Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Ottawa freezes advertising on Meta platforms
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said today the federal government will stop advertising on Meta platforms – including Facebook and Instagram – over the company’s plans to block Canadian news on its platforms in response to Ottawa’s Online News Act. Bill C-18 would make tech giants such as Meta and Google pay media outlets in exchange for using their content.
Both companies have said the bill as approved is unworkable. Google has said that it intends to block Canadian news on its platform, but is continuing to participate in the regulatory process.
Quebecor, whose media assets include the TVA television network, specialty channels, newspapers and magazines, announced earlier this morning that it was pulling ads from Facebook and Instagram.
Quebec Premier François Legault says the province is suspending advertising on Facebook until Meta resumes talks about the implementation of the act.
Explainer: What to know about Bill C-18, the new law that will affect how you get news in Canada
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Unable to downsize, more seniors are living in homes larger than they need
A growing number of Canadians are living in homes with vacant bedrooms, which is coming to light as local governments grapple with acute housing needs.
Singles and couples who live in homes that have a minimum of three bedrooms increased to 29 per cent in 2021 from 26 per cent in 2006, according to an analysis of census figures by The Globe and Mail.
The numbers suggest a growing proportion of people are staying in place as they age, rather than downsizing. The trend is driven by an aging population, the lack of suitable housing for seniors and the high cost of smaller housing alternatives, experts say.
Read more: Financial consumer watchdog unveils guidelines to support mortgage-holders under financial stress
Extreme weather: Severe heat blankets the world and El Niño is back
The planet’s temperature spiked yesterday to its hottest day in at least 44 years and likely much longer, and today could become the third straight day Earth unofficially marks a record-breaking high.
High temperature records have been surpassed in Quebec and Peru. Meanwhile, heat warnings are in effect across most of Ontario, where temperatures were expected to climb to dangerous levels.
And El Niño, the recurring climate phenomenon known for playing havoc with ocean and atmospheric conditions, is back. Scientists are racing to predict its impact on Canada and the rest of the world.
Canadians Raonic, Shapovalov advance at Wimbledon
Milos Raonic made a successful return to Grand Slam tennis today with a four-set win over Austria’s Dennis Novak in the first round at Wimbledon. He overcame a pair of rain delays in his first match at a tennis major since losing to Novak Djokovic in the round of 16 of the 2021 Australian Open.
In other men’s singles action, Denis Shapovalov beat Moldova’s Radu Albot, in a continuation of Monday’s match, which was suspended because of darkness.
In women’s singles play, Rebecca Marino’s first-round match against Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu was suspended, while Carol Zhao was defeated by Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Historic terrorism charges: Patrick Gordon Macdonald, a 26-year-old Ottawa man, is the first ever to be charged in Canada with terrorism and hate propaganda offences for advocating a violent, far-right ideology.
Fed minutes released: Some Federal Reserve officials pushed to raise the central bank’s key interest rate at their meeting last month to intensify their fight against high inflation, though the Fed ultimately decided to forgo a rate hike.
Smallville actor out of jail: Allison Mack, who pleaded guilty for her role in a sex-trafficking case tied to the cult-like group NXIVM, has been released from a California prison.
Wall Street’s main indexes ended with modest declines as investors digested minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest meeting and braced for significant economic data in the days to come. Canada’s main stock index also closed lower amid broad-based weakness.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 129.83 points or 0.38 per cent to 34,288.64, the S&P 500 lost 8.77 points or 0.2 per cent to end at 4,446.82 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 25.12 points or 0.18 per cent to 13,791.65.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index slumped 100.98 points or 0.5 per cent to 20,103.89. The loonie traded at 75.27 U.S. cents.
The shocking collapse in Canadian productivity: in spite of the Liberals’ best efforts, or because of them?
“Canada’s economic problem is no longer slow or slowing productivity growth. It is declining productivity, in absolute terms – and not occasionally, or tentatively, but steadily, and without much prospect for improvement.” - Andrew Coyne
Most Canadians are advised to delay their CPP and OAS benefits to age 70, if possible, but are left with the question of how to withdraw other retirement income tax efficiently until then. Here are some strategies, including taking money out of non-registered accounts first and why making withdrawals from TFSAs could make more sense than from RRSPs. Investors over 65 years of age can also take advantage of the pension income tax credit.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Montreal avenue’s car-free transformation proves a hit
Taking in the improbable scene around him, on a sunny weekday afternoon in Montreal, Jean Beaudoin looked like a kid who just stepped through the gates of some enchanted theme park. “It’s Disneyland,” he said.
Instead of roller coasters and a supersized Mickey Mouse, he gazed at everyday life on Mont-Royal Avenue in the city’s Plateau neighbourhood: families strolling with ice cream cones, meandering cyclists, seniors sitting in the shade and – the kicker – not a car in sight.
The busy commercial drag has been transformed, for the fourth summer, into what may be the world’s longest pedestrian street. With a span of 2.5 kilometres blocked off to traffic, covering more than 30 intersections, it’s about twice as expansive as more famous, albeit permanent, promenades such as Bordeaux’s Sainte-Catherine or Stroget in Copenhagen. Read the full story by Eric Andrew-Gee.