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Canada prepared for possible Chinese cyber retaliation over arrest of top Huawei executive

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security is prepared for possible Chinese cyberattacks in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei Technologies’s chief financial officer in Canada, according to director Scott Jones, Robert Fife and Steven Chase write.

Meng Wanzhou was picked up by Canadian law-enforcement officials in transit at Vancouver Airport Dec. 1. U.S. authorities requested her arrest and extradition on suspicion she violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. (Here’s how extradition to the United States works.)

China has lashed out at Canada, saying the detainment has “violated her human rights,” Nathan VanderKlippe writes, and demands her immediate release. Here’s what we know about Ms. Meng, daughter of the multinational telecom company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei.

The arrest comes as Canada is under intense pressure from the U.S. to bar Huawei from participating in next-generation 5G mobile networks. (for subscribers)

“The close relationship between Huawei and a Chinese government with a history of cyberespionage should be worrisome,” argue Richard Fadden and Brian Lee Crowley. “Add the fact that China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law gives Beijing the power to compel Huawei’s support for its intelligence work, and the red flags become too numerous to ignore.”

Wenran Jiang advises: “All sides should take a deep breath right now and tread carefully before things snowball out of control, doing permanent damage to a delicate Canada-China-U.S. relationship.”

Check here for the latest developments and more background to the story.

Hydro One deal for Avista rejected by Washington State, citing interference from Ontario government

Washington State regulators have rejected Hydro One Ltd.’s $4.4-billion acquisition of Avista Corp., citing the possibility of political interference from the Ontario government as the primary reason, David Milstead writes (for subscribers). Premier Doug Ford is unapologetic.

The Hydro One-Avista deal was on track until July, when then-Hydro One chief executive Mayo Schmidt retired and the full board resigned under pressure from the new Ford government.

As Andrew Willis notes, Mr. Ford promised to get rid of the “$6-million man” running Hydro One during his election campaign (for subscribers): “Keeping that promise appears to have cost Hydro One at least $185-million, killed plans to create a market-leading company and sullied the province’s reputation as a place to do business.”

Mr. Ford is also in a standoff with independent directors on the Hydro One board over who will be the utility’s next CEO. (For subscribers)

New OPP commissioner bought top Ford staffer’s house

Connections between the Ontario Premier’s office and the newly appointed commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police include a real-estate deal with one of Doug Ford’s closest advisers, Laura Stone and Jill Mahoney write.

Land records show that Ron Taverner, a Toronto Police Service superintendent and Ford family friend who has known the Premier for years, purchased a half-million-dollar home from Simone Daniels, Mr. Ford’s deputy chief of staff for human resources and tour.

Opposition critics have raised concerns about the closeness of Mr. Ford and Supt. Taverner’s relationship since the latter was named as the new head of the OPP, starting Dec. 17. The OPP is typically the police service that is called in if there is a criminal investigation of the provincial government.

Mr. Ford has said he had nothing to do with the selection of Supt. Taverner for the role, saying it was made by an independent panel.

But Marcus Gee writes: “How is the public going to trust the police to probe potential crimes or misdemeanours of the Ford government with Mr. Taverner in charge?”

Separately, Supt. Taverner is set to testify this spring before the province’s Human Rights Tribunal about his alleged mishandling of a sexual-harassment complaint under his watch at the Toronto Police Service.

Restaurateurs condemn LCBO for decision to restock Norman Hardie wines

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s decision to resume sales of Norman Hardie wine is drawing scathing criticism from some of Canada’s most prominent food-industry voices, Ann Hui and Ivy Knight write, many demanding to know who made the decision and why.

The move comes less than six months after The Globe and Mail published allegations of sexual misconduct from more than 20 people, which resulted in the LCBO halting orders of the wines and restaurants across the country pulling them from menus.

A large chorus, including well-known restaurateurs, called the decision to again stock the wines a “slap in the face” of victims.

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Stock markets around world slid today as the arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou cast further shadows on U.S.-China trade relations, while oil prices sank after OPEC delayed an output decision.

Wall Street clawed back most of its earlier losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.40 points to 24,947.67, the S&P 500 lost 4.11 points to 2,695.95 and the Nasdaq Composite added 29.83 points to end at 7,188.26.

Canada’s main stock index plunged to its lowest level in more than two weeks as oil prices pulled down energy shares. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index lost 245.64 points to close at 14,937.00.

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The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal from former Toronto police officer James Forcillo, who was jailed for shooting Sammy Yatim on an empty streetcar five years ago.

The hit to Canada’s economy from the recent oil-price drop is likely to be smaller than when crude plunged in 2015, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz says, because the oil and gas sector’s contribution to GDP has been cut nearly in half since 2014.

The Dick Cheney biopic Vice topped the list of Golden Globe Award nominations with six, narrowly edging Bradley Cooper’s tear-jerking revival A Star Is Born, the interracial road-trip drama Green Book and the period romp The Favourite. (For subscribers)


B.C.’s great leap forward on climate change

“The B.C. plan also, sadly, makes the province an outlier when it comes to aggressively trying to bring down emissions. Provinces run by conservative-minded premiers, including in Ontario, are all fighting the federal carbon tax and have not made climate the priority it desperately needs to be.” - Gary Mason (for subscribers)

Golden Globe nominations cling to the shiny, safe and popular – and the Oscars should take notice

“If the Golden Globe nominations act like the bellwethers they’re intended to be, this year’s Oscars are going to look quite popular indeed. Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther became the first superhero film in the history of the Globes to be nominated for best picture in the drama category, while Crazy Rich Asians snagged a best picture nomination in the comedy or musical slot.” - Barry Hertz (for subscribers)


Long-time readers of The Globe and Mail may recall a feature titled Social Studies that ran on the Facts and Arguments page. The compendium of wit, wisdom and whimsy was prepared by Michael Kesterton. We’re sad to report that he died last night.

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Michael Kesterton (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail


Whether you’re part of a holiday cookie exchange or baking for your family, the first step to making perfect shortbreads is the ingredients (for subscribers). Use unsalted butter, Lucy Waverman advises: It has less water, which makes for a better biscuit. Giving the sugar a couple of turns in the food processor makes it finer, which will improve the texture. The best shortbread is made by hand because it is easier to judge the dough’s texture. Baking should be slow so that the sugar does not burn.

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In Ottawa’s Glebe, neighbours wrangle over a new build

Hassan Moghadam, the chief oral surgeon at Ottawa’s Monfort Hospital, bought a property last year on Broadway Avenue, within shouting distance of the Rideau Canal and the rejuvenated Lansdowne Park in the Glebe, one of Ottawa’s elite neighbourhoods, Adam Stanley writes. But he has found himself at odds with a group of neighbours committed to preserving the streetscape of Broadway Avenue.

Dr. Moghadam wanted to tear down the nearly 100-year-old house and build a dream property fit for his family – including four bedrooms (each of the three children would get their own bedroom and bathroom), a large dining and kitchen area, a gym and a personal theatre.

The neighbours feel the planned structure does not fit with the other homes of the street. Dr. Moghadam claims the group – which started a GoFundMe campaign last month to raise money for legal fees – is ganging up on him as they resist change.

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Dr. Hassan Moghadam stands in front of his property in Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood. (Justin Tang for The Globe and Mail)Justin Tang/Globe and Mail

I was a two-time champion on Jeopardy!

I revelled in the experience (even when Alex Trebek surprised me by choosing a different get-to-know-you anecdote than the one I prepared). I realized I might as well enjoy it since, win or lose, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Until I watched the game on TV months later, I couldn’t recall the first question I answered right, or even what most of the categories were, except that I got lucky and had both an anagrams (my favourite) and operation (medical) category in the same game.

What I do remember is a moment from after the second commercial break, when I was trailing the other contestants by a lot. I looked at the scoreboard and thought: “Remember where you are right now and all the effort it took to get here. You have made it. You are living your dream.”

And I was. I had been smiling the entire day. I couldn’t remember a time where I had been so happy, so in the “zone,” and so immersed in something that I had forgotten about everything else. - Evelyn Rubin

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