These are the top stories:
Huawei plans to relocate its research centre from the U.S. to Canada
Founder Ren Zhengfei tells The Globe that the Chinese tech giant will look to expand its Canadian operations as it combats a Trump administration that he says wants to “crush” Huawei.
Ren also wants to build new factory capacity in Europe to make 5G equipment there as part of an effort to ease fears that the company’s technology could be used as a spying tool by China.
He also spoke about the case of his daughter, Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. He accused the U.S. of using her as a political “pawn,” adding: “I think Canada should ask Trump to reimburse its losses.”
Two Canadians have been detained by China for a year in what some view as retaliation by China for the arrest of Meng. John Manley, a former Liberal deputy prime minister, said Canada should swap Meng for the Canadians in a “prisoner exchange.” Former China envoy David Mulroney said that idea would legitimize Beijing’s “hostage diplomacy” tactics.
In other China news, Beijing barred U.S. military ships and aircraft from Hong Kong and imposed sanctions on American non-government organizations. The measures come in response to U.S. legislation supporting protests in Hong Kong.
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Personal insolvencies in Canada have hit their highest level in a decade
There were 13,200 insolvencies in October, the top monthly figure since the financial crisis and a 13.4-per-cent increase from 2018. It’s an issue that spares no province, with each one seeing an increase over the past year compared with the previous 12-month period.
The numbers suggest many households are struggling to adapt to slightly higher interest rates after a decade of piling on debt. About 15 cents of every after-tax dollar is going toward debt servicing.
One expert says he suspects the spike is an after-effect of Canada’s housing boom. “My clients are spending a massive proportion of their after-tax income to put a roof over their head,” said Scott Terrio, who works at a firm that assists those going through insolvencies.
NATO leaders are set to meet today amid tensions over Syria and defence spending
It was supposed to be a demonstration of solidarity. Instead, the London summit comes as the organization struggles to address its present and future 70 years after its founding.
Correspondent Mark MacKinnon writes: “NATO’s unity, already cracked by three years of U.S. President Donald Trump’s disdain for the alliance, has been further challenged in recent months by an increasingly rogue Turkey, as well as by French President Emmanuel Macron’s assertion that the 29-member group is ‘experiencing brain death’ and is unable to meet the challenges it now faces.”
Trans Mountain is set to start construction on the first section of its pipeline expansion
Construction for the long-delayed project will begin in the next couple weeks, with crews laying the first pipes near Edmonton. The progress could help ease an area of friction between Alberta and the federal government, which bought Trans Mountain last year.
The Crown corporation recently announced that more than 2,000 contractors have been hired, a move flagged by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney as an important development.
While Ottawa reapproved the project in the summer after further consultations, several First Nations have launched a fresh legal challenge over claims that those consultations were inadequate.
Premiers have laid out their demands for the federal government
Increased health-care funding, an opt-out provision on pharmacare and better aid for provinces facing economic hardship are among the requests detailed by Canada’s 13 premiers. The joint statement made no mention of the federal carbon tax or pipelines, both of which are areas of disagreement for the premiers.
Here’s John Ibbitson’s view: “as the premiers once again demonstrated, the provinces run this country. The political elites in Ottawa find this intolerable. But that doesn’t make it any less true.”
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Vancouver tax proposal sparks backlash: A 9-per-cent tax increase is being floated to cover the city’s 2020 budget, a hike that would cost $150 for the median residence and $270 for the median business. Councillors are responding by saying they will look for ways to cut costs.
A call for tougher vaping rules: Toronto Public Health is urging the federal and provincial governments to ban the sale of e-cigarette flavours in stores minors can access, including gas stations. It also wants to see an end to vaping ads in most public places, from transit shelters to malls.
Labour unrest in Alberta: Union leaders are warning of strikes as they criticized the United Conservative Party government over its threat that thousands of jobs could be eliminated. Kenney is urging unions to negotiate pay cuts as a way to ease the impact of possible layoffs.
HBC board rejects Catalyst proposal: Hudson’s Bay Co.'s board says Catalyst Capital’s $2-billion proposal to take the retailer private wouldn’t be able to secure enough support from shareholders. That’s because a group led by HBC executive chairman Richard Baker controls the majority stake and has put forward its own takeover bid.
European shares attempt recovery as new trade war front opens: European shares opened higher on Tuesday, attempting to claw their way back from three days of falls though the mood remained gloomy after U.S. President Donald Trump showed he was ready to open new trade war fronts despite signs of economic damage. Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.6 per cent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.2 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.3 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 and the Paris CAC 40 were down by between 0.6 and 1 per cent by about 5:30 a.m. ET, with Germany’s DAX up 0.4 per cent. New York futures were down. The Canadian dollar was above 75 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Bill Peters’s exit as Flames coach is not a watershed moment for hockey
Jashvina Shah: “You can’t pretend hockey will magically stop being racist. You can’t pretend it will magically stop being abusive. You can’t pretend it will magically become an environment where players and staff can speak out without fearing for their careers.” Jashvina Shah is a hockey reporter based in New York.
When journalists pay the ultimate price to tell the truth
Tom Nicholson: “Divided by age, gender and geography, Jan Kuciak and Daphne Caruana Galizia are often spoken of together these days. With Sunday’s announcement in Valletta that Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will resign in January – Slovakia’s PM Robert Fico having packed his bags in 2018 – the two journalists have landed something rare: a tangible blow against Europe’s business-as-usual politics.” Tom Nicholson was an investigative journalist in Slovakia for 20 years until 2018.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Holiday movie preview 2019: From Star Wars to Adam Sandler, and everything in between
As the year winds to a close, film editor Barry Hertz offers a rundown of what’s still to come. There are a pair of media films, including one about inner turmoil at Fox News featuring Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron. On the sequel front, there’s another Jumanji reboot plus Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And you won’t want to miss the Adam Sandler-starring Uncut Gems, which Hertz describes as a “134-minute panic attack disguised as a movie.”
MOMENT IN TIME
Agatha Christie goes missing
Dec. 3, 1926: The irony was lost on absolutely no one. When one of Britain’s most famous mystery writers kissed her sleeping daughter goodnight and then disappeared, the police launched a search that involved more than a thousand officers and even employed airplanes. Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was recruited and consulted a medium to find Christie, the creator of Hercule Poirot – but to no avail. Christie’s car was found outside the town of Guildford, southwest of London, near a spring called the Silent Pool. With the location’s long, enigmatic history of drownings, rumours quickly spread that the author had gone there to kill herself. She had not. Eleven days after she had driven off into the night, a banjo player at the Swan Hydro hotel in Harrogate recognized her from the countless front-page stories of the previous week. She had checked in under the name of her husband’s mistress, Theresa Neele – a ha, Captain Hastings! – and spent the week dancing and dining. She never spoke of her time in Harrogate and went on to write another 60 or so novels. As for her husband, Archie, she divorced him in 1928. Mystery solved. – Massimo Commanducci