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Evening Update: For Halloween, meet B.C.’s pumpkin king; catch up on news of the day

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

In the spirit of Halloween, read about Dave Chan who has won B.C.’s largest pumpkin contest two years in a row. He started growing pumpkins 40 years ago, aiming to produce a jack-o’-lantern for his young child. The retired dentist grows them in his backyard. His success, the 77-year-old says, is owing to a little luck, hard work, and according to his wife, a bit of an obsession.

His efforts have paid off. He smashed the provincial record last year with a 1,911-pound, or 867-kilogram behemoth and, earlier this month, two of Chan’s giant pumpkins won contests in British Columbia and across the border in Oregon, clocking in at 1,676 pounds (760 kilograms) and the other at 1,728.5 pounds (784 kilograms).

Also read:

News from Ukraine today

Local residents queue for water after about 80 per cent of the inhabitants of the Ukrainian capital were left without water supply according to the mayor, after a Russian missile attack, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 31, 2022.GLEB GARANICH/Reuters

After days of relative calm, Russia launched a series of missile strikes across Ukraine today. The attacks also targeted Kyiv, where a main power station was hit, knocking out electricity and water for hundreds of thousands of homes.

The Russian army has taken aim at power, heating and water services in an apparent effort to demoralize Ukrainians as winter approaches. The power station supplied electricity to 350,000 apartments in the area, according to Mayor Vitali Klitschko. The blasts left a large section of the city without electricity and running water. Klitschko said workers had found a temporary solution to the power outage, but by late afternoon many residents were still lining up at public water taps.

Employers are rushing to fill jobs with temporary foreign workers

In the second quarter of this year, employers received approval to hire about 45,200 positions through the Temporary Foreign Worker program – the most since at least 2017, according to a Globe and Mail analysis of figures recently published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or IRCC.

Canadian companies are ramping up their use of the TFW program after a contentious expansion of the program by the federal government. Many companies seek authorization in the winter, ahead of seasonal hiring for the summer. But this past spring period was booming: TFW approvals were more than double those of the same period in 2018 and 2019.

The move was cheered by business lobby groups, but criticized by many economists and labour advocates. Read more.

Read more labour reporting:

OPP profiled Randy Hillier, convoy organizers and far-right group during protests, documents show

The Ontario Provincial Police’s intelligence efforts during last winter’s convoy protests included preparing a detailed profile of a provincial politician who was advocating against pandemic restrictions, along with similar profiles of a former RCMP sniper, a far-right group, several convoy organizers and others, newly released documents show.

The politician who was profiled, Randy Hillier, was at the time a member of the Ontario Legislature. The OPP catalogue subjects’ connections to the protests, along with their biographies, social-media activity, home addresses, vehicle registrations and any criminal history.

Our reporting from the inquiry today: Former Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly denies looking for a scapegoat as convoy protests spiralled out of control

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Suspect in attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband faces two federal counts: The incident stoked fears about political violence ahead of midterm elections on Nov. 8 during one of the most vitriolic and polarized U.S. campaigns in decades.

CUPE education workers say they will take a stand for public education: The Ontario government introduced back-to-work legislation on Monday to avert a strike by the province’s 55,000 education workers.

Iran plans public trials for 1,000 protesters in Tehran: The mass indictments mark the government’s first major legal action aimed at quashing dissent since unrest erupted more than six weeks ago.

Nisga’a Nation’s LNG plans face opposition from neighbouring Indigenous group: Plans for a liquefied natural gas terminal in British Columbia have come under opposition from a neighbouring First Nation over doubts it will meet net-zero emissions.


TSX dips but posts biggest monthly gain since November 2020

Canada’s main stock index edged lower for the first time in seven trading sessions as investors braced for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike this week, but the index still notched its largest monthly gain in nearly two years.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 45.05 points at 19,426.14, after six straight days of gains. On Friday, it posted its highest closing level in nearly six weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 128.85 points to 32,732.95, the S&P 500 lost 29.08 points to 3,871.98 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 114.31 points to 10,988.15.

U.S. stocks also fell, closing out a strong month on a soft note, as investor focus turned to the Fed’s policy decision on Wednesday.

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How Brazil’s democracy stepped back from the cliff

“Despite mismanaging the pandemic, straining Brazil’s diplomatic ties with numerous countries, and actively undermining Brazil’s democratic institutions, more than 49 per cent of Brazilian voters were ready to provide Mr. Bolsonaro with a second mandate.” – Oliver Stuenkel

A national animal-cruelty hotline would add bite to our bark

“Cruelty to animals can be both a red flag and a window that exposes a larger web of abuse. People’s safety is another reason to take animals’ well-being seriously and to investigate suspected cruelty promptly.” – Kendra Coulter

Flailing Maple Leafs need a scapegoat and a saviour

Whoever is coaching the Leafs by the weekend, they have my sympathy. It’s not completely their fault, but in this town, they will always take 100 per cent of the blame.” – Cathal Kelly


How much does diet matter in dementia risk?

Despite the common belief that a Mediterranean-style diet helps guard against cognitive decline and dementia, a new study cast doubts about the diet’s potential cognitive benefits.

The research, published earlier this month in the journal Neurology, shows high adherence to a modified Mediterranean diet was also not associated with a lower risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Despite the mixed reviews, diet still does matter when it comes to protecting against cognitive decline. But so does getting regular exercise, not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, protecting cardiovascular health, and being socially active.


Sailing the Atlantic to learn about climate change left me cold, in more ways than one

Ian Brown in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Saturday, July 30, 2022, prior to a sailing departure to United States and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to explore the effects and reality of Climate Change.TED PRITCHARD/The Globe and Mail

Feature writer Ian Brown took advantage of the chance to go on a sailing trip, where he hoped he would have the opportunity to get to know the Atlantic waters better.

“I imagined a luxurious, rollicking, sun-drenched voyage that would alert me to the perils of climate change but reassure me of the ocean’s vast long-term ability to absorb man’s insatiable ambitions.” Brown writes in his essay for The Globe about the trip. “I was wrong on all counts. Call me Ishmael.”

“Climate change was our stowaway, the ghost crew, and there was no escaping its lurking presence. It sometimes made for an elegiac air on board.”

Evening Update is written by Sierra Bein. 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.


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