Evening Brief: 'Normal' Christmas out of the question
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Good evening to you.

And congrats — you’ve made it to Friday!

So there’s that. In less happy news, the outlook from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as we head towards the holidays was grim today: “A normal Christmas, quite frankly, is out of the question,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam had warned that Canada is “not on a good trajectory” as she unveiled new modelling from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which showed the country is headed for 20,000 cases of COVID-19 daily if people don’t reduce their contacts. Should people chose to disregard the warnings and increase their contacts from current levels, the data indicates the number of cases could reach 60,000 a day by the end of December. Needless to say, things are much worse than they were during the first wave.

Trudeau acknowledged that people are tired of the restrictions and all things related to the coronavirus, but he urged people to follow public health advice, as much is on the line. “This is the future of our country, this is the future of our children, it’s the future of our loved ones and our seniors, it’s our economy, it’s our businesses, it’s everything all together,” he said.

Evening Brief: 'Normal' Christmas out of the question
Andrew Meade/iPolitics

As part of his and Tam’s joint plea to only head out for “essential activities,” Trudeau spoke to reporters in front of Rideau Cottage this morning and said he’ll be working from home as much as possible, as he did earlier this year. “I don’t want to be here this morning, you don’t want me to be here this morning, but here we are again.” More from Charlie Pinkerton.

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced this afternoon that Toronto and Peel Region have been placed in a lockdown, which means most non-essential businesses will be shuttered. Iain Sherriff-Scott has that story.

In Manitoba, a record number of people are in hospital and officials announced that a man in his 20s had succumbed to the virus, the youngest in the province to die from the illness. Outside of Winnipeg, the health district in the small town of Steinbach, with just over 21,000 people now has the most COVID-19 cases per capita in the country.

In related news: Alberta is now the only province without a mask mandate. Your move, Jason Kenney.

Rear-Admiral Rebecca Patterson, commander of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group, told a House of Commons committee today that the military is working on a plan to acquire its own coronavirus testing capacity for those in uniform.

Trudeau spent the day pitching the economic benefits of fighting climate change and doing business with Canada while meeting with counterparts from both sides of the Pacific during the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation leaders’ summit. As the Canadian Press notes, however, it’s unclear if his pitch will be heard or fall on deaf ears given Canada’s ongoing tensions with China, ditto for Washington and Beijing.

Closer to home, a day after the Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson tabled the government’s plan to achieve net-zero emissions which includes targets, but no penalties for failing to meet them, critics say it’s “no way adequate to the crisis we’re facing.”

Evening Brief: 'Normal' Christmas out of the question
Jolson Lim/iPolitics

The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld an appeal court judgment that found sexual offenders not criminally responsible due to a mental disability are not treated equally under the law, compared to offenders that are found guilty.

The 7-2 decision agreed that Ontario’s sex offender registry law unconstitutionally prohibits those found not criminally responsible, but given an absolute discharge, a chance to be free of the requirements of the registry. In contrast, those without a mental disability convicted of a sexual offence, but who are then absolutely discharged, pardoned or given a record suspension, have what courts call an “exit ramp.” More from Leslie MacKinnon.

Still with the courts, a new lawsuit filed in Federal Court by Democracy Watch claims Canada’s process for appointing federal judges is unconstitutional because it is open to partisan political interference. The non-profit says the Canadian system gives too much discretionary power to the justice minister. That story from the Canadian Press.

The launch of a new federal office to handle complaints of human-rights abuses perpetrated by Canadian companies operating overseas has been delayed once again. The Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise, announced in January 2018, was set to launch its complaints mechanism at the end of November, marking the start of operations for the watchdog after being delayed by COVID-19 in the spring. Now, things are on hold once gain until early next year. Jolson Lim has the details.

In The Rebel to Rabble Review: Calls to ‘stop the great reset’; O’Toole’s Scheer dilemma

In The Drilldown: Opposition disappointed with government’s climate legislation

In The Sprout: Canada’s agriculture ministers kick off two-day annual meeting

In Other Headlines:

CERB was collected by high-income earners, new data shows (CP)
Ambassador visits Canadians detained in China in Huawei case (CP)
Ex-health minister Philpott says federal government should back drug decriminalization in Vancouver (CBC)
Minister overrules senior bureaucrat on water probe (CBC)
Lawyer for Rob Anders needs month to review evidence (CP)
Ex-Mountie refusing to testify in Huawei extradition hearing is working at Macau casino (Globe and Mail)

Internationally:

On the heels of his campaign’s truly bizarre press conference yesterday that continued to peddle bogus election fraud claims, President Donald Trump invited Republican election board officials from Michigan that initially refused to certify the vote in Wayne County, a Democratic stronghold He met with Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey this afternoon at the White House as his legal team continued to try to overturn the election results. The state officials were met by protestors as they tried to depart and as they arrived in D.C. Politico had this to say about why they never should have accepted the invitation.

“It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President,” said Sen. Mitt Romney, who is among the growing number of Republicans who are breaking with Trump and his legal team over their dangerous effort.

It’s not clear which, if any lawyers will attend that meeting at the White House, as Rudy Giuliani and others on his team were at Giuliani’s circus of a press conference yesterday. Giuliani’s son Andrew, who was also in attendance, announced this afternoon that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Two sources tell CNN there are discussions currently underway with the President about inviting Republican state legislators from Pennsylvania to the White House.

As the circus continues, here’s CNN’s look at how Trump is sabotaging President-elect Joe Biden — and America in the process.

In Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified the results of the state’s presidential election today, a step that will make Biden’s victory there official

At the Vatican, an investigation is underway to try and determine how the Pope’s official Instagram account came to “like” a photo of a scantily clad Brazilian model, dressed in a school uniform. What’s to investigate here?? Instagram is pretty straightforward that way…

Still with the interwebs, last month well-known cyber investigator Victor Gevers said he successfully logged into Trump’s Twitter account by guessing his password — ‘MAGA2020!’ While the White House denied it had happened and Twitter said it had no evidence of the hack either, as the BBC reports, Gevers has shared more to back up his claims.

In Featured Opinion:

Alana Westwood and Sarah Otto: Rebuilding from a pandemic should strive to pay off Canada’s ecological debt

The Kicker:

Finally, with a password like ‘MAGA2020!’ it’s obvious Donnie isn’t perhaps the most savvy social media user. No surprise then this morning that he retweeted what appeared to be praise from his sister, but was actually from a parody account.

On that note, have a grand weekend.

Read original article here.