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Another 130 Canadians and 58 family members arrived on Canadian soil today after being evacuated from Wuhan, China, because of the novel coronavirus.

The Canadians were on the second and last (so far) flight chartered by the federal government. They are now being quarantined at the Canadian Forces base in Trenton, Ont.

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The virus has now killed more than 1,000 people and Finance Minister Bill Morneau said there is little doubt there is an economic impact to the pandemic.

China is very aware of that economic problem, even as it is tries to stop the virus’s spread. The Chinese government ordered the country’s workers back to work this week, though many of the nation’s factories remain shuttered.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

RCMP have arrested Freda Huson, a Wet’suwet’en Nation hereditary chief who is one of the architects of the protests against the Coastal GasLink project in B.C. The protests against that pipeline have inspired waves of other actions across the country, at harbours and rail lines, to draw attention to the rights of Indigenous people on whose territory construction is happening. Dozens of others have been arrested by police for those protests. On the Coastal GasLink, the line is supported by all the elected band councils on the route, but opposed by some of the hereditary chiefs.

Canada’s two major railway companies – CN and CP – are limiting the transport of oil and other dangerous goods on their lines because of a ministerial order that those trains should go slower for safety reasons. The railways say they want fewer of those oil-carrying cars on the tracks, then, so as it not slow down the whole system.

A new Nanos Research poll suggests a large majority of Canadians are doubtful that Iran will properly carry out an investigation into the crash of the Ukrainian airplane last month.

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Former health minister Jane Philpott is the new dean of Queen’s University’s medical school.

An adjudicator on the Immigration and Refugee Board is being criticized after doubting a woman’s story of rape because she kept the child who was conceived during it. The woman seeking refuge in Canada said she kept the baby because she was against abortion and knew what it was like to grow up without parents.

In the U.S., Democrats are holding their primary in New Hampshire tonight, with Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg jockeying for the lead. Hopefully it will go better than Iowa?

And the president of the University of Guelph has apologized to a former student athlete who was allegedly preyed upon by the school’s track coach. The university was first told about the allegations in 2006, but continued to promote and support the coach until another allegation surfaced in the fall of 2019. The coach was dismissed in December.

André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on planning for the next pandemic: “Climate change, deforestation, rapid urbanization pushing people closer to wildlife and livestock, the exotic-animal trade, conflicts causing mass movements of refugees, poverty and inequality, vast expansion of travel by air and high-speed train – all of these factors have contributed to creating the ideal environment for pathogens to flourish.”

Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Stedman (The Globe and Mail) on whether new regulation will drive energy investment out of Canada: “Consequently, state-owned energy companies, able to use government funds to circumvent financial market mechanisms that account for climate risk, will likely have a distinct advantage over private energy firms in Canada and countries that adopt climate financing.”

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Errol Mendes (The Globe and Mail) on the implications of the Trump impeachment trial and more: “But the deepening darkness in what were supposed to be the Western world’s leading democracies might prompt us to think beyond a mere faith in constitutionalism. Perhaps what we need is a real and explicit constitution centred around affirming democratic morality, rather than just relying on the unwritten ethical codes that exist primarily in non-legal norms, customs and conventions of each society – that is, right up until they get trumped by those for whom power at all costs is the ultimate goal.”

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