Wednesday Night #2021

Written by  //  December 9, 2020  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Wednesday, 9 December
12 – 1pm ET
Conspiracy theories and COVID-19 disinformation
MIGS hosted the second installment of the series on COVID-19 and disinformation: key actors, themes, and impacts of conspiracy theories and disinformation in the Canadian context.
Dr. Joan Donovan (Shorenstein Center at Harvard University), Melanie Smith (Graphika), and Dr. Heidi Tworek (UBC & CIGI). Aphrodite Salas (Concordia) will moderate this discussion.
The event will be livestreamed on the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies’ Facebook and YouTube pages.
Désirée forwarded this reminder
Wednesday, 9 December
7 pm
Fireside Stories for the Climate // Paris to Glasgow: from knowledge to action, organized by Corporate Knights
As we celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the Paris Agreement and prepare for the next round of negotiations, to take place in Glasgow in 2021, we must critically reflect on one central question – what will it take to move the masses to act for the climate before it is too late? Join us for a unique and compelling opportunity to hear from a cultural icon, a financial influencer, a renowned climate activist, and an Indigenous trailblazer.
Featuring: Margaret Atwood, David Suzuki, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Michael Sabia
Michael Sabia‘s inclusion might appear odd, if one missed the news that he was appointed Deputy Minister Finance on Monday and, according to John Ibbitson, Justin Trudeau puts hopes in Michael Sabia to cement his legacy with generation-defining infrastructure
See also Paul Wells: The new DM of Finance intends to do great things. The Prime Minister intends for him to do great things. Now, will they actually happen?

Thursday, 10 December, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death, The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to the World Food Programme in a virtual ceremony

10 December is also the second anniversary of the arrests of the two Michaels.  Canada’s ambassador to China Dominic Barton reports they are healthy and doing well despite being held in Chinese prisons for 730 days.
The two-year milestone comes just as the Wall Street Journal reported last week that Meng has been negotiating a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that would allow her to return to China. The news has raised hopes that a deal could also lead to freedom for the two Michaels, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused to comment.
Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas tackle the various possibilities (start at 06.28) surrounding the news that the U.S. Department of Justice may be considering a deal for Meng Wanzhou. Meanwhile,
Kovrig and Spavor are still in jail. A new campaign wants to bombard Chinese embassies with cards

The good news is that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout has started. The less reassuring news is that all developed countries face supply and logistical challenges and equitable global distribution is threatened as data shows that rich nations representing just 14% of the world’s population have bought up 53% of all the most promising vaccines so far. The WHO has backed a global vaccine programme scheme known as COVAX, which seeks to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines and 189 countries have joined. But some countries such as the United States have not signed up, having secured bilateral deals. Amnesty International is calling for support for a proposal made by South Africa and India to the WTO Council to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments.
See Ian Bremmer in TIME What Happens Next as the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollouts Begin
Health Canada approves Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what you need to know about it
C. Uday Bhaskar writes that India should create a corpus for post-COVID South Asia rebuilding suggesting it mght be more appropriate for the Modi government to defer the construction of a new parliament building in Delhi, and use the funds to create a corpus for post-COVID South Asian rebuilding.

Quebec‘s CAQ government should, in our opinion, be devoting all its time and energies to pandemic problems of which there are far too many.
But No! Expanding the reach of Bill 101 has been a major preoccupation and to our dismay is supported by six former premiers. Andrew Caddell devotes this week’s column to Bill 101 applying federally? Time for some constitutional common sense

Bravo Christian Arsenault: “Today I am voting against the administration’s budget and resigning from the Projet Montréal caucus to sit as an Independent. As a long-time member of the party, this was a very difficult decision to make, but I am making it because I have fundamentally lost faith in this administration’s ability to represent and defend the interests of the citizens of CDN-NDG. The administration has broken multiple promises by maintaining the fiscal imbalance that chronically underfunds our borough and worse, has proposed a budget that will only exacerbate this inequity over the next decade.”

Politico Canada has recently introduced Corridors
Wednesday morning’s issue notes The future of the Canada-U.S. energy relationship may not be about oil, but about minerals. As the incoming Biden administration and like-minded leaders try to wean the world off fossil fuels, they’re relying on a non-renewable resource: the rare earths and minerals needed for the production of rechargeable batteries, wind turbines and solar panels. The hitch: these materials are overwhelmingly produced by China.
As tensions rise with Beijing, Washington is looking around for alternative supplies – and Canada wants in. In a new episode of POLITICO’s Global Translations podcast, hosts Luiza Savage and Ryan Heath talk to Canada’s ambassador Kirsten Hillman about how Canada plans to boost domestic mining and collaborate with the U.S. to diversify supply chains of so-called “critical minerals” with partners “that we can rely on when the going gets tough.”

Ron Meisels explains in the Globe & Mail Why the Dow at 100,000 may not be all that far away “well before 2030.”

Water futures set to join likes of gold and oil and trade on Wall Street for first time ever – While water will officially join the likes of gold, oil, and other commodities in being traded on Wall Street, the contracts will be financially settled. This means buyers of the contracts who hold on through expiration won’t be greeted by a delivery of millions of gallons of water like they would for other commodity-based futures like oil and grain.

We never thought it was going to be smooth sailing for the Biden/Harris transition or administration, but not only does the president-elect have to contend with all of the roadblocks set up by the outgoing trumpsters and its allies [e.g.  The More Complicated Crisis Biden Will Inherit With Iran], he has to deal with various elements of the Democratic party all demanding their (as it were) pound of flesh as he announces his cabinet and senior official nominees. Only the announcement that Dr. Anthony Fauci will serve as Chief Medical Adviser to the President on COVID-19, and also continue in his role as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases seems unassailable.
Adding to the new administration’s problems is the threat that Trump Will Become a ‘Shadow President’
As usual, I highly recommend Heather Cox Richardson’s daily Letters from an American for a straight forward summary of the best and worst U.S. news.

Think about it:

Is Crimea Now Costing Russia More Than It Is Worth?
In the euphoria that surrounded Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea six years ago, most Russians were more than willing to spend money to integrate that region into the Russian Federation. But at that time, they had little idea just how much that process would cost. Not only did that aggressive breach of international law trigger Western sanctions against Russia, but the authorities in Moscow also never gave the public an honest estimate of just how much money would need to be spent, nor for how long, even after the Kremlin proclaimed the peninsula’s absorption an accomplished fact. Were the Russian economy doing well, that might not matter; but it is not (see EDM, May 6, 12, 18, November 30), and the subsidies going to Crimea are, of course, unavailable to support the domestic needs of the increasingly hard-pressed Russian people in Russia proper. That contradiction could, therefore, encourage Putin to try to launch a new military advance to cover these losses.

What the People Want Is Climate Leadership
Now that the world’s leading greenhouse-gas emitters are committed to achieving carbon-neutrality by mid-century or soon thereafter, it is time for policymakers to translate words into action. Though the task is enormous, new survey findings show that the public is on their side.

Thank you, Kitty, for forwarding the links to China in Focus of 3 December plus a video demonstrating how the Chinese government uses money and “friends” to buy their way in all over the world. Interesting viewing!

Cornelia Molson forwarded Mandating quotas will ensure women have a spot at the C-suite table. Is mandating the way to go? The author cites the Norwegian experiment “in 2008 when the government imposed compulsory quotas for women to make up at least 40 per cent of a public company’s board of directors. …384 of Norway’s 563 publicly traded companies took themselves private in order not to comply.” How to incite shareholders to demand action?

The tech industry needs regulation for its systemically important companies
When companies are systemically important, regulation is not just nice to have. Regulation itself becomes an essential service, one that only an active, agile and competent government agency can provide. The Biden administration should be looking carefully at how to regulate these companies in the public interest.

How should Facebook and Twitter handle Trump after he leaves office?
Twitter has already confirmed that the @realDonaldTrump account will be beholden(sic) to the same regulations as all other nonexempt users after President-elect Biden’s inauguration and the turnover of @POTUS, @FLOTUS, and @WhiteHouse accounts to a new administration.
Facebook also allows otherwise objectionable content “if it is newsworthy and in the public interest.” This allowance is not dependent on being an officeholder or candidate and it is entirely possible that Trump will keep the same protection. Given these different standards, it is entirely possible that a Trump tweet would be taken down, while an identical Facebook post could remain.

Could this be true?
The 200,000-year-old city found in Southern Africa may rewrite history
In South Africa, about 150 km west of port Maputo, Mozambique, a giant stone city has been discovered. It became possible to determine the age of the site by measuring the erosion rate of the dolerite.
The 1500 square kilometer metropolis was believed to have been built between 160,000 and 200,000 years ago!

Tegan and Sara would like you to buy ‘Bonjour, Hi’ masks this holiday season
They’re selling ‘Bonjour, Hi’ masks through their online store and donating 100 per cent of the proceeds to the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal and Resilience Montreal.

Christmas carols have been everywhere for weeks and most have become simply annoying, but we never tire of the Huron Carol and particularly like this version by Heather Dale in Huron, French, English, and American Sign Language.
Enjoy!

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