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Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:

The latest on the coronavirus: AstraZeneca’s vaccine results, the bursting Atlantic bubble and more

AstraZeneca said today its COVID-19 vaccine could be about 90-per-cent effective, giving the world’s fight against the pandemic a new weapon that can be cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than its rivals’ contenders.

That efficacy was achieved when it was administered as a half dose followed by a full dose at least a month later, according to late-stage trial data, but fell to just 62 per cent when given as two full doses rather than a half-dose first. No serious safety events were confirmed, the company said.

Read more: Whose COVID-19 vaccines are coming to Canada, and when? How well do they work? Here’s what you need to know.

In Canadian developments, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Prince Edward Island have announced they have temporarily withdrawn from the Atlantic bubble in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In Ontario, where retailers are urging the government to reconsider the Toronto and Peel Region lockdowns, 1,589 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported today. The news comes as the province announces it has appointed retired Gen. Rick Hillier to lead its vaccine rollout and plans to extend the term of David Williams as chief medical officer of health until September.

Meanwhile, businesses struggling to pay the bills because of the COVID-19 pandemic were able to start applying today for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, a long-awaited commercial rent-relief program offered by the federal government.

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Liberals will deliver fall fiscal update on Nov. 30, Freeland says

The Liberal government will release a fall fiscal update on Nov. 30, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told the House of Commons today.

The document is highly anticipated since Ottawa has not released a federal budget since March, 2019, leading to considerable uncertainty about the state of the government’s fiscal health.

Her predecessor released a fiscal “snapshot” in July that projected a $343.2-billion deficit for the current fiscal year, but did not forecast the size in future years.

Joe Biden signals shift from Trump with climate, national security and other cabinet picks

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden today named the key members of his foreign policy team, tapping aide Antony Blinken to head the State Department and take the lead in rebuilding Washington’s relationships in Europe and the rest of the world.

Biden, who has vowed to undo President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies, also named Jake Sullivan as his next national security adviser and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

he chose lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to head the Department of Homeland Security, entrusting the Cuban immigrant to help reverse Trump’s hard-line immigration policies.

In addition, Biden picked John Kerry, a former U.S. senator and the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, to become special envoy for the climate.

Analysis: After looming so large in Washington, Donald Trump has shrunk into a small, petty man - David Shribman


Edmonton mayor not running again: Don Iveson, mayor of Edmonton since 2013, has announced he will not seek re-election next fall, saying in a social media post that he had only ever hoped to serve two terms.

GM recall includes Canada: General Motors will recall seven million vehicles worldwide, including 544,000 in Canada, with potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators after a U.S. safety agency said it had rejected the automaker’s petition to avoid the callback.

Van attack trial delayed: The murder trial for Alek Minassian, who killed 10 people after driving a van down a crowded Toronto sidewalk, has been delayed until Thursday to give the Crown and its experts time to review a defence-hired psychiatrist’s interviews with the suspect.

Raptors reload: The Toronto Raptors lost two of their big men to free agency over the weekend, as Marc Gasol signed with the Los Angeles Lakers and fan favourite Serge Ibaka joined former teammate Kawhi Leonard at the Los Angeles Clippers. Earlier, Fred VanVleet signed on to remain with the team.


U.S. stocks closed higher in a choppy session today as hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine lifted economically sensitive sectors such as energy and industrials, but a pullback in megacap shares curbed gains on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The S&P/TSX Composite Index also closed in the green, bolstered by a big rally in the energy sector.

the Dow Jones Industrial Average 327.79 points or 1.12 per cent to 29,591.27, the S&P 500 gained 20.05 points or 0.56 per cent to 3,577.59 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.66 points or 0.22 per cent to end at 11,880.63. The TSX rose 75.43 points to 0.44 per cent to 17,094.53.

Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes top dividend stock picks, BMO’s big gain predictions and looking beyond yield.

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The murky reasons why Canada is failing to get clean water to First Nations reserves

“Even now, while Ottawa can’t fix crumbling water systems, it only funds 80 per cent of the cost of operating and maintaining them, a formula seemingly designed to make things break.” - Campbell Clark

As Fox News breaks up with Trump, new sweethearts emerge

“It’s so messy, this breakup, it has more heartbreak and recrimination than an entire Taylor Swift album.” - John Doyle

The revenge of the essential ‘low-skilled’ worker

It turns out that there are still no good technological substitutes for the street cleaners, shopkeepers, utility workers, food deliverers, truckers, or bus drivers who have kept the economy running through the darkest days of the crisis.” - Edoardo Campanella, IE University in Madrid.


If the added stress of working through the pandemic is taking its toll on you, consider making this month No-vember by saying no to things that don’t serve you. Author Liane Davey’s highlights what you can target, including:

  • Working non-stop: Instead of sending that one more e-mail from bed, practise rituals that force you to “shut off,” such as meditation or not looking at your phone at night.
  • Fretting over things you can’t control: Easier said than done, but focusing on opportunities in the things you can control is a way to stay positive.
  • Reinventing the wheel: Taking a new spin on something you’ve already produced can be more effective and efficient than always starting from scratch.


When it comes to liveable neighbourhoods, there’s a wide divide in Canada’s cities

Suburbs surrounding the city of CalgaryJohn Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

For most Canadians, the world has shrunk. The COVID-19 pandemic has kept many people close to home. And it has made many wonder whether the small worlds of our neighbourhoods shouldn’t contain all we need for daily life. A notion recently popularized by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, known as the 15-minute city, holds that basic necessities should be within a short walk or cycle ride of home, reducing vehicle trips along with the emissions and inconvenience that go with them.

A neighbourhood is considered “amenity dense” when a resident in that neighbourhood can walk to a grocery store, pharmacy and public transit stop within one kilometre; when there is a childcare facility, primary school and library within 1.5 kilometres; and when they can drive to a health facility within three kilometres and a place of employment in 10 kilometres.

This is not a reality for most Canadians. Amenity-rich neighbourhoods are scarce in most of Canada’s cities; only 23.2 per cent of urban dwellers live in these types of areas. This suggests that creating a country of 15-minute cities will be challenging: It would likely mean bringing even more people into central Vancouver and Toronto and parts of Montreal, and making changes to the suburbs. Read the full story here.

Read more: Hollowed out by COVID-19 exodus, downtown Montreal seeks to reinvent itself. You can find our full slate of stories examining the future of cities here. And you can join architecture critic Alex Bozikovic on Reddit tomorrow at noon ET to ask him anything.

Evening Update is written by Dianne Nice and S.R. Slobodian. 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.