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The options Bombardier explored before Airbus
Before turning to Airbus to save its C Series program, Bombardier approached Boeing (for subscribers). But then Boeing sued the Quebec company, alleging it benefited from unfair government subsidies and talks broke down. Bombardier also explored selling a stake to Chinese investors and even contemplated shutting down the jet program. In the end, Quebec's government (which owns a stake in the C Series) green-lit talks with Europe's Airbus, the same company they tried but failed to reach a deal with two years ago.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is now getting hammered by critics for how the C Series ordeal played out. Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François Lisée faulted the government for investing $1.3-billion in the jet program instead of acquiring a stake in Bombardier. "In seven years, we will no longer own a single per cent of the greatest product we have ever made," he said.
Here's Konrad Yakabuski's take: "Airbus's undertaking to keep the C Series program and the current jobs associated with it based in Quebec is, like most such agreements, unenforceable. If C Series sales fail to take off, or a downturn hits the entire aerospace sector, as it surely will at some point, guess which jobs will go first?" (for subscribers)
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Three people died after an ammonia leak in Fernie, B.C.
The victims were three workers who were exposed to a gas leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena. Homes and businesses in the southeastern B.C. city were evacuated last night. Refrigeration experts were called in for repairs yesterday morning after an arena employee discovered a problem. By noon, the fire department responded to the deaths at the rink. Ammonia, a colourless gas that is extremely toxic if inhaled, is used in refrigeration systems.
A unit of Google's parent company has signed a deal for a 'smart city' makeover of Toronto's waterfront
Sidewalk Labs, which is devoted to urban innovation, will start by investing $50-million (U.S.) to plan a 12-acre district that would use data on everything from traffic to noise to trash bins in order to guide the operation. Private cars would be banned in favour of autonomous vehicles, freight robots would move in underground tunnels and intelligent signals would manage traffic. The area would be home to offices (including a new Google Canada headquarters), retail, residence and maker spaces. But the massive undertaking raises questions about privacy and data sharing in a private-public partnership.
Bill Morneau opted not to set up a blind trust, the ethics watchdog says
Justin Trudeau has defended the Finance Minister, saying Morneau "followed exactly every recommendation that the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner made to him." But in her first public comments on the matter, ethics head Mary Dawson said she didn't advise Morneau not to put his substantial wealth in a blind trust. "I said it wasn't required," she said. Ultimately, it appears to have been Morneau's call. Instead he put assets in a family trust. Trudeau's holdings are in a private trust, a measure he has noted as the gold standard for avoiding conflicts of interest.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
NAFTA talks have been extended into 2018
Canada and the U.S. fired barbs at each other on the closing day of the fourth round of North American free-trade agreement negotiations (for subscribers). "We are seeing proposals that would turn back the clock on 23 years of predictability, openness and collaboration under NAFTA," Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said. Standing next to her, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer responded: "Countries are reluctant to give up unfair advantage." The one bright spot was word that the U.S. agreed to continue negotiating until at least the end of March.
Here's John Ibbitson's take: "The unravelling of NAFTA is not simply the product of Donald Trump's tempestuous populism. Those who have championed a world of open borders must accept that this world is being torn apart." (for subscribers)
Global stocks stayed near peaks and currencies moved in tight ranges on Wednesday as China's Communist Party conference opened and the focus in Europe turned to speeches from top euro zone central bankers before next week's key policy meeting. Tokyo's Nikkei rose more than 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng less than 0.1 per cent, and the Shanghai composite 0.3 per cent. In Europe, London's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.3 and 0.7 per cent by about 6:05 a.m. ET. New York futures were also up. The loonie traded as low as 79.8 cents (U.S.) and actually topped the 80-cent mark at one point, albeit not by much. Oil prices rose as weekly U.S. crude inventories are expected to have fallen steeply and geopolitical tensions around oil-rich Iraq and Iran raised risk premiums.
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WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT
We owe sexual abuse survivors more than #MeToo
"While hashtag campaigns can feel empowering for women who have previously remained silent, stating the prevalence of sexual assault is not a finish line. It's the beginning of a conversation – the very bare minimum – not an endpoint. What needs more airtime? Concrete measures for enacting cultural and institutional change – conversations more complicated than hashtagged confessions. From the ground up, we need to start with schools imparting deeper knowledge to young minds about consent, empathy, entitlement, bodily autonomy and bystander behaviour. We need real protections for women at work, including stronger unions. We need to start looking at potent deterrence for perpetrators and their enablers, be that through the court system or through robust independent reviews in the workplace." – Zosia Bielski
Police should not pose as journalists – it puts us at risk
"It would be hard to imagine cops going undercover as members of parliament or as the prime minister. If the third estate does not impersonate the second or the first, they shouldn't feel free to pose as members of the fourth estate either. The work journalists do is based on trust, and we have to be able to safely and legitimately claim to be doing our work in good faith. When others pose as us – even with the best of intentions – trust in our work and our identity is undermined." – Peter Klein, founder and executive director of the Global Reporting Centre
Why it pays to stretch before you get out of bed
If you wake up feeling tired, achy and stiff some quick stretching can solve the problem. Here's a full-body "wake-up" suggestion from trainer Kathleen Trotter: "Start on your back, legs straight and arms by your ears. Extend your arms and reach your fingers long as you pull your toes toward you. Breathe. Then, hug yourself as you point your toes (your legs are still straight). Breathe through your diaphragm and alternate these two exercises for 30 seconds to one minute."
MOMENT IN TIME
Doug Flutie reaches NFL stardom
Oct. 18, 1998: After years of being the forgotten quarterback, Doug Flutie launched himself into the American spotlight on this day. Despite a standout college career, Flutie was chosen 285th in the 1985 NFL draft. Following a few years riding the bench for the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots, he spent eight seasons in the CFL and led the Toronto Argonauts to back-to-back Grey Cups in 1996 and 1997. Back in the NFL as backup quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, Flutie seized the day. In a close game against the undefeated Jacksonville Jaguars, Flutie scored the game-winning touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play with 13 seconds remaining. The Bills' success continued with Flutie at the helm, having a record of 8-3 when he was the starter. Flutie finished out his career with the San Diego Chargers and the Patriots, and later pondered a return to the CFL, but chose to stay in retirement, and this year was honoured by the Toronto Argos. – Shelby Blackley
Morning Update is written by Arik Ligeti.