Conservative leadership contender will only be making fundraiser appearances if at least $50,000 is contributed to his campaign. "You can't buy access to me," he said. But O'Leary did voice support for a proposed pipeline project backed by a businessman who helped raise $100,000 for his campaign. O'Leary said he would have self-funded his campaign if the rules allowed for it. He expects to raise $2-million by the time the party's next leader is picked in late May. In the last quarter of 2016, Maxime Bernier led all leadership hopefuls in fundraising with a total of nearly $530,000.

A Ukrainian agitator eyes the presidency

Nadiya Savchenko was released from a Russian prison last year, and now the outspoken former fighter pilot is looking to upend Ukraine's political landscape. Savchenko has long been critical of Vladimir Putin, but she's also taking aim at Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko. "My task is to make Ukraine stronger," she said. "If that requires me to be president, I'm ready to be president." But her vision for what a future Ukrainian government might look like? A dictatorship, "just to stabilize the country" after the war.


Global stocks hovered just off record highs and were on course for a fourth straight month of gains on Tuesday, as investors awaited a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump for signals on infrastructure spending and tax cuts. Tokyo's Nikkei gained 0.1 per cent, and the Shanghai composite 0.4 per cent, though Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.8 per cent. In Europe, London's FTSE 100 and the Paris CAC 40 were up by less than 0.1 per cent by about 5:15 a.m. ET, and Germany's DAX was down by a similar amount. New York futures were little changed, and the Canadian dollar was just below 76 cents (U.S.). Oil prices edged higher, underpinned by high compliance with OPEC's agreed production cuts.


Trump Tower's grand opening in Vancouver

Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., the sons of the U.S. president, are in Vancouver today for the official opening of the Trump International Hotel and Tower. The mayor and other local politicians are skipping the event, which is expected to draw its fair share of protesters.

Trump to address Congress tonight

Will the tone of the presidential address to Congress be another tradition Trump doesn't stick to? He's set to give the speech tonight, and some are wondering whether he'll use a more measured tone to quell concerns about his administration or instead resort to his freewheeling, rambling style.


Identity politics is an electoral loser for Conservatives

"The opportunity for Canadian Conservatives is not one of embracing the populism fuelled by resentment, anger or fear, or even trying to nimbly court it. As Canadians learned from the last federal election and from the early, more shrill days of Preston Manning's Reform Party, the populism of exclusion, fear-mongering and irritating the more acute fault lines at the edge of any society is not a winning or constructive political choice with long-term prospects." – Hugh Segal, Master of Massey College and former Conservative senator


The low-down on protein

Protein is an important part of a healthy diet. But too much of it can cause you to gain weight. That's fine if you're working out a lot, but not so much if you're trying to get slimmer. And it might be a good idea to watch your protein intake if you have a family history of kidney issues, research suggests.


The first Canadian-born governor-general

Feb. 28, 1952: Canada doesn't have an Independence Day. We gained our independence, and sense of national self, gradually, one step at a time. Confederation. Vimy Ridge. The new Constitution. One of those steps was Vincent Massey being sworn in as governor-general. The tractor family produced important heirs: Raymond was a famous actor; Vincent was envoy to Washington and London and wrote the report that created the modern arts infrastructure, including the Canada Council for the Arts. Haughty – snobbish, really – proud and well connected, he became the first Canadian-born governor-general. (The others had been British imports – Viscount this, Lord that.) Massey worked hard, travelling by canoe and dog sled when he had to, promoting national unity. In retirement, he went on to found Massey College; the Massey lectures were named in his honour. Vincent Massey helped make Canada become more Canadian. – John Ibbitson

Morning Update is written by Arik Ligeti.

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