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Hello, and happy Thanksgiving.
— Stewart out as head of PHAC: Iain Stewart is stepping down as president of the Public Health Agency of Canada. He was publicly admonished by members of parliament earlier this year when his department refused to turn over documents relating to the firing of two infectious diseases lab scientists. Stewart has led the agency through much of the pandemic.
Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar, an associate deputy minister of health, will replace Stewart, who will resume his role as president of the National Research Council of Canada.
— Vaccine passports ‘in the next couple of months’: Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told CTV News that Canadians can expect vaccine passports in “the next couple of months”. He said the government is still aiming for a “fall” timeline to implement them. A new policy requires all federal employees and all air, rail, and marine travellers to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30.
— COVID outbreak at NWT legislature: The Northwest Territories’ chief public health officer has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the legislature in Yellowknife, citing six confirmed and two probable cases. According to CTV News, the territory currently has the highest active case rate in the country.
— Trudeau meets Afghan refugees: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met a family of Afghan refugees in Ottawa on Saturday, one of whom had worked at the Canadian embassy in Kabul. Canada has committed to resettling 40,000 people from Afghanistan; so far, some 1,000 have arrived.
— Canadian economist wins half of Nobel Prize: The Canadian-born economist David Card, currently based at the University of California, was awarded half the Nobel prize in economics today for his research on how the minimum wage, immigration, and education affect the labor market. The other half of the prize was shared by two other U.S.-based economists.
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AROUND THE WORLD
— Iraq held an election: But there was record low turnout, as many boycotted the vote. The vote was meant to be held next year, but in 2019 tens of thousands of young people had taken to the streets to demand the vote be held sooner in a popular uprising against corruption and mismanagement (that led to the deaths of 600 people by security forces). Foreign media covering this weekend’s elections had difficulties accessing polling places to report.
— It’s Taiwan’s National Day: On Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to achieve “the reunification of the motherland by peaceful means.” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen yesterday said her country will not “bow to pressure” from China.
— France is returning 26 artefacts to Benin: But experts note that just one Paris museum holds some 70,000 African artefacts, roughly 46,000 of which would qualify for restitution. So it’s a start?
— Elsewhere: A record COVID death toll in Russia. Populist Czech leader Andrej Babis narrowly defeated in election. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigned. Britain and Ireland had a Twitter spat. Australia wants to make social media giants responsible for defamatory posts. Trial begins today over the killing of Burkina Faso’s revolutionary hero Thomas Sankara 34 years ago. An ISIS suicide bomber attacked a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan. Lebanon’s national power grid fully collapsed.
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Looking for ideas for some family fun after dinner tonight? Schitt’s Creek now has its own edition of Monopoly.