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With cases of COVID-19 reaching record highs across the country – from British Columbia to Manitoba to Ontario to (to a much lesser extent) Nova Scotia – governments at all levels are weighing or acting on further public-health restrictions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says political leaders should keep up the restrictions, or move into deeper stages of lockdown, without worrying about the consequences to business owners.

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“I would hope that no leader in our country is easing public-health vigilance because they feel pressure not to shut down businesses or slow down our economy,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters.

He said the federal government will continue aid programs to help struggling businesses, such as the wage subsidy and the rent-relief program. (Although, as The Globe has reported, those programs have been delivered to varying degrees of effectiveness.)

“If you think something is missing in the support we’re offering your citizens, tell us," Mr. Trudeau said. We will work with you.”

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.


The Canadian Security Intelligence Service is acknowledging publicly that the Chinese government routinely sends undercover agents to Canada to intimidate members of the Chinese diaspora who are critical of President Xi Jinping. CSIS said any incidents should be reported to the Canadian authorities, who can charge or deport individuals behind the harassment.

As China cracks down on Hong Kong, a leading expert on the former British colony says Hongkongers should use the fact that more than half the nation holds passports to other countries, such as Canada and Britain.

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Toronto MP Yasmin Ratansi has exited the Liberal caucus after CBC revealed she has employed her sister as a constituency assistant for many years, which is against House of Commons nepotism rules.

Former Conservative cabinet minister Lisa Raitt is sharing her story on the difficulties of caring for her husband, who has early onset Alzheimer’s.

The federal Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats and Greens earned a combined $2.9-million from the wage subsidy, according to an iPolitics calculation. The Conservatives have said they will pay back their share of the money.

Premium Brands and a group of Mi’kmaq First Nations are buying Clearwater Seafoods, the largest holder of shellfish licences and quotas in Canada.

And Donald Trump continues to deny the results of last week’s election. The head of the Justice Department’s election crimes branch quit on Monday after U.S. Attorney General William Barr ordered federal prosecutors to look into any “substantial” allegations of voter fraud. Top Republicans have generally supported the Trump campaign’s legal challenges to the results, though it’s not clear that enough ballots are at issue for the overall winner to change.

André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on Pfizer’s proposed vaccine and the hurdles to come: “Distribution is yet another matter. This high-tech vaccine has to be stored at minus 70 C, and transported in special coolers. It also requires two doses, making it more bothersome and expensive to administer widely. In other words, getting the vaccine into people’s arms will be a Herculean task.”

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Andrew Willis (The Globe and Mail) on why the government is reluctantly helping airlines: “For months, domestic carriers have told the Liberals that foreign airlines now enjoy a competitive advantage when serving Canadian cities, courtesy of the massive support from governments.”

Bessma Momani (The Globe and Mail) on how world leaders feel about U.S. president-elect Joe Biden: “Not all world leaders are so excited for a change in U.S. administration. For some, Mr. Biden signifies a return to normative Barack Obama-era preaching about human rights, a renewed commitment to multilateralism and to global climate action at the expense of their hyper-nationalist agendas, and a restoration of Chinese appeasement policies in exchange for short-term U.S. trade gains.”

Maureen Silcoff (Montreal Gazette) on what Biden will mean for U.S. refugee policy: “Better management of our border is another benefit to ending the [Safe Third Country Agreement]. Left without a choice, refugees crossed into Canada irregularly, mostly at Roxham Road. In the absence of the STCA, that practice would evaporate, as refugees would be permitted to enter at official ports of entry, and Quebec would cease to be a magnet for refugees.”

Paul Waldman (Washington Post) on whether Trump run again in 2024: “But Trump won’t risk another run. He can keep telling everyone that he really won the 2020 election and it was stolen from him by fraud (and he will, ad nauseam), but the prospect of yet another loss would be too frightening. Another run at age 78, after having been so roundly defeated this time, seems unlikely in the extreme. Nevertheless, he’ll keep saying that he might run. And prospective 2024 Republican candidates will troop to Trump Tower to kiss his behind and seek his endorsement.”

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop

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