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Esi Edugyan won her second Giller Prize, this time for Washington Black
Edugyan has become just the third author to win the prestigious $100,000 Canadian literary prize two times, her first in 2011 for Half Blood Blues. Washington Black, which was shortlisted but failed to win the Writers' Trust fiction prize and the Man Booker Prize, is a historical coming-of-age tale about a boy born into slavery on a plantation in Barbados who goes on to much more in the world. Edugyan joins M.G. Vassanji (in 1994 and 2003) and Alice Munro (1998 and 2004) in the limited two-win company, and is the first to win for consecutive novels.
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Quebec plans to match Ontario’s promised corporate tax cut
“We’ll follow. We have to be competitive,” Premier François Legault said (for subscribers). Doug Ford’s government in Ontario has vowed to slash its corporate tax rate – already the lowest in the country – from 11.5 per cent to 10.5 per cent. Quebec’s rate currently sits at 11.7. Legault’s remarks come just ahead of tomorrow’s federal fall economic statement. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to reveal his government’s response to recent U.S. corporate tax cuts that have effectively erased Canada’s competitive advantage. Morneau has signalled there won’t be any cuts to federal corporate rates, but new tax breaks for business investment are a possibility.
A judge has taken the extraordinary step of denouncing the Ontario government over court delays
The Superior Court facility in Brampton, northwest of Toronto, “has now reached the breaking point,” Regional Senior Justice Peter Daley said. Cases there often have to be transferred to courthouses in cities as far as 75 kilometres away, a major challenge for those relying on public transit. On top of that, criminal cases are perpetually in danger of being thrown out for unconstitutional delay. “The Ontario government past and present is either willfully blind to the erosion of trust … or it believes that spending on this courthouse will not result in more votes. Either way, the government’s inaction is unconscionable,” Justice Daley said.
Toronto police have charged six St. Michael’s students with sexual assault
The boys – two aged 14 and four aged 15 – were each charged with assault, gang sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon. They have been released on bail, their names not released since all are youth. It was the latest development in a case that first broke last week when a video of the alleged assault surfaced on social media.
The private all-boys school has since expelled eight students and suspended another in connection to two videos depicting an alleged assault and sexual assault. Since then, two other incidents – a second alleged assault and a second alleged sexual assault – have been reported to police, who are investigating all four alleged incidents. St. Michael’s has announced an internal probe into the student culture.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested for alleged financial misconduct
He was one of the best known figures in the auto industry, hailed for rescuing Nissan from close to bankruptcy. Now Ghosn is suffering a swift fall from grace as the Japanese automaker revealed he used company funds for personal use and under-reported his earnings (for subscribers). Japanese media said Ghosn had reported about 10-billion yen (US$88.9-million) of annual compensation as about 5-billion yen for several years. Nissan is set to remove him as chairman later this week. France moved on Tuesday to oust Ghosn from the helm of Renault, but sought to defend the carmaker’s alliance with Nissan.
Eric Reguly says the accusations raise questions about the fate of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, all companies where Ghosn holds an executive position: “The auto industry is facing upheaval like never before as the traditional car makers are buffeted by companies such as Tesla and Uber – which threaten sales – and demands from governments everywhere for less congestion and cleaner air. How Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi … will meet these challenges without the [man] who essentially created them is an open question.” (for subscribers)
Roy Halladay is among the candidates on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot
The former Toronto Blue Jays great, who died piloting a plane last year, is one of 20 new candidates eligible for selection into Cooperstown next year (for subscribers). Halladay pitched stellar ball over the course of some middling Jays years, including winning a Cy Young Award in 2003. He picked up that honour again with Philadelphia in 2010, finishing his career with a 203-105 record and a 3.38 earned run average. The Hall of Fame selections, based on votes from baseball writers, will be announced in January.
Tech worries ripple through world markets
World stock markets fell on Tuesday as worries over softening demand for the iPhone prompted a tech stock selloff across the globe. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE was down 0.56 per cent around 6:45 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX fell 1.10 per cent. France’s CAC 40 was off 1.02 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.09 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.02 per cent. Wall Street futures were also lower. Crude prices were weaker on supply concerns. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.86 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Lab monkeys deserve retirement – not death
“What happens when lab monkeys survive? Once their contributions to science are made, what happens to monkeys ravaged by experimentation who somehow manage to live? Unlike the fairy-tale endings of the retired circus elephants and performing orcas sent to sanctuaries to live out their days, the fate for Canada’s lab monkeys does not include such a happily ever after. For beings considered enough like us to be effective in designing and testing human medicines, but enough unlike us to be deemed ethical to test upon, the thanks Canadian lab monkeys get for their sacrifice is not a well-earned retirement. It’s death.” – Jessica Scott-Reid, freelance writer and animal advocate
Dystopian science-fiction is trying to tell us something
“If truth is stranger than fiction – and in the year 2018, who would argue otherwise? – there has to be a moment when the baton is passed: when fiction says to a suddenly surreal real world, ‘This is getting too freaky for me. I’m handing things off.’ Last week may have been just such a moment. … Stan Lee, inventor of such Marvel Comics characters as Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, was 95. His heroes minted his success: Generations of kids identified with, and shelled out for, merch and movies about Black Panther, Thor, the Human Torch and Iron Man. Alas, today’s crop of world leaders seems to have drawn inspiration from Lee’s villains instead. It would not be hard to cast a real-life Kingpin, the glowering, crooked New York business magnate with a dandyish streak and an inferiority complex.” – Globe editorial
Do the right thing: Why business should fight for trust in the Age of Trump
“...questions [are] now surfacing from within the business community, spawned by the behaviour of the American President: Why do I need to maintain a healthy relationship with the news media? Why can’t I have my own alternative facts? Why do I need to maintain a rational discourse with our stakeholders (versus fighting to win)? If it’s Donald Trump’s world and we are just living in it, don’t we need to play by his rules? It is absurd to think we’ve come to this. The answer – unequivocally – is no. But it goes beyond the fact that behaving like Trump is fundamentally the wrong thing to do. This broken system presents an opportunity (and I would argue an obligation) for business and the leaders of business to step forward and lead.” – David Ryan, EVP & Corporate National Practice Leader for Edelman Canada
Unpaid caregivers do a lot of heavy lifting – and they deserve more support
“Canada has an expansive (and expensive) sickness care system. With hundreds of thousands of health-care workers toiling every day in clinics, home care, hospitals and long-term care facilities, we tend to forget that a lot of the heavy lifting – literally and figuratively – is done by unpaid caregivers. According to Statistics Canada, about 2.2 million Canadians receive formal home care. Stats Can also reports that 8.1 million Canadians are providing some level of care to a loved one, suggesting that the majority of care, especially of seniors, is being done on an informal basis.” – André Picard
MOMENT IN TIME
Antonine Maillet wins prestigious Prix Goncourt
Nov. 20, 1979: Since 1903, the Prix Goncourt has been awarded in France to “the best and most imaginative prose work of the year.” Winners include Marcel Proust (1919) and Simone de Beauvoir (1954). In 1979, for the first time, the prize was awarded to a non-European: Antonine Maillet, an Acadian writer, born in tiny Bouctouche, N.B., in 1929. Her epic novel, Pélagie-la-Charrette, is set against le Grand Dérangement – the Great Disruption. In 1755, the British exiled French settlers from the Maritime colonies. Farms were torched, families separated; thousands were forcibly relocated down the east coast. Fifteen years later, Maillet’s heroine, Pélagie, embarks on a 10-year trek by oxcart from Georgia back to Acadia. “Exile is a hard chapter in the book of History. Unless one turns the page,” the novel states (in English translation). “I have avenged my ancestors,” Maillet said after publishing the masterpiece. The Prix Goncourt brought her international attention. “A new Canadian heroine … has emerged as a symbol and champion of the French-speaking minority’s determination to survive on an English-speaking continent,” began a New York Times article. Ms. Maillet won the prize at a heightened time in Anglo-Franco relations in Canada, during the run-up to the May, 1980, referendum on Quebec separation. – Marsha Lederman