Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Ontario expected to release plan to lift some COVID-19 restrictions next week
The Ontario government is expected to release a phased plan next week that would gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions for businesses where vaccination is required, including capacity limits in bars, restaurants and gyms, according to senior government sources aware of the plan.
The plan must still be approved by Ontario’s cabinet, which is expected to meet and review it next week.
Word of the plan comes after restaurant owners reacted with outrage at the province’s sudden move last week to allow large sports and concert venues to open at full capacity.
Opinion: The Prairies are showing Canada what a COVID-19 disaster looks like - Gary Mason
- Snowbirds are set to return to the United States in droves with borders open once more.
- Africa’s COVID-19 cases are seven times higher than the official count, the World Health Organization. says.
On today’s The Decibel podcast: Therese DeGrace, who has worked in the restaurant industry for almost 30 years, discusses why the pandemic prompted so many to leave and what restaurants need to do to get workers back.
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The void in Calgary: How office towers emptied in a once bustling downtown - and how to fix it
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Calgary had the highest rate of commercial vacancies in Canada, as an economic downturn driven by a plunge in the price of oil hollowed out the city’s downtown office towers.
The municipal and provincial governments are now searching for ways to reinvent downtown Calgary – through some combination of luring more people into the core to live and play, rebuilding an economy that’s less dependent on oil and gas, and finding new uses for empty buildings.
Planners have lots of ideas to bring housing, street life and culture to spaces once dominated by nine-to-five office work, architecture critic Alex Bozikovic writes. But they hinge on two complex questions: what to do with the old buildings, and at what cost.
Opinion: As I leave my job as Calgary’s mayor, I’m grappling with the crises we are facing - Naheed Nenshi
Supreme Court orders new trial in shooting death of Indigenous man
The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered a new trial for Ontario resident Peter Khill, who was found not guilty in the shooting and killing of Jon Styres, an Indigenous man, in 2016.
The ruling upheld an Ontario Court of Appeal decision last year that unanimously overturned the acquittal and ordered a new trial.
Khill’s appeal to the top court hinged on whether the trial judge failed to instruct the jury to weigh his role in the incident. The consideration is one of several Criminal Code criteria that play into determining if an act is reasonable as self-defence.
TSB finds no evidence of freight train involvement in Lytton wildfire
The Transportation Safety Board says there is no evidence that a freight train sparked a wildfire that destroyed the town of Lytton, B.C., this summer.
The TSB said that unless new information comes forward, it has no need to investigate further and it won’t produce a report on the fire that killed two people. It also said the BC Wildfire Service and RCMP continue to investigate the inferno that began on June 30.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
At least six people killed in Beirut: Armed clashes erupted today during a protest organized by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and its allies against the lead judge probing last year’s blast in the city’s port. At least six people were killed and dozens were wounded, authorities said.
Microsoft’s China retreat: Microsoft is shutting down its main LinkedIn service in China later this year after internet rules were tightened by Beijing, the latest U.S. tech giant to lessen its ties to the country.
Banksy work returns to auction: Love is in the Bin, by British street artist Banksy that sensationally self-shredded just after it sold at auction three years ago, has fetched £18.5-million ($31.1-million) – a record for the artist, and more than 10 times its preshredded price.
Last flight to Rome: Italy’s bankrupt national airline, Alitalia, made its final flights today before formally folding, marking the end of business for the 74-year-old carrier and an end of an era for Italy.
Strong U.S. earnings and supportive economic data propelled North American stock markets, with Canada’s main index hitting a one-month high.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 534.75 points or 1.56 per cent to 34,912.56, the S&P 500 climbed 74.46 points or 1.71 per cent to 4,438.26, and the Nasdaq Composite added 251.79 points or 1.73 per cent to end at 14,823.43.
The S&P/TSX composite index rose 201.47 points or 0.98 per cent to 20,819.94.
In Canada, the rule of law is giving way to the rule of will
“A constitution ... depends on a cultural consensus that the constitution is something to be respected, and not ignored, or overwritten, or bent out of shape by interpretation. In Canada, the institutions responsible for upholding that consensus – governments and courts – have repeatedly shown themselves incapable of it.” - Andrew Coyne
The fall of Joe Biden has been much exaggerated
“Already? Can the Cassandras be serious? Do nine months a presidency make? Or is it just another half-cocked media pile-on?” - Lawrence Martin
Davies’ performance takes Canada from team no one cares about to one that could be touched by fate
“He scored a goal that put him, at least for a moment, in the company of the best to ever do it. For an instant there, Davies was Pele or Diego Maradona.” - Cathal Kelly
TODAY’S LONG READ
Mindy Kaling does it all – and never will she ever stop trying to reflect diverse stories on screen
Mindy Kaling should be everybody’s boss – I concluded that one minute into our half-hour Zoom interview. We were talking about the fireside chat she’ll do on Oct. 19 at C2 Montreal (an annual conference that aims for the overlap of commerce and creativity), and she came across as this terrific mashup of game and wise, passionate and amused. I would follow her anywhere.
Few artists have had such a smashing evolution – from the “lucky employee” who starred in and wrote 26 episodes of The Office, to the head of her own successful film and television company, Kaling International. Her multiple high-profile projects include the Netflix series Never Have I Ever. She’s the author of three bestselling books – most recently Nothing Like I Imagined, which came out last October.
“I’m a controlling artist whose opinions and artistic choices feel fundamental to my soul. Those are not necessarily qualities that make a generous leader. But I have to be a mentor, because I don’t want to be the only Indian woman who gets TV shows on the air.” Read Johanna Schneller’s full story here.