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Good morning,

Canada’s national vaccination campaign to stop the spread of COVID-19 began with joy and relief yesterday, while challenges facing the mass inoculation plan rose to the surface as hundreds of Quebec nursing-home workers passed on the shot for now.

Two long-term care residents in Quebec and a personal support worker in Ontario were the first to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

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Forty-eight per cent of Canadians want to be vaccinated as soon as possible, a rise of eight percentage points from one month earlier, according to an Angus Reid poll. Seventy-nine per cent of Canadians said they would get vaccinated soon or eventually, a rise of three percentage points from one month earlier.

Read more:

Lack of data on pregnant women raises questions about whether they should get COVID-19 vaccine

Canada needs to upgrade vaccine tracking, Ottawa says

Alberta appears to level in COVID-19 infection numbers but experts warn it is not enough

André Picard: Focusing on ‘immunity passports’ could distract us from the real goal

Editorial: On V-Day, a reminder of how Canada failed to prepare for an inevitable pandemic

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Coronavirus vaccines: What we know about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, immunization plans and more (Facebook Live event with health reporter Kelly Grant and science reporter Ivan Semeniuk)

Tamara Dus, director of University Health Network Safety Services, administers a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

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Man who threw trailer hitch at Indigenous woman in Thunder Bay found guilty of manslaughter

A man who threw a trailer hitch at an Indigenous woman in Thunder Bay, Ont., has been found guilty of manslaughter in her death.

Superior Court Justice Helen Pierce told the court yesterday she was satisfied the prosecution had proved beyond a reasonable doubt the elements required for a conviction, including Brayden Bushby’s admission that he threw the trailer hitch that struck Barbara Kentner in the stomach, causing her small intestine to burst.

The Thunder Bay case was being closely watched by many across the country who felt Kentner’s death echoed the killings of Tina Fontaine in Manitoba and Colten Boushie in Saskatchewan, which sparked outrage across the country against a justice system that many say doesn’t value Indigenous lives.

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Tanya Talaga: Brayden Bushby’s guilty verdict was a relief for Indigenous women, but it was also deeply imperfect

Canadian envoy silent on his knowledge of McKinsey’s role in Purdue opioid sales

One of the world’s largest consulting firms will not say whether Dominic Barton, who is now Canadian ambassador to China, was aware that the company had a role in advising how to boost sales of OxyContin and other highly addictive drugs when he was head of the firm from 2009 to 2018.

Contacted by The Globe and Mail, McKinsey & Co. declined to say whether, as CEO, Barton was aware of the firm’s involvement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin.

The New York Times reported last month that McKinsey had discussed ways for Purdue to “turbocharge” sales of its drug OxyContin, including paying Purdue’s distributors a rebate for every OxyContin overdose attributable to pills they sold.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

U.S. Electoral College confirms Joe Biden win: The U.S. Electoral College braved threats of violence to confirm Joe Biden’s presidential victory, even as allies of Donald Trump vowed to continue to have the election result overturned.

Pornhub owner suspends millions of videos uploaded by non-verified users across its platforms: MindGeek has suspended millions of videos uploaded by non-verified users across its platforms, including Pornhub, after allegations the pornography website was showing videos of rape and child exploitation.

Four men arrested after shots fired at Indigenous fisherman, RCMP say: RCMP in Nova Scotia arrested four men after shots were fired at an Indigenous man in small boat near Pictou Landing First Nation. Tensions between non-Indigenous and Indigenous lobster fishermen remain high over Mi’kmaq fishermen’s treaty right to fish outside the federally regulated season.

Canada’s big banks push back on task force recommendation to restrict bundling services in corporate financing deals: Several of Canada’s Big Six banks are pushing back against an Ontario task force recommendation that would make it harder and more expensive for them to bundle commercial loans with debt and equity underwriting services.

Online initiatives encourage e-commerce shoppers to think small: On a cold, snowy Sunday in late November, Ali Haberstroh created Not-Amazon.ca, a fast-growing directory of local retail alternatives to e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart. It is just one of many initiatives across the country trying to make it easier for time-strapped shoppers to look beyond e-commerce stalwarts during the crucial holiday shopping season – and beyond.


MORNING MARKETS

World stocks steady: World shares steadied on Tuesday and currencies moved in tight ranges as rising COVID-19 cases and social restrictions ahead of the busy Christmas shopping season balanced optimism over a vaccine-driven economic recovery next year. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE rose 0.13 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.73 per cent and 0.50 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.17 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.69 per cent. New York futures were firmer. The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.40 US cents.

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WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

John Ibbitson: “By limiting the Liberals to a minority and biding his time, Mr. O’Toole could become prime minister. But the odds of him actually winning in 2021 are long.”

Mark Jaccard: “Carbon pricing is fundamentally equitable because it rewards anyone who smartly decides, when renewing their vehicle or furnace, to take advantage of the subsides for electric vehicles, home insulation and electric heat pumps. After doing this, they’d pay zero carbon taxes. What is more equitable than financially rewarding those who decarbonize to avoid major climate costs to our children?”

Cathal Kelly: “But no new team ought to have a nickname. Let them follow soccer’s example – just call yourselves what you are. If your fans want to stick you with a nickname, then that’s cool. But corporations ought to give up on the juvenile need to self-identify as increasingly weird animals or vague concepts. If aesthetics aren’t compelling enough reason to do so, then there is the added bonus that no one can protest a name you do not have.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Choosing which charities to give to can be overwhelming. Here’s how best to direct your giving

For some people choosing a charity is easy. For others, however, the choice can be daunting. With more than 86,000 registered charities in Canada to choose from, it’s no wonder. However, experts in the charitable sector say it need not be overwhelming if you narrow your search to something you are truly passionate about.


MOMENT IN TIME: DEC. 15, 1970

Russian Venera 7 unmanned interplanetary spacecraft which was used in the exploration of Venus.

Sputnik via AFP

Soviets land Venera 7 on Venus

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After early triumphs such as launching Sputnik and putting the first human into space, the Soviet Union had fallen behind the U.S. in the race for space by the late 1960s. But the Soviets continued to reach for Venus. The Venera program attempted six trips to the gaseous inner planet, with Venera 3 through Venera 6 descending through the thick Venusian atmosphere and transmitting data before slamming into the surface and losing contact. When Venera 7 launched on Aug. 17, 1970, it was considerably heavier than its predecessors, a 490-kilogram sphere of titanium intended to withstand a pressure of 180 atmospheres. It reached the hottest planet in our solar system on Dec. 15 and began a 35-minute trip to the surface. Its parachute ripped and the probe hit the surface at about 60 kilometres an hour. It appeared to stop transmitting data one second after impact. However, a later examination revealed that Venera 7 sent a weak signal for 23 minutes and reported a surface temperature of about 475 C. Venera 7 had become the first spacecraft to soft land on another planet and the first to send information to Earth from another planet. Rob Gilroy

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