Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Fourth case of novel coronavirus confirmed in Canada
A student in her 20s who recently travelled to Wuhan, China, is the latest confirmed case on Canadian soil of the virus known as 2019-nCoV. Officials at a news conference today immediately played down the risk to other passengers on the Jan. 23 flight that brought her to Toronto.
“The bottom line,” Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Barbara Yaffe said, “is she was completely asymptomatic on the flight, plus wearing a mask on top of it. So there’s no risk to the other passengers on the flight from her.”
As The Globe’s Kelly Grant and Laura Stone report, the woman’s symptoms were mild and she has already recovered, public-health officials said. She is still in self-isolation at home. The University of Western Ontario released a statement Friday saying the woman had not been on campus since returning from China.
After U.S. authorities warned Americans not to travel to the country where the virus originated and where 213 people have died, Beijing responded by calling the advisory “truly mean.” But travel restrictions in other parts of the world underlined some of the fears for both public safety and the global economy.
- Opinion: Our coronavirus response requires good risk communication, writes physician and award-winning author Vincent Lam. Leave the ghouls out of it.
- In photos: Wuhan’s streets are virtually empty as the coronavirus continues to spread
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Democrats’ bid for impeachment trial witnesses appears doomed as Lisa Murkowski announces opposition
President Donald Trump’s acquittal in the U.S. Senate on impeachment charges appeared one step closer today as another Republican senator signalled her intention to vote against calling new witnesses.
“Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything,” Murkowski said. Four Republican senators would need to vote with the Democrats for witnesses to be called, but only two have said they will.
The timing of a final vote on whether to convict or acquit was unclear. Republican senators had said it could come late on Friday or on Saturday. But some senators said on Friday the final vote may be held next week, as late as Wednesday.
- Meanwhile, in Mar-a-Lago: Police arrest two people after SUV breaches security checkpoint at Trump’s resort
Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll leads group buying stake in Aston Martin
Struggling British car maker Aston Martin will soon be part owned by a consortium led by businessmen from Canada. Lawrence Stroll, who will become executive chairman of the company, and fellow billionaire André Desmarais lead the group, which is investing £182-million, or $318-million, to acquire a 16.7-per-cent stake in Aston Martin. That stake will eventually rise to 20 per cent.
As Europe Correspondent Paul Waldie reports, Aston Martin issued a profit warning earlier this month after announcing that its deliveries to dealers had fallen by 7 per cent to 5,809 last year. Full results will be released at the end of February, but the company said its operating profit for 2019 was expected to fall to between £130-million and £140-million from £247-million in 2018.
The car maker has struggled since going public on the London Stock Exchange in 2018, but places hope in the launch of its first SUV called DBX. Both reviews and orders for the DBX, which will be released this summer, are reportedly strong.
Federal investigation launched after convicted murderer on day parole charged in death of Quebec woman
A sex worker’s death, allegedly at the hands of a killer on day parole, is being called a failure of both the corrections system and laws that criminalize the sex trade.
Marylène Levesque, 22, was found dead in a hotel room on Jan. 22, and advocates say the only way to protect people like her is to decriminalize sex work. Meanwhile, Bill Blair, the federal Minister of Public Safety, said he has ordered an investigation into how Ms. Levesque’s accused killer was able to visit an erotic massage parlour while on parole and leave with the victim.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Plastics ban: The federal government’s plan to regulate plastic waste is on track, according to Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, and will include a proposed list of banned plastic products to be released in the coming months, environment reporter Kathryn Blaze Baum writes.
Is there a doctor? Aside from the United States, a new analysis finds, Canada is at the back of the pack of wealthy nations when counting doctors per capita. The Commonwealth Fund report says Canadians have 2.7 practising physicians per 1,000 people. Norway, the leader, has 4.8. “We also have higher-than-average hospital stays combined with a lower-than-average per capita number of hospital beds – which is a factor in current issues in hospital overcrowding,” said Lakehead University health economist Livio Di Matteo.
‘Consumer-directed finance’: The lack of regulation around Canadians’ use of so-called open banking based services is set to change, according to a recommendation received by Finance Minister Bill Morneau. The Advisory Committee on Open Banking cautions that while millions of Canadians already disclose their banking records to financial technology companies providing such services as personal finance advice, privacy and data protection rules have not kept pace.
Quebec Premier faced with hate: François Legault marked the anniversary of the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting that left six men dead with a Facebook statement this week in support of Muslims. In response, he was bombarded online with hateful comments directed at Muslims – and several of the Premier’s cabinet ministers are speaking out.
An expected lift to the global economy continues to be delayed as concerns over the spread of coronavirus overshadow the end of the U.S.-China trade war. Markets in New York and Toronto were down today, with the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index down 172 points, or 0.98 per cent, at 17,318.49. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 603.41 points, or 2.09 per cent, to 28,256.03, the S&P 500 lost 58.14 points, or 1.77 per cent, to 3,225.52 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 148.00 points, or 1.59 per cent, to 9,150.94.
A regulatory power grab without precedent, in Canada or the democratic world
Andrew Coyne: “Nobody elsewhere is proposing anything like [the regulatory regime on online media proposed by a federal panel], and for good reason: because it’s insane. This kind of bureaucratic micromanagement, with its obsession with ‘cultural sovereignty’ and ‘telling ourselves our own stories,’ would have been hopelessly outdated in 1990. In 2020, it’s just embarrassing.”
- Also: The broadcasting report constitutes a stunning overreach, Peter Menzies argues, while Kate Taylor finds the panel’s recommendations both brave and practical.
Should you really be spying on your kids?
Elizabeth Renzetti: “I can barely find my own phone, let alone theirs. I’m not friends with them on Instagram or Facebook, and thus have no idea if they are the kind of responsible, sober and mature citizen I was at that age. I sometimes lecture them about misogyny on Twitter and the dangers of right-wing radicalization on YouTube, but then I worry they’ll need medical assistance from the strain of all that eye rolling, and I stop. They already know this stuff. They know it better than I do.”
After Brexit, Britain will be less free and independent
Doug Saunders: “Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers have spent the week making it loudly known that any post-Brexit trade and investment deal between Britain and the remaining 27 EU countries will require the newly independent country to abide by all significant EU laws and regulations in the way it manufactures things, treats its labour, manages the environment and so on – regulations that cover a large percentage of any country’s policies. That’s not a controversial demand; these are the terms non-EU members Norway and Switzerland already abide by.”
What other tourist darlings can learn from the sudden end of Iceland’s ‘miraculous’ tourism growth
After its recent runaway success as a picturesque and affordable holiday destination, Iceland is now at the forefront of countries thinking more carefully about how, when and where they want visitors to come. Overcrowding and environmental degradation are among the concerns for locals and future tourists alike.
What to watch, besides the Super Bowl, this weekend
Super Sunday is a big deal for millions, but if you’d like to tune in to something else, television critic John Doyle has some suggestions. From a Howards End marathon to Taylor Swift’s oddly framed coming-of-age story, the options offer a reprieve from bone-crushing tackles and questionable NFL team names.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
What these eight business leaders learned from their biggest failures
Boston Pizza’s Jim Treliving failed to analyze the market before expanding. Entrepreneur Simon De Baene loved his solution, but had lost track of the problem he was trying to solve. Four Seasons co-founder Issy Sharp says he got away with it, but a near catastrophe in Vancouver taught him to get out of hotel ownership and run a management company instead. These and other tales of business blunders just might help you avoid your own professional pitfalls.
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