Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Provincial leaders continue to reconsider loosened restrictions as cases of COVID-19 spike, while at the federal level at least some of the attention is on a potential vaccine.
Canada is committing $440-million to the global COVAX Facility – half for doses for Canadians, and half for doses for countries less able to afford them. The United States has refused to join the initiative. Separately, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced a sixth deal to procure vaccine doses for Canadians, this one with AstraZeneca.
The announcement comes as COVID-19 cases surge across Canada. In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford says bars and restaurants will have their hours restricted, and strip clubs will be shut down, starting tomorrow. Winnipeggers will be required to wear masks indoors starting Monday.
Tomorrow, The Globe and Mail publishes its Climate Issue, with in-depth coverage of the climate crisis. This edition of Evening Update includes a small sampling of articles featured in that issue.
Led by Greta Thunberg, world’s youth rallies against climate change
For the first time since the pandemic began, young people in cities worldwide led rallies in person and online demanding that politicians take action against climate change. Swedish activist Greta Thunberg again led calls to treat environmental matters as a crisis, while in Berlin 10,000 people took part in demonstrations.
Organizers expected a lower turnout than at climate strikes last year, but the protests played out on social media and on a 24-hour Zoom call as well.
Related: Climate change leaves the Rhine, Danube and Europe’s other commercial arteries in danger of running dry
How landlords are trying to lure new tenants in a pandemic
Just as the supply of rental housing was starting to catch up to overwhelming demand last year, cities were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting impacts on travel, in-person gatherings and the job market meant a decline in renters, so landlords are now in the position of offering incentives to fill their units. As Matt Lundy reports, the upheaval in cities such as Toronto and Edmonton is welcome news for renters, but the wider picture is uncertain.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Rogers woos Quebec: In trying to win support for Rogers’s hostile takeover of Cogeco, CEO Joe Natale is arguing that his deep-pocketed company is best positioned to invest in Quebec’s telecommunications networks.
Teen gunman fights extradition: Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, who shot two protesters to death in Kenosha, Wis., last month, has little hope of successfully fighting his extradition from his home state of Illinois, legal experts say.
Biden’s unity test: The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the resulting vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court is a serious test to Joe Biden and his pitch to unify the country as president. So far, he has resisted calls from allies to issue warnings or threats to a Republican-led Senate that could confirm Donald Trump’s judicial nominee. Trump is expected to announce his choice as federal appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett.
COVID-19 and Africa: A new analysis from the WHO that seeks to understand why African countries have a lower rate of coronavirus fatalities than other regions cites several possible reasons. Factors such as age demographics, population density and time spent outdoors help provide early explanations.
Technology stocks prevented the main indexes from falling today, but weekly losses continued for both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 for a fourth straight week.
In Toronto, the energy sector lost 2.43 per cent but the tech sector gained 2.64 per cent as investors found long-term solace there.
The Dow rose 358.52 points, or 1.34 per cent, to 27,173.96. The S&P 500 gained 51.87 points, or 1.60 per cent, to 3,298.46 and the Nasdaq Composite added 241.30 points, or 2.26 per cent, to 10,913.56.
For the week, the Dow fell 1.74 per cent, the S&P 500 slid 0.63 per cent, and the Nasdaq gained 1.1 per cent.
Climate migration isn’t a thing – but maybe we should make it one
“In the world of actual knowledge, the last 10 years have seen an unprecedented amount of serious, well-funded study into the question of what families and communities in climate-devastated places are going to do when their livelihoods turn into ocean or desert. While the answers are varied and often disturbing, one thing people almost never do under such circumstances is move far away.” – Doug Saunders, staff columnist
It’s not too late to sell Canadians on a climate-focused pandemic recovery
“We need to try to mitigate seasons of hotter, longer and larger forest fires that threaten to destroy communities in British Columbia and Alberta. We need to redraw outdated flood maps (a project the federal government has indeed undertaken) or risk leaving Canadians literally underwater. We need to be cognizant of how changing temperatures and precipitation patterns can increase the incidence of waterborne pathogens and the spread of disease. We need to heed the warnings from experts before it is too late, or risk paying massively for it – both economically, and in lost lives.” – Robyn Urback, staff columnist
The government’s promises to protect old-growth forests disrespect our elders
“Numbers matter, and so do clear, honest definitions. The B.C. government proudly claims that 13.2 million hectares of old-growth forest exists across the province, and boasts that half is off-limits to logging, in parks or other protected areas. But ministry math is a dark art: The shifty baseline they are using represents the amount of old growth that currently remains, not the vast amount that has already fallen to axe and saw, never to return.” – John Vaillant and Harley Rustad, authors
By setting the agenda, the Liberals' prorogation play pays off
“Whenever a general election is called, voters will be presented with some very different ideas of Canada. We will be asked what kind of society we want and how much we are willing to sacrifice – and pay – to get it. And political parties will need to do the hard work of building consensus around their preferred path.” – Lori Turnbull and Drew Fagan, public policy academics
Not long after the physically distanced Emmy Awards provided a fitting bookend to one television year, a new one begins. Columnist John Doyle turns his attention to the best new drama on screens this weekend, including espionage series Tehran, the fourth season of Fargo, and the dramatic adaptation of James Comey’s memoirs, The Comey Rule.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Why the ROM is creating a climate-change curator
Thanks to a $1.5-million endowment, the Royal Ontario Museum is conducting an international search for a curator who can incorporate an ethos of climate-change engagement into the museum’s exhibitions, programming and day-to-day operations. While the ROM says the unique role is a world first, the successful candidate will not be starting from scratch: Several of the museum’s 13 million artifacts can offer insight on the climate crisis. In this visual feature by Kathryn Blaze Baum, ROM staff highlight a few of them.
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