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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to name career diplomat Jennifer May as ambassador to China after the past appointments of a veteran politician and a corporate executive ended in controversy, and accusations that they soft-pedalled Beijing’s human-rights abuses.

May, recently ambassador to Brazil, will become the first woman posted to Beijing, the second most important diplomatic mission after Washington, according to two senior government officials.

Naming an experienced diplomat ends the Trudeau government’s recent practice of choosing outsiders to represent Ottawa in China. Experts say, however, May has her work cut out for her as bilateral relations still remain frosty a year since Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor returned home after being arbitrarily detained in China for 1,020 days.

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Cars with Russian number plates wait to cross the border from Russia to Finland at the Nuijamaa border checkpoint in Lappeenranta, Finland, on Sept. 22, 2022.LAURI HEINO/AFP/Getty Images

Putin’s military mobilization order triggers exodus of Russians fearful of being called to fight

Russian President Vladimir Putin had barely finished announcing a partial mobilization of military reservists Wednesday when Anastasia Burakova’s phone started lighting up with calls and text messages.

Burakova runs Ark, a Georgia-based charity that provides a range of services for Russians trying to leave the country. Within hours of Putin’s order, she’d received 3,000 calls for help and expects many more this week, report Paul Waldie and Mark MacKinnon.

Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said Wednesday that Russia initially planned to call up 300,000 reservists with previous combat experience. But a decree posted on the Kremlin’s official website put no cap on the number of men who could be conscripted to fight, and the Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian media outlet operating in exile, quoted a source in the presidential administration who said the real target was one million new soldiers.

Cancer care system in B.C. buckling as staff shortages lead to soaring wait times

Insiders at British Columbia’s cancer care agency – including past presidents whose leadership span 25 years – are sounding the alarm on a system that they say is plummeting in quality of care and international repute.

Growing wait times have meant that, as of this summer, only one in five patients referred to an oncologist receive a first consultation within the recommended two weeks, according to internal data obtained by The Globe and Mail. And when it comes to beginning radiation treatment, B.C.’s average wait times are the longest in Canada. Timely treatment can be critical for survival and recovery, and a delay at one stage can compound overall wait times.

Decades after two babies were switched at birth in Newfoundland, families reckon with the fallout

It was the middle of the night on Sept. 24, 1969, when Jessie Rowsell, a 31-year-old woman from Beachside, arrived at the Springdale Cottage Hospital, birth records shared with The Globe and Mail show.

Rowsell, a free-spirited woman who partied hard and fished with the men, delivered a baby girl just after 5 a.m. At the same time, Ruth Lush was in the throes of labour, according to her hospital birth records. An hour and 15 minutes later, Lush’s daughter took her first breath of air. The babies both had blonde hair and blue eyes. There was just an ounce difference in their weight.

In the room where the babies were born, a nurse was supposed to write the name on a plastic identity bracelet and snap it on the baby’s ankle, said Rita Rideout, who was a 23-year-old navy-trained nurse who worked at the Springdale Cottage Hospital at the time of the mistake. Then the baby was taken to the nursery to be cleaned and weighed.

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Also on our radar

Hilary Mantel dies: Mantel died “suddenly yet peacefully” surrounded by close family and friends, publisher HarperCollins said Friday. Mantel is credited with re-energizing historical fiction with “Wolf Hall” and two sequels about the 16th-century English power broker Thomas Cromwell, right-hand man to King Henry VIII.

Mulroney urges Poilievre to broaden his appeal: Pierre Poilievre must make an appeal to Canada’s political centre if he wants to win government, former prime minister Brian Mulroney says he told the new Conservative Leader this week over dinner.

Canada to face a moderate recession in last quarter of 2022, economic model forecasts: The country has crossed a critical threshold indicating a recession is “imminent,” according to a Canadian recession model constructed by Oxford Economics, which has predicted four of the past six downturns in Canada.

Montreal professor wins world’s largest science prize: Gilles Brassard, a computer scientist at the University of Montreal who made seminal contributions to the field of quantum cryptography, has been awarded the Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics.

Security experts predict China will soon be capable of invading Taiwan: The year 2027 looms large for Taiwan. That’s when, U.S. Admiral Philip Davidson – then-head of Indo-Pacific Command – informed a Senate committee in 2021, China will have acquired the capacity to take Taiwan by force.


Morning markets

Rate fears grip markets: World stocks hit two-year lows on Friday and bonds faced an eighth weekly loss, as investors digested the prospect of a far more aggressive rise in U.S. interest rates, while currency markets remained volatile after Japan’s intervention to prop up the yen. Just before 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 1.57 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 1.28 per cent and 1.09 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished down 1.18 per cent. Markets in Japan were closed. New York futures were negative. The Canadian dollar was trading at 73.84 US cents.


What everyone’s talking about

What’s the point of the NDP?

“The NDP knows it is now being squeezed on both political sides. Not only is the party being outflanked by the governing Liberals on social issues, climate, health care and so forth, but now the Conservatives are making direct appeals to the party’s old bread-and-butter: the blue-collar worker. Indeed, what was started by former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole during the last election, with his package of labour reforms, has been picked up and energized by Mr. Poilievre – who has spent the last several months touring the country and lamenting the rising cost of living and its effect on the average Canadian.” - Robyn Urback

These are desperately serious times. We need serious politics to match

“The multiple intersecting crises are the more unsettling for having followed a period of prolonged stability on all fronts. For 30 years, much of the developed world has enjoyed low and stable inflation and – the financial crisis aside – the relative economic stability that goes with it: the Great Moderation, as it was called. This has no precedent in the history of the world.” - Andrew Coyne


Today’s editorial cartoon

brian/The Globe and Mail


Living better

Five fall adventures to catch across Canada before the season is over

Fall is Canada’s most ephemeral season – if you don’t make the most of the next few weekends, when the leaves are changing and the apples are ripe for picking – you’ll have to wait a whole year to recapture the magic.

From scaling new heights at the Golden Skybridge and Malahat Skywalk in B.C. to immersing in Indigenous culture in Saskatoon, Sask., here are a few under-the-radar seasonal activities to explore across the country before they’re gone.


Moment in time: Sept. 23, 1822

Construction of Campbell House is completed

The Campbell House move in 1972.Vim Kochhar

The construction of Campbell House, one of Toronto’s oldest and best-preserved heritage properties, was completed 200 years ago this month. The elegant late Georgian mansion, built for Sir William Campbell who would later serve as the sixth chief justice of Upper Canada, is a gated city landmark at the corner of University Avenue and Queen Street West. The two-storey red brick building landed on this spot following an extraordinary feat of engineering. In the 1960s, when the house was still on its original plot of land 1.5 kilometres away, it was threatened by encroaching urban development so a plan was hatched to move it. In the spring of 1972, holes were punched into its basement walls and steel beams were inserted and reinforced. Hydraulic jacks were used to break the house away from its foundation. Then it was jacked up about 1.5 millimetres at a time until it sat roughly three metres above the ground. The structure, which weighed close to 300 tonnes, was placed on dollies and painstakingly inched along streets lined with awe-struck spectators, en route to its new home. Today, it stands as a testament to Toronto’s rich history while the buildings surrounding it grow ever taller and glassier.


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