Politics Briefing: First COVID-19 vaccine shots begin today

Hello,

A personal support worker in Ontario is the first person in Canada to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Anita Quidangen was one of five staff members from a Toronto nursing home that got a shot today. Quebec will start giving doses of the vaccine to people at long-term care homes in that province this afternoon.

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The vaccine being administered is the one developed by Pfizer, which was approved by Health Canada last week.

It requires two doses, 21 days apart, to be effective, so those receiving shots today won’t be truly inoculated for a few weeks.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

Conservative provincial governments and industry may not be thrilled with the Liberals’ carbon pricing plan, but they say they did appreciate that the not-yet-unveiled Clean Fuel Standard will be less onerous than threatened.

A staffing agency that was providing help to the government on its proposed program to buy back assault rifles has pulled out after suffering a wave of online abuse from gun supporters.

A series of Supreme Court decisions this fall suggests the top judges think provincial appeals courts are perpetuating harmful stereotypes about sexual-assault cases and incorrectly dismissing the testimony of female victims.

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Le Devoir reports the top ranks of the Global Affairs department have become increasingly Anglophone, and Francophone diplomats are finding it hard to advance their careers.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney had emergency surgery this weekend, but is recovering.

Former Liberal cabinet minister Alfonso Gagliano, who was a key figure of the sponsorship scandal, has died at the age of 78.

And the U.S. Electoral College is set to cast its votes today for the next president, and all signs point to electors obeying the will of the people in favour of a win. , who lost last month’s election, had his most recent longshot legal bid rebuffed by the Supreme Court on Friday.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the new Liberal carbon price: “This is Justin Trudeau the gambler, the one whose willingness to make big political calls peeks out every now and then between more cautious calculations of Liberal strategists. He did it in opposition when he unceremoniously booted senators from the Liberal caucus. He did it in government when he announced Ottawa would buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline.”

Kelly Cryderman (The Globe and Mail) on Alberta’s view: “The Alberta backdrop for all of the climate measures is a deep cynicism, to put it mildly, about whether other countries – including oil producers – with much higher emissions than Canada’s will take actions that could hamstring their own economies, or how much Ottawa cares about how its policies land in a province that doesn’t elect Liberal MPs.”

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Vass Bednar (The Globe and Mail) on the push to break up Facebook: “Antitrust law is emerging as a preferred and sophisticated tool to try to neutralize the power of Big Tech. It is an intricate field built on the basic thesis that when a company doesn’t have real competition, it will have the freedom to act against the public interest.”

Erica Ifill (The Globe and Mail) on a lawsuit from Black public servants alleging systemic racism at work: “Claiming diversity as your strength – as the organizations named in the lawsuit are wont to do – is not a get-out-of-jail-free card against the possibility of perpetuating systemic racism, just like having a Black friend does not permanently absolve someone of any act of racism.”

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