Good evening, the Evening Update newsletter will pause on Monday for the statutory holiday and return on Tuesday. Now on to today’s top stories:
Garneau says he hopes talks will end anti-pipeline protests
A handful of blockades went up a week ago to back the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia, prompting Canada’s largest freight rail carrier, Canadian National Railway Co., to suspend operations on its network east of Toronto Thursday, a move that could lead to as many as 6,000 layoffs. Via Rail also said Thursday that it was cancelling most of its passenger services.
The loss of freight service has prompted worries about low supplies of chlorine for water treatment, propane for home heating and other shortages.
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he hopes negotiations will end the anti-pipeline protests – and that it’s up to the provinces to enforce the court injunctions that declared the blockades illegal.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he and his senior ministers have been in regular contact with premiers and others to find a solution to the protests. He also said that politicians should not be telling police how to act.
Opinion: What is happening on Wet’suwet’en territory shows us that reconciliation is dead – Gina Starblanket and Joyce Green
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U.S. senator says Congress will cut off intelligence sharing with Canada if it approves Huawei 5G
Republican U.S. senator Rick Scott, who sits on the armed services and homeland security committees, is warning Canada that Washington could stop sharing valuable intelligence information if Ottawa allows China’s Huawei Technologies to supply gear for next-generation 5G networks.
Ottawa is in the midst of conducting a national-security review to determine if Huawei should participate in 5G networks. Even with that review continuing, Telus Corp. said on Thursday that it will begin building out its 5G network with Huawei gear.
People return to Beijing under quarantine as China struggles to pick up economy
The Chinese capital of Beijing on Friday imposed a 14-day self-quarantine on people returning to the city from holidays to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, and threatened to punish those who failed to comply. It was not immediately clear how the restriction, relayed by the official Beijing Daily newspaper, would be enforced, or whether it would apply to non-residents of Beijing or foreigners arriving from abroad.
China is struggling to get its economy going after the annual Lunar New Year holiday, which was extended for 10 days to help contain the outbreak of the new and highly contagious respiratory virus, which has infected almost 64,000 people and killed almost 1,400.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympic organizers and the International Olympic Committee said on Friday there is no “Plan B” for the 2020 Games, which open in just over five months and have been jolted by the outbreak of the virus in neighbouring China.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Guy Nantel launches campaign for Parti Québécois leadership: Well-known in Quebec for his stand-up shows and vox pops, during which he quizzes hapless Quebeckers on the politics of the day, comedian Mr. Nantel said he would launch a referendum on Quebec sovereignty in his first mandate as premier if elected.
New Brunswick deputy premier quits: New Brunswick’s governing Progressive Conservatives saw Robert Gauvin quit in protest over health-care reforms Friday, leaving the minority government in the precarious position of facing a confidence vote or possibly calling an early election. Mr. Gauvin’s announcement follows the government’s decision this week to close emergency rooms overnight in six community hospitals in the province.
Closing arguments at Harvey Weinstein rape trial: A prosecutor told a jury in closing arguments Friday at the New York trial that the film producer considered himself such a big shot in Hollywood that he thought he could get away with treating aspiring actresses like “complete disposables.“ Mr. Weinstein’s lawyers said he was confident heading into the long weekend before the start of deliberations Tuesday.
Canopy Growth conducting review: Canada’s biggest cannabis producer is conducting a “thorough strategic review” of its production facilities to focus on its most lucrative markets and product lines, company executives said on Friday. The company reported a smaller-than-expected third-quarter loss on Friday.
Canada’s main stock index was narrowly higher on Friday as worries over the economic impact of the deadly coronavirus outbreak kept investors at bay ahead of a long weekend. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 27.19 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 17,848.36. Lagging shares were Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., down 15.4 per cent, MTY Food Group Inc., down 8.7 per cent, and Eldorado Gold Corp., lower by 4.2 per cent. South of the border, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25.64 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 29,397.67, the S&P 500 gained 6.12 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 3,380.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 19.21 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 9,731.18.
To ensure our digital rights, we must hit pause on facial-recognition technology
“From Instagram filters to ID services, it has emerged as an important tool for how we engage with social media and government services. But the potential harms have become increasingly clear: The underlying algorithms have been shown to be prone to false positives, to function poorly on darker skin tones and to be biased in favour of white men over women, in particular women of colour.” – Taylor Owen, Beaverbrook chair in media, ethics and communications at McGill University and co-host of the Big Tech podcast, and Nasma Ahmed, director of the Digital Justice Lab
Is Europe ready for a Merkel-shaped void in its middle?
“For the next year and a half, the consensus view is that there will remain a Merkel-sized hole in the centre of Europe, and the era of Late Merkelism will not be marked with bold, nothing-to-lose German actions on the world stage – but rather, a sort of listless, waiting-room vibe.” – Doug Saunders
Your weekend movie guide
Romance abounds with the incendiary Portrait of a Lady on Fire and unabashed capital-R Romance The Photograph. And then there’s Sonic the Hedgehog. See all our reviews of the newest openings in our weekly movie guide.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
How do long marriages survive? Couples share the secrets of their long-haul unions
Modern times have not been kind to the idea of lifelong marriage. This is the era that ushered in the grey divorce, and the cynical notion of the doomed-to-fail, trial-run “starter marriage."
Amid such cultural realities, it becomes easy to overlook the fact that many married Canadians are actually in it for the long haul. Half of Canadians age 75 and older who are in relationships have been with their partners for 55 years or more, and five million of those 55 and up boast long-lasting unions of 30 years or more, according to Statistics Canada’s 2017 General Social Survey on families.
The Globe and Mail spoke with researchers and with couples across the country who have been together for four decades or more about the secrets of the long-haul marriage. Read Zosia Bielski’s full story here.