Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is doubling down on the federal carbon tax as a primary tool for bringing Canada in line with Paris Agreement targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Today he announced a plan to triple the price of pollution over the next 10 years and add $15-billion in new investments to fight climate change.
The overall plan is being pitched as a federal initiative independent of provincial action on climate change, though the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax has yet to be decided by the Supreme Court.
In an additional change to the carbon tax plan, rebates will be issued to affected taxpayers quarterly instead of annually.
Included in the list of new measures announced today (and subject to parliamentary approval, it’s worth noting) are funds to promote low-carbon fuel production and changes to narrow the scope of the Clean Fuel Standard.
- Radwanski: With their carbon-price surprise, the Liberals finally show the courage of their climate-change convictions
Ottawa seeking technology to manage COVID-19 vaccine distribution and tracking
Amid calls from Dr. Theresa Tam and others for all provinces to do more to stem the growth in coronavirus infections, Ottawa has put out a request for proposals for a way to manage the challenges of tracking and distributing the vaccine. The technological system, according to documents from the Public Health Agency of Canada, must be up and running by January and ready to handle orders from provinces right away. It will also handle information related to the rollout of vaccines in various communities and monitor problems associated with the country’s broad and complex inoculation campaign.
In a sign of the times, a tuna export company in P.E.I. is lending the province a pair of freezers that can maintain the super-cold temperatures needed to store the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
- Related: Students’ grades are dropping with shift to remote education as coronavirus pandemic takes toll
- Explainer: When will Canadians get COVID-19 vaccines? The federal and provincial rollout plans so far
This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was sent to you as a forward, you can sign up for Evening Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters here. If you like what you see, please share it with a friend.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
IPO creates Canadian biotech giant: Vancouver antibody developer AbCellera Biologics Inc. debuted on the Nasdaq today with attention befitting its role as a key partner in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. With a share price hovering around US$58 at market close, AbCellera is valued at roughly US$15-billion.
Building collapse: Emergency responders in London, Ont., say one person has died after a wall at a construction site collapsed today. Two others were seriously injured.
Debt-to-income ratio rises: Canadian households owed an average of $1.71 for every dollar of disposable income in the third quarter, Statistics Canada says. While credit market debt increased by 1.6 per cent, household disposable incomes fell 3.1 per cent as Canadians recovered from job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vancouver pressed to reveal price of hotels: Two Downtown Eastside hotels bought by the city last month were purchased for more than $7.5 million, sources tell the Globe, though the exact price remains a secret as part of the deal. The acquisition will allow the city to bring the low-cost housing properties up to code, something the former owners would not do.
China detains Bloomberg staff: Chinese authorities have detained a Beijing-based Bloomberg news assistant on what they said was suspicion of endangering national security. Bloomberg said it has been seeking information about the detention of Haze Fan, a Chinese citizen.
99 fetches a million: An ultra-rare “gem mint” condition Wayne Gretzky rookie card sold at auction this morning for US$1.032-million – a record for a hockey card.
With federal economic stimulus and pandemic relief measures still unresolved in the United States, Wall Street’s main stock indexes were essentially flat today, while in Canada the TSX posted a modest loss.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 47.11 points, or 0.16%, to close at 30,046.37, the S&P 500 lost 4.64 points, or 0.13%, to 3,663.46 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 27.94 points, or 0.23%, to 12,377.87. Meanwhile, the S&P/TSX Composite Index falling 44.42 points, or 0.25%, to 17,548.92.
Our cautious start to assisted suicide is now an accelerating drive toward death-on-demand
“The cautious, limited exceptions that people understood the issue to involve at the start – what most people understand it to involve even now – have been overtaken by an accelerating drive toward death-on-demand. Had the public known this was where we were headed, they might have objected. Instead it has been done in stages, a series of bait-and-switch routines in which the courts and legislatures have taken equal part.” – Andrew Coyne
A permanent all-Canadian NHL division makes the regular season matter again
“The Canadian division is a solution to a problem no one wanted to talk about until COVID-19 forced them to. It makes societal concerns the central organizing point of the league, rather than geography. It creates the most interest where the biggest audience exists. That isn’t stacking the deck. That’s just good planning.” – Cathal Kelly
Trudeau’s spat with India’s Modi is the right fight for the wrong reasons
“Justin Trudeau was right to condemn that violence [against protesting farmers], and defend the right to protest. But in making it about the farmers, he picked the wrong target. Their resistance to change is Asia’s biggest source of poverty and misery.” – Doug Saunders
Surprise! Taylor Swift releases Folklore’s younger sister, Evermore
Apparently pop star Taylor Swift had more to give from her 2020 acoustic folk partnership with The National’s Aaron Dessner; she dropped another album’s worth of songs overnight. Evermore isn’t as tuneful as Folklore, writes Brad Wheeler, but its warm tones are gorgeous, and it will never be in danger of sounding dated. It’s a strong, more album-oriented follow-up – a sequel some will like better than its older sister.
How best to direct your giving
With more than 86,000 registered charities in Canada, choosing which ones to support can feel daunting. However, there are online tools that offer checks and balances for potential donors to use that provide valuable insight into the inner workings of charities – and rate them – so you can better discern the “do-gooders” from the “good-doers.”
Also: What drives donors to give their time or money to charities?
TODAY’S LONG READ
10 travel destinations we’re daring to dream about for 2021
Is it safe to dream about travel destinations yet? We think so. Even if a date for the return of widespread memory-making tourism can’t be written on a 2021 calendar (yet), there’s no harm in being prepared when the time does come. Locations that have caught our eye lately include Labrador’s majestic Torngat Mountains (where “any of life’s turmoils are rendered insignificant, dwarfed by 1,500-metre-high mountains made of rock that has existed for four billion years”), the culinary and cultural thrills of Japan (“Tokyo is gearing up to relaunch the waylaid Olympic festivities” in July), and the leisurely pace of Hydra, Greece (“after a year of going nowhere, it’s this kind of standstill that I long for”).
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.