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The Morning Update newsletter will pause on Monday for the long-weekend holiday, but will return on Oct. 10.

Good morning,

British Columbia has announced a major reversal in its drug decriminalization policy to prohibit illicit drugs from being used in more public spaces, after backlash from municipalities.

The legislation tabled this week would, if passed, ban drug use in areas such as parks, beaches and sports fields, as well as within a six-metre radius of building entrances and bus stops. Under the proposed legislation, police would be able to direct those using drugs in these areas to stop, or move along. If they don’t comply, officers could seize their substances and arrest them.

The province began its three-year pilot project in late January to decriminalize possession of up to 2.5 grams of illicit drugs such as fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA, with the goal of lessening the stigma of addition and helping steer people toward services. But since the project began, municipalities have said they are unprepared to respond to the policy change and many introduced their own bylaws banning public drug use.


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Premier David Eby joined by Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announce that the B.C. government is prohibiting the use of illicit drugs in more public places, at legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Oct. 5, 2023.CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

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Ottawa looks at limiting number of Airbnbs to boost rental unit availability

The government is considering plans to limit Airbnbs to free up more rental units, according to two federal officials. The move, the officials say, is part of a political strategy to counter Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre’s campaign to gain the support of Canadians worried about the rising cost of living.

Two government sources told The Globe that the Liberals are determined to make housing affordability and cost of living central issues over the coming months with targeted announcements by the Prime Minister and others, as part of a plan approved by cabinet in August.

One of the initiatives they’re considering is inducing municipalities to limit Airbnb units to boost long-term rentals. One of the sources said this could ease rental shortages in big cities but also in places like Whistler, B.C., and Banff, Alta., where there are not enough homes to house people working in tourism.


Russia targets northeastern Ukrainian village killing more than 50 civilians

A Russian missile attack on a café and grocery store in a village near Kharkiv in Ukraine killed more than 50 civilians, in one of the deadliest assaults outside of combat in the country since Russia invaded in February, 2022.

The strike hit the small village of Hroza, in Kupiansk district, on Thursday afternoon, while residents were gathering at the café after a service in memory of a fallen soldier. Some of those killed were in the grocery store next door, according to Ukrainian officials. Regional police put the death toll at 51. Hroza was among parts of Kharkiv that were occupied by Russia early in the war. The village was recaptured by Ukraine in September, 2022.

Opposition to press for public hearings on federal outsourcing after CBSA allegations

Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie and NDP MP Gord Johns say they will push to hold new public hearings on federal outsourcing after The Globe and Mail reported that both the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency have launched investigations into allegations of misconduct.

The MPs say their concerns include the fact that former CBSA president John Ossowski told the government operations committee in December that he had never met GCStrategies managing partner Kristian Firth. However, The Globe reported this week that he and Firth both attended a virtual meeting in September 2020, during which a pilot project was approved that ultimately led to the misconduct allegations.

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Also on our radar

Jailed Iranian activist wins Nobel Peace Prize: Narges Mohammadi is one of Iran’s leading human rights activists, who has campaigned for women’s rights and the abolition of the death penalty. She is currently serving multiple sentences in Tehran’s Evin Prison.

Lower speed limits in Wales prompt largest petition in legislature’s history: The Welsh government lowered the 30-miles-an-hour speed limit to 20 m/h (32.2 km/h) across the country in September. The new rule has resulted in mass protests and a record-breaking petition.

A rancher and an environmentalist are teaming up to save the disappearing Prairie grasslands: Unlikely collaborators Ralph Thrall III and Leta Pezderic – a third-generation Alberta rancher, and a university-trained environmentalist, respectively – have joined forces to save the grasslands. Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Pezderic’s employer, have made what they call a historic deal with Thrall and his family to preserve his ranch.

Former Rogers CEO Joe Natale alleges telecom violated ethics by altering board minutes: The former chief executive officer of Rogers, who was ousted in 2021 during a high-profile power struggle in the company’s upper ranks, says the telecom altered board meeting minutes in an “egregious violation of ethics.”

Nova Scotia says plan to expand cellphone coverage coming but not sure about funding: The province’s Minister of Public Works Kim Masland says that a strategy is coming to fix the province’s cellular dead zones but she still doesn’t know who will pay for it or how long it could take to solve the problem.

Morning markets

Markets await U.S. jobs data: Bonds were calmer on Friday after a pause in a relentless sell-off on “higher for longer” interest rate worries, helping shares edge up as investors hoped for a subdued U.S. payrolls number. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.21 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were up 0.62 per cent and 0.42 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.26 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.58 per cent. New York futures were modestly higher. The Canadian dollar was down slightly at 72.90 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

By playing gutter politics, the Manitoba PCs deserved to lose

“When you are campaigning on not searching a landfill site where police believe the remains of murdered women were buried – and what’s more, when you turn that message into an actual billboard – what does that say about your party? How debased can you be, to seek votes on the backs of dead Indigenous women?” – Marsha Lederman

Meet Matt Gaetz, the ‘nihilist’ behind the mayhem in the U.S. House of Representatives

“Most Americans just want Washington to work. Instead, Mr. Gaetz and his co-conspirators in sowing mayhem are helping Democrats make the case that the GOP is unfit to govern.” – Konrad Yakabuski

Today’s editorial cartoon

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David Parkins/The Globe and Mail

Living better

The science behind why laughter can help you live life to the fullest

There are many scientific investigations that prove laughter can have profound physiological and psychological benefits. In a 1989 study, researchers at California’s Loma Linda University looked into the impact of laughter on 10 healthy male subjects. The results demonstrated that laughter helps to down-regulate the stress hormones. The researchers also discovered a link between laughter and the production of antibodies and endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers. Read more in a new monthly column by Thomas R. Verny, a psychiatrist, academic, writer, poet and podcaster, as part of The Globe’s The Age of Breakthroughs series.

Moment in time: Oct. 6, 1948

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British paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey with the skull of a small primate, circa 1940.Keystone/Getty Images

Mary Leakey finds partial skull of Proconsul africanus

As early as 1909, fossil hunters in eastern Africa had been finding pieces of an ancient ape considered to be a possible ancestor to both humans and chimpanzees. In 1933, the creature was dubbed Proconsul – meaning “before Consul,” a moniker made famous by various performing chimps at the turn of the past century. But the species had no face until British-Kenyan paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey led an expedition to Kenya’s Rusinga Island, on Lake Victoria. Travelling with him was his second wife and partner, Mary Douglas Leakey, an illustrator turned expedition member who once told the Associated Press, “Given the chance, I’d rather be in a tent than in a house.” As reported in the journal Nature, where she is only referred to as “Mrs. Leakey,” she was the first to notice some fragments of bone that had washed down the slope of a gully. These led to a remarkably preserved, nearly complete facial skeleton of Proconsul. Celebrated as a major find, the discovery was the first of many for Ms. Leakey, who died in 1996 after decades of crucial field work that collectively helped to write the story of human evolution. Ivan Semeniuk

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