Morning Update: Commons Committee wants to expand hearings to probe Chinese interference in 2021 election

Morning Update: Commons Committee wants to expand hearings to probe Chinese interference in 2021 election

Good morning,

A Commons committee investigating Chinese interference in the 2019 federal election is recalled on Tuesday during Parliament’s scheduled two-week recess to extend its mandate to include the 2021 campaignin response to what opposition MPs called “shocking revelations” reported by The Globe and Mail.

The Globe reported on Friday that China had been actively working in the 2021 campaign to elect a minority liberal government and defeat conservatives hostile to Beijing.

In a letter to Liberal committee chair Bardish Chagger, opposition MPs described the Globe report as “shocking revelations regarding Beijing’s strategy to interfere and influence Canada’s democratic institutions”.

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President Joe Biden, left, is escorted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy outside the gold-domed St. Michael’s Monastery in Ukraine’s beleaguered capital Kyiv, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023.DANIEL BEREHULAK/New York Times Press Service

Biden makes surprise visit to Kyiv ahead of anniversary of Russian invasion

The American President Joe Biden said democracy – aided by Western weapons – was winning the war for Ukraine, nearly a year after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of that country.

His official schedule for this week only indicated that he was due to arrive in Poland on Tuesday for talks with that country’s president, Andrzej Duda. It was the first time in modern history that an American leader had visited a war zone outside the aegis of the American military – an achievement which the White House said carried some risk even if Moscow had been warned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver his rebuttal today, with a speech in which he is expected to outline his country’s goals for the second year of this war.

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Ottawa outsourced CEBA program for at least $61 million, documents show

The federal government paid at least $61 million to consulting firm Accenture Inc. to deliver the main pandemic business loan program, according to details that Ottawa has never made public and which have been released. obtained under the Access to Information Act.

A parliamentary commission is currently investigating the sharp increase in the number and value of contracts with consulting firms. He was just going to look into McKinsey & Company, but is now expanding his investigation to cover the expenses of five other companies.

The federal proactive disclosure database lists more than $67 million in contracts awarded to Accenture during the pandemic. But the database does not mention the largest single contract awarded to the consultancy, which was to administer business loans under the Canada Emergency Business Account program.

Russian fishing boats dock in Kirkenes, northern Norway, for maintenance and fuel, in this photograph from February 4, 2023.Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

A small border town in the Norwegian Arctic is one of Russia’s last ties to Europe

Above the Arctic Circle in Norway, road signs still point the way to nearby Murmansk in Cyrillic, and border gates to Russia open each morning, letting a stream of vehicles cross a border than the rest of the western world slammed. .

The Storskog border post is the only passage between Russia and the European Schengen area that remains open.

The city of Kirkenes is one of only three remaining western ports, all located in northern Norway, which continue to receive Russian ships. Fishing vessels from the Russian Barents Sea Fleet are crowding the docks, keeping local marine mechanics busy more than ever.

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Also on our radar

The National Gallery of Canada: The gallery spent more than $2 million in severance packages over a 2.5-year period as it parted ways with employees in a push to reorient itself around a new mission of inclusion.

Agreement between Rogers and Shaw: As the long-delayed takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. by Rogers Communications Inc. nears its final hurdle, bankers, lawyers and shareholder advisers are gearing up to finally pocket more than $100 million in the fiercely disputed agreement.

“Our home in the native land”: Jully Black draws attention to a subtle change she made to the lyrics of Canada during the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.

Canadian banks: Loan demand from commercial borrowers expected to boost Big Six earnings in Q1

Natural disaster: A 6.3 magnitude earthquake has hit southern Turkey near the Syrian border, causing panic and further damaging buildings two weeks after the worst quake in the country’s modern history.

Morning markets

European stocks in trouble: European equities fell tuesday ahead of key data that will provide a window into the health of major economies, while the US dollar hovered near its highest level in six weeks. At around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.29%. The German DAX and the French CAC 40 fell by 0.58% and 0.63% respectively. In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei closed down 0.21%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.71%. New York futures were weaker. The Canadian dollar fell slightly to 74.26 cents US.

What is everyone talking about

CEO pessimism hits historic high – companies will fail if they don’t transform

“Ultimately, by leaning into a transformation agenda, Canadian businesses have a real opportunity to not only survive an economic downturn, but to reinvent themselves as more relevant and competitive organizations. Nicolas Marcoux

There is an urgent need to reinvent public transport for the post-pandemic world

“I passionately believe that public transit systems – and the cities they serve – have a bright future. Stopping investment must be resisted. Transport authorities must think radically and adapt to new realities in order to survive. Andy Byford

How fish forged my friendship with a Ukrainian doctor who fled the war

“I had the opportunity to train. I could be an unashamed Duolingo owl, ironing out weird exceptions to grammar rules or decoding idioms, with the added bonus of being able to strike out in Ukrainian if necessary. So we made a deal: he would teach me to fish and I would help him learn English. Paul Terefenko

Editorial cartoon of the day

Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable published February 20, 2023.Artwork by Brian Gable

Live better

Does dark chocolate pose any health risks?

A reader asks Leslie Beck: I heard that dark chocolate can be high in heavy metals. Is this a real concern? How Much Can You Eat Safely?

If your daily diet includes a square (or two) of dark chocolate, you’re not alone. According to Consumer Reports scientists, your favorite dark chocolate bar may contain concerning levels of cadmium and lead, harmful heavy metals.

Beck replies: According to assessments conducted by Health Canada, chocolate contributes marginally to our dietary intake of cadmium and lead. If you eat dark chocolate often, consider choosing a bar with a lower percentage of cocoa solids; cadmium levels tend to increase with the percentage of cocoa solids. Or alternate with milk chocolate.

Moment in time: February 21, 1925

The cover of the first issue of The New Yorker, published February 21, 1925. Credit: The New Yorkerthe new yorker

First issue of The New Yorker magazine

Before gaining a reputation for serious journalism and literary works, The New Yorker was the talk of the town. Launched as “a fifteen-cent comic book newspaper,” as founder and editor Harold Ross described it, the publication was meant to be an airy Manhattan-focused read. The magazine was inspired by the spirit of other members of the Algonquin Round Table, such as Dorothy Parker, and was known for its humor and cartoons. (Cartoonist Charles Addams started The Addams Family in its pages.) Although it struggled in its early years, The New Yorker would expand its reach beyond the social and cultural life of New York and would attract a who’s who of writing talent, including Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Ernest Hemingway, EB White, Janet Flanner, Lillian Ross and Vladimir Nabokov. Among his groundbreaking works was John Hersey’s Hiroshima, an early example of new journalism following six atomic bomb survivors. A full issue was devoted to this story, which became an editorial sensation. (Other reference books that began in the magazine include Eichmann in Jerusalem, Silent Spring, and The Fire Next Time.) Today, this “comedy paper” also has a festival, podcast, videos, and archive where you can even read the first issue. . Alison Gzowski

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