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Canada Evening Update: Ford government says it will discipline teachers who don’t follow Ontario sex-ed curriculum; more than 1,100 Saudi medical residents get extended deadline to leave Canada

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Ford government says it will discipline teachers who don’t follow Ontario sex-ed curriculum

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford says his government will not tolerate the behaviour of any school board or teacher who doesn’t follow its directive on the sex-education curriculum, Caroline Alphonso writes. And it is launching a website for parents to anonymously report concerns on what is being taught in classrooms.

As promised on the campaign trail, the Progressive Conservatives are scrapping sex-ed curriculum updated in 2015 – which includes topics such as consent, cybersafety and gender identity – in favour of 20-year-old lessons while it consults tens of thousands of parents on developing a new program. In recent weeks, many boards have said that important and relevant sex-ed lessons will be included in classroom instruction regardless of the health- and physical-education program in place this fall.

In a news release today, the government said it would begin consultations next month not only on the sex-ed curriculum, but on everything from a cellphone ban in classrooms to improvements to standardized testing and the math curriculum.

More than 1,100 Saudi medical residents get extended deadline to leave Canada

More than 1,100 Saudi Arabian medical residents and fellows will stay in Canada for an additional three weeks, with a new departure date of Sept. 22, Carly Weeks writes. The new deadline will give hospitals more time to develop contingency plans and may allow some of the medical trainees to write their Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada exams, according to HealthCareCAN.

Canada has had an arrangement with Saudi Arabia for decades under which the kingdom pays for medical residents and fellows from that country to train and practise here. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia ordered its medical graduates and other students back to the kingdom by Aug. 31 following a diplomatic spat with Canada.

Trump slams Cohen, lauds Manafort after twin legal blows

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U.S. President Donald Trump, in tweets about the stunning legal setbacks involving two of his former lieutenants, today attacked the one who has turned on him and defended the one who has remained loyal.

Trump lashed out at former long-time lawyer Michael Cohen in a Twitter post by saying the campaign finance violations Cohen pleaded guilty to yesterday were “not a crime” – even though prosecutors and Cohen agreed that they were.

At the same time, Trump on Twitter praised former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was convicted yesterday of multiple counts of fraud, as a “brave man” for not co-operating with federal authorities.

“The President is not likely to be prosecuted on charges growing out of the Cohen pleas or any future court action,” David Shribman writes. “... legal experts generally agree that at worst, Mr. Trump could be indicted but not brought to trial until after he leaves office. But before that, he faces 470 political trials this autumn.”

RBC beats earnings estimates, increases dividend

Royal Bank of Canada is the first bank to report third-quarter results, and its solid performance sets the tone for another quarter of healthy earnings for Canada’s largest banks, James Bradshaw writes. For the three months that ended July 31, RBC reported profit of $3.1-billion, or $2.10 share. Adjusted to exclude for one-time items, RBC earned $2.14 a share, ahead of analysts’ consensus estimate of $2.11. The bank also hiked its quarterly dividend by 4 cents, to 98 cents a share.

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The outlook is upbeat for bank earnings, David Berman writes, even as Canadian personal-debt levels have climbed to record highs and regulators have introduced new rules to dampen the housing market. Income-loving investors can also look for dividend hikes from CIBC, which reports tomorrow, and Scotiabank, which releases earnings next week, (for subscribers)

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MARKET WATCH

Rising oil prices helped boost the energy sector and financials climbed as Canada’s main stock index gained ground. The S&P/TSX composite index was up 50.37 points at 16,347.34.

U.S. stocks were mixed, with the Nasdaq gaining on the strength of tech shares. The S&P 500 was little changed as its bull market turned 3,453 days old, making it the longest such streak in history, according to some investors’ definition. It finished with a loss of 1.14 points to 2,861.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 88.69 points to 25,733.60, and the Nasdaq composite gained 29.93 points to 7,889.10.

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WHAT’S TRENDING ON SOCIAL

Now that Aeroplan parent Aimia has struck a deal to sell its rewards program, you can stop plotting how to burn up your points. If all goes according to plan, Aeroplan will be folded into a new Air Canada customer-loyalty program in 2020. So what to do in the meantime? Ideally, Rob Carrick writes, you’d wait to hear more from Air Canada about its plans. If improvements are coming, it would make sense to hold your flight redemptions until 2020 or later.

TALKING POINTS

The descent of Rudy Giuliani is a mirror on all the madness

“Once a man who brought the country together, he now is seen as the opposite – as a polarizer, driving it apart. Say it ain’t so, Rudy. Say as you did in an interview with Chuck Todd that ‘the truth isn’t truth.’ For many, that batty observation, an attempt to rescue himself from a flurry of contradictions in respect to Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, spectacularly encapsulated politics in the Trump era. Truth has become an ever-shifting target. Words are ghosts. Reality is without foundation. It’s whatever your Nutri Blender makes of it.” - Lawrence Martin

For Paul Manafort, justice is finally served – but is it too late for America?

“The danger is not over: Mr. Trump rules like an autocrat, viewing himself as above the law, and has already flexed his muscle with inappropriate presidential pardons and political purges. He has threatened to end the Mueller probe, and a cowardly, complicit GOP has done little to protect the investigation. That needs to be rectified immediately. Officials must take a cold, hard look at both their failure to stop [Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen] earlier – and at how to prevent their boss, Donald Trump, from further abusing his power and stripping away what remains of the path to justice.” - Sarah Kendzior

While the planet burns, our politicians fiddle

“I know that Canada is a small player in the grand scheme of things. And what we do to reduce GHG emissions will make an insignificant dent in bringing about overall change. But that is hardly the point. We have to do our part. We have to have the moral conviction to address this problem before it’s too late – if it’s not already. There isn’t a bigger issue before us. And those politicians who oppose plans to reduce emissions such as a carbon tax need to be held to account. They need to tell us what they will do to halt the destruction we are now witnessing.” - Gary Mason

LIVING BETTER

The steps to a successful staycation are few but mighty, Heather Greenwood Davis writes. If you want to stop the kids whining and reposition yourself as the parent who saved summer, do as she did. Leave home: Why pay for a hotel room you live less than an hour away? Because it’s a mental shift. Room for everyone to lounge but none of the to-do list temptations of home. Take a tour: You can live in a city your entire life and still never explore it like a tourist. Give in. You’ll be embarrassed by what you didn’t know. Never do a dish: If you have to get up from dessert to wash the dishes, you aren’t on vacation. Include meals out in your budget. Mix and match your activities: The “one for them, one for you, one for everyone” method of sightseeing is a great way to keep everyone interested.

LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE

My millennial colleagues remind me how to stand up for what I believe in

"That’s the thing about working for millennials: They are endlessly teaching me, whether it’s how to figure out an SEO-friendly title, or how to make GIFS and memes so I don’t have to use words to express myself. But I’m also learning how to affect real change: how to call someone out for manspreading on the subway or go to bat for another mom who is bent double with the weight of her responsibility; how to research what goes into my skin products, my coffee, my food.

“Without their guidance, I would still be drinking diet sodas and wondering why all of my hair was falling out. Without my millennial colleagues, I would still be content to watch true crime and eat Bold Barbecue Doritos. I would still be a pliant zombie.” - Jen McGuire

Hotel amenities are disappearing. Will we ever see them again?

Staying in hotels sometimes made you feel like royalty, Matt Meltzer writes. You’d call down to the concierge to order you a car, then ask the front desk to send up room service in the morning. You ended the night with a cocktail from your own private, in-room mini-bar, and awoke to portable fine dining delivered right to your bedside. For those brief few days, you were Marilyn Monroe and Princess Grace all rolled into one.

And then came technology. Now things like front desks and room service are going the way of phone books and fax machines – obsolete amenities that our kids will never know. While it has made staying in hotels more efficient and personalized, is losing all of this a good thing? Are all those perks gone forever? We polled industry experts and they dished on the services and objects disappearing from hotels, and whether we can expect to see them again.

Evening Update is written by S.R. Slobodian. 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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