Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Ontario confirms first coronavirus case in Canada; patient’s wife a presumptive case
A federal laboratory has confirmed Canada’s first case of the new coronavirus and is investigating a possible second, prompting Ontario to introduce new screening measures to protect paramedics responding to emergency calls. Health officials emphasized that the risk to the general population remains low.
Ontario is investigating an additional 19 patients for the new SARS-like coronavirus. The province has already cleared about 15 people, David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said on Monday.
The illness has been confirmed in a man in his 50s who recently travelled to Wuhan. He had a dry cough and muscle aches on the airplane home, and is in Sunnybrook hospital in stable condition. He called 911 the day after returning home and informed the operator of his symptoms and recent travel, which allowed paramedics to wear protective gear.
His wife is being treated as the province’s second presumptive case of the illness. The National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg will do tests to confirm the virus. She is said to have mild symptoms and is at home, where she has been in self-isolation since last week.
- Chinese authorities have locked down tens of millions of people in cities and towns around Wuhan, the city of 11 million where the virus is believed to have originated, in a market selling wild animals. On Sunday, a ban on all trade in wild animals came into effect.
- Schools in China have delayed the resumption of classes. And the government has extended the Lunar New Year holiday, known in China as the Spring Festival, until Feb. 2 in an effort to slow post-holiday travel, which could spread the virus. Widespread fear has prompted local officials across the country to establish regional and even village bans that have brought travel and commerce to a standstill far from Wuhan.
- Military medics and doctors have been rushed to Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Wuhan on Monday wearing a mask and medical gown. Only one airport in Hubei is open.
“We tend to be more fearful of new threats to our health, such as coronavirus, than of well-established ones, such as influenza, no matter how irrational that is. To date, there have been about 3,000 recorded cases of Wuhan coronavirus and 80 deaths. By comparison, three to five million people contract serious flu cases requiring hospitalization annuall,y and somewhere between 290,000 and 650,000 die. Yet both are respiratory illnesses spread in a similar fashion.” – André Picard
“This new coronavirus crisis, like SARS, underlines a systemic problem within China. The problem is that the priority attached to stability means that the state seeks to control all information.” – Frank Ching, Hong Kong-based journalist
“The hard lesson of SARS 17 years ago is this: Complacency about public health by successive governments – including my own – contributed to the challenge of containing SARS. Some of the lessons learned from SARS have better prepared us for another outbreak.” – Tony Clement, Ontario minister of health during the SARS outbreak in 2003
This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you by someone else, you can sign up for Evening Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters here. If you like what you see, please share with your friends.
Kobe Bryant’s helicopter flew in dangerous fog that grounded other choppers before fatal crash
The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others that crashed into a rugged hillside outside Los Angeles was flying in foggy conditions considered dangerous enough that local police agencies grounded their choppers.
The helicopter plunged into a steep hillside at about 9:45 a.m. on Sunday with an impact that killed all aboard, including the 41-year-old Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The accident unleashed an outpouring of grief from admirers who mourned the sudden loss of the all-time basketball great who spent his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Thousands of fans, many wearing Bryant jerseys and chanting his name, gathered outside the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, home of the Lakers and site of Sunday’s Grammy Awards, where Bryant was honoured.
Opinion: “All great athletes have confidence. Mr. Bryant was stitched together from nothing but. Which is why his death on Sunday in a helicopter crash at the age of 41 is so jarring. He didn’t seem like the sort of person who would tolerate an untimely death, however ill-fated.” – Cathal Kelly
Ontario’s public elementary school teachers plan one-day strike if no deal reached with province
Ontario’s public elementary teachers will hold a one-day provincewide strike on Feb. 6 and rotating strikes throughout next week unless a deal is reached with the provincial government, their union says. The full withdrawal of services next Thursday would come amid the rotating strikes and work-to-rule campaign that the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has been staging across the province.
In a memo to its members on Monday, ETFO said the provincewide strike would be accompanied by a week of rotating strikes that would hit every public board on a certain day next week. That means public elementary schools would be shut down for two days next week.
All the main education unions in the province are involved in some type of job action, from work-to-rule to one-day walkouts, as contract talks stall and tensions with the provincial government escalate. ETFO is the largest education union in the province with 83,000 members. The full-day strike would most likely shutter all elementary schools, sending parents scrambling for child care.
Erin O’Toole launches bid for Conservative leadership
The Ontario MP officially launched his campaign in Calgary on Monday. In the face of intense economic anxiety and growing alienation in Canada’s oil-rich Prairie provinces, the Conservatives are looking at the prospect of a leadership race with no prominent voices from the Tory heartland.
Mr. O’Toole launched his campaign with a video, promising to “unite Conservatives on the path to victory.” His low-key start comes follows former cabinet minister Peter MacKay’s official entrance into the race on Saturday. Other candidates include Ontario MPs Marilyn Gladu and Derek Sloan. Conservatives are set to pick their new leader at a convention in Toronto on June 27.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Janet Bannister becomes first woman to lead one of Canada’s largest early-stage venture-capital firms
Ms. Bannister, former global manager of eBay Inc.'s classified service Kijiji, has been named managing partner of Real Ventures. Ms. Bannister has built a loyal fan base in the Canadian tech and venture ecosystems with a reputation for nurturing founders as they grow digital businesses. While a growing number of women are launching and running venture firms in Canada, few are promoted within the male-dominated industry to take the chief executive-level position.
Britain set to give Huawei limited role in supplying 5G network
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to defy U.S. President Donald Trump and allow Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to supply components for Britain’s 5G wireless network on a restricted basis. Mr. Johnson has come under intense pressure from President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials to ban Huawei equipment from the next generation of cellphone networks. The British government is expected to announce its decision on Tuesday after a meeting of the National Security Council, which is expected to approve the use of Huawei equipment in non-core parts of the wireless network, such as antennas and base stations.
Canada’s main stock index dropped significantly, suffering its worst day in nearly four months as fears set in that global economic growth will be hit by the effects of the coronavirus in China. U.S. stocks were also reeling due to concerns about the virus outbreak. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down at 17,442.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.57 per cent to 28,535.8, the S&P 500 lost 1.57 per cent to 3,243.63 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.89 per cent to 9,139.31.
Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes income stock picks, a top dividend driver and the best Canadian equity ETFs.
Grammys turn tragedy and turmoil into triumph
“Struggling for relevancy and threatened by something akin to an artist mutiny, the Grammys rallied. Led by host Alicia Keys, the musicians took over the asylum and defied the cloud of rancour and controversy that hung over the lead-up to the ceremony.” – Brad Wheeler
Older, longer: The super-aging of Canadians has taken everyone by surprise
“Worst of all, because the boomers were also the first generation to stop having enough children to replace themselves, there are fewer young people available to look after the old. Every generation is having fewer children than the generation before. Things are going to be even harder for Generation X. And harder still for the millennials.” – John Ibbitson
Five nutritious fruits you should add to your winter diet
You should include two or three servings of whole fruit (not juice) in your diet each day, year-round. That equals one medium-sized fruit or one cup of berries or fruit salad. But how do you accomplish that in winter, when as many fresh fruits aren’t available? There are still plenty of healthy and flavourful options, writes dietitian Leslie Beck. Find out why she recommends making space in your winter diet for grapefruit, pomegranate seeds, clementines, kiwifruit and apples.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
We must not forget the Holocaust. But the way we remember will change
“This month, we mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest and most infamous of the Nazi’s death camps,” writes Erna Paris, the author of several books including Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History. “It will no doubt be a time of sombre reflection and analysis – and a pointer to whatever trends may be emerging with regard to Holocaust memory. For the world’s reaction to this seminal 20th-century event has been evolving from the very start. And it has been fraught with controversy.” Read the full story here.