Health Canada is on track to approve the first COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December, but the federal government cannot yet say when Canadians will start getting their shots because of uncertainty around delivery and distribution. The hope, officials say, is for three million Canadians to get vaccines by the end of March.
The issue has fuelled an increasingly heated debate in Ottawa, as the United States and Britain introduced plans with earlier start dates. Opposition parties have accused the government of failing to put a plan in place, while the Liberals insist Canada is one of the best positioned countries to receive vaccines.
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MPs block public inquiry into Canada’s endorsement of deadly 737 Max
On Thursday, Liberal and Conservative MPs blocked a plea for a public inquiry from relatives of the Canadians who died in last year’s Boeing 737 Max crash in Ethiopia, dealing a blow to the families’ attempts to get answers about the tragedy and Canada’s oversight of the plane. The motion was voted down 9-2, with only NDP MP Taylor Bachrach and Bloc Québécois MP Xavier Barsalou-Duval voting in favour.
With the motion defeated, serious questions remain about the safety of the 737 Max — which have been unanswered at the committee — even as the federal government appears poised to clear a revamped version of the plane to fly in January.
Consecutive parole ineligibility periods are unconstitutional, Quebec court rules
Gunman Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, killed six worshippers at the Grand Mosque of Quebec City in 2017, committing one of Canada’s most notorious hate crimes. In 2019, he was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 40 years. But Quebec’s top court has now struck down this sentence as cruel and unusual, allowing Bissonnette to apply for parole after 25 years. The ruling also sets up a potential clash over core principles of Canadian criminal justice at the Supreme Court.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ontario not loosening restrictions soon: While Ontario appears to be flattening its curve, the province isn’t rushing to loosen restrictions that came into effect earlier this week. Public-health experts also recommend offering sick pay to workers who don’t have paid sick days so they could comply with health guidelines without the fear of losing income.
Ontario introduces new higher-education funding model: The province is unveiling a funding model for postsecondary institutions that will tie it more to labour-market needs. But it won’t be implemented for another two years, as schools are still handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
B.C. unveils new cabinet: The BC NDP won a majority after running a snap election in October. Now, Premier John Horgan has introduced a new 20-member cabinet, ending the government’s caretaker mode as the province faces a rapidly surging COVID-19 case count.
Ancient water acquired: Ingenium, the Crown corporation that runs Canada’s national science museums, has acquired a bottle of billion-year-old water. Through analysis, the water could tell stories about climate change and humankind’s impact on the environment.
Prestigious theatre prize winner announced: Irish and Ntlakapamux playwright Tara Beagan is this year’s winner of the $100,000 Siminovitch Prize, the most lucrative award in Canadian theatre. Her work often addresses the systemic perpetuation of violence against Indigenous women and girls.
World stocks head for record month: World stocks remained on course for their best month on record Friday as recent vaccine progress, Joe Biden’s U.S. presidential election win, hopes for further stimulus, a commodity surge and a weak U.S. dollar all lifted spirits. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.52 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.11 per cent and 0.33 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.40 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.28 per cent. Wall Street futures were firmer ahead of a shortened session. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.97 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Overriding the provinces on COVID-19 would cause long-term harm to Canada
Mike Medeiros, Daniel Béland and André Lecours: “We believe that most public-health experts who have proposed uniform national measures have done so because they are concerned by the public-health situation. Yet, in the present context, important realities of Canada’s federal system need to be highlighted.”
Buyers’ remorse: Amid Black Friday sales, do you know how online shopping hurts the planet?
Maddy Ewing: “It is increasingly being taken for granted that, once we click “buy” on a new pair of sneakers, they should arrive at our door quickly. But we’re not thinking nearly as much about the environmental impact of that delivery – specifically, how far it had to go and how quickly it had to get there.”
The hollow victory of Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s betrayer-in-chief
Doug Saunders: “If there were indeed hints at Ms. Lam’s current trajectory in her history, they were ultimately in her past as an unquestioning colonial administrator. The tragedy of Carrie Lam is not that she has failed, but that she has been very successful at a job whose only real requirement is to please whichever distant ruler wields the real power.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
The Globe’s 2020 shop-local holiday gift guide: 55 Canadian small businesses you can support this season
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that home is where the heart is, and supporting small businesses is essential to seeing Canadian communities thrive. For the 2020 edition of our gift guide, Randi Bergman has compiled province-by-province tips for stylish presents plus inspired picks from our northern territories.
MOMENT IN TIME: Nov. 27, 1948
Undefeated Calgary Stampeders win their first Grey Cup
Having ridden roughshod over the rest of the Western Interprovincial Football Union during their 12-0 regular season, it seemed only fitting that the Calgary Stampeders eliminated the Regina Roughriders in the playoffs to advance to the 1948 Grey Cup. That’s when the party really got going, with two train loads of fans accompanying the team to Toronto. The Big Smoke had rarely seen anything like it. Normie Kwong, then a 19-year-old Calgary halfback, said the fans “set a new standard for Grey Cup celebrations.” With pancake breakfasts being doled out on the steps of City Hall and chuck wagons roaming the streets, Grey Cup fever took over the Ontario capital. The game didn’t disappoint either. Playing the Ottawa Rough Riders at Varsity Stadium, the Stamps capitalized on a trick play on their way to a 12-7 victory to capture their first Grey Cup and become the CFL’s most recent team to have an undefeated season. And with the footballing formalities out of the way, the party resumed at the Royal York Hotel, where late Globe and Mail columnist Jim Coleman said the “gaudily caparisoned Calgary supporters were boisterous and noisy but well-behaved and courteously declined to ride their horses into the elevators.” Paul Attfield