Morning Brief: All-Time Weather Records, Canada's Favourite Coffee & More

9 things you need to know for Tuesday, November 15.

Features Editor
​Cars buried under snow in Montreal. Right: Espresso dripping into a cup.

Cars buried under snow in Montreal. Right: Espresso dripping into a cup.

Good morning — Andrew from Narcity here. ☕

Off The Top: 'Tis the season where shopping malls, holiday parties and Christmas villages throw their arms open to anyone who possesses a beard and a clean criminal record (though 1-out-of-2 usually suffices). Yes, there are seasonal job postings for Santa Clauses across the country — great news for bored grandpas, drifters and out-of-work Gandalf impersonators.

In Case You Missed It

1. What You Need To Know About Changes To Canada's Student Loans

Recent grads and not-so-recent grads who are still chipping away on their federal student loans, listen up. With all the recent changes to how student loan repayment works in Canada, it can be tough to know where your debt stands. Luckily, Lisa Belmonte has prepared this helpful breakdown on initiatives including the student loan interest freeze, increased zero-payment income threshold and the forthcoming elimination of student loan interest likely starting in April 2023. Here's what you need to know.

  • My Take: When my dad went to Western, it cost him a couple hundred bucks per semester. When I went, I left with over $25K in loans — but though I managed to pay off my debts, I will not begrudge any recent grad having access to superior financing options. Want to tackle the affordability crisis? Start with getting the Canadian government out of the loan shark racket.

2. School Board Won't Institute Dress Code For Teacher With Prosthetic Breasts

Ontario's Oakville Trafalgar High School gained considerable international press coverage after photos were publicized showing a transgender teacher wearing atypically large prosthetic breasts in the classroom. However, following a review of the situation, staff at the Halton District School Board have determined that imposing a formal dress code "would likely expose the Board to considerable liability" as it would likely be deemed discriminatory against the employee "on the basis of their Code-protected grounds." This is obviously a pretty sensitive story; I think my colleague Stuart McGinn does a great, level-headed job examining the ramifications here.

  • In Their Words: "[A]n employer will have to be prepared to establish that any sex-linked differences within its dress code are bona fide occupational requirements, otherwise they will more than likely be found to be discriminatory," the authors of the report wrote.

3. Think This Canadian Winter Could Be Nasty? The All-Time Records Are Even Worse

For some (particularly certain cold-blooded newsletter writers), there's no such thing as a "good" winter. On the flip side, history tells us that a Canadian winter can be a heckuva lot less forgiving than what we've experienced in recent years. Environment Canada released a list of the country's top weather events from the 20th century — including the day Ottawa hit -38.9 C on the thermometer and when a small community in B.C. received 145 centimetres of snow in a single day. Lisa Belmonte takes us on a walk through Canadian history's winter wonderlands wastelands.

HEY YOU! You should sign up for the email version of the Canada Morning Briefright here. It's better than this version. Trust me.

What Else You Need To Know Today

A recent survey of 1,000 Canadians has purportedly determined the country's favourite coffee — and somewhat surprisingly (though really not surprising at all, actually) Tim Hortons wasn't the top pick in any one province. In fact, respondents from Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland picked Starbucks No. 1, Katherine Caspersz reports.

When the pandemic hit, Morgan Leet followed suit with a lot of young Canadian adults: she moved in with her boyfriend's family to ride out what would surely be a short lockdown... right? Soon, she and her partner were engaged — but still living under his parents' roof, leading to a few awkward realizations but also a bunch of incredible benefits.

Despite your mom cheerfully telling you "don't let the bedbugs bite" every time she tucked you in, the blood-thirsty vermin are no laughing matter, turning every night into a losing battle against a mostly invisible horde. MTL Blog's Willa Holt explains how to identify a bedbug infestation and send the little buggers back to their devilish maker.

Given the turmoil facing the global tech sector these past weeks, you might very well know someone on the lookout for their next job. Ashley Harris scoured the listings and found six remote jobs based out of B.C. that each pay at least $90K a year. From statistical programmers to video game developers, check out the full list here.

Big Little Lies actress Shailene Woodley is 31. Look at this paragraph; this is how I remind you that it's Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger's 48th birthday. Eclectic Wu-Tang Clan member Ol' Dirty Bastard would've been 54 today. The cream rises to the top; the Macho Man Randy Savage would've been 70 today. The lovely Beverly D'Angelo turns 71. Caterpillar-browed character actor Sam Waterston is 82.

Thanks for reading Narcity'sCanada Morning Brief — the newsletter that stands in solidarity with the true incels: young couples whose bedroom wall adjoins their parents' room. (Sorry, mom.)

Have a question or comment about today's edition? Let me know at or hit me up on Twitter if you'd prefer at @andrewjoepotter.

Have a great day and I will see you back here tomorrow!

Andrew Joe Potter
Features Editor
Andrew Joe Potter was a Features Editor for Narcity Media Group based in Toronto, Ontario.