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12 Oct
Vehicle production is plunging across the world as automakers struggle to get their hands on vital computer chips – posing a challenge to the industry's economic recovery.

The Canadian slowdown is especially severe.

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In August, light-vehicle production in Canada tumbled 38% from a year earlier, according to data from research firm Wards Intelligence.

Production in the U.S. fell 16% over the same span and in Mexico by 20%.

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Canada is on track to produce fewer vehicles this year than in 2020, when the industry came to a standstill.

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12 Oct
A generation ago, a middle-class income could buy you a detached home in a big city.

Now?

Folks are finding they need to set their sights further and further away from any downtown centre if they want to hold fast to that dream.

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But as populations and climate emergencies rise, experts tell us that urban densification is the necessary path forward.

So what do cities have to do to retain the middle-class?

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And how, exactly, does the middle-class break their addiction to personal space and redefine “making it” when it comes to acquiring housing?

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12 Oct
Canada’s top military commander, Art McDonald, wants his job back.

He says he retains the moral authority to once again lead the Canadian forces after an investigation into a sexual-misconduct allegation cleared him of any charges.

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The federal government, however, has placed him on administrative leave pending its own review after a probe by military police was concluded.

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“I’ve been exonerated,” McDonald said in an interview.

“It is now time for the institution to step up, accept the results of the investigation, return me to my duties – or at least start a dialogue around an alternative approach,” he said.

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11 Oct
Wealth, not annual income, is driving purchases of costly homes by some of the lowest-paid workers in B.C., a new study suggests. The gap is stark in the province, where houses have been selling for well above $1-million in the Vancouver region for years.

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New data show typical buyers in the lowest income quintile, with a median income of $29,800, spent a median of $499,000 on a home in 2018, the report from CHSP said.

In comparison, middle quintile income of $97,600 spent a median of $490,000 on a home.

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“The divergence between property prices and incomes in some areas demonstrated that sources other than income can play an important role in homeownership,” the report said.

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6 Oct
Federal public servants who aren’t fully vaccinated against #COVID19 and don't have medical exemptions will be forced to take unpaid leave under a new vaccine mandate Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau will unveil Wednesday, sources say.

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Trudeau will also announce when a vaccine mandate will take effect for travellers on domestic flights, interprovincial trains and cruise ships, sources told The Globe.

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The vaccine mandate will allow exemptions for medical and religious reasons, according to one source, who said the government had to grant the latter exemption to keep the vaccine requirements in line with the Charter.

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5 Oct
The 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist has been released. 📚

The prize awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel, graphic novel or short-story collection published in English, and $10,000 to each of the finalists.

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Egyptian-Canadian author Omar El Akkad’s novel What Strange Paradise is among the five writers shortlisted.

His new work offers a different kind of perspective on the migrant crisis, informed by his 10 years as a journalist at The Globe and Mail.

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The other four Canadian fiction titles in the running include:

📚 Glorious Frazzled Beings by Angélique Lalonde
📚 The Son of The House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
📚 The Listeners by Jordan Tannahill
📚 Fight Night by Miriam Toews

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5 Oct
COVID-19 variants, especially the Delta variant, are substantially more dangerous than the native strain of the virus, a Canadian study finds.

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Overall, the study found that three variants of the virus were:

▪️ 52% more likely to put people in hospital
▪️ 89% more likely to lead to cases in intensive care
▪️ 51% more likely to cause death than the native strain

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After the Delta variant began to emerge in late spring, the statistics became even more grim.

Delta now accounts for the majority of Canadian cases.

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5 Oct
What do blackouts in China (tgam.ca/3mxf60q), surging natural gas prices in Europe and Asia (tgam.ca/3FiO8ly) and renewable energy have to do with each other?

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They are all wrapped up in a bumpy moment for the global energy supply as economies across the world revved up following a pandemic-induced slowdown.

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🔊 Today on #TheDecibel, @the_Jeff_Jones explains exactly why uptick in demand has stressed our global supply at this moment and what can be done about it.

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5 Oct
Highlighting the fall session at the Supreme Court of Canada are criminal-justice cases that touch on broad themes including how to improve the treatment of sexual-assault complainants while still ensuring a fair trial for an accused.

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The Supreme Court’s fall session includes a case on the right to use personal e-mails from sexual-assault complainants in a defence.

▫️ Current cases: R v J.J., R v A.S., Oct. 5-6
▫️ Earlier case: R v Seaboyer, 1991

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Background: When former CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted on sexual-assault charges in 2016, it was partly based on the strength of e-mails from complainants that were in his possession and used in cross-examination.

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5 Oct
A Canada prepares for the largest and most urgent childhood mass vaccination campaign since polio, experts say child-friendly #Covid_19 outreach strategies are urgently needed to avoid the logistical headaches that plagued the vaccine rollout for adults.

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In Canada, vaccines are only approved for people 12+. Last week, Pfizer/BioNTech submitted preliminary data to @GovCanHealth for approval of its vaccine for children 5-11.

Once they're available, the work of getting shots into children’s arms will begin.

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But orchestrating a vaccination campaign for children poses several unique challenges, experts say, and answering parents’ questions about vaccine safety will be key to success.

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4 Oct
The Canadian government is invoking a 1977 treaty with the United States to formally commence negotiations over the fate of Line 5, a vital petroleum pipeline that faces a threat of shutdown from the State of Michigan.

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The move follows a breakdown in court-ordered mediation talks last month between Enbridge and Michigan, where Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered Line 5 to cease shipping petroleum across the state’s Straits of Mackinac waterway.

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The 1977 Pipeline Transit treaty was designed was designed to ensure uninterrupted transmission of petroleum between the two countries.

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4 Oct
Ottawa is facing calls from business and labour leaders to extend emergency COVID-19 benefits before they expire on Oct. 23 – a move that was not explicitly promised in the Liberal Party’s election platform.

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The most popular pandemic-relief programs for business – the government’s wage and rent subsidies – are scheduled to end Oct. 23.

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A suite of programs for individuals who lost work because of COVID-19 – including the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit – will also come to an end.

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4 Oct
Evergrande halted trading of its shares on Monday, amid news it had missed another key bond interest payment – bringing the embattled Chinese real estate giant closer to default.

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The world’s most indebted property developer, Evergrande has been teetering on the edge of collapse for weeks now, as it struggles to address almost US$305-billion in liabilities.

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The company’s debts are equal to 2% of China’s total GDP, sparking fears that a collapse could spread through the financial system and reverberate around the world.

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4 Oct
Ontario remains committed to “the most cautious re-opening in Canada” to avoid future #COVID19 lockdowns, the provincial government said in a Throne Speech on Monday.

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The Ontario provincial government also promised an economic recovery fuelled by growth and not “painful tax hikes or spending cuts.”

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Ontario's Throne Speech was almost entirely devoted to the pandemic, most of it outlining actions the government has already taken or pledged.

“The ultimate goal, shared by all, is avoiding future lockdowns,” the Throne Speech said.

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4 Oct
In 2018, The Globe’s telecom industry reporter @alexposadzki was hacked via a cell phone scam known as SIM swapping. This allowed the hacker to assume her identity and correspond with her friends and family.

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The ordeal left @alexposadzki feeling unsettled and wondering just how common this type of fraud is in Canada.

The answers, she found out, weren’t readily available.

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She had to file an access to information request to get the first-ever glimpse into the prevalence of these types of attacks in Canada.

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4 Oct
The Catholic Church aggressively pursued a release from the millions of dollars it owed to residential school survivors, while claiming that government efforts to collect the money would be fruitless because there was none left.

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The details are revealed in newly released court records. The documents include e-mails between lawyers for the Church and the federal government in which they discuss the status of the church’s unpaid obligations to survivors under the settlement.

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At the time, those included more than $21-million that the church was required to make “best efforts” to obtain through fundraising, and a separate $1.6-million in cash commitments.

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3 Oct
Keith Ferrer was seven years old the first time he saw a typewriter. He asked his mother if they could take it home. The answer was no, but that didn’t stop his interest in the outdated device.

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A technology once roundly considered obsolete, suddenly, typewriters are everywhere.

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Why are typewriters suddenly trending?

Is it nostalgia – a desire to return to a simpler, less distracted time? Or is there something we’ve been missing about that clack and clatter, that slide and bell, something more tactile in this digital age?

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1 Oct
On Campobello Island, NB, the prolonged closure of the Canada-US land border has made life even more difficult than normal.

“We’re basically trapped here.”

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The community of about 800 people is linked to Canada only by a seasonal ferry that stops running at the end of September.

For most of the year, the island's only year-round road access is through Maine.

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For people on Campobello, where fishing and tourism are the biggest drivers of employment, the Canada-U.S. border closure has led to economic pain and renewed calls to finally get a permanent transportation link to the rest of Canada.

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1 Oct
During the first wave of #COVID19, one of the biggest news stories was the carnage inside long-term care homes. Seniors were among the most vulnerable groups to COVID-19, and pre-vaccine, thousands died as outbreaks occurred in facilities across Canada.

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The situation was made more devastating by the horrific details about how these residents were treated. Over the last several months, a coroner's inquest has looked into 7 LTC homes in Quebec, where things got so bad that the military was called in.

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🔊Today on #TheDecibel, @TuThanhHa describes the testimony he’s heard and talks about what needs to change to prevent this from ever happening again.

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1 Oct
#BREAKING: In split 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upholds the Ontario law that slashed the size of Toronto’s city council nearly in half during the last municipal election.

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The Supreme Court of Canada found the change imposed by Ontario Premier @fordnation did not violate the free-expression rights of candidates or voters.

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The majority of the panel ruled that everyone had several months to adjust to the new system before the October 2018 vote.

The dissenting judges, however, found the timing of the legislation did amount to an infringement of free-expression rights.

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1 Oct
Merck & Co. said Friday that its experimental #COVID19 pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in people recently infected with the coronavirus and that it would soon ask health officials in the U.S. and around the world to authorize its use.

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If cleared, Merck’s drug would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19, a potentially major advance in efforts to fight the pandemic.

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Merck and its partner said early results showed patients who received the drug, called molnupiravir, within 5 days of COVID-19 symptoms had about half the rate of hospitalization and death as patients who received a dummy pill.

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