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

Today British Columbia, announced that most of its students from kindergarten to Grade 12 are to return to schools full time in September. The government is putting up $45.6 million to ensure safety measures, including increased cleaning of high-contact surfaces, an increased number of hand-hygiene stations and the availability of masks.

In Ontario, a recent guidance document outlines that schools reopening full-time this fall should maintain age-appropriate physical-distancing measures in classrooms, but shouldn’t require their youngest learners to wear masks. The province is expected to announce its school reopening plan this week.

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Also important to know:

  • A McMaster review of 33 studies across 16 countries found that young children are less likely than teenagers and adults to spread coronavirus.
  • University of Toronto staff unions and the U of T Faculty Association are protesting the university’s plans for in-person classes in the fall, which contrast with other Ontario institutions that have chosen to teach the semester online
  • Graduates who are entering the labour force during the pandemic could lose thousands of dollars in earnings in the coming years because of the outbreak, according to a new study from Statistics Canada
  • Opinion: Calls to fully reopen schools in September are on a collision course with reality

Grade five students attend class at Pacific Heights Elementary school in Surrey, B.C., on Friday, June 12, 2020.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

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Canada-China relations

‘Chinese people and Canadian people are good friends’

John McCallum, the former ambassador to China who was fired from his position last year, says that Canada’s troubles with China are only temporary. He was fired in 2019 after repeatedly speaking in support of the release of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou.

He recently told clients of a major Chinese immigration company that relations with the rising superpower will return to sunnier times. His experience and connections have made him a coveted speaker for Wailian Group. Information of government plans is of interest to those trying to immigrate.

Canada needs Chinese students and tourism, he explained, and McCallum feels that the tension between China and Canada is far more short-term than that of China and the U.S.

Other China news:

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Families of Nova Scotia mass shooting victims transform protest into march of thanks: The victims’ families were thanking supporters for helping them persuade Ottawa and Nova Scotia to call a full public inquiry into the killings, They had originally planned a march to protest the earlier ecision by Ottawa and the province to hold a joint review of the circumstances surrounding the April 18-19 rampage that killed 22 people.

Coroner’s inquest to probe RCMP shooting of Rodney Levi: The New Brunswick government says the inquest will start in the police killing of the Indigenous man after investigations and court proceedings are done.

U.S. coronavirus deaths surpass 150,000: Also, Louie Gohmert, a Republican lawmaker from Texas who has refused to wear a mask in the past, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising concerns that other members of Congress may also have been exposed.

Stolen teddy bear containing late mother’s voice recording returned: The bear was stolen Friday while Mara Soriano was moving to a new apartment, and her social media plea for help to find the reminder of her mother who died of cancer went viral.

More than one endangered southern resident killer whale believed to be pregnant: Many populations of their favoured food, chinook salmon, are in decline or in danger of being wiped out in both Canada and the United States. But these whales seem healthy enough to carry a baby.

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TSX jumps as Shopify surges; Wall Street adds to gains after Fed vows more support

Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday after a slew of upbeat earnings reports from those including e-commerce company Shopify Inc and pipeline operator Enbridge Inc.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 173.34 points at 16,294.66.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 162.69 points to 26,541.97, the S&P 500 gained 40.16 points to 3,258.6 and the Nasdaq Composite added 140.85 points to 10,542.94.

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Indigenous communities need to be partners in Canada’s COVID-19 recovery plan

Joseph Quesnel: “In the end, if Indigenous communities are equity partners in these projects, they will be invested in project successes, ensuring a pathway toward shared prosperity.” Quesnel is an adviser on the National Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery. He is an Indigenous policy and governance researcher.

With his VP pick, Joe Biden has the pleasure of a tough choice

Konrad Yakabuski: That has made the choice of his running mate particularly important. Typically, presidential candidates who are as far ahead in the polls as Mr. Biden opt for a safe (read: boring) vice-presidential candidate.”


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Five books shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize

The winner of the following will be announced on Sept. 23, 2020

  1. Canada on the United Nations Security Council: A Small Power on a Large Stage (UBC Press) by Adam Chapnick
  2. Peace and Good Order: The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada (McClelland & Stewart), by Harold R. Johnson
  3. Claws of the Panda: Beijing’s Campaign of Influence and Intimidation in Canada (Cormorant Books) by veteran correspondent and former Globe and Mail reporter Jonathan Manthorpe
  4. Truth Be Told: My Journey Through Life and the Law (Simon & Schuster Canada) by former Supreme Court Chief Justice and novelist Beverley McLachlin
  5. Canadian Justice, Indigenous Injustice: The Gerald Stanley and Colten Boushie Case (McGill-Queen’s University Press) by Kent Roach



Is there life on Mars?

Our fixation with Mars as the place to hunt for alien life emerged during America’s Gilded Age, when telescopes were finally large enough to magnify the subtle changes in brightness that had long been observed on the planet.

Now, NASA is getting ready to send the Perseverance rover on a Martian mission, as are two other space agencies seizing on a convenient alignment of the planets.

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And even if nothing turns up, it’s unlikely the search will end there. Read up on what Perseverance is looking for, and how it fits in a 130-year-old tradition of studying the red planet.

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover, the biggest, heaviest, most advanced vehicle sent to the Red Planet by the NASA, is seen on Mars in an undated illustration provided by Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.


Evening Update is written by Sierra Bein. 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.

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