These are the top stories:
Derailed Canadian Pacific freight train began moving on its own after emergency stop
The freight train that derailed and killed all three crew members on a mountainside near Field, B.C., on Monday began rolling away on its own after making an emergency stop during which its brakes were adjusted at the top of a steep grade. Before the train operated by Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. sped down the mountain and careened off a bridge into the Kicking Horse River, the air brakes were adjusted on several grain cars.
This happened during an unscheduled two-hour halt on a downward-sloping sidetrack in the Rockies, David Fulton, a general chairman of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, the union representing CP train crews, said on Tuesday.
It is not clear why the train made an emergency stop, or why it rolled away and crashed, killing conductor Dylan Paradis, engineer Andrew Dockrell and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer. The Globe spoke to family and friends of the victims.
The crew had arrived at the train to relieve the original crew, who are believed to have worked the maximum shift. But controllers had not given permission to keep going toward Field when the three locomotives and 112 cars began moving.
This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.
Trump says in State of the Union speech that investigations into his presidency are hurting the economy
In his State of the Union address, U.S. President Donald Trump warned about continuing with probes, including into Russia’s interference into the 2016 election. He renewed his demand for a wall on the country’s southern border, warning that, without it, hordes of criminals are pouring into the country and taking Americans’ jobs.
Coming three months after the Democrats took the House of Representatives from his party, and two weeks after the end of a month-long government shutdown over his wall demand, Mr. Trump signalled in recent days that he wanted to use the speech to build bridges across the country’s partisan divides. He opened the speech with a call for bipartisanship, offering to work with Democrats on a rebuild of America’s infrastructure and efforts to reduce prescription drug prices, but then pivoted to a broadside at his rivals. The Globe’s Tamsin McMahon looks at the key takeaways of the address, and Jared Yates Sexton writes that Mr. Trump is removed from reality and the state of the union is not as strong as he insists.
Health Canada proposes stricter advertising rules to address youth vaping
Health Canada on Tuesday proposed changes that would prohibit e-cigarette advertisements in public places where young people are likely to see them. Vaping is a known gateway to tobacco smoking. Concerns have accelerated since the introduction in recent months of new vaping products from companies such as Juul Labs that contain higher levels of nicotine than previous e-cigarettes.
Advertisements will be prohibited on billboards and public transit and in malls and retail stores where youth are allowed access, online shops, print publications, websites and social media aimed at young people.
Prosecutors seek consecutive life sentences for Bruce McArthur
Prosecutors asked a judge on Tuesday to put Bruce McArthur behind bars, with no chance for parole, until he is 116 years old for the eight first-degree murders he committed over almost a decade.
The sentence, which would almost guarantee Mr. McArthur never leaves prison, would be a “fit result,” assistant Crown attorney Craig Harper told the Superior Court of Justice.
Mr. McArthur declined a chance to address the court, and his defence lawyer argued for all eight sentences to be served concurrently. “The practical reality is that Mr. McArthur’s release on parole is highly unlikely," James Miglin said, adding that his client is already 67 and pleaded guilty, sparing the victims' families a long trial.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Justice Michael Wood in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia issued a 30-day stay of proceedings against QuadrigaCX on Tuesday, shielding the floundering company from any potential legal action launched by panicked customers owed $250-million. Users of Quadriga, which allows people to buy and sell digital currencies such as bitcoin, have been unable to make withdrawals since the company reported the sudden death of founder Gerald Cotten in December. Mr. Cotten was the company’s sole board member and keeper of its most important passwords. His laptop and a memory stick could hold valuable clues to the location of Quadriga users' money. The laptop is encrypted. One tech expert has already tried and failed to hack into it. The court also appointed Ernst & Young as a monitor. As part of its duty to oversee the search and recovery of Quadriga’s assets, Ernst & Young will take possession of Mr. Cotten’s laptop and memory key.
Vancouver Art Gallery workers went on strike Tuesday morning after about eight months of negotiations between CUPE Local 15 and gallery management. Unionized workers, including curatorial staff, front-of-office workers and administrative employees have been without a contract since July, 2017. The union is unhappy with the wage offer and changes the gallery wants on scheduling.
The Toronto Maple Leafs reached a contract agreement with star Auston Matthews, making him the highest-paid player in the 2019-2020 year, with an average annual value of US$11.634-million. This eases some of the pressure of the Leafs' salary cap headaches, writes David Shoalts, as they prepare to negotiate with their other budding superstar, Mitchell Marner.
U.S. stock futures were mixed early Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address failed to offer traders a fresh market catalyst. Overseas, trading in Asia was muted with Chinese markets closed for the New Year holiday while the MSCI’s all-country index was down about 0.7 per cent in early trading. In Canada, TSX futures were little changed with crude prices weaker following a report showing a jump in U.S. oil inventories. Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.1 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were down by between 0.1 and 0.5 per cent by about 7:05 a.m. ET. New York futures were also down. The Canadian dollar is at 75.82 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Canada’s leadership on Venezuela is misguided, misdirected – and a mistake
“Given the crisis in Venezuela, this attempt at ‘democracy promotion,’ as Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland calls it, may seem admirable. But it has little to do with democracy, and more to do with installing a government more to our liking – and may lead to violence, or even civil war." - John Kirk, a professor at Dalhousie University, and Stephen Kimber, a professor at the University of King’s College
U.S. rich face a reckoning. It’s about time
“What’s different now and what’s raised resentment is the outsize influence that the ultrarich are exercising in the political sphere. In 2010, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision deregulated election campaign spending. Since that time, billionaires or their near-equivalent have been running for president, funding campaigns, founding think tanks, buying up media and buying off legislators. The uber-wealthy Donald Trump surrounds himself with a cabinet of the super rich. To date, it has provided little evidence that bucks and brains have much in common.” - Lawrence Martin (for subscribers)
Toronto does not consent to Ontario’s proposed subway takeover – and that matters
“The province has been unclear about why taking ownership of the subway is reasonable or necessary. It has talked vaguely about extending the subway, but to do so does not require ownership of it. And it doesn’t make much sense for the province to own the system, with the TTC still operating it, while running a separate transit system that is integrated with the subway.” - John Sewell, former mayor of Toronto
Why increasing your fibre intake can add years to your life
New research shows high-fibre eaters have a 15- to 30-per-cent lower risk of heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and cardiovascular-related death. The study, published in The Lancet, shows consuming 25-29 grams of fibre a day was protective, and pushing past 30 grams was even more beneficial. Canadians consume, on average, 14 grams a day. Leslie Beck shows how to get to that 30 grams.
MOMENT IN TIME
Barbara Ann Scott wins gold
Feb. 6 1948: Barbara Ann Scott was only 19 when she won Canada’s first-ever gold medal in singles figure skating at the 1948 St. Moritz Olympics. She began skating at 7 and by the time she turned 9 she practised seven hours a day. Just a year later, she became the youngest Canadian to win a gold medal for figure skating. Scott went on to win many competitions, but it was her win in St. Moritz that launched her, and the sport of figure skating, into Canada’s spotlight. When she returned home from the 1948 games, approximately 70‚000 people greeted her at Confederation Square in Ottawa, more than one-third of the city’s population. Scott, once dubbed “Canada’s Sweetheart," was the object of envy to every little girl with a pair of skates. She was admired for her beauty, grace, competitive nature, as well as her unmistakable talent. Reliable Toy Co. even created a Barbara Ann Scott doll, and it was, of course, a best-seller. Scott was seen as the most accomplished Canadian skater to compete at the senior women’s level. In 1991, she was made an officer of the Order of Canada, and in 1995, she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. - Mira Miller