Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Ottawa underestimates break-even point for EV plant subsidies: PBO
Federal and Ontario government subsidies that total $28.2-billion for two electric vehicle battery plants will take 20 years to break even, not five as Ottawa has suggested, according to a new report by Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux.
In April, Ottawa announced $13.2-billion in federal production subsidies for a new EV battery plant to be built by Volkswagen in St. Thomas, Ont. In July, Ottawa and Ontario unveiled subsidies for a Stellantis-LG Energy Solutions EV battery plant in Windsor worth up to $15-billion.
The PBO break-even estimates differ from the government’s because Ottawa included all aspects of the supply chain. The PBO includes only government revenues generated by the cell and module manufacturing that are the focus of the subsidies.
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Michael Chong testifies in Washington on Beijing interference
MP Michael Chong told U.S. congressional hearings that Ottawa and Washington need a co-ordinated response to Beijing’s concerted efforts to interfere in Western democracies and bullying of diaspora communities. The Conservative foreign affairs critic has been a frequent target of Chinese government intimidation.
He received a rare invitation to speak to a panel of members of the Senate and House of Representatives that monitors human abuses in China and is examining Beijing’s global repression campaign.
Chong outlined two known instances in which China had targeted him because of his outspoken criticism of Beijing’s brutal treatment of its Muslim Uyghur minorities and crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
Calgary E. coli outbreak update
A new report on the centralized kitchen believed to be the source of a significant E. coli outbreak among Calgary children has revealed that cockroaches, improper food storage equipment and a “sewer gas smell” were identified by public health inspectors the day after it was ordered closed.
The E. coli outbreak – one of the largest in Canada’s history – was declared on Sept. 4 and forced the closing of six daycare Fueling Brains locations and five other sites connected by the central kitchen. The cause is still under investigation.
Confirmed cases have grown to 264, with 25 people in hospital. Twenty-two patients are confirmed to have hemolytic uremic syndrome, a severe illness caused by E. coli that can damage organs.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Libya devastated by floods: Emergency workers have uncovered more than 1,500 bodies in the wreckage of Libya’s eastern city of Derna. The toll could spiral with 10,000 people reported still missing after floodwaters smashed through dams and washed away entire neighbourhoods of the city.
In photos: Libya floods wipe out quarter of city, 10,000 feared missing
New COVID-19 vaccine approved: Health Canada has given the green light to a new version of Moderna’s Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to be rolled out alongside other COVID and flu shots this fall. It is still reviewing Pfizer-BioNTech’s revised vaccine.
Biden probe launched: Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy has launched an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden. The contentious and unlikely-to-succeed effort to remove the Democratic President follows two impeachments of former president Donald Trump.
Kim Jong-un arrives in Russia: The North Korean leader rolled through Russia today on an armored train toward a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Kim is expected to seek economic aid and military technology, and appears to have something Putin desperately needs: munitions for Russia’s war in Ukraine.
iPhone reveal: Apple has unveiled a new iPhone 15 Pro with a titanium case and faster chip that enables better cameras and mobile gaming, moves designed to respond to a global smartphone slump.
Trial developments: Videos factored in today’s proceedings at both the convoy protest organizers’ criminal trial and the trial of the man accused of killing four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont.
Wall Street stocks ended lower as surging oil prices deepened worries about persistent price pressures ahead of crucial inflation readings this week. But strength in energy stocks helped Canada’s main stock index post a small gain.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 17.73 points or 0.05 per cent to 34,645.99, the S&P 500 lost 25.56 points or 0.57 per cent to end at 4,461.90, and the Nasdaq Composite slid 144.28 points or 1.04 per cent to 13,773.61.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 40.32 points or 0.2 per cent to 20,223.08. The dollar traded at 73.78 U.S. cents.
Justin Trudeau’s luck appears to be running out
“Trudeau built a lot of his own bad luck with errors, including errors of omission, like failing to catch up to angst over housing with muscular, effective planning despite years of Liberal plans and promises.” - Campbell Clark
The Greenbelt scandal isn’t about housing. It isn’t even about the Greenbelt
“The sight of a government relentlessly chasing after something not in the public interest, but rather benefitting private interests, raises an obvious question: What’s going on? And is this legal?” - Tony Keller
There’s a lot of uncertainty for homeowners renewing their mortgages in the next six to eight months. Here are four strategies mortgage brokers are using to help clients as they renegotiate in this tricky environment. They include stretching your amortization and signing up for a shorter mortgage term.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Stratford Festival returns to Neverland as Wendy and Peter Pan to open 2024 season
The Stratford Festival’s just-announced 2024 season includes the North American premiere of Ella Hickson’s Wendy and Peter Pan, a retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic tale.
The family-friendly play, which opened at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 2013, was originally scheduled for Stratford in 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled those plans. The hook of Wendy and Peter Pan is that story of the lost boys is seen through the eyes of Wendy.
And while the Stratford Festival returns to Neverland, the hope for artistic director Antoni Cimolino is that the season’s 12 productions represent a return to a prepandemic zeal for adventure. Read the full story by Brad Wheeler