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Huawei Canada has put together a legal agreement between the company and the federal government that outlines a “no-backdoor and no-spying” pledge as the Chinese telecom giant tries to avoid being banned from Canada’s 5G mobile network system.

The document, obtained by The Globe and Mail, details a strict process to prove the equipment does not contain secret “backdoors” that allow outside parties to access the networks or put in malware. It also promises to reject requests for information from Chinese security agencies.

However, the document does not say what would happen if the company breaks the agreement and does not seem to include parent company Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in Shenzhen.

More coverage:

Inside Huawei’s campaign to influence Canadian public opinion

Top Huawei executives had close ties to obscure company at centre of U.S. criminal case

U.S. charges five Chinese citizens in global hacking campaign

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Various Huawei smartphones display models are shown at a Fido store in Vancouver on Dec. 11, 2018. Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and MailRafal Gerszak

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B.C. moves to dramatically increase access to safe alternatives to illicit drugs

In an effort to combat record overdose deaths, British Columbia will allow registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses to prescribe pharmaceutical alternatives to illicit drugs for even those British Columbians who use them occasionally.

“We know the pandemic has only made the street drug supply in B.C. more toxic than ever, putting people who use drugs at extremely high risk for overdose,” Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry said in a statement. “Giving physicians and nurse practitioners the ability to prescribe safer pharmaceutical alternatives has been critical to saving lives and linking more people to treatment and other health and social services.”

The move by the province is its most significant effort, so far, to tackle the contaminated illicit drug supply responsible for the majority of about 6,000 overdose deaths since 2016, the year a public-health emergency was declared.

U of T law school under fire for opting not to hire scholar after pressure from sitting judge

The University of Toronto’s law school is being denounced after it rescinded a job offer to fill the director position of its International Human Rights Law Program.

Two former directors of the program allege that Valentina Azarova accepted the job, but it was later taken away by dean Edward Iacobucci after he was contacted by a federal judge who pushed Iacobucci not to hire Azarova because of her scholarship on Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

In an e-mail to Iacobucci, the former directors accuse the federal judge of “improper external interference” and say the dean’s office has “caved to political pressure.” The law school’s hiring committee chair and the program’s advisory board have resigned from their positions in protest and the school has received heavy criticism from many international legal scholars for its decision.

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Officials raise alarm of second wave as Queen’s students throw parties: Queen’s University, like many Canadian universities, has moved most of its teaching online, but thousands of students have still returned to shared houses and apartments leading to wild parties in the student-populated area near the Kingston, Ont., campus. These large gatherings are raising concerns among Kingston residents and pushing the university, the city and local health officials to figure out how to respond and curb a second wave of COVID-19.

How a Kennedy became a ‘super-spreader’ of hoaxes on COVID-19, vaccines, 5G and more: In 2014, no one was listening to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Despite being the nephew of a U.S. president and part of America’s most famous family, Kennedy couldn’t get senators to take his concerns about vaccines seriously. Now, the anti-vaxxer has gained a flood of support on social media and has become one of the world’s top “super-spreaders” of medical misinformation.

Family outraged by Crown’s decision to downgrade charges in death of Anishinaabe woman: The family of an Anishinaabe woman who died after she was hit by a metal trailer hitch thrown from a moving car, say they are shocked and outraged that Thunder Bay’s district Crown attorney asked an Ontario court to downgrade the murder charge to manslaughter from second-degree murder. The family also says they were not told the trial date was changed and is now a judge-only trial instead of a jury trial.

Lawsuit alleges hockey league conspiracy: A proposed class-action lawsuit against a number of hockey organizations, including the National Hockey League, the Canadian Hockey League and Hockey Canada, says that tens of thousands of aspiring hockey players are owed about $825-million. The pending suit alleges the defendants created a system of leagues through which the overwhelming majority of players never reach the elite professional level and instead spend years playing for very small sums of money to the financial benefit of their teams.


Eyes on central banks in England, Japan: Asian shares snapped a five-day winning streak on Thursday after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates low for a long time but stopped short of offering more stimulus. In London, the blue-chip FTSE 100 and the mid-cap FTSE 250 were down 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively, ahead of a Bank of England meeting where stimulus measures could be announced. Tech stocks shed 1.6% after U.S. President Donald Trump had warned China’s ByteDance should not keep control of the U.S. operations of social media platform TikTok, a move that had also seen Chinese heavyweight Alibaba drop more than 4% overnight. Banks, automakers and miners were the biggest sectoral fallers though, all dropping as much as 2%. Volkswagen, Renault and PSA Group fell between 2.5% and 3% after industry data showed European car sales fell by 17.6% in August.


John Ibbitson: “In Canada, there is nothing so hypocritical as the so-called economic union. So many regulations, prohibitions and restrictions clog the flow of goods and workers between provinces that a business in British Columbia can sell its product more easily to Washington than Alberta, or in Ontario to Europe than Quebec. While everyone talks about dismantling these barriers, few are willing to do anything about them.”

Editorial Board: “If government leaders took anything away from the first wave of the pandemic, it has to be that the COVID-19 virus can be contained, but only through smart and aggressive measures. And yet at the moment they are trapped in a limbo of their own making, hoping that the reopening they have permitted – and which the public desperately wants, and the economy desperately needs – won’t backfire and force them to retrace their steps.”

Stephen Gordon and Christopher Ragan: “Past debates about the bank’s mandate have been quiet affairs. Most discussions took place behind closed doors, either at the Bank of Canada or inside the federal Department of Finance. As a result, previous mandate renewals have involved little in the way of public engagement and debate. To its credit, the bank is now making a more determined effort to promote public debate for the upcoming mandate renewal.”


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tgamBrian Gable/The Globe and Mail


New ROM exhibition tracks influence of Indian fabrics as they moved around the world

A new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum tracks the influence of Indian fabrics as they travelled around the world. From Thailand to Iran, Sri Lanka to Britain, The Cloth that Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cotton follows chintz, the textile that made India famous.


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Brian Mulroney, accompanied by his wife Mila, elected Prime Minister in September 1984, Montreal, Canada.Photo by PONO PRESSE INTERNATIONALE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Brian Mulroney is sworn in as Canada’s 18th Prime Minister

On this day 36 years ago, Brian Mulroney was sworn in as Canada’s 18th Prime Minister, succeeding Liberal John Turner.

In the 1984 federal election, the former Montreal lawyer and businessman won every province and territory and captured more than 50 per cent of the vote for the first time since 1958. He also increased Progressive Conservative Party seats by 111 to 211, the largest number of seats won by any party in Canadian history.

In his tenure from 1984 to 1993, Mulroney introduced major economic reforms such as the landmark Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and the Goods and Services Tax. He made environmental protection a key focus of his government and, in foreign affairs, took a strong stand against apartheid.

Significantly, Mulroney’s tenure was marked by his efforts to implement constitutional reform and recognize Quebec as a distinct society through the Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord. While both accords were defeated, they sparked the revival of Quebec separatism in Canada.

Facing dipping approval ratings in February of 1993, Mulroney announced his retirement from politics and was replaced as prime minister by then-defence minister Kim Campbell. Meredith Wilson-Smith

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