Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
No grounds to charge Toronto officers in connection with Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s death, SIU says
After a three-month investigation, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit says there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against any of the six police officers who were present for the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet.
The 29-year-old Ukrainian-Afro-Indigenous woman fell from the 24th-floor balcony of her Toronto apartment on May 27 after police had been called to respond to a family disturbance, following a seizure that had left Korchinski-Paquet in distress.
The high-profile case has sparked protests against anti-Black racism and police conduct both in Toronto and across the country.
In Wisconsin: Violence escalated in the third night of protests in Kenosha over the Sunday police shooting of Jacob Blake. Two people were killed and one injured in an attack carried out by a white man who was caught on cellphone video opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle.
Police have arrested 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse. According to witness accounts and video footage, police apparently let him walk past them with a rifle over his shoulder as members of the crowd were yelling for him to be arrested because he had shot people.
Opinion: If Raptors and Celtics stage a boycott, it would be worth remembering - Cathal Kelly
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Ottawa announces up to $2-billion fund to safely reopen schools
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced up to $2-billion in funding for provinces and territories to help pay for new learning spaces, air ventilation, hand sanitation and personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
He made the announcement today in Toronto, home to Canada’s largest school district, with more than $760-million going to Ontario. The federal government is also spending an additional $112-million for schools in First Nations.
The money, which will flow in two instalments this fall and early next year, will be allocated based on the number of children aged four to 18 years old in each jurisdiction, with $2-million in base funding.
Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine shows positive results among older adults
Biotech company Moderna, which secured a deal with Ottawa to provide its candidate COVID-19 vaccine to Canadians, has unveiled new data showing its vaccine has positive results among older adults.
The data found participants in two age groups, 56 to 70 and 71 and older, responded as well as younger adults, with similar levels of neutralizing antibodies. “That is very big news. Usually in vaccines, you lose neutralizing antibodies as you age because people have a weaker immune system” when they get older, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a phone interview.
Separately, CanSino Biologics, one of China’s leading vaccine developers, is blaming domestic bureaucratic indecision for the delays in shipping supplies to Canada for a joint testing program that has now been abandoned.
Opinion: Quebec’s COVID-19 death toll is Canada’s highest, and one of the worst in the world. No, that’s not fake news – Globe editorial
Mark Carney joins Brookfield to lead environmental, socially-driven investing
The former governor of Canada’s and Britain’s central banks, Mark Carney, is joining Brookfield Asset Management, with a mandate to create funds focused on both generating profit and saving the planet.
While at Brookfield, one of the world’s largest money managers, Carney will continue to serve as the United Nations special envoy for climate action and finance, a volunteer position he accepted last year.
In an interview, the 55-year-old said he would also remain an informal adviser to political leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Britain’s Boris Johnson, but played down any personal political ambitions.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Optimism on restored consular services for Kovrig, Spavor: Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne has expressed cautious optimism after a lengthy and unexpected meeting with his Chinese counterpart that consular services may be restored for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians charged with espionage and imprisoned in China.
RBC, National Bank release results: Royal Bank of Canada’s third-quarter profit fell only 2 per cent from a year ago, beating estimates despite the impact of a global pandemic, driven by soaring earnings from capital markets and easing provisions for loan losses. National Bank of Canada’s profit for the quarter bounced back nearer to pre-pandemic levels, falling 1 per cent from a year ago. Both banks kept their dividends, following guidance from Canada’s banking regulator not to raise payouts to investors. TD and CIBC report earnings tomorrow.
Pence, Conway to address RNC: Day 3 of the Republican National Congress will see Vice-President Mike Pence accept the party’s nomination to run again for the post, as well as a speech by Kellyanne Conway, who announced this week she’s leaving her role as White House adviser. Last night, First Lady Melania Trump spoke, telling coronavirus sufferers they are “not alone.”
Trump trade adviser bashes Canada: White House trade adviser Peter Navarro takes swipes at Canada in a new book by CNN correspondent Jim Sciutto, The Madman Theory: Trump Takes on the World, including challenging its motivations in the in the U.S.-led multilateral NATO mission in Afghanistan.
Canadiens’ Claude Julien “100 per cent”: Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien says he is feeling “100 per cent” after undergoing a heart procedure during the Stanley Cup playoffs, and was ready to return to work had the team advanced to the second round.
North American stocks rose today, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq pushing to another record closing high, as investors stayed focused on large-cap momentum stocks that have outperformed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 83.48 points or 0.3 per cent to 28,331.92, the S&P 500 gained 35.11 points or 1.02 per cent to 3,478.73 and the Nasdaq Composite added 198.59 points or 1.73 per cent to end at 11,665.06.
Canada’s main stock index was propelled by the financials sector and a rally in shares of Shopify. The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 172.49 points or 1.04 per cent to 16789.97.
Another Conservative leader wins by pandering to special interests
“There is no perfect way to elect a party leader. But the Conservatives seem to have achieved the worst of both worlds with a hybrid system that allows single-issue interest groups to hijack the process, leaving the party vulnerable at election time.” - Konrad Yakabuski
Walmart and other grocers engage in a costly big squeeze
“Walmart charges more fees and is making life for our food manufacturers miserable because it can. Food manufacturing has no voice and is rarely given any attention by governments, starting with Ottawa. If COVID-19 failed to change anything, there is little hope.” - Sylvain Charlebois
While it has seemed 2020 is a write-off for international travel, the opposite may be true as the year wears on. To date, more than 50 countries have reopened their borders to Canadian visitors, from St. Lucia to Iceland. As well, several travel insurance providers have started offering coverage that includes COVID-19-related illnesses. Here’s a look at some enticing diversions, including a château stay in France’s Loire Valley, villa accommodations in Turks and Caicos and an open-air Viking museum in Denmark.
TODAY’S LONG READ
How a bison herd is bringing hope to a Saskatchewan First Nation
Alongside a dirt road in Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation, community members drive up with lawn chairs in tow to sit outside a fenced-in enclosure and watch a herd of 15 bison gnaw on the prairie grass.
“Oh my god, they love it. They’re visiting them every evening,” James Pratt said about the excitement over the bison’s return to the Saulteaux community, nestled among the rolling Qu’Appelle valleys in Treaty 4 territory northeast of Regina.
Pratt is a community helper in Muscowpetung and part of a team that worked to bring back the stately creatures that once roamed the Saskatchewan prairies. The herd was initially bought to bolster food security during the pandemic, but the animals are providing the community with more than a stockpile of meat. They’re reconnecting community members with their past and revitalizing their culture. Read Willow Fiddler’s full story here.