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

More than 100 world leaders gathered at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow have reached an agreement to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. The deal includes a pledge of US$19.2-billion in public and private funding to help developing nations restore degraded land.

Canada, Russia, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have also endorsed what is being called the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use. That pledge also includes a new US$1.5-billion fund to protect the Congo Basin, which is home to the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world. The area has been under threat from logging, mining and agriculture.

Chief executives representing more than 30 financial institutions will also commit to ending investment in activities linked to deforestation. Forests absorb around one-third of global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels annually.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, took to the stage at COP26 to push the world to have 60 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions covered by a carbon price in 2030. He pitched Canada’s carbon price as being one of the most ambitious in the world.

“What a strong carbon price does, when it’s properly designed, is actually drive those price signals to the private sector, transform the economy and support citizens in encouraging them to make better choices,” he said.

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Facebook to shut down its face-recognition system, delete data

Facebook said Tuesday it will delete the faceprints of more than one billion people by shutting down its face-recognition system

Jerome Pesenti, vice-president of artificial intelligence for Facebook’s new parent company, Meta, said the company was trying to weigh the positive use cases for the technology “against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules.”

More than a third of Facebook’s daily active users allow their faces to be recognized by the social network’s system. That’s about 640 million people. Facebook introduced its use of facial recognition more than 10 years ago. In 2019, the company stopped face recognition software to identify users’ friends in uploaded photos and automatically suggesting they “tag” them. Facebook was sued in Illinois over the tag suggestion feature.


International flights to return to regional airports after eight-month ban: Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said airports at eight mid-sized cities can reopen their runways to planes from across the border as of Nov. 30. The airports range from those in Victoria to St. John’s and also include Saskatoon, Kelowna, B.C., and Hamilton.

UBC to develop new campus in Surrey after making $70-million land purchase: University of British Columbia president Santa Ono said it’s a significant move, aimed at serving the growing Surrey population and the increasing number of students who come from there. It will also provide support to more than 5,000 medical, nursing and pharmacy students who do rotations at Surrey facilities.

Air Canada suspends more than 800 employees without pay for not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19: CEO Michael Rousseau said almost all the airline’s 27,000 pilots, flight attendants and other employees have had both shots. Employees of Canadian airlines must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30 or face layoff and possible firing, according to rules imposed by the federal government. On Monday, WestJet said almost 300 of its 7,300 employees are suspended for not getting both immunizations.

Ontario’s minimum wage will rise to $15 an hour: The change announced Tuesday means those earning minimum wage will see a boost to $15 an hour from $14.35, starting Jan. 1. The increase will also apply to the $12.55 paid to bartenders and wait staff who earn tips, eliminating this special lower wage rate. Rates for students under 18, homeworkers and hunting, fishing and wilderness guides will also see increases.

Shang-Chi star Simu Liu to host Saturday Night Live on Nov. 20: The NBC sketch comedy series says Liu will make his hosting debut on Nov. 20 with U.S. rapper Saweetie as the musical guest. Liu, who was born in China and largely grew up in the Greater Toronto Area, stars in the blockbuster “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” as the titular kung fu master.


Canada’s main stock index was dragged down by commodities and the health care sector while heavyweight financials got a lift from a signal that a moratorium on increases to dividend and buybacks may soon end.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 77 points to 21,170.01. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 138.79 points at 36,052.63. The S&P 500 index was up 16.98 points at 4,630.65, while the Nasdaq composite was up 53.68 points at 15,649.60.

The Canadian dollar traded for 80.62 cents US compared with 80.85 cents US on Monday.

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Quebec wants to force family doctors to see more patients. Is that the way to fix primary care?

A lot of what the Premier says on this issue is complete nonsense and his ham-fisted solution is ridiculous. The vast majority of family physicians work full-time hours, and then some. But 70 per cent of family docs are women, many of them of child-bearing age, and they choose family medicine and part-time work specifically to have a better family life. Punishing them for doing so – which is what the threatened legislation would do – is preposterous and counter-productive. – André Picard

In Mark Ward’s case, the SCC was one vote away from setting a disturbing new free-speech precedent

The more interesting – if alarming – reasoning came by way of the dissenting justices, who focused almost entirely on the individual harm caused by Mr. Ward’s comments. Indeed, they offered little to no acknowledgement of the chilling effect that a decision in favour of the plaintiff would have on wider principles of freedom of expression. - Robyn Urback

Schools should train students to be citizen responders – every minute counts in a crisis

“Equipped with these skills, those who encounter an emergency situation will not simply stand and gawk, but rather take active control, assisting the injured and co-ordinating with professional first responders when they arrive. Ultimately, ensuring capable citizen responders also means building an active and engaged community – something that’s perhaps as important as the practical lessons themselves.” – Tom Koch

Toronto’s measures to prevent pedestrian deaths have fallen short

The Vision Zero strategy, which originated in Sweden, places the burden of responsibility on city planners and traffic engineers. It impels cities to design roads in such a way that when drivers make mistakes, these won’t cost cyclists or pedestrians their lives. Toronto’s roll-out of the program has involved a suite of measures including reduced speed limits, speed and red light cameras, safety zones around schools and seniors’ residences, speed humps and designated bike lanes. It’s a good start. But it’s not enough. – Naomi Buck


With the Canada-U.S. land border reopening, here are some new and enticing U.S. diversions

GLOBE-USborder-Edge Said to be the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, the Edge juts out nearly 20 metres from the 100th floor of the 30 Hudson Yards skyscraper in New York City.Edge New York/Edge New York

After the United States announced on Oct. 12 that it would reopen its land border, travel-booking site Expedia said searches for New York accommodations jumped by 130 per cent across its websites.

Several factors are spurring this interest. For one thing, Ottawa recently lifted its advice to avoid all international non-essential travel (as long as vacationers are fully vaccinated). For another, U.S. officials recently announced that negative COVID-19 tests will not be required to enter the country by land or ferry.

For inoculated Canadians considering cross-border excursions, here are some of the most alluring diversions to emerge since the land border slammed shut.


Moving to a small town for cheaper housing? Prepare to pay more to get around, for insurance and repairs

Since the pandemic struck, thousands of Canadians have left big cities in search of more room and affordable real estate. According to a Statistics Canada report published in January, more than 50,000 people left Toronto and almost 25,000 left Montreal for smaller towns and villages between July, 2019 and July, 2020.

But moving to rural areas comes with unanticipated changes in living expenses, such as higher transportation costs, repairs and insurance.

For example, people who leave big cities for the country will have to contend with driving more often and farther, especially parents. Vehicle insurance costs and property taxes can also be higher outside of Canada’s urban centres. Daycare costs, meanwhile, are highest in Canada’s biggest cities, but some smaller communities are struggling with rising fees because of a lack of providers. In addition, some of the services city dwellers enjoy might not exist in more rural destinations, while others could come at a steeper price. More significant sticker-shock items can include the higher cost of maintenance, services and repairs of all kinds.

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