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The International Monetary Fund said it expects “substantial further cooling” of the Canadian economy, and advised the federal and provincial governments to refrain from spending windfall revenues as the country teeters on the edge of recession.

In a report published on Wednesday, IMF staff predicted the Canadian economy will grow 1.5 per cent in 2023, down from a projected 3.3 per cent this year.

The economic outlook, however, could be “substantially worse” if inflation remains high and forces the Bank of Canada to keep raising interest rates, or the country’s key trading partners, particularly in the United States, fall into a deeper slump than anticipated, the IMF said.

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People shop for produce and seafood at the Granville Island Market in Vancouver, on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

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Opposition MPs plan to force investigation into ArriveCan’s $54-million cost

Conservative, Bloc Québécois and NDP MPs are planning to force a committee investigation into the $54-million cost of the ArriveCan app.

With all three opposition parties on board, the MPs have the numbers to win a vote even if the study is opposed by Liberal MPs.

Canadian tech leaders have been expressing outrage after The Globe and Mail reported that total spending on the ArriveCan app is on pace to reach in excess of $54-million this year. Two tech companies announced this week that they recreated clone versions of the app over the Thanksgiving weekend as a way of illustrating that the government overpaid.

Opposition parties plan to call representatives of the company that received the most contract-related work, GCstrategies, to testify. The Globe has reported that GCstrategies has fewer than five employees, no standalone office and is currently relying on more than 75 subcontractors to deliver on contracts with over a dozen federal government departments. Neither the company nor the government will identify these subcontractors, saying it is confidential third-party information.

CSIS alerted British intelligence that a trio of British schoolgirls were smuggled into Syria

Canada’s spy agency informed British intelligence within 48 hours of learning, in 2015, that an operative had smuggled three British schoolgirls into Syria to join the Islamic State, two sources say.

Scotland Yard was frantically searching for the missing teens in February, 2015, and was apparently unaware that they had been smuggled into Syria by the operative, Mohammed al-Rashed, a double agent who was working for both the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Islamic State.

The sources did not know whether the British agencies had passed the information on to police at Scotland Yard, who were dealing with the girls’ stricken families and handling media inquiries about the case.

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Also on our radar

Russia warns of WWIII as missiles target Ukrainian cities: Russian missiles pounded more than 40 Ukrainian cities and towns, officials said on Thursday, after a U.N. General Assembly resolution called Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian territory “illegal” and Ukraine’s allies committed more military aid.

Microsoft uses subsidiaries to move profits, report reveals: For years, Microsoft has used a network of subsidiaries to allegedly shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions, potentially depriving countries where it conducts billions of dollars in business of corporate taxes, according to a new report.

Poilievre names opposition critics: Federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has announced a list of opposition critics that includes posts for his leadership rivals Scott Aitchison and Leslyn Lewis, but not former party leader Erin O’Toole, veteran B.C. MP Ed Fast, who supported former Quebec premier Jean Charest in the leadership race, and Alberta MP Michelle Rempel Garner, who supported Patrick Brown’s unsuccessful bid to lead the party.

African allies bolster Xi as he prepares for third term: As the ruling Communist Party prepares to install President Xi Jinping for an unprecedented third term as China’s most powerful leader, at the United Nations and across Africa, the Chinese government is mobilizing its allies to praise its paramount ruler and deflect his critics.

Hearings on use of Emergencies Act to start today: The inquiry studying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act will begin holding hearings today, as opposition politicians and legal experts continue to question whether the government met the legal threshold to trigger the sweeping legislation during a series of pandemic-fuelled anti-government protests earlier this year.

Alberta Premier walks back comment about unvaccinated: Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has clarified a widely condemned comment she made that people who choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine are the “most discriminated-against group” of her lifetime – though she stopped short of a retraction or an apology.

Morning markets

Markets await U.S. inflation data: World stocks slipped to a near 2-year low and Japan’s yen was pinned near 1998 levels on Thursday, as investors braced for key U.S. inflation data likely to shape the size of the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate hike. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.23 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.86 per cent and 0.45 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.60 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 1.87 per cent. New York futures were modestly positive. The Canadian dollar was trading at 72.50 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Gary Mason: “No one should be under the illusion that these resignations solve the bigger problem that underlies the entire Hockey Canada imbroglio, namely the sick culture that permeates too many corners of the game. A new CEO isn’t going to change the sense of entitlement that too many junior players possess, one often nourished by parents and those living in the towns and cities in which they play. That is a job much too big for any one person. It’s a job for an entire country.”

Marsha Lederman: “The most distressing thing about Kanye West’s recent anti-Semitic outburst was not what the rapper said. It was the response. The justification, rationalization, excuses. The defence. The eruption of finger-pointing. The anti-Semitism-splaining from people who do not know what it feels like to be its target.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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The Globe and Mail

Living better

Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners go deep to see our planet’s inner beauty

Bird breeding grounds in the Andes and snake-filled caves of Mexico are among the stunning scenes that photographers captured in 2022.

Moment in time: Oct 13, 2019

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Simone Biles of USA competes during the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany on October 13, 2019.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Simone Biles becomes the most decorated artistic gymnast of all time

After becoming the most decorated gymnast in world championship history on this day in 2019, Simone Biles brushed off the historic achievement. “I’m not a number person,” she said. Fortunately, for the sake of historic record-keeping, others are. Her gold medals in balance beam and floor exercise in Stuttgart, Germany, gave the then 22-year-old American gymnastic powerhouse a career total of 25 world championship medals – the most among men and women. The previous record, 23, was held for more than two decades by Belarus’s Vitaly Scherbo – not that Biles was interested in comparisons. “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps,” she said at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, referring to past dominant Olympians. “I’m the first Simone Biles.” Following up her world championships success, Ms. Biles withdrew from most competitions at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because of a temporary loss of air awareness. On July 7, 2022, she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, her country’s highest honour given to civilians. According to the numbers people, she is the youngest person to receive the award. Brad Wheeler

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