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Canada Evening Update: Pope vows to stop abuse, Montreal calls for federal handgun ban, Trudeau defends reaction to heckler

Good evening,


Pope vows to stop sexual abuse by clergy, pens unprecedented letter

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Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world Monday condemning the crime of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up and demanding accountability. The letter comes in response to a Pennsylvania grand jury report last week, which said at least 1,000 children were victims of some 300 priests over the past 70 years and that generations of bishops failed to protect children and punish the rapists. Francis begged for forgiveness for the pain suffered by the victims, writing, “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”

Debra Soh writes that Horror and disgust shouldn’t be our only response to pedophilia: “Shutting the discussion down out of discomfort, as many of us would understandably prefer to do, doesn’t eliminate the problem, but only sends it underground.”

Montreal calling on feds to ban handguns, assault weapons

Montreal’s city council unanimously adopted a motion on Monday calling for the federal government to ban handguns and assault weapons across the country. It comes a month after Toronto’s city council requested a ban on handguns following a mass shooting that shook Canada’s largest city. The Montreal motion calls on Ottawa to strengthen its gun-control bill, known as C-71, which currently doesn’t prohibit the private ownership of handguns or assault-style weapons.

After 40 years, sovereignty off the table in Quebec election

Quebec is heading into an election campaign in which for the first time in 40 years, sovereignty is not the major defining issue. Each of the main contenders for the coming Oct. 1 vote agree that Quebec independence is not a point of contention, including the Parti Québécois. However, voters still want change, although it’s not clear how they’ll get it from the available political options.

A few days before the campaign beings, the Coalition Avenir Québec is leading in the polls with a nationalist agenda, which includes calling for new powers in immigration and culture. The Conservative Party of Canada is officially staying neutral on the election, but has picked up on CAQ’s proposals to tailor the platform it will present to Quebec voters in the 2019 federal election. It seems there would be a natural alliance between the two parties.

Wildfire smoke blanketing much of B.C. causing health concerns, traffic warnings

From his home on the Stellat’en First Nation in B.C., about 160 kilometres west of Prince George, David Luggi can usually see the nearby Fraser Lake and trees on the shoreline. Now, those landmarks are shrouded by wildfire smoke that has blanketed much of B.C. and spread through neighbouring Alberta and beyond. It is the result of hundreds of fires burning around the province forcing thousands to evacuate. The smoke is putting many cities under air quality advisories, causing health concerns, traffic warnings and pushing pollution to dangerous levels.

Crews reported that they made some headway over the weekend. There weren’t many lightning strikes over the weekend and that gave crews a chance to concentrate on some of the 54 blazes currently threatening people or property.

A study published Monday shows scorching summer heatwaves and downpours are set to become more extreme in the northern hemisphere as global warming makes weather patterns linger longer in the same place. The extremes can lead to drought, wildfires or flooding.

Has social media usage around the world peaked?

Share prices of three of the largest social networks tumbled in recent weeks after missing expectations. But there is a more troubling trend: Social media use may be reaching its peak as the market becomes saturated. Facebook added no new users in Canada and the U.S. and lost users in Europe in the second quarter while it had it slowest global growth since analysts began tracking the measure in 2011. Twitter and Snapchap both lost users and none of these companies can expect to look to emerging markets for growth.

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Ottawa revisits fuel standards plans as Trump moves to roll back U.S. rules

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna on Monday released a paper that evaluates the existing fuel-efficiency standards for the years 2021-25, which were put in place in partnership with the previous U.S. administration in 2014. The Trump administration proposed freezing fuel-efficiency regulations at 2020 levels and declared California no longer has the right to set its own standards, a decision that state has vowed to fight in court. Now, Ottawa is conducting a review and watching to see if there will be one weakened federal standard in the U.S., or two competing ones in which California is joined by other states. Canada typically harmonizes its vehicle efficiency regulations with the United States.

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U.S. stocks rose in thin volume as investors held onto hopes for an easing of the trade war. Canadian stocks were nearly unchanged, but also ended in the green with the help of rallying cannabis stocks. The U.S. dollar dropped after President Donald Trump said he had expected Jerome Powell to be a cheap-money Federal Reserve chairman.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 7.32 points at 16,331.03. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 Index climbed 6.92 points to 2,857.05, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 88.87 points to 25,758.19 and the Nasdaq Composite closed at 7,821.46, 5.13 points higher.

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Trudeau defends his reaction to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

At a rally on Sunday, a woman was shouting at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him when Ottawa would repay Quebec for costs incurred as a result of an influx of “illegal immigrants.” Mr. Trudeau responded by accusing her of intolerance and racism. On Monday when asked if his comments went too far, Mr. Trudeau vowed to steer clear of such hate speech. He said he fears the rise in extreme populism, particularly surrounding immigration issues, with some feeding fear and intolerance using partial truths and “outright lies.”


In extreme heat, landlords should be required to keep tenants cool

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“In Montreal, authorities noted that most of the people who died during this year’s heat wave were above the age of 50, lived alone and had existing physical or mental health issues. And a Toronto Public Health study in 2010 found that while 85 per cent of residents in the city have AC, the 15 per cent who don’t are more likely to be people who rent, immigrants, those classified as low income, living in community housing and those who have difficulty with transportation. As The Guardian noted in a feature about heat waves around the world, heat is becoming the next big inequality issue.” - Abdullah Shihipar, Toronto-based freelance writer and incoming masters student at Brown University’s School of Public Health

Ottawa needs to prepare for a long trade war with the United States

"Two in five Americans are willing to accept higher prices on household products in exchange for the promise of more U.S. jobs. So there is willingness to accept some short-term pain. This is not changing in response to tariff retaliation, at least not yet. Indeed, the data also show that half of Americans are consistently unaware of trade retaliation.” - Danielle Goldfarb, head of global research at RIWI Corp.

Do women really need their own weed?

“There is, in fact, a feminist angle to this historic decriminalization, one that has the potential to end a war on drugs that has ruined countless lives, especially those of racialized women and their families. The trouble is, it’s being overshadowed by dollars.” - Denise Balkissoon


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Renovation dreaming: Advice and inspiration for improving your home

Nearly half of Canadian home owners plan to renovate this year, according to a recent poll, and roughly one-third will borrow money to finance it. From looking at the first things to consider when doing a reno to how to pay for your improvement, we look at tips and ideas including if you really need that sexy new kitchen. (for subscribers)


The man inside: A wounded policeman’s life on the frontier of consciousness

Hilary and Ian Jordan tied the knot 45 years ago when she was a rosy-cheeked brunette and he a strapping young man with a passion for bagpipes. But for two-thirds of their marriage Ian has been in a barely conscious state, unable to speak. It was the result of a traumatic brain injury suffered in a car accident in 1987 at the end of a night shift as a police officer in Victoria. For 30 years Hilary visited Ian, covering the walls with pictures of their son. His eyes brightened when she talked and at times he would smile or groan as if he had something to say. As Adriana Barton reports, patients like Ian fall into a medical mystery zone.

‘Cupids is divided terrible’: The Newfoundland cove where 17th-century history meets a 21st-century mess

More than 400 years ago, the scenic town of Cupids in the eastern part of Newfoundland was the first permanent English settlement – or was it? Documents addressed to The Globe claim the name of the town doesn’t appear in historical records. The controversy has created factions in the romantically-named town and led to four mayors in two years, half of the council resigning and RCMP having to defuse an altercation between two councilors. Jessica Leeder examines how locals created a booming business that then became a battleground over history, money, power and pride.

Evening Update is written by Jordan Chittley and S.R. Slobodian. 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.

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