Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Tax cuts will be first order of business, Trudeau says after election
The Liberal Leader struck a more conciliatory tone Wednesday than in his victory speech early Tuesday morning, which made little mention of the rebuke he received from Canadian voters. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government will swear in a new cabinet on Nov. 20 and move ahead with a promised cut to personal income taxes as its first order of business. Since the Liberals won a minority government, he also said he will govern on an issue-by-issue basis rather than negotiating a formal arrangement or a coalition with a smaller party to win confidence votes in Parliament. Mr. Trudeau is also in the process of reaching out to political leaders in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the Liberal Party failed to elect any MPs, where feelings of alienation have been stirring following the election, especially in the oil and energy sector.
- “With Donald Trump in the United States and Boris Johnson in Britain, why does the re-election of Justin Trudeau leave us all feeling so empty?” — Richard French
- “[Andrew Scheer] should spare his party the task of holding a leadership review next April – which he stands to lose, anyway – and allow a worthy successor to find her or his footing in time to wage the next electoral battle.” — Konrad Yakabuski
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Senior staff at Alberta Energy Regulator exit, restructuring on hold in wake of investigation reports
Three top executives have departed the agency as it deals with the fallout from bombshell revelations about its previous chief executive officer’s role in a pricey side project. The departures come as the AER puts a long-planned reorganization on hold while the provincial government’s new hand-picked board dissects the agency following the reports of three public investigations into the diversion of the regulator’s resources into the project, the details of which have shaken the confidence of the industry, the public and even staff.
Russian military police deploy in Syria’s Kobani; Trump says ceasefire permanent
Just two weeks after President Donald Trump pulled out U.S. special forces, allowing Turkish troops to sweep into northeast Syria and target Washington’s former Kurdish allies, Russia’s police deployment shows how swiftly the balance of power in the area has shifted. Turkey “paused” its offensive last week under a U.S.-brokered deal which called for Kurdish YPG fighters to withdraw, and then secured Russian support this week for a wider deal requiring the YPG’s removal from the whole northeast border. Meanwhile, Trump said Turkey had announced it was making last week’s ceasefire permanent, paving the way for the United States to lift sanctions it had imposed in response to the cross-border assault.
- “Mr. Erdogan wins by preventing a Kurdish statelet. Mr. Putin wins by increasing Russia’s influence in Syria, establishing new military bases and expanding ports, and bolstering his perceived image as a global power in a time of declining real Russian capabilities. Syrian civilians, Kurds and Arabs alike, have lost.” — Bessma Momani
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
British police find 39 bodies in truck container, arrest driver: Police said they believed the truck had come from Bulgaria, travelled through Belgium and entered Britain, as concern grows that people-smugglers are exploiting weak security measures at some British ports.
U.S. sues California over state’s cap-and-trade deal with Quebec: The U.S. Justice Department said California, state officials, the California Air Resources Board, and the Western Climate Initiative Inc. entered a complex cap-and-trade emissions-curbing climate program with Quebec in 2013 without congressional approval.
Rogers cuts earnings, guidance as more Canadians than expected sign up for unlimited plans: One million Canadian customers have signed up for wireless plans that do not charge users for exceeding data limits. The financial impact of lower overage fees contributed to Rogers missing third-quarter profit estimates.
Hong Kong extradition bill formally withdrawn, but several of protesters’ demands still unmet: Hundreds of protesters gathered peacefully outside the British Consulate calling for support for a British parliamentary debate on the citizenship status of Hong Kong people scheduled for Thursday.
Republican lawmakers prevent Pentagon official from testifying: More than two dozen Republicans legislators stormed into a hearing room for the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry where Laura Cooper, the U.S. defence official who oversees Ukraine and Russia matters, was due to testify behind closed doors and began yelling complaints that the Democrats were conducting the process in private, lawmakers and aides said.
Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday, pressured by a dour revenue forecast from Rogers Communications. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 55.59 points at 16,335.93. Investors are ditching bets that Canada’s central bank will cut interest rates over the coming months, as the domestic economy shows resilience and the federal election result adds to prospects of growth-boosting fiscal spending next year.
World stock indexes were flat to lower on Wednesday with a disappointing forecast from Texas Instruments dragging down chipmaker shares, while the British pound inched up as European Union leaders consider London’s request for a Brexit delay. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44.87 points to 26,832.97, the S&P 500 gained 8.52 points to 3,004.51 and the Nasdaq Composite added 15.50 points to 8,119.79.
Once an oasis of stability, Chile now burns
Ignacio Moya Arriagada: “Ultimately, this revolt is in the name of humanity. It is a call to reclaim politics, to put people in the centre of all decision-making.” Moya Arriagada is a Chilean-Canadian doing his PhD at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont.
Raptors snub home fans, Kawhi Leonard during interminable opening night celebrations
Cathal Kelly: “It’s been a long time since anyone’s won anything important in this town. So in the same way teams aren’t much good at planning parades, they’re also pretty terrible at other sorts of ceremonies.”
Oscar Farinetti sketched out an idea for a grocery store on a piece of paper 17 years ago. His idea now has locations from Tokyo to Moscow, Las Vegas to – as of Nov. 13 – Toronto. While Eataly began as a place to shop for ingredients and maybe have a light meal, Farinetti’s original concept has evolved in recent years to cater to the growing number of customers who’d rather skip cooking altogether. To meet this need, Toronto’s Eataly will offer the largest selection of grab-and-go meals of any location so far, as well as the option to order via third-party delivery app.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
Daniela Gesundheit’s Alphabet of Wrongdoing maintains the original melodies and text of traditional Jewish prayers and blessings on the themes of reckoning, forgiveness, mortality and atonement, while reimagining them for a secular audience. Another twist to her work: In Orthodox communities, these prayers are traditionally performed by men. After becoming a musician and moving to Toronto, Gesundheit found a spiritual home in Shir Libeynu, an inclusive synagogue space open to all that has welcomed female rabbis and cantors over the past 25 years. But disrupting the traditional paradigm of having a group of men singing in the centre of the synagogue also affects the way the meaning of these songs of atonement is understood, Gesundheit explains.