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Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:

Ottawa police say more officers will be deployed downtown as thousands of protesters are expected this weekend

Police in the nation’s capital will be deploying an additional 150 police officers throughout downtown Ottawa as part of a new strategy to manage the occupying demonstrators and restore a shaken trust with residents as more protesters are expected to arrive this weekend.

Meanwhile, in Toronto, two hospitals near Ontario’s legislature have cancelled a small number of appointments and Toronto police are shutting nearby roads in anticipation of Saturday’s planned protest against COVID-19 measures.

And in Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney says his government will announce next week a date to end Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine passport, with the actual cancellation coming soon after that. Kenney said he will also announce next week a phased approach to end almost all COVID-19 health restrictions by the end of the month provided the pressure on hospitals continues to decline.

  • Editorial: “As soon as you start trampling on the freedom of others, you’ve crossed from a legally protected assembly to an illegal one.”
  • A visual guide to the protests in Ottawa

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Beijing Winter Olympics: Opening ceremony short but spectacular in the shadow of politics, COVID-19

The Olympics officially began today with a short but technically spectacular opening ceremony in the Bird’s Nest, the iconic stadium that also hosted the start of the 2008 Summer Games.

Skate Canada is doing all it can to get its top male skater to Beijing, but Keegan Messing has already missed one event and, as he is isolates in Vancouver, the clock is ticking on his Olympic dream.

Olympics Newsletter: Sign up for your Beijing Olympics Update. Get the latest from the games delivered each day into your inbox.

The Ukraine standoff

Among all the clues about Russia’s military intent toward Ukraine, the weeks-long journey of six amphibious landing ships that have been circling Europe is among the most menacing. Mark Mackinnon reports from Odessa, where a local patrol boar commander insisted it was business as usual, despite the war clouds gathering over the Black Sea.

And in a meeting with Vladimir Putin in Beijing earlier today, Chinese President Xi Jinping joined the Russian leader in calling on NATO to “abandon the ideological approaches of the Cold War era.”


Emmanuel Macron heads to Moscow to meet with Putin amid Ukraine tension

The French president will meet with his Russian counterpart on Monday hoping to ensure Europe gets a say in broader U.S.-Russian negotiations over Ukraine. It will also be a chance for Macron to showcase his leadership credentials ahead of his expected re-election bid in April, while trying to get concessions from Putin, especially in talks to end the pro-Russian separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

Canadian employment plummets in January with Omicron spread

The country lost 200,000 jobs last month, the first decline in employment since May. Job losses were worse than expected and the effects went well beyond layoffs. During the week of Jan. 9 to 15, roughly 1.6 million people were employed but worked less than half their usual hours. One in 10 employees were absent from work for all or part of that week due to illness or disability – a record portion and about one-third higher than a typical January.


The S & P/TSX composite index closed up 177.84 points to 21,271.85.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 21.42 points at 35,089.74. The S & P 500 index was up 23.09 points at 4,500.53, while the Nasdaq composite was up 219.19 points at 14,098.01.

The Canadian dollar traded for 78.38 cents US compared with 78.87 cents US on Thursday.

The March crude oil contract was up US$2.04 at US$92.31 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down 31.6 cents at US$4.57 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was up US$3.70 at US$1,807.80 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 1.65 cents at nearly US$4.49 a pound.

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O’Toole pushed around caucus, as leaders always have. He didn’t count on caucus pushing back

Andrew Coyne: “After this, any future Conservative leader will be on notice: treat the caucus with respect, or face the same fate as Mr. O’Toole. The example having been set, it is not inconceivable that members of other party caucuses may one day demand a similar measure of respect.”

Already, it looks like no Conservative will be able to challenge Pierre Poilievre

Campbell Clark: “He has made himself into the standard-bearer of the populist right of the party – promising to fight for those folks – and now they are calling his name.”

Why we need graphic Holocaust narratives like Maus

Natalie Fingerhut and Charlotte Schallié: “The reasons for banning Maus, as articulated by school board members, are deeply flawed, and of course, have little to do with the real issues at stake: the rewriting of history; the undermining rhetoric arguing that “it wasn’t really that bad,” which so often leads to Holocaust distortion and denial; the overemphasis on the minority of Germans who stood up against the Nazis, even though the vast majority stayed silent as millions were killed.” Natalie Fingerhut is the editor of the New Jewish Press, an imprint of the University of Toronto Press. Charlotte Schallié is a professor at the University of Victoria and the editor of But I Live: Three Stories of Child Survivors of the Holocaust.


How streaming turned Toronto into studio city extraordinaire

Five years ago, Ontario had 2.1 million square feet of stage space and any production that wanted to shoot here could find a venue. Today the province has 3.7 million sq. ft., and everyone has a tale about a production that was squeezed out and had to decamp to points south. Meanwhile, Toronto is racing to add more space. And then the streaming services arrived, with viewers who demand constant content because they inhale entire series in three-day bursts, and that took Toronto from booming to beyond.

One hundred years after his tomb was discovered, Tutankhamun’s afterlife continues

With the centenary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb set to make news this year, will we ever get tired of King Tut?

Probably not, but the reasons have more to do with modern history than with his short-lived reign about 3,350 years ago. Events to mark the 2022 anniversary will try to recapture the allure, but amid the hype, it’s worth asking who benefits – and whose histories the Tutankhamun industry has failed to tell.


The realities of renting

“Compared with the attention given to home ownership, renting is a black hole of neglect,” says Rob Carrick as he dives into the results of an informal poll of Globe readers. More than 5,200 renters provided feedback and Rob Carrick sifts through the highlights, with commentary.

Evening Update is written and compiled by Andrew Saikali. 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.