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Constellation Brands to invest $5-billion to boost stake in Canopy Growth

Constellation Brands, marketer of Corona beer and Kim Crawford wines, is pumping $5-billion into Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth to accelerate its international expansion plans, Jeffrey Jones writes. The deal cements the link between the global alcoholic-beverage giant, with all of its marketing and deal-making expertise, and the marijuana sector, where recreational use is winning legitimacy in Canada and elsewhere.

The deal lifts Constellation’s stake in Canopy to 38 per cent, marking the largest single investment in the legal marijuana sector to date. Constellation is paying $48.60 a share, a 51-per-cent premium to Tuesday’s closing price on the TSX. Canopy stock surged 31 per cent today, closing at $42.20 on the day. (for subscribers)

B.C. declares state of emergency over wildfires

The British Columbia government has declared a state of emergency in response to the hundreds of wildfires burning across the province. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the state of emergency applies to the entire province and ensures federal, provincial and local resources can be delivered in a co-ordinated manner. The province says 566 wildfires were burning across B.C. as of yesterday, with evacuation orders covering more than 1,500 properties and affecting about 3,000 people.

Federal government to declare statutory holiday to mark painful residential-school legacy

The federal government is consulting with Indigenous groups before declaring a national statutory holiday to mark the painful legacy of Canada’s Indian residential schools, Gloria Galloway writes. The main sticking point has been choosing a date for the annual event. The Assembly of First Nations initially said the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation should be on June 21, which is National Indigenous Peoples Day. But the government was concerned that would be too close to St. Jean Baptiste Day, celebrated on June 24 in Quebec, and Canada Day, celebrated nationally on July 1.

After becoming a federal statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation would grant a day off work for federal employees. Provinces and territories would then have to amend their own labour codes if they choose to similarly commemorate the history of the residential schools.

Ontario government freezes salaries of public sector executives

The Ontario government has suspended salary increases for public-sector senior executives, including those at school boards, universities, colleges and hospitals, effectively reinstating a wage freeze that has been in place for the better part of a decade, Caroline Alphonso writes. The salary restrictions will be in effect until a review of the compensation program for executives is completed by June, 2019, according to a directive obtained by The Globe and Mail. Executives are those entitled to receive $100,000 or more in a calendar year.

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Equities around the world took a dive today, with emerging market stocks set to confirm a bear market and the U.S. dollar hitting a 13-month high.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index fell 182.17 points, or 1.12 per cent, to 16,148.50, posting its biggest daily percentage decline since June. The energy sector dropped 3.7 per cent on a weakening global economic growth outlook and a report of rising U.S. crude inventories. The healthcare sector rose 12.2 per cent, boosted by shares of Canopy Growth, which jumped 31.3 per cent after Constellation Brands said it was boosting its stake in the cannabis producer.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 137.51 points to 25,162.41, the S&P 500 lost 21.59 points to close at 2,818.37 and the Nasdaq Composite ended at 7,774.12, 96.78 points lower.

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Thrill-seekers will be queuing up at Canada’s Wonderland next year as the amusement park located north of Toronto is set to feature a record-setting roller coaster when it opens for the 2019 season. Yukon Striker will zip along more than 1,100 metres of mountainous track and include a 90-degree, 75-metre drop into an underwater tunnel. Canada’s Wonderland says the ride will claim several world records, including the longest, tallest and fastest dive coaster at 130 kilometres an hour.


Removing my statue of John A. Macdonald from view is not going to change our history

“We need to understand our history, we need to acknowledge the misery wrought by colonialism and the continuing suffering it caused. Might it be that, if that took place, my sculpture might then be viewed as representing not the oppressor, but as the human, the humanity in us all, sharing the shame and sorrow and requesting forgiveness? So far, this discussion and coming-together is not happening. The mayor’s action has cemented people’s positions, sides are taken, accusations are bandied, political points are made. Personally, I would love to be part of the discussion and, if possible, part of a solution.” - John Dann, sculptor, whose statue of Sir John A. Macdonald was recently removed from view in Victoria

Prayers aren’t enough to end child sex abuse in the Catholic Church

“The reality, however, is that the church will almost certainly continue to regard loving same-sex relationships as sinful, will never ordain women, and as Roman Catholicism is based on absolute central authority, will not genuinely empower the laity. Abuse exists everywhere there is a power imbalance, and the church is not unique. But unless we admit that child sexual abuse within Roman Catholicism is due to systemic problems rather than human failing, the obscenity will not stop. Prayers simply aren’t enough.” - Michael Coren, columnist and broadcaster, and author of Epiphany: A Christian’s Change of Heart and Mind Over Same-Sex Marriage

The U.S. economy roars, but will it save Trump?

“The economy is Donald Trump’s best hope – maybe his only hope – to succeed. But while the glowing numbers are gaining him some applause, they’re not translating to support. Having learned from bitter experience, the Democrats can tell him that a humming economy isn’t necessarily a big vote-getter. The growth rate under Mr. Obama was much, much like today’s going into the midterm elections in 2014. The Democrats were badly beaten. Bill Clinton left the economy in golden condition in 2000, but the Democrats were defeated that year by George W. Bush. The recovering economy didn’t prevent Hillary Clinton from losing – in the electoral college – to Mr. Trump.” - Lawrence Martin

Bayer gets a lesson in ‘buyer beware' after Monsanto cancer ruling

“Genetic engineering in agriculture has been a divisive issue for years now. Biotech companies, including Monsanto and Bayer, have been selling agricultural chemicals to farmers for decades, but have only recently started to engage with the public. By the time the sector realized it had never really received a ‘social licence’ from the public to operate, it was too late, at least for Monsanto. Words such as ‘Monsatan’ and ‘Frankenfoods’ were already widely used in media and social culture. Still, some studies suggest that most consumers are not capable of explaining what genetic engineering is, nor how it relates to agriculture.” - Sylvain Charlebois


How do I practise deep breathing?

Deep breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety when you are feeling overwhelmed. The exercise lowers your heart rate and blood pressure within just a few minutes, Dave McGinn writes. Find a comfortable position – it could be sitting on a chair or lying on your back – in a quiet place where you can focus free of noise or distraction. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Take a deep, slow breath in through your nose. As you breathe in, you’ll feel your hand rise with your stomach. Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were blowing out a lot of candles on a cake. You can practise any time, whether it’s between meetings on a busy day or waiting at a red light on your way home from work.


Renovation nightmare: Lack of quality contractors leaves Toronto homeowners in a bind

The first sign that Isabel Freire’s renovation job would be a challenge was when her basement flooded after a simple plumbing fix, Salmaan Farooqui writes. The plumber let two apprentices do a piping job without any supervision, she said, and they didn’t notice a three-foot crack in the waste pipe because they didn’t check their work before going home.

When her contractor started the full gutting of her house in Toronto’s east end, the problems started piling up. They didn’t lay down mats on the floor while doing her drywall job, so the wood floors were ruined. Tiling in the kitchen was so uneven that people stubbed their toes on raised tiles. The subcontractors didn’t use proper tools to cut the corner tiles, so some tiles were entirely replaced with grout instead.

Many contractors and homeowners say issues such as Ms. Freire’s are rampant because Toronto’s hot real estate market incentivizes people to renovate the homes they own instead of moving. The high demand creates long waits for reputable contractors – sometimes as long as a year – giving less experienced contractors a chance to get into the market.

I’m proud of (and embarrassed by) my old car

“The car is more than twice as old as my children, which means that most of their friends have never seen anything like it on the roads. When I drive their friends around they are entirely perplexed that I have to first unlock my own door, then get in, then lean across the seat to pull up the lock on their door before they can get in. They are used to lunging for a door handle the moment they hear the unlocking chirp from the key fob. ‘Can you please lower my window?’ they ask innocently from the back seat. ‘Nope. I can’t. But you can do it yourself.’ After a few uncertain moments, the friend leans over to my kid and whispers, ‘How?’ My kid will point to the window crank and demonstrate. One time, a friend opened his door while I was driving (not fast). He was shocked, pulled it shut and looked terrified. He never dreamed that any of the levers or cranks on his door would actually respond to him. He’d spent his life in a child-locked backseat safety-bubble.” - Leah Birnbaum

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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