While you were sleeping A flood of refugees; an inundation of Rangers

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Here’s our roundup of the best and brightest stories this morning.

So we’ll play a Game 6, then: Mika Zibanejad scored at 14:22 of overtime to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 win over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre. The win gives the Rangers a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final series. The Rangers’ Chris Kreider was in a position to win the game midway through the overtime period, but he fanned on a shot. But he assisted on the winning goal as he found Zibanejad cutting to the net. Game 6 is set for Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Business as usual: The number of refugee claimants crossing illegally from the U.S. into Quebec continues to rise dramatically – from 432 in February to 644 in March or an increase of 49 per cent – exacerbating the backlog at the Immigration and Refugee Board. For RCMP officers, now accustomed to warning would-be claimants that it is illegal to cross the border before lending them a hand with babies and luggage, it is “business as usual,” said Corporal François Gagnon. The new arrivals from the U.S., which if the trend continues would see at least 7,540 people cross into Quebec in 2017 – three times the number that arrived by land in 2016 – is creating havoc further down the pipeline as they reach the IRB tribunal. The bottleneck means about half of cases are postponed indefinitely.

Smile till you mean it: Since Donald Trump’s election last fall, the Canadian government has clung to a strategy of low-drama, under-the-radar conversations about trade to keep investors calm in the choppy waters of a NAFTA renegotiation. It has no plans to change course, no matter how hard the U.S. president tries to rock the boat. Officials perceive Trump’s sudden spurt of Canada-bashing as a calculated move, typical of his negotiating style, and designed to instill a little fear as NAFTA talks approach: “We can’t let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers. Included in there is lumber, timber and energy. We’re going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly.” Says one Canadian insider: “We are not fazed by it.”

How to age gracefully: It’s Queen Elizabeth’s 91st birthday. Remember that time she jumped out of a helicopter when she was only in her 80s?

Montreal Gazette, Canadian Press, Associated Press

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