Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The Rogers Centre’s domed, retractable roof has been an icon of Toronto’s skyline since it opened in 1989 as SkyDome. Now Rogers Communications Inc., owner of Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays, and the real estate arm of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. want to demolish the stadium and construct a new one as part of a downtown Toronto redevelopment, according to multiple sources involved in the project.
While the priority for Rogers is a new ballpark near the existing stadium, the sources said the company is also looking at waterfront sites such as the 12-acre Quayside property where Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs abandoned plans to build a smart-city project.
For Rogers, turning a stadium into condos and other developments would allow the company to cash in on a lucrative investment, while creating a better experience for baseball fans and players – the Jays are expected to move from artificial turf to natural grass.
- Cathal Kelly’s opinion: Good riddance, Rogers Centre. You had your moment
- In photos: Rogers Centre through the years
Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh killed in attack near Tehran, state TV reports
Top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was “assassinated” Friday, state television said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Iranian media all noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously shown interest in Fakhrizadeh. Israel alleged Fakhrizadeh led the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program until its disbanding in the early 2000s.
The killing risks further raising tensions across the Middle East, nearly a year after Iran and the U.S. stood on the brink of war when an American drone strike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad. U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will inherit the volatile situation after he is inaugurated in January.
- Background: Who was Mohsen Fakhrizadeh?
Trudeau plays down early vaccine delays, says ‘what really matters’ is large-scale inoculation by end of 2021
The Prime Minister believes the finish line is more important than the starting line. At least, that’s how he is reacting to criticism that Canada will end up behind other countries in rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine to its citizens. “If all goes according to plan, we should be able to have a majority of Canadians vaccinated by next September,” Justin Trudeau told reporters today, though that timeline was immediately pushed back a few months by Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer.
In other coronavirus news, Ontario is reporting another new high in daily cases with 1,855, a new report has projected the capacity of Montreal hospitals to treat COVID-19 cases, and Saskatchewan has added a $260-million buffer to manage pandemic costs.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Senator Sinclair retiring: Murray Sinclair, who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and became a senator in 2016, said in an interview with The Globe and Mail’s Kristy Kirkup that he plans to retire from the Senate at the end of January. The Manitoba Senator, who is writing his memoirs, says he intends to stay active in Indigenous Canadians’ ongoing efforts to achieve equality and reconciliation.
Optimizing air quality: Raefer Wallis, a Canadian expert on managing interior air, watched the pandemic sweep through China from a front-row seat in Shanghai. The lessons he learned could serve as a blueprint for redesigning and rebuilding cities around the world to make them less vulnerable to contagion – if not for this pandemic, then for the next one.
Belarusian President to step aside: Alexander Lukashenko on Friday said he would leave his post after a new constitution had been adopted. Belarus has been rocked by months of anti-government protests.
Tessa and Scott among Order of Canada inductees: Champion ice-dancers Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue are among 114 athletes, artists, scholars and community leaders named to the Order of Canada today.
Cannabis stocks carried the TSX to a modest gain today as a holiday-shortened trading day in New York ended with a record high for the S&P 500.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 45.22 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 17,396.56. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.9 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 29,910.37, the S&P 500 gained 8.7 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 3,638.35 and the Nasdaq Composite added 111.44 points, or 0.92 per cent, to 12,205.85.
Global stocks remain on track for the strongest monthly performance on record.
Canada must invoke the Emergencies Act now
“In a struggling province, the Emergency Act would give the federal government the ability to augment testing and contact tracing. It could have local public health units and hospitals report directly to Ottawa and implement their recommendations directly. It could requisition property, for instance hotels to be used for quarantine, as housing for the homeless and to create additional hospital beds. If needed, it could impose broad lockdown measures, which we should remember were successful in the spring of 2020.” – Vincent Lam, author and medical doctor
Canada’s at the back of the COVID-19 vaccine line. But it’s not because they aren’t made here
“The vaccines are coming. The only question is why they are coming later to Canada than elsewhere. It isn’t only the United States, Germany and the U.K. we’re behind, after all. We’re behind just about everybody.” – Andrew Coyne, staff columnist
Down to rare earth: Canada ignores China’s resource power grab at its own peril
“Now, China is in position to potentially strangle the free world’s access to rare earth minerals by cutting off production, further tightening the market or even sabotaging the assets it holds in foreign countries.”– Steven Fletcher, former MP and cabinet minister
Tips for shipping holiday gifts where they need to be, safely and on time
If you’re planning to shop online or ship gifts for the holidays, the sooner the better, courier companies say. To ensure there are no disappointments, it’s important to familiarize yourself with guaranteed delivery cut-off dates. Properly packaging gifts is equally important. We’ve got all the info you need, including tips for eco-friendly packaging.
Armed with that info, you’re ready to get inspired by the book choices on our Globe Books holiday gift guide.
TODAY’S LONG READ
For the Fraser River delta, a crucial choice looms for species and a way of life
When conservation biologist Laura Kehoe first came to Canada’s West Coast in 2016, she was astonished by what she found on the Fraser estuary – the broad, fertile plain where British Columbia’s longest river empties into the Salish Sea just south of Vancouver.
The revelation was more than casual sightseeing. As part of a joint project with researchers at the University of Victoria and University of British Columbia, Dr. Kehoe’s assignment was to document the stress that urbanization, land use and industrial activity are putting on scores of species at risk in one of Canada’s most extraordinary and contentious landscapes – and then figure out how much it would cost to save them.
Now, reports Ivan Semeniuk, the results are in and they make clear that the Fraser estuary is at a crossroads.
Evening Update is compiled and written weekdays by an editor in The Globe’s live news department. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.