Morning update: Federal budget includes $56 billion in new spending and higher taxes as critics fear it will drive up inflation

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The federal government’s 2022 budget plan provides more than $56 billion in new spending over six years as part of a package, according to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, that will boost innovation and green technologies, but some economists say that it falls short of a long-term growth plan.

Designed by the government as a strategy to grow the economy and make life more affordable, the budget includes $5.3 billion to run a national dental program for low-income people, the creation of two agencies aimed at attracting private investment to Canada and billions of dollars for housing and defence, report Bill Curry and Robert Fife of The Globe.

The minority Liberal government is facing increasing criticism from Bay Street, with some bank CEOs expressing concern about Ottawa’s approach to economic and fiscal matters. At the same time, the Liberals have agreed to implement several NDP priorities – such as dental care – as part of a parliamentary cooperation agreement reached last month.

In his analysis, Patrick Brethour of the Globe reports that the Liberals correctly diagnose the economic difficulties facing Canada: an intensification of global competition for capital and a persistent lack of private sector investment. The government even winks at a recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that ranks Canada last in terms of potential economic growth through 2060. But the government, he writes, does not proposes any policy reshuffle that would alter the projection of Canada’s last place in this crucial economic race.

More coverage:

Opinion:

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tables the federal budget in the House of Commons as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on in Ottawa, Thursday, April 7, 2022.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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Inside prosecutors’ efforts to gather evidence of war crimes in Bucha

Shortly before noon on Thursday, Ruslan Kravchenko walked down a gravel driveway lined with dozens of 100mm shells. In front of him, a body lay face down. A bomb disposal team attached a long strap, slowly dragging the corpse about three meters, an exercise to ensure it had not been booby-trapped with explosives.

Then Kravchenko approached. A former military prosecutor, he now heads the prosecutor’s office in Bucha, the town on the outskirts of kyiv that has become synonymous with the brutality of the Russian invasion. His office’s work will prove critical to Ukraine’s bid to prove Russia committed war crimes here, reports Nathan VanderKlippe of The Globe. Moscow has denied any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors have already gathered 84 pages of names of Russian soldiers they believe were in the area. Now they are scrambling to link those names to footage, then match them with evidence from witness accounts, CCTV footage, satellite images and intercepted phone calls – all in hopes of transforming civilian deaths in cases strong enough to prosecute.

More coverage:

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

US Senate Confirms First Black Female Supreme Court Justice: Ketanji Brown Jackson, a 51-year-old appeals court judge, was confirmed 53-47, mostly along party lines, but with three Republican votes. Her confirmation as the first black woman on the bench breaks a historic barrier and gives President Joe Biden bipartisan approval for his efforts to diversify the court.

A Canadian ready to make history on a commercial flight to the space station: Montreal businessman and philanthropist Mark Pathy is set to blast off in a Space X capsule that will take him and three crewmates to the International Space Station Friday morning at 11:17 a.m. ET. The voyage will be the first entirely commercial mission to the station.

Wearing masks could help Ontario mitigate the ‘tidal wave’ of COVID-19 cases, an advisor says: If Ontarians start wearing masks indoors again for a few weeks, a “tidal wave” of COVID-19 cases could quickly recede, says Dr. Peter Juni, who leads the province’s science advisory table.


MORNING MARKETS

European stocks rebounded on Friday, but global equities were still on course for their first weekly loss in four weeks as the prospect of aggressive global rate hikes and geopolitical risks rattled investors. Global risk appetite declined over the week, with minutes from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank showing that policymakers are ready to step up efforts to bring inflation under control. The MSCI World Stock Index, which tracks stocks in 50 countries, rose 0.2% but fell 1.3% for the week. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.40 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT

How many more people will become the “ghosts of Afghanistan”?

“…There are different rules for journalists, women’s rights activists and other activists who have no connection to Canada. (Although in fact their ties run deep, fighting for rights in a country devastated by a war in which Canada and other Western countries have played a huge role.) They are supposed to come out of Afghanistan in a way or another and be sponsored by what Ottawa calls “referral partners”, already overstretched international NGOs. Julien Sher

Luxury superyacht owners can sail, but they can’t hide

“It’s not just Russians weathering the storm: Wealthy yacht owners have found that even the vast expanses of the ocean don’t insulate them from public rage.” – Elizabeth Renzetti


EDITORIAL MAPPING OF THE DAY

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVE BETTER

Consider new ideas from greater RRSP savings

RRSP contributions rose 13.1% in 2020 from a year earlier, according to Statistics Canada, and the number of contributors rose 4.9%. What should Canadians do next, now that they’ve boosted their RRSPs? Tim Cestnick offers some ideas to consider.


MOMENT IN TIME: April 8, 1820

Discovery of the statue of Venus de Milo

Venus de Milo statue at the Louvre Museum in Paris on August 5, 2020.Xose Bouzas/Hans Lucas via Reuters Connect

One of the most important sculptures in the history of art, the Venus de Milo, was discovered by a farmer who was looking for marble building blocks in Milos, an Aegean island located between mainland Greece and Crete . The peasant was removing stones around an ancient wall when he came across the upper half of a statue of a woman, without arms. By chance, a French naval ensign, Olivier Voutier, saw the farmer struggling with the huge piece of stone and went to help him. The two men continued to dig, eventually finding the lower half of the torso a short distance away. Voutier, who was interested in antiquities and recognized their potential value, convinced his superiors to purchase the statue (for a small fee). In 1821 it arrived in France and is considered a masterpiece of the classical Greek era. Scholars now believe, however, that the Venus de Milo originated in Hellenistic times and was carved by the artist Alexandros of Antioch, of whom little is known. The Venus de Milo was offered to Louis XVIII, who then donated it to the Louvre Museum, where Greek beauty continues to fascinate the public today. Gayle MacDonald

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