Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
SNC-Lavalin division pleads guilty to fraud charge, to pay $280-million fine
A division of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. settled a criminal fraud charge in a Montreal court on Wednesday by pleading guilty and paying a $280-million fine.
The engineering firm will pay the fine in equal installments over five years. The company also agreed to a three-year probation order. It will hire an independent consulting firm that will monitor the company’s compliance and ethics programs, and publish reports on SNC-Lavalin’s web site.
Background: SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc, plead guilty to a single fraud charge that stemmed from contracts struck in Libya between 2001 and 2011. Federal prosecutors dropped other charges against the company. Previously, there were concerns that a finding of guilt on corruption charges at SNC-Lavalin would result in a 10 year ban on bidding for federal government work.
Markets: SNC-Lavalin shares surged more than 20 per cent. The reaction suggests that investors are overwhelmingly upbeat about the company’s prospects now that the biggest uncertainty.
ICYMI: SNC-Lavalin, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Trudeau’s PMO explainer. The story from the beginning, and answers to the questions you may still have.
This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you, you can sign up for Evening Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters here. If you like what you see, please forward the Evening Update newsletter to your friends.
A “democracy-defining moment”: U.S. House of Representatives will vote on impeachment
The House, which convened at 9 a.m., is expected to vote on the two articles of impeachment in the evening.
If the House votes to impeach – as nearly every member of its Democratic majority has indicated they will – President Donald Trump would face a trial next month in the Republican-controlled Senate.
House Republicans tried to stall the debate with procedural manoeuvres, including a motion to adjourn debate as soon as it began. Democrats voted the move down.
Several hundred people rallied in favour of impeachment on the lawn of the Capitol as lawmakers debated inside.
- Trump impeachment live: The House’s vote and the story so far, the guide to today’s debate
- Opinion (Andrew Cohen): The impeachment of Donald Trump is the latest act in the melodrama that is America
Supreme Court ruling could quell chaos surrounding administrative law
The Supreme Court has a chance to settle the chaotic state of administrative law – the rules which ordinary Canadians can use to hold government agencies to account in the courts.
Canada has hundreds of administrative tribunals and government officials with the authority to make decisions affecting people’s lives – everything from whether refugee claimants can stay to whether a landlord may evict a tenant to whether a prisoner can be released from solitary confinement.
It is a field that has an enormous impact on people’s lives, despite having a low public profile.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
E-cigarettes, opioid epidemic among top emerging health issues in Canada: But the bulk of Canada’s chief public health officer’s report focuses on stigma and how misconceptions and stereotypes are causing many in Canada to die prematurely or not receive adequate health care.
Trump administration advances plan to import cheaper Canadian prescription drugs: Patients are unlikely to see quick relief on prices, Canadian officials have also raised questions, saying their country’s prescription drug market is too small to have any real impact on U.S. prices.
Protests against India’s new citizenship law grow, being called a violation of the country’s secular constitution: The law provides a path to citizenship for Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and other religious minorities who are in India illegally but can demonstrate religious persecution in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It does not apply to Muslims.
Trans Mountain Corp. urges court to dismiss legal application by Indigenous groups: A three-day Federal Court of Appeal hearing began in Vancouver to hear the groups’ concerns that the government did not adequately consult them, the latest obstacle to tripling capacity on the Alberta-to-British Columbia pipeline.
Bolivian prosecutors issue arrest warrant against ousted president Evo Morales: Interior Minister Arturo Murillo recently brought charges of sedition and terrorism against Morales, alleging he promoted violent clashes that led to 35 deaths during disturbances before and after he left office.
Toronto’s CAMH to implement 12 recommendations from external review after three patients went missing: The first recommendation is for the hospital to immediately create a secure outdoor area where forensic patients can get fresh air or exercise.
Canada’s main stock index fell in a broad-based decline, despite a surge in shares of SNC-Lavalin. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 43.22 points at 17,031.98.
The market largely shrugged off the likely impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump as the House of Representatives geared up for the historic vote. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.88 points to 28,239.28, the S&P 500 lost 1.38 points to 3,191.14, and the Nasdaq Composite added 4.38 points to 8,827.74.
This isn’t just a game: Calgary cannot afford a new football stadium
Max Fawcett: “Calgarians may not end up with a new football stadium, but they may get to reclaim some of the civic dignity they lost the last time the owner of the Flames and Stampeders came calling.” Fawcett is the former editor of Alberta Oil magazine and Vancouver magazine.
Why some First Nations are gaining ground while others are losing
Tom Flanagan: “The First Nations who have been improving rapidly in recent years look very much like the First Nations who had earlier achieved prosperity.” Flanagan is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Calgary and a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute.
Your guide to stress-free holidays, whether you’re hosting, socializing or travelling
The most wonderful time of the year? We get it. The holidays are stressful. Bickering relatives, endless to-do lists and lineups galore. Not to mention toys that are sold out, tape that has run out and nowhere to hide (the presents). We’re here to help with solutions to common holiday problems, so as the too-short days of December fly by, you can keep your sanity – and sense of humour – intact. Get through the holidays with this survival guide, no matter what is on your to-do list.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
Thunder Bay’s evolution: 10 stories of people making a difference in Northern Ontario
From a new bureau in Thunder Bay, Globe and Mail journalists spent 2019 chronicling the region’s challenges with racism, politics and a sputtering economy. Over and over, we found resilient, kind and courageous people trying to change things, in ways big and small. These people are librarians who are organizing social change, teachers who revive Indigenous culture, even a volunteer patrol group called Wiindo Debwe Mosewin, run by those known as warrior women. These are their stories.