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Good morning,

The federal government is planning to impose stricter travel rules as it tries to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by new variants that are more easily transmissible.

Four sources in government and industry told The Globe and Mail that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet debated new measures yesterday. Options ranged from relatively small changes, such as increasing the number of people dedicated to enforcing the 14-day quarantine, to requiring all returning non-essential travellers to quarantine at a government-designated hotel at their own expense.

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At the more extreme end is a possible ban on non-essential travel for Canadian citizens and permanent residents – which Quebec Premier François Legault called for last week. The government is not keen to impose the latter rule because it could require Trudeau to invoke the Emergencies Act.

Read more:

Racialized Canadians have some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infections in the country. Who can allay their doubts about taking the vaccine?

Nova Scotia discovers grassroots success with COVID-19 rapid-test kits

André Picard: How do we make sense of the contradictory pandemic news?

After returning from Dubai, UAE, Nagham Ghonaim receives a voluntary COVID-19 test at Toronto Pearson Airport on Jan 6 2021.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.

Clearwater deal marks new chapter for Indigenous people in Atlantic Canada’s fishery

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Seven Mi’kmaq First Nations are now co-owners of Clearwater Seafoods, one of the largest seafood companies in North America, in a historic sale that transforms the role of Indigenous people in Atlantic Canada’s fishery.

The deal gives the Mi’kmaq coalition four seats out of 10 director positions on the Clearwater board and control over the company’s Canadian shrimp, snow crab, scallop and offshore lobster fishing licences – a coveted asset in the industry. The offshore fishery, which uses bigger vessels that venture further out into the ocean, gives the Mi’kmaq access to fishing grounds most other fishermen can’t reach.

Ottawa to seek exemption from Biden’s Buy American rules

In an effort to protect Canadian businesses, the Trudeau government plans to seek an exemption from Joe Biden’s stricter Buy American procurement rules.

The new U.S. President signed an executive order yesterday instructing government agencies to raise the level of U.S.-made content in products they purchase, and curb waivers to existing protectionist rules. Biden is also looking to enforce the rules by appointing a director of Made-in-America in the White House.

But two confidential sources who have spoken with Mr. Biden’s officials about the order – one in the Canadian government, the other in U.S. industry – said the directive sets broad requirements, and the agencies must now develop more specific rules. This will give Ottawa a chance to lobby the Biden administration to get the rules written in such a way that they do not hurt Canadian companies.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Trudeau under fire from opposition over Payette: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under fire yesterday about the extent of expenses that will be afforded to former governor-general Julie Payette, who resigned last Thursday, along with her second-in-command, after a damning external report on allegations of harassment and bullying inside Rideau Hall.

Also: Campbell Clark: Cancelling Julie Payette’s pension just a distraction from Justin Trudeau’s mistake

Ontario nursing home struck by COVID-19 variant failed to separate infected residents: Residents who had contracted the COVID-19 virus at the Barrie long-term care home were being kept in the same rooms as residents who were free from the virus, according to an Ontario government inspector’s report.

Also: Internal government review found uneven COVID-19 response in British Columbia long-term care homes

Refugees turned away in record numbers globally as countries close borders because of COVID-19: Last year saw only 22,770 refugees out of 1.44 million resettled globally as refugees fleeing war and persecution continue to urgently need a safe place to go but with fewer countries willing to make space during the pandemic.

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Cannabis companies collected millions in wage subsidies: At least 20 publicly traded cannabis companies received a cumulative $40-million in payments from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, according to a Globe and Mail analysis. But multiple industry analysts say most of the pot companies that got the wage subsidy were not negatively affected by the pandemic.


MORNING MARKETS

Global markets mixed: U.S. Treasury yields fell to three-week lows while stock markets were mixed on Tuesday as concerns about potential roadblocks to new U.S. President Joe Biden’s planned US$1.9-trillion stimulus weighed on investor sentiment. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.47 per cent. Germany’s DAX gained 1.41 per cent and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.88 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.96 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.55 per cent. New York futures were modestly lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.41 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Chris Alexander: “Mr. Putin’s Russia has seen plenty of demonstrations before – against falsified parliamentary elections in 2011-12, against the invasion of Ukraine in 2014, and against paltry pensions in 2018. But this time, the sense of grievance is deeper.”

Editorial Board: “Mr. Kenney and his UCP rode into office on a wave of anger. The recession was hurting, and pipeline protests and the new carbon tax felt as if they struck at the province’s lifeblood. But Alberta has not been singled out by global plotters. The world is changing, and Mr. Biden’s presidency promises to accelerate that change. Giving credence to baseless conspiracies will not help Canada’s oil industry – it will hurt it.”

Ian McGugan: “For Canadian investors, the good news is that the worst of the frothiness appears to be located in the U.S. By comparison, the rest of the world looks reasonably priced and British stocks appear downright cheap, according to Mr. Buckland. But global stock markets tend to rise and fall in tandem. That suggests caution is in order even for stay-at-home investors.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable

Brian Gable /The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

What is the Power Gap? Live Q&A with Robyn Doolittle and Chen Wang

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For women in the workplace, progress has stalled. By almost every metric, they continue to lag generations behind men. Two and a half years ago, The Globe and Mail set about trying to understand why. What we found is that inequities run much deeper than compensation or a lack of female CEOs. There is a power gap in the modern work force. Today at 1 p.m. ET, join investigative reporter Robyn Doolittle and data journalist Chen Wang for a live Q&A with business columnist Rita Trichur about the Power Gap series.


MOMENT IN TIME: JAN. 26, 1998

President Bill Clinton delivers his strongest denial to date of allegations that he had an affair with former intern Monica Lewinski during White House event unveiling new child care proposals January 26, 1998.

Win McNamee/REUTERS

Bill Clinton denies having had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky

A bombshell Drudge Report story published late on Friday, Jan. 17, 1998, took (most of) Washington by surprise: U.S. president Bill Clinton had been in an intimate relationship with a former White House intern. Twenty-one-year-old Monica Lewinsky was initially interning in the office of chief of staff Leon Panetta, but was later shunted to a job at the Pentagon after rumours swirled within the White House. Clinton, Lewinsky and the White House all denied the reports. On this day in 1998, Clinton called a press conference on the eve of a State of the Union Address, spending six minutes thanking people who had played a role in his education reforms. Less than 30 seconds before he wrapped up, he told the assembled group there was one thing he wanted to tell America: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” After her denial of the affair in a sworn affidavit, Lewinsky was caught discussing it in a sting operation orchestrated by prosecutor Kenneth Starr. In exchange for immunity, Lewinsky admitted to the relationship. Clinton’s lies in testimony to a grand jury would lead to his impeachment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. The subsequent trial in the Senate acquitted Clinton of both charges. Ian Morfitt

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