Morning Brief: Security committee boycott and Quebec closures

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Good morning, readers.

Tories boycott committee over lab docs: Erin O’Toole is refusing to name Conservative MPs to the national security and intelligence committee after pulling his Conservative members from the committee last spring in protest. That followed the Liberal government’s refusal to disclose unredacted records tied to the dismissal of two Winnipeg scientists from Canada’s highest security lab.

Tories done with China committee: The Conservative Party will also not seek to resurrect the parliamentary committee on Canada-China relations. O’Toole had spearheaded the motion to establish that committee in December 2019, before he was leader of the party. Now his party says there are other priorities to focus on, including Afghanistan.

Quebec shuts schools, bars, gyms: The province of Quebec is closing in-person learning at schools, as well as businesses in a number of industries, as COVID-19 cases soar. Cinemas, bars, concert halls, gyms, and spas were closed as of 5pm yesterday, while remote working was made mandatory. Restaurants can operate at half capacity until 10 p.m. and sporting events will take place without spectators.

Miller open to reviewing Catholic Church deal: Following CBC News’ investigation into a residential school compensation deal reached between the federal government and Catholic Church, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller says he is “absolutely open” to an independent review of that deal. Advocates say that releasing documents related to the deal would be a show of good faith.


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Airplane execs issue warning over 5G: Top bosses from Boeing and Airbus wrote a joint letter to the U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warning that 5G technology could have “an enormous negative impact on the aviation industry.” The concern is that it could interfere with aircraft electronics. They called for a delay to the 5G rollout.

U.K. Supreme Courts deals blow to Maduro: The U.K. Supreme Court has prevented Nicolás Maduro from accessing Venezuelan gold stored in the Bank of England. It ruled that only opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who the country considers as the legitimate leader, can access the gold. As BBC News notes, despite the U.K.’s recognition of Guaidó in principle, it nonetheless deals with the Maduro administration in practice.

ElsewhereIsrael bans travel to 10 new countries. Davos delayed until summer. China hits back at criticism from West over Hong Kong election. China is debating legislation on gender discrimination and sexual harassment at work. Chinese live-streamer fined $210 million for tax evasion. Japan carries out first executions since 2019. An investigation of violence against protesters in Sudan this fall. Abducted Haiti missionaries describe daring escape.






If this happy-dancing pup prancing his way through a winter wonderland doesn’t brighten your morning then nothing will. (Sound on!)

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