Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
With delivery of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine expected to begin soon and fresh supplies of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine secured ahead of schedule, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is turning his attention to possible treatments for COVID-19. Today, the PM announced $9-million worth of funding for research into treatment. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses will be shipped to Canada over the next several weeks, including – most likely – the one developed by Moderna that doesn’t need to be transported at deep-freeze temperatures like the Pfizer one.
Vaccines and treatments can come fast enough for provinces like Ontario and Quebec, however. In Ontario, on a day when 40 new COVID-19-related deaths were reported, lockdowns for Toronto and Peel are being extended. More measures could come Monday, after Premier Doug Ford attends emergency talks with health officials and hospital leaders. In Quebec, hospitalizations have increased 50 per cent in the past three weeks, prompting new calls for residents to avoid contact with each other over the holidays.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Banking regulator to quit: The Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Jeremy Rudin, spent 2020 overseeing the stability of banks and insurers during the pandemic. Today he announced that in 2021, he will not seek a second seven-year term.
Fraud in Victoria?: Craig James, the former clerk of the British Columbia legislature, has been charged with breach of trust and fraud following an investigation that stretched over two years.
MindBeacon’s strong TSX debut: Add MindBeacon Holdings Inc. to the list of Canadian tech companies to get a warm welcome from investors. The telemedicine company that offers therapy services online saw its stock price trend upward a day after its IPO, valuing the company at around $255-million.
Mexican ex-governor killed: An ex-governor of the Mexican state of Jalisco was gunned down in a restaurant bathroom early this morning while his security detail waited outside. Jalisco is the home territory of a notorious drug cartel, the CJNG.
- Related: The Disappeared, The Globe’s in-depth investigation into a mass grave linked to Mexico’s drug trade
Ongoing uncertainty over a U.S. pandemic stimulus agreement pulled Wall Street down today, and Bay Street followed suit thanks to dips in the real estate, materials and tech sectors.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 118.31 points, or 0.67%, at 17,534.63. Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 115.51 points, or 0.38%, to 30,187.86, the S&P 500 lost 12.78 points, or 0.34%, to 3,709.7 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 9.11 points, or 0.07%, to 12,755.64.
One bright spot was Tesla, which is set to become the most valuable company ever to be added to the S&P 500 Monday. Its shares were traded at high volume all day.
Donald Trump’s lengthy humiliation is a necessary gift to the world
“The lasting lesson of Trumpism, for voters around the world, is no longer that it succeeded. It is that it ended in total failure, having accomplished none of what it promised, having left its supporters far worse off and having revealed the man himself to be a big-time loser.” – Doug Saunders
There’s an alternative to the Liberal carbon tax: a Conservative carbon tax
“Carbon pricing was originally a conservative idea – it was progressives who, swallowing their pride, adopted it as their own – and it can be a conservative idea again. There are lots of ways in which the Liberal plan falls short, and an O’Toole government could “support” provincial moves to improve it.” – Andrew Coyne
Michelle Latimer’s contentious claim of Indigenous ancestry has understandably angered our community
“Everybody talks about white privilege. But there’s also a lesser-known version called red privilege. Funding organizations, arts groups, award establishments, etc. have specific allotments geared for the development of Indigenous talent and enterprise. It’s felt those claiming an unjustified melanin surplus take those resources away from legitimate practitioners of their craft. In the big musical-chairs game of funding, there are precious few chairs available already.” – Drew Hayden Taylor
The Globe and Mail’s 2020 giant holiday crossword
Tomorrow’s print edition of The Globe features our annual holiday crossword, a marvel of a puzzle spread across two full pages and the perfect companion to a locked-down winter break. If you can’t wait until tomorrow or prefer to print it at home, we have a downloadable option available now. And feel free to share your progress on social media using the hashtag #GlobeCrossword.
Desjardins’ top TSX stock picks for the new year
Ending the COVID-19 pandemic will be Canada’s main objective heading into the new year. In a report today, Desjardins Securities said we should expect “sluggish” economic growth in the first quarter followed by a “strong pickup” through the remainder of 2021. The firm selected 25 equities with “the best growth prospects and/or the largest number of expected catalysts” for 2021.
TODAY’S LONG READ
COVID-19 Christmas care: B.C. health workers share stories of saving lives in the second wave
Vancouver paramedic Jayne Hamilton, Nov. 17:
I am struggling with how best to describe the reality of working in paramedicine as we become firmly entrenched in the second wave of this pandemic. There are many analogies that come to mind – a marathon? A war? Neither quite fit, but we know that it’s long, painful and far from over.
In the spring, we were terrified but determined; it was the honeymoon phase of a disaster we were just beginning to understand, and while overwhelmed, paramedics rose to the challenge.
Just as we have hit our absolute limit in maintaining vigilance, the case numbers are rising every day and we are now met with an onslaught of COVID-positive patients every single shift. I remember when this all started, allowing a moment for myself to cry because I wouldn’t have the time or capacity to do so later – well, this is the later. I’ve activated an emotional triage that’s necessary not only to be effective in my job, but to prevent the core of my own humanity from eroding under the never-ending onslaught of this epidemic – or so I hope.
Evening Update is compiled and written weekdays by an editor in The Globe’s live news department. 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.