Chrystia Freeland turns back time for pandemic budget solutions

Politics Insider for Sept. 16: The new FinMin talks 'a lot' to an old FinMin from the 90s, Americans lay down their arms in a trade war and Leslyn Lewis finds her seat

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Amazon to hire 3,500 workers in Ontario and B.C., expand office footprint
Amazon revealed Monday that 3,000 of the jobs will be in Vancouver, where it is growing its footprint, and another 500 will be in Toronto, home of a new Amazon workspace.
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Former Trump campaign manager hospitalized after self-harm threats
Police officers talked Parscale out of his Fort Lauderdale home after his wife called police to say that he had multiple firearms and was threatening to hurt himself.
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2 boaters rescued near Burlington lift bridge after boat capsized
Both were eventually located by marine crews after the woman used a marine VHF radio attached to a personal flotation device.
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Toronto school temporarily closes after COVID-19 outbreak
Mason Road JPS will be closed from Monday, Sept. 28, to Friday, Oct. 2, after three staff and one student tested positive for coronavirus.
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Coronavirus continues to delay overdue military procurements, official says
Delays in military procurements can have a number of impacts.
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Joe Ortona acclaimed as new EMSB chair as most commissioners face no opposition
Of the 10 seats on the council of commissioners, only voters in Ward 3 will need to go to the polls on Nov. 1.
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COVID-19 aid bill expected to headline Parliament’s first full week
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole and the Bloc Quebecois chief Yves-Francois Blanchet will return to the House of Commons after being benched due to COVID-19.
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The conservative case for toppling statues: Why 'bad men' shouldn't be revered in the public square
It may have been the easiest political no-brainer of the year when Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rushed to condemn the unruly mob that brought Sir John A. Macdonald’s statue tumbling down in Montreal last month. Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has won elections by outflanking the NDP to the left, thought about it for a day or two and then denounced the “vandalism” that has “no place in a society that abides by the rule of law.” Trudeau’s advisers have likely seen polling that shows only 11 per cent of Canadians approve of mobs spontaneously pulling down statues and only 31 per cent of people support some political process that removes the statues of politicians, even if the person implemented racist policies. In general, Canadians like statues and monuments of their first prime minister and people who vote Conservative especially like them . But as McGill University political theory professor Jacob T. Levy argues, maybe revering “great men” isn’t a good way to figure out public morals. Levy thinks we should be thinking a little harder about who we idolize. For support and to help convince conservatives, Levy points to the words of 18th century Scottish economist Adam Smith, who gave the world “the invisible hand” of the free market and whose classical liberal economics were vital to 20th century conservatism. Smith believed we are hard-wired to venerate powerful people, whether they are morally upright or not, and that this is an impulse we should fight back against. “Even when the order of society seems to require that we should oppose them, we can hardly bring ourselves to do it,” wrote Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. We look at political leaders in “delusive colours in which the imagination is apt to paint in,” creating a “peculiar sympathy.” Canadians opposed to 'spontaneous' toppling of monuments to figures seen as racist: poll Trudeau calls out vandals who toppled Montreal's Macdonald statue Condemnation for 'mob' that pulled down statue of Sir John A. Macdonald in Montreal Levy also points to the words of Lord Acton, who famously said that “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Levy argues that if Smith and Acton are right, then we are honouring the wrong people almost across the board. And that extends to people like Macdonald, whose triumphs in government are marked in equal measure by outrages, said Levy in an interview with the National Post. “There’s no doing without Macdonald in Canadian political history. But that doesn’t mean that celebration has to be a uncritical or has to conceal what is actually a very complicated institutional legacy,” said Levy. In an article for the Niskanen Center in the United States, Levy divides these historical leaders into three categories. The first are people who committed dishonourable acts and are celebrated precisely for those acts, like Jefferson Davis, who is remembered as the president of the confederacy during the U.S. civil war and a defender of slavery. There are also people who lived unimpeachable public lives, like George Washington, who also owned slaves in his private life. When Washington is publicly revered, it’s for his role as a founding father rather than his private sins. In Levy’s view, Macdonald represents a middle-ground because he is venerated for a record that has troubling moments along with the great triumphs. “His wrongs were official wrongs. The head tax and the treatment of First Nations, those are as much a part of his legacy as building Confederation in a way that differs from the private slave-owning of American founders,” said Levy. “That means that his legacy is contested in the same way that the moral character of Canadian Confederation is contested. And I don’t think there’s any way to set aside either part of that.” Smith believed that we sympathize with the dead and pile on affection, especially “when they are in danger of being forgot by everybody.” Because the dead can’t defend themselves people are moved to do it for them or to hold off on criticism. Levy’s response to that is simple: Sir John A. could handle criticism when he was alive and he can surely handle it now. “We not only overestimate the moral standing of rulers, we overestimate the harm in moral criticism of the dead,” wrote Levy. Although conservatives are more likely to defend statues and monuments, progressives are not immune from the phenomenon that Smith describes. The death of United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg provoked a massive wave of grief, even beyond the borders of the U.S. “I absolutely think we’re seeing that Smithian dynamic at work,” said Levy. “There’s been 15 years worth of half tongue-in-cheek idolatry about her. There’s a wildly excessive personalization of the relationship to her.” It’s not just world leaders either. We venerate celebrities and athletes, no matter how many times they disappoint us. The polling on these monuments suggests that many people are more disturbed by the mob action than the actual removal of the statues. When Trudeau gave his comments about the incident in Montreal he singled out the lawlessness for criticism and almost nothing else. Levy believes, though, at the heart of it is our out-sized and often irrational affection for the people who lead us. “There is widespread and justifiable aversion to the sight and the phenomenon of people no one elected taking matters into their own hands,” said Levy. “But the politics of taking statues down through lawful procedures gets so controversial that I’m inclined to doubt that the mob scene is really what’s doing most of the emotional work.” • Email: sxthomson@postmedia.com | Twitter: stuartxthomson
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Can pregnant women’s leftover blood samples help us understand how the coronavirus spread in Canada?
A study is using COVID-19 antibodies found in public health labs to form a national picture.
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One person dead, another in critical condition after shooting in north Etobicoke
Toronto police said the shooting happened near Kipling Avenue and Mt. Olive Drive, just north of Finch Avenue West, shortly after 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
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5 things to know for Monday, September 28, 2020
Canada has had more than 153,100 total cases of COVID-19, with more than 12,700 cases still active.
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Montreal weather: Get out and relish this last gorgeous day
A mix of sun and cloud with a 30-per-cent chance of showers in the afternoon.
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Man in his 60s found dead in Hamilton, police investigating as homicide
This case marks Hamilton’s 12th homicide this year.
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Trial for accused double murderer Adam Strong set to begin in Oshawa
Adam Strong faces first-degree murder charges in the deaths of Rori Hache and Kandis Fitzpatrick, and his trial in Oshawa, Ont., will proceed in front of a judge alone.
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$4,000 for a mutt? Coronavirus pushing up puppy prices in Manitoba
Sellers across Manitoba are pricing their mixed-breed puppies at astronomical rates, many double than what breeders are charging for Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) registered dogs.
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Rick Zamperin: Ryu should start opener of Blue Jays-Rays wild card series
The Toronto Blue Jays went 4-6 versus Tampa Bay this year, including a 3-4 record at Tropicana Field.
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City council should reaffirm its commitment to ranked ballots at Wednesday vote
Ranked ballots can mean fairer elections, and a more diverse, representative city council. When London, Ontario implemented ranked ballots in 2018, more young people, Black people, women, and the first openly gay person were elected to council.
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Lessons learned from Catherine Parr Traill on how to persevere as a woman
Gratitude in a time of hardship has been identified as one of the great coping mechanisms that helps to build resilience. We must afford ourselves permission to feel fear, anxiety and sadness, as Catharine did, but we can add gratitude. Catharine’s gratitude for new friends, the rugged Canadian wilderness and her family was a driving force in not just her success as a botanist and writer, but in her survival.
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Planning to get a flu shot? Better make a plan, it may not be easy
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Ontario is needlessly handcuffing TDSB’s ability to repair and build schools
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Virtual healthcare can ease pain of being hospitalized far from home
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How do I stop my husband from smoking, eating junk food and sleeping all day? Ask Ellie
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Heather Mallick: While we go about our day, an octopus fulfills her destiny
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Six months into covering COVID-19 pandemic, these were the stories that moved us, inspired our journalism
On World News Day, Toronto Star journalists look back covering the COVID-19 pandemic: the stories they’re telling, the data they dig up, and why it is so important to them to keeppushing for trustworthy, reliable information.
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Earlier decisions could have avoided chaos in online learning
If back-to-school plans were drafted earlier and communicated earlier, parents would have had time to make decisions based on what is best for their children, not on avoiding what they fear the most.
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We need journalism to chip away at the darkness
Without journalism, you only ever hear or see what politicians or systems want you to. Abuses, cut corners and injustices are invisible, and in that invisibility, they grow, Irene Gentle writes.
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Halifax police search for suspect in early morning robbery
Halifax Regional Police say they were called to the Bluenose Market on Titus Street just after midnight Monday.
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Today’s coronavirus news: Mexico virus data may not be available for years; India’s confirmed case tally reaches 6M; Dubai to restrict nightlife amid virus increase
Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole and Bloc Quebecois chief Yves-Francois Blanchet are expected to take their seats in the House of Commons this week after being benched due to COVID-19.
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Coronavirus: meet the Ontario researchers responsible for 3 world-firsts
Global News is profiling five members of the team, whose unique expertise was a perfect fit for groundbreaking COVID-19 research.
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Chronic pain patients praise nerve blocks for freeing them from the shackles of pain
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An American success story, ‘opportunity zones’ could be the key to unlocking a more equitable recovery for all Ontarians
The tax incentives provide a fair and neutral way to support the overall objective of directing capital to disadvantaged areas, while letting private investors choose the individual opportunities, Tim Hudak writes.
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Planning a home renovation? Here’s how to make sure you profit from it
After spending the better part of 2020 at home, it’s only natural that many of us feel like it’s time for a home overhaul — but be rigorous about money, Lesley-Anne Scorgie writes.
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‘That’s an injection mill.’ Ontario’s top-billing pain doctors capitalize on province’s lax rules, running up the public’s tab for chronic pain management
Patients swear by the injections. The doctors who support the procedure say they help those suffering with chronic pain. The province has struggled to rein in unbounded growth in nerve block billing.
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Victim injured by gunfire in Toronto drive-by shooting
Emergency crews were called to Jane Street and Shoreham Drive at around 8:40 p.m. Sunday.
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COVID-19 aid bill, Tory leader O'Toole's speech headline Parliament's first full week
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole and the Bloc Quebecois chief Yves-Francois Blanchet are expected to take their seats in the House of Commons this week after being benched due to COVID-19.
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COVID-19 further delaying some overdue military procurements
While the federal government is pressing ahead with plans to buy billions of dollars worth of much-needed equipment for the Canadian Armed Forces, the Department of National Defence's top procurement official says COVID-19 is further slowing down some already delayed purchases.
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