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The Ambassador Bridge is the latest target of protesters opposing pandemic restrictions, cutting off a key trade route between the United States and Canada and threatening supply chains for a significant part of the country.

Demonstrators sympathetic to the days-long anti-government occupation in Ottawa started using trucks to jam traffic on the bridge from Windsor, Ont., to Detroit on Monday.

The economic impact of the Ambassador Bridge blockade has the potential to far outstrip the effect of the other vehicle blockades that Canada has seen to date. About one quarter of Canada’s trade with the United States crosses at that land border, the bridge is critical to industries such as the auto sector, and it is a key supply line for fresh produce and other goods in the Windsor-to-Quebec corridor.

Vehicles block the route leading from the Ambassador Bridge, linking Detroit and Windsor, as truckers and their supporters continue to protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates, in Windsor, February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos OsorioCARLOS OSORIO/Reuters

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Alberta, Saskatchewan signal end to COVID-19 restrictions

Alberta ended its vaccination passport system yesterday at midnight and will eliminate its mask mandate for children next Monday, making it the first jurisdiction to quash two key coronavirus public-health measures that are spurring protests across Canada.

Saskatchewan, meanwhile, on Tuesday said it will end its proof-of-immunization program on Feb. 14, and its indoor masking requirement at the end of the month. Premiers in both provinces said the usefulness of their vaccine passport systems has ended and it is time to “heal” divisions in society over COVID-19 restrictions.

Father of Afghan human-rights advocate faces potential deportation from Canada

Sarina Faizy breathed a massive sigh of relief when her family was evacuated from Afghanistan almost six months ago after urging the Canadian government to help. But now she’s confused and afraid because her father, who has been housed in a Toronto hotel since August, recently received a letter from the Canada Border Services Agency saying he may not be admissible to Canada.

Faizy’s family hid from the Taliban in in their basement in Kandahar for more than 20 days. After the Taliban took that city, her family went to Kabul, obtained documents and applied to go to Canada. They stood in filthy water at the airport for hours waiting to show their documents to Canadian officials and sat under the blistering sun for days.

They were grateful to finally start their new lives in Canada. But last week Faizy’s father received a letter indicating that the process for him is about to become complicated.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Estonia says Russian invasion of Ukraine could bring refugees: Estonia is warning its citizens that a Russian war in Ukraine could bring a flood of refugees and increased cyberattacks on infrastructure as it tries to prepare for the turbulence a conflict would fuel across Europe.

Canadian AI firm looks to recharge quest for autonomous vehicles: Waabi Innovations Inc., Canada’s leading developer of self-driving systems, has unveiled its new strategy for teaching autonomous vehicles to perform safely: It’s basically a driving school for robots run by another robot.

Deals for seniors’ residences surge: A series of takeovers is reshaping Canada’s retirement-home industry, as large U.S. and domestic operators look past the COVID-19 pandemic and see a sector with far more seniors than space.

Small-business owners push for property-tax relief: Small businesses are urging relief on their property-tax bills, which are growing substantially in red-hot real estate markets. While cities such as Toronto and Ottawa are lowering bills for small businesses and raising them for bigger enterprises, other municipalities say they are unwilling to engage in tradeoffs or are being stymied by provincial rules.

Joe Rogan dispute shows Spotify’s limits: Podcasting has sprouted as an industry with few standards about policing offensive or misleading content. That has left Spotify trying to figure out how to keep podcaster Joe Rogan’s millions of devoted fans happy without further alienating artists and listeners angry about him amplifying vaccine skeptics and using racial slurs.


MORNING MARKETS

World stock markets rallied on Wednesday, putting aside worries about rising interest rates for now to take some comfort from positive headlines coming out of Ukraine and upbeat earnings. The pan-European STOXX 600 climbed almost 1.5 per cent. That followed a strong session in Asia, where MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.5 per cent to a two-week high and the blue-chip Nikkei closed 1.08 per cent higher. U.S. stock futures pointed to a strong open for Wall Street, where shares ended sharply higher on Tuesday. The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.78 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Cathal Kelly: “Peng’s initial appeal for help gave the Western world’s sports elite an opportunity to do several things. It could take on China, expand the #MeToo fight to less-familiar precincts and affirm its growing willingness not just to endorse political positions, but to actively pursue them. This was the sort of good fight some powerful, brand-conscious people were looking for. In the end, it wasn’t that close. Internet hashtags are one thing. Staring down a superpower is another. The People’s Republic has been at this sort of thing a little longer than the Women’s Tennis Association.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Seven nutrient-dense foods to add to your diet now

If you rely on supplements to get your daily fix of nutrients, consider rethinking your menu. Many people rely on supplements to supply certain nutrients that diet alone can’t deliver. But even so, your regular menu needs to feature nutrient-dense foods. Here’s why.


MOMENT IN TIME: FEBRUARY 9, 1895

A group of ladies playing a game of volleyball, c. 1900.Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Mintonette (aka volleyball) is invented

William Morgan, the athletic director of the YMCA in Holyoke, Mass., faced a timeless problem: how to keep the older members of his gym active without wearing them out. Morgan was a friend and former classmate of James Naismith, who invented basketball in 1891. But Morgan found that the game was too strenuous for some, while tennis and other sports required too much equipment. So Morgan, then 25, came up with the game we know as volleyball. Mintonette, as Morgan called it, was first demonstrated on this day in 1895 at Massachusetts’ Springfield College. Today, volleyball nets are more than a foot higher and teams get just three touches before returning the ball to their opponents, but the game is played by all ages, all over the world. It became an Olympic sport in 1964. Beach volleyball, the game’s sexier sibling, joined the Olympics in 1996. By 2005, volleyball was Canada’s seventh-most-popular sport by participation, just ahead of downhill skiing but behind basketball. Eric Atkins


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