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

Premiers agree to accept Ottawa’s health care funding proposal

Canada’s premiers have agreed to accept Ottawa’s offer for new health care funding, paving the way for a lift in transfers to the provinces and territories in the coming federal budget. Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson made the announcement this afternoon, following an hour-long virtual meeting of the premiers and territorial leaders.

Stefanson, chair of the Council of the Federation, said the agreement will pave the way now for each of the provinces and territories to secure bilateral health funding accords with the federal government on their specific issues. But she said the premiers still have concerns about the package.

Ottawa offered premiers $46.2-billion in new health care funding over 10 years, a figure that is significantly less than what they had demanded.

Kyiv carries on anxiously as war’s approaching anniversary raises spectre of Russian assault

Anxiety levels in Kyiv have risen somewhat ahead of the the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, but no one appears in a panic. Residents of the Ukrainian capital have adapted remarkably well to the war and seem confident that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not dare invade the city again as he tried to do almost a year ago.

The city is getting used to blackouts, which in recent weeks have become mercifully short. And when the power goes out, gasoline-powered generators kick in outside many shops and restaurants. There are no shortages of gasoline or diesel fuel, as there were early in the war.

Meanwhile, the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut endured heavy artillery fire earlier today in what appeared to be the start of a major new Russian offensive.

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CSIS warned Trudeau about Toronto-area politician’s alleged ties to Chinese diplomats

Michael Chan, former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister and now deputy mayor of the city of Markham, Ont., asserted his Canadian loyalty and accused CSIS of character assassination, after the Canadian intelligence service warned senior aides to the Prime Minister that government MPs should be cautious in their political dealings with Chan due to alleged ties to China’s consulate in Toronto.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has a dossier on Chan containing information on his activities in the 2019 and 2021 federal election campaigns and meetings with suspected Chinese intelligence operatives, according to security sources. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the sources, who risk prosecution under the Security of Information Act.

Trudeau sees ‘some sort of pattern’ in downed aerial objects

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that the four aerial objects shot down in recent days are connected in some way, without elaborating.

Officials on both sides of the border have struggled to explain the origin of three objects that U.S. fighter jets have brought down over North American airspace since a suspected Chinese spy balloon was downed on Feb. 4 off South Carolina’s coast after flying across the United States.

John Tory to stay on as mayor of Toronto for this week’s budget debate

Councillor Gary Crawford, Toronto’s budget chief, says John Tory intends to stay on as mayor through Wednesday’s debate over the proposed budget. Tory stunned observers on Friday when he announced his resignation plan after admitting to an “inappropriate relationship” with someone who used to work on his team.


Netanyahu launches contentious overhaul of legal system as thousands protest

Tens of thousands of Israelis protested outside the Knesset, Israel’s parliament building, in a show of force against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as his government formally launched its contentious plan to overhaul the country’s legal system.

Netanyahu and his allies say the country’s unelected judges have too much power and need to be reined in. His opponents say that Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption charges, has a conflict of interest. They say his planned overhaul will destroy Israel’s democratic checks and balances and is a poorly disguised plot to make his criminal case go away.

Laith Marouf once barred from re-entering Canada, interviewed by CSIS

Laith Marouf, an anti-racism consultant at the centre of a scandal over a series of tweets about “Jewish White Supremacists,” was barred from re-entering Canada from Syria in 2009 and interviewed by a Canadian intelligence official at the embassy in Damascus.

The FBI also questioned the American grandmother of Marouf’s partner, Gretchen King, about his application to remain in Canada as a permanent resident.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh urges Ottawa to block Rogers’s takeover of Shaw

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is urging Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne to block Rogers Communications Inc.’s $20-billion takeover of Shaw Communications, citing concerns that it could lead to higher cellphone bills and job losses.


Wall Street closed sharply higher today as investors awaited inflation data likely to hint at the path of the Federal Reserve’s future interest rate hikes. The Canadian stock market also advanced, helped by gains in the technology and consumer discretionary sectors, but Bay Street trailed the performance in the U.S.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 90.11 points, or 0.4%, to 20,702.23, continuing its choppy trading pattern since the start of the month. The S&P 500 climbed 1.15% to end the session at 4,137.32 points. The Nasdaq gained 1.48% to 11,891.79 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.11% to 34,246.13 points.

The loonie was trading at 75.01 cents (U.S.), up 0.65 cents.

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If we let Putin exploit the Holocaust, we risk repeating history’s mistakes

“We should also be aware that things never repeat themselves in the same way. Contemporary policies must be judged on their merits, not only by their relation to the past.” – Ian Buruma

No, Mr. Ford, it’s not okay to host a party where developers come with cash

“A premier should never allow this to happen. And if it happens without the premier’s knowledge, then he should be aghast – and immediately reveal it all publicly, in detail.” – Campbell Clark

To close the subsidized daycare gap, for-profit centres will be needed

“Too much of the debate has pitted non-profits against for-profits and set punitive, unrealistic caps on the number of for-profit spaces. There must be space, with sensible safeguards, for entrepreneurs to enter the market.” – Editorial


Ahead of their return to Massey Hall, TSO musicians recall strange odours, a sleeping superstar and an imperfect ancestral home

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra was Massey Hall’s main tenant until 1982 when it moved to the newly constructed Roy Thomson Hall. On Feb. 17, as part of the TSO’s 100th anniversary celebrations, the orchestra will give a concert in its old digs. Massey Hall has recently undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation – a new paint job and then some. A few current TSO musicians who were with the orchestra when it still called Massey Hall home reflect on the sights, sounds and smells of their old venue.


For Valentine’s Day, Globe readers share love stories from across generations

The Globe asked readers to share their love stories. We heard from couples who’ve been together mere months to more than 55 years. We heard from a couple who fell in love from opposite sides of the world. And we heard from couples who met in a morgue and in a war-zone. Canadians – from boomers to Gen Zs – share tales of their romances.

Evening Update is written and compiled by Andrew Saikali. 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.