Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Iqaluit residents collect river water after city warns tap water may be contaminated
Iqaluit residents are making their way to the Sylvia Grinnell river, located outside the city, to fill jugs and bottles after they were told tap water in the Nunavut capital may not be safe to drink.
The city declared a local state of emergency last night saying its water supply potentially contains gasoline.
Last week, some residents took to social media to complain about a fuel smell in the water, but the city said regular testing had been done and the water was safe.
Quebec postpones COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers until Nov. 15
Health Minister Christian Dubé told reporters Wednesday that there are 14,000 health care workers in the public and private systems who have yet to be fully inoculated against COVID-19. The government set a deadline for this Friday, Oct. 15, for all health care workers in the province to get the vaccine or face suspension without pay.
Dubé said sticking to the deadline would be irresponsible, because the system is already facing a shortage of staffers. Starting Monday, all unvaccinated health care workers in the public sector will have to submit to a COVID-19 test at least three times a week. The government isn’t ruling out requiring regular testing in the private sector.
- U.S. to reopen its land border to fully vaccinated Canadians in early November
- COVID-19 outbreaks rising in long-term care homes across the country
- Several Ontario hospitals enact mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for visitors
- COVID-19 booster shots not yet needed for most Canadians, health experts say
Artist fights to preserve Tiananmen memorial as Hong Kong university demands removal
The artist behind the Pillar of Shame is fighting to preserve the memorial of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre that has stood on a university campus since 1997 as a symbol of the city’s autonomy from mainland China.
Late last week, a law firm acting on behalf of the University of Hong Kong sent a letter to the Hong Kong Alliance, a now-disbanded activist group that has served as the caretaker of the concrete statue, informing members that if it is not removed by Oct. 13, it will be “deemed abandoned.” That deadline passed without any apparent action by the university. But Typhoon Kompasu, which shut down large parts of the city, could have derailed any plans to take it down.
Artist Jens Galschiot, who created the statue, which consists of grimacing figures representing the prodemocracy protesters killed on June 4, 1989, denounced the demand for its removal as “brutal and almost criminal.” Galschiot is seeking to assert his legal ownership of the statue, warning that improper removal could damage the fragile artwork, estimated to be worth about $1.7-million.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Activists, journalists to be seen as ‘involuntary’ public figures by Facebook: Social-media giant Facebook says it will treat activists and journalists as “involuntary” public figures, a move that comes with increased protections against harassment and bullying targeted at these groups, its global safety chief said. Facebook’s treatment of public figures and content posted by or about them has been the subject of much debate and scrutiny in recent weeks following the Wall Street Journal’s reporting, which documented the effect of exempting some high-profile users from its usual rules.
Man kills several people in Norway in bow-and-arrow attacks, police say: Several people were killed and others were injured in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg by a man armed with a bow and arrows, local police said. The suspected assailant has since been apprehended and is believed to have carried out the attacks alone, police told reporters.
In photos: Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Photographs of two Svalbard reindeer locking antlers for control of a harem; a high-flying Siberian jay soaring above an old-growth spruce forest; and a pair of polar bears cooling off in the summer were among the winners of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year. They were chosen from more than 50,000 entries from 95 countries.
Landlord opposes CCAA restructuring by celebrity chef Mark McEwan: The landlord of celebrity chef Mark McEwan’s downtown gourmet grocery location in Toronto is opposing the company’s move to restructure its operations by transferring most of the business to a new company held by the same owners. First Capital Holdings (Ontario) Corp. has argued that the company should be required to test the market by undergoing a sale process for the business, saying the proposed transaction is an “abuse” of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act process. McEwan, in an affidavit, said the company determined a sale process was not necessary.
U.S. film and television crews to strike next week: The union representing some 60,000 workers in film and television says if it does not reach a deal that addresses demands for fair and safe working conditions, members will strike Monday. A nationwide strike would bring a halt to filming on a broad range of film and TV productions beyond Hollywood.
William Shatner’s final frontier: Captain Kirk returns to Earth on Blue Origin’s second passenger flight: TV’s Captain Kirk, 90-year-old William Shatner, launched into space Wednesday, making history as the oldest person to reach the final frontier. The Star Trek hero and three fellow passengers aboard a Blue Origin capsule hurtled to an estimated 106 kilometres over a desert in West Texas. They safely parachuted back to Earth in a flight that spanned more than 10 minutes.
Catch the latest Decibel episode: Nearly month a month after the federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to set a date for when Parliament will return. Parliamentary reporter Marieke Walsh joins the pod to discuss what the parties think about their electoral gains, their losses and their leaders.
The S&P 500 ended higher on Wednesday, led by gains in shares of big growth names like Amazon.com and Microsoft, but JPMorgan shares fell and weighed on the index even though the bank beat earnings expectations. The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 181.35 points to 20,618.47.
According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 14.20 points, or 0.33 per cent, to end at 4,364.85 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 105.71 points, or 0.73 per cent, to 14,571.64. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4.35 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 34,382.69.
Trudeau should build a cabinet better suited to the climate fight
“...As Mr. Trudeau prepares to appoint a new cabinet, he has the opportunity to go further: He can choose to reconfigure his government, through structural or personnel changes, to make the transition to a clean economy the overarching priority he presented it as on the campaign trail.” - Adam Radwanski
Does Canada need a higher minimum wage? That’s a Nobel question
“Economists are still arguing over what’s going on, and why. But in light of the evidence, most are now of the view that raising the minimum wage, so long as it is not done too hastily or raised to too high a level, is likely to be a net benefit to low-wage workers.” - Editorial board
In defence of Ted Lasso: The backlash is undeserved
“The key characters have become open to reason, debate and change. And that change is always leading toward the style of play embodied by the most successful teams of the last half-century in soccer: the Dutch teams of the 1970s, and both Barcelona and Spain in the period between 2008 and 2015. The style is less about individual brilliance than it is about understanding the shared space that is the soccer field.” - John Doyle
Trish Magwood takes things back to basics and lets quality ingredients shine in her latest cookbook
Chef Trish Magwood’s latest cookbook – her first in a decade – is more than just a collection of recipes. It’s also a visual compendium of things that bring her joy, from fresh, hand-picked produce at her parent’s Creemore, Ont., farm, to antique serving pieces she’s found on her travels.
“My New Table is a reflection of the more simple way I eat and live now,” says Magwood, who divides her time between her home in Toronto and Creemore, a rural community north of the city. “With age comes wisdom, and I’ve learned that some of the most delicious meals are made with farm-fresh ingredients that need very little done to them.”
TODAY’S LONG READ
For asylum seekers, Hong Kong is easy to reach but hard to stay in thanks to Kafkaesque policies
JM sat in a small hearing room on the 30th floor of Hong Kong’s Immigration Tower, in the city’s Wan Chai District. Through a translator, the 34-year-old pleaded with immigration officials not to deport him back to Egypt, where he feared being killed for being gay.
JM, whom The Globe and Mail is identifying only by his initials because of continuous harassment over his sexuality after fleeing Egypt, was just one of thousands of asylum seekers whose cases were heard in this Chinese-controlled city in 2017. Almost all of them were unsuccessful.
A major air hub, with visa-free access from more than 140 countries, Hong Kong is – despite the best efforts of its government – a magnet for people fleeing conflict, abuse and poverty.
In fact, only 1 per cent of refugee claimants in Hong Kong are granted asylum – just 272 since 2009, according to government statistics. And recent changes to the law, including reducing the number of judges hearing cases and restricting which languages applicants can use, are poised to make applying for asylum even harder, advocates for refugees say, while further clogging up Hong Kong’s court system. Read James Griffiths’s full story here.