S&P/TSX composite down more than 200 points, U.S. stock markets also down

Canada’s main stock index slipped more than 200 points in late-morning trading, dragged down by industrials and financials, as U.S. markets also fell.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 243.61 points at 18,735.40.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 426.77 points at 29,500.17. The S&P 500 index was down 73.88 points at 3,670.64, while the Nasdaq composite was down 326.30 points at 10,747.01.

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S&P/TSX composite down more than 100 points in late morning trading

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.04 cents US compared with 72.89 cents US on Thursday.

The November crude contract was up US$2.98 at US$91.43 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was down 21 cents at US$6.76 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was down US$11.30 at US$1709.50 an ounce and the December copper contract was down almost five cents at US$3.39 a pound.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Quebec unions say they don't have time to help students' brush teeth

Quebec’s teachers say they don’t have time to supervise children brushing their teeth every day.

Teachers unions say their members have high enough workloads and that now is not the time to be saddling them with the responsibility of making sure their students’ mouths are clean.

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The unions are reacting to a program that is slowly rolling out across the province, in which teachers are required to ensure students brush their teeth for two minutes every day.

Josee Scalabrini, president of the Federation des syndicats de l’enseignement, which represents 87,000 teachers, says the program is a good idea but entirely unrealistic.

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Another union, Federation autonome de l’enseignement, which counts more than 60,000 members, says the requirements for the program are completely disconnected from the reality in schools.

The program –for daycares and primary schools– was developed by the Health Department in 2017 but was slow to be implemented because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

MLB crowds jump from 2021, but still below pre-pandemic levels

Even with homer chases by Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 2022 average of 26,843 fans per game throughout the league was down 5.3% from the 2019 average of 28,339.

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The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics — who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors — finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. It was a huge reason why an average of only 18,901 fans came to games.

No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years — even before the pandemic — after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Barrie, Ont. woman wins $1 million in Lotto Max draw

A Barrie woman is $1 million richer after buying the winning ticket for a Maxmillions prize in the Sept. 20 Lotto Max draw.

Deborah Ineson, a regular lottery player with OLG for about 20 years, says this is her first big win.

The winning ticket was purchased at Circle K on Livingstone Street in Barrie.

“My co-worker checked my ticket using the OLG App. She said, ‘Oh my God, look!’ and when I saw the app display, I thought it was a $1,000 win at first. She corrected me and pointed out the additional zeroes,” Ineson told OLG.

“I was a little worried this was too good to be true.”

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The administrative worker told OLG her family was skeptical when she first told them about her big win.

“I had to show them a screenshot for them to believe me,” she said. “They are so happy for me.”

When asked about what she plans on doing with her winnings, Ineson said she plans to buy a new house and travel to Spain and Italy.

OLG is booking in-person prize claim appointments at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto.

Lotto Max players in Ontario have won over $7.2 billion since 2009, including 93 jackpot wins and 799 Maxmillions prizes, right across the province. Lotto Max is $5 per play, and draws take place on Tuesdays and Fridays.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Peter Robinson, Toronto-based crime writer behind Inspector Banks series, dies at 72

British-Canadian crime writer Peter Robinson, who kept readers in suspense with his long-running Inspector Banks series, has died.

Robinson’s publisher McClelland & Stewart says he died in Toronto on Tuesday after a brief illness. He was 72.

Robinson chronicled the capers of British detective Alan Banks in more than 25 novels that have been translated around the world.

The series started with “Gallows View” in 1987, which won Robinson his first of seven Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Awards.

Several of the novels were adapted for the screen, including the British TV series “DCI Banks,” which aired from 2010 to 2016.

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Jared Bland, outgoing publisher of McClelland & Stewart, says Robinson transcended the tropes of the crime genre to write “human novels.”

“Peter wrote about the darkest of things, but never without the light of hope on the horizon, and always with a finely attuned sense of the fragility and beauty of the human experience,” Bland said in a statement Friday.

Born in Yorkshire, England, in 1950, Robinson came to Canada to earn a master’s in creative writing at University of Windsor, followed by a PhD in English at York University.

He taught at a number of universities and colleges in Toronto, where he lived with his wife, Sheila Halladay.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Russia's Putin turns 70 with prayers for 'health and longevity' as Ukraine crisis deepens

WATCH: Russia says its military retreats in Ukraine don't affect annexation of regions

President Vladimir Putin turned 70 on Friday amid fawning congratulations from subordinates and a plea from Orthodox Patriarch Kirill for all to pray for the health of the longest-serving paramount leader of Russia since Josef Stalin.

Putin is facing the biggest challenge of his rule after the invasion of Ukraine triggered the gravest confrontation with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. His army there is reeling from a series of defeats in the past month.

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Officials hailed Putin as the saviour of modern Russia while the patriarch of Moscow and All Russia implored the country to say two days of special prayers so that God grants Putin “health and longevity”.

“We pray to you, our Lord God, for the head of the Russian State, Vladimir Vladimirovich, and ask you to give him your rich mercy and generosity, grant him health and longevity, and deliver him from all the resistances of visible and invisible enemies, confirm him in wisdom and spiritual strength, for all, Lord hear and have mercy,” Kirill said.

Putin, who vowed to end the chaos which gripped Russia after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, is facing the most serious military crisis any Kremlin chief has faced for at least a generation since the Soviet-Afghan war of 1979-89.

Opponents such as jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny say that Putin has led Russia down a dead end towards ruin, building a brittle system of incompetent sycophants that will ultimately collapse and bequeath chaos.

Supporters say Putin saved Russia from destruction by an arrogant and aggressive West.

“Today, our national leader, one of the most influential and outstanding personalities of our time, the number one patriot in the world, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, turns 70 years old!” Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said.

“Putin has changed the global position of Russia and forced the world to reckon with the position of our great state.”

But the war in Ukraine has forced Putin to burn through vast amounts of political, diplomatic and military capital.

More than seven months into the invasion, Russia has suffered huge losses in men and equipment and been beaten back on several fronts within the past month as Putin’s army has lurched from one humiliation to the next.

Putin has resorted to proclaiming the annexation of territories only partly under Russian control – and whose borders the Kremlin has said are yet to be defined – and threatening to defend them with nuclear weapons.

READ MORE: Nobel Peace Prize awarded to activists from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus amid war

A partial mobilisation declared by the president on Sept. 21 has unfolded so chaotically that even Putin has been forced to admit mistakes and order changes. Hundreds of thousands of men have fled abroad to avoid being called up.

Even normally loyal Kremlin allies have denounced the failings of the military – though they have stopped short, so far, of criticising the president himself.

Putin finds himself confronted with a resurgent, united and expanding NATO, despite his insistence that the “special operation” in Ukraine was aimed at enforcing Russian “red lines” and preventing the alliance from moving closer to Russia’s borders.

Signs of disquiet have emerged from China and India, on which Russia is increasingly reliant as geopolitical and economic partners in the wake of successive waves of Western sanctions.

Reflecting on Putin’s birthday, former Kremlin speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov said: “On an anniversary, it’s customary to sum up results, but the results are so deplorable that it would be better not to draw too much attention to the anniversary.”

Putin has dominated Russia for nearly 23 years since being handpicked by President Boris Yeltsin as his preferred successor in a surprise announcement on New Year’s Eve 1999.

Changes adopted to the constitution in 2020 paved the way for him to rule potentially until 2036, and there is no obvious front-runner to succeed him.

He maintains a full schedule of meetings and public events and invariably appears in control of his brief, holding forth at length in video conferences on topics ranging from energy to education. The Kremlin has denied recurrent speculation about alleged health problems.

As he has grown older, Putin has appeared increasingly preoccupied with his legacy. In June he compared his actions in Ukraine to the campaigns of Tsar Peter the Great, suggesting both of them were engaged in historic quests to win back Russian lands.

Putin has become increasingly fond of quoting Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin, who argued that Russia had an exceptional mystical and holy path to follow that would ultimately restore order to an imperfect world.

In a televised encounter with teachers this week, Putin showed a keen interest in another episode from history – an 18th century peasant revolt against Empress Catherine the Great – that he blamed on “the weakness of central authority in the country”.

From the man who has dominated Russia for more than two decades, it sounded as though a lesson had been taken to heart: faced with the possibility of rebellion, the ruler needs to be both strong and vigilant.

(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

© 2022 Reuters

Emergency room at Ontario hospital closing until December due to staff shortage

A rural Ontario hospital is closing its emergency department until December due to a shortage of nurses.

South Bruce Grey Health Centre says the Chesley hospital emergency room is closing today with a scheduled reopening date of Dec. 2.

The health-care organization says the decision to close the ER for eight weeks follows a series of short-notice, temporary closures that are not a “sustainable approach” for staff and the community.

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The health centre says it will evaluate levels of service that can be offered at its four hospital sites during the closure, noting that it anticipates staffing will be a challenge “for the foreseeable future.”

A news release also notes that the hospital has been relying on agency nurses to fill shifts, but that solution is costly and makes staff nurses feel undervalued because they make less money.

The shutdown follows a spate of temporary emergency room closures at hospitals across Ontario over the last several months due to lack of staff.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Winnipeggers busted with firearm components used to make 'zip guns': police

A pair of Winnipeggers are facing numerous firearms charges as the result of an ongoing police investigation in the city’s West Alexander neighbourhood.

Winnipeg police said they raided a Ross Avenue West home on Thursday, leading to the seizure of two disassembled, sawed-off shotguns, two single calibre gun barrels, loose firearms components, ammunition, and a trigger mechanism.

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The parts are believed to have been intended for creating homemade “zip guns.”

A 42-year-old man remains in custody facing a total of seven gun charges, while the second suspect, a 34-year-old woman, was released on an undertaking after being charged with four offences.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

CAMH to lead team developing youth mental health platform

A team of experts led by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is creating an online platform it says will fill longtime gaps in youth mental health care.

CAMH says the Canadian Youth Mental Health Insight Platform will help young people find service providers in their area.

It will also allow mental health practitioners to record and collect important data the organization says will be useful on a large scale.

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Dr. Sean Hill, who is heading up the project, says the platform will allow providers to track what interventions work and share that information nationwide.

He says young people have been involved in the project to make sure the web portal serves their needs, as well as those of clinicians and researchers.

The project is backed by a $5-million grant from the Canadian Brain Research Fund, and is expected to be built over the next three years.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Man arrested after gun pointed at person in Kitchener: police

Waterloo Regional Police say a man was taken into custody after a gun was pointed at another person in Kitchener on Thursday afternoon.

According to police, officers were dispatched to the area around Old Carriage Drive and Homer Watson Boulevard after the incident was called in.

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Police say officers found the man. They then discovered a pellet gun and seized it.

A 24-year-old man from Kitchener is facing multiple charges, including possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, pointing a firearm and assault with a weapon.

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Police are asking anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident to call 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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