Evening Update
 

September 19, 2018

 
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Evening Update: Court decision to come tomorrow on Toronto council
Evening Update: Court decision to come tomorrow on Toronto council - Also, Republicans ratchet up pressure for Canada to sign a NAFTA deal and U.S. Supreme Court nominee faces more scrutiny over alleged sexual assault charges
 

Jordan Chittley

Good evening,

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY:

Ontario Court of Appeal panel to rule Wednesday on whether it will grant stay and allow 25-ward Toronto election

The Ontario Court of Appeal announced this afternoon it would issue a ruling at 10 a.m. on Wednesday on whether to grant a stay that freezes a lower-court ruling and allows Toronto’s Oct. 22 municipal election to proceed with the province’s preferred 25-ward map in place. Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives will not push ahead with its controversial use of the notwithstanding clause if the court grants the stay, a Ontario PC lawyer said. “If this court determines that a stay [is granted that allows the Oct. 22 election to proceed], the government will not bring its Bill 31 forward for a vote at this time,” Robin Basu told the court.

As The Globe’s Jeff Gray writes, a panel of three judges heard arguments today on whether to issue a stay to last week’s Superior Court ruling, which held that Mr. Ford’s move to cut Toronto council almost in half in the middle of the election was unconstitutional.

Also on the planned use of the notwithstanding clause, University of Toronto law professor Lorraine Weinrib writes that Mr. Ford can’t apply the notwithstanding clause retroactively to impede democracy: “This ruling brings the override power in line with the rule of law – a pre-eminent constitutional principle. Persons are entitled to assume the continuity of their fundamental rights without worrying about retroactive government nullification.”

 
 
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U.S. Republicans ratchet up the pressure on signing NAFTA deal

House of Representatives majority whip Steve Scalise, a prominent congressional ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, fired a pointed NAFTA broadside across Canada’s bow Tuesday as Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland travelled to Washington to resume efforts to forge a new version of the continental trade pact, the Canadian Press reports.

He gave voice to a sentiment some trade observers say is building among members of Congress who suspect Canada is ignoring their timetable and dragging out the talks for its own political purposes.

“There is a growing frustration with many in Congress regarding Canada’s negotiating tactics,” Scalise said in a statement that appeared timed to coincide with Freeland’s planned return to Washington. “Members are concerned that Canada does not seem to be ready or willing to make the concessions that are necessary for a fair and high-standard agreement.”

Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser has not yet agreed to testify: senator

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor in California whose allegations have put Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s once-safe nomination in serious jeopardy, has not responded to attempts by the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the confirmation process, to contact her. The hearing represents a potential make-or-break moment for the conservative federal appeals court judge’s confirmation chances for the lifetime post on the top U.S. court. Kavanaugh denies the assault allegation.

As David Shribman writes, rarely do Supreme Court nominees fail to win confirmation: “With the Kavanaugh confirmation process – already a noisy pageant of political charges, fierce lobby campaigns and passionate protests – roiled by 11th-hour claims that as a 17-year-old high-school student he sexually assaulted a young woman, the American capital is convulsed in one of the periodic episodes that seems to capture the zeitgeist of the age.”

Tesla faces criminal probe over Musk’s public statement: report

Tesla said Tuesday that it received a request for documents from the U.S. Department of Justice over chief executive Elon Musk’s tweets in August about taking the electric car maker private. A report, citing two people familiar with the matter, said the department launched an investigation over Mr. Musk’s tweets that he had secured funding for a buyout deal valued at $72-billion. Mr. Musk has already been sued by short-sellers such as Citron Research and is facing a probe by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission.

Aurora says there isn’t a deal with Coca-Cola for marijuana-based drinks

Shares of Aurora Cannabis shot up in early trading Tuesday following a report that claimed that “serious talks” had taken place between the Alberta cannabis grower and Coca-Cola. Trading in Aurora’s stock was halted just after 9 a.m. to allow the company to publish a statement. The statement said it “engages in exploratory discussions” with industry players but that it has not signed a deal with a beverage company for marijuana-infused drinks.

Tough tasks ahead as Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gave the South Korean president an exceedingly warm welcome Tuesday, meeting him and his wife at Pyongyang’s airport — itself a very unusual gesture — then riding into town with Moon Jae-in in an open limousine through streets lined with crowds of North Koreans, who cheered and waved the flag of their country and a blue-and-white flag that symbolizes Korean unity. President Moon Jae-in began his third summit with Kim with possibly his hardest mission to date — brokering some kind of compromise to keep North Korea’s talks with Washington from imploding. The two are to meet again on Wednesday as the nuclear issue was sure to cast a shadow over negotiations on joint projects.

Troubled developer Fortress searching for buyers for many of its properties as legal woes mount

Among the latest moves, two senior lenders have filed lawsuits seeking to take control of Fortress’s Triple Creek housing subdivision project west of Calgary, while another lender is seeking to seize Old Market Lane, a condominium and townhouse development in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge. Fortress is also facing a lawsuit from Toronto-Dominion Bank, which is seeking repayment of $190,000 it says it is owed on the company’s corporate credit cards. Many of the legal actions against the real estate developer based north of Toronto were launched after the RCMP searched the company’s offices in April as part of an investigation into syndicated mortgage fraud. (for subscribers)

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MARKET WATCH

Energy, marijuana stocks lead rise in TSX

Canada’s main stock index edged higher on Tuesday, boosted by gains in energy companies as oil prices moved up. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 113.73 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 16,196.04. Energy stocks gained 2.6 per cent, led by a 4.5-per-cent rise in Encana Corp. Crescent Point Energy Corp. was up 3.6 per cent, while Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. increased 3.2 per cent and Suncor Energy Inc. finished 3.1 per cent higher.

In New York, Wall Street rebounded on Tuesday in a broad-based rally as investors brushed aside intensifying trade rhetoric between the United States and China. The S&P 500 index rose 15.51 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 2,904.31. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 184.84 points to 26,246.96. The Nasdaq composite gained 60.32 points to 7,956.11.

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WHAT’S TRENDING ON SOCIAL

Come Oct. 17, adults will be able to legally possess 30 grams of dried cannabis, or the equivalent in oil. But many details need to be worked out before then. But, as André Picard writes, the list of rules has never been longer.

TALKING POINTS

The Emmys failed to reflect the very best of TV

“If the public is supposed to know what to watch based on the winners at the Emmy Awards, the public was often sent in the wrong direction. There were surprises galore, as superior content was ignored in favour of dazzle.” - John Doyle

A rocky start for Liberals in a pre-election season that will be all about the economy

“If you think Indigenous issues or the threat of global warming or the state of the health-care system should be the top priority, you’re going to be disappointed. The keywords of the next campaign will be growth, jobs, security, debt and taxes. Ms. Alleslev has given the Conservatives a boost with her declaration that they, not the Liberals she once sat with, should be trusted to mind the store.” (for subscribers) - John Ibbitson

Beijing’s alternate reality: where everyone agrees Taiwan is part of China

“There is no excuse for China’s bullying tactics in blackmailing governments and companies to endorse its position on Taiwan. China will no doubt argue that what it is doing is laying the groundwork for eventual peaceful unification with Taiwan. However, it has not been averse to using force.” - Frank Ching, a Hong Kong-based journalist

LIVING BETTER

Do cheat meals help or hinder weight loss?

Cheat days, when you are free to binge to your stomach’s delight one day a week, are more popular than ever, thanks to their frequent appearance on social media, including by celebrities such as Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson and Chris Pratt. Proponents of the cheat-meal theory argue that, when you are on a calorie-restricted diet, your body will soon adjust by lowering its resting metabolic rate, meaning you will burn fewer calories when you are inactive. Loading up on calories once a week or so will rev your metabolism back up, advocates say. That claim is “a pile of unmitigated garbage," says Stuart Phillips, director of the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Health Research at McMaster University in Hamilton. And a study backs him up.

LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE

‘New Brunswick is in a death spiral’: Why this election is more serious than you think

Blaine Higgs says running for premier was never on his bucket list. The 64-year-old retired oil executive turned Progressive Conservative leader is up against current Premier Brian Gallant, a 36-year-old career politician, who won a Mr. New Brunswick pageant as a university freshman and before that a mall contest for impersonating a Backstreet Boy. In a province suffering some of Canada’s hardest economic times, both candidates are steering clear of the alarming statistics of just how bad the financial situation is. The polls show Mr. Gallant in the lead, but as The Globe’s Atlantic reporter writes, whoever wins will face a hard reckoning.

How a fashion model with Down syndrome made the runway her own

Rosanne Stuart recalls the moment her daughter, Madeline, who has limited speech, announced she wanted to be a model. The two were at a fashion parade in their hometown in Australia and while Stuart said it was unexpected, she immediately supported Madeline.

Madeline, now 21, would become the first person with Down syndrome to ever stride down a runway as a model during New York Fashion Week. This year’s show was her sixth season in a row. With more than 60 catwalks under her belt in cities including London, Paris and Dubai, Madeline’s disability has not appeared to be a hindrance. “When she walked that first catwalk every single person in the audience appreciated her,” Stuart said. “It truly was the first time she was accepted.”

Evening Update is written by Jordan Chittley. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

online comments

From the comments: ‘He ended up in purgatory, but should it be a life sentence?’ Readers on whether Ghomeshi deserves a second chance

Many of today’s comments were selected from Margaret Wente’s well-read column, Does Jian Ghomeshi deserve a second chance? They were chosen because they offer a range of views on Jian Ghomeshi in the wake his essay published in the New York Review of Books. Many comments were also selected because they raise questions about the nature of punishment and forgiveness.

Ghomeshi
 
Former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi is shown in this file photo.
 

Forgiveness is sadly lacking in 2018. The punishment for wrongdoing in real life is not always of the criminal-justice type: a fine or prison sentence, it is being shunned and reviled by others or suffering intense feelings of shame or self-loathing. Isolation and loss of career are corrosive. Society must allow for rehabilitation. The concept of redemption seems to have been lost in the 21st century lust for revenge. How does not giving Ghomeshi a second chance (accepting him back as a member of society) help any of us? How would giving him a second chance hurt any of us - even those he hurt or wronged? He ended up in purgatory, but should it be a life sentence? - proscenium

He had one of the best jobs in Canadian journalism. And he was good at it. However he decided he was entitled to sexually harass women, and even after complaints in the workplace were launched, senior management turned a blind eye. He may not have been found guilty in court, but the accounts of the women who came forward were consistent enough. If he really wants a second chance, then why doesn't he get involved in changing the culture of male entitlement to harass and abuse women? Starting with sincere apologies to the actual women he hurt. - Ellen241

 
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