The federal government’s fall economic update is expected to focus on immediate pandemic challenges, including new aid for hard-hit sectors such as retail, hospitality and tourism, while revealing a projected deficit that exceeds the record $343.2-billion announced in July.
A senior government official told The Globe and Mail Wednesday that Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s fiscal update will also provide a breakdown of pandemic-related spending to date, while setting aside billions for a future recovery plan that will be outlined in the 2021 budget.
Monday’s report will be the Liberal government’s first update of the federal bottom line since Ms. Freeland’s predecessor, Bill Morneau, released a fiscal “snapshot” in July.
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School shutdowns have put children up to eight months behind in reading, research indicates
The abrupt spring shutdown of in-class learning left young students up to eight months behind in reading, according to early research findings that suggest children could lose more ground without focused lessons this school year.
Further, the reading deficit was even more pronounced among children who were previously struggling, setting them behind almost a year, said George Georgiou, a professor in the department of educational psychology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
“Here is the challenge: If we don’t manage to get them to become at least average readers by the end of this school year, we should expect an overrepresentation of struggling readers in upper grades,” Prof. Georgiou said. “This means that basically children who struggle in reading will also be struggling in other areas of academic skills, such as mathematics, writing.”
Atlantic lobster stocks are booming and no one’s sure why
On the southwestern coast of Nova Scotia, tensions remain high as the regulated lobster season is set to begin in St. Mary’s Bay.
Violence among fishermen not seen for decades in Atlantic Canada erupted this fall after Sipekne’katik First Nation established a fishery in September, operating outside the seasonal restrictions imposed by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Other First Nations followed arguing their new fisheries are legal. Non-Indigenous fishing groups say that unless Indigenous harvesters follow the same rules as everyone else, “Canada’s fishery will be destroyed.”
But contrary to expectations, the fishery has shown few, if any, signs of distress. Nobody is quite sure why lobster stocks have held up so well, nor how long the good times can last. This uncertainty is stoking tensions at a moment when First Nations are poised to become major players in the East Coast fishing industry through the pending acquisition of Clearwater Seafoods, the country’s largest holder of commercial shellfish licences and quotas.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Toronto island airport terminal owner sues Porter Airlines: The legal battle at Toronto’s island airport is heating up as the terminal’s owner and operator has filed a countersuit against Porter Airlines Inc., alleging the carrier has wrongfully refused to pay fees during its pandemic-related shutdown.
OPG plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040: Ontario Power Generation will announce this morning its plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, joining a small but growing number of utilities across North America that have made formal commitments.
The duality of the brawling aesthete and the cheerful cheat was the crux of Maradona’s appeal: In his day – and he had more than a few of them – Mr. Maradona could not be touched. Few athletes have had such mastery of their craft. It was everything else in life that Mr. Maradona had a tough time figuring out.
Review slams Montreal church’s handling of pedophile priest: Montreal’s archdiocese did little to address complaints against a pedophile priest and seemed more interested in protecting his reputation than his victims, according to an independent review released yesterday.
World shares hover near record levels: European shares were mixed on Thursday and world shares held near record highs after a strong Asian session in which market optimism around COVID-19 vaccines, Joe Biden’s U.S. presidential election win and hopes for further stimulus outweighed worsening U.S. data. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.62 per cent. France’s CAC 40 slid 0.14 per cent. Germany’s DAX was flat. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.91 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.56 per cent. U.S. markets are closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.87 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Lawrence Martin: “Mr. Biden is not one to be jammed. He has seen seven different administrations come and go. It imbues him with perspective. He knows where the landmines are and is trying to build a well-seasoned and highly qualified team to avoid them. If they’re Washington insiders, so be it.”
Konrad Yakabuski: “What neither Mr. Biden nor Mr. Blinken will do is bluff; after all, Mr. Obama’s legacy remains marred by the moment when Mr. al-Assad called his. Syria remains his greatest foreign policy failure and one Mr. Blinken will seek above all to avoid repeating. He knows that, if Mr. Trump was able to so easily sap the trust of American allies, it was in part because that trust had already been rattled before he took office.”
Editorial Board: So why did Mr. Trudeau alarm the population and arm the opposition? It’s hard to explain, unless you look at the debate over Canada’s ability to quickly get its hands on a new vaccine as a distraction from a more pressing issue: Ottawa’s glaring lack of a plan to distribute and administer those millions of doses.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Chris Hadfield’s guide to a better life on Earth
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has been learning about how to build a better Earth. Join The Globe and Mail and Mr. Hadfield in a conversation about climate and sustainability on Thursday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET via Facebook live. Send in your questions for Canada’s favourite astronaut.
MOMENT IN TIME: NOV. 26, 1917
NHL founded at Montreal’s Windsor Hotel
By November of 1917, Canada’s National Hockey Association was in trouble. Young players had joined the war effort. The remaining were old and slow. Clubs were underfinanced. And crowds stayed away. A headline in The Globe newspaper declared, “Pro hockey on last legs.” And just as deleterious was the obstreperous owner of the NHA’s Toronto Blueshirts, Eddie Livingstone. Change was needed, so the NHA’s directors (but not Livingstone), representing the Montreal Wanderers, Montreal Canadiens, Quebec Bulldogs and Ottawa Senators, gathered at a restaurant in Montreal’s posh Windsor Hotel. They voted to suspend the NHA and immediately formed the National Hockey League, which came into existence on this day in 1917. The sleight of hand left Livingstone shut out. Frank Calder was elected NHL president, with an annual salary of $800. The dominoes fell fast. The Quebec team withdrew, its players dispersed, and the franchise given to the Toronto Arena Company. Tommy Gorman, Ottawa’s manager and co-owner, is said to have told Montreal Herald sports writer Elmer Ferguson why they wanted a rebirth without the stubborn Livingstone. “Without him, we can get down to the business of making money.” And less than a month later, the first game in NHL history was played. Philip King