Morning Brief: New Canadian Benefits, Alberta's Best Waterfalls & More

9 things you need to know for Monday, October 17.

​Chrystia Freeland and Justin Trudeau at a press conference. Right: A hiker takes in Crescent Falls in Alberta.
Features Editor

Chrystia Freeland and Justin Trudeau at a press conference. Right: A hiker takes in Crescent Falls in Alberta.

Good morning — Andrew from Narcity here. ☕

Off The Top: With spooky season very much in full swing, we've updated our classic list of the scariest movies currently on Netflix — though no list of truly revolting and depraved fare would be complete without the epic Jared Leto vampire bomb Morbius.

In Case You Missed It

1. The Feds Are Closer To Rolling Out New Dental & Housing Benefits

Canada's federal government is proceeding with plans to move forward with a number of improved or completely new benefits, Helena Hanson reports. The hope is to introduce the Canada Dental Benefit, top up the Canada Housing Benefit and double the GST credit for six months. In advance of the expected rollout, the government is advising Canadians to make sure the My Account page on the Canada Revenue Agency site is up to date to ensure a smooth experience. Here's what else you need to know.

  • The Hold Up: The feds are still waiting on Parliamentary approval and Royal Assent but applications for the dental and housing benefits could open as soon as December.

2. Elon Musk Takes Aim At Ukraine Over Internet — Then Reverses His Decision

Famously level-headed and ever-online bazillionaire Elon Musk announced he was pulling his satellite-based internet service Starlink from Ukraine, in part because of the price tag of providing the service for free but also because a former Ukrainian diplomat chirped him on Twitter. "We're just following his recommendation," Musk tweeted after a former ambassador to Germany told him to "f*ck off," Sameen Chaudhry writes. Musk later reversed his decision, tweeting on Saturday that SpaceX would continue to fund the initiative — but the initial gaffe is yet another reminder of the impulsivity of the richest person on earth.

  • Context: With Ukraine's communications infrastructure hampered, Starlink satellites proved to be a significant aid to the defence effort — though Musk has persistently rankled Ukrainian officials with his public pitches for how the conflict might be resolved.
  • By The Numbers: Providing the Starlink service for free is expected to cost Musk's SpaceX company over $100 million in 2022 — about 0.05% of Musk's estimated net worth of $207.7 billion.
  • My Take: Finally, someone with the guts to take war-torn Ukraine down a peg.

3. Canada's Ambassador To The U.S. Slammed Them Over NEXUS Negotiations

For frequent travellers, NEXUS is a lifesaver, allowing carefully vetted Canadians and Americans to bypass some of the increasingly insufferable security check lines at borders. However, the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., Kirsten Hillman, says the Americans are holding NEXUS "hostage" to try to renegotiate the terms of the 20-year-old program. Lisa Belmonte breaks down the atypical friction between the historically cooperative neighbours.

  • What's The Deal? Part of the issue has to do with the legal protections related to the ability for U.S. staff to carry firearms at Canada-based NEXUS enrolment centres. Gulp.
  • My Take: I've been approved for my NEXUS interview since March — but Canada's enrolment centres remain closed despite the U.S. locations being open since April. Anyone up for a road trip to Detroit?

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

Netflix Canada is rolling out its new cheaper service tier. Starting November 1, subscribers to the "Basic With Ads" plan can pay $5.99 monthly — though as the name implies, there's a key difference between the newest option and the traditional version. However, as Tristan Wheeler explains, occasional commercials aren't the only drawback.

Alberta has mountains — and sometimes water falls from those peaks. Hence, uh... waterfalls (feel free to impress your pals with that clever bit of etymology). If we've caught your attention, Charlie Hart has found seven waterfalls in Alberta that make for exceptional fall day trips.

Ever wish you could live in your very own Hallmark Channel movie? About an hour's drive from Nova Scotia is a massive four-bedroom, four-bathroom bungalow sitting on 320 acres — which includes a private lack and a Christmas tree farm. Lisa Belmonte has the details on the stunning $1.1 million listing.

Despite the fact that Montreal was (wrongly and hilariously) omitted from that list of top Canadian party cities last week, one presumes there's still lots to love about the city. If you've been mulling a big move, a good starting point is Willa Holt's list of seven Montreal employers currently looking to fill positions that all pay over $100,000.

Matthew Macfadyen — aka Tom Wambsgams from Succession — turns 48 years old today. Eminem has now been losing himself in the moment for 50 years. Canadian comedian Rick Mercer and Haitian pop star Wyclef Jean are both 53. Another Canadian comic legend, Norm Macdonald, would have turned 63 today. And speaking of Norms, Cheers actor George Wendt is 74.

Thanks for reading Narcity'sCanada Morning Brief — the newsletter written by someone whose Twitter account will probably stop working if Elon Musk ever actually completes his purchase of the company.

Have a question or comment about today's edition? Let me know at or hit me up on Twitter, which still works for now, 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.