Today’s Morning Brief is brought to you by iPolitics. Subscribers get the Lunchbox Brief delivered to their inbox at noon Monday to Friday. Featuring the government relations sector every Tuesday. After your busy morning, the Lunchbox is a quick and easy way to get up to speed. Sign up here.

Good Monday morning,

-- Canada congratulates the new president-elect: After days of keeping quiet as U.S. election numbers rolled in, the PM wasted no time in congratulating Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris when the race was finally called on Saturday. He referred to the Canada-U.S. relationship as "extraordinary" and "unique on the world stage" and said he looked forward to tackling "the world's greatest challenges together" with the new administration.

The Foreign minister called Biden's win "good news" in an interview with CTV on Sunday. "We'll be able to work very well with the administration," he said. In an interview with CBC, he said, "We certainly hope for a smooth transition" and noted that Ottawa was already planning for the new administration.

Freeland was quick to congratulate the Democrats, too, adding a "very personal congratulations" to Harris. "Your victory is an inspiration to women & girls and to people of colour across our continent. I look forward to working w/ you to help both our countries crush this global pandemic & to crack more glass ceilings along the way," she tweeted.

Here's what Canada can expect on the trade file from a Biden administration.

-- Kady O'Malley looks ahead to the rest of the day in politics with iPolitics AM: "With the House of Commons powered down for a brief one-week hiatus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is booked in for a mid-morning appearance on Parliament Hill, during which he's expected to provide an update on his government's efforts to hit fast forward on its plan to boost high-speed internet access and digital connectivity across Canada." And much more.

-- Coronavirus infections are soaring in Canada: B.C., Manitoba, and regions of Ontario have all imposed new restrictions as COVID-19 cases break records across Canada. "Every province from Quebec to B.C. reported record or near-record single-day case tallies over the weekend," the Globe reports.

It has exposed a divide between politicians, with some willing to make economic sacrifices and others, like the Alberta premier, declining to implement new restrictions. So far, neither approach has been successful in containing the spread of the virus.

-- Garneau warns airlines: The Transport minister announced that before airlines can get any federal aid, they must refund customers for flights cancelled during the pandemic. Negotiations begin this week on a financial bailout package for Canada's airline and aerospace industry.


News tip? Let us know:



-- It's Biden: Joe Biden has won at least 279 electoral votes, more than the 270 needed to put him in the White House. "Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now," he said in an address to the nation on Saturday after the election was called. Harris made history, too: she is the first woman, first Black person, and first person of Asian descent elected to the second-highest office.

Fighting the coronavirus will be a top priority for the Biden administration, as will the economy, racism, and climate change. He is already set to unveil a COVID-19 task force today. He will also launch "agency review teams" this week to to study key agencies in the current administration in an effort to smooth the transfer of power and be ready to hit the ground running in January. (But it looks like they may have some trouble getting started.)

In addition to Trudeau, a number of world leaders have congratulated Biden, including the U.K.'s Johnson, France's Macron, Germany's Merkel, Italy's Conte, Ireland's Martin, India's Modi, Pakistan's Khan, Israel's Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia's ruling family, and Ukraine's Zelensky, among others. Notably missing from the list were Russia, China, and Brazil.

Global markets are up on the news.

-- Trump refuses to concede: Trump has not yet admitted defeat, and the General Services Administration, a federal agency, has yet to formally confirm the election result too. On Saturday, Trump's lawyers and campaign team held a press conference (at Four Seasons Total Landscaping — yes, that's a landscaping company in the Philadelphia suburbs, not the hotel) to make allegations about voter fraud. Trump issued a statement saying the election was "far from over." Judges have dismissed multiple lawsuits by his campaign.

Germany called for restraint and "a cool head." Jared Kushner and Melania Trump are said to be among those advising the president to give up. Even Lukashenko in Belarus condemned the election as a "travesty of democracy."

-- On the Brexit brink: The U.K.'s upper house will vote today on a controversial bill that would override parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The EU's chief negotiator is in London for talks on a trade deal today. This could prove to be a pivotal week for PM Boris Johnson as the country is "on the brink" of finalizing its departure from the EU, Bloomberg reports.

-- Azerbaijan update: The Azeri president, Ilham Aliyev, made a televised address to the nation last night, claiming that his military seized a key city in the disputed region where Azerbaijan has been fighting Armenian forces since September. The Armenians said fighting was still ongoing.

-- Elsewhere: Alex Trebek has passed away. Global coronavirus cases surpass 50 million. More than 800 people were arrested in Belarus yesterday, the thirteenth consecutive Sunday of demonstrations against Lukashenko. Libyan peace talks begin today. French lawmakers consider controversial restrictions on filming police. Eta makes landfall in Florida Keys. "The memes are hilarious": a dispatch from BBC North America correspondent Larry Madowo, a Kenyan, on covering the U.S. election.






The Twittersphere is obsessed with this ebullient man who interrupted a French TV reporter amid celebrations in D.C.

Forbes tracked him down for an interview.