Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
A damning new report has concluded that the Canadian Armed Forces has failed to stamp out sexual misconduct and should move all criminal sexual offences to the civilian justice system. It should also turn over harassment complaints to the human rights commission, appoint an external monitor and consider scrapping Canada’s military colleges.
The report, from Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour, was released earlier today and is the third report in seven years to give the government similar recommendations to address misogyny in the military. All three were written by former justices of the top court.
Arbour’s report finds a “disconnect between rhetoric and reality” in what Forces leadership said it would do to end sexual harassment in the military and what has actually happened.
Defence Minister Anita Anand said the government accepts the full report but so far only commits to implementing 17 of the 48 recommendations. The rest, she said, will be reviewed by the Forces and the government, and if any recommendations are rejected the government will explain why they are not being acted on.
The government will release a final decision on all of the recommendations by the end of the year. Marieke Walsh reports.
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Ottawa tables new gun control bill
A national freeze on importing, buying or selling handguns is a central feature of firearm-control legislation tabled today by the federal Liberals. The government says the bill would also take away gun licences from people involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking.
The bill would also create a new “red flag” law allowing courts to require that people considered a danger to themselves or others surrender their firearms to police.
- Editorial: Canada has a real gun violence problem, but it’s (mostly) not the one the Liberals want to talk about
Former Russian advocate in Ukraine disavows Putin, saying there’s ‘no choice but to join NATO’
After years of being seen as friendly with Moscow, Oleksandr Vilkul – head of the military administration in Kryvyi Rih – now scorns Russia with the fervour of the newly converted. The Kremlin, he said in an interview last week, presides over a totalitarian cult, where territory has been elevated into a religious ideal and where weapons of mass destruction have become objects of worship.
“It has become clear that Russia is a military empire that will never change and will continue to be an aggressor,” Vilkul said, adding that Ukraine will have “no choice but to join NATO after our victory.” Nathan VanderKlippe reports.
Meanwhile, Russian troops have entered the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, according to the regional governor. He described fierce fighting today over the ruins of a city that has become the focus of Moscow’s offensive.
And a 32-year-old French journalist working for BFM TV was killed today near Sievierodonetsk, fatally hit by shell shrapnel while covering a Ukrainian evacuation operation. Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff was killed as he was “covering a humanitarian operation in an armoured vehicle.”
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Tim Hortons faces scrutiny over app’s tracking of customers
Plaintiffs and privacy commissioners are confronting Tim Hortons over allegations that the fast-food chain violated Canada’s privacy laws by tracking customers through its popular smartphone app and gathering too much of their information.
Bank of Canada expected to announce another supersized interest rate hike
Bay Street forecasters widely expect the Bank of Canada to announce a half-point rate increase on Wednesday, part of its effort to push Canadian borrowing costs rapidly higher in the hope of slowing the pace of consumer price growth. That would bring the bank’s benchmark rate up to 1.5 per cent, just a quarter point below the prepandemic level.
Monkeypox outbreak unlikely to lead to pandemic, says WHO
The World Health Organization does not believe the monkeypox outbreak outside Africa will lead to a pandemic, an official said earlier today, adding it remains unclear if infected people who are not displaying symptoms can transmit the disease. More than 300 suspected and confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported in May, mostly in Europe.
U.S. enters a ‘new era’ of surging gun sales
The rapid acceleration in the U.S. of the production of firearms over the past two decades shows little indication that demand is abating. Recent statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives show that U.S. gun manufacturers made 3,400 firearms for every 100,000 Americans in 2020, up sharply from 1,800 in 2010.
Canada’s main stock index rose today to its highest level in nearly four weeks, led by gains for energy and technology shares, as an easing of China’s COVID-19 restrictions helped soothe investor concern about the economic outlook.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 170.82 points, or 0.8%, at 20,919.40.
Trading volumes were lower than usual, with U.S. markets closed for a public holiday.
The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.03 cents (U.S.), up 0.44 cents.
To fix Canadian health care, let’s try the Dutch model
Ake Blomqvist and Rosalie Wyonch: “Adapting the health care system to evolving technology would benefit from the competitive forces in a multipayer financing model (like that in the Netherlands) where consumers have a choice among different insurance plans.” – Ake Blomqvist is an adjunct research professor at Carleton University and a health policy scholar at the C.D. Howe Institute, where Rosalie Wyonch is also a senior policy analyst.
The trust that binds Canada together is cracking
David McLaughlin: “We must understand that mistrust is not uniform. It varies by issue and where people sit on the ideological spectrum. Mistrust in government pandemic actions was higher on both the right for doing too much and the left for doing too little. So, no one solution or action can change this; in fact, quite the opposite.” – David McLaughlin is president and CEO of the Institute on Governance.
The future of the Ontario Liberals is at stake on June 2
John Ibbitson: “The strength of the Liberal Party, in any province or nationally, is also its weakness. It caters to a broad coalition of voters, grouped on either side of the political centre and committed to pragmatic, responsible, mildly progressive government.”
Five things to know about hot-weather workouts
Hot-weather workouts can be challenging, but they also have some surprising advantages. With warm weather settling in, Alex Hutchinson explores the science of summer exercise and gives us tips on staying hydrated and healthy while breaking a sweat.
David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future is the sicko-cinema masterpiece we’ve been waiting for
“Crimes of the Future is a dirty little thing because it dives deep into the muck of humanity, where Cronenberg finds a perverted pleasure in the absence of pain. Every millimetre of this film is filthy, decayed, polluted. And thank God for that.” Read Barry Hertz’s full review here.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Building on river floodplains: the devastating cost to Canadians
A new analysis by The Globe and Mail finds that of 150 Canadian communities with populations greater than 10,000, more than 30 have at least one-tenth of their buildings within river floodplains. When a river spills over its banks, the resulting damage is partly determined by how many homes, farms, roads and hospitals are built in the flood’s path.
Construction on floodplains has been repeatedly exposed as an expensive habit. It can condemn cities to painful cycles of devastation and rebuilding, at great financial and psychological cost to affected residents. Matthew McClearn reports.