Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not committed to keeping Bill Morneau as Finance Minister as the two have clashed over their views on how to revive the Canadian economy in the wake of the pandemic, sources say.
Trudeau is uncertain about whether Morneau is the best fit to steer Canada’s postpandemic economic recovery, and is considering a cabinet remake before the fall session of Parliament. Sources say the two men have disagreed on key aspects of the government’s COVID-19 economic response, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and wage subsidies. The Prime Minister’s Office was also taken by surprise by Morneau’s admission that he recently repaid $41,000 in expenses for trips he and his family took for WE Charity.
Since the start of the pandemic, sources say Trudeau has come to rely on Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, for informal policy advice. The Prime Minister’s office had no comment of Carney’s advisory role, and Morneau’s office says the Finance Minister is still committed to the job.
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Hong Kong police raid newsroom, arrest media tycoon Jimmy Lai under Beijing’s national security law
Forty days after Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong, police raided a newspaper headquarters and arrested prominent democracy advocates, including politician Agnes Chow and media tycoon Jimmy Lai. Lai is the billionaire majority owner of Next Digital media company and has provoked Beijing with past criticism of the Communist Party.
Hong Kong’s police denied any political motive for the arrests, saying they were related to criminal acts and not an attack on the news media. However, democracy advocates have criticized the arrests as attacks on the freedom of the press as well as Hong Kong democracy.
Read more on Hong Kong:
Lebanon’s government resigns amid widespread public anger over Beirut explosion
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced yesterday that he and his government would be stepping down in response to public outrage after last week’s catastrophic explosion in Beirut. The explosion has intensified calls for reform from Lebanese people who are tired of the corruption that they say is rampant in their government.
Diab’s resignation risks starting a dragged-out process to find a new cabinet and implement reform. Diab had wanted to stay on for two more months to organize elections, but pressure within his party forced him out. He has since blamed corrupt politicians for the crisis facing Lebanon.
There have been mass protests in the country since October demanding the removal of the entire sectarian-based leadership. With Diab’s government gone, it seems likely that the same ruling factions will be fighting for power.
Read more on Lebanon:
- Lebanese refugee claims in Canada surge in first three months of 2020
- Ottawa announces additional humanitarian aid for Lebanon
DISPATCH FROM GLOBE CLIMATE
This week’s Globe Climate newsletter dives into recent Arctic stories, which have chronicled a turning point in the region. Most notably, The Globe’s science reporter Ivan Semeniuk wrote about the collapse of Canada’s last intact ice shelf, as it lost over 40 per cent of its total surface area.
Canada’s Arctic is also experiencing widespread microplastics contamination, while climate change is disappearing summer sea ice and creating massive swells that threaten coastal communities and shipping traffic.
Want to dive into more stories about the environment, climate, energy and resources? Sign up for our Globe Climate newsletter.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Understaffing turned seniors’ homes into COVID-19 danger zones, health workers say: The coronavirus pandemic exposed pre-existing gaps in long-term care home staffing. Health workers say issues with understaffing only served to worsen the impact of COVID-19 on seniors and staff, and are calling on the government to make systemic changes.
Russia registers first COVID-19 vaccine: President Vladimir Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and has proven efficient, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus. However, scientists at home and abroad have been sounding the alarm that the rush to start using the vaccine before Phase 3 trials — which normally last for months and involve thousands of people — could backfire.
Protester dies in clashes after presidential vote in Belarus: Belarusians are protesting the re-election of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, which the opposition as well as international observers have called a sham. At least one protester has died as police have initiated a brutal crackdown.
WHO decries ‘vast global gap’ in coronavirus funds: The World Health Organization has only 10 per cent of the funds it needs to fight the pandemic, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday. For vaccines alone, the organization will need more than US$100-billion and the WHO is calling on the international community to commit greater funds.
Gunshot victim files suit against Canadian Tire over rifle sale: Cameron Rose, a B.C. hiker who was shot several times on a trail in 2017, is suing Canadian Tire for being negligent in its sale of a firearm to Peter Kampos. Rose alleges that Canadian Tire failed to ensure that Kampos was legally permitted to buy a TNW Aero Survivial Rifle from its store in Terrace, B.C.
World stocks rise, markets bet on U.S. Congress stimulus deal: World stocks inched to 5-1/2 month highs on Tuesday, lifted by bets a U.S. fiscal stimulus package will be reached and by signs China-U.S. tensions have eased ahead of a crucial round of trade talks. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 2.28 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 2.66 per cent and 2.85 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei advanced 1.88 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.11 per cent. New York futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.22 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Clear back-to-school guidelines are needed to ease parental angst
André Picard: “We are concerned – obsessed, even – with making schools safe, and that’s good. But we have to concern ourselves with what children will be doing if they’re not in school. Very few of them will be bubble-wrapped in the basement. Nor should they be. But they can and should be learning and growing in social bubbles at school.”
Yes, your kids should go back to school. Yes, it can be done safely
The Editorial Board: “It will not be perfect. There will be outbreaks. But Canada has successfully reduced its rate of transmission by following the evolving science and the advice of public-health experts. This is not the time to stop. Based on everything we currently know about COVID-19 and about the effects of the lockdown on children, sending kids back to school this fall is the right thing to do.”
Amid Governor-General controversy, let’s reform viceregal appointments
John Fraser, D. Michael Jackson and Michael Valpy: “Should the governor-general decide to resign under pressure, as happened in Australia in 2003, some hastily appointed successor now being mooted among Ottawa insiders is not the way to go. With the chief justice filling in as administrator, there should be a time-out to find a suitable incumbent through a proper process – and to allow the beleaguered office of the governor-general to realign and prepare for someone new.”
Cold War rhetoric has no place in the reality of the U.S.-China feud
Jeremy Kinsman: “If the U.S. were to restore its tradition of pragmatic multilateralist leadership, Western democracies would surely come together to demand fairness, reciprocity and more transparency from China. But they would certainly still need to recognize the reality of China’s unprecedented rise and success.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
How do you help kids play by themselves?
It takes some effort and advance planning on your part and you might need to call on your reserves of patience, but if you start small, support them and keep insisting, most kids can learn to love their independent time.
MOMENT IN TIME: August 11, 1934
First prisoners arrive at Alcatraz
The imposing scrap of rock off the coast of San Francisco didn’t have many visitors until 1934, when it became the long-term home for roughly 1,500 prisoners at the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. Over the next three decades, the maximum-security prison would house some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Doc Barker and one of Barker’s associates, Canadian-born Alvin Karpis. The island prison was known for its impenetrability, but three men did manage to break free in 1962, a getaway chronicled in the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz. The prison was closed in 1963 and turned into a museum, and in 1969, the public was reminded that the island was once part of the traditional lands of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. Dozens of Native Americans, a group known as Indians of All Tribes, began a two-year occupation to protest the U.S. government’s treatment of Indigenous peoples and demanded the deed to Alcatraz Island. While not ultimately successful, the occupation helped bring Indigenous issues into the American mainstream. Josie Kao