These are the top stories:
Kenney’s fiscal efforts: Assessing his $1.7-billion request and CPP idea
The Alberta Premier is seeking about $1.7-billion from Ottawa under the little-used Fiscal Stabilization Program. As it grappled with a recession in 2016, Alberta received $251-million from program, which helps provinces that have faced unusually large revenue collapses. But Kenney wants the $60-per-person cap on the program lifted retroactively to help Alberta balance its books.
David Parkinson writes that removing the cap would be an easy fix to help relatively wealthy provinces that don’t have the safety net of equalization payments when in an economic rut.
Kenney has floated withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan as a way to return billions of dollars to Alberta. But experts warn that exiting the national plan could be complicated and costly. And it could discourage out-of-province workers from coming to Alberta. On the flipside, Alberta’s younger population could benefit from a provincial plan that would have lower premiums.
Bloc Québécois won’t co-operate with Western provinces in their dispute with Ottawa. Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet insisted he wouldn’t join forces with Kenney or Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe, saying he didn’t want to "support oil when you want to reduce the effects of climate change.”
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What happened on Day 1 of the public hearings in the Trump impeachment inquiry
The top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine and a senior State Department official added more evidence to U.S. President Donald Trump’s role in trying to discredit Joe Biden, a potential rival in next year’s election.
Acting Kyiv envoy William Taylor revealed a conversation where an official confided that Trump “cares more about the investigations” than U.S. policy in the Ukraine.
Both Taylor and State Department official George Kent laid out a plot to withhold US$400-million in aid to Ukraine. “Withholding security assistance in exchange for help with a domestic political campaign in the United States would be crazy,” Taylor said. “I believed that then and I believe it now.”
John Doyle writes that Day 1 had “stay tuned” written all over it.
Testimony continues Friday with Marie Yovanovitch. The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine says she was ousted by Trump’s personal lawyer.
The hearings began on the same day Trump met with Turkey’s President at the White House, where Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended his military campaign in northeastern Syria as “just fighting terrorists, period.” U.S. lawmakers, including Republicans, have condemned the incursion that has seen Kurdish forces abandoned by the departure of American troops.
Fundraiser organizers have not yet asked Doug Ford to donate the chance to dine with him
A decision on whether the Ontario Premier will offer up dinner packages at a Toronto Police charity fundraiser won’t be made until the gala gets under way tonight, organizers say. A spokesperson for Ford initially said the Premier would donate dinners for a second year in a row, but now says he will “if he’s asked.”
The developments come in the wake of a Globe report that revealed Ford had several dinners with business executives who paid $20,000 each at last year’s gala. Critics say trading cash for access is unethical even if the money goes to charity.
“Regardless of where the money’s going, the bottom line is it is still money that is being paid to give access to the Premier,” Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said.
Our editorial board writes that Ford “doesn’t seem to get that he is creating the appearance of conflict of interest, or the outright fact of it, and sowing doubt in the public’s mind about the ethical nature of his dealings with businesses that lobby his government.”
In B.C.: Indigenous ceremony challenged; charge against mayor stayed
The B.C. school system’s reconciliation efforts are being tested in court. An evangelical Christian mother says her two children’s Charter right to religious freedom was infringed when their classes participated in an Indigenous smudging ceremony. She wants a ban on the practice in schools, but the tribal council that demonstrated the ritual says it isn’t a religious act.
A sex-assault charge against Port Moody’s mayor has been stayed. Rob Vagramov completed an “alternative measures” program, the details of which weren’t disclosed. The mayor took a leave of absence in March, just months into his term, but returned in September until an outcry from councillors prompted a second leave in October.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Hong Kong protests: Students are arming themselves with makeshift weapons and building barricades amid talk of a curfew after some of the worst violence in decades. Unrest on university campuses has prompted some students from Taiwan and mainland China to leave the island by boat or plane.
Bid to sue Canadians for pirating films rejected: A federal judge dismissed a motion from Hollywood film studio Voltage Pictures that sought to launch a “reverse class action” to sue thousands of Canadians for sharing movies online.
Quebec bets on blimps: The provincial government is investing $30-million in French blimp-maker Flying Whales. The move comes as a pillar of Quebec’s aerospace industry, Bombardier, pulls back from commercial activities. Flying Whales has yet to build a flying prototype.
Stocks dip as China slowdown deepens, German economy weak: World stocks nudged down on Thursday as Chinese economic data slowed in October and Germany only narrowly avoided a recession in the third quarter, adding to worries about the global growth fallout from the U.S.-China trade war. Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.8 per cent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.9 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.1 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX were down by between 0.3 and 0.5 per cent by about 4:45 a.m. ET, with the Paris CAC 40 down marginally. New York futures were down. The Canadian dollar was below 75.5 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Hong Kong is my home, but I fear going back again
Amy Lai: “Hong Kong, where I was born and raised, has always had a special place in my heart. I never considered it perfect, but I always thought, even after I moved to Canada as an adult, that it would be my home – that is until this June, when the government began a brutal crackdown on what had been an orderly, peaceful protest against a now-infamous extradition bill.” Amy Lai is a lawyer and author.
Winnipeg needs a new partnership to combat its violent crime crisis
Ross Holden: “Chief of Police Danny Smyth has stated that much of the violent crime is linked to the methamphetamine and opioid crisis currently gripping the city. But the roots of the crisis go much deeper: residential schools, the Indian Act and reserve system, dislocation from lands and resources, loss of language and culture, and systemic racism have all taken their toll.” Ross Holden is vice president of Indigenous Governance and Self-Determination at the Institute on Governance.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
A selection of reader essays on aging
“If I was to make a list of things I wished to do in my ‘mature years,’” writes Margaret Hendley, “getting a tattoo probably wouldn’t even enter my mind.”
Susan MacLeod says drawing sketches of nursing home residents is her “small way of showing that society need not be afraid of the old and the infirm, that they’re lively, they’re interesting, and that they want and deserve to be seen.”
Byron Jenkins writes: “Lying in a ditch, chugging water and pressing an ice pack to the back of my neck, I had my epiphany: A runner’s life really can begin at 50.”
MOMENT IN TIME
Vancouver landmark opens
Nov. 14, 1938: Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge is known for spectacular views, and traffic. But when it was dreamed up by engineer Alfred Taylor, it was a path to the undeveloped North Shore, and a job creator funded by a rich British consortium led by the beer-making Guinness family in a depression-struck city. The Lions Gate Bridge, which opened on this day in 1938, spans the Burrard Inlet and is the gateway to Vancouver harbor. The suspension bridge – literally a roadway hung from towers by great long cables – was the longest such span in the British Empire and remains Western Canada’s longest. The Guinness family, eager to funnel buyers to its British Properties development on the North Shore, paid $6-million to build the bridge, and sold it to the province of British Columbia in 1955 for the same amount. Named for the twin peaks of the Coastal Mountains in the distance, the bridge has since added a third lane and dropped the tolls. But from most vantage points, its graceful curves remain, arcing across the narrows and framing a view even a traffic jam can only partly diminish. – Eric Atkins