Is Harry Potter cancelled? With J.K. Rowling called out for her trans views, where does that leave her famous books?


A billboard in Vancouver prompted the latest battle over the British author’s increasingly controversial views. As she comes under scrutity, what does this mean for the boy wizard?
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As coronavirus resurges, ‘now is the time’ to push COVID Alert app: experts
Since COVID Alert launched in July, the app has been downloaded more than 2.7 million times. But July was a different time in the pandemic.
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One dead, two critically injured after motorcycle slams into construction site
Police suspect excessive speed was the cause of the incident.
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Hamilton’s forecast of 2020 budget surplus met with a ‘sigh of relief’
Hamilton's general manager of finance, Mike Zegarac, is now forecasting a year-end surplus of about $420,000.
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Man charged with 1st degree murder in shooting near Toronto skateboard park
Police said on June 9 at around 7:30 p.m. officers responded to a shooting at Vanderhoof Skatepark in Toronto.
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Chief says public safety would face ‘significant impact’ if Hamilton police budget cut by 20%
Girt says more than 90 per cent of the police budget is tied to wage and benefits.
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Parliament resumes full operations today with debate on throne speech
Opposition parties will give their official responses to Wednesday’s speech from the throne but they’ve already signalled that Trudeau can’t count on support from any of them to survive the eventual confidence vote and avoid plunging the country into an election in the midst of a second wave of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
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EU slams Belarus president’s ‘inauguration,’ says it will only deepen crisis
Thousands of Belarus citizens have taken part in more than six weeks of rallies against the authoritarian leader's reelection, which the opposition says was rigged.
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One dead, two seriously injured after crash on Laval’s Highway 440
One person is dead and two others have serious injuries after a motorcycle crash on Highway 440 in Laval.
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2,500 Swiss students quarantined for coronavirus after off-campus partying
Swiss health authorities have ordered a quarantine for a staggering 2,500 students at a prestigious hospitality management school.
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Chris Selley: A 7,000 word throne speech that didn't need to exist
The main question raised by Wednesday’s throne speech is why we — or WE, as it is sometimes styled — needed to have one at all. We were told that extraordinary times called for extraordinary measures, a sharp change in direction, debate in Parliament and a new mandate. “Canada is at a crossroads,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intoned in August. “This is our moment to change the future for the better.” “Our realities have changed,” Gov. Gen. Julie Payette read in the Senate on Wednesday, “and so must our approach.” Nearly 7,000 words later, however, the ship of state hardly seems to have changed course at all. To be fair, early on in the interregnum, some Liberals clearly had genuine ambitions. Notably we heard much talk that the speech would unveil a plan to transform the Canadian economy into a green colossus. The speech proposes nothing of the sort, for good reason: Many Canadians were unlikely to appreciate the Trudeau gang leveraging 9,000 deaths and two million lost jobs to take a giant big-government gamble. The speech does promise the government will “immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal.” But the Liberals have been committed to exceeding Paris targets for some time, and since their current plan falls short of even meeting them, this is not especially compelling. The speech vows to “legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050,” which is presumably to say make it illegal for a government 30 years hence to fail to do something. If you’re impressed by that, after Canada’s long and sordid history with balanced-budget and fixed-election-date laws, you need to give your head a shake. There was buzz in recent days about massively subsidizing the production of electric vehicles in Canada, and the speech seems to offer some payoff: “The government will launch a new fund to attract investments in making zero-emissions products, and cut the corporate tax rate in half for these companies.” Mind you, the 2019 throne speech promised to “work with businesses to make Canada the best place to start and grow a clean technology company.” You don’t need to haul the governor general out of bed to add specifics to pre-existing promises, let alone to simply reiterate them, as this speech does over and over again — from banning single-use plastics in 2021, to implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to forcing “web giants” to subsidize Can-Con. John Ivison: Good luck to the political leader who calls for more restrained spending Sean Speer: Trudeau has laid a trap. Here's how Erin O'Toole can avoid it Read full text of Liberal government's 2020 throne speech delivered by Julie Payette On the matter of “the middle class and people working hard to join it” — yes, they’re still using that line — obviously there is no mention in the speech of universal basic income. A promise to colonize Jupiter would have been just as credible, and not much more expensive. Instead we get some very specific talk about our very specific circumstances. For example, with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit winding down even as COVID-19 numbers approach “second wave” status in parts of the country, the government will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to the summer of 2021. It’s probably the costliest item in the speech, but it’s the very antithesis of a change in course. The speech proposes “a significant, long-term, sustained investment to create a Canada-wide early learning and child-care system.” Also not new. The 2019 platform vowed to “ensure that every parent … has access to quality, affordable child care,” and pledged $2.14 billion over four years to make it happen. The problem, as ever, is that while provinces are always eager for more money from Ottawa, they tend to be less interested when the feds propose a “Canada-wide system” in an area of unambiguous provincial jurisdiction. In a similar vein, a commitment to “accelerate” plans for national universal pharmacare includes “working with provinces and territories willing to move forward without delay.” At last report, those provinces did not include British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario or Quebec. Most Canadians have drug coverage; many are not willing to roll the dice on replacing it with a “universal” plan. The speech proposes “national standards” for long-term care homes, as if the squalor in which so many elderly Canadians died was conformed to provincial standards. It proposes “Criminal Code amendments to explicitly penalize those who neglect seniors under their care,” as if failing to provide the necessities of life isn’t already illegal. On this, one of the central issues of the pandemic in Canada, the speech is even more timid than one might expect. It’s a muddle, a mess, a Liberal greatest-hits album played on shuffle. It reflects no desire to remake society in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis (thereby justifying its existence), and no new ideas as to how to bring said crisis to a close any sooner — just spending even more money to make it more bearable. This speech did not need to exist. It does, however, mark the end of a few weeks during which MPs were not inquiring into the WE Charity scandal that had taken a significant bite out of Trudeau’s COVID-19 popularity bump, which hadn’t been particularly deserved in the first place. Whatever ambitions Liberals might have had on prorogation day, it crumbled to ash over the following month. That’s a good thing, overall; I very much suspect most of us just want our old lives back. But Canada’s cynics certainly had a better day than Canada’s utopians. • Email: cselley@nationalpost.com | Twitter: cselley
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To galvanize the nation, Justin Trudeau tries the Winger Speech — glib, compelling, meaningless
Last night, live across Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a nationally broadcast address to rouse, galvanize and hearten the nation. He said basically nothing. Persuasive oratory, however, doesn’t demand much in the way of concrete meaning — just a tide of credible emotion and a little argumentative panache. His message lacked clarity, depth and, looking it over again, actual information. But if you weren’t paying careful attention, it sounded pretty nice. On the NBC sitcom Community, Jeff Winger, a disgraced lawyer, charming womanizer and reluctant community college student, is famous for his Winger Speeches — glib, eloquent monologues designed to win arguments and mend problems through the power of silver-tongued charisma. He relies on appeals to emotion, rhetorical gimmicks, clever-sounding turns of phrase (“the real bugs aren’t the ones in those beds” “the only ghosts are the emotional ghosts I call fear…”). Like Trudeau last night, Winger appreciates that what often counts is what it sounds like you’re saying rather than what you’ve really said.  One of the hallmarks of this source of discourse is the frequent invocation of gladdening cliche. It was all there: the apologetic confession (“this isn’t the news any of us wanted to hear”), the promise of hope (“we still have a shot at Christmas”), the obligatory salutation to our elders (“the Greatest Generation showed us that it isn’t easy… but they never gave up”), and of course, the inspiring call to action (“we have the power to get this under control,” “we can do this,” “we must come together”). This has the crafty effect of making the listener at once emboldened and responsible. You can do this, Trudeau urges. But remember. It’s on you. Matt Gurney: Trudeau's televised address wasn't just unnecessary. It was bizarre 'Nobody is invincible': In TV address, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part to fight COVID-19 second wave "While we’re still dealing with this pandemic, I don’t want you – or your parent, or your friend – to take on debt that your government can better shoulder. So yes, in the short term, we’ll keep investing," PM Trudeau says of government's spending measures in response to #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/l5Y9e9PhB0— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) September 23, 2020 Jagmeet Singh was right to identify, in his remarks immediately after Trudeau’s speech, that it’s “not good enough to just say the words” in matters of historical crisis. But the trick inherent in this sort of speech is that while the speaker is speaking, it certainly seems that words might be good enough — that appealing to our indomitable civic pride and stalwart enthusiasm might be enough to make us forget that few specific policies have been outlined, and that nothing much has actually been proposed for dealing with this looming second COVID wave. “Diversity is not just our strength,” the Prime Minister seriously remarked. “It’s our competitive edge.” That sounds pretty good, until you give it the bare minimum of critical thought.
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How police confusion and a killer’s duplicity led to ambush of two RCMP officers
While hunting for a Nova Scotia killer who was masquerading as an RCMP officer, a real Mountie was inside his marked cruiser waiting for a colleague. Then he spotted a police car approaching. Const. Chad Morrison was apprehensive. Was this his colleague or the rampaging gunman? He had a photo of the suspect with him, sent with an alert for officers to be on the look out for him. He knew the killer was dressed as a Mountie. From inside his marked RCMP SUV, Morrison used his police radio to ask the other officers on duty who was driving towards him on Highway 224. His colleague, Const. Heidi Stevenson, who was on her way to the rendezvous, said she was. Relieved, Morrison moved his SUV onto Highway 224, facing Highway 2, near a stop sign, to be in a better position to speak window-to-window with her. It was not his colleague driving the police car. The RCMP, for its probe of the tragic spree shooting in Nova Scotia from April 18 to April 19 — the worst rampage killing in Canada’s history — interviewed Morrison three days afterwards about how he and Stevenson were ambushed by Gabriel Wortman. In response to a court challenge by several media groups, including Postmedia, details of Morrison’s interview were included in a large volume of police documents released this week. Morrison, an 11-year veteran with the force, said he was working in uniform on general duty out of the Enfield detachment in East Hants the morning of April 19. He was aware of what was happening in Colchester County, the neighbouring district. Over his police radio, he heard a supervisor ask for two East Hants RCMP members to come to Colchester to help with the manhunt. Stevenson told Morrison to meet her at the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 224 in Shubenacadie to head over together. He estimated this was 10 a.m. Morrison arrived at the rendezvous first, he said, and parked just south of the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park. As he listened to his police radio, he found it “confusing to understand” where the suspect was, but thought he was in the Brookfield area, a little more than 20 kilometres to the northeast, according to the summary of his interview. Wortman’s first victims were killed in Portapique, about 70 kilometres away. Morrison “was not expecting the suspect to be coming his way,” the RCMP’s summary says. As he waited for Stevenson, he saw a white Ford Taurus heading his way. It was a few hundred metres from where he was parked and he wondered if this could be the fugitive gunman. That’s when he asked his fellow officers which of them was driving towards him. In hindsight, information on where the gunman was thought to be could have been clearer and Morrison’s question or Stevenson’s answer could have been more precise. Both Stevenson and Wortman were driving towards him. Wortman got there first. As the cruisers drew closer, Morrison spotted a black push bar on the front of the approaching car. These are the metal bars sometimes installed on police cars so it can be used as a battering ram or to push vehicles out of the way. Most RCMP cruisers in the province aren’t fitted with a push bar. Morrison knew that. “It made him pause,” the summary said, but because Stevenson had said it was her, he “relaxed.” “Other than the black push bar, there was nothing different about the marked police car,” he said, according to the summary. Documents show N.S. mass killer received $475,000 in $100 bills from a Brinks facility Stories of Nova Scotia mass shooting survivors who narrowly escaped coming to light N.S. mass shooting: Documents show killer was 'paranoid' about COVID-19 pandemic before rampage Nothing else caused alarm. Wortman’s fake cruiser drove at a normal speed. When they got close enough, though, Morrison saw the driver was a man. Wortman turned left onto Highway 224 so he would be driver side-to driver side with Morrison, the way police do when talking to a colleague in another car. That is when Morrison realized the driver was the gunman they were searching for. Wortman “looked to have a melancholy expression” as he turned in front of him, and then a look of “grit” as he raised his gun. Wortman pointed a silver handgun out the window and started shooting at Morrison, probably three or four times, he said. “It happened in a split second.” Morrison “floored it,” and took off from where he was parked. He had been hit but he was mobile and his cruiser hit the guardrail as he turned it onto Highway 2. He pushed his emergency alert button on the side of his police radio. It is to tell the dispatcher the officer requires immediate assistance. He hit the button several times but didn’t think his message was received. He called on his radio to say he had been shot and was going to an ambulance station about seven kilometres away, in Milford. Nobody was there when he arrived; the doors were locked. He radioed again for help. He felt like “a sitting duck” outside in the parking lot if the killer followed him, he said, so he grabbed his rifle and went behind the station. As he waited for help to arrive, he looked out onto Highway 14. He saw black SUVs with police lights driving towards him and then head towards the scene of where he was shot. He listened to his radio as he heard that two police vehicles were on fire at the scene and that an officer was down. Someone said the officer’s service gun and two magazines of ammunition were missing. Perhaps he hoped it was the fugitive gunman. Then he heard the grim message. “Stevenson is down.” Stevenson, 48, a 23-year veteran of the force, a wife and mother of two, died at the scene. By then, an ambulance arrived and took Morrison to Colchester hospital. Back in Enfield, where Morrison started his shift, Wortman was shot and killed by police at a gas station. He had killed 22 people. Some information from Morrison’s account remains redacted by the Crown. The document does show that something went right that day. “I believe that the hard body armor worn by Cst. Morrison stopped the bullet from entering his chest/abdomen,” an RCMP officer wrote in the document. He was released from hospital the next day with bandages around both arms. • Email: ahumphreys@postmedia.com | Twitter: AD_Humphreys
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Bob Lazar and UFOs: a reading (and watching) list
Bob Lazar claims to have been a contractor and physicist at Area 51. Learn more about him and Toronto UFO sightings.
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Part of Highway 7 closed after shooting in Vaughan
Police said the shooting happened at around 4 a.m. near Highway 7 and Weston Road.
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Go Fund Me campaign set up for murdered 28-year-old Durham man's funeral expenses
Daniel Lashley was shot to death in the area of Sheppard Avenue East and Morningside Avenue on Sunday.
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Breonna Taylor death: Experts say case shows limits of law when police use deadly force
The outcome of Taylor's case demonstrates the vast disconnect between widespread public expectation of justice and the limits of the law when police use deadly force.
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Traveller on YRT bus routes in Richmond Hill, Vaughan tests positive for COVID-19
The individual took bus routes 90, 16 on Sept. 15 between hours of 3:30, 4 p.m., according to York Region Public Health.
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Part 3 of Ontario’s fall COVID-19 pandemic preparedness plan to be released
Health Minister Christine Elliott's office has confirmed the announcement will provide spending details related to testing and case and contact management.
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Fate of Trudeau’s minority government hangs in the balance as Parliament set to resume
The throne speech promised to do whatever it takes to protect Canadians' lives and provide financial support for as long as the pandemic rages.
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Dynacare says to expect longer hours, estimated wait times at new Manitoba coronavirus test sites
This week, the province announced it has contracted Dynacare to open and operate several new testing sites across the province.
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Prairie landowners on the hook for rail crossing upgrades ask for extension, consultation
Landowners across the prairies are asking the federal government to extend a deadline for mandated upgrades to grade rail crossings near their land.
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Rick Zamperin’s Week 3 NFL picks: Rams edge Bills, Ravens outduel Chiefs
The National Football League kicks off its Week 3 schedule on Thursday night in Jacksonville where the Jaguars host the Miami Dolphins.
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Montreal weather: Aside from that whole pandemic thing, it's a nice day
As always, things could be worse.
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B.C. Election: Liberals, NDP to cross paths in swing riding city of Maple Ridge
The provincial election campaign is heading into a city home to a pair of swing ridings.
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New and notable books out this week: a delve into a rough childhood, a mystery-novel veteran keeps things short, and satirist P.J. O’Rourke returns
Also this week: a poet’s long-laboured-over debut novel, and a long, lovely look at seaweed.
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Rosie DiManno: Shame on the Globe and Mail for running Chinese government propaganda
By publishing paid content from the international propaganda arm of China’s state-run English-language newspaper, the Globe made itself a shill for a government that’s at diplomatic war with Canada, Rosie DiManno writes.
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My wife says she loves me but is completely unaffectionate. Ask Ellie
When you complain verbally about the effects on you, your wife withdraws, writes advice columnist Ellie, because there were those previous men who took out their anger on her physically
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Today’s coronavirus news: Parliament resumes Thursday with debate on throne speech; Ontario fall preparedness plan roll out continues; Israel tightens second lockdown as cases soar
Meanwhile: Swiss health authorities have ordered a quarantine for 2,500 students at a prestigious hospitality management school in the city of Lausanne after “significant outbreaks" of COVID-19 that are a suspected byproduct of off-campus partying.
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Some Toronto Airbnbs kept their doors open during pandemic shutdown, report says
Most hosts followed the rules, but a survey of reviews by the Fairbnb coalition shows a few were still operating between April and June.
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‘I believe I won at life.’ She recorded her own eulogy after a misinterpreted Pap test and a cancer diagnosis. And her fight for better screening will help Ontarians
Karla Van Kessel became an advocate for better cervical cancer screening, leading to change in Ontario that continues after her death.
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thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
5 things to know for Thursday, September 24, 2020
Canada has had more than 147,700 total cases of COVID-19, with more than 10,700 cases still active.
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