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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN

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The uproar over Bill Morneau’s tax reform plan and conflict claims hasn’t completely cratered public opinion of him. A new Nanos Research survey conducted for CTV News shows 34 per cent of Canadians think the finance minister is doing a poor job. Thirty-two per cent say he’s doing average work, 25 per cent say he’s doing good work, and nine per cent are unsure. Negative sentiment is strongest in the Prairies, where 44.6 per cent say Morneau is doing a poor job. The survey was conducted Nov. 4-7.

CANNABIS PLAN

The federal government will unveil the next steps in the legalization, regulation and taxation of recreational cannabis this morning. Recall that at a meeting with premiers in October, Justin Trudeau proposed a $1 excise tax on sales up to $10 and a ten-per-cent levy on sales above that threshold. As a refresher, it’s worth circling back to the PBO’s views on the topic, as documented a year ago.

Ottawa expands cannabis legalization plan

The federal government is providing further details on its cannabis legalization plan on Friday. BNN’s Jameson Berkow looks at what to expect.

FAIRFAX LOADS UP ON TORSTAR

Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial (FFH.TO) has picked up another 9.4 million class B Torstar shares (TSb.TO), taking its stake in the company to 40.6 per cent. Fairfax says “in the future, it may discuss with management and/or the board of directors any of the transactions listed in clauses (a) to (k) of item 5 of Form F1 of National Instrument 62-103 - The Early Warning System and Related Take-over Bid and Insider Reporting Issues.” To de-jargonify that, see here to understand Fairfax is referring options including a major corporate transaction and changes to the board of directors.

U.S. TAX FRICTION

U.S. Senate and House Republicans aren’t quite seeing eye-to-eye on tax reform, most notably on timing the cut to corporate tax rates. Uncertainty about the two chambers’ ability to reconcile their differences sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down as much as 253 points yesterday before closing 101 points lower. Futures are pointing to a weak open, suggesting the risk of a stalemate over taxation will weigh heavily on investor sentiment in the coming weeks. Worth pausing to consider how big a role Gary Cohn can play bringing the party together.

TPP DRAMA

Canada is reportedly at the centre of some trade tension at the APEC meeting in Vietnam. Leaders from nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership were supposed to meet today. But Justin Trudeau was apparently a no-show amid some disagreement about next steps in the process of salvaging a trade deal that was thrown into doubt after the U.S. bailed on the pact.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES:

- TMX Group (X.TO) suffered a nearly-double digit revenue decline in the third quarter, while adjusted profit inched past expectations

- Suncor (SU.TO) has appointed its upstream president Mark Little as chief operating officer

- WestJet (WJA.TO) is urging the B.C. Supreme Court to toss out a proposed class-action harassment lawsuit, arguing it’s not the right forum to hear the claims.

- We’ll keep an eye on Dream Industrial REIT (DIR_u.TO) units today after it announced a $75-million bought deal financing late yesterday (at a discount to its closing price) to help finance the purchase of four properties in the U.S.

- Sherritt is transferring a 28-per-cent stake in Ambatovy to its partners in the project, allowing it to eliminate $1.3 billion in debt in the process.  

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

- Notable earnings: Hydro One, Onex, CAE

- 7:20 a.m. ET: APEC summit begins in Da Nang, Vietnam

- 10:30 a.m. ET: Finance Parliamentary Secretary Joel Lightbound and Justice/Health Parliamentary Secretary Bill Blair make announcement in Ottawa on next steps in cannabis legalization, regulation and taxation

Every morning BNN's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day. Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnn.ca/subscribe