Evening Update: Ontario issues stay-at-home order in bid to control COVID-19 spread; Alberta shuts down GraceLife church for refusing to follow health rules

Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:

The latest COVID-19 developments: Ontario imposes stay-at-home order, Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots, plus more

Ontario has issued[1] a four-week stay-at-home order starting tomorrow, while expanding vaccine eligibility for teachers and essential workers in Toronto and Peel Region in a bid to control vast-spreading COVID-19 variants that are threatening the health care system. The changes will close most non-essential stores to in-person shopping and limit big box stores to essential items such as groceries, cleaning supplies and pharmacy items. Today, the province is reporting 3,215 new cases.

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In Alberta, the government has closed down[2] and fenced off the GraceLife church west of Edmonton, and says it will remain shut until the church shows it will comply with COVID-19 health restrictions. The move comes a day after the province announced it is reimposing restrictions[3] on restaurants, gyms and other activities in an effort to curb the spike of infections from the more transmissible and lethal variants.

Quebeckers in hot spots are preparing for new restrictions on gyms and faith gatherings to take effect tomorrow, while officials expanded access[4] to vaccines for essential workers such as teachers and first responders in Montreal.

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization says it is standing by[5] its emergency recommendation to extend the delivery of second doses of COVID-19 vaccines up to four months.

Internationally, the European Medicines Agency has recommended[6] that blood clotting should be listed as a possible side effect of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, although it insisted that the benefits of the jab continue to outweigh the risk. Meanwhile, the pandemic is tearing through[7] Eastern Europe, making it one of the worst global hot spots.

In sports, the Vancouver Canucks say 25 players and coaches have tested positive[8] amid a COVID-19 outbreak that involves a variant of the virus – the biggest reported outbreak in the NHL this season.

Opinion: “If the prevailing emotion of the first lockdown was fear, and frustration for the second, this third and hopefully last lockdown will be characterized by one pervasive sentiment: anger.” – Robyn Urback[9]

Read more:

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Victory for Greenland’s opposition party puts future of massive mine in doubt

The future of a massive mining project in Greenland that has caught the attention of China and the United States has been thrown[11] into doubt after the autonomous Danish territory’s main opposition party scored a victory in yesterday’s general election.

Final results from the election put Inuit Ataqatigiit, which opposes the mine, on track to win 12 seats in Greenland’s 31-seat parliament.

The election has been watched closely[12] in Washington and Beijing because of the island’s growing importance as a source of rare-earth metals, a group of 17 elements that are used in more than 200 products, including cellphones, wind turbines, electric cars and fighter jets.

Shaw opts out of key spectrum auction amid Rogers takeover

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Shaw Communications Inc., which has struck a deal to be acquired by Rogers Communications Inc. for $26-billion including debt, will not participate[13] in a coming auction of airwaves that are critical for 5G wireless services.

That could create opportunities for smaller players to bid on blocks of airwaves that the government has set aside for newer wireless carriers, analysts said.

Shaw declined to comment on how sitting out the auction could affect its wireless business if its deal with Rogers falls through.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Chauvin trial testimony: Officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck – and was bearing down with most of his weight – the entire 9 1/2 minutes[14] Floyd lay face down with his hands cuffed behind his back, use-of-force expert Jody Stiger testified at Chauvin’s murder trial.

Cause of Tiger Woods’ crash revealed: Tiger Woods was speeding[15] when he crashed an SUV in Southern California in February, leaving the golf superstar seriously injured, authorities say.

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Jordan’s king breaks silence: King Abdullah II has addressed[16] for the first time the public feud with his half-brother, Prince Hamzah , saying the attempted “sedition” had been buried but that it caused him shock, anger and pain.

Jimmy Lai pleads guilty: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and two other pro-democracy activists pleaded guilty[17] to charges of participating in an illegal march during mass anti-government protests in 2019.

MARKET WATCH

The record run by Canada’s main stock index continued on a quiet day[18] of trading on both sides of the border. Major averages hovered near unchanged today, with the S&P 500 closing up slightly after the Federal Reserve released minutes[19] from its most recent meeting that reinforced the U.S. central bank’s position to remain patient before raising rates.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 24.93 points or 0.13 per cent at a record close of 19,129.07.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16.02 points or 0.05 per cent to 33,446.26, the S&P 500 gained 6.01 points or 0.15 per cent to end at 4,079.95 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 9.54 points or 0.07 per cent to 13,688.84.

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Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com. Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.[20][21]

TALKING POINT

Paul Pierce’s mistake was confusing who he is with who he used to be

“There are a million former pros who can do what he does. His professional value has been reduced to showing up on time, being nice to the crew and never doing anything too ridiculous in public. He broke one of those rules.” Cathal Kelly[22]

LIVING BETTER

The 10th anniversary of Malbec World Day on April 17 allows wineries from Argentina a chance to celebrate their global success with a grape variety they successfully adopted from France 168 years ago. If you’re interested in celebrating – Canada represents the third-largest export market for malbec – Globe wine critic Christopher Waters rates some affordable, easy-drinking options[23].

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TODAY’S LONG READ

Nenshi will not seek a fourth term as Calgary mayor

Naheed Nenshi’s future has long been a source of political speculation in Alberta, with people asking whether one of Canada’s most recognizable and long-serving mayors would seek a fourth term in office. He now says he’s made the difficult decision not to run again this fall.

Nenshi, 49, is so firmly ensconced in Calgary political consciousness it’s hard to remember he was an underdog in the early days of the 2010 municipal election. Most people gave the intellectual, Harvard-educated son of Tanzanian immigrants – with a previous council-spot election loss under his belt – a near-zero chance in his first shot at the mayor’s chair, especially against two better-known candidates.

But his team launched an ideas-heavy platform that gave him the right momentum in the final days of that campaign, and after his surprise victory, he became a lionized symbol of urbane, progressive municipal politics. Read Kelly Cryderman’s full story here.[24]

Evening Update is presented by S.R. Slobodian. 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.[25][26]

References

  1. ^ has issued (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  2. ^ has closed down (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  3. ^ reimposing restrictions (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  4. ^ expanded access (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  5. ^ it is standing by (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  6. ^ has recommended (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  7. ^ is tearing through (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  8. ^ have tested positive (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  9. ^ Robyn Urback (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  10. ^ here (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  11. ^ has been thrown (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  12. ^ has been watched closely (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  13. ^ will not participate (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  14. ^ the entire 9 1/2 minutes (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  15. ^ was speeding (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  16. ^ has addressed (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  17. ^ pleaded guilty (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  18. ^ continued on a quiet day (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  19. ^ released minutes (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  20. ^ tips@globeandmail.com (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  21. ^ SecureDrop (sec.theglobeandmail.com)
  22. ^ Cathal Kelly (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  23. ^ affordable, easy-drinking options (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  24. ^ full story here (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  25. ^ here (www.theglobeandmail.com)
  26. ^ note (www.theglobeandmail.com)