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The COVID-19 pandemic has exhausted nurses, many of whom are leaving the field, and experts at nursing schools and hospitals say the country is facing an urgent shortage. Meanwhile, nursing schools across Canada have seen an increase in applications, but are unable to accommodate the surge in interest.

Spaces for enrolment are based on the funding received from provincial governments, and so have stayed the same or increased only slightly in recent years. Nursing-school and hospital experts told The Globe’s Xiao Xu that the solution should include more provincial funding to increase the numbers of university seats for students, and new approaches to training on the job, better working conditions and possibly expedited schooling.

“Given the fact that it takes four years for nurses to graduate from a nursing program, there definitely is a time sensitivity to this matter,” says Ru Taggar, executive vice-president and chief of nursing at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. “And my sense is this nursing shortage is going to continue for some time.”

Taggar says the vacancy rate for nurses at her hospital has doubled in the past year, while the retirement rate for nurses has gone up from three per cent to 5.6 per cent. She says both increases are the result of more stress and a heavier workload.

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B.C.’s wildfire heroes: At Vernon camp, a brutal season leaves its marks on the firefighters’ faces

Jenna Marion, Cliff Gafsi and Tom Pawlak are part of the team at a camp in Vernon, B.C., organized to keep the White Rock Lake wildfire under control. Portraits taken by Rick Collins at the White Rock Lake Wildfire Camp in late August, 2021.Rick Collins/The Globe and Mail

To the casual observer, the Vernon Wildfire Camp might look more like a kids’ summer camp than a place for firefighters to rest between shifts.

Hundreds of colourful tents are spread across what’s normally used as a sports field, like a giant patchwork game of hopscotch. They take up every open slope and swale, as power generators whine, keeping the lights on and the coffee cream cold.

This BC Wildfire Service camp is housing more than 400 firefighters and support staff who, on a day in late August, are responding to the White Rock Lake wildfire in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. Crews have been here since mid-July, and everyone works 12-hour shifts each day, as they have for many weeks. Breakfast ends at 7 a.m. and most are deep into sleep just after 9 p.m. By early September, the wildfire was being contained.

The firefighters have come from all over Canada and the world. Some are veterans, and others are newcomers eager to help. They have one mission: to save people and communities from the inferno.

Rick Collins photographed them just as they returned from work and were heading to dinner – tired, hungry and wearing the day’s work in their eyes and on their faces.

Canada aims to block Chelsea Manning from entering country

A decade after Chelsea Manning revealed U.S. state secrets about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, officials in Ottawa are seeking to permanently block her from entering Canada.

A tribunal hearing to determine Ms. Manning’s admissibility – meaning, her legal ability to enter Canada – is scheduled to take place today. The Globe’s Colin Freeze reports that lawyers acting in Montreal for Ms. Manning argue in prehearing submissions that the government’s bid to block “one of the most well-known whistleblowers in modern history” would offend Canada’s constitutional and press freedoms.

In 2013, an American judge ordered the former U.S. Army private to spend 35 years in jail after finding her guilty of providing the WikiLeaks organization with hundreds of thousands of sensitive U.S. military and diplomatic documents. That sentence was later commuted by U.S. president Barack Obama.

Ms. Manning’s handovers to WikiLeaks were in turn passed along to global news organizations, which used the disclosures to highlight cases of wrongful civilian casualties caused by U.S.-led military coalitions.

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How an Ontario hotel chain got dragged into a Hong Kong national-security case: Chinese prosecutors are trying to turn a newspaper publisher’s family connections to the 157-year-old Prince of Wales Hotel, in Niagara-on-the-Lake Ont., into an international conspiracy. The Globe’s Asia Correspondent James Griffiths reports how it all relates to the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper and a draconian national-security law that forced the paper to close.

The Decibel podcast: Children’s mental health has declined overall during the COVID-19 pandemic, and one major reason is school closings robbing many kids of their routine, their friends, and teachers that might notice when they are struggling. As most kids head back to the classroom, Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt says more mental-health supports must be in school to help them.

Postsecondary purgatory: University students are heading back to campuses this week after a year of studying remotely, but many of them are finding much of their course work is still only available online. Xiao Xu reports that surging case counts driven by the Delta variant have meant that even some classes that had been scheduled as in-person earlier this summer are now instead being offered online.

Taliban say they’re in control of last Afghan province: The Taliban declared the capture of the Panjshir valley, the last part of Afghanistan still holding out against their rule, on Monday. But Ahmad Massoud, commander of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRFA), remained defiant, and said his force, drawn from the remnants of the regular Afghan army as well as local militia fighters, was still fighting.

Federal Election 2021: The Globe’s Marieke Walsh and Laura Stone report on the latest from Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole and Canada’s gun laws, and that the Conservatives won’t disclose their candidate vaccination rate, despite setting a 90-per-cent national target. John Ibbitson writes that Justin Trudeau risks losing this election both to O’Toole and to NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, while Singh highlighted child care, paid sick leave and minimum wage on the campaign trail yesterday. Menaka Raman-Wilms reports that Canada’s book industry is welcoming election pledges to help after pandemic uncertainty in the sector.

The Globe and Mail’s climate change columnist Adam Radwanski and The Narwhal’s editor-in-chief Emma GilchristThe Globe and Mail

Join The Globe’s climate-change columnist Adam Radwanski and The Narwhal’s editor-in-chief Emma Gilchrist for a live conversation today on what environmental issues we’re not talking about enough ahead of voting day.

When: Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET.

Where: Send in questions and register for free here


Fed bets buoy global stocks: World stocks hit record highs Tuesday on growing bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will push back tapering its bond purchases and keep its expansive policy for the near-term. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was off 0.30 per cent just after 5:30 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.30 per cent and 0.11 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.86 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.73 per cent. New York futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.59 US cents.


All parties should commit to lifting people with disabilities out of poverty

“People with disabilities are chronically unemployed and underemployed, even if they have to ability to work (and most do). Accessibility is about a lot more than wheelchair ramps.”André Picard

The future of Afghanistan’s schools – and its children – is at stake

“As reports trickle in of restrictions on girls’ education and women’s ability to work, the international community should help protect the right of all Afghans to education under international law and remind the Taliban of those obligations.” Zama Neff

Politicians and police organizations aren’t giving officers the training they actually need to succeed

“Most officers likely did not get into the job to be mental-health professionals, but in many ways, that is the reality.” - Lisa Deveau

Between Liberal red and Conservative blue, there’s a green gap

“Lesser ambition encapsulates the thrust of the Conservative plan. The party is simply less committed to climate policy, and in particular less committed to measures imposing visible costs on voters.” - The Globe Editorial Board


David Parkins/The Globe and Mail


The Globe’s Guide to TIFF 2021

The 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival will see a return to red carpets and a broader list of films screening both in-person and online than last year. Before you choose what to watch, see what The Globe’s critics thought of the films.

Plus, check out the 15 films we’re most anticipating at this year’s hybrid festival.


Gomery inquiry hearings begin

Judge John Gomery reads through papers prior to the start a hearing in Ottawa, September 7, 2004.Chris Wattie/Reuters

It was “the best show in town,” Justice John Gomery once said in a loose-lipped moment. He presided over a public inquiry that looked into the Jean Chrétien government’s sponsorship program, which pumped millions into advertising schemes in Quebec after the federalists nearly lost the 1995 referendum. The inquiry opened in Ottawa’s former city hall. But it was during the next round of hearings, in Montreal, that a fuller picture emerged, showing how a plan to counter separatists turned into a tangle of greed, corruption and illicit campaign financing. The inquiry heard how well-connected businessmen did little work but reaped a fortune from public contracts. Then, in testimony featuring cash envelopes, bogus jobs and shadowy restaurant encounters, the ad executive Jean Brault was the first to disclose what Gomery later described in his report as an elaborate kickback scheme: Part of the public money lavished on sponsorship contracts was diverted to Liberal operatives in Quebec. Mr. Chrétien and his supporters said that Gomery’s remarks showed he was biased. But the bureaucrat in charge of the sponsorship program, several entrepreneurs and two Liberal insiders – including Jacques Corriveau, a one-time Chrétien confidant – were eventually charged and convicted. - Tu Thanh Ha

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