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

First Canadian evacuation flight departs coronavirus epicentre in China

Ottawa says an evacuation flight carrying an estimated 194 Canadians and permanent residents has departed Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

The flight will land in Vancouver for refueling before heading to Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ont., where passengers will be placed under quarantine for 14 days.

Another 50 Canadians were expected to board a U.S. flight in Wuhan tonight. A second Canadian charter flight is scheduled to leave Wuhan on Monday, evacuating the remaining Canadians who wish to leave Hubei province.

In Canada, monitoring for the coronavirus is shifting into a new phase, focusing on people returning from areas of China that haven’t been quarantined, top provincial and federal medical officials said today.

Meanwhile, on the cruise ship under quarantine off the coast of Japan, more people have tested positive for the coronavirus, including two Canadians.

And in China, authorities have created snitch lines and promised cash rewards for information on visitors from virus-stricken locations as the country’s efforts to constrain an epidemic move into harsher territory.

Also, a Chinese doctor who got in trouble with authorities for sounding an early warning about the outbreak has died after coming down with the coronavirus, a hospital reported.

Context: Keep up to date with developments and catch up on the background of the coronavirus with our explainer here.

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Google plans to triple Canadian work force across Toronto, Montreal and Kitchener, Ont.

Google plans to more than triple its work force in Canada over the next three years to as many as 5,000 employees across Toronto, Montreal and the Kitchener-Waterloo region. The expansion will include three new offices, the company says, including the one in Kitchener, which has already been announced:

  • The Kitchener operations will grow to as many as 3,000 employees, with a new facility across the street from its current office. It will hire staff there to join its cloud services, Gmail, Chrome browser and other teams.
  • Montreal team will expand to as many as 1,000 employees in an office on Avenue Viger Ouest as it builds out a previously announced development studio for its gaming service, Stadia.
  • In Toronto, operations will be based in a new building near King and Yonge streets, housing as many as 1,000 people in cloud, artificial-intelligence and sales and marketing teams.

Opinion: How Canada is building momentum for tech heavyweights - Ruth Porat, senior vice-president and chief financial officer, Alphabet and Google.

Smoke billows up from a derailed Canadian Pacific Railway train near Guernsey, Sask. (Photo by Matt Smith/The Canadian Press)Matt Smith/The Canadian Press

Garneau orders speed restrictions after fiery train derailment in Saskatchewan

Federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau has announced speed restrictions on trains carrying dangerous goods after a derailment near Guernsey, Sask., on Thursday caused a dozen tankers carrying crude oil to catch fire.

About 85 residents were evacuated from nearby homes. The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency said there were no injuries after the train jumped the tracks about 6:15 a.m.

The order will require trains with 20 or more cars with dangerous goods to reduce speeds to no more than 40 kilometres an hour. It will stay in effect for the next 30 days.

RCMP enforce court injunction against opponents of Coastal GasLink’s pipeline project on Wet’suwet’en territory

RCMP have moved in to enforce a court injunction against people who say they are defending the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s traditional territory and opposing Coastal GasLink’s pipeline construction in northern British Columbia.

The Unist’ot’en camp said on its website that RCMP had arrested six people early Thursday. Unist’ot’en is affiliated with Dark House, one of 13 Wet’suwet’en hereditary house groups.

The arrests came hours after RCMP held a news conference to say that officers would soon be enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court order that extended an injunction against blockades on a logging road that leads to construction sites for Coastal GasLink’s $6.6-billion pipeline project.

Context: Wet’suwet’en chiefs vs. Coastal GasLink: A guide to the dispute over a B.C. pipeline


Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory.

Kirk Douglas dies: Kirk Douglas, the cleft-chinned movie star who fought gladiators, cowboys and boxers on the screen and the Hollywood establishment behind the scenes, has died at age 103, his son Michael Douglas said.

Madoff seeks early release: Bernard Madoff, 81, says he is dying and is seeking to end his 150-year prison sentence for masterminding what prosecutors have called the largest Ponzi scheme ever.

BCE taps Nokia for 5G, boosts dividend: Bell parent company BCE says it will use equipment supplied by Nokia to start building out its fifth-generation wireless networks as it awaits the outcome of a federal cybersecurity review into Huawei Technologies. BCE is also hiking its quarterly dividend by 4 cents.

Saputo closing two plants: Saputo says it will close facilities in Trenton, Ont., this September and Saint John in January next year, affecting about 280 employees.

NBA’s Andrew Wiggins traded: Just ahead of the National Basketball Association trade deadline, the Minnesota Timberwolves swapped Vaughan, Ont.'s Andrew Wiggins for D’Angelo Russell of the Golden State Warriors, sources say.

Rolling Stones to play Vancouver: The Rolling Stones have announced tour dates in 15 North American cities, including a sole Canadian stop at Vancouver’s BC Place on May 12.


World equity markets rallied for a fourth day, with key stock indexes touching fresh peaks, as news that China plans to cut tariffs in half on some U.S. goods buoyed risk sentiment and pushed safe-haven currencies lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 88.92 points to 29,379.77, the S&P 500 gained 11.09 points to 3,345.78 and the Nasdaq Composite added 63.47 points to end at 9,572.15.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX was closed up 105.90 points at 17,7575.49, despite a drop in the energy sector as crude prices slipped.

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Why Tory leadership hopefuls aren’t talking about climate change

“It’s because this group is trying to win over the party base, not the nation as a whole. And if you’re trying to get elected as leader of the Conservatives, you do not speak too loudly or forcefully about climate change.” - Gary Mason

The virus of Trumpism and his infectious moral failings

“Trump, and Trumpism, represents the triumph of unreason and the suppression of differences. To pay the usual respects to such an unworthy opponent is to do dishonour to one’s worthy opponents.” - Andrew Coyne

Curb Your Enthusiasm is now the most audacious show on TV

“It’s working so far by nimbly presenting the Larry character as the sort of oblivious fool who needs to be taught a lesson.” - John Doyle


If watching a movie is part of your weekend plans, first check out The Globe’s guide for films opening this week. They include the #MeToo-inspired The Assistant and Harley Quinn getting her revenge in Birds of Prey. And if it’s binge-watching you prefer, we have your best bets for what’s streaming.


(Photo by Glenn Lowson for The Globe and Mail)Glenn Lowson/The Globe and Mail

Eleven owners of heritage Hamilton condo building facing $3-million repair bill

Residents of a boutique Hamilton condominium are contemplating selling off the entire building and terminating the condo corporation as a way to ward off a financially ruinous special assessment for repairs.

According to some of the building’s owners, studies commissioned by the condo board show a series of construction issues have created the need to raise as much as $3-million. Because there are only 12 units in the building and 11 owners, even if the bill for repairs was spread out, each unit-holder could end up on the hook for as much as $250,000.

“It’s insane. It’s the worst real estate transaction I’ve done in my life,” said Nancy Forrester, a Hamilton real estate agent and a former member of the condo board, speaking of her decision to buy in the building at 35-43 Duke St. in 2014. Built in 1856, the limestone building is a federally and provincially recognized heritage property known as Sandyford Place. Read Shane Dingman’s full story here.

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