Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark interest rate at 4.5 per cent today, holding the rate steady for first time in a year. However, the pause is “conditional” on economic growth and inflation slowing in line with the bank’s January forecast, according to the rate decision statement.
The bank has raised its overnight rate eight consecutive times since March, 2022. And while inflation remains high, bank officials believe they have done enough to guide it back down to the bank’s 2-per-cent target over time.
What’s next? Bank senior deputy governor Carolyn Rogers will deliver a speech and hold press conference tomorrow. She will lay out the governing council’s outlook for the economy as well as its rationale for this week’s rate decision.
- Rob Carrick: The harshest interest rate hikes of all are still under way at the big banks
- Opinion: The Bank of Canada needs to end its fixation on inflation
Wagner Group claims part of Bakhmut
Russian forces appeared to be in control of the eastern half of Bakhmut today, as public mourning for two Ukrainian fighters killed near the city highlighted the high cost of a battle that has already lasted more than seven months.
One of the Ukrainian soldiers softly uttered the words “Slava Ukraini” – “Glory to Ukraine” – just before he was executed on camera in an apparent war crime. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed as the soldiers as heroes.
The fight for Bakhmut continues to take a heavy toll on both sides. The Wagner Group made its apparent advance a day after Zelensky ordered his country’s military to reinforce, rather than withdraw from, Bakhmut, which has been devastated over the course of Russia’s prolonged assault.
International Women’s Day
The rebranding of menopause: A growing league of high-profile women are daring to speak publicly about an experience that’s near-universal for women. Many women feel ill-equipped for this transition, and there is a knowledge gap among health professionals, which is pushing more women to use telehealth startups for menopause guidance. Also: Meet the podcasters taking the shame out of menopause
The rules for how we talk about women at work have changed: Don Lemon learned the hard way. While feminists began focusing on the ways sexism is baked into our language in the 1960s, we’re still on a multidecade journey toward more inclusive language. So why do people keep saying the wrong thing?
- Under the Taliban, Afghanistan’s women health care workers may work but under supervision
- In rural India, survivors of domestic violence turn liquor bottles into bangles
- Five stories that show International Women’s Day remains as relevant as ever
- Anti-woman discrimination around the world is a double whammy if you’re queer
Report finds Ontario will face shortage of 33,000 nurses, personal support workers by 2027-28
Financial Accountability Officer Peter Weltman estimates that Premier Doug Ford’s government has allocated $21.3-billion less than needed to fund current health care programs and expansion plans in hospitals, home care and long-term care, and will need to dip into contingency funds or new federal health transfers to help fulfill its commitments.
The report also contains details about significant wait times in hospital emergency rooms, with patients staying on average 20.9 hours – the longest average wait time recorded in more than 15 years – and at least 145 unplanned emergency department closures in Ontario last year.
This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was sent to you as a forward, you can sign up for Evening Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters here. If you like what you see, please share it with your friends.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Cost of living: Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the CEOs of Canada’s largest grocery store chains need to be transparent about the recent rise in grocery prices. The CEOs and presidents of Loblaw Cos. Ltd., Metro Inc. and Empire Co. Ltd. – which operates chains including Sobeys, Safeway and FreshCo – are set to testify before the House of Commons agriculture committee Wednesday evening as part of its study on food inflation.
Politics: Marc Garneau, the first Canadian to go to space, is leaving politics, departing Ottawa after 15 years spent serving in opposition, then in cabinet as transport and foreign affairs minister, and lastly as a backbencher.
Listen to The Decibel: The Globe’s Ottawa bureau chief Bob Fife is back to tell us why Trudeau is changing his stance and how likely these probes are to shed light on the extent of China’s interference.
Justice: A new law working its way through Parliament could soon change the process for handling allegations against judges – even as a Supreme Court justice remains on leave while a complaint against him is reviewed.
Bill C-11: Online Streaming Act back in House, minister intends to reject some Senate amendments
Real estate: Bidding contests, offer dates and properties selling for more than the asking price have made a comeback, according to Toronto real-estate agents.
TSX ekes out gain as money markets stick to bets that BoC isn’t done with rate hikes
The S&P 500 index closed slightly higher on Wednesday as investors grappled with mixed messages from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and U.S. economic data ahead of upcoming labour and inflation reports that are expected to determine the central bank’s future rate hiking path.
The TSX also closed with a modest gain, as investors digested the latest Bank of Canada announcement that kept interest rates unchanged but did little to sway money markets from betting another quarter-point hike is in store for later this year.
According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 5.54 points to end at 3,991.91 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 46.76 points to 11,577.10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 62.15 points to 32,794.31.
Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.
B.C.’s report on hate during the pandemic is called ‘From Hate to Hope.’ It’s hard to see the hope
“It’s hard to know how we come back from this – from angry people hurling pop cans, insults and saliva. It feels as if, during the pandemic, a line was crossed – and the bad behaviour is only getting more pronounced. The divisions are deep and ugly.” - Marsha Lederman
Canada is failing to meet the moment on the cost of medication
“It is likely no coincidence that since the confidence-and-supply agreement was signed last March, lobbying from pharmaceutical and insurance groups opposed to pricing reforms and pharmacare has reportedly quadrupled.” - Jane Philpott and Danyaal Raza
Let’s look beyond the courts to help Black survivors of sexual violence
“For a world where no one ever has to say #MeToo again, it truly takes all of us to make it a reality – and that must include Black women and girls.” - Kharoll-Ann Souffrant
How to save money at the grocery store without sacrificing nutrition
Inflation is beginning to show signs of slowing down, but grocery stores are still a major source of financial pain in our lives. But to continue to get all the sources of nutrition you need, there are few things to consider.
Foods that last a long time in stores and are easy to transport – including root vegetables such as onions, potatoes, carrots – will always be cheaper in the wintertime. Don’t forget about canned and frozen foods, which can be just as nutritious. And one thing to keep in mind is reducing your food waste to help your wallet: One study shows the typical Canadian household throws out $1,800 in food a year because it went bad, they got sick of the leftovers or other reasons.
- Also read: Look beyond grocers such as Loblaw: Food insecurity is going to get a lot worse
TODAY’S LONG READ
Going abroad? These nine spirits and wines are worth bringing back home with you
Whether you are going to California, Italy or Ohio, there is a beverage you can bring back that will be a special souvenir. Christopher Waters has compiled a guide to hyper-local gems and hard-to-come by limited releases that deserve a spot in your (checked) baggage.
More travel reads: Teeing off by the Sea of Cortez in Cabos
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.