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Canada Evening Update: Film company says interference by Ottawa to blame for funding decision on Huawei docudrama; federal leaders hit campaign trail ahead of first debate

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

Canadian film company alleges interference by Ottawa after CMF pulls funding on Huawei docudrama with ties to Stephen Bannon

A Canadian film company is accusing the federal government of interference after an arm’s-length regulator suspended funding for its completed docudrama about the row between Ottawa and Beijing over the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

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The Toronto production company, New Realm Studios, said Tuesday that the Canada Media Fund is in breach of a finalized contract and that Ottawa and the CMF are penalizing it for its association with former Donald Trump aide Stephen Bannon, who is helping with U.S. distribution.

According to New Realm, widely disseminated news of Bannon’s association with the docudrama prompted discussions between the federal government and the CMF, whose officials subsequently notified the producers of the suspension on Aug. 28.

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Federal election 2019: Court ruling on medically assisted death sparks right-to-die debate on campaign trail; Trudeau to be absent from tonight’s debate

With the first full day of campaigning under way Thursday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh went the furthest of the federal party leaders in response to a court decision striking down some restrictions to medically assisted deaths by pledging to improve access.

People who need to make the decision to seek an assisted death “for their dignity” should be able to make that choice, Singh said while speaking outside of a hospital in Brampton, Ont.

“Right now, the criteria being too narrow, doesn’t allow access to this decision for a lot of people," he said. “I am open to looking at ways to making sure the access is improved and that we do it in a way that respects the dignity of someone to make that choice.”

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Tonight, Singh and Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer will be attending a debate in Toronto evening hosted by Maclean’s and Citytv, alongside Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. The two-hour debate will be conducted in English and it will focus on four key themes: the economy, foreign policy, Indigenous issues, and energy and the environment. Trudeau will not take part in the debate (Here’s Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson’s take on that decision from last week: Why would Mr. Trudeau want to attend?).

Russia carries out mass raids on homes, offices of supporters of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny

Roughly 1,000 Russian police officers, some wearing masks and riot gear, raided more than 150 addresses affiliated with opposition leader Alexey Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation in Moscow and 40 other cities across the country today in what experts say is a massive effort to intimidate and punish those involved in recent political unrest. Officers confiscated computers and other equipment and told activists the raids were part of a money-laundering investigation.

As Mark MacKinnon reports from Moscow, the co-ordinated raids come just days after Navalny’s supporters showed their growing clout via a municipal election in Moscow, using strategic voting to oust several pro-Kremlin incumbents. Lyubov Sobol, a 31-year-old lawyer who emerged as a leader of the protest movement over the summer while Navalny was serving a 30-day jail sentence, used her Twitter account to warn that Russians needed to pay attention to what was happening. “If you believe that the security forces can only enter Navalny’s offices, then you are deeply mistaken,” she wrote.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Tonight: The Democratic leadership debate in Houston will have progressives, but virtually no moderates Is the principal goal of the Democrats to defeat Donald Trump, or is it to win long-desired political goals such as a Canada-style health-care plan? David Shribman sets up the contest.

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Hudson’s Bay posts deeper loss with streamlining efforts still in ‘early stages’: Hudson’s Bay Co. has reported steeper losses as it continues to close stores and sell off discounted merchandise in an effort to modernize the offerings of its Bay department store chain and reverse falling sales. The company has been pursuing a strategy of selling off underperforming stores and focusing on its Hudson’s Bay and Saks brands. Last month, the company announced it would sell its Lord & Taylor banner to fashion rental service Le Tote Inc. for $132.7-million, and HBC expects the deal to close before the holiday period.

Boris Johnson denies lying to Queen Elizabeth in Brexit crisis: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday denied lying to Queen Elizabeth over the reasons for suspending the British parliament after a court ruled his decision was unlawful and opponents called for lawmakers to be recalled to discuss Brexit.

All eyes on Connor McDavid’s rehabbed left knee as Edmonton Oilers begin camp: The Oilers’ star centre has been skating strong and, based on recent precamp practices, injury-free. But he is waiting on the final word from doctors on what his practice regimen will be, and whether he’s cleared for contact when players hit the ice Friday.

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index hit an intraday record high on Thursday before easing slightly, as investor confidence was boosted by financial shares, easing of tensions in the U.S.-China trade war and the European Central Bank’s move to cut rates. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 32.14 points to 16,643.28.

On Wall Street, stocks jumped and the S&P 500 came close to an all-time high on positive news on the U.S.-China trade front. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 47.11 points to 27,184.15, the S&P 500 gained 8.77 points to 3,009.7 and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.79 points to 8,194.47.

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TALKING POINTS

The Greens’ election chances are being torpedoed – by the Greens

Gary Mason: “The unity of Canada is not one of the Green’s core values? Are you kidding me? A party that actually imagines running the country does not have, as part of its central mandate, nurturing the health of one Canada? That is nuts.”

Eric Reguly: Will the European Central Bank’s stimulus package work? "Locking in ultraloose monetary policy for several more years may deliver a marginal, but only marginal, lift to the economy and to inflation, which is better than nothing. What would do a better job is a hefty spending package, notably from tightwad Germany, which considers running budget deficits a moral failing.”

LIVING BETTER

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It’s easy to walk into a ceramics store and feel that today’s pottery is either rustic, minimal or sappily sentimental. But a group of young porcelain artists are using technology like 3-D printing to explore unexpected themes from sex to climate change through bold porcelain pieces well-suited to contemporary interiors.

To read more stories from the latest edition of Style Advisor, download the full issue.

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Silicon Valley’s motor city: As big tech adds fuel to a housing crisis, poorer residents live in RVs

Silicon Valley is an economic marvel for its ability to churn out a dizzying array of new technology, but that success has a dark side: It has helped create a housing shortage so severe that nearly everyone agrees the region is in a crisis. As California-based U.S. correspondent Tamsin McMahon reports, rents in the Valley have risen 50 per cent since 2011, the median home price is in the millions and the consequence is lower-income residents have been pushed out of affordable housing. Many of the main arteries running through the heart of Silicon Valley are lined with row upon row of recreational vehicle, in which many minimum-wage service workers live. The housing crisis has raised a huge question for state and local governments: What happens when an economy is so successful that it churns out thousands more jobs than homes?

Evening Update was compiled by Kate Hopwood. 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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