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Good morning,

In her first big test as finance minister, Chrystia Freeland will be delivering the first full economic update since the start of the pandemic today, with the federal government attempting to square demands for COVID-19 spending with concerns about the hundreds of billions in new debt.

Amid a year of economic turmoil and with limited public accounting of emergency spending, the update will be watched closely by Bay Street and political leaders alike. Conservatives are already bracing for the updated numbers, with federal Leader Erin O’Toole expecting that the new deficit tally will push $400-billion – past the already historic high of $343.2-billion announced in July. The economic statement will be released after markets close.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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Canada on pace for 4,000 coronavirus patients in hospital by Christmas

A new analysis conducted for The Globe and Mail by researchers at Simon Fraser University projects that Canada is on track to have 4,000 coronavirus patients in hospital by Christmas, which would eclipse the first wave’s peak. In particular, there looks to be steep increases in COVID-19 hospital admissions coming from the West – specifically in Alberta – under the current trajectory. Ontario and Quebec, the twin epicentres of Canada’s first wave, are expected to see slower growth, but there would still be growth.

But recently imposed government restrictions and individual choices could still turn the tide, said the modeller behind the forecast.

Ethiopia captures Tigrayan capital but fighting continues

A day after Ethiopia declared victory in its 25-day military march into the rebellious Tigray region, reports from the war zone suggest the fighting is far from over and the battle is shifting to a guerrilla conflict.

In total, thousands of civilians and soldiers have died since the fighting began in Tigray on Nov. 4. Nearly 45,000 refugees have crossed the border from Tigray into neighbouring Sudan. And despite weeks of requests to the Ethiopian government, the United Nations has failed to obtain humanitarian access to Tigray to deliver food and other supplies, which are rapidly running out.

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Ethiopian refugees are seen at the Um Rakuba refugee camp which houses refugees fleeing the fighting in the Tigray region, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Sudan, November 29, 2020.

BAZ RATNER/Reuters

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Potentially historic draft fishery deal: A draft agreement between Ottawa and the Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia over a “moderate livelihood” fishery could be a historic recognition of Mi’kmaq treaty rights, as it would allow the community to legally sell their catch. Earlier this fall, Indigenous fishermen faced violence and vandalism from non-Indigenous fishermen after launching a rights-based fishery.

An atypical recession: Swift responses from the government and central bank to the COVID-19 pandemic have flipped the script on what a recession looks like. Economics reporter Matt Lundy looks at five predictions that have proved off the mark.

Arctic politics: Retired major-general David Fraser, a former commander of Canadian troops in Afghanistan, is urging the federal government to reject a takeover of an Arctic gold mine by Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. to keep China out of Canada’s Far North. Shandong is a Chinese state-owned enterprise and one of the world’s largest gold producers.

Order of Canada recipients: The most recent Order of Canada cohort includes two recipients who are former Globe contributors: lawyer William Macdonald as well as art critic and writer Sarah Milroy.


MORNING MARKETS

World shares pause: World shares paused on Monday to assess a record-breaking month as the prospect of a vaccine-driven economic recovery next year and more central bank stimulus eclipsed concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.33 per cent. Germany’s DAX gained 0.38 per cent. France’s CAC 40 slid 0.06 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished down 0.79 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.06 per cent. New York futures were mostly weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.15 US cents.

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Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes three postpandemic recovery picks, stocks still showing upside and bond ETFs on a tear.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

The no-knock entry: Why are some Canadian police behaving like Americans?

Globe editorial: “There will be times police need to execute a warrant by means of what is in effect a home invasion. But if Canadian police are making that their first resort rather than their last, they are acting like American police – and taking this country in the wrong direction.”

COVID-19 may still be raging, but sports teams and leagues don’t care

Cathal Kelly: “By the numbers, the situation is more serious now than it was five months ago. But the NBA hasn’t just abandoned the bubble. It is acting as though there was no need for a bubble in the first place. It is postbubble.”

When it comes to COVID-19, our political leaders have been seduced by wishful thinking

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Jacqueline Best: “What is it that political leaders treat as so important that they are willing to run this kind of risk with people’s lives? It’s the economy, of course. And yet, this concept of “the economy,” which we are told to make so many sacrifices for, is actually a fiction – based on a series of long-standing narratives that must be challenged if we are to tackle the current crisis.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

David Parkins/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Why proper sleep hygiene is so important

Paul Landini: “Sleep is serious business. It’s no exaggeration to say that all of your healthy eating and exercise is next to worthless if you’re burning the candle at both ends. Just as those who see the greatest results from their diets and training follow meticulous programs that cater to their specific needs, getting some solid sack time requires planning and preparation.”


MOMENT IN TIME

Jack Smith/The Globe and Mail

For more than 100 years, photographers have preserved an extraordinary collection of 20th-century news photography for The Globe and Mail. Every Monday, The Globe features one of these images. This month, we’re looking at the invention of wirephotos.

Students from Danforth Technical School in Toronto watch a demonstration of The Globe and Mail’s wirephoto transmitter by L.T. (Lou) Kellie, a Globe and Mail wirephoto operator, in the spring of 1937. It had been about four months since The Globe began using wirephoto technology, reducing the time it took for news photos to travel. The Globe was printing photos alongside breaking news stories and readers wanted to learn how this was possible. The Globe’s wirephoto operators were accustomed to carting the transmitter to different schools for demonstrations. On this day at Danforth Tech, a picture was taken of students in class then developed and printed in the school, transmitted to The Globe’s wirephoto room, developed and printed again, then rushed by car to the school to show the students. Similar demonstrations were offered during the summer’s Canadian National Exhibition. Solana Cain

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