These are the top stories:
China has closed transportation networks as the coronavirus spreads
The city of Wuhan, home to 11 million people, has effectively been quarantined in order to stop the spread of the virus that has killed at least 17 and sickened hundreds more. On Thursday, authorities said they were preparing to place Huanggang, a city of 7.5 million, on lockdown, and would also close rail stations in nearby Ezhou, a city of one million.
The World Health Organization is weighing whether to declare a global public-health emergency.
Wuhan’s public transit and all outgoing flights and trains were suspended until further notice. China’s strong response takes place during the Spring Festival, a holiday that results in a surge of travel.
Canadian public-health officials are preparing for the possible arrival of the SARS-like virus. In Quebec, five people who had travelled to China were placed under surveillance for possible exposure.
At Vancouver’s airport, a major travel hub for Asian flights, quarantine officers are on hand and health screenings have been put in place.
This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.
CAMH is urging Canada’s business leaders to take action on mental health
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the country’s leading organization on those issues, is for the first time calling on corporate leaders to address mental illness in the workplace.
CAMH’s campaign features a playbook for ways to tackle the issue, including: an organization-wide mental-health strategy; mandatory mental-health training for leaders; and back-to-work programs for employees who are recovering from mental illness.
“Mental health in the workplace continues to be deeply stigmatized,” said Deborah Gillis, the chief executive of CAMH Foundation. “We need leaders to be normalizers-in-chief. By talking about it, they are breaking down stigma.”
The impeachment trial: Democrats accused Donald Trump of ‘cheating in an election’
Congressman Adam Schiff, the de facto lead prosecutor, used his opening arguments to take aim at Trump’s efforts to solicit Ukraine’s help in investigating Joe Biden. And he warned Republicans that they would take “a step on the road towards tyranny” if they back the U.S. President.
No conviction, Schiff said, would invite “future presidents to operate as if they too are also beyond the reach of accountability, congressional oversight, and the law.”
David Shribman writes that the audience for these speeches aren’t the senators in the room, but the American electorate: “there is little doubt that what is unfolding in the Capitol during the impeachment trial – the first one to threaten a president seeking re-election – represents twin presidential campaigns.”
The Conservative leadership race: Who’s in and who’s out so far
With former interim party leader Rona Ambrose ruling out a run, the possibility is emerging that no prominent women or Westerners will enter the race.
Prominent conservatives, including the premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan, had voiced support for an Ambrose candidacy. But she ultimately opted to focus on work in the private sector. Ex-Quebec premier Jean Charest also announced he won’t be entering the race.
Here’s who’s in or expected to run:
- Former cabinet minister Peter MacKay, 54, brokered the old Progressive Conservative party’s merger with the Canadian Alliance in the early 2000s.
- Marilyn Gladu, 57, an Ontario MP and former chemical engineer who’s promising a stronger stance on climate change.
- Pierre Poilievre, a 40-year-old career politician known for his combative style and for being an advocate of limited government.
- MP Erin O’Toole, 46, a former military officer and lawyer who also ran in the 2017 leadership race.
- Alberta-based Rick Peterson, who placed 12th in 2017.
- Rookie Ontario MP Derek Sloan.
- Veteran Conservative organizer Richard Décarie.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
VW ordered to pay $196.5-million fine: German auto giant Volkswagen was hit with the record-setting Canadian fine after pleading guilty to all 60 charges in an emissions-cheating scandal. Despite the record figure, it’s still short of the $265-million it could have been forced to pay.
Day 3 of Meng proceedings: Justice Heather Holmes said this country needs to be wary of sending someone to face trial in circumstances that Canadians would find objectionable. While Holmes didn’t say the U.S. extradition request is objectionable, she raised the possibility that a case like this one might be.
Top UN court rules on Rohingya measures: The International Court of Justice has ordered Myanmar to take sweeping provisional measures to protect its Muslim Rohingya population and avoid acts that could constitute genocide.
Jeff Bezos’s phone said to have been hacked: Experts say the Amazon billionaire’s phone was compromised after receiving a file from an account used by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The UN experts are calling for an “immediate investigation.”
Virus fears keep world stocks in the red: World shares fell on Thursday, led by the biggest decline in Chinese stocks in more than eight months, as concern mounted about the spread of a deadly virus in China. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.22 per cent around 6:10 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX fell 0.25 per cent and France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.17 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.98 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.75 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended down 1.52 per cent. The Canadian dollar was trading just below 76 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Hey OSC: Can you spare $100-million?
Joseph Groia: “Do most Ontarians know that there is more than $100-million of public money sitting in a bank account at the Ontario Securities Commission just waiting to be spent on health care, education or legal aid?” Groia, a securities lawyer, was the director of enforcement at OSC from 1987-1990.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
CBC’s changes to The National, and its views on Netflix partnerships
The four-anchor format at The National, adopted in 2017 after the departure of Peter Mansbridge, is being scrapped after negative audience feedback. Adrienne Arsenault and Andrew Chang will now serve as the official co-hosts, with Ian Hanomansing hosting on Fridays and Sundays. Rosemary Barton will become the chief political correspondent of CBC News.
On the streaming front, CBC’s president and CEO said the network remains open to production partnerships with Netflix. Catherine Tait said she “was misquoted” in an October Financial Post report which claimed the broadcaster “will no longer work” with Netflix.
MOMENT IN TIME
Guy Paul Morin’s murder conviction is overturned
Jan 23, 1995: On this day in 1995, Guy Paul Morin’s first-degree murder conviction was overturned after he spent 10 years (and 18 months in jail) fighting the case against him. Mr. Morin was the neighbour of nine-year-old Christine Jessop, who was slain on or after Oct. 3, 1984, and charged with her death. He was acquitted in his first trial but Crown prosecutors appealed all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Morin stood trial again and was convicted. This miscarriage of justice let to an inquiry into the systemic failings in the administration of justice in Ontario. The root cause of this failure was a phenomenon known as “tunnel vision,” which the inquiry said was the “single-minded and overly narrow focus on one theory” for the crime. The tunnel vision was aided by failings of the Centre of Forensic Sciences in the presentation of evidence, unreliable witness testimony and the use of jailhouse informants. Improvements in DNA testing led to Morin’s conviction being overturned, and he received $1.25-million and a public apology, but the inquiry concluded that “an innocent man was arrested, stigmatized, imprisoned.” – Graeme Harris