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Inflation in Canada hits a seven-year high of 3%

Inflation in Canada is speeding up, the annual rate hitting 3 per cent in July and raising issues for the Bank of Canada, Michael Babad writes. Airline, travel services and energy costs, and Ottawa’s retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. helped boost the annual pace from June’s 2.5 per cent to well beyond what was expected. Inflation now stands at its highest level since September, 2011.

The inflation report has the markets thinking that the central bank will move forward with increases to its benchmark rate. But core inflation was stable in July, so economists don’t think it will sway the timeline for gradual rate increases, with October being likely for the next one. (for subscribers)

B.C. communities on evacuation alert as wildfires flare

Crews battling wildfires across British Columbia braced today for intense activity on some of the nearly 600 blazes in the province after the Wildfire Service issued a warning of extreme fire behaviour. The warning can be issued when high heat and a lack of rain combine to strip humidity from the air. Gusty winds were also forecast, adding to the potential for dangerous fire behaviour. High winds were also a key reason for an evacuation alert issued last night to about 4,500 residents of Kimberley in southeastern B.C. as a 56-square-kilometre wildfire pushed north toward the city.

Hundreds of cancer patients received partial doses of medication

Hundreds of cancer patients in Canada did not receive the full dose of three highly concentrated intravenous medications because of problems with the way they were administered, Carly Weeks writes. The drugs are for advanced cases of cancer and are given to patients in hospitals using a similar method to how chemotherapy is administered: an intravenous tube attached to a pump. In June, Cancer Care Ontario learned that the way some hospitals were using this system could leave small amounts of the drugs behind after the treatment ended.

While patients in Ontario have been informed about the dosing issue, those in Manitoba have not. Cancer Care Manitoba decided not to inform them because it believes the outcomes were likely not affected and doing so would create unnecessary alarm.

Airbnb tells federal Liberals it wants to be regulated

One of the world’s largest short-term rental websites is inviting Ottawa to create a regulatory regime for the burgeoning industry – something its critics have long advocated and raising pressure on the government to set rules in the market. Airbnb’s budget proposal to the House of Commons finance committee asks the federal Liberals to avoid forcing “old and outdated rules” for traditional hotels onto Airbnb hosts, pushing instead for a simple-to-understand regime.

"We think as a platform our hosts should pay taxes. I know people get shocked when we say that, but we do. We think we should be contributing,” Alex Dagg, Airbnb’s public policy manager in Canada, said in an interview. “We just need to figure out what are the appropriate rules in place to do that and how can we facilitate that.”

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U.S. stocks climbed in afternoon trading after a Mexican economic official told reporters that trade talks between the United States and Mexico were “advancing well.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 110.59 points to 25,669.32, the S&P 500 gained 9.44 points to close at 2,850.13 and the Nasdaq Composite ended at 7,816.33, 9.81 points higher.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX rose 98.06 points to 16,323.71, led by Canopy Growth, Precision Drilling and Alacer Gold.

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Ticked off at leaky coffee lids that don’t do the one job they’re supposed to – keep that hot liquid in your cup? You’re not alone. Tim Hortons president Alex Macedo has had enough with the poor design that hasn’t changed in 20 years. So the coffee chain is testing at six locations more environmentally friendly lids designed to cut down on leaking. “The only people who are going to be pissed off are dry cleaners and car-washing companies. They will wash fewer shirts and fewer cars,” he said.


Elon Musk is dreaming if he thinks Tesla is worth $420 a share

“At US$420 a share, removing Tesla from the stock market would cost as much as US$70-billion, and you can bet that neither the Saudis nor any other institutional or sovereign investor is going to pay anywhere near that price, given Tesla’s cash situation and the US$9.4-billion of outstanding debt it carried at the end of 2017 – its share and bond performance say as much. By the end of the week, Tesla shares, which had popped up 10 per cent after Mr. Musk’s tweet, had slid to US$340. The 5.3-per-cent bonds, due in 2025, were trading at a yield of just above 7 per cent, putting them firmly into ‘junk’ territory.” - Eric Reguly

The Giorgio Mammoliti sideshow needs to end

“Mr. Mammoliti’s permanent sideshow hasn’t left much time for actual work. If after two decades in office (almost three, if you count his earlier years at Queen’s Park), he is unable to get his ward some nice parks, as he often moans, then he’s painfully bad at building consensus and working with staff, two essential parts of his job. Yet he touts his record as a reason to value his opinions on Jane-Finch, even when they differ from those of people who live there. Unlike many of them, he opposes the Finch West LRT, an 11-kilometre light-rail project that could move thousands of people along the woefully transit-poor corridor.” - Denise Balkissoon

Don’t ostracize drugs users – empathize with them

“All behaviours of addiction, from drugs to gambling to gaming, either directly soothe pain or distract from it. Temporarily, they all ease discomfort with the self. Hence my mantra: the first question is not, ‘Why the addiction?’ but ‘Why the pain?’ In my 12 years of work in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the answer could not have been more stark. Every single one of my female patients had suffered sexual abuse as a child. None of my patients – male or female – had been spared major trauma of some kind. Not all addictions stem from such severe hurt, but all are rooted in sorrow, helplessness, and alienation.” - Gabor Maté, author, from a new edition of his book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. He was recently awarded the Order of Canada for his work on trauma and addiction.


There is no doubt that handwashing is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs. But if you immediately recontaminate your hands, it sort of defeats the purpose, Paul Taylor writes. So which is the more hygienic way to dry your hands in a public restroom: paper towel or air blower? Research suggests that bacteria in the air is drawn into a dryer and then shoots out the nozzle. So much air is blown through a dryer, one researcher said, it’s literally concentrating the bacteria: “I use a paper towel, whenever possible.” If the environment is a concern, you can reduce the amount of paper you use by first shaking the water off your hands and then folding over the towel to increase its absorbency.


Bottle topper: Buying Scotch whisky casks the latest craze as demand soars globally

Most whisky lovers have long been content with buying a bottle or two of their favorite label and building up a small collection, Paul Waldie writes. But as the demand for Scotch whisky soars globally, a growing number of whisky fanatics have started buying entire casks for up to $1.6-million.

Sales of Scotch whisky have been on a tear lately. Scotland’s distilleries are enjoying a boost from the surging popularity of the tipple as more people are drinking cocktails and hard liquors such as whisky, gin and tequila. But a newer trend has emerged: a sharp rise in the sales of casks bought by whisky collectors and investors, particularly in Asia. And many of those are turning to consultants to help find casks, with some collectors snapping up as many as 100 of them.

What happened when I stopped wearing black

“My first new purchase was a pair of navy pants and a sweater. What the outfit lacked in Saturnian rigour, it made up for in corporate blandness,” Rita Silvan writes. "Yet, as I added new purchases, instead of opening my closet to a dark cloud, joyful pops of colour greeted me. My daily life also showed rays of light. The turbulent romance died a natural death. I met new, more upbeat people. Forced to shop less, I became more discriminating. I smiled more.

“However, as in every fairy tale, right before the inflection point, comes the big test. In my case, a dream job at MAC cosmetics, then one of the coolest beauty brands. Pen in hand, I was poised to sign on the dotted line when the human-resources manager casually said, “One more thing, our corporate dress code is black.” Whaaa? As I looked around the office at the wan complexions of the women and men working there, I imagined returning to black. I couldn’t do it.”

Evening Update is written by S.R. Slobodian. 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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