Good evening. The coronavirus pandemic has been the top story all day once again. Let’s start with the latest developments:
As Alberta declared a state of emergency and other authorities in Canada announced closures of schools and casinos in recent hours, the Trudeau government is hoping to pass emergency legislation as it prepares economic stimulus measures to be unveiled tomorrow. (Find our most up-to-date news here.)
On the front lines of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, health-care practitioners across Canada, including retired doctors and nurses, are joining the effort to treat people. Canada now has 449 cases of COVID-19, and four people have died.
In the United States, the focus today is on economic relief. While President Donald Trump pitches a nearly $1-trillion domestic aid program to Congress (including direct payouts to Americans), the Federal Reserve has restarted a recession-era program to underwrite short-term loans to companies.
While border-security agencies in many countries are holding up the movement of people and goods in places such as Europe, retailers and elected officials in Canada insist there are enough groceries and other supplies to go around. But as Rob Carrick writes, should you choose to rely on home delivery for your basic needs, take all appropriate measures to keep delivery employees safe.
Markets and business: The national association representing Canadian banks said the number of open branches, and their hours, will be limited during the pandemic crisis, though critical services will be maintained. Meanwhile, as Eric Atkins reports, the suddenly cash-strapped global airline industry has already reached its worst-case estimates of lost revenue at $113-billion (U.S.).
The Toronto Stock Exchange was up 2.6% today after hitting a four-year low yesterday, and Wall Street also climbed as policymakers continued to try to help markets calm despite generalized coronavirus fears.
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IN OTHER CORONAVIRUS NEWS
Provinces: Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a state of emergency early this morning, while Quebec said it would give taxpayers more time to pay their taxes. B.C. announced that schools are closed indefinitely, becoming the last province to announce its policy on students and educators. Manitoba says it will close all licensed daycares by end-of-day Friday, and all six of its casinos tomorrow.
World: The French government says it is prepared to take any measure to protect companies suffering due to the pandemic, including the possibility of nationalizing some companies. Also in Europe, a disinformation campaign based out of Russia is compounding the challenges of fighting the virus, the European Commission says.
- Coronavirus guide: What you need to know about COVID-19 and its toll around the world
Health: In this time of social distancing, Alex Bozikovic writes, Canadians need parks more than ever.
Education: Joe Friesen reports on the situation at post-secondary campuses, where students are being told to clear out of residences post-haste.
Arts: Following a series of similar announcements across the Canadian music world, the East Coast Music Awards was cancelled today. How are musicians, no strangers to calamity, coping with yet another threat to their livelihood? Brad Wheeler reports.
Sports: Organizers of events situated later and later on the sports calendar are facing the reality that they must postpone. Today, both the French Open tennis tournament and the Kentucky Derby horse race announced postponements.
- In a pandemic, jailing anyone more than what is necessary for public safety is absolutely dangerous. We need to release non-violent offenders. – Justin Ling
- As we Indigenous people call out for assistance in the midst of the current crisis, let us hope that our cries are not met with body bags. – John Borrows and Constance MacIntosh
- The only thing that has not been affected by COVID-19, seemingly, is the Government of Alberta’s fight with its doctors. – Max Fawcett
- The worry and uneasiness this pandemic will create in all of us will test our faith in many things: government, our institutions, even our fellow human beings. But we must resist the urge to become depressed about it all. – Gary Mason
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Democratic primaries: The process Democrats use to decide whom they will nominate in the U.S. presidential election has been thrown into uncertainty by coronavirus concerns, but in three states it is carrying on today. The Globe’s U.S. correspondent Adrian Morrow will track primary results in Arizona, Florida and Illinois tonight, but in the meantime, see how the outbreak is disrupting voting.
China revokes journalists’ credentials: In a move it says is in retaliation for Trump administration restrictions on Chinese journalists, Beijing is demanding journalists working for The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal turn in their press cards within 10 days.
Brady on the move: Tom Brady, the quarterback who led the New England Patriots to six Super Bowl titles over the past two decades, is saying goodbye to the only NFL home he has ever known. In a message posted to social media today, the 42-year-old wrote: “my football journey will take place elsewhere.” The free agent will entertain offers from rival teams this week.
Yemen fighting: The conflict in Yemen that has killed more than 10,000 people since 2014 and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis has claimed 38 more victims already this week. Attacks on government forces by Houthi rebels led to fierce clashes in the district of Sorouh in central Marib province, where at least 38 fighters from both sides were killed and dozens more wounded, officials said.
Beyond pipelines: The nation-building project that could electrify Canada
Sara Hastings-Simon and Blake Shaffer: “Electricity transmission is an opportunity for two-way trade with benefits to many stakeholders on both sides of the lines. And we must better understand them so that benefits are not ignored or misunderstood, leading to parochial political opposition to interprovincial lines being built.”
This St. Patrick’s Day, let’s celebrate the Canada-Ireland relationship
Jim Kelly: “Many Canadian companies and investors in financial services, technology and other sectors now look to Ireland’s unique offering as a culturally compatible, English-speaking, common-law country with barrier-free access to the 450 million consumers of the EU Single Market. With a business-friendly environment, a highly educated workforce and an economy averaging growth of four to five per cent per annum, Ireland provides the perfect gateway to the EU for Canadian business.”
Stuck at home due to COVID-19? Here’s absolutely every movie worth watching on Canadian streaming services, for every kind of viewer
Globe Film Editor Barry Hertz offers his top movie picks for every kind of audience – escapists, content-starved families, those needing a laugh, serious movie buffs and those who just want to watch some well-executed trash – across all the major Canadian streaming services: Crave, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Kanopy, CBC Gem and The Criterion Channel. Here’s hoping this fix is just temporary and that we’ll all be watching the surefire wonder of The New Mutants in a crowded multiplex soon.
What does a wine’s vintage date mean for its quality?
Whether you’re an accomplished oenophile or just sipping as an escape from *gestures broadly*, wine writer Christopher Waters says the year printed on the bottle can help you understand when the wine will reach its potential, but only if you have a whole lot more information about how the wine was produced.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE (OR NO COMMUTE AT ALL)
Thanks to COVID-19, the future of movie theatres looks darker than ever
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, movie-going was in tumult. In an entertainment landscape where a world of content is available on the screen of your choice for a fraction of the cost of a movie ticket, theatre attendance has declined steadily. Combine the technological disruptions of the streaming era with a dearth of genuinely original films coming down Hollywood’s production pipeline – last year’s top 10 earners at the global box office were all either sequels, reboots or remakes – and a general unpleasant corporate multiplex experience thanks to high concession prices and an onslaught of pre-show advertisements, and it becomes increasingly difficult to see why anyone but the most hardened of cinephiles would want to step inside a darkened auditorium on a Saturday night. Even Cineplex has spent considerable effort investing in almost everything but movie theatres.
As much as there is to love and cherish about the moviegoing experience – especially if you visit a slick and keenly programmed independent cinema, or are able to bask in the luxe art-house environs of, say, the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto – the future of the theatre was dim before anyone uttered the word coronavirus.
Yet the industry erosions arrived this week more quickly than anyone could have predicted. First, the National Association of Theatre Owners cancelled their annual CinemaCon industry confab in Las Vegas, just days ahead of Vegas itself shutting down. From that moment – when theatre owners are worried about congregating in one spot, there’s little hope they can convince audiences to do the same – it’s been one gigantic, unprecedented development after another.
Read Barry Hertz’s full story here.
- First person: Independent cinemas face a tough road ahead, but closing ours was the right thing to do
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.