Evening Update: PM Justin Trudeau addresses mixed messages on COVID-19 vaccines

Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:

The latest COVID-19 developments: Trudeau says vaccines are the only way out of the pandemic, plus more

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the only way for Canada to bring the pandemic to a close is for everyone to get vaccinated[1] as soon as possible, amid a flurry of fear and frustration over new advice from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

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NACI said yesterday that Canadians who aren’t at high risk of COVID-19 may choose to wait[2] until they can get a shot of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, because they don’t carry the remote risk of a new blood-clotting syndrome. It also said Canadians under 30 shouldn’t be offered AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson at all.

That directly contradicts long-standing advice from Health Canada to get the first vaccine you’re offered, and Trudeau, who has received a dose of AstraZeneca, said that advice still stands. The Canadian Pharmacists Association has responded[3] to NACI’s advice, calling it unhelpful and warning it’s likely to may contribute to vaccine hesitancy.

Travel: Canada is working with international partners to develop a standardized vaccine certification[4] for travel and will position itself as a safe destination once the country has reached herd immunity, Tourism Minister Melanie Joly says.

Public-health measures: The Alberta government is expected to announce[5] additional restrictions today as it struggles with the highest infection rates in North America. Check back later tonight at tgam.ca/alberta[6] for details.

Meanwhile, Quebec is ending emergency COVID-19 lockdown measures in some parts of the province next week, including the Quebec City area. Read more about that story and other COVID-19 news today here[7].

Education: Ontario says students can opt to take all their classes online[8] for the full new school year that begins in September, and it will provide more information to parents in the coming months.

Pastor’s trial: The trial of James Coates of the Edmonton-area GraceLife Church, who is accused of violating COVID-19 public-health measures, resumed today[9], with his lawyer saying the province’s health agency decided to penalize the pastor as a way to censor him.

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Read more:

This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was sent to you as a forward, you can sign up for Evening Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters here. If you like what you see, please share it with your friends.[10]

Inside the interrogation of Bridging Finance’s CEO before receivership

Of all the questions surrounding Bridging Finance Inc. – the $2-billion private debt manager placed under the control[11] of a receiver last week – few compared to the one asked at 2:22 p.m. last Thursday.

Under oath, CEO David Sharpe was repeatedly asked whether he had ever accepted any money from one of Bridging’s largest borrowers, a Winnipeg-based businessman named Sean McCoshen whose companies had borrowed more than $180-million from Bridging. Sharpe was nearly unequivocal: To the best of his knowledge, no, he hadn’t.

Why then, the Ontario Securities Commission representatives asked, did a company controlled by McCoshen deposit a total of $19.5-million in Sharpe’s personal chequing account? You can find out what happened next here[12], and here’s a backgrounder[13] on the company and its people.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Mexican overpass collapse: An elevated section of the Mexico City metro collapsed and sent the train plunging toward a busy boulevard late Monday, killing at least 23 people[14] and injuring at least 79, city officials said.

G-G Literary Award finalists: Renowned poet Anne Carson and veteran author Thomas King are among the writers nominated[15] for the Governor General’s Literary Awards. The winner in each category, which carries a $25,000 prize, will be announced on June 1.

Canadians out of tennis singles action: Canada’s Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime have been eliminated[16] from the singles draw at the Madrid Open after losing their matches today.

MARKET WATCH

The Nasdaq ended sharply lower[17] today as investors dumped megacap growth stocks to seek shelter in more defensive parts of the market, amid concerns on rising interest rate and uncertainty over a coming jobs report. Canada’s main stock index ended with a slight loss.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19.80 points or 0.06 per cent to 34,133.03, the S&P 500 lost 28.00 points or 0.67 per cent to end at 4,164.66 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 261.62 points or 1.88 per cent to 13,633.50.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index slid 25.13 points or 0.13 per cent to 19,188.03.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com. Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.[18][19]

TALKING POINTS

Can’t afford a house? It’s likely not your fault

“Money-wise, we often blame ourselves when things don’t turn out well. It’s because financial advice is built on a philosophy of personal responsibility that too often fails to take personal circumstances into consideration.” Rob Carrick[20]

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Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives do not belong in academia

“The towers of learning should be focused on recruiting the brightest and most innovative minds to propel society forward, instead of prostrating themselves for the sake of optics and taking pride in pandering to the identity politics game.” Debra Soh, sex neuroscientist[21]

The Conservative riding ‘coup’ that was anything but

“Instead of complaining that someone was insufficiently deferential to the old guard, perhaps we should be taking inspiration from someone who actually used the tools that our democracy made available to him.” Dale Smith, journalist and author[22]

LIVING BETTER

Tom Brown, a Calgary artist and miniaturist, will be teaching our ninth Globe Craft Club class[23], live-streamed on May 11 at 7 p.m. ET. Brown has created miniatures since childhood, and seven years ago started a kitchen project recreating tiny versions of mugs, bowls, plates, cutlery, appliances and more. He’ll teach Craft Club how to make a miniature bowl and wooden spoon using a pop can, popsicle stick and twig. Watch the class at tgam.ca/craftclub[24] or on Facebook[25], and for the latest updates join our Facebook group[26].

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TODAY’S LONG READ

Seven questions you shouldn’t ask an Indigenous person

As an Indigenous writer, I used to spend a lot of time on the lecture circuit in pre-COVID times, spreading the gospel of Native literature. Many of the questions I would get from the audience dealt with the art of writing. But habitually, I would be asked questions requiring me to answer on behalf of the entire First Nations population of Canada, all 634 communities, and the more than 1.6 million people who identify as Indigenous. That’s a somewhat substantial responsibility.

I would like to share with you the top frequently asked questions by the settler community that I have had to slalom through in my career.

You don’t look very Native …

Real Answer: As Popeye (whom I believe was one quarter Cherokee) once said, I am what I am. I’m diabetic. There is a boil water advisory on my reserve. I frequently hear the owl call my name. What more do you need? And my blue eyes, they’re just a reflection of the sky above us.

Annoyed Answer: Where did you do your undergraduate work in identifying Indigenous people? Is this your postgraduate work? Read Drew Hayden Taylor’s full column with the other six questions here.[27]

Evening Update is presented by S.R. Slobodian. 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.[28][29]

References

  1. ^ is for everyone to get vaccinated (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  2. ^ may choose to wait (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  3. ^ has responded (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  4. ^ to develop a standardized vaccine certification (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  5. ^ is expected to announce (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  6. ^ tgam.ca/alberta (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  7. ^ COVID-19 news today here (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  8. ^ opt to take all their classes online (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  9. ^ resumed today (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  10. ^ here (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  11. ^ placed under the control (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  12. ^ what happened next here (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  13. ^ here’s a backgrounder (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  14. ^ killing at least 23 people (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  15. ^ among the writers nominated (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  16. ^ have been eliminated (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  17. ^ ended sharply lower (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  18. ^ tips@globeandmail.com (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  19. ^ SecureDrop (sec.theglobeandmail.com)
  20. ^ Rob Carrick (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  21. ^ Debra Soh (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  22. ^ Dale Smith (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  23. ^ ninth Globe Craft Club class (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  24. ^ tgam.ca/craftclub (tgam.ca)
  25. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  26. ^ Facebook group (www.facebook.com)
  27. ^ here (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  28. ^ here (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  29. ^ note (www.theglobeandmail.com)