A look at news events in March 2023:
1 – The government of Greece declared three days of national mourning after a deadly train crash in the northern part of the country the night before. The country's prime minister and president both visited the crash site, where 57 people died after a passenger train and freight train collided.
2 – Geri Smith, whose voice became familiar to listeners across the country over nearly 35 years as a newscaster with The Canadian Press, died at 60. Smith was on leave at the time of her death in Toronto.
6 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked two key security watchdogs to probe foreign interference and said he would appoint a "special rapporteur'' to independently review their work. The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians was to launch a new study on foreign interference focused on elections. And the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency was to look at the work Canada's intelligence agencies have done on foreign interference.
9 – A Federal Court judge approved a $2.8-billion settlement agreement for 325 First Nations whose members went to residential day schools. Justice Ann Marie McDonald said the settlement was intended to help take steps to reverse the losses of language, culture and heritage through an Indigenous-led not-for-profit body. The federal government originally reached the settlement with the plaintiffs in January, but the Federal Court also needed to approve the agreement.
10 – The federal government gave the green light to WestJet's takeover of Sunwing. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the decision "was not taken lightly.'' He noted the travel chaos that erupted over the winter holidays and left Sunwing passengers stranded abroad for days.
10 – Bank regulators seized the assets of one of Silicon Valley's top banks, marking the largest failure of a U.S. financial institution since the height of the financial crisis almost 15 years ago. The Silicon Valley Bank was the country's 16th-largest bank, and it failed after depositors hurried to withdraw money this week amid anxiety over the bank's health. The bank served mostly technology workers and venture capital-backed companies, including some of the industry's best-known brands.
11 – The global outbreak of COVID-19 was first declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization three years ago today.
11 – Meta promised to stop making news content available on Facebook and Instagram if Parliament passed the Online News Act without making any changes. Facebook blocked access to news in Australia after a similar law was discussed in 2021, but quickly backtracked after the government there made changes to an arbitration mechanism in the bill. Meta said the act would require it to pay publishers for links or content it doesn't post. But the Trudeau government said it would help Canadian media companies compete with tech giants for advertising dollars.
12 – New York-based Signature Bank was shut down, two days after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
13 – The Jesuits of Canada released a list of 27 priests and brothers accused of sexually abusing minors over the past 70 years. The Jesuits said all but three of the men were dead. They said they reviewed documents going back to the 1950s, and that in most cases, the abuse came to light after the priest or brother died. The order said some cases never went to court.
13 – Two men died after a pickup truck driven by a 38-year-old man plowed into pedestrians who were walking beside a road in the eastern Quebec town of Amqui. A provincial police spokeswoman said nine other people were injured, including two whose injuries were considered serious. A third man died on March 19.
15 – Canadian Pacific Railway's takeover of Kansas City Southern Railway received its final regulatory approval. Approval from the U.S. Surface Transportation Safety Board cleared the way for the $42.7-billion deal, which would create the only single-line rail network linking Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
15 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of former governor general David Johnston as special rapporteur on foreign interference. Johnston was tasked with looking into allegations of foreign meddling in Canada's last two federal elections. He was to also make recommendations on what the Liberal government should do about it.
16 – Two Edmonton police officers were shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute. Police Chief Dale McFee said 35-year-old Const. Travis Jordan and 30-year-old Const. Brett Ryan were shot when they arrived on the scene. McFee said it appeared neither officer had a chance to draw their weapons. Police said the shooter was a 16-year-old boy who also shot and wounded his mother before shooting and killing himself.
16 – Seven people were killed after a fire at a historic building in Old Montreal. Those killed in the fire included a long-term resident of the heritage building as well as people who had booked accommodation on short-term rental sites such as Airbnb, which are illegal to use in the part of Montreal where the building is located.
17 – American actor Lance Reddick died. Reddick's publicist said the 60-year-old died suddenly, and attributed his death to natural causes. The character actor specialized in intense and icy authority figures on TV and film. He was best known for his role as straitlaced Lt. Cedric Daniels on the hit HBO series "The Wire.'' He also played hotel concierge Charon in the "John Wick'' movies.
23 – Air Force One touched down in Ottawa as U.S. President Joe Biden kicked off a 27-hour visit to the national capital.
23 – Canada and the United States reached an agreement in principle to have asylum seekers turned back at irregular border crossings, including Roxham Road in Quebec.
25 – Starting today, migrants arriving at Roxham Road in Quebec faced arrest if they tried to illegally enter Canada. As part of a deal worked out during U.S. President Joe Biden's trip to Canada, the Safe Third Country Agreement now applied along the entire border.
25 – Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus. Putin said it was in response to Britain's recent decision to provide Ukraine with armour-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium. Russia had falsely claimed these rounds had nuclear components.
27 – At least 10 people were seriously injured after an explosion destroyed a home in northeastern Calgary. Fire officials said the force of the explosion created a large debris field and caused several fires.
27 – Sgt. Maureen Breau, a veteran Quebec provincial police officer, was stabbed to death while trying to arrest a man for uttering threats. Breau and another officer went to a home in Louiseville, about 100 kilometres northeast of Montreal. A 35-year-old man grabbed a knife and stabbed her. He was later shot and killed by other officers who arrived at the house.
28 – Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the government's latest budget, with a $40-billion deficit that's the lowest in the G7. The budget promised $59.5 billion in new spending over the next five years -- notably on the green economy and health care. It also offered up some affordability measures to help Canadians dealing with high prices from inflation.
30 – The Vatican formally repudiated the "Doctrine of Discovery,'' the theory that legitimized the colonial-era seizure of Indigenous lands and forms the basis of some property law today. Indigenous groups had been demanding such a statement for decades. A statement from the Vatican said the 15th-century papal bulls, or decrees, "did not adequately reflect the equal dignity and rights of Indigenous Peoples'' and had never been considered expressions of the Catholic faith. It added that the documents had been "manipulated'' for political purposes by colonial powers.
30 – The final report from the public inquiry into the 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia found widespread failures in how the Mounties responded, and called for fundamental change in the RCMP. The commission described red flags that police missed in the years leading up to the murders of 22 people, including the killer's violence toward his spouse. The report said RCMP commanders ignored eyewitness accounts, failed to promptly warn residents of the danger and failed to use basic investigative steps. It also called for a ban on all semi-automatic handguns and all semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that discharge centrefire ammunition.