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Thousands of people from the Northwest Territories are dispersing into Western Canada by land and air as one of the country’s largest evacuation efforts empties Yellowknife and other northern communities, with residents sharing stories of chaotic escapes.

The first evacuation flight from Yellowknife to Calgary arrived yesterday afternoon. About 1,500 people on 10 evacuation flights have departed Yellowknife so far. There are 22 evacuation flights scheduled for today and officials said they would charter more if necessary.

Officials urged people in Yellowknife to leave via the highway, assuming the road remains passable and their vehicles serviceable. Yellowknife’s mayor said yesterday that most residents appear to be leaving the city, but she did not have an estimate on how many remain in town.

Residents across British Columbia are also being told to prepare to evacuate as officials warn of extreme fire conditions in the province this week. On Thursday, the City of West Kelowna and the nearby Westbank First Nation declared local states of emergency because of wildfire threats. More than 800 properties in the province have been ordered evacuated.

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People without vehicles lineup to register for a flight to Calgary in Yellowknife on Thursday, August 17, 2023.Bill Braden/The Canadian Press

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Also on our radar

Canadian minister urged to quit Chinese government advisory body: The federal Conservatives are calling on Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault to resign his position on an advisory group to the Chinese government and to end Canadian funding to this organization. The group, which instructs Beijing on green development, is chaired by a former chief of staff to President Xi Jinping

Maui’s emergency services chief resigns: The chief’s resignation comes after he faced heavy criticism for not activating disaster sirens during last week’s wildfire response. Hawaii has previously said it has largest system of outdoor alert sirens in the world.

Canada mulling ‘game plan’ if U.S. takes far-right shift: Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says Canada has been considering a “game plan” for how it would respond if the United States takes a far-right, authoritarian shift after next year’s presidential elections.

Warming waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence affecting animal life: In 2022, gulf-wide average temperatures hit record highs at depths of 150 to 300 metres. The news is worrisome to oceanographers, who say they’re seeing the impacts on the different species in the unique ecosystem.

Business quiz: Inflation ticked up to 3.3 per cent in July. What was the inflation rate the previous month? Take our news quiz to find out.

Morning markets

World markets fall: Global shares hit two-month lows on Friday while U.S. government bond yields remained near recent 16-year highs as investors bet on interest rates staying elevated for longer, with worries over China’s shadow banking sector also a dampener. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.98 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.83 per cent and 1.03 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.55 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.05 per cent. New York futures were weaker. The Canadian dollar was slightly lower at 73.80 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

The clean energy shift is happening, whether Alberta’s government likes it or not

“The writing is on the wall, as the cost of solar and wind power continues to plunge. Of course, the U.S. still relies heavily on oil and gas. So does China. But they are both moving aggressively to get to a place where fossil fuels are a thing of the past.” – Gary Mason

Want to ease Canada’s housing crisis? Let’s start by being responsible about international student visas

“Housing is a complicated issue. It will take co-ordination, cash, and time to fix. But in the short term, there is at least one glaringly obvious – if surely controversial – way to help ease the challenge of finding affordable rental accommodation: We need to stop issuing so many international student visas.” – Jen Gerson

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Brian Gable

Living better

Eight tax ideas to put money back in the pockets of students

The school year is just around the corner, and so are pricey textbook purchases and student living expenses. But fear not, The Globe’s Tim Cestnick has eight tricks you can use to save and earn back money as a postsecondary student.

Moment in time: August, 18, 1920

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Suffragettes' celebrations in New York City, N.Y, August 27, 1920.Keystone/Getty Images

Women gain the right to vote in the U.S.

The ratification of the 19th Amendment guaranteed women the right to vote and marked a pivotal moment in the fight for gender equality in the United States. By the time the amendment passed, suffragettes had been gathering support for nearly a century through public speaking, lobbying and civil disobedience. Leaders like Susan B. Anthony, who was arrested for voting in 1872, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton submitted pivotal legal challenges to a number of laws restricting the rights of women. Finally, on this day in 1920, a sufficient number of states had ratified a constitutional amendment declaring that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The ratification was certified on Aug. 26 and women legally cast their ballots in the presidential election of Warren G. Harding on Nov. 2. The 19th Amendment, however, didn’t ensure equal suffrage for all women, especially non-white women. Voting laws around citizenship, literacy tests and outright bans on voting for different groups severely limited the ability of racialized women to participate in democracy. It wasn’t until the passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that racial discrimination in voting was officially prohibited. Tegwyn Hughes

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