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

Police clear Tyendinaga Mohawks’ rail blockade

Ontario Provincial Police officers have cleared Tyendinaga Mohawk protesters from their camp along a railway line near Belleville, Ont., enforcing a court injunction to end a weeks-long blockade that has paralyzed a large portion of Eastern Canada’s cargo and passenger rail traffic.

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The protest began on Feb. 6 in support of five Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the passage of the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline through their traditional territory in northern B.C.

But there is dissent in the Wet’suwet’en Nation. The hereditary chiefs “are neither following nor abiding by our traditional laws. They are changing them to suit their own purposes, to benefit themselves,” says Gary Naziel, a hereditary subchief.

For weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his federal ministers spoke of favouring negotiations over police actions on the blockades. Today, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the government is open to continuing discussions with the Wet’suwet’en people, but that the barricades had to be removed.

Two blockades by Indigenous people on smaller Quebec rail lines in Kahnawake and Listuguj remain in place.

Context: Wet’suwet’en chiefs vs. RCMP: A guide to the dispute over B.C.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline

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The latest on the coronavirus: World markets fall as the outbreak spreads

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Stocks fell the most in two years today and oil prices tumbled as a jump in coronavirus cases outside of China drove investors to the perceived safety of gold and government bonds on fears of the impact to the global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,031.61 points, or 3.56 per cent, to 27,960.80, the S&P 500 lost 111.86 points, or 3.35 per cent, to 3,225.89 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 355.31 points, or 3.71 per cent, to 9,221.28. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 280.79 points, or 1.57 per cent, at 17,562.74.

More developments:

  • Canada: There are two new cases in this country – one in Ontario, the other in British Columbia – bringing the total to 11.
  • Italy: The biggest outbreak outside of Asia is continuing to take its toll, shutting down wealthy northern parts of the country. Confirmed cases have reached at least 229, up from 155 Sunday night, and killed seven.
  • China: Authorities are making a new push to revive an economy kept in suspension by nationwide lockdowns that have, for weeks, kept tens of millions of people under a kind of medical house arrest.

Opinion: On two fronts, Chinese President Xi Jinping is waging wars he cannot lose - Frank Ching

Keep up to date on developments and catch up on the story so far with our explainer here.

Harvey Weinstein convicted of sexual assault and rape, but acquitted of most serious charge

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Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault and third-degree rape today, but acquitted on the most serious charges that could have sent him to prison for life.

Weinstein, 67, was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a one-time aspiring actress, in 2013. He faces up to 25 years in prison on the sexual assault conviction.

He was acquitted on two counts of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape of Mann.

The case was a milestone for the #MeToo movement that inspired women to go public with misconduct allegations against powerful men. More than 80 women had accused Weinstein of misconduct, which he has denied.

Opinion: Should we celebrate the Weinstein verdict? It’s complicated - Brenda Cossman

Ottawa needs to clarify oil sector’s future after Teck cancels Frontier mine, former energy executive says

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Teck Resources’ cancellation of the Frontier oil sands mine highlights the need for clarity from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the role of the oil and gas sector as his government aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions, says Dennis McConaghy, a former industry executive.

His comments come after Teck’s surprise decision over the weekend to pull the application for the massive oil sands mine just days before federal cabinet was expected to decide its fate.

The cancellation drew negative reaction from Canada’s business leaders, who warn it sends a “terrible message” and confirms the politicization of Canada’s regulatory process.

The latest on job action involving teachers in Ontario and Saskatchewan

Public elementary school teachers in Ontario will not cover for absent colleagues if a supply teacher does not show up, the union said as it announced new job action. The “Phase 6” job action protocol did not involve any strikes this week or next, which means English public elementary schools will remain open.

Related: Ontario teacher strikes leaves families struggling to cope with changes in routines

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Meanwhile, members of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation have voted overwhelmingly in favour of job action. The federation represents 13,500 teachers whose last contract expired Aug. 31. It said it will provide 48 hours of notice if there are severe sanctions such as a walkout.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

It’s NHL trade deadline day: NHL teams had until 3 p.m. EST today to swing deals ahead of the league’s trading deadline. Here’s The Globe’s guide to who’s on the move.

Alberta court rules federal carbon tax is unconstitutional: The Alberta Court of Appeal has concluded the federal government’s carbon tax is an unconstitutional intrusion into provincial powers, handing Ottawa a major defeat in its climate-change battle with conservative premiers.

Overdose deaths down in B.C.: British Columbia’s death toll from overdoses decreased last year for the first time since 2012, but health officials say the crisis is far from over.

MTY Food Group calls whistle-blower’s claims ‘baseless’: Restaurant conglomerate MTY Food Group says that a whistle-blower’s allegations that delayed its latest earnings report are baseless, but has not specified what those allegations were.

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TALKING POINTS

It’s time for Canadians to get uncomfortable: Emerging markets aren’t waiting for us

“Canada lacks entrepreneurial and innovation ties with Indonesia, the Philippines, Chile, Tunisia and a host of other countries that, thanks to advancements in educational attainment, infrastructure and burgeoning young demographics, will be home to the emerging economies of the next decade.” - Dan Herman and Eric Bosco

The Leafs’ real problem, Zamboni driver aside, is they don’t care

“It’s hard to tell with the Toronto Maple Leafs how much outrage is appropriate for any given situation. It’s not as though they’re ever good. So it seems a bit exhausting to flip out every time they are bad.” - Cathal Kelly

LIVING BETTER

The deadline to contribute to a registered retirement savings plan for 2019 is March 2 – just a week away. But planning your finances for retirement can be a daunting task. So here’s The Globe’s guide on what you need to know: from how much to save to which investments to consider, how CPP, OAS and GIS factor in and more.

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

‘I had the time of my life’: Zamboni driver David Ayres makes NHL history with cinematic win over Maple Leafs

Carolina Hurricanes emergency goaltender David Ayres skates a lap after being named the game's first star after they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Saturday. (Photo by Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press(

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

The Hockey Hall of Fame called Sunday and asked for his goalie stick. The Governor of North Carolina wants to make him an honorary citizen. The Carolina Hurricanes began selling shirts with his name on the back and invited him to their game in Raleigh on Tuesday. He will also be making the rounds on talk shows on Monday as well, including The Today Show on NBC.

One day you drive a Zamboni, the next you are the talk of the sporting world. Alex Ovechkin scored his 700th goal? That’s nice, but did you hear about David Ayres?

He is 42 years old and had a kidney transplant 15 years ago. On Saturday night, he played in goal for Carolina and beat the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. He received cheers usually reserved for millionaires and lived childhood dreams. Read Marty Klinkenberg’s full story here.

Related: David Ayres’s mother surprises him during emotional TV appearance

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