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Transit agencies say they’ll improve tracking of sexual violence

After revelations of pervasive data gaps reported by The Globe and Mail, several transit agencies across Canada say they are changing how sexual violence and harassment are tracked on their systems.

The Toronto Transit Commission, Calgary Transit and Metrolinx, which serves the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, are among those planning reforms such as expanding the scope of incidents tracked and updating record systems. Saskatoon Transit, meanwhile, which was not collecting data on sexual assault, has started doing so since The Globe first contacted the agency about the issue, and is considering also tracking sexual harassment.

The changes come in the wake of a Globe investigation that found nearly 4,000 incidents of a sexual nature were recorded on Canada’s 22 largest transit systems between 2013 and 2017. The findings also revealed systemic issues with how the information was collected and which sexual incidents were counted.

A judge has rejected groups’ attempt to have Quebec’s secularism law suspended

Today a judge rejected an attempt by religious and civil liberties groups to have Quebec’s secularism law suspended. Quebec Superior Court Justice Michel Yergeau says Bill 21 will continue to apply until a court rules on the merits of a court challenge against it. The law, adopted in June, prohibits some public sector workers, including teachers and police officers, from wearing religious symbols at work.

Lawyers representing a national Muslim organization, a civil liberties group and a university student who wears an Islamic head scarf had asked for a judicial stay on the central parts of Bill 21. They argued the law is causing serious, immediate harm to religious minorities across the province.

A report finds that affordable rental housing is nearly nonexistent for minimum-wage workers

In most major Canadian cities, there are no neighbourhoods where a minimum-wage worker could comfortably afford an average-priced one-bedroom apartment, according to a new report.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found such a worker could afford the average one-bedroom rental rate in 9 per cent of 795 neighbourhoods, and 3 per cent for two-bedroom units.

As of 2017, more than one million Canadians were earning the minimum wage, according to a Statistics Canada report from last year, and lower-income individuals are more likely to rent their housing than own it.

Trudeau toughens his stance on Trump’s ‘unacceptable’ comments against congresswomen

Justin Trudeau has toughened his stance against the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump after the Prime Minister was criticized for his conciliatory tone confronting racist comments. “I think the comments made were hurtful, wrong and completely unacceptable,” Mr. Trudeau said.

Trudeau’s response came after a Trump rally yesterday evening where supporters shouted “send her back” when the U.S. President referred to Representative Ilhan Omar. She is one of four visible minority Democratic congresswomen Mr. Trump said should “go back” to the countries from which their families emigrated. All four congresswomen are American citizens and three of them were born in the U.S.

As for Trump, the president said he was unhappy with the chants last night and claimed that he tried to stop them.

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Geopolitical tensions heightened by Iran’s seizure of tanker: Following an announcement by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards that they had seized a foreign tanker smuggling fuel, the U.S. State Department insisted Iran had to free the ship and its crew and stop harassing vessels in and around the Strait of Hormuz. Later in the day, President Trump said that a U.S. warship destroyed an Iranian drone in the strait after it threatened the ship.

Doug Ford wants answers on Toronto CAMH patient who left Canada: The Ontario Premier says he wants to get to the bottom of how a patient detained at a mental health hospital managed to flee, calling the man a “nutcase.” The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health says Zhebin Cong, who was found not criminally responsible for the death of his roommate, had been on an unaccompanied trip into the community on July 3 when he failed to return.

Deadly arson attack on Japanese animation studio: A man shouted “die” as he doused an animation studio with fuel and set it ablaze in Kyoto today, public broadcaster NHK said, killing at least 33 people in the nation’s worst mass murder in nearly two decades.

'Pharma Bro’ loses appeal of conviction and sentence: A U.S. federal appeals court upheld the conviction and seven-year prison term of former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli for defrauding investors in hedge funds he founded. It also rejected his claim that the US$7.36-million he was ordered to forfeit was excessive, and could have been reduced because his investors made money.

Panel recommends criteria for outlets receiving government funding: The panel tasked with determining the criteria for news outlets to receive part of the government’s five-year, $595-million package of funding for journalism has made its recommendations to government. The group is calling for a reconsideration of the funding, saying the current package will be insufficient to save many outlets.

Jeffrey Epstein denied bail in sex trafficking case: A judge denied bail for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges after prosecutors argued the jet-setting defendant is a danger to the public and might flee the country. The ruling means Epstein will remain behind bars while he fights charges that he exploited dozens of girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.


North American stocks reversed course from an early slump and closed higher to break a two-day losing streak after technology and bank stocks rallied, and the rising price of gold offset the impact of falling oil prices. Comments from a U.S. Federal Reserve policymaker heightened expectations for a rate cut and also pushed stocks higher.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 10.02 points at 16,494.23. South of the border, the S&P 500 index rose 10.69 points to 2,995.11. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 3.12 points to 27,222.97 after being down as much as 151 points earlier, and the Nasdaq composite rose 22.03 points to 8,207.24

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Could populism take root in Canada? Too late - it already has

“Ever since Donald Trump won the American presidency in 2016 with a toxic combination of sexism, vulgarity and the brazen courting of white nationalists, Canadian academics, pundits and pollsters have been obsessed with the question: ‘Could it happen here?’ … In many ways, Canada is the most populist-ridden country going. It just takes a form where we don’t recognize it as populism. Instead, we call it regionalism.”Andrew Potter, an assistant professor at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.

Sperm, eggs, donors, parents – but don’t forget about the children

“The Norman Barwin story is creepy, to say the least. The former Ottawa fertility doctor recently had his licence revoked by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, after decades of deceiving and outright lying to his patients about the paternity of their offspring … Although Mr. Barwin’s case is extreme, it’s only one example of how desperately Canada’s assisted-reproduction industry needs to be regulated, and those regulations enforced … Assisted reproduction exists entirely to create new people. It seems important to respect that many of those people want things to be done differently.” – Denise Balkissoon

Taxing polluters over commuters isn’t a better approach to carbon taxation

“This wave of conservative backlash against carbon taxation shouldn’t be construed as a right-wing denial that there is a serious environmental threat from carbon emissions, nor that Canadians should do nothing to reduce our carbon footprint. The main thrust of their beef is that hard-working, long-suffering consumers (a.k.a. voters) shouldn’t be the ones footing the bill … Of course, this notion that someone needs to be punished misses the point of carbon taxes entirely. The point is to use the most powerful force in the free market – pricing – to alter consumption behaviours.” – David Parkinson


How to win the endless battle with your e-mail inbox

“We have been struggling with e-mail for two decades now, and it seems to be winning,” writes Harvey Schachter. But, with the strategies suggested by leadership coach Dianna Booher, you can improve.

For starters, stop using e-mail for tasks other software and services handle more appropriately, like scheduling appointments or cloud storage.

And when it comes to communications etiquette, stop superfluous piling on, such as when a report is sent out and everyone receiving it sends empty responses such as “looks good” to all the others, causing needless distractions.

Here are more suggestions for getting the most out of your email inbox.


My husband’s secret cash stash, and why it was so important

“We found the tin, a Christmas tin, the second day after your death,” writes Deborah Schnitzer. “I had seen it there for years, under the sink, beside the toilet paper, the bactericidal wipes and the industrial hand sanitizers. I thought, perhaps, it housed your secret stash of painkillers: the hydromorphone and fentanyl patches you stockpiled just in case. You were, after all, a just-in-case child. Your parents had survived the Holocaust, having lost children and partners before they met one another and had you, a 1948 baby.”

The tin left by Schnitzer’s husband after his 24-year battle with a chronic disease ended held $1,000, in loonies.

“I think of the money sewn into clothes by mothers frantic to protect their children, money salvaged in camps by guards as bodies rose in gas chambers. I think of your extraordinary courage as one who lived with chronic and incurable disease, who gave to his sons every ounce of the strength he had, wrapped now in the tin box the story of his own fear and ingenuity, thinking that if he failed, when he died, if the banks failed and the world crashed, and the fascists came once more to find us, we might have a little cash to buy our way out, for a little while … perhaps.”

Evening Update is written by Jack Denton. 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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