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Hello,

Ontario Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk has slammed the provincial government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a special report, Ms. Lysyk said, among other flaws, the “command table” of experts handling the crisis ballooned from 21 to 500 people and did not meet for a video conference until July.

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The Auditor-General said the province had failed to learn its lessons from the 2003 SARS crisis.

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

John McCallum, the former Liberal minister and ambassador to China who was dismissed in 2019, says Canada does not need a registry of foreign agents, similar to ones created in the United States and Australia.

Relatives of the Canadian victims of a Boeing 737 Max crash are urging the government to be extremely careful before clearing the plane for flying again.

The Liberal government has given notice it will table a bill to legalize single-game sports betting. A private member’s bill to legalize the practice sailed through the House in 2013, but stalled in the Senate before it could become law.

As Alberta sees rates of COVID-19 soar, the provincial government is enacting new lockdowns that still allow many businesses to operate.

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And Politico has a fascinating deep dive into the Trump campaign’s failed efforts to overturn the election results in Michigan, a state he lost by 154,000 votes -- and the state Republicans who nevertheless supported the fraudulent claims of fraud.

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on conspiracy theories about “The Great Reset”: “It would be of the greatest assistance in dispelling populist fears of shadowy globalist plots for world domination if the objects of their paranoia did not so often carry on like cackling Bond villains.”

André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on why Alberta’s new lockdown measures are inadequate: “What we saw Tuesday was inaction posing as action, a quasi-libertarian Premier bending over backward to do nothing while pretending otherwise.”

Jillian Kohler and Jonathan Cushing (The Globe and Mail) on what the pandemic means for pharmaceutical companies: “In the wake of the encouraging news about COVID-19 vaccine trials from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, global attention is on pharmaceutical companies like never before. But in the understandable excitement, the companies in the spotlight risk overlooking a major opportunity: the chance to prioritize transparency and global health over profits, and build their credibility.”

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

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