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Good evening, this newsletter will pause for Labour Day, and will resume next Tuesday.

Now let’s look at today’s top stories:

The lastest in COVID-19 news: First fines for no masks on airplanes; Tam warns of new risks

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Two air travellers are facing $1,000 fines after refusing to wear face masks aboard WestJet Airlines flights. The penalties are the first two laid by Transport Canada under new laws aimed at limiting the spread of the lethal COVID-19 virus. The unnamed people were on separate flights: On June 14 to Waterloo, Ont., from Calgary; and on July 7 to Calgary from Vancouver.

The fall will bring new risks in the COVID-19 pandemic along with colder weather and indoor family holiday gatherings, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam warned today. With the final long weekend of the summer season upon us, she said Canadians need to consider their own risk factors and the details of plans for any in-person gatherings.

Opinion: We need to work together to get kids back in school – for their sake and for ours. Perfection isn’t necessary - Naomi Buck

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August jobs numbers show pace of hiring slows as reopening shifts to new phase

Canada added 246,000 jobs in August, a weaker pace than in previous months and indication that hiring plans are shifting into a new phase.

The unemployment rate declined to 10.2 per cent from 10.9 per cent in July, Statistics Canada says. Among the encouraging signs in the data, most of the gains came in full-time work and came entirely from the private sector.

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But there are now fewer COVID-19 restrictions to unwind, some businesses have permanently closed and others are struggling with less customer demand – all factors that could weigh on hiring.

Rogers vows to keep Cogeco headquarters in Quebec if deal goes through

Rogers Communications has pledged to keep the headquarters of Cogeco and Cogeco Communications in Quebec if it is successful in acquiring the Canadian operations of the Montreal-based cable and media business.

Rogers and New York-based cable company Altice went public this week with an unsolicited $10.3-billion offer that would divvy up the business along the border: Altice would get Cogeco’s U.S. network, Atlantic Broadband, and Rogers would acquire the Canadian side.

The offer was turned down by the Audet family, which controls the business, and independent directors at the two companies. It also drew opposition from Quebec Premier François Legault, who expressed concerns about the headquarters moving to Ontario following an acquisition.

Read more: How Cogeco takeover bid could reshape Canada’s telecom landscape

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Opinion: Altice USA CEO knows how to charm his way through a takeover - Andrew Willis

New leader Erin O’Toole talks Conservatives’ priorities, criticizes Liberals green recovery plan

New Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says the Liberal government’s recovery plan is too narrowly focused on a green economy and will leave out major employers in sectors such as energy, manufacturing and Canada’s small businesses.

In his first interview with a newspaper since winning the party leadership late last month, O’Toole said he wants to erase Canada’s deficit in about a decade if his party forms government.

He also called for increased immigration through family reunification as part of a COVID-19 recovery effort. He also listed his support for ending the ban on gay men donating blood as an example of how he brings a new inclusive approach to the Conservative leadership.

Opinion: Prepare for a very different Conservative Leader with Erin O’Toole - John Ibbitson

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Portland shooting suspect killed: Michael Forest Reinoehl, a man suspected of fatally shooting a supporter of a right-wing group in Portland, Ore., last week after a caravan of President Donald Trump backers rode through downtown, was killed yesterday as investigators moved in to arrest him, the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday.

Trump denies report on war dead comments: Donald Trump took to Twitter today to defend himself against accusations that he made offensive comments toward fallen and captured U.S. service members, including calling First World War dead at an American military cemetery in France as “losers” and “suckers” in 2018. Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden called the alleged comments “deplorable.”

Union defends suspended Rochester officers: The police officers involved in the suffocation death of Daniel Prude were following their training when they put a hood over his head and pinned him to the ground before noticing wasn’t breathing, the head of the officers’ union says. The mayor has suspended the seven Rochester officers pending completion of an investigation into their roles in the death of Prude, a Black man, in March.

Raptors win with buzzer-beater: A clutch shot by OG Anunoby on a pass from Kyle Lowry with less than a second on the clock sealed the victory for the Toronto Raptors over the Boston Celtics. The Raptors could tie the NBA Eastern Conference semi-final series when they next play the Celtics tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

Canadians in U.S. Open action: Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime advances to the third round of the U.S. Open men’s singles after dominating three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray in a straight-sets win last night. Earlier in the day, Vasek Pospisil advanced by beating fellow Canadian Milos Raonic. Denis Shapovalov is playing American Taylor Fritz in third-round action this afternoon - check back later at to catch up on scores and highlights.

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The Nasdaq closed lower today, though well above its session low as selling eased late in the day after investors dumped heavyweight technology stocks due to concerns about high valuations and a patchy economic recovery. The major indexes regained some ground in late afternoon though trading was volatile.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 159.42 points or 0.56 per cent to 28,133.31, the S&P 500 lost 28.10 points or 0.81 per cent to 3,426.96 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 144.97 points or 1.27 per cent to 11,313.13.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index also closed down, shedding 230.88 points or 1.4 per cent to end at 16,218.01, as Shopify followed the tech trend.

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The Liberals seem to think they have abolished scarcity. Let’s hope they’re right

“Even at these levels of spending, opportunity costs cannot be ignored altogether. Unless resources are literally infinite, governments still have an obligation to get the most bang for our buck.” - Andrew Coyne

Trump’s political violence is a fire that can’t be contained

“We should be worried about the spread of political violence and the President’s incitement of it not just out of concern for our American neighbours, but out of concern for the rest of the world, too.” - Elizabeth Renzetti

The pandemic’s unnoticed toll: Hundreds of millions of missing city dwellers

“In 2020, it’s the urban poor who are fleeing – and what’s driving them out is not fear of the disease, but a well-placed fear of economic ruin and starvation.” - Doug Saunders


The long weekend is just about here, and Christopher Waters has nine refreshing wine picks to help you celebrate. The recommendations range from an iconic New Zealand sauvignon blanc to a crisp U.S. rosé plus a trio of inviting white wines from B.C.’s Okanagan.


Canada only country willing to detain Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou, China says

The United States asked “dozens” of countries to detain Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou as she travelled through Asia and Europe in the fall of 2018, the Chinese government says.

But only Canada agreed to arrest Meng, daughter of the tech giant’s founder, senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official Lu Kang told The Globe and Mail, offering no evidence for his assertion.

Lu spoke in a rare wide-ranging interview to Asia correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe, in which he defended China’s foreign policy, praised the economic ties built up over 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, denied that Beijing is practising hostage diplomacy, argued that other countries are better to follow China over the U.S. – and accused the Canadian government of misleading the public over what has taken place in nearly two years of friction. Read the full story here.

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