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Canada recently began to accept Hong Kong pro-democracy activists as refugees, after escalating security crackdowns by the Chinese government on the former British colony.

And Beijing is not happy about it.

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Cong Peiwu, China’s ambassador to Canada, said at a morning news conference today that the advocates were “violent criminals" and accepting the asylum claims was tantamount to interfering in China’s internal affairs.

Canada-China relations have been frosty since December of 2018, when Chinese businesswoman Meng Wanzhou was arrested at the Vancouver airport on a U.S. extradition request. In retaliation, China arbitrarily arrested two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and kept them for nearly two years in cells with lights always on. Ms. Meng has passed the time in her Vancouver mansion.

Mr. Cong raised the prospect that accepting the refugees could lead to other consequences for Canada.

“If the Canadian side really cares about the stability and the prosperity in Hong Kong, and really cares the good health and safety of those 300,000 Canadian passport holders in Hong Kong and the large number of Canadian companies operating in Hong Kong . . . you should support those efforts to fight violent crimes,” he said.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

Meetings of the finance and ethics committees continue to be bogged down with procedural tactics as opposition MPs try to resurrect the WE controversy and Liberal MPs try to move on.

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The Canada Infrastructure Bank paid senior managers $3.8-million in termination fees in the last fiscal year, a timeline during which the bank’s CEO and the head of project development left. That amount is more than the $3.3-million paid in salaries to all other senior managers. The bank has received criticism for not completing any major projects since it was launched in 2017.

Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne says Canada is willing to mediate a border conflict between Turkey and Greece, which are both NATO members.

The federal government has ordered a national-security review of the planned takeover of Canadian miner TMAC by China’s Shandong Gold Mining.

The NDP says both the Liberals and the Conservatives are responsible for problems at the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The office of the Governor-General has so far spent more than $110,000 to counter a government-ordered investigation in workplace harassment allegations. The investigation itself is costing the government $88,000.

Ketty Nivyabandi, an activist and poet who came to Canada as a refugee from Burundi, is the new secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada. She said she will champion a range of human-rights causes, including the discrimination that Indigenous people face from police and the problems with Canada’s export of arms to Saudi Arabia. “So to be a first-generation refugee and, five years into this, be in a position where I can make powerful decisions is a powerful message for others and I hope it tells any refugee and immigrant, especially girls, that you matter and your voice counts," she told The Globe.

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Canadians' views of the United States are at the lowest ebb that Environics has recorded in nearly 40 years of tracking cross-border opinion. “Trump is taking things down with him,” said Andrew Parkin, executive director of the Environics Institute.

Documents obtained under access-to-information shed new light on the influence on B.C. schools wielded by the Confucius Institute, an institution backed and funded by the Chinese government.

Ontario’s government-mandated training program for cannabis retail workers – akin to SmartServe – is now owned by a private company with ties to illegal dispensaries.

The Nova Scotia RCMP are being criticized for failing to quell rising violence against Mi’kmaq fishermen.

And the big story in the U.S. election today is all about combatting potential misinformation: Twitter and Facebook are proactively suppressing a New York Post story that purports to show that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had previously undisclosed ties to a Ukrainian company for which his son Hunter worked. It’s not clear, however, that the story is true as it appears to be coming from Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. In other U.S. election news, Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump will have duelling events on TV this evening, in lieu of a previously planned debate.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how the Liberals are drafting their next fiscal update: “Since no one can predict how long the pandemic will last, and Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals have gone all in on spending whatever it takes, they can’t know precisely how much debt they will rack up. Or where to drop a new fiscal anchor. That’s why some are talking about guardrails: barriers that keep moving objects from going off the road.”

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David Parkinson (The Globe and Mail) on a study in Vancouver that gave $7,500 to people that are homeless: “The group that received the funds moved into stable housing faster (by nearly two months, on average), spent more on essentials such as food and clothing and were even able to sock away some savings for a rainy day (they retained an average of $1,000 after 12 months). And their reduced need for homeless-shelter services over the full year amounted to an estimated $8,100 each – a savings that exceeded the original investment.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on where the parliamentary WE Charity probes are at: “Any political strategist worth his or her salt knows that a fire starved of oxygen will eventually go out, and a second flame will need time to grow before it can burn with the same ferocity – if it gets there at all. That’s what the Prime Minister achieved by proroguing Parliament when the WE scandal was at its hottest: he snuffed out its momentum and gave people time to forget, knowing that the issue will seem less pressing when it resurfaces compared to the new and acute crises of the day. It’s very smart, and very scummy politics. And generally speaking, it works.”

Erica Ifill (Hill Times) on income inequality in the pandemic: “Instead, we will more likely see a K-shaped recovery – when recovery actually occurs – which is one marked by diverging economic realities of specific sectors of the economy. In other words, as in the United States, we may be facing the most unequal economic recovery in history.”

Don Martin (CTV) on why there needs to be more public data driving new lockdowns in Ontario: “For example, to close hundreds of safety-enhanced gyms and other indoor venues in Toronto and Ottawa because one spin class in Hamilton triggered an outbreak is over-reaching madness. To shutter all indoor dining, even those which have taken costly precautions to make it safe, punishes an entire industry for the careless sins of a few, if indeed any are an actual source of transmission.”

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