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The RCMP’s exploration of a new investigative technique without disclosing its effect on Canadians’ privacy is flouting federal directives, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada says.

Government records show that the RCMP signed a $98,000 contract in March 2018 with Parabon NanoLabs, a U.S.-based “genetic-genealogy” company that mines the DNA profiles of people in hopes of identifying suspects. Several Canadian police forces are now using these kinds of forensic services, which have far-reaching privacy implications as they can detect crime suspects who have not consented to surrendering their DNA data to authorities.

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Pandemic report identifies failures in long-term care homes across Canada

A series of systemic breakdowns in Canada allowed the coronavirus to flourish in long-term care homes, according to the report prepared by a 10-member panel of leaders in medicine, health policy and geriatrics. The report was commissioned by Revera, one of Canada’s major for-profit operators of long-term care (LTC).

In particular, the failure of officials to enact early safeguards for these LTC homes – including mandatory use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and broad testing to identify those with COVID-19 – proved to be disastrous for the sector, where 80 per cent of first-wave deaths occurred. And the report says the starkest example of how LTC homes were ignored was the decision to reserve Canada’s scarce supply of PPE for hospital staff.

How China rewrote the story of COVID-19 to boost public faith in its system

Nearly a year ago when Wuhan was the pandemic’s ground zero, the machinery of the state silenced doctors, arrested journalists for reporting unsanctioned news and scrubbed from the internet criticism of the government. Now, even with recent instances of community transmission that have prompted tightening restrictions, China has used its relative success in battling the virus to boost the public’s faith in its authoritarian governance system. But this would mean ignoring the success of democracies such as New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea.

A visitor passes a display of medical workers at People Above All, Life Above All, a 97,000-square-foot display to virus victory in Wuhan.

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Bellegarde will not seek re-election: First elected in 2014, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Chief Perry Bellegarde says he will not seek re-election after the end of his current term in July, 2021. He says he will spend the remainder of his term focusing on advocacy, particularly toward the federal government’s next budget. The AFN represents more than 900,000 First Nations people in 634 communities across Canada.

Public trust key to COVID-19 vaccine rollout: According to an industry executive, doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be ready to ship within hours of Health Canada’s approval. But the rollout’s speed will be only half the battle, as public-health officials will also have to build public trust around the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

Michael Sabia to be next deputy finance minister: Michael Sabia is expected to be announced today as the next deputy finance minister, replacing Paul Rochon who announced his departure last week. Sabia has long been a voice of influence with the Trudeau government.

Demand for apartment buildings soars: Intense demand for Canadian apartment buildings has come roaring back, despite the pandemic. In particular, older properties have become prized assets, especially those with recent vacancies. These buildings tend to charge rents far below market rates, which gives prospective investors a better chance to quickly increase vacant-unit rents once the economy recovers.

CEO Tabatha Bull stresses economic reconciliation: Tabatha Bull, a member of the Nipissing First Nation, is the president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. In her conversation with The Globe as part of an Indigenous leaders series, Bull shared her thoughts on how to support Indigenous businesses.

Illustration by Chief Lady Bird


MORNING MARKETS

Brexit and China concerns weigh on global shares: World shares fell on Monday with worries of a no-deal Brexit and fresh China-U.S. tensions offsetting bets over more fiscal and central bank stimulus. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE edged up 0.33 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.37 per cent and 0.82 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.76 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.23 per cent. New York futures were weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.04 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 energy-sector dividend plays, bargain stock hunting and RioCan’s payout cut.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

The vaccines are here. Is Canada ready?

Editorial board: “While Ottawa and the provinces can’t go back and acquire the testing and contact tracing they should have put in place over the summer, it’s not too late to demonstrate to Canadians that they can organize an emergency vaccination program in short order.”

Sports interviews have spun out of control

Cathal Kelly: “The typical sports interview isn’t conversation. It’s interrogation. And, as the human-rights types keep reminding us, interrogations don’t work.”

The work to bring peace to Indigenous children lost in the residential-school system isn’t over

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Ronalda Audley: “I realized all that’s left of the missing Indigenous children are old and cold papers, begging to be found; that’s what they’ve become. These children sit in this secret location, never seeing the light of day. They are forgotten. They are still missing. They are frozen in time.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

David Parkins/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

The top 10 television series of 2020, a year when TV was a sanctuary and escape

In this weird year we have lived through, television saved us. So here are 10 shows from this year that mattered, some worthy, some wonky and some with true distinction as inventive storytelling.


MOMENT IN TIME

FRED LUM/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 out having fun in the snow.

In our memories, the snow was deeper, the hills were steeper and every toboggan run was an exhilarating brush with death. Even if it wasn’t. Above, Globe and Mail photographer Fred Lum captures a few young daredevils in Toronto’s Glen Stewart Park. Indigenous people, at least, have been winter sledding for centuries. It’s believed the word “toboggan” was the name for a sled from either a Mi’kmaq word (tobâkun) or Abenaki (udãbãgan) or maybe even from a French-Canadian term (tabaganne). There have been numerous forms of transport used over the years to scoot down a frozen hill, including the classic with the slatted rounded front; wooden sleighs with steel runners; aluminum saucers; plastic carpets; shovels; even cardboard boxes. As youngsters might say, whatever gets you to the bottom as quickly as possible. Or as an older person might say, with as few injuries as possible. Philip King

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