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

On the election trail, Singh and Trudeau vow crackdown on hospital protests

With one week to go before the federal election next Monday, party leaders are denouncing a series of protests at hospitals nationwide against pandemic-related restrictions today. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh vowing criminal sanctions to dissuade similar gatherings in the future if his party is elected to govern.

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Hours after Singh spoke, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau outlined an identical pledge of criminal sanctions for anyone blocking access to hospitals, vaccine clinics, testing centres, pharmacies and abortion clinics, and those intimidating or harassing health-care workers.

Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said the planned protests are “completely unacceptable,” calling for unity even as he denounced Trudeau with sharpened personal attacks.

Read more:

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Activist investor TCI turns up heat on CN, proposes slate of directors

Activist investor TCI Fund Management has increased pressure on Canadian National Railway, unveiling a slate of four people it wants to join the railway’s board in a meeting to be called “shortly.”

The move by CN’s second-largest investor comes one day after Kansas City Southern Railway terminated CN’s takeover agreement in favour of an offer from Canadian Pacific Railway.

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CN acknowledged TCI’s press release but said it has yet to receive an official request for a shareholders’ meeting.

Wilson-Raybould says Trudeau should let RCMP probe possible obstruction of justice in SNC-Lavalin affair

Former federal minister of justice and attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould is calling on the Liberal government to remove roadblocks to a long-standing RCMP inquiry into possible obstruction of justice in the SNC-Lavalin affair. She also said in an interview with The Globe that she is not surprised that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau denied urging her to lie about a pressure campaign to subvert the criminal prosecution.

In her memoirs, ‘Indian’ in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power, Wilson-Raybould recounts detailed private conversations with Trudeau in the final days before her resignation from cabinet, as well as months of intense lobbying by senior advisers in the Prime Minister’s Office to drop the SNC-Lavalin prosecution.

The latest COVID-19 developments: School outbreaks and vaccination requirements

Three Toronto schools have confirmed COVID-19 cases, the latest to report infections less than a week after Ontario students returned to class with looser pandemic restrictions. And for the first time since the start of the pandemic Prince Edward Island is declaring a COVID-19 school outbreak.

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In Alberta, nine universities and colleges say they are ramping up COVID-19 measures by making vaccination a requirement to enter their campuses. The schools, which include University of Alberta and University of Calgary, say rapid testing will no longer be accepted as an alternative, except for those who cannot be vaccinated because of medical or other reasons.

Read more: What you need to know about COVID-19 immunity, third doses and booster shots

Explainer: What do I need to know about the Mu variant and other COVID-19 variants in Canada?

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Amazon’s Canadian hiring spree: Amazon Canada is hiking wages as it seeks to hire 15,000 new warehouse and distribution workers against the backdrop of a labour market that has been dramatically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Court filing in Prince Andrew lawsuit: Britain’s Prince Andrew plans to challenge a U.S. court’s jurisdiction over a civil lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of sexually assaulting and battering her two decades ago, according to a court filing. Giuffre has said she was also abused by financier Jeffrey Epstein.

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Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles to testify: U.S. Olympic champion Simone Biles will be one of several renowned gymnasts who will testify before a U.S. Senate panel this week, as it explores how the FBI botched its investigation into disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

MARKET WATCH

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended higher today, snapping a five-day losing streak as investors focused on potential corporate tax hikes and upcoming economic data. The TSX also closed in positive territory, its first gain since prior to the Labour Day holiday, with the energy sector getting a boost from higher oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 261.91 points or 0.76 per cent to 34,869.63, the S&P 500 gained 10.15 points or 0.23 per cent to 4,468.73 and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 9.91 points or 0.07 per cent to 15,105.58.

The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 33.35 points or 0.16 per cent to 20,666.41.

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TALKING POINTS

Who will pay for the pandemic? Don’t ask our politicians

“No one is saying that paying off hundreds of billions of dollars in pandemic debt would be easy, painless or quick. But no one is even talking about trying.” - David Parkinson

At U.S. Open, New York finally falls for Novak Djokovic, even in loss to Daniil Medvedev

“You should have heard the roars as Djokovic came in. You should have seen the stars who showed up to watch. You should have realized this would go terribly wrong.” - Cathal Kelly

LIVING BETTER

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More than two-thirds of us are not eating the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended in Canada’s food guide, according to new research. Here are some strategies to get more of these nutritional powerhouses into your diet. They include:

  • Get them ready in advance. To speed up mealtime, prep vegetables when you get them home from the market or store.
  • Don’t overlook frozen. When fresh produce isn’t in season, frozen options are a good investment.

TODAY’S LONG READ

I’m learning how to live in my empty nest

I didn’t think that I’d been “that mother,” one of the helicopter or tiger ones. I worked, happily and successfully, throughout their childhoods. I had a profession and a career. Sure, I volunteered, officiated, chauffeured, baked, sewed costumes, fundraised, ran meetings and clubs, and baked some more. But I also had my own interests, hobbies and friendships (most of which started in the schoolyard, but so what?). I liked to think I was a supportive and nurturing mother, but I didn’t live and breathe their every move, every test, every triumph or tragedy.

Years ago when we dropped the oldest off for the first time at McGill University, I inadvertently started a tradition. We said our somewhat emotional goodbyes on the street corner, just outside the main gates. As the car pulled away from the curb, I spontaneously rolled my window down, leaned out, threw both arms in the air and whooped joyously. Both my lost-looking son and solemn husband were stunned. But that’s what I felt: joy, triumph and satisfaction! Hurray for me! I had done my job as a mother.

In September, 2019, I did it for the last time. But mere weeks later, I wasn’t whooping. I was unnerved. The house echoed. It had never been so continuously tidy. I went six days without doing laundry; three days without running the dishwasher. I’d baked virtually every cookie recipe I knew and the freezer was bursting (as were my jeans). No one needed my help with math, my opinion on current news or my advice on the new girl in the class. I felt like I’d lost my identity. Read Kristy Brundage’s full essay here.

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