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Canada Morning Update: Bloc of Republican senators sides with Canada on tariffs; Supreme Court rules rights of Indigenous prisoners breached

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

A bloc of Republican senators is siding with Canada on tariffs

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Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was in Washington on Wednesday to accept an award and to rally the support of Republican senators to lift tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who met with Freeland on Wednesday afternoon said that he hopes to have a vote and take action against U.S. President Donald Trump’s “abuse of presidential authority.” Freeland, meanwhile, is warning that Trump’s tariffs are part of an international assault on the global order. “ They are a naked example of the United States putting its thumb on the scale, in violation of the very rules it helped to write,“ she said in a speech accepting Foreign Policy magazine’s award for diplomat of the year. (for subscribers)

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The Liberals rejected Senate amendments to the recreational cannabis bill

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing for a battle with the Senate after he rejected the amendment that would allow provinces to prohibit Canadians from growing their own marijuana at home. Both Manitoba and Quebec want to block their residents from growing small quantities of marijuana, but Trudeau says he has decided to side with the “experts,” who say allowing four plants would help remove organized crime from the cannabis market.

The rights of Indigenous prisoners have been breached, the Supreme Court ruled

Psychological tests used to assess whether a person might reoffend, putting them at risk of being denied parole, have been deemed by the Supreme Court to be failing Indigenous prisoners. The court cited reports that said the prisoners faced a clear cultural bias. In its critique, the court said that the Correctional Service Canada had clearly known the assessments it relied on might be untrustworthy, but it continued to use them nonetheless. In an e-mailed response to The Globe and Mail, a spokesperson for the CSC said it was reviewing the decision and “will determine next steps.”

Zimbabwe is getting set for a critical post-Mugabe election

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Voters are now faced with the chance to test just how free their elections really are after a coup ended dictator Robert Mugabe’s decades-long hold on the southern African country. The president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is struggling to reflect a reformed Zimbabwe in his campaign promises, while Nelson Chamisa, the main opposition, is a young campaigner who seems to be capturing the country’s attention by drawing large crowds to his rallies. If the July 30 vote is too close, particularly for Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF party, experts fear a military intervention could prevent the opposition from winning.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The World Cup is coming to Canada

FIFA’s member associations voted 134 to 65, with one no-vote, Wednesday in favour of the joint North American bid by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup over that of Morocco at the FIFA Congress in Moscow.

MORNING MARKETS

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Hawkish Fed, China surprises curtail risk appetite

European and Asian stocks dropped after a raft of key Chinese data painted a picture of a softening economy, hours after the Federal Reserve struck a hawkish tone in its latest policy statement. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE was off 0.62 per cent at 5:30 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.16 per cent and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.13 per cent. In Asia, markets finished sharply lower with Japan’s Nikkei ending down 0.99 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng losing 0.93 per cent. On Wall Street, futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar, meanwhile, was trading higher at 77.19 per cent.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

To be a reformer, Trudeau must focus less on the middle class and more on the poor

“The evidence at home and around the world is very clear. Poor children – more than a million in Canada – have shorter lifespans and lower educational achievements, are more likely to break the law and less likely to participate in civil society and government when they grow up. All of this because their parents are poor. They failed to select one of Mr. Trudeau’s middle-class moms. For them, the Liberals’ slogan of equality of opportunity is just that, a slogan.” - Ed Broadbent, chair of the Broadbent Institute

We need men’s voices - and wallets - to help women in domestic crisis

“...at least 67 women have been murdered in Canada in the first five months of this year, and in many of those cases a partner or former partner is implicated. While there is progress on a federal level, with domestic violence recognized as a priority in the recent national housing strategy, things aren’t so rosy at the provincial level: a number of provinces haven’t raised their funding for women’s shelters in a decade.” - Elizabeth Renzetti

We can’t let the window close on reforming our pot laws

“Since he became Prime Minister in part by pledging to legalize and regulate marijuana, Justin Trudeau has been accused of political opportunism and of pandering to his hipster fan base. This is nonsense. What his government is on the verge of accomplishing is something that has been on the table, in one form or another, for almost half a century. If the current bill doesn’t pass, it could be decades before we get another shot at it.” – Andrew Potter, editor of upcoming book of essays on marijuana policy

LIVING BETTER

Why fatphobia needs to stop

Dr. Melissa A. Fabello is an advocate and researcher on body politics and social justice and she wants us to shed the anti-fat bias that seems to be woven into our social consciousness. In her opinion, the whole health concern angle that a lot of critics raise about overweight people is basically “gaslighting” and she says to really solve the ‘problems’ with our bodies we must first look inside instead of out.

MOMENT IN TIME

Roller coaster death in West Edmonton Mall

June 14, 1986 was a busy night at Edmonton’s “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The newly opened West Edmonton Mall was the hottest spot in the country, a $1-billion megamall the size of 80 football fields with elaborate attractions that included live sharks, a functional submarine and the Mindbender, the world’s only indoor looping roller-coaster. The $6-million ride had been open for just three months. Just before 10 p.m., a sound cut through Fantasyland, the mall’s indoor amusement park. Those inside the park that night described seeing a spray of sparks and watching in terror as the rear car of the ride came off the track and hit a concrete pillar, spilling riders onto the concrete floor below. Three people died and 19 more were injured or in shock. There was a provincial inquiry and lawsuits stretched on for years. Alberta Labour Minister Ian Reid predicted the roller coaster may never run again, but it reopened on Aug. 14, 1987. Raphael Ghermezian, one of the mall’s owners, made the first ride on the reopened Mindbender with his son: “If it wasn’t safe, I wouldn’t bring him along,” he said. People were already lined up behind him with their tickets. - Jana G. Pruden

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