Air Canada Stock – Evening Update: Trudeau leaves questions about government’s position on COVID-19 vaccine patents unanswered
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No matter how many times he’s asked, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won’t say whether his government agrees with the White House that the World Trade Organization should temporarily waive patents on COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to get more life-saving doses into production, especially in developing countries.
The intellectual-property issue gained steam Friday as MPs from all parties, including Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals, held a news conference urging the government to support the waiver, and international aid group Médecins Sans Frontières flat-out accused Canada of standing in the way.
“We need to work toward a consensus. That’s the way the WTO works. But I can assure you that Canada is not interfering or blocking,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters Friday without directly stating his position on the issue, which made international headlines Wednesday when the United States reversed its position by supporting such waivers.
- Explainer: Why patents on COVID-19 vaccines are so contentious
- Opinion: Suspending COVID-19 vaccine patents is morally correct, but won’t move the supply needle much
Elsewhere in COVID-19 news, Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau is calling on Ottawa to end the mandatory hotel quarantines for international travellers that he calls “ineffective” and implement better plans for a safe return to air travel. Air Canada reported a first-quarter loss of more than $1-billion Friday, more than double its quarterly losses year-over-year.
- COVID-19 news today: Tougher measures imposed in Nova Scotia as outbreak intensifies in that province
Telford says PM didn’t know of sexual misconduct report against chief of defence staff
In testimony before the House of Commons Defence Committee Friday, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff said she acted on advice from the clerk of the privy council when she kept information on an allegation of misconduct at the military’s highest levels from Justin Trudeau. Katie Telford said she didn’t brief the Prime Minister on the complaint against former chief of defence staff Jonathan Vance because she was told “it would have been inappropriate for political staff or politicians to be directly involved” in the matter.
- Coyne: Who is really to blame for the Jonathan Vance misconduct scandal?
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Not so fast, labour recovery: The Canadian economy shed 207,000 jobs in April as young people bore the brunt of the setback. Not surprisingly, industries that tend to employ youth were hardest hit: retail, hospitality and recreation/culture. There is some optimism about employment picking up in the months to come, however.
Removing obstacles for hate-crime victims: A group of Asian Canadians in Vancouver want their city’s police department to adopt a crowdsourced effort to translate its hate-crime reporting form into multiple languages, something police forces across the country appear slow to embrace.
Ontario comes around: Two years after most provincial and territorial securities regulators decided to ban a fee on early mutual fund withdrawals, Ontario has agreed to do the same. Deferred sales charges will be no more as of next June.
Colville cabin fever: A Nova Scotia cabin built by painter Alex Colville and meant for quiet relaxation in a chaotic world is off the market, having sold late last month for slightly higher than asking price.
A slower recovery for the job market on both sides of the border could end up being a net positive. At least that’s the view of some investors, who sent stock markets to new highs Friday. The muted jobs numbers alleviated concerns that interest rates could rise with a swift recovery, harming growth companies with high valuations.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 227.91 points, or 0.66%, to 34,776.44; the S&P 500 gained 30.81 points, or 0.73%, to 4,232.43; and the Nasdaq Composite added 119.40 points, or 0.88%, to 13,752.24. The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 181.77 points to 19,472.74.
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The world needs to save India – even though India could have saved the world
Doug Saunders: “We should remember, when this is over, that India is not a country that should have needed to be saved. It is a country that could have saved the world. This awful crisis was not inevitable, for three important reasons.”
Suzanne Rogers’s Trump photo was tone-deaf. But it’s hardly a major scandal
Robyn Urback: “To be sure, Ms. Rogers will be just fine; belonging to one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the country renders one somewhat impervious to these sorts of academia-centred scandals. But the hastiness among some to infer the absolute worst about an individual based merely on a fleeting association or snapshot in time is a bad practice for everyone.”
Necessary fixes in real estate: blind bidding and other questionable practices
The Editorial Board: “At the most fundamental level, this system is unfair. At a typical auction…a bidder knows what the other bids are. It’s basic information that allows bidders to pull out of an auction when the price goes too high for their budget. Yet in real estate, governments allow the industry to keep bidders blindfolded. When things are calm, no one notices; a property may attract only one or two offers. But in the madcap market of this year, blind bidding has pushed buyers to consistently bid over the asking price.”
Celebrating Ramadan during COVID-19′s third wave
For Muslims in Canada, this Ramadan marks the second during the COVID-19 pandemic and comes squarely in the third wave. During this holy month, Muslims don’t eat or drink from dawn to sunset; they engage in prayer, spiritual reflection and charity. At sunset each day, the fast is broken with a meal called iftar, usually shared with family, friends and community members. This year, as our photo essay shows, these gatherings are being held in ways that respect pandemic restrictions
New fiction from Camilla Gibb, plus three other Canadian books to read this Mother’s Day
Like her memoir (2015′s searing This Is Happy), Camilla Gibb’s new novel The Relatives has drawn inspiration from the author’s uniquely challenging experience as a mother. Marsha Lederman speaks with Gibb to help unpack the book’s themes and suggests a few more topical reads.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Elsipogtog on the rebound: A hockey rink heals after arson, tragedy and perseverance
The community hockey arena has been the heart of Elsipogtog for more than 40 years. Late one night last September, an arsonist took it all away. Someone lit a fire that burned so hot it shattered the glass around the rink and warped the steel beams that held up the walls. Seven months later, you can still smell the smoke when you step inside the building. It remains coated in black soot. (Two youths were arrested for the fire.)
Albert Levi, chief of Elsipogtog for 26 years, died a month later, at 88. He was heartbroken. The arena – the Chief Young Eagle Recreation Centre – was named after the stage name he used in the Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling circuit in the 1960s. As someone who left school in Grade 3 after the death of his mother, its construction was one of his finest accomplishments.
In many small Canadian communities, the loss of the local arena would be devastating. In Elsipogtog, it was like a death in the family. But thanks to a bid for the national Kraft Hockeyville contest that won over voters across the country, there is a plan to rebuild.
Read the full feature by Greg Mercer.
Evening Update is compiled and written weekdays by an editor in The Globe’s live news department. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.