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

Judge rejects Dany Fortin’s bid to lead vaccine rollout again

Major-General Dany Fortin’s bid to be reinstated as the leader of the federal government’s vaccine rollout – while still facing a charge of sexual assault – has been quashed by the Federal Court.

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Justice Ann Marie McDonald’s decision says Fortin should have first challenged his dismissal from the vaccine distribution campaign using the internal grievance process for the Canadian Armed Forces, a position the government’s lawyers have argued.

Fortin challenged his dismissal in court after the Department of National Defence announced in May that he left his position “pending the results of a military investigation.” Military police referred his case to the Quebec prosecutor’s office, and in August he was charged with one count of sexual assault, which he said he would “vigorously” defend himself against.

Read more: “I’ve been exonerated”: Art McDonald, top military commander on leave, wants his job back

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Canada’s high-end restaurants face struggle to survive as COVID-19 adds challenges

While thousands of Canadian restaurant owners have faced hard decisions during the pandemic, high-end restaurants such as Barbarian’s Steak House in Toronto and Vij’s in Vancouver are coping with added challenges.

Those include a business model that often requires tight margins; high food and labour costs; a heavy reliance on in-person dining rooms that have been subject to months of shutdowns and capacity limits; and, in some cases, debt loads that were already onerous. Add to that the more recent rise in food costs, and the fact that skilled labour is becoming more expensive and scarce.

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Last month, celebrity chef Mark McEwan‘s restaurant, gourmet grocery and events business was granted creditor protection. In court documents, the McEwan Group said that it needed to streamline its operations or it would run out of cash within weeks.

Read more: Prairies record country’s highest COVID-19 death rates

Opinion: New Zealand’s ‘COVID Zero’ approach succeeds in its so-called failure - André Picard

In China, a worsening energy crisis highlights coal dependence as it tries to transition to green sources

Coal mines in northern China are increasing output to address the country’s worsening energy crisis, throwing a wrench in Beijing’s plans to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, Asia correspondent James Griffiths reports.

Cities across China have experienced major power shortages in recent weeks, leading to rolling blackouts, plant and factory shutdowns and energy rationing. The crisis is the result of several factors, including a stronger-than-expected export market, spiking global coal prices, and controls on electricity pricing that meant many power plants were operating at a loss.

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IMF warns central bankers on inflation: Central banks should be prepared to act quickly if inflation proves to be more persistent than expected, the International Monetary Fund said today in its semi-annual World Economic Outlook report, also which downgraded the fund’s global growth forecast for the year.

Jack Ma reappears in Hong Kong, sources say: Chinese billionaire and Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, largely out of public view since a regulatory clampdown started on his business empire late last year, is in Hong Kong and has met business associates in recent days, two sources told Reuters news agency.

Puck drops on NHL regular season: As the National Hockey League’s regular season is set to start, check out Cathal Kelly’s preview of what lies ahead for the Canadian teams. Ahead of the league’s puck drop tonight, the Montreal Canadiens announced they have signed centre Nick Suzuki to an eight-year, US$63-million contract extension.

New Superman comes out as bisexual: Jon Kent, son of original Superman Clark Kent and journalist Lois Lane, is bisexual in DC Comics’ latest iteration of the superhero’s adventures, Superman: Son of Kal-El. Issue 5, in which he kisses reporter Jay Nakamura, will be released Nov. 9.


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Canada’s main stock index closed narrowly higher today, as weakness in marijuana and consumer stocks was offset by gains in the materials sector, while fears regarding higher inflation dented market sentiment. Meanwhile, U.S. stocks slipped with investors jittery in the run up to third-quarter earnings, while a jump in Tesla shares helped support the market.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 20.81 points or 0.1 per cent to 20,437.12 after a long weekend.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 117.72 points or 0.34 per cent to 34,378.34, the S&P 500 lost 10.54 points or 0.24 per cent to end at 4,350.65, and the Nasdaq Composite slid 20.28 points or 0.14 per cent to 14,465.92.

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Canada needs a proper technology security strategy. Banning Huawei from 5G should be the first step

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“Get on with it already. Now that [Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor] are back home, the Trudeau government must stop its dawdling and develop a robust technology security strategy as a defence against rogue states.” - Rita Trichur

Read more: More than 75 per cent of Canadians think the federal government should ban Huawei Technologies from this country’s 5G telecommunications networks in a new Nanos Research poll that finds hardening attitudes toward the Chinese state and business relations with Beijing.

Jon Gruden’s offensive e-mails shouldn’t come as a shock – the NFL celebrated his behaviour all along

“In any other professional context, any random 30 seconds of this stuff would get your key card cancelled by executive order of the HR department. But in football, this kind of unhinged demagoguery is considered high art.” - Cathal Kelly

Read more: Jon Gruden has resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after e-mails that he sent containing racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments became public.


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The latest episode of the City Space podcast examines the middle class and housing - specifically, how people can break their addiction to personal space and redefine “making it” when it comes to acquiring a home. Jennifer Keesmaat, Toronto’s former chief city planner, discusses on why she thinks rental units and high-quality public spaces will do the trick. Plus, Rollin Stanley, former general manager of planning for Calgary, details how governments all over the country should get imaginative with their heritage buildings.


KGB archives show how Chrystia Freeland drew the ire (and respect) of Soviet intelligence services

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland in 2020.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The Soviet Union’s secret police, the infamous KGB, praised her savvy and erudition, even as she frustrated their attempts to spy on her in Cold War Ukraine. They tagged her with the code name Frida. But today we know Chrystia Freeland as Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

Freeland’s ties to Ukraine are no secret, but materials uncovered from the KGB archives in Kyiv illuminate her role in the Ukrainian independence movement while on exchange there from Harvard University. The materials show what drew the Soviet intelligence services’ attention to the then-troublesome young Canadian, who was the subject of denouncements in the Soviet press and even warranted a feature in top-secret KGB documents.

What business, the Kyiv newspaper Pravda Ukrainy asked, did someone from Edmonton have leading a civic organization for the preservation of the Ukrainian language in Ukraine? Why did someone in Ukraine to study Ukrainian spend so little time doing so at the university sponsoring her visit – and why study when, as the televised rallies at which she spoke time and again clearly showed, she spoke the language flawlessly? Read Simon Miles’s full story here.

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