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Canada Morning Update: B.C.'s climate plan to target oil and gas production; LCBO to resume stocking Norman Hardie wines

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These are the top stories:

B.C.’s new climate plan to target oil and gas production

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The oil-and-gas sector, one of British Columbia’s largest sources of greenhouse gas pollution, will be required to slash emissions by converting to electricity-powered processing under a provincial climate action plan that will be announced on Wednesday. Most of B.C.'s 110 gas-processing plants still use fossil fuels to power their facilities due to few transmission lines delivering electricity across a vast region in the northeast corner of the province. Only 13 gas plants in B.C. use electricity for processing. The provincial government said on Monday that it will announce its new climate plan on Wednesday. The requirement for the sector to convert to electricity will be a part of it, according to two sources who are familiar with the province’s plans but were not authorized to discuss the details.

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CSIS director warns of state-sponsored espionage threat to 5G networks

Canadian Security Intelligence Service director David Vigneault used his first public speech to warn of increasing state-sponsored espionage through technology such as next-generation 5G networks. Three of Canada’s Five Eyes intelligence-sharing allies have barred wireless carriers from installing equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in the 5G infrastructure they are building to provide updated networks for smartphone users. The United States, Australia and New Zealand have taken steps to block the use of Huawei equipment in their 5G networks. Neither Canada nor Britain has done so. On Monday, the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, publicly raised security concerns about involving Huawei telecommunications in his country’s communications infrastructure.

Doug Ford says he did not need to recuse himself from hiring friend Ron Taverner as OPP chief

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he did not need to recuse himself from a cabinet meeting that appointed Ron Taverner, a Ford family friend, to be the next commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police because an independent panel recommended the hiring. His defence came amid new revelations about changes to the job posting that allowed Mr. Taverner to apply for the position, and confirmation that his former boss was part of the three-person hiring committee. Mr. Ford defended the appointment of Superintendent Taverner, 72, on Tuesday, saying while he had “absolutely” no involvement in choosing him for the OPP position, the long-time police officer is the right person for the job.

LCBO to resume stocking Norman Hardie wines

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Six months after halting orders of Norman Hardie wines amid allegations of sexual misconduct, the Ontario Liquor Control Board of Ontario is making plans to restock them, and warning its employees who are uncomfortable with the decision to keep their opinions to themselves. In an internal e-mail obtained by The Globe, the LCBO’s vice-president of retail operations, Rafik Louli, says new shipments may begin arriving in stores next week. The e-mail also warns the Crown corporation’s employees to “avoid any speculation or sharing any personal opinion – negative or positive." In June, The Globe published a report revealing allegations of misconduct against Mr. Hardie from more than 20 people, including former employees who described a “hedonistic” work environment.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Woman in Brazil gives birth after uterus transplant from a deceased donor

A woman in Brazil is the first in the world to give birth after a uterus transplant from a deceased donor in a medical milestone that potentially offers another treatment option for women with uterine-related infertility. In a case study published in the Lancet journal on Tuesday, doctors who performed the surgery at the Hospital das Clincas at the University of Sao Paulo said they successfully transplanted a uterus from a 45-year-old woman who died after a stroke that caused bleeding on the surface of the brain into a 32-year-old woman born without a uterus. She gave birth to a baby girl on Dec. 15, 2017, by caesarean section. (for subscribers)

MORNING MARKETS

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Stocks sink

World stocks tumbled to one-week lows on Wednesday, as declines by long-dated U.S. bond yields and a renewal of trade concerns stoked fears of a downturn in the world’s biggest economy, the United States. U.S. markets are shut to mark former President George H.W. Bush’s death, but the effect of Wall Street’s turmoil in the previous session, when New York-listed shares tumbled more than 3 per cent, is being felt in Asia and Europe. Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 1.6 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite 0.6 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were down by between 0.8 and 1.1 per cent by about 6 a.m. ET. The Canadian dollar was just above 75 US cents. Oil prices fell, swept lower by the broad decline across financial markets.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

No one should love Marineland

“I understand the appeal of marine parks. Animals are majestic. We learn about them in children’s books and nursery rhymes, so there is a desire to see them up close out of awe and curiosity. But we’re not actually learning the facts and science about wild animals in marine parks. A flopped dorsal fin on orcas is the norm in captivity, but extremely rare in the wild (usually because of injury or environmental contamination). In the ocean, orcas can swim up to 160 kilometres a day. Compare that to the distance an orca can swim in a tank.” - Jennifer Howlett, candidate for Toronto city councillor in the 47-ward race and previous head of news and government for Twitter Canada

Quebec City gets the cold shoulder again from the NHL

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"All Quebec gets is lip service and excuses. Yes, there is more corporate money around than in 1995 when the Nordiques left and the Canadian dollar is in better shape, but that 800,000 metro population is still a bit small. We had to add two teams in the Western Conference to balance the east and west to 16 teams each. But we know you have lots of rabid hockey fans with money to spend and there is a great rivalry with Montreal, so just be patient.” - David Shoalts (for subscribers)

Alberta’s oil-production cuts hide Canada’s real problems

To begin, how did we get into this predicament? The answer is easy: Justin Trudeau’s pipeline policies. Since becoming Prime Minister in 2015, he first vetoed Northern Gateway, and then encouraged the National Energy Board to kill Energy East by imposing new requirements. Most recently, he refused to stand up to the federal Court of Appeal’s veto of the Trans Mountain expansion, a pipeline he had just spent $4.5-billion to buy.” - Ted Morton, executive fellow and professor emeritus at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and professor emeritus at the University of Calgary (for subscribers)

LIVING BETTER

You’re scanning the shelves of your favourite bookstore looking for what to get that special person. But what exactly is a good book to give? Nathalie Atkinson has found the right read for everyone on your list in The Globe’s book gift guide, complete with 66 picks. The list is full of juicy bios and bibliophile delights, journeys that inspire wanderlust, and simply beautiful coffee-table tomes.

MOMENT IN TIME

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Dec. 5, 1952: When temperatures plunged across London in early December, 1952, Londoners did what they’d always done to fight off the cold; they lit coal fires. But those fires combined with pollution from factories and some unusual weather patterns – no wind and a layer of cold air trapped below warm air – produced thick smog on Dec. 5 that quickly turned lethal. Moving outside became nearly impossible and all forms of transportation ground to a halt except for the Underground. Crime soared, birds flew into buildings, and few services could function, including many hospitals. The smog lifted after four days thanks to an increase in winds. Officials estimated that 4,000 people died as a direct result of the smog, but that figure was later increased to 12,000. The disaster led to the adoption of the Clean Air Act in 1956 that limited coal fires, but the city continued to face killer fogs on a smaller scale in the 1950s and 1960s, and the damaging effects left many people with lifelong health problems. The 1952 smog is still studied by scientists eager to learn lessons that can be applied to cities in China, India, and even London, where concerns about air pollution have increased. - Paul Waldie

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