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

Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi was among those killed in a horrific helicopter disaster that also claimed the life of a child when the aircraft crashed into a kindergarten in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash. Dozens of people, including children, were hurt, with many suffering burns from a fire that started in the kindergarten after the crash.

Defence Minister Anita Anand, meanwhile, announced during her visit to Kyiv that Canada would donate an additional 200 armoured personnel carriers.

Read more:

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A complicated grief: Living in the aftermath of a family member’s death by MAID

When Canadians receive medical assistance in dying, families and caregivers are often at their side, comforting them along the way. But the situation becomes much more fraught, ethically and emotionally, when patients don’t want relatives and friends involved.

With privacy laws limiting the medical information that can be shared with a third party, even primary caregivers may not know until the very end that a loved one has applied for MAID, reports Erin Anderssen. And when they go looking for closure – to ensure a mistake didn’t happen – the system can turn them away.

If death is really meant as a last resort, experts argue, then excluding a patient’s social circle should be the exception. That’s why some experts say the role of families needs to be clarified before MAID extends to patients with mental illness.

Read more:

Ontario integrity commissioner to launch investigation into housing development decision for Greenbelt

Ontario’s integrity commissioner plans to investigate a complaint against Housing Minister Steve Clark and his decision to open the protected Greenbelt to housing development.

Incoming NDP Leader Marit Stiles had asked the commissioner to look into what she calls “curious timing of recent purchases of Greenbelt land by powerful landowners with donor and political ties to the Ontario PC Party.”


Federal committee unanimously votes to probe government contracts with McKinsey: The consulting firm has been in the spotlight since news reports highlighted the rapid growth of the company’s work with the Trudeau government.

China frets about COVID-19 in rural areas: As millions of urban workers head back to their hometowns to reunite with their families for Lunar New Year festivities, President Xi Jinping says he’s particularly concerned about the virus spreading to areas with poor medical facilities, but urged perseverance.

Hootsuite replaces CEO: The Vancouver-based company has named Irina Novoselsky, former chief executive at Career Builder, as its new CEO, and began its third major round of layoffs in six months.

World’s oldest person dies at 118: French nun Sister André, who lived through two world wars and survived COVID-19 without realizing she had been infected, passed away Tuesday, a few weeks before her 119th birthday, at a nursing home in the port city of Toulon, France.

Zellers is making a Canadian comeback. Here are the new locations: More than a decade after a Target Corp. deal that saw the end of the beloved Zellers era, the discount retailer is posed to return, with 25 planned locations.


Stocks fell and bond prices spiked on Wednesday after weak U.S. economic data rekindled fears over a looming recession. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 613.89 points, or 1.8 per cent, at 33,296.96. The S&P 500 index was down 62.11 points, or 1.6 per cent, at 3,928.86,while the Nasdaq composite was down 138.10 points, or 1.2 per cent, at 10,957.01. The S&P/TSX composite index was down 81.23 points at 20,376.23.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.41 cents US compared with 74.68 cents US on Tuesday.

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Doug Ford prescribes a needed dose of private health care in Ontario

“Blind fear of private delivery of publicly funded health care ignores how Canada’s current system functions and shuts down debate on much-needed reform. But, equally, to believe private clinics are a simple solution ignores the mixed results from other provinces. Ontario is smart to step away from the status quo, but success is not a foregone conclusion. Done carefully, done well, the province’s reforms could work.” – Editorial board

AI presents serious challenges to academia – but also serious opportunities

“Chatbots could empower tens of thousands of graduate students who are non-native speakers of English to generate new, clearer knowledge in engineering and science labs across Canada. Language fluency won’t be a barrier to ideas, which are in a universal tongue. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing that chatbots’ free and increasing ubiquity will encourage instructors and universities to reconsider or reinvent potentially creaky evaluation regimes.” – Murtaza Haider


One of the experts behind the new drinking guidelines explains the changes

New guidelines based on recent research say that two drinks or fewer pose a low health risk, three to six are a moderate risk and seven or more are a high risk. Dr. Catherine Paradis, a sociologist and co-chair of the group behind Canada’s new drinking guidelines, speaks with The Decibel about her research findings and the report’s recommendations. Paradis says there’s some good news if you’re looking to improve your health and well-being: “simply reduce your alcohol use and you’re going to achieve that.”


China’s first population decline in decades points to looming demographic crisis

A nurse takes care of a newborn baby at a hospital in Fuyang, in China's eastern Anhui province, on Jan. 17.STR/AFP/Getty Images

China’s population shrank in 2022 for the first time since the Mao-era famine, pointing to a demographic crisis that will dominate the agenda of the country’s leaders in coming years.

Last year was the sixth-straight annual decline of birth rates, and the first time deaths outnumbered births in the country since the 1960s, according to statistics released Tuesday.

The beleaguered Chinese economy is starting to emerge from its zero-COVID induced fugue, but a demographic crisis could hamper future growth, potentially even preventing China overtaking the United States as the world’s largest economy. Read the full story by James Griffiths.

Evening Update is written by Beatrice Paez. 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.