Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam has warned that Ottawa must correct its “boom and bust” approach to public health, which left the country ill-equipped for COVID-19.
The federal government has made a number of mistakes, including the decision to scale back its pandemic intelligence system, known as the Global Public Health Intelligence Network, or GPHIN, Tam said. The highly specialized unit was a cornerstone of Canada’s preparedness strategy until it was silenced last year amid shifting priorities and resources.
Speaking a day after the Canadian death toll for COVID-19 surpassed 10,000 people, and with the country in the midst of a surge in new cases, Tam said a new strategy is needed once this pandemic subsides. “In terms of pandemic preparedness, we do have to think bigger,” she said.
More COVID-19 coverage:
Restoring Confidence podcast: On the first episode, Globe columnist Rita Trichur speaks to political scientist Ian Bremmer and founder of the Eurasia Group about his forecast for a “jagged swoosh recovery” from the pandemic.
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Father of Inuk man shot dead by police in Nunavut disputes RCMP’s story
The father of an Inuk man shot dead by an RCMP officer in Nunavut is challenging key aspects of the Mounties' version of events, saying “most of it is not true at all." Goo Kingnuatsiaq says he was the lone civilian witness to the shooting of his 39-year-old son, Attachie Ashoona, at their family home in Kinngait on Feb. 26.
RCMP officers said they arrived at the home in response to reports of a man dragging a woman by the hair and fighting with his father. Ashoona cornered an officer with a knife in his hand and told her to shoot him, they said. The RCMP did not publicly reveal the shooting at the time, saying in a February news release only that police in the community were dealing with an “incident.”
But in an interview with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Kingnuatsiaq said his son said nothing, and the officers entered the home when there was no sign of danger.
In Michigan, Trump and Biden’s two solitudes clash over race and the pandemic
With only days left before Americans finish voting in one of the most consequential and volatile U.S. elections in history, the forces dividing the country are colliding in the key swing state of Michigan.
In 2016, Donald Trump won Michigan by winning over white working-class voters, and because Black turnout fell by more than 10 percentage points from 2012. Democrats are hoping anger over Trump’s handling of the pandemic and higher voter turnout in Detroit, the country’s largest majority-Black city, will push Michigan to their side in this election.
With the possibility that the Nov. 3 presidential vote may not produce a clear winner, both sides of the political divide worry that the state and country will violently erupt.
More U.S. election coverage:
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Three dead in knife attack at French church: A woman was beheaded by an attacker with a knife who also killed two other people at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, police said, in an incident the city’s mayor described as terrorism.
Parents rethink allowing more screen time for kids in a pandemic as experts raise alarm: When the pandemic lockdown began earlier this year, experts said not to worry about allowing children more screen time than usual. But now, seven months into the pandemic, they’re saying it’s time to rethink kids' dependence on technology, especially as winter nears when it will be all too tempting to stay indoors in front of screens.
Thousands take to the streets in Poland to protest against tightening of abortion laws: In defiance of pandemic restrictions, thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in cities, towns and villages throughout Poland to protest the Constitutional Tribunal’s move to strike down a key part of the abortion law last week. The tribunal’s decision will effectively ban almost all abortions in the country.
How the shift to online shopping has overwhelmed condos: The pandemic has pushed more people to shop from the safety of their living rooms, driving a surge in e-commerce that has been particularly taxing for high-rise buildings. Condominium buildings face a series of logistical challenges as well as the very real possibility packages will be stolen because of the way some couriers deliver them.
Chinese Canadian groups laud Communist fight against Canada in Korean War: A group of Chinese-Canadian organizations are marking the 70th anniversary of the Korean War by praising China for fighting alongside North Korea while calling the U.S. and its allies, including Canada, aggressors and imperialists.
European stocks steady: European stocks and commodity markets struggled to stabilize on Thursday, after a return to national lockdowns in some of the region’s biggest economies triggered the biggest global selloff in months. Around 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE was up 0.41 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.77 per cent and 0.31 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.37 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.49 per cent. Wall Street futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.05 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Konrad Yakabuski: “There is no other way to interpret [Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe] Champagne’s tweet except as a repudiation of [Samuel] Paty and Charlie Hebdo. The caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed were anything but respectful. That was their whole point. No religion is off limits to satirists. And thank God for that.”
Editorial Board: “Why didn’t Ottawa close Canada’s borders sooner? Why are people entering Canada still not being tested at the border, or as they board a plane overseas? Has Ottawa done enough to help equip the provinces with testing kits and PPE? ... These are relevant questions, and Canadians have a right to transparency. So it’s good to see that the federal opposition parties have had the audacity to try to force the Trudeau government to provide some answers.”
Rita Trichur: “As [Gary] Cohn rightly points out, we can’t wait for a COVID-19 vaccine to manage the economic recovery. Entrepreneurs urgently need help now. Given rising case counts and the recent tightening of pandemic restrictions in some provinces, legislators need to take immediate action to revive the entrepreneurial spirit.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Matty Matheson’s new cookbook focuses on comfort, starting with this generous and hearty seven-layer dip
Once known as the bad boy of Canadian cuisine, chef Matty Matheson’s life is now bucolic, almost sedate and his new cookbook reflects the change in his lifestyle. Matty Matheson: Home Style Cookery is filled with recipes of roasts, dips, curries, pasta, dumplings, smoked meats, grilled dishes and sandwiches (you’ll want to linger on that one). All of them are accessible and, most importantly, not intimidating.
MOMENT IN TIME: OCTOBER 29, 1929
Black Tuesday crash
The Roaring Twenties was a good time to be an investor in the United States. In a decade of postwar economic expansion, wealth skyrocketed for a select few. American 1-per-centers held almost 20 per cent of the country’s wealth, according to some estimates – and the stock market soared. But as the decade neared its end, bloated stock prices, rising interest rates and outright fraud, among other factors, brought things to a head. Stock prices began to decline in September and early October, 1929, and by mid-month, began to fall precipitously. Panic set in, and on Wednesday, Oct. 24, bankers and investment companies bought up huge blocks of stock in an attempt to stabilize the market, which produced a moderate rally on Friday. Their efforts were short-lived. The next Monday, the market dropped, and on Oct. 29, Black Tuesday ushered in the Great Crash of 1929. About 16 million shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, and an estimated US$30-billion of investments – approaching twice the national debt – was wiped out in a single day. The Dow Jones Index would not return to its pre-crash high until 1954. Ian Morfitt