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If your favourite local restaurant hasn’t closed down yet, odds are even it could happen by the end of the year.

That’s the message from food-service lobby groups and chambers of commerce from across the country, who warn that pandemic safety measures have devastated their sector. Since March, restaurants in most jurisdictions have faced severe limits on how many customers they can serve, particularly for in-person dining. And while diners can eat on patios, the good weather won’t last forever.

Business groups are asking political leaders to offer more help for restaurants by expanding tools available for all businesses – like the rent-relief program and bans on commercial evictions – as well as sector-specific measures like expanding alcohol licensing.

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.


One criticism of how the RCMP handled the mass shooting in Nova Scotia in April is that it did not make use of the public-alert system. In fact, regulators have been warned at least as far back as 2017 that there were serious problems with the system.

The black boxes from the Ukrainian airliner downed in Iran earlier this year are now in Paris, allowing Canadian and other international investigators the chance to finally examine them.

Britain is following in the footsteps of Canada and Australia and suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. The British government said it has concerns about the national-security law recently imposed by China.

And the rate of coronavirus infection in Alberta is starting to spike, and public-health officials are warning it is fuelled mostly by young people who are getting tired of the restrictions put in place to keep the virus under control.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the mystery about how the WE Charity-administered program began: “Looking back, it’s hard to fathom how it got so far. Maybe that puzzle will be easier to solve if we knew how it began. Did it come from WE? The charity has contested that notion. Was it bureaucrats who came up with it? Was it spit-balled around Justin Trudeau’s supper table?”

Leah West (The Globe and Mail) on the definition of terrorism and the gunman who stormed the grounds of Rideau Hall: “No less important, the ‘I know it when I see it’ approach to defining terrorism is dangerous. U.S. President Donald Trump’s description of Antifa and anti-racism protesters as ‘terrorists’ highlights how the powerful can sweepingly deploy this label to discredit and criminalize their critics. However, Canadian authorities are historically much quicker to ‘know and see’ terrorism when an individual’s motivations resemble those of al-Qaeda or the Islamic State.”

Adam Radwanski (The Globe and Mail) on whether the federal government could encourage clean tech through procurement policies: ‘As the U.S. government (among others) does, Ottawa could set aside a certain share of all public procurement for small businesses, which would probably help early-stage clean tech in particular if government spending was generally going green.”

Doug Cuthand (Saskatoon StarPhoenix) on the damage down to Black and Indigenous people through systemic racism: “Our people live lives that fall short of our true potential. I often wonder how many brilliant Indigenous people have been lost to their people and Canada. How much talent, ability and genius has been lost?”

Doris Grinspun (The Globe and Mail) on long-term care homes and the pandemic: “Canada has one of the best health care systems and some of the best health care intelligence in the world. We pride ourselves on inclusivity and acceptance. Unless we heed the very clear answers as to why the LTC COVID-19 disaster happened before the next wave arrives, we will completely devastate our country’s oldest citizens.”

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