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Canada’s provincial governments have filed opioid-related claims totalling US$67.4-billion in a U.S. court, revealing for the first time how much they have spent fighting an epidemic that has killed thousands of people and devastated communities across the country.

The provinces are attempting to recover public-health care costs associated with an addiction and overdose crisis that traces its roots to the introduction of OxyContin 24 years ago and has since spread to other, more hazardous drugs.

More coverage:

Ontario on track for more than 2,200 opioid deaths this year

Alberta fails to provide timely opioid data despite promised overhaul

Jayne Turner holds a photo of her husband, Robert John Turner, in Grand Manan, N.B.VIKTOR PIVOVAROV/FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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Left behind in Neskantaga and exiled in Thunder Bay, a nation still waits for clean water at home

Neskantaga Chief Chris Moonias says if it weren’t for the pandemic he would be on his way to Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park to show the governments how living under the longest-standing boil water advisory in the country has affected his community.

The First Nation is in the fourth week of an evacuation to Thunder Bay that began after the community’s water plant was shut down because an oily sheen was visible in the water reservoir.

Urgent efforts are under way to fix the situation and get residents back before temperatures drop and pipes are at risk of freezing in unattended homes.

Canada condemns China’s ouster of Hong Kong lawmakers but offers no asylum plan

Ottawa has denounced China for removing four pro-democracy lawmakers from Hong Kong’s legislature, but did not say whether it would unveil a special plan to grant asylum to those who want to flee the former British colony.

Opposition MPs questioned why the federal government has yet to produce a plan to help bring Hong Kongers to Canada. Back in July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at special measures to bring in people from Hong Kong, telling reporters “we are also looking at additional measures, including around immigration” to address the matter. But his government has, so far, never elaborated on this.

More coverage:

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Researchers have found a new way to speed up the body’s ability to rid itself of alcohol: Toronto researchers have found that hyperventilating with the use of a special device speeds up the body’s ability to rid itself of alcohol, a discovery they believe could one day help hospitals reduce the life-threatening effects of alcohol poisoning.

Sexual-assault testimonies of intellectually disabled people should be judged free from stereotypes, Supreme Court rules: The testimony of sexual-assault complainants with intellectual disabilities should be assessed like that of anyone else, rather than on the basis of myths and stereotypes, like suggestibility, the Supreme Court said, in a unanimous ruling that restores the conviction of a man for the years-long abuse of his vulnerable neighbour.

Economic growth poised to flatline on virus surge, new restrictions: Canada’s economic momentum is at risk of stalling as COVID-19 cases surge across the country, forcing local and provincial governments to extend or tighten restrictions. Making matters worse, some small-business support programs are in varying states of limbo, right when many companies need another dose of financial help.

Stepping Up: Young B.C. man pushes province to recognize its long and vibrant Black history: When Markiel Simpson’s little sister was singled out by a white classmate in her Grade 3 class for having “poo-poo brown skin," he realized the solution was getting schools in British Columbia to teach the vibrant history of Black people in the province.

This is part of Stepping Up, a series introducing Canadians to their country’s new sources of inspiration and leadership.


MORNING MARKETS

World markets pause: Global shares were on course Thursday to end their longest winning streak in over a year as the post-U.S. election and coronavirus vaccine bull run paused. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 0.27 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.45 per cent and 0.60 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.68 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 0.22 per cent. New York futures were mixed. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.53 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Campbell Clark: “This is a growth area: foreign governments trying to exert influence beyond their borders. A lot of it is benign, some of it is laudable, but a portion of it is interference. That’s why more transparency is needed, so Canadians know when people in their own country are working on behalf of foreign interests. Like the U.S. and Australia, Canada should have a registry of foreign agents.”

Lawrence Martin: “With Mr. Trudeau, [Joe Biden] will re-establish the ties that bind, the ties that primarily Liberal prime ministers and Democrat presidents have woven, the ties that, given the geographically mandated economic interdependence of the two nations, are indispensable.”

Konrad Yakabuski: “Of course, neither socialism nor the defunding of the police were part of the official Democratic Party platform. But the rise of progressives within the party who support those policies and others, such as the elimination of private health insurance, was not lost on voters who recoiled at the prospect of empowering The Squad.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian GableBrian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Do you have any tips for making a great French onion soup?

At one time, French onion soup was considered the height of sophistication. Nowadays, it’s just the sort of comfort food we need as we deal with the chills of fall and the lurking presence of COVID-19. Here are some tips from Lucy Waverman on ingredients and preparation.


MOMENT IN TIME: NOV. 12, 1992

Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signs the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement with Paul Quassa, president of the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut in Iqaluit, N.W.T., Tuesday, May 25, 1993.Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press

Inuit accept land-claim deal, paving way for creation of Nunavut

The result was never in doubt. After more than a decade of negotiations, 69 per cent of voters opted to ratify a land-claims agreement that would enshrine Inuit ownership of an area the size of Germany and Inuit political control over one-fifth of Canada’s land mass. It was a monumental deal, both in size and significance. The Inuit had never ceded those lands, and the agreement marked the culmination of a historic effort to reclaim stolen Indigenous political and economic power.

The dual nature of the agreement – establishing both Inuit-owned lands and a new Inuit-led territory called Nunavut – had been a goal of regional leaders since the Diefenbaker era. Along with land and a legislature, Ottawa promised $1.15-billion over 14 years, Inuit harvest rights throughout Nunavut and equal representation of Inuit on boards set up to oversee wildlife management, resource extraction and water. The Nunavut Land Claims Settlement Agreement and the Nunavut Act received royal assent in Parliament the following year. Nunavut became Canada’s third territory on April 1, 1999, the most dramatic change to the country’s map since Newfoundland joined Confederation 50 years earlier and, more importantly, a landmark moment for Indigenous self-determination. Patrick White

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