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RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson waits to appear before the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, Monday, February 6, 2017 in Ottawa.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

TODAY'S TOP STORIES

Census 2016: Canadians head west

Almost a third of Canadians live in the West, according to the latest census. The biggest growth is in Alberta: Between 2011 and 2016, Calgary's metropolitan population jumped 14.6 per cent to nearly 1.4 million, while Edmonton's increased 13.9 per cent to more than 1.3 million. "We feel life here as a family is much easier," said one man who moved from Montreal to Edmonton with his wife and kids in 2014. Saskatchewan also saw a big boost, with Saskatoon and Regina growing by 12.5 and 11.8 per cent, respectively.

Canada's total population was counted at just more than 35 million, a 5-per-cent increase from 2011. About two thirds of that increase can be attributed to immigration – and by 2056, all of our population growth may rely on international migration. As for Atlantic Canada's dwindling population share, John Ibbitson argues immigration is the only way for the region to remain economically viable and politically relevant.

RCMP to review past sex-assault complaints

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has stepped in and said he has ordered a review of all recent cases of sexual assault that were deemed to be unfounded. Commissioner Paulson's statement to The Globe and Mail early on Thursday goes further than what the police force had let out the previous day, when it said it was only reviewing its policies and practices.

Freeland sends warning shot on trade

If the U.S. decides to tax Canadian exports, "Canada would respond appropriately," Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said. The comments came after her meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, where Freeland expressed Ottawa's opposition to new tariffs. Worries of a trade war have been simmering lately, and a majority of Canadians polled for The Globe said they'd support one if Donald Trump institutes a tax on Canadian goods.

Trump tidbits

Neil Gorsuch, Trump's Supreme Court nominee, called the President's critique of the judiciary "demoralizing and disheartening."

Trump called out Nordstrom on Twitter over the department store's removal of his daughter Ivanka's clothing line. "This is misuse of public office for private gains," said George W. Bush's chief ethics lawyer. For its part, Nordstrom said poor sales led to the company's decision to drop Ivanka's brand.

Marijuana supplier hid pesticide from inspectors, former worker says

Staff at a licensed medical-marijuana company hid their use of a banned and dangerous pesticide from Health Canada, a former employee says. When inspectors came to visit, an employee hid the chemical in the office ceiling, the former staffer told The Globe. The pesticide can help control a pest that can damage cannabis crops. Health Canada doesn't actively test pot products for pesticides, relying on the 38 federally licensed companies to police themselves.

MORNING MARKETS

Stocks rose in Europe and Asia on Thursday and New York futures were also up, but political jitters were still the order of the day. Tokyo's Nikkei lost 0.5 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.2 per cent, and the Shanghai composite 0.5 per cent. In Europe, London's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.1 and 0.4 per cent by about 5:30 a.m. ET. Oil prices rose, supported by an unexpected draw in U.S. gasoline inventories, although bloated crude supplies meant that fuel markets remain under pressure. Benchmark Brent crude was up 50 cents a barrel at $55.62 per barrel by 5 a.m. ET. U.S. light crude was 50 cents higher at $52.84 a barrel.

THE LOOKAHEAD

Ruling looming over Trump's immigration ban

A ruling on whether Trump's immigration ban should be reinstated may be coming today. A federal appeals court heard arguments on Tuesday from the government as well as the two states challenging the executive order. Regardless of the decision, there's a good chance the legal battle makes its way to the Supreme Court later this year.

WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT

When sexual-assault victims reach out, police must be prepared

"Why should any victim subject herself to rigorous cross-examination when she was not properly prepared at the onset of the investigation? If the initial conversation with police is treated with respect, empathy, transparency and authenticity, then her journey through the criminal justice system would have a better chance of success. … Whether or not the police believe the story has the ring of truth is not their analysis to make. They are to investigate and charge. Masking their own biases and prejudices by rationalizing instead of charging due to their subjective lack of reasonable grounds is not only unethical but perpetuates the many inappropriate myths surrounding reporting of sexual assaults." – Marcy Segal, litigator/advocate with focus on victims rights

Canadians may want a trade war, but Trudeau shouldn't

"Fifty-eight per cent [polled for The Globe] said Canada should engage in a trade war with the U.S., if necessary. This is where Trudeau will truly be tested. It's easy to tell a pollster that you are in favour of a trade war as a show of defiance, but living through one would be another matter. A prolonged fight with the U.S. would be devastating to Canada's economy. If you can do math, you know it. When NAFTA talks start in earnest, the government will have to show toughness, while recognizing the reality that our economy depends on trade with the U.S. for its oxygen." – Globe editorial

HEALTH PRIMER

'Fart pill' could do wonders for human health

A gas with a nasty odour could possibly lower blood pressure and even help with bad breath and erectile dysfunction, according to a doctor at Laurentian University.

MOMENT IN TIME

Donovan Bailey sets 50-metre-dash record

Feb. 9, 1996: On a Friday night in Reno, Donovan Bailey provided a prelude of what the summer would look like. The Canadian was already the 100-metre world champion, winning the title in 1995 in Gothenburg, Sweden. In the winter of 1996, he was racing indoors to improve his slow starts ahead of the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. At the Reno meet, contesting the unusual indoor distance of 50 metres – 60 metres was standard – Bailey set a world record of 5.56 seconds. "To be one of the best sprinters ever, that's what I'm working for," Bailey said afterward. There was controversy, questions whether he jumped the gun, but the record stood. Six months later, Bailey had sprinted into history. He won Olympic gold in the 100 metres with a world-record time of 9.84 seconds and won a second gold for Canada in the 4x100-metre relay. – David Ebner

Morning Update is written by Arik Ligeti.

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For near two years a team of Globe journalists, including investigative reporter Robyn Doolittle, dug into the figures and the people behind alleged sexual assault cases which police can deem "unfounded.'
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