Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Majority of U.S. House members vote for second impeachment of Trump in wake of Capitol siege
President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House for a historic second time today, charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office.
With the Capitol secured by armed National Guard troops inside and out, the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump. Ten Republicans joined Democrats who said he needed to be held accountable and warned of a “clear and present danger” if Congress should leave him unchecked before Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration Jan. 20. Trump is the only U.S. president to be twice impeached.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a quick Senate impeachment trial for Trump but did not rule out that he might eventually vote to convict him.
In the aftermath of last week’s siege, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will terminate business contracts with Trump, which he says earns the Trump Organization about US$17-million a year. Yesterday, it was reported that Deutsche Bank, Trump’s biggest lender, will not do business with him in the future. And Alphabet’s YouTube has suspended Trump’s channel, joining other online platforms and social media companies.
Opinion and analysis:
- No one can predict the effect of Trump’s second impeachment - David Shribman
- Impeachment 2: The unravelling of the Trump Republicans - Lawrence Martin
- Twitter’s ban of Donald Trump isn’t a free-speech crisis – though that crisis remains on the boil - Andrew Coyne
Read more: Biden’s inauguration day is Jan. 20. Here’s what we know so far about plans for security, public events and more.
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Couche-Tard makes US$20-billion play for French grocer Carrefour
Canadian convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard is making a US$20-billion play to buy French grocer Carrefour at a hefty premium in what would be a significant shift in strategy for the Circle K brand owner.
Couche-Tard recently submitted a non-binding offer letter to Carrefour for a friendly combination at a price of €20 for each Carrefour share, the Quebec-based company said. That price marks a premium of about 29 per cent to Carrefour’s closing stock price yesterday.
Air Canada slashing seat capacity 25 per cent, laying off 1,700 staff
Air Canada is slashing its seat capacity by 25 per cent and laying off 1,700 employees, blaming new COVID-19 testing requirements for a recent plunge in demand for travel. The carrier also said cuts will affect another 200 jobs at the airlines that operate its Air Canada Express regional brand.
By Jan. 23, Air Canada said it will temporarily suspend service to eight airports: Prince Rupert, Kamloops, Fredericton, Yellowknife, Comox and Sandspit, B.C., and Gander and Goose Bay in Newfoundland. It is also extending the shutdown of operations at three other airports, in Saint John, Sydney and Penticton.
In other pandemic-related business news: Office vacancy rates have climbed across the country, with downtown Toronto’s jumping to 7.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, as tenants tried to get rid of space and did not renew leases amid months of remote work. That’s its highest level since the global financial crisis a decade ago, according to CBRE commercial real estate firm.
The puck drops tonight on the 2021 NHL season
The NHL is about to embark on a season unlike any other, with schedules shortened by a pandemic, a state of emergency in Ontario and one club, the Dallas Stars, already watching from the sidelines temporarily owing to an outbreak of COVID-19.
Seven teams in five provinces will compete in an all-Canadian North Division that was established this year because of border restrictions. All but three of the league’s 31 teams will play without spectators.
Opinion: “This weird, one-off sack-race of an NHL season could also be a lot of fun. Which, given the current supply of fun, is not nothing.” - Cathal Kelly
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Italy in political turmoil: Matteo Renzi, a former Italian premier, has yanked his ministers from Premier Giuseppe Conte’s government, triggering a political crisis in the middle of a pandemic that could lead to a revamped cabinet, a different coalition leader or even an early election that opposition right-wing parties hope will bring them to power.
Navalny to return to Russia: Top Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny says he plans to go home to Russia next weekend despite the authorities’ threats to put him once again behind bars. He has been convalescing in Germany from an August poisoning with a nerve agent that he has blamed on the Kremlin.
Serial killer Allan Legere denied parole: The Parole Board of Canada has refused both the day parole and full parole of serial killer Allan Legere, dubbed “the Monster of the Miramichi,” saying he is still a danger to the community.
Canada’s main stock exchange closed lower today despite modest gains in the S&P 500, as energy and materials stocks fell and a plunge in shares of Alimentation Couche-Tard sent the consumer staples sector tumbling. The S&P/TSX Composite Index slipped 51.06 points or 0.28 per cent to 17,934.74.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8.22 points or 0.03 per cent to 31,060.47, the S&P 500 gained 8.65 points or 0.23 per cent to 3,809.84 and the Nasdaq Composite added 56.52 points or 0.43 per cent to close at 13,128.95.
With clownish incompetence, Ontario enacts a new, incomprehensible ‘lockdown’
“Mobility data revealed during Ontario’s modelling update showed that people weren’t listening to instructions to stay home before. And now all they have are a collection of confusing, relatively mild and inherently contradictory directives.” - Robyn Urback
Listen and learn: In the latest episode of the Stress Test podcast, personal finance columnist Rob Carrick and editor Roma Luciw take on the long-standing narrative that says property ownership is the best path for everyone and map out a route for financial success as a renter. They’re joined by fellow renter and financial consultant Preet Banerjee, who shares his advice for how renters can end up with a comparable amount of wealth as a homeowner, in addition to a great lifestyle.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Three decades after Mount Cashel orphanage abuse scandal, victims are still fighting for justice
For most people, it’s just another shopping plaza. They come and go from the liquor outlet, hair salon, medical centre and grocery store, loading their purchases into cars in a parking lot that fronts a busy street. But John Doe No. 26 will never forget what used to be here.
The 80-year-old grandfather can still vividly see the notorious Mount Cashel orphanage that stood at this St. John’s site until it was demolished in 1992. He was a resident there for seven years, until he was 15 years old, and suffered unspeakable violence and abuse at the hands of men who were supposed to care for him.
The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to announce tomorrow whether it will hear an appeal by the Roman Catholic Church over a recent ruling on its financial liability for that abuse – a closely watched decision that, if upheld, could set off a new wave of litigation against the church. While the physical, psychological and sexual abuse that happened at the orphanage has been well documented in the criminal and civil courts, the story of Mount Cashel is still unresolved in the eyes of many Newfoundlanders. Read Greg Mercer’s full story here.