Good morning, and welcome to the weekend.
Grab your cup of coffee or tea and sit down with a selection of this week’s great reads from The Globe and Mail. In this issue, Erin Anderssen speaks with families of patients who had either received or were in the late stages of a medically assisted death without their knowledge. Anderssen stresses that her story is not about someone’s individual choice being controlled, or their privacy being broken, but about how we approach the process of MAID: “The families I interviewed were grieving a lack of closure, and transparency – not necessarily the person’s decision to receive MAID,” she says. “They were haunted by the fact that they had missed out on last conversations, what they didn’t understand, and that, after the fact, they couldn’t get answers to their questions.”
Sean Silcoff and Josh O’Kane, meanwhile, look at why, despite Ottawa pouring billions of dollars into giving Canada’s tech industry a boost, critics say the Trudeau government hasn’t had much to show for its efforts to unleash the country’s economic potential.
And Dave McGinn digs into the world of dog influencers, whose adventures offer much-needed joy and reprieve from the seriousness of the world.
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A complicated grief: Living in the aftermath of a family member’s death by MAID
Under privacy laws, there are limits to what can be shared with a third party about a person’s medical records. Even primary caregivers can be excluded from the assessment process for assisted dying – and they may find out, only near the end, that a loved one has applied, reports Erin Anderssen. The system can even turn away those looking for closure. If death is supposed to be the last resort, experts argue, then excluding a patient’s social circle should be the exception.
How the Liberals’ multibillion-dollar tech plan created ‘chaos’ instead of growth
Eyes now roll when Ottawa speaks of “innovation,” after years of politicians throwing it around as a buzzword. That’s because, critics say, innovation programs have been too politically driven, with the government attempting to cover too many sectors and regions. They say it also doesn’t help that they’re often designed by bureaucrats with outdated or underdeveloped notions of how to spur economic growth in a knowledge economy. Even some former federal officials agree that Canada is falling short in developing a coherent strategy. There are so many innovation programs and agencies that “with everything that’s been announced, it’s impossible to come up with a word other than ‘chaos,’” said Robert Asselin, who was an adviser to former Liberal finance minister Bill Morneau.
Behind the high-tech hunt for the Russian bombers targeting Ukrainian civilians
Mark MacKinnon dives into the world of high-tech bomb hunting, as he reports on a Russian regiment believed to be responsible for the deaths of almost 70 people in separate Dnipro and Kremenchuk attacks. Behind the scenes, he writes of Molfar, an open-source intelligence firm based in Dnipro, and its efforts to keep Ukrainian civilians safe.
After Ticketmaster’s terrible year, this is how the concert business be redeemed
Never has such a great year for live music felt so bad. Concert promotion leader Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. said it enjoyed its biggest summer concert season in history, but it also experienced a public-relations nightmare this fall when an unprecedented demand to attend Taylor Swift’s coming Eras Tour crashed the website of ticket merchant Ticketmaster. Brad Wheeler speaks to industry experts who discuss how to fix a broken system.
Dog influencers are barking straight to the bank
Meet Hudson, a very good boy who loves a romp in the snow and whose mission is to spread #fluffyjoy to the humble “masses.” But if you’re one of his nearly half a million followers on TikTok and Instagram, you already know his full name: Hudson the Fluffy Corgi. Before the pandemic, dog influencers such as Hudson were well on their way to becoming ubiquitous, raking in thousands of dollars through sponsored posts. Their popularity has exploded more than ever thanks to more Canadians bringing them home since the start of the pandemic, and the fact that they provide comfort and relief when the world can be very dark.
How B.C.’s “catch and release” system is failing victims of random assaults and repeat offenders
Repeat offenders in British Columbia – most of whom are battling homelessness, mental-health issues, addictions or all three personal crises at once – routinely spend a few weeks or months in provincial jail before being released, often hurting strangers in the street or staff trying to stop them from shoplifting. Mike Hager speaks with criminologists, politicians, former judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers and a repeat offender’s family and his victims in an effort to understand why and how B.C.’s justice system is failing the victims of random assaults and the offenders themselves.
This marathoner made her kids part of her training – and her race to the finish line
When Canadian marathoner Tifanne Thayme laced up to run the Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon, she made sure to pack provisions such as peeled apple slices, crayons and a Spider-Man action figure for the two kids in tow – just in case they got fussy. It all started on a lark: She looked up records for long distance running-with-strollers. Just last month, she unofficially set a world record pushing her two children in a double stroller in a 42.2-kilometre race that was also a journey through motherhood.