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Quebec Premier François Legault is condemning this week’s Liberal-NDP deal as an intrusion in provincial affairs, predicting the proposals won’t fly with Canada’s premiers.

Echoing concerns he expressed during last year’s federal election campaign, Mr. Legault described the Liberals and NDP as two “very centralist” parties that are interfering in provincial areas such as health care.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh unveiled a detailed agreement Tuesday that will see NDP MPs vote to keep the Liberals in power until June, 2025, in exchange for action on NDP policy priorities, including billions in increased health care spending in areas such as pharmacare and a new national dental-care program for lower-income Canadians.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh take part in the federal election English-language Leaders debate in Gatineau, Canada, September 9, 2021.POOL/Reuters

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NATO plans to increase battlegroups in Eastern Europe

U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will join other world leaders at NATO headquarters in Brussels today for an emergency summit where delegates will discuss plans to strengthen the Western military alliance, particularly along its eastern flank, and contingencies in case Russia uses nuclear or chemical weapons in its invasion of Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday, in the first of two days of meetings in the Belgian capital, that the leaders were expected to agree to deploy four new battlegroups to Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, announce new sanctions against Russia and tighten those that already exist.

Meanwhile, in a speech to the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday evening, Trudeau said Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine must come with “ruinous costs” for Moscow, spurred by European and global leaders uniting with a “deliberate, mindful effort” to safeguard democracy.

Moderna to ask U.S., EU regulators to approve COVID-19 vaccine for children under 6

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine works in babies, toddlers and preschoolers, the company announced Wednesday – and if regulators agree it could mean a chance to finally start vaccinating younger children.

Moderna said in the coming weeks it would ask regulators in the U.S. and Europe to authorize two small-dose shots for youngsters under 6.

The announcement is positive news for parents who have anxiously awaited protection for younger children and been continuously disappointed by setbacks and confusion over which shots might work and when. Children under 5 are the only age group in Canada not yet eligible for vaccination.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Former Unifor boss accepted $50,000 from supplier, union alleges: Former Unifor leader Jerry Dias has been accused of breaching the union’s code of ethics by accepting $50,000 from a supplier of COVID-19 rapid-test kits in exchange for promoting the products to employers of union members, Unifor’s national executive board said yesterday.

Patty Hajdu puts forward ‘ambitious ask’ on Indigenous housing: Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu says she has put forward an “ambitious” funding request for Indigenous housing ahead of the budget, saying there are long waiting lists in many communities and huge strains on families.

Sexual-misconduct crisis in military affecting recruitment, official says: Sexual misconduct in the military is making it difficult to recruit new members because of the Canadian Armed Forces’ tarnished reputation, the acting head of military personnel says. Major-General Lise Bourgon said women, minority groups, Indigenous people and LGBTQ members continue to be underrepresented within the organization.

One of two black boxes found at site of China jet crash: Investigators searching the crash site of China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5735 have discovered one of the plane’s black boxes – most likely the cockpit voice recorder, officials said yesterday. Investigators hope the black boxes will provide some answers as to why Flight MU5735 suddenly plunged out of the sky an hour after takeoff.


MORNING MARKETS

World share markets were choppy on Thursday as the Russia-Ukraine war kept oil above $120 a barrel, while “stagflation” worries rose on renewed talk of aggressive U.S. interest rates hikes and slowing growth. Europe’s main stock indexes barely budged and government bond yields edged up toward multi-year highs hit earlier in the week as March PMI data came in reassuringly robust. Focus was otherwise on a Thursday special NATO summit in Brussels, which U.S. President Joe Biden will attend. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.57 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Editorial: “The reality is Canada, and the Western world in general, created this bind over decades. The building of housing in cities has been too heavily restricted. Most land is reserved for the least density possible – the detached home. Suburban sprawl is one result of that, and that’s bad for the economy. If people can’t afford to live in cities, where the economy is most productive, our collective gains are muted.”

Adam Radwanski: “There is a chance here to get closer to the auto sector’s glory days, not just preserve the shrunken version to which it was reduced in recent decades. The question is whether Canada can leverage the big new investment to develop a full supply chain, from mining of critical battery components all the way through battery recycling.

Cathal Kelly: “If that’s really it, this was a legendary stroke. Barty will be better remembered in 50 years for how she left the game (which never happens) than for what she did in the game (which is happening to someone all the time).”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Oscars predictions 2022: Who will win, and who should win

Given the difficult year the world has had, the Oscars can still provide a much-needed dose of glitzy distraction. And no matter the state of Hollywood/the world, there is still plenty of fun (and easy office-pool money!) to be had in prognosticating just which films will triumph Sunday night, and which films actually deserve the spotlight. Here are film critic Barry Hertz’s best guesses, and greater hopes.


MOMENT IN TIME: MARCH 24, 1958

Elvis Presley is shown in uniform at company D 1st battalion 32nd U.S. Army Armour at the barracks in Friedberg, Germany, in this file picture taken in 1958.The Associated Press

Elvis is sworn into the U.S. Army

Reporting to the Memphis Draft Board early on the rainy morning of this day in 1958, Elvis Presley was one of 13 recruits for the U.S. Army. Sure, he was the world’s biggest pop star, but he put on his grey-and-white-checkered sports jacket one arm at a time just like everybody else. Then again, the other inductees hadn’t received a two-month deferment because of the filming schedule attached to their latest motion picture – King Creole, in Presley’s case. “If I seem nervous,” he told the large press gathering, “it’s because I am.” He had every right to be anxious. A two-year army hitch would not only disrupt his career but possibly sink it altogether. At Kennedy Veterans Memorial Hospital, the All Shook Up singer was pronounced fit – no sign of leg tremors – and officially sworn in. Private Presley was assigned to a tank battalion and given serial number 53 310 761. He underwent basic training at Fort Hood, Tex. King Creole, co-starring Walter Matthau, was released on July 2. Presley was sent to West Germany on Sept. 22. Brad Wheeler


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