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In a sharp contrast to the robust growth in the United States, the Canadian economy tumbled over the summer as export shipments waned and consumer spending flattened, signs of a continuing malaise as the country grapples with higher interest rates.

Real gross domestic product fell at an annualized pace of 1.1 per cent in the third quarter, according to figures published by Statistics Canada. Canada’s economic performance increasingly diverged from that of the U.S., which posted a 5.2-per-cent expansion in the third quarter. The results were also considerably weaker than the Bank of Canada’s estimate of 0.8-per-cent growth and Bay Street’s expectations of a slim 0.1-per-cent increase.

Canada did, however, avoid two consecutive quarters of GDP decline – what some economists refer to as a “technical recession.” Statscan made sharp upward revisions to its second-quarter figures, which are now showing annualized growth of 1.4 per cent, where previously they showed a slight decline.

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Shoppers at Toronto's Eaton Centre are seen in this file photo.Fred Lum/the Globe and Mail

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Ontario First Nations challenge carbon pricing in court, say climate can’t ‘be healed at the expense’ of communities

First Nations across Ontario are challenging the federal government’s carbon-pricing in court, alleging Ottawa’s pollution policy unjustly and disproportionately burdens their communities, which already face increased hardships owing to climate change and poverty.

Chiefs of Ontario, an advocacy organization representing 133 Indigenous communities in the province, and the Attawapiskat First Nation allege in court documents that Canada’s carbon-pricing regime leaves their communities worse off than others in the country, violating the principles of reconciliation as well as their constitutional rights. The Chiefs of Ontario and Attawapiskat said they tried to negotiate with the federal government, to no avail.

National debate over carbon pricing has dramatically increased since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last month carved out an exemption for home heating oil, which primarily applies to citizens in Atlantic Canada. The decision sparked accusations of regional favouritism and critics said it undermined the rationale for the levy. The First Nations court challenge highlights the Atlantic Canada decision and contends the legislation contained targeted relief for farmers, fishers and large greenhouse-gas emitters.

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The Confederation Building is pictured through a window on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Nov. 7, 2023.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Staying optimistic in Ukraine is more difficult as the home front becomes increasingly divided

Twelve months ago, many in Ukraine felt victory was not just possible but close. The invading Russians had been swept out of the eastern Kharkiv region. In the south, the city of Kherson had just been liberated, spurring excited talk of Ukrainian troops reclaiming nearby Crimea, which Russia seized and annexed in 2014.

But as Kyiv marks the 645th day of Russia’s invasion, military setbacks have fed a creeping pessimism that, for the first time in the war, is creating cracks in Ukraine’s united front. Even those around the always-optimistic President Volodymyr Zelensky describe the mood in the country as “depressed.” Mark MacKinnon reports on the growing divide in Ukraine over the state of the war.

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A Ukrainian serviceman of a drone hunting team stands next to a German Gepard anti-aircraft-gun tank that is used to target Russian launched drones, in the outskirts of Kyiv, on Nov. 30, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.ROMAN PILIPEY/Getty Images

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Also on our radar

Israel resumes Gaza strikes as truce with Hamas ends: Israeli fighter jets hit targets in the Gaza Strip minutes after a weeklong truce expired on Friday. Renewed hostilities heightened concerns for the about 140 hostages who remain in Gaza, after more than 100 were freed as part of the truce. Qatar, which has served as a mediator along with Egypt, said negotiators from both sides were still trying to reach an agreement on restarting the ceasefire.

Should Canada account for record wildfires in its carbon accounting at COP28? The magnitude of this year’s wildfire emissions – and growing evidence of how climate change and wildfires are connected – is resulting in calls for more transparency in how they are reported and urgent action to try to keep them in check.

Agency missed warnings of neglect, abuse before child’s death: A child welfare agency reunited a troubled family despite multiple warnings of neglect and abuse, according to a B.C. government internal review. Six-year-old Dontay Lucus died at the hands of his mother and stepfather, just months after he was returned to their care.

As Britain launches suicide surveillance tool, Canada pressed to adopt similar measures: Britain has launched a suicide surveillance tool meant to act as an early warning system about alarming changes in suicide rates and methods – with experts in Canada urging policy makers to adopt similar measures to better track and prevent self-harm in this country.

Banks cut jobs, trim expenses as economic fears weigh on earnings: Canadian banks are slashing jobs to curb mounting expenses and taking higher loan loss provisions as they grapple with the threat of an economic slowdown.

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Morning markets

Rate optimism underpins stocks: Global stocks edged up on Friday, having closed out their best month in three years the day before, as investor confidence that interest rates will fall next year has lured cash into equities, cryptocurrencies and gold at the expense of the U.S. dollar. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.72 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.78 per cent and 0.43 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.17 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.25 per cent. Dow and S&P futures were modestly positive while Nasdaq futures were just below break even. The Canadian dollar was higher at 73.91 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

What Charlie Munger taught Warren Buffett about investing, and life

“To be a successful investment manager, or a successful business person, you have to know accounting. And how to read an income statement and balance sheet. Yes, you have to understand finance. And the tax code.” Tony Keller

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

26 countries in 118 days: Lessons from my around-the-world cruise

Former Globe journalist Gloria Galloway spent decades covering world events. But when she retired, it was time to enjoy some of the more beautiful parts of this Earth. This week, she chronicles a once-in-a-lifetime cruise adventure aboard the MSC Poesia, where stops in Panama, Thailand and Nagasaki were among the highlights. Here, she captures the highs and lows of her ambitious travel plan, and offers five tips for cruisers considering a similar journey. (Hint: pack good walking shoes). Read more.

Moment in time: Dec. 1, 1990

English and French Chunnel diggers meet

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Tunnel workers Philippe Cozette from France (R) and Graham Fagg from England shake hands while holding national flags on Dec. 1, 1990, during the historic breakthrough in the Channel Tunnel.-/Getty Images

Almost two centuries after the first serious plans for a tunnel under the English Channel were drawn up – the imagined passageway for horse-drawn carriages would have been lit by oil lamps – and three years to the day after massive boring machines actually began worming their way to a spot 30 metres under the seabed, an English and a French construction worker jackhammered through the last few centimetres of chalk and excitedly shook hands in front of a live TV audience. Exchanging flags while dozens of their co-workers and dignitaries cheered them on, Graham Fagg of Dover and Philippe Cozette of Calais briefly paused the celebrations to widen the small opening so Mr. Fagg could climb through for a proper chat. Later, at Dover Castle, the two crews sang La Marseillaise and God Save the Queen, a testament to the belief that stronger economic ties would help forge a greater understanding of each other. “I think we’re definitely moving closer and closer together,” Mr. Fagg told a TV reporter. “I think we’ve got to, actually.” Twenty-six years later, he voted in favour of Brexit. Simon Houpt.

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