Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Canada could see more than 15,000 COVID-19 cases a day next month, modelling suggests
Federal Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said new modelling suggests that, at the current rate of transmission, Canada could see more than 15,000 new COVID-19 cases a day by October.
Tam said the vaccines are an important mitigation measure, noting that Canadians who are unvaccinated are 12 times more likely to be infected and 36 times more likely to be hospitalized if they do catch the virus. She said it’s critical for Canada to get up to 80 per cent of all eligible age groups fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
Only about two in three Canadians between 18 and 39 have received both doses, but they also tend to be the most mobile and have the most close contacts.
Read more COVID-19 coverage:
- COVID-19 vaccine passport triggers range of reactions as Quebec businesses navigate rollout
- Vaccine mandate offers hope for Ontario’s devastated live music scene, but industry is still incapacitated
- U.S. job growth takes giant step back as Delta variant hits restaurants
- Alberta announces $100 gift card as incentive to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19
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How Trudeau’s first visit to China sheds light on icy relations between Beijing, Ottawa
When Justin Trudeau made his first trip to China in 2016 as Prime Minister, he was brimming with high expectations. He wanted to rekindle a relationship with a rising superpower whose consumer markets and bulging capital accounts offered opportunity for Canadian commerce, while making the case that Canada could also further Beijing’s interests.
“He was saying that, like his father had helped China to rejoin the United Nations, he would help China to occupy its rightful place on the international scene,” said a person who was in the room. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the person because they are not authorized to disclose what took place in the meeting.
That overture was rebuffed. His comments were perceived as presumptuous, the person said, particularly by Xi, who has displayed little evidence of seeking succour from countries seen as smaller and weaker.
Trudeau’s push to find new common ground predated the strain in relations that would set in after China imprisoned Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor on espionage charges in 2018. They were detained days after Canadian authorities arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition request. The two Canadians will be marking 1,000 days in prison this weekend.
- ‘Do not lose hope’: Readers share their messages to Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor as they hit 1,000 days in detention
- Robert Fowler: I felt abandoned by Canada when I was held captive. I can’t imagine how the Michaels must feel
- Families of Michael Spavor, Michael Kovrig to walk ‘7,000 steps for freedom’ to call for their release
Day 20 of the federal election campaign
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said his party would certify provincial vaccine passports for international travel as an interim measure until a federal version is adopted. Ontario was the latest province to announce it will be implementing a system for many indoor activities starting Sept. 22.
Elsewhere on the campaign trail, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh promised to “respond” to the Quebec government’s call for bigger health transfers, but was tight-lipped on whether funding would be conditional.
The first leaders’ debate of the campaign last night saw Trudeau on the defensive, facing criticism over his decision to call an election during the fourth wave of the pandemic. O’Toole, meanwhile, was repeatedly pushed to address his party’s stance on vaccine mandates and child care.
Catch up on more campaign-related coverage:
- Campbell Clark: Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole walks out of first debate in one piece
- Editorial: What is this election about? The Liberals are still working on it
- Public sentiment: Poll suggests three-quarters of Canadians don’t see the election as necessary
- Explainer: Latest updates and essential reading ahead of Sept. 20 vote
- The climate change election: Join The Globe’s columnist Adam Radwanski, who covers climate change, and The Narwhal’s editor-in-chief Emma Gilchrist for a live conversation on what environmental issues we’re not talking about enough ahead of the vote on Sept. 20. When: Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET. Where: Send in questions and register for free here.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ontario legislature prorogued until after federal election: Ontario MPPs won’t be returning to Queen’s Park on Sept. 13 as planned. Government House Leader Paul Calandra cited the uncertainty around the outcome of the Sept. 20 vote, saying the governing Progressive Conservatives want to see how it shakes out before finalizing the fall legislative agenda. The legislature will be back Oct. 4.
NHL reaches deal to send players to 2022 Beijing Olympics: Some of the best hockey players in the world will be lacing up in Beijing after the NHL, its players’ union and other parties, including the International Olympic Committee, signed a deal Friday for the 2022 Games. They didn’t make an appearance at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games after the IOC declined to pay assorted costs.
Provinces plan legal push against Purdue Pharma following U.S. opioid deal: Provincial governments are seeking a court order that would lift an injunction that temporarily froze all legal proceedings against Purdue Pharma, and clear the way for them to pursue billions of dollars in opioid-related claims. The push comes in the wake of a settlement approved by a U.S. federal bankruptcy judge that will see Purdue’s owners, members of the Sackler family, turn over US$4.5-billion to address the opioid epidemic that has claimed more than 500,000 lives in the United States.
China bans men it deems not masculine enough from TV: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government has banned effeminate men on TV, a move that reflects official concern that Chinese popstars – influenced by the styles of their South Korean and Japanese counterparts – are failing to encourage China’s men to be masculine enough. The ban is part of a broadening campaign to tighten its grip over business and society and enforce official morality.
Listen to The Decibel: Seven pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong were sentenced to prison this week for their roles in the 2019 protests that saw hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets and many violent clashes with the city’s police. That civil unrest continues to reverberate in Hong Kong, particularly because of the national security law Beijing imposed in its wake. The Globe’s Asia correspondent, James Griffiths, joins the show to explain how the city has changed since that law was passed.
The Nasdaq closed Friday at a fresh record but Wall Street’s main indexes headed into the Labour Day weekend in mixed fashion, reacting to a disappointing U.S. jobs report which raised fears about the pace of economic recovery but weakened the argument for near-term tapering. The TSX ended modestly higher, ending the week at another record.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 26.31 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 20,821.43. The gains were primarily thanks to a jump in gold stocks, with the materials sector gaining 1.87 per cent. Most other major sectors edged lower. Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 74.47 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 35,369.35, the S&P 500 lost 1.41 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 4,535.54 and the Nasdaq Composite added 32.34 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 15,363.52.
When the Michaels are freed, they will not be the same. I know that all too well
“I’ve concluded that once held captive, you are always a captive. The experience of being held against your will, the loss of control around your very survival, the guilt you feel at the anguish of your loved ones at home – every emotion you usually try to keep at bay suddenly comes alive, screaming in your mind. Rage, fear, despair.” - Mellissa Fung, Canadian journalist
The U.S.-Qatar Afghan refugees deal is Canada’s chance at redemption
“By joining the U.S.-Qatari process, Canada would become an additional designated third-party resettlement location and alleviate the stress on Qatar while creating additional space to accept more Afghan refugees to the American bases. In return, Qatar, which shares good relations with the Taliban, could help Canada negotiate the return of citizens.” - Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo, freelance defence and security reporter
What’s Afghanistan’s future? The history of U.S. state-building offers some clues
“At best, Afghanistan will become a semi-stable and authoritarian state caught in long-term and slow recovery. At worst, it will return to a regime akin to the first Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001.” - Lorenz Lüthi, professor of history of international relations at McGill University
First impression: Drake’s new album Certified Lover Boy isn’t his best, but the timing is perfect
The timing of Drake’s new release, featuring 7AM on Bridle Path, the latest entry in his time-stamp series, couldn’t have been more impeccable, writes arts reporter Brad Wheeler. Drake appears to have strategically dropped Certified Lover Boy just seven days after his supposed rival Kanye West – a move that pretty much guarantees that Donda, a 27-song slog – will be on the top of the charts for only one week. Though Certified Lover Boy isn’t packed with obvious breakout hits, Drake’s track record of racking up more than 200 Hot-100 hits means these new songs will chart, by default. Check it out for its early-morning-in-the-mansion vibe.
TODAY’S LONG READ
From murders to migrants, photojournalists Victoria Razo and Felix Marquez bear witness to Mexico’s injustices
Mexican photojournalists Victoria Razo and Felix Marquez live together, and on occasion work together as well. They are young, energetic, and their work is imbued with a mission. Neither were trained as journalists. Ms. Razo took photography, while Mr. Marquez studied communications. Mr. Marquez gravitated to photojournalism first. They met at university six years ago when Ms. Razo went to a presentation given by a group of photojournalists, one of whom was Mr. Marquez. They now share an apartment two blocks from the beach, where the waters are warm and the sea breezes balmy. These days, there is enough work, and their skills with a camera ensure they are in demand. Read the full story by Dr. Anthony Feinstein.