A number of migrant farm workers in B.C. and Ontario told The Globe and Mail that they have been punished by their employers over disagreements about COVID-19 precautions.
Even before the pandemic, workers said they faced backlash for attempting to assert their rights. Altogether, these accounts are emblematic of the power imbalance in the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program, a flaw that the federal government has admitted.
While Ottawa has announced short-term investments and pledged long-term structural changes to the TFW program, workers and advocates say they now want the additional creation of an independent agency to probe complaints that can also protect complainants from reprisals.
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Leaders fear crisis sparked by Beirut blast could lead to civil war
Lebanon’s political and religious leaders are warning that the country’s political crisis risks deteriorating into civil war.
Since the Beirut explosion, which the public sees as a symptom of years of corruption and neglect, protestors have been calling for the ruling elite to step aside in favour of a transitional government that would oversee early elections. In particular, Hezbollah and its allies, including President Michel Aoun, have become targets of popular outrage.
On Friday, Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, explicitly criticized the protesters and repeatedly referred to the possibility of civil war. The government declared a state of emergency last week.
Atlantic university towns anxiously await return of students
For out-of-province students attending universities across Atlantic Canada, the beginning of this fall semester will be a solitary experience due to the required two-week quarantine upon arrival. Meanwhile, school officials are implementing COVID-19 public-health guidelines before students who are already in the Atlantic bubble arrive at the end of the month.
While an anxious experience given the all the different public health requirements, the return of students is a relief for the many restaurants, shops and landlords in these college towns.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ontario, Alberta see continued fights over back-to-school plans: Ontario has rejected the Toronto District School Board’s plans to shorten elementary school days and to have high school students in school buildings on alternate days, while pushing unions to concede some preparation time. Meanwhile, the fight over class sizes continues in Alberta.
Military reports improved conditions in Ontario care homes: A few months after raising alarm about horrific conditions within Ontario’s care homes, the Canadian military has now reported major improvements in these facilities’ infection-prevention-and-control practices and staffing levels. But it also cautions that issues, such as the training of new staff, still exist.
Defund-the-police advocates face challenges in Canada: As activists call on cities across North America to defund police departments, Canadian municipalities have been slower to act than their U.S. counterparts. Some municipal politicians believe a change will require updating policing legislation to give city councils more control.
- Read more: Canadian cities’ police spending ranges from one-tenth to nearly a third of total budgets, Globe analysis finds
South Africa lifts alcohol ban: In a bid to save its economy, South Africa is lifting most of its COVID-19 restrictions including bans on alcohol and tobacco sales. President Cyril Ramaphosa attributed the move to a decline in daily COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions, but South Africa still has the world’s fifth-largest number of confirmed cases.
Protesters pack Belarus capital: In what appeared to be the largest protest in Belarus’s history, tens of thousands of protestors rallied in the country’s capital against the disputed election of Alexander Lukashenko. While riot police didn’t intervene at Sunday’s protest, Lukashenko said he has secured a pledge from Russia to provide security help if needed.
Europe sees choppy start as China’s markets jump: Shares crept back toward recent peaks on Monday as Chinese markets swung higher, while investors waited to see if the recent sell-off in longer-dated U.S. Treasuries would be extended and perhaps take some pressure off the U.S. dollar. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.33 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.18 per cent and 0.14 per cent, respectively. The Shanghai Composite Index finished up 2.34 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.83 per cent. New York futures were positive. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.61 US cents.
Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes pandemic-resistant ETFs, rallying dividend stocks and what’s ahead for gold.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
How Canadians learned the art of sharing
Mary Janigan: “During the pandemic, Ottawa and the provinces have created massive spending programs that target individual needs. But the existing equalization funding has already strengthened the social fabric, enabling poorer provinces to enhance their medical and social care in hard times.”
From WE to why: Revisiting the purpose of charities
Adam Parachin: “The WE Charity scandal highlights an important principle that seems to have fallen out of fashion lately: Charities, government and politicians are not in the same business, nor should they be.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Researchers look at why perception of time is altered during exercise
You may notice that your perception of time changes during exercise. While there’s no definitive answer as to why, most theories assume that a big influence is how much information is flowing into the brain. This means the more things or sensations you notice, the longer the exercise feels.
MOMENT IN TIME
In a league of her own
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, we’re looking at the great summertime sport of baseball.
Women’s softball was developed in the 1880s, but it had its heyday from the 1930s through the 1960s. Early on, it was mostly women’s teams barnstorming their way across North America. But with the onset of the Second World War, Philip Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, wanted to keep baseball top-of-mind. He created the All-American Girls Softball League – it is portrayed in the movie A League of Their Own – and annual attendance peaked at more than 900,000 in 1948. The occasionally rough sport was played throughout Canada, too. In the above photo from July of 1946, third baseman Jessie Stallard, part of Simpson’s Senior Ladies Softball team in Toronto, strikes an at-bat pose ahead of a game against a three-time world champion team from New Orleans. Softball is an Olympic sport now, too, and the Canadian senior women’s team is regarded as one of the best in the world. Philip King