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

Officials in Brampton, a Greater Toronto Area city of about 650,000 people, say they’ve been inundated with complaints as homes designed for small families become makeshift student rooming houses, including one that the mayor recently said had 25 people living in it. Tenants also find themselves living in illegal and unsafe conditions, at times renting spaces without privacy or proper sanitation.

The student housing situation has become a flashpoint in debates about the region’s housing crisis and perceived abuses of the temporary student visa program. In response, the city imposed a pilot program last year to regulate rentals and require landlords to be licensed, which prompted protests at city hall and led officials to temporarily pause the policies, though they are expected to return by the spring.

While the protests drew attention to the pilot, the pushback has not deterred council from pursuing the plan. “People have been hiding things for so long and they don’t want us to have the ability to look,” said Dennis Keenan, one of three Brampton city councillors spearheading the pilot.

Also today: Ottawa is ready to step in and shut down shady schools that are abusing the international student program if provinces don’t crack down, Immigration Minister Marc Miller warned.

No ceasefire imminent in the Middle East

Israel and Hamas played down chances of an imminent breakthrough in talks for a ceasefire in Gaza, after U.S. President Joe Biden said Israel has agreed to pause its offensive during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan if a deal is reached to release some hostages.

In the U.S.: The President made his remarks on the eve of the Michigan primary, where he faces pressure from the state’s large Arab American population over his staunch support for Israel’s offensive. Biden said he had been briefed on the status of talks by his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, but said his comments reflected his optimism for a deal, not that all the remaining hurdles had been overcome.

At G20: Finance leaders are expected to say the global economy continues to face multiple challenges including “conflicts in many regions” and geoeconomic tensions, according to a draft version of the communiqué seen by Reuters.

Open this photo in gallery:

Palestinian men walk in the Maghazi camp for Palestinian refugees, which was severely damaged by Israeli bombardment amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, in the central Gaza Strip on February 27, 2024.-/Getty Images

Lawyers lured to the U.S. by bigger paycheques now at a crossroads as they mull return

A wave of Canadian lawyers were lured south by massive paycheques between late 2020 and early 2022, while American firms couldn’t keep up with their work. Law recruiters told The Globe and Mail that anywhere between 100 and 150 lawyers – primarily from Bay Street and mostly at the junior level – made the jump. Now, even with the threat of recession and layoffs, it appears most of those who left are staying stateside, while some are starting to trickle back. Read more about the domino effect.

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Real estate: Sam Mizrahi is being replaced as the general contractor of his Toronto luxury condo project known as The One, after the court-appointed receiver overseeing the troubled development discovered project management deficiencies.

Banks: Bank of Nova Scotia and Bank of Montreal expect loan-loss reserves to continue to climb amid tougher economic conditions, with relief on the horizon if central banks cut interest rates later this year.

Crime: A pathologist has told a Saskatchewan coroner’s inquest that a man who killed 11 people and injured 17 others died from a cocaine overdose after he was taken into police custody.

Energy: Canada’s hope to be a global power in the energy transition needs a strategic push, a new report warns.

Online booking fees: Cineplex Inc. has made almost $40-million from fees at the heart of deceptive marketing claims the country’s competition commissioner has made against the cinema chain.

Listen to The Decibel: What is Odysseus’s purpose? What could this mean for future space projects like NASA’s Artemis missions in 2026? Ivan Semeniuk, explains. Today, Odysseus moon lander news is that it likely has 10 to 20 hours of battery life left.


TSX edges lower as investors weigh bank earnings

Canada’s main stock index ended slightly lower on Tuesday, extending its pullback from a 22-month high, as losses for financials after Bank of Montreal missed earnings estimates offset gains for energy shares. On Wall Street, stocks closed near flat ahead of U.S. inflation and other economic data that could shed light on the possible timing of a Federal Reserve interest rate cut.

The S&P/TSX composite index ended down 5.41 points at 21,318.90. It was the second straight day of declines for the index after it posted on Friday its highest closing level since April 2022. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 96.82 points to 38,972.41. The S&P 500 gained 8.65 points at 5,078.18 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 59.05 points to 16,035.30.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.96 cents US compared with 73.99 cents US on Monday.

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Pierre Poilievre wants big government to protect children from porn

“Horny teenagers always find a way. What makes Mr. Poilievre think that the government is better poised than their parents to slow them down?” – Robyn Urback

The demise of Lynx Air shows why low-cost carriers can’t succeed in Canada

“Lynx’s demise should serve as a reminder that the competitive and operating landscape in Canadian aviation is dictated by government policies. Whether intentionally or not, Canada has priced itself out of low-cost air travel. Until those policies change, ULCCs will continue to fly past Canada.” – Duncan Dee

The Liberal-NDP pharmacare deal sets the clock ticking on their alliance

“The alliance will go on for months, certainly. But it will grow more and more unstable – as the negotiations become tougher and political rivalry makes both parties worry about how it might end.” – Campbell Clark


Boundaries, communication are key for parents running the Bank of Mom and Dad

In a world of sky-high home prices and rising cost of living, many parents are inclined to financially help their adult children. But experts say parents need to lay out clear guidelines before their children tap the funds to ensure they don’t put their own retirements on the line. Parents should assess whether they can afford it or if they’re going to put themselves at risk in the future, says Sara McCullough, a financial planner and owner of WD Development. Read the full story.

  • Carrick on Money: If money is tight right now, why are vehicle sales soaring?
  • Opinion: Some words of support for people who are using their TFSA the ‘wrong’ way


Open this photo in gallery:

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow speaks to reporters in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Mayors concerned Trudeau won’t deliver promised long-term infrastructure deal in 2024 budget

When the Trudeau Liberals came to power in 2015, promises of long-term infrastructure funding were a central plank of the party’s political messaging. But several of those programs are beginning to expire and Canada’s cities are nervously waiting to find out what happens next.

Fifteen big-city mayors across Canada – including Olivia Chow of Toronto, Jyoti Gondek of Calgary and Scott Gillingham of Winnipeg – were in Ottawa yesterday as representatives of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities met with federal ministers to press their case for more funding ahead of the coming 2024 federal budget. Read the full story here.

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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