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It may seem strange to identify loneliness as a cause of physical harm, yet there’s reason to believe loneliness has many consequences to the human body.

For older adults during the coronavirus lockdowns, a lack of social interaction has deprived them of physical and mental stimulation. For many people with dementia, loved ones are noticing that it has accelerated cognitive decline.

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Similarly, some people with disabilities have been isolated in their care homes for months. For some of these residents, the separation has caused mental and emotional distress. Experts say it could lead to an ‘avalanche’ of mental-health issues.

Susan Mills chats with her mother Barbara via a phone call at her nursing home August 29, 2020 in Arnprior, Ontario.

Dave Chan/The Globe and Mail

Other Canadian COVID news

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West coast wildfires

As the death toll climbs, flames up and down the West Coast have destroyed neighbourhoods, leaving nothing but charred rubble and burned-out cars. It has forced tens of thousands to flee and cast a shroud of smoke that has given Seattle, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, some of the worst air quality in the world.

Even in B.C., smoke has been affecting people. Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Metro Vancouver, showing a very high risk to health due to wildfire smoke from Washington and Oregon.

Hansel Valentine, 24, inspect the remains of the burned-out property of her relatives, as the wildfire continues in Estacada, Oregon, U.S., September 13, 2020.


EDC won’t disclose review findings

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Canada’s export bank says it will not disclose the findings of an internal review of business dealings by Paul Lamontagne, chief executive of its development finance subsidiary, who left last week after less than three years in the post.

FinDev Canada, a subsidiary of Export Development Canada, was launched by the Trudeau government in late 2017 with $300-million in seed capital in an effort to use business investments and loans to fight poverty in the developing world.

An EDC spokesperson said the board of FinDev requested an “independent assessment” of Mr. Lamontagne’s dealings at a controversial South African company, Sagarmatha Technologies Ltd.

Finger-pointing at the U.S.-Mexico border

Frequent border crossings for shopping and even to work were a prepandemic way of life in close-knit, cross-border communities along the U.S.-Mexico frontier. But as the pandemic dragged on and flared up, politicians on both sides blamed irresponsible border-crossers for spreading the virus.

Neither country has won many plaudits for its handling of the pandemic. “You can’t blame your neighbour for what’s happening in your own home,” said Dr. Antonio Alfaro, an internal-medicine specialist from the Mexican border town of Matamoros.

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Banks brace for end of first commercial loan deferrals: Experts are warning that the biggest risk for a spike in defaults may not come from mortgages, but from a smaller number of loans made to vulnerable businesses.

Aline Chrétien rose from poverty to become an influential adviser to the PM: Ms. Chrétien, who was known simply as “Madame” to scores of Liberal politicians and party members, died Saturday morning after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for a number of years.

Greek PM promises permanent migrant centre after fire on Lesbos: The fire at the Moria reception centre last week left more than 12,000 people without shelter, forcing most to sleep out in the open without proper sanitation or access to food and water. And it has pushed the migration issue back up the European agenda.

Lessons from New Brunswick election may provide template for future campaigns: It is the country’s first campaign since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The snap election call sent parties scrambling to find new ways to get their message out in an era of physical distancing.


World stocks rallied this morning on hopes for a coronavirus vaccine after AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial, but caution lingered before a host of central bank meetings this week. European stock markets opened broadly higher and U.S. stock futures rallied more than 1% -- suggesting a strong start for Wall Street later on. In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.9% to its highest in almost a week.

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Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.27 per cent just before 6 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX was off 0.16 per cent while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.07 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.65 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.56 per cent. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.83 US cents.


The ‘supply crisis’ in Canada’s housing market isn’t backed up by the evidence

Joshua Gordon: “So why is the debate so evidence-averse? Because the narrative is useful to powerful people.”

Albertans are anxious over the coming federal Throne Speech, and some of their fears may be justified

Kelly Cryderman: “But the worry in some quarters of the province, including the Kenney government, is that this means new laws, regulations and policies that will further hamstring the Canadian oil industry and, with it, the ailing Alberta economy.”


David Parkins

David Parkins/The Globe and Mail


The ultimate film festival bingo game for pandemic times

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The TIFF Bell Lightbox is seen at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario.

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

During TIFF 2020, spot-the-celebrity has been replaced by the game of trying to remember your password to log in for a digital screening. For an actual game, get your printer and a pencil and a physically-distanced friend to play TIFF bingo, 2020-style. Or print it out for your at-home TIFF viewing party, and follow The Globe’s Barry Hertz Twitter updates for the latest from the festival, which runs until Sept. 19.

MOMENT IN TIME: Sept. 14, 2020

Teacher Rina Charkravarti reads to Grade 2 pupils at Marvin Heights Public School in Mississauga, Ontario, December 9, 1994, where English is a second or third language for almost every student.

EDWARD REGAN/The Globe and Mail

Multiculturalism in the classroom

For more than 100 years, photographers have preserved an extraordinary collection of 20th-century news photography for The Globe and Mail. Every Monday, The Globe features one of these images. This month, as the new school year begins, we’re looking at photos taken in educational settings.

In 1994, Peel Region (west of Toronto) was in the midst of an immigration boom that was transforming suburban life into a multicultural landscape that mirrored the city’s downtown core. Many of the students going to school in the area were immigrants and learning English as their second or third language. Leaders within the region’s racialized and ethnic groups pushed for appropriate representation at what was then called the Peel Board of Education – the largest public school board in the country at the time – as it prepared for continued growth; the sprawling suburbs would eventually require dozens of new schools. Today, more than 250 schools serve more than 156,000 students in the Peel District School Board. - Willow Fiddler

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