Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
In a review of a Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy database, The Globe and Mail found 12 foreign airlines have received money through the program intended to help Canadian businesses cope with the fallout of the pandemic.
Some of the companies who received the subsidy include Lufthansa, United Airlines, and three Chinese state-owned carriers. Many have already received generous bailout packages from their own governments. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s office said the wage subsidy is designed to protect jobs in Canada.
Canadian airlines have been asking for an industry-specific federal bailout. Today, Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd. announced it is laying off 1,000 people and slashing its flight schedule, blaming uncertainty caused by travel restrictions.
- Tax and Spend: Wage subsidies flow to companies with deep pockets, analysis shows
- Business commentary: A moral compass will never guide Air Canada’s direction, pandemic or not
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COVID-19 vaccines in short supply as cases continue to soar
Provinces say they are running out of vaccines and want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to urgently ensure there is a more reliable supply.
Their discussion was part of a first ministers meeting on Thursday evening focused on vaccine rollout.
- Meanwhile, paramedics are reporting shocking conditions after responding to the largest outbreak of COVID-19 in Ontario in a long-term care home.
- In Quebec, the effectiveness and legality of the province’s COVID-19 curfew remains unclear. The measure is intended to mainly target private social gatherings.
- And as more details are revealed about government officials who have been traveling, all but five of Canada’s 93 senators say they haven’t travelled abroad during the pandemic.
Presidential transition moves forward, Democrats push impeachment
Democratic lawmakers are girding to proceed with the impeachment of Donald Trump for inciting a violent mob of supporters that stormed the Capitol in a bid to overturn the U.S. presidential election.
A source with knowledge of discussions in the Democratic caucus said Friday that an announcement about the impeachment process was coming soon. The caucus had scheduled a 12 p.m. ET conference call to discuss how to move forward. Reuters, citing its own sources, said the announcement would come on Monday.
- Analysis: Capitol Hill assault will complicate Joe Biden’s presidency
- Explainer: What consequences might Trump face for Wednesday’s violence?
Read related opinion stories:
- David Shribman: The Capitol – a long-time symbol of optimism – has lost its shine
- Anna Feigenbaum: Police in America have a long history of protecting far-right voices
- Debra Thompson: The insurrection in Washington shows police decide who to protect and to serve
- Campbell Clark: A chastening for Trump allies, but not the death of disinformation
- Andrew Preston: America needs to get its own house in order before it can preach about democratic values
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Tommy Lasorda, who led Dodgers to two World Series titles, dies at 93: The fiery Hall of Fame manager who later became an ambassador for the sport he loved during his 71 years with the franchise, has died.
Canada calls Hong Kong mass arrests an ‘assault on representative democracy’: Hong Kong police arrested 53 people in dawn raids on democracy activists Wednesday in the biggest crackdown since China imposed a new related security law.
Canadian layoffs mount as new restrictions come into force: The country lost a net 62,600 jobs in December, the first decline since April, Statistics Canada said Friday. Economists note the employment situation is likely to get worse.
The TSX ended just slightly higher, but enough for a fresh record high close, despite a big drop in the price of precious metals sending the materials sector lower.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq scaled new highs as hopes of more stimulus from Washington were later bolstered after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said his economic package will be in the trillions of dollars.
The S&P 500 closed above 3,800 points and the TSX 18,000 for the first time on Thursday, while the Dow and the Nasdaq posted their fourth straight weekly gains. Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.84 points to 31,097.97, the S&P 500 gained 20.89 points to 3,824.68 and the Nasdaq Composite added 134.50 points to 13,201.98.
The Trump train reaches its inevitable terminus: violent insurrection
Andrew Coyne: “All that distinguished Wednesday from what had gone before was the overreach: Rather than subvert democracy by degrees, dressed in the trappings of legality, the Trumpist mob leapt all the way to violent insurrection – and what is truly unforgivable, did so on TV.”
On Wednesday the U.S. turned liberal, and Republicans got lost in the woods
Doug Saunders: “That this battle for the soul of the party had its most visible moment on the day of Mr. Trump’s violent disgrace, the day Democrats returned to power in an America increasingly defined by cosmopolitanism – that suggests that the Republicans will be spending a long time in the woods, struggling to reconnect with an America that outgrew them.”
Is star-studded skincare worth the celeb endorsement?
It’s one thing for customers to buy into the ephemeral-scented promise that comes packaged with a celebrity perfume, but skincare products are used to treat very real conditions with medical implications.
Dr. Sonya Abdulla, a dermatologist at Dermatology on Bloor in Toronto, recommends taking a mindful step back before clicking “buy” on any celeb skincare potions to consider one key question: are your skin’s interests truly aligned with (those of) the stars?
TODAY’S LONG READ
A day of horror in Iran, a year of grief in academia
The people who perished on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 were loved by their families, friends, co-workers – and the university communities that often served as all three. There were 55 Canadians and 30 permanent residents on board, as well as dozens of Iranian students destined for Canadian university campuses.
Today, those who knew them reflect on the brilliant minds lost in 2020 plane crash.