Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The final texts from a Vietnamese woman believed to have died with other migrants in truck found near London
“Dear Mom, I’m very sorry, mom and dad. I wasn’t able to get abroad. Dear mom, I love you mom and dad a lot. I’m dying because I can’t breathe. . . . Mom, I am sorry, mom,” the short messages read. The texts came from 26-year-old Pham Thi Tra My, who also included her address in Vietnam and a picture of a small heart. They were eventually read by Ms. Tra My’s family, who have been trying to find her.
Investigators have said it will take some time to identify the bodies and piece together the trailer’s journey in one of the country’s worst human smuggling cases. Meanwhile, a fourth person was arrested in connection with the deaths of the 39 people found in the back of the same container truck as Pham, British police said Friday.
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Canadian youths launch climate lawsuit against Ottawa; Greta Thunberg joins protests in Vancouver
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg attended a climate rally in Vancouver today, billed as a post-election climate strike and inspired by climate protests Thunberg launched last year outside the Swedish Parliament. Earlier this week, she was also at Jasper National Park on a snow-covered glacier to learn from the scientists who study the ice.
As the rally was underway, 15 people filed in Federal Court in Vancouver to sue the federal government because of the disproportionate impact they say global warming is having on the lives of young people. The group ranges in age from 11 to 18 and hail from eight provinces and the Northwest Territories. They say the Canadian government’s contribution to high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change violate their rights to life, liberty and security of the person under Section 7 of the Charter, and fail to protect essential public trust resources.
- Opinion (Denise Balkissoon): “It will all be expensive and likely disheartening. In Canada and elsewhere, young people will grow up watching adults debate just how frightened about the future they have the right to be.”
Tsleil-Waututh Nation wants to expand reserve, create new neighbourhood
The First Nation is asking the federal government to approve its request to include a sprawling area in the District of North Vancouver in hopes of building a new residential and commercial neighbourhood. Tsleil-Waututh leaders, who are opposed to the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project, say developing real estate will be crucial to ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of their 600 members. Under new legislation that came into force in August, the federal government is now allowing Indigenous groups to request permission to expand geographically, known as an “addition to reserve” application.
Ontario will not radically redraw province’s regional governments
The Ontario government has decided against pursuing a “top-down approach” and will not redraw the province’s regional governments, despite a consultation process that took months. Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark announced Friday that instead of acting on a menu of possible sweeping changes – including Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s plea that her city become independent from Peel Region – Queen’s Park will instead offer up $143-million for municipalities across the province to find new ways to lower costs and improve services.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ontario to ban vaping ads in convenience stores and gas stations: The changes are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, but the province is not implementing a blanket ban on vaping ads, which means companies could still advertise their products, such as on billboards or on public transit.
Hundreds of additional Russian military police arrive in Syria under peace deal with Turkey: Russia sent about 300 more military police and more than 20 armoured vehicles to Syria under an accord that requires Russian and Syrian border guards remove all Kurdish YPG militia from within 30 kilometres of the Turkish border.
Liberal cabinet minister Jim Carr diagnosed with blood cancer, says he has begun treatment: “This has also affected my kidney function,” he said in the statement. “I have begun chemotherapy and dialysis treatment, which will continue for the near future.”
Power fully restored two weeks after major snowstorm hit Manitoba: The Thanksgiving weekend storm hammered Winnipeg, southwestern Manitoba and the Interlake region to the north, leaving about 53,000 people without power and prompting Premier Brian Pallister to declare a state of emergency.
Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday as precious metal miners gained on the back of higher gold prices. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 35.17 points at 16,404.49.
Trade talks were back in focus as the U.S. trade representative’s office said U.S. and Chinese trade officials are “close to finalizing” some parts of an agreement after high-level telephone discussions on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 150.36 points to 26,955.89, the S&P 500 gained 11.96 points to 3,022.25 and the Nasdaq Composite added 57.32 points to 8,243.12
To improve health care, we need to plan our work force of the future
André Picard: “We have to see the health work force, not just as an expense, but as an economic driver. We also have to focus on productivity rather than raw numbers.”
Can Andrew Scheer really become prime minister?
Bob Plamondon: “While Mr. Scheer may never become charismatic, he might succeed if he can rebuild bridges across the conservative universe, adopts mainstream policies that don’t reek of ideology and are relevant in all parts of Canada, addresses climate change with substantive policies and somehow reconciles his social-conservative views in a way Canadians can accept.” Plamondon is an author on Canadian politics.
Why do Jagmeet Singh and the NDP seem so happy about the party’s crushing defeat?
Adam Pankratz: “Its position today – holding the balance of power in a minority government – came down to chance, and falling upwards isn’t a reliable strategy.” Pankratz is a lecturer at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
Not sure what to watch? Some movies opening this week include the police corruption thriller Black and Blue, the anti-hate satire Jojo Rabbit that forgets to bring the satire, and a sentimental Pain and Glory which holds up a cracked mirror to Pedro Almodovar’s own legacy. Also soon opening are Robert Eggers’s The Lighthouse and Western Stars, directed by both Thom Zimny and Bruce Springsteen. Read The Globe’s reviews to decide which movies to include in your weekend plans.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
If bringing home a sombrero is the ultimate Mexican souvenir cliché, then Olmos y Flores’ palapa hat, which retails at the Viceroy for about $500 plus tax, is the perfect encapsulation of Los Cabo right now. Once considered primarily to be a cheesy spring break party destination, Cabo is in the middle of a reinvention: With a US$1-billion investment in hotel development and US$50-million in airport upgrades. According to the Los Cabos Tourism Board, it’s growth within that upper end that is driving an overall tourism boom.