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

The federal government tabled legislation on Thursday to delay until next year an expansion of Canada’s medical assistance in dying law to allow mental illness as a sole condition.

The MAID legislation was set to expand this March, a change that would have made the country’s euthanasia rules one of the broadest in the world.

The one-year delay was tabled after months of controversy revealed divisions among psychiatrists, who would be needed to approve mental-health patients for an assisted death, as well as concerns from a number of mental-health and disability organizations.

Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks during a news conference, Feb. 2, 2023 in Ottawa.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Russia plans major offensive to mark war anniversary, Ukraine warns

Russia is mobilizing a huge contingent of troops and is planning an offensive to coincide with the first anniversary of the war on Feb. 24, Ukraine’s Defence Minister says.

Speaking Wednesday evening on the French news channel BFM TV during a visit to Paris, Oleksii Reznikov said the Ukraine military believes that the number of Russian troops amassing along the border and in occupied territories is approaching 500,000 – far more than the general mobilization of 300,000 that Russia revealed in September.

He said the Russian offensive probably would come from Ukraine’s east, the scene of intensive fighting in recent weeks, and the south.

Emergency workers search for survivors at a Russian missile strike site in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine on Feb. 2, 2023.LYNSEY ADDARIO /The New York Times News Service

Impoverished nurses are barred from leaving Zimbabwe, despite shortages of health workers abroad

It’s a story happening all over Zimbabwe. Nurses know there are opportunities in countries like Canada and Britain that suffer from chronic shortages of health workers. Many are desperate to emigrate. Zimbabwe’s authoritarian government, however, makes it almost impossible for most to leave.

Canada has been enduring a shortage of nurses for years. British Columbia alone was reported to have more than 5,300 unfilled positions in the nursing sector late last year. Governments have tried to recruit foreign-trained nurses to fill the gap, but countries such as Zimbabwe do not make it easy.

While the Zimbabwean government has never officially explained the restrictions on the documents that nurses need, it is believed to be an attempt to halt the exodus of health workers. More than 4,000 health workers, including about 2,600 nurses, left the country in 2021 and 2022.

Health workers led by nurses take part in a demonstration over poor salaries at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare on June, 21, 2022.Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/The Associated Press

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BMO’s U.S. expansion begins, with a focus on cost cutting and capitalizing on California’s hot economy: The largest purchase of a U.S. bank by a Canadian lender hit a few snags along the way. Bank of Montreal had to drum up more money than planned and the closing date was pushed into 2023 as regulatory hurdles weighed on the deal.

First Nations seek billions for broken treaty, but Ontario says it owes no money: Indigenous communities are in court seeking billions of dollars in compensation after almost 150 years of receiving small annual payments in return for ceding an area the size of France. But the Ontario government is arguing they are owed nothing, or at most $34-million.

Experts temper hope for new FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug: Lecanemab, marketed under the brand name Leqembi, is the second Alzheimer’s drug to receive U.S. regulatory approval in two decades.

Rogers profit jumps 25% as wireless gains fuel revenue growth: Rogers Communications Inc. boosted its fourth-quarter profit by 25 per cent to $508-million as it generated more revenue from its wireless division and trimmed costs in its cable business.

Ontario commits to sharing data with Ottawa: The Ontario government says it supports Ottawa’s call for national healthcare data reporting as part of a coming funding deal with the provinces and territories.


Canada’s main stock index shored itself up against losses in the energy sector for the second day in a row, while U.S. markets were mixed.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 10.61 points at 20,740.44.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 39.02 points at 34,053.94.The S&P 500 index was up 60.55 points at 4,179.76, while the Nasdaq composite was up 384.50 points at 12,200.82.

The Canadian dollar traded for 75.12 cents US compared with 75.07 cents US on Wednesday.

The March crude contract was down 53 cents at US$75.88 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down a penny at US$2.46 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$12.00 at US$1,930.80 an ounce and the March copper contract was down two cents at US$4.09 a pound.

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Canadian police’s condemnations of the killing of Tyre Nichols amount to a cynical bit of PR

“Tyre Nichols’s assailants were wearing body cameras. That didn’t stop them from beating him up. So it’s curious that police chiefs from across Canada felt the need to promptly denounce the killing of Mr. Nichols – all the better, it seems, to direct attention to American jurisdictions, and away from any issues here at home.” – Erica Ifill

The jarring echo in a recent Pierre Poilievre speech

“I think it should be a rule that any person that a politician cites in a speech for political ends should be verifiable. If you’re attempting to embarrass and discredit the Prime Minister of this country, then you should have to back it up. You should have the ability to prove that the person you are using as a political prop actually exists.” – Gary Mason

The West needs to take a ‘Big Bang’ approach to helping Ukraine win

“There are no signs that Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite his spectacular failure to realize any of his military objectives, has grown tired of losing. Mr. Putin is playing a long game, figuring he can wait it out until Western leaders lose their nerve in the face of Ukraine’s endless demands for more military and economic aid.” – Konrad Yakabuski


Casseroles are cool again: Feed a crowd with these one-pot dishes for breakfast, dinner and dessert

Think of casseroles as the new sheet pan dinners. From daytime TV cooking segments to viral recipes (a simple baked feta pasta has racked up millions of views on TikTok), the oven-baked one-dish meal is back. Historically, casseroles – which refers to both the prepared dish and the vessel in which it is cooked – were used to stretch dollars while using modern convenience foods during times of economic depression. If you had a pan, a can and a plan, you likely had a casserole.

These days if you’re making a casserole as a nutritious meal that’ll feed the family, it’s about a nice balance of vegetables, carbohydrates and protein. While the casseroles of yore have often played second fiddle to the centre of the plate, these are the main event, full of fresher ingredients and heartwarming flavours. From breakfast to dessert, the once-humble casserole is ready for its close-up.


A journalist returns to the mountains after a near-death ski experience

Clockwise from top left: Simon Akam follows Swiss ski instructor Bartek Pelczarski down a run with the village of Chandolin in the background, Jan. 24, 2023. Simon Akam follows ski instructor Bartek Pelczarski above Chandolin, Jan. 24, 2023. Christophe Hagin, a Swiss ski instructor who runs the ski school in Chandolin, follows behind Simon Akam below the summit of the Ilhorn peak above the village, Jan. 24, 2023. Simon Akam (centre) flanked by Swiss ski instructors Bartek Pelczarski (L) and Christophe Hagin (R) above Chandolin, Jan. 24, 2023. Simon Akam pauses skis above Chandolin, Jan. 24, 2023. Simon Akam (centre right) skiing with the daughter of his Swiss exchange family, Chandolin, Christmas 1996-97.Illustration by Photo illustration by The Globe and Mail

After a brush with death on Mt. Elbrus in 2017, writer Simon Akam came up with a plan: He would return to the mountains to properly master the art of ski mountaineering and compete in the the Patrouille des Glaciers, a ski-mountaineering race that takes place every two years across the backbone of the Swiss Alps. The full course entails an alarming 57.5 horizontal kilometres, and over 4,000 metres of vertical climb.

To prepare for the race, Akam is training in a tiny village in Switzerland, and he’s documenting his progress every week for The Globe. Here, we track his journey.

Evening Update is written by Emerald Bensadoun. 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.