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Nearly 900 wildfires continue to burn across Canada. The number of blazes have doubled since mid-June and record-high temperatures in parts of the country have experts worried about how hot, dry conditions may worsen the fires.

Meanwhile, military assistance has arrived in B.C. as the province continues to battle more than 350 wildfires. A Canadian Armed Forces reconnaissance team arrived in Prince George, B.C., this week and worked with BC Wildfire Service to co-ordinate details on firefighting deployment. The CAF is also providing two CH-146 Griffon Helicopters and, if needed, a CC-130J Hercules from the Royal Canadian Air Force, which will help with logistics and emergency evacuations.

Other wildfire news in the province is the death of a nine-year-old boy from 100 Mile House, whose existing medical condition was aggravated by wildfire smoke. The BC Coroners Service is investigating.

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Experts say risks of Winnipeg landfill search can be mitigated

Forensic experts who conducted the feasibility study for the search of a Winnipeg landfill for the remains of two First Nations women say that the risks associated with the search could be mitigated.

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson has so far refused to fund a search, citing safety risks. But the findings of forensic consultant Kris Dueck and forensic anthropologist Emily Holland’s study reject the assertion that a search of the Prairie Green landfill would be too dangerous.

“The technical side of the feasibility study has been reviewed now by many, and it’s pretty clear to most who have read the study, that risks can be mitigated, and the search can be conducted safely,” Dueck said Monday, speaking publicly for the first time about the findings. “Any argument that would oppose those findings, in our opinion, aren’t necessarily based in fact.”

Indigenous leaders have been calling for a search of the landfill since police announced in December that the remains of Morgan Harris, 39, and Marcedes Myran, 26, were believed to be in the dump for months.

How can Canada fix its FOI systems?

In Norway, anyone can request documents from public institutions, as the government publishes an inventory of public records online. Budgets, contracts and e-mail correspondence are available to request and a response can be expected within a few days.

Mexico’s powerful transparency watchdog often issues fines if public institutions violate freedom of information laws.

And in Britain, there is a “20-year rule,” which requires institutions to make a large amount of previously undisclosed records open to the public after two decades.

Experts in the FOI field say Canadian leaders should be looking abroad for inspiration as there are already proven solutions to some of the country’s most common access problems.

Coach Bev Priestman wants to inspire Canada once again at Women’s World Cup

Entering the Women’s World Cup, a tournament in which Canada has traditionally had high hopes but has underperformed – making the semi-finals just once, in 2003 – the team’s head coach Bev Priestman is confident, despite some setbacks.

Preistman, 37, and her roster are looking to inspire the country again by adding the World Cup to the Olympic gold they won in Tokyo two years ago.

Having shown her abilities at those Olympics, leaning heavily on world-class goalkeeping and defending supported by timely goal scoring, Priestman is looking to push on. Read Paul Attfield’s full profile of the coach.

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Also on our radar

Russia pulls out of grain deal: Russia has ended its participation in a deal that allowed for the safe export of Ukrainian grains through the Black Sea. The move expected to lead to a spike in global food prices. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged global co-operation and said that the grain shipment could continue without Moscow.

Arrest made in association with alleged ‘Crypto King’: Four men have been charged with the alleged kidnapping of Aiden Pleterski, the crypto investor who is facing bankruptcy proceedings after losing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of investor funds. Those charged are Akil Heywood, 39, Deren Akyeam-Pong, 24, and Tyler Fast, 37, all of Toronto, and Rakeem Henry, 24, of London, Ont.

Western provinces eye Russell Brown’s SCOC seat: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are each vying for someone from their legal communities to fill the vacancy left by Brown, who resigned in mid-June amid allegations that he drunkenly harassed women earlier in the year.

Morning markets

Global markets tread water: World shares were steady near their recent 15-month highs and the U.S. dollar held close to a one-year low on Tuesday as investors paused to take stock of weak economic data from China and waited for U.S. retail sales data and earnings. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.21 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.06 per cent and 0.13 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei edged up 0.32 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.05 per cent. New York futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar was slightly lower at 75.73 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Erdogan’s ‘U-turn’ on NATO is part of his pattern of cynical transactionalism

“The Turkish president is a transactionalist to the core – a leader who views the world in zero-sum trade-offs. In recent months, he has managed to win yet another national election and secure a majority in parliament for his governing coalition, and the lengths he was willing to go for those wins were astounding.” – Adnan R. Khan

Do birth control pills really need to be prescription drugs?

“The slow and overly cautious response of regulators and legislators is part of a pattern of paternalism and misogyny when it comes to women’s reproductive health.” – André Picard

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable published July 18, 2023. DIVORCE PAPERS.Illustration by Brian Gable

Living better

Eating these foods may help you live longer

There have been plenty of studies that indicate eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, lentils and fish result in lower risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. A new McMaster University study backs that up - but the results also show that whole fat dairy has similar health benefits and may be a good addition to this kind of diet. In moderation, of course. Leslie Beck explains the study and what you can take away from it.

Moment in time: July 18, 2013

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr (L) discuss Detroit's bankruptcy filing at a news conference July 19, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Detroit files for bankruptcy

It was the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Then-governor of Michigan Rick Snyder called it “the only viable option” to address a decades-long problem in the making. Mr. Snyder had just authorized the Chapter 9 filing for Detroit, the cradle of America’s auto industry, at the recommendation of emergency financial manager Kevyn Orr, who estimated the city’s debt at more than US$18-billion. Mr. Snyder’s letter noted that the city could not meet its basic obligations to residents, including an average wait time of 58 minutes for a police response. Only a third of the city’s ambulances were in service in the first quarter of 2013, and some 78,000 abandoned buildings created public safety problems. Mr. Orr’s critiques of Detroit’s “dysfunctional and wasteful” operations included “mismanagement, crippling operational practices … indifference or corruption.” Spending outpaced revenue by an average of US$100-million a year between 2008 and 2012. Detroit officially exited bankruptcy protection in December, 2014, and in recent years staged a financial comeback through tax abatements to commercial developers and higher consumption and property taxes. To this day, however, residents are concerned about displacement and intractable poverty in their once-great city. — Mahdis Habibinia

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