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

With Ontario serving as a vivid example of Canada’s stretched health care system, Premier Doug Ford said Wednesday patients are getting adequate care, though he added, “we can always strive to do better.”

The current crisis has included reports of sick and injured people filling emergency waiting rooms, and Toronto General Hospital issuing a critical care bed alert Tuesday evening because of staffing shortages. Ontario Health statistics from May indicate an average waiting time of 20.1 hours in emergency rooms. The target waiting time is eight hours.

Ford, speaking at a news conference Wednesday, indicated his government is working on one possible solution to the problem: implementing a “much faster, rapid process” to accredit foreign-trained nurses.

Pelosi lauds Taiwan, says China’s fury cannot stop visits by world leaders

Despite China’s military reaction to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Taiwan this week, the American politician said her trip showed solidarity with the island democracy and other world leaders should be free to visit.

China, which claims Taiwan as its territory and objected to the visit, sent 27 aircraft into Taiwan’s air defence zone and conducted military exercises within 12 nautical miles of the island. It also suspended some Taiwanese imports and exports.

More coverage:

  • Explainer: Why Nancy Pelosi went to Taiwan, and why China is angry about the visit
  • Opinion: Pelosi’s Taiwan visit has brought the thorny ‘one China’ debate into sharp focus

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Remembering Clayton Ruby: Canadian civil rights lawyer Clayton Ruby, who was involved in many landmark cases and made a mark on the law of the land, has died at age 80 surrounded by family.

Pope reflects on visit to Canada: In his weekly general audience at the Vatican Wednesday, Pope Francis recalled a “painful moment” during his last meeting with residential school survivors and said the Catholic Church needs to come to terms with its role.

Studio decides not to release Batgirl: Warner Bros. is writing off Batgirl, the $90-million blockbuster, in an unusual move for such a high-profile, big-budget film.

LGBTQ organization gets partner on ice: The Greater Toronto Hockey League, the biggest youth hockey league in Canada, is embarking on a three-year partnership with the You Can Play Project, an anti-homophobia group, to promote inclusion.

MARKET WATCH

Buoyed by Q2 corporate earnings reports that are generally exceeding weak expectations, U.S. stock indexes ended in positive territory Wednesday. The Nasdaq reached highs not seen since early May. There were much smaller gains north of the border as energy stocks suffered a pullback.

The S&P 500 climbed 1.56% to end the session at 4,155.12 points. The Nasdaq gained 2.59% to 12,668.16 points, while Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.29% to 32,812.50 points. The S&P/TSX composite index ended up 40.61 points, or 0.2%, at 19,545.94.

The Canadian dollar traded for 77.85 cents U.S. compared with 77.63 cents U.S. on Tuesday.

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TALKING POINTS

Quebec anglophones, feeling forsaken by the Liberals, weigh their options

Konrad Yakabuski: “In her efforts to rebuild her Quebec Liberal Party in French Quebec, Dominique Anglade has left many anglophone voters feeling forsaken. While Léger had the QLP support among anglophones at 49 per cent in June, that was down 10 percentage points from a February poll. So far, the principal beneficiary of the decline in QLP support has been the Conservative Party of Quebec, which has surged to second-place among non-francophone voters by championing individual rights. That is likely not enough to enable it to win seats, but could be enough to cost the QLP victory in ridings with mixed linguistic profiles.”

Justin Trudeau is spending two weeks in Costa Rica. So what?

Robyn Urback: “There is never really a good time for a politician (especially the top politician) to take some leisure time; there is always conflict happening abroad or at home, and unless we take the unreasonable position that politicians should never take time off while they are in office, it is inevitable that the Prime Minister’s vacation will overlap with any number of crises – economic, social or political.”

It’s the end of late-night as we know it, and maybe that’s good

John Doyle: “One thing is reasonably clear: the template of white male host, monologue, studio audience, house band and guests from showbiz is now antique. That’s good, and overdue. One signal about the future can be found in speculation about what happens to The Late Late Show on CBS when James Corden departs next year. According to trade magazine Variety, CBS is considering ditching the traditional format and replacing it with a panel show with revolving hosts.”

LIVING BETTER

OAS pension payments have permanently risen for the first time since 1973. Here’s why retirees should defer them

One side effect of the recent increase to Old Age Security, a 2021 federal budget promise kept, is that it makes delaying retirement benefits even more financially rewarding. With increasing longevity and fewer adult children to support them as they get older, more seniors will have to pay for care services as they age. Here’s a closer look at how to stretch those OAS dollars by deferring payments.

On the Market: Farmhouse properties across Canada

Hunting for a sprawling piece of land in rural Canada? One of these properties in PEI, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario or Quebec – featuring handsome farmhouses and a variety of agricultural uses – could be right for you.

TODAY’S LONG READ

As drought diminishes Lake Mead, Americans’ climate-change anxiety rises

A dramatic water line can be seen behind boats docked on the marina at Lake Mead, Nevada, on July 23, 2022.FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The discovery of human remains on the receding shores of Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, have been greeted by a kind of gritty nostalgia: The city’s Mob Museum has asked for a barrel that contained a body discovered in May. With its shores laid bare by a lengthy drought, a desert playground is becoming a showcase for troubling new realities.

What’s happening at Lake Mead is a symptom of serious economic and environmental problems, writes correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe. A hotter and drier climate has deepened a crisis that began with decades of over-drawing the Colorado River, using its waters to turn deserts green for agriculture and support the many millions of people who have migrated to the western U.S.

It’s a painful new reality for Americans who remember the lake as a national recreation icon, featuring boating, fishing and swimming.

Read the full feature.


Evening Update is compiled and written weekdays by an editor in The Globe’s live news department. 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.