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

The federal government has filed a notice of appeal on one of two orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal upheld in Federal Court related to compensation for Indigenous children and their families. Ottawa did not file an appeal of a separate order related to access to services for First Nations kids. The notice of appeal was made in the Federal Court of Appeal on Friday.

Cindy Blackstock, the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, said Friday it is disappointing that Ottawa filed an appeal, but did add that she’s happy the government didn’t appeal on what’s called Jordan’s Principle, a policy designed to ensure First Nations kids can access services.

Whatever Ottawa does next, Blackstock said the most important job ahead is to end the discrimination against First Nations children and families.

In its notice of appeal, the federal government argues, among other things, that the Federal Court erred by finding that the tribunal acted reasonably in the context of the evidence ordering monetary compensation to First Nations children, their parents and grandparents under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA).

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Ahead of G20 meeting, UN climate summit, Trudeau warns of threats to democracy

Justin Trudeau told Dutch parliamentarians on Friday that disinformation campaigns and extremism are a serious threat to global economies and democracy.

The Prime Minister was in the Netherlands for an official visit, opening his day giving a speech to and taking questions from members of the House of Representatives and Senate in the historic Ridderzaal.

Acknowledging the friendship between Canada and the Netherlands that grew during the Second World War, Trudeau said the very values and security Allied forces fought to defend are in peril. “It’s not just conspiracy theorists and marginalized, angry people online,” he said. “It’s state actors, too, using disinformation, propaganda, and cyberwarfare to harm our economies, our democracies, and undermine people’s faith in the principles that hold us together.”

This weekend Trudeau will be in Italy for the G20 leaders’ summit and then he will fly to Scotland for the first two days of the United Nations COP26 climate negotiations before he returns to Canada.

More on COP26:

Comedian Mike Ward’s mockery of disabled singer not discriminatory, Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled 5-4 that a comedian had the right to mock a disabled child without being punished by a human rights body. Mike Ward had been ordered by Quebec’s Human Rights Tribunal to pay $35,000 to Jéremy Gabriel, saying artistic freedom has limits.

The case pit artistic freedom, and especially the right to offend in comedy, satire and parody, against the protection of vulnerable minorities.

The majority was critical of what it said has been a trend in which Quebec’s Human Rights Tribunal has interpreted the Quebec Charter as giving it jurisdiction over allegedly discriminatory comments made in public or private. That trend “deviates from this Court’s jurisprudence” and is the wrong way to interpret the guarantees of equality and dignity in the Quebec Charter, the majority said.


NHL won’t discipline Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff for role in Blackhawks’ mishandling of sexual assault allegations: Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman and former coach Joel Quenneville, now with Florida, each resigned this week. Chevedayoff is the only person who was present in a meeting about Kyle Beach’s allegations against video coach Brad Aldrich to still be working in the NHL by the end of the week. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Cheveldayoff’s status as a low-ranking team official and his limited role in that meeting absolved him of authority to address the allegations.

Canadian economy grew 0.4% in August; federal government posts $9.8-billion deficit: Statistics Canada says gains in several sectors were more than offset by a significant drop in manufacturing and decline in retail trade, and provided a preliminary estimate for September that suggests real GDP was essentially unchanged for that month. Also Friday, Ottawa said it ran a $9.8-billion deficit in August, which shows the federal deficit is on pace to come in smaller than last year’s dramatic pandemic peak.

Students in Ontario will not require COVID-19 vaccination to attend schools: Kieran Moore, the province’s top doctor, says he’ll be exercising caution when it comes to lifting public-health measures in schools. Moore says the province will look at the trends and, if the virus is an ongoing threat, he says the government will then review the integration of COVID-19 vaccination status into the law.

U.S. won’t require COVID-19 test results to cross land border: The office of New York congressman Brian Higgins says U.S. Customs and Border Protection won’t be requiring a negative COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated travellers in order to cross the land border with Canada. His office says U.S. Customs is expected to release more details in the next few days ahead of the relaxation of restrictions on Nov. 8.

Queen advised to rest two more weeks, determined to attend remembrance event: The Queen has accepted doctors’ advice to cut back on her busy schedule, Buckingham Palace said Friday. The 95-year-old monarch can continue to undertake light, desk-based duties during this time – including some virtual audiences.


Materials and financials pushed Canada’s main stock index lower to end the week but the Toronto market rebounded strongly in October from a weak start to fall.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 160.46 points to 21,037.07. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 89.08 points at 35,819.56. The S&P 500 index was up 8.96 points at 4,605.38, while the Nasdaq composite was up 50.27 points at 15,498.39.

The Canadian dollar traded for 80.75 cents US compared with 80.98 cents US on Thursday.

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Canada has to transform its economy – or be left behind

“Canada can capture new global opportunities in these market shifts, but is also more vulnerable than other countries with relatively carbon-intensive economies. Almost 70 per cent of Canada’s goods exports are in sectors expected to experience disruption. Those same sectors employ more than 800,000 Canadians across the country.” – Don Drummond and Rachel Samson

The healing touch of in-person medical exams can’t be replicated online

“Uncertainty brings inherent risk for physicians, and more importantly to patient care. The risk for physicians of not seeing patients in person and not being able to conduct a relevant physical examination is missing an important and potentially life-threatening diagnosis. This risk brings the potential of being sued for failing to meet the minimum standards of care. This is mitigated by ordering more tests, which are often unnecessary and costly.” – Jeff Sutherland

Vancouver has a plan for the future of Canadian cities

“It’s been clear all along what’s necessary. It’s taken a long time to get here, but Vancouver’s proposed plan shows what’s possible. The next step is the most important. City council has to turn the ideas into reality.” – Globe editorial


When it comes to the future of design, manufacturers are taking notes from the gaming community

With 2.5 billion gamers in the world, designers of everything from workstations to eyewear are starting to unveil gaming collections.

Chinese manufacturer Lian Li, for example, makes luxury gamer desks capable of housing customized dual water-cooled PC systems that sell for around $3,500. Ikea, meanwhile, unveiled a more affordable set of gaming furniture this month.

Canadian online eyewear retailer Clearly recently launched a line of glasses designed specifically for gamers and streamers that aims to safeguard eye health while enhancing performance, by increasing contrast sensitivity to images on the gaming screen.

Read more on intersection of gaming and design.


Life in the underwater meadow

Commercial diver Jamie Smith of the SeaChange Society uses a spade to plant eelgrass into an area that historically had lush seagrass beds, but were wiped out due to human activity.SHANE GROSS/The Globe and Mail

When Shane Gross peered over the side of a boat into Cowichan Bay, the water looked like mud.

Decades ago, this area off Vancouver Island used to be a seagrass “meadow,” but humans destroyed it by building a massive seaport and through logging.

It turns out that protecting seagrass is vital in our fight to heal the climate, save fisheries and support biodiversity.

Around the world, seagrass loss rates are now comparable to those reported for mangroves, coral reefs and tropical rainforests.

Seagrass, mangroves and salt marshes – known collectively as “blue carbon” – are highly efficient carbon sinks. Seagrasses are able to absorb carbon an estimated 35 times faster than forests on land. By keeping carbon “locked up” and preventing it from entering the atmosphere, seagrass meadows are vital to mitigating climate change.

Read his full story and view his photographs here.

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