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COVID-19 cases are currently spiking across Canada — and a new federal pandemic modelling warns that the country could see four times more cases by the end of December unless Canadians curtail their contacts and more provinces impose stricter measures.

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s modelling is to be released today but was obtained by The Globe and Mail yesterday. The year could end with more than 20,000 cases per day — double the number that Ottawa says would put the health system at risk. If Canadians let loose with revelry for the holidays over the next month and increase their contacts, that number could grow to 60,000.

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Provinces and territories control lockdown powers and the federal government has so far ruled out invoking emergency powers that would give Ottawa control. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged premiers to take stronger actions, he is not expected to unveil any new measures today. Some provinces, such as B.C., Manitoba and Ontario, have or are expected to roll out new restrictions in response to the case surge.

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

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RCMP Commissioner apologizes after report outlines toxic culture in force

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki has apologized to members of her force, after a newly-released independent report said the police service routinely tolerated misogyny and homophobia within its ranks. She also cited steps the RCMP are taking, including working with experts to develop a model for an independent harassment regime outside of the chain of command and an Independent Centre for Harassment Resolution to begin operation next summer.

The report also contains a number of recommendations, including changes to recruitment, training at the RCMP depot in Regina and postings for members.

Ottawa tables legislation that will set legally binding climate targets

Ottawa tabled legislation yesterday that would mandate greenhouse gas emission reduction targets with the goal of reaching net zero by 2050. But with no penalties for missing those targets, the only accountability governments would face is the voters.

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The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act would require the federal government to set targets for 2030 onward. It would also establish an expert advisory panel and empower the environment commissioner to review the government’s work, but it leaves ultimate authority to the environment minister to set targets and lay out the plans to achieve them.

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Ambassador visits two Canadians detained in China: Canada’s ambassador to China Dominic Barton has visited two Canadians detained for nearly two years in an apparent retaliation for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, an executive of Chinese technology giant Huawei, on a U.S. extradition warrant

Huawei extradition hearing: Ben Chang, a retired RCMP staff sergeant who played an essential role in detaining Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in 2018, has refused to testify in her extradition hearing. Chang is currently working as a senior security executive at a casino owned by Galaxy Entertainment Group, which is controlled by a Hong Kong businessman who has served on the standing committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory group to Beijing’s leaders.

Virtual G20 summit: This weekend’s virtual G20 summit – with its controversial host, Saudi Arabia – has the potential to be one of the most awkward online meetings in this pandemic year. But United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on G20 leaders to put their differences aside and focus on the massive challenges facing the world.

This picture taken early on November 19, 2020, shows a projection on the Louvre Museum in Paris by Amnesty International members depicting jailed Saudi human rights women as Loujain Al-Athloul (C) and reading "Freedom for Saudi women human rights activists", ahead of the upcoming virtual G20 summit.


Toronto van attack trial: In her report, Dr. Rebecca Chauhan — a witness for the defence and a psychiatrist who assessed Alek Minassian after his arrest — described him as being “hyper-focused” and even “indoctrinated” by the writings of Elliot Rodger, a mass killer affiliated with the incel subculture. But during Thursday’s hearing, the Crown argued that Minassian “had mass murder on his mind well before” he ever learned about incels.

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Scathing open letter in the art world: In late October, Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) terminated Cate Rimmer, a long-time gallery director at the school. Since then, an open letter criticizing ECU’s treatment of Rimmer has attracted support from prominent signatories across Canada and the world.

Ireland hopes for an ally: Joe Biden has long talked about his roots in Ireland. Now, Irish officials hope to find a strong ally on Brexit and the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in Biden, the U.S. president-elect.


Global stocks edge higher: World stocks edged higher Friday as hopes of economic recovery ahead helped offset the blow dealt by news that the U.S. Treasury was ending emergency loan programs. Just before 6 a.m ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.72 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.48 per cent and 0.75 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished down 0.42 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.36 per cent. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.58 US cents. Wall Street futures were mixed.


Good on ya: Australia is bravely showing Canada the pain and promise of a principled approach to Beijing

Andrew Coyne: “Geopolitical theories of China as the rising global hegemon die hard, as does Liberal – and Trudeauvian – naivete about Communist dictatorships, especially as these coincide with the business interests of retired Liberal grandees.”

Caledonia’s 1492 Land Back Lane camp is a monument to the justice Canada has denied

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Tanya Talaga: “This land must be given back to Six Nations – because it is a nation. If it is not, the violence at the 1492 site will only escalate in the face of police provocation.”

We should regulate social media – but in a way that makes sense

Richard Stursberg and Kevin Chan: “Regardless of the path forward, one thing is clear – finding a sustainable and equitable way to support news in Canada requires goodwill and co-operation between publishers, platforms and government. The government needs to take a leadership role in convening these conversations.”


Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered. Can I go back to a mask-free life?

The short answer: Not yet. For the long answer, Paul Taylor, a patient navigation adviser at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, broke down the science in this article here.

MOMENT IN TIME: November 20, 1886

On November 20, 1886, author Arthur Conan Doyle sold the copyright to "A Study in Scarlet" for a piddling £25 to Ward Lock & Co., which published it in Beeton’s Christmas Annual of 1887. It was this story which introduced Conan Doyle's famous detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, to the world.

Georges De Keerle/Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sells copyright for the first Sherlock Holmes story

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The opening of A Study in Scarlet, “In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the army,” is more akin to “It was a dark and stormy night” than “Call me Ishmael.” It’s the ponderous first line in a mystery novel that features houndstooth-clad sleuth Sherlock Holmes, the literary world’s first forensic detective (he knew chemistry, literature, astronomy and used a magnifying glass). But on this date in 1886, author Arthur Conan Doyle sold the copyright to the story for a piddling £25 (about $5,600 in today’s money) to Ward Lock & Co., which published it in Beeton’s Christmas Annual of 1887. Perhaps Doyle, having written Scarlet in three weeks when he was 27, lacked confidence in his work. Perhaps he needed the money. The story is about a murder investigation – “There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life” – and introduces Holmes, who says in Scarlet, “to a great mind, nothing is little” and his friend, Dr. Watson. Doyle eventually realized his mistake and never dealt with that publisher again. Philip King

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