Evening Update: Schools closed, flights disrupted as major winter storm takes aim at Ontario and Quebec

Happy holidays! Let’s start with today’s top stories:

A major winter storm is bearing down on Ontario and Quebec, with residents being warned to reconsider travel plans as conditions could get hazardous.

Environment Canada has issued weather warnings for most of Ontario and much of Quebec, saying heavy snow, strong winds and freezing rain are expected in some areas. Meanwhile, a near week-long swath of extreme cold warnings is slowly being lifted across British Columbia, but as frigid conditions ease, new risks arrive in the form of freezing rain, rain and potential flooding.

In parts of southern Ontario, rain followed by plummeting temperatures could result in flash-freezing conditions, while high winds and blizzard conditions are forecast for some areas. Several school boards, including the Toronto District School Board and boards in Ottawa and London, Ont., have shut schools for the day.

Canadian airports ranked among the world’s most disrupted as of Friday afternoon, according to the live flight tracking platform FlightAware. For our live coverage, click here.

Read more:

A snowplow clears walkways in Old Montreal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, as the snow comes down on Dec. 22, 2022.ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP/Getty Images

RCMP will probe forged government documents aimed at discrediting Muslim charity

The RCMP has decided to launch an investigation to determine who sent forged government documents to the Muslim Association of Canada, days after the federal police force said the community organization should instead pursue the matter with local authorities.

The Mounties came under criticism from Muslim groups and the office of Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino on Wednesday after they declined to investigate the fake documents, which falsely suggest the RCMP and the Canada Revenue Agency are using paid informants to build a terrorist-funding case against MAC, a charity that operates mosques, schools and community centres across the country.

Late Thursday afternoon, the RCMP issued a statement to The Globe and Mail, saying it takes the concerns of the Muslim community seriously.

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018.Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Gary Ng amassed a ‘fleet’ of companies with no more than $500,000 in the bank, court documents allege

Gary Ng, the Winnipeg-based entrepreneur who was briefly a force in Canada’s wealth-management sector, had less than $500,000 in his personal accounts when he borrowed more than $240-million to fund a series of investment dealer acquisitions, new court documents allege.

Between 2018 and 2020, Mr. Ng borrowed nearly a quarter of a billion dollars from some of North America’s most sophisticated lenders – loans he secured with falsified account statements showing he was worth closer to $90-million, the RCMP have alleged in court filings.

The allegations about the true state of Mr. Ng’s modest net worth highlight the disconnect between the reality of his personal holdings, and the proclamations he made a few years ago about his ambitions to consolidate the Canadian wealth-management sector. The documents, which were filed in support of several judicial orders for the production of records, had been barred from public view until they were unsealed in June, but only recently obtained by The Globe and Mail.

Gary Ng, a 34 yr old U of M grad who just acquired PI Financial for $100 million, poses for a portrait at the Fairmont in Winnipeg on Nov. 28, 2018.Mikaela MacKenzie /Handout

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Federal government posts $1.9-billion deficit in October, pushing year-to-date finances into the red: The federal government ran a $1.9-billion deficit in October, pushing Ottawa’s year-to-date finances slightly into the red, the Finance Department reported Friday.

Ontario computer repair shops accessed customers’ personal data, women affected most, study shows: Privacy violations at computer repair shops are “absolutely jarring,” says a professor involved in a new study, which found half of all stores tested in three Ontario cities unnecessarily accessed customers’ personal information.

There are many ways to pick a bank stock. Here’s what worked (and what didn’t): Canadian bank stocks struggled in 2022, as tumbling share prices underperformed the S&P/TSX Composite Index. But the sector’s strong long-term performance and reliable dividends are compelling reasons for investors to give banks another look – so where should they look for opportunities?


Canada’s main stock index was up more than 150 points on the last day of trading before Christmas, while U.S. markets were also on the sunny side after a dramatic slide Thursday on both sides of the border.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 156.99 points at 19,506.65.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 176.44 points at 33,203.93. The S&P 500 index was up 22.43 points at 3,844.82,while the Nasdaq composite was up 21.74 points at 10,497.86.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.51 cents US compared with 73.23 cents US on Thursday.

The February crude contract was up US$2.07 at US$79.56 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was up five cents at US$4.98 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract was up US$8.90 at US$1,804.20 an ounce and the March copper contract was up five cents at US$3.81 a pound.

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As Zelensky waxes, Trump wanes. That is no mere coincidence

“It was hard to miss the symbolism in the accelerating demise of Donald Trump – to which this week’s final report by the congressional committee of inquiry into the Jan. 6 insurrection adds an exclamation point – and the bipartisan hero’s welcome accorded Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the U.S. Congress the same week.” – Andrew Coyne

From Mattea Roach to nuclear fusion: 10 not-terrible things in 2022

“Amid an ongoing pandemic, overflowing hospitals, war in Ukraine, the loss of reproductive rights for U.S. women, soaring inflation, and the inexplicable rise of the “butter board,” there must have been some good news this year, right? Does Elon Musk blowing up Twitter count? Nope. Turns out we were pretty attached to that hellish site after all. But fret not – after much brain-racking, I’ve come up with a list of 10 not-horrible things from 2022.” – Marsha Lederman

Electric-vehicle mandates will make us more dependent than ever on China

“You cannot build an EV battery that does not contain mainly Chinese components. Neither Ottawa’s modest Critical Minerals Strategy, nor Washington’s more ambitious Inflation Reduction Act, can change that any time soon, if ever. That is why betting on EVs involves not just economic risks; it also raises national security concerns.” – Konrad Yakabuski

Danielle Smith promises broad review of the Alberta’s pandemic response

“This isn’t about another battle with Ottawa – it will not include a look at the federal response to the pandemic (perhaps leaving it to former Reform Party leader Preston Manning’s self-described citizens inquiry to examine Canada’s overall response to the pandemic, including the provinces). And Ms. Smith insists the task force will be forward-looking instead of stirring up past controversies.” – Kelly Cryderman


How to prepare when a winter storm is coming

Canadians aren’t strangers to winter storms by any stretch – at least once a year, cities and towns across the country are battered by snow and sleet, rendering it difficult to leave the house, and in more extreme circumstances, stay warm at all.

But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t use reminders as to what to keep on hand and how to prepare for the worst of winter’s weather.

Here’s what you need to know about how to weatherproof your home and vehicle for when blizzards hit.


To have fun the Manitoba way, all you need is a rink, milk jugs and pals who can handle the cold

Glenn and Nicole Buchanan entertain friends in the backyard of their Winnipeg home, where they’ve build a curling rink.Shannon VanRaes/The Globe and Mail

There is no avoiding winter in Winnipeg, where temperatures occasionally dip below those of Mars. While some choose to suffer in silence through the city’s notorious hibernal season, a group of lifelong friends from Manitoba’s wintry capital have found a way to embrace it – and keep themselves laughing through the long, dark brumal nights.

Locals in Canada’s curling homeland find new twists on the sport to stay busy in the long winter months – and to bond with family and neighbours.

Evening Update is written by Emerald Bensadoun. 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.