Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered an address in the House of Commons to mark the 30th anniversary of the mass shooting at the École Polytechnique, he said his government plans to ban the type of weapon used in the shooting. As Patrick White reported Thursday, the Ruger Mini-14, a semi-automatic rifle based on a model once used by military services, is still legal today. In his address, Trudeau said, "These weapons, designed to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time, have no place in our communities, in our streets, in our country.”
Survivors and of the mass shooting, which occurred on Dec. 6, 1989, when a lone gunman killed 14 women, have pressed successive governments to enact gun laws that succeeded in limiting rifle magazines to five rounds, create a (now-defunct) long-gun registry and place restrictions and prohibitions on models of firearms “not reasonably used in hunting.” However, the weapon used in the attack largely circumvented those efforts.
But as White reports Friday, perceptions have changed. After a mass shootings in New Zealand in March, the government there passed a ban on most semi-automatic rifles, including the Mini-14. Although in Canada, concerns over gun violence stem mostly from the rise in handgun shootings, the federal Liberals pledged to ban and buy back firearms described as “military-style assault rifles.” However, until Friday it had yet to say whether the Mini-14 would be included.
Meanwhile, in a report also timed to coincide with the anniversary, the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability has found at least 118 women and girls have been murdered across the country so far this year, an number that has alarmingly remained relatively consistent for decades. The gunman who committed the mass shooting in Montreal in 1989 walked into a classroom at École Polytechnique, declared his hatred for feminists before separating men and women. That shooting, which left 14 women dead, thrust the term misogyny into the public discourse in Canada. The 118 figure may change as well. Police services report at least 21 other deaths that have been flagged as suspicious.
- Opinion: Violent misogyny is a threat to half our population. We need to call it what it is: Terrorism – Elizabeth Renzetti
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BoC Governor Poloz to step down in 2020
The Bank of Canada announced Friday that bank Governor Stephen Poloz will not seek a second seven-year term at the helm when his current one expires in June, 2020. Poloz, 64, has held the top position at the central bank since June, 2013, assuming the post after Mark Carney resigned to become head of the Bank of England.
As David Parkinson writes, Mr. Poloz’s folksy, down-to-earth personality was a contrast with Mr. Carney’s slick, cerebral image, and his tendency toward informal language and colourful metaphors to explain the bank’s monetary policy frustrated some observers who were used to the formality and precision more typical of central bankers.
Central bank watchers are now placing bets on who might succeed Poloz. Some believe the bank’s senior deputy governor, Carolyn Wilkins, is the front-runner; other rumoured candidates include Jean Boivin, head of global research for BlackRock Investment; Tiff Macklem, dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management; and Paul Rochon, who has been deputy minister of finance in the federal government for the past five years.
- Opinion: Despite criticism, Stephen Poloz has succeeded where it matters most as Bank of Canada governor – David Parkinson
Canada’s economy posts worst month for job losses in more than a decade
Widespread weakness across several provinces and sectors contributed to 71,000 job losses in the month of November, reports Statistics Canada, a number that has come as a bit of a shock to economists, who had predicted a gain of 10,000 positions. It’s the worst month of losses in more than a decade. The jobless rate jumped to 5.9 per cent from 5.5 per cent in October, with losses in manufacturing and natural resources accounting for many of the losses. Quebec shed roughly 45,000 jobs; Alberta and British Columbia saw losses of roughly 18,000 positions, while Ontario was the only province to notch a sizeable gain for the month with a gain of 15,400.
Kenney to meet with Trudeau to discuss pipelines, equalization
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney will be in Ottawa next week with several of his cabinet ministers and will meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday. On the Premier’s agenda will likely be many of the same issues the provincial and territorial leaders discussed last week, including changes to the fiscal stabilization fund, which helps provinces facing year-over-year declines in non-resource revenues of more than 5 per cent. Alberta says it is being shortchanged due to caps tied to the size of its population and believes the province should receive about $2.4-billion going back to 2014. He said he also plans on pressing Trudeau for a fixed completion date on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to the British Columbia coast.
Meanwhile, on Friday in Parliament, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called Thursday’s Throne Speech an insult to Alberta and Saskatchewan by failing to recognize the anger that has resulted from the economic downturn in the region. “Justin Trudeau has divided this country," Mr. Scheer told reporters. "He has pitted region against region. That is not the way to keep this Confederation together,” he said.
- Opinion: Why talk of separatism is hurting Alberta – Gary Mason
- Opinion: The Liberals care about national unity, but they care more about winning a majority – Andrew Coyne
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
U.S. regulators find Cambridge Analytica deceived Facebook users: The Federal Trade Commission found now-defunct British political consulting firm deceived consumers about the collection of data for voter profiling and targeting, and engaged in deceptive practices relating to its participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.
World powers press Iran to reverse nuclear deal violations: At a meeting in Vienna, the five powers remaining in the deal stopped short of deciding on whether to proceed with a move that could see the case brought before the United Nations Security Council and reimpose sanctions that had been lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Alberta’s top court dismisses appeal of Douglas Garland’s triple-murder conviction: Garland was found guilty and convicted in 2017 of killing a Calgary couple, Alvin and Kathy Liknes, and their grandson, 5-year-old Nathan O’Brien. He is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 75 years.
RCMP charge Ontario man with terrorism-related offences: Authorities say Ikar Mao, of Guelph, Ont., was previously arrested in Turkey on charges related to alleged affiliation with Islamic State militants. He was not convicted on those charges and returned to Canada in October but is now facing two similar counts here.
The close: Energy stocks lead TSX higher
Global equity markets soared on Friday after data showed U.S. job growth increased by the most in 10 months in November, putting to rest recession fears and briefly taking the spotlight off contentious U.S.-China trade talks. Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 336.76 points, or 1.22 per cent, to 28,014.55, the S&P 500 gained 28.45 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 3,145.88 and the Nasdaq Composite added 85.83 points, or 1 per cent, to 8,656.53.
Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday, shrugging off poor November jobs numbers but getting a boost by energy shares after OPEC and its allies agreed to supply cuts. Crude prices rose sharply as a meeting of OPEC and its allies agreed to extend output cuts by 500,000 barrels per day in early 2020, sending the energy sector surging 4.5 per cent. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 142.05 points, or 0.84 per cent, at 16,996.97.
SUVs are killing the planet - and pedestrians. Why do Canadians continue to drive them?
“Polls suggest that Canadians are very concerned about climate change, but somehow we fail to connect the dots between it and the gas-guzzling behemoths parked in our driveways.” – Naomi Buck
It’s dangerous to think China hasn’t changed – or that it won’t again
“There is a danger in failing to notice [China’s] change, or in choosing to ignore or dismiss it. Witness Michael Bloomberg, the media magnate, former New York mayor and now Democratic Party presidential hopeful. In a TV interview, he was asked why he believed Beijing’s policies are more climate-friendly than they appear. He answered that he believes China is fundamentally democratic. – Doug Saunders
Free Melania? She’s happy right where she is
“Because she is largely silent in all of her five languages, and because she maintains a subdued demeanour, Melania becomes an empty screen onto which the public can project all of its anxiety. Humans are story gluttons, craving a narrative that fits our expectations of the world, or at least one that will give us hope. So Melania becomes a princess in need of rescuing, trapped in an echoing White House with an ogre, with only her son and a whole pile of Christian Louboutins for company.” – Elizabeth Renzetti
Be their guest: the most anticipated hotels of 2020
In an era when hotels have moved beyond mere places to sleep to become experience unto themselves, it takes a lot to stand out. These eight attention-grabbing properties opening in 2020 have us ready to pack our bags. Jenn Smith Nelson profiles a French palace, an Indian fortress and an Australian floating pontoon hotel that offers underwater accommodations in this visually rich package with lots of links.
How to drink and be merry – and minimize holiday hangovers
For those who want to minimize hangovers during the holiday season, Nathalie Atkinson went on a search for something that can sipped at day-long holiday open houses and festive work functions that doesn’t result in the need for an immediate nap. And the discovery? Aperitivo deserves your attention, she writes.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
Globe Books gift guide: 108 volumes for (almost) every person in your life
Here it is folks, the very definition of a long read: The annual holiday Globe Books recommendations. Follow the link and browse titles for all the adults on your list, from the history buff to the wellness guru, plus expert advice on what to give young readers.