Morning Update

September 25, 2018

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Morning Update: New Brunswick’s election results; Blair’s apology on asylum-seeker numbers
Morning Update: New Brunswick’s election results; Blair’s apology on asylum-seeker numbers - Also: Republicans have mounted a drive to salvage Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination

Arik Ligeti

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

Liberals say they’ll try to govern as New Brunswick election a virtual dead heat

The Progressive Conservatives won 22 seats in the provincial election, while the Liberals finished with 21. Tory Leader Blaine Higgs (pictured above) claimed victory, but Liberal Leader Brian Gallant said he plans to meet with the lieutenant-governor today to explain his intention to continue governing. The Greens and the right-of-centre People’s Alliance each finished with three seats, and could hold the balance of power (a total of 25 seats is needed for a majority in the 49-seat legislature). “I guess probably Brian Gallant and I will both be lined up at the lieutenant-governor’s office in the morning,” Higgs said. The last time New Brunswick voted in a minority government was 1920.

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Bill Blair has apologized amid confusion over asylum seeker data

The Border Security Minister says he “clearly misspoke” when he said the “overwhelming majority” of asylum seekers who have crossed into Canada since early 2017 have left the country. “They have not. They await disposition of their claim,” Blair said. Figures show Canadian officials have removed roughly 1 per cent of the more than 34,000 who have entered Canada through unofficial border crossings. Many are still awaiting hearings. Blair said officials can only deport failed refugee claimants once they have exhausted all legal options, including appeals and other administrative measures. Go here for an in-depth look at the data behind the asylum-seeker surge.

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Republicans have mounted a drive to salvage Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination

U.S. President Donald Trump and other key GOP politicians launched a co-ordinated effort to defend Kavanaugh a day after a second woman brought forward sexual misconduct allegations against the U.S. Supreme Court nominee. Trump called the accusations “totally political” while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of slinging “all the mud they could manufacture.” For his part, Kavanaugh took the unusual step of sitting down with his wife for an interview on Fox News: “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone,” he said, adding, “I’m not going anywhere.” Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford are set to testify at a Senate hearing on Thursday.

Elsewhere on the U.S. political front, deputy attorney-general Rod Rosenstein still has a job – for now. Rosenstein was said to be under the impression Trump was about to fire him when he visited the White House on Monday, after a New York Times report said the deputy had discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove the President from office. But the second-in-command at the Justice Department remains in charge of the Russia investigation and is scheduled to meet with the President on Thursday. Rosenstein has drawn Trump’s ire over his support of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

Peter Dalglish confessed to sexually abusing children, then recanted, according to a police dossier

The Order of Canada recipient told police he abused teenagers as an adult, but later recanted on his confession during his trial. In records seen by The Globe, Dalglish also told police he was himself assaulted as a child. Dalglish, who is being held in a Nepalese prison, denied wrongdoing in an interview with The Globe earlier this year. The case against him is not founded on “proper factual evidence,” his lawyer said. There have been substantial inconsistencies in the case, including a third allegation of sexual assault against Dalglish that was subsequently withdrawn. But the two boys found with Dalglish at the time of his arrest have stood by their testimony detailing graphic allegations of sexual contact with him.

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Canada’s Barrick acquired rival gold miner Randgold

The roughly US$6-billion all-stock deal will once again make Barrick the world’s biggest gold company in every notable metric, from production to reserves (for subscribers). The decision to sharply increase its exposure to sometimes risky African operations runs counter to Barrick’s conservative strategy, investors say. But Barrick shareholders are hopeful that working with Randgold, which has operated without major incident in African jurisdictions, will help the Canadian firm resolve a dispute with Tanzania’s government to get its work there back on track.

Further reading, for subscribers: Why Randgold CEO Mark Bristow is a seemingly odd fit as the new Barrick Gold chief; how Bristow’s appointment sets up a potential clash of strategic visions; a look at the gold sector’s struggle to attract investors despite Barrick’s big promise.


Stocks struggle

World stocks struggled to make headway on Tuesday after another round of U.S.-China tariffs kicked in and investors’ nerves were frayed by rising expectations of central bank rate hikes and oil prices near four-year highs. Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite shed 0.6 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were all up by better than 0.2 per cent by about 6:20 a.m. ET. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was hovering above 77 US cents. Brent oil shot to its highest in four years, catapulted by coming U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude exports.


Will an Aspirin a day really keep the doctor away? That depends

“A tenet of modern medicine tells us that Aspirin prevents heart attack and stroke. An Aspirin a day keeps the doctor away, the saying goes – a belief so deeply ingrained that about half of older adults take low-dose acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) daily. But a flurry of new research is throwing cold water on Aspirin’s reputation as a panacea. In a nutshell, new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that for people over 70 who have never had a heart attack or stroke, the risks of taking daily Aspirin outweigh the benefits.” – André Picard

Nova Scotia, like the other Maritime provinces, needs to make abortion more accessible

“Canadian women, especially in the Maritimes, unfair barriers still apply. That fact was brought home by Jessica Leeder’s essay, published Saturday in The Globe and Mail, about trying to get an abortion in Nova Scotia. Leeder, The Globe’s Atlantic Canada correspondent, is a married, 36-year-old mother of two, and is skilled at researching and understanding government policy. But even she found the process of seeking an abortion in her adoptive home province to be prohibitively difficult. In the end, she flew to Toronto for the procedure. Her report depicts the degree to which access to abortion varies by region, and demonstrates that there are still many hurdles in the Maritimes that would surprise women living in Toronto or Montreal.” – Globe editorial

Mandatory minimum sentences for murder should be abolished

“What’s wrong with mandatory minimum sentences? Plenty. Especially when it comes to murder. High-profile serial murderers come to mind when Canadians think of murder convictions: Paul Bernardo, Clifford Olson, Robert Pickton. Few turn their minds to the 18-year-old Indigenous teen who kills her abusive drug dealer. Such a situation can amount to murder in our law. When it does, she is caught within the net of our sweeping mandatory sentencing regime. A judge has no choice but to give her a life sentence with no possibility of parole for at least 10 years. A mandatory sentence for murder paints a wide variety of people and circumstances with the same brush.” – Debra Parkes, professor and chair in Feminist Legal Studies at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia


How an Ottawa chef is improving the quality of food served at the children’s hospital

Patients at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa will soon be enjoying dishes such as red Thai curry, butter chicken and basil pesto with kale as part of a pilot program. The offerings of chef Simon Wiseman, which will be available to less than 20 children in the hospital’s eating disorders group, are part of a healthy food strategy launched by CHEO. “If we can provide food that is comforting and nourishing and they have an appetite for … that can all lead to earlier discharges and decreasing the length of stay,” says Bernice Wolf, CHEO’s director of food and marketed services.


King of Kensington premieres

(CBC Archive)

Sept. 25, 1975: By the fall of 1975, even sitcoms had become suffused with politics: All in the Family,Maude, MASH and other top-rated shows reflected the distemper of the times. So CBC executives ordered up a topical show we could call our own. Set in a downtown Toronto neighbourhood that was a polyglot microcosm of the country then taking root, King of Kensington centred on the jovial if unsuccessful variety store owner Larry King (Al Waxman), his dutiful wife, Cathy (Fiona Reid), and bigoted mom, Gladys (Helene Winston). Shot six days before airing, the episodes included nods to the headlines: In the first one, there were yuks about skyrocketing gas prices, and John Turner’s recent resignation as finance minister. Critics dismissed it – The Globe’s Blaik Kirby said the characters “do not say what real people would say, but what sitcom writers would write” – but the audience grew to 1.8-million Canadians, hungry to see themselves onscreen. In that inaugural outing, Larry sponsors the immigration of a man from Bombay, who comes to their home bearing masala dosa as a token of his gratitude. King’s mother regards the dish warily. “It looks like strudel,” she says. The man replies: “Actually, it is more like a knish.” – Simon Houpt

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online comments

From the comments: Readers respond to essay on barriers to abortion with their own stories

This special weekend edition of “from the comments” was compiled from reader responses to Jessica Leeder’s essay I wanted an abortion in Nova Scotia, but all around, barriers still remained. Women and men have shared their own experiences in response to Ms. Leeder’s piece. Comments were collected from and the Globe’s Facebook page.

Illustration by Winnie T. Frick

I applaud the writer for making her experience public. When, in 1973 I found myself pregnant, I had to go before a committee of three doctors who would decide whether my request for an abortion was justified on grounds of mental or physical health. Looking back, it seems like it was the dark ages. I had assumed that all of Canada had matured enough to recognize that abortion is not only not illegal, but is a personal decision and should be readily available to any woman who asks for one, without the need for justification. Thank you for telling your story. I agree with another commenter here that the more this is talked about, the more likely it is that things will change for the better. - Deborah S

Although not far enough, we have come a long way in the Maritimes from the early 1970s. My wife and I were attending the University of New Brunswick in the early seventies. She was on the pill, but got pregnant. We were no more ready, or capable, of raising a family as fly to the moon. Thankfully, our doctor whispered to us that there was a doctor in Montreal who performed abortions and slipped us a piece of paper with an address on it, Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

We went to the clinic and my wife was told to keep her clothes on as they were being raided constantly. Ten minutes later, Dr. Morgentaler told my wife she was no longer pregnant, very healthy and “have your family when you are ready.” Seven years later, we had our first daughter, and two years later, our second. They are the apples of our eyes, wanted, loved, married, well educated and happy. Seven years earlier it would have been a different story, I am sure. - Beans Maroc

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